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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 1 year ago

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Westshore Alliance elects new leaders; Credit union starts construction on expansion project; Beasley sells six stations in Tarheel State
by: Steven Benna Staff Writer

TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG
Westshore Alliance elects new leaders

The Westshore Alliance elected a group who will guide the organization's 2017 efforts to promote and shape growth in the district.

The private nonprofit is a leading advocacy voice of the Westshore District — the largest commercial office submarket in Florida. The more than 30-year-old organization has 400 member businesses and hundreds of volunteers.

Jay Botsch, general manager of WestShore Plaza, will succeed Enrique Woodroffe of Woodroffe Corporate Architects as president of the Alliance Board of Directors, according to a statement. Real estate broker Julie Harris was elected vice president; Joseph Monaco with Amscot Financial was chosen secretary; and Don Skelton, with Lochner, was elected treasurer.

Others elected to serve on the Westshore Alliance Officers board for 2017-18 include Lauren Coup with Cushman & Wakefield of Florida; Laura Crouch with TECO; Nancy Herz with Commercial Florida Management Services; Mary-Helen Horne with PricewaterhouseCoopers; Elizabeth Johnson with Hillsborough Community College; Patrick Kelly with Redstone Commercial; Eric Muller with Pro-Ject International; Kenneth Tinkler with Carlton Fields, P.A.; and Dan Woodward with Highwoods Properties.

Credit union starts construction on expansion project
Suncoast Credit Union broke ground in early February on a 107,176-square-foot building to accommodate 450 additional employees the credit union plans to hire in the next five years.

Tampa-based Suncoast, with more than $8 billion in assets, expects to occupy the new building by the second quarter of 2018. The three-floor building, at 6536 E. Hillsborough Ave. on the regional credit union's main campus, will house human resources, learning and development and the lending division, Suncoast officials say. With the expansion and workforce additions, the Suncoast Main Campus of 12 buildings will be home to about 1,100 employees. 

“Our newest facility on the main campus signifies our continued growth (and) further cements our commitment to serving members and the community,” says CEO Kevin Johnson in a press release.
One of 12 largest credit unions nationwide, Suncoast operates 62 full-service branches for about 700,000 members. Holmes Hepner & Associates Architects designed the newest addition to the Suncoast campus, while Clearwater-based Creative Contractors is the general contractor.

LEE-COLLIER
Beasley sells six stations in Tarheel State

Looking to lower its debt, Naples-based Beasley Broadcast Group has agreed to sell a half-dozen North Carolina radio stations for $11 million in cash.

An asset purchase agreement with CMG Coastal specifies the sales of WNCT-AM, WNCT-FM, WSFL-FM, WIKS-FM, WMGV-FM and WXNR-FM, according to a statement. Those stations serve the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, N.C market, the statement adds. CMG Coastal Carolina is a subsidiary of Curtis Media Group.

Beasley, a large- and mid-size market radio broadcaster, completed an acquisition last November of 17 stations that added four new markets to its overall portfolio. The publicly held broadcasting company owns and operates 63 stations (45 FM and 18 AM) in 15 U.S. markets.

The sale of the six Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations, which could be completed in the second quarter, must get FCC approval.

SARASOTA-MANTEE
First Watch names two to management team

First Watch, the fast-growing breakfast-brunch-lunch chain, added two C-level executives to its top management team.

Laura Sorensen was named Chief People Officer, a newly created role, while Eric Hartman was named new Chief Development Officer, according to a statement.

Sorensen, with more than 20 years of human resources experience, was previously a member of the executive team and the senior vice president of Human Resources for Darden's LongHorn Steakhouse. Before that, she managed human resources for retail brands such as Chico's and Burdines. At First Watch, Sorensen will oversee staffing and people development, training, employee relations, diversity and strategic planning, the release states.

Hartman, meanwhile, joins First Watch after 20 years in real estate and development, including more than a decade leading numerous development-related functions for restaurant giant Bloomin' Brands. He most recently served as president and founder of SEVA Development, a commercial, residential and mixed-use development organization. Hartman will lead strategic planning initiatives, site selection, real estate and construction and facilities management functions at First Watch, the company says.

East Manatee County-based First Watch has more than 295 restaurants in 26 states, including more than 195 First Watch restaurants, 97 The Egg & I restaurants, one The Good Egg restaurant in Phoenix and one Bread & Co. restaurant in Nashville.

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