Category Archives: Photos

Photos of our programs.

Join Us: SRQ SkillSHARE | April 11, 2019, 5-7:30 pm

The application period to join SRQ MEDIA for April’s SkillSHARE Program is now open! This special event takes place three times a year as part of SRQ’s Women In Business Initiative.

SkillSHARE is a networking-focused program that encourages insightful, honest interactions between local women professionals about their career and community engagement through the art and science of mentorship. Hosted at SRQ Studios at 331 S. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 5-7:30pm, participants will connect with our stellar line up of SkillSHARE mentors including Liz Brookins, Sandra Stone, Kathryn Shea, Gabriele Harris, Laurie Pike, Kameron Hodgens, and Jeannie Perales.

SkillSHARE is a type of ‘potential incubator’,” says SRQ MEDIA Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Engagement Ashley Grant, “where women of all ages and walks of life can come and connect with others in a safe environment to brainstorm creative solutions to challenges, learn practical tools to pursue their passions, and explore intelligent risk-taking all in an encouraging and supportive space that celebrates growing to each person’s full potential whether that be personal, professional or both. It is a very powerful thing to see these incredible women realize through the magic of connection and collaboration that the sky is the limit for them and we are so proud and thrilled to be able to facilitate this process.”

We’ve received great feedback from past mentors and mentees. Guest mentor from SkillSHARE 2017, Julie Henry, Founder and President of Finish Line Leadership remarked, “Growth happens when someone has the courage to tell you the truth – what you’re excelling at, where the opportunities are, and most importantly, what you need to stop doing. I’ve been privileged over the years to have many respected women hold up this truth-telling mirror up for me. I’m honored to do the same and help women continue to grow as leaders in business.”

We’re delighted to host the first SkillSHARE of 2019 and encourage you to send in an application to join us for this special opportunity. Applications to participate in April’s SkillSHARE Program will be accepted until Friday, March 15, 2019. To submit an application, please click HERE

Advertisements

SRQ Women In Business Power Up Mixer

SRQ MEDIA’s Power Up event, fueled by the SRQ Women In Business Initiative provided Leadership Circle members and special guests with an opportunity to mix, mingle, brainstorm and develop new connections at Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue.

The program fosters a supportive environment where professionals can get to know one another in a fun, chic setting. We had such a great time at this week’s Power Up Mixer on February 6, 2019 and thank our attendees for spending their evening with us!

Paired with delicious bites from Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue Power Up is a platform for networking and cultivating relationships for the SRQ WIB Leadership Circle and invited special guests.

Power Up is a great opportunity to get to know other women who are doing amazing things in our community. I’m always awestruck by the work these women are doing in the community,” said attendee Dr. Sandra Stone of University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee.

“I’ve been impressed by SRQ’s commitment to foster these types of networking programs,” remarked Maryalice Keller, owner of Scout & Molly’s, a boutique in downtown Sarasota.

“We were thrilled to host our Leadership Circle members and special guests at the SRQ Power Up Mixer at Sophie’s,” says SRQ MEDIA Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnership and Engagement Ashley Grant. “It was a fabulous, fun and deeply engaged evening of connection, brainstorming, and ‘aha’ moments of insight for everyone.”

A big thank you to Mark Resnick, General Manager at our fabulous host sponsor Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue!

Photos from the Wednesday, February 6th Power Up event are now available on CLICK SRQ.  Click Here More For Photos

SRQ MEDIA Announces Keynote Speaker and Trailblazer Honoree for the Annual Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon | Thursday, May 2, 2019

 

SRQ MEDIA will host the fifth annual Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 10:30am-3pm at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota featuring nationally-recognized keynote speaker, a noted luminary who has made a significant impact in their field and the announcement of the winners from this year’s 2019 Women in Business Competition

The awards luncheon begins with an engaging Keynote Speaker who will share their story of success. SRQ MEDIA will also honor this year’s recipient of the prestigious Trailblazer Award to recognize a luminary who has made a significant impact in their field.

SRQ MEDIA is pleased to announce Geralyn Lucas as this year’s Hear Me Roar Keynote Speaker. Lucas is the best-selling author of Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy and accomplished producer whose book was made into an Emmy nominated movie and inspired collaborations with Betsey Johnson and Stila cosmetics.  Legendary civil rights journalist and the first black reporter for the Washington Post Dorothy Butler Gillam will be honored with the Women in Business Trailblazer Award.

