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Tourism : Innovation + Job News

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Skyway: Open call to local artists for collaborative exhibit at Tampa Bay Area museums

“Our main goal will be to highlight what we feel is the most important and interesting visual art being created in the region,” says Seth Pevnick, Chief Curator at the Tampa Museum of Art. “It will be exciting to see how everything balances out in terms of media, themes, approaches and home counties.”

Weekend fun: New, shady venue for Temple Terrace Arts Festival

Participate in a public arts project, compete in a 5K or 10K run, bring your strollers (and the kids in them) to get out and play at Woodmont Park in Temple Terrace for the city's annual arts festival.

How to design a street banner for Clearwater

Banner theme honors the Clearwater work-live-play-stay scene.

MOSI collaboration aims to enrich experience for those on autism spectrum

MOSI in collaboration with Behavioral Consulting of Tampa Bay (BCOTB) plans to make changes to the museum, including signage that includes sensory information and rearranging exhibits allowing guests to bypass sections that could cause overstimulation in those on the autism spectrum. 

Who is hiring in Tampa Bay? June job news roundup

Who’s hiring in Tampa Bay? June 2016 job news roundup.

New roastery in NoHo Tampa helps you create your own coffee blend

The Lab in Hyde Park gives guests the opportunity to not only try rare blends of coffee, but create their own unique blend by roasting beans themselves. This innovative concept was co-founded by Roberto Torres, who also founded the co-working space Blind Tiger Cafe. 

Car sharing network zips into downtown Tampa

Zipcar, a car sharing network now available in downtown Tampa, offers 14 vehicles for residents and visitors to pick up and get around the urban scene.

Gasparilla Film Festival features big names, diverse films

Cuban films, international directors and famous actors are among the highlights at this year's Gasparilla Film Festival.

Sarasota Whiskey Obsession Festival at Michael’s on East features local distilleries

The Whiskey Obsession Festival features more than 250 whiskies from around the world plus several independent distillers representing the growing craft spirits scene in the greater Tampa Bay area.

Real-time art of every flavor: St. Pete Synesthesia event

Synesthesia plays on the medical term to describe a condition in which one sense, for instance: hearing, is perceived also as another sense, such as sight or taste.

Inaugural Fourth Friday event to launch March 25th on Tampa Riverwalk

Mark your calendar for the Fourth Friday of every month as a great time to visit the Tampa Riverwalk and the string of arts venues along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa.  

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts promises fun, activities for all ages

A huge selection of art from emerging artists to established artisans awaits those who carve out time to visit the annual Gasparilla Festival of the Arts the first weekend of March 2016.

How Gasparilla Interactive Conference aims to inspire attendees

The technology-driven Gasparilla Interactive Conference in March 2016 with ask attendees to find inspiration.

Free Community Pass offers Tampa Bay residents museum, music fest discounts

Sign up for the free 'Community Pass' from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to receive discounts to local art and culture centers and special events.

USF Tampa, Patel College host global ecotourism conference in January

“The world is facing increasing challenges from issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, nitrogen and phosphorous overload, changing land use patterns, threats to our water supply, chemical pollution, and more,” says David Randle of USF's Patel College. “These changes, while not always on the radar of the average Tampa resident, are changes that will impact us all.” 

Tampa father, son build tiny house as model for others

Tampa Attorney Paul Lynch is building a tiny house with his son, which will go on a 20-city tour across the U.S. The purpose of constructing the efficient 200-square-foot home is to promote the importance of quality control in construction practices. 

In-Towner trolley gives free rides in downtown Tampa

The rubber-wheeled trolleys make trips every 15 minutes during rush hours to get people moving conveniently between Tampa's major attractions and downtown destinations. 

Tampa native launches mobile boating app for marinas

Dockwa, a mobile application and integrated platform that allows boaters to reserve docking slips at marinas, has launched in the Tampa Bay area.

St. Pete launches free shuttle route in time for holiday visitors

The city of St. Pete's new Park Once shuttle is free on Friday and Saturday nights through May 2016 as part of a six-month pilot program in public transportation.

Popular Tampa blog partners with Ybor City businesses to create candles, clothing

The Tampa Bay-area blog run by Ryan Sullivan and Nicholas Catania, Never Have I Ever Tampa, will sell candles and 'Everything Local' shirts through partnerships with Seventh Ave Apothecary and Black & Denim in Ybor City.

Temple Terrace Arts & Crafts Festival, Nov. 7-8

A “Public Pollock” collaborative art project invites people “of all ages and skill levels” to apply paint. 

