Author Archives: Billie Noakes

Paradise News: Still Serendipitous After All These Years

Paradise News: Still Serendipitous After All These Years

In many ways, Paradise News, now in its twenty-fifth year of publication, is the embodiment of serendipity.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “serendipity” as “the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also : an instance of this.”

This phenomenon was at work well before Paradise News made its debut in 1995.

Peter and Renee Roos
Publishers
Paradise News

Peter and Renee Roos originally moved to Pass-a-Grille so their son, Jordan, could complete his final three years of high school as a day student at Admiral Farragut Academy.

“We brought with us a decade’s worth of experience in publishing,” says Peter. “We had produced a magazine called Office Guide to Tampa Bay, and we had Office Guides in other regions of Florida, as well.

“When the economy shifted in the 1980s, the government rescued the savings and loan industry, but it couldn’t help the commercial real estate market. A lot of our advertisers went bankrupt. It was the right time to close that chapter on our lives, and begin a new chapter with our move to Pass-a-Grille.” Getting back into the publishing business wasn’t on their radar.

The couple’s reputation as publishers preceded them, however, and they were soon approached by the head of the Pass-a-Grille Community Association to help the group produce a monthly newsletter. Grille Bits was a lively newsletter, mailed to every resident of Pass-a-Grille. Toward the end of the newsletter’s eighth year Renee, who had become involved with the Gulf Beach Historical Museum, became acquainted with the publisher of the newsletter for the Vina Del Mar community association.

“Together, they decided that a single newsletter for all of St. Pete Beach was in order,” recalls Peter. “They named that newsletter the Paradise News, and mailed it to every resident on St. Pete Beach.” The year was 1995.

The local publication relied on advertising to defray the costs of production. It was well received, but never really got beyond its break-even point.

In 1998, Renee recruited Peter to help the Paradise News do more than keep its head above water. “We did some research and discovered that Tierra Verde didn’t have an active business community,” Peter relates. “The residents there were coming to the beaches to shop and dine. We recognized that our advertisers would benefit from expanding our distribution to Tierra Verde.” The local newsletter quickly became a reliable source of information for not only St. Pete Beach, but also Tierra Verde, and revenues to support the publication increased.

Fortune favors the ready. A few years later, after 9/11, the weekly newspaper that served neighboring Treasure Island closed. Paradise News expanded yet again, sending news of Pinellas County’s southernmost barrier islands to every resident on Treasure Island, as well.

Today, the monthly Paradise News is a high-quality glossy magazine with advertisers from throughout the south barrier islands and surrounding waterfront communities of south St. Petersburg.

It has a stable of writers who generate a wide range of articles that keep its readers turning the pages to learn about their neighbors’ interesting stories; the events that entertain, or those that support local causes; the businesses that keep the economy churning; and the issues that affect their quality of life.

To keep the monthly publication up-to-date with news and events that come up between deadlines, it maintains an online presence with weekly updates.

It has staff for marketing the publication, selling advertising, and promoting Paradise News on social media. There’s someone in charge of distribution to an ever-expanding readership.

It’s poised for expansion yet again.

“We promised our advertisers outreach for our 25th Anniversary,” Peter and Renee wrote in the April 2019 publication, “and over the next year we will introduce 50,000 more homes and business to Paradise News.” That outreach begins with 5,000 to 7,500 new mailboxes reached along St Petersburg’s “pink streets” and Venetian Isles. In May, another 5,000 issues will be delivered in Madeira Beach. Future expansions are still to be announced.

While Peter and Renee have been the driving force behind the success of Paradise News (“It was really Renee’s idea, her baby,” Peter confides. “She lets me work here as long as I behave.”), Peter points out that, as with many of life’s endeavors, success doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

“We belong to the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce, as well as three other Chambers and four barter groups,” he informs.

“I think Chambers provide an invaluable service for small businesses and communities to network. The best Chambers provide options for members to participate at different times, on different days of the week so people with other obligations can still be active.

“What you get out of Chamber membership is in direct proportion to what you put into it,” Peter emphasizes. “It’s not just about being a member, but attending events, participating, finding your niche, and serving on committees. That’s what builds relationships. I’ve seen it over and over again with businesses that start up in the area: they get active with their local Chamber, and they succeed.”

From a simple desire to put their son in the best educational environment, Peter and Renee Roos have embraced one serendipitous opportunity after another to build the success that is Paradise News.

