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FREE AUGUST

2010

South Tampa EDITION

Focus Spotlight Interview Âť

Tony Ludovico

See the Underwater World Through His Lens

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table of contents

july 2010 volume 1 issue 6

101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd. Plant City, FL 33563 Phone 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

Publisher Mike Floyd Office Manager Dede Floyd

Family of Community Magazines

Copy Editor Lynne Warren

 JULY 2010 LAKELAND EDITION

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Sales Sophia Hyde Sheryl Vitelli Holly Farmer

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Focus Spotlight Interview ďż˝

JERRY HAAG President, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes President of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes � Page 16

Production Anthony Sassano Tony Cartagena

FREE

AUGUST

2010

ontheCOVER

BRANDON EDITION

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ra is e od rig u Hon oto be cdo m$31,167 ez ra ry e th Bra n M a y oe r o don f FREE AUGUST

2010

SOUTH TAMPA EDITION

LAKE COUNTY EDITION

Zmax Radio Celebrates 1st Year Success Also in This Issue:

Networking in Lake County

8

FOCUS SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW ďż˝

Tony Ludovico

See the Underwater World Through His Lens

FOCUS

Plant City Lakeland Brandon Winter Haven Lake County South Tampa

Own Your Own FOcus Magazine

Licensed territories are available. If you are interested in owning your own Focus Magazine call Mike Floyd at 813-707-8783 ext. 26

LOCAL

Holy Trinity Christian School is a quaint, family oriented, private institution that provides a Christian dynamic in it curriculum. However, many families question whether to put their child in this school do to financial reasons. The economic struggles are resolved at Holy Trinity Christian School as they ask local businesses to sponsor different things within the school such as scholarships, adopt a classroom, etc. So turn to the LOCAL section for further information on Holy Trinity Christian School.

10

Spotlight

16

Real Estate

FOCUSTV

MYFOCUSTV.COM Local Community Stories New Episode Every Wednesday

TONY LUDOVICO

23

This month FOCUS focuses the spotlight on none other than the underwater photographer Tony Ludovico. Not only is Ludovico a photographer, he is a videographer. With his talent came many opportunities. In 2002, he had the chance to shoot underwater video footage in Panama for “Reel Adventures� that airs on Fox Sports Net. To find out some more exciting opportunities that Tony Ludovico experienced flip to the SPOTLIGHT section to be amazed.

Stop renting and start buying. Right now is the time for homeownership rather than renting and new residents who are relocating to the Tampa Bay area know just that. Visit our REAL ESTATE page to find out just who is buying and why right now is the perfect time to buy a home.

Dining review

Datz Delicatessen has a plethora of food options from over 40 different sandwich choices to the many options for breakfast like Datz Crabby Benedict and Maui Wowie French Toast. Datz Delicatessen even has food options for the vegetarian and healthy-friendly customers. Not only do they offer food at this restaurant they offer cooking classes as well for a small amount of $20. After reviewing our DINING section hop in your car and come enjoy what Datz Delicatessen has to offer.

FOCUSTV Brandon Hyde Kelleigh Klein Distibution Doug McGee Belva DeVane Photographers Suzanne Gallagher Billy Friend Lori Blaser Tony Cartagena Staff Writers Elizabeth Edwards Brian West Jeffrey Clements Lynne Warren Cheryl Johnston Al Ruechel Derek Maul Contributors Al Ruechel Bruce Rodwell Gil Gott Sherrie Mueller Jo-An Lusk Nate Davis Natalie Sweet Felix haynes

standards of accuracy The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us. So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail editorial@ floydpublications.com. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner. Readers who wish to respond to an article – not correct facts – can do so by writing a letter to the editor. If you need any other type of assistance, then please view the directory for the appropriate department. The staff at FOCUS Magazine is committed to serving their consumers and customers to the fullest of abilities. You’re paying attention to our words. Let us pay attention to yours. FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Letters, questions and comments can be sent to us at editorial@floydpublications.com. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.


