Tag Archives: Wes Roberts

SB2: What We Learned About Retirement, Our Aging Community and Workateering

Panelists with Moderator Wes Roberts. From L to R: Kelly Caldwell, Erin McLeod, Wes Roberts, Kathy Black, Robert Karnick, Aubrey Lynch and Tim Hearon.

Panelists with Moderator Wes Roberts. From L to R: Kelly Caldwell, Erin McLeod, Wes Roberts, Kathy Black, Robert Karnick, Aubrey Lynch and Tim Hearon. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

At SB2 last week, a crowd gathered early to get an answer to a big question: is retirement still retirement? We, too, were curious. In fact, we were so curious that we assembled some of the most knowledgeable people we know in their respective fields to get their perspective. We had a lot of ground to cover – from financial and estate planning to employment opportunities for the aging, life expectancies and even universal design. But with the help of our esteemed panelists, we got some answers and feel better prepared to navigate the road ahead.

Aubrey Lynch of CS&L CPAs served as the opening presenter. Specializing in estate planning, Aubrey provided the perfect introduction for the symposium. Florida is an attractive state for relocation – and retirees in particular, due to the state’s friendly tax environment. In serving families that have lost a loved one, or a surviving spouse, Aubrey reminded those in attendance that when planning for the future proper communication is the most valuable preparation anyone can provide.

Panelist Robert Karnick answers a question during the panel discussion.

Panelist Robert Karnick answers a question during the panel discussion. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

Of all the ground our panelists covered, the most important ideas for our region can be boiled down to this:

1. If you can, work longer.

  • People are living longer. It’s a fact. And the longer we live, the more expenses we incur. If the age of retirement remains constant at 65 without taking into account the increasing life expectancy, retirees could find themselves in unexpected financial hardship. Kelly Caldwell of Caldwell Trust Company recommends an exercise in expectation in order to plan realistically. “First, you need to determine what is your desired quality of life.” Meeting with a planning professional can help you set attainable goals for the future and can bring perspective to your planning. “If you can, work longer. If you can work part-time in retirement, you should.”
  • Echoing that sentiment, Kathy Black, Ph.D Professor of Social Work and Gerontology, University of South Florida at Sarasota/Manatee shared news from a recent study. “Work as long as you can. Save as long as you can.”
  • Programs and organizations like Boomerswork, operated by panelist Tim Hearon are working to change the way employers think about hiring boomers. “Our mission is to help employers think in a different paradigm by embracing hourly, monthly an even flexible payment scenarios.” 

2. As you age, utilize the resources available to maintain a high quality of life. 

  • With the rapid advancements in technology, we can expect that new and emerging products will make daily life much more accommodating for the aging. Robert Karnick of ROBRADY Designs clued us in on what we can expect. “With home heath care, we will see a convergence of medical devices and consumer products.” The takeaway here is that it will become increasingly easier for individuals to take responsibility of their health with the introduction of new technology. We were particularly interested in his mention of consumer products that would assist in monitoring the health and wellness of the elderly-transforming the role of the caretaker. “These technologies would give you peace of mind as we care for aging parents.”
  • Take advantage of programming that will keep you engaged, social and involved. Erin McLeod of The Friendship Centers touched on the importance of caring for seniors on both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. “The Rubin Center for Healthy Aging serves low income seniors over the age of 50. Serving them are retired doctors and health care professionals. In the parking lot is everything from bicycles to Lexuses.” Erin also introduced us to a new word, “workateering” – she has met many senior volunteers throughout the years with storied careers that need an outlet. They are committed to keeping themselves sharp and active by working or volunteering in their field for a small amount of pay.

3. Have a plan.

  • Though it may be uncomfortable, make your wishes known. It is never too early. All too often, surviving family members spend the time immediately following the death of a loved one engaged in a legal battle over assets. “Get your plans done so that the legacy you leave is not that your kids don’t speak to each other” says Kelly Caldwell.
  • Communicate” says Aubrey Lynch. Surviving spouses are left in a precarious situation and can feel helpless. Sometimes it is an uncomfortable situation to have, but it is important to think about.”