Kickstarter campaign launches for Florida conservation

The Florida Wildlife Corridor is the name of the environmental advocacy organization as well as the term used to describe the territory it is dedicated to conserving: nearly 16 million acres of “lands and waters essential for the survival of Florida’s diverse wildlife” that span the length and width of the state.

Marlow’s Tavern hires 62 new employees, opens in Carrollwood neighborhood of Tampa

Marlow's Tavern, a Georgia chain of restaurants that expanded into Central Florida last year, is now open in Carrollwood Village just off Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.

James Rosenquist donates art for raffle at FIVE by FIVE in Tampa

The FIVE by FIVE theme entwines itself throughout the Tampa Museum of Art event as nearly 600 pieces of 5”x 5” art created from a wide range of media -- and submitted from around the world -- will be on display and for sale, at $25 per piece. 

Design Week art installations to transform Selmon Greenway

Designers, artists, architects and other community members are invited to get involved in Tampa Bay Design Week's art installation project for the Selmon Greenway.

Top comedian returns home to Tampa to perform

Former Tampa resident Steven Lolli returns to Carrollwood for a comedy performance that some may consider controversial as he takes on societal stereotypes and pokes fun at the mundane using risque humor. 


Tampa Museum of Art hosts high fashion to raise awareness of domestic violence

A runway show featuring New York fashion designer Zang Toi is a fundraiser benefiting the Tampa Museum of Art’s exhibition and education programming.

Local horror theme park hiring hundreds of seasonal Halloween employees

The new "Scream-A-Geddon" horror park in Dade City is currently hiring 400 seasonal part- and full-time employees in the Tampa Bay area; horror park opens Spetember 25, 2015.

Who's hiring? College, construction company, custom T-shirt designers, and more

USF seeks a research assistant for its Tampa campus; Ryland Homes is looking to hire a homebuilding supervisor; Visit Tampa Bay is hiring for two full-time roles.

CourseDrive app brings mobile tech to golfers, country clubs

A new mobile application for golfers and golf and country clubs, CourseDriver, launched in Florida in 2015 and aims to expand to 600 clubs by 2016.

Tampa exhibit features photos of sealife, oceans

Marvels of the Reef, an exhibit at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, showcases “mysteries of the sea” by seven international photographers whose work has appeared in National Geographic,

HART CEO earns White House recognition as innovator in transit

The While House "Champion of Change" program shines a spotlight on Hillsborough Area Regional Transit; HART CEO Katharine Eagan has been nominated in the category "Beyond Traffic: Innovators in Transportation." 

Local actors put on 2nd festival in downtown Tampa

The Tampa Bay Theatre Festival Sept. 4-6 is packed with original plays and workshops.

St. Pete startup aims to save lives with surfboard leash tourniquet

OMNA Inc., a St. Pete-based startup company, has launched a line of amphibious tourniquets to help protect surfers and others in the water against devastating consequences from bleeding injuries from shark attack or other enemies.

Eckerd College alum launches eco-friendly sunscreen, cosmetics line

Save marine life by wearing environmentally friendly sunscreen and other skin care products. Stream2Sea, the St. Petersburg, Florida-based startup company, has developed an eco-friendly skin care line.

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

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 job hiring roundup.

Tampa International Airport issues worldwide call for artists

Tampa International Airport seeks international or local artists to submit artwork for permanent display at TIA in Tampa, Florida. Deadline for entry is September 14, 2015.

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

Local startups can win up to $150,000 in a new capital acceleration competition. Tampa-based Florida Venture Forum cohosts the 2015 Emerging Technologies & Business Showcase in South Florida on Nov 4, 2015; deadline to apply is Sept 24. 

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

Hillsborough County is getting more eco-friendly thanks to the hotel and motel industry, which has pledged to conserve 5 million gallons of water, beginning in 2016, for the EPA’s WaterSense H2O Challenge.

Businesses and the arts align for Tampa streetcar

Another example of how the Tampa Bay business community views the relevance of the arts is taking shape, this time in the form of a painted miniature streetcars.

Study finds Tampa Bay seagrass growth, bottom health improving

Tampa Bay's bottom layer shows continued improvement, a 20-year study released by the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County shows; seagrass growth indicates overall good health in Tampa Bay.

Aerial adventure park to open in Dade City, Pasco County

Explore 60 acres of wooded park from above at the Tampa Bay region's newest zip line course and aerial adventure park, TreeHoppers, opening in Dade City in August 2015.

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

Local programmers and developers joined Hillsborough County in a national day for civic hacking event, won by a team who created a “Multi-Cultural Visitor's Guide.” 

