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Tampa Company Aims To Help You Organize Online Experience

In today's digital world, it can be difficult to keep track of emails, social networks and files in one place. KiteDesk has developed a cloud-based application to address this need and help individuals and companies better organize their online space.

Launched in December 2011, the application links content from user accounts, allowing for real time integration, aggregation and personalized information streams. By integrating multiple sources of data, customers have access to complete and up-to-date information that is easily accessible through multiple portals.

KiteDesk is one of 18 Florida-based companies (five in Tampa Bay) that will be pitching at the Florida Venture Forum Early Stage Conference in Orlando May 15. They are attempting to fund expansion, which will include strategic hiring in sales and marketing.

The company's founders, Jack Kennedy and Jared Rodriguez, have been working together in the software start-up arena for over 15 years. They plan to remain in the Tampa Bay area because of the strong support network for entrepreneurs.

"We see a lot of really positive movement, both in terms of organizations that help us be a catalyst for innovation and funding as well as the great connections in terms of talent in the area," says Jack Kennedy, Tampa native and USF graduate, and current CEO of KiteDesk. "We think it’s an exciting place to be all around, from the ability to hire and the costs to run a business."

The company will be launching a new product that focuses on social customer relationship management (CRM) within the next few months. The product will help companies mine information from employee relationships to create warm introductions to prospective customers.

Long term plans include additional product offerings in the social business arena, including a recruiting based platform. "Our intention is to stay in Tampa and grow in this community," says Kennedy.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Jack Kennedy, KiteDesk

Humana Adds 170 Telesales Jobs In Tampa

Humana is bringing several new jobs to Tampa Bay and is adding 170 full-time employees to its 500-member Medicare telesales team over the next two months.

The new jobs will support Humana’s Direct Marketing Services (DMS) call center at NetPark in East Tampa and will focus on meeting the increased demand and support needed during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period from October 15th to December 7th.

"These new jobs will ensure that we are well-positioned to offer world class enrollment support to the Medicare beneficiaries and those seeking enrollment assistance for individual health plans. We’re pleased that acting on our mission of helping people achieve lifelong well-being is leading to more job opportunities in Tampa Bay," says Khursheed Zafar, VP of direct marketing services for Humana.

The announcement comes just one month after Humana committed to hiring 100 health coaches and telephonic nurses to accommodate the needs of its growing chronic care management division, Humana Cares/Senior Bridge.

Humana’s newest job additions are permanent positions extending beyond the Medicare open enrollment period and are also part of the initiative to hire more than 500 telesales and client specialists throughout the country, including 80 in Miramar, FL. DMS specialists will receive paid training and insurance licensing and are expected to start working on-site between June 3rd and July 15th.

"When a company such as Humana is expanding in Florida, that’s a good sign. And these jobs will help folks in both Tampa and Miramar," says U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.

DMS telesales and client specialists will focus on offering national support and enrollment assistance for Humana’s Medicare benefit plans and senior products while additionally helping customers find the best healthcare options available. As services have the potential to change from year to year, it is increasingly important for employees to be well-versed in Humana’s healthcare services.

Humana’s expansion throughout Tampa Bay further solidifies Tampa Bay’s position as a major healthcare market. The company employs more than 3,000 associates in the Tampa Bay area and close to 6,000 throughout Florida.

"We are a major player in the Medicare Advantage market in Florida. We have 700,000 Medicare Advantage members in Florida, and we’re growing," says Nancy Hanewinckel, east region media relations manager.

For information on hiring opportunities, visit Humana’s career services website.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Sources: Khursheed Zafar and Nancy Hanewinckel, Humana; Senator Bill Nelson, U.S. Senate

Second-Stage Companies Find Advice At Tech Talk In Tampa

Tampa Bay Innovation Center (TBIC) is hosting a panel of CEOs from local second-stage companies at the May TECH Talk program on May 14 in Tampa.

While opportunities seem to abound for companies just getting off the ground, second-stage companies (or, those with $1 million to $25 million in revenue and 10-15 employees) often find themselves seeking mentoring and other resources to assist with their unique challenges.

"It's a pivitol point for a company," says Danielle Weitlauf, new venture manager for TBIC. "It's often make it or break it when you get to that level."

It's also a point where a lot of job growth occurs, and with a large number of Tampa Bay companies in this stage the opportunities are tremendous. May’s TECH Talk will highlight the importance of these companies to the region while providing success stories to help both those starting out and those in the second-stage.