4. Get ready, we’re about to be front and center. 

  • It is no secret that we live in the midst of an aging population. According to Erin McLeod, 40% of our local population is over the age of 60. And since the entire population of the US is aging, all eyes will be on our area to see care for and accommodate a large elderly population. Her advice, “start cultivating best practices now. We have 125,000 seniors in our community and only 5,000 nursing home beds.” Tim Hearon of Boomerswork acknowledges the situation ahead of us when it comes to the way we are preparing for high amounts of caregiving, “We should be the flagship for the whole country.”
Members of the audience listen to the panel discussion.

Members of the audience listen to the panel discussion. Photo Credit: Evan Sigmund

The bottom line is that there are an incredible amount of resources in our community for the elderly and aging to get involved, to work, to volunteer and to effectively plan for the road ahead.

Special thanks to CS&L CPAs for sponsoring this event and recognizing the importance of this topic in our community. To view photos of the event, click here.

Let it Snow: Celebrating the Holidays with the SRQ Team at The Studios

Left to right: Christina M. de Guia, SRQ President & Editor in Chief Lisl Liang, Julie Henry of The Pulse Team. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

Holiday crooners, a delicious spread of hors d’oeurves and bubbly libations greeted the guests of our 2014 SRQ Media “Let it Snow” holiday party on Thursday, December 11. The warm fire at the door welcomed everyone entering the SRQ Studios for our annual celebration! Each year, the SRQ team relishes spending the evening with business owners and individuals who make “living local” in Sarasota and Bradenton a reality.

SRQ Media Group hosted the "Let it Snow" Client Holiday Party on December 11, 2014 at the SRQ Studios. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

SRQ Media Group hosted the “Let it Snow” Client Holiday Party on December 11, 2014 at the SRQ Studios. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

The sound of laughter filled the party as guests enjoyed the photo booth and mingled. Michael’s on East catered the event with beautiful platters of the most delicious holiday fare! Guests enjoyed skewers of Malaysian beef satay, the most enticing shrimp provençal we’ve ever seen, warm Key West conch fritters served with Thai chili sauce, artfully assembled grilled endive bites stuffed with Cabrales cheese and pear (wrapped in Serrano ham!), grilled beef rolls with scallions and soy sauce, delicate steamed vegetable shumai – and the crowd favorite, mini New England lobster rolls.

Guests enjoyed delicious bites from Michael's on East. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

Guests enjoyed delicious bites from Michael’s on East. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

Stephen Fancher and Bart Lowther, financial advisors of MLC & Associates delighted the party with a selection of classic holiday tunes and a few crowd favorites (they had us at Michael Bublé, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and John Legend). Don’t let their profession fool you – their music was magical. A selection of red and white wine and champagne, provided by Bijou Café was served alongside a variety of beers and the signature “Let it Snow” cocktail made with Siesta Key Rum. As the celebration carried on, our guests congregated in our favorite place at SRQ Studios—the kitchen.

Stephen Fancher and Bart Lowther of MLC & Associates entertained guests. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

Stephen Fancher and Bart Lowther of MLC & Associates entertained guests. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

Before the evening drew to a close, guests indulged in handmade gingerbread men from Sift Bakehouse and the most delicious mini treats from Heavenly Cupcakes.

West Roberts, Executive Publisher and Owner of SRQ Media Group shares his sentiments about the annual holiday gathering, “The SRQ Holiday party is always wonderful–we are proud to have clients that are wonderful friends as well. Our holiday parties always feel more like a happy family reunion and it’s great to see everyone connecting and socializing. The SRQ staff also did an incredible job of running around like a pack of happy holiday elves and transforming the SRQ Studio into a beautiful holiday wonderland.”

To view photos from the event, click here.  

Daniel Jittu, _____ and _______ pose for a photo at the SRQ "Let it Snow" Holiday Party. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

Daniel Jittu and Mikael and Karen Hansen of Copenhagen Imports pose for a photo at the SRQ “Let it Snow” Holiday Party. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund.

On behalf of the SRQ Media Team, happy holidays to our all of our partners, clients and dear friends. Thank you for commitment to our community and the ways you make it so very special.

If you are interested in hosting an event at the SRQ Media studio space for a holiday party, client function or board retreat, let us know! We would love to have you. Contact Mary Darby Guidroz at 941-365-7702 x221 (marydarby.guidroz@srqmediagroup.com) to place your reservation for 2015.