Keynote Speaker Geralyn Lucas. Photo Courtesy of the speaker.

Hear Me Roar Keynote Speaker, Geralyn Lucas was only 27 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shaking the foundations of her world, she was faced with the harrowing decision of whether or not to undergo a mastectomy. She shared her incredible journey in her memoir, Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy. Filled with courage, humor, and inspirational candor, Lucas’ book and message is not just for women who have experienced the effects of cancer. “This is a universal story for women,” she says, “A lot of people say going through a serious illness makes you look deeply at who you are, and that can be true. But you don’t have to have breast cancer to do that.” Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy was made into an Emmy nominated movie that premiered on Lifetime television starring Sarah Chalke and Patti LaBelle in October, 2006. The theme song “I am not my hair” for the movie was written by Pink and India Arie. Inspired by Lucas’ book, dress designer and breast cancer survivor Betsey Johnson designed a T-shirt to promote Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy; cosmetic company Stila created a lipstick called Geralyn; and The Young Breast Cancer Survivor Foundation and Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation both endorsed the book. Lucas has become an activist, informing women about breast cancer, and early detection. She recently created a Webby honored YouTube Short. Prior to her writing career, Geralyn was a network television executive and producer at the ABC News Show 20/20 and Lifetime Television.  Her work received high ratings and many awards including an Emmy® and a GLAAD Media Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, Tyler, and their two children.

Trailblazer Honoree Dorthy Butler Gilliam. Photo credit: Kea Dupree Photography

SRQ MEDIA is honored to announce Dorothy Butler Gilliam as recipient of the 2019 Trailblazer Award. Dorothy Butler Gilliam has been a journalist for more than six decades. In 1961, she became the first black woman reporter for the Washington Post. She would later become an editor and a columnist for the paper before retiring in 2003. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to nurture other journalists of color and to diversify newsrooms across the United States. Her work as a civil rights journalist has been featured in three documentaries: “Freedom’s Call,” “Southern Journalists Who Covered the Civil Rights Movement,” and “Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media.” During her career, Ms. Gilliam appeared regularly on television, including PBS, and hosted her own show on BET. She formerly served as president of the National Association of Black Journalists and of the Unity Journalists of Color.

2018 Trailblazer Honoree Patti Cazzato. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Past Trailblazer Award recipients include Adrienne Vittadini (2015), Pamela Fiori (2016),  Nancy Bernardini (2017) and Patti Cazzato (2018).

The Women In Business Competition Winners of 2018. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Powered by SRQ’s Women In Business Initiative, the Women In Business Competition Awards Program will announce this year’s distinguished award winners who have made meaningful and significant contributions to our region in business, education, philanthropy, arts and culture and healthcare and induct them into the Class of 2019 Leadership Circle.

SRQ MEDIA would like to thank the 2019 Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon event sponsors for their support of this community platform: Champion Sponsor Seaside Bank, Innovator Sponsor, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Host Sponsor The Hyatt Regency Sarasota and Champion Sponsors New Balance Sarasota and Waterworks Members Club.

To purchase tickets to the SRQ Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon click HERE. Table Sponsorship (10 seats), $850. Half Table Sponsorship (5 seats), $425. Individual Ticket, $65. For other sponsorship opportunities, contact SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement Ashley Grant at 941-365-7702 x204 or via email at ashley.grant@srqme.com.

We look forward to celebrating our fabulous presenters and award recipients at this year’s Hear Me Roar Program with you!

In Your Mailbox: SRQ Magazine February 2019 Foodie Issue is Here!

JPG-SRQFEB19_ITBWrapSpread

Get ready to explore the kitchens and cozy spaces made memorable by the plethora of heartfelt Latin American restaurants in the region. Each country serves up traditional authentic dishes that celebrate the family, the flavors and the festivity of eating together. Mom-and-pop, family-run hotspots truly know what it means to serve food with heart and take your palate way off the beaten path to explore and be ultimately satisfied. Get out there and treat your tastebuds to new epicurean adventures and nosh it up #LIVELOCAL #LOVELOCAL 

FEATURES:

  • La Vida Comida: From the Andres mountains to the Amazon rainforest and all the playas in between, the diverse lands of Latin America offers dishes for every climate and occasion. Discover the robust Latin cuisine scene here in Sarasota-Bradenton and all the culinary fare it entails.
  • Vino A Deux: A continental road trip pairing European culinary showstoppers with the perfect glass of wine. These four restaurants represent the essence of their homestead country with mainstay dishes of origin, while Sean King of Michael’s On East and Michael’s Wine Cellar recommends a complementary varietal of vino to perfectly pair.

