Announcement: SRQ MEDIA Proudly Welcomes Three Collegiate Interns to the 2020 Summer Internship Program

SRQ MEDIA is delighted to introduce the interns selected to participate in the company’s long-standing Summer Intensive Internship Program including Gabriella Alfonso, Grace Castilow, and Winona Nasser. Engaging with the team remotely, this year’s interns join the team to develop their applied knowledge in marketing and advertising, editorial and art and design. SRQ MEDIA founded the program over a decade ago to provide young professionals entering or continuing their post-secondary work with context, exploration and deep dives into the areas in which they have found passion. Having hosted over 200 interns in the company’s 20+ years, SRQ MEDIA made a commitment to continue the Summer Intensive program during the CoronaVirus pandemic knowing the inherent challenges that have emerged in the media industry would be an incredibly rewarding learning experience for both the company and its interns. 

Gabriella Alfonso, Marketing and Advertising Associate, is a student at the University of South Florida seeking a Bachelor of Sciences in Integrated Public Relations and Advertising. She is currently an active member of both the Advertising Club and the Public Relations Student Society of America at USF. Gabriella is eager to expand her knowledge and experience through guidance with SRQ MEDIA. 

“I first heard about this opportunity through my extensive Google internship search and SRQ MEDIA popped up,” says Gabriella. “I’ve been living in the Sarasota area for about 16 years now. I love how this area is constantly growing! Whether it is with the growing skyline or its appreciation within the arts, this area is beautiful and deserves to have more recognition!” When Gabriella is not working with SRQ MEDIA, she loves to explore nature parks, soak up the Florida sun at Anna Maria Island, and play with her two dogs, Dutchess and Luna. 

Currently pursuing a double major in Media and Communication Studies and Editing, Writing and Media at Florida State University, Grace Castilow joins the team as this summer’s Editorial Associate. Grace is involved in numerous editorial works during college including being a Brand Development Specialist with the Florida State Fraternity and Sorority Life as well as a Staff Writer and Social Media Coordinator for Her Campus FSU. 

“I heard about this internship from a Teacher’s Assistant for an advertising course I took at FSU who was formerly an editorial intern at SRQ MEDIA. I reached out to her and she encouraged me to apply for the position,” says Grace. Born and raised in Sarasota, Grace loves that every connection she has made she is greeted with “kindness and acceptance, which is something you don’t find in every coastal city.” Grace has been “writing” since before she could spell and hopes to write a novel of her own someday.

Lastly, Winona Nasser joins the team as Art and Design Associate. A student at the University of Florida, Winona seeks a Bachelor of Science in the Advertising, agency track. Before working with SRQ, Winona started working with Purility Therapeutics, a startup CBD company as their graphic designer. She has also started her own freelance multimedia design business, Winona Media

“I was looking for an internship where I could flex my creative muscles every day and learn more about different design disciplines,” says Winona. “I came across the internship listing on LinkedIn or on the SRQ MEDIA website after Googling local creative companies. I applied after reading about the company’s great community initiatives, and really liked that SRQ seemed like a rewarding place to grow as a young professional.” Some fun facts about Winona are that her elbows are double-jointed, she is fluent in three different languages, and does competitive Greek folk dance on the weekends.

Peer Nominations Now Open: SRQ Top Doctors Resource 2020

[Sarasota, FL] SRQ MEDIA is inviting local medical professionals to nominate their colleagues of choice they feel are making a significant impact in the medical community. Each submission will be compiled to produce the Top Doctors Medical Resource of 2020. This is a reputable, well-rounded list of regional medical providers in the Greater Sarasota region including: Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, Palmetto and Palmetto Bay, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, North Port and Lakewood Ranch. Now more than ever, we would like to celebrate and recognize the medical professionals who have been on the front line. SRQ MEDIA has added new Top Doctors program additions this year including, a Legacy component (over 40 years experience in the practice), a Rising Stars component (under 5 years experience in the practice) and Exceptional Nurses. The peer-to-peer survey is now online and nominations will be accepted until July 22, 2020. The Top Doctors Medical Resource results will be published in the November 2020 edition of SRQ Magazine.

The Top Doctors Medical Resource of 2020 is produced by the publishers of SRQ MAGAZINE in partnership with DataJoe, LLC, Colorado-based research company. DataJoe, LLC provides data research, tools, and solutions for more than 75 publishers across the country and has more than 50 years of combined research experience in the publishing space. DataJoe’s research has appeared nationally in prestigious cities and regional magazine titles providing lists ranging from doctors and attorneys to licensed real estate agents and others. They have been located in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the past 15 years.

