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BUSINESS DIGEST

Who's news

Coldwell Banker Investors Realty and its associates recently garnered awards for 2005 at the 100th anniversary international business conference in San Francisco. The company was named a Premier Office and also received the Office Manager's Award for Excellence. Kim Baculik received the International President's Premier award. Rob Tessmer Jr. received the International President's Elite award.

Recipients of the International President's Circle award were Cliff Anderson and O.C. Cook. Members of the Diamond Society are Gail Stefanski, Peggy Pendergrass and Toni Dunham. Members of the Sterling Society are Debbie Davis, Michele Mederos and Bob Holman.

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ERA Suncoast Realty has announced that Janice Ayers and Harry Eck are the newest million dollar producers for 2006.

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ERA American Realty and Investments has welcomed Rachel Ivory to its American Team. She will join her husband, Alan, at the firm's Homosassa office.

The firm has recognized Jackie and Bob Davis, Doug Reeb and John Mitchell as the top listing associates for January. Anita Wesolowski, Barbara Banks, Anita Fuss and Becky Norman achieved top sales. Top sales volume came from Wesolowski, Banks, Douglas Lindsey and Norman.

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RE/MAX Realty One has announced that John Holloway, Barbara Mills, Gail Stearns and Jerry Hartman are the latest associates to join the 2006 Million Dollar Club. Debbie Fields has achieved the million dollar mark in sales volume.

New associates at the firm are Ed and Joann DeGain. They will work in the Central Ridge office. Karen Ogburn has returned to the firm and will work in Crystal River.

Briefs

Inverness Paint Etc. is now open at 3066 U.S. 41 S, Inverness, across from the Vineyard church. The store offers Flex Bon and other paint products and supplies along with original art and wall coverings. The store is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The owners, Steve and Rebecca Martin, have 40 years of experience in the paint business and offer same day delivery to local customers. Call 344-3539 or visit www.Invernesspaint.com.

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Curves of Beverly Hills and Curves of Homosassa are participating in a food drive to benefit local food banks today through March 11. Last year 10.6-million pounds of food was collected for local communities around the world. Women who donate a bag of nonperishable groceries during the drive may join Curves without paying the normal initial membership fee. Others who wish to donate may drop off nonperishable food during business hours throughout March. Call Beverly Hills at 527-1733 or Homosassa at 628-1606.

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The Antique Exchange, formerly next to the Crown Hotel, has relocated to 3924 U.S. 41 S, near the Citrus County Fairgrounds. The store offers a wide range of antiques and collectibles. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Antique Exchange will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the Strawberry Festival. Call 726-4550.

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The Council for Sustainable Florida is seeking applicants for its eighth annual Sustainable Florida Best Practices Awards. Each year the council recognizes and honors businesses, organizations and individuals that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to sustainable practices to protect Florida's environment for the future while building markets for Florida's businesses today.

Categories include small and large businesses, government and nonprofit awards, the WCI Green Building Award, the Business Partnership Award and the Hurricane Heroic Award. Nominations are accepted at large; individuals and groups may self-nominate. The deadline for nominations is March 16.

For guidelines, visit www.sustainableflorida.org or call Danielle Foster at (850) 219-0082, ext. 104.

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KidzArt has been ranked the No. 1 children's art franchise by Entrepreneur magazine's annual Franchise 500 list. It also ranked among the top 50 new franchises. Call 628-2925 to reach KidzArt of Citrus and Hernando counties or visit www.kidzart.com for more information on the franchise.

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Gary Burghoff, who played Radar on the M

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+H television program, will be available for autographs and photos at Munro's Landscaping and Water Gardens' workshop beginning at 10 a.m. March 11. Refreshments will be served. Call to reserve a seat by March 6 at 621-1944.

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Business sponsorships are available for Cool Springs Ranch Balloon Classic taking place May 20-21 at the Rainbow River Ranch in Dunnellon. Businesses will benefit by advertising to an expected event attendance of 10,000. There are many advertising opportunities available with sponsorships, and booth space is also available. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Marion County Boys and Girls Club in Dunnellon and will be used to find a permanent home for the club. Organizations presenting the event are Dunnellon Main Street Inc. and the Dunnellon Chamber of Commerce. Team Spirit Inc. is the event coordinator. Call 563-5423 or e-mail teamsprttampabay.rr.com.

