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Eckerd College alum launches eco-friendly sunscreen, cosmetics line

Each summer, boatloads of sunscreen are sold to beach-goers throughout the country. But where do the contents end up? Often, in the oceans.

Studies have shown that the chemicals found in many sunscreens or skin care products that contain sunscreen can contaminate, and even kill coral reefs (some can also cause problems for humans).

Enter Stream2Sea, a St. Petersburg, Florida-based startup company that aims to revolutionize the way we swim with eco-friendly sunscreen and skin care products that have been deemed safe for marine life.

Entrepreneur Autumn Bloom, who received a chemistry honors B.S. from Eckerd College in 1997, founded Stream2Sea. After starting and later selling off specialty cosmetics company Organix South, the Eckerd alum dove into the idea of protecting endangered ecosystems from human activities.

“Over 6,000 tons of skin care products enter coral reefs from tourist activities alone,” Blum explains in a blog post on the Stream2Sea website, adding that additional contamination products entering waters through runoff or sewage are not included in that statistic.

And even though other sunscreen brands on the market today may call themselves " 'ocean friendly,' many contain ingredients that are known to harm the fragile ecosystems and marine life of our waters,” Blum writes.

After developing Stream2Sea’s initial line of eco-friendly sunscreens and body care products, Blum, with the help of the Eckerd College Alumni Relations department and her mentor, Dr. David Grove, selected a team of scientists and students at Eckerd to conduct testing and research.

The research team, which included Assistant Professor of Biology Denise Flaherty and Assistant Professor of Biology and Marine Science Koty Sharp, along with several of their students, worked with Blum on scientific trials refine her products.

“It was wonderful working with the knowledgeable professors and students at my alma mater,” Blum writes. “Watching the students apply their lab skills and education to my ‘real world’ requirements, proving the safety of Stream2Sea products, was an incredible feeling.”

Flaherty, who tested the products on fish with her students, says in a news release that the opportunity to work on applied research in the field and in the lab was a special one for students.

“Being able to see a project like this all the way through was very meaningful,’’ she notes.

Sharp’s team, which included Eckerd College marine science seniors Takoda Edlund and Samantha Fortin, spent a week in the Florida Keys collecting coral larvae samples to use for testing the Stream2Sea products. While sunscreen had been tested before on living corals, tests had never been done on coral larvae, Sharp says.

Stream2Sea products were tested on coral larvae and fish at the Mote Marine Laboratory’s Tropical Research Laboratory in Sarasota. Tests concluded that the Stream2Sea products showed no evidence of harm to fish or to corals.

Participating students were so excited to see the positive results that “they actually cheered when every single fish was still alive after 96 hours of swimming in the shampoo-laced foamy water,” Blum writes.

Stream2Sea has identified a list of ingredients to avoid, such as nano particles that can flake off of skin as we swim as well as an ingredients dictionary to help consumers make sense of biodegradable cosmetics that are eco-friendly. 

Moving forward, the company will continue to invest significant funding into testing, Blum writes, “so that we can state, with complete confidence, that we are the safest product on the shelves.”

Stream2Sea sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner and lotion are in stock on the company website. Prices range from $3.95-$16.95.

Who's hiring in Tampa Bay? County offices, local chamber, downtown caterer and more

Did you know? 83 Degrees Media searches for Growing Companies to bring you exciting job opportunities in the Tampa Bay region. Sign up for a sales manager role with the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce; patrol the parks on behalf of Hillsborough County; stage school productions for Berkeley Prep; all of these and more are part of the 83 Degrees Media monthly Tampa Bay jobs roundup.

Here's who's hiring in the Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater area in August 2015:

Berkeley Preparatory School is seeking a Performance Facilities Manager & Productions Technical Director and an Upper Division Administrative Assistant for the 2015-2016 school year. Berkeley Prep, an Episcopal-affiliated day school that was founded in 1960 in Tampa, is co-educational and enrolls students in pre-K through high school.

The manager/director role will include overseeing activities at the school’s Lykes Center for the Performing Arts and Gabos Family Recital Hall, and providing additional technical support for school events as necessary. The administrative assistant applicant should include a cover letter and CV with application.

To learn more about the roles or how to apply, visit the school’s website.

Do you have a passion for the culinary arts? Local caterer Catering By Kathy is hiring a Catering Administrative Coordinator for the growing CBK team. CBK specializes in corporate catering and recently opened Café 124 inside the University of South Florida Health's CAMLS building in downtown Tampa. The company aims to grow the catering business in the local region and to extend the Café 124 hours. 

Job responsibilities include administrative tasks, including event coordination and related communications; executing day-of duties with the Event Manager; invoicing; and more. The successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree in hospitality or related field; have knowledge of Caterease or similar software; be detail-oriented and highly motivated, and demonstrate proven time-management and organizational skills.