Easter Events/Services

Easter Events/Services

For our faith-based communities, Spring marks a time of spiritual renewal and festive celebration. To help you connect with these events, here is a list of what our local churches have planned to celebrate the Easter season. Our member Church By The Sea (495 – 137th Avenue Circle in Madeira Beach) begins the season on… Continue Reading

Earth to Autism promotes sustainable business

Earth to Autism promotes sustainable business

Local businesses looking to become more eco-friendly can turn to the non-profit Earth to Autism for help. Incorporated in July 2017, Earth to Autism exists to help adults living with autism to find and maintain meaningful employment opportunities in green industry jobs. Founder and Board chair Leanne Scalli, PhD, says the organization serves two of… Continue Reading

Health Fair & Trade Show April 18

Health Fair & Trade Show April 18

TREASURE ISLAND ­­— The 3rd  Annual Health Fair and Trade Show, sponsored jointly by the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce (TIMB Chamber) and Revenue Generating Activities Network (RGA) is set for Thursday, April 18, from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m., at the Treasure Island Community Center, 154 – 106th Avenue, Treasure Island.… Continue Reading

Madeira Beach Election Results (Unofficial)

Commissioner, District 3 **Doug Andrews – 53.02% J. Roger Pryor 0 46.98% Commissioner, District **John E. Douthirt – 50.47% Steve Kochick – 49.53% Charter Amendments #1 Simple Majority Vote To require a simple majority vote of a quorum of Commissioners present and eligible to vote, instead of three affirmative votes for most actions of the… Continue Reading

William Karns Installed as Chairman

William Karns Installed as Chairman

It was truly a “night to remember” January 31, when William Karns (William Karns Enterprises) accepted the Chamber’s chairmanship for 2019 from outgoing chairman Joe Dise (Dise Wealth Management) during the Chamber’s Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet at the Bilmar Beach Resort. The gala also saw the installation of the 20019 Board of Directors:First Vice-Chair… Continue Reading

Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Chamber Relocation

Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Chamber Relocation

Treasure Island, FL ­­— The Treasure Island & Madeira Beach (TIMB) Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on January 16 to celebrate its relocation to 12601 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. The move from its former location at 245 – 107th Avenue, was accomplished on Friday, November 30, with help from members Ken Hautmann (Caddy’s… Continue Reading

Women in Tourism Pineapple Award goes to Missy H. Hahn

Women in Tourism Pineapple Award goes to Missy H. Hahn

Treasure Island, FL ­­— Missy H. Hahn, president of the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce, received the Tampa Bay chapter of Women In Tourism (WIT) Pineapple Award on December 21, 2018. The award came during the chapter’s luncheon on Friday, December 21, at The Edge Hotel on Clearwater Beach. Prestigious Pineapple Award… Continue Reading

Sport Kite Competition and Fest Flyin’ High!

Sport Kite Competition and Fest Flyin’ High!

The 22nd Annual Treasure Island Sport Kite Competition and Festival returns January 19 and 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, behind the host hotel, the Thunderbird Beach Resort. Windworks and the Eastern League Sport Kite Association sponsor this popular sport kite competition and are now gathering competitors from around the U.S. to perform… Continue Reading

Treasure Islettes CANDYLAND Holly Fest 2018: Sweet Success

Treasure Islettes CANDYLAND Holly Fest 2018: Sweet Success

TREASURE ISLAND.   The Treasure Islettes kicked off the holiday season on Saturday, December 1, with CANDYLAND —Sweetest Holly Fest Ever.  The event drew a sell-out crowd of more than 160 people to the Treasure island Community Center to enjoy a festive bazaar and luncheon. Treasure Islettes President Toni Hawkins, BJ Flowers, the Chair of the… Continue Reading

Risk Management for a More Secure Future

“Life is filled with risks,” observes Jim Everett, of Jim Everett Risk Management Planning, LLC. “Risk management can help mitigate those risks and preserve your assets. This is true whether you’re protecting personal or business assets.” Jim explains that risk management goes far beyond simply purchasing an insurance policy. “That’s a large part of it,… Continue Reading

Sharing Holiday Hope at the Chamber

Sharing Holiday Hope at the Chamber

Every year, we’re excited about sharing holiday hope. We search for just the right gifts for friends and loved ones. We plan parties to throw and attend. We prepare our traditional meal favorites, or research new recipes. And we look forward to boat parades and street parades, holiday festivals, and holiday mixers. Sharing Holiday Hope… Continue Reading

Friday Morning Market returns for 11th Season

Friday Morning Market returns for 11th Season

The Friday Morning Market, sponsored by the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce, enters its eleventh season on December 7 with a variety of crafts, produce, art, collectibles, foods, jewelry and live music. Vendor applications are now being accepted. The Friday Morning Market is open from 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. on Fridays… Continue Reading

Seafood Festival a Feast for the Senses

Seafood Festival a Feast for the Senses

The 37th Annual John’s Pass Seafood Festival has it all: the flavors of fresh seafood, the sounds of live music, and the sight of hundreds of vendor tents offering custom-made jewelry, clothing, arts and crafts, and preserved treats. And it’s happening this weekend! A tradition nearly four decades in the making, the John’s Pass Seafood… Continue Reading

Red Tide on our Beaches

Red Tide on our Beaches

Here’s the latest update for  red tide on our beaches. Our partner, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, tells us that the latest daily water samples analyzed by Pinellas County for red tide, taken on Monday, October 15, show normal to slightly discolored waters throughout Pinellas County, and either no, slight, or mild unpleasant odors. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s… Continue Reading

