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Familiar face joins Pasco EDC staff

News and notes on Pasco businesses
Mike Bishop joins Pasco EDC staff. [Pasco EDC]
Mike Bishop joins Pasco EDC staff. [Pasco EDC]
Published Jan. 19


BISHOP JOINS EDC: The Pasco Economic Development Council welcomes Mike Bishop to a newly-formed position on its staff as director of stakeholder engagement. The position was developed over the past six months as the council staff and board of directors worked on the 2019-2021 WIN 2.0 Strategic Plan. Bishop, after a career in financial services, founded Big Storm Brewing Company, the first micro-brewery in Pasco County

HOSPITAL APPOINTS COO: Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point appointed Paige Laughlin as chief operating officer. Laughlin comes to Bayonet Point from Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, where she served as vice president of operations, ethics and compliance officer, and chief staffing officer. Laughlin received her bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from the Ohio State University, and received a master of health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.

Paige Laughlin [Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point]

HISTORIAN NAMED DEAN: Heather R. Parker was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Leo University, a post she has held on an interim basis since November 2018. She is also a full professor of history and joined Saint Leo in August 2006. Parker earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in history from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Heather Parker [Saint Leo University]


TUBBY’S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: Tubby’s Q and Smokehouse, 5740 Seventh St., Zephyrhills, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a two-day celebration from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 24 and 25 at the family-owned barbecue restaurant. There will be free Tubby’s Q samples, live jazz on Saturday evening and a 10-percent discount on all menu items. Tubby’s is owned by David Ware. For details, visit

RIBBON-CUTTING: The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon-cutting celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at Patriot Self Storage, 38461 County Road 54, Zephyrhills. The ribbon-cutting will be at 12:30 p.m. For details, call (813) 389-8621.

HOSPITAL HOSTS Q&A SESSIONS: AdventHealth Dade City will host the following question-and-answer sessions in Classroom 108 at the hospital, 13100 Fort King Road, Dade City. Reservations are required; call 833-300-2371.

• Orthopedic Q&A with Sean Lannon, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, noon to 12:45 p.m. Jan. 27. Dr. Lannon will help find the answers and best care for those suffering from foot and ankle pain.

• Digestive Health Q&A with Sudhir Kalaskar, MD, a general surgeon specializing in minimally-invasive and robotic colorectal surgery, noon to 12:45 p.m. Jan. 30. From irritable bowel syndrome to constipation, hemorrhoids and colon cancer, Dr. Kalaskar will discuss and answer questions about digestive health issues.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT WEEK: The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce will host the following to celebrate 2020 Business Development Week:

  • Kickoff luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. The keynote speaker is Michele Smith, a double Olympic softball gold medalist with the U.S. National Team, having played in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. In 2006, she was inducted into the ASA Softball Hall of Fame and has played professionally in the Japanese Professional Softball League. The cost is $30 for members, $40 for future members. Seating is limited. RSVP to
  • Business and Health Expo, 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 28, at the Event Center, 8718 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey. This is a business mixer and health fair featuring the area’s top vendors and health care specialists. Includes free health screenings, complimentary appetizers, cash bar and a chance to win a 50-inch TV. There will be a number of presentations and training to help professionals focus on their goals for 2020. For details, contact the Chamber at (727) 842-7651 or

WEIGHT LOSS SEMINAR, OPEN HOUSE: Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point will host an open house and seminar on weight management and weight-loss surgery on Jan. 24 at the Rao Musunuru, MD, Conference Center, 14100 Yosemite Drive, Hudson. The open house will be from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. The new da Vinci X Robotic System will be introduced, and will include demonstrations. Visitors can meet the weight loss surgery team and learn more about the weight management program. There will be complimentary health screenings for blood pressure, body mass index and blood sugar. A weight management informational seminar will be conducted at 11:30 a.m., by Dr. Donald Fridley, II, who specializes in general and bariatric surgery. Admission to the seminar is free and will include a complimentary healthy lunch. Seating is limited and reservations are required. RSVP to (727) 869-5498.

HEALTH SEMINAR: Morton Plant North Bay Hospital will offer a free health seminar, Common Injuries in Active Adults, at noon Jan. 24 in Rooms 2 and 3 of the Bekesh Education and Conference Center on hospital grounds, 6600 Madison Ave., New Port Richey. Orthopedic surgeon Jennifer Swaringden, MD, will review common shoulder, elbow and knee injuries that can happen when playing sports and discuss treatment options. To preregister, call (727) 953-6877 or visit

ECONOMIC FORECAST 2020: The Pasco Economic Development Council will host an Economic Forecast 2020 Luncheon Jan. 31 at the Hyatt Place Tampa/Wesley Chapel, 26000 Sierra Center Blvd., Wesley Chapel. Networking and registration is at 11 a.m., with a buffet lunch and presentation from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The presentation will be by Robert “Tim” McGee, director of macro strategy and research for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Advanced registration required by Jan. 30, and the event typically sells out each year. The cost is $35 by Jan. 18, then $40; $30 for Pasco County staff. Visit

Building skills

SMALL-BUSINESS SEMINARS: Pasco Hernando SCORE is presenting a series of free small-business seminars. Unless otherwise specified, seminars are held 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.:

• Search-Engine Optimization, Feb. 4, New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey.

