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Business digest for April 16, 2011

The Learning Tree Daycare Center at 6368 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor West, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a reunion celebration April 9 at the Sertoma Youth Ranch. More than 300 attended, including former students. Gloria and Shane Harris opened the center in September 1990 with 45 children. Today the center is accredited and licensed for 117. Everyone attending received a T-shirt to mark the occasion. Activities included lunch, music, games and a scavenger hunt. Gloria Harris, center, is joined by former students Kevin Bard, left, Austin Sullivan, Justin Bard and Amanda Sullivan.

GLORIA HARRIS | Special to the Times

The Learning Tree Daycare Center at 6368 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor West, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a reunion celebration April 9 at the Sertoma Youth Ranch. More than 300 attended, including former students. Gloria and Shane Harris opened the center in September 1990 with 45 children. Today the center is accredited and licensed for 117. Everyone attending received a T-shirt to mark the occasion. Activities included lunch, music, games and a scavenger hunt. Gloria Harris, center, is joined by former students Kevin Bard, left, Austin Sullivan, Justin Bard and Amanda Sullivan.


Century 21 Alliance Realty, 13127 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, was honored for its outstanding performance during the past year at the 2011 Cartus Broker Network International Conference held recently in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Kimberly McNeal, relocation director, attended and accepted the Five Star Award on behalf of the office. The award recognizes brokers who have met or exceeded their individual objectives for outgoing broker-to-broker referral closings during the calendar year.

For information, call (352) 686-0000.

• • •

AutoWay Ford Lincoln of Brooksville at 7200 Broad St., Brooksville, is offering special pricing for 2011 graduates in support of the nonprofit organization Standing Tall For Veterans.

AutoWay will extend military pricing to all 2011 high school and college graduates. The dealership will make a $100 donation to Standing Tall for each new or used vehicle sold when customer mentions the organization.

For information about the organization, visit

• • •

Operation Thanks to You discount cards to benefit Standing Tall For Veterans are available at area businesses.

The cards are $10 each and offer a variety of discounts and free items from local restaurants and businesses, including Beef 'O' Brady's, Dunkin' Donuts, Domino's Pizza, Texas Roadhouse, King's Wok, Coney Island Drive Inn, Buffet City, Rita's Water Ice, Computer Connections, Allen's Florist, AutoWay Ford Lincoln of Brooksville and Spring Hill Lanes.

Cards are available at the following locations:

• Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582, 14494 Cortez Blvd., west of Brooksville. (New members receive a free card.)

• Computer Corrections, 15478 Cortez Blvd., west of Brooksville.

• Allen's Florist, 277 W Jefferson St., Brooksville.

• Florida Tactical Supply, 490 Smith St., Brooksville.

• Tropic Shores Realty, 19211 Cortez Blvd., in the Killingsworth/Candlelight Plaza, Brooksville.

• AutoWay Ford Lincoln of Brooksville, 7200 Broad St., Brooksville. (Test drive a new or used vehicle and receive a free card.)

• Denny's restaurant, 31015 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor West.

Visit or call Chuck Bennett, (352) 238-3148.

• • •

Volunteer role models are needed for Diploma-See — Economics for Success, an eighth-grade initiative that inspires students to stay in school and teaches them the economics of success.

Training is provided to all volunteers interested in taking an active role in helping students succeed. The training includes a review of the curriculum and activities, as well as suggestions for the most effective presentation of the material and teaching tips.

The next program is set for April 29 at Powell Middle School, 19920 Youth Drive, Brooksville. Training will be provided at 8:30 a.m. and at 10 a.m. April 21 at the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce office, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, south of Brooksville.

Call Carla Hayes with the chamber at (352) 796-0697.

• • •

IHOP restaurant, 3660 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, will sponsor Friends Friday Night fundraisers on the second Friday of each month to support the Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

For customers who mention Friends of Weeki Wachee on those nights, IHOP will donate 15 percent of their bill to the organization.

Call the restaurant at (352) 683-5525.

• • •

The Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida has partnered with the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce to provide free business consultation to local small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs seeking assistance will have access to all of the center's services, including free one-on-one business counseling, free entrepreneurial training workshops, low-cost entrepreneurial training seminars, the Business Resource Center and custom corporate training.

The center offers business consultation in many areas, including starting a business, Internet marketing, business taxes and government contracting. It is an accredited organization that is funded partially through the Small Business Administration.

The center's Hernando office is at the chamber office, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, south of Brooksville. To schedule a counseling session, call the chamber at (352) 796-0697.

Who's news

John Allocco, Liz Dryden and Paul Lue, staff members of Action Potential Rehabiliation & Sports Medicine, 6119 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill, attended the Cleveland Clinic's Sports Health Orthopaedic Update course in Sarasota in mid March.