Panelists from Mercury New Media, Seibert Insurance Agency and CBT Development Corporation will share their stories about the growing pains and unique challenges of second-stage companies, such as attracting and retaining quality employees, positioning yourself for growth, and how to work ON your business instead of IN your business – removing yourself from the day to day details in order to move your business forward.  

TBIC is the local provider for the statewide Grow Florida program for economic gardening at the University of Central Florida, which aims to support these companies to get them to the next step. TBIC’s Economic Gardening program also provides companies with technical assistance to help with business strategy and roundtable events to discuss business management with peer CEOs.

Applications are currently being accepted for the next group of participants in TBIC’s Economic Gardening program.  

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Danielle Weitlauf, Tampa Bay Innovation Center

USF Heart Institute Opens New Genomics Laboratory In Tampa

Did you know your genetic makeup can predict your risk for disease, severity of certain diseases and how they will respond to treatment?

The University of South Florida (USF) Heart Institute is opening a genomics laboratory on May 14 that will use state-of-the art technology and equipment to study this unique, personalized approach to medicine.

The 7,550-square-foot space is located on the fifth floor of the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute and will house technology-heavy laboratories to conduct intensive research on regenerative medicine, genomics (DNA analysis), personalized medicine and heart disease prevention and treatment.

Rather than a traditional trial and error or "one drug fits all" approach, personalized medicine uses individual physiology and genetic makeup to determine the best treatment options.

"The way medicine is practiced today, we don’t take advantage of this wealth of information that can be obtained from someone’s genetic makeup," says Dr. Stephen Liggett, vice dean of research for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Liggett was brought to USF in June of 2012 specifically to develop a program to work on genetic medicine.

The lab was funded by a combination of $8.9 million in funding from the State of Florida and Hillsborough County. Additional funding is being sought to build a larger, stand-alone Heart institute. Future plans for the genomics lab include working with The Villages retirement community in Tampa to gather information from their electronic medical records.

USF plans to hire seven additional faculty and post-doctoral fellows as well as technicians to work in the space.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Dr. Stephen Liggett, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

TIE Investors Back Event Networking Mobile App

A group of investors in Tampa Bay is backing a new app designed to better facilitate networking connections at business events.

Four members of the Tampa Bay chapter of TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs, recently invested in a 20 percent ownership of Feathr, a start-up created by former University of Florida students Aidan Augustin and Neal Ormsbee. The mobile app is designed to create better connections during events and conferences by serving as a virtual business card. It provides profiles and contact information for speakers, exhibitors and attendees, allowing people to connect instantly for meaningful communications. It also provides real-time schedule and room updates as well as logistical information about the event.

"Feathr has assembled a very talented team to build a mobile app to revolutionize the age old practice of business card exchange," says Ashok Kartham, TiE Tampa Bay Charter Member and board member for Feathr.

TiE Tampa Bay was founded in 2012, and is part of a global organization with 25,000 members in 17 countries. The organization provides local entrepreneurs with connections, education, mentoring and financial support. There are 22 charter members who provide most of the investment funding. The group is also open to general members, most of whom are local entrepreneurs and business owners taking advantage of the expertise.

The philosophical foundation’s primary goal is to nurture and invest in up-and-coming companies with good ideas. Quarterly pitch sessions provide general members with a chance to have their idea heard in front of potential investors.

"We hope the Tampa chapter can make a huge difference in helping to grow tens if not hundreds of businesses in Tampa and Florida in the coming months and years," says Kartham.

TiE has already helped Feathr with product repositioning and marketing and billing and accounting systems. The app will be launched at VenturePitch Orlando on May 7.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Ashok Kartham, TiE Tampa Bay

Universal Window Solutions Adds Six Jobs, Sarasota

As a result of strategic business development objectives, Universal Window Solutions (UWS) has successfully expanded their operations, staff and facilities to accommodate their continuous growth. The company recently hired six new employees, invested in new service equipment, and is adding six more team members within the next six months.

After brothers Bob and Rocky Smith purchased UWS in 2000, the Sarasota-based company grew from exclusive windows and doors installation experts to a full-service distributor of windows, doors, store fronts, window films and hurricane protection products for builders, architects and homeowners.

UWS recently expanded its facility space, transitioning from a 10,000-square-foot space to a 25,000-square-foot space complete with a brand new 10,000-square-foot customer design center. The company’s original design center was a showroom where builders sent homeowners to make product selections on windows and doors for new construction projects.

