Business Development Week begins
How to navigate Obamacare, the importance of a good first impression and how to showcase your business are just a few of the topics to be discussed at the 21st annual Pasco County Business Development Week that begins Monday.
Put on by the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, the week kicks off with a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Spartan Manor in New Port Richey and ends Friday with a luncheon at Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club put on by the Pasco County Economic Development Council.
This year's speaker is John Jung, executive director of BB&T Capital Markets. His topic is "Are the Economic Tides Finally Turning?"
Other events are being held at various locations across the county. Here's a schedule:
Monday: "Two companies that do it right!" 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the New Port Richey Library. Customer service tips from Publix & Team Farrell. Free.
Tuesday: (All events are at Pasco-Hernando State College's New Port Richey campus on Ridge Road.)
• Business Round Tables — Members helping Members, 9 to 11:15 a.m. Free, but RSVP required.
• Decoding the Affordable Health Care Act. Luncheon, noon to 1:30 p.m. RSVP required. Cost $10. Panelists are Shayne George, Rich Modglin, Todd Unbehagen and Michael Yungmann.
• Get your "Shift" Together, customer service workshop, Rosemary DiDio Brehm. 1:30 to 3 p.m. Free.
• Savvy Social Security Planning, What Baby Boomers Need to Know. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. David Meglay, CFP. Free.
Wednesday: (Unless otherwise noted, events are at Marchman Technical Education Center, 7825 Campus Drive, New Port Richey)
• How to really start your own business, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mike Lewis of SCORE. Free.
• Education Day Luncheon, noon to 1:30 p.m. RSVP required. Cost is $12. Lobbyist Shawn Foster speaks on the art of making a great first impression.
• Quick Books Start to Finish, 2 to 5 p.m., Mike Kouremetis of SCORE. Free.
• Speed Networking, 6 to 7 p.m., Catches Waterfront Grille. Free.
Thursday: (Unless otherwise noted, events are in the Sunset Room of the West Pasco Board of Realtors building, 5409 Sunset Road, New Port Richey.)
• Success Stories Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. Seven Springs Golf & Country Club. RSVP required, $10. Speakers are Rich Williams, Judith Koutsos and Dr. Ken Martin.
• Supporting the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Pasco, 10:30-11:30 a.m. SMARTstart Incubator program director Krista Covey. Free.
• Successful Women in Business Panel. Box lunch, RSVP required, $10. Panelists are Pasco Clerk of Court Paula O'Neil, Kristen DePante and Juli Marquez.
• Transaction of a lifetime, Business Succession Planning, 2 to 4 p.m. Jerry Brewster. Free.
• Tips for Successful Grant Writing, 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. Barbara Sweinberg of SCORE. Free.
• West Pasco Board of Realtors Annual "Kick Off" Tailgate Party, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Food and cash bar. Free. Represent your favorite team while networking.
Friday: Get your Business News Published, 9 to 10:30 a.m., Rasmussen College. Free coffee and doughnuts. The speakers are Molly Moorhead, Pasco editor, Tampa Bay Times and Michelle Rintz, multimedia advertising consultant for Tampa Bay Times, tbt* and TampaBay.com.
• Business to Business Expo, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Verizon Center, Trinity. Reserve a booth by calling (727) 842-7651. Enter to win a 40-inch HDTV. Free.
Visit www.westpasco.com/bdw.php for information about seminars and registration, or call (727) 842-7651.
Smoking cessation class has plan for quitters
A free smoking cessation class using the 'IQuit' Tools to Quit program will be held 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Florida Department of Health, 10841 Little Road, Building B, New Port Richey, and 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 31 at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, 2700 Healing Way.
Tools to Quit is a two-hour program designed to assist participants in planning a quitting process, establishing goals and learning strategies for quitting. Participants receive a free optional supply of nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges. Seating is limited.
To register for the class, call Jihane Ambroise at (813) 929-1000, ext. 213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Port Richey
County takes over animal control
The city is officially out of the animal control business.
After more than a year of using volunteers to handle animal issues, the City Council pulled the plug on its program by accepting a deal for Pasco County to take services back.
In 2012, the city canceled its contract with Pasco touting cost savings and promises of better service than the county could deliver.
But the city never built kennels to house the dozens of dogs and cats that volunteer director Sharon McReynolds, and her husband, Jeff, collected.
So after being kicked out of loaned kennels from the Suncoast SPCA following a parvovirus outbreak, McReynolds moved the city's operation to kennels in Land O'Lakes. Interim City Manager Susan Dillinger said Tuesday five animals remain there and the city is still seeking to adopt them out.
The contract approved by council will pay the county more than $84,000 a year for animal services.
This fiscal year the city agreed to pay the county a $28,000 startup fee and a $56,000 prorated amount, Dillinger said.
Even staring at increased costs, council members expressed relief that the county was willing to take on the city's program. Mayor Bob Consalvo added that the city should send a letter of appreciation to Sharon McReynolds for her hard work. Police Chief Kim Bogart added that Jeff McReynolds should be recognized too.
Council increases manager salary to entice more applicants
The city is sweetening the pot in an effort to find a permanent city manager. After two failed tries to fill the vacancy, the City Council decided Tuesday to advertise the position for a third time at a salary of $115,000. Previously, council members said they were not pleased with the applicant pool that came back from a salary range that topped out at $110,000.
Longtime library director Susan Dillinger has been serving as interim city manager since October 2012 when then city manager John Schneiger exited, saying he had lost the support of the City Council. Dillinger has maintained she does not want the city manager job permanently.
Meet with Rep. Amanda Murphy in town hall series
State Rep. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey, will host a series of town hall meetings at public libraries to discuss the upcoming legislative session with constituents in District 36.
The meetings will be:
• 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Park Library, 5740 Moog Road in Holiday.
• 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main Street in New Port Richey.
For details, or to be added to the distribution list, email email@example.com.