Monthly Archives: July 2015

HOT OFF THE PRESS: August is Here!

The new issue of SRQ | The Magazine hits newsstands on August 1st.

The new issue of SRQ | The Magazine hits newsstands on August 1st.

We know.

The summer is FLYING by. But the great news is that it isn’t over yet! To celebrate the waning days of the summertime, a new issue of SRQ | The Magazine is heading your way! There’s more than a few reasons why we think you’ll love it.

Not one but two feature stories are included for your reading pleasure. Our informative story “Dig Data” is equal parts informative and fun. We guarantee if your statistics professor had presented lectures like this, we’d all be statisticians. To read it is to enjoy it. And you’ll learn a thing or two about how we stack up as a city in comparison to other points on the map across the U.S. of A. Get to know the faces and fins behind emerging marine economy – from glimmering gems to impressive breakthroughs in biomedical research to local shops and entrepreneurs with ideas bigger than the Gulf of Mexico.

At The Table packs a punch and left us hungry this month. We can’t wait to try out the dishes from global restaurants with local roots. And of course, we’ve got plenty of reasons to encourage you to shop, eat, vote and live local in the pages of this fantastic issue.

Dig in,

The SRQ Team




SB2: What We Learned about Helping People


SB2: Helping People panelists, from L to R: Erin McLeod, Sonia Santiago, SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts, Event Sponsor Jaime DiDomenico, Bob Rosinsky and Tom Waters. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Last week, SRQ took SB2 guests on a journey into the minds, missions and hearts of some of Sarasota’s most notable charitable organizations at SB2: Helping People. Hosted at The Francis in downtown Sarasota, the discussion took a look at the big and small ways we can work together to grow a stronger community.

As the series sponsor of SB2, Bob Stanell of CS&L CPAs welcomed the crowd that gathered early on Thursday morning. As an organization, CS&L CPAs not only supports local philanthropic organizations through their accounting services, but also through partnerships with CS&L CARES, their community giving platform. “We work with some of the social service giants in our community on their finances and business decisions,” said Bob. “But when you put the people who serve in front of you, your heart will change.” Bob went on to communicate his pride in working with young people that make a difference by their desire to give back to the community.

Bob Stanell of SB2 Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs addresses attendees. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Bob Stanell of SB2 Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs addresses attendees. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Also sponsoring the event was CoolToday. The company’s fearless leader, President & CEO  Jaime DiDomenico shared the importance of taking care of people – the CoolToday 2015 initiative. Leading with a powerful video of how they do just that, Jaime moved more than a few of us to tears. “Community is a circle of life. Sometimes people use the phrase ‘pay it forward’ but really, we pay it in a circle because you never know when you’ll be the one who needs help,” said Jaime. “The way we do business is that we want our impact to be around to give back tot he community and continue the circle. The next time you’re out there and you can do a little something, you should do a little something.” He closed with a powerful image of a well-work pair of shoes belonging to a homeless member of our community and challenged everyone in the room to think differently about how we can live and give.

CoolToday President & CEO Jaime DiDomenico stressed the importance of "taking care of people." Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

CoolToday President & CEO Jaime DiDomenico stressed the importance of “taking care of people.” Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Between bites of the delicious bacon, guests heard first hand about the organizations, programs and need in our own backyard. Panelists hailed from every sector: Erin McLeod of Friendship Centers, Bob Rosinsky of Goodwill Manasota, Sonia Santiago of Sarasota YMCA and Tom Waters of Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. Our panelists were equally as passionate about helping each other as they were about the populations they served.

Here’s what we learned:

1. The need in our community are innumerable – but the organizations giving back are up for the challenge. Ask anyone: where are our biggest needs as a community and you will get an equal number of different answers. While a large spotlight is often shined on the issue of homelessness, it isn’t the only group that needs assistance. Of our panelists, each serves a different demographic and form of need.

Panelists answer questions during the moderated portion of SB2. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Panelists answer questions during the moderated portion of SB2. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Sonia Santiago of the Sarasota YMCA let us in on statistic of her organization that blew us away. Most people are familiar with the YMCA as a gym or the organization behind a multitude of youth sport programs, but they do so much more. The Sarasota YMCA one of the top performing Community Based Care organizations meeting state and federal outcomes for child welfare in the State of Florida. In our area alone, there are over 1,000 homeless children that have the same basic needs as all children–including a school to attend. Due to the transient nature of their situation, they’re often uprooted and sent to new schools with new teachers and classmates when their living arrangements change. The Sarasota YMCA has programs that ensure homeless children can stay at their current school and cultivate a sense of stability and normalcy in their lives.

