PASCO FLORIDA WATER STAR CERTIFICATION: The Starkey Ranch Welcome Center is the first community welcome center in the state to achieve Florida Water Star commercial certification.
Florida Water Star is a statewide voluntary certification program designed to increase water efficiency in landscapes, irrigation, appliances and plumbing fixtures. The welcome center is expected to use about 20 percent less water annually.
MARKETING MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Jim Schaefer, president and owner of RealReach Marketing, was recently named Marketing Manager of the Year by the Sales and Marketing Council of the Tampa Bay Builders Association.
RealRanch Marketing received three other top honors during the ceremonies, including Best On-Line Ad, Best Corporate Video and Best Television Commercial. Founded in 2012, RealRanch Marketing is a full-service marketing and advertising company in Lutz.
Schaefer is past president and life director of the Tampa Sales and Marketing Council and is on the board of directors of the statewide council.
FREE NETWORKING WORKSHOP: Business professionals, owners, entrepreneurs and sales managers interested in learning more about how to build their business through a referral-based marketing strategy are invited to a free event, "Creating Referral Success," from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Holiday Inn Westshore, 700 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa.
This is an introduction to the Certified Networker Program, a training system for building a solid referral-based marketing strategy. The event is sponsored by the Referral Institute. For a complimentary ticket, visit referralinstitutetampa.com or send email to [email protected]
CO.STARTERS: The Pasco Economic Development Council will have its next session of Co.Starters, a nationally renowned program that helps entrepreneurs turn an idea into a new business in 10 weeks, beginning Tuesday. The program will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, 7050 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills.
Participants work with a small, supportive group of like-minded people who are all trying to start their own businesses.
To register, visit bit.ly/costarters. Up to 16 slots are available. The cost is $295 and includes 10 weeks of instruction and all supporting materials. The deadline to register is Friday.
BBQ & BLUES FESTIVAL: The sixth annual Pigz in Z'Hill 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 barbecue by both professional and backyard competitors. There also will be concessions, vendors, kids rides and classic cars.
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 zephyrhillschamber.org.
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., Wednesday, New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey.
• How to Apply for a Business Loan, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Hugh Embry Branch Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City.
• Understanding a Franchise Business, 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Spring Hill Branch Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.
• Using the Internet in Your Business, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills.
• Internet Marketing, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Regency Park Branch Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey.
To register and for information, visit pascohernando.score.org 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 [email protected] 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.