Monthly Archives: November 2015

SNEAK PEEK: SRQ’s December Holiday Feature

SRQ Photographer Wyatt Kostygan takes careful photos of our December Holiday Gift Guide feature, on newsstands December 1st! Photo credit: Mary Darby Guidroz

SRQ Photographer Wyatt Kostygan takes careful photos of our December Holiday Gift Guide feature, on newsstands December 1st! Photo credit: Mary Darby Guidroz

If you abide by the unwritten rule that Christmas decorations and music should not be seen or heard until after Thanksgiving, come back to this post on Friday, November 27th. But if you think that the holidays deserve preferential treatment through the whole year, we won’t judge! In the fast-forward world of publishing, Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is well on it’s way before the calendar ever catches up. This week, the calendar tells us that though we are in February, it is time to take a break and give thanks with our families and officially welcome the holiday season.

As part of our Thanksgiving celebration, we’re sharing a sneak peek of the pages to come from the December edition of SRQWe happen to think that you’ll not only like the December edition of SRQ | The Magazine, you’ll LOVE it. As our annual Giving Back edition, December is a tribute to the inspiring holiday decree that it is always better to give than to receive (so if you love our local philanthropies and philanthropists, don’t miss it!). But we don’t limit it to just giving to worthy causes, philanthropic organizations and charities…we’re also hot on the heels of the best gifts to give this holiday season and where to find them at our local retail shops!

The December edition will still be chock full of ways to live local in our beautiful region, including local restaurants, arts and culture and conversations with notable Gulf Coast influencers.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving week and be sure to save room for SRQ December, hitting newsstands on the first of the month!

 

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What We Learned About Corporate Philanthropy at SB2

From L to R: Panelists Kelly Caldwell, Rod Hershberger, keynote speaker Connie Smith and panelists Aubrey Lynch and Lisa Krouse. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

From L to R: Panelists Kelly Caldwell, Rod Hershberger, keynote speaker Connie Smith and panelists Aubrey Lynch and Lisa Krouse. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

It is no secret that Sarasota is a giving place made up of giving people that work for giving companies and own giving businesses. The high occurrence of philanthropically planned discussions and forums throughout the year are an indicator that our community and non-profits are hungry for innovations in donor relations, maximizing giving potential and making the most of instruction in charitable opportunities.

Yesterday, SRQ | The Magazine hosted a sold-out SB2 breakfast, The Art of Corporate Philanthropy, at The Francis in downtown Sarasota. As guests filled their plates with a delicious spread morning favorites (we are partial to the bacon),  Jeff Mayers of the Resort at Longboat Key Club welcomed those in attendance and spoke to the importance of company-wide giving. The resort is known for giving to a variety of community organizations that serve at risk populations, foster a strong sense of community and develop our region through economic and the business sector.

Jeff Mayers, General Manager of The Resort at Longboat Key Club welcomed guests on behalf of SB2 Series Sponsors. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Jeff Mayers, General Manager of The Resort at Longboat Key Club welcomed guests on behalf of SB2 Series Sponsors. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Before introducing the keynote speaker, Steve Ellis of MGB Homes proudly introduced his company’s dedication to corporate giving. “All of our employees are given one day a month to volunteer their time to worthy causes in the community,” said Ellis. Additionally, MGB Homes proudly supports various causes in the community. Ellis recognized the importance of corporations like Wells Fargo & Company, represented by the keynote speaker, setting the standard for investment in operations that make life better for so many.

Steve Ellis, co-founder of MGB Homes shared the company giving philosophy before introducing the keynote speaker. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Steve Ellis, co-founder of MGB Homes shared the company giving philosophy before introducing the keynote speaker. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Each year, Wells Fargo & Company ranks amongst the most charitable organizations in Florida. Since 2011, the company has given over $1.1 billion to organizations and people who make a difference. In the state of Florida, Wells Fargo consistently ranks among the top most giving institutions and has an active community relations group dedicated to the distribution of funds in the areas of community development, education, human services, arts and culture, civic engagement and the environment. Quite simply, Wells Fargo & Company is funding causes that matter through a process that speaks to its obvious culture of corporate philanthropy.

