Monthly Archives: October 2014

Meet FSU Grad Ben Reece, New SRQ Fall 2014 Editorial Associate

It’s that time of year . . . the weather is a little cooler, school buses slowly move up and down the streets, and here at SRQ we just welcomed a new associate to our team.

Meet Ben Reece, the Fall 2014 SRQ Editorial Associate.Originally from Orlando, Ben is a 2014 graduate of Florida State University. There, he majored in English and built up a repertoire to serve him in the journalism industry. While studying, the most impactful advice he ever received came from a famous Earnest Hemingway quote. “’The first draft of everything will be garbage’ (I paraphrase).” With a new beginning in journalism, this quote will hopefully serve as a comfort that all great influencers begin at the same place – the first draft. As an aspiring novelist, this advice will undoubtedly serve him well as brings pen to page and fingers to the keyboard.

In his short time with us at SRQ, Ben is already hard at work on SRQ Access, the Regional Visitors and Newcomers Guide to Sarasota and Bradenton. We look forward to Ben’s fresh perspective and insights through this project. Ben’s favorite spot to grab a bite to eat in the area is The Soda Fountain in Venice ( “Everything there is good. I have never been disappointed. My favorite meal so far has been a hand-mixed cherry-chocolate Coke paired with their Reuben sandwich.” At home, Ben is a gamer and dedicates his skills to Dungeons and Dragons where he uses his Eagle Scout training to outwit the competition.


Saks Fifth Avenue Sophie Gimbel’s Inspiration Lives On with Our WIB Salon Series

If you read last week’s Inside the Brand post, you know that we are thrilled about our Women in Business Leadership Circle. This panel of talented, enlightened and lively women have already inspired us tremendously, and the fingerprints of their handiwork can be found at the pulse of this great city.

Our monthly gatherings, The SRQ Women in Business Salon Series, are hosted in an impeccable setting – Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue. When we arrived last Thursday morning, we were captivated by the lovely décor, high level of service…and let’s be honest, the aroma of coffee and bacon. But what we found out about this chic café’s namesake made us realize that Sophie’s is truly the perfect place for us to get together each month.

Inspired by Saks’ own director of couture for over 40 years, Sophie Gimbel is revered and remembered for her influential style, humor and grace. Initially hired as a designer for the Salon Moderne label, Sophie gained notoriety and prestige throughout her career for her keen eye and even designed for the likes of Lady Bird Johnson. As the first American fashion designer to grace the Cover of Time Magazine in 1947, Sophie’s legacy exemplifies the Women in Business Leadership Circle. She was a determined influencer and paved the way for countless female American designers that would follow in her footsteps. Independent with a spirit of ingenuity, she not only was the author of quintessential American style, but got her hands dirty as an avid gardener and canning her own vegetables.

Sophie Gimbel on the cover of Time Magazine; September 15, 1947.  Image Courtesy of Time Inc.  Image Credit: Boris Chaliapin

Sophie Gimbel on the cover of Time Magazine; September 15, 1947.
Image Courtesy of Time Inc. Photo Credit: Boris Chaliapin

The sophisticated restaurant named for Sophie offers refined dishes with globally influenced tastes and polished American cuisine. The dining experience is what one would imagine Saks Fifth Avenue to provide. A curated, elegant ambiance that is perfect for an intimate gathering or a delightful meal between perusing the fabulous wares of the store. Don’t miss the enchanting roof-top patio, the ideal spot to enjoy a specialty cocktail and take in the view.

SRQ | The Magazine would like to thank Saks Fifth Avenue for their sponsorship of Women in Business, and the attentive team at Sophie’s for their gracious hospitality. To find out more about Sophie’s or make a reservation, visit their website at


Join Us at the November 20th SB2: International Tourism and Business


SRQ | The Magazine is pleased to announce the esteemed panelists that will take part in the SB2 Symposium event on Thursday, November 20, 2014. The wide-ranging expertise of all four panelists promises to deliver a thoughtful, engaging and timely discussion on the trends of doing business globally, international tourism, the impact of tourism on new business development and the assets of the region to attract and retain international businesses.

Meet the Panelists

  • Elliott Falcione, Executive Director of Manatee County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Virginia Haley, President of Visit Sarasota County
  • Sharon Hillstrom, President and CEO of Bradenton Economic Development Corporation
  • Mark Huey, CEO of Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County
  • Jeff Mayers, General Manager, Resort at Longboat Key Club

Purchase your individual $35 tickets or reserve a table for this breakfast discussion and learn more about this timely event at

We look forward to seeing you there!

November 20, 2014, 7:30- 9 am · The Francis, Downtown Sarasota; 1289 N. Palm Avenue


Behind the Scenes: December Edition Holiday Gift Guide

Sneak Peek!

