The North Tampa Chamber of Commerce
Business of the Month
Featured on this page are the most recent
Business of the Month promotions for the last four months. For
more information on how you, as a member of the North Tampa Chamber of
Commerce, can become the next
Business of the Month, Click
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BUSINESS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2016
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART)
Kemly Jiménez Green, Community Relations Specialist
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit
Authority's (HART) service area is approximately 1,000 square miles,
which is almost the same size as Rhode Island. With more than thirty
local routes, eleven express or limited express routes, one MetroRapid
North-South route, five HARTFlex routes, and approximately 3,100 bus
stops (of which one in four are covered), HART can be your
transportation solution. You can also park in one of our twenty three
conveniently located Park-n-Rides. HART Takes You There.
Here is a sneak peak of some of HART's
exciting new initiatives:
- Regional Revenue Collection and
Inter-Jurisdictional Mobility Project: HART leads this project across
Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, and
Sarasota counties. When complete, patrons will travel across the Tampa
Bay region seamlessly using one fare media, available on smart cards
and downloaded to mobile devices.
- First Mile/Last Mile Transportation
Solution: The Authority is investigating a partnership with a
transportation network company to offer a dynamic ridesharing service
as a complement to existing transit services. The First and Last Mile
Solutions Project will include a smartphone application that allows
real-time ridesharing matching and rider incentives. The shared
transportation provider should promote multimodal transportation
options in the community and enhance HART fixed route services by
extending into areas of the county that currently do not have mass
- CNG Vehicles: HART is the first Florida
Transit Agency to begin transitioning vehicles to Compressed Natural
Gas (CNG). The fuel is cheaper, cleaner, safer, and American made.
Additionally, because CNG burns cleanly, 80% of engines which
typically have to be rebuilt within five or six years, can now last
the full length (roughly 12 years) of the life cycle of the vehicle.
This leads to long-term cost savings.
- Voice of the Customer:
HART is beginning a
process-oriented and engaging approach to create and implement a
comprehensive Voice of the Customer (VOC) measurement system.
Passenger surveys were conducted throughout August. Staff will use
survey data to create a customer satisfaction measurement system
(scorecard) that will identify the quality attributes to be
incorporated into the agency's processes and/or services. HART
management will maintain the scorecard once the program has been
developed and implemented.
- MetroRapid East-West (E-W): This line will
be the next step in bus rapid transit (BRT) style transit. This new
route will tie together Temple Terrace, mid-town Tampa to Tampa
International Airport (TIA) or the proposed intermodal center in the
immediate TIA area. Engineering on the East-West MetroRapid is at 30%
but awaiting completion funds.
Planning on riding HART for the first
time? Getting started is pretty simple. Try our trip planner on the
top of the page at www.gohart.org.
For more information, contact the
HARTinfo Line at 813-254-4278.
BUSINESS OF THE MONTH -
HOUSING & EDUCATION ALLIANCE
Walter Walker, Jr., Director of Education & Counseling
AGENCY STAFF SACRIFICE THEIR HOMES
Housing and Education Alliance (HEA) is a 501
(c) 3 HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency that was founded in 2002 to
provide culturally sensitive bilingual housing counseling services to our
community. As an affiliate of The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and a
member of their NCLR Homeownership Network (NHN), HEA is able to bring
additional resources to help the residents of the communities we serve.
At the start of the foreclosure crisis,
budget cuts and diminishing funding caused Sylvia Alvarez, Executive
Director, to make the hard decision to close the agency. When staff was
given the news they all refused to stop working. Staff said there were no
jobs any way so they might as well help others. So for more than 3 years
many staff members worked for little to no salaries which caused all staff
to face the same fate their clients were facing. Due to making the decision
to become volunteers for so long all HEA staff either lost their own homes
or were in some phase of the foreclosure process.
Because of this
selfless act, over 10,000 Tampa Bay families received the free foreclosure
help we were there to provide. This story did not go unnoticed and HEA was
presented with many awards and much recognition including winning the
coveted Non Profit of the Year through the PBS franchise the "Be More
Awards". HEA survived long enough to stage a comeback. New supporters
appeared offering funding for HEA's programs.
Members of HEA staff
contribute to the private industry sector by participating in workshops or
speaking at industry events. In February 2009, Sylvia Alvarez, was the
keynote speaker at Fannie Mae's Women's History Conference in Washington,
Together Sylvia Alvarez, Executive Director and Walter Walker,
HEA's Director of Education co-authored a book entitled "The American
Nightmare - Strategies for Preventing, Surviving and Overcoming
Foreclosure." The book was endorsed by the National Association of Hispanic
Real Estate Professionals and funded in part by Freddie Mac. It was
translated into Spanish and is used by housing counselors and families
facing foreclosure. Sylvia and Walter were the featured guests at Neighbor
Works Author's Luncheon in Atlanta in 2009 to highlight their work on the
book. They have also been guests or featured in several local and national
media including Bloomberg Radio, Ebony magazine, BankRate.com, Time magazine
Online, Radio and TV, Wall Street Journal and Yahoo News.
become an agency known for "punching above its weight" in the housing
market. Sylvia Alvarez has been invited to the Washington, DC 6 times to
consult with high level White House staff regarding housing issues and she
has been appointed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Consumer
Advisory Board and the JP Morgan Chase Advisory Board.
to make strides and adding programs to help our communities with housing
Some of these programs include:
Home Buyer Education
HEA is currently under contract to the City of Tampa to provide
Education and counseling to first time home buyers; thus allowing eligible
participants to receive up to $15,000 in assistance.
