News of the business week to come

News of the business week to come

By Times Staff
Published March 3, 2008

TALLAHASSEE HAS APPARENTLY TAKEN NOTICE of the more than 24,000 local properties that entered the foreclosure pipeline last year. Gov. Charlie Crist recently formed the Home Ownership Promotes the Economy (HOPE) Task Force. The task force will bring together banking and mortgage experts, consumer advocates and politicians to study how foreclosures hurt Florida's economy. It meets four times, starting today in Tallahassee. Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp is chairman. Tampa area members include state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and St. Petersburg Realtor Nancy Riley.

Here we go again: Investors in Cryo-Cell International Inc. will get another crack at picking directors during a special meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Courtyard by Marriott in Oldsmar. But shareholders in the money-losing company won't get a lot of choices. The management-backed slate, which includes two large investors, is the only group on the ballot. The Oldsmar stem-cell company was ordered to hold a revote by a judge in Delaware after a dissident shareholder challenged results from the annual meeting in July.

A trio of executives whose businesses pack a punch in Florida will speak at the University of Tampa's annual Fellows Forum at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. They include AirTran Airways CEO Robert Fornaro, Raymond James Financial CEO Tom James and Peter Beck, managing partner of the Beck Group. Tickets are $40 and available through the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce at www.tampachamber.com or (813) 276-9440.

Want to know what Bob Graham's been doing in his post-U.S. Senate career? This week is the grand opening of the University of Florida's Bob Graham Center for Public Service. It's devoted to training students for world leadership with an emphasis on China, Latin America and the Middle East. The center will cram in guest speakers all week, but the highlight is a town hall meeting at noon Wednesday with five former Florida governors: Graham, Reubin Askew, Claude Kirk, Wayne Mixson and Buddy MacKay.

High-tech executives from across the country and the AeA Florida Council convene in Tallahassee on Wednesday for the 14th annual "Tech Days in Tallahassee" event meant to show that Florida's economy must encourage a strong high-tech industry. Twenty companies from Florida and other states will showcase their technology on the Capitol's grounds.

Former music producerLou Pearlman's Windermere mansion goes on the auction block at 1 p.m. Saturday. Fisher Auction Co. of Pompano Beach is handling the sale by order of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Pearlman is awaiting trial on federal bank fraud charges. For more information, go to www.fisherauction.com.

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