Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Dr. Patrick Hwu's talents aren't just limited to the field of immunology


(Key)Board Certified

Dr. Patrick Hwu, president and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center, is an expert in immunology, but his skills aren’t limited to that field. He’s also a pretty good keyboard player.

After arriving in Tampa last year from his position at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Hwu began assembling a band. The result is the ReMissions, a collection of five Moffitt employees, including Hwu on keyboards and Dr. Dana Ataya, a breast radiologist, on vocals. Other members include Jeff Leighton, a registered nurse, on bass; Dr. James Mulé, a researcher, on guitar; and drummer Ron Zalva, who works in security.

“Our No. 1 rule for the band,” Hwu says, “is to have fun.”


  • Manatee County approved a request by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, the developer of Lakewood Ranch, to rezone 252 acres near Parrish for residential development. The land, now zoned for up to three homes an acre, had been zoned for agriculture.


  • Flavors & Fragrances, a New York-based scent and flavor developer, will occupy lab space at a facility expected to open by 2023 at Florida Polytechnic University. IFF will offer internships and job opportunities to Florida Poly students.
  • Florida Southern College in Lakeland will use a $250,000 grant from the Truist Foundation to help fund cyber-security initiatives, including creating a cyber-entrepreneurship accelerator program and furnishing a cyber-security teaching lab.


  • Thonotosassa-based Harney Hardware, a supplier of residential and commercial hardware, is spending $7.5 million to build a 45,000-sq.-ft. logistics facility in ComPark 75 off I-75 in Pasco County, where it will employ 20.


  • Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers, an outpatient chain of clinics based in Indiana, plans to open 30 autism therapy centers in Florida, starting along the Gulf coast with centers opening this fall in Brandon, Fort Myers, Sarasota and St. Petersburg.


  • Clearwater has a new city manager. Jon Jennings, who had been city manager in Portland, Maine, since 2015, replaces Bill Horne, who died in August of an apparent heart attack just three weeks before he planned to retire after 20 years on the job. Jennings, 58, arrives as Clearwater implements a $84-million plan to redevelop the city’s downtown waterfront district.


  • PGT Innovations, a North Venice maker of windows and doors, has purchased California-based Anlin Windows & Doors for $126 million. Anlin, which focuses on the vinyl windows and doors market, generated $106 million in sales during its most recent fiscal year.


  • Orlando’s Zom Living has started construction on a 289- unit, seven-building rental development on 13 acres in Brandon.
  • Six months after outsourcing its printing work to a Gannett-owned printing plant in Lakeland, the Tampa Bay Times sold the 27-acre site that housed its former printing plant in St. Petersburg for $21 million to Twenty Lake Holdings, a real estate subsidiary of New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital.
  • Construction is underway on Meridian at Punta Gorda Isles, a 127-unit senior-living facility in Punta Gorda.
  • The 15-story Icon Central apartment building in St. Petersburg has sold for $149 million. The complex was developed and owned by the Related Group of Miami, which sold it to Houston-based Camden Property Trust.


  • Tech Data’s $8.3-billion merger with California-based Synnex is complete. The merged public company, now named TD Synnex, has joint headquarters, one in Largo, where Tech Data had been based, and the other in Fremont, Calif., where Synnex was based. Rich Hume, Tech Data’s CEO, was named TD Synnex’s CEO, while Dennis Polk, Synnex’s CEO, will serve as executive chair.


  • Hillsborough County’s Tourist Development Council agreed to fund $16 million in renovations to the Tampa Convention Center. The money will be distributed over the next eight years. Plans call for adding 18,000 square feet of meeting rooms, as well as renovating restrooms and improving heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
  • Pinellas County collected $8.3 million in tourism development tax revenue in June, a 94% increase from June 2020 and a 46% increase from the pre-pandemic month of June 2019, according to Visit St. Pete/Clearwater.


  • Allegiant Airlines has started twice-weekly flights connecting St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Key West International Airport. Allegiant is also expanding at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, adding flights to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Tulsa, Okla.


  • Lee County Electric Cooperative, which provides power to six counties in Southwest Florida, received $27.1 million from FEMA to help defray the costs the utility incurred as a result of 2017’s Hurricane Irma. Because of storm damage, LCEC replaced 879 power meters, 1,107 concrete and wood poles, 376 streetlights and 659 transformers.

Elite Jets, a private jet charter service based at the Naples Airport, has hired seven employees, including three pilots, to accommodate increased demand for charter travel spurred by the pandemic. “For affluent travelers, the choice about how to fly — first-class commercially or privately — once was a financial decision,” says Stephen Myers, the company’s executive vice president. “Now it is a health and safety decision. Passengers feel more comfortable knowing it is just their traveling party and flight crew on board.”


Read more in Florida Trend's November issue.
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