SRQ Magazine | Summer Sizzlers July/August 2022

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Contents July/Aug 2022

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Sarasota Sunset juice with carrots, apple, strawberries and lemon from Summer Tap Juice Bar in Burns Court. Photography by Wes Roberts.

summer sizzlers


THE TEMPS ARE HEATING UP and so are the events, activities, and restaurants in and around town. We’ve pulled together thehottest list of to-dos for this summer, including the best day-cation spots, live theater, exhibits, turtle watching and the most refreshing treats to beat the heat. Find the latest and greatest farmers’ markets, visit some big cats and discover the thrills of deep sea fishing and more in our latest collection of summer sizzlers. Written by Arianna Boenker, Dylan Campbell and Abby Weingarten. Photography by Wyatt Kostygan and Wes Roberts.

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Dr. Jennifer Bocker, CMO of HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital, is pushing healthcare to new heights in her latest skydiving world record attempt. Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar brings a new way to hang with your furry friends this summer. Music and the arts come alive at Suzuki Institute School of Music. Amanda Gilliland displays new merchandise for visitors of her pop-up style Boutique, Rabbit Rabbit.

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The Ballroom Florida, the grandest and most stylish of all dance halls in Japan’s Jazz Age, comes to life at the new Ringling Museum exhibit.

A philanthropist who gives his all to the community he lives in and loves, Mark Barnebey is celebrated by friends, family, and his hometown.


Cover: Summer Tap Juice Bar’s Refreshing Green smoothie with spinach, pineapple, mango, banana, organic agave nectar and natural Florida orange juice, photography by Wes Roberts.. This page clockwise: Korê Steakhouse in Lakewood Ranch, photography by Wyatt Kostygan. Dr. Jennifer Bocker, CMO of Sarasota Doctors Hospital, is a team leader on the ground and in the air, image courtesy of Leland Procell. Realtor Amanda Gilliland satisfies her creative passion with her Rabbit Rabbit pop-up shop, photography by Wyatt Kostygan.


Korê Steakhouse brings communal cooking to Waterside Place.

SRQ HOME & DESIGN | FLIPBOOK SUMMER/FALL EDITION Explore gorgeous residential spaces, home design and home interior trends in the Sarasota and Manatee region.

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Wyatt Kostygan












Andrew Fabian, Phil Lederer, Brittany Mattie, Jacob Ogles CONTRIBUTING EDITORS AND ARTISTS

Kevin Allen, Ariel Chates, Chris Leverett, Abby Weingarten, Woody Woodman EDITORIAL INTERN

Dylan Campbell

GET SRQ DAILY The magazine in your hands offers enormous insight into our community, but the most informed in our community follow our constant coverage of Sarasota and the Bradenton Area in SRQ Daily. The electronic newsletter is a must-read in thousands of inboxes. Check our special editions: the Monday Business Edition, the Wednesday Philanthropy Edition, the Friday Weekend Edition and the much-discussed Saturday Perspectives Edition, featuring a diverse range of opinions from the region’s top pundits and newsmakers. SIGN UP ONLINE AT SRQMAG.COM/SRQDAILY

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Below: Dr. Jennifer Bocker, CMO of Sarasota Doctors Hospital, is a team leader on the ground and in the air. Photo by Nathan Roth



pushing healthcare to new heights in her latest skydiving world record attempt. Dylan Campbell

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FOR DR. JENNIFER BOCKER, who became the new Chief Medical Officer at HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital this past January, the sky, quite literally, is her only limit. After nine years working as a head and neck trauma surgeon, surgical oncologist, Executive Board member, and Chair of Strategic Planning at the Surgical Specialists of Colorado, Dr. Bocker ventured south to HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital to affect change on a larger level than she could as a practicing physician. “While I was working my way through this practice and learning how to run it, we would have meetings with large hospital systems—I would find myself going home just to research for hours what we had talked about. That led me to get my MBA—I fell in love with the business side of medicine and realized that I had hit the ceiling of what I could do and how I could affect change on a larger scale,” says Dr. Bocker.

Instead of just changing the lives of individuals, Dr. Bocker will now have the chance to impact the lives of an entire roster of patients as well as the medical staff of HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital. “I’ll be working in a few different areas. I’ll be helping to advance on the quality side—making sure that new initiatives are being implemented and ensuring that our patients are receiving the highest quality of care. I’ll also serve as a liaison between the medical staff—our doctors and providers —and administration,” adds Dr. Bocker Her passion for helping others, however, wasn’t the only thing that she brought with her from Colorado—her love of skydiving came along for the ride as well. After her first foray into the extreme sport in 2006, Dr. Bocker was hooked. “It was the first place I had gone to where I didn’t think of anything else. I didn’t think about stress, work or my patients. The only thing I could think about was skydiving.” Since then, Dr. Bocker has performed thousands of jumps and already owns one skydiving world record in the large formation sit position. “When you get a world record, there’s an energy that goes through the formation. Even though you can’t see the entire formation, you know that you’ve got it. It’s just an incredible feeling, like nothing I’ve ever felt before,” says Bocker.

This November, Dr. Bocker will be a part of Project 19—an initiative funded by the Women’s Skydiving Network to break the women’s large formation, headdown position world record jump to celebrate 101st anniversary of the 19th Amendment. With 102 skydivers creating the formation mid-air, Dr. Bocker is set to be a part of the eight-person foundation from which all other skydivers build off of. “Each plane carries about 23 people, so there will be four or five planes going into the air. It has to be engineered just right so that the planes are in the correct formation at the correct time. Everybody has a different cue for when they should be exiting the plane to build the formation. At the end of it you only have a few seconds to get everybody there. It’s quite the engineering feat,” says Dr. Bocker. Whether her feet are on the ground or her head is in the clouds, Dr. Bocker relishes the chance to work with others to achieve the impossible. “Everything’s a team effort and without the team, you won’t be successful. Everybody on the team is trying to do their best to achieve this one goal—in skydiving it’s the record, in healthcare the goal is to keep getting better for our patients,” says Dr. Bocker. SRQ srq magazine_ JULY/AUG22 live local | 15

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Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar brings a new way to hang with your furry friends this summer. Dylan Campbell


on my face from the time that I walk in to the time that I leave,” says Mindy Kauffman, Sarasota real estate agent and co-founder of Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar. Yes, you read that correctly—it’s ‘Dog Bar’—because even though dogs can’t drink beer, their owners sure can and will be able to do so in the presence of their four-legged friends this summer at the new dog-centric hangout spot. Boo’s—named after Kauffman and her husband and co-founder Bobby Boivin’s pitbull rescue—was originally inspired by the couple’s frequent trips to the Dog Bar in St. Petersburg. For years, they would joke to each other about starting one in Sarasota. Eventually, that joke turned into a reality when, after searching through eight or nine properties, the couple landed on the historic Ice House on 10th Street in Sarasota’s Rosemary district. “One of the big reasons we wanted to put it in the Rosemary District is because the Ice House is in between three newer apartment complexes, all of which are dog friendly. Every time you’re walking in that area you see people walking their dogs,” says Kauffman. The Ice House will be home to 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dog play space—with partitioned areas for large and small dogs—along with a small-scale restaurant and bar where dog owners and non-dog owners alike can enjoy good food and cold drinks all while keeping an eye on their four-legged counterparts. “The space has five raised doors and skylights—so when it’s nice out we’ll raise up the doors and it will 16 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG22 live local

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feel as outside as possible while still inside. Ultimately when it’s really nasty out we can climate control it as well,” adds Kauffman. In addition to offering dog day-care services, the Boo’s will have a non-exclusive membership program—for the dogs, not the humans. “It’s really just a way for us to keep track of the dogs and to make sure that they have all their vaccinations and are social. We’ll have some temperament testing to ensure that the dogs are happy and sociable, but not full scale temperament testing,” says Boivin. Although including a restaurant was not initially in the couple’s plans for the venue, Sarasota zoning restrictions mandated that to serve alcohol outdoors Boo’s had to either be a restaurant or a hotel. This unexpected challenge, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. With the closing of Goodfellas Winery and Café, Kauffman and Boivin were able to recruit the owner, David Grammer and the rest of the staff to Boo’s. “The restaurant is going to be just simple food with good burgers and good pizza. David is bringing over his wood fired pizza oven and running the restaurant. While it’s sad that Goodfellas closed down, Boo’s does afford David the opportunity to have a restaurant downtown, which is something that I believe he always wanted to do,” attests Boivin. With the community behind them, Kauffman and Boivin look forward to making Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar a fun and welcoming place for all - regardless of if you have two or four legs. SRQ

This page left to right: Kauffman and Boivin pose with their Pit Bull mix Boo, the namesake behind Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar. Boo’s Ice House and Dog Bar brings a new venue where both pups and their owners can play.


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Amanda Gilliland dreams up brand new displays of merchandise for her pop-up style Boutique, Rabbit Rabbit. Arianna Boenker

ACCORDING TO SUPERSTITION, utilizing your first waking breath to utter the words “rabbit rabbit” upon the

onset of the month ensures the following weeks will be filled with good luck. Amanda Gilliland is a real-estate agent by trade, but her creative passions lead her toward pursuing various side projects with the help of husband Zachary Gilliand. Toting a background in retail and design, including operating her own wholesale jewelry company, opening a retail space of her own that focuses on thoughtful design was a welcomed challenge. “Rabbit Rabbit is about a well designed life. We carry items that are beautiful to look at, easy to use and are made with consideration of creating a world that prioritizes kindness to people, animals and the earth,” says Gilliland. “The idea behind monthly pop ups is to have something new and exciting every time. It brings more of the event aspect to it. You walk into Target and it always looks like Target. Walking in on only one day a month and it being a new visual experience is a much more fun way to shop. This project is really just all about the fun aspect for me.” Curating a collection of goods is an artform as special as creating the products themselves. To assist in organizing a cohesive collection, Gilliland choses a monthly theme to focus her selections around. “I’m really interested in third places. I would love to have a space oriented around that,” says Gilliland. Long-term, Gilliland would like to transform the storefront into an event space, turning Rabbit Rabbit into a third place for the community. Customers could rely on the third space as an environment more casual than the office and more social than the home to enjoy relaxing in the company of others. This may come in the form of a special drink event during pop-up hours, or turning the space into a location for a casual book club. Rabbit Rabbit aims to be more than just a store; it’s an event to look forward to. SRQ 18 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG22 live local

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This page: Realtor Amanda Gilliland satisfies her creative passion with her Rabbit Rabbit pop-up shop. Rabbit Rabbit will continue to release new collections each month at 2081 Princeton St., Sarasota. Amanda Gilliland, owner, rabbitrabbitsrq@gmail. com,


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Music and the arts come alive at Suzuki Institute School of Music

This page: Suzuki group lessons offer a supportive environment, pushing students to the next level. Suzuki Institute School of Music, 3100 Southgate Circle, Suite B, Sarasota, Phone: 941-330-9930; Text 941-312-2889. For more information and to register for the Suzuki summer camp, visit


build critical learning skills and increases confidence, self-discipline and collaborative interactions among people of all ages. At the Suzuki Institute School of Music, Dr.Salil Singh and his wife, Jennifer Singh believe that music is a language that can be taught to children as young as two years, much like parents teach their children a language to speak at a very young age. The Singhs have owned and operated the school for the past three years. Having moved from California shortly before the start of the pandemic, they are now focusing on growing the Sarasota Suzuki program for the youngest of children with an increasing number of adults coming on board as well. With about 15 teachers involved, including Claudia Birdsall, a professional violinist with the Venice Orchestra, and over 250 students enrolled, the program is already quite impressive.

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Barbie Heit

​​Dr. Singh comes from theater—acting, designing, writing and directing drama productions from an early age in his native country, India. While not a musician himself, he grew up around music and musicians, performing in and even writing the scripts for musicals. This left him with a lifelong love of music— its ability to move, give expression, inspire, tell stories and shape lives for the better. What sets Suzuki apart from other music schools? Suzuki instruction is based on collaboration. For children, especially at the beginning stages, parents are heavily involved. “The parent, teacher and child are a triad type of partnership that helps the child succeed,” says Dr. Singh. “At our school, a community of parents come together in the best interests of their children. The Suzuki emphasis is on listening, playing along and repeating. When music becomes like eating, breathing and walking, you don’t question it, it’s a part of your life.” Most of the instrumental learning starts off with a 30 minute lesson. As the student progresses, lessons move to 45 minutes, and sometimes an hour, depending what fits best with the family’s schedule and budget. Following the Suzuki philosophy, there are 10 books of learning. Each level in the Suzuki curriculum has a specific purpose in teaching a building block of music, while giving the ability to combine in an ensemble. In addition to the individualized lessons, students in the violin, guitar and piano programs also take part in collaborative learning, where they come together and play as a group. “It’s magic to see teachers, adults, parents and other young musicians playing with you,” says Dr. Singh. With a long and deeply-rooted history of teaching violin through the Suzuki method, it is only natural for the school to add Suzuki Piano to the program this year. Their summer program which will be a broad embrace of the arts, offers a fun and exciting experience sure to open a child’s imagination. It will be theme-based each week and include voice, multiple musical instruments, dance, drama, art, a week of shadow puppetry (a special love of Dr. Singh’s), with performances for friends and family at the end of each week. The camp is open to children ages 7-11 (divided by age appropriate levels) and since there are only 12-15 kids total, it allows for one-on-one attention whenever possible, and fills up quickly. Hours are 9 am to 3:30 pm with half-day options available. SRQ


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Meet Our 2022 Competition Judges Samantha Bond Richman | President and Founder of Sam Bond Benefit Group, Inc. As a successful professional in the insurance industry for over 25 years, Samantha brings a wealth of experience to her clients. She provides advice to small business owners, focusing on the unique insurance needs of both the employee group and owner. Licensed as a Life, Health and Annuity Agent with the Florida Department of Financial Services, she has assisted hundreds of businesses, and represented thousands of employees working in a diverse array of industries. Samantha is a member of the National Health Underwriters Association (NAHU) and the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). She is a registered broker for Small Business Marketplace (SHOP); a former President of Tampa Bay-based Network of Executive Women; and has a B.A. in Mass Communications from University of South Florida. Samantha lives and works in downtown St. Petersburg, where she is a contributing writer to the Northeast Journal.

Jo Watson Hackl | Attorney, Wyche, P.A. Jo Watson Hackl is an attorney with Wyche, P.A., in Greenville, SC, where she concentrates her practice in corporate and securities law and has helped register over $1 billion in securities. Hackl is past President of the Greenville County Bar Association and was selected by the Best Lawyers in America listing as the 2015 Greenville Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) Lawyer of the Year. She is a Liberty Fellow and Riley Fellow and has been recognized as a Woman of Achievement by the YWCA. She was the first woman to serve as Chair of the Greenville Area Development Corporation. She holds a BA from Millsaps College and a JD from Yale Law School. Hackl is also a writer and outdoors enthusiast. She is the founder of, a website devoted to providing inspiration and information about the outdoors.

Kellee M. Johnson | Principal, The Ballast Group In 2005, Kellee Johnson founded the Ballast Group, an integrated communications strategy firm, after serving as director of corporate marketing for Abbott Laboratories, where she managed 25 global teams. She then spent five years managing corporate communications for Tropicana, a multi-billion dollar division of PepsiCo, based in Bradenton at the time. Johnson has built and refined domestic brands of global companies and provided lead generation and growth for startup companies. She and her team build better relationships with stakeholders through storytelling that leverages qualified third parties in multiple integrated LISA App, communication channels. Johnson serves as a partner and advisor to the first open marketplace for on-demand beauty that connects artists and clients, based in Chicago. Focusing on all aspects of consumer products, healthcare and high-tech, Johnson has helped companies such as Hyatt, Kaiser Permanente, Stericycle, Safeway, Target, Cisco and Ultimate Software think differently about their relationships.

Geralyn Lucas | Writer, Speaker, Advocate Geralyn Lucas was only 27 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shaking the foundations of her world, she was faced with the harrowing decision of whether or not to undergo a mastectomy. She shared her incredible journey in her memoir, Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy. Filled with courage, humor, and inspirational candor, Lucas’ book and message is not just for women who have experienced the effects of cancer. Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy was made into an Emmy nominated movie that premiered on Lifetime television starring Sarah Chalke and Patti LaBelle in October, 2006. Prior to her writing career, Geralyn was a network television executive and producer at the ABC News Show 20/20 and Lifetime Television. Her work received high ratings and many awards including an Emmy® and a GLAAD Media Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, Tyler, and their two children.

Pam Van Der Lee | Former Chief Marketing Officer, iMatchative Pam Van Der Lee has 25+ years of marketing, strategic planning, partnership marketing and branding experience She was most recently CMO of AltX, a hedge fund intelligence platform, based in San Francisco, where she was responsible for the branding, marketing and design of the AltX product and a member of the company's 5 person executive team. At Nickelodeon, Pam ran the ad sales promotion area at Nickelodeon, supporting ad sales efforts while also establishing and leveraging strategic alliances with numerous Fortune 500 companies to promote the network, its ancillary business and the brand. She also developed and managed Nickelodeon's cross-business branding initiative created to ensure the integrity of the Nickelodeon brand as it expanded into multiple businesses. At Nickelodeon's corporate parent company Viacom, Pam worked for the company’s deputy vice chairman/COO, overseeing corporate marketing and managing the Viacom marketing, licensing, and research councils.


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Meet the 2022 Inductees Into the Women Who Roar Leadership Circle Marianne Chapel

Roxie Jerde

Carol Probstfeld

Founder, SPAACES Foundation

President and CEO, Community Foundation of Sarasota County

President, State College of Florida, Manatee Sarasota

Taylor Collins

Jennifer Johnston

Bridget Ratner, DNP

Senior Community Investment Officer, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Owner, Bridget Ratner DNP LLC

President, Professional Benefits

Cheri Coryea President, Coryea Consulting, LLC

Victoria Kasdan

Julie Deffense Owner/Cake Artist, Julie Deffense Artistry-Luxury Wedding Cakes

CoFounder/Chair, Making an Impact

Aurilla (Dee Dee) Fusco

CEO, Centerstone of Florida

Principal Gifts, Jackson Laboratory

Melissa Larkin-Skinner Meg Lowman Director, TREE Foundation

Jane Gill Watt

Kristie O'Kon


Director of Client Relations, Grapevine Communications

Casey Siljestrom, DVM Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Southgate Animal Hospital Terri Syros Owner, The Breakfast Company

Judy Wang, MD Associate Director of Drug Development, Florida Cancer Specialists and Sarah Cannon Research Institute

COMPETITION OVERVIEW SRQ Magazine invites the community to nominate women they feel exemplify the personal integrity, expertise and community engagement qualities recognized by the Women Who Roar platform. Nominees were asked to share their insights with our judges in nine key areas via a written application: how they define success, what personal experiences have motivated and inspired their professional success, their most meaningful accomplishment, how they took a leap of faith to embrace a risk, their "secret sauce" and outlook on life in six words, the TV or movie character they would play in real life, who they would bring back from history to spend a morning with, their favorite child bedtime story and the wisdom they would share in a letter to their younger selves. Judges from around the country scored each nominee based on their application to render the selection of the winners who are then inducted into the Women Who Roar Leadership Circle at the Annual Together We Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon held each May.