Top Doctors Medical Resource seeks to be a credible guide solely based on peer recognition. Submissions must be completed by a medical professional practicing in the Greater Sarasota area by July 22, 2020. Surveys and nominations will remain anonymous. A full list of submission guidelines are provided within the Top Doctors Medical Resource survey.

Access the Top Doctors Peer Nominations survey at

In Your Mailbox: #LOCALON with SRQ Magazine’s Summer 2020 Edition

The resiliency of the Sarasota community proved unstoppable during the pandemic crisis of COVID-19. For weeks on end, time stood still, but the locals who make this city great, keep busy moving from the offices, charities and businesses that were now suddenly stationed at home. Food banks banded together to make sure no Sarasotan went hungry and philanthropies worked over time to raise money virtually. Beyond efforts to keep residents safe, healthy and business prosperous; this creative community showed how even in the midst of an uncertain time, art can help pull people through the darkest of times. Murals popped up downtown, some took to making scenic postcards while others sewed one of a kind fashionable masks for donations. This LOCAL ON issue, showcases how mothers weathered the COVID storm, how the unwavering love of a pet can get us through, and how when you love local, it makes it that much easier to live local.


  • Pets We Love: A roundup of this year’s paw-sitively paw-esome animal friends and the stories our readers share about them.
  • Unmasked: The hands behind Sarasota’s selfless sewers.



  • Virtually Unstoppable: The Giving Challenge faced its own challenge this year – falling right int he wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Feeding Our Region: Food banks and hunger programs face a greater challenge than ever amid a global pandemic.


  • Road to Recovery: The COVID-19 pandemic delivered a rapid blow to Florida’s economy, with job losses unseen since the Great Depression. SRQ MEDIA convenes economic leaders to discuss the impact on the region and the path forward.


  • Brain Boost: How the brain health initiative provides world-class insight and resources to mobile devices.


  • Foragers Ahead: Local Farms and food vendors prove tenaciously nimble as farmers markets are forced to pull the plug.


  • Moments: Capturing local vignettes during the pandemic.


  • 3D Illusions: Seeing is believing at this irreverent pop up museum.
  • Postcard Art: Tim Jaeger revisits memories captured in humble swatches of mail.
  • Stitch in Time: Cassia Kite soundstiches Mable’s roses.


  • Mom’s World Mid-Pandemic: Five local mothers adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic (and celebrate Mother’s Day in a whole new way).
  • Roar of a Survivor: From hopeless to homeless, a young Sebrena Pawley would eventually come to learn that falling ill to a life-threatening virus is just another survival obstacle to overcome.

Get in on all the goodness and check out the SUMMER 2020 issue today!

-The SRQ Team 

March BrandStory: Achieva Credit Union

Now available online to view and download, the Achieva Credit Union BrandStory tells the story of this community-focused institution.

It all started in 1937 when seven Pinellas County teachers were denied a loan from a bank. The teachers soon banded together to form a financial institution of their own – a credit union – with just $99.25. Today, Achieva Credit Union has more than $1.7 billion in assets, and over 160,000 members across 26 branches. 28,000 of those members are right here in Sarasota.

Read more from the Achieva Credit Union BrandStory HERE


Tickets on Sale Now! Best of SRQ 2020 TGIF Party!




TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Join us for the New Date for the TGIF 2020 Best of SRQ Local Party: FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2020 from 5-8pm at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Sarasota! Don’t miss out, click the link below for tickets!

We’re hosting an incredible BEST OF SRQ LOCAL TGIF PARTY for the 4200+ readers who voted in SRQ Magazine’s biggest ever 2020 Best of SRQ Local Readers Competition on Friday, June 5, 2020 from 5-8pm at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Sarasota. You are invited to to join us to taste and experience the best restaurants and cocktails voted by our readers and share a hip evening with the area’s passionate localvores and foodies.

Don’t Miss Out! Tickets on Sale: Friday, March 13 for Our BEST OF SRQ LOCAL TGIF PARTY!


Skip the happy hour just one Friday and head over to the atrium of the Aloft instead for the BEST OF SRQ LOCAL TGIF PARTY. This one’s for the 5000+ readers who voted in SRQ Magazine’s biggest ever 2020 Best of SRQ Local Readers Competition. Join us to taste + experience the best restaurants and cocktails voted by YOU, and share an evening getting your photos taken and mingling with fellow avid localvores + foodies.

