SRQ Kicks Off The Holidays With A Festive Soiree at SAS, Dec 1

Executive Publisher Wes Roberts, Michael Kulaw of WUSF, Michael Ippolito of Seaside Bank and Samantha Cummins of Goodwill Manasota. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

SRQ MEDIA kicked off the holiday season with a festive soirée with over 200 of our clients, partners and dear friends on Thursday, December 1 at Sarasota Architectural Salvage. True to SRQ form, the night was full of music, laughter, twinkling lights and delicious food. The vintage pieces on display at Sarasota Architectural Salvage perfectly captured the hyper-local essence of SRQ Magazine, each telling its own colorful story about a unique history. Guests were treated to an experience like no other exploring, discovering and stimulating the imagination with a little holiday cheer sprinkled in.

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SRQ staff member, Phil Lederer poses with City of Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw in the interactive photo booth. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

The sound of laughter filled the party as guests enjoyed the interactive photo booth and indulged in a delicious spread of holiday favorites provided by Michaels on East, Geckos Grill & Pub and Sift Bakehouse. From chicken wings, New England lobster rolls, barbecued curry shrimp, and caviar on blintzes to the classic SIFT sugar cookie (totally addictive!), food was plentiful and the bar fully stocked with beer from SRQ events partner Gold Coast Eagle Distributing.


SRQ Holiday Soiree Guests Cynthia and Guy Peterson of the Center for Architecture, Sarasota and the Guy Peterson Office for Architecture and Erin McLeod and Marty Katz of Friendship Centers. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan. 

We would like to sincerely thank Jesse White, Owner of Sarasota Architectural Salvage for allowing us to use his imaginative space. We are so grateful for his inspiring commitment to the community and continuous support of SRQ Magazine.

“The theme of the evening was ‘partnership’ and the SRQ team clearly knows the meaning of win-win. The joy of the season was in the air all night long. Guests and team members with shining smiles, laughter booming above the background music and animated stories shared amongst business partners turned friends. Joining with SRQ Mag for this holiday party demonstrates all the good that comes from partnerships,” said White. 


Owner of Sarasota Architectural Salvage and host, Jesse White and Robert Davie of Robert Davie Landscaping. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

On behalf of the entire SRQ MEDIA team, we wish you happiness, peace and togetherness this holiday season. Thank you for your unending passion and support for making the place we all call home, so very special.

Jesse White with the SRQ team members Aviel Kanter (front), Morgan Bortz, Ashley Ryan, Ashley Grant, Madeline Crotts
and Suzanne Munroe. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

To view a gallery of photos from the celebration, click here.

IN YOUR MAILBOX: The Giving Back Issue is Here!

SRQ_SPREAD COVER COMBO-DEC.jpgBaby it’s cold outside—luckily, our December issue is filled with philanthropic stories big and small that will warm your heart.

Cover Feature: Investing in High Risk

Contributing Senior Editor Jacob Ogles investigates the world of risk capital, now being applied to solving society’s biggest issues.

Feature: Who Runs the World?

Writer and Columbia University graduate school SRQ intern Elizabeth Steiner talks girl power, from coding imaginary worlds to Presidential discussions.


Out and About

  • Manatee County Foundation’s Susie Bowie paints a picture.
  • Public art influencing behavior with Jorge Blanco.
  • Balanchine’s Jewels on Sarasota Ballet’s stage.
  • Young filmmakers train with top Hollywood mentors at Ringling College of Art and Design and at the production studios of Sarasota Technical College
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital designated as trauma center.
  • Breaking mosquitos’ blood habit to combat Zika with MosquitoPaQ.
  • The Haven brings together the disabled community.
  • Hitting the business expansion sweet spot with SB2 Keynote Speaker Tammie Sweet of GrowFL.



