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NetFest draws some 250 Pasco movers and shakers

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Everyone can use a little time to put away the smartphones and leave the emails unchecked for a couple of hours, NetFest organizers believe.

So many of the 250 movers and shakers in Pasco County donned cowboy outfits before heading to the Starkey Ranch, off State Road 54, for the Western-theme party put on by Pasco Economic Development Council.

The yearly networking event gives people a chance to chat face to face rather than electronic communications, PEDC President and CEO John Hagen explained.

Some friends joked that they barely recognized Hagen in his cowboy hat and duds, rather than his usual suit and tie.

The casual event featured the chili cook-off. Seven firms and nonprofit organizations competed for the title of best chili recipe.

Coastal Design Consultants staff members won bragging rights with their batch of chili. Other contestants came from United Way of Pasco County, Pasco-Hernando Community College, Trinity Club Apartments, Ballywho Social, ChappellRoberts and ValleyCrest Landscape.

The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com were the main sponsor of NetFest this year.

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