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Corporate Report: February 1

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  • | 7:51 a.m. February 1, 2013
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Mediterranean Shipping starting service from Port of Tampa
Mediterranean Shipping Co. plans to start offering global container service from the Port of Tampa, including shipping and receiving cargo through Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean, Latin America, the Caribbean, as well as other worldwide destinations.

Headquartered in Geneva, Mediterranean Shipping is the world's second-largest container shipping line and the largest carrier serving the United States.

The service is provided in partnership with Zim Integrated Shipping services using five vessels, each with a capacity of 3,000 20-foot equivalent units, with three ships provided by MSC and two by Zim, to include direct calls at Caucedo, Kingston, Veracruz and Altamira, and offering worldwide connections.

“MSC will open up new destinations and options for exporters and importers via the Port of Tampa, and we are excited to be working with them to expand trade and economic opportunities, not just for the Central Florida market, but for the entire state and beyond,” Tampa Port Director & CEO Paul Anderson says in a press release.

Together with terminal operator partner Ports America, the Tampa Port Authority has a multi-phased build-out plan to quadruple the size of the Port of Tampa Container Terminal from its current 40 acres with 2,800 linear foot of berth, 43 foot depth and three rail-mounted gantry cranes, to more than 160 acres with additional berths, cranes and storage area.

Sterling Payment Technologies recognized as best channel vendor
Business Solutions magazine has recognized Tampa-based payment processor Sterling Payment Technologies as one of the Best Channel Vendors for 2013.

This marks the fifth consecutive year that Sterling has received the honor.

Business Solutions magazine partnered with Penn State University to conduct a readership survey and analyze the results for statistical accuracy. More than 7,500 validated votes were cast, making it one of the largest surveys of its kind. Only the top 5% of vendors were recognized with Best Channel Vendor honors.

Sterling Payment Technologies provides merchants with a range of electronic payment services, including credit, debit, PIN debit, fleet, gift card and proprietary rewards and loyalty programs.

WellCare Health Plans buying Aetna's Missouri Care
Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans Inc. agreed to acquire, a subsidiary of Aetna Inc.

As of December, Missouri Care served more than 100,000 MO HealthNet Medicaid program members in 54 counties across the state. Missouri Care has a provider network that includes more than 50 hospitals and 9,500 physicians.

“Missouri Care has enjoyed a long-standing and sizable presence in the state, serving the Medicaid program for approximately 15 years,” Alec Cunningham, WellCare's CEO, says in a press release. “The Missouri Care acquisition complements WellCare's existing Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan offering.”

As of January 2012, WellCare served 3,000 Medicare Advantage members and 13,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Missouri.
The company expects to close the purchase sometime over the next 90 days.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, production firm announce television show
Tampa's shipwreck recovery company Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. will be featured on the Discovery Channel's “Silver Rush” three-part television series premiering Feb. 12.

Film crews for the Discovery Channel series were on Odyssey's ships during 2012 operations and captured the record-breaking recovery of 48 tons of silver bullion from the Gairsoppa site. JWM Productions, the company that produced Discovery Channel's “Treasure Quest,” which also featured Odyssey, produced the three-part series that showcases Odyssey's work on the Gairsoppa, Mantola and Victory during 2012.

“Part of our mission is to share the excitement of what we do with the general public,” Mark Gordon, Odyssey president and COO, says in a press release. “It [2012] was a special year for our team as we set out to conduct recovery operations on a shipwreck that was over three miles deep — deeper than the Titanic and something that had never been accomplished before. Our team successfully accomplished the record-breaking recovery of 48 tons of silver bullion — the heaviest and deepest recovery of precious metals in history.”

USF St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Program wins national honor
The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship has recognized the Entrepreneurship Program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg College of Business with the Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Program in the United States.

The award, which was presented at the organization's annual conference in San Francisco, comes less than three years after the program was founded and nearly a year after students in the Entrepreneurship Club won the 2012 CEO Startup Simulation Challenge.

The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship is the world's largest independent organization dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship. The award honors an emerging program that “reflects innovation, quality, potential viability, comprehensiveness, depth of support, sustainability and impact.”

Program Director William Jackson says the judges were impressed by the scope of the Entrepreneurship Program. The USF program includes curriculum that crosses all disciplines, a small business development center, a business accelerator called Gazelle Lab, the Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, an advisory board of entrepreneurs and extensive community outreach including many of Tampa Bay's top business leaders. The program also published “Tampa Bay's 6/20 Plan” that called for the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem to encourage collaboration among Tampa Bay entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them.


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