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How DIVERSITY HELPS YOU Outperform Your Competitors 45%

Firms with diversity are likelier to report growth in market share Gender diverse businesses outperform by



Racially and ethnically diverse businesses outperform by



LOCAL. NATIONAL. INVESTMENT ADVISORS MAIN STREET, SARASOTA, MAY BE OUR HOME BASE, BUT OUR CLIENTS ARE COAST TO COAST. With over 35 years of professional portfolio management experience, we deliver a highly disciplined, long-term investment approach to help you achieve your financial goals. We use our decades of experience, integrity and commitment to construct investment portfolios designed

to help our clients achieve their financial goals and achieve a meaningfully higher standard of living with the wherewithal for an enhanced retirement. Payment of our management fee is contingent on client’s complete satisfaction. Please call to schedule a no-obligation appointment with one of our portfolio managers.

Married for 54 happy years, our founders Jerry, and Fay Ellen Bainbridge, are proud of their beautiful family and the highly successful career as financial advisors that they have built together. Since they founded it in 1981, J.L. Bainbridge & Co. Inc. has focused on providing a service to clients that reduces risk and achieves a return in excess of the S&P 500. The company continues to grow, managing more than $600 million in assets.



ur investment philosophy focuses on growing client accounts using a time-tested discipline and investment criteria. While we have the same philosophy for every client's portion of assets devoted to a growth strategy, we build a portfolio for each individual client based on market conditions

and valuation of each individual company. We look for businesses with very little debt, excess cash flow, strong products or services with dominant market positions, and direct participation in a national and or world situation that creates a continuous longterm trend independent of the economy.

From left to right, Jennifer B. Chauvel, Jeanmarie Giambra, Fay E. Bainbridge, Joel G. Oldham, Jerry L. Bainbridge, John B. Leeming, CFPÂŽ, and Robyn E. Messer.

1582 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 365-3435 — (800) 899-5171


CEBS, CSFS, CHRP Market President


January / February 2017



Meet the people and businesses who champion diversity.

The 2017 Unity Awards


Steps to protecting your cyber-security.

26 44 50

How to create a diverse workplace and boost the bottom line.


Must-have insurance coverage for small business.

Rolling in Dough

Left: Barbara banks. right: Lori Sax

Stuff you need to know, from overlooked government incentives to business priorities for 2017.

Tech Tools

All Together Now

Dave Wood is hot to conquer the fast-cook pizza business. Check out our website, featuring new and archived articles, and sign up for our e-newsletter, BizDaily.





What I’ve Learned

After 66 years, furniture store owner Ed Kalin closes up shop.


Fast Track

Movers, shakers and headline makers.



Your handy business-event calendar.


The Seen

People and events in pictures.


Diversity Matters “We are not the other,” said Shiraz Hassan, one of our 2017 Unity Award winners, when I interviewed him about the Islamic Society of Sarasota Bradenton. As chair of the Islamic Society, Hassan wants us to understand that his members are part of our community as doctors, businesspeople, students and educators. For years, he and the ISSB have been educating community groups and welcoming non-Muslims to the mosque off Lockwood Ridge Road. He has an uphill battle. Hate and fear are part of the Zeitgeist today. And yet, Hassan and the other seven winners of our seventh annual Unity Awards are inspiring examples of individuals who work to create workplaces and a world that are less divided. They champion the poor, the physically and mentally challenged, immigrants and those of different cultural and racial backgrounds and bring them into the mainstream as productive citizens, workers and Americans. We are proud to have them in our community. Their work also has an economic reward. Study after study shows that when companies are filled with workers of different backgrounds, they are more innovative and more profitable. Read our cover story, “All Together Now,” for tips on how to give your company that competitive edge. It pays to get along.

Off the Clock

Health care management executive Tim Buery coaches youth rugby.


Mariash Lowther Wealth Management Brian J. Mariash Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Wealth Management Advisor 941.364.5678 ADVERTISING & Marketing

J. Barton Lowther Senior Financial Advisor Portfolio Advisor


Dan Starostecki



Debra Clark Maradiaga, Keith Magnuson, Sandy Moore

Merrill Lynch 1819 Main Street, Suite 1200 Sarasota, FL 34241



Sarah Beattie



Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer and Member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Investment products:

Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value

MANAGING EDITOR Ilene Denton SENIOR EDITOR Kay Kipling ASSOCIATE EDITORS Cooper Levey-Baker, Hannah Wallace WEB EDITOR Megan McDonald


© 2016 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. ARQGJ54V | AD-11-16-0322 | 470944PM-1215 | 11/2016


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ROME Co-chairs Beverly Bartner and Renée Hamad invite you to travel the world and experience the true meaning of friendship in many cultures. DEPARTURE DATE: DEPARTURE TIME: DEPARTURE GATE:

TICKETS: (Ads and sponsorships are available)

To book your seat, please call our agent, Cheryl Pilch, at 941.556.3205, or register online at


MARCH 12, 2017 5:30 PM Michael’s on the Bay 900 S. Palm Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236




FOUNDER EMERITUS Dan Denton CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Kevin Allen, Su Byron, Isaac Eger, David Hackett, Kim Hackett, Jackie Rogers, Anu Varma, Sylvia Whitman CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS & ARTISTS Barbara Banks, Salvatore Brancifort, Chad Spencer, Robert Castro, Alex Stafford, Lori Sax, Jenny Acheson, Everet Dennison, Evan Sigmund, Matthew Holler, Chris Lake, Gene Pollux, Fred Lopez, Victor Juhasz

330 S. Pineapple Ave., Suite 205 Sarasota, FL 34236 Phone: (941) 487-1100 Fax: (941) 365-7272 |


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Gulf Shore Media, LLC a wholly owned subsidiary of Sagacity Media, Inc. CEO & COFOUNDER Nicole Vogel vice president, content & cofounder





Norma Machado director, AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

Becca Hersh DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL OPERATIONS & DEVELOPMENT Dan Derozier CONTROLLER Simba Rusike Human resources manager

Bonnie Barcellos Director of Photography

Your business has a telephone number. Your customers want to text you at that number and have probably already tried.

Send and receive text messages using your existing land line. Let the pros at Textmaxx Pro text enable your business line so you can keep in touch with customers. Text “TMP” to 91096 and receive a FREE trial offer. | 866.367.6889


Stuart Mullenberg newsstand consultant

Holly Hughes Gulf Shore Media is a member of the City and Regional Magazine Association, Florida Magazine Association, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Manatee Chamber of Commerce and The St. Armands Circle Association. All contents of this magazine are copyrighted ©2017. Unsolicited photographs and manuscripts are welcome, but return cannot be guaranteed. Circulation audited by U.S. Postal Service. Advertisements in this publication do not constitute an offer for sale in states where prohibited or restricted by law. 941CEO adheres to American Society of Magazine Editors guidelines, which require a clear distinction between editorial content and paid advertising or marketing messages.


Be Advised. There is a Difference. Michael Saunders & Company is pleased to welcome Gail Bowden to the Commercial Division. Named one of Real Estate Forum’s 2016 Women of Influence Remarkable Career Sales Total of over $200 million Gail Bowden Knows…Success Sells

Gail Bowden

Senior Commercial Real Estate Advisor

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Business Checking

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People, companies and issues you need to know. 16 my latest craze // 18  Business class  //  22  The Big Question

Talk i n n o v at o r

Peter Nesbitt Baby Quasar harnesses medicinal light therapy for skincare. eter Nesbitt saw the light, and now he sells it, via his Sarasota-based Quasar Bio-Tech, a manufacturer of handheld, light-based skincare products. In 2004, Nesbitt, a selfdescribed “serial entrepreneur” who’d just sold his previous company, was enjoying a golfand-tennis lifestyle until he started suffering from knee pain. Through research, he discovered a professional medical device that used targeted light emissions to treat pain and invested “a few thousand dollars” on it, he says. “Within hours, the pain was gone. Within days, I was running up and down stairs.” Nesbitt saw a business opportunity in targeted light therapy, but couldn’t make money in the medical industry. “Insurers wouldn’t pay for it,” he says of the treatment. “It was considered experimental.” Then he learned about light therapy’s skincare applications. 10

In a process called photorejuvenation, red and infrared light waves stimulate skin cells to create more collagen and elastin. “Those are the building blocks of healthy, youthful-looking skin,” Nesbitt explains. He manufactured his first Quasar model, an application wand attached to a desktop printer-size box, for professionals in the skincare industry; the device’s size made it impractical for home use. Nesbitt then redesigned the technology so that the wand itself contained all the

requisite electric components. In 2008, he began marketing that new device, Baby Quasar, directly to consumers via Now, Quasar products, which also include a line of cleansers and anti-aging serums, are available at Neiman Marcus and other retailers, with Baby Quasars starting at $399. To date, more than 100,000 Baby Quasars have been sold. Baby Rayz, a new, smaller Quasar product targeting periorbital wrinkles, will be released this year.—Hannah Wallace 941CEO

gene pollux


Talk biz rules

Incentivize It! Don’t overlook state and local business dollars to grow your company. ●● by Kevin Allen


lorida is one of the friendliest business tax states in the nation. And while it may seem like more incentives aren’t needed, or that they’re not being used for small local companies, we’re calling out some of the overlooked incentives at the state and local levels that might help you grow your business. Heck, someone’s going to get them.

Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program (QTI) This incentive is known for attracting new businesses to Florida through tax incentives of up to $6,000 for each new job created in the state. But did you know that it also applies to existing Florida businesses looking to expand? If your business has plans to grow its operations in the state and create new jobs, check to see if you’re qualified.

Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation Businesses looking to relocate, expand or invest in Manatee County should consider reaching out to the Bradenton Area EDC. Since 2009, the EDC has helped 73 businesses by providing grants, tax incentives or expedited county reviews

to help streamline projects. Those businesses are expected to bring more than 3,800 jobs and $1.9 billion in wages to local residents over the next four years. Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County Sarasota County’s EDC offers similar incentives and programs to its Bradenton counterpart. Unique to Sarasota’s EDC is the Employed Worker Training program. The state offers an Incumbent Worker Training program, but the Sarasota County EDC takes it a step further by partnering with Suncoast Workforce to bring short-term training aimed at upgrading a staff’s skill level. Another EDC Program through Suncoast Workforce, On the Job Training, provides an incentive for local employers to hire qualified individuals who may not have the exact experience you’re looking for. The program will reimburse businesses for part of the employee’s salary while they gain experience.


“Creativity without action is merely imagination.” –L arry T h o m p son , president, Ringling College of Art and Design, at PINC Sarasota 2016.



shutterstock: Team Oktopus

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Employers who choose to hire workers from targeted groups are eligible for considerable tax credits. According to, where you can find more information about the credit, “The WOTC can reduce an employer’s federal tax liability up to $9,600 per new hire, depending on the target group.” This initiative is available right now through 2019. Targeted groups include: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, veterans, ex-felons, designated community residents, vocational rehabilitation referrals, summer youths, Snap recipients (food stamps), supplemental security income recipients, long-term family assistance recipients and long-term unemployment recipients.

Delivering the

Florida Lifestyle


Bealls Stores & are operated by Bealls Department Stores, Inc. & Beall’s Westgate Corporation. Bunulu stores and are owned and operated by Beall’s, Inc. Bealls Outlet Stores are operated by Bealls Outlet Stores, Inc.

t r e n d s p o tt e r

n e ss i s u b p o T e 941 h t in s e i r s to delivered to ! aily your inbox d RIB SUBSC TO




Cannabis Rx Prior to Florida’s Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, no Florida physicians were certified to prescribe medical marijuana. As of Dec. 15, 2016, 321 Florida physicians had completed the required state training, including six in Sarasota and four in Manatee. SOURCE: Florida Department of Health

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Rank of TampaSt. Petersburg (includes Sarasota and Manatee) as one of the largest Hispanic-designated market areas in the country. Ranked by Hispanic TV households. Our market area includes 247,790 Hispanic TV homes and is one of 210 designated U.S. markets. SOURCE: Nielsen, estimates as of Sept. 24, 2016 and used throughout the 2016-2017 television season.


shutterstock: Per Bengtsson

Am I maximizing my wealth’s impact for my legacy? Maximizing wealth’s impact can be difficult. But it can be done.