FOCUS Magazine South Tampa August 2010

5


letter

A

hh, August… where did summer go? Not like I’m complaining. Aside from the culmination of beach season, August embodies a few of my favorite things. For starters, my birthday is the 5th (which happens to be the same day as my mother’s, so I get a twofer on that one). Secondly, football season is rapidly approaching, which means we will soon segue into autumn. While it’s no autumn in Ohio with crisp air and vibrant foliage, I welcome Florida’s breezy spell with open arms. I have always viewed summer as one big weekend. June signifies Friday, with promise of pool parties and barbecues just over the horizon. July is everyone’s favorite (Saturday) – Independence Day celebrations, tons of live music performances and festivals, and summer doesn’t even feel like it’s halfway through because you know that the whole month of August (Sunday) is still ahead. August is very much still the summer, but you know that soon, those carefree days will be a distant memory and your time will be geared towards preparing for the fall and winter. At least we don’t have to wear down jackets. Thankfully for our readers, football season within the South Tampa community brings great excitement. This month focuses on fall fashion (which I now believe you can appreciate without living in a northern climate) and the upcoming football season. As a Cleveland Browns fan, I am no stranger to a disappointing record, but that just makes me all the more loyal. I believe the same is true of Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans that are looking forward to embarking on a fresh start this September. In addition, we got a chance to interview Tony Ludovico, a world-renown underwater photographer (at least someone’s still embracing summer!). His work will truly give you a deeper appreciation for the deep blue. In closing, the staff at FOCUS magazine has thoroughly enjoyed our first summer in South Tampa. It has truly been a blessing and a privilege to meet so many people involved within this ever-evolving community, and so many more that want to help us make a difference as well! So even if the end of this sunny season is leaving you with a case of the Mondays, just defer that to thoughts of Monday night football and tailgates with good family, friends, food and fun. Carpe Diem,

Elizabeth Edwards

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August 2010 thefocusmagazine.com


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FOCUS Magazine South Tampa August 2010

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Local » Focus

when history isn’t Holy Trinity Christian School enough I Written By: Jennifer Adams

n the past three years, one of the topics of discussion has been about how the economy has affected all of us in one way or another. For small, private schools, it has had a direct effect. Since 1958, Holy Christian School, formally known as, Trinity Lutheran School, has been a hidden treasure in the South Tampa area. Now, the school is danger of its existence due to low enrollment and is seeking community assistance. During these hard economic times, smaller schools, private or public; are usually the ones who are getting hit the hardest. On average,

early childhood education. Even though she lives in Carrollwood, friends recommended HTCS to her based on its solid education offerings, the personalized attention towards its students and the preparation offered for her children’s future. “Two of my children went to school here, so I was with the school as a parent first and became an employee after that. It is definitely worth the commute for me and my family,” said Douglas. “I personally love the student to teacher ratio. My daughter is currently going into her 5th year at Holy Trinity Christian School and absolutely loves the educational programs offered. The teacher to family bond

I personally love the student to teacher ratio. My daughter is currently going into her 5th year at Holy Trinity Christian School and absolutely loves the educational programs offered.

8

student tuition does NOT cover 100% of the child, so without additional funds or help, private schools can not survive. As overall enrollment drops, so does school funding. Holy Trinity Christian School is small; quaint, family oriented, private institution that provides a Christian dynamic in it’s curriculum- incorporating chapel during the week and has an average of 15 students in a every class with one teacher, along with part-time aide in some cases. The staff doesn’t just know the child educational needs; they know the entire family dynamic. With that kind of individualized attention, all of the students’ academic achievements exceed the norm; these students are all scoring above average on yearly Stanford Achievement Tests (SATs) and have for many years, among other academic accomplishments. Cathy Douglas, a teacher at Holy Trinity Lutheran School is on her 10th year in August 2010 thefocusmagazine.com

is amazing and I love watching my daughter grow from it,” said Melissa Rios, who also volunteers her time as PTL president. At Holy Trinity Christian School, the school administrator, Kila Hulton; is doing every thing she can to make sure providing the best Christian education stays a priority. With a degree from USF in Varying Exceptionalities, a K-12 Florida Teaching Certificate and specialized training in testing and assessment, Hulton has been involved in the school system since 1996, owning her own academic center for 6 years- A+ Tutoring Center, before joining HTCS this fall. Hulton feels confident her school ranks among the top private elementary schools in Hillsborough and provides challenging preparatory Christian curricula for students to succeed once they exited her program. With passion, drive and a background, Hulton is trying to use the economic


Local » Focus As a community, we can help allow these children to continue their education while having a fundamental Christian dynamic and could be the difference in whether these students succeed or not. “I would like to have small and large businesses contribute by sponsoring different things within the school: new teacher of the month, adopt a classroom, all the way up to scholarships that would allow kids to go to school here. $150 can buy into sponsoring a teacher of the month or $1, 500 + towards scholarships. Donations are tax deductible and every month names are posted on a plagues or banners are made,” said Hulton. Besides additional funding from the church and the community, a large percent of the money that supports the students while in school is also through fundraising. On September 17th, 2010 Holy Trinity Lutheran School will be having their annual Fall Book Fair at Barnes & Noble on South