SB2: What We Learned About Attracting Tomorrow’s Donors

December SB2 Panelists. From left to right: Jeff Troiano, Julie Lyman, Jay Clarkson, Veronica Brady, Bob Blalock and SRQ Executive Publisher Wes Roberts.

December SB2 Panelists. From left to right: Jeff Troiano, Julie Lyman, Jay Clarkson, Veronica Brady, Bob Blalock and SRQ Executive Publisher Wes Roberts. Photo credit: Jessica McKnight

Philanthropy is a topic that is often discussed at our monthly SB2 Symposiums – and based upon participation, there’s a reason why! Monday’s sold out audience was treated to a panel discussion of the highest caliber.  SB2: Business of Philanthropy shared the challenges of critical planning that face non-profits in our region with insights from two community foundations and experts representing donors through financial and estate planning.

Mike McMullan of event sponsor Seaside Bank opened the discussion with a defining statement about charitable giving, “Philanthropy is about kindness, consideration and keeping an eye out for what will make a difference in the community.” Our previous SB2 events have focused on charitable giving and the organizations in our area that support worthy causes. Monday’s SB2 explored giving from the philanthropist’s perspective and what non-profits will need to do to continue to retain and develop their donor base.

The December SB2 audience listens to the panel discussion on philanthropy.

The December SB2 audience listens to the panel discussion on philanthropy. Photo Credit: Jessica McKnight

1. Recent challenges for non-profits and foundations:

  • Veronica Brady from The Gulf Coast Community Foundation says. “After the Great Recession, we had to stimulate people to feel comfortable giving again. We wanted to make philanthropy available to everyone. Not everybody can give money, but involving them with a cause is just as critical.”
  • The geographic location of the Sarasota and Bradenton area lends itself to part-time residents and individuals relocating to our community. With a potential donor base that resides and gives in another region, there is an untapped potential of donors that need to be reached with our organization’s messaging and missions. “People like to give their dollars where they spend their time,” says Jeff Troiano of Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen.
Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs answers a question as Julie Lyman of The Community Foundation of Sarasota listens in.

Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs answers a question as Julie Lyman of The Community Foundation of Sarasota listens in. Photo Credit: Jessica McKnight

2. What are donors looking for?

  • All of our panelists agreed on one element: transparency is king. “Donors used to write a check to give. Now donors are more of investors than donors. They want a sense of transparency and want to know where the funds are going once they donate,” says Julie Lyman of Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
  • Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs was asked about the financial statements of non-profits. “Generally, donors are looking for organizations where 85% of the budget goes to programming, leaving 15% to overhead and support services. But every organization is different and the financial breakdown depends on the year and many other factors.” Clarkson also added “measuring the outcome of programs and investments is also key. Sharing that information with donors is important.”
  • About donor trust, Julie Lyman of The Community Foundation of Sarasota says, “The role of the Community Foundation is to perform necessary due diligence to be sure that the donated funds go to the right place. We provide protection to our donors so that they don’t have to worry.”
Moderator and SRQ Magazine Executive Publisher Wes Roberts leads the panel discussion.

Moderator and SRQ Magazine Executive Publisher Wes Roberts leads the panel discussion. Photo Credit: Jessica McKnight

3. Knowledge is power.

  • When family foundations make plans to give to worthy organizations, it is easy for the more established organizations to take the lions share. According to Bob Blalock’s of Blalock Walters P.A., “with some large estates, their giving choice goes to what they know. Some smaller non-profit organizations end up getting overlooked for that reason. It is important to find out from the foundation what the end goal of donating the money is.”
  • Veronica Brady also talked about the donor’s motive. “Non-profits are all about listening—listening to the donor and not being afraid to ask questions. Sometimes donors that we expect to understand the most effective ways of giving really don’t. It is our job to ask questions, make suggestions and to think a little differently.”

If Monday’s SB2 could be summed up in one quote, it would be from Veronica Brady,  “When it comes to giving, follow what makes your heart sing.”  We couldn’t agree with that statement more. The business of giving is not always clear or easy—but it is always important.

Special thanks to our sponsors for their support in bringing this and other important topics to the forefront of our community: Event Sponsor Seaside Bank, Bradenton Series Sponsor IMG Academy and Sarasota Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs.

