1. Business

Pasco County business digest for March 9

Courtesy of Jo-Ann Johnston Business conference: The Fourth International Business Conference at Saint Leo University collaborated with the university’s 40th Military Anniversary Committee to host a panel discussion in February on the role the military plays in the global economy. The speakers also discussed U.S. debt and federal budget cuts. Speakers, from left, were panel moderator James Whitworth, Saint Leo associate professor of social work and retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel; Edward Spenceley, retired U.S. Army staff sergeant and senior vice president of global commercial banking for Bank of America; Jon Bayless, vice president of business development for Tandel Systems, and retired U.S. Navy rear admiral; and Greg Celestan, chairman and chief executive officer of Celestar Corp., Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce chairman, and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.
Published Mar. 8, 2013

Business digest


Leadership Pasco, a development program that explores issues through a series of seminars and hands-on activities, is accepting applications for its Class of 2013.

The program is open to people interested in community involvement and supporting the prosperity of Pasco County. Topics include leadership skills, the history of Pasco County, education, health care and social services, law enforcement and criminal justice, economic and business development, government and infrastructure.

Applications are due by June 1 and may be submitted online at

For an application, send an email request to Cindy Ewald, Leadership Pasco recruitment chairwoman, at

Who's news

Dr. Lalana Babugowda, board-certified family practice physician, has relocated her practice to the Oakstead Professional Center, 19409 Shumard Oak Drive, Suite 103, Land O'Lakes.

Babugowda moved to Florida to work with Access Health Care in September 2011, after practicing in Illinois for 14 years.

For information, call (813) 749-7152.

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Avex Homes, the Orlando-based home builder with single-family homes underway at Avalon Park West on State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, has named Internet home sales expert Laura Gahan the sales associate for Cypress Village at Avalon Park West.

Gahan has more than 10 years experience in real estate home sales. She recently established the Online Concierge Program for Neal Communities in Sarasota. For information, call (407) 658-6565.

• • •

Evie Parks recently joined the administrative team of CARES (Community Aging & Retirements Services) at 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson.

Parks will serve in the dual roles of CARES Elfers center director and CARES fund development/donor relations coordinator. She brings 25 years of experience in volunteer management with an extensive focus on nonprofit fund development.

For information, visit

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Dr. Adam Grunbaum, a rheumatologist, recently joined the staff of Gulf Coast Medical Center. Grunbaum specializes in adult arthritis and other arthritis-related illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, joint pain and carpal tunnel.

The center has two locations in Port Richey and one in Spring Hill. For information, visit or call (727) 868-2151.


Cadence Bank will host the Cadence Bank Community Expo from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at 4010 Little Road, New Port Richey.

The event is free and open to the public. Many local vendors and businesses will offer goods and services. Door prizes and refreshments will be available. For information, call Kelly or Crystal at (727) 376-1030.

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The Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce will have two ribbon-cuttings during the coming week:

Famous Tate, 5419 Village Market, Wesley Chapel, noon Tuesday. An open house will be from noon to 6 p.m. Call Jeff Willis, (813) 907-9195.

Altis at Grand Cypress, 1901 Cypress Preserve Drive, Lutz, 4:40 p.m. Thursday. An open house will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Call Jennifer Sullivan, (813) 298-8055.

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The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce will have a ribbon-cutting at Let's Party, 10720 State Road 54, Suite 109, Trinity, at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. For information, call the chamber at (727) 842-7651.

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The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce will have a ribbon-cutting at Sonny's Appliances, 10651 U.S. 301, Dade City, at 5 p.m. Thursday. An open house will be from 5 to 7 p.m. For information, call the chamber at (813) 782-1913.

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The Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly Business Mixer from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Lexington Oaks Golf Club, 26133 Lexington Oaks Blvd., Wesley Chapel.

The monthly mixers offer great networking opportunities, as well as food and fun. For information, call the chamber at (727) 842-7651.

• • •

Calusa Business & Professional Women will meet at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Seven Springs Golf and Country Club, 3535 Trophy Blvd., New Port Richey. Guests should enter via the double glass doors directly across from the Golf Pro Shop. This month's program speaker will be Chrissie Parris with Alliance for Substance Abuse.

Guests are welcome. Meals are $12.95 per person. For information, call Joanne Grassi at (727) 856-9595.

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The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce will host the Business Expo & Taste of the Town from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 16 at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Complex, 3032 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes.

Vendor booths and sponsorships available. For information, visit CentralPasco

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The 28th annual Chasco Coronation Ball will begin at 6 p.m. April 5 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. The event is hosted by the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind.

The ball, a black tie event and the kickoff to the Chasco Fiesta, is held to recognize local philanthropy and to crown a King Pithla and Queen Chasco, two community leaders who give of their time and talents to the many nonprofit organizations in the community. Proceeds from the event benefit the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind. Tickets are $100 per person. For information or to RSVP, contact Tina Shelton at (727) 439-0516 or

• • •

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce will have its Chamber Connections "Join Us for Java" quarterly membership meeting from 9 to 10 a.m. April 10 at the chamber office, 38550 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills.

The event includes networking and speakers. For information, call (813) 782-1913.

