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November 16, 2007

Dear Friends:

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 service.

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.

Secretary Benson Signature
Holly Benson

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation

1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:

Board Schedule header

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.

November 19 , 2007

Telephone Conference Call

To download a free copy, visit:

Secretary Benson and Representative Bill Galvano

Secretary Holly Benson with Representative Bill Galvano in front of the Tropicana facility in Bradenton.

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