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North Pinellas business digest for Oct. 27

New client services manager JJ Roberts is an entrepreneur and business­man.

New client services manager JJ Roberts is an entrepreneur and business­man.

The Tampa Bay Innovation Center, an innovation and entrepreneurship center for technology businesses at 7887 Bryan Dairy Road in Largo, has appointed JJ Roberts as its new client services manager.

"JJ has an impressive track record as an entrepreneur and businessman, in addition to having a strong interest in helping early stage technology companies," said Tonya Elmore, president of the center. "We think he is a great addition to the center and will offer real value to our clients."

The Innovation Center seeks to create successful entrepreneurs, fosters the creation of high-tech jobs, and develops new technology and manufacturing capabilities by nurturing early-stage ventures as they grow and launch their products.

Programs are tailored to the innovator/entrepreneur and address business intelligence, planning and business formation, strategy execution and technology transition.

• • •

As soon as coffee was discovered, the quest for the perfect cup was on. History would record a majority of brewing devices that were mostly decorative but still left coffee residues behind.

Enter Melitta Bentz, a 35-year-old Dresden homemaker who in 1908 devised a way of using blotting paper to filter coffee. That same year she received a patent registration for her device and the company bearing her name was established.

Today, the Melitta Group of Minden, Germany, manufactures and markets the full range of coffee-preparation products for which the company is best known, as well as a wide variety of consumer products including foils and wraps, air cleaners and humidifiers, vacuum bags and cleaning products.

Melitta USA, part of the privately held Melitta Group, has its headquarters in Clearwater at 13925 58th St. N and is responsible for the sales and marketing of Melitta coffee filters, coffee and nonelectric coffee systems to all retail channels nationwide.

The German American Chamber of Commerce South, part of the network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad with 120 offices in 80 countries around the globe, will host a tour from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Friday at Melitta's Clearwater location. The event includes breakfast, a facility tour with President Marty Miller and a question and answer session.

The continuing mission of the GACC South is to further, promote and assist in the expansion of bilateral trade and investment between Germany and the United States, especially in the South.

The event is free to GACC South members and $20 for non-members (cash or check payable at the door).

For more information, call the GACC at (727) 488-3676 or email

• • •

Beginning in early 2014, WorkNet Pinellas will become known as CareerSource Pinellas as part of a new statewide rebranding initiative that began almost a year ago.

The new brand name announcement is the first part of WorkNet Pinellas' rebranding efforts as directed by the State Workforce Board, and will be followed by an official CareerSource Pinellas roll out date when it becomes available.

The statewide rebranding effort was initiated as an attempt to provide clarity and consistency among the local workforce entities located throughout Florida.

"While this rebranding marks a change in WorkNet Pinellas's public name, it will in no way affect the services and programs we offer in Pinellas County," said Ed Peachey, president and CEO of WorkNet Pinellas. "We are committed to the continuation of the efforts that have made WorkNet Pinellas one of the top performing regions in Florida, and nationally, each of the past nine years. We will continue to be a leader in the implementation of effective workforce development programs."

Employers and job seekers should notice no changes in the services provided by WorkNet Pinellas. Its four One-Stop Career centers located throughout Pinellas County are open to job seekers who are in need of job search assistance, and its business services department will continue to offer job posting, recruitment and training assistance services to employers.

For inquiries about the rebranding initiative on a statewide level, call Adriane G. Grant, vice president of external affairs and board relations for Workforce Florida Inc., at (850) 921-1119 or email

To locate WorkNet Pinellas' One-Stop Centers visit

Mail business items 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 Oct. 27 10/25/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 25, 2013 7:41pm]
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