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Monday's Afternoon Update

FSU's Eric Barron to become president of Penn State

Eric J. Barron, current president of Florida State University, was chosen Monday to lead Pennsylvania's largest university. During his four years at Florida State, Barron has been an aggressive advocate for increased state funding and academic recognition for the university.  He was formerly a  professor and dean at Penn State. Over the weekend, Barron shocked FSU trustees by publicly talking about leaving the school in a newspaper interview in Florida. More at the AP, and also see:

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida Business
How to sell more stuff to more people more often

Greater Fort LauderdaleMarking Stein's
100th column!
» Links to Ron Stein's top 10 columns

Every company has a reason for being in business. When that purpose is properly communicated, people warm up. When people feel the need for your offering in their own lives, they listen. When they see a company that’s different, provides value, and can be trusted, they buy.

Read Ron Stein's full column here.

US small businesses are tapping wealthy Chinese investors for loans

Education & Training

Technical schools now state-of-the-future options


Just a few years ago, Southwest Florida's pair of technical schools were considered the place students went if they could not get into college. Some even saw the schools, which were dilapidated and filled with junky, often second-hand tools and equipment, as akin to a prison.

But not anymore.
» Full story from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

It’s well known that China’s wealthy investors are stashing money abroad in real estate and offshore bank accounts. But their investment in US small and mid-sized businesses, thanks to America’s immigrant investor program known as the EB-5 visa, is rapidly growing. More at Quartz.

Small Business Advice
Make sure your business dealings conform to your broader ideals

Every once in a while I see a company making a strategic decision not because of the money, but because it is the right thing to do. The recent announcement by CVS Caremark that it will remove all tobacco products from its stores is one such decision. Read Jerry Osteryoung's full column.

Business travelers flee to favorite winter getaways

With many regions of the country saddled with frigid temperatures and snow and ice this winter, many business travelers are burning vacation days to seek warmth and relaxation at various sunny locales. More at USA Today.

Out of the Box
Move to regulate Florida sea cucumber driven by Asian appetite

sea cucumberThis is a story about sex, supply and demand, global trade, corruption, government regulation and one of the ugliest sea creatures in Florida. Among the marine animals that live in the Florida Keys is the sea cucumber. It is animal, not vegetable — a long and lumpy invertebrate that looks like a cross between a diseased zucchini and an overinflated eclair.

» Full story from the Tampa Bay Times