Gavin P Smith Contributions to LinkedIn

A Setback is Just a Setup for a Comeback

First Published on LinkedIn on June 11th, 2014. Life. It is full of twists, turns, plans and the unexpected. Everyone believes in life that they are in control at some point. We think we know what are doing. We know where we are going. We have it all figured out. Regardless, few of us escape […]

So What Is Really Happening With BlackBerry?

First Published on Motley Fool ( – OCTOBER 30, 2013 For the past two years or so, BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) has been caught in a cash-burning spiral trying to hold on to anything it can for dear life in the North American market. The Canadian based firm formerly known as Research in Motion, BlackBerry, has been […]

Big Week for First Solar

First Published on Motley Fool ( – OCTOBER 31, 2013 This week is a big week for renewable and tech stocks. Earnings reports released this week will determine whether or not First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR  ) is on track with its current shift in market strategies. More than just solar panels Formed in 1999, First Solar […]

The Beat Goes On For BlackBerry

First Published on Motley Fool ( – NOVEMBER 5, 2013 Last week, we watched to see if BlackBerry  (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) would circle the wagons and survive the swirling acquisition vultures overhead (“So What is Really Happening With BlackBerry”). This morning, there is positive news that BlackBerry is doing just that. Prior to the market opening, […]

Gavin P Smith - Griffin Report - Florida - new above ground storage tanks

New Year in Florida Means Out With The Old Tanks

Gavin P. Smith The Griffin Report   LINK to PDF copy The New Year may not be a happy one for many Florida petroleum businesses thanks to sweeping new regulations put in place by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  The new laws require all businesses with single-walled USTs and ASTs (underground storage tanks and […]

Winn-Dixie Forges Ahead With Grand Remodel Effort

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report With “change” being the consummate buzz word these days, Florida-based Winn-Dixie certainly is doing its part to make a few changes of its own. Despite having to navigate through shaky economic waters, Winn-Dixie has created a remodeling plan that may indeed change a lot of the old familiarities […]

2008 FPMA Convention A Success

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando was home to the 2008 Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association’s (FPMA) Annual Convention and Trade Show, held July 19-23. A forum for the movers and shakers in the petroleum and convenience stores industries, the trade show featured the latest […]

Publix GreenWise Food Brand Blossoms into New Supermarket Brand

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report Publix Supermarkets is taking the high organic road as they seek to expand their GreenWise food brand throughout Florida and eventually, throughout the country in the form of newly-developed stores of the same name. “GreenWise began as our private label line of health, natural and organic foods in […]

Sun Capital Partners Increases Presence In Southeast With Two Major Buys

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm picked up two major purchases in May which increases their presence in North and South Carolina. Worsley Companies, a prominent Wilmington, N.C.-based convenience store operator, has been acquired by an affiliate of  Sun Capital Partners, Inc. The deal, which happened for […]

Sands Petroleum Builds Brand, New Presence in South Florida

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report Sands Petroleum Development, a corporation focused on the development and refurbishing of one-stop gas stations and convenience stores in South Florida for over 21 years, is forging ahead with plans to build 14 brand-new sites in the Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Coast and Lee County markets in 2008, despite […]

New UST Laws Require Pricey Upgrades

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report As if gas demand and consumption, gas taxes and gas prices are not enough, Florida’s gas stations and convenience stores face another costly hurdle between now and the end of next year.  Florida is finally tightening down on violators of legislation passed eighteen years ago requiring new USTs […]

Goya Foods Sets Sights on Miami-Dade Expansion

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report Goya Foods of Florida, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, recently announced its plan to build a new $26-million manufacturing and distribution facility in Miami-Dade County. The 120,000 sq. ft. expansion is expected to create at least 30 additional jobs for the Miami-Dade area over the […]

Aldi – The New (Discount Grocery) Kid in Town

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report When it comes to the consumer marketplace, nothing is better for the consumer than a little friendly competition.  Competition gives the consumers extensive choices, access to more variety and the benefit of lower prices.  Central Florida discount grocers are about to see more competition enter the marketplace.  For […]

Opportunity in Chaos?

