Monthly Archives: May 2016

SRQ Studios Hosts It’s First Cooking Demonstration


Organic baked acorn squash with quinoa, walnuts and cranberries. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

SRQ Studios hosted its first live-food demonstration event this month. Mariash Lowther Wealth Management and Bliss Entourage teamed up to present Healthy Eating: Healthy Living in partnership with keynote speaker Carol D’Anca, a Chicago-based nutritionist and Academy of Plant Based Nutrition educator and local food purveyor Richards Foodporium.


Deva O’Donnell of Richards Foodporium and Ashley and Stacey Koski of Bliss Entourage.
Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Carol is the author of the plant-based, gluten-free cookbook Real Food for Healthy People, a project she conceived of to inspire a food revolution one bite at a time with elegant, delicious and fun-to-eat recipes. Her desire to create awareness about healthy diets quickly caught the attention of Bliss Entourage and the staff at Mariash Lowther Wealth Management.

“The synergy between Carol D’Anca, Bliss Entourage, Richard’s Whole Foods and SRQ’s Live Local brand is clear,” says Stephen Fancher, a Mariash Lowther Wealth Management financial advisor who shares the team’s aspiration to educate, connect and contribute to healthy living for Sarasota’s newcomers. “One of the attractions of our community is its capacity to create deep, local connections to a health-conscious lifestyle.”


Cookbook author and food revolutionist Carol D’Anca (left)
. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Be courageous. Be happy. Be human. That’s the Bliss Entourage message. Co-founders Ashley Stewart, Stacey Koski and Allie Koski launched the organization two years ago to teach personal empowerment in achieving health and happiness. With plans under development for a six-week program directed at clients interested in creating change, Ashley and Stacey demonstrated how plant-based diets can break the barriers to achieving conscious fitness and mindful living.

“Spirit is the funnel point to inner self-love,” says Ashley. “It’s a domino affect. You need to heal and grow all parts of yourself.” The audience fell is love with the organic baked acorn squash with quinoa, walnuts and cranberries.

Carol grew up eating a Mediterranean-diet. “My mother would give me a pomegranate for Christmas,” she remembers fondly. With more than 20 years of experience internationally, her passion for nutrition will continue to inspire a future of healthy eaters.


 “I want to inspire everyone to change the nation,” she says. “Eat from the right plant – not a manufacturing plant.”

We were happy to host Healthy Eating: Healthy Living at our studios. If you’re an SRQ client interested in booking our studio space, please contact Ashley Ryan at (941) 365-7702 x211 or at

Happy eating!– The SRQ Team



SRQ Media Welcomes Four Summer Interns to the Class of 2016


The spring semester has come to an end and the long awaited summer break has begun. However, for many high school and college students and college graduates it’s also the beginning of impactful summer internships! Outside of the textbook, nine such young professionals will be spending their summer applying their academic education to real world experiences here at SRQ MEDIA. We would like to welcome four of our new summer interns who have just begun their hands-on journey with our team these past two weeks. They hail from prominent universities throughout the country, including Florida State University, Loyola University Chicago, and Columbia University.

SRQ Media’s professional Summer Internship Program provides interns with hands-on learning experiences in the areas of editorial, advertising, art direction, graphic design, photography and marketing by pairing each intern with one of our team mentors who works with them to co-create a program of work for the summer. Each intern will gain practical experience in a field of interest, but will also gain insight into the collaborative work that goes into a hyper-engaged, local media company. As an advocate of all things local, we also expose our interns to the tremendous cultural, business, and educational assets in Sarasota and Bradenton so that they strongly consider making our region their home when they look for their next job.

Meet the four interns who have begun their journeys with our team!

Diana Morales, Editorial Associate:  Diana is a native to the Sarasota area and a recent graduate from Florida State University with a major in Editing, Writing, and Media. Her minor in Art History comes from her passion of oil and acrylic painting. Diana has always wanted to be in the publishing world and SRQ is giving her the opportunity to learn first hand. Diana will be working closely with Jacob Ogles, Aviel Kanter and Phil Lederer on the editorial team.

Ksenia Chikankova, Advertising Associate: Ksenia just finished her freshman year studying at Florida State University with an Advertising major and English minor. When she is not spending her time browsing fashion advertisements, Ksenia is either practicing photography or sketching. Her internship with SRQ will help her learn the necessary skills to pursue a career in fashion advertising and writing. Ksenia will be working closely with Client Development Director Ashley Ryan on advertising marketing and writing for the Nosh channel.

Emily Caldwell, Marketing Associate:  A Sarasota local, Emily decided to bundle up and head to the Midwest to attend Loyola University Chicago. She is eating her way through the Windy City as she studies Public Relations and Marketing.  Emily hopes to gain a hands on experience outside of the textbook at SRQ this summer by working with Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Ashley Grant on the SRQ Gives Back platform and the Women in Business Initiative.