Representatives from Seaside Bank, the December SB2 event sponsor.

Representatives from and guests of Seaside Bank, the December SB2 event sponsor. Photo Credit: Jessica McKnight

To view photos from the December SB2, click here. Don’t miss out on next month’s Sarasota symposium on January 22nd SB2: Boomers and Caregivers-The New Retirement, visit www.srqsb2.com to purchase your tickets today!

What We Learned from SB2: Sarasota and Bradenton are Connected to the World

From left to right: Moderator & SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts, Dave Sanford, Rick Piccolo

From left to right: Moderator & SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts, Dave Sanford, Rick Piccolo

We have a confession to make: we love the monthly SB2 Symposiums as much as our loyal attendees do. Today was no exception. Rick Piccolo, President & CEO of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and Dave Sanford, Deputy Executive Director of Port Manatee captivated the audience (and even our moderator, Wes Roberts) with insights of these valuable resources to our region.

Today’s topic, Connecting to the World, welcomed a rare peek-behind-the-curtain on operation of the airport and port for many in attendance. Learning how the airport prepares for a potential crisis and the process required of the port when receiving shipments was a thrill. Particularly notable was the comparison of the airport and port as isolated municipalities. Complete with law enforcement, transportation and a governing body, both entities are comprised of a multitude of moving parts and provide a host of employment opportunities for local citizens.

Going beyond the infrastructure of both entities, Mr. Piccolo and Mr. Sanford shared a great deal about their vision of the airport and port – and referenced upcoming changes in each sector that could affect the Sarasota and Bradenton area operations. An upcoming expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015 presents a pivotal change for ports nationwide. Preparing now to accommodate an influx of shipments is in Port Manatee’s interest.

Representatives from event sponsor, Blalock Walters, P.A. Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund

Representatives from event sponsor, Blalock Walters, P.A.
Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund

Mr. Piccolo noted that a surprising 12% of all passengers welcomed into the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport are traveling from another country. Maintaining a standard of excellence while meeting standard regulations is of the utmost importance. In reflection of the event, Mr. Piccolo said, “I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the airport’s structure, financial condition and place in the global economy. The audience was fully engaged and it was a great opportunity to discuss current issues in aviation from Ebola, to security and the overall travel experience.”

Although we are not surprised, both Mr. Piccolo and Mr. Sanford noted that a high level of customer service is what sets the airport and port apart when it comes to competition. Wes Roberts, moderator of the symposium said, “when traveling into the SRQ Airport after having multiple connections, you get the feeling that you’ve just stepped into a warm hug.” Port Manatee also prides itself in the manner they do business. When working with a potential client of Port Manatee, Mr. Sanford said, “since tariffs are set by an area standard, what sets us apart is they way we do business.”

From left to right: Moderator Wes Roberts, panelists Dave Sanford and Rick Piccolo Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund

From left to right: Moderator Wes Roberts, panelists Dave Sanford and Rick Piccolo
Photo Credit: Senior Photographer Evan Sigmund

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to today’s panelists and to Blalock Walters, P.A. the October event sponsor, and IMG Academy, the SB2 Bradenton series sponsor.

For photos from the event, visit www.clicksrq.com/SRQEvents.

Don’t miss the next SB2 on November 20, 2014 at 7:30-9am on International Travel Tourism & Business, at The Francis in Downtown Sarasota. For event details and tickets, visit www.srqsb2.com.

SRQ Hosts SB2: Regional Philanthropy

julypanelistsOn Thursday, July 17, SRQ |The Magazine hosted a panel discussion on the philanthropic dynamics of the community. This gathering of top regional leaders throughout Sarasota and Manatee County generated synergies on efforts both counties are making to support non-profit organizations in the region. During the discussion at The Francis, panelists shared their insight on a substantial mix of topics, including methods of funding, donor demographics, and where the community’s philanthropic efforts are headed. Michael McMullan, President of Seaside Bank was the opening presenter, while Wes Roberts, Executive Publisher, Owner of SRQ Magazine moderated the discussion as the audience received a collaborative mix of perspectives from panelists John Annis, Vice President of Community Investment, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Veronica Brady, Senior Vice President for Philanthropy, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sandra Frank, Chief Executive Officer, All Faiths Food Bank Foundation, and Bob Rosinsky, President and CEO of Goodwill Manasota.

