Monthly Archives: October 2016

Announcing the 2016-17 SB2 Breakfast Symposium Keynote Speakers, Join Us Nov 17

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With the 2016-17 SB2 “GOOD” Regional Breakfast Symposium season in full swing, SRQ MEDIA is thrilled to announce the entire line-up of notable keynote speakers presenting this year! With a special focus on the impact of philanthropy, tourism and arts on the regional economy, each special guest will share their insight from the statewide and national stage as it relates to Florida’s West Coast . Past keynote presenters have included world-renowned landscape architect Tom Balsley, Lilly Weinberg of the Knight Foundation, Chief Marketing Office Paul Phipps of VISIT FLORIDA and Mark Brewer, President and CEO of the Central Florida Foundation.

We’re thrilled to continue the SB2 tradition of vibrant dialogue and brain buzz over hot coffee and bacon!

September 22, 2016 — GOOD GROWTH: Economic Indicators,
KEYNOTE: Tammie Sweet, Director of GrowFL


Tammie Sweet leads the Florida Economic Gardening Institute program throughout Florida, which helps local communities build entrepreneurial efforts centered on the Economic Gardening philosophy. This philosophy embraces strategies to grow existing businesses in a community, region or state. A 20–year veteran of economic development, Tammie holds numerous awards for her leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship. Tammie is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Collier and was part the Leadership Florida Class XXV. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Florida Virtual School and is former Chairman of the Florida Economic Development Council.

November 17, 2016 — GOOD COAST: A Good Place To Work, Live Play and Give
KEYNOTE: Stacy Carlson, President & CEO, Florida Philanthropic Network.

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Stacy Carlson has close to 10 years of experience in foundation development and capacity building, including identifying partnership opportunities and strategic investment goal implementation. As President & CEO of FPN, Stacy pairs her proven leadership with an extensive policy background to strengthen innovative leadership and a unified voice for Florida philanthropy. Prior to joining FPN, Stacy was Vice President and Program Director of College and Career Readiness for Helios Education Foundation. Stacy has served in leadership roles at state and national levels, including chair of the Florida Education Foundation Board, chair of FPN’s Education Funders Affinity Group, co-chair of the National Collaborative for Student Success and co-chair of the Grantmakers for Education Annual National Conference. Carlson received her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Florida and holds a Master of Education from Harvard University.

January 26, 2017 — GOOD EDUCATION: Learning for a Lifetime
KEYNOTE: Mary Chance, President, Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

Mary Chance serves as president for the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, the membership organization established in 1987 to develop the capacity and resources of Florida’s local education foundations, including managing the nation’s only $1 for $1 match for eligible K-12 initiatives which is funded by the Florida Legislature. Currently, the CFEF represents 61 county-wide school district education foundations that collectively raise more than $63 million annually for targeted initiatives to increase student achievement.  She has held this position for eight years after serving as the executive director of a member foundation for 10 years. She is a graduate of Leadership Florida’s inaugural Education Leadership class, an advisory board member for the UF Lastinger Center for Teaching & Learning and an ex officio member of the FL Department of Education’s statewide Florida Education Foundation.
March 30, 2017 — GOOD CULTURE: Burgeoning Arts
KEYNOTE: Nathan Schwagler, Co-Director, Dali Museum

Nathan Schwagler is a founding Co-Director of The Dalí Museum Innovation Labs, where he serves as lead program designer and executive facilitator. In addition to expert-level facilitation skills across a portfolio of Creative Problem Solving methodologies, Nathan is also a certified practitioner of LEGO Serious Play and is a certified administrator of both the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile and the creative problem-solving preference measure, FourSight utilized by organizations including NIKE, Pfizer, GOOGLE, Disney, HP, IBM, Kraft and L’oreal, and academic institutions including MIT, Stanford, and Harvard. Before joining the Museum, Nathan served as the nation’s first Business School “Creative-In-Residence” at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, where he designed and delivered courses on Creativity and Innovation and New Venture Creation.

