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Jabil, Mosaic make ‘most responsible companies’ list

St. Petersburg-based manufacturing solutions provider Jabil (NYSE: JBL) andTampa-based crop nutrient producer and marketer Mosaic (NYSE: MOS) were named to Newsweek's 2020 list of America's "Most Responsible Companies." Mosaic ranks No. 109 and Jabil ranks No. 118 on the list of 300 companies. Newsweek partnered with global data research firm Statista Inc. to produce the list, which covered three areas of corporate social responsibility — environmental, social and corporate governance.  See the full list here.

Lumina expands advisory board

One of the nation's top experts in threat detection has joined the advisory board of Lumina, a predictive analytics company in Tampa.  Kathleen Kiernan is founder and CEO of Kiernan Group Holdings, a woman-owned company that educates, engages, and empowers individuals and communities to prepare for, react to, and recover from active threat and hazard events. She previously was an assistant director in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, where she designed and implemented strategies related to the tools of terrorism, a news release said. In the release, Kiernan called Lumina's artificial intelligence-driven platform, Radiance, "a critical tool in threat prevention and mitigation."  Lumina's advisory board also includes Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Michael Chertoff, former secretary fo the Department of Homeland Security; and Charles Allen, former assistant director of Central Intelligence for Collection, part of the CIA.

Pinellas tourism council advances Holocaust museum funding

The Pinellas County Tourist Development Council has weighed in on a plan to provide funding for security at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. The museum was seeking $350,000 from the county's tourist development tax, or bed tax, to redesign and improve the entrance for increased security. The council waived the capital project funding guidelines for the request, so it will now move to the Board of County Commissioners. The project, originally projected to cost about $853,804 according to county budget documents, now has a total cost of $1.8 million. The St. Petersburg City Council earlier agreed to fund a $350,000 match for Pinellas County funding and the state has approved $500,000 for the project. Private donors are expected to fund the bulk of the cost.

Tampa insurer strikes deal to buy Lakeland agency

Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners, a subsidiary of Tampa insurance distributor BRP Group,  has agreed to buy Lanier Upshaw, a Lakeland-based independent insurance firm focused on writing healthcare, higher education, construction, property and non-profit business throughout Florida and other states. Financial terms were not disclosed. Lanier Upshaw, with about 60 employees and annual revenue of about $8 million, will become part of BRP Group's middle-market operating group, doing business as BKS-Partners, a news release said. The deal is expected to close Jan. 1. Although BRP Group completed six strategic acquisitions in the nine months ended Sept. 30, the deal with Lanier Upshaw is  the first acquisition for BRP Group (Nasdaq: BRP) since the company's initial public offering on Oct. 28.

Jabil ups outlook for fiscal 2020

Jabil (NYSE: JBL), a St. Petersburg-based manufacturing solutions company, reported net income of $40.7 million, or 26 cents a share, on revenue of $7.5 billion for the first quarter of the company's fiscal year, the three months ended Nov. 30. Revenue was up 15 percent compared to the same period a year ago, although net income dropped from $124 million in the year-ago period. Core earnings per share, a number that doesn't include charges for  restructuring and acquisitions, was above expectations at $1.05 a share.  The first quarter results reflect "exceptional execution," CEO Mark Mondello said in a news release. The company is projecting $26.7 billion in revenue for the full 2020 fiscal year and core earnings per share of $3.45 to $3.60.

Tech Data plans to buy Asian distributor

Tech Data Corp. has agreed to acquire the business of Inflow Technologies, a distributer based in Bangalore, India, with expertise in areas like cybersecurity and networking.The purchase price was not disclosed in a news release announcing the deal. The acquisition strengthens Tech Data's portfolio of networking and security solutions while optimizing its footprint in Asia Pacific, said CEO Rich Hume. The Inflow Technologies deal is expected to close in the first quarter of Tech Data's fiscal year 2021. Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD) , an IT distributor headquartered in Clearwater, itself is being acquired by funds associated with Apollo Global Management in a $6 billion deal that will make Tech Data a private company.