  • Garden Burgers four ways: an ode to Meatless Mondays.
  • Unpretentious class at veggie-centric Lila.
  • Local ‘booch ferments its way into your heart with 221BC.
  • Chef Sean Murphy’s insights into Beach Bistro’s decades-long reign.
  • Sake (hot and cold), explained.

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Hunting and Gathering:

  • The holiday season, Florida style, in must-have gifts.
  • Visit with Punit Patel and Chris Leader in their design studio.
  • Paul Rudolph’s Harkavy House blends comfort and pragmatism.

Agenda: What’s in store for Siesta Key’s Beach Road?

Dispatch: Nancy Sanders on renewing hope through the Children’s Guardian Fund.

Body Dimensions: Physical therapists talk the benefits of taking the conservative route.

Parting Shot: The Sarasota Chalk Festival’s new home in Venice.

SB2 Reporting Out: GOOD COAST–Our Philanthropic Giving Voice, Nov 17



Left to right: Panelists Bob Rosinsky and Teri Hansen, Moderator Wes Roberts, Keynote Speaker Stacy Carlson, Panelists Veronica Brady and Brian Mariash


Last Thursday, SRQ magazine’s  SB2: GOOD COAST A Good Place To Work, Live, Play and Give breakfast symposium shed light on the changing landscape of successful philanthropic endeavors on Florida’s West Coast starting with the importance of securing smaller donations from less wealthy donors.


Stacy Carlson of the Florida Philanthropic Network delivers keynote presentation. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

After opening remarks by event sponsor Bart Lowther of Mariash Lowther Wealth Management, Keynote Speaker, Stacy Carlson, Ph D., President and CEO of the Florida Philanthropic Network began the discussion by indulging in statistics that further proved how strong the philanthropic giving voice is not only in the region but nationwide.

“Every year, more than more than 373 billion is donated by individuals, foundations and businesses to a myriad of good causes,” she stated. “Seventy percent of Americans incorporate giving into their annual expenditures and philanthropy continues to fuel efforts to solve social problems, enrich culture and strengthen society. Middle and lower class Americans increased the share of income they donated to charity even as they earned less on average than they earned six years earlier.”

Carlson emphasized that the concept of giving is a critical component of the fabric of our society and went on to state that some of our nation’s greatest treasures and innovations are because of philanthropy.

“It is through true partnership that long sustainable solutions will be found. The benefit through local philanthropy is that it is truly local. Donated, designed and directed by the individuals located in exactly here where you live. I encourage you to find the ways that you can be most impactful their philanthropic giving.”

Carlson ended her presentation by stating: “The world had been changed forever because of philanthropy and I thank you for your part.”




Left to right: Brian Mariash, Teri Hansen, Wes Roberts (center, moderator), Bob Rosinksy and Veronica Brady. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Between bites, guests picked up pithy facts and well-honed insight from some of the region’s most inspiring and philanthropically driven organizations: Bob Rosinsky of Goodwill Manasota, Brian Mariash of Mariash Lowther Wealth Management, Teri Hansen of the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Veronica Brady of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.


Bob Rosinsky of Goodwill Manasota speaks on the voice of philanthropic giving. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan 

“The pinnacle of my early experience in volunteering was when I was in sixth grade, I got to be the one in charge of the Red Cross drive which meant every child brought a dime to school, and I got to collect the dimes and then give them the little white lapel clasps. I didn’t realize at that time that I would go into a career in philanthropy— my takeaway is that no matter what kind of foundation or nonprofit you run, it’s all about development,”  said Teri Hansen, President and CEO of the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, who started off the panel discussion by reminiscing about her first experiences as a volunteer .

Veronica Brady, Vice President for Philanthropy at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation shared, “My grandmother was born in China, the daughter of medical missionaries so the culture of philanthropy sort of wafted down over the generations.”