SRQIST: Local Heart & Soul Stories About the People, Places and Experiences that Define Our Hometown

  • Dean, The Machine: Meet the two-time title holder of Youth World Champion Oarsman.
  • The Nutty Professor: One woman takes it upon herself to improve the town’s nut milk game.
  • Chilling Local: Siesta Key Village welcomes Local Chill Artisanal Ice Cream to the neighborhood.
  • Extreme Positions: Choreographer Ana Maria Alvarez channels joy with Sarasota Contemporary Dance.

CULTURE CITY: Arts + Culture, Performing and Visual Arts, Portfolio, In Studio, Artsheet

CARGO: The Goods, Design Dossier, Retail Therapy, Antique Story, Nest, Books

FORAGE: At the Table, Foodarama, Restaurants, Foodie Life

  • Thai Hotspot: The Spice Station gives Sarasota Thai with a twist.
  • Lord of Alkali: Time Norwood turns the Gulf of Mexico with organic, artisanal seasoning for your fish, meat, veggies and fruit.

RECONNOITER: Case Study, Agenda

  • Best Laid Plans: Sarasota leaders once again consider the reach of form based code’s vision.

PARTING SHOT

  • Leaps and Bounds: Rising star of the Sarasota to Cuban Ballet, Harold Mendez takes the from to new heights in international competition.

Get in on all the goodness and pick up a copy of this month’s edition today!

-The SRQ team

CLICK HERE to access the pages of the FEBRUARY 2019 SRQ digital edition.

Keynote Speaker Announced: SMARTGirl 2019 Mentorship Summit and Luncheon | March 15, 2019

SmartGirlLogo

SRQ MEDIA is delighted to announce Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County as the keynote speaker for the SMARTGirl 2019 Mentorship Summit and Luncheon. 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.

 

Roxie Jerde moved to Sarasota in 2011 from Kansas City, where she served as Senior Vice President for Donor Relations and Education at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the nation and widely regarded as a thought leader in philanthropy. In this role, she spearheaded many innovative initiatives, including the development and implementation of the DonorEdge, an online tool that enables donors to evaluate their philanthropic choices. Jerde has also held a number of senior marketing and product-development positions at for-profit companies, including an 11-year career at Hallmark Cards. She holds a BBA in Marketing and Management from the University of Iowa and an MBA in Finance and Organizational Behavior from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

We’re thrilled to have Roxie Jerde offer her wisdom and encouragement to our SMARTGirl 2019 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. This year’s luncheon summit will take place at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota on Friday, March 15, 2019 from 9:30 am-1:30 pm.

The SMARTGirl 2019 Mentorship Summit and Luncheon would not be possible without support from host sponsor Hyatt Regency Sarasota, audio visual sponsor PSAV, and to the SMARTGirl program sponsors, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and New Balance of Sarasota and University Park.

The application period to participate in SMARTGirl 2019 Mentorship Summit and Luncheon has been extended to Monday, February 4, 2019.  SRQ encourages 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th grade girls attending school in Sarasota or Manatee Counties to apply for the SMARTgirl Mentorship Summit online by clicking HERE

Wrap Up: The 2019 Localpreneur of the Year Awards, Jan 24

On Thursday, January 24, 2019, SRQ MEDIA held its first SB2 symposium of 2019, State of the Regional Economy. An audience of over two hundred community members gathered at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota to learn about the overall economic health of the region from a strong group of community influencers. As the panelists and presenters discussed topics ranging from tourism to workforce development, the message that our region must be supportive of local businesses resonated throughout the program.  

The SB2 State of the Regional Economy presentation was the perfect setting to celebrate local business owners who are truly living the mission of working and living locally to fuel the regional economy. SRQ MEDIA’s Localpreneur of the Year program recognizes entrepreneurs who are driving successful, locally-owned businesses with purpose and passion.

