Category Archives: Women in Business

Follow the Women in Business initiatives — mentorship, private networking and community engagement.

Reserve Your Tickets 2017 Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon, April 27

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SRQ Magazine will host the third annual Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at The Francis in downtown Sarasota. We will recognize this year’s Women in Business nominees, our judges, keynote speaker, past Leadership Circle ambassadors and the “Hear Me Roar” Trailblazer Award recipient and announce the finalists and winners who will be inducted into this year’s esteemed 2017 WIB Leadership Circle.

To purchase your tickets to the SRQ Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon and for more details on the program, visit SRQHEARMEROAR.COM.

An Empowering Evening of Connection and Collaboration at SRQ SkillSHARE, February 9

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The February 9, 2017 class of SkillSHARE mentors and participants. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

The SRQ Media Studio hosted a powerhouse group of women from a variety of professions and backgrounds at the February 9 SkillSHARE Mentorship Summit. Women in Business Leadership Circle mentors along with community guest mentors exchanged experience-based guidance with participants in moving rounds of deep dive engagement and dialogue.

“SRQ Magazine was thrilled to host another incredible evening of connection, brainstorming and mentorship at the recent SkillSHARE. Filled with highly engaged professional women from a myriad of fields, the night was filled with connection, valuable insights and a wealth of ‘Aha moments,'” said Ashley Grant, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for SRQ MEDIA.

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Strategically paired with highly experienced mentors, participants sought counsel on everything from navigating various career paths and business expansion to maintaining a business and work life balance with four rounds of 15-minute concentrated mini-sessions designed to pick up where the small talk ends.

“As a young professional, I realize that the true benefit of mentorship is the opportunity to challenge your worldview and define what you want from your career and life. To be able to speak with and gain insight from a network of strong female leaders is a lifetime opportunity,” said SkillSHARE mentee Michelle Williams.

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We couldn’t help but notice a spark in the room, which was undoubtedly the spirit of connection, collaboration and empowerment. Mentors and mentees alike so delighted in learning and engaging with each other that time was extended during each session to allow for more in-depth and insightful conversations.

“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,” said SkillSHARE guest mentor Julie Henry. 

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“SRQ Skillshare was a unique night of connecting. The speed element of multiple mentees/mentors kept it fun and fast paced.  As a mentor, it not only felt good to give back, but some of the connections were great for me and exposed me to businesses in the area that I was not yet familiar. SRQ is excellent in finding fun ways to invest in the community,” said mentor Elizabeth Fisher of Selah Freedom

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The SRQ MEDIA team would like to thank the extraordinary mentors and passionate participants who created innovative conversations and lasting impressions. Your questions were as thought provoking as they were courageous.

The next SkillSHARE Summit will take place on Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 5:00 pm-7:30 pm. To submit your application to participate in the June 2017 SkillSHARE, please click here to register .

If you would like to learn more and get engaged with the SRQ Women in Business initiative, consider joining us for the 3rd Annual Hear Me Roar Awards and Leadership Luncheon on Thursday, April 27 from 10:30 am-1:30 pm at The Francis. We’ve got an amazing guest Keynote Speaker and Trailblazer Award winner. Get the details and purchase your tickets at SRQHEARMEROAR.COM before they sell out!

Click here for more photos from the February 2017 summit!

Register for SkillSHARE-An Evening of Speed Mentoring; Thursday, October 20th, 5pm

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There is still time to register for SRQ SkillSHARE speed mentorship and networking summit on Thursday, October 20 at 5:00 pm at SRQ Studios! Powered by the SRQ Women in Business Initiative, SkillSHARE is the basics of mentorship concentrated into mini-sessions that encourage honest interactions and allow for spontaneous connection. This event is a way to meet like-minded professionals, make valuable connections and get straight to your most burning questions about career and personal development. Opportunities to gain mentorship and advice from some of Sarasota and Bradenton’s most notable women don’t arise every day. If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should register, here a few more reasons why SRQ SkillSHARE is a can’t miss event. 