When asked about the priorities of potential donors in the area, Brian Mariash, Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor at Mariash Lowther Wealth Management mentioned something in particular that resonated with the audience. “I think it’s shifted even during my career over the past 15 years. Early on, I saw donations just because their parents donated so they always donated. There is a lot more of an active role going on. I hear people restricting their gifts and they want to see the outcome. They are more likely to donate to something where they can quantify and see that impact. I think in their business lives, they were trained to look at things in that way and they are just getting more sophisticated and more educated about that.”

Veronica Brady discussed the importance of candor in donor relations. “Donors respect direct straight talk on what can be done and what can’t be done so there is no point in hiding it. I think for people who don’t know philanthropy, it’s easy to say charities aren’t honest , that’s not true. That’s the joy of Sarasota/Manatee, our community and working with community foundations is that you are working directly with individuals who know the community, who will do the research to find out more.”

Bob Rosinsky, President and CEO of Goodwill Manasota circled the conversation back to the core message of the morning. ” You are really looking at keeping mission first, communicating that mission throughout the organization and ensuring that everybody is on board with the direction you are going. And more than anything, over time, people get to live that mission.”


Representatives from SB2 Series Sponsor The Resort at Longboat Key Club . Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan


We couldn’t have learned the incredible things from this thought-provoking discussion without our series sponsors: CS&L CPAs, The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport and of course our event sponsor Mariash Lowther Wealth Management. Thank you for supporting the SB2 series, but most importantly, thank you for the ways you give back and help people in our community each and every day. Your example inspires us.


Representatives from SB2 Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan


Click here to read the article about SB2: Good Coast in SRQ DAILY. A gallery of images from SB2: GOOD COAST: A Good Place To Work, Live, Play and Give is available online. The 2016-2017 SB2 season will continue on Thursday, January 26 with SB2 GOOD EDUCATION: Learning for a Lifetime featuring Keynote Speaker Mary Chance, President of the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations. For 2016-2017 SB2 member passes, visit

SRQ Staff Writer, Phil Lederer Speaks to Ringling College of Art and Design Students, Nov 9



SRQ Staff Writer speaks to Ringling College of Art and Design Students 


Last week, SRQ Magazine’s Staff Writer, Phil Lederer spoke to a group of Ringling College of Art and Design students about the components that create a well-written article. The group consisted of three illustration majors and one game art major who will be conducting interviews and writing articles about trending news and topics on the Ringling College campus.

“There’s so much about journalism that can’t be taught except by doing,” says Lederer. “The research, the interview, the writing and skills relating to all of these can be taught to some extent, but the actual implementation relies more on repeatedly doing.”

Lederer equipped the students with tips on how to go about researching a subject before an interview, how to conduct an interview and then how to construct a meaningful article that not only informs but is enjoyable to read. Ringling College often supplements their classroom activities with visiting professionals and guest speakers and we are thrilled that Phil could represent SRQ MEDIA.

“Speaking to students provides a further opportunity to impress upon them the importance of journalism and give them the confidence to pursue it,” says Lederer. “It’s their right as journalists to ask the hard questions and tell the hard truth honestly. Confidence is key in that regard and although journalists should be prepared to stand alone if necessary, a foundation of community support and professional encouragement goes a long way.”

IN YOUR MAILBOX: The SRQ NOV16 House+Home Issue is Here!


Our November issue is all about aspirational living—sit back, relax and let us take you inside the high walls of some of the area’s most spectacular homes. Begin with the horseshoe-shaped renovation on Lido Shores, a neighborhood known for its odes to the Sarasota School of Architecture. In Modern Muse, a Guy Peterson design gets enhanced by the owner’s expansive collection of pop art, from a massive Jim Morrison mugshot to Warhol portraits and Chinese appropriations of Roy Lichtenstein favorites. Head down the street and you’ll find Paul Rudolph’s iconic Umbrella House, showcased through the eyes of its new owners in Period Piece. Finally, take a trip south to wooded Osprey, where we get an insider view into a hidden compound designed by Hall Architects that embodies the Japanese ideal of wabi-sabi in Perfect Imperfections.