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PARTNERS: PINKERTON, HARKINS & MEHSERLE ¹Scott Pinkerton was named to the Barron’s list. Barron’s Top 1000 Advisors rankings are based on data provided by over 4000 advisors. Factors included in the rankings were assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance isn’t an explicit component. Investments in securities and insurance products:







Talk m y l at e s t c r a z e Seven things I'm grooving on. ● interview by isaac eger

runs Spark Growth, a Bradentonbased business consultancy and incubator housed in an old firehouse called Station 2 Innovation.

1. Keyboard skins I wear off the letters of my keyboard every six months, it seems, and before I discovered keyboard skins, I would try makeshift stick-on letters and liquid white. These new skins not only display letters and symbols with perfect clarity, they help keep my keyboard dust- and grime-free. There are lots of brands. You have to order one that fits your computer.


2. Colored printer papers I started using colored paper years ago for important lists because they don’t get lost in the sea of white notes. I keep mine on the wall by my desk. I have a master list and I may have one or two others depending on where I am in a production cycle. On a regular basis I can look over, see my green, yellow, orange or blue paper and do a mental rundown to make sure that I haven’t dropped the ball somewhere.

3. DropSend My work involves frequent travel, juggling huge amounts of data and communicating across multiple platforms. DropSend allows me to

send these files without requiring the recipient to go through the tedious process of creating yet another username and login.

4. Resilio Sync Often I am working on projects that include several team members. This app syncs those files regularly when I am online to keep me connected to the most recent contributions. So whether I am one desk away or halfway across the world, or have access to great bandwidth or not, I am able to work directly with the things I need most.

5. Arc Touch mouse Many people just use touchpads that come with their device, but I like a mouse. Unfortunately, carrying a mouse is usually awkward

6. Waze I am geographically challenged—a real hindrance since I travel so much—so Waze is a lifesaver. It’s a navigation app that allows users to share information in real time. It’s great when I’m walking and driving in a new city, and it also reroutes me around traffic jams. I even use it here at home to avoid seasonal traffic and construction projects.

because they are fat. I love Arc Touch Mouse by Microsoft. It is lightweight, wireless and folds flat for mobility. 7. Great bookstores One of the highlights of going to visit my youngest daughter in New York City is the Columbia University bookstore. I love

the quiet ambiance and chance to browse away from my computer. I have other favorites, too: The Strand, also in New York, and Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon.


Courtesy of Spider designs; Domtar; Microsoft; Dropsend; Resilio; Waze; Shutterstock: Badins

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January / February 2017

Malbi cups and Art Italica set: Gene Pollux Courtesy of; MAry Jurek Design; Waring Electronic; W & P Design


Talk Ask the Boss

What’s your top business priority for 2017? Rod Hershberger CEO &

chairman, PGT Innovations, a Venicebased window and door manufacturer “Because of where we are as a company—we bought two other window and door manufacturers, CGI in Miami in 2014, and WinDoor in Orlando in 2015—we have to figure out how to fit an umbrella over all three. We want to make sure that we are clear with our brand so that our customers know what we stand for. We spent 2016 talking to customers, getting feedback, asking how they think we should look. It will take some time to get the names, the logos and the rebranding so that people will understand.”

Tim Boyle

Co-owner and vice president, U.S. Tent Rental, an event equipment rental business “We need to find more people capable of doing the job at the same level as my current staff. We are struggling to find young go-getters here. We have some simple tests— basic math, writing and intelligence tests—and you’d be surprised how many people fail them. This is eighth grade math, and people in the Sarasota area with college degrees don’t pass. We hired [a company] to recruit topnotch people from a higher pool outside our back yard. We’ve just recruited someone from Maine and another from St. Louis.”

Kristin Horler

CEO & founder, Baby Boot Camp, a stroller fitness program for new moms “Growth. I want to reach more women and grow our franchise system to 125 branch owners nationwide. We will finish up 2016 just under 90. We just hired a new franchise director here in Sarasota, launched a new website [in late 2016], and hired a new marketing and products coordinator and updated our technology.”

Ca r e e r Pat h 1

●  by Hannah Wallace

party where Yo-Yo Ma played—he left his cello in the back of a cab.”

(1996-1997) principal performer, Disney on Ice, national tour

“That’s when I got my travel bug. We played Madison Square Garden, and I was just like, ‘This city is incredible. I need to be here.’”



(1997-2001) events coordinator and assistant to the director, Susan Holland & Company Event Design, New York City

“I was 23 and working in penthouse apartments. I learned how to produce a full experience—f lowers, invitations, the linens, putting color together, different grains of ribbons, fonts. And just dealing with the demands of wealthy people. We did the opening of The Color Purple, working with Oprah and her team. We did private events for Kelsey Grammar, Natalie Cole. We did the private birthday 20

“I worked under some of the most amazing fund raisers. Not only did they mentor me, but they let me figure things out on my own. It was true teamwork, and without any sense of extreme hierarchy or ownership.”

Jamie Coffey started as a professional ice skater and now works as special assistant to the president, Ringling College of Art and Design.

(2006-2009) development associate, corporate and foundation grants, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City


(2009 -2014) chief of staff of the president, interim director of alumnae affairs, Barnard College, New York City

“Working under Deborah [Spar] changed my life. She is brilliant at building systems in organizations. I also ran her book tour and began traveling with her—China, London, Cuba. She made my world a bigger place.”


(2015-now) special assistant to the president, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota

“I’ve learned my strengths—I’m a cultivator and connector and I enjoy helping people. Larry [Thompson] has empowered me here, introduced me to everyone. I was at a luncheon the other day and thought, ‘I know everyone in this room.’ All of those relationships I’ve built in such a relatively short time.” 941CEO

shutterstock: bizvector. Courtesy of Jamie Coffey

● by Isaac Eger

We Know Nonprofits The challenges faced by nonprofit organizations are as distinct as their individual missions. Nonprofits are often expected to “do more with less,” maintain a cost efficient strategy and improve financial performance. At CS&L CPAs, our professionals recognize the unique needs of nonprofit organizations and provide practical solutions to meet those needs.

Our Services for Nonprofits Audit & Assurance ◆ Outsourced CFO Tax Consulting ◆ Strategic Planning

Bob Stanell, CPA, Jeff Gerhard, CPA, CFE and Jay Clarkson, CPA Principals | CS&L CPAs

Proud recipients of the 2016 941CEO Greater Good Awards

Download our Nonprofit Industry Newsletter for tips and strategies you can use today: Visit BRADENTON 941.748.1040 ◆ SARASOTA 941.954.4040 ◆ TAMPA 813.490.4490

Talk The Big Question

Are we headed for another real estate bust? Jack McCabe of McCabe Research & Consulting, a Deerfield Beachbased real estate consultant, was one of the few who predicted the real estate crash and recession 10 years ago. He sees trouble ahead.

Boom Town

Downtown Sarasota Development Projects* Total projects: 41 Includes: 22 Condominium/Apartment/ Townhome projects 6 Residential-mixed use projects 5 Hotels 7 Commercial projects 1 Office project Total number of units: 1,638 apartments 1,574 condominiums 854 hotel rooms 334,770 square feet of retail/ restaurant space 126,577 square foot of commercial/ office space Population: Existing: 6,554 Projected population if all projects are completed: 12,355

“Global economics and market forces currently in progress will drive the U.S. into recession in 2017. Foreign countries have been flooding the U.S. with investment funds for a safe haven and conversion to U.S. dollars, but that is already slowing and may stop. South Florida may see some devastating effects. Seventy percent of all transactions in the Miami market have been to foreign buyers, and the upperend condo market is oversaturated with new developments. 22

“Sarasota and Manatee will weather the storm better than the rest. This region is not as dependent on foreign nationals as a large percentage of local real estate transactions, and it has not been overbuilt compared to new population and housing demand. When prices peak, which is imminent, a crucial question is will investor owners try to sell their properties? Homes $750,000 and up may be a weak spot in the Sarasota area market. There are fewer and fewer potential luxury buy-

ers. Most affluent buyers have already purchased and taken advantage of the discounts in the last several years. “It’s my opinion the lower and middle price ranges will maintain and most likely increase in value regardless of a recession. The Sarasota and Manatee area is and will continue to be a top relocation destination for Midwesterners and Canadians, and I predict that over the next 10 to 20 years the region is going to be one of the most desirable areas to relocate to in the U.S.” —Interview by Susan Burns 941CEO

shutterstock: Lightspring

*Includes new and renovated projects, permitted and unpermitted, with construction values of more than $500,000 within the CRA (Community Redevelopment Authority) boundary of approximately one square mile. Source: City of Sarasota


There is no cure for

The mission of Community AIDS Network is to provide a continuum of medical, social and education services essential to the health and well-being of those living with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, sexually transmitted diseases and other diseases, and to enhance public awareness.

OUR CLINICS Sarasota North Port St. Petersburg Tampa

Ybor City Clearwater Wesley Chapel Brandon

Avon Park Daytona Beach Jacksonville Gainesville

Orlando Winter Park Delray Beach Miami


Tom Gumpel is vice president of product development

Tom Gumpel, “head baker” at Panera

(informally called “head baker”) for the Panera Bread Company, responsible for “wherever flour flies,” he says, at the nationwide chain of 2,010 fast-casual bakery-cafés. The company made headlines last year when it pledged to remove a long list of artificial additives from its menu. “We feed 12 million customers a week,” says Gumpel. “It’s a big job for all of us, and it’s growing and changing and evolving. It’s a blast.”



“Vacation brought me and my wife and now 12-year-old daughter to Sarasota from Connecticut in 2010. We took a ride through town and saw a lot of homes for sale and decided to buy a place. We moved here full-time a year later. It’s a great place. My daughter sings in the youth opera, and we’re golfers. We keep a boat on Longboat Key and we’re out fly fishing every weekend. [Living here] puts me on the plane a lot, but it’s worth it. Flying back into Sarasota every week and seeing that water, it’s incredible.” ROLL WITH IT

“In Sarasota, we own half the cafés on the company side, and the other half are franchise-owned. I’m in and out of them all the time when I’m home; our ritual is going 24

to the Panera at Midtown Plaza after golf on Sunday. When I visit the Paneras here they know me.” LET THEM EAT CAKE

“One of our latest initiatives has its roots in Sarasota. I used the café near The Mall at UTC for several months earlier this year to test ideas on a new line of eight or nine cookies, everything from coconut macaroons to a big, sharable cookie called the kitchen sink. The line will be national in January; you’ll see it front and center [in our cafés].”

gene pollux

“I’m a Culinary Institute of America graduate and former dean; I ran the baking college there for 10 years. Panera recruited me 13 years ago. A team of strategists guides the vision of where we want to take the food, and as a team of chefs and bakers we help drive that vision.”