Elizabeth Steiner, Editorial Associate: Lizzy was born in New York City but lived in Sarasota for a couple of years. She is excited to be back in town this summer interning  at SRQ. She attended Wesleyan University for her undergraduate degree where she double majored in English and French. Lizzy is now continuing her education at Columbia University’s graduate writing program. She has a passion for writing and has even completed a six-week intensive Publishing Course from Columbia to get her ready for her summer internship. Lizzy is an avid bookworm and iced coffee fanatic. She is glad to be back to warm weather where she can swim and enjoy the beach. Lizzy will be working closely with Jacob Ogles, Aviel Kanter and Phil Lederer on the editorial team.

Internship positions for the Fall 2016 program are currently available to review. Click here for more information on our website. You’ll be hearing from us again next month to introduce you to the five other interns joining us this summer.

Thank you Emily, for helping us craft this Inside the Brand post!

Have a wonderful weekend!
The SRQ Team

Feel the Roar! Women in Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon, April 21


The “roar” from the April 21st “Hear Me Roar” Women in Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon produced by SRQ Media thundered all the way from North Port to Palmetto as this year’s winners and finalists were announced at a sold-out lunch at The Francis in Downtown Sarasota.

Kicked off by Keynote Speaker entrepreneur and Silicon Valley darling Anna Zornosa and founder of Ruby Ribbon, her message connected passion for the mission with the human perspective. “Passion can take many forms,” says Anna. “Ideally you can see the purpose of the work that you do and stay anchored to the joy around that purpose. But there’s also the passion for the team.”


Anna harnessed the “unbridled potential” of creating something new in an empty space with the launch of Ruby Ribbon in 2011. Tapping into the $1 billion shapewear market, Ruby Ribbon empowers women to engage the importance of comfort and confidence in achieving success within their circles of influence. Her story was a great reminder of how ordinary observations can transform into the next big multi-million dollar idea.

Next, the Women in Business Initiative recognized this year’s recipient of the “Hear Me Roar” Trailblazer Award—author, philanthropist and former editor in chief of Travel+Leisure and Town & Country magazines Pamela Fiori. Her top 10 tips for success were one of the event’s most treasured take-aways.

“There were some girls who were born with fire in their tiny bellies; who knew at a young age what they wanted to be; and tenaciously followed a clear path to reach that goal,” she said in her acceptance speech. “I was not one of them. I wasn’t a trailblazer and I didn’t roar like a lion. I squeaked like a mouse.”


Once the awards ceremony was underway, stellar women leaders from diverse regional industries were revealed by SRQ Media CEO and President Lisl Liang as she shared the 2016 WIB Judge’s finalist and winner selections. The judges this year hailed from Greenville and Charleston, SC, Chicago, OH and Tampa and Jacksonville, FL: Nancy Whitworth, Julia Forster, Jo Watson Hackle, Donna Orender, Kellee Johnson, Samantha Bond, Linda Simmons and Connie Smith. Thank you, judges, for spending weeks with this year’s applicants as they poured their hearts and minds out on personal challenges, how they defined success and the advice they’d give their younger selves.

And, announcing . . . this year’s winner and finalists!

Women in Business 2016 Leadership Circle

Lorrie Liang, COO, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, winner
Laurie Pike, Director of Sales and Marketing Florida Division, MPH Hotels, winner
AnneMarie Rizzo, The Law Place, winner
Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, winner
Dr. Sandra Stone, Regional Chancellor, University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, winner
Michelle Bianchi Pingel, Managing Director/CEO, The Players Theatre, finalist
Chief Bernadette DiPino, Chief of Police, Sarasota Police Department, finalist
Jonna Keller, Owner, First Security Investments of SWF, LLC, finalist
Katherine Moulton, President, Hospitality Advisory Services, finalist
Inda Mowett, Medical Director, The Aesthetic Wellness Center, finalist
Cynthia Peterson, Board Chair, Center for Architecture Sarasota, finalist
Jessica Rood, Director of Communications and Marketing, New College of Florida, finalist


As if on cue, attendees began streaming into the Hear Me Roar Pop Up Boutique to view Jo Malone’s newest collection of fragrances for Saks Fifth Avenue, splashes of color from Lilly Pulitzer, nail art from Paint, one-of-a-kind goodies from Philosophy & Vines, samples from Ruby Ribbon and a sneak peak at the commemorative pin created by SRQ Media in collaboration with Michael Chokr and the Diamond Vault team to celebrate inductees into this year’s leadership circle.


Each pin featured a roaring lioness holding a gem in her mouth: a diamond representing Leadership Circle winners and a ruby representing Leadership Circle finalists. The collaborative design was handcrafted and fabricated locally at Diamond Vault. Michael Chokr and the SRQ Team even surprised CEO and President Lisl Liang with a special pin featuring a yellow diamond—Executive Publisher wrestled the microphone away from her in the last few minutes for the luncheon to announce the special gift. The breathless Liang was lost for words!


Ambassadors from the founding and 2015 Leadership Circles join the newest inductees as they begin their journey into the Women in Business Initiative mentorship programs for the coming year. Each inductee will have the opportunity to light fires within our community of women through both the SkillSHARE and SmartGIRL programs.