Tom Waters of Easter Seals of Southwest Florida reminded us about the needs of children and adults that are differently abled. “This isn’t a group that you notice when you walk the streets of downtown,” he said, “but the need is just as great.” As children with special needs grow older and even and outlive their parents, having life skills and a safe haven are important. “Currently, we serve little ones from 6 weeks old to 87.”

Tom Waters speaks on behalf of Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Tom Waters speaks on behalf of Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

2. Deciding who to help isn’t always easy.

For some organizations like Goodwill Manasota that serve numerous at-risk populations, prioritizing who to help first is not easy. When you serve multiple causes with limited resources, it takes skill and a steady sense of purpose to make the right decision.  According to Bob Rosinsky it takes a “strategic planning process that involves our team, our stakeholders and we have to prioritize.”

Tom Waters taught us a new expression in addressing this issue: Mission over Margin. Similar to understanding the best return on investment of a business decision, Easter Seals of Southwest Florida takes the idea of early intervention very seriously when allocating their funds. “For every $1.00 spent with children with special needs, it saves over $8.00 in future services for that child. That is why we invest heavily in The Lily School,” said Tom of Easter Seals’ early childhood intervention program for children who are differently abled. He went on to explain that often decisions on funding are made where the impact is great and the longterm success is evident.

Erin McLeod asks for a show of hands when addressing a major area of need in our community. Photo credit:  Wyatt Kostygan

Erin McLeod asks for a show of hands when addressing a major area of need in our community. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

3. All of us can give back. Whether we are a big business or a person looking to get involved, there’s room for more people dedicated to doing good.

When discussing the ways that we can get involved, Erin McLeod shared her experience with serving as a corporate partner years ago, “Sponsorships get old after a while. We know that. At Friendship Centers recognize the need for exposure to social responsibility–exposure to the audience we serve.” Encouraging volunteerism and undertaking projects acts as an emotional and physical connector to the people being served. Erin encouraged the audience to explore the organizations supported by their companies and get involved on a personal level.

Sonia Santiago of the Sarasota YMCA reminded us that we can be in the business of creating opportunities, “Give area teens internships and give them information out about vocations and jobs. When college is emphasized, some kids get defeated,” she said. “We focus so much on academics that sometimes we fail to point out the vocational opportunities that are out there.” At the Sarasota YMCA, various programs are in place that recognize children’s talents and interest and connect them to teachers or organizations to hone their talents.

SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts directs a question to Bob Rosinsky of Goodwill Manasota. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts directs a question to Bob Rosinsky of Goodwill Manasota. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Young professionals are often the most enthused group when it comes to serving the community, but a lot of organizations don’t have events that support their busy and growing schedules. “We recently hosted an event and had a lot of young professionals in attendance. They found out about it through Facebook,” said Tom Waters.  We need to provide more episodic events that work with their schedules if we want to attract advocates that are dynamic, intelligent and look at things differently.”

4. Two mission-minded heads are better than one. 

The needs are great in our community and one organization alone cannot provide all of the solutions. New and emerging programs spanning multiple organizations will hopefully deliver a maximum amount of assistance using fewer resources by each group involved. “We recently worked on a grant for fall prevention with The Pines and Sarasota Memorial,” said Erin McLeod. The idea of pooling efforts ensures that everyone wins. As Erin said, “When another organization represented on the panel wins, we all win.”

Goodwill Manasota recently held an event in conjunction with the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, mentioned Bob Rosinsky. The “Little Black Dress” luncheon was the perfect partnership – drawing on the strength of a Goodwill Manasota event, the Girl Scouts were able to promote their mission and organization to a fresh audience. “This type of partnership is perfect to spread our Youth Ambassador Program and bring in the next generation of Goodwill supporters,” said Bob.

Representatives of CS&L CPAs at SB2 on July 23, 2015. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Representatives of CS&L CPAs at SB2 on July 23, 2015. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

It is safe to say that we couldn’t have learned the incredible things about helping people without the sponsorship of CS&L CPAs and CoolToday. Thank you for your support of SB2, 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.

Jaime DiDomenico, center, with his guests from Easter Seals of Southwest Florida and Heritage House. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Jaime DiDomenico, center, with his guests from Easter Seals of Southwest Florida and Heritage House. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Special thanks to our panelists for graciously agreeing to participate in the discussion, and for taking an active role in leading the movement of service in Sarasota and beyond.