May 18, 2017 — GOOD PEOPLE: The Tourism Industry
KEYNOTE: Carol Dover, President & CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association


Carol B. Dover has served as President & CEO of the more than 10,000 member Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) since July of 1995. Dover is a professional association manager, a lobbyist, a former government insider and a Florida State University Dedman School of Hospitality graduate with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. After graduating from Florida State University in 1978, Dover accepted the position of Assistant Director of the Beer Industry of Florida. This position familiarized her with the rules, regulations and tax laws associated with the beverage industry – information which has been beneficial in her role with FRLA.

July 20, 2017 — GOOD HAND: Building Capacity in our Independent Sector
KEYNOTE: David Odahowski, President & CEO, Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation


David Odahowski has demonstrated leadership in various professional and community organizations. In addition to his role as President, CEO and Board Member of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, he is an advisor to The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College; a member of the Donors Forum of Central Florida’s Executive Committee; and an Advisory Board member on the Nemours Children’s Hospital Committee. As a member of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Odahowski serves as Vice Chair of the Caucus on Quality of Life and Quality Places. He is a former Chairman and current Board Member of the Florida Philanthropic Network.

The SB2 2016-2017 series is loyally supported by series sponsors CS&L CPAs, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and The Resort at Longboat Key Club.

Tickets are available for $35 per person at SRQSB2.COM.

All SB2 Breakfast Symposiums take place at The Francis in Dowtown Sarasota and promptly begin at 7:30 am.

See you at SB2 for an awesome 2016-17 season!


SRQ Kicks Off 2017 Annual Home of the Year Competition!


Calling all builders, architects, designers and landscape companies —the 13th Annual SRQ Home of the Year Competition is officially open!

SRQ MEDIA is thrilled to produce this prestigious annual architecture and home design program recognizing truly exceptional residential spaces from Venice to Anna Maria Island. We are bracing ourselves to be blown away by gorgeous homes across the Gulf Coast. Our panel of qualified judges hail from regions outside the geographic area of the HOTY competition and represent excellence in the areas of architecture and interior design. They will review entries based on innovation, functionality and overall design aesthetic to name SRQs Home of the Year Platinum, Gold and Silver awards.

Local professionals are invited to submit their best work in home design by the Call for Entries deadline of Friday, December 9, 2016. Winners in each category will be featured in a special SRQ Home of the Year awards supplement in the March 2017 issue of SRQ Magazine. With even more ways to showcase brilliant work in architecture, landscaping, interiors, sustainability, kitchen and bathroom design and renovation, this program celebrates the stunning spaces being forged along the Gulf Coast.

Select one or more categories for submission:

  • Overall Home: Over $2 Million
  • Overall Home: Between $1-$2 Million
  • Overall Home: Under $1 Million
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Great Room
  • Remodel/Renovation
  • Landscape Design/Pool
  • Sustainability/Green

The HOTY Official entry packet can be found at SRQMAG.COM/HOTY and includes all of the competition details.

The Call for Entries deadline is Friday December 9, 2016; the late deadline is Friday, January 6, 2017. Winners will be announced in the March 2017 edition of SRQ Magazine!

Best of luck to all of our participants, and may the best home win!

Voting Open for the 9th Annual Best of SRQ Local Competition!


It is election season and SRQ Magazine wants your voice to be heard. The 9th annual “Best of SRQ Local” Readers’ Competition is officially open! It is time to sound the alarm, rally the troops, take to social media and VOTE for your favorite Sarasota establishments and causes to be recognized in one of our most popular editions of the year.

Readers can vote on local eats, shopping, arts, luminaries and hotspots culminating in the compendium published in the April 2017 edition of SRQ Magazine. We hope you’ll share your favorite local experiences—from stellar sushi, most memorable on-stage productions to best pothole (literally and figuratively).

Tell us where you go after a long day when only the Best Bar for Cocktails will do. When you are looking for that perfect outfit to sport out on the town, where’s the Best Boutique?When you’re redecorating and you know just where to turn for the perfect period piece, we need to know the name of the Best Antique Store. Parents, we’re counting on you to name the Best Place to Take the Kids to EatBest Private School and Best Children’s Attraction in our community. Foodies, you know the drill. We’re looking for the Best New Restaurant, Best Local Brunch, and so much more. For all of you health nuts, we want to know who serves the Best Kale Salad in town. But we aren’t just looking for food connoisseurs. We want to know who you trust to care for your furry friend with the Best Local Veterinarian. Maybe you’re meeting your realtor for lunch – even better! We’re looking for the Best Real Estate Agent, too.

