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Workers get warm welcome

This week, the folks at Xerox Corp. will reach their goal of having 650 employees working at the new customer services center at 800 Carillon Parkway, which opened in August.

The employees, a combination of new hires from the bay area, transfers from Xerox offices in Virginia, Connecticut and New York, and employees from the downsized Tampa office, seem to enjoy St. Petersburg, says Mayra Rivera, human resources and employee satisfaction program manager. "I'm hearing lots of comments on the great weather from Northerners. People say that when they leave work, they feel like they're going on vacation," the New York native says.

For those of you who missed last month's grand opening of Nature's Finest Foods, 6651 Central Ave., don't despair. Owners Glenn and Rose Pratten plan to have monthly food tastings at their new location, a 15,000-square-foot former Kash n' Karry.

Since moving from its Pasadena Avenue S location, the company has more than doubled its employees, with the latest count at 27.

Customers will appreciate more discounts and a wider selection of natural foods due to the expanded deli, frozen food section and organic produce aisles, says Glenn Pratten. "Since the store is larger and we have more buying power, we are able to offer more," he says.

The couple have been in the natural foods business since 1971, when they opened a market in a converted St. Petersburg garage.

Associated Network Solutions Inc. has relocated to 12115 28th St. N, St. Petersburg. The 12,000-square-foot building will include the company's headquarters, offices and warehouse. It has 65 employees.

Linda Berset, secretary and treasurer of Comegys Insurance Corner, has been elected president of the Independent Insurers of Greater St. Petersburg Inc.

Gene Howes has been named producer and director for Clearvision Communications in St. Petersburg.

Jean Stephens has been named home care coordinator for ResCare Home Health's St. Petersburg office.

Do you have St. Petersburg-area business news? Please send to Piper Castillo, Business News Department, Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Photos may be sent, but not all will be used, and they cannot be returned.