Promoting diversity and inclusiveness in our legal community, our schools, and throughout Sarasota

7 1 0 2 THE



Trending Toward Diversity Through Economics A public symposium featuring Andy Corty, Publisher of Florida Trend Magazine and William J. Schifino, Jr, President of the Florida Bar

March 6, 2017 11:30 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. Michael’s On East Reception, Lunch & Program Panel discussion and Q & A to follow program $60 for members of the Florida Bar* • $75 for non-members *Application for CLE credits pending

For tickets, go to For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Charlie Ann Syprett, Chair of the SCBA Diversity Committee or (941) 350-1089 Co-sponsored with Sarasota FAWL

ALL TOGETHER NOW! The how-tos in hiring a diverse workforce.

by Su Byron


Diversity is good for the bottom line. A two-year study of more than 450 global companies completed in 2015 by the HR research firm Bersin by Deloitte shows that companies with tangible diversity policies outperform those without them on a variety of measures, including cash flow, profitability, innovation and growth. Most Americans agree that workplace diversity is a good idea, but what exactly does that mean today? The concept began as a response to discrimination. Race, color, religion and national origin were the original groups protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Subsequent legislation added age, gender, veteran status, disability and other categories. Discrimination against any of these groups is a violation of federal law and grounds for a lawsuit. Businesses began to diversify their staffing to avoid legal troubles, but what began as a compliance issue is now a cultural value. It also turned out to be smart business. Saying you want diversity in your company, however, is easier than achieving it. Here are five tips to get you started.


Previous page: shutterstock/ KenDrysdale

1. Diversity Starts at the Top Business leaders, especially CEOs and company owners, send a powerful message when their support for diversity and inclusion is more than just talk. “A culture of inclusion doesn’t happen all by itself or because someone set theoretical goals,” says Patricia Mathews, principal consultant at Workplace Experts, LLC in Sarasota. “It happens when someone’s responsible for making it happen.” Joe Gonzalez, CEO of Venice’s ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design, takes diversity personally. Gonzalez grew up in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, the son of a Cuban father and a Croatian mother. Today he’s the owner of one of Florida’s leading landscaping companies. “I don’t care who you are or where you came from,” he says. “All I care about is what you can do.” Gonzalez hires employees from a rainbow of backgrounds; 67 percent of his workforce includes individuals Only 16% from diverse ethnicities. His company’s handbook lists of Africanthe core values: “Lead by example Americans and do the right thing. Listen applying are and communicate. Watch out for one another no matter the invited to job circumstances. Give everyone interviews. an opportunity to grow, not just (Based on responses a few. Create a diverse, caring to 9,400 fake culture where employees feel a resumes submitted for online job part of something bigger than applications in 2014) themselves.” These values aren’t random, Gonzalez says: “Our employees created these at a company retreat where they were asked to offer their perspective on what makes ArtisTree unique. These reflect everyone’s philosophy here, not just mine.” To make it clear that you, like Gonzalez, have a culture of inclusion, discuss what you expect with your employees and new hires. You can also create a diversity statement for your organization and publish it in your marketing and advertising. Make it part of your brand image for customers and the public. And remember, diversity is more than race and gender. It encompasses age, disability status, veteran status, religion, national origin, pregnancy, citizenship, sexual orientation and cultural values.

2. Make Somebody Responsible Many major companies have chief diversity officers. These high-level managers achieve workforce diversity through a wide range of programs, including diversity training, recruiting policies, support for the advancement of diverse workers and initiatives targeting diverse J A N U A R Y / F e b ruary 2 0 1 7

“At ArtisTree, we come from different countries and bring different specialties to the table. Our differences, not our similarities, are the reason we succeed.” CEO Joe Gonzalez

41% of human resource managers claim to be “too busy” to implement diversity.

vendors and customers. Other companies have diversity committees, and some small businesses hire diversity consultants. Attorney Jaimmé A. Collins is the diversity chair and a partner at Adams and Reese, a multidisciplinary law firm with offices throughout the Southeast, (Society for Human Resources in Washington, D.C., and in Report, 2014) Sarasota. The firm’s decision to create a committee that is accountable for achieving diversity benchmarks has helped make it a national leader. Law magazine has named Adams and Reese one of the top 100 law firms in the country for diversity; Women 3.0 magazine recognized the firm as one of the top 100 for women, and 941CEO awarded Adams and Reese the Legal Unity Award in 2012. “Good intentions don’t create significant change on their own,” Collins says.

African-American and Hispanic Origin Florida



16.8 %

24.5 %

Manatee County

9.3 %

16 %

Sarasota County

4.9 %

8.8 %

SOURCE:, 2015

Percentage of Hispanics and African-Americans in Management Florida



8.4 %

16.7 %

Manatee County

3.2 %

5.9 %

Sarasota County

2.8 %

3.9 %

SOURCE: Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2006-2010, the latest survey available


ALL TOGETHER NOW! “You need a companywide strategic diversity plan that is result-oriented and based on measurable outcomes.”

3. Recruit Widely

Diversity 3.0: The Next Generation Younger workers learned about multiculturalism at school. At home, they turned their TVs on and saw starships, police stations and hospitals staffed with a rainbow of identities. When they went away to college, many received sensitivity training sessions. Gen Y and millennials strongly believe in workplace diversity. Their concept of inclusion is, well, more inclusive. It’s more about valuing people from a wide range of origins and attitudes, and less about a checklist of demographic markers. This new concept of inclusion is defined by the person inside, not his outward characteristics. This attitude will make an impact. By 2025, millennials will make up almost 75 percent of the workforce. “Gen Y and millennials expect to be part of a diverse team,” says Chistine Clyne, director of human resources at Village On the Isle and president of the Sarasota-Manatee HR Association. “Fairness is important to younger workers. They want to see an inclusive work environment that represents the diverse backgrounds of their friends and families. It’s unusual for them to be or work in a group of people who look or act exactly as they do.” Assunta Swier, CEO of Sarasota-based Hub, a startup incubator, is surrounded by millennials. Older workers often struggle with technology so there’s impatience, she says. But there’s also respect. Both Swier and Clyne suggest that, without diversity and tolerance, many young people will work for somebody else.


Workplaces where men and women are equal earn 41% more revenue.

Workforce diversity begins (M.I.T. and with the search for diverse George Washington talent. But before you search University study, you need to establish what 2014) you’re searching for. Sarasota’s DeWanda Smith-Soeder, founder and president of the “Diversity doesn’t Black Business Professional just happen. Network, advises companies Management to start by assessing what kind has to decide to of talent the company wants to make it happen attract. Then build a strategy and hold itself that ensures sustainability. accountable.” “The primary focus is to DeWanda Smithincrease the pipeline of Soeder, founder women, minorities and other Black Business identified challenged diversity dimensions within the Professional organization,” she says. Network Companies need to recruit in communities of diversity and use a variety of resources. Hold job fairs in minority neighborhoods and advertise for employees in media that reach groups you’re after. Use referrals via personal networks, online job listings, social networks, printed job postings and Racially community events. Find ways to make your application diverse teams process as user-friendly as possible, outperform especially for applicants for whom English nondiverse ones is a second language or who may not have access to IT resources or the internet. Smithby 35%. Soeder reminds employers to reach out to (McKinsey area colleges and universities, including & Co. report, 2015) historically black colleges and universities. Make sure your interviewers reflect diversity and conduct fair, impartial interviews. Provide job-specific behavioral interview questions and a structured interview process so all candidates are evaluated equally.

4. Training: The Make-Or-Break Factor A diverse workforce provides financial dividends, but that doesn’t mean employees automatically work well together. Employees from wide-ranging backgrounds may experience conf lict and misunderstanding if they don’t know how to communicate with 941CEO

When people of different backgrounds come together, workplaces are more productive.

Blind applications lead to five times more women.

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each other. Fortunately, communication is a skill that can be taught. Employees must be trained to communicate with those who are different (Harvard from them. University and Princeton University Mathews advocates regular study, 2016) training programs, especially for managers and supervisors who are responsible for hiring decisions. “This training should be required,” she says. “Its focus should be on creating organizational awareness of unconscious or

“Employers have to make it safe for an employee to share what makes them unique or different from their coworkers. Policies, and more importantly practices, that support diversity and inclusion and mutual respect should be in place and reinforced but culture is most important.” Christine Clyne, director of human resources at Village On The Isle

hidden biases.” Instituting mentor programs and career development programs targeted at your diverse employees will help retain them. Christine Clyne, director of human resources at Village On The Isle and president of the Sarasota-Manatee HR Association, says training opens dialogue, breaking down barriers and helping diverse employees find their commonalities. “At Village On The Isle, we recently hosted an employee 57% training on senior sensitivity and of employees age diversity,” says Clyne. “The discussion among the employees think their was as valuable as the training companies material. As the employees talked should be more with each other, they realized that, despite their diverse backgrounds, diverse. cultures, beliefs and so on, (Glassdoor Diversity Hiring Survey, 2014)

Millennials and boomers bring different talents to the workplace. J A N U A R Y / F e b ruary 2 0 1 7

(Continues on page 31) 29


Adams and Reese, a law firm with offices throughout the South,


Adams and Reese

Advocates for Diversity


including in Sarasota, formed its diversity committee in 2000. There was abundant need to consider diversity at that time, says Jaimmé A. Collins, a partner at Adams and Reese and chair of its diversity committee. And there still is. For example, women constitute more than a third of the law profession, but only a fifth of law firm partners, general counsels of Fortune 500 corporations and law school deans. The statistics look bleaker for African-Americans, Latinos and AsianAmericans; less than 7 percent become partners. In major law firms, only 3 percent of associates and less than 2 percent of partners are AfricanAmericans. “There’s no easy formula,” says Collins, who’s been honored for her diversity work, including in 2013, with the National Diversity Council’s Glass Ceiling Award. “Law is a hard industry to diversify.” Women and minorities are often left out of the networks of mentoring and sponsorship that are critical to career development. Young lawyers are also expected to bring new business. “That’s hard if you’re the first college-educated person in your family,” says Collins. “Coming from a lower socioeconomic background gives you fewer opportunities to rely on family connections. If you’re a minority building your client base, it’s more difficult.” What’s the answer? “What we’re doing,” she says. “Law firms need to make a strong commitment to equal opportunity, then follow through with proactive policies, priorities and results-oriented reward structures. We don’t stop our commitment with recruiting.” The firm sets diversity goals that are evaluated annually and then holds itself accountable. “Don’t simply hire people of color and women, but invest in them and track their internal success,” Collins says. Collins stresses that good results often start small. But small changes can eventually spark big changes, a virtuous circle that transforms the corporate culture. Hiring a diverse workforce is just the first step. “Retaining that workforce is what counts,” she says. “Creating support systems is the best way to do it.” Adams and Reese creates opportunities for advancement through mentoring and networking opportunities for minority attorneys to build relationships, hone legal skills and share ideas. “Minorities and people from underrepresented groups should never feel stuck or invisible,” Collins says. And, she adds, “Diversity breeds diversity. Once a law firm has a diverse staff, they’ll recruit for other diverse staff. The network of mentors and professional connections will grow. You have to start someplace. Once you do, you have to keep going until the transformation begins and revisit it each year.”


Women hold 51.5 percent of management, professional and related positions in the U.S.

(Continued from page 29) they all have the same worries, concerns, responsibilities and, sometimes, even the same interests. Having our employees reach these observations is powerful and priceless.”

