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North Pinellas business digest for March 9

Paul Auslander is the director of financial planning.

Paul Auslander is the director of financial planning.

Clearwater-based ProVise Management Group LLC has announced that Paul Auslander, a certified financial planner and Global Financial Steward, has joined the firm as director of financial planning.

In his new role, Auslander will work closely with the ProVise team in designing and implementing financial planning strategies for clients.

"Paul brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to ProVise," said the company's president and CEO, Ray Ferrara, a certified financial planner. "We look forward to him adding to our outstanding team of professionals."

Auslander is immediate past chairman of the board of the Financial Planning Association and is now president of the FPA of Florida.

"In my extensive search, I found the ProVise team to be one of the most client-focused, professional, fully integrated and customized financial planning services firm in business today," he said. "I am confident that my commitment to hands-on client service and diversified investment options will help our clients reach their goals."

Auslander recently left American Financial Advisors, a firm he co-founded and led as CEO. He is a sought-after speaker and appears regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg and local news outlets.

ProVise, formed in 1986, serves approximately 800 individual, corporate, and institutional clients in more than 30 states, managing approximately $925 million on behalf of its clients.

• • •

The first annual Bright House Regional Business Awards, created to honor outstanding businesses throughout the Tampa Bay area, took place Feb. 27 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.

Clearwater-based iDatix received the Innovator of the Year award.

The company, launched in 2000 by founder and CEO Steve Allen, specializes in process improvement solutions, allowing clients to gain more from their existing systems, fill the gaps between departments and make the workforce more effective.

"We're honored to have been recognized by the Bright House RBA at all," said Allen. "It's a great feeling to be recognized by a local company within the community, where our roots have always been, and we are especially proud to have received the highest honors from Bright House. Our mission and goals are resonating more every day with other business owners, and we're looking forward to being a big contributor to the success of businesses in the Tampa Bay area."

Chambers of Commerce in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Manatee and Sarasota counties worked together with Bright House Networks for the inaugural event. More than 150 businesses were nominated; of those, 60 became finalists. Nominations were accepted in four categories based on number of employees and business lifespan, and criteria for analysis included vision, growth, stability, innovation and community.

Prizes for the awards total over $1 million, including commercial TV production, air time, customer newsletters, a featured news story and cash.

"It was a great experience — the nominations, the interview and the event," said iDatix's chief marketing officer, Larry Sullivan, who, along with other guests, had the opportunity to mingle with professionals from the region's top businesses and enjoy an evening of dinner and entertainment.

"We gained so much more than just an award from this experience, and we hope to compete in the next Regional Business Awards or for any other awards so centrally tied to our community," he said.

• • •

For writing $250,362 in new business annualized insurance premiums in 2013, Adrian Rivera, an insurance agent with the Clearwater office of AmeriLife & Health Services, was recently named to the President's Club of AmeriLife, the largest insurance marketing group in America.

Life and health insurance agents who write at least $150,000 in premiums annually qualify for AmeriLife's President's Club inclusion.

Rivera was recognized during a recent event at the Orlando World Center Marriott recognizing the best among AmeriLife's sales agents and attended by representatives of several national insurance carriers and hundreds of AmeriLife & Health Services agents and guests.

AmeriLife & Health Services is a part of AmeriLife insurance marketing group. Founded in 1971, Clearwater-based AmeriLife represents more than 30 national insurance carriers and has 16 individual marketing organizations and 35 career agency branch locations, and works with hundreds of thousands of independent insurance agents across the country.

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 digest for March 9 03/06/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2014 2:22pm]
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