After taking in the sights of these resplendent residences, give your tastebuds a chance to experience the same bouts of wonder with dishes from two newcomers to the Sarasota culinary scene. Grab a seat at the bar and read about the arresting decor and equally incredible food at Boca Kitchen, Bar & Market in Community Kitchen, then head upstairs in New Kids on the Block to the recently opened hotspot, The Coolinary, created by European transplants that give the storied Main Street space a serious facelift. While at Lelu Coffee Lounge, get the SPAM you’ve dreamed of in Hawaiian Steak. And don’t forget to dive into the Louies Modern kitchen with Chef Jose Rojas in Remembering His Roots.

As if all that weren’t enough, we’ve also checked in on the progress of the Sarasota Museum of Art, going inside the building for an exclusive look at what is coming in A View from the Gallery. Fashion designer Camilyn Beth lets us into her studio to talk about ‘60s inspirations, the modern woman and how she fuses New York sensibilities with Floridian aesthetics in Southern Belle, while landscape architect Robert Davie reclines amidst his designs in the newly completed Community Aids Network garden in Peaceful Pavilion.  

In other news, we get down and dirty in the laboratory with the next generation of Mote Marine scientists in Dropped in the Deep End, and jumped across the pond to monitor the effect of Brexit on the Gulf Coast in Keep Calm and Brexit On. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles brings us back home with a symposium focusing on attainable housing in Sarasota, tapping the knowledge of three local housing experts in Improving the Housing Continuum.

Get swept away this November!

The SRQ Team

Announcing the 2016-17 SB2 Breakfast Symposium Keynote Speakers, Join Us Nov 17

SB2 Logo

With the 2016-17 SB2 “GOOD” Regional Breakfast Symposium season in full swing, SRQ MEDIA is thrilled to announce the entire line-up of notable keynote speakers presenting this year! With a special focus on the impact of philanthropy, tourism and arts on the regional economy, each special guest will share their insight from the statewide and national stage as it relates to Florida’s West Coast . Past keynote presenters have included world-renowned landscape architect Tom Balsley, Lilly Weinberg of the Knight Foundation, Chief Marketing Office Paul Phipps of VISIT FLORIDA and Mark Brewer, President and CEO of the Central Florida Foundation.

We’re thrilled to continue the SB2 tradition of vibrant dialogue and brain buzz over hot coffee and bacon!

September 22, 2016 — GOOD GROWTH: Economic Indicators,
KEYNOTE: Tammie Sweet, Director of GrowFL


Tammie Sweet leads the Florida Economic Gardening Institute program throughout Florida, which helps local communities build entrepreneurial efforts centered on the Economic Gardening philosophy. This philosophy embraces strategies to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state. A 20–year veteran of economic development, Tammie holds numerous awards for her leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship. Tammie is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Collier and was part the Leadership Florida Class XXV. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Florida Virtual School and is former Chairman of the Florida Economic Development Council.

November 17, 2016 — GOOD COAST: A Good Place To Work, Live Play and Give
KEYNOTE: Stacy Carlson, President & CEO, Florida Philanthropic Network.

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Stacy Carlson has close to 10 years of experience in foundation development and capacity building, including identifying partnership opportunities and strategic investment goal implementation. As President & CEO of FPN, Stacy pairs her proven leadership with an extensive policy background to strengthen innovative leadership and a unified voice for Florida philanthropy. Prior to joining FPN, Stacy was Vice President and Program Director of College and Career Readiness for Helios Education Foundation. Stacy has served in leadership roles at state and national levels, including chair of the Florida Education Foundation Board, chair of FPN’s Education Funders Affinity Group, co-chair of the National Collaborative for Student Success and co-chair of the Grantmakers for Education Annual National Conference. Carlson received her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Florida and holds a Master of Education from Harvard University.

