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Pharma company buys former Thompson Cigar property near TIA

Privately-held specialty pharmacy company AnazaoHealth Corp. has acquired 5401 Hangar Court, a 44,100-square-foot industrial facility adjacent to Tampa International Airport. The sale price was $6.4 million, according to ConnectFlorida, a commercial real estate news site. Thompson Cigar occupied the property for the last 40 years but closed the site earlier this year after Thompson was acquired.  AnazaoHealth Corp. will occupy the property upon completion of interior improvements. JLL represented the seller, RMF Realty, in the transaction and Avocat Group represented AnazaoHealth.

Local Habitat boosts minimum wage

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has increased its minimum wage to $13.50 an hour and plans to increase it again to $15 an hour in 2020. Local Habitat leaders see the wage hike "as an opportunity to lead the way for nonprofits to do our part to ensure our talent is making a livable wage," Mike Sutton, president and CEO, said in a news release. Florida’s minimum wage is currently set at $8.46 an hour, and one in six families in the state spend more than half of their income on housing. "With these wage increases we aim to support our employees, who work tirelessly to create affordable housing solutions for others, with their own stability," Sutton said.

Bunker Labs opens Tampa chapter

Bunker Labs, a national non-profit helping veteran entrepreneurs, has opened its first Florida chapter in Tampa. The local chapter has three volunteers leaders — Erik Maltais, Bill Quigley and Valerie Lavin — who have spent the last six months building momentum for the new chapter by establishing strong business connections and speaking with veterans and entrepreneurs throughout the Tampa area, a news release said. The organization plans a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on September 26 at SOFWERX.

Centene wins states approval for WellCare acquisition

Insurance departments of 17 states have approved Centene Corp.'s pending acquisition of WellCare Health Plans Inc. Among the states approving the deal is Florida, the  lead state insurance regulator of WellCare and its insurance subsidiaries. The companies continue to expect that the $17. 3 billion transaction will be completed by the first half of 2020, a news release said.

ConnectWise adds 1,000 channel partners

ConnectWise, a managed IT services provider and software developer in Tampa, has added more than 1,000  channel partners in the six months since it was acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. More than two-thirds, or 67 percent, of the companies listed on the Channel Futures most recent ranking of managed service providers are ConnectWise partners, a nine percent increase from the 2018 ranking, a news release said.

USF recognized for diversity

University of South Florida received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Nearly 52 percent of full-time USF students identify as non-white, with Hispanics representing 20 percent, Asian Americans at nine percent and African Americans making up seven percent, a news release said. The annual HEED award is presented by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, which will feature USF and other recipients in its November 2019 issue.

Revolution launches $215 million fund

Revolution Ventures today announced the launch of Revolution Ventures III. RV3 is an over-subscribed $215 million fund to invest in transformative early stage companies. Revolution, headed by AOL co-founder Steve Case, is the parent company of Revolution Ventures, as well as the Rise of the Rest seed fund, TechCrunch reported. Case brought the Rise of the Rest tour to St. Petersburg and Tampa earlier this year.  

Florida Aquarium CEO joins SWFWMD board

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Roger Germann, president and CEO of The Florida Aquarium, to the governing board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, a regional agency tasked with protecting water resources. The appointment is subject to Florida Senate confirmation. Throughout his career, Germann has been instrumental in establishing several national initiatives – from working with zoo and aquarium CEOs to create the Association of Zoos & Aquariums global campaign to save species, to launching the nation’s first comprehensive aquarium conservation advocacy program.

Tampa digital marketer raises capital

Dabbl, a Tampa company headed by veteran marketer Susan O'Neal, raised $400,000 in a funding round earlier this month. Seven investors took equity and options or warrants, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Dabbl, formerly named Adjoy and mNFO, has a mobile app with interactive games, quizzes and videos to draw consumer attention to brands and win gift cards. The company has raised at least $11.5 million in previous funding rounds.

One finalist withdraws from Pinellas top tourism job

Christopher Barrett, president and CEO of Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, has withdrawn from consideration as president and CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. Barrett was one of three finalists named by Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton last week. The tourism agency did not say why Barrett withdrew his candidacy. Two finalists remain and will be at a Sept. 30 meet-and-greet event from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. They are Steve Hayes, president and CEO, Visit Pensacola, and Jeffrey Seifried, president and CEO of Branson Lakes/Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Kriseman honored by Florida Association of Museums

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman was named "outstanding public official" by the Florida Association of Museums. The award is one of several the association presented at its annual conference and exposition today in Orlando. The association said its awards recognize museum staff, volunteers, or trustees, as well as to individuals outside the museum profession who make significant contributions to the advancement of Florida’s museums, either locally or statewide.

TAO Connect extends partnership with University of South Carolina

TAO Connect, a St. Petersburg digital health company, extended a partnership with University of South Carolina. TAO, which stands for Therapy Assistance Online, has a digital platform aimed at making behavioral health therapy more accessible, efficient and effective. It's free to all University of South Carolina students, faculty and staff, a news release said. Since launching at the school in 2017, more than 700 students have engaged with the platform, the release said.

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