Interested parties may email resumes and cover letters using the email subject title Catering Administrative Coordinator Position.
CopyPress, a content and software creation company, is hiring for two full-time positions, an editorial campaign manager and a PHP programmer. CopyPress is also hiring for several freelance rolls, including:
  • General Bloggers & Writers
  • Infographic Designers
  • Interactive Developers
Editorial campaign manager responsibilities include brainstorming, overseeing a team of writers and editors, working with the copy manager, and other copy production tasks. A bachelor's degree in English, journalism or communications and two years of professional experience are required.

The PHP programmer role requires four or more years of PHP and LAMP development experience; knowledge of JavaScript libraries like jQuery; and other qualifications.

To learn how to apply for a career with CopyPress, click here.

Hillsborough County is hiring for several fulltime positions in the greater Tampa area, including:
  • Accounting Clerk III
  • Election Technology Specialist
  • Engineering Specialist II (Traffic Engineering)
  • Environmental Technician II
  • Head Start Teacher Assistant
  • Librarian, Youth Services
  • Senior Librarian, Youth Services
To learn more about the job requirements or to explore a complete list of the available positions, please visit the County's job opportunities website
Do you love your local community? This might be the perfect fit: the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is hiring a Sales Manager.

The St. Pete Chamber seeks a sales professional to manage sales and membership. The role will include evaluating and upholding a community investment strategy for membership growth; securing sponsorships; securing advertising and new member sales; and other duties. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a sales-related field; four or more years sales experience and at least two years with a membership organization; a flexible schedule; and strong verbal and written communications skills.

To apply for this position, visit the Chamber's website.
Reach out over on Twitter @83degreesmedia if our job listings put you on the path to success.

Tampa International Airport issues worldwide call for artists

Artists from around the world have the opportunity to showcase their talents as part of Tampa International Airport’s $953-million, multi-year upgrade. TIA and Hillsborough County’s Aviation Authority Board will award contracts to 12 artists for art pieces to display throughout the refurbished airport.

“The new public artwork is an essential part of the upgrades,” says TIA Communications Manager Danny Valentine. “We strongly believe that public art will enhance and enrich the experience for the more than 17 million guests who visit our airport every year.”

The call for artists comes in a year when the airport jumped from No. 3 to No. 2 in the Airport Service Quality Awards, and began construction on extensive upgrades that are expected to be completed by 2017.

TIA will issue a call to artists on Monday, August 17, but interested parties can begin building an online CaFÉ portfolio now at CallForEntry.org. The deadline for submissions is Monday, September 14.

Many types of art will be considered, from sculpture to hanging art.

“We have intentionally left the call open to all visual artists so as to get a robust and wide range of forms of artwork,” Valentine says. “The choice of artwork will be up to the Public Art Committee.”

The committee, which will judge submitted work and make a final artist recommendation to the Aviation Authority Board, includes the following members of the Tampa Bay community:
  • Former Aviation Authority Board member Ken Anthony
  • Seth D. Pevnick, Chief Curator and Richard E. Perry Curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Tampa Museum of Art
  • Kent Lydecker, Museum Director at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
  • Margaret Miller, Professor and Director at the University of South Florida
  • Robin Nigh, Public Art Manager with the City of Tampa
  • Dan Myers, Public Art Coordinator with Hillsborough County
  • Joe Lopano, Airport Chief Executive Officer
  • Chris Minner, Airport Vice President of Marketing
  • Jeff Siddle, Airport Assistant Vice President of Planning & Development
  • Paul Ridgeway, Airport Director of Maintenance.
TIA’s committee will select up to 12 finalists and present the artists to the board for “final approval and contract award,” Valentine explains.

The Tampa airport’s public art inventory is valued at $11 million, with art from over 30 different collections distributed throughout the airport’s many public spaces. Common themes include the Tampa Bay area and aviation, but decades of artworks from international and local artists combine to give the airport’s collection a wide range. In one baggage claim area, 22 tapestries woven by 20 women from Swaziland, Africa, hang as both an art display and an improvement on acoustics; a flower sculpture that weighs over 1,000 pounds hangs in one airside. A set of murals by a local St. Petersburg artist, George Snow Hill, dates back to 1939.  

Interested in adding your artwork to the collection? Criteria for artist submissions include:
  • A statement of interest that articulates the Artist’s, or Artist Team’s, desire to participate.
  • A resume (one resume per artist team), emphasizing experience in public art and working with public agencies.
  • Confirmation that Artist has completed a commission or sold, at a minimum, one piece of artwork at a value of at least $15,000
  • No more than 10 images that fairly represent the Artist’s, or Artist Team’s, body of work.
  • Three references for recently completed projects.
Local, state, national and international artists will be considered. Interested artists who have not met the minimum qualifications may enter the competition as an Artist Team by collaborating with another artist to submit an application.

To learn more, visit the TIA Call for Artists page or the Public Art program website.

Call for Florida companies: Compete to win $150,000 in prize money

Tampa Bay area startup and growth stage companies will have the chance to win $150,000 in prize money this fall.

The 2015 Emerging Technologies & Business Showcase in South Florida will offer select companies from across Florida the chance to present their businesses before a selection committee and to contend for cash awards.

The November 4 showcase, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables, is co-hosted by Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida, Florida Venture Forum and Space Florida.