problem to get the community involved and take an active role in supporting Holy Trinity Christian School, a piece of Tampa’s history. “The problem that I am seeing is that many families who go to these smaller, private, Christian schools, and its borderline whether or not they can afford to be here. When they run low financially, they pull their children out and put them into public schools. A huge mistake! Education should everyone’s number one priority. Our only hope is to try to reach out for community support. Today’s children are tomorrow leaders….so, a profound Christian education should be first and foremost,” said Hulton In the past, Holy Trinity Christian School used to go up to a middle school level. Due

to the economic situation over the last several years, it had to be cut and tuition has dropped by 50-60%. Historically, HTLS students have been supported by families of the church. “We are trying to reach out into different avenues to get community support and working with other non-profit organizations like children who have been adopted, armed services, municipality discounts and offering education to foreign exchange students,” said Hulton. At Holy Trinity Lutheran School, they have 65 students, Pre k3 through 5th grade and need to be at 100+ enrolled. The teachers are certified, have been working at the school for more than 15 years and some even have to buy their own curriculum.

Dale Mabry. “Nobody will love your child the way we do, we will educate them to make them fully prepared for anything that lies ahead and the best and brightest go out of here. It’s a small loving environment and if you are looking for that, we are absolutely going to be your best find and your best value,” said Cathy Douglas.

For more information on Holy Trinity Christian School, go to http://www.htls.org/ or call 813-839-0665. HTCS is located at 3712 El Prado Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33629.

Christopher G. Combee

Photos courtesy of the Combee Family FOCUS Magazine South Tampa August 2010

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Spotlight» Tony Ludovico

12. T o n y L u d o v i c o World-Renown Underwater Photographer Written By: Cheryl Johnston

T

ony Ludovico has discovered his purpose - and our oceans will be the better for it.

Ludovico, who lives in South Tampa, sees the world through a camera lens. This award-winning underwater photographer/videographer has filmed 1000’s of hours of amazing underwater video. His love for the ocean is evident in his work, both video and still. Very soon, his fashion line will bring the ocean to closets everywhere. Ludovico has no formal education as a photographer. He simply has a gift, and thankfully, he thrills in sharing it. He is legendary among his photographer peers, the underwater scientific community, and diving and sports fishing enthusiasts

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August 2010 thefocusmagazine.com

worldwide. He hails originally from Blauvelt, New York. As a teenager, his Uncle Rob introduced Ludovico to deep-sea fishing. When he caught his first kingfish, he was hooked for life. In 1979, he learned to scuba dive. Since that time he’s become a self-taught master spear fisherman, still photographer, filmmaker, and free diver who can hold his breath underwater for up to four minutes, which is in itself an amazing feat. In 1998, because he wanted to share the wonders he saw while diving, Ludovico decided to help a video equipment company, Ocean Images, design an innovative, hands free, head camera the size of a lipstick tube. Using the head camera and wearing a fanny pack with

digital VCR, Ludovico is able to capture spear fishing adventures and images as if the viewer is also in the middle of the action.

also try still photography. Thankfully, he took his friend’s advice, so that now his artwork can grace the walls of homes and businesses around the world.

He spent several years then advancing his videography skills as he traveled around the globe. After selling the first volume of his first video, “Spear Fishing the Palm Beaches” in 2001, Ludovico’s reputation in the documentary film industry grew. Volume #1 earned a four star rating by Sterling Kaya of Hawaiian Skin Diver Magazine.

Since that time, in addition to the “Reel Adventures” work he does, millions have watched his videos on Discovery Channel, numerous fishing shows, and countless regional or local shows. Audiences are fascinated with the way he captures underwater life in the moment and they respond with requests such as “Where can we see more?” or “How does he do that?”

In 2002, Ludovico had opportunity to shoot underwater video footage in Panama for “Reel Adventures” which airs on Fox Sports Net. During that time, became friends with artist Carey Chen, who suggested that Tony should

Fortunately, and thanks to his friend, Tampa resident Robbie Carter, Ludovico’s work is now more accessible. The two met eight years ago in Key West when they competed in the World


spotlight» Tony Ludivico

Photo courtesy of Tony Ludovico

Sailfish Championship on the same boat with Johnny Bench, Wade Boggs, and Blair Wiggins of Addictive Fishing fame. Carter had worked for 14 years, coordinating marlin-fishing tournaments to attract high rollers to his father’s casino in Biloxi. Two years ago, Carter offered Ludovico gallery space in the casino’s façade and the venture has been very successful. After a business partnership in south Florida dissolved, Carter helped move Ludovico’s artwork from Port St. Lucie to Tampa. With assistance from Carter’s uncle, the TonyH2O gallery at 3405 S. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa opened January 2010. Forty pieces of his work are on display at Salt Rock Grill in Indian Shores. Presently, his photography can be purchased online at www.tonyludovico. com or from TonyH2O galleries in Tampa and Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Coming soon will be new galleries in Newport Beach, Cabo San Lucas, and Kona, Hawaii.