 

SB2 Program and Localpreneur of the Year Awards MC, Wes Roberts. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

SRQ MEDIA received hundreds of nominations for this year’s Localpreneur of the Year Competition from the community. Out of the nominations, over thirty honorees were selected. These individuals have earned the respect of their peers in the following areas: corporate acumen, innovation, philanthropy, leadership and community impact.

SRQ MEDIA is pleased to announce the five 2019 Localpreneurs of the Year: Kelly Ison, Einstein Pets; Paul Mattison, Mattison’s Restaurant and Catering; Candice McElyea, One Eight Oh PR; Pete Petersen, Dealers United; Brett Wallin, Walt’s Fish Market and Restaurant.

Our first awardee was Kelly Ison, CEO/Director of Happiness of Einstein Pets, a socially responsible, innovative company of original dog treat products. Ison’s business model for Einstein Pets is delivering happiness by feeding the world’s dogs the purest, most heart, healthy and cleverly crafted natural treats. Keeping the company community oriented is important to Kelly. She has partnered with local organizations like Arc Sarasota, Westie Rescue, and the Brittany Foundation to support pets in need.

Kelly Ison of Einstein Pets and SRQ MEDIA’s Lisl Liang. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Next, we recognized our second winner, Paul Mattison, Owner and CEO of Mattison’s Restaurant and Catering. Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering has close to 100 full time employees and 100 part time employees. Through his work with Niman Ranch, Mattison has earned the title of ‘Honorary Hog Farmer,’ a nod to his interest in serving serving humanely raised, antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats.

Paul Mattison of Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering and SRQ MEDIA’s Lisl Liang. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Entrepreneur Candice McElyea, Owner and President of One Eight Oh PR was our next awardee. Although McElyea was out of town, her 2019 Localpreneur of the Year award was accepted by Alicia King Robinson, One Eight Oh PR’s Director of Public Relations. McElyea shared this quote with the audience, “It’s an incredibly humbling experience to provide employment to others in our community, a community I grew up in, and it’s something that’s certainly fuels desire for growth and success.”

Alicia King Robinson and Kate Ritz of One Eight Oh PR. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Our fourth 2019 Localpreneur of the Year was awarded to Brett Wallin, fourth-generation-owner of Walt’s Fish Market and Restaurant. Walt’s celebrated their one hundredth business anniversary last May, which was coupled with their best financial year yet. When Walt’s needed an update, Brett led the drive to add the thatched roof, tiki bar and live music that everyone is now familiar with. Brett says, “I learned from my grandfather and particularly my father that both the food served and the servers serving it must be at the highest quality.”

The last and final 2019 Localpreneur of the Year award was given to Pete Petersen, CEO of Dealers United. Dealers United helps dealers improve their dealerships primarily through online and digital advertising but also through group buying power. Petersen’s entrepreneurial ingenuity has helped him keep Dealers United company moving forward in a market of evolving technology. Committed to the local economy, Petersen is proud to have initiated an HR process to streamline employee retention and has invested his time and talent into the community as an educator at the University of South Florida.

Pete Petersen of Dealers United and SRQ MEDIA’s Lisl Liang. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Congratulations to all five of our hard-working Localpreneurs of the Year! We are proud to have you as drivers of the local economy. As we learned from our SB2 State of the Regional Economy program, it is essential to grow business in our local region. Doing business in this region while giving back to the community maintains our economic vitality and brings talent and innovation to the Bradenton-Sarasota area. Best wishes for a successful 2019!

We also extend our congratulations to our honorees and nominees and recognize them for their inspiring contributions and hard work.

The SB2 audience at host sponsor Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Special thanks to our incredible sponsors: SB2 host sponsor Hyatt Regency Sarasota, and audio visual sponsor PSAV. Thanks for being excellent hosts. We also extend thanks to our incredible sponsors: 2018-2019 series sponsors Mariash Lowther Wealth Management and JFCS of the Suncoast, and to our SB2 State of the Regional Economy event sponsors, The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Waterworks Sarasota, Seaside National Bank & Trust, and Firmo Construction.