1. This is mentorship, at the speed of life! Each one of the 24 selected participants will be paired with our distinguished mentors hand picked to answer their questions in a 10-12 minute mini session. These sessions are unstructured, allowing for an easy flow of conversation, guidance and direction from each mentor. Us women thrive in a fast-paced environment, so we think mentorship shouldn’t be any different. If you are trying to find time to squeeze in professional development but it somehow always gets banished to the bottom of your list, this event is for you. You can get straight to your most earnest questions about career development without devoting a standing monthly lunch to personal growth.

2. It’s all about who you know. Not only will you learn from our panel of talented women from the SRQ Women in Business Leadership Circle, you will also have a chance to make valuable connections with like-minded professionals. Bring extra business cards for networking, as you never know who may help with your next career advancement opportunity.

3. You’ll learn from the best of the best. All of our panelists are truly remarkable women; as winners and finalists of our annual SRQ Women in Business competition, each mentor inspires us to be the best that we can be. Not only are they each outstanding in their respective fields, but they believe in the power of investing in other women. Make sure to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to learn from their experience and to gain valuable business connections.

Applications are accepted through Friday, October 7, 2016! To apply, click here. 

We hope to see you on October 20, for an evening of mentorship, networking and unforgettable conversation!

The Women in Business Leadership Circle Rock Another SkillSHARE!

The SRQ Media Studios buzzed with excitement as we hosted the second SkillSHARE Mentorship Summit this past week where mentors from the Women in Business Leadership Circle and community guest mentors collaborated and exchanged insight and guidance that inspire personal and professional growth with women throughout the Sarasota and Bradenton communities

04Above: Dr Cynthia Clark, Gabriele Vest and Lisette Callejas.

The room was filled with eager participants ready to learn and skilled mentors prepared to share their own experiences on the specific topics of challenge submitted by the participants in advance. During four rounds of 20-minute concentrated mini-sessions, the SRQ team paired experienced mentors with participants looking for direction on everything from navigating the ladder to success and managing corporate growth to starting a business and work life balance. Both mentors and participants embraced the atmosphere of candor and support by sharing their thoughts on overcoming obstacles in their professional careers. The conference room transformed into a Reflection Lounge where individuals could mingle, engage in ice-breakers and reflect on the ideas and feedback they received.

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Above: The June 16 class of SkillSHARE Summit mentors and participants.

The atmosphere was casual, intimate and filled with laughter and illuminating insights. Mentors and mentees alike shared their delight in learning from each other and the conversations were so engaging that time was extended for this second session to allow for more in-depth exploration. “I hope that my sessions brought light to some of the questions that my mentees had.  Each one inspired me and gave me plenty of ‘AHA’ moments,” said mentor and Women in Business Leadership Circle Class of 2016 ambassador Katie Moulton.

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Above: Leadership Circle Ambassador and Mentor Joy Randels and a SkillSHARE participant.

The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. “My goal for the evening was simple: Surround myself with forward thinking women committed to having an impact.  This was easily attained. I thank you and your team at SRQ Magazine for bringing SkillSHARE to life. The great group of Mentors assembled who willingly gave of their time and talent to offer insight, advice and counsel was very impressive.”  April Speck-Ewer says, “I really enjoyed the evening and applaud your vision for SRQ. I’ve never seen a magazine partner with a community the way SRQ does!”

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Above: Leadership Circle Ambassador and Mentor Katie Moulton, guest mentor Lisa Krouse and a SkillSHARE participant.

“The enthusiasm at the event was palpable,” shared participant Frances Bermudez. “It was energizing and inspiring to be in the company of such varied, creative and dynamic women who are not only developing themselves, but the community we live in as well.  It was fun.  It was fast.  It was fabulous!”

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The SRQ Media team would like to thank the extraordinary mentors at the event who created innovative conversations and lasting impressions. To all our enthusiastic participants we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey as you continue to learn and grow throughout the community.

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The next SkillSHARE Summit will take place on Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 5-7:30pm. To submit your application to participate in the Oct 20 SkillSHARE, please click here to register online or visit us at SRQMAG.COM/skillshare.