Local chef develops St. Pete tiki bar food menu

St. Pete mainstay The Getaway unveils a new food menu featuring dishes from Tampa's Holy Hog BBQ, and Florida-inspired dishes created by chef Ted Dorsey.

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

Love animals and event planning? Or yearn to write for magazines or the military? Find your perfect new job in the 83 Degrees May 2015 "Who's hiring in Tampa Bay?" jobs roundup.

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

Musicians and singers in St. Pete have the chance to perform in a national advertising campaign. Submit entries by May 1, 2015; the public concert and competition will take place from 4-10 pm at Sly Bar in DTSP on May 9, 2015.

Picture this: High fashion, high art intertwined at FMOPA

FMoPA in downtown Tampa opens a new exhibit featuring 3 international fashion photographers starting May 1, 2015. 

Who's hiring in Tampa Bay? Women's Tennis Assoc., Advluence, and more

On the hunt for a job in the Tampa Bay region? Be sure to read the 83 Degrees Media April 2015 job roundup for the Tampa Bay, Clearwater and St. Petersburg area. Who's hiring? SPCA Tampa Bay, The Great Escape Room, Kobie Marketing, and more.

Temple Terrace hosts new craft beer festival, food trucks

Sample 30 craft beers and food from local food trucks and vendors during the inaugural Temple Terrace Craft BrewFest in Woodmont Park.

Test your sleuthing skills in The Great Escape Room

Find clues, solve puzzles and do it all in under 60 minutes! Escape from a locked room in the spirit of Sherlock Holmes at a new downtown Tampa entertainment attraction, The Great Escape Room. 

Who's hiring: The Infiltrator, Tampa Theatre, Hillsborough County and more

The Bryan Cranston-led movie, "The Infiltrator," seeks actors for hire in Tampa in April 2015; Dabble Lab, HIllsborough County, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and more are hiring in the Tampa Bay area. 

2 local museums celebrate anniversaries, invite families to party for free

Kids and families are welcome to visit the Museum of Fine Arts in downtown St. Petersburg and the Tampa Museum of Art in downtown Tampa during the museum's special anniversary celebrations.

Plant City native brings Christmas cheer in new movie

“An Evergreen Christmas,’’ starring Plant City native Charleene Closshey, will be shown at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa.

Dali Museum, MOSI Tampa Celebrate Merging Of Art, Science

A new partnership will provide Tampa Bay residents with an opportunity to experience two museums in a new way.

Lakeland Art Installation Honors Veterans, Public Servants

Platform Art partnered with the Veterans Council in Lakeland to install a public art project.

Un-Tourist Guides Feature Hidden Gems In Tampa, St. Pete

Local authors produce guides that help those new to the area better assimilate.

Gasparilla Fringe Festival Features Uncommon Arts To Make You Gasp!

Gasp! The Gasparilla Fringe Festival brings over 30 performing artists to the Tampa Museum of Art.

Burger 21 Expands, Adds 50+ Jobs in Tampa

Gulfport's 2Cool Art Show Features Florida Artists

Come see the what Tampa Bay artists have to offer at the 2Cool Art Show.

Salsarita's Plans 500 New Jobs In Tampa Bay

Need A Ride? RideCommand App Promises To Get You Where You Need To Go

RideCommand and Cab Plus partner to make taxi service more convenient for riders in Tampa Bay.

Service Design + Tourism Conference Explores Creative Thinking, Sarasota

The 2nd anual Service + Design Conference brings global leaders to Ringling College in Sarasota to talk about design thinking.

Tampa Begins Mobile Payment Option For Parking

Travelers to downtown Tampa now have the ultimate flexibility when paying for on-street parking.

Travelogues In Tampa Feature Rocky Mountain, Everglades National Parks

The travelogues event series invites the community to join in sharing travel stories.

Downtown Tampa Honors 9 For Urban Excellence

Organizations were recognized for their creativity and contribution to Tampa's vibrant downtown.

Sunscreen Film Festival Features Spanish Language Filmmakers, St. Pete

30 Spanish Language films will be featured in a new showcase at St. Petersburg's Sunscreen Film Festival.

New Efforts Aim To Attract Residents To Downtown Tampa

The Tampa Downtown Partnership now offers two additional incentives for people to explore the downtown area.

March Madness In Tampa Is All About The Arts

Go fly a kite! Kiting and pirates are among new attractions at the 2013 Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, followed by the Gasparilla Music Festival and the Gasparilla International Film Festival.

Week-long Event Showcases Tampa Bay's Craft Beer Scene

A collaborative, week-long event brings together the craft beer scene in Tampa Bay.