The three-day event focused on the treatment of athletes of all ages and covered the latest surgical and rehabilitation treatment of the upper and lower extremities.

Allocco holds a master's degree in physical therapy. Both Dryden and Lue are physical therapy assistants.

For information, call (352) 592-9559.

• • •

NASCAR driver Mark Martin is the new spokesman for Brooksville Regional and Spring Hill Regional hospitals' ER Extra program.

For those not requiring immediate emergency care, ER Extra provides several tools designed to improve users' visits to the emergency department. Patients can check emergency room wait times online and can download the ER Extra iPhone app or access wait times via any mobile phone.

For information, visit or

• • •

Diane Caggiano and Linda White of Spring Hill Regional Hospital were recently named Health Management Associates' nurse and associate of the year for Division III.

Caggiano was named Nurse of the Year at Spring Hill Regional and was then nominated by the hospital's chief executive officer, Alex Contreras-Soto, to be recognized systemwide. Caggiano, a registered nurse, has been at the hospital since 2007.

White was chosen as Associate of the Year at Spring Hill Regional, and was then nominated to be recognized systemwide. She is a certified radiology technologist and has been with the hospital since 2003.

Both Caggiano and White were chosen out of 36,000 associates to receive the award from the hospital's parent company.

• • •

Bonnie Barbieri of Remax Advantage Realty, 4320 Lake in the Woods Drive, Spring Hill, recently completed a class on Google at the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors. The class teaches Realtors how to use Google tools to better serve sellers and buyers.

Barbieri can be reached at (352) 263-3599.


The Book Fair, 1219 Kass Circle, Spring Hill, will have its annual Meet the Authors event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.

Between eight and 10 local authors will attend, including Hillary Sessions, mother of University of Florida student Tiffany Sessions, who has been missing more than 17 years. Sessions now devotes her life to those missing. She recently donated money for a bloodhound for use by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Others attending include Dave Wermuth, author of Suddenly Blind, Debbie McCaffrey, a children's book author, and Keith Laufenberg, author of the mystery thriller Miami Rock.

Free gifts and drawings will be available. For information, call Ruth Wharton at (352) 686-1682.

• • •

A fundraiser to benefit Standing Tall For Veterans will be from noon to 6 p.m. today at Denny's restaurant, 31015 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor West.

The restaurant will donate 10 percent of customers' purchases to the organization for its Operation Thanks to You program. The program supports families of soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Florida Tactical Supply in Brooksville will have a military vehicle on display, and AutoWay Ford Lincoln of Brooksville will have a 2011 Ford Fiesta on display. Operation Thanks to You discount cards will be available for $10.

For information, visit or call (352) 238-3148.

• • •

A Spring Fling will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Easy Street Home Decor, 100 N Brooksville Ave., Brooksville.

Arts, crafts and new and old-time treasures will be available from outside vendors and inside the store. There will be drawings to benefit the Humane Society of the Nature Coast. Call (352) 848-0177.

• • •

The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will have the following ribbon cuttings during the coming week:

Lose It Right Weight Loss & Facelift, 8403 Balm St., Weeki Wachee, noon Wednesday . Call Dr. Candace Koney, (352) 340-5938.

Scott Timothy Smith PA, 101 E Fort Dade Ave., Brooksville, noon Thursday. Call Scott Smith, (352) 796-7434.

• • •

The Hernando Builders Association along with Flagstone Pavers will sponsor the 2011 Maurice Black Golf Invitational on Wednesday at the Dunes Golf Club, off U.S. 19 north of Weeki Wachee.

Team check-in begins at 11 a.m.; lunch will be at 11:30 a.m., and tee-off will be at 12:30 p.m. This is a four-person, team scramble with a shotgun start. The entry fee includes lunch, cart, green fees, refreshments, beer, soda and bottled water.

The cost is $100 per player, $400 per foursome or $450 for a foursome and hole sponsorship. The event is named after the first president of the HBA, who served as president three times and was instrumental in getting the association off the ground in 1975.

Sponsorships and team sign-up forms are available at the HBA office, 7391 Sunshine Grove Road, west of Brooksville, or online at

There will be cash and awards for the winning teams, as well as raffle prizes. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity. For information, call (352) 596-1114.

• • •

The Hernando County Office of Business Development has announced that it will allow people to participate in its interactive series, "Changing Channels: Making the Switch to New Media Marketing," even if they missed earlier workshops.

