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Pasco Business digest for Dec. 25

Business digest


BUSINESS COMPETITION RETURNS: Applications are being accepted for the Pasco Economic Development Council's 2nd Annual SMARTstart Challenge business pitch. During the competition, to be held Feb. 25 in conjunction with Saint Leo University's student business plan competition, local entrepreneurs will compete for a share of $10,000 in prize money. The first-place winner also will receive a six-month, on-site membership in one of the SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubators.

Applications will be evaluated on measures regarding the economics of the business and the ability of the applicant to be successful. Other important elements include: market potential and research; unique dynamics of the business/idea; evaluation of potential partners, financial considerations and attractiveness of business/idea.

Applications are due Jan. 8 and there are reviews and oral presentations in advance of the Feb. 25 SMARTstart Challenge finals. Applications are available at

For information, call (352) 437-4861 or email

NETFEST SPONSORS WANTED: Sponsors are being sought for the Pasco Economic Development Council's 14th annual Networking Festival, 5 to 8 p.m. April 7 at Starkey Ranch, 12959 State Road 54, Odessa.

The networking event will have a Western theme and will be outdoors. Casual attire is suggested. Tickets are $35 for Pasco EDC investors and guests; $45 for others.

Sponsorships levels include: Cowboy for $500, Trail Boss for $1,000 and Cattle Baron for $2,000. Sponsors are encouraged to assemble a team to participate in the "sponsor-only" chili cook-off. For information, contact Suzanne at (813) 926-0829 or

Who's news

GULFSIDE HOSPICE WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBER: John "Skip" Skairus, senior vice president and commercial banking manager for CenterState Bank, has joined the board of directors of Gulfside Hospice & Pasco Palliative Care. As the brother of a hospice nurse for many years, Skairus has grown a passion and respect for the services and care provided to the community by hospice organizations and is looking forward to utilizing his experience for the advancement of Gulfside Hospice and Pasco Palliative Care. He and his wife, Lynn, and two teenage daughters live in Wesley Chapel.

HOSPITAL NAMES EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH: Registered nurse Diana Henry was named Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point's Employee of the Month for October. Henry, a house supervisor, receives an EOM pin, a selected blanket gift, a reception with refreshments for her colleagues, a front row parking spot for a month, and a $50 gift card.


TRINITY MARKETPLACE: Local small businesses will gather to showcase and sell their products from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 2 at the Trinity Marketplace at the Trinity Meeting Center, 7813 Mitchell Blvd., Suite 106, in the Trinity Commons Plaza, New Port Richey.

The event will take place on the first Saturday of the month through March. Admission is free and open to the public. For information, call (727) 375-9700 or send email to

BBQ & BLUES FESTIVAL: The sixth annual Pigz in Z'Hills BBQ & Blues Festival will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at Zephyr­hills Municipal Airport, 39450 South Ave., Zephyrhills. The event features a barbecue competition, along with blues music. Visitors will be able to sample culinary creations by both professional and backyard competitors. There will be concessions, vendors, kids' rides, classic cars and plenty of barbecue. Admission is free; parking is $10. The music will start at 11 a.m., with a lineup including Coldiron, Wendy Rich & the Soulshakers, the RJ Howson Band and Damon Fowler.

For sponsorships and vendor information, visit

Building skills

SMALL BUSINESS SEMINAR: Pasco Hernando SCORE is presenting a series of free small business seminars.

• Marketing to Grow Your Business, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Jan. 13, New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey.

• How to Apply for a Business Loan, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13, Hugh Embry Branch Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City.

• Understanding a Franchise Business, 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 14, Spring Hill Branch Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.

• Using the Internet in Your Business, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14, New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills.

• Internet Marketing, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14, Regency Park Branch Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey.

To register and for information, visit and click on the Local Workshops tab or call the SCORE office at (727) 842-4638.

If you have business announcements you would like to share, mail the details to Jean Hamilton, Business Digest, Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668. You may also email items to or fax them to (352) 754-6133. Submitted items may be edited for length and clarity. Photos are published as space permits; they will not be returned.

Networking and mixers

• Trinity Positive Business Network: 8:30 a.m. Mondays at Oasis Coffee Spot, 9213 Little Road, New Port Richey. Call Tony Nalli at (727) 858-7907.

• BNI Outlook to Success: 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays at Timber Greens Country Club, 6333 Timber Greens Blvd., New Port Richey. Cost is $8 and includes breakfast. Call (727) 847-3898.