Front Row Tampa Bay: Live Webcasts Offer Media Alternative

Front Row Tampa Bay offers live webcasts and taped stories about Tampa Bay thought leaders, innovators, investors and experiences.

New Tijuana Flats, 40 Jobs In St. Pete

Night Market Opens In Bradenton Beach, Manatee

The new Saturday night market in Bradenton Beach is family-friendly.

Tampa Bay Strategy: Grow International Trade, Jobs

A coalition of public and private entities in Tampa Bay pledge collaboration in growing international trade, increasing global competitiveness.

Tampa Mayor Cooks Up Food Truck Fiesta

Flower Power To Promote Downtown Bradenton

Downtown Bradenton is groovy. And it's going psychedelic to prove it.

From March 5 to April 16, downtown Bradenton will celebrate the '60s through art, fashion, literature and music during its SHOUT the 60s event.

"The 14 events offer something for everyone," says Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, the organization sponsoring the event. "Fashion, films, food, music, politics, performances, baseball, and demonstrations."

Isham says the idea for the '60s event was spurred by a performance taking place at the Manatee Players.

"About six months ago, we decided to expand upon the production that Manatee Players was doing called Shout!, about a girls' group in the '60s. The idea came out of the monthly meetings of our Cultural Partners Work Group."

Isham further explains that, like the spirit of the '60s, the event is all about collaboration.

"One of our key core values is collaboration, explains Isham. "The 60s promo grows out of and depends on our collaborative action. Whereas other groups say they are interested in collaboration, we 'walk the talk.' "

Partners for the event include ArtCenter Manatee, DeSoto Historical Society, Manatee County Cultural Alliance, the Manatee County Historical Commission, the Manatee Players, the Pittsburgh Pirates, South Florida Museum and the Village of the Arts.

Isham points out that while the event is fun, there is a serious component, too. On March 19 the Rowlett Magnet School's drama department will present a performance of Healing the Hurt that chronicles veterans' experiences of and healing from the Vietnam War. Flash Back, Flash Forward on April 4 will explore the role of government and conservative and liberal values at the Institute for Public Policy on the the USF campus.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Johnette Isham, Realize Bradenton

FRAMCO: Last Big Gig At Old Dali Pours Beaujolais

French wine, some art, meeting new friends and reuniting with old friends? Oui, s'il vous plaît!

The annual Fete du Beaujolais Nouveau will be held at the Dali Museum on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Organized by the French American Business Council of West Florida (FRAMCO), along with the Tampa Le-Havre Sister Cities International, Fete du Beaujolais Nouveau is in its 12th year in Tampa Bay.

In France, the third week of November is when the Beaujolais wine is released and is a popular "vin de primeur," a young wine.

"Most wines you just let them age and they get better as they age," says Jean-Charles Faust, president of FRAMCO. "As soon as the Beaujolais wine is released, it can be consumed. It is not a wine you should keep and let age. This is a wine you have to drink when its young."

FRAMCO was founded by Rose Marie Magriby in 1998, and is part of a network of 19 French American chambers in the United States. Tampa has an official relationship with sister city, Le Havre, France, which is the second largest European port.

Fete du Beaujolais Nouveau is used to gather together the local community and French American community members. This year's event will benefit the new Dali Museum, which is scheduled to open January 11, 2011, and Fete du Beaujolais Nouveau will be the last event prior to the Dali's move to their new home. Guided tours of the Dali artwork will be provided during the event and special guests include the Honorable Gael de Maisonneuve, Consul General of France; Hank Hine, museum director and Yann Weymouth, French American HOK architect.

Tickets are $45 in advance for museum and FRAMCO members, $55 for non-members and $60 after November 16. To RSVP, email: president.FRAMCO@gmail.com or call Beth Curts at 813-391-4407.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Jean-Charles Faust, FRAMCO

Arts Fuel Significant Portion Of Tampa Bay Region's Economy

The growing arts community in St. Petersburg provides 519 jobs and attracts 1.3 million visitors per year for an annual economic impact of more than $23 million, according to a newly released study conducted by the USF St. Petersburg College of Business.

The study, commissioned by the city of St. Petersburg's Arts Advisory Committee and underwritten by Bank of America, surveyed 32 arts and culture organizations, including galleries, museums, theater and dance companies and private companies that belong to the Downtown Arts Association.