While our competition continues to grow each year, we will continue to stay true and honor the categories that have been around from the beginning such as “Best Slice of Pizza” and “Best Local Burger”.

This year SRQ will also be handing out the Local Legacy Award for winners who have crushed their category at least five times in the past decade.

Only locally owned establishments may be nominated for the “Best of SRQ Local” Readers’ Competition. Yes, we know there’s a line that wraps around the building at the Midtown Plaza Starbucks, but their coffee doesn’t count—it has to be local.

Rock the vote and honor the local businesses that make up the Creative West Coast of Florida area. Polls are now open. There is no need to leave a little early for work or scoot out of the office on your lunch break just to cast your ballot with voting open online 24/7.

Encourage your family and friends to vote in this for the people competition brought to you by the people that deliver vibrant local content each month in SRQ Magazine!

The polls are open through February 13, 2017. All winners will be announced in the April 2017 edition of SRQ Magazine.

Good luck and may the very best locals win!

An Evening of Kismet and Connection At SRQ SkillSHARE, October 20


The October 20, 2016 class of SkillSHARE mentors and participants. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Studios was full of powerful and inspirational women looking to further their professional network at the third SRQ SkillSHARE Mentorship Summit on Thursday October 20, 2016. Powered by the Women in Business Initiatives, mentors from the Leadership Circle collaborated and exchanged insight and guidance with women throughout the Sarasota and Bradenton communities.

“Our team was thoroughly energized by the most recent SkillSHARE – a night of serendipitous connection,” shares Ashley Grant, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for SRQ MEDIA.  “Mentors and mentees dove deep into the particulars of individual challenges and opportunities. Spontaneous insights and profound ‘aha’ moments were abundant leading to concrete steps and action plans designed to attendees dreams forward. Many participants commented that they felt ‘there was a reason they were here tonight’ and noted that they left feeling a sense of renewed purpose and enthusiasm.”




Amanda Myhrberg asks questions to Gabriele Vest of Grapevine Communications, Leadership Circle Ambassador. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

The SRQ team paired our skilled mentors with participants looking for direction on everything from navigating the ladder to success and business expansion to maintaining a business and work life balance with four rounds of 12-minute concentrated mini-sessions. Eager participants were armed with specific questions looking for advice on further career advancements. Our skilled mentors were prepared to share their own experiences on the specific topics of challenge submitted by the participants in advance. Mentors and mentees alike shared their delight in learning from each other and their in-depth conversations.

“The WIB SkillSHARE event is always a positive and productive experience, for the mentors and mentees. I am always impressed with the women that participate and the scope of business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit they bring with them,” said Leadership Circle Ambassador and SkillSHARE mentor Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club. 



SkillSHARE Mentor Laurie Pike of MPH Hotels and particpant Catherine Finn engage in compelling discussion. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

We couldn’t help but notice a spark in the room, which was undoubtedly the spirit of connection, appreciation and witnessing growth in action. “The selection of women in business that attended came from all levels of companies, ownerships and professions, yet they all had the same common goals. It was amazing to share life experiences as professional women in the Sarasota business community to such a variation of career women,” said mentor Laurie Pike of MPH Hotels. ” I had the opportunity to mentor with doctors, lawyers, business owners and marketing managers, all excited to learn from each other’s success stories.  The take away from this evening was life changing.”


Christine Sensenig asks questions to Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club and the Women in Business Leadership Circle. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

“I loved how the mentors and mentees were paired together, creating an immediate rapport before even getting started. I was impressed with the level of preparation and thoughtfulness each mentor brought to the mini-sessions. I walked away with lots of ideas and a real sense of having made some friends,” said participant Laine Nixon.


Sharyn Vross absorbs information from Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club during a mini-session. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

The feedback from participants and mentors alike were overwhelmingly positive and extremely rewarding to hear as an organization. “To be in a room of entrepreneurs was energizing, inspiring, and downright fun,” said participant Christine Sensenig. “I was grateful to have other experienced professional women share their stories and advice for the selfless purpose of passing along their hard earned wisdom.”


