Business briefs: State Association honors local restaurateur

January 9, 2014 

State Association honors local restaurateur

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association named Bill Shumate of Square 1 Burgers & Bar along University Parkway, and in Fort Myers and Tampa the owner of Bella's Italian Café, to its Hall of Fame.

Shumate was awarded the 2014 Restaurateur Hall of Fame Award Tuesday.

Shumate opened his first restaurant in Norman, Okla., in 1964, a burger joint called "Across the Street." It was across the street from the University of Oklahoma. In the late '80s, Shumate decided to launch his misson of bringing the people of Tampa authentic Italian cuisine. Twenty-four years later, he's still running Bella's Italian Cafe alongside his business partner and Executive Chef Joanie Corneil.

Inspired by a yearning to go back to his burger restaurant roots, he began developing a new concept in 2006 for "Square 1 Burgers," bringing Shumate back to Square 1.

Manatee Chamber to host legislative kickoff

BRADENTON -- The area's legislative session preview, hosted by the Manatee Chamber and Brighthouse Networks, is set for 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. Jan. 27.

The annual Pancakes & Politics session will take place at the Bradenton Country Club, 4646 Ninth Ave. W., Bradenton. Participants will hear from the local delegation before they head off to Tallahassee.

The cost is $25 for Manatee Chamber members and $35 for non members. For reservations call 941-748-3411 or email

Chamber kickoff breakfast set

SARASOTA -- The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will host Nashville Entrepreneur Center President and CEO Michael Burcham to speak at its 94th annual Kick-Off Breakfast Feb. 13 at the Polo Grill.

The theme of this year's breakfast is, "The Legacy of the Entrepreneur." Burcham will share his passion for entrepreneurship and its ability to transform a community's economic ecosystem. Key topics will include how to think more like an entrepreneur, what ingredients go into creating a successful enterprise, how a community can benefit from an active entrepreneurial space and what steps a community can take to become more entrepreneurial.

Burcham has extensive experience in healthcare innovation, entrepreneurship, and startup venture coaching. He served as President of ParadigmHealth, a provider and integrator of care and disease management services for health plans and employers, from 2001-2007.

The Chamber will also present its 2014 goals and announce new member benefits and opportunities for the coming year.

-- Herald staff reports

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