A news release says the USF College of Business study also found:

    --    Every $1 million spent at St. Petersburg arts-related venues creates more than 22 jobs;  
    --    Every $1 spent at an arts-related business generates $1.78 in economic activity throughout the region;
    --   Every $1 spent at an arts business generates six cents in household earnings throughout the greater St. Petersburg area;
    --    Every two new jobs in the arts and cultural industry supports 1 in the area;
    --    Arts and culture as an industry ranks fifth among all industries in the area;
    --   Of the 1.3 million visitors attracted to the arts in St. Petersburg, 25 percent are from outside the city -- potentially visiting restaurants and other tourism-related businesses in the city; and
    --   More than 7,000 volunteers donate more than a quarter million hours at local arts institutions.
"We are thrilled the survey emphasizes what we've known all along -- that visual and performing arts and continued development of arts education play a significant role in job creation and the overall economic growth of our community," said Elizabeth Brincklow, St. Petersburg's arts and international relations manager.  "Our residents and businesses appreciate the arts, understand how essential they are to a city's growth, and are willing to support them long-term."

The complete survey and participating organizations may be viewed online.

Writer: Diane Egner
Source: Robert Danielson, City of St. Petersburg

Harmony Gallery: Sarasota Orchestra Mixes Music With Art

Blending the artistic power of the visual and performing arts, The Harmony Gallery in the atrium of the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota plans a public reception Tuesday, Oct. 5, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The brainchild of Artistic Director Leif Bjaland, the Gallery's mission is to introduce larger audiences to the greater communicative aspects of art presented collaboratively in all its forms.

Attendees will be treated to "Shorelines,'' an exhibit by painter Maro Lorimer of Bradenton's Village of the Arts.

The Sarasota Orchestra selected Lorimer's work to be shown during its 2010-2011 season.

Lorimer's large acrylic paintings reflect the beauty of the Gulf coast from a variety of perspectives.

"Often I place the horizon line near the top of the canvas to give a sense of great distance," she says. "We might be looking at a wide beach or a distant shore. In other paintings I move the line to the bottom, as if to zoom in on a shoreline for a closer look at a tropical forest that fills the rest of the canvas."

Visiting the Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and evenings and weekends during symphony concerts and other events at the Symphony Center. The Center is situated between Art Center Sarasota and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall at 709 N. Tamiami Trail.

Writer: Diane Egner
Source: Maro Lorimer, painter

Riverside Venue At Tarpon Springs To Fill 50 Jobs, Accepts Applications

Here is chance to work right on the water for a company that is hiring positions for catering.

Riverside Venue at Tarpon Springs plans to open in about a month and is already accepting applications.

The catering company is filling positions related to restaurant operations such as for staffing the kitchen.

Jobs available include chef, kitchen manager, sous chef, waiters, cooks, dishwashers ,
bartender, back bar and food runners.

Some of these jobs will be part-time and some will be full-time.

According to Stan Tipton, chief creative officer, Riverside Venue will eventually hire more the 50 employees.

All applicants should have experience in their desired position.

The company is also looking for an executive chef who should have five plus years experience in high-volume restaurants.

Riverside Venue offers catering to many events including weddings, birthdays and graduation parties.
Their events include catering for 50 to 1,000 people with a large menu to choose from and five different
rooms available for festivities.

To apply for one of these positions, go to the Riverside Venue at 10 Dodecanese Blvd. in Tarpon Springs
on the Sponge Docks.

Writer: Mandy Erfourth
Source: Stan Tipton, Riverside Venue at Tarpon Springs

Ad Federation Launches Campaign To Attract Friends To Oil-Free Florida

Sunshine, sandy beaches and beautiful palm trees along the Gulf coast waters are some of the perks that come with Florida living and visiting. It's a place where a diverse mix of people work and play while enjoying family friendly activities like art museums, festivals and theme parks.

Tampa Bay region cities boast award-winning cafes and restaurants, terrific sports teams, historic landmarks, sailing, golfing, fishing and fun!

You know what we don't have? Oil from the BP fiasco.

The 4th District of the American Advertising Federation (covering the state of Florida and the Caribbean) is about to remind everyone what Florida living has to offer. This year's public service chair, Mike Weber, is leading the Friend Florida campaign for the nonprofit organization.

Weber is the president and owner of CMR Studios, an integrated media production company, based in St. Petersburg. After attending the AAF national conference in Orlando, Weber realized how many people are misinformed about the oil spill and its lack of impact on Florida's beaches outside the Panhandle.

"We found that people literally thought that I had oil behind my house and that they told their friends not to come and vacation here because of the oil," says Weber.

Weber decided it was important to get the word out to attempt to lessen the economic impact as far as tourism is concerned. So the 24 chapters based in Florida (there are a total of 25, one chapter is based in the Caribbean) are now committed to the FriendFlorida.org campaign.