Connie E.W. Smith of Wells Fargo & Company of Florida delivered the keynote presentation. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Connie E.W. Smith of Wells Fargo & Company of Florida delivered the keynote presentation. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Leading this corporate culture of generosity in Florida is Connie E.W. Smith, Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Program Manager and keynote speaker at The Art of Corporate Philanthropy. When describing why Wells Fargo is dedicated to giving back, Smith shared a portion of Wells Fargo’s vision and values with us, “This is not about charity. It’s about intelligent and thoughtful investing in the future of the communities where our team members and customers live and work.” In an age where businesses are constantly petitioned to give, making philanthropic decisions that give and keep giving to individuals in our backyards is important. Wells Fargo invests in the missions of organizations and in causes where their expertise makes a difference, like Hands on Banking®, which prepares young people, seniors and military for financial independence with basic budgeting, foundational banking skills and how to save.

Local panelists Kelly Caldwell of Caldwell Trust Company, Rod Hershberger of PGT Industries, Lisa Krouse of FCCI Insurance Group and Aubrey Lynch of CS&L CPAs gave a thoughtful feedback on what it means to be a company dedicated to giving.

Here’s what we learned about corporate philanthropy:

1. Giving is all about relationships. Time after time, our panelists shared stories about how their corporate giving is dramatically influenced by the support and at the request of their employees, regardless of the level of leadership within the company.

“We get our direction from our employees,” said Lisa Krouse. “They are our compass.” When an FCCI employee cares about a cause and requests assistance via funding or volunteerism, the company listens. For non-profits, expanding their reach to connect with businesses like FCCI Insurance Group pays off with loyalty to their mission.

Panelists answer questions at The Art of Corporate Philanthropy. From L to R: Kelly Caldwell, Rod Hershberger, Wes Roberts (center, moderator), Lisa Krouse and Aubrey Lynch. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Panelists answer questions at The Art of Corporate Philanthropy. From L to R: Kelly Caldwell, Rod Hershberger, Wes Roberts (center, moderator), Lisa Krouse and Aubrey Lynch. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

In the devastating aftermath of weather events that recently affected Haiti, PGT Industries did more than the average company would do, and for good reason. “We have 90 employees with ties to Haiti. Collectively, they had over 700 family members that were affected. So we shipped supplies that met their immediate needs,” said Rod Hershberger. And the reason why they went through numerous channels to make it happen? Because it mattered tremendously to the PGT Industries employees and therefore mattered to Rod and the entire PGT Industries team.

2. Cultivating a corporate culture of giving is easier than you think. Making a commitment to giving doesn’t have to follow a set formula: hours + dollars = a charitable mission, isn’t the case for every company. And it doesn’t have to be.

“It starts from the top,” said Krouse. “The leaders have to believe that giving is the right thing to do. And they have to recognize the value, not the ROI, but realizing that doing the right thing has value.” The structure of how to give is less important than they proverbial “why.”

Aubrey Lynch mentioned something in particular that resonated with those in attendance. “Be flexible. Not everyone has the same ability to give through monetary contributions. But, CS&L CPAs has 100% participation in corporate giving.” There, employees are encouraged to serve on boards, participate in company supported 5K runs, toy drives, volunteer or donate to an organization that matters to them. “In the end, it keeps us grounded. The charity you support is an individual choice because everyone’s life shapes what they care about, but the process of giving makes you grateful.”

Aubrey Lynch of CS&L CPAs discusses the impressive impact of their corporate giving plan. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Aubrey Lynch of CS&L CPAs discusses the impressive impact of their corporate giving plan. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

3. As our workforce changes, so does the urgency to give. “Before you know it, the younger generation of employees at your company will soon be running it,” said Hershberger. “Our younger people want to be included and make a difference now. We need to give them the opportunity to give and to give to organizations where they can see the results of their giving now.”