"We felt like if we increased the number of products that we showed, we can enhance the experience even further," says CEO Bob Smith.

Five years ago, the company started a retail division targeting homeowners and strategically focused their efforts on growing the new line of business.

"It was a natural fit. We already had the products and services in place and started gearing our efforts toward that business. It was extremely successful and is now about 40 percent of our total sales," says Smith.

As a result of creating the design center, coupled with calculated development objectives, business grew tremendously, and the company added additional lines of business including a door shop to focus on making doors instead of purchasing them,'' Smith says. "It gave us control over quality and lead time while improving our margin."

The firm has expanded to offer exterior and interior door solutions as well as windows and pre-finished siding for homeowners and builders, extending a cost-savings to customers and allowing clients to make the majority of their project selections in one place.

"We’ve been fortunate that the products we’ve selected have been well-received by our existing customers, and it’s also drawing new customers."

Several of UWS’ manufacturers and trade partners are anticipating and encourage the company’s additional growth. "They are seeing their market share increase as we have success," says Smith.

The company is now eyeing Tampa and Naples as possible marketplaces to focus their newest expansion initiatives.

"We are having more fun with this business model than we’ve ever had before. The methodology is applicable as a business model to pick to up and drop it in a new location."

For information on hiring, products and services, visit UWS’ website.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Bob Smith, Universal Window Solutions

USF Professor Connects Careers In Healthcare, STEM For Women

Grisselle Centeno, Associate Professor at the University of South Florida’s Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, is applying case studies and other active learning tools to encourage more women to enter into STEM careers.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, women are more likely to enter into a career in healthcare than engineering. This could be because, due to the predominantly male field, women may not see a clear career path in engineering. Traditional careers also may not give women the impact on society they often seek.

Centeno is putting these theories to the test with a series of in and out of the classroom experiences to help all students, but especially women, understand how they can apply their engineering knowledge to healthcare-related problems. As a result of the case studies she has implemented in the classroom, several female students have decided to pursue careers as engineers in healthcare/social services as well as become researchers to address opportunities in the healthcare environment.

"If women could understand that they could have an impact on healthcare from an engineering perspective, they would be more engaged and motivated to follow a degree in engineering and join the workforce," says Centeno.

Centeno recently received a $5,000 Faculty Research Award from Women in Leadership and Philanthropy at USF to support her efforts. The award will be used to invite female engineers who work in healthcare environments to campus to interact with faculty, students and the administration.  

Centeno is also developing more case studies with local partners, such as Moffitt Cancer Center and the Veterans Administration to provide real world application.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Grisselle Centeno, University of South Florida

Stantec Grows, Adds Civil Engineering Jobs, Tampa

Infrastructure design consultant firm Stantec is growing its employee base and strengthening services in the Florida marketplace, having acquired civil engineering, land planning and surveying firm Greenhorne and O’Mara in late 2012. Stantec has since experienced significant statewide growth, and plans to add a land planner and GIS specialist to its 85-member team in Tampa.

In early April, Stantec consolidated the two offices, merging staff from the former Greenhorne and O’Mara office into Stantec’s historical Ybor City workspace.

"We’re excited to welcome our newest colleagues to our historic building in this vibrant neighborhood. Step one is integrating the two teams into one. The go-forward part is completing our current work and looking for opportunities to grow our practice," says David Kemper, senior principal and manager of Stantec’s Tampa office.

Since the acquisition, Stantec Tampa is looking to strengthen its three core service areas in urban land development, power and transportation design while capitalizing on the transportation market locally, particularly in design-build projects.

The acquisition created a window of opportunity -- adding more employees per core service area and broadening their capabilities, therefore giving Stantec a competitive edge and depth as they compete in significant FDOT and private sector projects.

"Our projects are largely qualification-based. Having a stronger, more qualified team gives us the ability to compete for larger-scale projects," says Kemper.

Kemper is now focused on utilizing the expertise and strength of the urban land division as well as the planning and landscape architecture division, effectively helping to grow the transportation practice while complimenting Stantec’s private sector practice.

"We’re optimistic that we’ll continue to be in a growth mode. Our goal is to grow the staff and get to the 100 mark. We’re committed to growing our Tampa practice -- we’re here for the long haul."