Don’t miss our next SB2 symposium, Transformative Philanthropy on Thursday July 25, 2019. We’ll explore the organizations and individuals who are changing the face of the nonprofit world through innovative approaches, strategic alliances and groundbreaking initiatives that foster and employ engagement to make a difference.  You can purchase your tickets in advance HERE

Click here to read the article about SB2| State of the Regional Economy in the SRQ DAILY. A gallery of images from the 2019 Localpreneur of the Awards is available online here.

For tickets and other event inquiries, visit SRQSB2.com or contact us at 941-365-7702 x221.

To become an SB2 series sponsor or a specific symposium sponsor, contact Ashley Grant at 941-365-7702 x205.

We hope to see you there!

SRQ MAGAZINE—Live Local. Love Local | Sarasota and Bradenton

Wrap Up: SB2 Symposium ‘State of the Regional Economy’, Jan. 24

SRQ MEDIA and over two hundred community members gathered at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota on Thursday 24, 2019 to explore the State of the Regional Economy. The first SB2 symposium of 2019 offered the audience an insightful program that analyzed the health of our local economy.

Season Presenter, Steve Altier of Seaside Bank, began the symposium by welcoming the audience with warm remarks. Altier reflected on his career noting, “To see where this business community has gone in the last 30 years and to be a part of it has been a great honor.” He also offered an encouraging message to guest students visiting from NewGate Montessori School, Out-of-Door Academy School, and Sarasota Christian School; “Consider the idea of getting into business because, everything is business.”

SB2 Season Presenter Steve Altier of Seaside Bank. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

Opening speaker and featured panelist Jeffrey Mayers, General Manager of The Resort at Longboat Key Club took the floor next. Mayers discussed the convergence of tourism and the economy, bringing up what was to become a topic that gathered much discussion during the SB2 program, the red tide algae bloom. Mayers acknowledged that, “We’re going to be dealing with a hangover effect for sometime,” and urged the importance of overcoming negative perceptions.

SB2 Featured Panelist Jeffrey Mayers of The Resort at Longboat Key Club. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Next, Eric Collin, President of Firmo Construction, offered an informative market outlook about the construction industry. His presentation gave the audience an overview of national and regional trends. Overall, Collin gave us positive news that development is growing in the state of Florida yet he was careful to remark that we must remain resilient. Noticeable dips and pauses in graphics displayed by the Firmo Construction leader reflected a development industry easily paused by natural disasters.

SB2 Brandstory Presenter Eric Collin of Firmo Construction. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

The program continued with an insightful panel discussion moderated by SRQ MEDIA’s Executive Publisher, Wes Roberts. The SB2 State of the Regional Economy panel was a full house this year, comprised of seven community influencers: Kevin Cooper of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Jacki Dezelski of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Sharon Hillstrom of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, Mark Huey of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, Jeffrey Mayers of The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Phillip Rich of Seaside Bank, and Drayton Saunders of Michael Saunders & Company.


The SB2 State of the Regional Economy panel, moderated by SRQ MEDIA’s Wes Roberts. (L to R) Mark Huey, Kevin Cooper, Jeffrey Mayers, Jacki Dezelski, Wes Roberts, Drayton Saunders, Sharon Hillstrom, Phillip Rich. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Beginning with the “stinkiest question of them all,” Wes Roberts prompted the panelists to discuss one of the area’s most prevalent (and widely published) challenges in 2018 — red tide. The conversation that followed highlighted how our area’s economy has fared during red tide and how several of our panel’s community leaders have responded to the needs of struggling businesses affected by the algae bloom.  

The audience learned from Jeffrey Mayers that approximately ten billion negative impressions were made in the media about the red tide outbreak. This surprising statistic fueled dialogue about the role of social media and outside perception. Acknowledging that images on social media exist forever, Sharon Hillstrom, President and CEO of the Bradenton Area EDC, remarked, “We need to be putting things out there that show the great positive things about this community.”

Panelist Sharon Hillstrom of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

With a decline in tourist dollars, how can gulf and bay-front area businesses bounce back? Panelist Jacki Dezelski reminded us that a red tide “ripple effect” extended to businesses of all types. In particular, the President and CEO of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce told the story of a struggling day care center that serves families who work in the tourism industry. Dezelski noted that in an effort to pivot away from an emphasis on tourism, several of our regional Chambers deployed strategies that called on the community to step up to the plate by shopping local. In particular, Dezelski gave a shout out to the Manatee Chamber’s ‘Live Like a Tourist’ campaign.

