Monthly Archives: September 2015

SRQ Kicks Off Women in Business Season with Major Announcement

Though the SRQ Women in Business Hear Me Roar Awards and Leadership Luncheon won’t be held until April 2016, plans to make it an exceptional experience are already underway! It is our pleasure to announce the Keynote Speaker and Trailblazer Award Recipient for the 2016 annual luncheon and awards ceremony, which will be held on April 21st at The Francis.

SRQ Media proudly hosts Hear Me Roar, an event that honors the finalists and winners of the SRQ Women in Business competition each spring. Guests enjoy networking, shopping in a pop-up boutique, a delicious lunch and uplifting remarks from a keynote speaker and honorary recipient of the Trailblazer award. The journey for winners and finalists of the competition begins with a public nomination process, which will open in January of 2016  through February. A selection of notable out-of-market Judges review submissions to determine the top applicants, which are welcomed into the Leadership Circle at the Hear Me Roar luncheon and awards ceremony. The Leadership Circle is announced to the public in the May edition of SRQ | The Magazine each year.

SRQ Media is pleased beyond belief to announce the keynote speaker and Trailblazer recipient for 2016.

Keynote Speaker – Meet Anna Zornosa

Anna Zornosa will serve as the Keynote Speaker at the 2016 SRQ Hear Me Roar Luncheon. Photo courtesy of Anna Zornosa

Anna Zornosa will serve as the Keynote Speaker at the 2016 SRQ Hear Me Roar Luncheon. Photo courtesy of Anna Zornosa


Anna Zornosa’s career has included leadership positions at startups, as well as large public companies. She founded Ruby Ribbon in 2011 after being inspired to create a unique, everyday shapewear apparel company, whose products are only available through social commerce. She serves as an Advisor to several other startups including: Motista, Inc, Glam.com, and Chloe & Isabel.

Zornosa’s rich experience prior to Ruby Ribbon encompassed both venture-backed start-ups and posts at large companies. She began her work with startups in 1995 as Sr. Vice President of Sales at PointCast Inc. She was SVP of Marketing at Women.com during it’s IPO, and was CEO of Topica, Inc., a provider of email services to small businesses. Her work with larger corporations included her post as CMO of the Digital division of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, and Yahoo! Inc., where she was a VP. Before starting Ruby Ribbon she was the General Manager of the Dealix Division of the Cobalt Group, for which she was an Executive Vice President.

Zornosa has received many awards for her work, including being named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley” (Silicon Valley Business Journal, May 2011); one of the “Top-100 Influential Women in the Automotive Industry” (Automotive News, September 2010) as well winning the “Innovator Of the Year” award from TARGUSInfo (2009.) She has both a Masters and Bachelors from the University of Wisconsin and lives in Burlingame, CA with her husband and son.

Trailblazer Award Recipient – Pamela Fiori

Pamela Fiori will receive the SRQ Women in Business Trailblazer Award at the Hear Me Roar Luncheon on April 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Pamela Fiori

Pamela Fiori will receive the SRQ Women in Business Trailblazer Award at the Hear Me Roar Luncheon on April 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Pamela Fiori

Pamela Fiori is an editor, a writer and an authority on luxury travel and lifestyle. From 1993-2010, she was editor-in-chief of Town & Country, the oldest continuously published general-interest magazine in America (established in 1846).

Under her leadership, Town & Country expanded its coverage of fashion and style, beauty and health, wealth management, home design, the arts and philanthropy as well as documenting the changing face of affluence in America.

Prior to joining Town & Country, Fiori was at American Express Publishing Corporation where was widely credited with the success of Travel & Leisure, which she edited for fourteen years. In 1989, she was named executive vice president and editorial director of all of the company’s publications (including Departures and Food & Wine).

At both Town & Country and Travel & Leisure, Fiori wrote monthly editor’s letters and also feature articles, interviews and profiles of prominent people such as Ralph Lauren, Robert Redford, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Giorgio Armani and Audrey Hepburn.

Ms. Fiori has written six books, including A Table at Le Cirque (Rizzoli) and In the Spirit of Palm Beach (Assouline). Her latest, called In the Spirit of Monte Carlo,was published in the fall of 2014.

Pamela Fiori has received many honors, among them the Chevalier de l’Ordre de Merite from the French Government; the Matrix Award for journalism; and the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award from UNICEF.