A gallery of images from SB2: Helping People is available online. The next SB2: Financial Forecast will be held on September 24, 2015 at The Francis. Special keynote speaker Jesse Panuccio will deliver a presentation on the current economic state of Florida. For tickets and more information, visit

Jesse Panuccio to Deliver Keynote Address at SB2 Symposium on September 24, 2015; 7:30am

Official DEO Headshot - Jesse Panuccio (2)

The 2015-16 season of SRQ Magazine’s SB2 Regional Symposia will kick off on Thursday, September 24, 2015 with the topic of Financial Forecast: Economic Development in Sarasota and Bradenton from 7:30-9am at The Francis in Downtown Sarasota. Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has confirmed as the guest keynote speaker. The panel will also consist of regional economic representatives from Sarasota and Bradenton and will be moderated by SRQ Magazine Executive Publisher Wes Roberts.

As the keynote speaker for SB2: Financial Forecast, Panuccio will provide information on the state of Florida’s economy. As Executive Director of Florida DEO, Panuccio coordinates and manages statewide workforce programs, community development opportunities and economic initiatives. Appointed by Governor Rick Scott in 2013, Panuccio has overseen state-of-the-art fraud safeguards for employment insurance and launched the Competitive Florida Partnership to bring hands-on assistance and economic development to the state’s rural counties.

The new SB2 format for the 2015-16 season will feature an in-depth keynote presentation from a notable regional expert in the field to join the regional panel to expand on the context of the topic and deliver fresh perspective on how our community fits into the broader picture of the state, region and country. SB2 is a bimonthly regional community and business event series produced by SRQ Magazine that encourages collaboration through a discussion on key regional issues and topics.

Join us for networking, a delicious breakfast buffet and insightful conversation. Hosted at The Francis, Sarasota.

Stay tuned for an announcement of the regional panelists for Financial Forecast. The SB2 2015-16 Series is loyally supported by annual sponsors CS&L CPAs, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and The Resort at Longboat Key Club. Thank you to Keynote Speaker Jesse Panuccio Sponsor SunTrust Bank. Tickets are available for $35 per person at SRQSB2.COM or $210 for the series, including two SB2 Cocktail Rumbles at the Powel Crosley Estate. For series, event and keynote sponsorship opportunities, contact Ashley Grant at (941) 365-7702 x204 or


SRQ Media to Host AIA 10×10, July 30th

SRQ Media is pleased to host the most recent installment of AIA 10×10 on Thursday, July 30th from 5:30-7PM.

AIA 10×10 introduces some of our community’s most creative forces and forward thinkers in a fast-paced, informative and inspirational series of presentations. At each 10×10 event, guest speakers present ten slides, featuring images of their work or insights, and are allotted only 30 seconds per slide.

Joining the July event is Sheryl Haler, sculptor; David Jennings, Associate Broker, Coldwell Banker and the past president of the Alliance for Historic Preservation; Peter Lizon, Architect; Jono Miller, environmental thinker and professor at New College of Florida; Michael Peters, Yacht Designer; Dwight Currie, Performance Curator at The Ringling; Daniel Jittu, Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club, Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Garden; Dustin Juengal of Art Center Sarasota and Rich Odato, President of Odato Marketing.

The event is open to the public and will feature delicious small bites prepared by Daniel Dokko, owner of Jpan and a selection of beer and wine. Admission requires the purchase of a $10 ticket per person at the door. 

We hope you’ll join us for an evening of inspiration and enlightenment.

See you there,

The SRQ Team

SRQ Media Welcomes the Summer Internship Class of 2015


From left to right: Anthea Rokop, Rosie Robinson, Natalie Schulte. Bottom row: Kira Forgash and Holly Mastay.

For college students, summer break should be renamed “internship break.” Long gone are the days of carefree travel and afternoons in the sunshine. Those that are seeking a seamless transition from class schedules to the working world are spending their summer days gaining valuable experience and learning the ropes in their desired profession. SRQ Media is proud to welcome seven of these highly ambitious young ladies from a mixture of prominent universities, including Florida State University, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, and the Ohio State University. With impressive resumes and an eager spirit in tow, our interns have spent their days working hard and learning the interworking of publishing. And for those here solely for the summer, we’re encouraging them to see all of Sarasota’s sights and live local. 