For information on hiring opportunities visit Stantec’s website.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: David Kemper, Stantec

USF Student Makes Cosmetics From Moroccan Oil Plant

Chafik Abdellaoui has always considered himself an entrepreneur. Originally from Morocco, he first came to the United States in 2008 to pursue a BA in business. After traveling and launching a website in France, he returned to the U.S. in 2011 to attend the University of South Florida. He graduates this spring with an MBA degree.

Abdellaoui's mother was a beauty professional for many years, owning a spa in Casablanca, Morocco. Seeing his mother's success gave him the inspiration to get into the business himself.

In March 2012, Abdellaoui launched Prettymanagement.com, an online solution that allows beauty salon and spa managers to manage their customers, inventory, staff and marketing.

In March of this year, he started another company by the name of Pretty Argan. The cosmetics company produces organic, all-natural products using argan oil, a plant oil extracted from the kernel of the argan tree in the Souss Valley of Morocco.

The oil is extracted from the argan fruit, which grows on a 200-year-old tree that only grows in that part of the world. Women in a local cooperative pick the fruit, break the kernel inside and extract the oil from the kernel by hand.

Abdellaoui and his fiance discovered the oil while traveling to the Souss Valley. They noticed the Berber people there used it for almost everything – their skin, hair, food and some medicinal purposes. The oil is very popular in Europe, but isn’t as well known in the United States. Abdellaoui decided to dive in and launch a company to increase awareness of the benefits of the oil in the U.S. The oil is imported from Morocco, and the products are formulated and marketed in Tampa Bay.  

"I enjoy the entrepreneurial venture of trying to achieve something using my energy, time and investment," says Abdellaoui. He also likes that the company helps guarantee jobs for women in the Souss Valley.

Abdellaoui attributes the connections made while in the USF MBA program with helping him get the business launched. His graduate assistant position gave him direct access to the resources in the USF Center for Entrepreneurship. He also joined Tampa Bay WaVE’s roundtable and is using their co-working space.

"I'm trying to take advantage of as many resources as possible that are available to entrepreneurs in Florida," says Abdellaoui. "Tampa is a very good area because it does provide a lot of these resources."

Once becoming more established in Tampa, Abdellaoui plans to distribute Pretty Argan statewide and eventually across the nation.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Chafik Abdellaoui, Pretty Argan

DTCC Expands in Tampa, Adds 255 Jobs

New York based Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has selected Tampa as the location to expand its operations, adding 255 high-wage jobs over the next three years at more than double the average regional salary of $46,000.

The company is also spending $4.8 million in capital expenditures dedicated to hiring initiatives, new equipment and the renovation of its 180,000-square-foot facility.

Since 2012, DTCC weighed in on several competing offers, considering both Tampa and Jersey City, NJ as locations to expand its financial processing and operations support center. The company will focus its expansion initiatives on adding information technology, infrastructure, operational, human resources and finance specialists.

Hiring will begin immediately, and over the next three years, DTCC will carry out additional hiring and facility renovations in phases.

“Our existing facility gives us the ability to continue to hire. As we continue to expand, we’ll have other support functions that need to grow as well,” says Eric Miller, managing director and head of DTCC Tampa.

The expansion project also includes $4 million in state and local incentives, including a $1.79 million Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund and $1.23 million from the Quick Action Closing Fund.

Nine years ago, as a post 9-11 security measure, DTCC planted a hub in Tampa as a larger business continuity strategy to protect critical financial operations and “decentralize the processing and operations support the firm provides to the global financial services industry.”

“This expansion aligns with DTCC’s workforce location and sourcing strategy and allows us to continue to provide our clients with exceptional service while meeting the needs for long-term sustainability,” says Miller.

DTCC Tampa has since grown from 300 to 530 employees, and cites Tampa Bay as a region with a great technological and veteran talent pool and a prime place to continue its growth while strengthening its local, state and educational relationships.

“Tampa is an excellent environment for businesses to grow and thrive, and it has proven to be the right choice for us.”

The firm has also joined the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a collaborative network of employers dedicated to hiring transitioning service members and military veterans by the year 2020. “We are working very closely with MacDill AFB to help with the training that is required to help transitioning veterans.” To date, 64,628 veterans have been hired through the initiative.

“DTCC has been positively impacting our community in many other ways as well by seeking out our retired military for many of these positions, working with our local universities and supporting disadvantaged schools and organizations in Tampa,” says City of Tampa Mayor Buckhorn.