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 13! A complete list of vendors soon to come!

Our lovely event sponsors include —
Aloft Sarasota
Berlin Patten Ebling
Marina Jack: Sarasota Bayfront
Cheney Brothers, Inc. Headquarters

Photos from last year’s BOSRQ TGIF Party —

Announcement: SRQ MEDIA SMARTgirls Mentorship Summit Has Been Postponed

After much thoughtful consideration and input from both partners and participants, SRQ MEDIA has decided to postpone its SMARTgirl Mentorship Summit previously scheduled to take place this Friday, March 13, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. While our organization is disappointed to postpone this incredibly vibrant event, we recognize that our greatest responsibility and concern is to take every precaution for the health and well-being of our mentors and the 90 SMARTgirl students hailing from schools from Sarasota and Manatee as well as Lee and Charlotte counties as well as their families. 
Given the current realities as they continue to evolve, postponing this impactful event to later this year will likely create an even more powerful opportunity for creating a space for positive, generative dialogue with these 90 future-seeking elementary and middle school girls. “We treasure our time together,” says SRQ MEDIA President and CEO Lisl Liang. “We want for it to be as meaningful and productive an experience as possible.” 
Plans are currently underway to reschedule the Summit to a later date this year. 

Speakers Announced for the SRQ MEDIA SMARTGirl 2020 Mentorship Summit and Luncheon

SRQ MEDIA is pleased to announce Sebrena Pawley of Eckerd Connects Workforce Development as the keynote speaker for the SMARTGirl 2020 Mentorship Summit and Luncheon. SMARTGirl 2020 will also feature an engaging presentation by Interactive Presenter AJ Lee from Game On Nation and Ambassador Speaker Shaneeka Foster from The Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota County. Powered by the SRQ Women in Business Initiative, SMARTGirl is a collaborative effort to set local girls up for success through human interaction and local connectivity. This year’s luncheon summit will take place at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota on Friday, March 13, 2020 from 9:30 am-1:30 pm.

Sebrena Pawley entered the foster care system directly from the hospital where she was born. Growing up, she alternated between foster care and homelessness. As an adult, Sebrena is a champion and tireless advocate for teens and young adults as the Area Manager for Young Workforce Development at Eckerd Connects in New York City, and is the founder of the scholarship program “I Was 16 Yesterday”.

A former NCAA Division I gymnast, Adrienne “AJ” Lee earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Auburn University, specializing in research related to student-athlete engagement. She has spent the past four years utilizing her expertise in strategic planning, marketing, student development (Higher Education) and adult learning to lead Game On’s internal operations while also facilitating organizational leadership, well-being, workplace rights, and culture development training programs.  Some of AJ’s recent clients include Verizon Media Group, FCCI Insurance Group, and Alabama Softball. AJ resides in Bradenton, FL with her husband.

Shaneeka Lee Foster was born in Hollywood, FL and was five years old when she was first introduced to the Boys & Girls Club in Davie, Florida. After her family relocated to Sarasota, Shaneeka became involved with the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club and was honored with the Youth of the Year award during her senior year of high school. This accolade enabled Shaneeka to pursue her dreams of becoming a first generation college student. With the dedication of both staff and board members Shaneeka received the empowerment she needed to transition from high school to college. In 2009, Shaneeka graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. Believing that too whom much is given, much is required, Shaneeka returned back to Sarasota to work at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club. During her one year tenure, she developed a program entitled pre-professionals in action to enable high school students to create a plan of action to reach the desired goal of getting into college. In 2010, Shaneeka relocated to Philadelphia Pennsylvania to attend Drexel University and begin her professional career with QTC Management INC., a Leidos Company. In 2013, Shaneeka graduated from Drexel University with a Master’s in Public Policy. Her roles at QTC include Medical Care Specialist, Medical Quality Assurance Specialist and Human Resource Training Specialist. A lifelong learner, Shaneeka is currently working towards the completion of her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in project management in August 2020 and opening a Sugaring NYC Franchise in Tampa, FL this summer. 

We’re thrilled to have Sebrena Pawley, AJ Lee, and Shaneeka Foster offer their wisdom and encouragement to our SMARTGirl 2020 Mentorship Summit and Luncheon audience. SMARTGirl is an innovative program designed to engage elementary and middle school girls in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades in imagining their future careers and creating the tools they will need to succeed through mentorship, soft skills training and hands-on workshops with some of the community’s top women leaders.