Tag Archives: Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County

Wow! We Loved SkillSHARING Last Week

On Thursday, February 18th participants and mentors gathered for the very first SRQ SkillSHARE event.

On Thursday, February 18th participants and mentors gathered for the very first SRQ SkillSHARE event. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Last week, the team at SRQ Media experienced greatness in the form of SRQ SkillSHARE, our brand new speed mentor summit. If you know a little bit about our brand, you know that one of our biggest and most exciting programs is the Women in Business Initiative, which has grown from very humble roots into a multi-outlet platform that includes a competition, annual awards luncheon, private monthly gatherings of the WIB Leadership Circle and now SRQ SkillSHARE. We can’t contain our excitement about how the very first SkillSHARE played out.

“As a community catalyst, SRQMEDIA continues to break new ground in the art and science of local engagement,” says CEO and President Lisl Liang. “I love that SkillSHARE starts where small talk ends. We’re thrilled the SRQ Women in Business Initiative has created such a special place for dynamic women to take the deep dive! We invite you to SkillSHARE with us.”


Alicia King asks questions to Mary Dougherty-Slapp of Gulfcoast Builders Exchange and the SRQ Women in Business Leadership Circle. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

On Thursday, February 18th, an experienced panel of mentors (comprised of members of the Leadership Circle and two guests) showed up to SRQ Studios bearing questions from participants that were hungry for answers, guidance, suggestions and general knowledge on how to work, live and lead in Sarasota. A week before, we poured over applications and were genuinely moved by the heartfelt questions sent in by applicants. Those questions are exactly what we used to determine the right fit for each participant.

Event co-chairs Angela Massaro-Fain (left) and Sandra Rios of the SRQ Women in Business Leadership Circle. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Event co-chairs Angela Massaro-Fain (left) and Sandra Rios of the SRQ Women in Business Leadership Circle. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Upon arrival, mentors and participants received packets containing a schedule of mini-sessions and eagerly awaited the chance to meet. For five rounds of mini-sessions, participants asked their questions, got great advice and networked with likeminded professionals of all ages. The SRQ Studios conference room was transformed into an area for participant conversation in between rounds.

Mentor Gabriele Vest (left) with participants Brittany Guertin and Deva O'Donnell. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Mentor Gabriele Vest (left) with participants Brittany Guertin and Deva O’Donnell. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

We couldn’t help but notice a spark in the room, which was undoubtedly the spirit of connection, appreciation and witnessing growth in action. “This was by far the most efficient and effective networking event I’ve ever been to,” said Dr. Cynthia Clark of Longevity Wellness.

Dr. Cynthia absorbs great information from a mentor during the SRQ SkillSHARE mini-sessions. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Dr. Cynthia Clark absorbs great information from a mentor during the SRQ SkillSHARE mini-sessions. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Participant Barbara Shore made a comment that stuck with us. “I was glad to see that you are never too old or too young to learn from others.” As our participants represented a cross-section of the workforce, we were thrilled that our mentors were able to lead and guide young women early in their career pursuits, those looking to make major changes in their lives and even women envisioning life after retirement. From balancing busy careers and young families to tactics on making the most impact with a multi-generational workforce, the mentors shared their wisdom and advice on how to make it work and how to make the best of the current situation.

SRQ Media would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the incredible mentors at the event. Leadership Circle members Angela Massaro-Fain, Grapevine Communications and Sandra Rios of The Resort at Longboat Key Club served as co-chairs for SRQ SkillSHARE. If you’d like to learn more about the incredible women that offered their guidance, visit the SRQ Women in Business website.

Participants Kelly Davis Strausbaugh (left) and Gina White participated in SRQ SkillSHARE. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Participants Kelly Davis Strausbaugh (left) and Gina White participated in SRQ SkillSHARE. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

To all of our great participants, thanks for coming and letting us play a role in your growth and job experience. Your questions were as thought provoking as they were courageous. Thank you for making this great event happen through your enthusiasm. You officially inspired us.

Stay tuned for announcements of future SRQ SkillSHARE installments as this program grows. For a gallery of images from SRQ SkillSHARE, click here.

PS: If you want to learn more and get engaged with the SRQ Women in Business initiative, consider joining us for the 2nd Annual Hear Me Roar Awards and Leadership Luncheon! We’ve got an amazing guest Keynote Speaker and Trailblazer Award winner. Get the details and purchase your tickets at SRQHEARMEROAR.COM before they’re all sold out!


