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. 

In Your Mailbox: The March 2020 Home of the Year Edition is Here!

Spring is in the air, and great reads are in our March edition of SRQ Magazine. The architectural arts arrived with our 16th annual Home of the Year competition showcasing stunning feats of house architecture and design. Those with house and home on the mind can check out our selection of eclectic stools and ottomans, as well as dazzling handcrafted wooden tables from Decor Direct. Hungry for more? Try an unexpected twist on traditional tacos or plan an Impossible burger bar crawl. Last, plan a staycation just down the road, with our flipbook covering all the newest and most exciting additions to Lakewood Ranch, from Waterside Place, the Farmers Market and the polo field, this diverse ‘destination,’ has it all. #LIVELOCAL #LOVELOCAL


  • The Wildest Year Yet: DreamLarge spent the entire year planning PINC (People Ideas Nature Culture) collecting curiosities from around the globe.
  • Home of the Year 2020: From seaside to street side, inside and out, these award-winning domains celebrate and contribute to a growing legacy of innovative home design.

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

  • In The Eye of the Beholder: Sarasota Art Museum’s visionary exhibition objectifies the theory of color.
  • Hollywood Doyenne: Heather Graham visits Ringling College of Art and Design, weighs in on sexism in Hollywood, cult movies and more.
  • British Bling: British historian and jewelry designer Andrew Prince wants to see diamonds from across the room.

CULTURE CITY: Arts + Culture, Performing and Visual Arts, Portfolio, In Studio, Art-sheet

  • Act Two: The Hermitage Artist Retreat finds Tony Award-Winning leadership in theater maven Andy Sandberg.
  • A Lemon Tree: A new gallery graces Palm Avenue.

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

  • This Seat Taken?: Funky, yet functional – put our feet up, or pop a squat, with an eclectic collection of ottomans and stools.
  • Burn Me On: BIA Candle Co.’s nature-driven candles fill homey dens with scintillating fragrances.
  • Tree Whisperer: For Celeste Gruenstein of Decor Direct, it’s all about the wood.

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

  • Southern Renegades: Circo rebels against a predictable pairing to cultivate an unorthodox bourbon and taco scene downtown.
  • Mission Impossible: The next generation of America’s favorite fast food, the Impossible and Beyond burger plant-based meat substitutes are on their way to becoming staples. Time to take a bite.
  • The Chef Inside the Egg: Three executive chefs prepare the classic French omelet and reveal what makes them tick.


  • Canopy Meg: In the treetops with scientist Margaret Lowman.


  • Living Lakewood: Nobody believed in the potential of a property at the Sarasota-Manatee line when Rex Jensen signed on in 1990. The Lakewood Ranch executive has enjoyed the last laugh for 25 years and counting.

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

-The SRQ team 

SRQ Magazine 2020 Home of the Year Awards Ceremony and Winners!

Each year, the Home of the Year Awards Competition recognizes the superior local talent in design and construction along the Gulf Coast. “Since our magazine is devoted to living local, it is only fitting that we celebrate and showcase some of the region’s most jaw-dropping residences,” said SRQ Executive Publisher Wes Roberts. “It is meaningful for the residents of our community – and it adds to the beauty right here in our own backyard.” This year, we received 49 impressive entries.

With submitted projects evaluated by a three-judge panel of experts from New York City, Naples and Miami, categories ranged from Best Sustainable/Green Home, Best Bathroom, Best Kitchen, Best Remodel/Renovation, Best Landscape Design, a new category added this year of Best Interior Design, and three culminating categories of Best Overall Home, divided by budget. Each judge received a blind presentation of all the entries and scored them based on design concept, use of space, innovation and integrity of function. “Our panel of judges were thoroughly blown away by the impressive work represented in each submission,” said Roberts.


Results were announced amongst colleagues, friends, admirers and family last night at the 16th annual Home of the Year Awards Ceremony, hosted at SRQ Media’s studio. Leading architects, contractors, interior designers and all their fans showed up for an evening to celebrate each other’s most distinguishable and recent work — seeing multiple honors bestowed for local projects from the past year that continue to keep Sarasota on the map with laudable architecture and exemplary design.


When it came to time to reveal award-winners for the Best Overall Home categories, SAWA Design Studio/Leader Design Studio and Nautilus Homes proved the big winners of the ceremony, each taking home trophies in four different categories. Other winners of the night included Borden Landscape Design, Perrone Construction, Seibert Architects, Voigt Brothers Construction, Murray Homes, Josh Wynne Construction, Sweet Sparkman Architects and DSDG Architects.


“It’s a true privilege to work with excellent builders, and most of all, wonderful clients,” says Principal Architect Chris Leader of Leader Design Studio. “We are humbled that the Bayview House and Citrus House were acknowledged among a strong group of projects by some of our region’s best design firms, contractors and industry leaders.”


We thank all the participants who submitted their projects in SRQ’s 2020 Home of the Year Competition. To see and read about the homes that made a statement in HOTY, keep an eye out for a special feature coming in the March issue of SRQ Magazine.

Scroll down for more photos from the SRQ’s Home of the Year 2020 Awards Ceremony.

SRQ Magazine’s Pets We Love Competition is Back for 2020!

