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  • | 10:00 a.m. November 7, 2014
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RPS Diagnostics test approved for sale in Europe, other countries
Sarasota-based RPS Diagnostics Inc. says its FebriDx test received a CE mark, a conformity marking that allows a product to be sold in the European Economic Area, clearing the way for the company to start selling it in the European Union and several other countries.

FebriDx is a rapid in-office test that uses a small finger-stick blood sample to differentiate a patient's immune response to a viral or a bacterial respiratory infection. Results are available to a clinician in as soon as 10 minutes.

“The FebriDx test will advance our goal to positively impact global health care by facilitating an earlier diagnosis, helping to reduce the spread of disease and encourage the judicious use of antibiotics,” Robert Sambursky, CEO and president of RPS, says in a press release.

Viral and bacterial respiratory infections have overlapping symptoms and require different treatments.

Alltrust senior benefits specialist receives certification
Alltrust's Steve Hall has received his Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Hall qualified for the designation by passing a series of national exams on employee benefit subjects, and through his business and professional conduct. Only 1% of brokers nationally hold the designation.

Hall joined Palm Harbor-based Alltrust in 2010 after 18 years of consultative sales experience working for companies such as Xerox and General Binding Corp.

HT Family of Cos., Title Management create statewide title network
HT Family of Cos. and Title Management LLC have created a new Florida network of independent title companies.

The Florida Agency Network is now Florida's largest independent title agency network with more than 25 offices statewide.

Founded in 1984, the HT Family of Cos. is the parent company to several full-service title agencies in the Tampa Bay area, that operate the Hillsborough Title, Paramount Title, Tampa Bay Title, Homeplus Title and Cornerstone Title brands.

Title Management LLC was formed in 2009 and operates under the brands Trident Title LLC, CU Title LLC, Performance Title & Escrow LLC and Progressive Title LLC.

Tampa company approved for tour travel to Cuba
Tampa-based Habana Art LLC received special licensing from the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, allowing it to arrange travel for Americans to Cuba as part of a cultural exchange.

For years, travel to Cuba had been primarily limited to Cuban-Americans traveling to visit relatives. However, guidelines were expanded to include people-to-people programs aimed at educational and cultural enhancement.

“Nearly 130 years ago, Cubans flocked to Tampa with the promise of employment at one of the cigar factories, and a home in Ybor City,” Michael Mauricio, co-owner of Habana Art, says in a press release. “The cultural ties to our community and the strong presence we feel here can be directly tied to the streets of Havana.”

The company, which is also owned by Manuel Fernandez, will begin offering five-day trips starting Nov. 11 and will fly directly out of Tampa. It sells all-inclusive travel packages that include a chartered flight to Havana, deluxe hotel accommodations, transfers, a personal guide and opportunities for directly interact with Cuban citizens.

Centerstone, Manatee Glens sign letter of intent to affiliate
Bradenton-based Manatee Glens signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Nashville's Centerstone. The two behavioral health care organizations expect to have a finalized affiliation agreement as early as Jan. 1.

As part of the proposed affiliation, Manatee Glens would change its name to Centerstone of Florida. However, its assets would be preserved as a local nonprofit organization with a local board of governance. Mary Ruiz, president/CEO of Manatee Glens, continues to serve as CEO of the organization.

“This affiliation model is unique in that it maintains local governance of services while adding national resources and expertise,” Ruiz says in a press release. “This is a best-of-both-worlds opportunity to meet the demands of the new national health care environment while preserving our local mission, staff and services.”

Centerstone is one of the largest nonprofit providers of behavioral health care in the nation. Manatee Glens is a community behavioral health hospital and outpatient practice that treats about 16,000 clients each year.

Omega Brands Corp. buying Omega Infusion drinks, shots
Tampa-based Omega Brands Corp. entered into a definitive agreement to buy assets related to the Omega-3 infused beverages and nutritional shots sold under the name Omega Infusion from Mycell Technologies LLC. The Tampa-based company also reached a 20-year supply agreement with Oceans Omega LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mycell Technologies LLC, for its proprietary omega blend.
The company agreed to pay Mycell $1 for the proprietary formulas, trade names and secrets, trademarks, marketing materials, and Internet domains. Omega Brands will pay Mycell a 15% royalty on net proceeds from any future sale, license or other disposition of the Omega Infusion assets to a third party.

Jim Dickson, CEO of Omega Brands says the company expects to reposition Omega Infusion Brands later this year and will offer the products to major retailers for sale.

Omega Brand's goal is to develop and distribute specialty beverages such as Omega Infusion products across North America and selected international markets.


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