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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 15 years ago

Corporate Report

The Sembler Co. adds new logo, changes nameCheckers 'Official Burger' of FalconsSarasota Memorial doctor trail blazes with da Vinci surgeryCadence Financial completes SunCoast purchaseHillcrest Bank Florida opens first branchTeltronics' net income falls by nearly half in quarterHunter Warfield adds four new clients

Corporate Report

CORPORATE REPORT by Sean Roth | Real Estate Editor

The Sembler Co. adds new logo, changes name

St. Petersburg-based retail developer The Sembler Co. announced a change to the company name and a new logo. With assistance from the Tampa-based branding company Spark Branding House, The Sembler Co. has decided to drop 'The' and 'Company' from its name in favor of being known as 'Sembler.'

"We've adopted the less-is-more theory and I think it will be even more impactful and memorable," says Craig Sher, president/CEO of Sembler.

The developer currently employs 140 people in five offices throughout the southeast and Puerto Rico and has more than 250 projects in its portfolio.

Checkers 'Official Burger' of Falcons

Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., the nation's largest chain of double drive-thru restaurants, says that the Checkers Advertising Cooperative of Atlanta has signed a multi-year sponsorship deal to become the "Official Burger" of the Atlanta Falcons National Football League team.

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, which operates restaurants under the Checkers and Rally's brand names, is also an official sponsor of the Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts. At the collegiate level, the brand is an official sponsor of the Florida Gators, the Florida State Seminoles and the Louisville Cardinals.

Sarasota Memorial doctor trail blazes with da Vinci surgery

Sarasota Memorial cardiac surgeon Clifton Lewis became the first surgeon in Southwest Florida to perform a robotically assisted mitral valve repair with the new da Vinci-S robot this month.

Sarasota Memorial was the first hospital in the state - and among the first in the nation - to acquire the da Vinci-S Surgical System, introduced to the world market early this year. The robot provides surgeons with specially tuned precision, dexterity and control in minimally invasive heart and cancer surgery.

The da Vinci-S is the more advanced model of Intuitive Surgical System's original da Vinci robot, first approved by the FDA in 2000 for general laparoscopic surgery. The FDA has since expanded the robot's application to provide patients with minimally invasive alternatives to open heart surgery and surgery for prostate and uterine cancer.

"The robot enables us to operate through tiny incisions, without any large chest incisions or cuts to the ribs or breastbone, rather than traditional open heart surgery," Lewis says. "This translates to reduced trauma to the body, less blood loss and risk of infection and a faster recovery time."

Lewis, of Sarasota Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgical Associates, is one of six Sarasota Memorial surgeons who have or soon will be operating with the robot.

Cadence Financial completes SunCoast purchase

Starkville, Miss.-based Cadence Financial Corp. completed its acquisition of Sarasota-based SunCoast Bancorp. Inc., parent of SunCoast Bank. Cadence Financial paid about $35 million, including about 45% in cash and 55% in shares of Cadence common stock. Cadence Financial issued about 922,000 shares as part of the transaction.

The new joint bank also announced it had hired Bruce Page as chief executive officer for its Florida banking operations. Page was previously executive vice president and senior lending officer for SunTrust Bank's Southwest Coast region.

Hillcrest Bank Florida opens first branch

Naples-based Hillcrest Bank Florida opened its first full-service office in Naples. The branch is located in the Bed, Bath & Beyond Plaza at 5325 N. Airport-Pulling Road.

Ron Rucker, formerly executive vice president and senior loan officer for First National Bank of Florida, now Fifth Third, heads the local bank.

"With all the recent mergers and acquisitions in our industry, we believe that there is a need for a local community bank that can provide personalized customer service and attention," Rucker says.

The bank management also includes: Pablo Veintimilla, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Bill Meyers, executive vice president and chief operating officer; and David C. Gordley, executive vice president and senior lender.

Hillcrest Bank Florida currently maintains a temporary corporate headquarters in the Pelican Bay Financial Center at 8889 Pelican Bay Blvd., Suite 202, in Naples.

Teltronics' net income falls by nearly half in quarter

Teltronics Inc., a Sarasota-based communications solutions and services company, announced a much lower quarter for its most recent financial period.

The company's net income for the three months ended June 30, 2006 was $592,000, or $0.07 per diluted share, a drop of 42.5% from the $1.03 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, for same period in 2005. Conditions were even worse for the first six months, the net income was $195,000, compared to $955,000 last year. The net loss to common shareholders for the six months was $131,000, or $(0.02) per diluted share, compared to net income of $633,000, or $0.08 per diluted share during the same period last year.

There was little good news in the quarter except for declines in operating expenses and a slight up-tick in gross profit margin quarter over quarter, from 43.2% to 44% in 2006. Sales for the three months was $11.5 million, compared to $12.97 million to 2005.

Hunter Warfield adds four new clients

Tampa-based Hunter Warfield Inc., a firm specializing in collections and asset investigations, was awarded contracts to collect delinquent funds for four major multi-housing property management firms. The Lynd Co., a property management firm based in Texas with a portfolio of over 25,000 units in numerous communities throughout nine states, contracted with HWI. Lane Management Corp., an Atlanta-based firm with more than 30,000 units throughout the southeastern United States, hired HWI. Lane Management Corp. is the first company to provide collection accounts through its property management software directly to HWI. Philadelphia-based BPG Properties and Lincoln also retained HWI, Neb.-based property management firm Perry Reid Properties.

Tracy Legg, vice president of HWI, says those four clients increase the collection firm's total portfolio of units by more than 75,000.

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