Forbes: Tampa Bay Lightning value up 6 percent

The Tampa Bay Lightning posted $7.2 million in operating income on $140 million in revenue for the 2018-2019 season, according to a new report from Forbes. Forbes also said the team's current value is $480 million, up 6 percent from a year ago. The Lightning ranked No. 23 on the publication's list of most valuable NHL teams. The New York Rangers topped the list with a value of $1.65 billion, while the Arizona Coyotes were at the bottom of the list of 31 teams, with a value of $300 million.

Boat-up restaurant planned for Westshore Marina District

A 1.6 acre parcel in the Westshore Marina District is slated to become a waterfront restaurant. D&G WMD LLC bought the parcel for an undisclosed price and plans to a boat-up restaurant called Paloma, according to a news release from Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners, the master developer of the district. David and Ginger Willis of D&G WMD partnered with restauranteurs Scott and Karina Tashkin to own and operate Paloma, the news release said. It will be located at the grand entrance of Westshore Marina District, a 52-acre master-planned community off Westshore and Gandy Boulevards on Old Tampa Bay across from St. Petersburg. Paloma complements other restaurants that have already signed leases in Westshore Marina District, the company said. BTI recently signed leases with Cru Cellars, Crave Spa, Salon Color Bar, Duckweed Urban Market, Sand Surf Co., DRNK coffee + tea, and QWENCH juice bar.

Bank of America extends free admission for Holocaust Museum, MFA

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) has announced six additional days of free museum admission through Museums on Us, a program that offers bank customers free admission to more than 220 cultural institutions nationwide during the first full weekend of every month. The program has been extended to Dec. 26 through Dec. 31, a news release said. St. Petersburg museums in the program are the Florida Holocaust Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. Also participating are the Tampa Museum of Art, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton, and Selby Gardens in Sarasota. To take advantage of Museums on Us, Bank of America, Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank (U.S. Trust) customers simply present their credit or debit card and a valid photo ID to gain one free general admission ticket to any participating institution. 

Tampa Bay Wave company raises $7.5 million

NeuroFlow, a Philadelphia company that was part of Tampa Bay Wave's 2019 TechDiversity accelerator, raised $7.5 million in Series A funding. The financing round was led by San Francisco-based Builders VC, a news release said. Also participating in the round were Dreamit Ventures, a fund and accelerator in Philadelphia in which Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is a partner, as well as Spring Point Partners, Red & Blue Ventures and AWT Private Investments. NeuroFlow will use the new capital to continue building its platform to help patients with behavioral health issues. See the St. Pete Catalyst's interview with NeuroFlow here.

St. Pete man gets 5 years for bomb at Bay Pines VA

A federal judge in Tampa sentenced Mark Edward Allen of St. Petersburg to five years in federal prison for attempting to destroy United States government property with an improvised explosive device. Allen placed an IED at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Bay Pines which was found and rendered safe, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. Two days later, an individual called law enforcement and reported that Allen had been making other IEDs in his St. Petersburg home. The individual provided one of the devices to the FBI, and seven additional completed and partially completed IEDs were found during a search of Allen’s home. Allen was arrested on June 1 and pleaded guilty on September 23.

Kahwa Coffee expands staff

Kahwa Coffee Roasting Co. said it will hire about 20 people for multiple positions within the corporate office, roastery and retail locations. In the past year, Kahwa, based in St. Petersburg and the largest independent coffee roaster in Florida,  relocated its headquarters to a larger space, unveiled two canned cold brews, and announced three new locations, giving it 15 retail sites. "Exceptional employees are considered the cornerstone of Kahwa Coffee, which is why extensive, hands-on training is provided to each new hire," said Raphael Perrier, who owns the company with his wife Sarah. For more information contact jobs@kahwacoffee.com 

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