Interested companies have until Sept. 24, 2015, to apply to compete in the showcase.

“This event offers selected Florida-based companies the opportunity to receive expert coaching and mentoring, in addition to the opportunity to present in front of investors and to compete for prize money,” Florida Venture Forum Managing Director Pat Schneider says. “All in all, this is a great opportunity for Florida's entrepreneurs.”

Cash prizes will total up $100,000 for a growth stage company, or $50,000 for a startup company. To be considered, growth stage companies cannot have raised more than $3 million in equity capital from professional investors, and startups cannot have raised more than $500,000.

Factors for selection will include aspects like a company's potential to attract third-party investment, prior funding, innovation and possibility of job creation. 

Preference will be given to growth stage and startup businesses in sectors like space transportation and advanced aerospace platforms, International Space Station and human life science, cyber security and robotics, and other components of information technology and health technology.

The wide array of industry sectors "offer Florida-based entrepreneurs broad categories for consideration,” Schneider says.

To learn more about the event’s selection criteria, click here; to apply for the 2015 Emerging Technologies & Business Showcase, click here
Along with the capital acceleration competition and time reserved for business networking, the showcase will feature an investor panel discussion and a keynote speaker. Retired NASA astronaut Capt. Winston Scott, who was born in Miami and who logged 24 days in space, will be the keynote speaker for the 2015 Emerging Technologies & Business Showcase.

“Since Space Florida is sponsoring the prize money, it seemed befitting to have an astronaut speak,” Schneider says. “Also, many of the characteristics behind a successful space mission can be applied to successful entrepreneurship.”

Space Florida is an aerospace and spaceport development authority that works to promote aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce in the state of Florida. The organization partners with aerospace businesses to help them grow and thrive in Florida, where much of the necessary infrastructure to be competitive in the industry is already in place.

Enterprise Development Corp. of South Florida has advised entrepreneurs and investors for over two decades through mentorship, management of incubator programs and customized services for startups in South Florida.  

Tampa-based Florida Venture Forum, a a nonprofit, statewide support organization for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, connects growing startup businesses with access to capital from local and national resources. The organization hosts the the Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition and the Early Stage Capital Conference. 

Florida Venture Forum will host the 2016 Florida Venture Capital Conference on January 27-28, 2016.

Tampa hotels plan to conserve millions of gallons of water by 2016

Local hotels and motels could begin to conserve 5 million gallons of water by 2016 – all without impacting the guest experience.

The Hillsborough County Hotel Motel Association (HCHMA) has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense H2Otel Challenge Initiative. Through a voluntary effort, HCHMA aims to reduce water consumption in the Tampa Bay area lodging industry.

“We have a unique opportunity to have our larger hotels lead the way in this effort,” HCHMA Executive Director Bob Morrison said in a news release.

Clearwater-based Terlyn Industries, which specializes in industrial water treatment, will help HCHMA “modify existing building cooling systems in such a way that those properties will see significant improvements in water consumption efficiencies,” Morrison explains.

Large hotels use cooling towers to treat the condensation water that gathers in central air conditioning units. The towers can account for 25 percent of a hotel’s total water use, so updating them to operate more efficiently can decrease energy and water consumption.

Terlyn Industries is offering Tampa Bay hoteliers a complimentary cooling tower water conservation study. For more information, visit the conservation study website.

HCHMA, which represents county hotels, motels and resorts, was initially organized in 1937. Prior to setting the goal of conserving five million gallons of water by 2016 for the EPA’s WaterSense H2O Challenge, HCHMA members made voluntary water conservation efforts through the Water Conservation Hotel and Motel Program. The “Water CHAMP” effort was developed through a partnership between Hillsborough County, Southwest Florida Water Management District, and the City of Tampa; it focused on efforts to conserve water through retrofitting toilets and faucets in local hotels, as well as designating towel and linen reuse programs.

WaterSense H2Otel Challenge Initiative program participants must register to “ACT” with the EPA: assess water usage, change products or processes when necessary, and track results. 

Businesses and the arts align for Tampa streetcar

Twenty to thirty 4-foot streetcar sculptures will be painted by local artists paired with Tampa Bay business sponsors in a collaborative public works initiative slated for installation this Fall.  

Spearheading the project is Commercial Real Estate Women Tampa Bay (CREW), a business networking organization comprised of 130 local members, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Tampa in 2016. Under a program it calls artLOUD!, the streetcar initiative will be CREW’s fourth public works project, which have included public sculpture and facade mural initiatives in downtown Tampa. 

CREW Tampa Bay is committed to bringing art to Tampa to create a sense of place, encourage tourism, beautify and make our city streets more vibrant for the community,” says Kristin Mora, a real estate attorney with the Pettit Worrell law firm. Mora is a member of CREW and co-chairs its artLOUD! Program. 

Artists from the Greater Tampa Bay region who submit their credentials will be considered for selection by the area businesses sponsoring the streetcar sculptures and will work together in creating individual concepts. 

