All posts by SRQInsidetheBrand

SMARTgirl by the Numbers

SMARTGirl infographic.jpg

On April 14, SRQ Media hosted its inaugural SMARTgirl Leadership and Mentorship Summit at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. 84 grade school girls from the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast Florida and the Sarasota YMCA participated in a curated mentoring program engaging the young women with 23 women leaders representing our region’s many diverse industries in an afternoon of soft skills training, mentorship and career imaginings including workshops, interactive programming and inspirational luncheon.

During the summit, SRQ Media asked our SMARTgirls a variety of questions about their experience and compiled an infographic representing our key findings.

  • 74% of our SMARTgirls feel that school is preparing them for securing a successful career.
  • 43% of our SMARTgirls would like to be able to work in the Sarasota-Bradenton region.
  • 55% of our SMARTgirls are strongly considering pursuing a technical or 2-year associates degree and 74% are strongly considering pursuing a post-secondary college education.
  • 100% of our SMARTgirls would recommend participation in SMARTgirl Initiative to a friend.

Supported through SRQ Women in Business, the SMARTgirl initiative is a collaborative effort to set local girls up for success. SMARTGirl fosters “curated mentorship” and engages middle school girls from Sarasota and Manatee counties in a program designed to educate them on career possibilities and provide the tools they need to succeed. The goal of SMARTgirl is to connect young girls with examples of excellence in our region and provide encouragement, advice and feedback on how to make their dreams happen.

Stay tuned for additional insights and findings gathered from the SMARTgirl Initiative and updates on the future 2018 SMARTgirl Mentorship and Leadership Summit.

For a full gallery of photos from the SMARTgirl Luncheon click here.

For more information on SMARTgirl and SRQ’s Women in Business Initiative, please visit

RESERVE YOUR TICKET: September 26—SB2 RUMBLE: Sarasota, How Does Your City Grow?



SRQ MEDIA invites you to attend the next installment of our brand new initiative, SB2 RUMBLE on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion, New College from 5:30-7:00 pm.

Sarasota, How Does Your City Grow?
Prepare to have your preconceptions challenged when the rhetoricians take the stage at SRQ’s SB2 Rumbles!

STOP! is a group of citizens from all areas of the City of Sarasota concerned about zoning codes that create looming buildings with narrow sidewalks. Are citizens shut out of the decision-making process? Is there such a thing as bad growth? Do we risk losing opportunity with increased restrictions? Don’t miss this lively debate featuring civil discourse designed to sway positions through factual information and rhetorical skill.

Can You Rock The Sway?
Join us at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion, New College for a lively debate on an issue that some consider ‘too hot to handle’. Attendees are asked their position on the topic of the day before and after the debate. The success of the participants is judged on those they sway from their initial positions. SRQ launched SB2 to bring together our two sister-counties with collaborative programming, now, with our Rumbles, we will inspire a return to respectful disagreement, an admiration of the art of rhetoric and a reminder that we should always challenge our own preconceptions in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Tickets: $25/person; Students $15/person, use “GROWRUMBLE” for the promo code.

Buy your tickets today at SRQSB2.COM!

SB2 Reporting Out: GOOD HAND Building Capacity In Our Independent Sector, July 20


Left to right: Panelists, Veronica Brandon Miller and Stacey Corley, Event Sponsor, Jaime DiDomenico, Keynote, David Odahowski and Panelists, Susie Bowie, Heidi Brown and Roxie Jerde. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

On Thursday July 20, SRQ Magazine took our SB2 attendees on a journey into the minds, missions and hearts behind some of Sarasota’s most notable charitable foundations and organizations at SB2 GOOD HAND: Building Capacity in our Independent Sector. Hosted at The Francis in Downtown Sarasota, the discussion took a look at the ways to develop and improve donor relations.


Opening presenter, Jaime DiDomenico from Cool Today welcomes guests to SB2: GOOD HAND Building Capacity in our Independent Sector. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

After opening remarks from Event Sponsor, Jaime DiDomenico of Cool Today, David Odahowski, President and CEO of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation gave a compelling presentation on innovation in giving and most importantly return on investment. “There is a sea of almost 84,000 non-profit organizations in Florida seeking funds from foundations, government and other non-profit funders,” Odahowski stated. 

With the non profit sector constantly innovating, the demand for effective use of dollars in turn requires nonprofit leaders then to stay up to date with the best practices and technologies utilized within the giving community. “Donors are consumers, and they want the Amazon Prime experience,” Odahowksi stated with regards to simplified giving.

