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Corporate Report: Aug. 20 - Aug. 26

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  • | 7:34 a.m. August 20, 2010
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Turbine Generator Maintenance sold to top three executives
The senior management of Cape Coral-based Turbine Generator Maintenance Inc. — CEO David Branton, Chief Financial Officer Robert Davis and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Todd Feeley — purchased the company from GFI Energy Ventures LLC.
Branton said that the former owners had started negotiating to sell the company to a large out-of-state competitor.
“Senior management did not see the long-term benefit to the company, its employees, or customers and put together a buy-out package that would keep the company intact and in the state,” he wrote in an email to the Review. “The new owners have taken a long-term view of growing the company in its present location and are working diligently with local colleges and technical schools to train turbine generator specialists.”
Turbine Generator Maintenance has been servicing steam and gas turbine generator sets throughout the United States and Central and South America since 1986.

Community Bank of Manatee hires Pemble as president & COO
Community Bank of Manatee has named Kathryn Pemble its president and chief operating officer, and a member of its board of directors.
Prior to joining the company, Pemble was with Florida Bank —previously named Bank of St. Petersburg — in Tampa. During her tenure there, she was chief operating officer, president and chief executive. Most recently, she was chief credit officer for the bank and holding company, Florida Bank Group Inc. Before joining Bank of St. Petersburg in 2004, Pemble was Pinellas County president for Bank of America.
Community Bank of Manatee CEO and Chairman William H. Sedgeman Jr. said in a press release, “Katie joins us at an exciting time as the bank just had a profitable second quarter, and stands with the highest capitalization in the bank's 14 year history.”
Pemble also serves as treasurer and finance committee chairman of Bayfront Health System Inc. in St. Petersburg.
Community Bank has five branches in Manatee and Hillsborough counties and held $250 million in assets as of June 30.

Sarasota's New Gate School joining Montessori Foundation
The board of trustees for the private New Gate School in Sarasota has voted to merge with The Montessori Foundation's Field School.
Tim Seldin, who has served as the Montessori Foundation's president, will be head of the New Gate-Field School and the senior program director of the foundation.
The new school will offer Montessori classes for toddlers through high school students at its 100-acre campus on Clark Road, and plans to seek additional accreditation through the International Baccalaureate organization for its Montessori middle and high school programs.
The board is also exploring the possibility of a satellite campus for students under age six by reopening New Gate's campus on Ashton Road.

HSN gains two patents for Shop by Remote,
HSN of St. Petersburg has secured a U.S. patent for its Shop by Remote interactive TV service for viewers to use display devices to purchase products.
The HSN system will generate and transmit customized transaction data for individual direct sales.
“This patent reinforces [us] as a revolutionary force in television and retail as we continue to bring exciting innovations to our customers that enable them to shop whenever and however they choose,” John McDevitt, vice president of advanced services for HSN, said in a press release.
HSN received another patent for improved e-commerce shopping for a system that will have many of the proprietary features of the, including live video feeds and prerecorded segments, to allow consumers to view multiple video product presentations.
HSN also said it is currently the only retailer streaming live HD video on three screen platforms: TV, online and mobile. In addition, HSN has over the last year launched iPhone and Android apps and a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) site. On Aug 1, HSN launched HSN2 and become the only multichannel retailer with a second TV shopping channel.

West Coast Endoscopy Center joins with Surgical Care Affiliates
In a joint venture deal, Surgical Care Affiliates and a group of physician partners will own and provide management services for West Coast Endoscopy Center in Clearwater, while the facility will continue as a freestanding outpatient endoscopy center.
The action “will allow physicians to focus on clinical excellence while leveraging SCA's nationwide infrastructure and support services,” Andrew Hayek, president and CEO of SCA, said in a press release.
Surgical Care Affiliates operates 128 ambulatory surgery centers and surgical hospitals.

GeoPharma president out, after strategic company changes
Shortly after revealing the details behind a restructuring effort, GeoPharma Inc. announced that its president has resigned.
A news release issued by the Largo-based company says that president Kotha Sekharam chose to respond to the actions by stepping down. Mandeep Taneja, the company's general counsel, is also resigning.
Investors appear to be low on GeoPharma's latest activity; while its 52-week high pushed the firm's common stock above the $1 mark (symbol: GORX.PK), shares are now consistently trading below $0.10.
Recently, GeoPharma Inc. took several steps to try to make good with its senior secured lender, Whitebox Pharmaceutical Growth Fund Ltd., to which it owed $15 million at the end of July.
First, it sold all the assets of Belcher Pharmaceuticals Inc., its subsidiary firm, along with a 51% ownership stake in it to a privately owned company, Belcher Pharmaceuticals Acquisition LLC. In exchange, GeoPharma received $3 million in cash, along with a low-priority equity stake in the LLC.
GeoPharma then took $2 million of those funds and packaged it with ownership of its headquarters building on Bryan Dairy Road — plus 5 million shares of GeoPharma common stock — to provide to Whitebox. That reduced its $15 million debt to a $3 million subordinated note that will mature in four years.
The company also restructured with Midsummer Investment Ltd., which owns preferred stock in the company, to reduce its annual cash outlays. To secure new terms, it gave Midsummer an extra 2 million shares of common stock.
The latest moves fail to provide GeoPharma with much working capital going forward, the company said in a release, but it hopes the restructuring allows it to focus more efforts on profitability, rather than simple debt management.