Programs powered by the Women Who Roar Community Initiative

SkillSHARE | Mentorship at the Speed of Life Made for speed, SkillSHARE represents the basics of mentorship concentrated into mini-sessions that encourage honest interactions and allow for spontaneous connection. Meet like-minded professionals, make valuable connections and get straight to your most burning questions about career and personal development. Each participant is paired with several mentors for mini-sessions. Lasting from 10–12 minutes, each mini-session is unstructured, allowing for conversation, guidance and direction from each mentor. This program is returning this Fall 2022. Register online at

SMARTgirl | Futures Summit We believe girls can do anything. SMARTGirl fosters “curated networking” and engages local elementary and middle school young women in a program designed to partner with them to explore career possibilities and the tools they need to succeed through mentorship, hands-on workshops and building from their strengths. The most recent SMARTgirl Futures and Mentorship Summit was held on Friday, April 15, 2022 at The Hyatt Regency, Sarasota. Thank you to our sponsors for making this program possible. Let’s help our future leaders ROAR by giving them with the opportunity to spend time with female leaders in the region. Call for applications opens each year in October.


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2022 Leadership Circle Inductees On One of Their Biggest Achievements MARIANNE CHAPEL | SPAACES FOUNDATION


Getting the not-for-profit, the SPAACES Foundation, off the ground and operating on a shoe-string budget, during a world-wide pandemic was extremely challenging. It involved persistence, tenacity and faith that, “if you build it, they will come.” I am extremely happy that SPAACES was able to start building, operating and supporting Sarasota artists with exhibitions and art studios in 2020.

Cofounding a new nonprofit at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is the accomplishment of which I'm most proud. We realized the devastating impact COVID had on the lives and livelihood in our community by exacerbating pre-existing needs and creating many new ones.


Several years ago I was tasked with developing a clinical model that helped children experiencing severe mental health issues, and their families, thrive in their homes and communities.

Purchasing our 40 year old family insurance business this past year has been such an amazing privilege. My father and his business carry such a wonderful reputation in the community and the industry so I'm truly humbled to step into his shoes.

CHERI CORYEA | CORYEA CONSULTING, LLC While I’ve had many career accomplishments that I am proud of the one single accomplishment I am most proud of is becoming a mother. It is the single most exciting feeling I have each day knowing that both my daughters have become successful by their own hard work and determination and that they can independently control their own destiny.

JULIE DEFFENSE | JULIE DEFFENSE ARTISTRY-LUXURY WEDDING CAKES Many people have told me I am the new, today-generation version of Sylvia Weinstock (if you don’t know who she is, she is the "queen" of wedding cakes). She is the best of the best, and I am so honoured and humbled to even be mentioned in the same sentence as Sylvia!

AURILLA (DEE DEE) FUSCO | JACKSON LABORATORY As a mother my first thought is that I have an amazing son who has brought nothing but joy andpride to my life. I was additionally lucky to add a beautiful and talented adult step-daughter to the mix and they with their spouses create ultimate joy.The journey does not however stop there because as a blended family joining a much larger family we took on a significant project a few years ago to build an ice rink in my husband's home town and to own and manage it as a family.

JANE GILL WATT | IMPACT100SRQ The pandemic wrought historic division, physical separation, and palpable vitriol; yet Impact100 SRQ was able to unite, grow, and increase our impact in the community. As the leader of Impact100 SRQ, I was determined that women would stay even more connected to one another and that we would redouble our commitment to serving our community’s growing needs.

ROXIE JERDE | COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY Working with the amazing team at CFSC through the pandemic. Seeing commitment to mission and community, resilience, agility and team work was so inspiring as we partnered with our donors, nonprofit partners, funders, government and community.

JENNIFER JOHNSTON | GULF COAST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION I am most proud of the significant philanthropic investments and community benefit achieved because of my leadership role in reducing homelessness and improving mental health supports in Sarasota County. It is a privilege to provide guidance to donors and the foundation board and then to partner with nonprofits organizations and government leaders to achieve lasting, best-practice solutions for our community.



MEG LOWMAN | TREE FOUNDATION Building the world's first canopy walkway (in Australia) which now provide sustainable income for many indigenous people from ecotourism instead of logging; and then building the first canopy walkway in North America at our very own Myakka River State Park, which is now a global model.

KRISTIE O'KON | GRAPEVINE COMMUNICATIONS Discovering my self-worth. After years of being put down you start to believe all the mean things people say. Your inner voice then begins to mimic those same words. I have hidden behind humor and have always tried to hide the hurt I feel.

CAROL PROBSTFELD | STATE COLLEGE OF FLORIDA I am very proud that SCF safely returned our students to face to face instruction in June 2020; almost two years ago. To date the infection rate at our campuses is less than half the rate in Manatee or Sarasota and we have no incidences of an infection being contracted at an SCF campus.

BRIDGET RATNER | BRIDGET RATNER HEALTHCARE SERVICES In the past I would have responded with "raising my daughter as a single mother" or perhaps following a dream and earning a doctorate degree at the age of 50. However, at this point in time I'd have to say that being a Primary Care Provider for seniors during this pandemic has been the most difficult task I have undertaken.

CASEY SILJESTROM | SOUTHGATE ANIMAL HOSPITAL My greatest accomplishment in life was earning my degrees in both veterinary medicine and public health while also having my first child, Levi. After cancer I was warned that the treatments I endured may have left me unable to have children – and yet my baby boy was born just before my final year at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

TERRI SYROS | THE BREAKFAST COMPANY I am incredibly proud that my family and I were able to open and manage a successful restaurant amidst challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. From staffing issues to inflation and pandemic related challenges, we did not give up and rallied together as a family.

JUDY WANG | FLORIDA CANCER SPECIALISTS One of the first patients I treated as an oncologist and clinical trial investigator at FCS/SCRI is still alive and thriving today. When I first met him in October of 2015, he has deteriorating from Stage 4 prostate cancer. After convincing him a clinical trial could be a therapy alternative for him, I began treating him with an innovative combination of immunotherapy. Within a month, his pain and palpable tumors were gone.

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“The magical

combination of the collective giving

model, activated by the purpose-

driven women in our

organization, creates transformational change in our

communities and

illustrates that what we can achieve is both significant and limitless.” —Jane Gill Watt



JANE RECOUNTS BEING INSPIRED BY WOMEN, beginning with her tenacious mother, Irene. She smiles, quickly crediting the many women in her life who have supported and encouraged her along her journey. Today Jane is fueled to inspire other women as the dynamic founder and leader of the women’s collective, Impact100 SRQ. She has discovered her life's purpose and is on a mission to make a difference in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. After Jane's mother joined and lauded Impact100 Pensacola, Jane looked for a chapter in Sarasota. Discovering there was not a local chapter, she knew she had to take action, which set the stage for Impact100 SRQ. Women from

diverse backgrounds, ages, occupations, experiences, concerns, and interests united to award nonprofits in the community with transformational grants of no less than $100,000. By the end of the chapter’s fourth year, the women’s collective will have awarded over $1.6 million in grants. Since Jane embarked on her journey to enact positive change, she has inspired 663 women this year to join her mission. Jane's life has taken many unexpected twists and turns. The strength she has amassed from her life experiences channel her laser-sharp focus on maintaining the connection, the inclusive culture, and the empowerment of the dedicated women embracing local

philanthropy. She wholeheartedly believes success lies in the multi-generational women that form a tapestry of interests and backgrounds woven together and embracing the collective giving model. As a leader, the diverse perspectives of members and potential members ground her. Jane acknowledges that she doesn't have all the answers but remains true to herself, graciously learning while celebrating mutual empowerment. She is a stellar tribute to all the women walking on this journey, leaving footprints of unity, transformation, and accomplishing remarkable change.

Impact100 SRQ | P.O. Box 49887 | Sarasota Florida 34230 |


6/13/22 4:35 PM

“Kindness goes a

long way; patience is a true virtue;

resilience is not for the faint of heart

and empathy is an absolute must.” —Kristie O'Kon




WHEN YOU FIRST MEET KRISTIE O’KON, YOU’RE STRUCK BY HER PERSONALITY. It’s kind yet candid and remains consistent every time you interact with her. She is a person who is as intent on learning your story in order to reach your heart as she is focused on saying the right words to put a smile on your face. It’s a pleasing blend of patience, honesty and humor, resulting in an ease of conversation and knowing you’re with someone who genuinely cares. That’s because she does. This grounded, tell-it-like-it-is approach to building relationships based on straightforward authenticity was developed following a life journey in which things were considerably more unpredictable. In fact, with Kristie’s background full of speedbumps and obstacles, the only

consistency was chaos. To hear her story is to root for the hero who encounters adversaries at every turn. She faced the early-on illnesses and deaths of her parents and became the support system for her siblings, a responsibility which impeded her pursuit of higher education. And from years of enduring mental and physical abuse causing her own personal battles with self-confidence and selfdoubt, there always seemed to be a hurdle to overcome just to get ahead. But for Kristie, those struggles led to strategies. The setbacks encouraged steps up. And myriad challenges became meaningful life lessons which taught her that you never know where someone has been or what they have been through. To have empathy. And kindness always goes

a long way. This deep-seated consideration for the unique experiences and lifetesting luggage each person carries has translated perfectly for her professional role as Director of Client Relations with Grapevine Communications – a position which demands compassion and candor. Kristie is a mother to two teenaged sons, a wife to her husband of almost 12 years, a devoted employee and always a student. She understands that you can be grateful for your success while remaining thankful for the hard times. In her words, “Nobody ordinary ever accomplished something extraordinary.”

Grapevine Communications | 5201 Paylor Lane | Sarasota, FL 34240 | 941.351.0024 |


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"Be the change

you want to see



in the world” — Marianne Chapel


I AM FASCINATED BY BUILDING PRACTICES, CITY PLANNING, HOUSING NEEDS, AND CONTEMPORARY ART. These passions came together with my love for Sarasota and inspired me to create the SPAACES Foundation. At SPAACES, we nurture professional artists by offering affordable art studios, quality exhibitions, and much, much more! Art has a purpose much larger than decoration; Art can be a force for social change. Our nonprofit, SPAACES, highlights talented contemporary artists, preserves the Park East neighborhood where it resides, jumpstarts the Sarasota art scene, and tries, one artist at a time, to make the world a better place. I am enthusiastic about my work, I love being a force for good in my community, and I am committed to nurturing Sarasota’s art scene by promoting and encouraging artists to work and pursue art careers in Sarasota. Everyday, I am grateful to go to work and be surrounded by creative people.

SPAACES Foundation |

Congratulations to the 2020/21/22 Women Who Roar Nominees 2020 Julie Bender-Sibbio Rocio Davila Kristina Eastmond Danielle Mowrey Jen Ahearn-Koch Abigail Altier Alexandra Armstrong Lori P. Augustyniak Claudia Baeza Barbara Barone Dawn Bear Susie Bowie Christina Captain Aimee Cogan Barbara Cogswell


Taylor Collins Stacey Crawford Wendy Deming Tiziana Di Coastanzo Mary Dougherty Erin Duggan Adell Erozer Joanne Fabec Sarah Firstenberger Dee Dee Fusco Alyssa Gay Annette Gueli Sciolino Susan Harrigan Virginia Harshman Tammy Hauser Erin Hurter Shelby Isaacson

Johnette Isham Christine Kasten Joanne Keenan Leonard Kesten Liza Kubik Shoko Kubota Debbie LaPinska Melissa LarkinSkinner Keren Lifrak Kim Livengood Dianna Manoogian Stacey Schroeter Kari Marks Donna McKee Kim Miele Lisa Moore

Nicole Murby Rochelle Nigri Annalise O'Brien Vickie Oldham Beth Owen Cipielewski Denice Peoples Karen Riley-Love Christine Robinson Jessica Rogers Meghan Serrano Casey Siljestrom Kendra Simpkins Shawna Smith Janet Solomon Elizabeth Topp Michele Vandendooren Melissa Voigt

Melissa Walsh Judy S. Wang, MD Kristi Weaver Allison Werner Bridget Ziegler

2022 Jen Ahearn-Koch Chippy Ajithan Abigail Altier Alexandra Armstrong Lori Augustyniak Claudia Baeza Barbara Barone Dawn Bear Robyn Bell

Julie Bender-Sibbio Melanie Bevan Leymis BolanosWilmott Susie Bowie Suzy Brenner Brittany Bryant Christina Captain Marianne Chapel Kathryn Chelsy Tiziana Coastanzo Aimee Cogan Barbara Cogswell Taylor Collins Stacey Crawford Katherine Crawford Milande David

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Congratulations to the 2020/21/22 Women Who Roar Nominees Rocio Davila Donna DeFant Julie Deffense Wendy Deming Holly Dennis Jackie Dezelski Erin Duggan Kristina Eastmond Jessica Edwards Adell Erozer Joanne Fabec Ping Faulhaber Sarah Firstenberger Shoko Frey Dee Dee Fusco Alyssa Gay Tatiana Georgiano Melissa Gissinger Anna Gonce Elizabeth Goodwill Margaret Goreshnik Kathryn Greenberg Annette Gueli Sciolino Virginia Haley Eileen Hampshire Sara Hand Marybeth Hansen Susan Harrigan Virginia Harshman

Tammy Hauser Sharon Hillstrom Erin Hurter Elena Ianakiev Shelby Isaacson Kelli Jaco Dolly Jacobs Linda Jellison Roxie Jerde Jennifer Johnston Kaitlin Johnstone Carol Ann Kalish Victoria Kasdan Christine Kasten Sharon Kenworthy Anya Keogh Liza Kubik Debbie LaPinska Melissa Larkin-Skinner Nancy Lavick Jennifer Lee Anne Lee Natalia Levey Keren Lifrak Kim Livengood Margaret Lowman Jill Luke Dianna Manoogian Stacey Marks

Katie McCurry Donna McKee Karen Medford Elizabeth Mendez Fisher Good Kim Miele Lisa Moore Ansley Mora Danielle Mowrey Nicole Murby Lucy Nicandri Rochelle Nigri Annalise O'Brien Vickie Oldham Christine Olson Beth Owen Cipielewski Jennifer Peeples Michelle Pennie Denice Peoples Jennifer Petrosky Andria Piekarz Carol Probtsfeld Simi Ranajee Bridget Ratner Alix Redmond Rebecca Reynolds Karen Riley-Love Jessica Rogers Kari Schroeter

Adela Sejdic Meghan Serrano Rachel Shelley Casey Siljestrom Kendra Simpkins Kristie Skoglund Shawna Smith Jan Solomon Michele Stephan Wendy Surkis Fern Tavalin Alison Thomas Elizabeth Topp Jenny Townsend Christina Unkel Michele Vandendooren Mey Vidal Melissa Voigt Cheryl Wade Melissa Walsh Judy Wang Ruth Wardein Jane Watt Kristi Weaver Cina Welch Allison Werner Susanne Wise Bridget Ziegler

2022 Tara Allison Chelsea Bakr Leah Brown Catherine Burns Jennifer Bushinger-Ortiz Chloe Cantebury Crystal Clarke Taylor Collins Cheri Coryea Stephanie Fraim Danielle Gallagher Jane Gill-Watt Corinna Gorcynski Karen Harmon Shauntelle Hoffman Kinga Huse Allison Imre Lisa Intagliata Maria Jimenez Sydney Johnson Wendy Katz Karen Koblenz Kari-Jo Koshes Liza Kubik Brittany Lamont Melanie Lehman Stephanie Lirio

Stephanie Magaldi Barbara May Tre Michel Trudy Moon Lisa Moore Danielle Mowrey Kristy O'Kon Christine Olson Stefanie Overturf Jessica Papineau Amanda Parrish Leah Reda Sara Robinson Nikki Roenicke Megan Rose Marissa Rossnagle Daisy Sanders Kathy Schersten Sarah Seay Natasha Selvaraj Aleshia Serianni Alissa Silvers Terri Syros Susan Tambone Tiffany Toale Stephanie Toale Angelica Vaca-Wolff Chelsea Vacca MaryAnne Young














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The temps are heating up and so are the events, activities and restaurants in and around town. We’ve pulled together the hottest list of to-dos for this summer, including the best day-cation spots, live theater, exhibits, turtle watching and the most refreshing treats to beat the heat. Find the latest and greatest farmers’ markets, visit some big cats and discover the thrills of deep sea fishing and more.


Written by Arianna Boenker, Dylan Campbell and Abby Weingarten Photography by Wyatt Kostygan and Wes Roberts

SUMMER QUENCHERS Summer Tap Juice Bar has become a coveted downtown fixture, with its fresh libations like Watermelon Lemonades and Refreshing Green smoothies. Every ingredient that goes into their drinks is made from fruits and vegetables (no mixers, additives or powders), and sweeteners like agave nectar, Florida orange juice and natural apple juice. Bite-wise, there are sweet and savory toasts (such as Banana Nutella Toast with honey and mint; or Avocado and Tomato Toast with chickpeas and basil), as well as acai bowls and global loose-leaf teas. “Right now, everyone is really excited about our Star Fruit Juice,” says Josephine Janak, who has been working with Summer Tap for over a month. “The star fruit is now in season and we combine it with pear, orange and pineapple, which makes for a really refreshing drink,” she says. However, Summer Tap’s most popular menu item, Tropical Paradise–a mixture of pineapple, mango, banana and passion fruit–is an exotic and heavenly juice that makes you feel like you’re on an exotic vacation. —A.Weingarten 411 South Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-993-1449. @summertapjuicebar.

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JAM IT UP Pineapple Kitchen offers a little bit of everything culinary to Lakewood Ranchers. At their Culinary Theater, they have Kitchen Kids Culinary Education programs which teach children ages 7-13 about principles of food safety in the kitchen, best practices for food preparation, and basic kitchen tools and measurements. They also provide hands-on experience on how to prepare a recipe. Their summer camps and fall Kitchen Kids Challenge classes are very popular and fill up quickly. For adults they offer unique Dining & Mixology Events, Charcuterie Classes, and Interactive Murder Mystery Shows. Husband-and-wife owners, Mike and Jenny Schenk welcome everyone to visit them at Pineapple Kitchen in Lakewood Ranch. “Come and experience our new line of flavorful burger jams to take your burgers to the next level,” says Jenney. “Try our yummy Fusion Jalapeño Strawberry Jam for charcuterie cheeses or brunch. Hospitality never tasted so good!” Pineapple Kitchen’s Gourmet Market is open select hours this summer. Stop in for all of your gourmet condiments, soft pretzel needs and more. The Schenks love helping customers put together gift baskets and choose delicious unique items to entertain with or pick up as a hostess gift. New for the fall, Pineapple Kitchen will offer Family Mystery Shows twice a month for all ages. —A.Weingarten 4914 Lena Road, Unit 104, Lakewood Ranch, 941-254-1763.