A huge thank you to our sponsors who make our year-long investment in leadership and women so impactful: Seaside Bank, University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, The Resort at Longboat Key, CS&L CPAs, Sophie’s at Saks, CCAV, Gold Star Limousine and Muse. We couldn’t do it without you!


For a complete list of this year’s 2016 Nominees and Leadership Circle, click here.

For ongoing events and programming, please check our website. And, you won’t want to miss seeing this year’s event photos. Stay tuned for more Women in Business stories as we enter our new 2016-17 season.

May Has Arrived and is in Full Bloom!


This month, we’re delighted to present the May edition—an issue that celebrates change just as the seasons begin to shift. Whether it is found in the form of a new life in Hello, baby, genre-defying dishes from Servandos in Revolutionary Plates or the evolving face of Florida education in Models in Learning, you’ll feel the transformative energy as you flip through May’s pages.

And as always, we’ve got your foodie cravings covered. This month, we dive headfirst into the savory, saucy world of barbeque in Planet BBQ. From roadside food trucks to hole-in-the-wall locals-only smoke joints, each restaurant we feature has the same underlying goal: to serve good people good barbeque. Take Venice’s Yummies Donuts & BBQ, where you can find the decadent Sticky Pig Sandwich—a warm cinnamon bun barely contains tender pulled pork—an unlikely (but somehow perfect) combination of all-American meatiness and splurge-worthy desert.

Never one to forget our vibrant local cultural scene, SRQ goes above and beyond this month when it comes to covering performing arts. We directed and shot an underwater photo shoot with the stars of Venice Theater’s Metamorphoses for Modern Classic and explore another, darker underworld with actor Dylan McDermott for his new Sarasota-based web-series in Sugar, Selah, Sarasota.

May could quite possibly be our favorite month of the year—not only are jasmine trees and hibiscus plants blossoming, but we also get to honor an incredibly talented new group of Women in Business winners and finalists, many of whom are highlighted in this edition. The May issue offers up an all-encompassing local experience—we can’t wait for you to immerse yourself in the fashion, food, people and culture it contains!

Happy spring!

The SRQ Team

Get Your SB2 Ticket— The Tourist Agenda; May 19, 7:30am



If your business thrives on our tourist economy, you should consider joining us for SB2: The Tourist Agenda on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 at 7:30 AM at The Francis! As an organization that prides itself in facilitating relevant conversation and events that challenge us to think differently, SRQ Media loves hosting SB2 breakfasts as much as we love opening a fresh box of SRQ | The Magazine each month. We hope that you’ve already bought your tickets. We’ll welcome Chief Marketing Officer Paul Phipps of VISIT FLORIDA to the stage for a special keynote presentation on the statewide strategic marketing plan for Florida tourism and how it impacts Florida’s West Coast economy. He will be joined by Elliott Falcione of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Jeff Mayer of The Resort at Longboat Key, Laurie Pike of MPH Hotels and Fredrick “Rick” Piccolo, A.A.E. of our local Sarasota Bradenton International Airport along with moderator SRQ Magazine’s Executive Publisher Wes Roberts to capture the trickle down of tourism trends to our region.  If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should join, we have  three reasons why we think you should wake up a few minutes earlier and join us for bacon, coffee and great discussion!

1. Paul Phipps is the keeper of the Florida tourism brand-who better for an early wake up call—no snooze buttons!

SB2: Foundations will commence with a keynote address by Paul Phipps, VISIT FLORIDA’s Chief Marketing Officer. Paul is “the guy” that implements VISIT FLORIDA’s strategic marketing plan. And that’s not anything to shrug at. He oversees the advertising, brand, editorial content, marketing solutions & sales, promotions, public relations and research teams as well as the family of websites. Before joining VISIT FLORIDA, Paul was in lead positions with Seminole IMG Sports Marketing, Florida State University Athletics, International Speedway Corporation, Executive Vice President for Major League Soccer and General Manager for several NBA Team. That’s right! We are thrilled to have him join the SB2 stage and know that he will connect the dots on the future of our tourist economy.

2. Tourism isn’t just for the tourists!

The tourism economy sparks opportunities beyond finding the perfect ice cream cone and enjoying the splendor of a Sunday sunset at Siesta Beach. We’re living part of that story. In fact, our newest recruit here at the SRQ team visited the area as a tourist with her family. And now years later, her parents have a home on Longboat Key, which got her thinking about making a life here in Sarasota. Just last week, she packed her car and left the broadcast television lights of New York City to relocate here. Mark Huey of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County will tell you how one perfect vacation can turn into a business startup or CEO relocation.

3. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 

Or so we’ve heard. Regardless if you’re more fruit and yogurt or bacon and eggs, we’ll have all major food groups covered on May 19th. The conversation is early, but the breakfast is delicious. And the coffee is hot. You don’t have to wake up and wonder if you’ll have time to scarf down a breakfast bar on the way to work. We’ll take care of a well balanced breakfast for you. And we promise that this event is one of the best ways you’ll spend your morning this month.

Don’t wait–buy your tickets today, visit SRQSB2.COM.

The 2015-2016 SB2 series is loyally supported by CS&L CPAs, The Resort at Longboat Key Club and Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.  Thank you!