Deciphering the Economic Downturn Gavin P. Smith – Griffin Report It has been a rocky time in the markets, both in the U.S. and around the globe.  No industry can escape the affects of the current credit freeze and financial failures.  The climate is dicey, and major industry leaders are taking bold adaptive measures to […]

Publix Expands Florida Stronghold

Acquires Florida Albertsons Locations Gavin P. Smith – Griffin Report In a major move to strengthen their Florida market presence, Florida-based Publix Super Markets, Inc. recently wrapped up a deal to purchase 49 stores from Albertson’s, LLC. The transaction includes 15 locations in North Florida, 30 locations in Central Florida and four locations in South […]

What a Difference a Quarter Makes

The gas price pendulum in full “swing” Gavin P. Smith – Griffin Report Remember those high gas prices at the pump?  Remember the cries of talking heads from various media outlets chastising the greedy Big Oil companies?  Just a year ago, gas at the pump hit an average of $4.50 or more throughout most of […]

The ‘Green-olution’ Continues

Orange County to hold Climate Change Summit ORANGE COUNTY – In an effort to continue the momentum of recent moves to make Orange County more “green”, county Mayor Richard Crotty and other officials intend on holding Central Florida’s first-ever Summit on Climate Change recently at the Orange County Convention Center.  The Summit will be geared towards all […]

Pathways for Parramore

Business, Parks and National Recognition For Parramore Orange County – With the recent approval of the new venues proposal for the downtown area, activities are in high gear to enhance the Parramore area surrounding those new venues.  Beginning in 2005, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 5 Commissioner Daisy Lynum announced the Pathways for Parramore […]

Ethanol in Florida – One Year Later

Gavin P. Smith – The Griffin Report The drumbeat of the green-olution gets louder and louder by the day.  However, as has been proven by society throughout history, people, laws and habits are slow to change.  It seems this also applies to the use of alternative fuels, which has been slow to move into the […]

School Daze

New schools just in time for new school year Orange County, FL – In order to relieve the growing pains of schools around Central Florida, new schools will be available for this school year in areas including Lake Nona, Windermere, Baldwin Park, Winter Garden and Apopka.  These new schools, at a cost of nearly $174 […]

Gavin P Smith Orlando Journalist

Full Steam Ahead

New Venue design teams named for recently approved Magic arena Orange County, FL – Now that the venues have been approved, officials are wasting no time in filling top positions to start the planning and design phases of the eventual construction of the new Orlando Magic Arena.  HOK Sport, along with Walter P. Moore and […]

Venues: Public Interest or Special Interest?

County Commissioners give go ahead for funds ORANGE COUNTY – All of life is a stage, and we are merely players upon it.  It would seem Shakespeare’s point was made again recently during the big spectacle known as the Interlocal Agreement vote.  This vote was the final hurdle for the development of the downtown venues, […]

Central Florida Real Estate Woes

OC market declines continue ORANGE COUNTY – If you have property that you’re trying to sell in Central Florida, you are in for a rude awakening.  At the moment, the greater Orlando real estate market is in turmoil, with no end in sight.  The market has been on a decline for quite some time, and […]

Kennedy Space Center Gets The Blues

Bruce Willis and his Blues Band Perform ORANGE COUNTY – Despite the continuous cloudiness and rainfall that soaked much of central and coastal Florida for most of the week, the skies over Kennedy Space Center stayed clear and offered the perfect window of opportunity for one of the biggest actors in today’s movie scene to […]

Orlando Tribune - New Water Initiative 2007 - Gavin P Smith

New Water Initiative for Orange County

County Teams With HBA In Effort To Conserve ORANGE COUNTY – Is “green” becoming the new color of Orange County?  It certainly appears so, as county and city officials are inundating the airwaves and recent community meetings with all sorts of conservation initiatives lately.  One such “green” plan that promotes conservation of water is getting […]

Orlando Tribune - Red Light Sign 2007 - Gavin P Smith

Signs, Signs Everywhere a Sign

New warning signs at signals across Central Florida warn of red-light fines ORANGE COUNTY – Motorists may soon get an eyeful at traffic lights around the county courtesy of Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty.  The County Mayor is on the march against red light runners and the resulting injuries, costs and damages from red-light related […]

Orlando Tribune - Greenolution Cover Story 2007

New Color for Orange County

Orlando Joining “Green-olution” ORANGE COUNTY – With recent worldwide concerts to bring awareness to global warming, oodles of scientific studies about greenhouse gases and pollution, and terms like “carbon footprint” becoming hip, Orlando may be jumping on the bandwagon of the growing ‘Green-olution’ sweeping the country.  Orlando officials recently opened the first “green” parking deck, […]