Previous page: Sunshine in a Bottle juice with pineapple, green apple and orange from Summer Tap’s Juice Bar in Burns Court. Below left: Pineapple Kitchen’s burger jams spice up your summer barbecue. Below right: It’s sea turtle nesting season, so keep an eye out for baby sea turtles making their way to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

TURTLES TAKE CARE Every summer, part of Sarasota’s human population departs, fleeing the heat and the thunderstorms, but a different population takes their place - sea turtles. From May 1st through October 31st, Sarasota County beaches are home to the largest population of nesting sea turtles. As numerous as this population is, however, it does not matriculate by chance or without risk. For although Sarasota County averages more than 200 sea turtles per mile along coastal shorelines, only one out of every 1,000 hatchlings survive to adulthood. It is these same hatchlings that return to the very same beaches decades later to lay their own eggs. “Once the water gets warm enough, nesting sea turtles come from the gulf of Mexico and onto the beach to lay their eggs at night. The 200 hundred pound female sea turtle then sits atop the nest to bury it and in 45-80 days the hatchlings begin to emerge,” says Tim Thurman, president of the Longboat Key Turtle Watch. The biggest threat to the hatchlings outside predatory birds and wildlife? Unnatural light. Once they emerge, hatchlings are programmed to leave their nests—often in the upper part of the beach, away from the water—and head towards the brightest light that they see. While that should be the ocean, it’s unfortunately not always the case. “In the natural world the upwards part of the beach shouldn’t be emitting or reflecting any light. Conversely, the water should be the brightest part of the beach - it reflects all the natural light from the moon and the stars. That’s what makes lightning a huge problem for hatchlings - any light visible on the beach from buildings to houses to condominiums —even flashlights—can disorient the hatchlings,” attests Thurman. So how can we remedy this? Try to avoid the beach at night if possible, but if you are on a nighttime stroll, use flashlights with low wavelength bulbs such as amber or LEDs as even the light from a phone flashlight can become disorienting for hatchlings. When on the beach during the day, avoid digging large holes or making big aberrations to the sand. While the actual nests are safely buried underneath the sand, holes dug from umbrellas can disturb the nestsIf you encounter an injured or distressed sea turtles make sure to call the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-FWCC (3922)—D.Campbell 30 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUG22 live local

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Ready to eschew ennui this summer? You’ll never be bored with this must-try, to-do list of family-centric activities in Sarasota-Manatee. Paddle through the wetlands at a state park, take guided walks at a nature center, interact with animals at a pe ing zoo, and score cool cups of freshly-squeezed lemonade at a farmers’ market—all before the start of the school year. Slather on some sunscreen and explore.

Emerson Point Preserve

Emerson Point Preserve

GO WILD Myakka River State Park Not afraid of gators? Get your oars wet and paddle the 66-mile Myakka River, which flows through wetlands, prairies, hammocks and pinelands. The experience starts in Northeast Manatee County and ends in Charlo e Harbor, and you’re bound to see a bevy of turtles, birds and other swampy creatures along the paddling path. The Myakka River State Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset, and admission is $6 per vehicle (two to eight people). Rates for activities vary. 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota, 941-361-6511. myakka-river-state-park.

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary Score a face-to-face encounter with a two-toed sloth, silver fox, ruffed lemur or agile wallaby at Big Cat Habitat. These interactive experiences are by-reservation only, Wednesdays through Sundays (there are also virtual options!). Check out the onsite pe ing zoo, as well as the sanctuary full of lions, tigers, ligers, bears, camels and monkeys. There are even live animal demonstrations and bird shows. The park is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; $25 for adults and $10 for children (rates for reserved experiences vary). 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, 941-3716377.

A li le-known oasis on the west end of Snead Island, Emerson Point Preserve is rife with hiking and kayaking trails. But that’s just part of the fun! Check out activities like the “Escape Room: Sinking Ship,” which invites participants to step into the shoes of Florida’s first commercial fishermen and “escape an arduous journey at sea.” Or go on an estuary expedition with the “Green Explorers” program, and experience the wild habitat through hands-on learning. The preserve is free and open to the public daily, year-round, with special rates for activities.5801 17th St. W., Palme o, departments/parks


The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch Now located at Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch, The Market is stocked with 90 curated vendors, offering everything from trinkets to treats. This summer, sample some Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade—a booth with an array of handcra ed raw fruit lemonades that are fresh-pressed daily. Want something creamier? Totally Nuts Premium Almond Mylk has cold brew, vanilla, original, chocolate, and chocolate with honey varieties. The Market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, year-round. 561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-6000. Farmers-Market-at-LWR.

Cortez Deep Sea Fishing

Sarasota Farmers Market

Anglers of all ages are welcome to “get hooked” on Cortez Deep Sea Fishing charters, which has been leading families around the shores of Anna Maria Island for more than 35 years. Charters run 360 days a year, weather permi ing, and participants o en catch grouper, snapper, flounder, sea bass and trigger fish (depending on the season). Guides provide the fishing license, rods, bait and tackle, and they even clean and filet the catches. Rates vary by hours, as well as boat and group sizes.4110 127th St. W., Cortez, 941-795-6969. —A. Weingarten

Slink through the aisles at this Downtown Sarasota market, and peruse the wares and eats from 84 eclectic vendors. Cool off with a sip of coldbrewed black tea or all-natural Thai tea from Elevation Tea Company in Venice (a purveyor of loose-leaf, single-origin teas from around the world, with no artificial flavors or colors). Also, recharge with an acai or coconut smoothie bowl from Dream Earth Bowls—customizable, all-natural and dairy-free indulgences. The market is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday, year-round. 1 Lemon Ave., Sarasota, 941-225-9256.

GO FARM Red Barn Flea Market With 600-plus booths and shops, the Red Barn has been a Bradenton staple since 1981, and it is a climate-controlled delight in the ho est months. Through August, check out the “garage sale weekends” and summer rates. Stop by Miller’s Snack Shack at Booth 909 for pork rinds, ke le and caramel corn, roasted peanuts and Italian ice; or Meaney’s Mini Donuts (Booth 938) for freshly-squeezed lemonade and cinnamon sugar donuts. The flea market is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 1707 First St. East, Bradenton, 941-7473794.

Red Barn Flea Market

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SUMMER ON STAGE & SCREEN Through July 10, catch Athena at Urbanite Theater, a play by Gracie Garner and directed by Summer Wallace—co-founder and co-artistic director of Urbanite Theatre. The play follows two teenage fencers training for Nationals - Mary Wallace and Athena—as their personalities foil and parry through the tumultuous cycle of adolescence. “They’re rivals and practice partners—the play focuses on how when friendship intermingles with competition, things get complicated. There’s a lot of pressure to be the best fencer, to get into the best college, and to navigate teenage life, all at the same time,” says Summer Wallace. What stands out about Athena isn’t just how Urbanite Theatre’s intimate layout adapts to the various scene changes or the time taken to portray convincing fencing, but in how the sparring acts as a conduit for the larger thematic elements of the play. Intimacy is found in the ordinary, normal lives of these American teenagers - through their struggles and differences they learn how to find themselves. The Players Center is rehearsing for a Summer lineup of exciting productions, debuting two music-filled performances. Love, Linda and Let It Be. The shows will grace the stage at Studio 1130 located at The Crossings at Siesta Key, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Love, Linda reflects on the lyrics and music of Cole Porter through the narration of Linda Lee Thomas, who was the driving force for the timeless songwriter. This one-woman musical is scheduled to have a preview performance on July 13 at 7:30pm and will be available to the public for $22. Regular showing tickets will sell for $25. On July 14-16 and July 21-23 performances will begin at 7:30pm and July 17 and 24 showings will start at 2pm with an approximate run time of two hours. Let It Be is set during the 1960’s when civil unrest and The Beatles were at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Chronicling the journey of two neighboring families who lean on each other increasingly through their hardships, this story celebrates their journey to find peace and love. Popular songs from The Beatles repeteur accentuate the beauty and meaning of this story. A preview performance will run on August 17 at 7:30pm for $22. Performances on August 18-20 and 25-27 begin at 7:30pm and on August 21 and 28 at 2pm for $25.

Drama, comedy, romance, action – indulge in a summer of popcorn-filled fun with the Sarasota Film Society. Starting at just $20, Sarasota Film Society offers membership packages that include discounted ticket rates, free popcorn and soda, early access to ticket purchasing and more. Indulge in both independent films and blockbuster screenings of this summer’s family features. In the age of hand held, professional grade cameras in your phones and social media that profligates the constant sharing of images, we never really think to take a step back to examine what’s in those images. What data do they carry beyond face value? What biases were they created with? Metadata: Rethinking Photography from the 21st Century, on display at the Ringling Museum through August 28th, explores these concepts. “The exhibition looks at the work of about ten contemporary artists, many of whom are exploring photography from an expanded practice,” says curator Christopher Jones. “The premise of the exhibition is expanding upon the concept of metadata - which today we think of as that embedded information that gives raw data of the image—when it was taken, by whom, and perhaps the geographic location of the image. Metadata can also be the other information that the image accumulates as it circulates through the internet,” adds Jones. The exhibit is also working to incorporate the different aspects of digital and analog photography mainly photography practices and circulation patterns—into our collective understanding of metadata and how that impacts the way we view photography. “Some of the artists are exploring the history of digital scanning technology, while two of the artists are looking at the history of color-film photography and the history and culture of the Eastman Kodak film corporation,” says Jones.—A. Boenker and D. Campbell This page left to right: The Urbanite Theatre’s Athena. Summer movies at Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota ; Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Drive #8, Sarasota. Metadata: Rethinking Photography frojm the 21st Century, The Ringlin Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road.

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size, scale, and curation of the works are tailored specifically to Selby’s campus. Visitors can view the art through an app on their smartphones or hand-held devices - magical windows to transport you to an entirely different world. 1534 Mound St, Sarasota, FL 34236 and 337 N Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229.

GO GREEN Crowley Museum and Nature Center Brave the heat at the Crowley and reserve a 90-minute guided nature walk through undisturbed native Florida lands. Learn about the plants, birds, animals and bugs of five habitats (Pine Flatwoods, Oak Hammock, Maple Branch Swamp, Tatum Sawgrass Marsh and the Myakka River) along the way. You can also experience Old Florida history at the museum, pioneer cabin, blacksmith shop and working sugar cane mill. Museum admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages two to 12 (ask about specific tour rates). 16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota, 941-322-1000.

Selby Gardens—Historic Spanish Point Campus A 30-acre waterfront preserve on Li le Sarasota Bay, Historic Spanish Point (now part of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens) hosts a plethora of native Florida plants. Through August, check out the onsite art exhibit (imbued with augmented reality technology) called Seeing the Invisible: An Augmented Reality Contemporary Art Exhibit. It features works by more than a dozen international artists, such as Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui and Timur Si-Qin. Admission to the Point is $25 for adults and $10 for children ages five to 17 (ask about special event rates).. 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, 941-366-5731.

Palma Sola Botanical Park Northwest Bradenton’s Old Palma Sola area is home to Palma Sola Botanical Park—a 10-acre haven of rare palms, subtropical plants, fruits and flowering trees. Experience the serenity of this idyllic site by engaging in some year-round “Yoga in the Park,” which is offered by various instructors nearly every day (mornings and some evenings). There are three serene lakes and tons of bu erflies onsite to keep you company as you gently restore your mind, body and soul. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset daily and admission is free (check for yoga class rates). 9800 17th Ave. N.W., Bradenton, 941-761-2866. palmasolabp. org.—A. Weingarten

Sarasota Comic Con

GO FESTIVALS Sarasota Comic Con Beat the heat this summer on August 13th, at the Carlisle Inn and Conference Center, the SarasotaCon - Pop Culture show will be on display from 10:00am to 5:00pm. What be er way to indulge in your favorite comic book and pop culture fandom than at Florida’s truest comic convention that features a ractions for fans of all ages and genres. Admission to the event is $20 and children 11 and under are let in for free - the convention will have panels and sessions with people such as comic book artist Graham Nolan - the creator of Bane - famous TV vehicles including ‘Baby’ from Supernatural, a cosplay contest, and over 80 vendors and guests. thesarasotacon. com/

Selby Gardens: Seeing the Invisible This summer, explore a whole new world - a world that fits inside the palm of your hand, yet is only visible when on the Historic Spanish Point Campus of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Sounds impossible? That’s because it should be. On view at the Selby Gardens until August is Seeing the Invisible - an augmented reality exhibition that features art works of 13 contemporary artists, including Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Pamela Rosenkranz, and Ai Weiwei, superimposed on the Garden’s verdant grounds. Seeing the Invisible was initiated by the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and Outset Contemporary Art Fund, and is co-curated by Hadas Maor and Tal Michael Haring, with support of the Jerusalem Foundation. While Selby Gardens is one of 12 botanical gardens around the world showcasing this augmented reality exhibition, the

Suncoast Summer Fest This summer, decide to be a part of something bigger than yourself - to give back to your community and to those around you. Giving back doesn’t have to mean giving up, however. With the Suncoast Summer Fest, which runs from June 24th to July 10th, there’s no need to give up on all that the area has to offer - participants can indulge themselves in the splendors of our local paradise while still contributing to a good cause. Proceeds from the Suncoast Summer Fest go towards Suncoast Charities for Children - charities that provide direct financial support to several local non-profit agencies that run programs and services to children, teens, and adults with special needs. Start the week off with the July 4th Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular before joining the weekend fun at the Blast on the Bay Charity Fun run on Friday July 8th and a ending the Waves and Wheels party on Saturday evening, July 9th. The Blast on the Bay Charity Fun Run features power boats racing to five different locations on the Sarasota Bay to collect “poker hands”, the five best of which are awarded a cash prize a er the event. In the past two years alone, the Fun Run has raised over $80,000 dollars for Suncoast charities for children. —D. Campbell

Seeing the Invisible

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DAY-CATION IN THE SUN Escape the summer heat with a splash into the cool blue waters of nearby luxury hotels and resorts. provides day-cation seekers a portal to a sun-filled day of swimming, lounging and resort style relaxation. The Sarasota Modern, a chic boutique hotel offers day pass access to their pool deck starting at $25. The day pass includes use of the swimming pool, hot tub and a cold plunge for visitors who require extra relief from the heat. Day pass holders are welcomed to exercise in the fitness center, play ping-pong and deck games and enjoy poolside food and drink services. A Rosemary Cabana pass can be purchased for $125, offering up to six guests the benefits of a day pass and beyond. Monthly membership rates also available. At the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, amenities flow like the waterfall that adorns the pool. For $30, guests can explore the private Marina, complete with tropical foliage, lounge seating galore, whirlpool spa, sun deck and the Hurricane Hut, a poolside bar and lounge. Those wishing to day-cation with kids can bring their young guests to splash in the refreshing water for a reduced admission fee of $15. Kayaks and paddle boards are available for rental for those wishing to explore the bay. Art Ovation Hotel is a hip hotel dedicated to artistic pursuits. This trendy venue features a heated pool, outdoor cabanas and food and drink service – all on its rooftop! From the swimming pool, aerial views of downtown Sarasota and the surrounding waters provide a stunning backdrop for a day of rest and relaxation. Day passes start at $15 for children and $30 for adults. For an even more elevated experience, up to six people can enjoy a day at the Cabana. For $125, guests will have access to all day pass amenities as well as couch seating and complimentary bottled water and fruit plate. Compass Hotel Anna Maria Sound by Margaritaville offers day passes starting at just $20. This slice of paradise includes a marina-side pool, outdoor games, bike rental services, and poolside food and drink service. For $120, four guests are admitted with a day pass. Waterline Villas & Marina provides access to their boutique hotel starting at $20. An oversized sun deck extends into the Marina providing a tropical oasis for visitors. A heated outdoor pool is surrounded by pool chairs, reserved for day pass holders and guests. Enjoy games including ping-pong, chess and jenga. —A.Boenker SRQ


Above left: Oofos Oolala Limited Cherry Blossom, $80;Fleet Feet Sarasota, 711 S Osprey Ave #1, Sarasota, (941) 894-3338,, @fleetfeetsrq. Naot Classic Fresno in white pearl, $145; Aetrex Worldwide SC533 in Janey White, $110; Aetrex Worldwide FW107 Kate Multi Woven, $80;Molly’s – A Chic and Unique Boutique, 1874 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, (941) 921-1221,, Gabor 84.610.66 Sandal in Metal/ Lack nautic/ aquamarin, $245; T. Georgianos, 1409-B 1st St, Sarasota, (941) 870-3727,, Kaanas Nilai, Off White $109; Motel Therapy, 532 S. Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, (941) 9602277,, @moteltherapy. Above right: Oofos Oolala LTD Kaleidoscope, $80; Fleet Feet Sarasota, 711 S Osprey Ave #1, Sarasota, (941) 894-3338, https://www., @fleetfeetsrq. Periwinkle Starfish Sandals, Tidewater, $27; Molly’s – A Chic and Unique Boutique, 1874 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, (941) 921-1221, https://, Steve Madden Newbie Rhinestone, $99.95; T. Georgianos, 1409-B 1st St, Sarasota, (941) 870-3727,, info@ Kaanas Peca, Black $99; Motel Therapy, 532 S. Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, (941) 960-2277,, @moteltherapy. 34 | srq magazine_ JUL/AUG22 live local

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SRQ READERS SET A NEW RECORD IN THIS 14th ANNUAL BEST OF SRQ LOCAL COMPETITION. You spoke up, and we listened. From vets and videographers to cocktails and chiropractors, BOSRQ Local is back with a brand new batch of the cities’ finest fare, favorite services, most sought-after places and beloved businesses—a grand tally thanks to all your voting (a record-breaking 78,000 votes to be exact!). Inspired by the collaborative, immersive Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry and Light exhibit currently residing at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, we pay homage to this influential photographer. “Robert Mapplethorpe was the most renowned photographer of the late twentieth century,” says Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “He is best known for his black-and-white photographs consisting of portraits, nudes, and still lifes. Many of his finest still lifes feature flowers—and that is why we at Selby Gardens felt his work should be featured within a botanical garden context for the very first time. Mapplethorpe made floral still life a significant contemporary genre, heightening the status of photography as an art form in the process.” In bringing to life the winning experiences chosen by our readers, we play with the themes of expressive lighting and irreverent black and white candids to vividly capture the “best” experiences chose by our readers. And now we are happy to present you with the leading legends, the new voices and the rising nominees of this year’s competition. Together, they continue to put Sarasota and Manatee Counties on the map— proving evolutionary and eclectic aren’t just for the big cities. Ready, set, celebrate— #BOSRQ

BEST LOCAL BAGEL Brooklyn Bagels & Deli Everyone loves a good bagel and at BROOKLYN BAGELS & DELI, our Platinum winner, bagels are a holey food. 99 BOTTLES TAPROOM & BOTTLE SHOP takes the Gold while LOX’ N EGG BREAD COMPANY is ready and waiting for pick-up in the Silver category.-A.Chates Emily Govars (on Brooklyn Bagels & Deli): Their bacon egg and cheese bagel is to die for and always a quick hearty breakfast on the way to work. Their customer service feels like home and so does the food. So glad they’re in business! Sarah Seay (on 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop): Best bagels in town. So many options on how to get them prepared. With great drink selection. Werner Gundersheimer (on Lox’n Egg Gread Company): Bagels are extremely fresh, not excessively doughy, with consistent quality across the range; the bialys are even better. Platinum Winner- Brooklyn Bagels & Deli / Gold Winner- 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop / Silver Winner- Lox’N Egg Bread Company.