Meet The SRQ Interns

Anthea Rokop, Marketing Associate: Anthea is a lifelong Sarasota resident. She is a student at Florida State University and her favorite classes consist of humanities and art history. Her main interests in the academic arena are public relations and marketing. Outside of school she is interested in music, fashion, art and botany. Anthea decided to intern at SRQ Magazine because she loves publications and wanted to get involved in the process of making a magazine start to finish. Anthea is our resident musician. She plays the violin and the guitar and also enjoys spending time outside by playing tennis and gardening. Anthea plans to finish up her bachelor’s degree at FSU and get her master’s degree at a university in the UK. Here at SRQ, Anthea has worked with both the editorial and business teams. Right now, she’s assisting with the lineup for this year’s Bal Masqué event.

Natalie Schulte, Advertising Associate: Natalie is also a student at Florida State University. Natalie’s preferred subjects are are English and history. She is currently an advertising major. After college, she plans to work in advertising and marketing. She is originally from Fair Haven, New Jersey, but moved to Sarasota at the age of seven. You can usually find Natalie reading, watching movies, running and hanging out with her friends. Natalie decided to intern at SRQ Magazine because she wanted the chance to be able to work with people at SRQ since they create such an amazing publication. Natalie has worked tirelessly with our advertising team and is learning the ropes on developing sales and marketing materials.

Audra Locicero at SRQ Studios. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Audra Locicero at SRQ Studios. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Audra Locicero, Photographer: Audra came to Sarasota for college, and upon completion of her coursework at New College decided to intern at SRQ Magazine. A lot of Audra’s interests revolve around the natural world: she studies medical herbalism on her free time. She loves to ride her bike, make plant medicine and take walks in her neighborhood. She applied to intern at SRQ Magazine for many reasons. Her first love is photojournalistic photography–and through her internship here at SRQ, she’s able to tell a story through an image. She also wanted to intern at SRQ for a hands-on experience in how these photography skills can translate into a professional field. Longterm, Audra hopes to continue her photography skills and have a career where her partner is her camera, or own a community clinic/apothecary.

Holly Mastay, Editorial Assistant: Holly is originally from a small town north of Detroit, Michigan but moved to Venice, Florida with her parents when she was seventeen. Holly enjoys visits to the beach, hanging around the pool and finding small adventures whenever she can. With graduation from Florida State University on the horizon this December, Holly plans to move back to the Sarasota area. She is an editing, writing and media studies major and aspires to work in the journalism after college. While her dream job is to work for a wedding magazine, Holly is considering attending law school. Holly came to SRQ because she loved the branding of the magazine and jumped at the opportunity to intern with our editorial team.

Rosie Robsinson, Editorial Assistant. Rosie was born in Peterborough, England, but moved to California and then to Lakeland, Florida where she lives when she’s not at school in Gainesville. She is a senior at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. Her hobbies consist of thinking too much about fictional characters and watching Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video. Rosie plans to be a journalist, move to New York and watch every Oscar Best Picture-winning movie. She is a huge fan of The Beatles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Orphan Black. SRQ‘s emphasis on arts and culture is what piqued her interest in working alongside the editorial team.

Shyamali Mahure (left) and Sydney Robinson. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan

Shyamali Mahure (left) and Sydney Robinson. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan

Shyamali Mahure, Marketing Associate: Shyamali moved to Sarasota when she was four. A student at the University of Miami, she is focused on graduating and getting her master’s in public health. She is a trained Indian classical dancer, which she has been working at since she was only six years old. Social justice and community issues are of critical importance to Shyamali. She enjoys cooking and baking, and also loves the TV show Friends. This past year Shyamali was on a dance team and got to travel across the United States and Canada. Wanting to learn more about how marketing relates to the publishing industry, Shyamali sought out a position on the SRQ intern team.

Sydney Robinson, Editorial Intern:
Sydney is a born and raised Clearwater native who will be entering her senior year of high school in the fall. When she isn’t editing her high school’s newspaper, The Central Voice, she can usually be found with her nose in a book, running with her cross country team or traveling. Another major time-consumer for her is managing the Best Buddies Organization chapter at her school, which is a program that fosters inclusive friendships for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Sydney was quickly drawn to SRQ’s intimate and local-based style and sought a spot as an editorial intern, as it aligns with what she hopes to be a future career option. Although she is well accustomed to Florida’s sunshine, she hopes to escape the heat and go out of state for college next year.

Kira Forgash, Marketing Associate: Kira has lived in Ohio her whole life and is currently attending school at the Ohio State University. Drawn by the never-ending sunshine and thriving philanthropic environment, she decided to move to Sarasota for the summer to see if this could be the place she’d like to call home after graduating next year. Studying communications and psychology, she plans to get a job working for a non-profit after graduation. Her hobbies include traveling and spending time outdoors, except during the frigid Ohio winters when she avoids the snow as much as possible! Kira decided to intern at SRQ because of their dedication to the local community and for the chance to learn from such a great publication.