Tony ludovico

Photo courtesy of Tony Ludovico

Another aspect of Ludovico’s work is the development of a clothing and accessory line. Featured in Pelagic Gear’s www. pelagicgear.com buyer catalog, the items

will be in over 1500 stores nationwide by Spring 2011, including all 750 of the Hibeits Sports stores. Because the photography business is so competitive, Ludovico is reluctant to share much about his shooting secrets. As a Canon pro team member, his cameras are only Canon. Subal, an Austrian-based company, designs the housings for his cameras and he feels they are the best in the world. Ludivico describes them as “the Lamborghini of underwater camera systems.” Travel is definitely part of the fun for Ludovico. In addition to the United States, he has filmed in Central and South America, Mexico, and Canada. The only danger he recalls is the time when some white tip sharks tried to eat his camera in the Bahamas. Locally, Tony’s personal captain and friend, Capt. Harry Conner of HOOKEM HARRY charters, coordinates all of the bay area work. Connor took him to Egmont Key to capture images of trout and cobia, while his Pelican images were shot at the base of the Sunshine State Skyway.

Continued on page 14

FOCUS Magazine South Tampa August 2010

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August 2010 thefocusmagazine.com


AUGUST 6

SEPTEMBER 4

JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

P.J. LEARY & THE LAS VEGAS SOUNDS, WITH COVER TO COVER AND KEN BRADY

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

P. J. Leary & the Las Vegas Sounds, also featuring special guests, Cover to Cover and Ken Brady (Lead Singer of The Casinos), featuring the 1967 hit “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” before and after the show in the Red Rose Dining Room.

AUGUST 13 COVER TO COVER

SEPTEMBER 10 RALPH ALLOCCO

AUGUST 7 RALPH ALLOCCO

& SECOND WIND

The band performs in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds before and after the show

AUGUST 14 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

AUGUST 21 RALPH ALLOCCO

SEPTEMBER 11 & 17 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds perform before and after the show.

SEPTEMBER 18 & 24 RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

& SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

AUGUST 21 THE CONTOURS FEATURING SYLVESTER POTTS

The Red Rose Ballroom will rock-out on this night when The Contours take the stage! Their #1 Hit “Do You Love Me” was featured in the hit film “Dirty Dancing” with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds will perform before and after The Contours. It’s a ‘don’t miss event’ for all Motown music lovers! Reserve your space early, this show will sell quickly!

AUGUST 28 RALPH ALLOCCO

& SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

& SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

SEPTEMBER 3

RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

SEPTEMBER 25 GEORGE GALFO’S

WIND

MYSTICS

Original founding member, George Galfo brings his Mystics to the Red Rose Dining Room singing their hit song “Hushabye” and many more memorable Doo Wop favorites! DESTINY performs before and after the show.

OCTOBER 1 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

A dynamite crowd pleaser! DESTINY performs before and after the show.

OCTOBER 2 & 8

RALPH ALLOCCO & SECOND WIND Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

OCTOBER 15

RICHIE MERRITT

Richie Merritt of the Marcels will be performing in the Red Rose Dining Room with P.J. Leary and the Las Vegas Sounds.

OCTOBER 16 & 22 RALPH ALLOCCO

& SECOND WIND

Performing in the Red Rose Dining Room

OCTOBER 23 LOLA & THE SAINTS

Doo Wop At Its Best! Relive the 50s & 60s as though it was yesterday – “Forever in Love,” Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge.” PLUS P.J. LEARY & THE LAS VEGAS SOUNDS with special guest KEN BRADY (Lead Singer of The Casinos), featuring the 1967 hit “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” before and after the show in the Red Rose Dining Room.

OCTOBER 23 SOUL MUSIC NIGHT WITH THE DELFONICS AND ARTHUR “SUGAR BEAR” AIKEN

Two Grammy Nominated & Award Winning Groups in one great night! The legendary DELFONICS singing their hit – “La La Means I Love You,” plus much more, and lead singer of The Blue Notes, Arthur “Sugar Bear” Aiken. Hear songs like “If You Don't Know Me By Now,” “The Love I Lost” & many more. Johnny Alston’s Motown Rock & Roll Revue will perform before and after the show in the Red Rose Ballroom.