Jacki Dezelski of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce addresses the audience. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Kevin Cooper, President and CEO of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, promoted a call to action for the audience to do its part in keeping our waterways healthy so we can help to mitigate the recurring patterns of the algae bloom. Phillip Rich, a Market Strategist for Seaside Bank commented that when speaking to an international investor,  “If you use the word toxic and recurring in the same sentence, you’re done.”

Panelist Phillip Rich of Seaside Bank. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

To follow, came conversation about current trends in the real estate market (it’s leveling out a little bit, everyone), a spirited debates about incentives (let’s just say there were some varying opinions about these up on stage) and a conversation about workforce development (how do we get past our reputation of Disney and retirement to attract some strong talent?).

Our panelists discussed employee retention and called attention to wages in the region. “The average annual wage in Sarasota County is lower than the average annual wage in the state of Florida, which is lower than the average annual wage in the United States of America,” shared Kevin Cooper of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, “And the big reason behind that is we create a higher percentage of naturally lower paying jobs in Sarasota County.”

Kevin Cooper of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

We found out that we’re not recession proof. Drayton Saunders, of Michael Saunders & Company noted, “Will there be a recession in the future? Absolutely. At some point we’re going to see a down cycle nationally. And that is going to affect us locally.” All panelists were in agreeance.

Drayton Saunders of Michael Saunders & Company talks real estate. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

The importance of maintaining support for locally-owned businesses was emphasized by the regional leaders. “As our top priority, we’re all about seeing local businesses grow,” noted Mark Huey, President and CEO of the EDC of Sarasota County.

Panelist Mark Huey of the EDC of Sarasota County. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Thoughtful Q&A (thanks, audience!) kept the dialogue going forward. In particular, the panelists weighed in about how to meet the current needs of millennials and young professionals while continuing to attract young talent to our area. Takeaways: give them affordable housing, competitive wages, arts and culture, access to the natural environment, and provide them with a connection to the community. Good transportation systems are important too.

While we’re talking about the next generation, SRQ was pleased to have its youngest audience member yet in attendance at SB2 State of the Regional Economy! Can we please take a moment from economic development to recognize Meagan Ochoa and Eric Collin’s adorable month and half year old in the audience? 

SB2’s youngest audience member! Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Overall, we were thankful to have our panelists lend their expertise to our conversation and we learned a great deal about what our region has been up against and where we’re going. SRQ MEDIA extends gratitude to our wonderful panelists and presenters for the invigorating conversation and for the important contributions they make to our community.

The SB2 State of the Regional Economy panel. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Ending the symposium on a celebratory note, the SB2 State of the Regional Economy symposium concluded with an awards ceremony to honor the 2019 Localpreneurs of the Year. We recognized locally-owned business owners who have earned the respect of their peers in the following areas: corporate acumen, innovation, philanthropy, leadership and community impact. Congratulations to our five winners and to all of our honorees and nominees!

Pete Petersen of Dealers United, one of the five 2019 Localpreneurs of the Year. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

We could not have had such a successful symposium without the support of our incredible sponsors: our SB2 host sponsor Hyatt Regency Sarasota, and audio visual sponsor PSAV. Thanks for being excellent hosts. We also extend thanks to our incredible sponsors: 2018-2019 series sponsors Mariash Lowther Wealth Management and JFCS of the Suncoast, and to our event sponsors, The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Waterworks Sarasota, Seaside National Bank & Trust, and Firmo Construction.

The audience at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Don’t miss our next SB2 symposium, Transformative Philanthropy on Thursday July 25, 2019. We’ll explore the organizations and individuals who are changing the face of the nonprofit world through innovative approaches, strategic alliances and groundbreaking initiatives that foster and employ engagement to make a difference.  You can purchase your tickets in advance HERE

Click here to read the article about SB2| State of the Regional Economy in the SRQ DAILY. A gallery of images from SB2 State of the Regional Economy is available online here.

For tickets and other event inquiries, visit SRQSB2.com or contact us at 941-365-7702 x221.

To become an SB2 series sponsor or a specific symposium sponsor, contact Ashley Grant at 941-365-7702 x205.

We hope to see you there!

SRQ MAGAZINE—Live Local. Love Local | Sarasota and Bradenton