VSPC Red Tide Update 9/14

VSPC Red Tide Update 9/14

The VSPC red tide update for September 14 shows low to high concentrations of the Karenia brevis Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB) at 11 locations along the Pinellas Suncoast. Even so, we’re pleased that our beaches have not experienced a significant volume of dead marine life washing ashore, thanks to the diligence of Pinellas County Environmental… Continue Reading

New electric buses: $1M grant for PSTA!–TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL REPORT

New electric buses: $1M grant for PSTA!–TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL REPORT

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is receiving a $1 million grant through the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program. to purchase two new electric buses. Fifty-two projects from 41 states are being awarded $84.45 million to deploy transit buses and install infrastructure that uses advanced propulsion technologies. The new electric buses will… Continue Reading

Red Tide Impact: Madeira Beach

Red Tide Impact: Madeira Beach

The City of Madeira Beach has released the following in response to questions about the red tide impact in our community: The City of Madeira Beach is closely monitoring our beaches for possible red tide impact. While communities to our south have been impacted, Madeira Beach has so far been spared any major events as… Continue Reading

Kiosk Volunteers Needed!

Kiosk Volunteers Needed!

If you’ve ever wanted to tell someone where to go, why not be a kiosk volunteer for the Chamber? Every weekend from September through April, visitors to our beaches stop by the Chamber’s Information Booth, a kiosk located at 107th Avenue and Gulf Blvd. They’re looking for directions in getting around, as well as for… Continue Reading

Madeira Beach Water Taxi ends 9/30/2018

Madeira Beach Water Taxi ends 9/30/2018

Hubbard’s Marina, operator of the Tampa Bay Ferry and Madeira Beach Water Taxi, announces suspension of the Water Taxi on September 30, 2018. Funding for the Water Taxi through the City of Madeira Beach was not renewed for FY 2018/2019. The suspension of the Madeira Beach Water Taxi does not affect Hubbard’s Marina’s popular ferry… Continue Reading

Red Tide Spared Pinellas: August 16

For the most part, red tide spared Pinellas beaches during the recent outbreak that has so beleaguered our neighbors south of the Sunshine Skyway. Airborne toxins did reach up to Fort DeSoto and St. Pete Beach, but the impact was relatively minor. For those of you who want the most recent information about red tide… Continue Reading

Red Tide Moves South

Red Tide Moves South

We’ll all be breathing easier — literally. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is watching as the red tide moves south, not north, and away from Pinellas beaches. On Friday, August 10, it appeared that weather patterns would bring the bloom of karenia brevis north of the Sunshine Skyway, putting the Pinellas beaches… Continue Reading

Red Tide Update August 11

This red tide update presents links to several resources, including the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, area news outlets, and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. To learn what red tide is and how it affects our beaches, visit this article we published in 2016. We’ve been watching the conditions that have… Continue Reading

Gaming Fun at Monte Carlo Fundraiser

Gaming Fun at Monte Carlo Fundraiser

The Chamber’s Monte Carlo fundraiser is cracking up to be the social event of the year. More than 150 revelers came decked out in evening dress, and a couple dozen of them honored the 1940s styles of “Casablanca,” to make the 6th Annual Monte Carlo Casino Night a resounding success. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and light-hearted… Continue Reading

Red Tide August Update

Red Tide August Update

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, Pinellas County’s Convention & Visitors Bureau, provides us with this red tide August update, dated August 3: We wanted to let you know that we’re closely monitoring the red tide bloom that’s south of our Gulf beaches, stretching from Sarasota County to Collier County, and have been in contact with Visit Florida, our… Continue Reading

Spa and Rehabilitation Services

Spa and Rehabilitation Services

Sally’s Spa and Rehabilitation Center combines the best of both worlds: a way to feel and look great, inside and out. Sally Plink brought her unique approach to wellness to Seminole in 2012, and extends her services to Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, and the surrounding areas. “I actually have been in business since 1995,” clarifies… Continue Reading

Opposing Offshore Drilling

Opposing Offshore Drilling

TREASURE ISLAND|MADEIRA BEACH ­­— The Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce, at its June 19 Board meeting, passed Resolution 2018-06 opposing offshore drilling and urging the United States government to refrain from oil drilling and exploration along Florida’s Atlantic coast and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. “Our ecosystem is fragile,” pointed out… Continue Reading

Minning Heads Environmental Preservation Committee

Minning Heads Environmental Preservation Committee

TREASURE ISLAND | MADEIRA BEACH ­­— Robert Minning, formerly Mayor of Treasure Island, was appointed on July 6 to chair the EPIC (Environmental Preservation Initiative for our Communities) committee of the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce. “Mayor Minning has a long history of environmental advocacy,” said Chamber Board Chairman Joe Dise in… Continue Reading

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