Public works of this nature have been a trend around the country, but Mora says that she hopes that using streetcars as the subject matter will have a compounded impact for Tampa. Not only is the streetcar part of Tampa’s history and heritage, but she envisions the possibility of people using the downtown streetcars as a mode to tour and view the artworks themselves. 

“This is a step further for promoting the streetcar,” says Mora, adding that she hopes the project will “gain attention and ridership for the streetcar.” 

To date, more than 20 sponsors have been confirmed including The Dohring Group; Construction Services of Tampa; Cushman & Wakefield; Tampa Downtown Partnership; Coppertail Brewing/Pepin Distributing; Channelside District Community Redevelopment Area; Tampa Housing Authority, and CREW Tampa Bay. 

Yacht Starship, the dining cruise line that docks in Channelside and in Clearwater, proposed the concept to CREW and will host the preview party in October 2015 when the sculptures will be revealed. The sculptures will be installed in downtown Tampa, the Channel District and Ybor City. They will be subject to city approval and, according to Mora, the exact locations may also be influenced by the design of the streetcars themselves.

Study finds Tampa Bay seagrass growth, bottom health improving

In any body of water, the benthic zone, or bottom layer, can be considered a good indicator of the water body’s overall health.

A 20-year study of Tampa Bay’s benthic ecological region shows that as a whole, Tampa Bay's waters are in fair-to-good condition. 

Middle and Lower Tampa Bay, which comprise over 50 percent of Tampa Bay’s surface area, were rated “Good.”

Hillsborough Bay and some of the smaller or more heavily urbanized bodies of water within Tampa Bay (including Boca Ciega Bay, Terra Ceia Bay and Manatee River) were ranked “Poor.” Old Tampa Bay was rated “Fair.”

The 20-Year Tampa Bay Benthic Community Trends Study, released by the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, was conducted from 1993-2012. Ratings were determined using criteria from the EPA’s National Coastal Assessment program and the Tampa Bay Benthic Index.

For two decades, random samples were collected at more than 1,500 sites across Tampa Bay’s main segments, which total just shy of 400 square miles. The samples were taken in late summer and then processed in the EPC’s labs.

Sampling data monitored animal communities in the Bay (over 1,500 invertebrate animal species were identified); sediment composition and contaminants (heavy metals, pesticides, etc.); salinity; temperature; pH levels, and more.

The study found that the majority of Tampa Bay sediments at the bottom layer do not contain high levels of contaminants; exceptional sites with higher contaminant levels were primarily found in Hillsborough Bay. 

The collection and processing of data for the study was initiated two decades ago by the Tampa Bay National Estuary Program (TBEP), and continues today as a cooperative effort between Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties.

Study results reveal continued improvement in Tampa Bay’s “fair to good” regions, Dr. David Karlen, the EPC Chief Environmental Scientist who authored the report, explained in a news release.

“Baywide, we’ve seen improvement in the benthic index, which is an overall summary of all species,” Karlen says.

Along with Karlen, report authors include Kevin W. Campbell; Dr. Thomas L. Dix; Barbara K. Goetting; Joette M. Jernigan; and Sara E. Markham.

The report includes recommendations for the future monitoring of benthic communities in Tampa Bay, although additional funding is required to support continued analysis and monitoring programs.

Recommendations include:
  • Special study of some sites within Tampa Bay, including Port Tampa Bay (which contains Ybor and Sparkman Channels and Garrison Channel), East Bay, Clam Bayou and Bayboro Harbor.
  • Increased monitoring of river and tidal tributary systems, low salinity areas that serve as nursery areas for many species. These include the Hillsborough, Palm, Alafia and Little Manatee Rivers. Known high sediment contaminants in several rivers could have potential impacts.
  • Expanding lab analysis to include newer sediment contaminants, such as microplastics.
"The benthic report gives us insight into the legacy (longterm) contaminants that can be found in the sediment," TBEP senior scientist Ed Sherwood says in a news release.

Problem areas indicated by the benthic report will help to guide the estuary program, determine the next step in special studies, track long-term trends in the benthic community and form management policy, Sherwood says.

Another indicator that Tampa Bay is in good shape: seagrass is flourishing. Like a benthic ecological region, seagrasses can be a good measure of a body of water’s overall health. In the case of Tampa Bay, it's on the rise.

Celebrate Tampa Bay area arts, culture at Hyde Park encounter

The Tampa Bay Business for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA) and its “pArtner,” Hyde Park Village, are hosting an “Art is Good” cultural encounter to celebrate art and artists at Piquant Epicure & Cuisine on Thursday, June 25th, at 5:30 p.m. The event is open and free to the public. 