BEST POOL MAINTENANCE Sutherly Pool Service, Inc.

Keeping critters at bay and leaves away is just a call away with these favorite pool maintenance spots. SUTHERLY POOL SERVICE, INC. is a pool-pleasing Platinum while TIP TOP POOLS gets your splash-zone glowing with Gold. Last up is SUPERIOR POOLS OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA INC. keeping your pool sparkling as the Silver winner.-A.Chates

Kristie Lever (on Sutherly Pool Service, Inc): Sutherly Pool Services is a family-run business and it shows in the stellar care and service they provide us! Since moving to The Sunshine State, they have helped maintain the vision we had of our private oasis. We couldn’t be happier! Eliezer Mandujano (on Tip Top Pools): Thomas is an honest contractor! That is very hard to come by. He is very knowledgeable in all aspects. Kathy Zamudio (on Superior Pools of Southwest Florida Inc.): Superior pools provides excellent customer service and design. Ben and his team were patient, responsive, and had great ideas to make our dream come true within our budget. They own every detail and provide a customized pool. Our home oasis is the talk of the town. Platinum Winner- Sutherly Pool Service, Inc / Gold Winner- Tip Top Pools / Silver Winner- Superior Pools of Southwest Florida, Inc.


Payne Park Circus Playground Fresh air is good for the whole family, and Sarasota has plenty of parks to play in. PAYNE PARK CIRCUS PLAYGROUND is the Platinum pick for outside adventures while URFER FAMILY PARK grabbed Gold in the race for best place to run around. BENDERSON PARK slides into Silver with their ample sidewalks for rollerblading and running and BAYFRONT PARK is the Bronze best. To continue the out-door occasions try Honorable Mentions Nokomis Beach, Casey Key, Florida, Red Rock Park and Colonial Oaks Park.-A.Chates

These formdiable winners from our annual Best of SRQ Local competition did not make it into the pages of the April 2022 issue. We celebrate them this month as some of our readers’ local favorites. Look for the Special 2022 Best of Lakewood Ranch winners in the September 2022 edition of Living Lakewood magazine.

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DAWNELLE LANNERS AND ASHLEY GUTTRIDGE Dawnelle Lanners and Ashley Gu ridge’s mission at Legacy Home Connection is to positively impact the lives of clients and colleagues by building authentic lifelong relationships while providing the highest level of honesty, integrity and expertise in all things real estate. Their residential real estate company has grown quickly in the Sarasota/Manatee market. As they moved into 2022, Legacy expanded their organization into the commercial real estate world, and now looks to serve our community and beyond, in new and exciting ways. WHAT SETS YOUR BUSINESS APART?


When you get to know the two of us,

YOUR JOB? We get to have fun ev-

one character trait that will stand

ery day. We meet amazing people

out about us both is that we are ob-

and have the honor of helping them

sessed with the idea that we can al-

with what is often one of the largest

ways be better; as Realtors, as busi-

financial transactions they’ll make

ness owners and as humans. That

in their lives, and we’ve fallen in love

comes across in the way we run our

with the process of making that ex-

business. Every day, we are looking

perience exceptional for them. Even

for ways to create more opportuni-

when there are challenges, we find

ties for the people we interact with

joy in coming up with the solutions

and to elevate the experience of our

to overcome those challenges and

clients, because no matter where we

get our clients to the closing table.

are at, we will never stop wanting to

Some say this is a stressful job…for

grow and improve.

us, we’re having a blast, and we like to think our clients are too.




Legacy Home Connection Keller Williams Classic Group M (941) 202-2331





ESTATE MARKET? In this market, you

ALTOR THIS YEAR? This recognition

absolutely need a highly skilled pro-

is incredibly humbling. One thing

fessional on your side who is not only

we decided when we started this

up to date with the latest market con-

company is that we would always

ditions, but also who is aggressive and


knows what it takes to win offers for

and true to ourselves, our families,

buyers and get top dollar for sellers in

and our faith. In a world that often

a real estate landscape that is rapidly

defines how people are supposed to

changing. The tactics that worked in

do things, and can be unforgiving

previous markets are not what is best

to those who break the mold, we’re

for buyers and sellers today, so you

grateful for the opportunity to do this

need an agent representing you who

business our way and for the support

recognizes the need to adopt new ne-

of our community.

3355 Clark Rd #103,

gotiation and sales techniques that

Sarasota, FL 34231

are specific to the unique market we

are in in 2022.


authentic @legacy_connection_kw

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SHERRI MILLS I’ve lived in Sarasota for 33 years and love this community more with each passing year. I taught Special Ed. before becoming a Realtor 20 years ago and what be er prep for real estate! Asking questions, listening, problem-solving and creative thinking has given me a loyal following that has made me a Top Producing Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company, a premier Luxury brokerage firm in the area.

MY MISSION There are a gazillion things to do from Day 1 to closing. My mission is to make the process look easy. It’s that simple. After 20 years of negotiating, staging homes to sell, dealing with vendors, working with lenders & attorneys, I realize the magic is in the minutia. It’s what my clients don’t know that’s happening behind the scenes that makes the process easy. Easy for them. Gratifying for me. A CLIENT’S PERSPECTIVE Sherri was my Realtor® for the selling of my home and the purchasing of another. She was truly amazing for both transactions! Always knowledgeable and helped maneuver through the rough spots seamlessly. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for


a bright, honest realtor. —Heather Chapell CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist)

Sherri Mills, Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE accredited) Michael Saunders & Company 1605 Main Street Sarasota, FL 34236

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RYAN SKRZYPKOWSKI “Real estate is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. I feel unbelievably grateful to be able to do this in the place that I love—with the people that I love, serving clients that we love. I want my clients to be able to refer me to their closest friends and family members and know that they will be taken care of.” Ryan considers it an honor for him and his team to be recognized by SRQ Magazine readers as a Top Realtor® for the fi h year running. Thank you, thank you!


and grow in efficiency and produc-

to live, work, and play at “Level 10”

tivity to ensure we offer the best ser-

each and every day has catapulted

vice out there” says Theresa.

his ever- growing influence both locally and nationally within the real estate industry. His constant embrace for greatness and innovation means he never apologizes for having big goals, not just for himself, but for every member of his team within the RSTS Group. This is the fifth year that the RSTS Group has been


Along with hundreds of 5 star reviews on Google and Zillow, their clients boast of their energetic, thorough, and professional approach that focuses on making the entire real estate process a tailored experience for every single client, no matter what price of their home.

recognized within the best of SRQ.

“We operate in the service of our

The growth from Ryan and Theresa,

clients every hour of every day. De-

the husband and wife team, to the

livering on our promise, following

innovative 11 person powerhouse

through on every detail and always

that operates today, has fueled their

thinking from our client’s perspec-

success year after year. 2021 was an-

tive to ensure the highest level of

other record breaking year for the

trust is built and maintained well

RSTS Group. They were able to help

beyond the closing table,” says Ryan.

132 families buy and sell their home resulting in an astonishing sales volume of almost $90 million. As a Sarasota County top producer, Ryan ranks at 0.02% of all active agents for transactions and total volume. “Innovation is the fuel that keeps

RSTS Group

our rocket heading upwards. It’s a

Coldwell Banker

never ending quest to learn, improve

For the RSTS Group, it is a never-ending quest for improvement, efficiency and productivity. Its pursuit keeps them young, motivated, vibrant, and ever-evolving.

Embracing innova-

tion wholeheartedly, because without it, there is no forward progress.

Residential Real Estate M (941) 500 3872 443 John Ringling Blvd. Ste F Sarasota, Florida

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HALIE ROBERSON Halie Roberson, a Sarasota resident for over 20 years, brings strong local knowledge and professionalism to the Sarasota Gulf Coast Homes team, a part of the Keller Williams on the Water Office in downtown Sarasota. Halie navigates every transaction with focus, compassion and enthusiasm, and readily draws upon her in-depth knowledge of the Sarasota and Manatee County markets. Her priority is to represent her client’s best interests, create a positive experience and fulfill their real estate goals.


WHAT SETS YOUR BUSINESS APART? The Sarasota Gulf Coast Homes team mission is to deliver excellence and aim to exceed expectations in everything we do. In 2021, our team was honored to have helped 275 families with their real estate needs totaling over $131 million in sales. The Sarasota Gulf Coast Homes team earned the spot of the #1 Keller Williams team in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, #2 in the North Florida region and #6 in the entire state of Florida! Our team is educated on what it takes to be competitive and what it takes to win in today’s market because we stay on top of the ever changing market trends that we are seeing here in the Sarasota and Manatee areas.

Halie Roberson Sarasota Gulf Coast Homes Keller Williams on the Water M (941) 735-4707 1549 Ringling Blvd Suite 600, Sarasota, FL 34236 halieroberson_realtor

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culture city MODERN GIRL

The Ballroom Florida, the grandest and most stylish of all dance halls in Japan’s Jazz Age, comes to life at the new Ringling Museum exhibit. Dylan Campbell


your brow as bodies twist and turn at the corners of your vision, whirling in and out of sight. The raucous horns of a Jazz band reverberate in your ears, driving the chaotic mass. Tokyo’s elite look on from afar. Outside, the ever churning city churns on, unaware and uninvited to this spectacle of sound. Trudging towards their industrial alibi —disconnected from this youthful aura. But inside Ballroom Florida, you are connected. You are a part of something—a feeling, an energy, a movement of modernism that came crashing through the country like a tidal wave during Japan’s Jazz Age.

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This page: Enomoto Chikatoshi (Japanese, 1898–1973). Florida, ca. 1935 . One of a set of six paintings mounted as framed panels; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper 45 5/16 × 77 1/2 in. (115.1 × 196.9 cm). Gift from the collection of Robert and Mary Levenson, 2019, SN11671.3

That energy is alive once again at The Ringling Museum’s Ballroom Florida: Deco & Desire in Japan’s Jazs Age. The exhibition features six paintings from celebrated Japanese painter Enomoto Chikatoshi and a photograph by modernist photographer Hamaya Hiroshi depicting the women and art deco atmosphere of the Ballroom Florida, along with various assorted objects reminiscent of the dance hall. “The subject of the paintings and photograph are ostensibly women who were employed at Ballroom Florida. The Ballroom Florida was famous for their very beautiful, stylish, and skillful Taxi Dancers—professional dancers who were paid on a per-dance basis by patrons of the club. Another painting features a woman who’s singing, likely a cabaret singer or jazz vocalist. Many of the women, however, are lounging and could have actually been patrons themselves,” says Rhiannon Paget, curator of Asian Art and Ballroom Florida: Deco & Desire in Japan’s Jazs Age at the Ringling Museum. Established in 1928, Ballroom Florida quickly became one of the most prestigious of all of Japan’s jazz-age dance halls. The grandeur of the nightclub’s art-deco interior, its staff of attractive, skilled, “Taxi Dancers”, and penchant for booking the biggest names in jazz—both foreign and domestic—set it apart from other venues. “Ballroom Florida was one of the most foremost and stylish of Japan’s dance halls. It attracted a lot of celebrity and international clientele and drew a lot of business from the newly wealthy as well. The Florida had the most fashionable interior­­—they had the tubular Bauhaus style furniture, electric lights, and a fantastic stage. They also hired a lot of dancers which were said to be the most beautiful and glamorous around. Not only did that attract male clients, but it also ensured that you always had a skilled dance partner for social dancing,” says Paget. At its height, Ballroom Florida was emblematic of the pre-war modernism ushered in during Japan’s Jazz Age. Following the country’s rapid industrialization in the mid-19th century, Japan became a hub for crosscultural influences with the Western world. Amongst the artistic and cultural interchange, were changes to the traditional Japanese social structure. “Dance halls were a new kind of venue in the 1920s and 30s that allowed people to participate in social dancing, which is not traditional to Japanese culture. However, in the late 19th century, the Japanese elite saw that dancing was something that people did in diplomatic parties —it was a good way of cementing relationships. They realized that if Japan wanted to be a modern country, they had to offer this to diplomats and officials who were coming to Japan from the west,” says Paget. srq magazine_ JULY/AUGE22 live local | 67


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culture city

Interest in social dancing filtered quickly out from official circles to the masses—and a younger, cosmopolitan population that was eager to embrace modern, westernized culture. A booming economy drove the development of multi-level department stores and the country’s first subway system—spawning a new generation of independent, socially liberated women that traditionally would have never left their families in the countryside. These women—or “Moga”, a contradiction of modern girl in Japanese— and their male counterparts, “Mobo” (modern boy) craved locations where it was socially permissible to interact with the opposite sex and indugle their interests in foreign music. Dance halls, like the Ballroom Florida, were just the place to do so. The western influence didn’t stop with changing social trends. The Art Deco design of the Ballroom Florida was one of the stylistic trademarks of the night club and Japan’s Jazz Age as a whole. “Art deco really kind of became more rooted in Japan after 1925. 1925 was the year of the international exposition in Paris and a lot of Japanese artists, painters and also metal workers, ceramicists all went to that exhibition. That prompted an explosion of western-style art deco design. But of course, in Japan, they don’t just copy. They sort of took the principles of the style and applied it in ways that made sense and had meaning to themselves,” says Paget.

This page:

Enomoto Chikatoshi (Japanese, 1898–1973). Florida, ca. 1935 .One of a set of six paintings mounted as framed panels; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper. 45 5/16 × 77 1/2 in. (115.1 × 196.9 cm) Gift from the collection of Robert and Mary Levenson, 2019, SN11671.6

Ballroom Florida: Deco & Desire in Japan’s Jazs Age employs various objects and sounds of that artdeco design to create a multisensory experience reminiscent of the Ballroom Florida. “There are about 40 objects, which include ceramics, metalwork, cloisonné, lacquerware, and smoking sets, and also printed materials. We have about 15 song books– booklets of sheet music for harmonica or ukulele with really wonderful covers done by some quite wellknown designers of the day who specialized in this type of graphic design,” says Paget. Paget also supplements the exhibit with the music of Midge Williams­—an African-American jazz vocalist who rose to prominence while performing at the Ballroom Florida. For as much as the dance hall was emblematic of the westernization of Japan’s social culture and design language, it was also just as famous for ushering in the biggest names in jazz from around the globe. “The Ballroom Florida was a multisensory space and their music was so famous that I wanted to cultivate a more immersive experience for the viewer,” says Paget. “Midge Williams was one of the real gems to emerge out of that era,” she adds. “ I’ve read that during her time, she was more famous than Billie Holiday, but unfortunately she died young and faded into obscurity,” says Paget. The Ballroom Florida’s art deco style harkens back to what Paget describes as “constructed exoticism” —or taking the idea of what appears exotic and otherworldly and applying it to your own setting. Even the Tokyo dance-hall’s name “Ballroom Florida’’ is not of its own origin—but rather taken from a Parisian nightclub with the same moniker. “There are these two layers of exoticism. The Paris chic atmosphere of Tokyo’s Ballroom Florida and then obviously the Parisian place is named after Florida out of their own fascination with tropicality. I was curious about how this idea of creating your own exotic carries through to this venue, the Ballroom Florida, and then how you see that actually in other kinds of art deco visual and material culture,” states Paget. So why is it important to tell the story of a long-forgotten nightclub of a bygone era that operated halfway across the world? Why does the Ballroom Florida and the people that inhabited that space nearly 100 years ago matter? It matters because people come to Florida, to Sarasota, to pursue their own version of paradise, to create their own idea of what’s exotic, different, and new. In a time in which we live as safely as we can in our perfectly curated realities, taking the time to experience an environment entirely foreign to our own —perhaps that of a nightclub in 1920s Tokyo—can allow us to expand the boundaries that we put upon ourselves. “It just makes the world a little bit smaller,” attests Paget. SRQ

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IN CONVERSATION WITH LOCAL ATTORNEY WILL MCCOMB ON CURRENT TRENDS IN REAL ESTATE INTERVIEW BY WES ROBERTS, EDITED BY BARBIE HEIT LET’S START WITH A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO. WILL MCCOMB: I was born and raised here in Sarasota, Florida. I’ve got a wife, a small child, and another one on the way and we live on Siesta Key. I’m one of the partners at Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC and I focus on residential transactional and commercial transactional work. Our firm also does transactional estate planning and commercial litigation but we’re most well known for the residential real estate practice. WHAT GOT YOU INTO THE LEGAL PROFESSION? At the University of Central Florida, which is where I went to undergraduate school, I was initially studying to become an orthopedic surgeon for a sports team. During that time, I was actually having to go through a major procedure of my own after a football incident. I was

looking at that process and decided I didn’t want to be a surgeon anymore and actually pivoted my whole focus into pre-law studies. I became the Chief Justice of the student body at Central Florida and then went on to go to Florida State Law School. I always wanted to get into real estate law. Eventually I found my way back home to practicing what I love. DESCRIBE YOUR CLIENTS AND HOW YOU ENGAGE WITH THEM. On the real estate side obviously it’s always a very significant transaction–sometimes the most significant transaction somebody’s going to make could be buying their house. So I like to keep them very well informed throughout the process as to what’s going on. I feel people in general right now are way more informed than ever before because of how much access they have to the internet. Most of the time my clients are

always informed, but it’s because I’m telling them when there’s a problem, and then how obviously I was going to fix it. In our case, a lot of times what we’re doing is we’re reviewing documentation that’s being provided or sent in, like title commitments, surveys. You can’t go online and find the answer to that. FLORIDA HAS A HISTORY OF BOOM AND BUST IN TERMS OF REAL ESTATE. WE HAVE A VERY TEMPESTUOUS REAL ESTATE CLIMATE. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT? So two things there. One, what do I think about the current market and how it could be cyclical? We’ve obviously been riding a boom for quite some time. Is there any concern there? In my opinion, no. I’m not concerned. Actually my partners and I are just opening up a location in Bonita Springs. So we’re continuing to invest in the Southwest

border of the real estate market. We are still very bullish on it. In April, there were 1,349 closed transactions, which was down 25% from April of last year. But the median sale price was up. It’s at $430,000, which was up 25% on the year prior. Active inventory is also up for April. Overall, it’s still less than a month or just about a month’s supply, which is historically low. So to me, the demand here for our market and the number of transactions that are going to be taking place, I’ve got no reason to believe that’s going to slow down drastically to create any kind of concern. HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND TO PEOPLE WHO ARE WORRIED WHENEVER THERE’S A HOT MARKET THERE’S GOING TO BE A MARKET COLLAPSE? The 2007-2008 build up and then ultimate market crash, all the contributing factors to


