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Corporate Report: Nov. 8

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  • | 9:28 a.m. November 8, 2013
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ElektroBase installs digital displays at 57 Florida welcome centers, rest areas
Bonita Springs-based ElektroBase LLC has provided 112 Elektrosign digital displays to 53 Florida rest areas and four welcome centers for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The Web-based digital signage system, which will be managed by FDOT, can provide instant updates and information on weather and traffic conditions and Amber alerts.

The company will be selling both banner and short video advertising on the system.

ElektroBase plans to supply the digital signs to the remainder of the rest areas by early 2014, according to Michael Etchieson, CFO of ElektroBase and former president of Bradenton's Signs Now. It will also offer the public 20 minutes of free Wi-Fi at the welcome centers and rest areas. The current deployment is expected to generate 62 million views a year.

Pirates promote Grant to Bradenton Marauders GM
The Pittsburgh Pirates have named A.J. Grant manager of McKechnie Field operations and general manager of the Bradenton Marauders. Grant has worked for the Pirates since 2005. He will oversee the day-to-day operations of McKechnie Field as well as continuing to assist with sales and marketing efforts for the Marauders.

The Marauders are owned and operated by the Pirates.

Grant takes over the daily responsibilities of the Marauders organization from Trevor Gooby, the Pirates' senior director of Florida operations. Gooby will continue to handle the overall operations of Pirate City, McKechnie Field, Pirates Spring Training, the Marauders and the Pirates Dominican Academy.

“A.J. has a proven track record from his work managing the operations of the Pirate City training facility,” Dennis DaPra, executive vice president and general manager of PNC Park and facility management, says in a press release. “New spring training and Marauders attendance records were set at McKechnie Field in 2013, and I know A.J.'s leadership will allow that growth to continue in 2014.”

Prior to coming to the Pirates, Grant spent two years with the Los Angeles Dodgers as minor league equipment coordinator. He has also worked for the Arizona Fall League and the New York Mets.

USF Entrepreneurship Program associate director, graduate recognized
The Tampa Bay Technology Forum has recognized Daniel Scott, associate director of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Entrepreneurship Program, as Technology Leader of the Year. Reuben Pressman, the program's first graduate, has also been named Rising Star.

The honors were announced during the Forum's 10th Annual Industry Achievement Awards Gala at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.

Scott founded the technology company Alorum and co-founded the seed-stage investment fund Gazelle Lab. Earlier this year he was named the Small Business Administration Florida Small Business Advocate of the Year and the Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by the Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Pressman is the CEO and founder of Check I'm Here, a startup company that helps universities measure and increase campus engagement and allocate funds more efficiently through the use of student ID cards.

“Both Daniel and Reuben are incredible advocates for the entrepreneurial community,” Heather Kenyon, Tampa Bay Technology Forum CEO, says in a press release. “The passion and dedication to assist others and to grow technology companies locally has benefited numerous early stage companies and the awards they received are well deserved.”

Hine Automation relocates, grows manufacturing space by 300%
Tampa's Hine Automation has moved to a larger manufacturing and headquarters facility in St. Petersburg. The company says the space was needed to accommodate recent growth and its plans for further expansion.

The move will expanded Hine Automation's manufacturing space by 300%. The new location, at 12495 34th St. N., Suite B, St. Petersburg, is scheduled to be fully operational in the next 90 days.

“The success of our automated, vacuum wafer-handling systems and robotic components have fueled the need for larger and more efficient office and manufacturing space,” Scott Craver, general manager, says in a press release. “The new facility also is much more centralized to our suppliers and provides easier access to nearby airports and shipping locations, which will increase our ability to provide cost-effective solutions quickly to our customers.”

The move is the third expansion to accommodate the company's growth within four years.

Cab Plus taxi service, added to RideCommand app
Cab Plus, an upscale Tampa Bay taxi service, has partnered with RideCommand. The RideCommand app offers users the ability to request an immediate pickup or schedule a ride.

The partners say the agreement will offer riders in the Tampa Bay area a quick, easy and affordable way to book transportation. Cab Plus says the new functionality meets all of the regulations under Hillsborough County's Public Transportation Commission.

“Adding Cab Plus to our RideCommand app creates an innovative collaboration between a new technology and a local company with a proven track record in the market,” Alan Stapleton, founder and CEO of RideCommand, says in a press release. “This means Tampa Bay riders will gain access to the latest technology for booking cars, but won't have to sacrifice safety or other options like cost and vehicle choice.”

The RideCommand app is available on both iPhone and Android devices.

Cab Plus operates a fleet of Lincoln Town car taxis.

AIDA Cruises basing ships from Port of Tampa in 2014
The German cruise line and tour operator AIDA Cruises will home port two of its ships from the Port of Tampa: AIDAvita for the 2014/15 and AIDAmar for the 2015/16 cruise season.

AIDAvita will start sailing the first of four Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa in December 2014. In the following season, AIDAmar will sail seven cruises out of Tampa.

AIDA Cruises' entry into the Tampa market means the Port of Tampa will now home port ships from five of the world's most popular cruise lines.

AIDAvita, the second ship in the AIDA fleet, was launched in 2002, and has a 1,266-passenger capacity and a crew of 384. Launched in 2012, AIDAmar, a Sphinx Class ship, has a 2,194-passenger capacity and 609-member crew.

AIDA Cruises currently operates and markets a fleet of 10 cruise ships.


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