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Law practice named top business in Temple Terrace

TEMPLE TERRACE — The name Ed Hanna is a familiar one to David Bullock and so is his face.

For years they attended the same church and Bullock has always held Hanna – a longtime partner with Hanna, Lemar & Morris CPAs – in high esteem.

Little did he realize that one day he would be the recipient of an award named for the gentleman who is several years his senior.

Bullock, 33, an attorney and owner of Bullock Law Group, was recently named winner of the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Ed Hanna Business of the Year Award in the small business category.

Hanna was the person who initiated the annual award program in 1990 as a means to recognize companies that have successfully grown their businesses and contributed to the community.

“For that reason it was special and I really appreciate it,” said Bullock, a Temple Terrace native who now lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Kristi, an elementary school teacher and 2004 Miss Florida who is pursuing her doctorate degree at the University of South Florida.

Bullock, a civil trial attorney focused on personal injury, founded his firm in a small office suite with just one full-time employee. Three years later he purchased and moved his practice into a 1920s Mediterranean-style home at 306 Bullard Parkway, which he is in the process of restoring to its original splendor.

He’s also expanded his business to three attorneys and four staff members, and has either doubled or tripled its gross annual revenue during each of those years.

Bullock was voted by his peers into Florida Super Lawyers, an elite brotherhood of attorneys that represents just 2.5 percent of the state’s attorneys. He also was welcomed into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an entity that includes attorneys who have handled cases in which settlements are more than $1 million. The group consists of less than 1 percent of all attorneys in the nation.

He also prides himself in being involved in the Temple Terrace community by hosting a free Fourth of July cookout, supporting the area’s Little League program and donating money to the city’s police department for a trophy case to display the officers’ medals and other awards.

“I try to give back to the community because No. 1, I grew up in this city and No. 2, it’s where some of the people who helped mentor and guide me are from,” said Bullock, noting that includes his parents who are long-time Temple Terrace residents.

Denis Spradlin, owner of Chick-fil-A at 5302 E. Fowler Ave, was named winner of the chamber’s 2013 Ed Hanna Large Business of the Year.

When Spradlin took over the business from a retiring franchisee in 2009, he said it was somewhat like “coming back home” to a city in which he and his wife, Ronda of 35 years lived in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

But like Bullock, he, too, did not have a clue back then that he’d be a future Temple Terrace business owner and how much its growth and changes would impact the community and its customers, many of whom are fellow members of the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce.

He razed the old 1200-square-foot drive-through-only eatery that employed 41 people and replaced it with a 4,100-square-foot free standing eat-in or take-out restaurant that now employs more than 80 associates. He also relandscaped the entire premises to give it more curb appeal.

“It had gotten to the point where we had maxed out our space because the business has grown tremendously,” Spradlin said.

He also changed its name to the Temple Terrace Chick-fil-A and on Nov. 21, 2013, the business celebrated its grand re-opening.

In the years following his takeover of the franchise Spradlin also has donated numerous “chicken sandwiches” to various local schools and involved his company in Temple Terrace’s Relay for Life, an annual fundraising event to benefit the American Cancer Society.

“Being tied to the community is very important and it’s smart business,” he said.

In addition, Spradlin initiated an almost monthly Facebook contest in 2013 seeking the names of charitable organizations that would be positively impacted by a donation of Chick-fil-A favorites. His staff, in turn, determined the winners and delivered their winnings. He plans to repeat the contest again this year.

“I am truly blessed by the Lord, my wife and my team – they are the ones who deserve to be recognized,” Spradlin said.

Chamber president Jamie Klingman also presented a Special Recognition Award to Florida Hospital Tampa for its contribution to the community. On hand to accept the honor was the hospital’s marketing manager Shane Cimock.

Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]

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Law practice named top business in Temple Terrace