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5. Measure Your Efforts Companies need to measure progress against goals. This includes measuring goals such as the number of diversity candidates sourced, number of diversity candidates hired, number of diversity employees promoted to higher levels and number retained. Look at the numbers and analyze how you reached 40% new hires broken of people think down by protected women seeking class. Mathews says companies need to jobs face a monitor staff turnover double standard. by gender, orientation, age and background. (Pew Research Center, 2014) Are you losing a disproportionate J A N U A R Y / F e b ruary 2 0 1 7

number of diversity employees? Are your promotion processes fair to all classifications of workers? Are you experiencing discrimination claims, lawsuits or hearing complaints from employees? “Ask employees to report on their activities under the strategic diversity plan,” says Clyne. “Revise your goals if you need to, either to move to the next step if you achieved the goal or to simplify the goal if it was too ambitious to achieve.” Finally, reward managers for achieving diversity goals and objectives, says Mathews. Large companies sometimes make hiring and retaining diversity candidates a small part of a large bonus plan, but small businesses might recognize a manager in a meaningful way that is not monetary. “The real goal for every company is to create a work environment where everyone feels welcome,” she says. π

Bilingual employees earn 10% more revenue. (Harvard University and Princeton University study, 2016)

“Provide benefits that are meaningful to diversity employees such as paid or unpaid leave for them to observe their own religious, cultural or ethnic holidays. Offer same-sex couple benefits.” Patricia Mathews, principal consultant, Workplace Experts, LLC 31




the heroes who bring our workplaces and communities together. photography by barbara Banks

j a n u a r y / f ebru a r y 2 0 1 7

Our 2017 Unity Award winners see strengths in differences. They are advocates for the physically and mentally disabled, the poor, the mentally ill and those from different cultures and religious backgrounds. Armed with mission statements, strategic plans, fund-raising skills and gritty, hands-on efforts, they have created college scholarship programs for Latinos, hired the disabled, launched programs to keep the mentally ill out of jail, provided medical care for the uninsured and extended a welcoming hand to people with different views and abilities. They provide compelling evidence that the more we bring everyone under the same tent, the more productive and innovative our workplaces will be and the higher the quality of life we’ll enjoy in Sarasota and Manatee. 33

arts WINNERs


Husband-and-wife dancers who defected UNITY AWARDS from Cuba in 1993, 2017 Ariel Serrano and Wilmian Hernandez brought Cuban-style athletic leaps and romantic lifts to the Sarasota Ballet. But Serrano’s back ailments and Hernandez’s pregnancies downshifted their performing careers. Hernandez began teaching dance, and Serrano worked as a handyman, saving up to create the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School (SCBS), which opened in 2012. Today SCBS welcomes a global student body. The school has an ongoing student/faculty collaboration 941CEO


with the Cuban National Ballet School, putting Sarasota at the center of a worldwide dance network. Its summer program attracts rising national and international stars. The students’ multicultural backgrounds, coupled with success in competitions, attract other diverse applicants. “They say, ‘That’s like the United Nations. Let’s go there,’” Serrano says. Alums have joined companies around the globe. Raised by a single mom in Cuba, Serrano is also committed to economic diversity. Ballet is as expensive as it is ethereal. Students can burn through $120 in shoes in a week. “Sometimes the parents don’t have the means,” he says. “How can you say no to a kid who has that kind of talent, and you can change their life?” So Serrano and Hernandez converted SCBS into a nonprofit that can accept donations, seek grants and award scholarships. Thanks to a Community Foundation of Sarasota County grant, this year SCBS is introducing dance to four Sarasota Title I schools. “We’re hoping that we can create excitement in these kids to be part of something as beautiful as ballet,” he says.—Sylvia Whitman 941CEO

Founded in 1993, the nonprofit Islamic UNITY AWARDS Society of Sarasota 2017 Bradenton (ISSB), with its impressive mosque on Lockwood Ridge Road, is the center of life for many Muslims in our region, and the only mosque within a 50-mile radius. With 200 families as members (and hundreds more who attend during holidays), it is a diverse community of Arab and non-Arab, many nationalities and American converts of all professions. “There are so many misconceptions,” says Shiraz Hassan, 941CEO

a FEMA-contracted home inspector and the ISSB chair. “People of faith have similar values. A belief in one God, in doing good. Our differences are so minor.” For years, the ISSB has visited churches, synagogues, theaters and retirement homes for educational and interfaith meetings. As a center for All Faiths Food Bank, the society holds a monthly food and clothing giveaway at the mosque and is part of the national Family Promise network to host homeless families. And the doors are thrown wide open for annual food festivals and arts and

crafts fairs that attract hundreds of people who want to know more about their Muslim neighbors. Last fall, the ISSB, with member Dr. Shahnaz Ahmed, launched the Universal Crescent Clinic, a health care clinic for the uninsured, which sees people every Saturday. All are welcome. “Most of our clients so far are white Americans between 25-45. They’re between jobs or have lowpaying jobs,” says Ruta Jouniari, who is the clinic’s chair. “Muslims are not the ‘other,’” says Hassan. “We want to build bridges.” —Susan Burns

nonprofit WINNER

Islamic Society of Sarasota Bradenton Pine View student and All Faiths Food Bank coordinator Sana Rahman, health clinic founder and physician Shahnaz Ahmed, ISSB volunteer leader Amani Makarita and ISSB chair Shiraz Hassana

january / february 2017





Dr. Richard Conard medical WINNER

In 2014, a friend invited Dr. Richard Conard, 78, a founding physician of Blake Medical Center and multiple retirement homes in Florida, to see a Remote Area Medical Clinic (RAM) in Tennessee. A pop-up clinic, RAM was created to help people with no access to medical care in the developing world. Now it’s treating the medically needy in the U.S. Conard was shocked and humbled by what he saw. He knew the same need existed in Manatee County, so he spent the next few months pulling together 36

$80,000 from individuals, foundations and businesses (“and not a thin dime from government,” he says) and recruiting health care providers. At Manatee County’s first RAM Clinic, in November 2015, 900 volunteer medical professionals and 300 volunteers saw 1,868 patients in one day. The November 2016 event expanded to three days, and included a half day of veterinary services. Now Conard has found commitments for half the $1.5 million necessary to expand RAM around the state.

Conard also is lobbying the Florida legislature to allow medical professionals licensed in other states to come to Florida and volunteer for this program. “It is impossible to conduct the event with only Florida-licensed medical professionals,” he says. Conard views his work as one way of fulfilling the mandate of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that gives every American the right to basic health care. “If a community decides they’re going to be proactive, they can come together and achieve that,” he says.—Anu Varma 941CEO






As a prosecutor in Sarasota County in 2009, Sarasota County Court Judge Erika Quartermaine noticed certain people she could count on seeing over and over again—most of them homeless, who were arrested for lodging and open container complaints. Many of these repeat offenders had mental conditions and ended up in jail, defendants like Laura Mallia, a local woman diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, whose 65 arrests have cost Sarasota taxpayers $142,664. Then, in 2013, shortly after she became a judge, Quartermaine was struck by the absurdity of a homeless, mentally ill man who was sentenced to 90 days for pulling a fire alarm. “Where can we put them?” she remembers thinking. “When they lie in the streets in urine for days. That’s someone’s child. This is not an unsolvable problem. I have the tools of the criminal justice system.” In March 2014, Quartermaine, 38, gathered a group of like-minded attorneys, law enforcement officers and civic leaders and spearheaded a campaign that raised $2.4 million for a groundbreaking program based on a successful Miami initiative that will divert the mentally ill from jail and toward health care and self-sustenance over the next three years. The partnering health agency, Centerstone, will organize triage, short-term housing, health care and, if and when patients are ready, long-term housing. The group raised half the necessary funds from local government and philanthropy; the rest came through a grant co-written by Centerstone.

Erika Quartermaine Organizing the Comprehensive Treatment Court was practically a second job for Quartermaine and a crash course in grant writing and government request processes. The effort has been worth it. “How can we call ourselves civilized and not protect those most vulnerable?” says Quartermaine, who says the mentally ill spend as much as two-thirds of their life in jail. “Jail is not a mental health facility.” —Anu Varma january / february 2017


Kelly Kirschner




education WINNER

Kelly Kirschner, dean of special programs at Eckerd College, sees education as the ticket to self-improvement, productivity and democracy. As a founder and now board chairman of UnidosNow, a Sarasota organization that seeks to empower and integrate Latinos in Southwest Florida into the larger community, Kirschner has been instrumental in developing UnidosNow’s college prep program, Future Leaders Academy. Latinos, he says, comprise 36 percent of all kindergartners in Sarasota and about 20 percent of the city. Their success is our success. 38

“Through education, empowerment will grow,” he says. “[Otherwise], these children will be a permanent underclass.” More than 400 Latino students have completed the rigorous program at Future Leaders Academy. They’ve won hefty scholarships and admission into selective colleges. The program includes summer sessions, year-round clubs and a local college access network staffed by role models such as Hector Tejeda, a Guatemalan immigrant who came here as a baby with his 16-year-old mother, went on to complete a Harvard M.B.A., advised students at Wharton,

and now spends his retirement helping UnidosNow students apply for college. The Future Leaders Academy is expanding to middle schools, and the newest component, in partnership with Manatee Technical College, is an FM radio station with 24-hour programming in Spanish about music, opportunities, health, community issues and education. Education breaks the cycle of poverty, Kirschner says. “We want young Latino youth reflected in all parts of Sarasota society from medicine to the courtroom,” he says. —Anu Varma 941CEO

After hopscotching from telecom sales UNITY AWARDS to entrepreneurship 2017 to community redevelopment, Sherod Halliburton took the reins of Manatee Community Federal Credit Union in 2013 without having worked a day in a financial institution. At the time, the credit union had $24 million in assets. It also had a 22 percent drop in loans over the previous year and a dwindling membership. Today, MCFCU’s assets stand at $41 million with a 55 percent loan growth over the past 12 months (in the top 99th percentile in the nation for credit unions of that asset size) and membership growth of 20 percent. The turnaround was strategic. Halliburton focused on members, often those with the least means and the most need, who were not being served by other financial institutions. Then he created programs and technology to serve them. He conceptualized an app that uses budgeting tools and podcasts to teach clients how to save, and he’s hired an increasingly diverse workforce with bilingual representatives and a Spanish portion on the website. “We specifically went after that [Hispanic] demographic,” he says. “It was an underserved market.” A program called Reliable Ride helped about 100 clients buy lowcost, low-interest vehicles last year, and onsite car sales allow customers to shop at the credit union and pur-

financial WINNER


Sherod Halliburton chase decent cars with real warranties. Halliburton also teaches members about how to save, refinance, access lines of credit and invest wisely. “We are doing well by doing good,” says Halliburton. “We put people in the best possible place to be successful. Not only is it socially responsible, it is good business.” He is so familiar in the community (into which he moved partly to help care for his elderly mother-in- law) that it isn’t unusual for clients to stop by his house on his day off to tell him their debit card isn’t working. “I’m truly the community guy,” he says. —Anu Varma january / february 2017





Bealls, Inc. From its founding 101 years ago in downtown Bradenton as the V (Five) Dollar Limit Store, Bealls, Inc. has burgeoned into more than 530 Bealls Department Stores, Bealls Outlets, Burkes Outlets and Bunulu stores in 16 states, with more than 10,000 employees. Last fall, Bealls, still headquartered in Manatee County, was honored by the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities for its longstanding employment of people with special needs. The company partners with nonprofit organizations; United Cerebral Palsy Sarasota clients, for exam-

ple, sort thousands of hangers for its distribution centers, and in St. Augustine, the company hired workers from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. Individual store managers, too, have the authority to hire people with disabilities. Michael Calladino, for example, is a 28-year-old with autism who recently got his very first job, working in the stockroom at the Bealls Outlet in Ellenton. “I asked the store manager if she’d be interested in hiring him, and she said, ‘Absolutely, I’d love to give him a chance,” says his job coach, Phillip Book of Red Lion Jobs, a contrac-


tor with the Florida Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. “It turns out she has a degree in child education and has had experience working with children with autism. She went above and beyond the call by training her entire staff about the things he can and cannot do. He’s working six hours a week, making above minimum wage, and doing fantastic.” “We love doing this,” says Bill Webster, director of public relations and government relations. “Education has been a major interest of the Bealls family forever, and it really dovetails with their interest.” Plus, “Without exception it inspires our employees,” says Webster. “The attitudes of these employees are stellar. This is not a sacrifice on our part; these are good employees.”—Ilene Denton

Michael Calladino with Bealls supervisors Monica Jackson, Cheryl Bryan and Candy Nemeth and store manager Rhonda Jannelli of the Bealls Outlet in Ellenton. 40


Brad Johnson with a few of The Haven’s clients

Brad Jones




Alumni Award

Our 2014 Nonprofit Unity winner, Brad Jones, then the adult services director at Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, is now president and CEO of the nonprofit, which has been renamed The Haven. Jones has seen it grow from serving 130 clients to 700 clients every day. With skills training programs, a high school, preschool and residential living facilities, The Haven is one the few Florida (and U.S.) organizations for the disabled with comprehensive, around-the-clock programs, including partnering with local businesses for employment. january / february 2017

This year, a fifth group home for eight disabled residents opened on The Haven’s 32 acres, growing the number of residents to 40. Another $1.2 million group home for the wheelchair bound is on its way. A brand-new, $1.3 million Haven Industries building, where adult day training takes place, will give 100 more people the opportunity to earn a paycheck. “When they get their first paycheck, it changes their outlook on life,” Jones says. “They begin to think, ‘Maybe I can do that.’” The demand for disabled services is growing, Jones adds. The disabled live

longer because of medical advances, and their parents are retiring to Florida and bringing their adult children with them. At the same time, Florida ranks near the bottom in funding these services. “It’s a perfect storm,” he says. “This generation [of disabled] is the first generation of adult kids outliving their parents.” Jones plans to expand the number of group homes, the school programs and add a senior residential program. “The potential of the disabled is huge,” he says. “It just needs to be tapped.”— Susan Burns






JACQUI KAPINOWSKI Paralympic Rower Unity Awards 2017 Speaker

This fall, the World Rowing Championships, an international rowing regatta organized by FISA (the International Rowing Federation), will be held at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton. In the 48 years of the event’s existence, the United States has hosted only one other World Championships in 1994. Around 1,700 athletes from more than 60 countries are planning to participate in this diverse event. Jacqui Kapinowski, who competed for the United States at the Paralympic Games this past summer in Rio de Janeiro, now has her sights set on competing for the United States Paralympic team at the 2017 World Rowing Championships. This August, she will participate in the qualifying trials.


