This week I traveled to Bradenton to
visit an old friend and former colleague, Representative Bill
Galvano. He invited us down for an opportunity to visit with
some of his constituents and learn how we can serve them better.
We began with a tour of his law firm where his partners discussed
the challenges of helping their clients complete our forms
and navigate our regulations. They identified some initial
obstacles to licensure and have offered to help us streamline
some of the regulation that is a perpetual stumbling block
for their clients. Too often people find ways to work around
confusing rules instead of offering ideas for improvements,
and this feedback is essential in helping us improve our customer
We then visited with some of Bill’s constituents, ranging
from County Commissioners to Congressional staff, from Chamber
leaders to Realtors. We talked about the pressing issues in
their community, including the need for more affordable property
insurance and the demand for better transportation infrastructure,
and it was clear that despite the challenges, the people who
have lived there for generations are very committed to improving
the quality of life in Bradenton.
Then we did a very quick tour of the Tropicana facility. In
1947, Anthony Rossi founded Tropicana in Bradenton when he
decided that the balmy, subtropical weather and unique soil
conditions make Florida's citrus the world's finest for juicing.
Now, the company supplies fruit juice around the world, and
we saw some of the massive infrastructure upgrades they have
made in order to satisfy the demand for the best orange juice
in the world. Tropicana purchases 40 percent of the oranges
grown in Florida, and because we regulate farm labor, we talked
about the challenges of finding an adequate labor supply in
the height of picking season.
Finally, we visited with one of Bill’s constituents who had
recently opened a new full-service fitness center, Electra
Fitness Studio & Spa. The co-owner, Chris Teale, was very
optimistic about the prospects for his new business; they
had done significant market research before opening and have
rapidly been growing their membership. But he also outlined
some of the challenges in completing the necessary paperwork
and explained that obtaining the various approvals from the
various local and state offices delayed their opening by a
month. Representative Galvano and his staff were very helpful
in navigating the process.
It was a treat to visit the beautiful community of Bradenton
and an important reminder of the many businesses across the
state that depend on us every day to help them get to work.
Department of Business and
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:
Here is a schedule of next week’s professional
board meetings. For full meeting details, we’ve included a link
below to the department’s online calendar.
19 , 2007
BOARD OF EMPLOYEE LEASING COMPANIES
Telephone Conference Call
PROFESSIONAL BOARD NEWSLETTERS
To download a free copy, visit:
Holly Benson with Representative Bill Galvano in front of
the Tropicana facility in Bradenton.