According to local philanthropic leaders, today’s donors expect involvement in how their dollars get expended, a major shift from decades past when it comes to large sum donations. “If a donor has put in a life time of work, worry and risk, you better believe that the donor is going to expect more and ultimately get it,” Odahowksi stated in his address.


Keynote Speaker, David Odahowski of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, talks about building capacity in our independent sector. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Between sips of coffee and bites of maple coated bacon, guests were able to hear from non-for-profit movers and shakers in our region known as the ‘giving coast’. Panelists hailed from a variety of organizations: Roxie Jerde from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Stacey Corley from the Ringling College of Art and Design, Veronica Brandon Miller from Goodwill Manasota Foundation, Susie Bowie from the Manatee Community Foundation and Heidi Brown from the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the Suncoast. Panelists were passionate about donor relationship building and stressed that organizations who fail to work with those giving funds may see the resources head someplace else.


Left to right: Stacey Corley, Veronica Brandon Miller, Roxie Jerde, Wes Roberts (moderator), Susie Bowie. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan. 

Veronica Brandon Miller, Vice President of the Goodwill Manasota Foundation kicked off the conversation by explaining the shift in donor expectations. Organizations are no longer seeing the typical donor giving from generations past. Today’s donors, work hard for the money that they have earned. “You have to be part of that shift and understand the donors thinking because it is not the same. The donor of today has earned their money. They want to see a return on their investment and be part of this change,” she explained.

To that point, Stacey Corley, Vice President for Advancement at the Ringling College of Art and Design believes that donors to the college are truly committed to transformational change. “A lot of our donors really care about changing lives and seeing the impact of their giving. Many times we might be raising money for a building but its not about the bricks, paint or materials, it’s about what that building will do for students and community members. ”


Veronica Brandon Miller and Roxie Jerde discuss return on donor investment at SB2 GOOD HAND. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Today’s donor also prefers to allocate their funds to a specific intention, but what happens when the intentions do not match the needs or mission of an organization? Roxie Jerde, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County works closely and listens intently to those willing or currently donating to ensure funds match the non-profit mission and will remain useful for years to come. “People who work hard for their money, want to work hard giving it away and be smart about that,” Jerde explained.

Similarly, Manatee Community Foundation Executive Director Susie Bowie said her organization’s top goal remains honoring intent. “It takes a great deal of trust that the donor has to have in us that we know the community and we know the community need.”



Stacey Corley discusses the millennial generation’s giving patterns. Photo Credit Wyatt Kostygan. 

From an organizational standpoint, Heidi Brown, President of the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the Suncoast, feels it is more important to zero in on specific organizational needs to ensure resources get leveraged to best serve their clients benefiting from philanthropy. “If we are spread too thin or working in areas where we do not have the expertise and praise, then I’m not certain we’re serving the community or the donor,” she said.



Representatives from SB2 Series Sponsor, The Resort at Longboat Key Club. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan. 

We couldn’t have learned the incredible things from this engaging discussion without our incredible 2017-2018 series sponsors: CS&L CPAs, The Resort at Longboat Key Club, and the Sarasota-Bradenton International AirportThank you for supporting the SB2 series, but most importantly, thank you for the ways you give back and help people in our community each and every day. Your example inspires us.


Representatives from SB2 Series Sponsor, CS&L CPAS. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Click here to read the article about SB2: GOOD HAND in the SRQ DAILY. A gallery of images from SB2: GOOD HAND is available online.

SRQ is pleased to announce that the 2017-2018 SB2 Symposia Series will move to lunchtime. Although many die-hard SB2 fans loved getting up at the crack of dawn for SB2’s signature compelling dialogue and content (not to mention the bacon) we want to share the conversation with an expanded audience and provide for a longer deep-dive into important conversations affecting both Sarasota and Bradenton.

We invite you to join us at the New SB2 Luncheon Symposia Series at The Francis, Sarasota from 11:15am-1pm on November 30, 2017, January 25, 2018 and July 26, 2018  for incredibly engaging afternoons of insight, illuminating facts and examples of game-changing innovation.

For tickets and 2017-2018 annual VIP member passes, visit

We hope to see you there!

In Your Mailbox: Biketopia Has Arrived!


