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Corporate Report: June 17


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  • | 1:38 p.m. June 17, 2011
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ValCom remastering audio library for new albums and movie
Clearwater-based ValCom Inc. has started the process of re-mastering its audio library in preparation for the international release of four music albums and a feature film.

In the process of re-mastering the audio library, company representatives have had their first opportunity to listen to rare and unreleased performances of Elvis Presley, The Platters, Ike and Tina Turner, and many others from the early 1960s.

Also in attendance in Atlanta was Joel Wertman, a music industry veteran who is responsible for generating millions of dollars in music sales and is credited with breaking multiple music artists including No Doubt, The Goo Goo Dolls and Bush. Wertman has been tapped to work with ValCom in producing a minimum of four albums that will be distributed in an output deal with Universal.

On one master tape, Elvis is featured in a studio session along with the vocal group The Platters. The session was produced by Buck Ram and engineered by Elvis's long-time personal engineer Bones Howe. It was a joint effort between The Platters, Buck Ram and Elvis to produce an anniversary album that included renditions of The Great Pretender, Love Me Tender, Only You, Mack the Knife, Don't Be Cruel and The Twist.

“The quality of the master tapes is pristine,” Vince Vellardita, president and CEO of ValCom, says in a press release. “It was an incredible experience to hear performances from these pioneers of rock and roll. This is the first step of many in monetizing our library and bringing revenue and earnings creating shareholder value.”

ValCom and Wertman will also be collaborating to produce a feature film that tells the history of The Platters.

HSN creates website for gaming, shopping
St. Petersburg-based retailer HSN has created a new website to combine casual gaming with its e-commerce platform. HSN Arcade will allow people to play games online while simultaneously watching HSN streaming live in HD, viewing the item currently on-air and the last 15 items aired.

Players can win prizes, including the daily special product or a gift card, by being the fastest to complete the daily jigsaw puzzle and receiving the best score. People will also be able to participate in tournaments with HSN's celebrity guests, hosts and other players for the opportunity to win other prizes. Winners can be revealed in real time on TV, online and mobile.

According to Newzoo survey, currently more than 140 million people play casual games online, which represents 66% of the U.S. online population.

“The launch of HSN Arcade is a strategic move to further differentiate the HSN shopping experience . . . by combining what people currently do online more than any other activities: shopping, gaming and sharing,” Jill Braff, executive vice president of digital commerce for HSN, says in a press release. “Other sites have game arenas, but only HSN marries content and commerce in such an innovative way.”

HSN Arcade will host 25 free games, as well as crossword puzzles, word search, Sudoku and more. The website will also allow players to share their scores and achievements via Facebook.

HSN partnered with entertainment agency WME to put together the gaming opportunity with external vendors. Arkadium, a leading provider of game solutions, was selected to develop HSN Arcade.

Sarasota hires Sunovia Energy for LED lighting project
The city of Sarasota chose Sarasota-based Sunovia Energy Technologies' LED energy-efficient lights to reduce its energy consumption and enhance the downtown and tourist areas for its citywide energy saving project. The project will replace 200 traditional streetlights and landscape lights with the Aimed Optics LED fixtures produced by Sunovia's lighting division EvoLucia Inc.

The company says its EvoLucia lights were chosen because they were determined by the city and Siemens to be superior to other fixtures on the market for energy savings and effectiveness in lighting. Recently this year, the Department of Energy awarded Sunovia's EvoLucia SCHX5 cobra head fixture as the best outdoor fixture in its category.

“We've chosen to collaborate with EvoLucia and utilize their award-winning LED technology for our energy-saving project because of their ongoing commitment to LED innovation and product excellence.” Gary Kreisler, of Siemens, says in a press release. “Having EvoLucia Aimed LED Lighting as part of this project will ensure that we provide the city of Sarasota with the utmost level of LED quality, durability and performance while saving the maximum energy and enhancing the ambiance of Sarasota.”

The new lights are expected to reduce the city's lighting energy consumption by more than 60%. Construction is scheduled to begin this month along the Ringling Bridge Causeway and St. Armands Circle.

