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Investment brings former governor to St. Pete company’s board

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joined the board of directors of Protect My Car, a St. Petersburg-based company that provides extended warranty products for vehicles. Bush is managing partner and chairman of Dock Square Capital, which acquired a minority stake in Protect My Car. Financial terms were not disclosed. Protect My Car is a portfolio company of Crestview Capital.

St. Pete tech firm has new owner

Arora Engineers completed the acquisition of Electronic Data Inc. in St. Petersburg. EDI is a business process consulting and technology firm that specializes in maintenance, asset, and facility life cycles, as well as integrated workplace management systems. Arora, an engineering firm in Philadelphia, did not disclose financial terms in a news release

City of St. Pete releases Eco-Friendly Business Toolkit

In December 2018, the St. Pete City Council passed an ordinance regulating single-use plastic straws city-wide, as well as EPS (or Styrofoam) on city rights-of-way. During 2019, businesses throughout St. Pete will transition toward offering fewer single use plastics. The City of St. Pete has released a toolkit and printable brochure to help businesses ease the transition. Check out the toolkit and more information here. 

St. Pete Chamber releases Grow Smarter Toolkit

The St. Petersburg Chamber is helping businesses tell the St. Pete story. The Grow Smarter Toolkit includes copy, facts, and visuals to use in company materials for promotion or recruiting. The toolkit puts information like demographics, economic facts, and arts and culture in the hands of businesses to simply copy and paste into their own materials. Explore the toolkit here. 

Survey finds more women in cybersecurity

Women now represent 24% of the cybersecurity workforce, according to a survey released Tuesday by(ISC)², a nonprofit association of certified cybersecurity professionals based in Clearwater. This estimate is a higher percentage than in past reports in part due to the adoption of a new sample methodology. The report also found that challenges like wage inequality remain, a news release said.

Kforce sells government business

Kforce Inc. completed the sale of Kforce Government Solutions, the company's federal government solutions business, to ManTech International Corp. on April 1, for $115 million in cash. Proceeds from the sale will be used to buy back stock, a news release said. Kforce (Nasdaq: KFRC), a Tampa-based staffing firm,  is exploring strategic alternatives for TraumaFX, its federal government product business. 

USF board elects new chair

Jordan Zimmerman will serve as the new chair of the University of South Florida Board of Trustees. Zimmerman is founder and chairman of Ft. Lauderdale-based Zimmerman Advertising, the 14th largest advertising agency in the world with published billings in excess of $3 billion. He succeeds Brian Lamb, who is resigning from USF board to serve on  the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the 12-member State University System.

CenterState wraps deal for National Commerce

CenterState Bank Corp. completed its $850 million acquisition of National Commerce Corp. CenterState (Nasdaq: CSFL), based in Winter Haven and with 10 offices in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, now has $16.5 billion in assets. Richard Murray, IV, who was  chairman and CEO of National Commerce, has been named the CEO of CenterState Bank's wholly-owned bank subsidiary.

Publix vice chair retires

Barney Barnett, vice chairman of Publix Super Markets Inc., announced he will retire from Publix on April 30. He will remain on the board of Publix Super Markets Charities. Barnett has worked for Publix for 50 years and has been vice chairman since 1998. He is married to Carol Jenkins Barnett, the daughter of Publix founder George Jenkins.

Raymond James underwrites Lyft IPO

Raymond James & Associates was one of more than two dozen brokerages offering shares of newly public Lyft to investors. The ride-sharing company debuted on Nasdaq at $72 a share, raising $2.34 billion. Raymond James, a St. Petersburg-based brokerage, bought 325,000 shares that it said it would sell to the public.   

Wave taps former Catalina CEO

Jamie Egasti, former Catalina CEO, was named an executive entrepreneur-in-residence at Tampa Bay Wave. Egasti is actively mentoring two Wave companies, My Area Network and SavvyCard, both in the adtech sector. He joins Tony DiBenedetto and Steven MacDonald, who were named executive entrepreneurs-in-residence last year

Peerfit profiled in Forbes

Peerfit, the Tampa digital health company with heavy-hitter financial backing, has found a lucrative niche by targeting sales outside of the major metropolitan areas, according to a new profile in Forbes. “We pride ourselves on being not in five major markets, but in 100 small and medium markets,” founder and CEO Ed Buckley told Forbes.

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