Click here for more information on the SRQ Women in Business Initiatives or visit us online at srqhearmeroar.com.

Click here for more photos from the June 16 summit!

Feel the Roar! Women in Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon, April 21

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The “roar” from the April 21st “Hear Me Roar” Women in Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon produced by SRQ Media thundered all the way from North Port to Palmetto as this year’s winners and finalists were announced at a sold-out lunch at The Francis in Downtown Sarasota.

Kicked off by Keynote Speaker entrepreneur and Silicon Valley darling Anna Zornosa and founder of Ruby Ribbon, her message connected passion for the mission with the human perspective. “Passion can take many forms,” says Anna. “Ideally you can see the purpose of the work that you do and stay anchored to the joy around that purpose. But there’s also the passion for the team.”

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Anna harnessed the “unbridled potential” of creating something new in an empty space with the launch of Ruby Ribbon in 2011. Tapping into the $1 billion shapewear market, Ruby Ribbon empowers women to engage the importance of comfort and confidence in achieving success within their circles of influence. Her story was a great reminder of how ordinary observations can transform into the next big multi-million dollar idea.

Next, the Women in Business Initiative recognized this year’s recipient of the “Hear Me Roar” Trailblazer Award—author, philanthropist and former editor in chief of Travel+Leisure and Town & Country magazines Pamela Fiori. Her top 10 tips for success were one of the event’s most treasured take-aways.

“There were some girls who were born with fire in their tiny bellies; who knew at a young age what they wanted to be; and tenaciously followed a clear path to reach that goal,” she said in her acceptance speech. “I was not one of them. I wasn’t a trailblazer and I didn’t roar like a lion. I squeaked like a mouse.”

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Once the awards ceremony was underway, stellar women leaders from diverse regional industries were revealed by SRQ Media CEO and President Lisl Liang as she shared the 2016 WIB Judge’s finalist and winner selections. The judges this year hailed from Greenville and Charleston, SC, Chicago, OH and Tampa and Jacksonville, FL: Nancy Whitworth, Julia Forster, Jo Watson Hackle, Donna Orender, Kellee Johnson, Samantha Bond, Linda Simmons and Connie Smith. Thank you, judges, for spending weeks with this year’s applicants as they poured their hearts and minds out on personal challenges, how they defined success and the advice they’d give their younger selves.

And, announcing . . . this year’s winner and finalists!

Women in Business 2016 Leadership Circle

Lorrie Liang, COO, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, winner
Laurie Pike, Director of Sales and Marketing Florida Division, MPH Hotels, winner
AnneMarie Rizzo, The Law Place, winner
Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, winner
Dr. Sandra Stone, Regional Chancellor, University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, winner
Michelle Bianchi Pingel, Managing Director/CEO, The Players Theatre, finalist
Chief Bernadette DiPino, Chief of Police, Sarasota Police Department, finalist
Jonna Keller, Owner, First Security Investments of SWF, LLC, finalist
Katherine Moulton, President, Hospitality Advisory Services, finalist
Inda Mowett, Medical Director, The Aesthetic Wellness Center, finalist
Cynthia Peterson, Board Chair, Center for Architecture Sarasota, finalist
Jessica Rood, Director of Communications and Marketing, New College of Florida, finalist

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As if on cue, attendees began streaming into the Hear Me Roar Pop Up Boutique to view Jo Malone’s newest collection of fragrances for Saks Fifth Avenue, splashes of color from Lilly Pulitzer, nail art from Paint, one-of-a-kind goodies from Philosophy & Vines, samples from Ruby Ribbon and a sneak peak at the commemorative pin created by SRQ Media in collaboration with Michael Chokr and the Diamond Vault team to celebrate inductees into this year’s leadership circle.

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Each pin featured a roaring lioness holding a gem in her mouth: a diamond representing Leadership Circle winners and a ruby representing Leadership Circle finalists. The collaborative design was handcrafted and fabricated locally at Diamond Vault. Michael Chokr and the SRQ Team even surprised CEO and President Lisl Liang with a special pin featuring a yellow diamond—Executive Publisher wrestled the microphone away from her in the last few minutes for the luncheon to announce the special gift. The breathless Liang was lost for words!