The two remaining workshops will be from 7:45 a.m. to noon Wednesday and from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 25 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, south of Brooksville. The workshops provide a chance for local business owners and marketing specialists to learn about new media advertising, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

The series is presented by the Office of Business Development, the Rotary Club of Spring Hill Central and Saint Leo University, with additional sponsorships by the St. Petersburg Times, the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and Hernando Today.

Each session is $50 per person. Advance registration is required. Register at or call the Office of Business Development at (352) 540-6400.

• • •

Get Healthy-Brooksville Natural Foods, 1254 Broad St., Brooksville, will present a free health lecture about how people can get relief from fatigue and fibromyalgia, and symptomatic relief from viruses such as herpes, shingles and others, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

To RSVP, call (352) 796-9798.

• • •

The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will have its April After Hours mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at 1300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill.

The sponsor is the YMCA of Hernando County. For information, call Olivia Matles at (352) 688-9622.

• • •

Get Healthy-Brooksville Natural Foods, 1254 Broad St., Brooksville, will present a free health lecture, "Worried About Today's Toxic Environment?" at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The lecture will be presented by Tracy Hutchinson, a digestive and detox/cleansing expert from Renew Life. Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres by Chef Audrey's Fresh Market Cafe will be served.

To RSVP, call (352) 796-9798.

• • •

Green World Path, 1665 Donto Way, Brooksville, will offer a free educational program on natural soap crafting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The speaker will be Criss Holzaephel, who will give instruction and talk about the benefits of natural soaps. Staffers will offer tours of the Green World facility and garden. For directions, call (352) 799-0200.

• • •

The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday. For information, call (352) 796-0697.

• • •

Nature Coast Business Professionals, a nonexclusive networking group, will meet at 8 a.m. Friday at IHOP, 3660 Commercial Way, Spring Hill.

The goal is to develop long-term relationships with other business professionals. There are no membership fees.

Call Deborah Cutlip at (352) 293-4317 or visit

• • •

The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will host the Eastside Business After Business Social from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Days Inn, 6320 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor West.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will include food, drinks and a cash bar. The event will be outdoors. For information, call Kevin Tennie at (352) 540-4521.

• • •

The Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will offer its April Small Business Development Center business seminar, "International Trade Basics," from 2 to 4 p.m. April 26 in the chamber office, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, south of Brooksville.

The seminar will be presented by Eileen Rodriguez, certified business analyst. The seminar will help companies establish a foundation, find a starting point and identify fundamentals.

The cost is $10 per person. To register, call (352) 796-0697.

• • •

Community business leaders can gain knowledge about 10 internationally acclaimed leaders at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast on May 6 at Pasco-Hernando Community College's new Spring Hill Campus at 450 Beverly Court.

A complimentary breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. The conference is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open to the public, Leadercast is a one-day leadership training event broadcast live from Atlanta to hundreds of sites throughout the nation, including Spring Hill. Proceeds from the Spring Hill event will benefit the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce.

Speakers include Seth Godin, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Sir Ken Robinson, Dan Cathy, Muhtar Kent, Suzy Welch, Mack Brown, Erin Gruwell and Frans Johansson.

The program will focus on how individuals and teams can use their voices to create positive change at work, at home and in the community.

Tickets are $69 for chamber members, $79 for nonmembers and $59 for nonprofits. For information, call the chamber at (352) 796-0697, or visit

• • •

The Nature Coast Chapter of the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management will have its annual seminar and vendor fair, "Hot Topics for 2011," from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 13 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Gulf Club Lane, south of Brooksville.

Vendor setup begins at 7:30 a.m.; registration begins at 8 a.m. The day's schedule includes: keynote speaker Mickey Smith, CEO Oak Hill Hospital, from 9 to 10 a.m.; "Hot Topics in HR, Pitfalls to Avoid" seminar with lawyer Colleen Flynn, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.; lunch and vendor visiting from noon to 12:45 p.m.; "Employee Benefit Trends/Reform Act — What You May Not Know" seminar with Bud Elias, president of Advantage Group, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; and "ICD 10" seminar with Arlene Morrow, from 2:45 to 4:30 p.m.

The cost is $75 for association members, $80 for students and $95 for nonmembers. The conference includes a continental breakfast, lunch buffet and breaks. Participants will receive six continuing education units. The deadline to register is May 1.

Checks should be made payable to Nature Coast Chapter PAHCOM and mailed to P.O. Box 6351, Spring Hill, FL 34611. For information, call Margie at (352) 688-5544.

If you have business announcements you would like to share with our readers, mail the details to Jean Hayes, Business Digest, Hernando Times, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613-6174. You may also e-mail items to or fax them to (352) 754-6133. Items may be edited for length and clarity. Photos are published as space permits; they will not be returned.

Business digest for April 16, 2011 04/15/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2011 5:51pm]
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