Submissions are now welcome for our Pets We Love competition. Last year SRQ selected a handful of furry friends that showcased all the different reasons we love to have a fluffy companion by our side. From cats to dogs and all ranges of the animal kingdom, this year we’re asking our readers to submit their best pet stories for a chance to be featured in our May/June 2020 edition of SRQ Magazine. No pet is too small or too ferocious for us, so send in your best lizard, or hamster or even tarantula stories for a chance to see your pet in print!

Pets We Love.jpg

Past Winners: Twin French Bulldogs Sisters Honey and Charlotte!

Thank you to Dog Perfect for partnering with us on SRQ Pets We Love!

February BrandStory: SunCoast Blood Bank

Have you read the February 2020 SRQ BrandStory featuring the SunCoast Blood Bank?

As the oldest blood bank in the state of Florida, and one of the oldest nonprofit blood centers in the entire country, SunCoast Blood Bank depends on a close-knit community of donors for those direly in need. Working daily to save lives, while striving to cultivate a younger and broader generation of active donors, the February SRQ BrandStory focuses on the past, present and future of SunCoast Blood Bank.

Click Here to Read the February SCBB BrandStory

In Your Mailbox: The February Business 2020 Edition is Here!

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It may be a short month, but SRQ has a long list of great reads for you in our February 2020 Business Edition. Warm up your winter taste buds with some Latin heat or Cajun spice with a trip to El Melvin Cocina Mexicana and Shiny Gumbo Food Truck. Next, kick your winter blues by shopping for all things Classic Blue inspired by Pantone’s color of the year. Learn about local angel investors and young entrepreneurs further adding to Sarasota’s vibrant portfolio of businesses. Better yet, take a trip around the globe with the international cast of characters featured in this issue: a Venice based sculptor from Hungary, an Israeli DJ staging pop-up concerts around town, a fashionable French duo with a new concept store or lastly, a Sarasota native relocated to Australia to get lost in the outback. #LIVELOCAL #LOVELOCAL



  • Winds of Change: Six young millenial locals are looking to define the experience of this future and undoubtedly shape our hometown in the years and decades to come.
  • Calling All Angels: On the shores of retiree-rich Sarasota, there’s a particular interest in turning retirees with thick investment portfolios into funders and angels for bright business ideas originated here.
  • Forum 2040 The Future Vision for Philanthropy and the Arts: Donors and community leaders gave us a rather uncommon and unique perspective, and it was clear that they were glad to have an opportunity to share their accumulated wisdom
  • SunCoast Blood Bank: Cultivating a younger and broader generation of active donors.
  • Tribute to Business Leadership in the Region:  SRQ Media pays tribute to our community’s visionary local businesses and the people behind them.

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

  • Let the BeatDrop: SRQ-BEATSproduction company wants to connect the city to sound.
  • Who Rule the World?: The only museum in the world dedicated solely to women in sports is due to make its mark in Sarasota
  • Family Recipe: Shiny Gumbomakes Louisiana cuisine a Florida family affair. 
  • Modern Explorer: SRQ goes out on a limb with the female Indiana jones of our time.
  • The Course of the Heart: Paul Caragiuloon Sarasota, sincerity and public policy.

CULTURE CITY: Arts + Culture, Performing and Visual Arts, Portfolio, In Studio, Art-sheet

  • NewDigs: Sarasota’s Westcoast Black Theatre Troupereturns with a stellar new space and 20th-anniversary season.
  • A Match Made in Theater: Florida Studio Theatre presents Handle With Care,” a charming rom-com with an even more charming backstory.
  • A Giant’s Shoulders: Four decorated illustrators and cartoonists dish on the art and legacy of Jack Davis.
  • Prometheus Rising: In a nondescript garage in Venice, sculptor Geza Gasparre builds what he left behind.

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

  • Siesta Stunner: A 3,200-square-foot new residence on Siesta Key is the contemporary work of Tampa’s Traction Architectureand a “forever home” for Domingo and Karin Galliano.
  • Classic Blue: Pantone Color of the Year: Classic Blue is reminiscent of the sky at dusk or a sapphire gemstone.
  • A La Mode: Trendsetters, jet-setters and gal pals from France bring high fashion stateside with the MOI Concept Store.
  • Cut From the Same Cloth: A couple of eco-minded craft carpenters form JL Productions Custom Woodcrafts.

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

  • Make It Melt MelvinHeating up the streets of Downtown Sarasota is El Melvin Cocina Mexicana.
  • Affogato Bout It: From scoop to shot, the best local spots to grab the creamy coffee Italian treat affogato.

AGENDA: Insight on Politics, Government and Business 

  • Grip on theGavel: Senate President Bill Galvano has one more legislative session, and he wants the Bradenton area to feel the benefit.


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

-The SRQ team 


January BrandStory: ASID Florida West Coast Chapter

Have you read the January 2020 SRQ BrandStory featuring the Florida West Coast Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers? Available to view and download online, the the ASID BrandStory delves into the benefits of membership and engagement, as well as important legislative updates and exclusive SRQ coverage of the 2019 Weekender Conference and Design & Awards Dinner.

Covering a bandwidth spanning from Tampa to Naples, Florida, learn what makes this passionate group of local creatives a powerhouse in the world of design. 

Click Here to Read the January ASID BrandStory