HEA offers free counseling for individuals and families
who may be at risk of loosing their home to foreclosure; the State of
Florida provides up to $40,000 in financial assistance to help prevent
foreclosure to eligible households.
provides basic financial literacy education and coaching to any one seeking
to improve their current situation.
RU Lender Ready
provides counseling and assistance to anyone who has questions or problems
with their credit and who wants to apply for a first mortgage.
HomeTRACK Online Education
HomeTRACK is an online education program
intended to serve the needs of those who because of work or other issues are
unable to attend a classroom Home Buyer Education Course. Home Track is
accepted by the Florida Bond and Hardest Hit Programs.
If you want to
learn more about HEA, HomeTRACK or our other programs visit us at
www.heausa.org, you will also find a short demo of HomeTRACK.
BUSINESS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2015
HORIZON BAY LUTZ, A BROOKDALE COMMUNITY
Kelly Winterling, Sales &
Horizon Bay Lutz offers Independent
Living and Assisted Living services for seniors.
Just north of Tampa in Lutz, Horizon Bay
Vibrant Retirement Living is situated on five acres and surrounded by
wildlife, trees and ponds. We are located off Nebraska Avenue (Hwy 41),
about a mile north of Bearss Avenue, across the street from Publix and
behind the River of Life church. Our neighbors are a farm with horses and an
organic vegetable garden. Birds, rabbits and butterflies are frequent
Our two-story building consists of 85
apartment homes, all with high ceilings, 6-foot windows, full kitchens and
walk-in showers. Three activity rooms, a library, billiards room, and beauty
and barber shop are conveniently located in the building. Outside, a walking
path circles half of the property.
Residents especially appreciate our
all-the-time dining. We offer restaurant-style dining with no set meal times
or assigned seating. Residents can order from a menu with multiple options
that are always changing. Outside dining is also available on our large,
screened patio. Delicious food, regional cuisine and courteous service are
just some of the ingredients that make our meals even tastier.
What is an Independent Living
Independent living can best be described as
communal living, senior citizen housing option which provides supportive
services such as meals, transportation, scheduled recreational activities
and a variety of concierge services.
An independent living community may
be a good option if:
- Only minor assistance is needed with activities of daily living
- You, or a loved one, want a place to live that requires little or no home maintenance and yard work
- You, or a loved one, want to socialize with your peers and broaden your social network
- You, or a loved one, want to enjoy activities and meals in the company of others
What is an Assisted Living Community?
An Assisted Living community assists
residents with activities of daily living and basic care support in a
homelike or apartment setting. Residents receive three meals a day,
recreational and social activities, housekeeping, linen service, apartment
maintenance and transportation.
Trained caregivers provide attention and
assistance with medication management, bathing, dressing and cooking
24-hours a day. In addition, staff will coordinate services with outside
healthcare providers and monitor residents to ensure they are healthy.
An Assisted living community may be a
good option if:
- Hands on assistance from a nurse or care associate is needed
- You, or a loved one, need help with activities of daily living
- You, or a loved one, need help with medication management
- Your doctor, or your loved ones doctor, feels it is no longer safe for you to live alone
The Brookdale Difference
As a Brookdale resident, our promise is to
help you navigate the experiences of senior living in all the places life
leads you. In Brookdale’s Horizon Bay Lutz community you will find spacious
apartments, elegant common areas and numerous services that assure your
comfort and satisfaction: truly, active senior living that inspires and
fulfills. The Brookdale difference is evident in signature programs and
services that are available only to Brookdale retirement living residents.
Brookdale’s Assisted Living communities provide solutions for those in need
of limited care. Our customized assisted living communities approach focuses
- Being a trusted partner
- Listening to your needs
- Understanding the life you want for yourself or your loved one
- Customizing a solution that puts that life within reach
BUSINESS OF THE MONTH -
(Payroll - Insurance - Benefits - HR)
Lori Lynn Behrendt,
Inspire Businesses To Be The Best They Can Be.
FrankCrum helps businesses
control the costs associated with HR administration. Through an
industry model called a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), FrankCrum
provides an affordable package that includes payroll processing, workers’
compensation insurance, HR services and access to top level benefits
available to large employers. This support frees business owners to
focus on the success and growth of their company and their employees.
With over 3,000 clients nationwide, we exercise group buying power
for product and service efficiency that most businesses can’t affordably
FrankCrum is a family-owned business
headquartered in Clearwater that employs almost 300 people. We’ve been in
business for over 30 years helping small and medium sized companies succeed,
and relieving them of heavy administrative burden.
We enable employers to offer employee
benefits and we administer plans for our clients. These benefit plans
include health, dental, flexible spending accounts and supplemental
insurance. We also offer and administer 401(k) plans with little or no fees,
and employer contributions are completely optional.
With FrankCrum, business owners can cost
effectively delegate the responsibilities of HR, employee benefits, payroll
and workers’ compensation to our experienced and expansive team. This frees
them up to focus on their business.
no-obligation quote, call or email Lori Lynn Behrendt or Tracy Weinstock
|P| 727-799-1229 Ext. 1683 or 1689