January 26, 2017 — GOOD EDUCATION: Learning for a Lifetime
KEYNOTE: Mary Chance, President, Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

Mary Chance serves as president for the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, the membership organization established in 1987 to develop the capacity and resources of Florida’s local education foundations, including managing the nation’s only $1 for $1 match for eligible K-12 initiatives which is funded by the Florida Legislature. Currently, the CFEF represents 61 county-wide school district education foundations that collectively raise more than $63 million annually for targeted initiatives to increase student achievement.  She has held this position for eight years after serving as the executive director of a member foundation for 10 years. She is a graduate of Leadership Florida’s inaugural Education Leadership class, an advisory board member for the UF Lastinger Center for Teaching & Learning and an ex officio member of the FL Department of Education’s statewide Florida Education Foundation.
March 30, 2017 — GOOD CULTURE: Burgeoning Arts
KEYNOTE: Nathan Schwagler, Co-Director, Dali Museum

Nathan Schwagler is a founding Co-Director of The Dalí Museum Innovation Labs, where he serves as lead program designer and executive facilitator. In addition to expert-level facilitation skills across a portfolio of Creative Problem Solving methodologies, Nathan is also a certified practitioner of LEGO Serious Play and is a certified administrator of both the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile and the creative problem-solving preference measure, FourSight utilized by organizations including NIKE, Pfizer, GOOGLE, Disney, HP, IBM, Kraft and L’oreal, and academic institutions including MIT, Stanford, and Harvard. Before joining the Museum, Nathan served as the nation’s first Business School “Creative-In-Residence” at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, where he designed and delivered courses on Creativity and Innovation and New Venture Creation.

May 18, 2017 — GOOD PEOPLE: The Tourism Industry
KEYNOTE: Carol Dover, President & CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association


Carol B. Dover has served as President & CEO of the more than 10,000 member Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) since July of 1995. Dover is a professional association manager, a lobbyist, a former government insider and a Florida State University Dedman School of Hospitality graduate with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After graduating from Florida State University in 1978, Dover accepted the position of Assistant Director of the Beer Industry of Florida. This position familiarized her with the rules, regulations and tax laws associated with the beverage industry – information which has been beneficial in her role with FRLA.

July 20, 2017 — GOOD HAND: Building Capacity in our Independent Sector
KEYNOTE: David Odahowski, President & CEO, Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation


David Odahowski has demonstrated leadership in various professional and community organizations. In addition to his role as President, CEO and Board Member of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, he is an advisor to The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College; a member of the Donors Forum of Central Florida’s Executive Committee; and an Advisory Board member on the Nemours Children’s Hospital Committee. As a member of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Odahowski serves as Vice Chair of the Caucus on Quality of Life and Quality Places. He is a former Chairman and current Board Member of the Florida Philanthropic Network.

The SB2 2016-2017 series is loyally supported by series sponsors CS&L CPAs, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and The Resort at Longboat Key Club.

Tickets are available for $35 per person at SRQSB2.COM.

All SB2 Breakfast Symposiums take place at The Francis in Dowtown Sarasota and promptly begin at 7:30 am.

See you at SB2 for an awesome 2016-17 season!

SRQ Kicks Off 2017 Annual Home of the Year Competition!


Calling all builders, architects, designers and landscape companies —the 13th Annual SRQ Home of the Year Competition is officially open!

SRQ MEDIA is thrilled to produce this prestigious annual architecture and home design program recognizing truly exceptional residential spaces from Venice to Anna Maria Island. We are bracing ourselves to be blown away by gorgeous homes across the Gulf Coast. Our panel of qualified judges hail from regions outside the geographic area of the HOTY competition and represent excellence in the areas of architecture and interior design. They will review entries based on innovation, functionality and overall design aesthetic to name SRQs Home of the Year Platinum, Gold and Silver awards.

