At 59, serial entrepreneur Stu Sjouwerman is on his fifth startup. This one is called KnowBe4, a security awareness company that trains employees of subscribing businesses how not to get snookered by clever hackers masquerading online as do-gooders or perhaps even the company CEO.
The hackers' goal: to persuade workers to divulge corporate passwords and private data or, worse, wire money to the hackers by convincing employees they are following orders from up the corporate ladder....
02/05/16 Working Life
Every year, the Tampa Bay Times works with an outside consulting firm to help identify many of the "top workplaces" in the Tampa Bay area. The next annual rankings are expected to appear in April, based on tens of thousands of interviews with employees of area companies nominated by their own workers as potential top workplaces.
And every year, the Times survey finds that benefits and perks play a commanding role in the minds of employees of what constitutes a top workplace. In this metro area, these perks typically include on-site gyms, free or subsidized meals at work, liberal policies to engage in community service and, of course, the usual array of break rooms, table tennis, company events, performance rewards and strong employer-paid health care benefits....
Lest investors forget too soon.
Just over seven years ago, financial adviser Bernie Madoff was arrested for fraud so massive that he has since become known as the perpetrator of the largest Ponzi scheme in history. That's a competitive title, so take note.
In June of 2009, Madoff was sentenced to a maximum term of 150 years. He's about 5 percent of the way into that term so far. Thousands of investors got scammed by Madoff over many years. After New York, where Madoff ran his Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC for decades, the greatest number of victims of his Ponzi scheme are concentrated in Florida....
A ranking of the 500 most valuable global brands in business indicates Publix, the Lakeland based grocery chain, is Florida's sole entry on the list.
Publix is the dominant grocery chain in Florida, on Tuesday announcing its plans to enter the Virginia market, marking its 6th expansion state outside of Florida. Publix ranked 229th in the ranking of brand value in 2016, a sharp uptick from its 259th ranking in 2015. No other Florida-based company or product brand appeared in the annual ranking by Brand Finance, a London consulting firm specializing in valuing major brands, from corporations and product lines to sports teams and even the brand value of nations....
Veteran Michigan banker and horse racing investor Jerry Campbell burst on the Tampa Bay financial scene nearly a decade ago, leading a Tampa bank that would become known as HomeBanc. Last month, Campbell declared personal bankruptcy, citing his inability to pay $9 million in debt.
According to a voluntary Chapter 11 petition before Judge Rodney May of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, Campbell's major debt is $4.8 million owed for a loan he and co-investors borrowed in early 2009 to buy Michigan-based Pinnacle Race Track. The 320-acre track was abandoned in 2010....
01/29/16 Real Estate
Veteran commercial real estate executives gathered at the Urban Land Institute Tampa Bay annual summit at the classy Tampa Theatre this past week, put their brains together and delivered a provocative glimpse ahead. Here are four trends gleaned from their conversation:
1. Dude, where's my parking? Joke's on you if you think we need more parking, because less is coming. Anthony Everett, partner in Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, predicts new housing developments will require fewer and fewer parking spaces. And Feldman Equities CEO Larry Feldman criticized downtown parking garages for "strangling development."...
01/29/16 Economic Development
Florida unveiled its new state business brand — "Florida: The Future Is Here" — in an extensive campaign presentation Friday that shows a sleek, 21st century theme for a state that very much wants to become a bigger economic player in the new century.
The campaign will roll out swiftly across various media, from major business and trade publications to radio, TV and across social media, backed by an initial $10 million in funding approved by state legislators. No less key, the Legislature has approved $8.5 million in recurring annual funding to help sustain the campaign after its debut....
01/27/16 Economic Development
A new state branding campaign will be unveiled Friday backed by an initial $10 million that touts Florida as a great place to grow a business.
Enterprise Florida, the state's job-recruiting arm, will introduce the new campaign at its board meeting in Tallahassee. The new state business brand was fast-tracked, as Enterprise Florida quickly sifted through dozens of potential advertising agencies and, later, dozens of storyboard campaign ideas before picking one....
01/27/16 Economic Development
The chief job-recruiting arm of Tampa and Hillsborough County is riding a traditional wave of big-name corporate expansion, from Bristol-Myers Squibb to Johnson & Johnson, with many more deals in the pipeline soon to be announced.
Why rock the boat?
In what might seem a counter-intuitive move, the leaders of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. are about to reach out to young entrepreneurial companies operating in this area and ask:...
Though advancing in age, Hugh McColl still stands out among the South's great business revivalists and as a key builder behind Charlotte's rise from sleepy North Carolina city to one of the economic leaders of the Southeastern states.
Florida knows McColl best as the hard-charging North Carolina banker, the ex-Marine who pushed his North Carolina National Bank into the Sunshine State, purchased deer-in-the-headlight Florida banks by the bushel and ultimately created Bank of America as Florida's biggest bank — and based in Charlotte....
When J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr. last visited his company's Vinoy Renaissance resort in downtown St. Petersburg, hotel staff recall, he inspected the nooks and crannies of the hotel kitchen, making sure all was clean.
That was nearly a decade ago when Marriott was well into his remarkable 60-plus-year run, 40 as its CEO, of his namesake Marriott International.
On Monday's visit, Marriott stopped by the Vinoy, this time to smile for the cameras and thank the 400-plus Marriott staff of the landmark downtown hotel for working so hard to take care of their guests and customers....
Bloomin' Brands CEO Liz Smith landed this month on Nation's Restaurant News' prestigious "Power List 2016" spotlighting the 50 most powerful people to watch in the food service industry. Smith was anointed, says the industry publication, because she is "leading the charge to overcome the casual-dining segment slowdown."
In other words, she was picked because so many casual dining chains — including Bloomin's own Carrabba's Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill brands — have suffered drop-offs in customers, and Smith wants to reverse the course....
The Tampa Bay startup community's resolution for the new year must have been to kick into higher gear. From venture capital investing to clever new entrepreneurial ventures, the region is starting to leverage all those earlier years spent building an infrastructure to help sharp, committed people launch — and execute — new business ideas.
The good news is the area startup scene is starting to get more notice from VC firms and from Silicon Valley itself — ground zero for successful entrepreneurs and money. Even Forbes, after casting a wide net and conducting extensive interviews in search of the country's most promising young entrepreneurs, picked the co-founders of a Tampa startup for its Class of 2016 30-Under-30 list. And fresh programs are taking shape in Clearwater and St. Petersburg to spur new momentum and bring more muscle to entrepreneurs as they become greater players in this region's economy. Read on to get just a sampling of what's afoot....
By one measure, Florida is awash in millionaire households — 383,290 of them, in fact. That's no surprise given the lack of a state income tax, warm weather and a seemingly endless coastline offering upscale homes with water views.
But a new study suggests there are fewer here than one might expect.
Florida ranks an impressive fourth among states based on its sheer number of millionaire households. Only California with 772,555, Texas with 490,634 and New York with 437,889 had more in 2015, according to a new report on where affluent people live in the United States published by wealth tracker Phoenix Marketing International....
At 50 years of age, Jabil is looking pretty spry.
The St. Petersburg electronics manufacturing company celebrated its half-century mark Thursday morning, telling a small gathering of investors at its annual shareholders meeting that the next 50 years could be a blockbuster.
"How crazy is it as we sit here today as a Fortune 200 company that we started at the Morean kitchen table in Michigan," Jabil CEO Mark Mondello said in sentimental remarks at the annual meeting, which Jabil has held for many years at the Renaissance Vinoy Golf Club on Snell Isle....