Monthly Archives: March 2015

Hot Off the Press: April is Here!

The April Issue of SRQ Magazine is on newsstands now!

The April Issue of SRQ Magazine is on newsstands now!

The April edition of SRQ Magazine is here! Always popular, this issue features the winners and finalists of the annual Best of SRQ Local competition. Readers voted, and the results are in – our community is proud of the local establishments that allow us all to live local. Pick up your copy today to find out about the new hot spots in town and perhaps rekindle your love affair with some of our community’s tried-and-true local favorites!

As the Sarasota Film Festival approaches, we’re celebrating some of our community’s own heroes and creative forces behind the lens and on the stage.

Don’t miss stories showcasing our favorite new shops, delicious dishes and beautiful baubles from local retailers.

Pick up your copy – on newsstands now!

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The Wait is Over: Best of SRQ Local Pop-Up Preview Party, March 26

Alex of Smacks and Taylor Pogue from JDub's Brewing Company share a laugh at the Best of SRQ Local Preview Party. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Alex Floethe of Smacks and Taylor Pogue from JDub’s Brewing Company share a laugh at the Best of SRQ Local Preview Party. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Yesterday, we celebrated another year of Best of SRQ Local Readers Competition at our studios! Winners and finalists from the 2015 competition enjoyed a sneak peek at the April Best of SRQ Local and a few special treats from some of the featured locations around town. As winner’s opened envelopes revealing the finalist and winner certificates the studio was filled with congratulatory wishes and plenty of smiles.

LeAnn Swor and a member of her team accept L. Boutique and L. Spa's Best of SRQ Local certificates with Publisher Wes Roberts. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

LeAnn Swor and a member of her team accept L. Boutique and L. Spa’s Best of SRQ Local certificates with Publisher Wes Roberts. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Anne Rollings of Gecko’s Grill & Pub and S’macks mentioned the importance of Best of SRQ Local. “To win means so much because this is a reader-voted competition. For people like us who love sharing hospitality, and who put our hearts on the line everyday for our guests, it means a lot.” Representing S’macks, Alex Floethe delighted guests with an array of frozen custards – including the expertly paired Honey Goat Cheese and Pear combination. JDub’s Brewing company provided a sampling of their locally crafted beers. Many guests had a hard time resisting a sample of their experimental brown ale brewed with banana and bacon.

Wes Roberts proudly awards Out of Door Academy their award for Best School. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Wes Roberts proudly awards Out of Door Academy their award for Best Private School. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

As the group mingled, everyone savored the bold flavors of salsa, pico de gallo and rich guacamole from Baja Boys, who won the Best Local Food Truck category, and amazing cookies from the good people at Sun Garden Café.

Jerry, the SRQ goldfish congratulated guest on their recognition in the Best of SRQ Local competition. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan.

The SRQ goldfish congratulated guest on their recognition in the Best of SRQ Local competition. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan.

Special thanks for all of our loyal readers who voted in the 2015 Best of SRQ Local competition. It is our privilege to present the winners to you – and to support such fine examples in living local in our community. As you pick up your celebratory copy of SRQ Magazine this week, don’t forget to start making your list for next year’s competition.

Pick up your copy of SRQ Magazine today for a full list of results! To view a gallery of photos, click here.

SRQ Talks Politics: Where the Votes Are

Senior Editor Jacob Ogles hosts Where the Votes Are at SRQ Studios. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Senior Editor Jacob Ogles hosts Where the Votes Are at SRQ Studios. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Who says talking politics has to be taboo? At SRQ, Senior Editor Jacob Ogles makes it his mission to report on the political climate of our city, county and state by learning about the issues facing our community, candidates and their platforms, and at the close of each race: the voter data. On Tuesday, March 24th, SRQ Magazine and Jacob Ogles hosted Where the Votes Are, a political discussion and presentation centered on the recent Sarasota City Commission election. A group of Sarasota’s political watchers gathered at SRQ Studios to enjoy breakfast and a breakdown of the election results. Jacob presented the demographic outline of District 2 and District 3’s voters as well as detailed precinct results and a historical comparison of voter turnout from the elections in May of 2013 and March of 2011.