“Those who attend the event will get a wonderful flavor and introduction to our artists – not just Tampa Bay-area based, but artists who have followings beyond our area,” says Susana Weymouth, TBBCA’s executive director since January of this year. “We have a very deep talent pool here of all types. We [TBBCA] are really trying to publicize and support art in general.”
The interactive event will highlight Hyde Park’s Public Art Initiative, which consists of iconic cheery banners of the “C’mon, Get Happy” and “Forget Your Troubles” variety created by New York-based Artist Deborah Kass and Tampa Bay area artists who submitted pieces inspired by Kass’s work.
Of the eight local finalists, the winner, Artist Jon Lee from Clearwater, will be formally announced at the event along with TBBCA’s Impact Award winner for “Patron of Culture & the Arts.” Hint on the latter: what restaurateur and arts champion, whose deep roots in Tampa go back generations, proudly shares his collection with diners at Ulele any day of the week?
TBBCA was founded over 25 years ago by local businesses to support and encourage business-arts alliances. The organization hosts cultural encounters and supports local arts events throughout the year, provides scholarships to high school students pursuing higher education in the arts and recognizes local business leaders who have been exemplary in their leadership and support of arts and culture.

“Arts and culture are economic drivers that are essential to the prosperity and wellbeing of our community and contribute to the quality of life,” says Weymouth, noting that arts are good for business. “You need to be able to attract a strong creative class as an employee base, and retain them. We firmly believe that businesses will thrive if their employees can partake in [cultural activities]. And that is what we enjoy in this area, an enormous amount of culture.”

Top Florida artists on display at juried exhibit in Sarasota

A call to artists underway until the end of this June will culminate in the third annual “Florida Flavor” at Art Center Sarasota, a juried exhibition to showcase the extraordinary talents of Florida-based artists.  The show, which is expected to draw more than 300 two- and three-dimensional works, will fill all four of the center’s galleries July 9-August 14, 2015.

This year’s exhibition will be juried by internationally acclaimed Artist Robert Tarbell, known for his arrestive technique in manipulating smoke to create his works. Tarbell’s “Failure to Appear” series was a hit at the 2014 Art Basel in Miami and was awarded the 2014/2015 John Ringling Towers Fund Individual Artist Award. Tarbell, who lives in Sarasota and teaches at Ringling College of Art and Design, says he was "drawn to work that is conceptually strong, technically sound, and incorporates interesting materials or unique processes."

Though the Florida Flavor exhibit is not themed, Art Sarasota Executive Director Lisa Berger says some artists “take it as a theme.” But the real goal of the exhibit is to provide “a broad picture of the diverse talent in Florida.” 

“We get everything from digital art, photography, mixed media, all kinds of paintings, sculpture, even videos sometimes. A really nice mix,” says Berger. 

In addition, she says summer is a good time to attract cultural tourists form around the state. “A lot of people who visit Sarasota, the tourists, people that live in Florida, like to do local day trips and things like that.  It gives our audience a flavor of the state they live in, to celebrate the artists that are working and living here.”

Florida artists who wish to be considered for inclusion in "Florida Flavor" can bring their work to Art Center Sarasota on June 30, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Artists may also submit their work online until June 26, 2015.

Aerial adventure park to open in Dade City, Pasco County

A new aerial adventure park, complete with zip lines and rope bridges, is set to open in Dade City in Pasco County this summer.

TreeHoppers will boast a wide variety of zip lines that cater to various skill levels, multiple rope bridges and dozens of aerial climbing elements on a 60-acre wooded park about 40 miles northwest of Tampa.

Indiana-based White River Zip Lines purchased the land in spring 2015 and will develop the TreeHoppers adventure park on the property, which also features a five-acre lake and a canopy of live oak trees.

Jon Pianki, TreeHoppers director of marketing, says that Tampa Bay’s good weather and tourist-friendly attitude are the primary reasons the area was selected for the new Treehoppers location.

“We are hoping this combination will help us build an attraction that is both an asset to the surrounding community as well as a draw to outside guests and customers,” Pianki explains. “Tampa Bay is a vibrant, growing community that wants more options to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty nature has to offer.”

With eight different courses that cater to various skill levels and over 100 total features, there’s something for everyone, Pianki says. “Small children, experienced athletes, and everyone in-between will find a right course for their comfort level.”

Visitors will receive safety instruction from trained climbing monitors and be provided with safety climbing technology before embarking on any of the courses.

TreeHoppers will begin hiring for fulltime and part-time positions by mid-June, with jobs ranging from shop staff and customer service to guides and monitors. Visit TreeHoppers website to learn more or apply.

The park is expected to open in August, but Pianki is already looking ahead to the Fall, when the park is planning a Halloween attraction “like no other in the area.”

Located at 27839 Saint Joe Road in Dade City, TreeHoppers will be open year-round, seven days a week.

“We are thrilled to offer this new experience to the Tampa Bay area,” TreeHoppers CEO Benjamin Nagengast says in a press release. “Our team carefully and thoughtfully selected Tampa Bay for our newest attraction and we can’t wait to introduce TreeHoppers to the community. There is nothing like it anywhere in Florida.”

The aerial zip line and adventure park joins several high-rise outdoor adventure courses in the Tampa Bay area:

TreeUmph, 21805 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton

TreeUmph, located in Bradenton near Lakewood Ranch, opened in December 2012 and features a zip line that starts at 60 feet in elevation and rockets over a 600-foot-long course across the park.

TreeUmph is expanding to a second location in Hernando County in fall 2016. The new park will offer around 80 obstacles on a 50-acre area.