The Gulfcoast is home to year-round sunshine and some of the greatest scenery you can spot atop a bicycle saddle, so it’s only fitting that our August issue pays special tribute to the life, history, popular culture, wanderlust and treks of the modern bicycle. From the velocipede and the penny-farthing to the nimble composite beasts mounted on the walls of local bike-trotting retail meccas, we’ve covered it all.

From film to TV, as part of everyday life or the start of an over-the-top adventure, the bicycle has staked a claim in pop culture, creating iconic moments and carrying our favorite characters from scene to scene. Scour the pages and celebrate the cycle’s cinematic glory (and one hit anthem) with our pop-culture pop-ups.

As another idyllic Florida summer comes to an all-too-speedy end, we invite you to reserve a weekend for trekking in the lush preserves as we pay tribute to the almighty bicycle.



  • Trekking on Wheels: From the dirt trails here to the 10.6-mile Legacy Trail and the technical, twisting singletrack in North Port, a variety of trails—both paved and unpaved—take bicyclists off the beaten path.
  • Wheels of History: “The bicycle goes hand-in-hand with the circus,” says Scott O’Donnell, executive director of Circus World Baraboo up in Baraboo, WI, where the Ringling brothers first opened their own circus in 1884, just two years after the town’s founding. And it’s a relationship built on something far more fundamental than the spectacle of bears and chimpanzees on bikes or elephants on trikes or even unicycles on the high wire.
  • Cycleology: Navigating the mystifying world of finding the perfect match.
  • Cycling Loves Company: As bike riders clock hundreds of miles on Florida trails, sweating side-by-side, a special bond is forged. Where the rubber meets the road, camaraderie grows. These clubs are not one size fits all, but offer clubs for speed racers, beach cruisers, snowbirds and even programs for young ones.


Starting Line


Agenda: Cycling Toward the Future: Transportation leaders blaze a bike-friendly trail for the Gulf Coast.

  • Kit Overhaul: Take your cycling kit to a new level with these fresh new pieces.
  • Road Warrior: Take to the trails with biking gear that’s both functional and fashionable. From baskets to pumps and classic bells and a high-tech GPS, cyclists can customize their rides as the occasion calls for, and even bring along a couple passengers.
  • Spin Doctors: Tending to your two-wheeler.

Pick up the August issue and ride like the wind! We can’t wait for you to be blown away by the Biketopia that awaits within the pages of this month’s issue.

— The SRQ Team

Click here to access the pages of the August SRQ digital edition.


In Your Mailbox: July’s Double Issue SRQ+Modern Home Magazine Has Arrived!


Summer is in full swing and the July edition of SRQ Magazine is bringing the heat with our double issue headlined by beauty titan and CEO, Nancy Bernardini and the Center for Architecture Sarasota’s Modern Show. On one side you will find your trusted SRQ in full swing with authoritative commentary, interviews and local beats. Flip to the other side and celebrate the newest and most spectacular applications of modern architectural style in our region—welcome to the newest edition of Modern Home magazine.

July 2017 Cover Feature: Beauty of Balance Women In Business 2017 Trailblazer 

“What makes you unique makes you beautiful” is part of the foundational philosophy at Laura Mercier, one of the most successful companies in the international luxury cosmetics and skin care arena. And at the forefront of the company’s mission and message is Nancy Bernardini, general manager of Gurwitch Products LLC and CEO of Laura Mercier and ReVive, an innovative yet grounded leader who is a master at flourishing personally and professionally with balance and perspective. Bernardini divulges how thriving at home and work is the key to her successful roar.

Modern Home Magazine 2017 Annual Edition 

Join us and join our amazing local architects, as they break free of gravity and exalt in the expression of space as a human art. Modern Home magazine captures the passion of modern architecture on the Gulf Coast—from celebrating the Center for Architecture Sarasota’s creative minds to the coolest, hippest modern abodes being fashioned here on the West coast of Florida. We meet the Coast’s hottest architects by browsing their portfolios of recent projects and reading personal stories that chart innovation, client collaboration and spectacular finished spaces.


Interview With: Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz

Evolving a downtown waterfront into a cultural asset brings a daunting task. As Sarasota leaders look toward the future of the Bayfront, they can see the work of other communities who have tackled such tasks before. Manny Diaz, the mayor of Miami from 2001 though 2009, led the city through exciting changes, including turning aging parks into public treasures. He came to town this spring to speak at events organized by the Center for Architecture Sarasota, and he sat down exclusively with SRQ to share how Miami’s experiences could guide this community forward.