Guests listen to a political discussion of on the March 2015 Sarasota City Commission election. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Guests listen to a political discussion of on the March 2015 Sarasota City Commission election. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

As election results and voter information became available, Jacob spent countless hours reviewing the data to prepare for the presentation. Here’s what we learned from his findings:

Democratic participation was effective in District 2. Normile only won precincts where Republicans outnumbered Democrats. But party ID meant little in District 3, where Zimmerman won a largely Democratic region.

  • Neighborhood influence has ebbed in District 2 a bit more each election cycle. Chapman lost this district while winning the city. Clapp narrowly lost but by less. Normile did do better downtown.
  • More than 1,000 new voters participated in the District 2 election this year than the 2013 contest, but there were also more than 2,000 who voted in 2013 and sat this one out. In District 3, new voters outnumbered old ones who sat out.
  • District 3 is a more racially diverse district, but minority voters had a lower turnout.
  • Women had a much better turnout and sent three women to the runoff, guaranteeing a majority female commission.
  • Voters under 60 in District 3 outnumber older voters by roughly 50 percent, but voters over 60 showed up in three times the number of younger voters.
  • In District 2, where older voters do outnumber younger voters, turnout was more disparate. More voters over 90 came out than voters under 40.
Susan Nilon of WSRQ Radio enjoys the commentary at Where the Votes Are. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Susan Nilon of WSRQ Radio enjoys the commentary at Where the Votes Are. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Special thanks to those who joined us for the early morning political discussion and for contributing to the thriving local political scene. A gallery of images from Where the Votes Are can be viewed here. To download Jacob’s presentation and handout, click here

Meet Pam van der Lee: Hear Me Roar Keynote Speaker, April 23

Pam van der Lee, keynote speaker of 2015 Hear Me Roar Luncheon.

Pam van der Lee, keynote speaker of 2015 Hear Me Roar Luncheon.

SRQ Media is thrilled to announce Pam van der Lee as the guest keynote speaker of the Hear Me Roar Women in Business Awards and Leadership Luncheon on April 23, 2015. With a rich history in corporate marketing, non-profits and strategic partnership, Pam is as accomplished as she is inspirational.

Currently, Pam serves as the Chief Marketing Officer for San Francisco based, financial technology company iMatchative, and its flagship product, AltX. She is responsible for communicating the iMatchative and AltX brands to its partners, customers, and the media. Throughout her 25-year career, Pam has worked at the intersection of marketing, strategic planning, and branding. Prior to iMatchative, Pam was a consultant to nonprofits, primarily within the educational and disability sectors. Following her passion, Pam served as chair of the National Down Syndrome Society and is currently President of the Board at the Tuxedo Park School, a pre-K to 9th grade independent school in Tuxedo Park, NY. Before making nonprofit work a full time occupation, Pam ran corporate marketing and managed the marketing, licensing and research councils for Viacom. She was also the head of Ad Sales and Promotions Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for Nickelodeon. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Rollins College. Pam lives in New York with her husband and 3 sons.

As the Hear Me Roar keynote speaker, Pam will share her story and words of inspiration to the women in our community who make it their mission to contribute to the business, arts, education and philanthropic landscape of our region. Winners and finalists of SRQ Magazine’s 2015 Women in Business competition will be announced at the luncheon. Guests will be treated to champagne and shopping at a pop-up boutique lounge featuring beautiful items from local retailers including Diamond Vault, Pecky, Saks Fifth Avenue and Paint Nail Bar opening at 10:30am.

To purchase tickets or host a table of your friends and colleagues, visit the Hear Me Roar website.