OCTOBER 29

COVER TO COVER

The band performs in the Red Rose Dining Room, plus PJ Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds before and after the show

SHOW RESERVATIONS Please call for ticket prices. Shows in the Red Rose Ballroom are in a supper club atmosphere with a four course meal (seats also available for the show only – for a lower price!) NO COVER CHARGE for shows in the 5-Star Red Rose Dining Room with the purchase of dinner. Show Guests - inquire about our special room rates when staying overnight after a show!

OCTOBER 9 JOHNNY ALSTON’S MOTOWN ROCK & ROLL REVUE

A dynamite crowd pleaser! P.J. Leary & The Las Vegas Sounds also performs before and after the show.

TEL: 813.752.3141

I-4 Exit 21 • 2011 N. Wheeler St.• Plant City, FL 33563

WWW.REDROSEINNANDSUITES.COM

Mrs. Evelyn Madonia - Owner/General Manager

FOCUS Magazine South Tampa August 2010

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spotlight» Tony Ludivico

Splash

Photo courtesy of Tony Ludovico

Continued from page 11 In 2005, TLUV Images was formed to market a series of fine art limited editions portraying his best images. Giclee prints on canvas, hand-signed and numbered, are available on his web site, in several fine art galleries and at several major boat shows. In May 2006, as a member of the International Game Fish Association, Tony was given the honor to display his photographs and award-winning underwater video footage in the IGFA Theater.

Isla dancer

Photo courtesy of Tony Ludovico

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August 2010 thefocusmagazine.com

His photos have provided the cover shot for numerous marine industry magazines. Currently, he continues to shoot for the TV program “Hook the Future” and several others. These days, he’s still wild about chasing fish with a camera, even though the business side of his life is becoming busier. When he’s not in the water or traveling, Ludovico enjoys simply hanging around the house with his 5-month-old Silky terrier named Bobby and flyfishing for bass. He also spearfishes for large pelagic fish weighing over 50 pounds, such as wahoo, mahi-

mahi, and tuna. Pelagic fish live offshore, in the open water. As for the future, he says he is “still developing” his talent. Teaching diving and underwater photography to others may be part of his five-year plan. Friends admire Ludovico for his commitment to the education, preservation, and ongoing search for knowledge of the ocean world. Obviously, the recent BP oil spill is of grave concern to him. In fact, the filmmaker’s desire to share the marine life he loves so has intensified. Carter describes Ludovico as “an everevolving, all around good guy who loves the ocean and marine life and advocates for conservation and preservation. He is a fearless man, and definitely one not afraid to pursue his passion.” Visit www.tonyludovico.com often to see what’s fresh in Ludovico’s underwater art world. Check out the online gallery or stop by 3405 S. Dale Mabry to view prints and images becoming more priceless by the moment.


54 years and counting, South Tampa’s Best Kept Secret is now OUT. “Providing a profound Christian Education” 3712 W El Prado Blvd., Tampa, FL 813.839.0665 • myhtcs.org

FOCUS Magazine South Tampa August 2010

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Real Estate » SI Real estate

South Tampa Real Estate Highly Desirable for Purchase, Relocation and Price Difference Shrinking Between Home Ownership Rentals and Renting M Katie Crider - Broker Associate & Marketing Coordinator | SI Real Estate

any people have yet to take full advantage of the buyer’s real estate market that still exists today in Tampa, Florida. While renting may be an easy option for many individuals, the benefits of home ownership should not be ignored. With mortgage rates at record lows and housing markets stuffed to the gills with cheap distressed properties that’s led to declining home prices, the cost to own a home is sometimes cheaper than renting an apartment in many markets, according to analysts at Credit Suisse.

Take a moment to consider the real estate facts. When renting a home, monthly payments are going to pay off your landlord’s mortgage. By making the sound

property tax deductions when their taxes are filed.

There are not only tangible benefits to be considered, there are also intangible benefits to homeownership that are immeasurable. There is a real feeling of comfort and satisfaction in buying a home, and making it just the way that fits your lifestyle.

New residents who are relocating to the Tampa Bay area include military personnel coming to serve at MacDill, medical professionals coming to practice at Tampa General Hospital, business professionals coming to work in the Westshore District, the business epicentre of Tampa, and

Smart investors are taking advantage of today’s buyers market. Local, national and international real estate investors are already making the most of the opportunities that exist in this real estate market. Why not join them?

investment decision and purchasing a home, every time you make that monthly payment, you are making an investment in your own future. Not only does mortgage debt get reduced, but your credit worthiness is increased which is so important in today’s credit driven society. Additionally, homeowners enjoy tax benefits such as

18

August 2010 thefocusmagazine.com

University of Tampa students’ families are examples of real estate buyers jumping in to homeownership rather than renting, realizing the financial benefits. Even if some of these individuals will move on eventually, the overall financial landscape entices them to buy rather than rent.