She is the co-founder of the annual UNICEF/Snowflake Ball and serves on the board of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

She is married, lives in New York City and spends time in Palm Beach and East Hampton.

SRQ Media would like to thank the Women in Business Sponsors for their support of this engaging community platform: Seaside Bank, The Resort at Longboat Key Club, CS&L CPAs, University of South Florida at Sarasota Manatee, Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue and CCAV.

Women in Business Kick-off Celebration

Ashley Grant (Left) of SRQ Media poses with guests to the SRQ Women in Business Kickoff Celebration. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Ashley Grant (Left) of SRQ Media poses with guests to the SRQ Women in Business Kickoff Celebration. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

On September 17th, the SRQ Women in Business Program hosted a kickoff celebration at Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue. Members of the 2014 and 2015 Leadership Circle, sponsors and key community influencers gathered to celebrate the official start to the program year. This event served as the prelude to the upcoming monthly Seaside Salon Series steering committee meetings for the Leadership Circle, which will begin next month at The Resort at Longboat Key Club.

Jayna Haymel (Left) of Women in Business Sponsor, Seaside Bank smiles with SRQ Sales & Business Development Associate Jennifer Miller (Center) and Gabriele Vest of Grapevine Communications and the 2015 Leadership Circle at the Women in Business Kickoff. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Jayna Haymel (Left) of Women in Business Sponsor, Seaside Bank smiles with SRQ Sales & Business Development Associate Jennifer Miller (Center) and Gabriele Vest of Grapevine Communications and the 2015 Leadership Circle at the Women in Business Kickoff. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Influential women within the community of varying fields of business, philanthropy, education and the arts enjoyed delicious small bites and champagne while discussing the SRQ Women in Business Program and forging new friendships. Representatives from various cosmetic lines sold at Saks Fifth Avenue sampled products and offered make-up tips using products from Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford, Lancôme and ALAïA fragrance. It was such pleasure to witness networking in action as many guests met each other for the first time and made lasting connections.

Rosemary Angeleri, owner of Clever Rose in downtown Sarasota and Denise Kowal of the Sarasota Chalk Festival (2015 Leadership Circle Member) at the Women in Business Kickoff Celebration. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Rosemary Angeleri, owner of Clever Rose in downtown Sarasota and Denise Kowal of the Sarasota Chalk Festival (2015 Leadership Circle Member) at the Women in Business Kickoff Celebration. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

To purchase your tickets to the SRQ Women in Business Hear Me Roar Luncheon and for more details on the program, visit SRQHEARMEROAR.COM.

A gallery of photos from the SRQ Women in Business Kickoff celebration can be viewed here. 

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An Ode to the Ampersand (and how it makes food taste better)

Shrimp & Grits is on the menu for Bal Masqué on October 3rd!

Shrimp & Grits is on the menu for Bal Masqué on October 3rd!

There are things in this life that are undoubtedly better when standing alone. But as we are writing this very post, we can’t think of one. If you’re a fan of milk, we’d be willing to bet that you think it tastes better with a cookie. Spaghetti by its lonesome? The thought of this hallowed noodle dish without meatballs is almost heartbreaking. Don’t even get us started on peanut butter.

At Bal Masqué on October 3rd, we’re happy that two famous food couples bound in holy matrimony by the ampersand will be on the menu. Classically southern and delicious in every interpretation, we needed little convincing to add them to the savory spread for the evening.

Famous Southern Duo Dishes

First is a mashup of southern-coastal fare: Shrimp & Grits. Sweet and briny gulf shrimp are the most perfect sea creature to sit atop a pillowy serving of cheese grits. The recipes vary from cook to cook including tomatoes or perhaps a rich broth simmered with wine. Or maybe even addition of spicy heat from andouille sausage…but one thing is always constant: the shrimp & the grits. Perfectly paired, this is a special occasion dish that we can’t wait to dive right into at Bal Masqué!

Crispy, savory with a drizzle of sweet, Chicken & Waffles is equally tempting. Less mainstream than shrimp & grits, this dish is quickly making its way on to the southern menu roster of all-stars. Delicately fried chicken is the perfect balance for the slightly sweet and bready texture of waffles that everyone loves. At Bal Masqué this dish will be reinvented as a slider with special sauces for dipping.

Don't miss the Chicken & Waffle sliders at Bal Masqué.

Don’t miss the Chicken & Waffle sliders at Bal Masqué.