This changing workforce demographic of younger people often means that new recruits are looking for a corporate giving structure off the bat. All of the panelists agreed that their giving is not done to draw attention to the company or for a feigned expression of generosity, many noted that sharing the corporate giving policy with potential employees has become a very important part of the hiring process.

“Giving is now becoming a bigger part of recruitment. It is important for young professionals, and when there is a decision to be made on an offer, young professionals are looking for corporate giving,” said Krouse.

But it is also worth noting that the companies also gain insight on a future employee by sharing their corporate giving strategy. As the head of recruitment for CS&L CPAs, Aubrey Lynch admitted the importance of knowing whether a recruit will be a good match for the company based on this one telling question.

Kelly Caldwell of Caldwell Trust Company addresses the crowd on making educated structured giving via trusts. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Kelly Caldwell of Caldwell Trust Company addresses the crowd on making educated structured giving via trusts. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

When cultivating a giving culture and workforce, we shouldn’t be thinking just of the demographic for those being hired, we should start with the very young. “I recently brought my young boys to a local food bank to volunteer,” said Kelly Caldwell. “We want to keep our kids here and fostering a giving nature in them is so important for our future.”

Of all that we learned, we can’t wrap up this post without mentioning a quote that very simply and eloquently summed up the entire morning. Panelist Lisa Krouse said, “Generosity binds people.” In a packed room full of philanthropists, business executives and everyone in between, she couldn’t have been more right. The generosity of Sarasota has a way of binding our community in a way like no other shared interest. It has the power to bind employees and give them a sense of pride for that they do and who they work for, and it has the power to fill a room with people who care about giving back – even at 7:30 in the morning.

Guests listen to the panel discussion at SB2. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Guests listen to the panel discussion at SB2. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

The SB2 series is loyally supported by The Resort at Longboat Key Club, CS&L CPAs and The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The keynote speaker for The Art of Corporate Philanthropy was supported through a sponsorship by MGB Homes. Special thanks to our panelists who spoke so candidly about their giving initiatives and to Connie Smith for her diligent work on behalf of Wells Fargo for enriching the state through impactful corporate giving.

Representatives from SB2 Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs at The Art of Corporate Philanthropy. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Representatives from SB2 Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs at The Art of Corporate Philanthropy. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

To view a gallery of photos from the event, click here. Tickets for the full 2015-2016 SB2 Series are available online at SRQSB2.COM.

SRQ Building of the Year Judges Announced

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Submissions have all been entered and ballots are officially cast for the very first SRQ Building of the Year competition. As the skyline in Sarasota is growing and changing at a rapid rate, SRQ | The Magazine wanted to be the first to introduce the incredible new properties along the Gulf Coast.

Following an open call for submissions earlier this year, SRQ Media identified out of market judges for their unbiased opinion on all of the submissions in categories of residential/complex, public building/public space, commercial building and mixed use building. Every entry was judged on the strength of the design concept, function and usage, integrity of design, creativity, features and overall impression. Based on their selections, the finalists will be featured in the upcoming January 2016 edition of SRQ | The Magazine

Meet The BOTY 2016  Judges
SRQ Magazine is thrilled to announce the talented judges for Building of the Year,
and we can’t wait to share their favorite building designs with you in January.

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Chad Oppenheim
Chad Oppenheim is a Miami-based architect whose work has been praised for its ability to transform the prosaic into the poetic. Through passion and sensitivity towards man and nature, Oppenheim creates monumental yet silent architecture that elicits a site’s inherent power.

A graduate of Cornell University and a Fellow of the AIA, Oppenheim has lectured widely and has taught at various architecture schools, including most recently at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In 1999, he founded Oppenheim Architecture (Miami, New York, Basel), which has garnered global recognition at many scales: from large-scale urban architecture, hotels and resorts, to private residences, interiors and furnishings. The international practice has received over 70 awards and distinctions, including 45 American Institute of Architects Awards, and has been featured in numerous publications around the world. Oppenheim currently resides in Miami Beach with his wife and muse, Ilona, their son Hendrix and their daughter Liloo.