Sky Trail Zip Line, MOSI, 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa

In the university area’s Innovation District, Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI Tampa) boasts its own spin on the aerial adventure: the Sky Trail Zip Line at MOSI, a 65-foot high course that is more than 700 feet long (longer than two football fields put together!).

Along with the zip line, MOSI offers a multilevel ropes course that is safe for kids and adults of all ages to explore.

Natures Boot Camp, 11914 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

Natures Boot Camp invites extreme athletes and adventure course enthusiasts to train at their outdoor obstacle course, centrally located in Tampa’s Carrollwood neighborhood.

Try out a sprint style obstacle course with over 14 obstacles,  a Mud Run that culminates in a 15-foot jump, and more extreme activities.

New Tampa Nature Park, 17599 Dona Michelle Drive, Tampa

New Tampa Nature Park, which connects with Hillsborough County’s Flatwoods Park, is a low-key place to enjoy nature from above. Find zip-lining courses for kids, a climbing area, shaded trails, and more.

The 122-acre park also offers an elevated boardwalk and marsh walk that allows visitors to experience a wetland habitat from above.

Mobile app for multicultural visitor's guide wins HIllsborough County hack-a-thon

The 2015 Code for Hillsborough hack-a-thon brought more than 100 presenters, programmers and community leaders in economic development together to create potential solutions to existing real-world problems in local communities.

The team that created a “Multi-Cultural Visitor's Guide” won top honors at the Sunday, June 7, awards ceremony.

The mobile app multicultural guide to the Tampa Bay area was created following county guidelines, such as: including links to Visit Tampa Bay and the state tourism office, Visit Florida; a Google-interfaced map with prominent venues highlighted, a background history or photo of the venues; a walking trail or driving route; and more desired criteria.

Code for Tampa Bay Brigade and Hillsborough County worked together to present the 3rd Annual National Day (in this case, weekend) of Civic Hacking. County commissioner Sandy Murman praised Code for Tampa Bay's efforts to "provide a creative environment where innovation thrives."

Civic collaboration in the community, networking among local government and technologists, programmers and developers, and encouraging “civic hacking” are all part of the goals of the Hillsborough County EDI2-funded event.

During the two-day hack-a-thon, event participants were challenged to create useful resources that addressed community needs identified by data supplied from the county government. Challenges included:
  • Dig through thousands of lines of raw data to make Florida Vendor Payment information accessible, useful and understandable for your application
  • Use multiple sources of information to develop a way to help the county understand inmate populations and how jail systems are being used
  • Map out a shuttle transportation system for downtown Tampa
  • Create a web application that provides international matchmaking between foreign companies and Hillsborough County 
  • Develop a multicultural visitor guide using basic tools like a jpeg image and a brochure
Presenters discussed best practices in tech hot topics like mobile app development or transparency for vendors, as well as community-centered issues like the challenges that government agencies and citizens alike can face when it comes to providing or accessing services or resources.

Runners up included a team that created an Emergency Preparedness Interactive Map and the Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council app.

2015 Code for Hillsborough partners in civic engagement include: MicrosoftForex FactoryTekBankEureka! Factory,  The Iron YardAbsolute Mobile SolutionsCastleRoc Information ServicesRedHatLaicosThe Grind Coffee BarKahwa Coffee Roasters,  Tampa Innovation Alliance and Busch Gardens.

Local chef develops St. Pete tiki bar food menu

Nestled close to the Gandy Bridge in north St. Petersburg, popular waterfront bar The Getaway has added a new variety of fresh seafood and Tampa staples to the menu.

Fare includes favorites from local BBQ joint Holy Hog -- whose food truck could often be seen parked outside the bar on busy nights during the past year -- along with Florida-inspired seafood creations from Chef Ted Dorsey. The new menu will go live on Saturday, June 6.

Managing partner Dave Burton called the new menu “a perfect mix of food and fun” in a news release.

“We are very proud to have a renowned chef [Dorsey] work with us to create a menu that captures Florida with a foodie flair,” Burton says, “and to also have Holy Hog, a Tampa barbecue staple.”

The tiki bar's menu will include signature Holy Hog dishes: pulled pork, smoked chicken, brisket, fried okra, jalapeno mac and cheese, and more. Other Holy Hog favorites, like the popular burnt ends, are incorporated into new dishes, such as the Burnt End Jalapeno Poppers and Beach Tacos.

Dorsey, a local chef who has spent time in some of Tampa Bay's most well-known restaurant kitchens (Boca, Ciro's Speakeasy, Copperfish, Castile) is opening a new restaurant, The Mill, at the former Jojo's In Citta Progress Plaza location in St Pete during summer 2015.

For The Getaway's food menu, Dorsey developed a Florida-focused theme. Everything’s grown, caught or inspired by South Florida and the Caribbean, from the Tortuga Nachos – with ingredients including yellow fin tuna, salsa, a wasabi soy glaze, pineapple, orange and guacamole – to the Lobster BLT salad, created with fresh Maine lobster but given a Southeast spin with avocado, pork belly croutons and a buttermilk vinaigrette.

