Thursday, November 23, 2017


Robert Trigaux

Robert Trigaux

Robert Trigaux joined the Times as a business writer in 1991. In 2000, he began writing a business column three times a week. He served as business editor from 2005 to 2008, when he resumed his role as business columnist. While at the Times, he has covered a range of beats including banking and finance, technology, telecommunications, energy and economic development. He has received various awards for business writing, including two Green Eyeshades from the Society of Professional Journalists, a commendation for column writing from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and a first place in business columns from the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. In the late 1970s, Robert started his business journalism career in New York writing for various business publications covering topics from technology to the furniture industry. At the American Banker, a daily national newspaper, he covered the financial industry in New York and London, then served for eight years as its bureau chief in Washington, D.C. He holds an economics degree from Colgate University.

Barry Rosenstein, principal owner of hedge fund Jana Partners. Jana took a 8.74 percent stake in Tampa's Bloomin' Brands, parent of Outback Steakhouse and three other restaurant chains, because Bloomin' is perceived as an underperformer. Jana may push to sell the company. [Courtesy of Jana Partners]

Up for sale? Activist investor grabs stake in Tampa’s Bloomin’ Brands

TAMPA — If you tread water too long in the same spot, someone might start asking why you’re not trying to swim somewhere.Tampa’s Bloomin’ Brands — parent company of such prominent restaurant chains as Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
Tampa serial entrepreneur Marc Blumenthal outlines an online tool called Synapse being developed to help better connect Tampa Bay's geographically dispersed and loosely connected startup community. Synapse, which will officially debut early next year, will make it easier for entrepreneurs, investors, educators, business accelerators and incubators, government officials and others eager to find specific interests in the

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are...
Published: 11/17/17
Tampa Bay serial entrepreneur Tom Wallace: The area needs our own unicorn, a breakout tech company that can grown to more than $1 billion in value. [Handout photo]

We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

What one thing could be added to the Tampa Bay startup community to help it grow and prosper?The Tampa Bay Times reached out to these leading area entrepreneurs and startup experts for answers.
Published: 11/17/17
In Pinellas County, fast growing personal finance information provider The Penny Hoarder announced this week it will hire by 2020 more 165 new employees at an average annual wage of $66,098. Founder and CEO Kyle Taylor, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and other business and political leaders joined the company's staff to celebrate the expansion in downtown St. Petersburg. Pinellas County boasts the highest average personal income among Tampa Bay area counties, says the Bureau of Economic Analysis. [Company handout]

Florida personal income grows, but national gap widens

The wallets of most area Floridians continue to grow. Just not as fast as they might like.Personal income rose in 2016 in most counties making up the greater Tampa Bay area, with Pinellas boasting both the highest average income of $49,186 and...
Published: 11/16/17
A University of Tampa academic team unveiled its first annual check-up on the health and needs of the Tampa Bay entrepreneurial ecosystem Wednesday evening in Tampa. The effort to boost startup activity is led by Rebecca J. White, professor of entrepreneurship and director of the the university's John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center.

A year after first assessing Tampa Bay startup scene, a call to nurture more veteran dealmakers

TAMPA — A year ago, an academic team of business experts announced they would put a "Fitbit" on Tampa Bay to help measure how its start-up scene or "entrepreneurial ecosystem" was doing and where it needed help. Two areas of concern were cited: the...
Published: 11/15/17
Tampa Bay Partnership chair Rhea Law talks about the new Regional Competitiveness Report introduced Tuesday to Tampa Bay business and community leaders at a luncheon at USF in Tampa. She also praised USF Muma College of Business's plan to use more timely, non-traditional data to track how this community is doing. She wrapped up the luncheon echoing the business school's pitch that the best way to predict Tampa Bay's future is to take a more direct approach in shaping it. [Robert Trigaux, Times]

Trigaux: Can we grasp potential of two new ways to track region’s ability to compete?

TAMPA — Two fresh ways to track how Tampa Bay is doing compared to other metro areas were unveiled Tuesday to business and community leaders here during a luncheon held at the University of South Florida. The Tampa Bay Partnership introduced its first...
Published: 11/14/17
Troy Taylor, CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, is heading a new task force on workforce talent development for the Tampa Bay Partnership. [Courtesy of  Coca-Cola Beverages of Florida]

Tackling Tampa Bay’s talent challenge

Troy Taylor runs one of this region’s faster-growing businesses as chief executive officer of Tampa-based Coca-Cola Beverages Florida. So who does he spend the most time with in this demanding role? His senior vice president of human resources. It...
Published: 11/10/17
Tampa Bay Partnership chair Rhea Law, head of the Florida offices of the Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney law firm, believes coalitions will emerge to help improve weak spots in the Tampa Bay community in the wake of a new analysis tracking how the region is doing compared to other metro areas. Left in photo, Tampa Bay Partnership CEO Rick Homans says the idea to be competitive is critical --

Trigaux: What’s our weakest link? To compete as a region, first fix our talent gap

We are about to learn where Tampa Bay stands versus its peers, so perhaps we finally can better focus on — and fix — what needs the most attention to become more competitive.A sweeping set of regional indicators that compares Tampa Bay’s...
Published: 11/10/17
As Tampa's Bloomin' Brands struggles in a competitive industry, its restaurant chains have continued to experiment in ways to revive sales. In this 2015 photo, 
Jay Smith, head chef of Carrabba's Italian Grill, worked on the chain's then-new small plate offerings for a new menu at  the Carrabba's test kitchen in Tampa. In the latest quarter, Carrabba's per-store U.S. sales in company-owned locations fell 2.8 percent. Bloomin' also owns Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]

Trigaux: Tampa parent of Outback, Carrabba’s still struggling amid glut of restaurants

Will Bloomin’ Brands ever find a way to regain the restaurant mojo of old when its core chains like Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill were hot properties?The Tampa company Friday morning reported a tepid, at best,...
Updated one month ago
The Tampa Bay Partnership, a regional economic development group, worked for more than a year with about 90 area organizations to hammer out a broad set of

Trigaux: At last, Tampa Bay embraces one set of indicators to gauge its future course

It’s not your typical event when close to 90 top organizations — from businesses, philanthropic groups, chambers of commerce and hospitals to universities, public schools, major sports franchises and local governments — meet around one table and over...
Updated one month ago