Inuvo, Contact Centers of America to open Clearwater call center
Orlando-based Contact Centers of America will provide call center support for at Inuvo's Clearwater headquarters.
“For the past two years we have been using offshore services to support BabytoBee's online lead generation efforts,” Carrie Maurer, senior vice president, Inuvo's Direct to Consumer businesses, said in a press release. “As we expand many aspects of our service, we were looking to upgrade our call center support and loved the idea of bringing jobs back to the United States, specifically to Clearwater.”
Officials also said the deal will increase revenue and decrease the cost per lead while improving the customers' experiences.
Contact Centers of America will employ more than 200 workers to make and respond to calls to the nearly one million BabytoBee customers each year.
Also, Inuvo plans to launch a revamped BabytoBee Website in September.
Inuvo is an online advertising technology and services company. Contact Centers of America LLC is a contact center service provider that specializes in using employees in the United States.

Odyssey ship captain acquitted in Spanish court case
Sterling Vorus, a captain with Odyssey Marine Exploration, has been cleared of all charges by a court in Algeciras, Spain, that ruled that a Spanish police force did not have proper authorization to board or search Odyssey's Explorer ship in 2007.
Vorus was arrested after he refused to allow the ship to be forcibly boarded by police, who had accused it of being involved in illegal activities relating to the company's Black Swan shipwreck find. The court relied on Spanish law that prevents the boarding or searching of foreign ships without authorization of the captain or the vessel's flag state, which was never obtained. The court did not address the shipwreck in its ruling.
Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey Vice President and General Counsel, said in a press release the ruling was “based on the facts of the case instead of relying on innuendo and false reports, which instigated the search of our vessels in the first place.”
In May 2007, Odyssey found the Black Swan, a Colonial-period shipwreck that yielded more than 500,000 silver coins, hundreds of gold coins, worked gold, and other artifacts. The Spanish government filed claims that the treasure was taken from a Spanish sovereign ship in Spanish waters. Odyssey is fighting Spain's use of sovereign immunity.

CARE Media plans network expansion
Tampa-based CARE Media Holdings Corp. will increase its patient education programming by adding 500 Women's HealthCARE TV screens in OB/GYN waiting rooms and 500 PetCARE TV screens in veterinary waiting rooms.
The company estimates it currently reaches 60 million females annually via 1,000 screens it already has at both OB/GYN and veterinary sites and 2,500 KidCARE screens in pediatric waiting rooms.
“As an advertiser-supported, point-of-care medium, we have been quite pleased with the response from the advertising community during the past six months,” CARE Media's CEO Phil Cohen said in a press release, also citing recent studies showing how popular video displays in medical offices are with the public.
CARE Media plans to do the first half of the installations by the start of the fourth quarter, and complete them by mid-January 2011.

Moffitt Cancer Center grants CvergenX licensing rights to new gene therapy
The Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa has granted CvergenX Inc. exclusive worldwide licensing rights for its InterveneXRT radiation therapy technology.
Moffitt has been able to create a radio-sensitivity classification index for individual tumors. The technology, which has previously been available for guiding chemotherapy use but not radiation, helps to predict a tumor's response to radiation therapy, which is prescribed for more than 60% of all cancer patients, more than any single chemotherapy agent.
Jarett Rieger, director of the office of technology management and commercialization at Moffitt, said in a press release, “Cutting-edge and innovative research has led to this incredible breakthrough in the field of personalized medicine. CvergenX will move this biomarker discovery from the laboratory to the clinic to improve patient care.”
The therapy is undergoing clinical studies after seven years of research and more than $2 million in funding from the National Cancer Institute.
Under the plan, CvergenX has agreed to pay Moffitt when various commercialization points are reached, plus royalty payments on the sales of testing services and licensed products.
The Moffitt Cancer Center has15 affiliates in Florida, plus one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico.


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