STEPHEN M. KNOPIK STEVE HALL CEBS, CHRP, CSFS Market President Diversity is an important part of a vibrant community. At Alltrust we have the privilege of working with employers in a variety of industries with very diverse populations. It’s comforting to see our community is inclusive.

Chairman and CEO Our values-based approach is a key reason our business has thrived for more than 100 years. We work hard to recruit and develop a talented and diverse workforce by fostering a culture of inclusion, respect and fairness. We believe that a wide range of skills, styles and backgrounds enhances our work environment and is a vitally important element of our character as a company.





RAE DOWLING Area Manager

CHRISTINE R. SENSENIG, ESQ. Florida Bar Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney

Community AIDS Network serves a client base and community consisting of people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, economic classes, sexual orientations and gender identities. The strength of our organization is in our richly diverse workforce, embracing the people we serve with compassion and kindness.

At Florida Power & Light diversity matters. Diversity allows us to attract the best and the brightest employees and promotes creative solutions by encouraging unique opinions and perspectives.Diversity is more than acknowledging our differences. Diversity expands professional growth for all employees and increases cooperation and support from all team members.






Senior Vice President and Florida Regional Manager

Manatee Technical College is dedicated to being an educational community where all individuals are welcomed and afforded courtesy and respect. We believe that valuing diversity enhances learning and adds to the quality of life for all.

It is the mission of the Sunset Automotive Group to inspire our employees to create a positive, professional atmosphere in our dealerships, resulting in an outstanding customer experience.

We are committed to an inclusive workforce rich in diverse people, talent and ideas. We believe that a mix of experiences and backgrounds fosters cultural growth, tolerance and mutual respect, and that these core values have made us into the company that we are today.

january / february 2017

Hultman Sensenig + Joshi believes that respect for different perspectives, ideas and cultures is a cornerstone for a positive and productive work environment. Employers who welcome differences invite innovation.


stay safe

Must-have insurance coverage for small business. by Kevin Allen Illustrations by Victor Juhasz

Every business needs insurance. That’s the easy part. Knowing what type of insurance and how much will best cover your specific business… that can be a challenge. We asked some Sarasota and Manatee insurance agents about the products that every small and mid-size business should consider to protect its operations, employees and customers. Here are the top five policies that will help you stay safe and secure, plus some coverage types to consider.


Business Owners Policy

A Business Owners Policy (BOP) is generally a combina-

tion of property and general, plus professional liability coverage. According to Angela Smith, vice president of commercial lines for Al Purmort Insurance in Sarasota, a BOP is “one of the most important pieces” of insurance a business can carry. They’re typically issued to small businesses with sales under $10 million per year, and many larger organizations aren’t eligible. Almost as rewarding is a related accelerated depreciation provision, 168(k), nicknamed bonus depreciation. You can immediately expense 50 percent of the cost of additional new qualifying business property— even if it generates a loss—which will help you offset other income. Costs will vary based on which coverages are included in your BOP, but most packages start at around $1,000 per year for a small mom-and-pop operation. They can run up to $45,000 per year for a distribution company, for example. A BOP usually is comprised of two types of insurance that are packaged together, often resulting in a cost savings for the insured: Property insurance: Even if you don’t own the building that houses your business, property insurance is essential. “If you are renting a building you are still 44

responsible for the contents in that building in the event that there is a loss,” Smith says. “You want to protect those assets.” General liability insurance: This policy covers your typical slip-and-fall type risk exposures. If your company is sued, the general liability usually kicks in. In cases where a business is not eligible for a BOP, it must seek out these insurance products piecemeal.


january / february 2017





Flood Coverage

3 No matter what the flood-zone maps show, says Moody Agency president Gar

Reese, “All of Florida is in a f lood zone.” He recommends that every business protect itself with f lood insurance. As with homeowners’ policies, f lood insurance is written into the property insurance policy. But, Smith says, “It’s been so long since a major f lood in this area that people figure that if they’re not in a f lood zone, they don’t need that coverage. I absolutely think that it’s something you should protect yourself against.” Smith points out that many of the areas hit hardest with floods on the east coast during last fall’s Hurricane Matthew were not designated f lood zones. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, which is part of FEMA, more than 20 percent of all f lood insurance claims are filed for properties outside of mapped high-risk f lood areas. These non-f lood-zone properties receive onethird of federal disaster assistance for f looding. From 2011 to 2015, the average commercial f lood claim was $90,000. Rates will vary depending on the size of your business, the elevation of your structure and its assessed f lood risk. Ryan Brown of Ben Brown Insurance says that a business on St. Armands Circle with $500,000 in coverage for the building and $200,000 in coverage for its contents could pay a yearly premium of nearly $9,000. That figure gets significantly lower—as low as $700 yearly—for businesses farther inland with very low f lood risk.

Auto Policies For businesses that own vehicles,

whether to transport goods or services, a commercial auto policy is a must. These polices are similar to a personal auto policy, only with broader liability limits. Commercial policies typically cover the business up to $1 million, while a personal auto policy typically maxes out around $500,000. Business owners often overlook a non-owned auto liability policy. This covers the company when employees use their personal or rented vehicles for business purposes. “If an employee runs to the bank or the post office and there’s an accident, a savvy attorney is going to find out they were working at the time,” says Brown. “They can tie in the business to any lawsuit.” The hired and non-owned policy will generally kick in for anything above and beyond the employee’s personal auto insurance policy. Some agencies, like the Moody Agency in Venice, will include the hired and non-owned insurance policy as part of the BOP. But, as Moody’s Reese suggests, business owners should check with their agent to make sure it’s there or can be added.



Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation is required in Florida for any business

with four or more employees, including the owner. If you are in the construction industry, you are required to carry this coverage if you have one employee. This insurance pays 100 percent of costs if employees are injured on the job and

Play It Safe

Optional policies to consider. Data Breach and/or Cyber Liability Insurance This insurance protects businesses in the event of a digital or physical (paper) data breach. It’s become increasingly popular in the wake of several highprofile data breaches at large companies like Target and Home Depot. It covers the cost of notifying any customers affected and providing free credit checking services. “Anybody who’s taking [personal] information from people and it gets out

january / february 2017

and it’s your fault, you’re liable,” Reese says. Umbrella Insurance Brown recounts a story of a trucking company whose employee likely fell asleep at the wheel, crashed his f latbed semi and perished in the accident. The employee’s family sued Brown’s client. The auto policy engaged and paid out the $1 million coverage limit, but the family sought damages beyond that. The client’s umbrella policy kicked in and cov-

also provides the employer liability coverage in the event a suit is filed by the injured worker. The state regulates workers’ comp requirements and sets the rates. Every business will have certain types of employees, and the state classifies each employee type. “Your premium is based on the classification,” Smith says. “The premium rate itself is per $100 of payroll for each class code.” The rate for clerical office employee, for example, is 24 cents per $100 of payroll. So, if you’re paying your office workers $100,000, your yearly workers’ compensation premium would be $240. Higher risk concrete construction employees, for example, cost $11.05 per $100 of payroll. Brown says one mistake employers make is failing to take advantage of certain discounts that are offered. The two most common are the Drug Free Workplace Premium Credit (5 percent) and the Safety Program Premium Credit (2 percent). Both discounts have specific requirements that businesses must follow, which include regular, documented meetings. “If you’re already promoting safety,” Brown says, “you may as well get the discount.” For up-to-date info on Florida’s workers’ comp regulations, check with the Florida Department of Financial Services website,

ered another $650,000 in that case. “Without that umbrella policy, there would have been no more coverage for our client after that first $1 million,” Brown says. Umbrella is an inexpensive product, he says. If you are running a business and you have the exposure of anything that could exceed the $1 million per occurrence or $2 million aggregate limits on your general liability and your auto policies, the umbrella is that extra layer of protection for you. The premium for umbrella insurance typically runs $500 per $1 million in coverage, depending on your operations.

Industry-specific Insurance In Southwest Florida, hospitality, construction, manufacturing, marine, self-storage, home health care and nonprofit businesses abound. What many business decision makers don’t know is that many agencies and insurance writers offer industry-specific insurance products. Brown recounts one case where a plumber’s installation had left a slow leak. Mold, which is considered a pollutant and is excluded from most liability policies, built up behind the wall. Brown said the plumber’s policy (Continues in page 52) 47



Business Interruption Coverage

If your business is shut down for reasons outside

of your control (a fire, hurricane, water main break), business income insurance will cover your income and business expenses— rent, utilities, etc.—until you’re back up and running. This policy can be written as part of the BOP, but businesses that don’t qualify will need to seek it separately. Operating expenses can add up and cause major hardship for a business in the event that it has to be shut down. “That is the No. 1 thing that crushes a small business,” Brown says. “When they have

(Continued from page 51) kicked in and paid for the cost to remove the drywall, clean the mold and ensure that it wouldn’t spread throughout the home. “Whatever agency or broker you’re dealing with,” Smith advises, “make sure they understand the type of business that you’re in and that they know those types of coverages inside and out.” Employment Practices Liability Insurance This policy will protect employers from sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits. It also kicks in for cases where employees make a


a claim, they can’t occupy their building, and they’re incurring all of the costs while they’re not making income.” Claim limits will vary based on a business’s actual operating costs, but businesses can choose whether to get three, six, nine or 12 months of business income

claim against a company for failure to pay employees for time they should have been paid for. “Basically, this policy protects against violations of employees’ legal rights,” Brown says. Brown says a company with five employees will likely pay a yearly premium of $500, while a company with 50 employees could pay up to $5,000 per year for this coverage.

coverage with extra expense. Brown says it’s difficult to predict the cost because it’s normally folded into the BOP. Because there’s no cap on the coverage with this type of insurance, the premium will be calculated based on a business’s assets and profits.

proof of theft in the form of legal proceedings. Business owners should consider this coverage if they employ people who handle cash or have access to company funds. Cost for employee dishonesty insurance is low—usually

around $150 per year—and Brown says it is typically with other endorsements that carry claim limits around $10,000. ■

Employee Dishonesty Insurance This policy can be written into the BOP, and it protects the company if an employee is stealing from you or embezzling money. Claims on employee dishonesty often will require


Delivering Educational


Manatee Technical College is a fully accredited technical training center that delivers adult, career and technical education programs that benefit a broad spectrum of people in Manatee County. Our career certificate programs fill the pipeline with skilled and motivated workers in construction, hospitality, healthcare, public service, cosmetology, manufacturing, IT, transportation and business. Many students find a new career in a year or less.