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Ambassadors from the founding and 2015 Leadership Circles join the newest inductees as they begin their journey into the Women in Business Initiative mentorship programs for the coming year. Each inductee will have the opportunity to light fires within our community of women through both the SkillSHARE and SmartGIRL programs.

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A huge thank you to our sponsors who make our year-long investment in leadership and women so impactful: Seaside Bank, University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, The Resort at Longboat Key, CS&L CPAs, Sophie’s at Saks, CCAV, Gold Star Limousine and Muse. We couldn’t do it without you!

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For a complete list of this year’s 2016 Nominees and Leadership Circle, click here.

For ongoing events and programming, please check our website. And, you won’t want to miss seeing this year’s event photos. Stay tuned for more Women in Business stories as we enter our new 2016-17 season.

SOLD OUT Women in Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon, April 23

The 2015 SRQ Women in Business Leadership Circle. Not pictured: Stefanie Overturf and Kim Hopper. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

The 2015 SRQ Women in Business Leadership Circle. Not pictured: Stefanie Overturf and Kim Hopper. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Yesterday, SRQ | The Magazine hosted our first ever Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards luncheon to a sold-out audience at The Francis in downtown Sarasota. Originally planned as the awards ceremony for the 2015 Women in Business competition, the Hear Me Roar event boasted an inspiring keynote address from Pam van der Lee, Chief Marketing Officer for iMatchative in San Francisco and honored local fashion icon Adrienne Vittadini with the inaugural Women in Business Trailblazer Award.

SRQ was incredibly proud and honored to introduce new inductees to the 2015 Leadership Circle, comprised of the finalists and winners of this year’s Women in Business Competition. As each recipient was recognized, a quote or snippet of self-delivered advice (in the form of a letter written to their former selves) was projected, allowing each finalist and winner to be celebrated in a very personal way.

Meet the 2015 SRQ Women in Business Leadership Circle

  • Mary Dougherty-Slapp, Gulf Coast Builders Exchange; winner
  • Kameron Hodgens, The Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center; winner
  • Christine Johnson, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast; winner
  • Jo Ann Koontz, Koontz & Associates; winner
  • Denise Kowal, Avendia de Colores; winner
  • Elizabeth Melendez Fisher, Selah Freedom; finalist
  • Mary Forristall, Forristall Enterprises; finalist
  • Kim Hopper, Regions Bank; finalist
  • Tammy Kovar, Biological Tree Services; finalist
  • Stefanie Overturf, Overturf’s Floor & Fabric Care; finalist 
  • Sandra Rios, The Resort at Longboat Key Club; finalist
  • Gabriele Vest, Grapevine Communications; finalist

Upon arrival, luncheon guests sipped champagne and shopped wares from some of our favorite local retailers, including Diamond Vault, Philosophy & Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, Pecky, Paint Nail Bar and Saks Fifth Avenue. The program began on a high note with Pam van der Lee’s address. Ashley Grant, SRQ Vice President of Strategic Partnerships introduced Pam through her “road less traveled” path to success. Early in her career, Pam rejected the allure of Wall Street and took a job with a then-smaller company, Nickelodeon Studios, and as the company grew, became the head of marketing for Viacom. She made a segue into non-profit work and followed her passion into the unknown, “I believe that passion is the very best driver and the most reliable predictor of success,” said Pam. Throughout her address, luncheon guests were moved by her thoughtful honesty and a summation of her life that is familiar to many many women navigating their own road to success:

Pam van der Lee shares a keynote address at Hear Me Roar. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

Pam van der Lee shares a keynote address at Hear Me Roar. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

“My career path can resemble the freeways in LA. Confusing, circuitous, busy, sometimes terrifying and not terribly well marked. Moving from entertainment marketing to the world of non-profit, to a start up that straddles both finance and technology, I think most would agree that my path doesn’t follow the “a straight line is the shortest distance between two points” rule. But the one thing that has been clear in all of my choices is that passion has been my driver.” — Pam van der Lee

As her speech concluded, Pam charged all in attendance with a few challenges:

  1. Feel passionate about something that you do. Identify and engage in the activities, situations and/or environments that thrill you, that make you giddy or even a little scared.
  2. Surround yourself with people whom you admire and connect.
  3. Be fair and decent.
  4. Lead by example. Be the driver of your success and help others along the way through setting a good example, brining others to the table to participate in decision making and by valuing others.