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ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS WILLIAM C. MCCOMB, ESQ, PARTNER AND SHAREHOLDER, BERLIN PATTEN EBLING: Will is a partner and shareholder at Berlin Pa en Ebling, PLLC. Will focuses his practice in the areas of commercial and residential real estate transactions, including, developer representation, landlord representation, lender representation and purchaser/seller representation. Will has handled complex ma ers throughout the state of Florida and his transactional experience specifically includes transactions involving shopping centers, industrial/office parks, manufacturing facilities, restaurant chains, convenience stores, gas stations, retail chains, corporate transactions, large and small residential projects, and raw land for development.

that are entirely different than anything we’re seeing right now. So I wouldn’t say that because we had this rush or high increase in pricing and low inventory, similar to that buildup, that all of a sudden the bottom is going to fall out of the market. A lot of that was based on just really bad lending practices. There’s been statutes put into place to counteract that, to make sure that lenders are qualifying borrowers. The Dodd-Frank Act basically came out in the wake of the last mortgage crisis. So in this case, I don’t see any of the same market conditions, other than the fact that the market’s really hot, to be concerned with there being an absolute collapse again. Now, could there be something else that impacts our market like rising inflation, rising interest rates, low inventory? Sure. And I do think there’s going to be an impact. At least at some point, you’re going

to see some type of correction nationwide. In our little local Sarasota market, I don’t think that impact is going to be nearly as severe just because of how desirable it is to be here. So if someone’s asking me, “Should I buy right now?” The answer is, if you find something that you like, buy now, as opposed to waiting any longer. As interest rates go up, your buying power is going to go down, so if you’re on the fence and you have the ability, I would pull the trigger now if you can find something. HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOU YOUR ROLE? As a transactional attorney, I try to stay out of the business side of it. A realtor that can assist with questions about whether or not something is a good deal. As the attorney, my job is to make sure that the contract signed is properly documenting what the client is intending to accomplish, that the closing documents and the property is going to be free of any looms or encumbrances, that you’re basically getting what you anticipated buying. My job is to make sure that the contract’s clearly stated, that there’s no ambiguity or gotchas in the contract. WITHOUT BEING SPECIFIC, WHAT ARE THE KINDS OF DISPUTES THAT HAPPEN? Recently, I was reviewing a survey for waterfront property up in the Bradenton area. And in reviewing the survey, I see there’s a gap between the edge of the property line and the waterway. Generally speaking, if you want to have access to the waterfront, there can’t be a gap in where your property starts and the waterfront, the mean high water line begins. If there’s a gap, either because there was a surveyor error, a plot error, or it was intentional. There’s a gap on purpose. Someone else owns that land. In this case, the association, when they were re-plotting all these waterfront lots, they maintained a strip of land in between several homes


that was owned by the association itself. But that strip of land being owned by the association and creating that gap basically meant that property owners didn’t have access to the waterfront. So to have what’s called riparian rights, which is the ability to use the waterway, your property has to abut the mean high water line right? If it doesn’t, then you don’t have riparian rights. So in this case, the association maintained them. From a technical standpoint, that property owner couldn’t build a dock, they couldn’t use their boat, they couldn’t cross over the association property to the dock that they had already built. In reviewing the survey, I caught this on behalf of a buyer. We objected and then ultimately the deal ended up falling apart. And I believe that buyer is now still trying to get that resolved with the association. I believe it was done by mistake, not intentional, but at the end of the day, still a major problem that’s got to be resolved. The only way to resolve it is really a deed from the association to the underlying property owners. So, that’s a wild situation where if you don’t have an attorney representing you or reviewing that stuff, it now becomes your problem. As a buyer, you wouldn’t know to look for that. And if you close, now it’s your problem to deal with the association. Not to say that they can’t get it resolved, but it’s a problem. DO PEOPLE WHO ARE BUYING FROM ANOTHER STATE NEED A LOCAL ATTORNEY WHO UNDERSTANDS THE DISTINCTIONS THAT ARE HERE? Florida’s a hybrid state when you’re buying property, which means you can either close with a closing agent, a licensed title agent, or you can close with an attorney, who can also issue a title and insurance policy. So you have options. What I try to explain to people is when you’re buying something like a home or a commercial building, it could be one of the most significant

investments that you make. When you look at the pricing and what we’re charging in comparison to a title agency, we’re pretty much on pace or just about the same, but you’re getting the benefit of having an attorney represent you through the transaction. So to me, it’s a no brainer. I do get situations where someone signs a contract, they’re in the process, it’s not going the way they expected, and then they come to me and try to get me to basically put the pieces back together, save the deal, or save the transaction. And at that point, it’s really hard. Once the contract is signed, it becomes really difficult for me to do what I need to do to put that client in the best position possible.The earlier I get involved, the easier it is for me to help. So to answer your question, yeah. I would say, and when you’re buying a piece of property, you should get an attorney involved right away every time. Getting the attorney involved early allows you to make sure the language is drafted the right way. So you’re getting what you expected to get at the close. YOU’VE BEEN DOING THIS TYPE OF WORK FOR JUST ABOUT TEN YEARS NOW. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A VERY REWARDING CAREER. From my perspective, I absolutely love what I do. I think our company is a leader when it comes to handling transactional matters. We are on the forefront of all the latest technologies and making sure that we’re constantly reinvesting into the practice. And as our practice has grown, we’ve been able to continue to serve a broader piece of the market, which is Southwest Florida now. We have locations pretty much from Bonita Springs up to Tampa. And allowing myself to be a part of that development has been very, very rewarding. When I joined, the firm was a very different thing than it is than it is today. It’s been really exciting to see the growth and then continue to ingrain ourselves within the community. SRQ

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EATING AS TEAM SPORT Korê Steakhouse brings communal cooking to Waterside Place. Andrew Fabian


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This spread: While the combination of meats and banchan heightens the communal motif, a large menu of more traditional, sizable cuts of meat are available to grill at the table too.

ONE OF THE GREAT JOYS OF STANDING IN FRONT OF AN OPEN FLAME to manage a grill full of cooked meat is sneaking a sample of the goods right off the grate. Something in the still-sizzling juices retains an elemental component of the fire that dissipates once it’s been off the grill even 30 seconds. In the States, that joy is most often reserved for the solitary grillmaster as a small but glorious tax collected for their service to the hungry mouths waiting at a table nearby. At Korê Steakhouse, however, a new tipless Korean BBQ restaurant in Waterside Place, every diner shares in that small but glorious tax as grilling and eating are transformed into something communal.

The concept comes from Korea, where owner Daniel Dokko—who also owns the popular JPAN—traces his cultural heritage. More accurately, his parents were born in Korea, immigrated to Brazil where they had Daniel and sent him to school there alongside a sizable population of Japanese immigrants. By the time Dokko was 15, he knew he wanted to open up a restaurant. So, when he moved to the U.S. in 2002, he worked his way through countless kitchens and mastered the art of sushi, then made the savvy business decision to open a Japanese restaurant to capitalize on its broader popularity compared to Korean cuisine (at the time, anyway). This was in 2008 when he opened JPAN. After over a decade and a half of his flagship restaurant’s success, Dokko felt it was finally time to get back to his Korean roots. But rather than duplicate the same successful formula that worked with JPAN—inspired food and cocktails that elevate the casual dining model—Dokko opted to introduce the region to gogi-gui. The Korean style of BBQ calls for a grill that’s inlaid into the dining table itself, with meat, vegetables and assorted side

dishes spread around the table, all of it meant to be shared along with the cooking duty itself. And it’s the communal act of cooking that transforms the dining experience into a heightened social activity. A sensible introduction to the concept is the Butcher’s Pride combination of grillables that arrive at the table on a cart. In addition to the banchan (assorted side dishes like kimchi and spicy pickled cabbage), this combination comes with appetizers of green onion salad and cheese corn, the latter an invention of Korê’s head chef and a former sushi chef of JPAN, Clark Park. During and following the Korean War, American GIs introduced the nation to corn, which now consumes it in soups and, notably, on pizza. The cheese corn appetizer pays homage to that history and features corn baked in a small cast iron dish with mozzarella cheese. It serves as a nice complement to the simple green onion salad, which lets the sesame oil and oniony greens speak for themselves. As for the tempura shrimp, the fried morsels come with a kimchi aioli, a sauce that ought to be kept around to dip other items in.

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In terms of appropriate beverage, a bottle or two of soju would serve a pair or trio of diners well. The clear distilled beverage is the most consumed drink in Korea and reinforces the sharing style of the dining experience when consumed in its most traditional way. That traditional way sees drinkers pour small glasses for each other, with a small toast before shooting the glass of liquor that tastes similar to gin but without its floral tones or excessively dry bite. The appetizers and soju offer diners a great opportunity to familiarize themselves with what will become the modus operandi for the evening, namely the passing and sharing of food. When the time for grilling meat arrives, any techniques learned sharing the appetizers come in handy. Korê provides their diner-chefs with nothing more than a pair of tongs and a pair of scissors, and these two implements are all that is needed. With the tongs, a diner grabs one of the raw meat selections and places it on the hot grill in the table’s center. A quick sear of 90 seconds to 2 minutes on either side is enough for most of the meats. Once the morsels are cooked through to the desired temperature, they can be cut into bite sized pieces with the scissors and served. “It’s even better to just take your chopsticks or fork and eat the meat directly off the grill,” says Dokko. It’s worth noting that Dokko sources premium cuts of meat from highly regarded suppliers. Most of the 74 | srq magazine_ JULY/AUG22 live local

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beef comes from Snake River Farms out of Idaho, one of the first American producers of Wagyu beef. Cheshire Pork out of North Carolina supplies Dokko with their exquisitely marbled pork that gives even a quick sear of the pork collar, for example, a silky, mouthwatering bite. In all, the Butcher’s Pride combination comes with pork belly, filet mignon, NY strip, ribeye, pork collar and marinated galbi (short rib). Most of the cuts come thinly sliced and lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper, offering an opportunity to let the meat flavor speak for itself. This broad survey of the meat offerings adds to the communal approach of Korean BBQ, since new cuts constantly cycle on and off the grill over the course of the meal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the marinated galbi packs the most flavor on account of its ample seasoning, but each of the meats are also great candidates for the three dipping sauces Korê provides each table, including ssamjan (fermented soy bean sauce with a touch of kick), Korê sauce (light soy sauce) and premium sesame oil with salt. Again, remember to try the kimchi aioli with everything. Nowhere on the menu will a diner find a 40-ounce porterhouse, the same cuts in the combination can be had in 3-4 ounce portions, which reduces the quantity of cuts and, thus, the amount of time spent tending to the grill. But, frankly, what’s the point of an evening at Korê if not to spend more time tending to the grill, sharing in the communal joy of eating as a team sport? SRQ

Clockwise: The cheese corn pays homage to Korea’s use of corn on pizza. The elegant blackand-gold motif features fire-hardened wood. Various beef cuts, including a filet mignon, sizzle on the tabletop grill.


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giving coast UNSUNG HERO

A philanthropist who gives his all to the community he lives in and loves, Mark Barnebey is celebrated by friends, family, and his hometown. Barbie Heit Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

BORN, RAISED AND LIVING HIS ENTIRE LIFE IN BRADENTON, Barnebey has dedicated himself to giving back to his hometown. With a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and a Law Degree all from Florida State University, it’s fair to say that Mark Barnebey is a true Floridian. Currently a partner with the Blalock Walters Law Firm where he’s been for the past ten years, Barnebey started his law career as the Chief Assistant County Attorney of Manatee County. He served with the County for 13 years before moving on to the Kirk Pinkerton law firm where he stayed for another 13 years and became a partner. While working with the County Attorney’s Office, Barnebey was the senior land use attorney, watching the development of one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. “I was heavily involved in the drafting of the county’s award-winning comprehensive plan from 1986-1989, which largely remains in effect today,” he says. “However, I was also involved in some unusual matters, including preparing the County Public Nudity Ordinance and the County Exotic Animal Ordinance.” Barnebey has had a busy land use and government private practice. On the land use side, he’s been instrumental in obtaining the approvals for a 5,000 acre agrihood new town development, a power plant, an sports arena, and many residential and commercial development projects. On the local government side, he served as City Attorney for Palmetto for the last 14 years and previously served as School Board Attorney for Manatee County, as well as serving as general and special counsel for various other cities, counties and special districts. Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor of Palmetto has known Barnebey for the past 18-20 years and considers him to be a great friend and an outstanding attorney for Palmetto. “He’s just an upstanding and honest person,” she says. “Palmetto is lucky to have him as he’s a true asset.”


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giving coast “I enjoy land use practice as it provides an opportunity to assist clients to develop resources that are needed in our community,” states Barneby. “One can see the projects develop from the ground up going from an empty field to, in some cases, a thriving town or neighborhood.” Barnebey has not gone unrecognized for his professional work. He has been named a Florida Super Lawyer, a Florida Trend Legal Elite Attorney and one of The Best Lawyers in America by US News and World Reports on numerous occasions. “Professionally Mark is dedicated to serving and advocating for local governments, and personally he is extremely generous with his time, financial resources and talents for all of the charitable organizations lucky enough to be associated with him,” says Scott Rudacille, partner at Blalock Walters. Firm President, Matthew R. Plummer adds “Regardless of how busy Mark is, he always makes time to give back to his community, a true inspiration for us all.” This humble passion to give back is what has earned Barneby the SRQ Good Hero title. Approximately ten years ago, Barnebey joined the board of Take Stock in Children for Manatee County, an organization that sends low-income students to college through mentorship and scholarships, and was Chair of the Board from 2019-2021. “We have a 97% high school graduation rate with our students,’’ he says. “Donations for scholarships are matched by the state of Florida because of the importance of the program. In many cases they are matched again through great organizations such as the Bishop and Patterson Foundations and the Flanzer Trust.” During his term as Chair of the Board, Barnebey worked with the Board and Executive Director to get the organization on much firmer financial ground and to expand scholarship opportunities from 25-35 students each year to 50-60 students. “We could have funded more scholarships this past year, but elected to be conservative given the ongoing challenges for our program related to Covid-19,” he says. “Our current goal is to enroll at least 100 students and we are very close to being able to do so.” In addition to Take Stock in Children, Barnebey works with a variety of important organizations to help serve the needs of the community. He currently serves on the board of directors for The Manatee Chamber of Commerce, the Girls’ Club Foundation of Manatee County, the Manatee River Fair Association, the Gold Star Club, and the Seminole Club of Manatee County. He is the past Chair of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, Manatee County Library Foundation, the Manatee Historical Commission, and the Girls’ Club Foundation. Additionally, he and his wife Marianne (also a native of Bradenton who is currently serving on the Bradenton City Council) are the proud benefactors of the Barnebey Planning Studio at the Urban and Regional Planning Department at Florida State University. The Studio provides urban planning students with real life experience through planning projects working with public agencies and private developments throughout the state. A father of three children, Barnebey shares words of wisdom with young people starting out. “Work hard, challenge yourself to do new things from time to time,” he says. “And always be true to your own convictions because peer pressure and bullying exists your entire life unfortunately. Enjoy the great things about your life, family, friends and community.” SRQ Mark Barnebey was honored as one of SRQ Magazine’s Good Heroes this past December.


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SHARE WITH OUR READERS A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR ORGANIZATION AND TELL US WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS ROLE–HOW HAS IT BEEN YOUR CALLING? CHERYL MENDELSON, CEO, VAN WEZEL FOUNDATION: The Van Wezel Foundation has been in existence for 35 years, and has been focused on helping to provide arts education integration in partnership with the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. We serve over 58,000 students, families and educators across five counties, so we’ve really grown tremendously over the last 35 years. I would say we’ve had a Renaissance over the last three years I’ve been with the organization. The foundation is leading the vision to build the new performing arts center on the bay as part of a public private partnership with the city. We’re really thrilled to be able to extend our reach in such a meaningful way in how it impacts our mission driven work and what we’re doing has been really interesting. I spent 30 years in Chicago where I


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ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS MASON AYRES, SARASOTA MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION, PRESIDENT Since 2016, Ayres has been responsible for Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation’s strategic direction, financial performance, and the expansion of its development program. Under his leadership, the Healthcare Foundation has achieved historic levels in fundraising, increased operational efficiencies and elevated the brand’s market position to one of the community’s most successful fundraising organizations. Prior to joining the Healthcare Foundation, Ayres held development positions at NCH Healthcare System, Ave Maria University in Naples, FL, and key marketing and management positions at Universal Studios Orlando. A graduate of Florida State University, he is also a Certified Financial Planner® and a Certified Fund Raising Executive. DEBBIE MASON, CFRE, APR, CPRC, FELLOW PRSA, TIDEWELL FOUNDATION, INC. PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF TIDEWELL HOSPICE. Debbie Mason is responsible for providing leadership and management of Tidewell’s philanthropic services. She served as CEO of the Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County and as CEO of United Way North Central Florida. She founded and sold a full-service public relations, marketing, and strategic planning agency and served as Vice President Office of the Chairman and VP Corporate Communications for JM Family Enterprises.