Get Excited: 2016 Home of the Year Will Be Amazing


Every March, we have a lot of fun preparing for one of the most beloved competitions, SRQ Home of the Year. As the submission period has officially closed, we’ve spent the last few weeks preparing packets for our talented judges. Though the team at SRQ doesn’t have a say in which incredible projects are dubbed finalists and winners, we can say with certainty that we were proud to send off these fine projects. As residents and representatives of this great region, SRQ | The Magazine recognizes the power of beautiful homes and talented architects, builders and designers. As cultivators of beauty, they have a major influence on the eclectic style and personality of our homes. Collectively, these residences add up and serve as a reflection of the style our region, defining the quality of life and appreciation for beauty that our community stands for. Through the annual Home of the Year competition, we love to inspire a love for home unlike any other.

This year, the Home of the Year competition will be judged by three highly talented, out of market architects.

Meet the Judges

  • Stephanie Gaines of Curts Gaines Hall Jones, Tampa
    Stephanie December Gaines joined Curts Gaines Hall Jones in 1984 and has been a principal of the firm since 1992. Prior to joining CGHJ, her professional experience included historic preservation of national landmark buildings, luxury custom residences, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-financed housing and state government agency projections in Louisiana. Gaines’ special interest in urban renewal and historic preservation has led to an extensive personal commitment to the preservation and revitalization of historic urban communities, as well as the design of historic adaptive reuse and new urban in-fill projects for mixed uses including retail, business, restaurant and residential.  She has a particular fondness for providing architectural services for single home owners because of the personal relationships fostered and the process of creating for the unique owners of the home.
  • Hugo Mijares of ONEDB Architecture, Miami
    Hugo Mijares established his Miami studio in 2007 and his Milan studio in 2012 to pursue a broad design practice. Mijares is a graduate of the UJMV in Caracas with a Masters Degree from the University of South Florida and post-professional studies at Harvard University. He holds a Florida Honors Fellowship and numerous design and architecture awards. Trained as an architect and industrial designer, he has sought to integrate client based design services with speculative making. Regardless of the project scope, scale or type, the studio is careful to develop the experiential as well as the programmatic requirements of a project, with a goal to produce work that transcends function and exceeds expectations, while considering the economical and environmental costs. Mijares has done projects for Technomarine, Max Mara, Alessi, Sonesta, W Resorts, Addison House and Kartell, just to name a few.
  • David Poorman of David Poorman Architect, Naples
    David is a “near” native of Florida who arrived here 1972. After receiving a Bachelor of Design at University of Florida, Poorman earned his Masters in Architecture from Princeton University. He lived for 10 years in Downtown Chicago, working and travelling for Perkins and Will and then for David Woodhouse Architects. A design project for an internationally-known Illinois arboretum convinced him that the Florida landscape was personally more inspiring, and he returned to his Florida roots in 2001. In 2010, Poorman established David Poorman Architect LLC, an award-winning firm specializing in small scale residential and commercial projects. His work continues to be inspired and informed by Florida’s natural resources and immemorial beauty.

Sponsored by Tempus Pro Services

The 2016 Home of the Year competition is sponsored by the innovative team at Tempus Pro Servicesa premier system integrator. Radically automating homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast, Tempus Pro Services specializes in making our homes as smart and safe as they are beautiful. Special thanks to Tempus Pro Services for their support of Home of the Year.

Be on the lookout for the Home of the Year edition of SRQ | The Magazine, on newsstands March 1, 2016.

SRQ Daily Introduces New Columnists!


At SRQ Magazine, our constant force in delivering the story of our region is always focused on one thing: the very best way to live local. Each day, SRQ Daily hits inboxes bright and early in the morning to wake up our readers to the issues facing our community, need-to-know information and a hearty helping of events taking place along the Gulf Coast. On Saturdays, we break our regularly scheduled programming to bring you important topics directly from the voice of community influencers. While the topics vary depending on the week, our guest columnists are a critical part of the SRQ Daily platform. Sometimes the best way to live local is to listen local. 

Beginning in August, we are introducing new columnists to our already impressive roster of local community leaders, including: Kevin Cooper, Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce; Susan Nilon, owner and general manager of WSRQ and host of The Nilon Report and Sarasota Tomorrow; the executive team at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Catherine Antunes, President of Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government and Vice president of Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations.

Meet the New Columnists:
  • Roxie Jerde: President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County
  • Donald O’Shea: President of New College of Florida
  • Carol Probstfeld: President of State College of Florida
  • Larry Thompson: President of Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Christine Robinson: Executive Director of The Argus Foundation
  • Tom Barwin: City of Sarasota, City Manager
  • Jim Shirley: Executive Director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
These new perspectives will join our existing panel of local columnists on a rotating basis. To receive your very own freshly-brewed SRQ Daily each morning, sign up at SRQMAG.COM. We can’t wait to hear what they have to say.