  • From the homes of Bird Key to the streets of Downtown Sarasota, the 2017 CFAS Modern Show celebrates the art and architecture of the region.
  • The Goods  Interior Artforms. Compelling conversation pieces.
  • Architecture Books Authors explore the history and impact of modern architecture around the world and in Florida.



Out and About


At the Table


Hunting and Gathering

  • Operation Oasis Adrienne Barrack, chairwoman of Dolphin Tower’s design committee, talks about turning a two-bedroom in a previously troubled tower into her place of Zen.

Whether you’re an architecture junkie like us, or just want to salivate over good food, walk—no, run— to the mailbox and pick up your July issue. See you on the flip side!

The SRQ Team

Click here to access the pages of the July SRQ digital edition.

Click here to access Modern Home’s digital edition.



SRQ Media Gives Back Foundation Supports CFAS Kids Learning Initiative


SRQ MEDIA’s CEO Lisl Liang and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Ashley Grant present Center for Architecture Sarasota’s CEO Cynthia Peterson with a check from the SRQ Media Gives Back Foundation underwriting Kids at the Center: Architecture 101. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan


At its core, the Center for Architecture Sarasota is a mecca for arts, learning and innovation, launching numerous new programs to further enhance understanding of architecture as one of the most important reflections of today’s culture. The CFAS Children’s Experiential Learning Program is an initiative aimed towards engaging our community’s children. With 2 events under its belt, CFAS is working to expand the program by providing multiple workshops throughout the year to a larger demographic.

This past May, the SRQ Media Gives Back Foundation, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc., underwrote the Kid’s At The Center: Architecture 101 program to support exploration into design and architecture. CFAS hosted the program during the Modern Show transforming its gallery space into a LEGO playland. Stations, provided by Bricks4Kidz were set up for children age 5-13 to try their hand at creation and design as amateur architects.

“The Children’s Experiential Learning Program that we are developing is one of our most important events that we do because we are affecting the next generation of stewards for the ‘built environment’,” says CFAS CEO Cynthia Peterson. “We teach them the appreciation of preserving the past and making sure we do everything well in the present for the future. Through the wonderful support of SRQ, we were able to offer this program for free, opening it up to a wider demographic of children.”

SRQ MEDIA is a community engagement initiator that catalyzes impactful regional initiatives to give them lift. The SRQ Media Gives Back Foundation, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc. focuses on key platforms of relevance in the region including regional collaboration, economic development, arts & culture, education, ocean literacy and women’s leadership and mentorship development.

As part of its mission, the Center for Architecture Sarasota seeks to foster the public’s understanding of the influence of architecture in enriching the Sarasota region. CFAS is a place where students, design professionals, community leaders and the public can admire, discuss and debate the wonders of our ‘built-environment’.

For more information on the Center for Architecture Sarasota, click here.


The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free 1-800-435-7352 (or 1-800-352-9832 en española) or going on the department’s website WWW.800HELPFLA.COM. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. One hundred percent (100%) of the donation is received by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Registration #SC-02471.

Just for You—June Just Went Donut-epic at SRQ Magazine!


The team at SRQ Magazine has can’t resist indulging in the occasional sweet treat from time to time, so when Five O Donut Co, the latest from local baker mastermind Christine Nordstrom (of Sift Bakehouse fame) opened its doors we were the first in line to try the pastries topping Sarasota’s Most Wanted list.

From mouth watering vanilla bean glazed croissant donuts to her unique concoctions such as the “Jail House Pop Rocks,” jelly filled cake donuts and Butterfinger coated “Sticky Fingers” donuts, these treats seem too good to be legal. Christine does Sarasota proud!

And now through June 30th, we’re sharing the love! When businesses sign or renew an advertising contract with their favorite locally-owned magazine— SRQ Magazine, of course— our team hand delivers Five O treats from donutrepreneur Christine Nordstrom’s now infamous shop. What better way to celebrate our passion for living and loving local?!


Mireya Eavey, Sarasota Area President of United Way Suncoast and her team enjoy their surprise donut delivery. Photo Credit: Dylan Howell 

If you’d like a ticket on the donut train, call Associate Publisher, Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or to get your plan going. And hurry, before June ends!

**Deliveries will be made to Sarasota and Bradenton only. Allow for 3-5 business days from the signing date. Offer good for advertising contracts signed through June 30, 2017 at 5pm.**