Local professionals are invited to submit their best work in home design by the Call for Entries deadline of Friday, December 9, 2016. Winners in each category will be featured in a special SRQ Home of the Year awards supplement in the March 2017 issue of SRQ Magazine. With even more ways to showcase brilliant work in architecture, landscaping, interiors, sustainability, kitchen and bathroom design and renovation, this program celebrates the stunning spaces being forged along the Gulf Coast.

Select one or more categories for submission:

  • Overall Home: Over $2 Million
  • Overall Home: Between $1-$2 Million
  • Overall Home: Under $1 Million
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Great Room
  • Remodel/Renovation
  • Landscape Design/Pool
  • Sustainability/Green

The HOTY Official entry packet can be found at SRQMAG.COM/HOTY and includes all of the competition details.

The Call for Entries deadline is Friday December 9, 2016; the late deadline is Friday, January 6, 2017. Winners will be announced in the March 2017 edition of SRQ Magazine!

Best of luck to all of our participants, and may the best home win!

Voting Open for the 9th Annual Best of SRQ Local Competition!


It is election season and SRQ Magazine wants your voice to be heard. The 9th annual “Best of SRQ Local” Readers’ Competition is officially open! It is time to sound the alarm, rally the troops, take to social media and VOTE for your favorite Sarasota establishments and causes to be recognized in one of our most popular editions of the year.

Readers can vote on local eats, shopping, arts, luminaries and hotspots culminating in the compendium published in the April 2017 edition of SRQ Magazine. We hope you’ll share your favorite local experiences—from stellar sushi, most memorable on-stage productions to best pothole (literally and figuratively).

Tell us where you go after a long day when only the Best Bar for Cocktails will do. When you are looking for that perfect outfit to sport out on the town, where’s the Best Boutique?When you’re redecorating and you know just where to turn for the perfect period piece, we need to know the name of the Best Antique Store. Parents, we’re counting on you to name the Best Place to Take the Kids to EatBest Private School and Best Children’s Attraction in our community. Foodies, you know the drill. We’re looking for the Best New Restaurant, Best Local Brunch, and so much more. For all of you health nuts, we want to know who serves the Best Kale Salad in town. But we aren’t just looking for food connoisseurs. We want to know who you trust to care for your furry friend with the Best Local Veterinarian. Maybe you’re meeting your realtor for lunch – even better! We’re looking for the Best Real Estate Agent, too.

While our competition continues to grow each year, we will continue to stay true and honor the categories that have been around from the beginning such as “Best Slice of Pizza” and “Best Local Burger”.

This year SRQ will also be handing out the Local Legacy Award for winners who have crushed their category at least five times in the past decade.

Only locally owned establishments may be nominated for the “Best of SRQ Local” Readers’ Competition. Yes, we know there’s a line that wraps around the building at the Midtown Plaza Starbucks, but their coffee doesn’t count—it has to be local.

Rock the vote and honor the local businesses that make up the Creative West Coast of Florida area. Polls are now open. There is no need to leave a little early for work or scoot out of the office on your lunch break just to cast your ballot with voting open online 24/7.

Encourage your family and friends to vote in this for the people competition brought to you by the people that deliver vibrant local content each month in SRQ Magazine!

The polls are open through February 13, 2017. All winners will be announced in the April 2017 edition of SRQ Magazine.

Good luck and may the very best locals win!

An Evening of Kismet and Connection At SRQ SkillSHARE, October 20


The October 20, 2016 class of SkillSHARE mentors and participants. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Studios was full of powerful and inspirational women looking to further their professional network at the third SRQ SkillSHARE Mentorship Summit on Thursday October 20, 2016. Powered by the Women in Business Initiatives, mentors from the Leadership Circle collaborated and exchanged insight and guidance with women throughout the Sarasota and Bradenton communities.

“Our team was thoroughly energized by the most recent SkillSHARE – a night of serendipitous connection,” shares Ashley Grant, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for SRQ MEDIA.  “Mentors and mentees dove deep into the particulars of individual challenges and opportunities. Spontaneous insights and profound ‘aha’ moments were abundant leading to concrete steps and action plans designed to attendees dreams forward. Many participants commented that they felt ‘there was a reason they were here tonight’ and noted that they left feeling a sense of renewed purpose and enthusiasm.”