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SB2: What We Learned About Creating a Vibrant Bayfront

From left to right: David Gustafson, Johnette Isham, Wes Roberts, Drayton Saunders and Thomas Balsley. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

From left to right: David Gustafson, Johnette Isham, Wes Roberts, Drayton Saunders and Thomas Balsley. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

On Thursday, March 19th, SRQ hosted SB2 Vibrant Bayfronts: Regional Waterfront Development to a packed audience at the Francis. It seems that everyone’s mind is on the Sarasota Bayfront and what we can look forward to regarding its development. This particular SB2 was special because we learned a great deal about the process of development from local experts of the Bradenton Riverwalk, and special keynote speaker Thomas Balsley of New York shed light on the topic of cultivating civic parks. As our community takes steps to create a proposed space dedicated to the beautiful Sarasota Bay, it was perfect timing to have our questions answered and learn more about the process. Here’s what we learned:

Opening presenter Brian Mariash of MLC & Associates. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Opening presenter Brian Mariash of MLC & Associates. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

1. Learn from your neighbors (both near and far): Brian Mariash of MLC & Associates kicked off the symposium as the opening presenter. As a resident of Punta Gorda when hurricane Charlie hit in 2004, Brian took a vested interest in the rebuilding of the destroyed bayfront – and learned first hand about why bayfronts require a well-developed plan. It is a passion that he has long since carried with him. Close to home, the recent completion of the Bradenton Riverwalk serves as a reminder of what can happen when local government works alongside community organizations. And sharing a common mission always helps, “cooperation between the public and officials helps bond a program,” said panelist David Gustafson of Bradenton Downtown Development Authority. 

2. It is possible to harmonize public and private interest in a dedicated space for everyone to enjoy (but it might take time): Reflecting on Brian’s opening remarks, Drayton Saunders of Michael Saunders & Company noted the importance of engaging the whole community. “With Bayfront 20:20, our goal is to engage with multiple parts of the community. The result is not that of one voice, but of many.”

Panelists engage in discussion on the Sarasota Bayfront. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Panelists engage in discussion on the Sarasota Bayfront. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

3. Spend your energy being forward thinking, rather than looking at what makes sense for right now: Keynote speaker Thomas Balsley of Thomas Balsley Associates in New York shared a story of a past civil project. When community leaders chose a master plan that opposed their mission, he posed the question, “Which design do you think will best serve your grandchildren?” Sometimes a little perspective can change the minds of even the staunchest opposition to change. In a similar line of thought, Johnette Isham of Realize Bradenton noted the importance of involving young people in the development and conceptualization of these large-scale projects. In planning the Bradenton Riverwalk, she harnessed the support of students from the University of South Florida. The result was surprising: over 75% of the riverwalk’s design is student generated.

4. Parks are just as much about people than they are about land. We don’t mind admitting that we left SB2 feeling so inspired by the gorgeous projects that Thomas Balsley’s talented team have completed. Close to home, Curtis Hixon park is the perfect example. The careful planning and preparation on that project are clearly reflected in the finished product. A gathering place for the entire Tampa area, the park is an oasis for locals of all ages (even those with four legs). Every element was thoughtfully considered, down to the park “benches” – a reclining seat that swivels. Because “a park bench shouldn’t dictate your view” it should enhance it and celebrate the amazing waterfront in front of you.

Keynote speaker Thomas Balsley responds to an audience question at SB2 on March 19. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Keynote speaker Thomas Balsley responds to an audience question at SB2 on March 19. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

We are incredibly grateful for the sponsors that made Vibrant Bayfronts possible. CS&L CPAs is a faithful supporter of SB2 and topics that are so critical to our community. Special thanks to MLC & Associates for joining SB2 as an event sponsor, and for being an incredible advocate of living local by taking an interest in the issues that surround us.

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

SRQ Hosts Pink On Pineapple Client Party

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From L to R: SRQ Editor in Chief Lisl Liang, Executive Publisher Wes Roberts, Veronica Brandon Miller, Vice President Goodwill Foundation. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

In the speed of the digital age, it is easy to go about day-to-day life without taking time to celebrate the people that make your life great. At SRQ, we’re making a commitment to stop and smell the roses every once in a while – and yesterday was quite rosy! Around 5 PM, clients of SRQ Magazine popped by our studios on South Pineapple Avenue (wearing every shade of pink) for our first quarterly client human event, Pink on PineappleAptly themed for our location, the SRQ Team celebrates the symbolism of the pineapple- not only is it the heart of where we live local, the pineapple is also a symbol of hospitality.