At the new waterfront restaurant's raw bar, enjoy a variety of oyster preparations; dress them up at a nearby seafood sauce bar. Often, you'll dine to the sounds of live music.

Along with seafood, the St. Pete beachfront bar will serve burgers (with a ketchup bar for your enjoyment), sandwiches and house-made fries or Florida orange kettle chips.

The Getaway's Managing Partner Scott Tashkin says that a consistently high volume of guests and a desire for more variety in seafood led the beach bar to develop the new menu, which was "inspired by our favorite island destinations."  

"With our own food, we are able to have the creativity to take the menu any direction we desire," Tashkin says.

In addition to The Getaway’s new food menu, the bar added a selection of “mocktails,” cocktails that don’t contain alcohol, to its drink menu of craft cocktails, beer and wine. Menu items range in price from $5-$23.

The Getaway, located at 13090 Gandy Blvd N., is open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – midnight.

The waterfront bar "has become that close to home reminder of favorite destinations," Tashkin says. "It takes a little piece of so many popular places among the Florida Keys and the Carribbean."

Who's hiring in Tampa Bay? Booz Allen, Lowry Park Zoo, and more

Did you know? 83 Degrees Media searches for growing companies to bring you exciting job opportunities in the Tampa Bay region. Here's who's hiring in the Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater area in May 2015:
The strategy and tech-consulting firm Booz Allen is hiring for an Assistant Editor to work under a senior editor in the company’s Tampa offices. The position requires a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communications or a related field; three or more years of experience writing and editing long-form journalism, including working with an online publication; knowledge of AP style; and the ability to obtain a security clearance.

Experience as a magazine or newspaper reporter, knowledge of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia region and/or experience with Arabic, Russian or Dari languages preferred. The position includes developing, writing and editing original online magazine content and proofreading.

To learn more, visit the Booz Allen website

Computer Mentors, a nonprofit tech service organization that helps kids develop skills for careers in the computer industry, is hiring for a full-time Programming Coordinator. The program includes serving as lead instructor for students in grades 4-8 basic computer programming skills and helping high school students build mobile apps for other local nonprofits through the STEM Corps program.

The successful applicant will have experience working with youth; experience programming, including knowledge of Android and iOS app development, graphical interface programming tools and programming robots.

To learn more about the role and to apply, visit the Computer Mentors website.

Health Hero, a St. Pete-based startup company that is gaining traction with the idea of reinventing healthcare plans through increased engagement, is hiring for multiple roles in St. Petersburg, including: Director of Sales, Growth Engineer, UX Designer, Ruby on Rails Developer, Native iOS Developer and Native Android Developer.

Learn more about available roles at the Health Hero website.

Do you love to volunteer, get involved in big events, and coordinate complex logistics? Oh, and a love of animals would be a bonus.

Lowry Park Zoo is hiring for a full-time Events/Volunteer Coordinator at the zoo’s central Tampa location. The successful applicant will have a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, communications, marketing, business or a related field. Experience in special events, fundraising, development or hospitality management is also preferred. 

The Events/Volunteer Coordinator will work under the direction of the Events Manager to plan and support zoo events (new animal exhibits, baby reveals, animal birthdays, for example) and volunteer projects. Duties will include organizing and implementing rental events; planning and implementing fundraising events (Zoo Zoom, the Charity Golf Classic, Zoominations, for example); cultivating in-kind donors; and offering other assistance as needed. Holiday and weekend availability required. 

Lowry Park Zoo is also hiring for a Director of Finance, Chief Development Officer, Education Instructor, Staff Accountant, and part-time, seasonal Summer Camp Instructors, among other roles. For a complete listing of available roles, visit the zoo website.

Florida Blue is hiring for several positions in the Tampa Bay area, including: Retail Center Navigation Nurse ARNP, Sr Mgr Medical Review, Senior Media Relations Consultant, Web Designer and Sr. Consultant Leadership Development.
Florida Blue offers private health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. 

To learn more about the  available job opportunities with Florida Blue in the Tampa bay area, visit the Florida Blue website.

Tech Data is hiring for multiple positions in the Clearwater area, including a senior financial analyst, a systems engineer and a senior copywriter. An applicant for the entry-level Financial Analyst position must have an AS or higher in Accounting, Finance, or Accounting Systems, along with 0-3 years of work experience 

The role will include data compilation, maintaining and distributing management reports, analyzing new business opportunities, efficiency initiatives, or other business issues. and maintaining systems applications, among other tasks.

The global technology distribution company headquartered in Clearwater is also seeking a Marketing Strategist. The position will act as Marketing Consultant for vendor partners and will be responsible for developing and executing marketing campaigns for clients, working together with business development representatives and project managers.

Requirements include a BA in Marketing or Communications and a minimum of two years (five years preferred) of previous marketing strategy development and/or IT channel vendor/reseller marketing experience. 

For complete descriptions and a complete listing of available jobs with Tech Data, visit the company's website.