Continuing education programs enable individuals and companies to upgrade job skills to keep pace with changing industry demands. Most classes take just a few months to complete and are offered in the evening or weekend to fit busy schedules.

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MTC offers training for careers in 10 of the 20 fastest growing industries in the area. No employee, student, applicant for admission or applicant for employment, volunteer, vendor, or member of the public, shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender orientation, disability, marital status, age, religion, or any other basis prohibited by law, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination or harassment under any educational programs, activities, services, or in any employment conditions, policies or practices conducted by the School District of Manatee County. MTC is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education

Rolling in Dough A Sarasota entrepreneur takes a slice of a growing $46 billion pizza market.


by David Hackett

ave Wood wants to do for pizza what Chipotle Mexican Grill did for burritos. Wood, who lives much


of the year in Sarasota, is the founder and chief executive of Firenza, a growing chain of restaurants where customers can order individual-sized pizzas, choosing among 40 toppings, and have the pie at their table in less than four minutes.

His first Firenza restaurant opened in early 2015 in Fairfax, Virginia. Wood said he has 60 more franchises open or committed to open in Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Florida. By the end of 2017, he expects to have 200 restaurants opened or committed to opening, including locations in Tampa, Orlando and South Florida. He is still looking for a franchise partner for Sarasota and Manatee counties.


The market is new, but competition is already stiff. One of the leaders in this field is Blaze Pizza, which started in 2012 in southern California, and now has 150 restaurants around the country, including one in Sarasota. Basketball star LeBron James is a leading investor in Blaze, which is ranked among the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the nation. MOD Pizza, founded in Seattle in 2008, is growing rapidly, as well. MOD, which stands for Made on Demand, has 110 restaurants in 16 states, with plans to open dozens more in the next year. “That’s just the start,” says Mandy Detwiler, managing editor of Pizza Today, the industry’s leading trade journal. Detwiler ticks off a list of chains, including Pieology Pizzeria, a California-based chain with more than 100 restaurants and $75 million in sales in 2015 that soared to 38th on Pizza Today’s Top 100 pizza companies. She also cites Persona Pizzeria, founded by award-winning chef Glenn Cybulski, which claims its 800-degree ovens can prepare personal pizzas in 90 seconds. “This trend has quite a lot of room to grow,” Detwiler says. “But are all these places going to make it? Probably not.” Wood is undaunted. He says the nation’s appetite for pizza, which translates into $46 billion in revenue annually, shows no signs of abating. The new fast casual restaurants will open a new stream of revenue, he says, because customers will be able to get a pizza during their lunch hour as quickly as they get a burger, sub sandwich or Chipotle burrito. “Our goal is not world domination, anyway,” Wood says of Firenza’s strategy. “We just want to be the best.”

Early start Wood knows the pizza business. In 1981, he dropped out of the University of North Carolina during his junior year to manage a Domino’s. Within a year, he was managing seven stores. In two years, at the age of 23, he was supervising 30 Domino’s. Wood comes from modest means. But Domino’s franchise owner Dan Shefte helped Wood acquire his first Domino’s in Manassas, Virginia, when he was 24. Wood eventually owned 17 Domino’s, as well 51

Short retirement As he approached his mid-50s and saw his four children head off on their own, Wood decided to sell his restaurants and semi-retire in Sarasota, devoting his time to his family and to playing golf and full court basketball. He was happy, but something was missing. Firenza offers 40 toppings for pizzas.

Wood found what he needed when a friend asked him to fly to Southern California in spring 2014 to check out a new fast casual pizza spot his friend was considering investing in. “We tried it and I loved the concept,” Wood says. “But I didn’t love the pizza. The crust seemed more like a tortilla. I thought, ‘Let’s see if we can develop a crust we like and still be able to make it fast enough to play in this market.’” Wood and a partner borrowed a friend’s restaurant after hours and spent nearly 200 hours testing 30 different recipes for crust. They settled on a dough that bakes quickly but still delivers the distinct flavor and texture of pizza. They use a stone hearth oven that cooks at 500 degrees on the bottom and 1,000 degrees at the top. “It creates a crunchy bottom but a soft crust,” Wood says. “We think we hit it just right.” In developing Firenza, Wood was also influenced by his wife of 34 years, Nancy, who is a trained nutritionist and registered nurse. The chain offers 40 toppings, including asparagus, spinach and avocados, as well as salads and gluten-free crust. 52

“We want to give customers the health options, but we want it to be their choice,” he says. Wood owns three Firenzas in northern Virginia. Franchises typically cost about $400,000 to open, he says. In addition to speed, cost and crust, Wood says another factor that ultimately will determine the success of his chain and others vying to succeed in the fast casual pizza market is where the restaurants are positioned. “I still subscribe to what Dave Thomas used to say when building a new Wendy’s,” Woods says. “Thomas looked for the busiest McDonald’s and wanted to be next to it. The same for us, although it may be more Chipotle and Panera’s.” Pizza Today’s Detwiler says the number of pizza restaurants in the United States has remained relatively constant at around 76,000. She does not expect that will increase sharply.

The trend lines are favorable, however. More diners are willing to pay more, up to $10 to $12 for lunch, if they perceive the quality to be better than standard fast-food fare such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell. They are also seeking choices, which is what makes personal pizzas with an abundance of toppings so desirable. And they want it fast. Wood, who is back working 50 hours a week, says he is confident that Firenza will be one of the survivors. He adds that he has no regrets leaving his brief retirement behind. “This has been incredibly challenging, but incredibly fun,” he says. “I’ve met so many great people. It’s going to be exciting to see how this progresses.” π 941CEO

previous spread: Salvatore brancifort. This page: Firenza

as a minority stake in several Jersey Mike’s sub shops. The key, he says, was recognizing reliable, hard-working employees and putting them in the right positions. “I was very confident in my ability to see talent in other people,” he says. “And that is what you need if you want to run a number of business successfully, because you can’t be at all of them at once.”

Tech Tools

Why Risk It? Five steps to protect your company and customer data. ● by KEVIN ALLEN


time to take your data security seriously. And if you think you’re already taking it seriously, it’s time to take it to the next level. There is no such thing as a business whose data is too secure. I see it all the time working in tech. It’s the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. Data breaches could cost you your business. Maybe it’s because we operate in a smaller market here

international businesses that call our area home—is at risk. The bottom line is this: If you store customer information, that data can be breached. And when it happens to Florida businesses, it’s not an easy process to manage. Florida business owners have a responsibility to notify all affected parties within 30 days, notify the Florida attorney general and send along a plan to rectify the breach and provide credit monitoring services, and file a police report. Here are five steps to help keep your customer data secure: 1. Stop assuming it can’t happen to you. While larger companies make the news when a data breach occurs, small businesses are targets because their security controls are often weaker. In short, you’re easier to hack than Target, Home Depot and Sony, three companies whose stock prices suffered in recent years due to data breaches. The fact is, 90 percent of data breaches affect small businesses, according to a recent Trustwave study. The average cost of a data breach for a small business is $36,000, according to a First Data study. And unless you have data breach insurance, that money is coming out of your pocket.

on the Suncoast and we think we’re hidden. Maybe it’s because you’re not processing multimillion-dollar transactions on a daily basis and you don’t think anyone would target you. But the fact is, every business— from the barbershop on Main Street to the manufacturing companies along U.S. 301 to the national and 54

2. It’s a myth to think that the cloud is not secure. Think about it this way: Public cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM (my employer), depend on keeping customer data secure as their lifeblood. Without the assurance that every customer’s data is safe, no one

would spend a dime on their services. These providers employ a team of security specialists at every data center whose primary function is to keep a step ahead of hackers who wish to do your company harm. Cloud providers have the motivation and the resources that many small to mid-size businesses do not to employ ongoing best practices and ensure data safety. 3. Data security is an organization-wide effort. For many organizations, a comprehensive data security plan requires an internal culture shift. It’s every employee’s responsibility to protect the company’s data. And while some employees may not like the added steps it may take to keep their data secure, it will always be easier than a deposition in a classaction lawsuit. 4. Improve your passwords. This is something you can do tomorrow in your organization. It costs nothing to send an email reminding your employees that “password” is not a good option for your password. Ask everyone to take the time to review their passwords and change any that might be lacking in sophistication. Secure passwords have a mix of uppercase letters, numbers and special characters. 5. Invest in proper security controls at every vulnerable point. It can be daunting to figure out where to start when it comes to establishing a cyber security approach. It should be even more worrisome, however, if you’re doing nothing or next to nothing. That’s simply not an option with the number of threats that exists today. If you’re looking for a good starting point, check out the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Small Biz Cyber Planner. ■ 941CEO

W h at I ’ v e l e a r n e d sent me out to the countryside to follow the electricity installers. It was just me and an African-American fellow, with our dolly in a truck loaded with Crosley refrigerators. We’d stop at a house and I’d tell ’em we’d sell them a refrigerator for $1 down and $1 a week, $60 total. I’d always have milk and some powder to make ice cream. We’d put the milk and powder in the refrigerator to make the ice cream overnight. I’d tell them I’d come back tomorrow. Of course, the children were just awed by it, and so were the parents. We sold one refrigerator after another just following the power company.”

This Sarasota furniture retailer beats the tests of time.


early a third of retail businesses fail within two years and fewer than 30 percent survive a decade. Ed Kalin beat those odds many times over. Before finally closing shop last year, Kalin owned Kane’s Furniture, later Kalin’s Furniture, in Sarasota for 66 years. Sharp, active and possessing a full head of hair at age 95, Kalin still can be found several days a week behind the desk at his well-appointed office above Caragiulos Restaurant on Palm Avenue, where he manages his real estate holdings and nurtures his passion for deal-making. On a recent morning, Kalin recalled the lessons, successes and missteps of a career that dates to the 1920s.


● by David Hackett

“My father owned a clothing store in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and I started working for him when I was 8 years old. I didn’t like folding clothes, and so, when I was 12 or 13, I asked if I could go to work for my uncle, who owned a furniture store. It was there that I learned how important it is to have the right product at the right time. Duke Power Company was bringing electricity to the area. And my uncle

“I cannot overestimate the value of a supportive family. When my cousin’s husband and I moved to Florida after the war and opened our first furniture store in St. Petersburg, we made mistakes. We bought the furniture from High Point in North Carolina, and it was all wrong for down here. We lost money our first year. But thanks to our (Continues in page 58) 941CEO

salvatore brancifort

Ed Kalin

“World War II broke out when I was a senior at the University of North Carolina. I saw a notice on one of the school billboards that the Navy was looking for top students to train as officer paymasters. So I followed up and I got sent to Harvard, where they did the training. I ended up being in charge of payroll at Parris Island. I was just a young man but I had authorization to get a half million dollars from the Federal Reserve, which at that time was an incredible amount of money. Every week, two Marines and I would go to the bank in Beaufort, South Carolina, and get $200,000 or more for payroll. We’d count all that cash right there in the vault and then take it back to the base. The war was horrible, of course, but for me the experience was life-changing. I was given so much responsibility, more than I ever expected, that I realized that I could do anything as long as I worked hard and was honest. I learned that the accounting skills I had were invaluable, and those skills have been instrumental in my success to this day, whether reading a balance sheet or balancing books or whatever.”

a d ver ti sement




Awards • 2008-2010, 2014, 2015 Lori Hultman, SuperLawyer • 2009-2015, Christine Sensenig, Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite • 2015, Christine Sensenig, SuperLawyer

Community Involvement HS+J supports local nonprofit organizations with board membership, financial support and training. FROM LEFT:

Lori Hultman, Christine Sensenig and Nik Joshi

THERE ARE MANY REWARDS as an employer. However, dealing with employment law is not among them. Hultman Sensenig + Joshi can guide you through the maze of laws and regulations governing your business. The firm's experienced attorneys know how to respond to a Department of Labor investigator wanting time records, an employee complaining about discrimination, or an independent contractor filing for unemployment. Lori Hultman and Nikhil Joshi are Board Certified by the Florida Bar as specialists in labor and employment law and, Nik Joshi’s M.B.A. has a concentration in human resources management. Both Christine Sensenig and Lori Hultman have practiced in-house for large corporations. These varied backgrounds create a practical, business-oriented approach.

january / february 2017

The firm seeks to establish long-term client relationships by listening to your goals and learning about your business needs. This enables the firm to develop customized policies and training to minimize employment legal issues. Lori, Christine and Nik provide timely, personalized service and strive for cost-effective solutions, whether to prevent a problem or defend against a charge or lawsuit. HS+J handles your legal needs so you can focus on your business. HS+J attorneys have over 70 years of combined legal experience in labor and

employment law. The firm provides advice and litigation defense to private and public employers in all areas of employment. This includes drafting handbooks, policies, training management and staff, conducting investigations and defending against discrimination, harassment, overtime, retaliation and whistleblower claims. The firm drafts and enforces employment contracts, including independent contractor and noncompete agreements. HS+J represents management in union negotiations. It also conducts I-9 audits and advises about agricultural law and H2A compliance.