Members of the SRQ Media Group team snap a photo with clients and friends of SRQ. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund.

Members of the SRQ Media Group team snap a photo with clients and friends of SRQ. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund.

Guests enjoyed small bites from Mattison’s City Grille, cookies from Sift Bakeshop, delicious sherbet, champagne and of course, pink lemonade. The best outfit was most definitely a tie – husband and wife duo Ali and Jane Molavi of Short Stop Market were clad in head to toe pink and took home a special prize from our friends at Lilly Pulitzer.

Ali and Jane Molavi of Short Stop Market took home the prize for best pink. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

Ali and Jane Molavi of Short Stop Market took home the prize for best pink. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

We can’t wait to host everyone for the next party— Pigs on Pineapple, a celebration of all things barbecue on Wednesday, May 13th, 5:30-7pm.

To view a gallery of photos from Pink on Pineapple, click here.

If you’d like to reserve the SRQ Studio for a seminar, client gathering or party, please contact Mary Darby Guidroz at 941-365-7702 x221.

Lee-En Chung of Ivy Ventures and Wes Roberts. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

Lee-En Chung of Ivy Ventures and Wes Roberts. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

Why You Should Be at SB2 on March 19th

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa. Designed by Thomas Balsley, FASLA. Photo credit: George Cott

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa. Designed by Thomas Balsley, FASLA. Photo credit: George Cott

The development of Sarasota’s Bayfront seems to pop-up in our headlines quite frequently. Construction cranes currently dot the horizon along the bay, and it seems for every new project that receives approval the question of our bayfront’s future arises again. On March 19th, we are on a mission to explore how to maximize this beautiful stretch of land for a host of purposes. We can’t wait to dive right into this topic with our panelists and guest keynote speaker. Here’s a few reasons why you should be at SB2: Vibrant Bayfronts – Regional Waterfront Development on March 19th:

Vancouver, BC's waterfront district.

Vancouver, BC’s waterfront district. SB2: Vibrant Bayfronts will focus on how to best cultivate Sarasota’s waterfront spaces along the bay.

1. Thomas Balsley, FASLA – Mr. Balsley will join us as a special guest keynote speaker. A renowned landscape architect, Thomas Balsley has designed and developed highly notable waterfront parks for public – private use. As the designer of Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa and a portfolio of projects that left us speechless, we can’t wait to hear his thoughts on the best way to protect, preserve and celebrate Sarsota’s bayfront.

2. Bradenton Riverwalk – If you’ve been, you know. Bradenton’s Riverwalk is a masterpiece in execution. But we know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’ll be hearing from the mastermind behind this local example in thoughtful waterfront development, Johnette Isham, about the planning, funding, development and community support to consider in Sarasota’s bayfront. David Gustafson will represent Bradenton Downtown Development Authority as another voice on best practices learned from the development of the Riverwalk.

 3. Bayfront 20:20 – We aren’t the only ones curious and devoted to the issue of the bayfront. Drayton Saunders, chairman-elect of Visit Sarasota County, is acutely attuned to matters involving Sarasota’s bay. As a member of the exploratory Bayfront 20:20 project, we look forward to Drayton’s insight on how to  to optimize access to the Sarasota bay front and create a common vision for its future.

Bradenton Riverwalk, a topic of discussion at March SB2: Vibrant Bayfronts.

Bradenton Riverwalk, a topic of discussion at March SB2: Vibrant Bayfronts.

This important conversation is sponsored by MLC & Associates. Brian Mariash, Senior Financial Advisor, will serve as the opening presenter. Special thanks to Center for Architecture Sarasota, SB2’s Keynote Speaker Sponsor.

The best news of all is that tickets are still available for this great event! Visit www.srqsb2.com today to purchase your tickets!