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Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

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.

Phone: (727) 893-8405

Email: trigaux@tampabay.com

Blog: Venture

Twitter: @VentureTampaBay

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  1. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall

    Business

    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

    New figures show Florida's real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 — the latest quarterly data available — ranking the Sunshine State fourth in growth among the states and District of Columbia, behind Texas, Utah and Washington. For all of 2016, Florida's GDP increased 3 percent, ranking fifth behind Washington, Oregon, Utah and New Hampshire....

  2. Trigaux: These 9 made a distinct business mark in Tampa Bay but where are they now?

    Business

    Tampa Bay's business scene might best be described as fluid. Lots of people come and lots of people go. Some stay long enough to make a significant impression — usually a good one, but not always. Here are nine notable leaders — many in health care but also in sports business, publishing and even a whistleblower against corporate wrongdoing.

    Chances are you know some if not all of their names. Many you have no doubt lost track of over the months and years. Where are they now and what are they up to? Read on....

    Jim Burkhart served as CEO of Tampa General Hospital for four years before resigning from that position in late 2016. Now he has re-emerged as a senior partner with the Tampa healthcare consulting firm CSuite Solutions. [Courtesy of Tampa General Hospital]
  3. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    On a blustery Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of technology executives, entrepreneurs, economic developers and others converged on the Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg to hear 18 area speakers share what's got the region's tech community feeling pretty good these days. And they learned what needs to be done to take to the next level what the area tech sector likes to call "Florida's largest and fastest growing tech hub."...

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  4. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    After some rough years, it may take a bit of a magician to reimagine Duke Energy Florida's public image and growth strategy.

    Such is the tough task ahead. A self-described "mountain boy" from Asheville, N.C. (before it became hip, he says), Sideris succeeded Alex Glenn earlier this year as Duke Energy Florida's state president based in St. Petersburg. ...

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris, 46, answers questions from the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Wednesday. Sideris has some tough tasks ahead in Florida: improving customer service, building more solar power plants and diversifying Duke’s fuel sources, to name a few.
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay lands on Forbes 2017 ranking of best places for young professionals

    Working Life

    Consider this one more notch in the belt of Tampa Bay starting to win serious attention from millennials as a place to live and build a career.

    Forbes on Monday released its 2017 ranking of the best 25 larger metropolitan areas in the country for young professionals. Tampa Bay ranked No. 19 nationwide out of the 100 largest metro areas and, remarkably, was listed higher than such youth-branded cities as Boston, Atlanta and Minneapolis-St. Paul....

    Mike Griffin is a senior managing director in Tampa for Savills Studley Occupier Services, which provides integrated real estate services. He is also chairman for 2017 of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the first of the next generation of leadership emerging in this metro market. [Courtesy of Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce]
  6. Trigaux: Why I love and hate deal by giant Express Scripts to buy Tampa's myMatrixx firm

    Business

    One of the more dynamic up-and-comer technology firms in Tampa, myMatrixx was just bought by Express Scripts, a Fortune 100 company in St. Louis with more than $100 billion in revenues.

    I love the deal because a smart local startup grew and was well rewarded by being noticed (then bought) by one of the larger companies in America. That's capitalism, and a dream of many young, growing businesses and their backers here to find an "exit" and reap their financial reward....

    Veteran startup investor Thomas W. Cardy is CEO and vice chairman of myMatrixx Holdings, the parent of the pharmacy benefits manager firm myMatrixx in Tampa. myMatrixx was acquired in a deal announced Thursday by Express Scripts in St. Louis.  [Courtesy of myMatrixx]
  7. Trigaux: How Tampa's ReliaQuest cybersecurity firm tracks ransomware attack around the clock

    Business

    It's been all hands on deck at ReliaQuest's security special operations center in Tampa since late last week when a ransomware attack spread like wildfire to more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries and continues to threaten business, individuals and government IT systems at the start of the new work week.

    At the young cybersecurity firm, nearly 170 of its 250 employees are on technical security, rotating in shifts 24/7 to track the attack of the so-called WannaCry ransomware program that targets a security hole in the Microsoft Windows operating system. A patch or software fix to plug that hole was issued in March by Microsoft but many businesses big and small failed to update their systems in time, leaving them vulnerable to the aptly named WannaCry. The malicious software, or malware, locks users out of their computers, threatening to destroy data if a ransom is not paid....

    At Tampa's ReliaQuest, IT teams work 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the company's security operations centers to provide systems protection to Fortune 2000 business clients. The cybersecurity firm is closely tracking the latest WannaCry ransomware attacks that spread swiftly across the globe over the weekend and are now being felt in the new work week. [Courtesy of ReliaQuest]
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  8. Trigaux: As legislators cut job incentives, Tampa leaders fight perception Florida's closed for business

    Economic Development

    Is Florida suddenly closed for business?

    Absurd as that idea may seem, it is a growing concern to Tampa Bay's economic development community — a perception that job-competing states may use against this state and its metro areas.

    For months, our economic development leaders here have watched and winced as the state Legislature condemned Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida — the state's key agencies for job recruiting and tourism promotion — as agents of "corporate welfare."...

    Tampa Hillsborough EDC President Craig Richard (left) and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan met Wednesday with other area business and education leaders to discuss how best to fight a perception that Florida's no longer in the economic development business. Efforts by state legislators to diminish the roles and funding of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida could hurt the this area's ability to attract quality jobs and a healthy flow of tourists. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  9. Trigaux: Here's the latest thing Jeff Vinik is doing to make Tampa a magnet for urban development

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Could Tampa become a major hub people flock to for the best and brightest urban development ideas?

