SRQ MEDIA transformed the Powel Crosley Estate into an academic arena where strategic arguments, amiable jabs and rhetoric were used to debate a topic some consider “too hot to handle” at the launch of the SRQ Rumble on Tuesday, February 28th. The purpose of SRQ Rumbles is to provide the community with articulate, well-researched, presentations on both sides of the motion structured around transparent and civil public dialogue.
After opening remarks from event sponsor Kelly Clark of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, event moderator, Eric Massey discussed the modified Oxford Style debate guidelines and presented the motion stating “Our region has failed our young professionals.” To further develop perspective-taking skills in advancing civil dialogue, teams were randomly assigned and eager to argue their point in what some considered a polite and cultured intellectual blood sport–winner take all in a battle of wits and ideas.
Criminal defense attorney Jacob Grollman, of Glenn and Hibbert PA, began the debate arguing that the region has indeed failed young professionals. “We continue to discuss this problem but nobody offers any solution,” he stated. Jag Grewal, Commercial Real Estate Broker with Ian Black Real Estate, added that county leaders failed to attract North American Roofing which in turn lost high-paying jobs for the region. To close out the argument for the motion, Raymmar Tirado, Chief Disruption Officer for Clear Idea Labs, implied the departure of numerous Sarasota-trained college grads from the region, further proves that the needs of millennials are not being considered. “All you have to do is ask a young person,” Tirado said. “They do not get involved because it is not advantageous to be involved.”
On the opposing side, Frank Maggio, of Centennial Bank suggested that an infrastructure has been in place for 15 years that empowers professionals, but it’s on young people to become more engaged. “The community is doing what it can to attract and engage young professionals,” he said. “There are many of us that are actually doing something and influencing things.” Doug Grosso, a broker associate with Dwell Real Estate, said many millennials are living in the area, either on their own or with their parents and noted that the Sarasota-Bradenton market lags behind only Orlando and Dallas in terms of business development and job growth. Candice McElyea, owner of ThreeSixOh PR, noted many successful professionals today grew up in the region and chose to stay here because of the opportunities and quality of life. “The people I went to school with, everybody made a name for themselves,” she said.
Audience members were able to ask their hard-hitting questions about the motion during the Q & A portion of the evening. Both debate teams were begging for more time to answer each thought-provoking and concise question that was posed.
Onlookers weighed in on who made the best case by either voting “for” or “against” the motion upon arrival and again at end of the debate. The winner of the SRQ Rumble was decided by which side swayed the most votes to their side.
In the end, it was determined that the region has failed young professionals with an 11 percent sway of the crowd as opposed to the 3 percent sway on the other side. SRQ Rumbles serve as a reminder that we can disagree mightily, and then walk away friends through evoking change in our region.
To view a full gallery of images from the February, 28th SRQ Rumble, click here.
The next SRQ Rumble will take place on Thursday, June 22 at the Powel Crosley Estate on the impact school vouchers would have on public education in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
Motion: School vouchers will harm public education more than they will help.
Purchase your tickets at: srqsb2.com and join us for the next “rumble!” Seats are limited at the location, so reserve yours early.