If you have business announcements you would like to share, mail the details to Jean Hayes, Business Digest, Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668. You may also email items to or fax them to (352) 754-6133. Submitted items may be edited for length and clarity. Photos are published as space permits; they will not be returned.

Networking opportunities

Trinity Positive Business Network: 8:30 a.m. Monday at Oasis Coffee Spot, 9213 Little Road in the Regency Shopping Center, New Port Richey. Call Ashok Visuvasam at (813) 333-1622.

BNI Business by Referral: 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at Heritage Church, 1854 Oak Grove Blvd., Lutz. Call Alyssa Kaplan toll-free at 1-888-202-4614, ext. 806.

BNI Outlook to Success: 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at Timber Greens Country Club, 6333 Timber Greens Blvd., New Port Richey. The cost is $8 and includes breakfast. Call (727) 847-3898.

Business Development Council: 8:15 a.m. Tuesday at Cracker Barrel, 5341 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. The business networking group, hosted by Cadence Bank, promotes individual business members. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month. Call Crystal Menzie Olson at (727) 376-1030.

East Pasco Networking Group: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Village Inn, 5214 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills. The group meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Call Nils Lenz at (813) 782-9491.

West Pasco Chapter of NPI: 11:45 a.m. Tuesday at Boulevard Beef & Ale, 6236 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. Call Rob Marlowe at (727) 847-2424.

West Pasco Business Association: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 2150 Seven Springs Blvd., Trinity. The association is made up of professionals who promote one another's businesses. Visit

BNI Revenue Source: 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Heritage Springs, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity. Call Alyssa Kaplan toll-free at 1-888-202-4614, ext. 806.

Pasco Aging Network: 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at West Pasco Board of Realtors, 5409 Sunset Road, New Port Richey. PAN is a coalition of agencies and private providers of elder services in Pasco. The speaker is Kim Bogart. Call Teri Nichols, president, at (352) 796-6000.

Free Networking International: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Cantina Laredo restaurant, 2000 Piazza Ave., Building 4, Suite 170, Wesley Chapel (at the Shops at Wiregrass). Attendees pay for their own lunch. Call Martine Duncan at (813) 929-6816.

West Pasco Business Network: noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Blue Dolphin Restaurant, 8825 State Road 52, Hudson. The network is made up of West Pasco businesspeople committed to helping each other grow and develop their business. Visit or call Bill Pearce, (727) 277-2617.

BNI Eagles: 7:15 a.m. Thursday at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. Cost is $10 and includes breakfast. Call Clay Henderson at (727) 534-5191.

BNI Referral Connection: 7:15 to 9 a.m. Thursday at Vallarta's Mexican Restaurant, 22948 State Road 54, Lutz. Call Rob Hamilton at (813) 431-5887.

Applebee's Networking Group: Business card and brochure exchange from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Applebee's, 8537 Little Road, New Port Richey. The event is sponsored by Synergy Ad Specialties. Cost is $12. For reservations, call the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce at (727) 842-7651 by Wednesday.


  1. A citrus grove in eastern Hillsborough County. [Times (2017)]
    The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is predicting a 3.3 percent increase for the struggling industry.
  2. Gas prices may go up as much as 5 cents this week, AAA, The Auto Club Group, said. Pictured is a man filling up at a gas station in St. Petersburg in 2017. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times  (2017)] SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Gas dropped 10 cents on average in Tampa Bay last week and 6 cents on average in Florida.
  3. Artist Danny Acosta completes re-lettering  of the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. marker in Key West after much of the paint was stripped off in Hurricane Irma in 2017. [Florida Keys News Bureau via the Associated Press]
    Less than 10 percent of U.S. counties are "vacation home'' counties.
  4. The Maple Street Biscuit Company opened in April on the 600 block of Central Avenue. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    The popular Jacksonville biscuit shop has recently opened a handful of Tampa Bay locations.
    A frustrated business card user learns that his on-time payments don’t boost his personal credit score.
  6. Regina Temple is the new president and CEO at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. HCA West Florida
    Read this and more Pasco County business news.
  7. The City Council has called for consultants to design an outdoor concert pavilion with a fixed covering over 4,000 seats in the middle of its proposed overhaul of the downtown waterfront. That decision is causing some friction in the city as officials prepare to present preliminary design drawings to the public. City of Clearwater
    Some in the city are divided over Clearwater’s $64.5 million plan.
  8. Tampa Bay workers are more likely than employees in other metros to quit because of a boss they don’t like, according to a recent survey. Pictured are job seekers at a Tampa job fair in June. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tampa Bay and Miami tied for the percentage of employees who quit because of a boss.
  9. Recent sunny day flooding in Shore Acres, a St. Petersburg neighborhood vulnerable to rising sea levels. [Times] Susan Taylor Martin
    The organizations will explore the impact of climate change on Florida.
  10. The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - Pasco Extension opened an incubator kitchen on Sept. 23. It's  at 15029 14th Street in Dade City. The goal of the kitchen is to create educational opportunities for food entrepreneurs and help them to start new businesses. Whitney Eleamor (center left) developed the idea for the kitchen. PAIGE FRY  |  Paige Fry
    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week for the Pasco County Extension Service community kitchen.