Moved by Pam’s words, the luncheon warmly congratulated Adrienne Vittadini as the very first recipient of the SRQ Women in Business Trailblazer award. SRQ Media CEO and Editor in Chief Lisl Liang reflected on Adrienne’s longstanding and impressive career – turning a lifelong hobby into an impressive and celebrated international corporation. Accepting her award, Adrienne attributed a great deal of her success to reinventing herself. Taking risks, being adventurous and not being afraid are all actions she encouraged us take – and to take often.

Adrienne Vittadini accepts the Trailblazer award at SRQ Hear Me Roar luncheon. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

Adrienne Vittadini accepts the Trailblazer award at SRQ Hear Me Roar luncheon. Photo credit: Evan Sigmund

Sandra Rios accepts her finalist recognition by SRQ Magazine Publisher Wes Roberts. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Sandra Rios accepts her finalist recognition by SRQ Magazine Publisher Wes Roberts. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

We look forward to getting to know each of the winners and finalists and learning about their incredible and unique success stories in the coming year. SRQ Magazine would like to thank our incredible sponsors for their support of  the Women in Business initiative and the incredible nominees, finalists and winners: The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sophie’s, and The Resort at Longboat Key Club.

Hear Me Roar luncheon guests mingled and shopped in the Pop-Up Boutique prior to the awards ceremony. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Hear Me Roar luncheon guests mingled and shopped in the Pop-Up Boutique prior to the awards ceremony. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

To view a gallery of photos from the Hear Me Roar Luncheon, click here

Check out the Women in Business Special Awards Section in the May 2015 edition of SRQ, on newsstands and online next week. Stay tuned for announcements from the Women in Business mentorship initiative in the coming months.

SRQ Honors Adrienne Vittadini at Hear Me Roar Luncheon

Sarasota resident Adrienne Vittadini will be honored with the SRQ "Women in Business" Trailblazer award at the Hear Me Roar Luncheon on April 23, 2015.

Sarasota resident Adrienne Vittadini will be honored with the SRQ “Women in Business” Trailblazer Award at the Hear Me Roar Luncheon on April 23, 2015.

SRQ is thrilled to announce Adrienne Vittadini as the very first recipient of the SRQ “Women in Business” Trailblazer Award. The honor will be bestowed at the SRQ Hear Me Roar Luncheon on April 23, 2015 at The Francis.

Known for her amazing thirty-year career in fashion design, Adrienne embodies the spirit of the SRQ Women in Business program. With an entrepreneurial spirit she began her own fashion business, Adrienne Vittadini Inc., after years of design work in New York and Italy. For over three decades, Mrs. Vittadini curated a classic, stylish design aesthetic that seamlessly transitioned women from home to office to leisure with an air of smart sophistication.

Mrs. Vittadini is the recipient of countless prestigious fashion awards, including the Coty American Fashion Critics Award (1984), Albert Einstein Spirit of Achievement Award for Design and Business (1987), Metropolitan Home: The Design 100 Award (1992) and the Moore College of Art Visionary Woman Award in 2003. Currently, Mrs. Vittadini and her husband, Gianluigi, concentrate their efforts in developing luxury residential properties in Florida and the Italian Alps. She is a resident of Sarasota.

Luncheon guests will enjoy a keynote address from Pam van der Lee, Chief Marketing officer at iMATCHATIVE. Winners and finalists of the 2015 Women in Business competition will be announced and recognized at the luncheon. Hear Me Roar is sponsored by The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee with The Resort at Longboat Key Club.

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.srqhearmeroar.com – $55 per person; half tables, $250; and, full tables, $500.