Bear in mind that these rock-bottom real estate prices will not be here forever either. Inventory is starting to dry up, and once it does, prices will begin to increase once again. The old adage, “buy low and sell high” comes to mind, a concept Warren Buffet echoed recently. Smart investors are taking advantage of today’s buyers market. Local, national and international real estate investors are already making the most of the opportunities that exist in this real estate market. Why not join them? For those who just are not ready to purchase at this point in time, South Tampa has a wonderful offering of rental properties that will suit anyone’s needs. Downtown Tampa and the Channelside area have many modern high rise condos available. The beautiful neighborhoods encompassing South Tampa such as Hyde Park, Harbour Island, Davis Island, Beach Park and surrounding areas have fantastic townhomes and incredible single family homes available as well. There really is something for everyone in South Tampa. Whether you are ready to join the ranks of savvy investors and purchase a property, relocating and just looking for a high-end rental to enjoy for a short period of time, or a student who may or may not stay in the Tampa Bay area for some extended period of time, the options in the South Tampa real estate market are abundant. Call a real estate professional at SI Real Estate today at (813) 6315144, or e-mail us at YourHome@ SIRealEstateInvestments.com, or visit our website at www.SIRealEstateInvestments.

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Real Estate » SI Real estate

SI Real Estate | South Tampa | Our Mission

Nibal Elsaadi | Real Estate Broker

Nibal Elsaadi entered his entrepreneurial career as the owner and developer of a construction company shortly after graduating with an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas. Nibal later acquired Professional Engineer status working as a Project Engineer, coordinating development plans with legal professionals, builders, residents, and developers. And later, as the owner of two retail establishments, Nibal successfully increased gross revenue while enhancing his operational, sales, finance, and human resource knowledge. In 2006, continuing with his background in construction and engineering, Nibal completed the steps in becoming a Florida Licensed Residential Contractor. Furthermore, recently he has attained Real Estate Broker License and is affiliated with SI Real Estate Investments, LLC.

The mission of SI Real Estate is to provide the finest real estate service in any form to any buyer, seller, investor, landlord, relocation or tenant by employing our skills, experience and values to the benefit of our clients as we complete real estate transactions of all flavors with unmatched personalization and quality. Why Choose SI Real Estate? If You Want To Sell Your Home You Want SI Real Estate On Your Side. SI Real Estate offers an advertising and marketing plan that is unsurpassed. Our SI Team of experts are savvy in internet marketing. Results are that rankings are high, and provide our clients strong exposure locally, nationally and internationally. The combination of our company websites, the MLS, internet flyers equal visibility on more than 85 websites. Sellers enjoy incomparable exposure for showcasing your South Tampa Real Estate. SI Real Estate promises to: • Define the distinct features and benefits of your home that will make it an attractive purchase to buyers within and outside the South Tampa area. • Use SI Real Estate’s specific methods to determine the appropriate price point. • Utilize cutting edge marketing tactics to help expedite the exposure and ultimate sale of your home. • Negotiate! We will provide raw data to all parties when offers are made and when sale prices are being discussed so as to reach a sale price that becomes a transaction of benefit. • Walk you through the financial details associated with selling your home to give you an estimate of your net expectations at closing after all parties have been paid. Your success depends on the sale of your home, but our success depends on your complete satisfaction in doing so. The greatest reward we can receive is in having you tell others about your experience and returning to us for your next real estate transaction because selling your home is not only our business…It is our livelihood! Why Choose SI Real Estate? If You Want To Buy A Home You Want SI Real Estate On Your Side. Your decision to buy a home is both a sound financial decision and a commendable achievement. SI Real Estate and its agents are here to help you. SI Real Estate promises to: • Lead you through every step of the home buying process. • Help you define your “wish list” of features you desire in your new home, neighborhood, and school district. • Walk you through the mind-boggling financial details associated with buying a home. • Monitor all new listings in the greater South Tampa neighborhoods, developing a personalized search and alert you when new homes that meet your specific criteria have just entered the market. We know success depends on client satisfaction, which keeps us focused on our core values: honesty, integrity, trust, and dedication. We integrate these values into everything we do, using our diverse competencies to foster our clients’ purchase. Finding the perfect home in Tampa Bay for you is our business! Regardless of your real estate goals, you will want SI Real Estate on your side! After all, we are “Real Estate In Every Way!” SI Real Estate | 813.631.5144 | YourHome@SIRealEstateInvestments.com

Pamela Elsaadi | Director of Operations

Utilizing her B.S. in Business from the University of Cincinnati, Pamela has acquired a wealth of business and marketing knowledge that has made her a successful businesswoman for over 30 years. Throughout her professional history, she has gained immeasurable experience in business development and management. In her role as Operations Executive for an international corporation with 12 subsidiary companies, Pamela learned to budget, forecast, and analyze project costs in a global environment. After specializing in real estate, she became quite skilled in property acquisition, development, marketing, and client relations. With Pamela’s education and her diverse background she is well equipped for her current position as Director of Operations for SI Real Estate Investments, LLC.