We know that the ampersand itself has no magical culinary ability to transform a dish into something more special than its components. The genius behind these culinary duos is that someone long ago put them together. The rest is food matrimony history. Regardless of the ampersand’s involvement in the matchmaking, we tip our hats to you, Ampersand. Thank you for taking a simple sautéed shrimp a reason to celebrate. And thank you for keeping the breakfast waffle out way past its bedtime to meet up with hot fried chicken.

These and other great dishes are on the menu and artfully catered by Fete Catering for Bal Masqué on October 3rd. Tickets are available at SRQBALMASQUE.COM. 

Dear Pimento Cheese, Thank You. (And we’ll see you at Bal Masque)

Southern favorite (or is it a delicacy?) pimento cheese will be on the menu at Bal Masqué on October 3rd.

Southern favorite (or is it a delicacy?) pimento cheese will be on the menu at Bal Masqué on October 3rd.

Recently, the SRQ Team gathered around the kitchen island in our beautiful studio and snacked on pimento cheese. Homemade for a birthday celebration, we all shared stories on how our own favorite recipes of this time-honored spread are made. The beauty of pimento cheese is that no two recipes are exactly alike. Easy to make and the perfect bite to bring to a party or lunch, when following a tattered family recipe, there’s not many ways you can go wrong making this southern delicacy.

In our opinion, pimento cheese is the belle of the proverbial southern food ball. She has humble roots – often stored in well-worn Tuperware and eaten on a fold over sandwich over the kitchen sink, pimento cheese can now be found gracing menus of high-class establishments from New York to San Francisco and Portland to Miami. We can’t help feel a little nostalgic about pimento cheese in a way that the rest of the country may not understand. We are proud of her – making her mark on this big world (especially coming from such humble beginnings). And don’t dare mess with her—she needs no fancy ingredients to make her expensive or pretentious. Simple is best when it comes to this classic dish. She is just fine the way she is, no need for caviar or bacon or imported cheeses.

In an era when southern food is having a moment, we couldn’t be more excited about the menu for Bal Masqué on October 3rd. All of your favorites will be there. Traditional classics like shrimp and grits will be served up alongside elegant interpretations of simple southern staples. Come hungry! The talented team of culinary experts at Fete Catering have crafted a menu that will make your mouth water. Of course, we would never neglect the cocktail menu, either. This year, craft spirits will be served with Tito’s Handcrafted Vodka and Siesta Key Rum and an assortment of imported and local beers, and wine will be available at each bar.

Pimento cheese will be there. We think you should be, too. Tickets to Bal Masqué are available online at SRQBALMASQUE.COM.

See you on October 3rd!

2015 Bal Masque Performances Announced

On October 3rd, we have a lot to look forward to! At this year’s Bal Masqué: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, we don’t know what we are most excited about—the food, the incredible venue, the music or seeing the gorgeous masks of our guest. One thing is for sure, we are on pins and needles to see this year’s performance!

Gracing the stage at Bal Masqué are three major acts that we know you will love!

Last year, the lyrical talent and fluid beauty of dance by Fuzion amazed guests. We are so happy to announce that they are coming back for another Bal Masqué. Expect incredible things. Part dramatic interpretation, part fluid movement, party storytelling, each performance by Fuzion is unique and we can’t wait to open the curtain for their performance this year.

Fuzion performs on center stage at the 2014 Bal Masqué gala. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan

Fuzion performs on center stage at the 2014 Bal Masqué gala. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan

Sarasota Circus Arts Conservatory always delivers a stunning performance. Not only are their performances beautiful, each performer’s level of skill, strength and talent is just astounding. Back by popular demand, an aerial performance that seems to defy gravity will be, in a word, mesmerizing.

The Sarasota Circus Arts Conservatory captivated the auditorium at the 2014 Bal Masqué gala. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan.

The Sarasota Circus Arts Conservatory captivated the auditorium at the 2014 Bal Masqué gala. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan.

Elegant costumes, precise yet graceful movement and expert choreography will be the showcased by the Sarasota Cuban Ballet. There’s a certain magic that happens on stage when pointe shoes, music and tulle mix under the lights of a theater. Don’t miss it.