The project is a pro bono effort. "There's nothing coming from BP or one of the tourism councils or anything like that," says Weber. "We're activating the Ad Fed network in order to utilize what we do best, which is advertising and publicity."

The last major pro bono pushes from Florida Ad Fed came in 2008 with the No On Amendment 5 and in 1987 with the Ax the Tax campaign. Weber says he remembers how beneficial those campaigns were (the tax got axed and the amendment was removed from the ballot) so he figures they can help correct misperceptions about the oil spill situation.

In addition to creating local buzz, each chapter in Florida plans to produce TV spots in cooperation with local stations. Each of the 24 markets will gather video to show that most Florida waters are oil free and worthy of visits from friends across the country.

For more information, visit: FriendFlorida.org or visit the Friend Florida Facebook page.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Mike Weber, American Advertising Federation

Australia's Largest Online Travel Agency Webjet Expands To Tampa

Australia's largest online travel agency is expanding to the U.S. and has picked Tampa as its location.

was established as a company in the U.S. on Jan. 1 and its website went live on April 1.

Company executives say they chose Tampa because of the labor pool Tampa offers.

A few of Tampa's other travel agencies have downsized, which opened up a place for Webjet with well-trained potential employees.

Webjet is currently looking for customer service employees to answer phones and emails, and plans to hire about 20 employees in the next year.

The company plans to make sure it can handle anticipated growth for the next yea, says Kelly Rieger, VP for finance and business development of Webjet.

Webjet has been in business more than 10 years and previously operated only within Australia.

Based on increased demand in the Australian market, Webjet decided to expand to the U.S. to give Australians the opportunity to travel outside of the country with Webjet. They now have international travel.

Webjet also offers travelers the opportunity to reserve hotels and cars. The hotel services started April 1 and the automobile rental service started two weeks ago.

For more information, contact travel@webjet.com

Writer: Mandy Erfourth
Source: Kelly Rieger, Webjet

International Ships Sail Into Tampa Bay In July, Tours Available

Celebrating the maritime history of Tampa Bay, international sailing ships will dock in downtown Tampa July 10-14 for Sail Tampa Bay 2010.

The 5-day festival will include the U.S.C.G. Eagle from the United States, Captain Miranda from Uruguay and the Gloria from Colombia. The event will feature live music and dockside tours of the ships located at the Tampa Convention Center and Channelside Channel. Sail Tampa Bay 2010 is made possible under the guidance of Tampa Bay and Company, which leads efforts to gain "Economic Development Through Tourism."

The event begins with the "Parade of Sail" at the Tampa Convention Center on July 10 from 11am-1pm. The ships will be open for tours from 2 to 9 pm. Attendees will have an opportunity to see these vessels up close by boarding the ships, and attendees will have a chance to interact with the crew and experience daily life on a sailing ship.

From July 11-13, tours will be scheduled between 11am-7pm, and the event will end with closing ceremonies on July 14.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 3-12 (combo tickets that include admission and food are available for $15 for adults, and $8 for children ages 3-12). Tours of the U.S.C.G. Eagle will be available at no charge.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Paul, Catoe, Tampa Bay and Company

Miles Media Brings More Jobs, Strives To Attract Tourism To Tampa Bay

Miles Media, a producer of visitor guides to cities in Florida, is adding jobs in the Tampa Bay region.

Available positions include for a Drupal front end/ theme developer with PHP experience and for an Objective-C / iPhone applications developer. Both are new jobs that have been created in the company.

The positions call for people with extensive experience in web developing.

Miles Media has been in business for 52 years publishing guides for states, counties and cities such as St. Petersburg and Naples. The company currently has contracts with 17 states and employs 160 people, according to Gary Henry, director of human resources.

"In the last five years, we've had extensive growth," Henry says.

Miles Media started producing the guides in print only, but now offers electronic publishing online, including applications for iPhone users.

"We try to get away from the term publishing (and instead) we call ourselves content providers," Henry says. "We're providing content that will assist visitors in making their decisions as to where they will go on vacation.

To apply for one of these positions, visit the Miles Media website.

Writer: Mandy Erfourth
Source: Gary Henry, Miles Media

What Do You Think? June 2nd St. Pete Summit Seeks Ideas For Jobs Related To Arts, Culture, Tourism

Working in a thriving center for the arts, St. Petersburg city officials are looking to grow the industry by helping to create more jobs related to arts and culture.