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Joe Pazdan
Joe Pazdan, AIA a managing principal at McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, is a native of Greenville, SC and an engaged community leader with over 28 years of architectural design experience. As a Managing Principal, Joe directs firm operations, including oversight of project management, project delivery and fiscal performance.

A Greenville Technical College 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year award winner, he has been active on civic boards and organizations throughout Greenville such as the YMCA Camp Greenville Board, United Way, and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce since starting his own business in 1993.

Throughout his career, he has primarily focused his practice with an emphasis towards the development of a city’s Urban Core. With a passion for sustainable land use and design, his projects have included retail, mixed-use, commercial office and industrial.

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K.J. Jacobs
K.J. Jacobs holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University and a Master of Architecture from Clemson University.  He is a Registered Architect and Principal at McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, a Greenville, South Carolina-based firm with 180 employees and 6 offices in the Southeast.  K.J. serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and is the Director of the Corporate Studio, which includes the Office, Retail and Industrial Market Sectors. With 20 years of professional experience, K.J. has managed some of the firm’s most significant projects, including a new Corporate Headquarters for Hubbell Lighting, recipient of Architectural Record’s “Good Design is Good Business”  Award. His diverse project experience includes Automotive Master Planning, Industrial, Office and Higher Education. K.J. speaks regularly on a diverse range of topics including sustainability, project management and the use of technology in the construction industry.

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J. Parks McLeod
J. Parks McLeod, ASLA received his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia in 1982. Following graduation, he worked for a local engineering and design firm as a Landscape Architect. Since 1986 Mr. McLeod has been principal of his own landscape architecture firm. His company, McLeod Landscape Architects, LLC, is located in the downtown area of Greenville, South Carolina. Currently he has professional registration in South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.

The focus of his company has included landscape and irrigation design for urban streetscapes, residential, educational, commercial and education sites. Recent projects include site analysis and trail selection for the City of Greenville Swamp Rabbit Trail, master plan and implementation of Downtown Greenville Airport Aviation Park, and various site projects for BMW North American manufacturing facility. Mr. McLeod has served on several local and state boards in an advisory role as a landscape architect. He is current chairman of the SC Board of Landscape Architects. Recently his company was presented the President’s Award of Excellence by the S.C. Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for ‘Pedricks Garden’ at Falls Park in Greenville.

Winners Announced in January Edition
The finalists will be featured in the upcoming January edition of SRQ | The Magazine complete with beautiful artistic renderings and gorgeous photography.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for another building, design or architectural fix, check out SRQMAG.COM/HOTY for instructions on how to enter the 2016 SRQ Home of the Year competition (open for submissions now!).

Best of luck to all of the SRQ Building of the Year entrants. You’re all winners in our community!

Save the Date: SRQ Magazine Gala, October 8, 2016!

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If you’ve ever been to an SRQ Magazine event, you know one thing: we love to throw awesome parties! Next October is far, far away. But that isn’t stopping us from planning our next major annual event, The SRQ Magazine Gala!

The SRQ Magazine Gala will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at the historic Sarasota Opera House in the heart of Downtown Sarasota. Formerly known as Bal Masqué gala, this rebranded event presents a curated, one-night-only main stage performance showcasing an eclectic selection of regional arts and culture groups, incredible food, delicious cocktails for an evening like none other in Sarasota and Bradenton.

Our primary mission is to host an incredible night that celebrates the heartbeat of our city: the illuminating arts and cultural vibe that has long put Sarasota on the map. Regardless of where you decide to perch in the Opera House, be assured that you’ll only be an earshot away from fantastic music, live art and dance and theatrical performances.