had the great honor to work in philanthropy, marketing communications and community work, both in academic medicine, as well as in the arts. But, I was drawn here to Sarasota because of this project. I was the Chief Operating Officer at the Harris Theater, Millennium Park which is the exact sort of model the Bay Park is envisioning—an active, vibrant park with the performing arts center at the heart of it. I like to think about it as a gateway where community and culture are able to meet together to serve the greater good. And, this kind of project is transformative and it’s a legacy project really, for generations to come. A community doesn’t get that opportunity very often. So, tremendous for me to be able to be here. RICK YOCUM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMANE SOCIETY OF MANATEE COUNTY: We celebrated our 50th anniversary as an organization this past year. We operate an adoption center called the Second Chance Adoption Center, where we adopt about 800 cats and dogs into new homes each and every year. Our shelter has no breed restrictions and we truly try to give those animals in the community, looking for a home, a second chance, older senior dogs, medically challenged dogs, behavioral challenged dogs, and cats. We also operate a veterinary clinic, it’s a 10,000 square foot state of the art veterinary clinic. Last year, we served 13,000 cats and dogs in our veterinary clinic. We are open to the public by appointment, and we also have a lot of programs to help the financially challenged residents in our area get the care that they need for their animals. We try not to turn anyone away and we’ve had tremendous support from the community. It’s growing over the last five years to the highest point it’s ever been. It’s allowing us to help so many more people, and it’s a very gratifying feeling. I have a very strong belief that

there’s nothing more rewarding in a career than loving what you do and believing in what you do. And, I’ve always tried to follow my heart when it came to that. I was very lucky, I had a great career up in Northwest New Jersey, I was in business. I was also an elected official for 23 and a half years, and I was a Humane Law Enforcement Officer, an animal cop for 15 years. And, my wife and I have had homes down in South Florida for about 15 years. My wife was a snowbird and I was an occasional visitor in the winter down here. And, when this door opened up, I walked through it and accepted this job as the Executive Director six years ago. And, I still love it as much today as I did my first day here. NELLE MILLER, INTERIM CEO, JFCS OF THE SUNCOAST: I am currently in my fourth month as Interim CEO, which is really a new proposition for me in this community because I have been a serial volunteer and board member for many, many years. I’ve been involved, not directly in the social services, but sort of from outside into JFCS for many years. I’ve also been involved in the Community Foundation, Jewish Federation, Glasser/Schoenbaum, and a bunch of others. I feel very strongly about contributing back to this community. It’s paradise, but there’s a lot of need here, and a lot of people just don’t see it. I began my life as a beneficiary and I owe a debt of gratitude for the kindness and goodness of people who gave me the start that I have in life. I feel really committed to giving that back. I’m really passionate about it. KATHLEEN SULLIVAN, HEAD STARTS AND EARLY HEAD START DIRECTOR, CHILDREN FIRST: Children First is the sole provider of Early Head Start and Head Start services for Sarasota County. The core of the work of Children First is serving the most vulnerable populations in our community. We serve low income families and

families who are at high risk of instability. We seek to create stability for our families and well being for the children that we serve. I am dedicated to the Children First program and the Head Start and Early Head Start mission because I was a Head Start parent. When my husband and I were in college, we started our family and we found the Head Start program through word of mouth, which is often the case. We’d found it to be the most supportive and effective program for us as young parents. We had some skills, some strategies, and a network of support. However, we became the best parents we could be as a result of our participation in the program. And that is what keeps me fully engaged and in my seat for this mission here in Sarasota, really until it’s time for me to relax in paradise. PHILIP TAVILL, CEO, CHILDREN FIRST: I would give you a twofold answer. Number one, as a young lad, I was greatly influenced by my father’s work as a physician in public health in setting up inner city health clinics, the work that he did overseas, helping vulnerable populations. His life has been committed to through medicine, helping those who are vulnerable, helping those who don’t have resources. That had a very significant influence that continues to today. The second piece goes back a long way. I realized my passion for working with folks in vulnerable positions, particularly people living in poverty with a specific focus of being able to help families with very young children long ago. So, it’s serendipitous that I landed at Children First because it was really my area of focus in graduate school and before. BRENA SLATER, CEO, SAFE CHILDREN COALITION: We are the contracted agency through the Department of Children and Families that provides all of the child welfare services in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. But we also do a lot more work. We serve about 1600 children that

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CHERYL MENDELSON, THE VAN WEZEL FOUNDATION, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Cheryl Mendelson became the CEO of the Van Wezel Foundation in 2019, bringing over twenty years of experience as a nonprofit executive at renowned organizations in education, healthcare, arts and culture. Mendelson played a vital leadership role in developing award-winning branding programs at the Harris Theater in Chicago’s Millennium Park, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and the Erikson Institute Graduate School. In 2016, Mendelson was featured as a “philanthropic powerhouse” in the inaugural publication of Chicago Woman Magazine. Mendelson was named to the Gulf Coast CEO Forum in 2020 and currently sits on the Arts Advocates Advisory Board in Sarasota. NELLE S. MILLER, JFCS OF THE SUNCOAST, INTERIM CEO Nelle S. Miller currently serves as the interim CEO at JFCS of the Suncoast. Hired three months ago, she anticipates working there for another four to six months. She also serves as the incoming Chair of the Board for the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, a member of the Boxser Diversity Initiative Advisory Board, Immediate Past Chair of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and a Trustee of the Canandaigua National Trust Company of Florida. Miller is the immediate past chair of the board at the Glasser/ Schoenbaum Human Services Center, All Faiths Food Bank, and former president of The SarasotaManatee Jewish Federation. While no longer serving on these boards, she continues to hold the position of Community Chair of the Grinspoon Life and Legacy Program, and current Chair of this year’s Campaign Against Summer Hunger at All Faiths Food Bank.


are under court jurisdiction. We do foster care adoptions and independent living. We serve children in extended foster care up to the age of 22 and ensure that after they graduate high school, that they’re going and doing post-secondary school or college or whatever their choice is. We also have several other programs. One is a diversion and prevention program where we serve about 3,000 children that have abuse reports called in. And we are basically trying to keep them out of our system. We have a HIPPY program, a home instruction for parents of preschool youngsters, which helps parents get their children ready for preschool. These are low income families and we help them really teach their children how to read. A lot of the parents don’t even know how to read. So really by teaching the parents to read, we are helping their children get prepared for preschool. We also have an Achievers program, which is for middle and high school children to get them career ready and we will give scholarships. They do community service work hours through us. And a lot of times these are first generation children that are going off to college. And then another program we have is our shelter. We have a youth shelter that holds children that are 10 to 17 years old that are having problems at home. They might have been suspended from school, they might be having issues with their parents and just need a timeout or they can be ordered by the court there for up to two weeks or 30 days if necessary. And then we do counseling through schools and multiple programs. I have been doing some sort of child welfare since probably 1989, which I think is when I started doing volunteer work at a shelter. I also worked at a youth shelter for many years as a counselor. Then in 1996, I started with the Department of Children and Families doing child welfare. I’ve done everything from adop-

tions to protective supervision and then supervised child abuse investigation. I’ve been with the Safe Children Coalition for nine years now. Seven as the Vice President and now two as the CEO. My parents will say that I started this work when I was three, because I would bring home any stray child that I saw, anyone that was being bullied at school. I was the one that always had the passion and the heart for children. MASON AYRES, PRESIDENT, SARASOTA MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION: Our organization has been in Sarasota 46 years. Our mission is to provide philanthropic support to the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare system. We do that through being able to grant dollars that we receive over to the hospital and we focus on some key areas in the hospital to provide funding. Those areas are facilities, technology, patient care, education, and research. Right now it’s an amazing time to be in the role that I’m in with all the growth that is happening in Sarasota County overall, but specifically at the hospital. And we are so grateful for all of the support that we continue to receive from the community. It’s been amazing to watch how the community continues to respond to the needs at the hospital. This is, I would say, my second career. My first career was in the travel industry and I had the great fortune of working in Orlando for a bit of time with the theme parks. In 2003, I felt I was being drawn into nonprofit work. At that time, I really didn’t understand what it was or how you go about doing it but I knew it was what I wanted to do. I found my way into a role at Ave Maria University that was an organization that was being established down a little east of Naples, where I was living. And from there, I moved into a healthcare philanthropy role with the local community hospital in Naples. Back in 2016, I came to Sarasota and joined the healthcare founda-

tion as its President and I’ve been in this role for almost six years now. DEBBIE MASON, PRESIDENT, TIDEWELL FOUNDATION: Our foundation was established in 2020, during the pandemic, to provide perpetual support for Tidewell Hospice and our other not for profit affiliates. A lot of people know Tidewell because Tidewell has been in the community for more than 40 years. We’ve always had philanthropy, but it got lost because we’re such a big nonprofit healthcare organization in terms of the number of people we see. So starting a foundation made a lot of sense because it’s easy for people to see we raise 5 million or more a year and we grant it right back to Tidewell for each of these programs, for charity care and free care for the community. I’m a ninth generation Floridian. I was out in California for a while, running a healthcare foundation. I knew I wanted to come back to Florida. I also had a consulting practice that I’ve had for many years and I happened to be here working with a client and thought, well, I’ll just do some information interviews with fellow Leadership Florida members and say, “Hey, maybe next year I’d like to move home. If you see anything interesting come up let me know.” One of those was with Deborah Jacobs and she sent my resumé to Jonathan that night and Jonathan was down to a final search. So I literally landed in this job and six weeks later moved here. Kismet, serendipity. BILL SADLO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA AND DESOTO COUNTIES: Our organization focuses on youth, six to 18 years old. We’ve been around for 52 years, and one unique thing is that for the first 50 years we were Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, and now we’re Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. For two years, we’ve been in two counties serving youth. We focus on academic

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BILL SADLO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA AND DESOTO COUNTIES Before he became President/CEO, Bill Sadlo was a proud member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties as a child. Bill graduated from Sarasota High School and acquired his Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education from University of South Florida. Since then, Bill has devoted his career to the organization that enabled him to succeed. In 2017, Boys & Girls Clubs of America presented Bill with the National Professional Service Award to honor his thirty years of dedication to the movement. BRENA SLATER, SAFE CHILDREN COALITION, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Nina (Brena) Slater, SCC President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), has a Bachelor’s degree and 25 years plus of hands-on experience in relationship building, community development, leadership in case management, diversion, and strategic initiatives with child welfare organizations. Before becoming the CEO in October 2019, Ms. Slater worked with the Safe Children Coalition (SCC) for six years as the Vice President (VP) of CBC, which proved her ability to successfully bring a community together to meet and exceed outcomes that benefit children and families.


success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles. I was a club kid myself. I attended the boys and girls club here in Sarasota on Fruitville Road, where my office is right now. I started working here right out of high school, and I’ve been an employee for 35 years. More so than just the longevity of why I do it, it’s an organization that truly makes a difference in youth’s lives and it did for me as well. WE ARE A COMMUNITY THAT’S BURSTING AT THE SEAMS AT THE MOMENT. THERE ARE A TREMENDOUS NUMBER OF NEW RESIDENTS EVERY DAY. HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR ORGANIZATIONS, BOTH IN THE PRESSURES INVOLVED AND THE BENEFITS TO THE SYSTEM FROM HAVING NEW PEOPLE? AYRES: I think the hospital definitely has seen and has anticipated to some extent the growth that’s going on in our community overall. And that’s what’s pushing them to continue to expand services for the community as it relates to how people can benefit. It’s kind of interesting in our role from the philanthropy side. It really gives the community an opportunity to step in and help the hospital continue to expand out its services. They can play a very important and critical role in that growth. And we have seen that from the healthcare foundation’s standpoint, that the community has continued to step in and help support the hospital as they expand their vision. So it’s really a unique time right now for those that are philanthropically minded and have healthcare as an interest that they can kind of work alongside the hospital as it grows. MENDELSON: We are obviously really excited. We’re building and being a part of such an incredible transformative project for the community, with the master plan for the Bay Park development of 53 acres with a world class performing arts center at the heart of it. As the

census and the population grows among the county, our mission driven work in arts integration becomes even more in demand. And so, there are more demands on us to take a look at multi-generational programming, multicultural programming, programming for people that live here full time, 12 months out of the year, not just in season. We surveyed and have heard from 18,000 people across the region about what their aspirations are for a new performing arts center and we’re excited to be able to move forward and continue to think about our responsibility to build a performing arts center for the next 50 years, and address the needs of today. But, we also have to really open our minds up into thinking about what the next generation is going to be looking for and what their needs are. So, it’s an exciting time, I think, for Sarasota and for our project. SLATER: As far as fundraising, probably 97% of our funding is from the government. We do have a director of philanthropy and our big fundraising will be for a capital campaign coming up soon for a building. We have our shelter that has been around for years on the campus where the YMCA is in Sarasota. And we will be vacating there next March. So we will have to start building a new shelter because government funding, while it’ll fund programs and operations, does not fund buildings. So while the government funds the majority of our budget, there are so many other things that philanthropy and the foundations in our area and individuals have really made up that gap for the difference. And our areas had one of the highest removal rates for about the past seven years in the state of Florida. At one point back in 2015 and 16, about 90 to 100 kids were coming in, being removed just from Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto every single month. And while that’s dropped off a lot, because we do have a lot more diversion and prevention services, the counties

are helping fund that. We have some community foundations. We are really trying to put services in with the families before they’re removed. We are waiting for the Governor to sign the new budget and we will be receiving a significant amount of funding because they realized how underfunded we were and how much we were having to rely on our community to fund the difference so that we could provide services for the children and families we serve. One of the most satisfying things for me to see now is that the community has come together and really funded some of our frontend services. So historically where a family is living in their car or they’re living in a campground and the kids aren’t in school or they don’t have electricity or water, we now can go out to that family’s car and say, “Hey, look, we’re going to get you a hotel room. We now have counselors that can go and work on their mental health, substance abuse, whatever their issues are.” We can use funding to pay the first month’s rent so that people can get stable. We can help them apply for jobs so that they have an income. A lot of parents just need that little extra help.They just need someone there to hold their hand to help them out. But I will say with the explosion of newcomers and the increase in rent and housing, we’re having more homelessness issues. MASON: We have to find a way to engage all these thousands of newcomers. To not engage as volunteers or board leaders, to not engage philanthropically particularly if you’re working remotely, you lack a social network that typically would help you engage. I am a little worried about the tens of thousands of people moving here that don’t reach out themselves to engage in the community. I am trying to be really thoughtful about how we connect with those folks that move into all these gated residential communities and don’t even get to know their neighbors. What does that sense of community

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KATHLEEN SULLIVAN, CHILDREN FIRST, VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMS Vice President of Programs Kathleen Sullivan has over 35 years of experience within the Head Start community. She holds a master’s degree in childhood development from Tu s University and a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic studies from the University of Southern Maine. Ms. Sullivan is also the author of three works on early childhood education and development and is a speaker at the local, state, and national level on child development. She is a UCLA Anderson School of Management Head Start Fellow and serves on the Florida Office of Early Learning Racial Equity Task Force and Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County Board of Directors. PHILIP TAVILL, CHILDREN FIRST, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Philip Tavill has been President & CEO of Children First, Sarasota County’s exclusive Head Start provider, since 1996. A er obtaining a baccalaureate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1989, Mr. Tavill has worked in the human services field both in direct service and management capacities. He returned to Sarasota in 1990 and was appointed Executive Director of the Loveland Center in 1991. At Case Western Reserve University, he earned a Master of Nonprofit Organizations from the Weatherhead School of Management and Master of Science in Social Administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.


shift to if we don’t walk our neighborhoods and volunteer and get involved? I am worried about that long-term. That changes the social fabric of our town and our region and our state. As for hospice, people make an assumption that all of our patients are elderly but many of our patients are pediatric patients, or they are 20-year-olds or 30-year-olds or 40-year-olds in the middle of careers and families. We try to engage with people from the foundation lens first to say, “Get to know our health system, we’re more than hospice. We’re home health, we’re physician services.” We have a lot of other not-for-profit affiliates that create what we call this continuum of full-life care. The foundation is out in front of that building relationships, raising money for charity care, so that when you need hospice or home health charity care, and Medicare, you’re too young for Medicare, and your insurance doesn’t cover it if you even have insurance, our donors are helping you. YOCUM: As the local human population grows at a faster rate than most of the country, and a faster rate than a good portion of Florida, the animal population is also increasing. So, the number of community members that are covered in fur is increasing as people arrive. And obviously, the work is always there to try to find neglected and homeless animals a home. But, one of the remarkable qualities about this area and the nonprofits around the country was that a lot of nonprofits were treading water and trying to stay afloat throughout the pandemic. What was happening here was almost every single organization was adding programs and adding services to be able to serve more people, and we were no different. Over the last two years, we’ve doubled the size of our dental surgical suite. We bought the property next to our veterinary clinic, and we’re moving our call center and some offices into that building to free up space in this building, the clinic

,to start offering dermatology services, which is a huge need in this area at low to moderate cost. Our nonprofits are stronger today than they were two years ago. This is indicative of this community, and it’s a pretty amazing transformation to see, but we’re going to continue to expand and provide those needs as it is required by our community’s animals. And again, as you look around, everybody’s doing the same thing with the same attitude, it’s pretty cool to watch. SADLO: I think the population growth in our community puts pressure on as people come down from different states and join us here in Florida. It also puts more pressure on the economy, meaning the families that we serve need places to live that are affordable. They need places to put their children after school that are affordable. So I think that just puts a squeeze on our families. With the Alice report, from our local United Way, what it takes for a family to sustain here in Sarasota is in the $60,000 range and our family’s income levels are just not there. So I just think the needs of our youth don’t change. It just might be exasperated more by people coming here and changing our housing market. But it does give an opportunity to introduce more people to our mission, meaning people that are coming down here and becoming residents of Florida, there’s that opportunity as well to show them what we’re doing and get them involved. So it’s double edged. HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH THE RISE IN MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES THAT HAVE EMERGED FROM THE PANDEMIC? AYRES: If you’ve driven by the hospital recently on the corner of Osprey and Waldamere, you’ll see a big chunk of land that’s been cleared and there are cranes and construction equipment currently on it. That’s the site for the new behavioral health pavilion that the hospital is in the middle of building. It is go-

ing to be called the Cornell Family Behavioral Health Pavilion. The hospital is definitely stepping in a big way to address mental health services here in our community. Not only are they in the process of upgrading the facility, moving from the facility that’s across the street of Osprey over to this new state of the art building, but they’re looking at their services on a much wider view and really looking at a full continuum of care. So it’s not just the stabilization of someone that finds their way to the hospital that needs mental health services, it’s really being able to provide additional care after discharge so that those that need services have services. A step down program is being built to keep people from coming back and experiencing that same traumatic event again. It’s a testament to the hospital’s vision about stepping into projects and not only just addressing the near term need, but really looking at it more on a long term basis. And at the foundation, we have been so fortunate to be able to start raising money for this facility. We did get the naming gift from the Cornell family here in Sarasota, and we have received other gifts from other individuals as a result of the Cornell family kind of stepping in and saying, “Hey, we want to do something. We want to do something big. We want to be part of this project.” We have a focus here at the foundation in providing the hospital with resources they need to be able to provide not only the facility, but all of the programs that are in the facility, so that ultimately the mental health service care is transformed. SADLO: That’s an interesting question because right before the pandemic, we really saw the need for mental health support. That was one of the things that our program was missing. Of course, we could refer our youth to a local agency that dealt with mental health or had mental health professionals on their team. And we knew that we