If you happen to see these bright SRQ star interns around town, be sure to welcome them to area and wish them well in their future endeavors.

SRQ Media has a recognized professional internship program developed to provide college students, high school juniors and seniors and post-secondary graduates hands-on experience in the areas of editorial, event production, photography, design, marketing, business operations and advertising. Internships for the upcoming fall are currently available. Interested individuals are invited to send a cover letter stating their interest, resume and samples, as applicable, to

With Us Behind the Scenes: Photographing The Ritz Carlton Bees

We’ve often heard people say that their jobs are great because no two days are alike. Here lies the beauty of working at a local magazine–not only is every single day different, they’re all full of adventures! To prove this point, we’re interrupting our production schedule to bring you the best thing we’ve seen all day: a photo of Assistant Editor Shane Donglasan in a beekeeper’s suit.

SRQ Assistant Editor Shane Donglasan is decked out in a beekeeper's suit for an upcoming story in the August issue of SRQ Magazine. Photo credit: Kaye Warr

SRQ Assistant Editor Shane Donglasan is decked out in a beekeeper’s suit for an upcoming story in SRQ Magazine.      Photo credit: Kaye Warr, contributing editor


Shane recently visited The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota golf course in Lakewood Ranch for the very first harvesting of honey from their bee colonies. The Ritz Carlton has big plans for this local honey – everything from spa treatments to specialty cocktails. Look for an article about these bees that live local in the upcoming “50 Things We Love About SRQ” edition coming this September. It promises to bring the buzz.

Shane assists in the first collection of honey at The Ritz Carlton Golf Course. Photo credit: Kaye Warr

Shane assists in the first collection of honey at The Ritz Carlton Golf Course. Photo credit: Kaye Warr

To read more about the bees, honey and this sweet initiative, subscribe to be the first to receive the “50 Things We Love About SRQ” edition of SRQ Magazine which hits newsstands in September.

Until then, we’ll be busy as, well…, bees bringing you the very best that region has to offer.

The SRQ Team

SRQ Welcomes Art Director and Senior Designer Anthony Casto


Meet Anthony Casto, SRQ Magazine Art Director. Photo Credit: Gene Pollux

There’s nothing quite like welcoming a new member to the SRQ Team. We, of course, pepper said individual with questions and make it our mission to get to know every little thing about them. Our new Art Director and Senior Designer Anthony Casto was welcomed to the SRQ fold last month and has stepped up and fit right in with our team.

Genuine and fun from his very first day, Anthony is as valued for his amazing design work as he is for being a great officemate that challenges us to think creatively about the way we do everything. One of the things we all appreciate is that he is dedicated to his craft. He is one of those people that can pinpoint the exact moment when he knew how he intended to spend the rest of his life, “It began with a larger than life cover image, the feel and even the rustic smell of the freshly printed pages of my first comic book. It was the bold, graphic, visual story-telling and adventurous pace that grabbed my attention.” From that moment on, he set out to become a graphic designer.

As we understand it, Anthony not only knew exactly how he would spend his life’s work – he was also an early bloomer. Getting a jump start on his dream of art and visual design, Anthony earned a two year Commercial Arts degree in design and advertising before he even graduated high school. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Columbus College of Art and Design in 2001 for Graphic Design and Advertising in his home state of Ohio.
Not only does Anthony posses a natural knack for telling a story through art and design, he has also picked up tricks of the trade in previous positions. In newspaper publishing, he was able to revitalize the design and functionality (emphasis on FUNctionality) with a community publication. He has worked for various publications in the region and has generously served a startup magazine in an advisory role, and even became a “creative engineer” for a philanthropic publication, working to spread the word on charitable organizations that really make a difference in peoples’ lives.
Anthony’s talent has received recognition from the Charlie Awards of the Florida Magazine Association, The Florida Press Club and Florida Society of News Editors. In 2013, he was awarded Employee of the Year for hard work and good character in the sight of his superiors, community and peers. Though we’ve only worked with Anthony for a little while, we’re not surprised by that distinction in the least.
At home, Anthony’s passion are his two young kids, musical musings on his guitar or drum set and a nightly bowl of cereal before bed. In his spare time, you can bet your bottom dollar that he’s working out – a major tenant of Anthony’s life is clean eating and physical fitness.
Please join us in welcoming Anthony to the SRQ Family!