It may be over 80 degrees on this sunny October day, but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the SRQ office! Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund and Editorial Associate Anna Rachel Rich are hard at work styling and photographing our Holiday Gift Guide. Be on the lookout the December edition of SRQ | The Magazine on newsstands December 1, 2014. To subscribe to SRQ | The Magazine, visit

Behind the scenes work on the December Holiday Gift Guide.  Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Behind the scenes work on the December Holiday Gift Guide.
Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

This New Year, We’re Celebrating YOU: Tribute to Business, January 2015

Feature_AnniversarySection_JAN14_Layout 1Counting down to the beginning of a New Year is an exciting time, and we’re adding another reason to celebrate!SRQ | The Magazine is thrilled to sponsor the return of the popular Tribute to Business special showcase this January 2015. Launched in celebration of our 15-year anniversary, the Tribute to Business gives all of our amazing local small businesses the opportunity to participate in an annual celebration of local business.Share your story. Come into our studio for your photo session and interview by our talented creative team. We’ll do the rest. It’s that easy. What a perfect way to make your company shine and to recognize your staff.Tribute to Business participants receive:

  • Full Page Profile (includes 150-word business description and quote)
  • White Studio Photo Shoot at SRQ Media, bring your leadership team and staff
  • Interview capturing your organizations’ mission, vision and direction for the future
  • Logo placement on the page

Don’t miss out – pages are limited! Space closes Thursday, November 13, 2014. Studio Sessions will be booked upon reservation: Wednesday and Thursday, November 19-20, 2014


Contact us to book your reservation soon!
941-365-7702  x221  |


The SRQ Media Advertising Team

Women In Business: Meet the Leadership Circle!

Members of Women in Business Leadership Circle at Sophie's in Saks 5th Avenue. From left to right: Lee-En Chung, Kelly Gilliand, Ashley Grant, Ashley Ryan, Joy Randels, Cynthia Holliday, Mary Darby Guidroz, Lisl Liang, Jaymie Klauber

Members of Women in Business Leadership Circle at Sophie’s in Saks 5th Avenue. From left to right: Lee-En Chung, Kelly Gilliand, Ashley Grant, Ashley Ryan, Joy Randels, Cynthia Holliday, Mary Darby Guidroz, Lisl Liang, Jaymie Klauber

Earlier this year, SRQ Magazine announced winners for the first Women in Business competition. But afterwards, something unexpected happened. We couldn’t shake the idea of recognizing the amazingly talented female business leaders in our community. Following this newly found passion and invoking a spirit of ingenuity, SRQ is pleased to bring the Women in Business concept beyond the printed page and into the flesh.

On October 23, 2014, this new initiative took shape in Sophie’s at Saks 5th Avenue’s new location in the Mall at University Town Center, where we eagerly awaited the founding class of the SRQ Women in Business Leadership Circle. Each month, this highly engaging (and did we mention they’re both lovely and fun?) group of women will be meeting for our Sophie’s Salon Series to cultivate a community of support, inspiration and mentorship for working women in Sarasota.

We are honored to the hear their stories and look forward to learning from them and working alongside the Leadership Circle throughout the year. Special thanks to Saks 5th Avenue for their sponsorship of this exciting new venture and for their incredible hospitality.

2014 – 2015 Women in Business Leadership Circle Members:

  • Lee-En Chung
  • Sheryl Edwards
  • Kelly Gilliand*
  • Karin Grablin
  • Teri Hansen*
  • Cynthia Holliday*
  • Jaymie Klauber
  • Angela Massaro-Fain*
  • Joy Randels*
  • Laurey Stryker
  • Susanne Wise
  • Barbara Zdravecky

*Indicates 2014 Women in Business Winners

SRQ President and CEO Passes Gavel at Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting

SRQ Media President & CEO Lisl Liang receives recognition for her service as Board Chair at 94th Annual Membership Meeting.  Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund

SRQ Media President & CEO Lisl Liang receives recognition for her service as 2014 Board Chair of Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce at 94th Annual Membership Meeting.
Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund

Yesterday marked a momentous occasion for SRQ | The Magazine President and CEO Lisl Liang. As the outgoing Board Chair of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Lisl officially passed the gavel to incoming Board Chair Chris Gallagher of Hoyt Architects.

Held in the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, the sold out event proudly honored many Sarasota member businesses for their contributions to the economic development of the region. Notable honors were bestowed to FCCI Insurance Group, Mixon Fruit Farm and The Players Theater, for reaching Milestone Anniversaries of Service; to Clare Controls, PGT Industries and Wentzel’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical, recognized for Hiring Our Neighbors; and Ringling College of Art & Design, The Mall at University Town Center and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, receiving praise for Investing in the Future.

“The Chamber has a mission that I’m passionate about,” says SRQ Media President and CEO Lisl Liang. “This past year has been an absolutely amazing experience working with such incredible talent on the board, in the membership and on the Chamber staff. We are lucky to have a visionary, forward-thinking business organization that invests in our regional economic future. I’d do it all over in a heartbeat!”

The 94th Annual Membership Meeting also named Lisa Krouse of FCCI as the recipient of the Chair’s Cup Award, sponsored by Kerkering Barberio & Co.

Thank you to the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce for broadening the business landscape of Sarasota. We look forward to seeing the great work that the GSCC will accomplish in 2015.