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RICK YOCUM, HUMANE SOCIETY OF MANATEE COUNTY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Rick has served in his current position as Executive Director of the Humane Society of Manatee County since March 14, 2016. Rick comes to the position with extensive animal welfare, public and private experience. He served as President of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for seven years. In addition, he was a Certified Humane Law Enforcement Officer who trained other officers and investigated animal cruelty cases. He was also the General Sales and Marketing Manager for Warren Distributing Company, one of New Jersey’s largest beer distributors, and was president of the Jefferson Township Board of Education and as an elected official served as the President of the Jefferson Township Council for 20 years. Humane Society of Manatee County has received a Four-Star Rating for five consecutive years from Charity Navigator and in 2018 was selected as the Manatee Chamber Small Business of the Year Non-Profit. Rick was the recipient of the Manatee County Tiger Bay Club Pat Glass Non Profit Leadership award in 2019. Rick and his wife, Susan have three grown children and two granddaughters. Their active outdoor lifestyle includes kayaking and hiking.


needed to have that embedded in our clubs. We started with the school social workers working with our youth. The pandemic just exacerbated that need, for our kids. So now we are doing another program where we have a mental health professional embedded at our club in Newtown. And we will continue to grow that program because the needs of the youth are different than they were two years ago. As you already stated in your question, our youth were hit very hard by this pandemic and the isolation, the stress of the online school, their parents not doing well during this time...It was just a tough, tough time for our kids. SLATER: We have seen a significant increase in removals in our area due to parents and ability to cope with their children. We have been having a lot of parents who just aren’t picking their children up actually, and I’m sure Mason knows from Baker Acts from the hospital–the hospital calls and says, “Your child’s being released.” And they say “No, I can’t deal with it anymore.” We’ve had several children come in and they’re coding it, basically ‘abandon’ it from the parents. Unfortunately, there are a lot of teens, so it’s very difficult. We can step them down into our shelter. But the thing that we don’t want to do is put them in foster care, but that’s been increasing more and more. Mental health has been a huge issue with our kids. MASON: Well, I’ll give you some examples from our Blue Butterfly program. For kids who lost a parent or a sibling during the pandemic, it’s hard when you go back to school because kids don’t understand. But it’s harder when you’re stuck at home in isolation and you have no friends that you can talk to or share that pain with, and you’re just in your family unit. We did continue to offer grief support and we would let families come to the grief center for help. We would also help them over Zoom. It’s not the same as our core program where we break kids in

age-appropriate groups and they can be together peer to peer for additional normalization and support. But at least it was something. Kids are really struggling with so many issues right now societally anyway. Then to layer COVID into it and then to layer a family death into it, those kids are having a tough time. There’s no way to be Pollyanna about that. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE NONPROFITS IN OUR AREA? YOCUM: There are a couple of unique characteristics that exist in this area. One is that every one of the leaders in this area wants the other leaders to succeed. I’ve said the word collaboration more in the last six years than I’ve said my entire life, it is a very unique quality here, the collaborative effort. There is such a strong network of support amongst the nonprofits in this community, everybody supports everybody, and a lot of us are serving the same people, there’s a ton of crossover from all the different organizations. So, it’s not like I only have people at the Humane Society that we’re helping, those same people are getting help, and direction, and given opportunity in many different other areas in the community. So, as I travel around the country and talk to other nonprofit leaders, I can’t talk enough about those unique qualities that we have here that make this a great place to be an executive director or CEO of a nonprofit, it’s just amazing. MILLER: We just had the Giving Challenge in the community last week. That is the premier example of what the strength of this community is. There were 65,000 or so individual donors, and it raised 16 million. It happened, a hundred dollars, $25 piece by piece, it wasn’t major donors coming in and giving huge gifts to these organizations, there were 700 philanthropies involved. It is amazing what that does to gather this community and pay attention to the

need across the spectrum of need. So it’s all about collaboration, that wouldn’t have been successful without everybody participating. SADLO: I am proud to say we were only closed for two weeks during the pandemic. We immediately were working with All Faiths Food Bank, and setting up food distribution sites at our Boys & Girls Clubs in North County and South County to get food to our families and Girls Inc. and Children First was involved in that. So there you had four organizations coming together right away to make sure their families were fed. Girls Inc. would come over and help distribute and then pick up meals for their families because we were one of the main distribution sites. We had the large parking lots and so forth. So that was just one way immediately the nonprofit community came together that I saw that was just, as difficult as it was, it was heartwarming to see. MENDELSON: As a leader, I’ve had the fortunate benefit in my career to work in health, also in early child development. And, as I take those experiences, I think we all do as nonprofit leaders, you bring them to your next position, or to your next challenge, or to your next goal. And, I happen to have this unique experience of understanding and seeing in real time how the arts can empower, how the arts can heal, how the arts can be used as a tool. So, we don’t envision that we are just building a new performing arts center. We are a cultural asset, and as everyone has talked about here, the collaboration is so important that what we saw during the pandemic was we needed to have more teaching artists trained in social, emotional learning, and trained in areas that meet the needs of the community. And now, as one of the goals we’re looking at with the new performing arts center is perhaps we should be a model for certification for teaching artists around the country to be certified. And that, we create as part of our

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community collaboration, a curriculum that is a national model for others in terms of this collaboration in using the arts, not just academically, not just recreationally, but it creating measurement that also shows how the arts improve the quality of life and health and wellb-eing for those in the community. I think it’s really exciting times as we move forward, and as we think about collaboration in new and creative ways that maybe no one had thought of before. And so, we’re really excited to be able to work and collaborate with partners, such as those on the screen here today, to be able to explore these new ideas together. AS A RESULT OF SO MANY PEOPLE COMING TO SARASOTA THE HOUSING PRICES HAVE GONE THROUGH THE ROOF. WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE CHALLENGE? AND WHAT KIND OF PRESSURE IS THAT PUTTING IN THE COMMUNITY? MILLER: We have a rapid rehousing program that’s funded by both HUD and the county. And so, with a very large grant, we have the ability to take in homeless people and find them places to live. In terms of people who are on the cusp of losing it, we have programs like the Season of Sharing that we have access to, where we can keep them in their homes for some period of time until they get back on their feet, because a lot of people are one flat tire away from disaster. But, in terms of people who have become homeless, and it could be newly homeless or chronically homeless, there’s just nowhere to put them. The price of rooms and homes and even hotel rooms is astronomical, and it decreases the amount of time you can put someone at home. You can house someone for 30 days and it’s not going to make a difference because they need a lot of other services to get them back on their feet, typically. Truthfully, we have the ability to put people into hotels or motels, but they’re


not typically welcomed in a lot of those places. So, it’s a very complex problem, the resources are actually here, but it’s almost impossible to do the work. That is overwhelming and frustrating. TAVILL: This impact is not only felt by our families that we serve, because they’re coming to us typically, if not below the federal poverty level, at 130% of the federal poverty level. And believe me, that extra 30% does not get you Napa Valley and caviar, it’s brutal. While folks may assume that many of our people live in the housing authority or have section eight vouchers, what many people don’t know, even though we have a phenomenal housing authority, is that the waiting lists for housing authority units and section eight vouchers at times over the years has been so long you can’t see the end of the line. So, it’s a mechanism that helps a certain number, but it’s brutal on our families, particularly when you have 70% single head of household, primarily women, many of them working two jobs. If they’re lucky enough to have one fulltime job, typically they have no benefits. So, rent consumes such a huge portion of what they make, and it’s one of the reasons we exist, so they can be with us free of charge. Their children are doing well in excelling, we’ve got family strengthening support systems, and they can make rent, hopefully. The second aspect is our staff, I’ve got a little thing in front of me here talking about a two bedroom in Sarasota. The average rent in April was $2,420, up 42% from last year. Now, when you’re talking about early childhood educators, and social workers, and cooks who put together a couple hundred thousand meals a year for our kids, what are they going to do? It’s an unbelievable challenge. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be the freight train coming at us, as opposed to the ray of sunshine that says, this is how we’ll resolve it. YOCUM: Housing also has a

huge impact on the surrender of companion animals as people lose their home, or if they move into a home that is not animal friendly. That is the leading cause of families surrendering their companion animals, their pets to local shelters. I attend every seminar and every presentation on housing issues in Manatee and Sarasota county so I can hear the plans of what the county commissioners and the city of Bradenton are doing to work on being able to get homes here that people that work can afford. Because those service jobs, police, fire teachers, servers, the list is long, the cost here is very prohibitive. I’m really driven to make sure that the communities are going to work toward solving this because it creates a huge problem in the animal welfare world as well. SADLO: The biggest pressure we’re seeing right now is being able to get staff to work at our Boys & Girls Clubs. We call them youth development professionals. These are the frontline people that have the most impact with our kids. And right now it is the first time in my career that we had a waiting list for children because we didn’t have enough staff to watch them, meaning we’ve had waiting lists for children before, because we can only take so many kids at our clubs because the buildings are at capacity. The buildings weren’t at capacity, the staffing was at capacity. And of course we’re addressing that with increased wages, with all types of unique solutions, for signing bonuses, retention bonuses, offering benefits to part-time staff. So it’s been a real challenge. And that is really our biggest challenge that I’ve seen for people being able to afford to live here and work for a livable wage. THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF PHYSICAL CHANGES OVER THE YEARS, BUT I THINK PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT CULTURAL CHANGE. DO ANY OF YOU HAVE THOUGHTS THAT

SPEAK TO THAT? MENDELSON: I think in some ways we can’t have it both ways, right? The economic development that comes along with some of the change, funds and helps underwrite the problems we’re also trying to solve. And so, I think having the right balance is really important. If we want to keep the next generation here, building their families and being a part of the ecosystem, we also have to take a look at the culture and the needs and the things that engage them to stay here. So, we’ve been a hospitality town for a very long time, I think that is a major change. I think the economic development community is very focused on the competition of Tampa, or what’s happening in Miami. It’s critically important that we take a look at the jobs that our youth are investing in, technology and other areas. How are we going to entice companies and organizations to come here and be a part of solving through social responsibility, the problems we have, but also investing in the future of Sarasota so that we can continue to grow and develop and not just be a migrated place that it’s about migration? That is how our population grows. Our school systems are fantastic, all of that requires the ability to continue to economically invest in the future. In this past year, we brought in our first artist and resident who was a Mexican hip-hop artist who worked in the school system for the entire year with administrators, teachers, and across Manatee. The Latino community has the largest growing population, we want to make sure that we’re serving the future of the community. MILLER: I think that there’s been a community wide effort to really do the hard work on diversity, equity, and inclusion in acknowledgement of exactly this, that first of all, this community is diverse, but it hasn’t necessarily melded the way it should. And secondly, as leadership in the community, I think a

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lot of us have acknowledged that we shouldn’t be so arrogant to assume that we understand what other people want and need. So, whether it’s the arts or the social services, or anything, we’ve, I think, begun to do a better job at bringing all voices to the table. So, I’ve seen a big change in that in the 20 years that I’ve been in Sarasota. I don’t think we’re there, I don’t think we’re even close to there, but I feel hopeful because I think a lot of us are doing the work. TAVILL: I think there’s a paradox that in the past, young people would flee for fill in the blank, because it was a better quality of life. Now, we have that quality of life that could be attractive to so many of them and they just can’t afford to be here. And, we’ve got to figure out how to keep that, it’s not the brain drain as much as the wallet drain, and we need them here. WHAT ARE THE GOALS YOU’D WANT TO SEE FULFILLED IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS? MILLER: The housing situation really is critical for me, and the thing that really pulls at me is food insecurity or hunger. I always say, if we’re not feeding people, it doesn’t matter how much housing we have, you need to eat. We’re always going to have social problems, but I think they’re exacerbated by the fact that so many people are insecure. So, I think that if you don’t know that you can live under a roof, in perpetuity, that’s got to cause incredible stress. My son lives in LA and he couldn’t come back here, because it’s actually less expensive for him to be in LA than it would be for him to rent an apartment in Sarasota. And, I don’t think he sees this as a viable place for him to come back to. So, he would love what’s going on at the Bay and in the arts here, because that’s what he’s engaged in. But, if we can’t remove the barriers to entry and take care of the people who are already here,


how do we expect to bring that talent back here? So, I would say a solution to the housing issue is really the biggest problem. And, it’s not home ownership, it’s just an affordable place to live. SULLIVAN: We have structured goals that we plan out, so for the Head Start and Early Head Start program, we plan for a five year project period, and we have objectives every year that we’re working on. So for us, looking ahead three years is a part of the process that we go through.There are really three key things that we continue to work on. The infrastructure, the systems and the social systems that impact the families we serve are not likely to change in the next three years. So, the housing crisis, maybe it will ameliorate over the next three years. If we see swings that you are speaking of historically that may ameliorate, however, poverty has only grown in the United States over time. And so, we anticipate the need for our program to continue to be at least at the level that it is. Our Early Head Start population has seen a wait list for our program for many years, and although we’ve been able to steadily convert our program or expand our program so that we can serve more families with very young children, there’s still a need that we are not addressing. And so, we really want to ensure that we are serving all children who are eligible for our program in the community. The other two pieces are intertwined and they are indicative of initiatives that we have taken on over the last seven years in a really amplified way, and that is mental health services to children and families, and our family strengthening services, especially for families who are in our program and moving towards exiting our program. We are seeking to continue to provide social services through our family advocates, after the families have left our program. And, if we can

expand that aspect of our program so that the families who need us most, maybe haven’t really taken full advantage of the services that we offer, and aren’t yet navigating through the resources in our community adeptly. If we can make connections with them and continue that service to them, say until their children are in the third grade, we will view that as success. That requires, the strategic plan, which it’s a part of, and then additional funding for these types of services, and then looking at our organizational structure. We have been expanding the level of service that we provide to children individually in small groups, within their classrooms, as well as dyadic work with the parents and the children, and finally support to the classrooms. We have been building a much more robust program to serve the great need that we have been seeing, again, over the last seven years in our program. As we continue to build that program and really refine these systems, we’ll feel as though we’re providing the services that are needed to the constituents we serve. And that, will be a measure of success for us, but those are our three main objectives, serving all children who are eligible, expanding, and really ensuring mental health services to children and families, and continuing our family strengthening both while families are with us and beyond through the third grade. MENDELSON: We’ve got three key goals, the first one is to continue our investment in serving the community in arts education and integration in deepening that work, but also adding an element of outcomes measurement in efficacy. It’s important that we understand the investment and the impact that it makes. And so, that will be a big focus for us over the next three years, is taking a look at measurement and identifying new partners in the community

who believe also that the arts can play a deepening role in the work they’re currently doing. The second one is continuing to engage the community and their feedback on the aspirations they have for the performing arts center. We’re calling our community engagement, a place for ideas, a place for the arts, a place for you. And we really, really want people to feel the element of where artists, learners, and audience all intersect, that’s really the secret sauce of Sarasota. And so, we’ll continue to grow and develop that communication over the next three years. And then, of course, the main big goal is in three years, we will have the shovels in the ground. SADLO: We actually have a list of goals that we’re going to continue to pursue, and that is, finish our club in Arcadia. We’ve done the first two phases of a large construction project, a five million dollar project in Arcadia. We are going to do a large project at our Roy McBean club in Newtown, which is right on public housing property. And it’ll be called the Irving and Marilyn Naiditch campus. And in addition to a remodeled refurbished boys and girls club with a beautiful teen center and a new teaching kitchen for the culinary arts, there’ll be other entities on that campus, meaning we will be doing early childhood. And there’ll also be a 10,000 square foot career resource center that will be able to teach kids careers in the trades, but also adults in the community right there on the same campus. So that’s an exciting project. With the growth that’s going on down in Northport, we need to expand our services there and we’re talking about what the best way to do that is. And then we’re also looking to, on our quest to be as inclusive as possible, want to do more with the special needs community. So we want to make our boys and girls clubs more accessible for that population. And then we’ll

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just continue to head where youth need us most. And that’s kind of our mission–we go where we are needed most in the community. WE STILL HAVE AN OPIATE EPIDEMIC BUT I BET THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO THINK IT’S OVER BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T HEARD THOSE WORDS IN THREE YEARS. SLATER: Substance abuse is the number one issue for the reason why children are removed in both Sarasota and Manatee counties. We still have death cases.Parents have children who we have in care or children that were brought in care because their parents overdosed and passed away, we still have a parent pass away monthly, if not more than once a month. And this is just a small subset. These are just the kids who we have in our system of care. I think the reason you probably don’t hear about it as much is because Narcan is so available. So when parents are overdosing or even children, either EMS or law enforcement or the hospital Narcan them. So really they bring them back and then they unfortunately a lot of times don’t get the treatment they need and go out and use again. So I will say that substance abuse is still the number one issue why children are removed and more than half the children that are removed are zero to five. It’s these vulnerable children with substance abusing parents that are still the largest issue within our child welfare system of the community. SADLO: We were able as a state alliance to get some funding for opioid prevention and it was our first year getting money for that. So this year we hosted three opioid prevention events where we had parents and youth come and taught them about it and handed out some literature. And that was our first real entry into it, if that makes sense, but we will be getting deeper into it because through the successes that all of our clubs


had around the state by doing the events, we believe there’ll be more funding coming next year. Assuming the governor signs the budget. And then we can do deeper education on opioids. So no, we didn’t lose that in the shuffle and I’m glad you did ask it because that didn’t go away, and it was also exacerbated by the pandemic. WHAT ARE THE EXCITING, NEW THINGS THAT YOU GUYS ARE WORKING ON? AYERS: We’ve got a lot of areas of funding opportunity. As I mentioned earlier, the hospital is in their largest expansion I believe in their entire, almost a hundred year history right now and we’re alongside them getting the community to help support them. So in our world, our focus on some of the bigger projects that are happening. Back in November, we, or the hospital opened the oncology tower. And in addition to transforming behavioral health services, the hospital is also in the process of transforming cancer care services. There over the years has been a high outward migration of services. People that get diagnosed with cancer tend to leave the county. Over 50% have left the county for care. And there’s lots of reasons why. But the hospital is stepping in and really providing a comprehensive care model for the community so that people don’t have to feel like they have to go elsewhere to get cancer care. And the next piece of the puzzle that’s happening is that there is going to be a second tower built on the main campus at the hospital. The tower that opened in November, its focus is more on the inpatient side of cancer care. The tower that has been planned for and is going forward in development is an outpatient pavilion where all of the outpatient services for those battling cancer can come to radiation chemotherapy. There’ll be areas for physician offices and a breast health center. So it’s having great facilities, having wonderful

doctors, but also having programs that a cancer patient needs as well as coordinated care. Being able to connect with patient navigators that can help advocate and move the patient and their family along that cancer journey. It’s a big deal. And our foundation has been raising money for it through a campaign called the Leading With Care Campaign. Our goal is to raise $75 million. And right now we’re at $57 million which is amazing. And we’re so grateful for those in the community that have stepped forward to help support this. So with this new tower opening, we believe that we’re going to have that full continuum of care available to the community. We also are working down in Venice with the community there. A new hospital opened in Venice back in the fall. And we are starting from a philanthropic standpoint to receive support from the community for that hospital. That hospital sits on 65 acres, which is double the size of what is in Sarasota. So long term, there’s lots of ideas to be able to expand the services down in Venice as that community grows. And the healthcare foundation will be there helping do that. We’ve got behavioral health and we’re focused on that as well as a lot of other things. I mean, we work alongside the hospital and there’s numerous needs that they have, whether it’s in doing research or being able to take care of the indigent community, we are able to provide grants to the hospital to be able to do that. So it gives you a little bit of a snapshot of what we’re doing. I think our biggest challenge is just keeping up with the hospital. I mean, it’s moving fast and every day we’re, we’re working alongside them and our donor community to make the hospital even stronger. MASON: Many years ago we realized there were things we could do for patients to ease their pain and to just give them some peace. So we started Reiki and massage and

then we started pet therapy. We now have a pet therapy program where people go through us to get their pets trained as therapy dogs. We allow them to go into both our clinical and office settings on a regular basis. We also have pet therapy cats, so they aren’t all dogs. SADLO: We have a few exciting things to share. With the six through 12 year old kids, we have a program now called Great Futures Academy, which is an intense learning program. The last two summers we had 19 school teachers each summer working with our kids on intense learning. Our goal was to stop the summer slide and during a pandemic that was going to be even more challenging. But we partnered with our schools and hired these teachers and we had zero kids slide backwards during the summer, both summer programs, that was 1200 kids over two summers. 86% made gains and 14% stayed the same. Those types of numbers are pretty amazing. So we were very proud of that. So even post pandemic, we’re going to keep that program going where we’re more intentional about learning at our clubs. And then of course, the teen programs where you have the STAR Leadership Program, STAR stands for Students Taking Active Roles, where youth get engaged in their community. They do 60 hours of training and then at the end, they’re placed on non-profit or government boards as full voting members. So that’s really unique. We have a young person serving on our Boys & Girls Club board where they’re a teen and they’re a full voting member of our board. And then we have our Pearlman Price young entrepreneurs program where youth develop a business plan and learn about marketing a business. And then at the end of the program, they pitch a business Shark Tank style and get funding to start their own company. We have youth that are running their own companies right now, suc-

