Mike Hooper Named Entrepreneur Young Professional of the Year

Apr 17, 2009, 06:30 ET from RentTheBay.com

TAMPA, Fla., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The South Tampa Young Leaders and Executives (S.T.Y.L.E.), the official young professionals group of the South Tampa Chamber, presented its prestigious Entrepreneur Young Professional of the Year Award to Mike Hooper, President & CEO of Rent the Bay.com and The Bay's Best.org. The award is given to one business owner for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement in the Tampa Bay area. Hooper was one of over 225 nominees for the Tampa Bay Young Professionals Awards.

"Mike Hooper stood out not only for his lofty goals but for his decisiveness of execution," said President of Sandler Sales Institute and panel judge Mark Fitzgerald. "He won in his category for very good reasons, and I'll expect to see plenty more success in his future."

Hooper saw a golden opportunity in what others called a real estate crisis. After much success as a financial planner, Hooper was able to take advantage of the housing crisis by purchasing, renovating and renting single-family homes in South Tampa. He was able to buy low enough to generate a positive cash flow from rents, so he didn't have to rely on appreciation alone.

Hooper quickly became a successful investor and a frustrated landlord, a combination that led to his online sensations, www.RentTheBay.com and www.TheBaysBest.org. Rent the Bay is a one-stop-shop for home rentals in Tampa Bay. Landlords can list their properties, screen potential tenants, find the right rental forms and use the Rent-O-Meter to determine reasonable rates. Renters can search properties, pay rent online, submit maintenance requests, connect utilities, find local resources and even search for a job!

TheBaysBest.org provides an unbiased list of reputable Tampa Bay businesses that offer services to landlords, homeowners and renters. Each business must meet strict qualification standards to be awarded the distinction of "The Bay's Best Honored Member." The site is a source of proven and reputable locally-owned or managed companies that operate with integrity and provide top-notch services at competitive prices.

"My passion stems from my father who inspired my entrepreneurial spirit from childhood," said Hooper. "He taught me that it's all about hard work, timing and patience ... advice that kept me from buying at the peak and waiting for the market correction."

SOURCE RentTheBay.com