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Jeff Harrington, Times Staff Writer

Jeff Harrington

Jeff Harrington has been an editor and reporter at the Tampa Bay Times since 1998, primarily working in Business news. He currently covers the economy, banking and insurance among other areas.

A native Ohioan, Jeff graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a dual major in American Studies and French. He worked at the City News Bureau of Chicago, Toledo Blade and Cincinnati Enquirer before winding his way down Interstate 75 to the Tampa Bay area.

He has received numerous awards for business and metro writing, including recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the Associated Press, among others. He was a past finalist and a winner of a Gerald Loeb award honoring the best business writing in the country and his work has been included in the Best Business Stories of the Year series.

Phone: (727) 893-8242

Email: harrington@tampabay.com

Twitter: @JeffMHarrington

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  1. Paul Reilly to succeed Tom James as board chairman of Raymond James

    Corporate

    Eight years after stepping down as CEO of Raymond James Financial, Tom James will relinquish his title as board chairman at the St. Petersburg company's annual meeting Feb. 16.

    James, 74, will retain a seat on the financial services firm as chairman emeritus with his handpicked successor as CEO, Paul Reilly, adding the duties of board chairman.

    The transfer, announced Thursday afternoon, is part of a succession plan developing since Reilly joined Raymond James as president in 2009. ...

    Then-incoming Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly, left, stands with Tom James in 2009. James will relinquish the role of board chairman to Reilly but will remain as chairman emeritus.
  2. Time to gas up, Tampa Bay: Prices at the pump could jump 10 to 15 cents soon after OPEC agreement

    Energy

    Gas up as soon as you can, Tampa Bay.

    Local gas price trackers are predicting prices at the pump may rise 10 to 15 cents a gallon in the next couple of weeks thanks to OPEC.

    Crude futures surged Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to reduce its output by more than 1 million barrels a day. The cut, intended to curb a global glut of oil, could be significant enough to push oil supplies below demand sooner than expected....

    Gas prices could jump 10 to 15 cents within weeks thanks to OPEC's oil production cut.  [Getty Images]
  3. Longtime Tampa Bay banker David Stone dies at 74

    Banking

    Longtime Tampa Bay banker and civic activist David Stone died Wednesday morning after a lengthy illness.

    He was 74.

    In a banking career that spanned more than 50 years, Stone was known as a go-to executive to help struggling institutions or those working through management changes. He most recently came out of retirement to run NorthStar Bank in Tampa for two and a half years before returning to retirement last September. He stayed on the bank board at the time....

    David Stone, longtime banker in the Clearwater area and most recently CEO of NorthStar Bank in Tampa, died Wednesday. He was 74.
  4. Study: Florida is the third-most vulnerable place in the nation for identity theft and fraud

    Personal Finance

    Florida and identity theft, unfortunately, have long gone hand-in-hand.

    One big red flag: There are more reports of identity theft per capita in the Sunshine State than anywhere else.

    That's why Florida had the dubious distinction of being named the third-most vulnerable place in the country for identity theft and fraud, according to an analysis released Wednesday by credit monitoring website WalletHub....

    Florida is third-most vulnerable place for identity theft and fraud, according to a new WalletHub analysis. [iStockphoto.com]

  5. Steelmakers like Tampa's Gerdau are hopeful of a renaissance under a Donald Trump presidency

    Economic Development

    TAMPA

    Steelmakers nationwide, over the din from their mills and processing plants, heard the promises from Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

    He promised to rip up trade deals and fight against the flood of cheaper foreign imports that have tortured the industry for years.

    He pledged to push a major infrastructure spending bill through Congress, creating thousands of jobs through heightened demand for steel to build roads and bridges, airports and tunnels....

    Peter Campo is president of Gerdau Long Steel North America.
  6. Beverage maker Nestle Professional closing Tampa office, eliminating 77 jobs

    Business

    TAMPA — Nestle Professional Vitality is closing its downtown Tampa office by the spring, laying off 77 workers, the food and beverage maker disclosed in a WARN layoff notice filed with the state this week.

    Nestle Professional, which includes such brands as Nestea and Coffee-Mate, bought Tampa-based Vitality Foodservice seven years ago, adding a range of juices, teas, coffees and smoothies into its portfolio. ...

  7. Tech Data beats expectations with $36.5 million in quarterly profit

    Corporate

    CLEARWATER — Sluggish demand for many of the IT products it distributes around the world didn't stop Tech Data Corp. from turning in a strong quarter.

    Shares in Tampa Bay's largest public company by revenue rose nearly 3 percent on Tuesday after the company beat Wall Street expectations in reporting a fiscal third-quarter profit of $36.5 million.

    The global distributor of computers, networks and other IT equipment posted net income of $1.03 per share for the period ended Oct. 31. Adjusted for mergers and acquisitions costs, that translated to net income of $1.44 per share, up 13 percent from a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had anticipated earnings of $1.27 per share....

