North Pinellas Business Briefs for Sunday, March 30

Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly, left, Habitat Pinellas COO Ron Spoor and Habitat Pinellas board chair Victoria Tylman. MamaRazzi Foto
Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly, left, Habitat Pinellas COO Ron Spoor and Habitat Pinellas board chair Victoria Tylman.MamaRazzi Foto
Published March 28 2014
Updated March 28 2014

For its nine-year support of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County's affordable home ownership program, Raymond James Financial was honored as "Habitat Partner of the Year" during the nonprofit's inaugural Blueprint gala March 15 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront.

Paul Reilly, CEO of Raymond James Financial, accepted the "Golden Hammer" award on behalf of Raymond James from Habitat Pinellas board chair Victoria Tylman.

"Habitat Pinellas has been a major beneficiary of Raymond James' generosity in this community," said Tylman. "Our partnership began with a single contribution to Habitat Pinellas and has grown dramatically over the years."

Since 2005, Raymond James employees have given close to 2,700 volunteer hours building Habitat Pinellas homes and the company has contributed nearly $350,000 to the nonprofit.

To date, Raymond James Financial has sponsored five Habitat Pinellas homes, including a home begun this spring in St. Petersburg that is scheduled for completion by mid April and will be dedicated in early May.

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BNI, a networking organization specializing in the exchange of qualified business referrals, recently announced it will open a new chapter to serve business people in the Clearwater area.

The BNI Revenue Raisers Chapter will host a kickoff breakfast for business professionals from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday at Clarion Inn & Suites, 20967 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater.

"The breakfast meeting is an opportunity to see and learn the secrets of how businesses thrive on word-of-mouth or referral-based marketing," said Tom Fleming, BNI's executive director.

"BNI is a great way for businesses to experience growth by duplicating their marketing effort through word-of-mouth," added Catherine Price, a member of the BNI Revenue Raisers Chapter.

BNI was founded in 1985 by Ivan Misner, author of Masters of Success, Masters of Networking, Business by Referral and The World's Best Known Marketing Secret. With more than 7,000 chapters and 160,000 members, the international organization generated more than 5.4 million referrals worth $6.5 billion for its members last year.

To attend the breakfast, call (813) 244-4931. Visit

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