Saturday, June 23, 2018
Business

Madeira Beach joins Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce

TREASURE ISLAND — Two neighboring island communities have joined together in hopes of promoting common goals.

The Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce has added Madeira Beach to its name along with several Madeira Beach officials and business people to its 16-member board of directors.

One of its first major events as a chamber representing both communities will be a visioning workshop May 17 to come up with shared priorities and future goals, said Jo Massaro, president of the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce.

"We will be developing a plan of where we want to go and what our top priorities are now," she said.

The all-day workshop will be led by St. Petersburg College's Collaborative Labs, where Alan Martinez, vice chair of the chamber, is the business development officer.

Up to 50 business owners, city leaders, homeowner association officials and residents are expected to gather at the Treasure Island Community Center and create a shared vision, reach a consensus on top priorities and develop a plan of action, he said.

"Everybody's voices will be heard and we hope to come up with a plan that is robust with lots of buy-in," Martinez said.

Chamber officials in Treasure Island, which has had its own chamber of commerce, decided last summer that adding Madeira Beach into its fold would be "a move in the right direction," Massaro said.

The chamber wanted to beef up its membership and officials have kept an attentive eye on all the growth and activities going on with its northern neighbor. Madeira Beach is in the midst of a flurry of development with new hotels, restaurants and a new municipal center going up.

"There was a general feeling that we've always worked hand in hand with them so why not make it formal," Massaro said.

Shane Crawford, Madeira Beach city manager, thinks the merger will be advantageous to both communities.

"Madeira Beach is an events type of town and we should be able to share resources and cooperate because of the natural geographic location," he said.

Madeira will remain a member of the Tampa Bay Beaches chamber, which represents a number of beach communities and takes more of a "macro approach," Crawford said.

Madeira will now receive double the attention from being a part of two chambers, he said.

Julian Fant, former executive director and then president of the Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce in the 1960s, thinks adding Madeira Beach to the mix makes a lot of sense.

"There is strength in numbers," he said. Fant, who plans to attend the visioning workshop, hopes Treasure Island and Madeira Beach officials will up their efforts to promote tourism of the area, especially to northern visitors.

"We need to be promoting our biggest asset — the beaches," he said.

The chamber has recently moved into a new 3,000-square-foot building down the street from its former cramped headquarters in a retail strip mall on 107th Avenue.

The building, which chamber officials are calling a welcome center, has given a boost to new growth efforts, Martinez and Massaro said.

"There is a lot of momentum now," he said.

Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Published: 06/22/18
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Published: 06/22/18
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Published: 06/22/18
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Published: 06/22/18
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Published: 06/22/18
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Published: 06/22/18
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18