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cessful businesses. So it’s really a major shift in where we’ve come from and we’re going to continue to head in that direction and just continue to give the youth these opportunities. WHAT ARE SOME ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU’VE BEEN MOST PROUD OF OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS? SLATER: I think for me, it was our staff that really had to step up. When the pandemic started two and a half years ago, we didn’t know anything. Our staff did not stop. They knew they still had kids at risk. They knew they still had families to go see. They knew they had all of these responsibilities to take care of. And foster parents that were scared. No one knew what the pandemic was all about. We saw the pictures from the hospital and what the nurses and

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the doctors and staff we’re going through. Our case managers still continue to go out in the homes, out in the fields and continue to take care of the children and families we serve. We had people that out of the blue reached out to us and said, “Oh my gosh, what do your foster parents need?” And of course we were saying toilet paper, but no one could find it anywhere. I think really just being proud of serving like 8,000 kids a year in the last three years even during the pandemic and continuing to provide services for all the children and families that needed them. AYERS: When the pandemic happened back in March of 2020, obviously no one knew what was going to transpire here. And it’s been a real privilege personally to watch how the hospital has really done an amazing job of taking care of our community through the

entire pandemic. We were blown away by the support of the community. As a foundation, we were really fortunate to be able to take the community support and put it into the hospital in these areas of need, whether it was more testing, PPE, infection control, you name it. Clinical research, we actually were able to provide dollars to help the hospital do some of these clinical trials that we all read about or saw in the news. They were happening here in Sarasota. It was a very inspiring time to see how everyone came together to help the hospital navigate through their challenges of taking care of us. MASON: Launching a brand new foundation, hiring an amazing team during a pandemic and surviving and thriving. We’ve launched a hugely competitive not for profit environment and been able to get our message out

very effectively and connect with donors who care about providing free charity hospice care, free grief services for everybody, and providing free services for hospice and home health patients in their time of need, and growing the philanthropic support to help Tidewell continue to grow. Because as our region grows, the number of patients are going to grow and the needs are going to grow. We can’t rest on our laurels. We have to continue to grow, grow, grow. If I’m looking back three years from now, I’m going to judge our success in the financial growth, the relationship growth, and the community partnerships that the Tidewell Foundation has been able to establish on behalf of Tidewell and our whole health system. SRQ

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Home design stories, inspiration and thoughtful architecture on the West Coast of Florida—from Anna Maria Island and Lakewood Ranch to Sarasota, Venice and the Barrier Islands.

Spaces PICTURE PERFECT A former medical office manager from Chicago, Sue Tapia moved to Sarasota in 2016, rented a house and started a new career in residential real estate. She filled her home with mid-century modern furnishings and accessories, a style she studied and collected, and began to think about buying a house of her own. One day, while searching “mid-century modern” on Facebook Marketplace, Tapia came upon the circular structure on Peachtree Street as a “for sale by owner” home.

GAMMA BETA The Gamma Beta, a new construction by Nebula Design Build, was a “beta test” for a process to create affordable, easily customizable homes. And it passed with flying colors. “In collaboration with Josh Wynne Construction, our goal was to create a design language using simple geometry, honest use of materials, and stripped-back detailing to form a ‘kit of parts’ that could be used in endless configurations,” says Jimmy Thornton, the sole proprietor of Nebula, whose 2019-founded business specializes in custom residential and small commercial projects.

SPACIOUS SKYFRAME The Skyframe Home is a minimalist modern masterpiece on Bird Key which exemplifies the 2001-founded, full-service firm’s flare for waterfront modern homes with clean, simple designs. Situated along an arterial canal of Bird Key, this retreat was conceived as “a place for family gathering while maintaining a strong sense of privacy,” says Mark Sultana, AIA, the owner of DSDG Architects.

Craft STORY IN WOOD About 14 years ago, impelled by the recession to make a career change, Xavier Garcia, Jr. indulged his love of building—and Ninzan Studio, LLC was born. Today, finely-crafted tables and built-ins are cornerstones of Garcia’s Sarasota-based design and carpentry company. COVER Nebula Design, photography by Ryan Gamma. THIS PAGE Courtesy of Ninzan Studio and Ninzan Build, 6




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Picture Perfect

W R I T T E N B Y Barbie Heit

Sue Tapia’s round home at 3201 Peachtree Street is currently on track to be the most viewed home ever on Zillow.

3201 Peachtree Street was listed with White Sands Realty on April 20, 2022 for $899,000 (cash only). For more information, contact Sue Tapia at 941- 993-3919. Portrait photo by Wyatt Kostyan.



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ed a new career in residential real estate. She filled her home with mid-century modern furnishings and accessories, a style she studied and collected, and began to think about buying a house of her own. One day, while searching “mid-century modern” on Facebook Marketplace, Tapia came upon the circular structure on Peachtree Street as a “for sale by owner” home. She had planned to purchase a different home, but something about this 1,268-square-foot house spoke to her. She came back to view it three times before finally purchasing it in 2018 for $229,000. “I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason,” says Tapia. “It’s a niche home but I bought it with the intention of making it my primary residence and updating it from top to bottom.” And that she did. With its original 1971 roof, windows, plumbing and landscaping, Tapia had her work cut out for her. She began by removing over 20 Australian pine trees and perfecting the landscaping. She added a new roof and windows, and modernized the plumbing and electricity. The home also had cast iron drains beneath the floors (prior to 1975, the vast majority of Florida properties contained cast iron drains which insurance companies frown upon) and those were updated as well. New appliances were added, floors refurbished and of course, mid-century

modern style furniture and accessories were incorporated into the design. Most of the original features still remain, including the kitchen cabinets which are really more like shelves because of the rounded walls behind them. Recently, Tapia connected with a friend of Frank Williams, the now deceased original owner and builder, who said. “Frank would be so very proud of what you’ve done with his home,” Tapia recalls with pride. The circular shape is not the only unique feature of the home. With only three narrow windows in the entire house, there is not a lot of natural light so Tapia installed two doors with window cutouts to add brightness. The floor plan includes just one bathroom with an oversized rounded bathtub/shower and sink situated in the center of the house. Originally a three bedroom/one bathroom home, Tapia removed a wall to create a large master bedroom, turning it into a two bedroom home. “The wall can easily be added back,” she says, “and with the large corner lot (.35 acre), there is great potential for adding on living space, a detached garage, or a pool.” So why all the hype on Zillow and social media? “As the owner and a realtor with White Sands Realty Group, I’ve done a lot of marketing for this house online. With each renovation, I shared updates on social media and have gotten a lot of attention,” shares Tapia. “Now, I think I need an assistant to help with this house alone!” SRQH&D


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WRITTEN BY Abby Weingarten PHOTOS BY Ryan Gamma Photography



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Credits Architect: Mark Sultana, AIA NCARB-DSDG; Contractor: Voigt Brothers Construction; Interior Design: Mindy Voigt Kitchen; Cabinets: Main Street Kitchen and Bath; Bathroom: Ferguson Kitchen and Bath; Carpets and Flooring: Sticks and Stones ; Landscape Architect: Mullett Brothers ; Pool: Water Designs of Sarasota; Photographer: Ryan Gamma Photography.

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The Skyframe Home by DSDG Architects is a minimalist modern masterpiece on Bird Key.


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SITUATED ALONG AN ARTERIAL CANAL OF BIRD KEY, this retreat was conceived as “a place for family gathering while maintaining a strong sense of privacy,” says Mark Sultana, AIA, the owner of DSDG Architects. With 3,000 square feet, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a den to support the small family atmosphere, it is as comfortable as it is elegant. “As you approach the site through a carefully manicured hardscape, the entry of the home is revealed by large expanses of glass that highlights a floating staircase,” Sultana says. “Ascending to the primary living level, you become oriented to experience the water views from the living room and kitchen open floor plan.” There are 14.5-foot-high ceilings, and the tall walls of sliding glass blur the boundary between the interior and exterior of the home (bringing blue and green hues through the glass). The connection to the water is reinforced by expansive balconies connecting the living room, kitchen and primary living suite. “The remaining two bedrooms are tucked behind the family room and offset from the primary area to create privacy while highlighting framed views of Sarasota Bay,” Sultana says. Exposed concrete is paired with contrasting clean white stucco, and warmed with natural wood ceiling elements. The wood carries from the outside to the inside via operable glass walls, while also warming the interior stark white kitchen and walls. “Skyframe’s minimalist modern design and use of tall glazing perfectly situates the residence in its environment,” Sultana says. “And it creates a peaceful retreat that blends livability and natural immersion.” SRQH&D



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STORY IN WOOD About 14 years ago, impelled by the recession to make a career change, Xavier Garcia, Jr. indulged his love of building—and Ninzan Studio, LLC was born. Today, finely-crafted tables and built-ins are cornerstones of Garcia’s Sarasota-based design and carpentry company. W R I T T E N B Y Abby Weingarten

“THE ACT OF BUILDING SOMETHING THAT DIDN’T EXIST PREVIOUSLY, and having it solve some kind of problem, is very

satisfying,” Garcia says. It was a concept Garcia first experienced while working toward a bachelor of design architecture degree from the University of Florida in 2003. After graduating, Garcia returned to Sarasota in 2004. He worked for his father’s design-build architecture and contracting firms, Las Casitas Design and Marazul Building Company. Then, the recession of 2008 hit and the work dried up, Garcia says, leading him to transition to handyman-type jobs and finish carpentry. Ultimately, Garcia found his niche as a self-employed carpenter and founded Ninzan Studio in 2008. The company now serves Sarasota and Manatee counties, including areas such as Lakewood Ranch and the barrier islands. “I really enjoy the hands-on aspects of carpentry, and this allows me to utilize most of my on-the-job architectural training,” Garcia says.

For a solid decade, Ninzan Studio provided finish carpentry, cabinetry installs, exterior carpentry (such as arbors and wood decks), window and door installations, and custom woodworking to clients. In 2018, Garcia expanded—earning his state-certified general contractor license and founding the sister company, Ninzan Build, LLC. “With this addition, we continued to do the field carpentry work but now we could take on larger jobs—which required permits and additional trades such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical, etc.,” Garcia says. Beginning in 2020, Garcia took over the Wood Street Studio location at 1490 20th St. in Sarasota after former workshop owner Dale Rieke retired. There, Garcia and his team of five craftsmen now create custom wood furniture, bespoke cabinetry and architectural millwork (and they bring in several trusted contractors for larger projects).

Ninzan Studio and Ninzan Build, 1490 20th St., Sarasota, 941-702-6076., 20


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SOURCE IT Kati Ramage, Abide Designs, 941-587-1364,; Rob Barnard, Bee Ridge Lighting and Design, 941922-2626,;



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“We are narrowing down our focus to shop-built woodwork and installation of that work in conjunction with general contracting jobs through Ninzan Build,” Garcia says. “Ninzan Studio also offers design and shop drawing services so that clients can see their projects on paper before any work is done.” Those projects are diverse and intricate. One notable undertaking was a 2016 guest suite renovation on Siesta Key. Ninzan handled the interior buildout of an above-garage guest room, the interior framing and trim carpentry, and the fabrication and installation of a set of walnut-framed pecky cypress barn doors and cypress floating shelves. “That project was a fun one. The pecky cypress material was supplied by the owner (their family has a large amount stockpiled in their family ranch in Wauchula, Florida),” Garcia says. “We did not draw anything for this project but instead created mockups and sample boards to push the design process. The owner had a good sense of what they wanted and we helped them achieve it.” For this home, Ninzan also embarked on a woodworking and deck project. Garcia and his team crafted a reclaimed barn beam fireplace mantle, a solid cypress prayer bench, an interlocking PVC rooftop deck, and pecky cypress walls and cabinetry in the kitchen and laundry room. Garcia is also immensely proud of the work his team did on “The Beneva House.” Ninzan tackled the exterior and interior trim, as well as the finish punch out. The crew worked closely with the builders from Bay Point Construction to install the entry-door system, the interior doors, the door hardware, the baseboards, the custom fireplace shiplap wall and mantle, the exterior beams, the columns, the ceilings and the siding. Ninzan also constructed the children’s bedroom built-ins to match the distinct cabinetry by Taylor James. “The Beneva House project was mainly trim carpentry, including interior wood ceilings and box beams, along with exterior trim elements such as column wraps, box beams and siding,” Garcia says. A number of other artistic projects from the Ninzan crew have included a custom dining table and bench, fabricated from locally-harvested rosewood slabs with an ash base in black dye stain finish (all three slabs were sequence-milled from the same tree); a dining table in flat-sawn and quartered ash with a natural finish and white dye stain; and an entire renovation of a 1970s-era ranch home along the Manatee River. “I guess most of what I learned in architecture school was: given a set of parameters, solve a problem in a creative and meaningful way,” Garcia says. “Oftentimes, the process is as important as the end result.” SRQH&D Imagery courtesy of NInzan Studios.

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YOUR HOME IS THE WHERE LIFE HAPPENS AND SHOULD REFLECT YOUR OWN PERSONAL LIFESTYLE AND NEEDS. At Yoder Homes & Remodeling, we take that responsibility seriously and realize these details are what make a house your home. Whether you are in the market for a custom home, total remodel, room addition or simply wish to update your kitchen and/or bath, Yoder Homes & Remodeling can take your vision and make it a reality! Our team truly views the relationship between contractor and owner as a partnership in which all are striving for the same goal. “Because of our extensive experience in the greater Sarasota area,” says Yoder Homes President Denny Yoder, “we have developed strong working relationships with numerous local professionals that assist us in meeting each client’s specific design needs. Partnering with top-notch landscapers, draftsmen, designers, architects and suppliers, we can create a custom environment uniquely created for you and your family. In addition, the Yoder Kitchens & More showroom in the Rosemary District features an array of products including cabinetry, flooring, window treatments, and much, much more to simplify the selection process. With cabinet designers, selection coordinators and other professionals on staff, the Yoder Homes team is able to help seamlessly guide customers through the construction process from beginning to end. With a commitment to excellence and superior quality, Yoder Homes & Remodeling’s mission is to build long-lasting relationships that continue long after the project is completed. Come experience our team approach and see just how easy your dream custom project can be!

“Integrity, dependability and fine workmanship are the cornerstones of Yoder Homes & Remodeling, with each and every team member committed to providing our homeowners with a seamless building process and final product that will be a source of pride and enjoyment for years to come.”


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W R I T T E N B Y Abby Weingarten | P H O T O S B Y Ryan Gamma Photography

GAMMA BETA The Gamma Beta, a new construction by Nebula Design Build, was a “beta test” for a process to create affordable, easily customizable homes.

THE GAMMA BETA, A NEW CONSTRUCTION BY NEBULA DESIGN BUILD, was a “beta test” for a process to create affordable, easily customizable homes. And it passed with flying colors. “In collaboration with Josh Wynne Construction, our goal was to create a design language using simple geometry, honest use of materials, and stripped-back detailing to form a ‘kit of parts’ that could be used in endless configurations,” says Jimmy Thornton, the sole proprietor of Nebula, whose 2019-founded business specializes in custom residential and small commercial projects.



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Credits Nebula Design Build: Architect: Nebula Design Build; Contractor: Josh Wynne Construction; Builder: Josh Wynne Construction; Interior Design: Nebula Design Build; Kitchen Cabinets: IKEA; Bathroom: IKEA; Landscape Architect: Josh Wynne Construction; Pool: Pools by Ron; Photographer: Ryan Gamma Photography.


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Taking inspiration from the work of Joseph Eichler and Charles and Ray Eames, Thornton worked collaboratively with the homeowners on the Gamma Beta project to achieve the cutting-edge design. “Ryan Gamma is a rockstar in the Sarasota architecture world, and a great friend, so it was a joy to work with him,” Thornton says. “Both he and his wife, Nicole, are passionate about design, and this home is a reflection of that.” So, what makes the residence so revolutionary? It achieves so much with so little, Thornton says. “We built this house for $252 per square foot, which was almost half the cost of most custom homes being built at the time,” Thornton says. “None of the finishes are high-end. The floors are an exposed structural slab. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets are all from IKEA. And we left most of the materials in their raw form with minimal treatment, yet the home feels like it costs twice as much.” Thornton and his team laid out the windows to specifically serve the function of their respective spaces. The best examples are in the dining room and photo studio, which are located at either side of the open dog trot. The windows are set low and stretched wide to afford the best views when seated. Another standout feature is the wood slat wrap around the carport, built with thin strips of pine. All in all, the project embodies Thornton’s vision for using space and materials efficiently, without enormous price tags. “At Nebula, I keep my practice small so I can focus intently on each project, with the goal of creating unique environments that don’t cost a fortune to build,” Thornton says. “I’ve always valued quality over quantity.” SRQH&D


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