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Business Observer Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 4 years ago

Corporate report

Grocery giant headed to college; Company wins Microsoft partner designation; Real estate company adds leaders; Homebuilder executive joins board; Tech firm expanding national reach; Collier cities rank high in job retention
by: Steven Benna Staff Writer

Grocery giant headed to college

A 29,000-square-foot Publix will open on the University of South Florida's main campus in Tampa.

The store will be Publix's first on-campus location in Florida, according to a release. USF's agreement with Publix includes a 21-year ground lease with six five-year term extensions for a store to be built at the corner of Fletcher Avenue and North Palm Drive, the statement adds.

The store will be a part of USF's new Student Housing Village, putting more than 10,000 students within walking distance of the store. Construction is expected to begin later this year, the statement says, and could be completed late next year.

“Our students' top request was to bring a grocery store to campus so that we could create a healthy living and learning environment that fully supports them in their goals and ambitions,” says USF President Judy Genshaft. “This Publix location will bring a great dimension to our new student village and create a vibrant and welcoming environment on the Tampa campus.”

Company wins Microsoft partner designation
Technology firm iQor was named Microsoft's service partner for hardware support in North America.

St. Petersburg-based iQor already supports Microsoft devices in Europe, Asia and Latin America, according to a statement. iQor, with 32,000 employees spread across 18 countries, works on a variety of projects, including customer care, product diagnostics and repair services.

“The expanded scope of the service covers areas related to repair, refurbishment, testing and fulfillment of all existing and future Microsoft hardware devices, including Xbox, Lumia phones, Surface tablets and Surface books within United States, Canada and Mexico,” says Mark Underhill, vice president of strategic accounts for iQor, in a statement

Real estate company adds leaders

Real estate brokerage Michael Saunders & Co. filled two leadership positions at its corporate headquarters in Sarasota.

David Gumpper was named chief technology officer for the company, a statement says. Gumpper will direct every aspect of the IT department, including desktop support, application development and technology training. He's been with the company for 12 years.

Jennifer Horvat was named chief marketing officer. She will help the company divisions with marketing strategies, manage the company's brand and corporate advertising and work with Gumpper to bolster the company's online presence, the statement says.

“The dizzying pace of technology continues to reshape how real estate is bought, sold and marketed to consumers in the digital age,” says CEO Michael Saunders. “As such, David and Jen fill vital roles in the company as these new designations make clear.”

Homebuilder executive joins board
Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed Medallion Home President Peter Logan to the State College of Florida board of trustees.

Logan, 40, was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the board. His term, pending confirmation by the Florida Senate, began Jan. 15 and ends May 31, 2019.

Medallion Home founder Carlos Beruff is also on the SCF board.

Tech firm expanding national reach

Fort Myers-based Fiber Solutions opened an office in Atlanta to support its ongoing expansion.

The Atlanta office is Fiber Solutions' third Southeast location. Its other locations are in Fort Myers and Sarasota.

“The Atlanta-area office will provide the support needed for crews already working in that area as well as provide the opportunity to grow business in Georgia and surrounding states,” says James Brown, Fiber Solutions regional managing director, in a statement. Brown will oversee the Atlanta expansion.

Fiber Solutions designs and installs custom-designed voice and data networking projects.

Collier cities rank high in job retention
Naples, Immokalee and Marco Island were ranked 15th on the Milken Institute's best performing cities report, according to a statement from Collier County.

The county's three cities ranked 60th in 2014. The rise in the rankings was due to strong performance in job and wage growth, according to the release. Categories considered include
“job creation, wage gains and technology trends that shape current and potential patterns for growth.”

According to the release, the food services and drinking places sector added more than 3,100 jobs in the area in the past five years.

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