I am so excited, as I am every year, that the Grand Prix of St Petersburg starts today!! It runs on a 1.8 mile, 14 turn waterfront circuit right on the streets through downtown St Petersburg. How cool is that? How many cities in the world can claim that? The sound of the cars zooming around the tracks echoes the buildings and then drifts across the water where I can hear them from my house.

The 3 days of championship racing includes Verizon IndyCar Series, Madza Road to Indy, Pirelli World Challenge Championships and Robby Gordon’ SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks. The Verizon IndyCar Series Race has 110 laps for a distance of 198 miles as it goes around Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum, onto the Albert Whitted Airport all of which overlook the Tampa Bay and the St Pete Harbor and Marina. This is the 5th year in a row that this race is the season-opening race for the Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The race brings some of the big names in car racing to St Pete including Will Power (who won last year & 2010), Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneve (who won in 2006, 2007, & 2012), Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simona de Silvestro and more. The IndyCars can reach speeds up to 102 miles per hour. The event is owned and operated by Green Savoree Racing Promotions.

The crew of 250 construction workers started converting our city streets into the track about a month ago and will it take about 3 weeks to tear it down. They use 18,000 feet of steel-reinforced concrete block, 44,000 feet of chain-link fence and over 12,000 tires. My parents live in a condo building (Bayfront Tower) that is literally in the middle of the track-difficult for them to get in & out of the building but what an awesome view from the top of it!

On March 17, 2012, the city of St Petersburg dedicated a roadway to honor race car driver and city resident Dan Wheaton. Unfortunately, Dan lost his life in a racing accident at the end of 2011 in Las Vegas. Dan was the first winner of the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg.

Today the practices of the USF 2000,ProMazda, Indy Lights and Pirelli World Challenge GTS & GT and the Super Trucks start at 8 am and continue through 6:30pm. Saturday is primarily the qualifying races, autograph sessions and a few races. Sunday is the Grand Final. Please check the official website for exact times & details. http://www.gpstpete.com

#EmbraceThe Race

This is so cool that I just had to share again!! Music crosses all boundaries. We need more of this in the world. Irish version of the “Cups” song! Amhrán na gCupán

Beannachtam na Feile Padraig – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


“One of the most effective ways to learn about oneself is by taking seriously the cultures of others.

It forces you to pay attention to those details of life which differentiate them from you”.

 – Edward T. Hall, The Silent Language

High and Low Context Cultures- Developing Cultural Fluency.

The Pinellas Realtor Organization and the Pinellas International Council will hold a session entitled “Using Feng Shui (Inexpensively) to Sell a Home Faster”, this Thursday, March 19, 2015 from 9:00am – 12:00pm US/Eastern Time Zone.

The practice ofFengShui changes both the outside and inside of a home and gives it a very different feeling. ManyFengShui problems affect a person’s subconscious adversely and therefore raises “red flags” and the buyer has no idea why. During this course you learn:* How the subconscious works when viewing a property
* How good Feng Shui gives the right “vibes” so a sale is not short-circuited
* The 8 Most Impressionable Moments’ when a house is shown and how to pass each of these “tests” or moments
* Problem areas in homes that will stop interest in a buyer and how a simple and inexpensive substitute will erase the concern

Steve Kodad is a certified Feng Shui Professional (CFSP) and a longtime member of the prestigious International Feng Shui Guild. Steve is the owner of a unique home evaluation company called The Feng Shui Cure, and creator of The Feng Shui School for Real Estate. A former multi-million dollar producing agent of 20 years in the Carolinas, Steve was a co-owner of a 30-agent real estate company in Charlotte, NC. He is the author of 2 books on these techniques, and is finishing up his 3rd.  He has been interviewed on TV, radio, and with many news publications.  Steve has been involved over the last decade in teaching thousands of real estate agents, home stagers, and homeowners in the use of Feng Shui.

8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.: Sign in/networking (light breakfast will be served)
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Presentation

PRO Members ($15), Non-PRO Members ($20)
Please Contact: Jan Dean
Email: JDean@tampabayrealtor.com
Phone: 727-216-3004

Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater, Florida 33762


The twelfth annual Festival of Speed is being held this weekend, March 6th-8th 2015 in the St Petersburg Tampa Bay area.

It starts with the Festival of Speed Luxury Lifestyle Reception on Friday, March 6th at 8pm at the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum, 3301 Gateway Centre Blvd. , Pinellas Park, Florida. General Admission Tickets  are $125..