• Strategic Planning, Feb. 4, Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2918 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes.

• Basic QuickBooks, Feb. 5, South Holiday Branch Library, 4649 Mile Stretch Road, Holiday.

• Website Creation Made Easy, Feb. 10, Regency Park Branch Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey.

• How to Really Start Your Own Business, Feb. 11, New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills.

• How to Use the Internet in Your Business, Feb. 12, Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson.

• How to Value Your Business, Feb. 18, SMARTstart West Pasco Entrepreneur Center, 4532 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

• Launch Your Business with YouTube, Feb. 20, South Holiday Branch Library, 4649 Mile Stretch Road, Holiday.

• Results-Based Marketing, Feb. 25, SMARTstart West Pasco Entrepreneur Center, 4532 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

To register or for more information, visit and click on the local workshops tab, or call the SCORE office at (727) 842-4638.

Networking and mixers

• Trinity Positive Business Network: 8:30 a.m. Mondays at Oasis Coffee Spot, 9213 Little Road, New Port Richey. Call Kelly Steen at (813) 388-8726.

• Women’s Connection of New Port Richey: 11:30 a.m. the second Monday of each month (September through May) at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. Cost is $15 and includes lunch and a speaker. To RSVP, call Linda at (727) 856-4042 or Betty, (727) 807-6760.

• BNI Overachievers Chapter: 7 to 9 a.m. Wednesdays at Myrtle Lake Baptist Church, 2017 Reigler Road, Land O’ Lakes. Call (813) 317-5556 or visit

• BNI Outlook to Success: 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays at Verizon Event Center, 8718 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey. Cost is $10 and includes breakfast. Call (727) 815-7744.

• Suncoast Women in Networking: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at Beef O’ Brady’s, 5546 Main St., New Port Richey. Suncoast WIN is a group of professional businesswomen. Membership is $10 per year. Call Linda McFarland at (727) 863-6151.

• Rotary Club of Lutz: 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays at Heritage Harbor Golf and Country Club, 19502 Heritage Harbor Parkway, Lutz. Cost is $12, includes lunch and speaker. Call (813) 857-7089 or visit

• West Pasco Business Association: Monday Lunch Chapter, noon to 1 p.m. Mondays, Johnny Brusco’s, 10730 State Road 54, Trinity. Tuesday Breakfast Chapter, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Hampton Inn, 1780 State Road 54, Odessa. Tuesday After Hours Chapter, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, FlameStone Grill Trinity, 10900 State Road 54, Trinity. Thursday Lunch Chapter, noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays, Giovanni’s Fresh Italian Kitchen, 37611 U.S. 19, Palm Harbor. Friday Breakfast Chapter, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Fridays at the Oasis Coffee Spot, 9213 Little Road, New Port Richey. The group is made up of professionals who promote each other’s businesses. Each chapter is seat-specific. Contact Maria Johnson, or (727) 934-0940. Visit

• Coffee First: 8 to 9 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at First National Bank of Pasco, 23613 State Road 54, Lutz. The event is hosted by the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce in partnership with First National Bank of Pasco. Free and open to the public. (813) 607-2555.

• East Pasco Networking Group: 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at IHOP, 13100 U.S. 301, Dade City. Annual dues are $25. Nils Lenz, (813) 782-9491.

• Trinity Business Association: 6 to 7:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month at Fox Hollow Country Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m., meeting starts at 6 p.m. Guests welcome. Cost is $12. Call Ginny Pierce at (727) 433-4073.

• BNI Platinum: 7:15 a.m. Wednesdays at Heritage Harbor Golf & Country Club, 19502 Heritage Harbor Parkway, Lutz. Call Bob Nixon at (813) 263-5632.

• Pasco Business Connections: 7:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Broken Yolk, 3350 Grand Blvd., Holiday. Email

• Wednesday Morning Networking Group: 7:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at Hungry Harry’s Family Bar-B-Que, 3116 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. A short networking presentation will be followed by a chance for all attendees to do a 30-second commercial. Cost is $7 in advance for members, $10 for guests, and includes breakfast. Call the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce at (813) 909-2722.

• Keep It Local-Trinity Chapter: 8 a.m. Wednesdays at Havana Dreamers Cafe, 3104 Town Ave., Trinity. (813) 405-7815.

• Pasco Aging Network: 8 to 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month. Location changes each month. For information or to RSVP, visit PAN is a coalition of agencies and private providers of elder services in Pasco.