    The owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a leader of one of the biggest urban redevelopment efforts in the nation, Jeff Vinik today is announcing he will personally partner with New York-based Dreamit to bring its high-end business accelerator and about ten elite startups specializing in urban technology to Tampa this fall....

    Avi Savar is CEO and managing director of the Dreamit business accelerator in New York that will partner with Tampa Bay Lightning owner and real estate developer Jeff Vinik to bring 8-10 highly qualified startups in urban technology to Tampa this September. The startups will take advantage of being in on the ground floor of the $3 billion, 50+ acre development by Strategic Property Partners near downtown Tampa to develop urban tech innovative products in construction, real estate, urban design and connectivity. It may be a first step in a long-term relationship to develop an innovation district in the SPP project. [Photo courtesy of Dreamit]
  10. Trigaux: Who's hot and growing, who's not and shrinking among area's top public companies

    Business

    Curious similarities lurk among three of Tampa Bay's hottest and fastest growing publicly traded companies that explain their current success. In that same vein, distinct ties can be found among three other area corporations in serious need of rejuvenation.

    The three fast-lane companies briefly profiled here are all involved in rapid growth by acquisitions. Two of the three are wrapping up the biggest deals in their corporate histories. The other is rapidly expanding both by purchases and via aggressive recruiting of financial advisers. All three of these company stocks are at or near all-time highs. It helps these three are in strong industries in this economy: health care insurance, technology distribution and financial services....

    Ken Burdick, CEO of Tampa's WellCare Health Plans, is dressed in anticipation of taking an ice bucket challenge in 2015 to promote awareness of ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His arrival at WellCare has been anything but chilly. The company's stock has doubled since he took on the chief executive role several years ago. [Handout photo]
  11. Trigaux: Startups celebrate need for new space at Tampa Bay WaVE's Channelside site

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Sure, it's easy to say the Tampa Bay startup community has many miles to go before it reaps — the rewards of celebrating major companies born and raised here.

    But on Tuesday morning, there was a bold theme at the gathering held inside the Tampa Bay WaVE business incubator's second location, a peek preview of what will open this summer in space along Channelside Drive:...

    Tom Mulliez, founder of outdoor adventure startup iTrekkers, listens to Tampa Bay WaVE president Linda Olson, give an enthusiastic update on the potential for this region's entrepreneurial economy at a preview opening of WaVE's second Tampa location on Channelside Drive. A standing room only audience of more than 160 attended the morning event.
[ROBERT TRIGAUX | Times]
  12. Trigaux: Beyond dominating BofA and Wells Fargo, new crop of banks pushing into Florida market

    Banking

    Think Florida's banking industry is fat and slow moving, controlled by two dominating institutions — Bank of America and Wells Fargo? If so, you're missing the bigger picture.

    The banking scene here is constantly changing. Just witness the latest wave of financial players — banks coming out of lower-profile states like Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana — seeking to expand in the Sunshine State....

    In downtown Tampa in 2014, a senior banking team lead by Florida Bank Group CEO Susan Martinez orchestrated a turnaround of the troubled community bank. Louisiana-based IberiaBank would purchase Florida Bank Group in a $90-million deal finalized in 2015. IberiaBank is now buying Sabadell United Bank in Miami to further expand in Florida. [SCOTT KEELER | TIMES]
  13. HSN CEO Mindy Grossman resigning to head Weight Watchers International

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — HSN chief executive officer Mindy Grossman, one of the revered names in the retail shopping industry, is leaving the St. Petersburg TV/digital shopping company after 11 years to become president and CEO of Weight Watchers International Inc.

    Grossman, 59, will join the diet company in July. Weight Watchers has been in the news often in recent times — ever since media billionaire Oprah Winfrey became a prominent investor and brand ambassador (by losing 40 pounds on its diet). Increased brand visibility hasn't translated to higher revenue, however. Weight Watchers' business has struggled in an era of such new technologies as fitness trackers and alternative diet programs and has been looking for fresh leadership....

    Mindy Grossman shown in 2006 after becoming CEO of HSN.
[DIRK SHADD | Times}
  14. HSN's Mindy Grossman to be president, CEO of Weight Watchers

    Blog

    HSN chief executive officer Mindy Grossman, one of the revered names in the retail shopping industry, is leaving the St. Petersburg TV/digital shopping company after 11 years to assume a “leadership position with another public company,” the company said.

    In a separate release, Weight Watchers International Inc said Grossman will join as the diet company’s CEO in July.

    Grossman’s resignation from HSN will be effective on May 24. She will not stand for election to the board of directors....

    Mindy Grossman has been CEO of HSN Inc. since 2006.
  15. Trigaux: How a tasty menu helped bring Quality Distribution's headquarters to downtown Tampa

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — I'm not sure whether to credit the mushroom ricotta stuffed Paccheri pasta or wild boar lasagna at the Cena restaurant.

    Such tasty Italian fare, it can be argued, is at least one good reason a billion-dollar company based in a Tampa office park near I-75 committed to relocate its headquarters and 250 employees to downtown Tampa's Channel District.

    Tampa's Quality Distribution Inc., a long established area bulk transport trucking business, plans to move downtown, committing to a 10-year lease for 45,000 square feet of commercial office space inside the Grand Central at Kennedy building....

    Ken Stoltenberg is director of the Tampa-based Mercury Advisors commercial real estate firm. Its projects include Grand Central at Kennedy, a mixed-used residential condo, retail and commercial office space building in the Channel District near downtown Tampa. [Handout photo]