Dancers with the Sarasota Cuban Ballet captivated the audience at Bal Masqué 2014. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan

Dancers with the Sarasota Cuban Ballet captivated the audience at Bal Masqué 2014. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan

Famous jazz legend Wynton Marsalis once said, “The bandstand is a sacred place.” We agree that there is something otherworldly about experiencing live music. In the spirit of creating an unforgettable evening, we’re planning on bringing the music down from the stage and amongst our guests. Before the doors of the auditorium open, the sounds of jazz by the Swingtide Combo will fill the expansive Sarasota Opera House. Outside in the courtyard, Jen&Ray’s melodies will serenade guests beneath the stars.

You won’t want to miss a moment of this year’s Bal Masqué. Tickets are available for purchase for $125 in advance or $150 at the door. Purchase yours now at SRQBALMASQUE.COM.

See you on October 3rd!

SRQ Hosts Bal Masque Preview Party

Models wore stunning dresses at the SRQ Bal Masque VIP Preview Party provided by Saks Fifth Avenue. Masks by i tesori. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Models wore stunning dresses at the SRQ Bal Masque VIP Preview Party provided by Saks Fifth Avenue. Masks by i tesori. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

We didn’t think it was possible to be more excited about 2015 Bal Masqué than we were on Monday. The performance lineup has been announced. The food order is set. And we have visions of beautiful dances in our heads. Then, we hosted a VIP Preview Party on Tuesday evening for members of the Harlequin Club, sponsor representatives and our beneficiaries, and now we’re counting down the days to October 3rd.

Guests of the SRQ Bal Masque VIP Party enjoyed savory bites from Sophie's at Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Guests of the SRQ Bal Masque VIP Party enjoyed savory bites from Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

As guests arrived to Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue, they were greeted with champagne and some of the most delicious small bites we’ve ever tasted – including crowd favorites of lump crab cakes and fried goat cheese topped with pistachios and honey. Always elegant, Sophie’s was the perfect location for a sophisticated preview party for Sarasota’s premier annual gala.

Elizabeth Fisher, Selah Freedom, (left) enjoys conversation with Jesse White (center) of Sarasota Architectural Salvage and Wes Roberts of SRQ Media. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Elizabeth Fisher, Selah Freedom, (left) enjoys conversation with Jesse White (center) of Sarasota Architectural Salvage and Wes Roberts of SRQ Media. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Models mingled with guests while wearing some of the season’s hottest gowns that were selected by Saks Fifth Avenue Marketing Director Sally Schule. Bold prints and stunning hues from La Petite Robe, Teri Jon, Theia and BCBGMAXAZARIA were modeled throughout the evening. Expertly paired with gorgeous handmade Venetian masks from i tesori in downtown Sarasota, the evening’s looks were a lovely preview of the elegant attire worn by guests to Bal Masqué.

Models at Sophie's at Saks Fifth Avenue wore Bal Masque inspired dresses with masks from i tesori. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Models at Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue wore Bal Masque inspired dresses with masks from i tesori. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

If Tuesday night was any indication, we fully predict that October 3rd will be an unforgettable evening of fun with great people. To purchase your tickets, visit SRQBALMASQUE.COM. 

Marybeth Flynn (left) and Kelly Davis Strausbaugh enjoyed conversation and libations at the Bal Masque Preview Party. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Marybeth Flynn (left) and Kelly Davis Strausbaugh enjoyed conversation and libations at the Bal Masque Preview Party. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

A gallery of images from VIP Preview Party can be viewed here.

Champagne greeted guests as they arrived to the Bal Masque VIP Preview Party. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Champagne greeted guests as they arrived to the Bal Masque VIP Preview Party. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

See you on October 3rd!

Meet the Team: Jennifer Miller Joins SRQ Media

Meet Jennifer Miller, Business Development

Meet Jennifer Miller, Sales and Business Development Associate at SRQ Media. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

We love meeting new people. And we really love welcoming new people to the team at SRQ | The Magazine. Lucky for us, we just welcomed a brand new addition to our sales team, Sales and Business Development Associate Jennifer Miller. Already making her mark and meeting our loyal clients, Jennifer has proven to be a fast learner, a warm spirit and enthusiastic about working with local businesses.

Most recently working in the non-profit sector, Jennifer was the Senior National Sales & Event Manager at Brides Against Breast Cancer. She has sales and relationship experience in a wide range of fields, making her a natural choice for developing business for SRQ Media brands like SRQ | The Magazine, LUX, Modern Home Magazine and SRQ ACCESS. She is no stranger to hard work, determination and getting things done. In the short period of time that Jennifer has worked with the team at SRQ, she already has won the respect of her fellow team members.