Orlando Tribune - Road Rage 2007 - Gavin P Smith

Road Rage

I-4 driver injured in hail of gunfire ORANGE COUNTY – While most people are accustomed to random daily minor road rage incidents, one recent event serves as a reminder that retaliation could end up in major violence.  On the afternoon of Sunday, July 1, a motorist travelling on I-4 experienced a hail of gunfire as […]

Orlando Tribune Traffic Quagmire 2007 1

Traffic Quagmire

One big downtown mess…but is there hope? ORANGE COUNTY – If you’re an everyday traveler of I-4, the 408, or streets in the downtown area, you are well aware of all of the constant construction going on.  No doubt, the city is undergoing growth.  As a result of higher volumes of traffic in the area, […]

Orlando Tribune Disney Pipe Bomb - 2007 - Gavin P Smith

Pipe Bomb At Disney

Prank or serious incident? ORANGE COUNTY – In a time where terrorism fears run rampant, an event that occurred recently at Downtown Disney serves as a reminder that even the smallest incident will get big attention.  Orlando County law enforcement is currently investigating the discovery of a “homemade low-level volume explosive” in a small trash […]

Orlando Tribune Lou Pearlman 1 2007 Gavin P Smith

…And Justice After All?

Pearlman Pinched – Florida Return Eminent   ORANGE COUNTY – The hottest question in Central Florida on everyone’s lips, at least up until now, has been “where in the world is Lou Pearlman?”  That question was finally answered last week.  Pearlman, who skipped town ahead of federal indictments, was kicked out of Bali, Indonesia and […]

Orlando Tribune - Bowl Story 2007 1 - Gavin P Smith

Perception vs. Reality

Does Buddy’s Beleaguered Bowl Bid Break The Bank? ORANGE COUNTY – Last year, I attended a downtown mixer at City Hall, where Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer spoke of bold plans to renovate of the Citrus Bowl, create a new cultural and performing arts center, and build a new sports and concert arena.  As Buddy bloviated, […]

Orlando Tribune Visionary Vacillating 2007 Gavin P Smith

Visionary Vacillating

What Is Actually Achievable For Orange County In The Near Future? ORANGE COUNTY – Orlando County Mayor Richard Crotty recently gave his 7th annual State Of The County Address, marking several goals that he intends to pursue during the coming year.  But which are fluff, and which are realistic? Crotty keenly sites various milestones of […]

Orange County Budget Blues 2007 Gavin P Smith

In The Line Of Fire

What can you do to prepare for an active hurricane season? ORANGE COUNTY – When an in-law that you just can’t stand comes for a visit once a year, the experience can be dreaded and stressful.  A similar experience is upon us again.  Hurricane season is back.   The first day of the season began June […]

Orange County Budget Blues 2007 Gavin P Smith

Budget Blues for Orange County

Will cuts in property tax revenue affect major programs? ORANGE COUNTY – As often seen, actions at the state level can have a profound effect on the activities at a local level.  While state lawmakers look ahead to the next election cycle, tax cuts are the name of the game.   That’s causing a dark cloud […]

Orlando Tribune Housing Hoax 2007 Gavin P Smith

Housing Crisis or Hoax?

New housing program to slow resident migration out of Orange County ORANGE COUNTY – Despite the downturn in property values all across the Southeast and much of the United States, there is a growing concern that affordable housing units are also on a sharp decline, especially in Orange County.  While downtown housing and towers skyrocket, […]

Orange County Transcontinental - Gavin P Smith

The “Con” in Trans Continental: Lou Pearlman

ORANGE COUNTY – There are many elusive fictional characters out there.  Some are easier to find than others.  Kids have been asked “where in the world is Carmen Sandiego”, and they’ve managed to find her.  Others have been asked to look at drawings and find Waldo.  Most have, with some effort, found him too.  But […]

Orlando Tribune OCAlert - 2007

New Alert System Unveiled for Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY – With the doom and gloom of upcoming hurricane season predictions, concern for public safety recently married with technology in Orange County.  That marriage is giving birth to a new system to alert the public of dangers ranging from severe weather to Amber Alerts.  The new system, OCAlert, uses text messaging technology to […]

