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North Pinellas business briefs for July 21

Business digest

Otolaryngologists, audiologists and physical therapists from around the world attended a five-day vestibular assessment and management workshop last week presented by the Education Foundation of the American Institute of Balance in Largo.

Specialists from Canada, Chile, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States were eligible to become AIB certified at the end of the course, taught by Dr. Richard E. Gans, AIB's founder and CEO, and Mary Kim, doctor of audiology.

Established in 1992, AIB is a diagnostic, treatment and educational research center in vestibular and equilibrium sciences. The mission of AIB's Education Foundation, created in 1999, is to provide wide-ranging, clinically relevant, multidisciplinary global education; support research; fund clinician training, and provide free services for children in need. Through it, Gans has trained more than 6,000 specialists.

The American Institute of Balance has provided 21 years of patient care and global education. When asked about future education plans, Gans said, "With an aging population worldwide, the institute will continue to expand its global reach, teaching specialists at the institute and online."

In addition to the institute's main campus and educational center in Largo, there are currently eight AIB clinics in the greater Tampa Bay and Orlando areas, including within the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at the University of South Florida.

• • •

In early August, Jefferson Bank will move its Palm Harbor branch to a newly renovated freestanding building in Alderman Plaza at 35320 U.S. 19.

Jefferson purchased the former Wachovia outparcel at the southwest corner of Alderman Road and U.S. 19 in November 2012.

The 3,400-square-foot branch offers a covered, drive-up ATM and four drive-through lanes. Branch manager Rose Fasano and her team will continue to provide service at the new location.

Of the move, Jefferson Bank's chairman/CEO Bob McGivney said, "Jefferson Bank is a local institution committed to the communities we serve. Our goal is to keep customer needs at the forefront of all our business decisions. The new Palm Harbor location offers enhanced accessibility from U.S. 19 and all of Palm Harbor."

Jefferson Bank offers personal, business and mortgage banking services and has three full-service locations in Oldsmar, Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs as well as a loan office in Clearwater.

• • •

More than 100 guests attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 9 conducted by the Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce that celebrated the grand opening of the Palm Harbor law office of Spiro J. Verras.

Among those attending were state Rep. Carl Zimmerman; U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis' district director, Elizabeth Hittos; Palm Harbor chamber president and CEO Connie Davis; and Arlene Tracht, honorary mayor of Palm Harbor.

Verras' office is in a freestanding office building behind Pier 1 Imports. The address is 31640 U.S. 19 N, Suite 4. The attorney's primary practice was opened in 2001 and previously was based in Tampa's Hyde Park Village.

"I grew up in Tarpon Springs, and my family operated a restaurant in Palm Harbor for many years. Since many of my clients are located in Pinellas County, I'm delighted to return to the community," said Verras. "While our Tampa office will remain available to serve my Hillsborough County clients, I intend to spend most of my time working in the new Palm Harbor location."

A graduate of Tarpon Springs High, Verras attended Yale University and Tulane University Law School and completed his legal studies in 1993. He was hired by a Louisiana law firm and was a former partner at Jones, Verras & Freiberg, a New Orleans-based, multistate law firm. He has served as managing partner of the Bilirakis Law Group and was also a co-founder of the Unthink social media project.

"Practicing in a small-firm setting for the first time in my career, my goal has been to create a relaxed, personal office environment with the capabilities I was accustomed to in a large firm," said Verras.

His practice focuses on estate planning, probate and trusts, real estate and closings, civil litigation and corporate and commercial transactions.

Mail business news to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email

North Pinellas business briefs for July 21 07/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 6:03pm]
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