SkillSHARE Mentors, Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club and Dr. Sandra Stone of USF Sarasota Manatee. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

The SRQ MEDIA team would like to thank the extraordinary mentors who created innovative conversations and lasting impressions. To all our enthusiastic participants we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey as you continue to learn and grow throughout the community.

The next SkillSHARE Summit will take place on Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 5:00 pm-7:30pm. To submit your application to participate in the February 2017 SkillSHARE, please click here to register .

For more information on the SRQ Women in Business Initiatives, visit us online at

Click here for more photos from the October 2016 summit!



Associate Editor Aviel Kanter Represents SRQ At FPRA Media Breakfast, Oct 13


Last week, SRQ Media’s Associate Editor, Aviel Kanter participated in a media roundtable at the Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association’s (FPRA) annual Media Breakfast. Each year, the FPRA Media Breakfast offers attendees exciting networking opportunities with local and state media representatives as well as an insider’s look at today’s newsroom.

A panel discussion kicked off the morning, with three local broadcast media representatives tackling ways local news outlets are reinventing themselves across multiple platforms, from traditional TV shows to social content, live-streaming and even digital-only channels.

Following the panel, a roundtable-style networking event commenced, allowing each attendee the opportunity to speak with five media representatives, including Kanter. “When working in a tight-knit community such as Sarasota, it’s important for the media to have a close relationship with the public, and especially the PR professionals who are often the connecting force between us and the people in the community,” she says. “It was great to help build those connections and incredibly helpful to put real-life faces to anonymous email addresses!” 

Exciting News: The SRQ GALA Goes Biennial—Save The Date for Saturday, October 7, 2017


SRQ magazine has moved it’s cultural kickoff gala event SRQ GOOD | GALA to a biennial event, now taking place on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the historic Sarasota Opera House. With the launch of the Independent Spirit Awards and the outpouring from readers sharing their special stories about our local non-profits, we recognize that we can do much more to benefit the community by extending the GOOD | GALA throughout the coming year, with a culminating event Saturday, October 7, 2017. 

This is a special program with deep collaboration with both our readers and our performers, who are creating custom productions and pieces to reflect our top giving back stories. We know that keeping the conversation alive through the year will give our local non-profits an even more vibrant platform to share the important work that they do.

We’re proud to extend the submission of stories through December 31 of this year, in the month during which SRQ magazine celebrates “Giving Back”. 

Tickets are still on sale online, as are VIP Harlequin packages and story sponsorships to recognize our Independent Spirit Award winners from the stage. The MainStage performances for this signature 2017 masquerade gala include productions from Artist Series, Moving Ethos, The Players, Sarasota Contemporary Dance, Sarasota Orchestra and the Circus Arts Conservatory.

We are also moving the VIP party from this September to March of 2017—we’ll let you know just when and where to join us for this UnParty.

We hope to see you next October on the 7th at the Sarasota Opera House! Reserve your tickets and be a part of a magical evening of performances and stories that will touch your heart.

Visit for VIP packages, tickets, sponsorships opportunities and more information about the performances. Click here to share your good story about a local non-profit at

Meet the Team: SRQ Welcomes Sales and Business Development Associate Suzanne Munroe




Meet Suzanne Munroe, Sales and Business Development Associate. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

We just love welcoming new members to our dynamic team at SRQ MEDIA. Lucky for us, we recently welcomed a brand new addition to our sales team, Sales and Business Development Associate, Suzanne Munroe. Suzanne will be helping local businesses increase brand awareness through advertising and special marketing from our portfolio of publications. Already making her mark and introducing herself to our loyal clients, Suzanne has proven to be a fast learner, a warm spirit and enthusiastic about her work.

Suzanne is a graduate from the Florida State University’s school of hospitality. Her hospitality career, including hotel sales and management stints, has afforded her the opportunity to work with clients from several regions of the country. Suzanne’s broad experience with national, military, government and local clientele have built a strong foundation for relationship building and focused customer service, her principal strengths.

A native Sarasotan, Suzanne grew up on Siesta Key and attended school at The Out-of-Door Academy before moving to Tampa and finishing high school.

To relax, Suzanne loves boating, playing tennis and spending time with her family.

You can reach Suzanne at or at 941-365-7702 x218. Please join us in welcoming Suzanne to the SRQ team! We are so happy to have you!