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Are you smarter than a business executive? Try these 10 questions

A re you up on Tampa Bay's current business scene? Do you know why Gov. Rick Scott's accountant would be forgiven for having a terrible case of cranky pants these days? How about what a group of Germans wants to do to one of the last large developable tracks of land in Pinellas County? You better be sharper than a Jackson Laboratory scientist to nail the answers to all 10 of these timely questions on our changing economy. Good luck.

1. To encourage and support more entrepreneurs and business startups in Tampa Bay, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is starting Gazelle Labs, which will act as a:

a) business incubator

b) business accelerator

c) business incorporator

d) business incinerator

2. In one year of expensive campaigning, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's personal net worth dropped from $218 million to $103 million. Now that he's sold off his Solantic health care clinics, his biggest personal asset is:

a) QuePasa Corp., which critics claim dabbles in pornography

b) RoboMe, which scripts enthusiastic robo-calls for unpopular politicians

c) Drives LLC, which makes oil-production equipment

d) Energy Transfer Equity, which is trying to buy a Florida natural gas pipeline

3) In downtown Tampa, USF is building a robotic surgical training facility known by these initials:

a) CAMLS: Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation

b) SALEM: Simulator for Advanced Learning in Electronics Medicine

c) WINSTON: Western Institute in Surgical Technology Operations Now

d) PMALL: Project for Medical Automation and Live Learning

4. A group of German businesses — led in part by financier Heino Ackert — includes this Pinellas County location among the options for a solar energy farm:

a) Honeymoon Island, in place of a planned RV park

b) Raytheon's abandoned property, site of a toxic waste plume

c) Toytown, site of a former landfill

d) The rooftop of Progress Energy Florida's headquarters

5. Orlando's success in winning state approval to go ahead with its SunRail commuter line assures Tampa Bay that it can now:

a) Unveil its new regional mass transit system using mules and dolphins

b) Revive its high-speed line — of passenger pigeons — between Tampa Bay and Orlando

c) Drive congested Interstate 4 to Orlando and see how a real metro area moves forward

d) Hope its new website,, will get a few more hits

6. Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine, abandoned lengthy plans to build a biotech facility in Sarasota County because:

a) Florida lobsters were less tasty than Maine lobsters

b) Budget-strapped Tallahassee had no incentive funds to recruit such a big catch

c) Everybody who's anybody in Sarasota already spends summers in Maine

d) USF refused to collaborate if the new facility was not based in Tampa

7. Walter Energy, whose local roots go back to Jim Walter Homes, shut down its Tampa headquarters last month and is relocating to:

a) Vancouver, British Columbia, because it just bought a big coal business there

b) Birmingham, to be closer to its Alabama coal mines

c) Nobody seems quite sure since so many senior managers just left the company

d) Texas. Isn't that where real energy companies operate?

8. Progress Energy's only Florida-based nuclear power plant, known as "Crystal River 3" in Citrus County, has been shut down since the fall of 2009. What happens now?

a) It will be fixed at a cost well over $1 billion and reopen in 2014 after five years without generating electricity.

b) Since its operating license runs until 2016, the plant will be put on eBay in hopes the Japanese are interested in bidding.

c) It will be "decommissioned" since there's no guarantee the planned repairs will work.

d) It will remain shut and become The Simpsons theme park featuring Homer working at his job at a nuke plant.

9. The latest "invasion" of prominent banks to enter the Tampa Bay banking market are:

a) Wells Fargo, TD Bank, Hancock Bank, PNC Bank

b) Wells Hancock, TD Fargo, P&C Bank

c) Barnett Bank, First Florida Bank, Florida Federal S&L, Southeast Bank

d) Wachovia Bank, Whitney Bank, RBC Bank, Mercantile Bank

10. Based on SEC filings, the next Tampa Bay area company most likely to make a major stock offering public is:

a) OSI Restaurant Partners in Tampa

b) Dais Analytics in Odessa

c) Taco Bus in Tampa/St. Petersburg

d) Publix Super Markets in Lakeland


1. b; 2. c., though he also owns part of QuePasa Corp. and Energy Transfer Equity; 3. a; 4. c; 5. d; 6. b; 7. c; Its new CEO, Keith Calder, is resigning after taking the job just three months ago, because of disagreements over management philosophy. 8. a; 9. a; 10. b; Dais plans a $15 million initial public offering priced between $3 and $5 a share. The company, which specializes in nanotechnology-based filters focused principally on heating and air-conditioning applications, made a splash in 2009 with a deal planning to add 1,000 jobs by 2014 thanks to a $200 million trade deal with China. In its SEC filing last month, Dais reported 21 full-time and two part-time employees in Odessa as of May 23.


3 or fewer correct — We won't be renewing your contract as CEO.

4-6 correct — You need additional grooming before making the corporate suite.

7-9 correct — Give yourself some extra stock options.

All 10 correct — That $150,000 MBA degree is finally paid off.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at

Are you smarter than a business executive? Try these 10 questions 07/09/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 11:46am]
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