Originally from Indiana, Jennifer didn’t hesitate for a second when we asked what she loves the most about living in Sarasota, “WINTER.” She has been a resident of our great community since 2012 and truly makes the most of coastal life by spending her personal time boating and relaxing at the beach. When she’s not working, Jennifer loves spending time with her husband, Ed, and maltese mini poodle, Baxter Tate.

Truly a “people’ person, Jennifer is most excited that her new role at SRQ Magazine will introduce her to new clients (or as we know them: soon to be friends).

Please join us in welcoming Jennifer to the SRQ team! Welcome, Jennifer. We’re so happy to have you!

Flashback FRIDAY: Bal Masque Reminiscing

Guests of 2014 Bal Masqué enjoy the photo booth.

Guests of 2014 Bal Masqué enjoy the photo booth.

If you were at Bal Masqué last year, you already know. The night is like none other. Trying to pick out the highlight of the night is nearly impossible! Was it the masks, gorgeous gowns, dapper suits, incredible food or breathtaking performances? We can’t decide. If you need a refresher on your favorite part, check out a gallery of images here.

We’re so close to this year’s Bal Masqué: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil that we can almost taste the shrimp and grits! On October 3rd, you can expect a few wonderful things. Lucky for you, we believe in sneak peeks!

Food
With a theme like Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, you can’t serve just anything. Only authentic, creative Southern food will do. A generous helping of classics (shrimp & grits, chicken & waffle sliders – and of course, you can’t throw an authentic Southern gathering without pimiento cheese) will be represented on the plate with creative offerings from Fete Catering. If you enjoyed the food last year, prepare yourself for an unforgettable culinary experience this year.

Savory southern bites are planned for the 2015 Bal Masuqé gala by Fete Catering. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund.

Savory southern bites are planned for the 2015 Bal Masuqé gala by Fete Catering. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund.

Libations
An event bar should have a little something special for everyone. A selection of wines, imported and local beers along with craft cocktails are planned for the evening. Recipes are in the works using fresh ingredients from Morton’s Market, Siesta Key Rum and Tito’s Handcrafted Vodka. Party tip: Bal Masqué boasts multiple bars! One in the courtyard and a designated service station on every floor, there’s no need to wait in line. Grab your friends and make your way upstairs and settle in for fantastic flavors until the performance begins.

Guests enjoy the Cool Today bar at the 2014 Bal Masqué gala. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund.

Guests enjoy the Cool Today bar at the 2014 Bal Masqué gala. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund.

Performance
We don’t think that performances should be limited to the main stage. In the spirit of a full evening of enchantment, musical acts will span the three floors of the Opera House and courtyard. When the curtain lifts in the auditorium at ten o’clock, mesmerizing acts from jaw-dropping aerialist routines to inspired dramatic dances round off the evening’s amusement.

Dancers and musicians took center stage at the 2014 Bal Masqué gala. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Dancers and musicians took center stage at the 2014 Bal Masqué gala. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

 Helping a Great Cause
A portion of ticket sales benefit a local charitable organization of the purchaser’s choosing. As you plan your evening, know that your attendance directly supports critical missions within the community. This year, SRQ Media is proud to promote the nine worthy organizations:

Historic Venue
Take a step back in time to the grandeur of the 1920s at the historic Sarasota Opera House. Transformed into a stunning garden for the evening of Bal Masqué, the theater, grand foyer and mezzanines are a stunning display of glamour.

The historic Sarasota Opera House serves as the venue for the annual Bal Masqué gala. Photo Credit: Blake Spurlin

The historic Sarasota Opera House serves as the venue for the annual Bal Masqué gala. Photo Credit: Blake Spurlin

Masquerade
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the element of mystery and excitement of this year’s Bal Masqué – the mask. Intricate, show-stopping, feathered, adorned with dazzling jewels and shimmering sequins…we can’t get enough! Reserved for special occasions, donning a mask adds an element of fanfare and interest into this signature gala.

Anthony Vento (center) wears a mask from his store in downtown Sarasota, i tesori. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Anthony Vento (center) wears a mask from his store in downtown Sarasota, i tesori. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Tickets are on sale now at SRQBALMASQUE.COM and limited Harlequin Club VIP opportunities are available (click here for details).

See you in the garden!

The SRQ Team