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The Omega Youth Ministry of Calvary Christian Center in Inverness is looking for sponsors for 20 students who will be traveling to Africa from June 28 to July 18 as part of a mission project. The students will be working with orphans, youths and adults with AIDS. They will participate in food and clothing distributions as well as church, home and hospital construction projects. Donations are tax deductible. Items and services are also being sought for a silent auction that will support the mission. Call 341-3440.

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The Salvation Army seeks restaurants willing to provide food for its Wednesday evening program feeding the hungry from the ministry's mobile canteen. Call 621-5532.

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Habitat for Humanity has an "Everything for the Home Store" at 3685 E Forest Drive, just west of Inverness. All profits from the store's sales help underwrite Habitat's efforts to provide affordable housing for low income families in the county. Contractors with excess building supplies or materials removed in a remodeling project are encouraged to donate those items. Call 341-1800.

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The public is encouraged to make inquires at the Florida Division of Consumer Affairs in Tallahassee toll-free at 1-800-435-7352 or the Better Business Bureau of Winter Park toll-free at 1-800-275-6614 to check on a business or make a complaint.

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The Citrus County SCORE Chapter 646 offers free, confidential counseling services to new and existing businesses in the county. The counseling covers a range of business-related topics. For an appointment, call 621-0775.

Calendar

Monday

The American Business Women's Association invites businesswomen to network and enhance their business skills by joining Citrus County's Manatee Chapter. The group meets the second Monday of each month at American Legion Post 155, 6585 W Gulf to Lake Highway, Crystal River. Social time begins at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 and business meeting begins at 7. Call Diane Elswick at 563-2933.

Wednesday

Suncoast Business Masters meets at noon Wednesdays at Romano's Italian Restaurant, 5705 W Gulf to Lake Highway, Crystal River. Suncoast Masters networks through leads from members. Only one business of each type is represented. Call Gailen Spinka, president, at 726-4547.

Thursday

The Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers meets the second Thursday of each month and is open to any mortgage industry professionals in Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus counties. Call John Mince at (352) 666-8225 or e-mail mincetampabay.rr.com.

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The Nature Coast Chapter of the Florida Society of Accounting and Tax Professionals meets at 5:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Wellington Clubhouse, 400 Wexford Road, Spring Hill. Meetings are open to any accountants or tax professionals within Hernando, Citrus or Pasco counties. For information, call Barbara Tremblay, 795-1532.

Friday

Business sponsors are being sought for the 100 mile Bike for Human Life event that begins at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Rails to Trails at the gazebo in Floral City. The bicycle ride is sponsored by Florida Right to Life. Families are encouraged to participate, and there will be refreshment stops available. Sponsors are being sought for bikers and for banquet tables for the banquet that will follow the ride. Call 726-9192.

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Citrus Business Network meets at 7:30 a.m. Fridays at B & W Rexall, 214 U.S. 41 S (Citrus Plaza), Inverness. The purpose of CBN is to assist its members to grow their businesses through the exchange of contacts, leads, ideas and marketing savvy. Membership is open to only one member/company per vocation/discipline. Coffee and breakfast may be purchased. The speaker for March is Capt. Epstein from Emergency Management Services. Call Jim Guinn, president, at 746-4825 or Liz Koehlinger, memberships, at 527-9790.

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The Nature Coast chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association will meet at 11:45 a.m. at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto. The lunch meeting is $15 for members and $18 for guests. This month's speaker is Dr. Bob Davis on public relations research. Call Amy Kingery at (352) 249-3100 for reservations by Tuesday. Meetings are the first Friday. Visit www.fpra-naturecoast.org.

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The Ocala chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association has a luncheon meeting the third Friday of each month at 11:45 a.m. at the Ocala Hilton on State Road 200. The cost is $18 for guests and members not prepaid. Call for reservations at (352) 629-1461 or write to kipkipcreative.com. For information, visit www.fpraocala.org. The chapter will hold a professional development seminar Thursday at the Central Florida Community College Klein Conference Center. Cost is $55 for members and nonprofits and $65 for nonmembers. Register for "Toolkit for Success" at (352) 402-5206 or at ryangerdsmrhs.org.

If you have any announcements to share with our readers, please mail the details to Gail Hollenbeck, Citrus Times, 301 W Main St., Inverness, FL 34450. To appear in the Business Digest, announcements must be received by noon on the previous Tuesday. They may also be faxed to 352-860-7320.

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