Lindsey Fowkes | Real Estate Specialist

Lindsey has lived in the Bay area for several years since graduating from West Virginia University in 2002, with a B.S. in Agronomy and Environmental Microbiology. Her initial interest in real estate sparked from successfully supporting a property management production with well over 100 properties in the New Tampa area. Lindsey joined the SI Team in 2008 as a Licensed Realtor and has since expanded her comprehension of real estate today and thus is capable of delivering the expertise expected along with exceptional customer service. She specializes in not only the rental sector of the market, but working with buyers, sellers, and investors in the Downtown |South and Central Tampa | Carrollwood | and New Tampa geographies. Her exceptional professionalism, dedication to outstanding service, market knowledge , and down to earth honest approach have lead to her achievement in the industry and aided her to stand out in a crowded world of realtors.

Katie Crider | Broker Associate & Marketing Coordinator

Katie joined the SI Real Estate Team in 2009 with dual roles as Broker Associate and Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1995. After spending eight years working in administrative roles for the State of Florida, Katie decided to pursue a career in the real estate industry. She became a Licensed Realtor in 1997 and a Licensed Real Estate Broker in 2000. She owned and managed a real estate brokerage business for many years where she listed and sold residential properties and renovated, leased and managed residential and commercial properties. Katie also has several years of experience promoting professionalism and education in the building industry. Katie’s wealth of real estate and administrative experience combined with her commitment to excellence make her a welcome addition to the SI Real Estate Team of professionals.

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August 2010 thefocusmagazine.com

To qualify fo e owner, must be a hom hour for the um of 1 reserve a minim ve 3 or more ha e, estimat All homeowners d ws to replace. ent. windo must be pres cessary. o N purchase ne


FOCUS Magazine South Tampa August 2010

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extra » al reuchel

There’s a radio station that claims that it’s the NEW (fill in the blank). Problem is, it’s been the NEW for the last four years!

this exact moment… not the NOW that means I’m taking a breath or “here’s what’s coming up next”. I don’t remember when we started using that phrase in news just that all of us did. So, nearly every newscast or radio show on planet earth tends to start with the phrase:….. begins NOW! I guess we are injecting a sense of urgency in what we are talking about. Still, if we are here every day at the same time, as dependable as the summer heat in Florida, why do we even need to say NOW?

It’s NEW. It’s NOW. Or is it? Written By: Al Reuchel

My article begins…. NOW! And, it’s NEW! And just in case you didn’t read it the first time… this commentary is NEW! So I’m hoping since I’ve used the two magic words in media today that more of you will read this commentary…NOW!

O

n the one hand, I get it. Media is trying to create a sense of urgency and a sense that the information we are bringing you is NEW. I take it that the word smiths and the genius consultants have determined using these words will increase ratings and readership. Please tell me there is some empirical data that supports that claim. Maybe they think if we say NOW people won’t get up and go to the bathroom or change the dial. If we say something is NEW people will hang in there through the commercial break because they can’t stand to hear something that’s old.

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August 2010 thefocusmagazine.com

Take for example the radio stations in our market. There’s a radio station that claims that it’s the NEW (fill in the blank). Problem is, it’s been the NEW for the last four years! And just as soon as you say something is new it’s already old because you’ve just heard or read it. Some would carry that argument to the extreme and claim there is no such thing as NEW. Do these people think we are that dumb that we don’t notice when NEW isn’t new? I even heard a radio guru, whose name will go unmentioned, that a certain large radio chain with many frequencies has a business plan that calls for stations to change

formats every so often just to be able to call them NEW. So are they really new or just kind of new to that frequency on your dial? It’s like when you go to E-Bay or some other website that rates products by their price. You can’t believe there could be such a price difference until you see the words: like NEW. Today, on the internet, like NEW can mean refurbished, which translates into something was wrong with the item but we fixed it and it’s just like NEW. There’s that word again. Now, let’s talk about NOW meaning: at