Employers, if you have a career opportunity you would like to promote, please email the 83 Degrees Innovation & Job News editor with "Hiring" in the subject line. Reach out over on Twitter @83degreesmedia if our job listings put you on the path to success.

Casting call: Musicians, show how 'St. Pete Shines' in the city's new national ad campaign

The City of St. Petersburg will place local singers and bands on the national stage in an upcoming advertising campaign.

During a live competition on Saturday, May 9, musicians who are based in the St. Pete community will have the chance to publicly perform a rendition of the classic song “You Are My Sunshine” at a live, battle-of-the-bands style competition.

Four winners will be selected, and the winning performances of the song will be featured in the city’s first national ad campaign.

Nina Mahmoudi, Creative Services Manager for the City, describes St. Pete as “a city filled with talented people, from artists and musicians to technology innovators and food and brewing connoisseurs.”

"We are a community known for our growing arts and culture,” Mahmoudi says. The casting call is “just one way we are engaging the community to show how ‘St. Pete Shines’.”

Bands and artists who are interested in competing in the “You Are My Sunshine” Music Contest must submit an entry to the contest website by Friday, May 1, 2015. Entry submissions should include a link to your website or reel (new recordings are not required from musicians, as long as a video of the artist performing is submitted).

Finalists will be notified and invited to play their version of “You Are My Sunshine” before a live audience.

The promotional campaign will “highlight our city's greatness," Mahmoudi explains, “and we decided using local talent was the best way” to do that.

Interesting in putting your own twist on the song, but don’t have much experience? That’s OK, says CLEAR Labs executive director Jenn Greacen. Interested parties who have never performed before are invited to submit a pitch video explaining why they should be selected as finalists.

“Anyone who would like to share their love for St. Pete should send in an audition," explains Greacen, whose St. Pete-based marketing agency is partnering with the City of St. Petersburg for the "Casting Sunshine" campaign. "You don't have to be a professional singer, you just have to have love for St. Pete!” 

Fans of the Sunshine City's local music scene are invited to attend the free public concert/competition, which will be held from 4-10 pm on May 9 at Sly Bar in DTSP.

“Even if you are not a performer, the entire community is welcome at the event to cheer on the finalists, help us in our selections, and, just in general, to come out and have a good time,” says Greacen.

Along with the chance to be featured in the campaign, contest winners will receive a $500 cash prize and a recording studio session, and will retain master publishing rights on their rendition of “You Are My Sunshine.”

Visit the City of St. Petersburg's "Casting Sunshine" website to learn more or refer to the contest’s rules of entry for details.

“You Are My Sunshine” Music Contest sponsors include local Sly Bar, The Hideaway Café & Recording Studio, and Urban Brew and BBQ.

Picture this: High fashion, high art intertwined at FMOPA

The works of three international fashion photographers will combine in one show for the first time at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA).

"High Fashion: Kristian Schuller, Billy & Hells, Taka Kobayashi,'' curated and hosted by FMoPA in downtown Tampa, opens May 1 and runs through June 22nd. It will kick off at FMoPA’s “First Friday” social hour, 6-8 p.m. on Friday. 

The exhibit, in large-form, brings to life the confluence of fashion and statement, the meeting of commercial and fine art. 

“Fashion photography is a natural bridging between fine art and documenting photography, “ says Zora Carrier, FMoPA’s Executive Director. “It is very much about aesthetic and conception, but also practical information.  This is a show commenting on the universal cosmopolitan of softness and femininity.”

While fashion is the common thread, each of the artists brings a distinct nuance to the table.  

Carrier describes Romanian-born Kristian Schuller, whose work is reminiscent of Daliesque surrealism, as “creating images out of this world,” with a “dreaminess and weirdness” that highlights the beauty of natural elements in stark contrast to the usual venues for high fashion. 

In FMoPA’s exhibit, Taka Kobayashi, of Japan, is working with the classical theme of geisha and fashion, but in a modern context.  Billy & Hells, a German photography duo, portrays pretty, feminine fashions of high aesthetic, “but the faces of the models are sad, with pain and suffering,” says Carrier, creating “a kind of unusual tension.” 

The FMoPA has a back-to-back line up of exhibits through the rest of the year. This summer, visitors can experience Florida-themed large format projects by two Tampa photographers Jason Henthorne and Joseph Gamble. In September, the FMoPA is collaborating with the Florida Aquarium in an underwater photography exhibit, which Carrier says is a joint effort to pay “homage to this deep earth interest.” New York based photographer Richard Renaldi, famous for his “Touching Strangers” project, will exhibit his work on hotel rooms and the “comfort and quirkiness of that.” The exhibit is timed to coincide with Tampa’s LGBT festival. 

Carrier says she is working on positioning the FMoPA as a social venue, “a nice place to come after work, maybe take a photography class.” To this end, she instituted monthly “First Fridays” at the museum, which include an opening or artist’s talk, food and wine. 

In addition to opening the High Fashion exhibit, this week’s First Friday will feature an artist talk by American photographer Jim Reynolds whose CityScapes exhibit is concurrently on display.
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