    Clearwater-based Tech Data topped Wall Street expectations with its third quarter earnings Tuesday morning.
[Company photo]

  8. Florida unemployment rate rises slightly, job creation slows down

    Business

    After being stuck for five months at 4.7 percent, Florida's unemployment rate finally budged in October.

    But not in the right direction.

    The jobless rate ticked up a notch to 4.8 percent, though it's still down from 5.1 percent a year ago, according to figures released Friday morning by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in October. ...

    Gov. Rick Scott, shown at the Republican Governors Association annual conference in Orlando earlier this week, is scheduled to discuss the state's latest jobs report this morning during a visit to St. Augustine.
[Associated Press]

  9. As personal income rises across Florida, Hendry sees biggest gain among all 67 counties

    Personal Finance

    Largely rural Hendry County has had rough economic sledding, long lagging the economic recovery spread across most of Florida.

    But it can put this in its brag book: personal income countywide rose 6.7 percent last year, tops among Florida's 67 counties, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    Among Tampa Bay counties, Hillsborough performed best with a 4.3 percent increase last year, 17th fastest statewide, to reach a per capita personal income of $43,435. Income rose 3.9 percent in Pinellas (to $47,731), 2.8 percent in both Pasco ($36,187) and Hernando ($33,666); and 2.9 percent in Citrus ($35,323)....

    Hendry County, home of U.S. Sugar Corp., posted the biggest percentage increase in personal income last year among Florida counties. In Tampa Bay, Hillsborough grew the fasted with a 4.3 percent increase in personal income. [Times file photo]


  10. Chicago firm is buying Tampa health care programming company AccentHealth

    Corporate

    TAMPA — AccentHealth, a local company that provides health care-focused programming for doctors' offices and other locations, will have a new parent company.

    Chicago-based health information provider ContextMedia announced Wednesday it was buying AccentHealth, which has dual headquarters in Tampa and New York.

    Terms of the all-cash deal were not disclosed.

    Founded in 1995, AccentHealth has about 160 employees. Among its digital products is a waiting room television network co-hosted by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and HLN's Robin Meade....

    AccentHealth's digital products include a waiting room television network co-hosted by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
  11. Gas prices expected to continue falling ahead of Thanksgiving travel

    Energy

    As gas prices in Tampa Bay continue to fall closer to the $2 mark, you'll have plenty of reasons to give thanks for a cheaper trip to grandmother's house this Thanksgiving.

    Demand is lower, oil prices have fallen and Florida's supply chain has improved after Hurricane Matthew.

    And then there's the impact of President-elect Donald Trump, whose policies could push oil prices down even further....

    In the last week, gas prices in Tampa Bay fell 6 cents and are expected to move even lower over the next few weeks.
  12. Here's how a Tampa Bay company is trying to help businesses battle credit card fraud

    Banking

    CLEARWATER — Trying to run a small business online, it didn't take long for Monica Eaton-Cardone to figure out the biggest obstacle to success.

    It wasn't creating a niche or finding customers. It was a barrage of credit card chargebacks — cases where credit-card processors demand retailers reimburse them for charges that are disputed or found to be fraudulent.

    The problem grew big enough that it crippled the fledgling company run by Eaton-Cardone and her husband, Gary. So they did what every expert told them not to do: They reached out directly to their customers asking what was behind the chargebacks. ...

    Monica Eaton-Cardone says fraudsters’ methods are shifting. 
  13. Sears laying off 126 in January as it pulls out of Tyrone Square Mall

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sears will lay off 126 employees when it pulls out of its Tyrone Square Mall location early next year.

    In September, Heritage Growth Properties, a New York-based real estate developer, submitted plans to the city of St. Petersburg to demolish the 188,515-square-foot Sears store to make way for a new 151,952-square-foot shopping center.

    Leases have already been signed with Dick's Sporting Goods, Lucky's Market and PetSmart. It could be the first Lucky's Market in the region....

    Sears will lay off 126 employees when it leaves Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg early next year. [Associated Press file photo]
  14. Report: Tampa Bay's cost of living is second lowest among Florida metros

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay's cost of living rose slightly in the third quarter but remains second lowest in Florida and significantly below the national average, economic development officials said Thursday.

    The Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. said that cost-of-living estimate, based on a report from its researchers, bodes well for the economy in tandem with the continued increase in jobs and a rise in single-family housing permits....

    Tampa Bay's cost of living remains second-lowest among Florida metros
[iStockphoto.com]
  15. Here's what Donald Trump's election could mean for the economy in Tampa Bay and Florida

    Business

    Down in the polls not long ago, Donald Trump predicted his unconventional election as president would be "Brexit times 10."

    From an immediate shakeup in the stock market to heightened anxiety over an economic downturn, he may have been right.

    In an exponential reaction to Britain's exit from the European Union, Trump's election has triggered predictions that trade, tourism and international growth all could be stifled — a scenario with deep implications for the Tampa Bay economy, which relies on both foreign visitors and foreign investment....

    Reince Priebus embraces Donald Trump at his election night party early Wednesday morning in New York. (Damon Winter/The New York Times)