First up? An Arts & Culture Job Creation Summit on Wednesday, June 2, starting at 8:30 am at the
Progress Energy Center for the Arts Mahaffey Theater ballroom.

Representatives of public and private organizations, associations and businesses related to the arts, culture and tourism will convene to talk about how to grow the city's culture community, how to increase tourism and how to create more jobs.

St. Petersburg is home to several world-class galleries, theaters and museums, including the Dali, the Museum of Fine Arts, American Stage and the Palladium, and in recent years has gained the respect of residents and visitors well enough to be considered a hub for the arts in the Southeast.

St. Petersburg was ranked the No. 1 arts destination for cities of its size in the summer issue of American Style Magazine, and the city
also has numerous innovative, entrepreneurial businesses.

Some 700 art-related establishments employ 7,000 people, helping to stimulate the economy, bring in government revenue and also attract tourists.

The jobs summit is open to the public, and Individuals from the arts, culture and tourism community are especially encouraged to participate armed with suggestions for how best to create more jobs.

To RSVP for this event, contact Gary Jones at gary.jones@stpete.org or 727-893-7877.

Writer: Mandy Erfourth
Source: Sophia Sorolis, City of St. Petersburg Economic Development

Multicultural Visitor Guide Showcases Diversity In Tampa Bay Region

The updated "Tampa Bay Your Way!" Multicultural Visitor Guide has received a certificate of nomination from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and was a finalist in the 2010 Diversity and Inclusion Awards hosted by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

First published in 2007, the Visitor Guide is designed to show visitors and residents the diversity of people, places and cultures that thrive in Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and the greater Tampa Bay region. Featuring an enhanced history section, the guide highlights the county's diverse American Indian, African-, Asian- and Hispanic-American heritage, as well as landmarks to visit in the area. Information regarding ethnic restaurants, arts and entertainment and various local services are also available in the guide.

The 29-page guide was funded by the Hillsborough County Tourist Development Council (TDC), the Tampa Bay History Center and the Hillsborough County Arts Council. The guide will be used as a tool to attract diversity conventions, conferences and meetings, and it will provide a range of local events, activities and venues that will encourage visitors to stay for extended periods of time.

Tampa Bay & Company coordinated the design and printing for the guide, which is available at the county's Visitor Information Centers and online.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Marilyn Hett, Hillsborough County

2010 Super Regional Leadership Conference Unites Tampa Bay, Orlando

The 2010 Super Regional Leadership Conference, a collaboration between the Tampa Bay Partnership and the Central Florida Partnership, will be held on May 26-27 near Orlando.

The event will be at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee and sessions will include: Connecting for Global Competitiveness presented by Professor Jonathan Barnett and members of his Urban Design Studio class, and Global Space Activity: A Florida High Tech Opportunity. Keynote speaker Secretary Ray Lahood with the U.S. Department of Transportation will discuss the high-speed rail planned to connect Tampa and Orlando, and how good transportation leads to sustainable communities.

Ever since President Obama came to Tampa for a town hall meeting at the University of Tampa on Jan. 28 to announce Florida's award of $1.25 billion for a high speed rail, the Super Region is said to be the envy of the nation as we obtain opportunities for job creation and global competitiveness. The conference will serve as an opportunity for businesses to discover how to take advantage of the merging of two regions.

This year's conference will have a Pecha Kucha challenge, making use of the rapid fire presentation style of 20 images for 20 seconds, which makes for a 6 minute and 40 second presentation. Applications for presenters will be accepted until Friday, May 14, from anyone who has "an initiative that leaders in the 14-county super region should be aware of as far as economic and/business excellence, coordination of assets, innovation or job creation."

Brief proposals may be emailed to Chris Steinocher, COO-SVP marketing & business development, at the Tampa Bay Partnership. His email address: csteinocher@tampabay.org

Conference participants who register before Saturday, May 15, will save $20. For more information on the 2010 Super Regional Leadership Conference, click here.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Chris Steinocher, Tampa Bay Partnership

U.S. Foodservice Seeks Salespeople, Drivers In Tampa Bay Region, Hiring

Dining outside the home in the Tampa Bay region offers a lot of choices as far as cuisine and location. Whether it's Thai food in a strip mall family restaurant, meat-and-potatoes at a stand-alone chain eatery or institutional fare at a hospital or school, someone has to transport the food from market to table and that's what the professionals who work for U.S. Foodservice, Inc. do for their customers.

Three of the national food supply company's 60 distribution centers are in Tampa, Lakeland and Clearwater.

Marilisa Henderson, a recruiter at the Tampa office, says fulfilling the appetites of Tampa Bay region gourmands requires hiring people who can select the best food products, fulfill and manage sales orders and deliver the goods.

