Community Reuse Organization
The Pinellas Plant Community Reuse Organization, Inc. (CRO) worked with and provided direction to the STAR Center as it promoted a dynamic world-class center for high technology operations. They focused on establishing international markets and attracting new organizations looking to take advantage of the synergy offered by existing companies. Through a DOE grant, the CRO established the Tampa Bay Innovation Center (formerly STAR TEC), a business accelerator program to assist aspiring manufacturing and technology-based businesses.
The CRO is grateful to the many people and organizations that make the STAR Center a success. Thanks goes to the DOE for providing the opportunity and funds, to the civic, business, and academia leaders in the community that provide their expertise and guidance, and to our local U.S. Congressman, C.W. Bill Young, for his continued support.
Andrew H. Hines, the CRO’s first chairman, skillfully led the Pinellas Plant to a successful transition. He and Chairman Emeritus, William M. Castoro, helped the transition initiative by coordinating several related projects, all funded by the DOE, to help save the technologies, property and, most importantly, the highly skilled Pinellas Plant workforce. These workers had, for over forty years, helped the Nation’s defense effort by manufacturing highly sophisticated electro/mechanical devices used in nuclear weapons. The CRO helped identify and attract high tech commercial companies, nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher learning to the STAR Center.
About the Chairman Emeritus: The Late William M. (Bill) Castoro chaired the CRO from January 1998 to March 2006. For nearly four decades, he was executive director of the Pinellas County Industry Council, the County’s former economic development organization that initially purchased and managed the STAR Center. In his career, Mr. Castoro has helped bring hundreds of manufacturing companies and thousands of jobs to the area, many of them high tech and medical. He also had extensive experience in international marketing, especially in the Asian sector. He was one of the founders and past presidents of the Florida Economic Development Council and was a life member of the International Economic Development Council. Bill was an inspiration, always willing to help and provide guidance. His motto was “Lets think of a way that we CAN do this!” Bill Castoro passed away in August 2008 and will be missed by friends and family.