Years ago, when I worked in St. Louis I asked a big shot at AnheuserBusch why they decided to use the words Lite Beer when the actual calorie count on the product was, at that time, only about 5 percent less than normal beer. It was simple. Listeners could determine in their own minds what Lite meant to them. And their research showed that when folks heard the word Lite they automatically thought of a product that wouldn’t make them fat. They couldn’t come right out and tell folks..”hey, this beer will make your skinny” because drinking any beer will increase your calorie count. So they toss that word out there and let your mind do the rest. Perhaps that’s what the media is doing right NOW: letting your mind convince you what happens over the next 10, 15 or 20 minutes is so important… if you missing it…. your life will somehow be diminished. No it won’t . Sure, I want you to watch and read but do it because YOU want to and not because something is NEW or just because it begins…. Right NOW! That’s why this NEW commentary ends…… NOW!


entertainment » dining Profile

Great food in South It’s as easy as Datz. Tampa I written By: : Elizabeth Edwards

t’s no secret that our community is full of hidden treasures – from unique boutiques to swanky dive bars; South Tampa remains a mecca for originality. Datz Delicatessen is no exception, with its eclectic atmosphere and off-the-beatenpath menu selections. If you’ve ever stumbled upon this delicious destination, you catch my drift. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to venture down MacDill lately, hopefully this article will convince you to make the trek. One whiff of the entryway to Datz will ensure fellow foodies that this restaurant doesn’t mess around. Aromas of basil, rosemary, and homegrown peppers emanate from the shrubbery that borders the front door, inviting passersby to venture inside. Those who take the plunge won’t be disappointed, for the friendly staff is consistently attentive and ready to seat you with a smile. Their personalized shirts portray that specific team member’s favorite menu item, which is a great conversation piece in the case that Datz’s plethora of choices overwhelms a newbie. All 40+ sandwich options are made fresh on the spot, and the (literally) hundreds of cheeses and meats on-hand don’t make the decision any easier. Don’t worry- your brain doesn’t go into true sensory overload

until you’re confronted with the beer and wine list. The restaurant boasts a variety of menus to go along with their assortment of food choices, spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and catering options. While I wish I could list each and every concoction available to their customers, we do not have room, so I will be selfish for the good of the magazine and name some personal favorites. Breakfast: Datz Crabby Benedict (lump crab cake, poached eggs, fresh herbs and hollandaise on English muffins) and Maui Wowie French Toast (grilled brioche bread topped with fresh pineapple, freshly grated coconut and macadamia nuts) washed down with the personalized Datz version of a bloody Mary. Lunch: an even toss-up between the Yo! Vinnie! (herb-rubbed roast beef, provolone cheese, grilled onions, roasted red and yellow peppers topped with blue cheese aioli, served hot on a batard) and April in Paris (brie, tomato, arugula, basil pesto, on grilled country bread). Dinner: definitely the Amarillo Ribeye (16 ounce bone-in, flame-grilled ribeye topped with bandera butter, rosemary bacon potato wedges and grilled asparagus) or the Shiner Baby Back Ribs. Datz also has a wide variety of vegetarian and health-friendly options on their menu for those animal-

loving and calorie-counting customers. To boot, the homemade guacamole is fantastic, the pickle spears are huge and the wines are aplenty. My kind of place for sure. Datz is known to locals as not just a deli but a “foodie’s market,” which one can understand by the abundance of fixtures clustered on the first floor, each lined with assortments of chocolates, cheeses, meats, botanically brewed beverages, sauces and much more (Web site gives the full scoop). This oh-so-cool venue also hosts a cooking class called “The Lunch Box” from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday, where participants (12 slots available per day) pay a fee of $20 to participate in these instructional cooking classes. Three courses are served throughout the hour (beer and wine included), and while guests are enjoying the second and “main” course, the instructor re-demonstrates how to cook the dish. “The classes are very interactive, with lighter portions than our usual menu so you can get through all three and feel completely satisfied” co-owner Suzanne Perry boasts of the program, who enjoys the classes as much (if not more!) than her

customers. Datz is located at 2616 South MacDill Avenue and is open Monday thru Thursday from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. until midnight, Saturday 8:30 a.m. until midnight and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Their breakfast menu is available until 11 a.m. daily. For directions, full menus, catering options, upcoming events and more, visit their Web site at www. datzdeli.com. To speak with a Datz team member directly, e-mail info@datzdeli.com or call the restaurant at (813) 831-7000. Datz a wrap!

Datz 2616 S. MacDill Ave. Tampa, Florida 33629 813.831.7000 Mon–Thurs 7 AM–10 PM | Fri 7 AM–Midnight | Sat 8:30 AM–Midnight | Sun 8:30 AM–3 PM Breakfast Hours Mon–Fri, 7–11 AM info@ datzdeli.com

FOCUS Magazine South Tampa August 2010

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FOCUS South Tampa 01-06  

FOCUS Magazine South Tampa Edition Issue 01-06 August 2010