For information on hiring opportunities, visit DTCC’s website.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Eric Miller, DTCC and Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa

University Area Community Joins National Let's Move! Initiative

Children in the University of South Florida (USF) area community will get moving soon, as they join the nationwide fight against childhood obesity.
The efforts are being led by the University Area Community Development Corporation (UACDC), inspired by the first lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative. Let’s Move! supports local community efforts to increase exercise, health and nutrition among the nation’s children through leadership, community support and innovative programs.
Funded in part by a grant from Molina Healthcare of Florida, UACDC will be implementing a number of initiatives, including providing health and nutrition information in places where families typically gather, such as schools or parks. They’re also helping the local Mort Elementary School with its "Walking School Bus,'' a group of children who walk to school together under the supervision of a trained adult leader. This promotes exercise, reduces traffic around the school and reduces environmental impact.
Saturday Fitness Fun Days will feature scavenger hunts, nutrition and health-based prizes. A summer camp is being developed that will focus on physical activity.

The program is part of UACDC’s overall focus on the redevelopment and sustainability of the at-risk neighborhoods surrounding USF’s Tampa campus. They're starting with kids in the hope that the changes will have a positive impact on the entire family.

"We really wanted to reach out and make a difference to our young people, and hopefully in the process make a difference with their parents and grandparents as well," says Dan Jurman, executive director of UACDC.

The University area has high rates of malnurishment and preventable diseases such as diabetes. The goal is to increase education and nutrition in an effort to increase overall community health.

Along with the exercise programs, there will be nutrition and health-based initiatives such as cooperative community gardens and an affordable fresh produce market.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Dan Jurman, UACDC

Tampa Bay Touts Itself As Incubator For Healthcare Innovation

The Tampa Bay Partnership has decided to target market four industry sectors identified in the Regional Business Plan as industries that provide high-wage, sustainable job growth opportunities, thus shedding light on the Tampa Bay region as an incubator for healthcare innovation.

The goal is to ensure that Tampa Bay, which accounted for 41 percent of the state’s job growth in 2012, is recognized as one of the nation’s hubs for medical innovation. The industry of applied medicine and human performance leads the region’s target sectors, adding more than 7,000 jobs since 2009.

The applied medicine and human performance industry incorporates core clusters of medical technology and research, including senior health and wellness, personalized medicine, clinical trials, medical instruments and devices, health information technology and bioinformatics.

“Our target sectors have performed better than jobs in Tampa Bay, better than jobs in Florida, and better than jobs in the nation as a whole. The wages in these jobs are higher, and these jobs create more spin-off jobs,” says Dave Sobush, VP of regional business planning and development at the Tampa Bay Partnership.

Tampa Bay not only has the foundation of medical research and the presence of such large medical firms as H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and revolutionaries such as M2Gen to create a supply chain for programs, but the region also has great technical training for people to work in laboratory settings.

“Pinellas County is among a handful of communities in the nation with a strong cluster of medical devices,” says Sobush.

Several companies have selected Tampa as a base from which they can conduct ground-breaking medical research.

“We realize that we have something and we want to have one broad message to share with the world. We’re a hotbed for medicine,” says Katie Franco, sr. VP of regional development at the Tampa Bay Partnership.

Tampa Bay is strategically positioning itself as one of the nation’s regions to follow.

“We chose target sectors that are regional in nature, and we present the region purposefully to showcase the strength of the region. There’s no place stronger than the State of Florida,” says Sobush.

For more information on Tampa Bay’s Regional Business Plan, visit Tampa Bay Partnership’s website.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Sources: Dave Sobush and Katie Franco, Tampa Bay Partnership

Downtown Tampa Honors 9 For Urban Excellence

What do a hotel, a university, a medical simulation facility and a green river have in common? They are winners in the Tampa Downtown Partnership's 6th Annual Urban Excellence Awards.

The Partnership presented Urban Excellence Awards to nine organizations for their contributions toward making downtown Tampa more bright, creative and inviting:

Floridan Palace, for turning a deteriorating hotel into a restored, vibrant place;

Lights on Tampa: Aqua Luces
, for illuminating five downtown bridges, creating engaging new media works of art;

Oxford Exchange, for creating a community hub that offers coffee, tea, shopping and dining in a posh atmosphere;

Sail Pavilion, for establishing a cocktail lounge on the Riverwalk offering 360 degree views of the city;

Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation
, for being a community leader providing recognition and funding to Tampa Bay nonprofits;

The University of Tampa, for providing a residentially based, intimate higher education experience that contributes to the downtown community;

USF Health CAMLS (Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation), for attracting people to the downtown core from across the country and around the world for specialized medical training.