• Keep It Local-Wesley Chapel Chapter: 8:30 a.m. Wednesdays at Lexington Oaks Golf & Country Club, 26133 Lexington Oaks Blvd., Wesley Chapel. (813) 405-7815.

• Keep It Local-Christian Women’s Network Chapter: 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Direction Connection, 2632 U.S. 19, Holiday. (813) 405-7815.

• Free Networking International: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Cantina Laredo, 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.

• Keep It Local-New Port Richey Chapter: 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Direction Connection, 2632 U.S. 19, Holiday. (813) 405-7815.

• Keep It Local-Odessa/Trinity Chapter: 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays at Seven Springs Golf & Country Club, 3535 Trophy Blvd., Trinity. (813) 405-7815.

• BNI Eagles: 7:15 a.m. Thursdays 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. Thursdays at Vallarta’s Mexican Restaurant, 22948 State Road 54, Lutz. Call Rob Hamilton at (813) 431-5887.

• Christian Business Connections of Central Pasco: 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. Thursdays at Quail Hollow Golf Club, 6225 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. Cost of $9 per meeting, includes breakfast and beverages. Annual membership dues are $100. Call Rene Van Hout at (813) 300-7511.

• Trinity/West Pasco Chapter of NPI: 7:45 a.m. Thursdays at The Grand Plaza Café, 4040 Little Road, New Port Richey. Call Rob Marlowe at (727) 847-2424.

• Networking For Your Success: 8 a.m. Thursdays at Lexington Oaks Country Club, 2615 Lexington Oaks Blvd., Wesley Chapel. Cost is $5 and includes a continental breakfast. Annual membership is $79. Call Matt at (813) 782-1777.

• Women-n-Charge: 11:30 a.m. on the first Friday of each month, Plantation Palms Golf Club, 23253 Plantation Palms Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. The cost is $15 for members and $18 for guests who RSVP by Monday prior to the meeting. Tuesday and after, the cost is $20 for members and $23 for guests. To RSVP, visit For information, call Judy at (813) 600-9848.

• Women of Wesley Chapel (WOW): 7:30 to 9 a.m. first Friday of each month, Beach House Assisted Living and Memory Care at Wiregrass Ranch, 30070 State Road 56, Wesley Chapel. WOW is the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce’s women only networking group. The cost is $5, includes breakfast and networking. To RSVP, call (813) 994-8534 or email


  1. Former Port Richey mayor Dale Massad heads to trial Feb. 24 on five charges of attempted murder. He fired upon SWAT team members who were arresting him on a warrant at his home, but his attorneys will argue it is a stand your ground case.
  2. Luis Espel, 22, uses the Cass Street bike lane to commute to work in Tampa. Times (2019)
  3. Handsome Boy, Harry, Sasha and Eden are looking for their forever homes.
  4. The developers of Avalon Park West in Wesley Chapel are planning a $736 million downtown core to accompany nearly 2,700 residences and 355,000 square feet of commercial and office space in a walkable neighborhood. . As part of the deal, Pasco County will consider kicking  in a $33 million 30-year incentive, mostly a tax rebate to help with infrastructure costs.
  5. The ceremonial groundbreaking of Saint Leo University's Wellness Center was held Feb. 6. Pictured from left: Jon Akvan, project manager, JLL; Troy Powell, project manager, Creative Contractors; Melanie Storms, Saint Leo University senior vice president; Jose Caban, Saint Leo associate vice president of facilities management; Jeffrey D. Senese, Saint Leo president; Celine-Deon Palmer, student government union president; D. Dewey Mitchell, Saint Leo Board of Trustees chair; Alan Bomstein, CEO, Creative Contractors; and Joshua Bomstein, president, Creative Contractors.
  6. Country crooner Doug Stone headlines this weekend's Florida Bluegrass Classic at Florida Classic Park in eastern Brooksville. Stone performs at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 22. He is known for hits such as "I’d Be Better Off (In a Pine Box)" and "A Jukebox With a Country Song."
  7. Daniel Lee Martin performs during a 1999 benefit concert at Coachman Park in Clearwater. Martin was found dead Friday at his New Port Richey home.
  8. Country music singer and reality television star Daniel Lee Martin, 54, of New Port Richey, was accused of child sex abuse charges in Pasco County and Tennessee.
  9. Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said dental assistant Edwin Alvis, 37, sexually assaulted an 18-year-old patient who he was preparing for wisdom teeth-removal surgery.
  10. Pasco County community news
  11. Lisa Langford opened her artisan boutique, Lis's Pieces, in March of 2019 on Grand Boulevard in downtown New Port Richey. She recently expanded, remodeling an upper floor to use for crafting workshops. Future plans include using the space for small weddings and other intimate occasions, Langford said.
  12. Jeff Bulloch with Exiom Inc. talks on Wednesday with visitors to his booth interested in Exiom's 3D-printed casts, splints and braces at the Synapse Summit at Amalie Arena in Tampa.  MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times