Orlando Tribune Osceola Manhunt 2007 Gavin P Smith

Dangerous Traffic Stop leads to Manhunt on Narcoosee Road

OSCEOLA COUNTY – On May 19th, around 7pm, residents in the East Lake Reserve area of Narcoosee Road got a firsthand look at an army of police officers in action.  Osceola County and Orange County officers arrived with some twenty-five or more units in total.  Every side road for two miles was blocked off by […]

Orlando Tribune Toll Roads 1 2007 Gavin P Smith

Certainty in life: Death and Taxes…and now TOLLS

ORANGE COUNTY – You’ve heard the old saying.  “There are only two things in life that are certain…death and taxes.”  Well, that old saying might just have to be revised. The new certainty on the horizon is toll fees.  There has always been somewhat of a controversy at times with toll roads, but now that […]

Orlando Tribune Red Light Program 2007 Gavin P Smith

Red Lights Could Generate Green – Cameras Coming to Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY – In life, there is one statement that always rings true.  Rumors will always abound until the truth is found.  Well, the rumor mills are cranking lately when it comes to the notion of traffic light cameras coming to Orlando and the surrounding areas.  These traffic signal cameras are nothing new in other […]

Orlando Tribune - Wekiva Study 1 2007 Gavin P Smith

Controversial Wekiva River MACTEC Study: Worthwhile or Worthless?

ORANGE COUNTY – In 2004, Governor Jeb Bush signed The Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act into law, authorizing the construction of the Wekiva Parkway and protection of the Wekiva River system.  The Wekiva River — downstream from the Little Wekiva River – has also been the focus of federal protection efforts. U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum […]

Orange County Crime Forum 2007 Gavin P Smith

Commissioner Stewart Leads Community Crime Forum in South Orlando

ORANGE COUNTY – Recently, local law enforcement officials and county commissioners came together at the South Orlando YMCA for a Community Crime Forum.  Led by Commissioner Linda Stewart of District 4, the purpose of the forum was to discuss concerns over neighborhood crime and safety.  An open meeting, attended by a number of citizens, the […]

Orlando Tribune - Virginia Tech UCF 2007 Gavin P Smith

UCF, Florida Universities Seek More Money for Campus Security

ORANGE COUNTY – The University of Central Florida, along with the rest of the public universities in the state, are looking to legislators for $3.5 million in fast cash to be injected into efforts to beef up security on campuses statewide.  In the wake of the recent Virginia Tech massacre, new approaches are being considered […]

Orlando Tribune - Osceola Beautiful 2007 Gavin P Smith

Keep Osceola Beautiful

Osceola County – Earth Day is just around the corner.  For those of you who do not know the story behind Earth Day, the national day of observance was the brainchild of United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who called for the first Earth Day to be held on April 22, 1970. Over 20 […]

Environmental Program Grows In Osceola

Osceola County, Fl. – Osceola County commissioners recently approved a measure to place specific sites on a “target list” for the Environmental Lands Conservation Program created by the county.   This week, a new piece of property has been added to the list as a result of a county purchase. The County Commission has agreed to […]

Orlando Tribune Lake County Bonds

Strong Financial Ratings Help County with Bond Acquisition

Lake County, Fl. — Lake County announces the sale of approximately $84 million in capital-improvement revenue bonds.  The Series 2007 Bonds will be payable from and secured by the proceeds of the local government half-cent sales tax and received by the County under Chapter 218, Part VI, of Florida Statutes.   That half-cent sales tax was […]

Big Acquisitions for Environmental Program - Orlando Tribune 2007 Gavin P Smith

Big Acquisitions for Environmental Program

Orlando, FL – In a move supported by most citizens, the Osceola County commission recently approved a measure to place specific sites on a “target list” for the Environmental Lands Conservation Program created by the county.  The effort is a move in part to preserve land from overdevelopment and to instead preserve its use for […]

Tourism Decline Sparks Funding Surge

Osceola County – In a move to put a stop to declining tourism numbers, Osceola County has pledged its support for additional funding to the Visit Florida program.  The Florida association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (FACVB) has joined with Visit Florida to convince the State Legislature to appropriate an additional $59 million for tourism […]