Alico creates long-term incentives for executives
La Belle-based Alico Inc. has adopted a long-term incentive program for some of its key executives. Participants in the long-term incentive program will be eligible to earn performance-based awards of restricted stock over a five-year period if they achieve certain performance criteria.

The performance criteria are directly tied to increases in the average closing price of Alico common stock during the period.

Participants include the chief operating officer, the chief financial officer, the treasury manager and the president of Alico Land Development Inc., but will not include the company's CEO.

Alico Inc. owns 139,607 acres of land located in Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Polk counties and is involved in various agricultural operations and real estate activities.

Lido resident, bank icon hired by FTI Consulting
Bill Isaac, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from 1981 to 1985 and a Lido Shores resident, has been appointed senior managing director and head of the Financial Institutions Group of West Palm Beach-based FTI Consulting Inc.

Isaac will lead the Financial Institutions Group helping financial institutions in a variety of areas including enterprise risk management, corporate governance, loan review, due diligence, liquidity management, stress testing, capital and loss reserve modeling, strategic planning and regulatory compliance and relations. Isaac is also joined by senior leaders of his team - Mike Mancusi, Jeff Curry, John Maher and Mary Somerville.

“Bill Isaac is a true icon in banking, and we are thrilled to have him lead this strategically important practice within our firm,” says Jack Dunn, president and CEO of FTI Consulting. “Bill and his team bring complementary expertise to the broad range of services we currently provide financial institutions, as well as longstanding and deep relationships with senior leaders within these firms.”

Isaac previously founded the Secura Group, a financial institutions consulting firm that was acquired by LECG in 2007. Isaac headed the FDIC during the banking crisis of the 1980s, serving under presidents Carter and Reagan from 1978 through 1985. He also serves as chairman of Fifth Third Bancorp.

FTI Consulting is a $1.5 billion global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations deal with increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment.

Sarasota Rectrix facility receives Pilot's Choice award
Bedford, Mass.-based Rectrix Aerodrome Centers reports its facility in Sarasota received a 2011 Pilot's Choice award. The Sarasota facility offers private passenger terminals and lounges, aircrew amenities and full aircraft handling services.

The awards allow pilots to recognize their favorite corporate and business aviation facilities.

Rectrix Aerodrome Centers opened its first fixed-base operator facility in Hyannis, Mass., in September of 2005 and opened its Sarasota facility in 2008.

Both facilities offer hangar and office space designed to accommodate large aircraft.

Max Media Group buys Suncoast Custom Cars
Tarpon Springs-based Max Media Group Inc. has acquired Suncoast Custom Cars and has launched Suncoast Speed and Custom Cars in its restoration and repair facility.

Glenn Ramdas, Suncoast Custom Cars' founder, will stay on as general manager.

“Obviously luxury transportation is our biggest footprint,” James Grady CEO of Max Media Group, says in a press release. “With Glenn and his team now part of our organization we have added not only a premier automotive talent but 25 years of credibility.”

Ramdas is a well-known innovator in pro-touring muscle cars circles. He was invited to the Plymouth Muscle Car troubleshooting competition and was also asked to build cars for Car Craft Magazine and Mopar Muscle Magazine.

In other news, Max Media Group announced that Internet traffic to its various sites has increased on average 103% over the last month and that its numbers for the year are up by more than 200%. Company officials attributed the increase to recent programing and marketing efforts.

Concurrent Tech.'s director named Innovator of the Year
Largo-based Concurrent Technologies Corp.'s director of Special Operations Programs, J. Pat Daugherty, has received the Special Operations Defense Industry Innovator of the Year Award from the Greater Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association.

Daugherty received the award in recognition of his leadership and technology successes as the program manager for the Technology Infusion Cell II Maverick and Special Operations Research and Development Acquisition Center Support Program. This program directly supports U.S. Special Operations Command SORDAC Joint Acquisition Task Force Agile Dagger.