For those who have attended Bal Masqué, you already know that the evening is extraordinarily special. Performances from various cultural disciplines grace one stage for the night for an artful show that can only be seen once. From heart pounding music to contemporary dance that makes you feel things about art and humanity, the main stage is home to something so special.

This year, we’re happy to announce that the VIP Club will feature exclusive opportunities housed on the third floor. If you’re already thinking of bringing your friends and celebrating the night together, this club is for you. The perks are perfect, including a pre-event kickoff and special arrangements throughout the evening including a private bar and food service, exclusive performances, reserved seating for optimal views of the stage and a designated club for members only.

Of course, we are excited about all of it – the planning process, artist selection, finding just the right decor . . . but can we talk about food for just a minute? The food. Team SRQ loves to eat. And we’re starting to gather the hottest culinary trends to create a destination menu.

If you only plan to live local once in the coming year, October 8, 2016 is it.

The SRQ Magazine Gala will continue to support local community organizations through a portion of ticket proceeds. Check back here to get sneak peeks, information about the artists and performances and for general excitement as the event draws closer.

For sponsor opportunities, contact Ashley Grant, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Ashley.Grant@srqme.com or 941-365-7702 x204. For more information about the VIP Club, contact Ashley.Ryan@srqme.com or 941-365-7702 x211.

Why You Should Be at SB2: The Art of Corporate Philanthropy

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The 2015-2016 season is well on its way and we can’t wait for the next installment of our popular symposia series, The Art of Corporate Philanthropy, coming up on November 19, 2015 at The Francis in downtown Sarasota. This early morning conversation in large scale giving is a big way to start your day and is perfectly timed to set your sights on holiday giving and starting off the coming year with a purposeful giving strategy for your business.

There’s always a host of reasons why we think you should join us for each SB2, but the reasons we thought of today are especially important.

1. The Art of Corporate Philanthropy is going to SELL OUT! While we aren’t fortunetellers or future-seers, we’re pretty sure based on the amount of interest and early ticket sales that this event is going to meet capacity. If you are planning to go, to learn, to enjoy breakfast and network, don’t wait! Make your purchase now. Also, we’re taking this opportunity to let our fans know that tickets will not be available for purchase at the door. If you want to come to The Art of Corporate Philanthropy, buy your tickets now and we’ll see you on November 19th!

2. Our Keynote Speaker is a powerhouse. Joining us from Wells Fargo & Company of Florida is Connie E.W. Smith, Senior Vice President, Florida Community Affairs Manager. We think everyone has something to learn from Connie, who manages the state’s philanthropy efforts and activities which include community investments and team member volunteerism. We’re specifically looking forward to hearing about Connie’s experience in making corporate giving a foundational principle at Wells Fargo & Company, which proudly sits on the list of the most charitable organizations in Florida and the country. Aside from Connie’s obvious credentials in corporate giving and establishing a culture of purposeful giving, she is an active force in her community and applies strong principles of giving back in her personal life by serving on various boards in her community. The keynote presentation will lead the event, which will be followed by a panel of local representatives that are dedicated to giving back.

3. The stage will be filled with local giving experts. Our panelists are true leaders and innovators when it comes to giving. We’ll hear from Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs, Lisa Krouse of FCCI Insurance Group, Rod Hershberger of PGT Industries and Kelly Caldwell of Caldwell Trust Company. After your breakfast, you’ll learn first hand from these individuals and their experience with giving climate in the region and how they recommend setting a standard for corporate philanthropy.

4. We love to see you! If you’ve ever attended SB2 before, you know that these events start early (7:30 AM kickoff), but that the hot coffee, friendly faces of fellow movers and shakers in the community and unbeatable conversation are well worth the wake-up call. SRQ Magazine is dedicated to bringing relevant events to the community through the SB2 program.

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets in advance for The Art of Corporate Philanthropy on November 19, 2015 to ensure that you have a seat. Visit SRQSB2.COM for more information on our keynote speaker, panelists and to purchase your ticket.

See you soon!