Panelist John Annis said, “Congratulations to Wes and SRQ SB2 for another packed house and thanks to the event sponsor, Seaside National Bank and Trust!  It was an honor to serve as a panelist with my friends Sandra, Veronica and Bob. Great questions from Wes and the audience – I hope our responses were helpful. We are lucky to live in such a giving and caring community and to have such great partners to work with.”

Fellow contributor Bob Rosinsky commented, “The SRQ SB2 symposium on philanthropy this Thursday was illuminating and educational. It gave me hope that our community is moving towards collaboration to enhance services and maximize resources.”

Click to download the SRQ SB2 Regional Philanthropy SB2 Transcript

The next event in the 2014-15 series of symposiums, Education: Private and Public Challenges in Partnership with the Business Community, takes place on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at IMG Academy Golf Club (11:30am-1pm). Tickets are $35/person and available online at SRQSB2.COM (ticket price includes a plated lunch).

SRQ SB2 is sponsored by CS&L CPAs and IMG Academy. For sponsorship opportunities contact Ashley Grant at 941-780-2008 x204 or Ashley.Grant@srqmediagroup.com. We look forward to seeing you there!281919_744525018927041_8200142783818277883_n

SRQ hosts SB2: Political Landscape at IMG Academy

SB2 June 18 Politics Panelists and Wes

On Wednesday, June 18, SRQ Magazine hosted a panel discussion on trends in politics and policy in the region. This gathering of top political leaders throughout Sarasota and Manatee County generated synergies on efforts both counties are making to support and even enhance regional policies. During the discussion at IMG Academy, panelists shared their insight on a substantial mix of topics, including current voting methods, ways to mobilize voters, particularly minority voters, and the future of politics in our region. Wes Roberts, Executive Publisher, Owner of SRQ Magazine moderated the discussion as audience received a collaborative mix of perspectives from panelists Mike Bennett, Manatee Supervisor of Elections, Patricia Benson, Chair of the Manatee Democratic Party, Robin DiSabatino, Manatee County Commissioner, Joe Gruters, Chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota, and Charles Hines, Chair of the Sarasota County Commission.

Panelist Charles Hines Said, “Events like this are beneficial for the public and its elected officials in that they provide a forum to openly discuss the various issues that are pending in our community. This open dialogue allows all parties to become better informed and thus can make more balanced decisions for our community.”

Fellow contributor Mike Bennett commented, “This type of forum is great for the community.  Too many times our citizens only get to learn about our community from general media, which will always be somewhat prejudiced by the author no matter how hard they try to be unbiased. Panel discussions are more informative because the audience can ask a question and receive a direct answer.  And direct answers are what is desired from our community leaders.”

SRQ Magazine hosts monthly SB2 symposiums, alternating the location each month between Sarasota and Bradenton. The next event in the 2014-15 series of symposiums, SB2: Regional Philanthropy, takes place in Sarasota at The Francis on Thursday, July 17, 2014, from 7:30am-9am. Tickets are $35/person and available online at SRQSB2.com (ticket price includes breakfast buffet). For sponsorship opportunities contact Ashley Grant at 941-780-2008 x204 or Ashley.Grant@srqmediagroup.com.

sb2 june

Panelists Announced for July 17 SB2 on Philanthropy at The Francis

SRQ Media is pleased to announce the panelists for our next SRQ Magazine SB2 event on Thursday, July 17, from 7:30am-9:00am at The Francis in Sarasota. Join leaders in the regional giving and giving back industries, John Annis, Vice President of Community Investment, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Veronica Brady, Senior Vice President for Philanthropy, Gulf Coast Community, Sandra Frank, Chief Executive Officer, All Faiths Food Bank Foundation, and Bob Rosinsky, President and CEO of Goodwill Manasota for a dynamic panel discussion with as they share their insight on the philanthropic dynamics of the community, resource development to meet new needs and trends in the non-profit sector.

Tickets are $35/person and available online at SRQSB2.com (ticket price includes breakfast buffet). For sponsorship opportunities contact Ashley Grant at 941-780-2008 x204 or Ashley.Grant@srqmediagroup.com. We look forward to seeing you there!

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