The reception is inside of an aircraft hangar and includes a huge display of vintage and contemporary aircraft, exotic cars, custom motorcycles, high performance boats and luxury lifestyle product displays of the finer things in life including colorful jewels, unique timepieces, fashion, collectable artwork, automotive accessories and much more . It includes premium brands open bar, themed food stations, live band playing smooth jazz, gift bag, event poster, live music and auctions to benefit Pediatric Cancer Foundation..

The next event is on Saturday, March 7th from 6:00-9:00pm with  “Meet the Artist” while enjoying Cocktails & Light Hors d’oeuvres at The Gallery.
The Gallery is located at One Progress Plaza. 200 Central Ave, Suite 111. St. Petersburg. General Admission tickets are $35.00.
Meet the Official Automotive Artist of the Detroit Auto Show Timothy Raines
It includes premium brands open bar and light passed hors d’ouvres and is limited to the first 100 people
To purchase, email Summer at Summer@festivalsofspeed.com

And finally, wrap up the weekend with the Festivals of Speed Display of Exotics at Vinoy Park, Downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 8th 2015 10:00-4:00pm. General admission tickets are $20.00 with kids 12 and under  free. There also VIP ticket at $100.00, which includes a VIP Patron badge, premium brands open bar all day, lunch, VIP gift bag, and an event poster.

Both vintage and contemporary vehicles of all makes and models, the world’s most exotic supercars, custom motorcycles, watercraft, and countless other unique and exciting vehicles will be on display. The park location is in a beautiful setting overlooking the bay where attendees can enjoy on cafes serving the finest culinary foods & beverages, VIP Cafes, smooth jazz , rare wine & spirit tastings, a cigar lounge, Fashion shows and much more. Cartier, Opus One, Rolex, Ruggie Wealth Management, Tag Heuer, Tiffany &Co., Hublot, Breitling and many others will be there.


Should be a great weekend. Weather should be sunny & around 72-78 degrees.





I put this tidbit in my “How Cool Is This” box. Of course, it’s IKEA!! Who else would do this? I wonder if the furniture comes with new & different sets of hex or Allen wrenches because I don’t have enough of them from all the Ikea furniture already in my home. Will I be able to get upgrades for all of my Ikea bookcases? LOL. This is so cool-love it.

Ikea announced Sunday at Mobile World Congress it is introducing its first furniture line that offers wireless charging for phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

by Dave Smith in Business Insider March 2, 2015


Ikea’s furniture, which it calls its “Home Smart” line, will integrate the popular Qi wireless charging technology into special “charging pads” on the furniture. People will then be able to buy and assemble the furniture and leave their Qi-supported devices on those pads for a quick battery charge. 

PH123792 1024x683

Smartphones that don’t support Qi will be incompatible with this furniture. The Qi wireless charging technology is controlled by the Wireless Power Consortium, which boasts 200-plus members including Samsung, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, HTC, Verizon Wireless, and others.

More than 80 different smartphones offer support for Qi, which is currently the most used wireless charging standard in the world. It works thanks to embedded magnetic coils that generate a small electromagnetic field — smartphones and tablets that support Qi then convert this field into energy to replenish the device’s battery.

Ikea says it will launch this new furniture line, which will include desks, lamps and bedside tables, in North America and Europe in April. 

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ikea-home-smart-furniture-offers-wireless-charging-2015-3#ixzz3TX68sn3y  by Dave Smith in Business Insider March 2, 2015

Take a look at these great International  events happening this month for Realtors. Wonderful opportunities for learning & networking.

2015 International Conferences / Meetings & Events

MIPIM (Commercial Real Estate Expo)
Cannes, France
March 10 -13, 2015

This large commercial real estate expo attracts global investment real estate capital with over 16,000 attendees. NAR (National Association of Realtors) will have a booth at the show. Contact Jan Hope at NAR for more information.

Mar. 23–27

CIPS Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil

CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) Institute consisting of Global Real Estate: Local Markets, The Business of U.S. Real Estate, Asia/Pacific & International Real Estate, The Americas & International Real Estate, Europe & International Real Estate. Course is in English. Contact for additional information: silviacgama@gmail.com, chicopesserl@gmail.com

Canadian Real Estate Association’s AGM and Leadership Summit
Ottawa, Canada
March 28 - 29 2015

Surge in Chinese investment raises fraud risks.