Special Awards of Excellence were also presented to two organizations:

Mayor’s River O’Green for turning the Hillsborough River green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee for promoting the positive aspects of Tampa Bay to millions of viewers during the Republican National Convention
"It’s always greatly appreciated to be recognized for making a difference," says Robin Nigh, Manager of Art Programs for the City of Tampa.

The City’s Lights on Tampa initiative worked with property owners to place permanent lights on five downtown landmark bridges in less than eight months. The project has been recognized on both the local and national level, and is now proud to be among the Urban Excellence Award winners.

"We knew the lights would be a game changer for downtown,” says Nigh. "They complement our assets. It’s important to a community to have things like this that celebrate where we live."

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Sources: Donna Chen, Tampa Downtown Partnership; Robin Nigh, City of Tampa

Humana Adds 100 Jobs, St. Petersburg

Healthcare firm Humana, Inc. is adding 100 telephonic nurses and health care coaches over the next six months in order to accommodate the needs of its growing national chronic care management division, Humana Cares/Senior Bridge.

Humana began Humana Cares nearly five years ago and acquired national care management and homecare organization Senior Bridge in 2012. The firm created a combined Humana Cares/Senior Bridge division with a special focus on providing personalized chronic care management and homecare services that would help to decrease the number of hospitalizations as well as assisting members as they age.

“It’s a team approach to care. Many of our team members are scattered throughout the [Tampa] Bay area providing personalized services to patients,” says Mitch Lubitz, media relations leader for Humana.

More than 700 employees currently provide telephonic support to members throughout the country, helping them navigate through the healthcare system while field care teams including nutritionists, healthcare coaches and social workers conduct personal visits to enhance the quality of life to those needing support.

“Humana Cares/Senior Bridge responds to the clear need for highly trained advocates to help individuals at risk for multiple hospitalizations to navigate the complexities of their care with a highly personalized approach,” says Humana Cares/Senior Bridge President Eric C. Rackow, M.D.

The company plans to increase the number of Humana Cares/Senior Bridge members from 225,000 to 275,000 by the end of 2013.

Humana is currently completing renovations to add 8,000 square feet to its existing 75,000-square-foot St. Petersburg offices, making room for additional nurses and health coaches as they join the team. Renovations are expected to be complete by late summer 2013.

Humana additionally has a large nationwide commitment to veterans and plans to hire 1,000 veterans and their spouses over the next year.

“As we improve and expand our presence, we hope to make an impact on the economy. We want to continue to look at what the opportunities are across the board for people in the Tampa Bay area,” says Lubitz..

For information on hiring opportunities, candidates may visit Humana’s career services website.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Eric Rackow and Mitch Lubitz, Humana

Walking Tours Explore Downtown Tampa's History

Tampa's lively, diverse, sometimes illicit past is explored this month (April) during walking tours.

The tours are part of the Tampa Downtown Partnership's Do the Local Motion Program, which hosts regular walking tours of downtown Tampa. The historical piece is led by University of South Florida graduate students as part of an Urban Public History course.

The first tour on April 6 unveiled Tampa's illicit past, taking walkers past sites where Charlie Wall, the undisputed king of Tampa’s mob world ran underground operations for three decades.

On April 12 the theme is mid-century shopping. Walkers will take a stroll down Franklin Street and explore the sites where department stores and other shops thrived in the 1950s.  

In the Line of Duty on April 19 takes a look at the historical role of military and civil service monuments in public spaces. The walk covers Morgan Street and Madison Street while discovering plaques, statues and other monuments such as the Confederate soldier in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse.

The final tour, Frontier Tampa on April 26, begins with the founding of Fort Brooke in 1824 and traces the diverse racial, ethnic and social classes that helped grow the city. Sites include Indian mounds and early saloons, billiard halls, government buildings and an opera house.

The project gets students out of the classroom and provides hands-on skill development. Barbara Berglund, associate professor and associate chair for the USF Department of History, likens it to writing a seminar paper in a traditional history course. The tours have a story line, supporting evidence and research, but are conducted in real time and space using built environments. "It’s really helped them hone their analytical skills," says Berglund.

All tours are free and open to the public. The tours meet in Gaslight Square Park in Downtown Tampa, and take place from noon to 1 pm.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Barbara Berglund, USF Department of History
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