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North Pinellas business briefs for Sunday, Sept. 15



Business digest

In October, WorkNet Pinellas will launch a technology-focused training program called Startup Quest in Pinellas County. The program's goal is to educate aspiring entrepreneurs about opportunities to commercialize technologies developed at Florida's universities and federal laboratories.

The training program is open to veterans and professionals with college degrees who are either unemployed or underemployed and considering self-employment or working for a startup as a career path.

An informational session will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Feather Sound Country Club, 2201 Feather Sound Drive, Clearwater. To register, visit

During the 10-week program, experienced entrepreneurs and startup mentors will guide participants through the process of creating business plans to bring new, patentable inventions and technologies to market. At program's end, participants will pitch their offerings to real-world investor judges.

"Entrepreneurs play a vital role in economic development and new job creation," said Edward Peachey, president and CEO of WorkNet Pinellas and Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance. "Hopefully the skills gained during the program will empower participants to form their own startup company here in the Tampa Bay area."

WorkNet Pinellas is still accepting mentors with technology startup experience to lead teams. To learn more about becoming a Startup Quest mentor, email or visit

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Chuck Chucri with Prudential's Sunshine State Agency in Clearwater received the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus, St. Michael the Archangel Assembly, and has been given the title of "Sir Knight" of the Order.

Founded in Connecticut in 1882, the Knights of Columbus was originally created to serve the economic needs of low-income immigrant Catholics. It developed into a fraternal service organization dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and actively defending Catholicism in various nations. The different degrees of membership — charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism — exemplify different principles of the Order.

The Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus, its highest, comprises about 10 percent of the Order's membership nationwide. Its primary purpose is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights' respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups, called assemblies.

Chucri, of Palm Harbor, is current president of BNI Business Connections in Oldsmar, is a member of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, and also serves as a eucharistic minister at Clearwater's St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, where he has been a member for 17 years.

Chucri, who graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor of arts degree in finance, is a chartered life underwriter, chartered financial consultant and a fellow of the Life Management Institute.

He can be reached at (727) 712-0511 or by email at

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 Sunday, Sept. 15 09/12/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 13, 2013 5:56pm]
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