The Luxury Living and Lifestyle Expo is being held downtown St Petersburg, Florida on February 21-22, 2015 from 10am-5pm .  Located at South Straub Park across the street from the Museum of Fine Arts and the St Pete Yacht Club, this expo will have experts and specialists in various fields displaying the “finer things in life.”

“The Luxury Living and Lifestyle Expo is a unique event that will offer a tapestry of products and services for those who hold luxury living not merely as an abstract concept, rather as a fundamental reality of life. Against the backdrop of downtown St Petersburg’s beautiful waterfront, you will have the opportunity to submerge yourself in the luxurious world of yachts, airplanes, luxury automobiles and collectables. For those with a palette for the cutting edge of the arts, will be showcased the finest selection of classic and contemporary art, fashion and design, jewelry, wines, cigars, watches, and home decor. The event will encompass all this – and so much more.” (quoted from the luxlivingexpo.com website)

You will find ideas, products and services to enrich your living and lifestyle. Sponsored by Dimmitt Automotive Group, Rolls Royce and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

South Straub Park is located on Beach Drive, downtown St Petersburg, with 7.3 acres right on the waterfront.  Downtown St Pete has galleries, museums, including The Dali & Chihuly, restaurants, music venues, brew pubs, shops, marinas, a yacht club, an airport, sports and over 100 parks including dog parks and much more.

St Petersburg Marina 1

St Petersburg Marina 1

Marketing properties outside the country is significantly more challenging since they cannot be put into the MLS. Word of mouth and personal connections play a much bigger role when it comes to international properties. The Pinellas International Council (PIC) International Marketing Session gives you the opportunity to meet with agents involved in international real estate transactions.


This month’s speaker is Tony Canizares, Broker with RE/MAX All Pros in Valrico. Tony recently went on a trade mission to London where he attended several meetings with British real estate agents, and agents from Spain who were there traveling as well. Tony was the main photographer for the trade mission and will be sharing his photos, insights, and humorous stories on communicating with potential clients and agents during his trip

Reserve your seat for our international marketing session and network with those who view the world as their market.

REGISTRATION is found on the PRO website calendar.
for Wednesday, February 18th from 3-4:30pm.
PRO Members are FREE but you must register by Feb.16th. Very limited seating. Thank you.

For more information please, contact: Martha Vasquez
Email: martha@marthavasquez.com

Location Details
Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater FL 33762

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

(727) 804-6566

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  • Justin Helmus, PRO Member, named one of NAR’s ’30 Under 30′ March 30, 2015
    Applications were strong and competition was fierce, but 30 have now been chosen. REALTOR® Magazine is pleased to introduce the 30 Under 30 class of 2015 and PRO member Justin Helmus is an honoree! The honorees are young professionals who stand out from the crowd. Many sharpened their skills during the toughest years of the [...]
  • PRO member named finalist in NAR’s ’30 Under 30′ March 12, 2015
    Justin Helmus, PRO member and Broker of The Gulf Life Realty Group in Belleair Bluffs, was named as a finalist in the National Association of Realtors’ ’30 Under 30.’ Justin is one of seven finalists from Florida. There are 50 candidates in all, and according to NAR, these ”dealmakers have overcome the business challenges and struggles [...]
  • ‘Welcome’ to all our new members who joined us in February March 2, 2015
    The Pinellas REALTOR® Organization would like to welcome all of our new REALTORS® that joined us in February! We are happy to have you as a part of our organization and wish you much success in your careers. Frank Viggiano Allison James Estates & Homes Lori K. Deblack BHHS Florida Properties Elizabeth J. Illgen BHHS [...]
  • ‘Welcome’ to all our members who joined us in January February 3, 2015
    The Pinellas REALTOR® Organization would like to welcome all of our new REALTORS® that joined us in January! We are happy to have you as a part of our organization and wish you much success in your careers. Lori C. Pendleton Abi Road Realty LLC Amy L. Johnson Action Pro Realty Angela S. Fox AdSizzle [...]
  • Former PRO member John Harvey Meek Jr. passed away February 3, 2015
    Meek, John Harvey, Jr, 61, of Clearwater, passed away on Sunday, February 1, 2015. He was born and raised in Clearwater and a member of First United Methodist Church, Clearwater. He owned and operated Condon-Meek Insurance and Real Estate which was founded in 1954 to serve the growing needs of the Clearwater area. John was [...]

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