• East Pasco Networking Group: 8 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at Rose's Cafe, 38426 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills. Call Nils Lenz at (813) 782-9491.

• Business Development Council: 8:15 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month at Cracker Barrel, 5341 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. The networking group promotes individual business members. Call Crystal Menzie Olson at (727) 376-1030.

• Suncoast Women in Networking: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Golden Corral Restaurant, 8928 U.S. 19, Port Richey. Suncoast WIN is a group of professional businesswomen. Membership is $5 per year. Call Myrtle at (727) 934-9993.

• West Pasco Business Association: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at 2150 Seven Springs Blvd., Trinity. The group is made up of professionals who promote each other's businesses. Visit

• Trinity Business Association: 6 to 7:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month at Fox Hollow Country Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway. Networking at 5:30 p.m., meeting starts at 6 p.m. Guests welcome. Cost is $12. Call Ginny Pierce at (727) 433-4073.

• BNI Platinum: 7:15 a.m. Wednesdays at Heritage Harbor Golf & Country Club, 19502 Heritage Harbor Parkway, Lutz. Call Bob Nixon at (813) 263-5632.

• Pasco Business Connections: 7:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Broken Yolk, 3350 Grand Blvd., Holiday. Email

• Wednesday Morning Networking Group: 7:30 a.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at Hungry Harry's Family Bar-B-Que, 3116 Land O' Lakes Blvd. A short networking presentation will be followed by a chance for all attendees to do a 30-second commercial. The event sponsor is Proly, Laporte & Mulligan P.A. Cost is $7 and includes breakfast. Call the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce at (813) 909-2722.

• Keep It Local-Trinity Chapter: 8 a.m. Wednesdays at Havana Dreamers Cafe, 3104 Town Ave., Trinity. (813) 405-7815.

• Pasco Aging Network: 8-10 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month. Location changes each month. For information or to RSVP, visit PAN is a coalition of agencies and private providers of elder services in Pasco.

• Keep It Local-Wesley Chapel Chapter: 8:30 a.m. Wednesdays at Lexington Oaks Golf & Country Club, 26133 Lexington Oaks Blvd., Wesley Chapel. (813) 405-7815.

• Keep It Local-Christian Women's Network Chapter: 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Direction Connection, 2632 U.S. 19, Holiday. (813) 405-7815.

• Free Networking International: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Cantina Laredo, 2000 Piazza Ave., Building 4, Suite 170, Wesley Chapel (at the Shops at Wiregrass). Attendees pay for their own lunch. Call Martine Duncan at (813) 929-6816.

• Keep It Local-New Port Richey Chapter: 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Direction Connection, 2632 U.S. 19, Holiday. (813) 405-7815.

• Keep It Local-Odessa/Trinity Chapter: 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays at Seven Springs Golf & Country Club, 3535 Trophy Blvd., Trinity. (813) 405-7815.

• West Pasco Business Network: noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Hibachi Buffet, 10421 U.S. 19, Port Richey. Call Joanne Grassi at (727) 856-9595.

• BNI Eagles: 7:15 a.m. Thursdays at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. Cost is $10 and includes breakfast. Call Clay Henderson at (727) 534-5191.

• BNI Referral Connection: 7:15-9 a.m. Thursdays at Vallarta's Mexican Restaurant, 22948 State Road 54, Lutz. Call Rob Hamilton at (813) 431-5887.

• Christian Business Connections of Central Pasco: 7:45-9:15 a.m. Thursdays at Quail Hollow Golf Club, 6225 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. $9 per meeting, includes breakfast and beverages. Annual membership dues are $100. Call Rene Van Hout at (813) 300-7511.

• Trinity/West Pasco Chapter of NPI: 7:45 a.m. Thursdays at IHOP, 10740 State Road 54, New Port Richey. Call Rob Marlowe at (727) 847-2424.

• Networking For Your Success: 8 a.m. Thursdays at Lexington Oaks Country Club, 2615 Lexington Oaks Blvd., Wesley Chapel. Cost is $5 and includes a continental breakfast. Annual membership is $79. Call Matt at (813) 782-1777.

• Women-n-Charge: 11:30 a.m. on the first Friday of each month (except June and July when date will be second Friday of the month), Pebble Creek Country Club, 10550 Regents Park Drive, Tampa. Cost is $15 for members in advance, $18 for guests and at the door. Call Judy at (813) 600-9848.

Pasco Business digest for Dec. 25 12/23/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 5:56pm]
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