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Curves for Women strives for fitness and weight loss

Charlotte Manley knows what it's like to have a weight problem. Her personal experience is one of the reasons she opened Curves for Women, a new fitness and weight loss program in Largo.

The other reason she bought the franchise is that her sister-in-law, Jane Manley, is one of the principals of Curves International, the parent company in Waco, Texas. "She's the one who convinced me to do this," Manley said. The fast-growing company has 500 locations in 42 states, Alaska and Canada, she said.

Curves offers a 30-minute exercise program set to music and features a workout system that alternates hydraulic resistance machines with aerobic recovery stations.

"You have to make exercise fun," Manley said. "The machines can be used by women of all ages, even those with arthritis. Right now, I have customers ranging from 12 to 71."

Manley, 42, said she battles with her weight. "I feel I've been overweight almost all my life," she said. "I have 50 pounds to lose and I'm going to do it."

When Curves opened earlier this month, Manley's investment in the business totaled $25,000. The company required her to go through training classes in the equipment, as well as first aid and CPR.

Curves is at 1300 East Bay Drive, Suite I. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 559-7741.

Hospitality

David W. Day has been appointed food and beverage director of Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. He will be responsible for managing the kitchen, two restaurants, pool bar and room service for the 192-room resort.

He has been the resort's executive chef since 1995 and during that time has revamped the spa menu and introduced a new cuisine emphasizing seafood and regional specialties. The spa, on 22 acres overlooking Tampa Bay, is at 105 N Bayshore Drive.

Accounting

Debra Haring has joined Price & Donoghue of Dunedin, certified public accountants, at 595 Main St., Dunedin. The Palm Harbor native worked as an accountant for a regional accounting firm in Bethesda, Md., before returning to Florida.

Automotive

Ronald J. Mueller, owner of Volvo Village & Mazda Village at 13525 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, has been elected president of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association in Orlando. The trade association's membership includes more than 800 franchised new car and truck dealers around the state.

Health care

Sun Coast Hospital, part of the Sun Coast HealthCare system, at 2025 Indian Rocks Road, Largo, has been named one of the top 10 spine hospitals in the United States by Orthopedic Network News, based on the number of spinal procedures performed for Medicare beneficiaries. The 300-bed non-profit hospital is the surgical facility for the Florida Spine Institute in Clearwater.

Donald W. Lykins has joined East Bay Counseling Center at 1501 S Belcher Road, Building B, Largo. Lykins provides individual and group therapy, specializing in the treatment of sexual dysfunctions, sexual abuse and addictions.

Kathy Egan, vice president of the Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Hospice Organization, the voice of the hospice movement in the United States. Hospice Institute is the research and education arm of the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, both at 300 East Bay Drive, Largo.

Nancy McIntosh, an associate professor of management and organization studies at the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus, has been elected to chair the Hospice Institute of the Florida Suncoast's board of trustees.

Mary Jean Etten, a professor in gerontological nursing at St. Petersburg Junior College, was elected vice chair. Dr. Kerry Chamberlain, a staff physician in the hematology-oncology department at Morton Plant Hospital and associate medical director of the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, is secretary. Treasurer is Michael G. Little, a lawyer with the firm of Johnson, Blakely, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns in Clearwater.

Name change

Pinellas Rent-a-Car is changing its corporate name to Preferred Rent-a-Car effective today. Owners Michael and Maria Kastrenakes said the change will reflect the new market areas the company will serve when it opens offices in Orlando and Winter Park in January. Its corporate office is at 19206 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater.

Marketing

W.S. Badcock Corp., one of the largest distributors of home furnishings in the Southeast, has hired FKQ Advertising & Marketing as its agency of record. "We chose FKQ based on their research, media buying, creative and marketing capabilities," said Badcock advertising director Leland Carawan. FKQ is a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm at 15351 Roosevelt Blvd., near Largo.

Real estate

Nancy Riley of Prudential Florida Realty, was installed as president of the Greater Clearwater Association of Realtors at a recent board meeting at the Harborview Center in Clearwater. Other officers are Phil Rogers of Realty Executives Suncoast, president-elect; Paul Wikle of Coldwell Banker Wikle Properties, treasurer; and Marilyn Tracy of Century 21 West Bay Properties, secretary.

Workshops

The Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce is hosting free workshops for business owners on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon at the chamber, 1130 Cleveland St. The workshops will focus on two topics, Starting a Small Business and Women/Minority Business Enterprise Certification.

Both workshops will be presented by Eileen Rodriguez, a business counselor with the University of South Florida Small Business Development Center. She also will give counseling to individuals owning existing businesses from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. For information and reservations, call the chamber at (727) 461-0011.

_ News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119 or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions and major new contracts. Photos can be sent, but not all will be used and they cannot be returned.

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