"We have an ongoing need for salespeople and drivers," she told an audience of job seekers during a networking event at Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance. Henderson says she also sometimes has openings for IT professionals and people who can provide financial analysis reports.

If there's a corporate creed that employees of U.S. Foodservice work by, it would probably be "go beyond the plate." Company spokesperson Christina Koliopoulos cites that as a commitment to communities as well as customers.

"We do much more than deliver the groceries and each of our employees plays a critical role in protecting the safety of the food supply," she says.

"We are also pasionate about giving back to our community. For example, the Tampa division was recently awarded recognition by Feeding America of Tampa Bay for its dedicated support in the fight to end hunger in West Central Florida."

Writer: Brad Stager
Source: Christina Koliopoulos, U.S. Foodservice, Inc.

Lakeland Celebrates Earth Day With Free, Carbon-Neutral Outdoor Concert

Florida's first outdoor, carbon-neutral concert will be on Friday, Apr. 16, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Lake Mirror Promenade & Amphitheatre in Lakeland.

Green Celebration Concert & Showcase: Turn Up the Volume, a free community concert in honor of Earth Day's 40th anniversary, will feature the band, Think Big, and be powered by solar panels.

"We're going to actually set out solar panels supplied by Solar Source Interactive that morning, and the solar panels will power the band," says Stacie Jones, director of marketing/communications at Furr & Wegman Architects, PA. "We also have Lakeland Electric involved and they're going to be providing us with renewable energy credits for any excess electricity that's used."

Planning for the event, the brainchild of Michael B. Furr, co-principal at Furr & Wegman Architects, began in September 2009. The event is sponsored by Magnify Credit Union, and companies with a commitment to being green, including: Publix Super Markets, City of Lakeland, American Compliance Technologies and Keiser University.

Vendors will be set-up around the lake to showcase alternate energy sources, transportation initiatives, green-related business and technology efforts, all-natural products, organic foods and recycling efforts. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn how to green their homes and promote awareness and appreciation of our environment. There also will be giveaways, product samples, food and drink available.

In addition, 25 Polk County schools will participate in a recycle bin decorating contest, and attendees will vote for their favorite bin. A $300 prize will be awarded to the elementary, middle and high schools receiving the most votes.

For more information, contact Stacie Jones at 863-688-1211.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Stacie Jones, Furr & Wegman Architects

AAA Auto Club South Rides The Recession, Posts Several Jobs

AAA Auto Club South, headquartered in Tampa with nearly 3,000 employees companywide, has a wide variety of professional level vacancies in the Tampa Bay region. Openings being filled in Tampa include positions in management, sales, marketing and publication production.
"AAA Auto Club South weathered the recession well and continues to grow,'' says Nanci Odom, human resources VP.

"We have many exciting career opportunities available at www.AAA.com that cover a wide range of fields, from travel & insurance agents, call takers and service technicians to IT, accounting and marketing professionals to just name a few,'' Odom says. "AAA has been around for over 100 years and we'll be here for another 100 and more. AAA is relentless in our commitment to provide the highest level of service to our members and the best work environment for our employees."
Founded in 1902 as the American Automobile Association, this association of independent clubs is a not-for-profit, fully tax-paying organization with more than 50 million members. Known originally for providing emergency road service, maps and travel publications, AAA has a wide range of travel services and member-benefit programs. 
Writer: Lisa Clementi
Source: Nancy Odom, AAA Auto Club South

Children's Fantasy Legoland In Winter Haven To Create 1,000 Jobs

Legoland, the children's fantasy park replacing Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, is starting to hire professional staff and is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to the region by the end of 2011.

Spokesperson Julie Estrada says jobs currently being filled include: public relations representative, director of sales and marketing, and systems administrator.

The interactive theme park, geared toward families with children between the ages of 2 and 12, will operate year-round and will offer a full day of activity for those who visit more than 50 rides, shows and attractions.

Merlin Entertainments also operates Legoland California (launched in 1999), and was recently voted the nation's best children's theme park for the sixth year in a row by Amusement Today.

Merlin is also Europe's number one visitor attraction operator and the second largest in the world with Legoland Billund in Denmark and Legoland Windsor near London. A Legoland under development in Malaysia is slated to open in 2012.

The Cypress Gardens location was selected because renovating the pre-existing theme park space will allow the park to be developed and ready to go in less than two years.

Polk County will provide Merlin with $5 million in incentives over a 10-year period, which includes funding for job creation and marketing support.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Julie Estrada, Legoland

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