Monday's Afternoon Update
What You Need to Know About Florida Today
Drilling off Keys to begin by December
A giant, semi-submersible oil rig en route from Singapore will probably be drilling in the Florida Straits between Key West and Cuba in mid-December. The rig could arrive earlier, but Repsol, the Spanish oil company, wants to wait until after hurricane season ends before it begins drilling. This latest report on the progress of the Italian-made Scarabeo 9 oil rig comes from Lee Hunt, the chief executive of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, who just returned from a trip to Cuba last week as part of a joint delegation with the environmental group, the Environmental Defense Fund. Hunt also said that Repsol plans on having one well drilled by the end of the year. Read more at the Miami Herald.
» Related video commentary from CNN:
Why our Cuba embargo could lead to another Gulf oil disaster
Customer service is so important to each and every business. If the service is great, your customers will keep coming back. If it is poor, they simply will not. One important thing to remember is that the quality of the customer service you provide is not judged by you or your company. It is entirely about the customer's perception. You must do everything in your power to ensure that the service rendered matches up with what the customer desires. There probably is no better way to kill a service experience than using the word "no." Sometimes "no" is disguised in phrases such as, "against company policy," "we just cannot do that," or "that is not permissible." Continued...»
Politics: A guide to Florida GOP's Presidency 5 event this week
Central Florida will be crawling with presidential candidates this week as the state Republican Party on Thursday kicks off its three-day Presidency 5 conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The three-day conference starts with a Faith and Freedom Coalition rally and then a live Fox News presidential debate at 9 p.m. On Friday, the American Conservative Union holds its CPAC-FL conference featuring the presidential contenders, a myriad of prominent conservatives and a debate by the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate. On Saturday, most of the presidential candidates will address nearly 3,500 P5 delegates from across Florida who will hold a straw poll, or mock presidential primary election. Continue reading at the St. Petersburg Times.
Naples company's two products seen as answer to Contagion, bedbugs
On its website, US Hygienics uses the movie "Contagion" to promote its newly acquired cleaner. The company, just four months old and headquartered in Naples, is making an aggressive push into the international marketplace with two products. A non-toxic disinfectant, called Sanosil, promises to kill "99.99 percent of viruses, bacteria and molds." With that kind of success rate, company executives believe it could help fight a deadly, fast-spreading virus like the one shown in the recently released movie, Contagion. US Hygienics's other product, a natural insecticide, fights another kind of epidemic: bedbugs. It's called Bed Bug Fix. It quickly kills many bugs, including bedbugs and dust mites. For more, see the Naples News.
Innovation the current buzzword at UF, but not all agree on approach
The University of Florida College of Engineering brought together leaders in academia, business and government for a summit on the role of universities in promoting innovation — but that doesn't mean they always agreed on the issue. Jamie Grooms, co-founder of two local biotechnology companies, said startup companies used to be able to raise money with just a concept, but in the current environment they need proof the concept works to get investors. Grooms suggests that government play a role in providing seed money for so companies can grow into viable businesses. "The rewards back to this state would be dramatic," Grooms said. Others, such as Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, say "The best thing that government can do is get the hell out of the way right now. " For more, go to the Gainesville Sun.
» Related: UF is opening its Innovation Hub incubator for startup technology companies next month
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