2055 Wood St., Suite 208 Sarasota, FL 34237 (941) 953-2828


W h at I ’ v e l e a r n e d (Continued from page 56)

“My family has given me the most joy in my life.” family, we had credit and we were able to survive. Then we met a salesman from Miami who helped us find the right styles. We learned quickly, worked hard and kept our costs down. The next year, we made a little bit and it kind of took off from there.” “My wife didn’t get along with my partner because he was a male chauvinist, so in 1950 we decided to open our own store in Sarasota. It was at the site of a former Winn-Dixie grocery that

had closed. What I liked about it was that it had a lot of parking right next to the store. That’s so important. There were only two other furniture stores in town at that time, and one of them was kind of complacent. We were young and aggressive and they went out of business. The other was Havertys, which is still going strong. We were fortunate that central air-conditioning was just coming in and, of course, that was the single most important thing that changed Florida. Suddenly, people were moving here year-round and that opened a big market for furniture. I wish I could say that I foresaw it, but we were just lucky.” “I was more interested and passionate about real estate and making deals than I was about selling furniture. I was fortunate to partner with [real estate developer] John Meshad. I had a 10 percent stake in 90 acres we bought in 1966 at Fruitville Road

and Cattleman Road, which ended up selling for $55 million. Not all the deals were that good, of course. At one point, I owned 110 properties and some of them lost money. To be successful in real estate, I believe, you have to be fair to both parties; both sides need to feel that they’ve won. You have to be honest. You can’t steal, and, unfortunately, a lot of that is going on these days.” “For me, it all comes back to family. My wife, Alyce, and I were married for 57 years. She contributed so much to the success of our business, leading our design center. My son, Jeff, took over running the store and did a terrific job. He’s retired now and delivering Meals on Wheels, volunteering for a crisis line and helping the hearing impaired. My daughter, I like to say, has more close friends than anyone in the world. My family has given me the most joy in my life.” ■

The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

Board of Directors

would like to congratulate our founders and co-artistic directors

Ariel Serrano and Wilmian Hernandez on winning the

2017 941CEO Unity Award. Their passion for their art and dedication to teaching and sharing their immense knowledge of ballet with the next generation of talented young dancers is an inspiration to all.









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By ROBERT SCHENKKAN Directed by NICOLE A. WATSON Based on the original production by BILL RAUCH

JANUARY 18 – MARCH 7 By JOHN STRAND Directed by MOLLY SMITH Edward Gero in The Originalist. Photo by Tony Powell. Courtesy of Arena Stage. The Great Society Sponsors:

The Originalist Sponsors:

Season Sponsors:



Maribeth Snyder

▶ ▶ J ennifer P utnam , senior regional vice president, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate’s Southwest Florida region.

orthopedic spine specialist; and M aribeth S n y der , marketing assistant, Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine and Pain Management. ▶ ▶ C hristine K asten , executive director, Venice Symphony.


B udge H uske y ,

president; J ackie R affert y , public relations and communications manager;

▶ ▶ J im B irkhol z , president, Tampa-Sarasota division, Mattamy Homes.

Timothy Lyle

▶ ▶ C hris M c G ee , vice president, investments, Caldwell Trust Company.

D r . T imoth y T.

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and S helle y W hiteside , regional marketing manager, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.

Jim Birkholz

▶ ▶ G regg C arlson , CEO, Lee Wetherington Homes.

Jennifer Putnam

Sarasota-based meteorologist and commodity trading adviser Jim Roemer of Best Weather, Inc. says a weak La Niña (which replaced El Niño) will bring a volatile winter weather pattern and energy market, the best skiing out west in years and, potentially, a reduction in red tide.

Gregg Carlson


Shelley Whiteside

Dr. Timothy T. Roberts

Movers, Shakers & Headline Makers

▶ ▶ W illiam H annan , regional investment director; and T imoth y Ly le , director of compliance, Cumberland Advisors.



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201 2 & 2016 U N IT Y AWA R D W IN N ER

Lisa Merritt, M.D. Multicultural Health Institute


677 N. Washington Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 225-8198

➧ Developed Gatekeepers of Community Health, Sarasota Community Health Guide ➧ Created Healing Circles and Positive Aging Senior Wellness Series ➧ 2014 National Medical Association (NMA) Council on Concerns of Women Physicians Award

January / february 2017

Through her integrative medical practice, Kinesia Rehab Group, and her nonprofit Multicultural Health Institute, Dr. Lisa Merritt has been the change she wants to see in the world. “Everyone should have access to health care and know how to take care of themselves,” she says. Her nonprofit addresses health disparities through education and prevention, development of community health workers, and collaboration between existing health care and social service organizations. “When we are all involved in improving wellness,” she says, “our communities are better off, and our kids’ futures are brighter.”



Robert Hayes ▶ ▶ R obert H ay es , vice president and Florida division leader, Gilbane Building Company.

▶ ▶ L auren M ay er , communication and data coordinator, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative. ▶ ▶ D r . G regor y P olar , dermatologist, Riverchase Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. ▶ ▶ K eith M ercier , president; Patrick W right , executive vice president; and M atthew M ercier , director of

▶ ▶ D avid Zaccagnino , financial adviser, Raymond James Financial Services Lakewood Ranch. ▶▶

M elody M ora -

S hihadeh ,

director of individual giving, Florida Studio Theatre. ▶ ▶ M ark C hristenson , project manager; and H olly B each , superintendent, Halfacre Construction. ▶ ▶ J ulia L a L onde , administrative assistant, Ryntal Property Management.

Ryan Williams

Sam Chavers,

Marina Jack’s director of operations, became vice president of marina operations after the Suntex acquisition in September. Chavers oversaw the marina’s $10-million renovation and expansion.

community insurance and risk management; CBIZ Insurance Services, Florida, West Coast.

David Zaccagnino

Denise Stufflebeam ▶ ▶ D enise S tufflebeam , promoted to senior director of business administration; and V irginia Zimmermann , promoted to senior communications manager, Port Manatee.

Lauren Meyer

Gail Bowden recently joined MSC Commercial, a division of Michael Saunders & Company, along with her team of Jessica Fleming, Erin Reid and Allison Nielson. Bowden specializes in commercial investment projects; in particular, medical office, multifamily and industrial properties from $500,000 to $60 million-plus in Florida and the U.S. Her sales volume in 2015 hit $50 million, a number she anticipates surpassing once 2016 numbers are tallied. Her career sales total stands at more than $200 million. Formerly with SVN Commercial Real Estate Advisors, Bowden sees Michael Saunders & Company as a boutique local company with international expertise, which allows her to help her clients here and abroad. And there’s another reason for her move. “Michael Saunders has had extreme success in a male-oriented industry,” says Bowden, who adds that she’s often one of the few women at commercial real estate conferences. “I’m into empowering women and minorities. That, to me, is important, and it was a huge factor in my decision.”

▶ ▶ S am C havers , promoted to vice president of marina operations, Marina Jack; and T om D e L ong , promoted to vice president of food and beverage, Suntex Marina Investors, new owner of Marina Jack.

Virginia Zimmermann



▶ ▶ R yan W illiams , executive chef, Bijou Café. ▶ ▶ M att H eule , project manager, Jon F. Swift Construction.


As a Sarasota insurance agency, we represent a range of personal and business insurance options from the most financially sound and respected companies. Sarasota Insurance Services Inc. has been a trusted provider of auto, home and business insurance to families, individuals, businesses and property owners in the Sarasota area with 30 years of combined experience.

AUTO - HOME - BUSINESS - HEALTH - LIFE - BOAT - MOTORCYCLE 941-331-1360 - 3737 Bahia Vista St Suite 3 Sarasota, FL 34232

January / february 2017


E dward M c C onnell ,

Cathy Bruce

head golf professional, Boca Royale Golf & Country Club. ▶ ▶ H ermione G ilpin , philanthropic adviser; and S amantha E plin , office manager, Gulf Coast Community Foundation. ▶ ▶ D r . J ose S arria , pain medicine and palliative care physician, Ramos Center for Interventional & Functional Pain Medicine.

▶ ▶ C ath y B ruce , promoted to closing manager, law firm of Gibson, Kohl, Wolff & Hric, P.L. ▶ ▶ R ick S cher z er and J on Taleff , promoted to project managers, Willis Smith Construction. ▶ ▶ B ob L e F ever , general manager; and K evin S mith , executive chef, The Founders Club.


T he U niversit y of

S outh F lorida was named the best fouryear college in the U.S. for veterans by Military Times magazine. ▶▶

N icholas J . Zec J r .

of Boyd Insurance and Investment Services received the LaSalle St. Securities Leaders Award. 64


L akewood R anch

M edical C enter

has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s HeartCheck Mark for advanced certification for primary stroke centers. ▶ ▶ Williams Parker attorney B onnie L ee P olk received the C.L. McKaig Award from the Sarasota County Bar Association. ▶▶

TableSeide Restaurant Group, is the new chairman of the board of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the Suncoast. ▶▶

T he C onservation

of the Suncoast’s 2016-2017 board officers are: E ileen F oundation

S cudder -Zimmermann , chairman; J ames W estman , vice-chairman; G lenn S hiple y , treasurer; and M icke y D avis , secretary.

▶ ▶ L inda G ross of Advice Solutions has rejoined the board of Designing Women Boutique. ▶ ▶ Sarasota County Tax Collector B arbara F ord C oates received the Legacy Award for excellence in the field of financial operations from the Florida Tax Collectors Association. ▶▶

S unn y side H ealth

and R ehabilitation

received its seventh consecutive Governor’s Gold Seal Award from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. C enter

MOVING AND OPENING D . S oussou with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, and D r . A lissa S hulman was named the 2016 Physician of the Year. ▶ ▶ T im S elf of Insignia Investment Services was elected a director at large of Sertoma Inc.’s national board of directors. ▶ ▶ S teve S eidensticker , founder and CEO of the

W hite P icket P roduce


G alati Yacht S ales

has opened an office at Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota. ▶▶

G ulf C oast P ropert y

has opened a second office at 501 Village Green Parkway, #21, in Bradenton.

C oastal P rinting

received five Best of Category awards from the Printing Association of Florida. ▶ ▶ S arasota M emorial is the only hospital in Florida and one of 111 nationwide to earn the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ 5-Star rating for quality and safety; and it was named among the 50 best heart hospitals in the nation by Truven Health Analytics. Also, the hospital’s medical staff honored D r . I ssam


has expanded to the Northgate Center Business Park in Sarasota. ▶ ▶ T idewell H ospice has broken ground on its newest Hospice House at the corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Rangeland Parkway.

