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Corporate Report

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  • | 10:00 a.m. September 26, 2014
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Morphogenesis testing biotech properties of deep ocean soil from shipwrecks
Morphogenesis Inc., a Tampa-based biotechnology and cancer-treatment research and development firm, says it found substances with promising pharmaceutical properties in seafloor sediment samples provided by Tampa's Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. and Recovery Limited Partnership.

Michael Lawman, president and co-founder of Tampa-based Morphogenesis, and his firm analyzed deep-ocean sand, mud and rock samples recovered from wreck sites and are in the process of identifying the bacteria and studying them for potential drugs.

“Their unique capability and highly evolved processes applied to sustain life under enormous pressure in extreme darkness and temperatures hold many secrets to improving the health and quality of life for humans and animals alike,” Lawman says in a press release.

The sediment samples provided to Morphogenesis this month were recovered by Odyssey from the SS Central America, which sank during a hurricane 160 miles off South Carolina in September 1857. Odyssey is currently conducting an archaeological excavation of the shipwreck site in conjunction with a larger science program under contract for the Receiver of Recovery Limited Partnership.

Quality Carriers expands using Boasso America's S.C. terminal
Quality Carriers Inc., a subsidiary of Tampa-based Quality Distribution Inc. has expanded into the Charleston, S.C., market in a partnership with its sister company, Boasso America Corp.
Randy Strutz, president of Quality Carriers, says the expansion was driven by a request from one of the firm's major customers.

“Since we already have a terminal presence in Charleston, it made sense to expand our service offering into the domestic chemical market to support our sister company's customers,” Scott Giroir, president of Boasso, says in a press release. “This allows us to grow our Charleston terminal, while still servicing our traditional ISO tank customers.”

Quality Carriers operates the largest chemical bulk logistics network in North America. While, Chalmette, La.-based Boasso, which is also a wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Distribution Inc., is the largest provider of intermodal tank container and depot services in North America.

Kforce board increases stock buyback from $70M to $83M
The board of directors of Tampa-based Kforce Inc. has approved increasing its stock repurchase authorization by $70 million. So far in the third quarter, Kforce has purchased 1.35 million shares of Kforce stock on the open market. The company had previously committed $13 million to the buyback.

Business Insurance recognizes myMatrixx with award
Business Insurance magazine has recognized Tampa-based myMatrixx with a “Best Places to Work in Insurance” award for the third year in a row.

Best Places to Work is a joint effort of Business Insurance and the Best Companies Group. The competition is open to all public or private U.S. companies that serve the commercial insurance market and have at least 25 employees. The ranking is based on a confidential employee engagement and satisfaction survey and an employer questionnaire focused on the company's benefit programs, policies and practices.

This is the sixth year for the “Best Places to Work in Insurance” award program.

myMatrixx is a pharmacy and ancillary medical benefit management company focused on the workers' compensation market.

USF College of Business renamed after donor Kate Tiedemann
The University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) announced it has received a $10 million gift, the largest single gift in its history, to name the College of Business. The college has been renamed the Kate Tiedemann College of Business.

Tiedemann is founder and former CEO of Katena Products Inc. in Denville, N.J., one of the most successful eye instruments companies in the country. Katena was sold to the Cortec Group in 2009.

An immigrant from Hamburg, Germany, in 1955, she worked for two-and-a-half years as a maid and a cook for former New York Gov. Thomas Dewey. Tiedemann worked multiple jobs before landing her first job in the surgical instrument business as an assistant in the New York sales office of Storz Instrument Co., now part of Bausch and Lomb.

Following the sale of Storz, Tiedemann and her boss launched an eye, ear, nose and throat division at Edward Weck & Co. Later she co-founded Sparta Instrument Corp., which was eventually sold to Cooper Laboratories. In 1975, Katena Products (short for Kate North America) was born in the basement of her New Jersey home. Tiedemann worked with ophthalmic surgeons worldwide to design and develop instruments for eye surgery. Today, Katena markets 1,400 products to more than 7,000 surgeons, outpatient surgery centers and hospitals in the United States, and, through a global network of distributors, to customers in more than 110 countries around the world.



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