Amanda Myhrberg asks questions to Gabriele Vest of Grapevine Communications, Leadership Circle Ambassador. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

The SRQ team paired our skilled mentors with participants looking for direction on everything from navigating the ladder to success and business expansion to maintaining a business and work life balance with four rounds of 12-minute concentrated mini-sessions. Eager participants were armed with specific questions looking for advice on further career advancements. Our skilled mentors were prepared to share their own experiences on the specific topics of challenge submitted by the participants in advance. Mentors and mentees alike shared their delight in learning from each other and their in-depth conversations.

“The WIB SkillSHARE event is always a positive and productive experience, for the mentors and mentees. I am always impressed with the women that participate and the scope of business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit they bring with them,” said Leadership Circle Ambassador and SkillSHARE mentor Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club. 



SkillSHARE Mentor Laurie Pike of MPH Hotels and particpant Catherine Finn engage in compelling discussion. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

We couldn’t help but notice a spark in the room, which was undoubtedly the spirit of connection, appreciation and witnessing growth in action. “The selection of women in business that attended came from all levels of companies, ownerships and professions, yet they all had the same common goals. It was amazing to share life experiences as professional women in the Sarasota business community to such a variation of career women,” said mentor Laurie Pike of MPH Hotels. ” I had the opportunity to mentor with doctors, lawyers, business owners and marketing managers, all excited to learn from each other’s success stories.  The take away from this evening was life changing.”


Christine Sensenig asks questions to Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club and the Women in Business Leadership Circle. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

“I loved how the mentors and mentees were paired together, creating an immediate rapport before even getting started. I was impressed with the level of preparation and thoughtfulness each mentor brought to the mini-sessions. I walked away with lots of ideas and a real sense of having made some friends,” said participant Laine Nixon.


Sharyn Vross absorbs information from Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club during a mini-session. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

The feedback from participants and mentors alike were overwhelmingly positive and extremely rewarding to hear as an organization. “To be in a room of entrepreneurs was energizing, inspiring, and downright fun,” said participant Christine Sensenig. “I was grateful to have other experienced professional women share their stories and advice for the selfless purpose of passing along their hard earned wisdom.”


SkillSHARE Mentors, Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club and Dr. Sandra Stone of USF Sarasota Manatee. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

The SRQ MEDIA team would like to thank the extraordinary mentors who created innovative conversations and lasting impressions. To all our enthusiastic participants we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey as you continue to learn and grow throughout the community.

The next SkillSHARE Summit will take place on Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 5:00 pm-7:30pm. To submit your application to participate in the February 2017 SkillSHARE, please click here to register .

For more information on the SRQ Women in Business Initiatives, visit us online at

Click here for more photos from the October 2016 summit!



Associate Editor Aviel Kanter Represents SRQ At FPRA Media Breakfast, Oct 13


Last week, SRQ Media’s Associate Editor, Aviel Kanter participated in a media roundtable at the Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association’s (FPRA) annual Media Breakfast. Each year, the FPRA Media Breakfast offers attendees exciting networking opportunities with local and state media representatives as well as an insider’s look at today’s newsroom.

A panel discussion kicked off the morning, with three local broadcast media representatives tackling ways local news outlets are reinventing themselves across multiple platforms, from traditional TV shows to social content, live-streaming and even digital-only channels.

Following the panel, a roundtable-style networking event commenced, allowing each attendee the opportunity to speak with five media representatives, including Kanter. “When working in a tight-knit community such as Sarasota, it’s important for the media to have a close relationship with the public, and especially the PR professionals who are often the connecting force between us and the people in the community,” she says. “It was great to help build those connections and incredibly helpful to put real-life faces to anonymous email addresses!”