M anagement

Linda Gross


▶ ▶ A nne R ollings of Gecko's Hospitality Group joined the board of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Charitable Foundation.

Dr. Sam Soussou

Edward McConnell




M c M ullen P roperties

has opened a real estate brokerage office at 408 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. ▶▶

T he M akers M arket

has opened a DIY workshop and boutique retail store at 6650 Cortez Road W. in Bradenton. and W orkshops


K night M arketing

has launched M edical M arketing Partner , a division to help health and dental care providers attract new patients and retain existing ones. ▶ ▶ Meteorologist/ investment adviser J im R oemer of Best Weather, Inc. launched a new site, ▶ ▶ E lement F unding , a division of Primary Residential Mortgage, has opened at 1990 Main St., No. 750, in Sarasota. ▶▶

N autilus C ustom

has moved to 7126 S. Beneva Road, Sarasota. H omes


M anatee G y necolog y

has opened at 2310 60th St. Court W., Bradenton. ▶▶

S mallcakes

C upcaker y and C reamer y has opened at 6202 U.S. Highway 301 N. in Ellenton. ▶ ▶ Amanda Broadway has opened a personal assistance franchise, L ife S q uire G ulf C oast ,

in Lakewood Ranch. ▶ ▶ Dr. LoanAnh Bui has opened L ittle T own S miles P ediatric D entistr y at 8936 77th Terrace E., Suite 105, in Lakewood Ranch. ■ 941CEO

Achieve (verb) : to get or reach (something) by working hard : to become successful : to reach a goal -Merriam-Webster

Achieve Anything

The City of North Port’s Economic Development Division works hard alongside local business leaders to achieve goals of success. Contact the Economic Development Division today at (941) 429-7001.


January / february 2017




Lakewood Ranch Business

Alliance Annual Membership Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fete

Manatee Chamber of Commerce Pancakes & Politics Legislative Preview, 8-9:30 a.m. at IMG Academy Golf Club, 4350 El Conquistador Parkway, Bradenton. $30 for members; $45 for nonmembers and guests. Register at


Gulf Coast Builders Exchange 65th Annual Dinner, 6-9 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the

Arts, Sarasota. Register at


The Greater Sarasota Manatee Chamber of Commerce 54th Annual Meeting and Membership Appreciation Dinner, 5-8 p.m. at the Polo Grill/Fete Ballroom, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch. $70. Register at feb.




941CEO Unity Awards Luncheon, honoring the people and companies who embrace diversity, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Michael’s On East, 1212 East Ave. S. $65. Register at unity-tickets-28605307244.

Ballroom at Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch. Register at


Bradenton Area EDC Hob Nob, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Dolphin Aviation, 8191 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $65 for EDC investors, $75 for all others. Register at feb.


Manatee Chamber of Commerce VIP Event: State of the Ports, with Port Manatee’s Carlos Buqueras and Sarasota Bradenton International Airport’s Frederick “Rick” Piccolo, 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m. at Lakewood Ranch Country

Club, 7650 Legacy Blvd., Lakewood Ranch. $30 for chamber members; $45 for nonmembers. Register at



Bradenton Area EDC Economic Forecast Breakfast with economist Hank Fishkind, 7:30-9 a.m. at Manatee Tech College, 6305 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton. $65 for investors, $75 for all others. Register at






? s taco

Looking for the area’s best

Download Sarasota ’s NEW food app! Launching February 2017. powered by



BIZ BITES Talk ● by hannah wallace

Boca Kitchen, Bar and Market

A new downtown destination for chic locavores. OMG Burger

Moving Soon?


To change your subscription address, go to

the place Just opened last fall, this high-ceilinged downtown Sarasota eatery is near the busy corner of Main Street and Lemon Avenue. Boca projects a sunny, industrial-chic vibe, with big sidewalk-facing windows, walls of wood and unfinished brick, punctuated by hanging herb gardens that emphasize the chef’s dedication to fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

the people  Downtownies of all ages gather here: co-workers out for a bite, retirees catching up, power-lunching professionals. time factor  Because dishes are cooked to order, servers warn that some meals might take a little longer than expected. Allow an hour.

the food The seasonal menu features artful riffs on American cuisine. Think crispy zucchini fries, an indulgent grilled cheese with caramelized onions, or a brie and apple flatbread. And don’t pass on the oakgrilled, prime-beef OMG Burger with truffle fries. Daily fish and “staff meal” specials, too.

boca kitchen, 19 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota  /  (941) 256-3565  / bar and market   january / february 2017



Service with Style

Picture Perfect Events!



Call us for all your catering needs!

2010 - 2016

2010 - 2016


More Seen photos at



PINC Sarasota 2016 1 Hunter Thompson, Ringling College of Art & Design; Jeff Hazleton, Sharecare Reality Lab; Michael Long, SailFuture  2 John LaCivita, 3 Willis Smith Construction; Judy Cahn, Sarasota Ballet; Carolyn Johnson  3 Brent Dykstra, Synovus Bank; Richard Lawrence, American Property Group  4 Danny Watts, Michael Mei, atLarge and PINC Team  5 Nancy Cooper Robb; Lynn Morris, SaraFresh Juice; Mike Marraccini, atLarge  6 Ruth Harshman, Betras, Kopp & Harshman; Chuck Reich, Chuck Reich Photography; Dasha Reich, artist 7 Maria Dietz, Meghan Flanagan, Jessica Ackles, IMG Academy


photography: Lori Sax


6 January / February 2017

7 69


2 1



and GCBX Launch Party 1 Nathan Yoder, Mullets; Linda Cavalier, Karins Engineering; Jeff Waddle, David 3 Weekley Homes; Janet Boyden, Premier Sotheby's Realty  2 Marc Simms, Right Performance Management; Gregory Green, Green & Associates  3 Mary Slapp-Dougherty, GCBX; Marty Black, West Villages  4 Kevin Hicks, GCBX; Pat Warren, Alliance Solution Group  5 Rick Halloran, Sabal Palm; Sandy Moore, 941CEO and Sarasota Magazine; Dennis McSweeney, The Players Centre  6 Andrew Sell, Precision Door Service; Paul Stehle, Climatic Conditioning; Josh Helmuth, Lykes  7 Todd VanHerwynen, Dimmitt Automotive —The Sarasota Studio 8 Greg Hurley; Lee-En Chung, Ivy Ventures photography: Lori Sax


6 70


8 941CEO



Bradenton EDC Annual Update Luncheon 1 Paul Sandberg, Dr. Anila Jain, USF; Byron Shinn, Shinn & Co.  2 Larry Bustle, former Manatee County Commissioner; Geri Lopez, Dan Schlandt, Manatee County Government 3 Sharon Hillstrom, Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation; economist James Otteson, keynote speaker  4 Darrell Turner, Turner Tree and Landscape; Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor of Palmetto  5 Donnice Dawson, Jennifer Rust, Synovus 6 Albani Gustason, GCBX; Nancy Morgenthaler, Waste Pro 3

More Seen photos at



6 photography: Lori Sax

Volume 14/Number 1, January/February 2017, 941CEO (ISSN 1936-7538) is published in January, March, April, June, September and November by Gulf Shore Media, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of SagaCity Media, Inc., 330 S. Pineapple Ave., Suite 205, Sarasota, FL 34236. Subscriptions are free to qualified individuals. For customer service inquiries, subscription inquiries or to change your address by providing both the old and new addresses, contact: 941CEO, Subscriber Services, PO Box 433217, Palm Coast, FL 32143. Phone: 1-800-331-8848, Email: Periodicals postage paid at Sarasota, Florida, and at additional mailing offices. Copyright 2017 by Gulf Shore Media, LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Unsolicited manuscripts without return postage will not be returned. DISCLAIMER: Advertisements in the publication do not constitute an offer for sale in states where prohibited or restricted by law.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 941CEO, Subscriber Services, PO Box 433217, Palm Coast, FL 32143.

January / February 2017



Surge! T

Tim Beury spreads his passion for rugby coaching the Sarasota Surge Rugby Academy. ● by Ilene Denton

im Beury played defensive end in 1992 for the nation’s then-No. 1 high school football team, the Manatee High Hurricanes. Now he volunteers 15 hours or more each week spreading the love of rugby to young area athletes as director of the Sarasota Surge Youth Rugby Academy. Beury is co-owner with his wife, Kristen, of Medical Resource Association, a Sarasota-based health care management firm that counsels medical practices “on everything nonclinical, from setups to rebranding, equipment and some billing,” he says. Some 30 medical practices from the region, and from as far away as California, Texas and New Mexico, are clients. He developed a passion for rugby 10 years ago when he and Kristen took his stepson to live with family in Toulouse, France, a hotbed for the sport. Back in the States, a youth team was forming in St. Petersburg and the coach asked him to help out. Beury stepped up and joined the Sarasota Surge, which plays at the International Cricket Club complex on University Parkway. With two quick-paced, 40-minute halves, rugby is not easy, he says. “but it’s much more fun than football, less restrictive and safer in many ways. It’s truly a team sport. You’re only as good as your worst player.” And it fosters camaraderie. “Anywhere in the world, if you play rugby, you may find yourself crashing on [a fellow rugby player’s] couch or playing on a field you have no business being on,” he says. The youth academy started with four players. Last year they had 47, and recently added a high school team. “We’re developing youth from the bottom up so we can sustain the sport,” Beury says. “We’re all rugby fanatics. That’s what makes it work.” And—full circle— Beury won a state championship in 2016, this time with the Sarasota Surge Rugby Club. ■



salvatore barncifort

“it’s much more fun than football, less restrictive and safer in many ways. It’s truly a team sport.”

Our mission is to ensure an exceptional client experience, while embracing our distinct retirement planning process, affording us our greatest advocate…our members.


Jonna holds several licenses, including Series 7, 63, 65 securities registrations as well as life, health and variable insurance licenses. Member of the Academy of Preferred Financial Advisors 2016 SRQ Women in Business Initiative Leadership Circle Ambassador/Finalist 2016 Women of Influence, Sarasota-Manatee leaders and professional business women who motivate and encourage others throughout the community 2016 941CEO Greater Good Awards — Winner 2015 honoree, ABC 7 News for “personifying the spirit of volunteerism and making the Suncoast a better place” in their “Seven Who Care” broadcast. 2015 Beverly Burton New Board Member of the Year, Boys and Girls Clubs, Florida Chair Elect of Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County Committee Chair for the Women’s Leadership Council Vice President and Board Member of T.R.E.K. (Tech Readers Enrich Kids) Chair Member for Women in a Changing World 2013 Panel Member and Speaker at the U.S. National Committee for U.N. Women

At First Security Investments, our members receive a comprehensive approach to retirement planning by focusing on key elements, such as: Cash Flow Planning Tax Reduction Strategies Asset Protection Estate Planning Investment Selection & Monitoring

3340-A BEE RIDGE ROAD SARASOTA, FL 34239 (941) 922-9100 / (866) 8-INCOME

Third-party rankings and recognitions are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a client or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance or results. These ratings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client nor are they representative of any one client’s evaluation. Securities and advisory services offered through SagePoint Financial, Inc. ◊ Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance offered through First Security Investments, LLC and is not affiliated with SagePoint Financial. Working with an advisor that is a member of the Academy of Preferred Financial Advisors cannot guarantee investment success or that financial goals will be achieved. Advisors that participate in this program pay a fee to belong and receive coaching and marketing collateral. The APFA is not affiliated with or endorsed by SagePoint Financial.

ALL NEW 2016 CT6


THE MORE YOU BELONG IN A CADILLAC. 2200 Bee Ridge Road Sarasota, FL 34239



941CEO January/February 2017  

Sarasota/Manatee Business magazine, Florida, USA. SagaCity Media, Inc.

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