Technology Infusion Cell is a $30 million contract to rapidly infusion emerging technologies related to increasing the speed, stealth, precision, lethality and survivability of U.S. Special Forces.

“(Daugherty's) successes have directly influenced and aided Special Operations Forces stationed across the globe,” says Edward J. Sheehan Jr., CTC president and chief executive officer. “He co-developed a responsive technology testing and evaluation program which searches out, down-selects, tests and evaluates cutting-edge technologies to meet the urgent needs requirements of frontline special operations forces...”

HSN, Queen Latifah launching Queen Collection
Rapper, singer and actress Queen Latifah has partnered with St. Petersburg-based multimedia retailer HSN for the exclusive launch of the Queen Collection brand. On Aug. 27, Latifah will debut a collection of apparel, handbags and outerwear.

“I wanted my collection to reflect my personal style while giving women the tools to build a wardrobe they can feel good in,” says Queen Latifah. “I partnered with HSN because it's the ideal platform to share my story and the stories of women who inspired me.”

HSN and Queen Latifah have collaborated to create designs to complement a variety of body types.

Following her first on-air appearance, Latifah will return to HSN in September to debut a custom line of Natural Wavy Clip-On hair extensions.

Savtira Corp. partners with Petra on distribution deal
Tampa-based Savtira Corp. reached an agreement with electronics wholesaler Petra Industries for Petra to distribute its inventory to Savtira partner stores.

“With more than 20,000 products from 500 manufacturers, Petra gives us competitive pricing to big-box retailers and allows Savtira to handle physical good fulfillment for our distribution partners,” Timothy Roberts, CEO of Savtira, says in a press release. “We anticipate great demand for Savtira's Cloud Commerce platform, the first of its kind to process purchases of both physical products and digital goods in one unified shopping cart.”

Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Petra carries more than 20,000 consumer electronics, custom installation products, mobile audio/video accessories and appliance connection supplies from more than 500 manufacturers.

Port Manatee renews deal with Panama Canal Authority
Port Manatee and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) renewed and extended a 2009 marketing and information-sharing agreement for five years, to cover the projected 2014 completion of the expanded Panama Canal.

Port Manatee was the second U.S. port — and Florida's only port — to have a five-year strategic alliance with the ACP. Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deep-water port to the Panama Canal.

Since reaching agreement in 2009, the ACP and Port Manatee have collaborated on three Panama trade missions and a local conference to explore trading opportunities between Florida- and Panama-based business interests.

“Through our relationship with the ACP, we have gained a unique appreciation for Panama's role in Port Manatee's future,” Port Manatee's Executive Director David McDonald says in a press release.

A new 1,584-foot-long container berth is nearing completion at Port Manatee, and Manatee County has incentivized nearly 5,000 acres of largely undeveloped land adjacent to the port to attract international shippers to Florida's west coast.

The 2014 completion of the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion is expected to be a catalyst for new trade lanes, serving new markets and U.S. ports throughout the upper Gulf of Mexico and south Atlantic. The project essentially doubles the canal's present capacity with the creation of two new sets of locks, enhanced navigational features and the addition of new access channels — all to accommodate larger post-Panamax-sized ships.

As part of the partnership, the ACP and Port Manatee will continue working together in a series of activities to promote both the canal and the port.

Community Bank completes First Community merger
Lakewood Ranch-based Community Bank & Co. has closed its acquisition of and merger with First Community Bank of America.

The combined institution has 17 branches in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco and Charlotte counties.

First Community Bank of America President and CEO Ken Cherven joins the Community Bank management team. Bill Sedgeman serves as Community Bank's chairman and CEO and Katie Pemble is its president.

“Community Bank is now one of the largest, strongest and most capable community banks in the Tampa Bay market,” Trevor Burgess, the CEO of Community Bank's majority owner, CBM Florida Holding Co., says in a press release. “We invested over $30 million today to preserve jobs and to maintain our status as a highly capitalized institution with significant lending fire power.”

All 17 branches will be branded as Community Bank.

 

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