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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 24, 2003 15 years ago

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This week's items: Tampa Bay Technology Forum to hold annual dinner meeting Aclarian Mortgage starting Lakewood Ranch branch Suzuki of Sarasota wins new dealer awardPiano Distributors top Yamaha dealer

Free Press

Tampa Bay Technology Forum

to hold annual dinner meeting

Intuit IT Solution Vice President David Weiss will discuss the success of Blue Ocean Software at the 6 p.m. Nov. 19 dinner meeting of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum at A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa.

Blue Ocean was acquired by California-based Intuit in September 2002 for $177 million in cash. For information, call (727) 510-2524.

Aclarian Mortgage starting Lakewood Ranch branch

Valrico-based Aclarian Mortgage is opening a new branch office in Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park to service Sarasota and Manatee counties. President/CEO Mike Fitzgerald recently hired Bob DeCecco as the company's Sarasota vice president and branch manager. DeCecco, a CPA, spent part of his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers/Hunneman auditing some of the country's largest residential and commercial mortgage lenders. He also served as divisional controller of New England's largest real estate and mortgage company, Coldwell-Banker/Hunneman. Aclarian Mortgage is a leading Central Florida correspondent lender licensed to do business in 12 states.

Suzuki of Sarasota

wins new dealer award

Suzuki of Sarasota, 4583 Clark Road, was awarded 2003 Outstanding New Dealer from American Suzuki Motor Corp. The award is given to new dealers who excel in sales and customer service. The Sarasota Suzuki dealership, which opened in late 2002, is the largest exclusively Suzuki motorcycle dealer on the Gulf Coast.

Piano Distributors

top Yamaha dealer

Yamaha Corp. selected Palmetto-based Piano Distributors as its Yamaha piano dealer of the year. The award is presented to a dealer based on retail sales and customer service. Piano Distributors operates seven retail outlets throughout Florida including Sarasota, Palmetto, Clearwater, Brandon, Orlando (two stores) and Melbourne.

Home Front

to manufacture panels

Venice-based Home Front Inc. has purchased and is installing machinery to produce the wall panels that are a primary component of its panelized construction system. Home Front designs and manufactures the exterior shells of residential and commercial buildings, using insulated wall and roof panels, which can be erected in less time than traditional construction. The panels allow buildings to be built at a fraction of the cost of standard construction, while at the same creating energy-efficient buildings.

The wall panels consist of two sheets of Hardie cement board laminated to a 4-inch polystyrene core. The roof panels are similar, consisting of polystyrene core clad in aluminum

Until now, the company had contracted with others to manufacture the wall and roof panels. Home Front workers would then cut the wall panels to shape and add door and window openings and wiring chases. A coating machine applies the appropriate amount of a specialty adhesive to both slides of a polystyrene slab, and a sprayer applies a measured amount of water to activate the glue. The polystyrene core is then laid between two pieces of Hardie cement board, and the resulting "sandwich" is stacked with nine other panels in a vacuum bag that applies 1,000 pounds per square foot of pressure for nearly two hours, curing the glue and creating a strong, lightweight structural panel.

Sarasota County Bar

to hold small claims workshop

Small business owners interested in learning the ins and outs of filing a small claims lawsuit are invited to attend a 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 workshop sponsored by the Sarasota County Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division.

Guest speakers include Judge Judith M. Goldman, Jodi Gray of the clerk's office, Heather Blanton of the Citizen Dispute Settlement Program and attorney Scott D. Foeller. For information, call (941) 366-6703 or visit www.sarasotabar.com

WingHouse donates thousands

from golf tournaments

Ker's WingHouse, a Largo-based restaurant chain known for its chicken wings and cold beer, donated $15,500 from two recent celebrity golf tournaments to charities. The money was given to six charities, including Special Olympics Florida, the Orlando B.A.S.E. Camp and the Ovarian Cancer Research Center.

Unisource Administrators

building new headquarters

Sarasota-based Unisource Administrators started construction on a new facility for its corporate headquarters at 6001 Cattleridge Blvd. in CattleRidge Business Park. The majority of Unisource's 200 employees will be housed in the 70,000-square-foot building. Unisource Administrators provide workers' compensation insurance products, claim management and managed care services and payroll products to more than 15,000 employers.

The building is a joint venture between Unisource Administrators and Cattleridge Partners Ltd. (a composite of Troy, Mich.-based Osprey S.A. Ltd. and Sarasota's Cattleridge Development Corp.).

Unisource currently occupies about 30,000 square feet in one of Starling's buildings at CattleRidge Business Park, a 70-acre planned business park at Bee Ridge and Cattlemen road

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