SRQ Magazine | In Conversation with Lakewood Ranch Leaders March 2021

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LET’S START OUR DISCUSSION OF LAKEWOOD RANCH BY SHARING A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELVES AND YOUR ORGANIZATIONS. SCOTT ZELNIKER, VICE PRESIDENT OF UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES: I’m the head of a 13-person team that manages wealth for multi-generational families, high net worth people, businesses, and we’ve been doing it for nearly 30 years. I’m originally from New York but I moved down to Lakewood Ranch full-time in 2018. I’ve been a Lakewood Ranch resident since 2013, coming back and forth. I have operations in New York with five people, and I have eight more down in Florida. ANDY GUZ, CEO OF LAKEWOOD RANCH MEDICAL CENTER: I’ve been here since 2016. Much like Scott and everyone else that lives in Lakewood Ranch, I’m not originally from here. Everybody’s new here.



I came down here after running hospitals all over the country. I’ve lived on both coasts, midwest, east coast, west coast. I started my career in central Florida when I got out of grad school. During that time, we had found the Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota/Siesta Key area, and continued to come down here for vacations as we moved around the country. So when the opportunity presented itself to be able to move down here permanently, it was like a dream come true. So, here we are, and here we are to stay. LET’S TALK ABOUT LAKEWOOD RANCH AND GROWTH. GUZ: I’m part of that growth, just like everyone else is here. Lakewood Ranch is an interesting community, I think since the beginning, the concept was to build this into a large community. And we’ve been at the forefront here at the hospi-


tal since 2004, when it was built and opened. Since then it’s been a relatively short amount of time for a growth period to happen, especially in a hospital, but since then much like the community we’ve been growing and trying to accommodate all of those needs. I don’t see anything but growth potential for Lakewood Ranch going forward. I know in talking to the developers and some of the builders here, they had some of their best months for new construction, over the summer of the pandemic. So, I think as people have gotten more mobile and begin to work from home and realize they can actually do that, places like Florida, especially Lakewood Ranch with all the amenities and things to do, are much more attractive to people than perhaps shoveling snow. ZELNIKER: The growth has been spectacular. When my wife and I found this area by accident

back in 2013, I was down here visiting clients in downtown Sarasota. Some of my clients live in the Ritz tower and a client said, “You want to go golfing one day?” I said, sure. I brought over my clubs, got in his car and figured how far could the golf course be, from the Ritz itself? We start driving and driving and driving. And I said, “Where the heck are we going? We came across I-75. I think it was a single lane at the time, and we drove over to the golf course and I’m looking around thinking, “Boy, this neighborhood reminds me of Long Island back in the 1950s.” Now, I wasn’t alive yet in the 1950s, but I know the history of Long Island and I watched it grow. I called my wife and I said, “Lisa, instead of me coming down and staying at hotels every time, what would you think about buying a house in this little area called Lakewood Ranch?” We scheduled


ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS ANDY GUZ, LAKEWOOD RANCH MEDICAL CENTER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Andy Guz has served as Chief Executive Officer at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center since 2016. Prior to joining Lakewood Ranch, Andy was the CEO of a hospital in Pennsylvania. He has also served in executive roles at other hospitals across the United States. Andy is a current board member for Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee County, the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, and the Sloan Alumni Association Board of Directors at Cornell University. He is also a graduate of Leadership Sarasota, a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and active in the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and both the Manatee and Sarasota County Chambers of Commerce. Andy received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia and his Masters of Health Administration from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

SCOTT ZELNIKER, CRPC, CRPS Scott has been providing customized solutions for his clients since 1992. He is known for his ability to listen to client concerns, and his willingness to advocate for them when needed really sets him apart. With experience in wealth planning, asset management, risk management, business succession planning, philanthropy and family governance, Scott is an integral piece of any professional advisory network. As a Private Wealth Advisor, he coordinates direct access to the global resources of UBS, especially the intellectual capital his clients need for complex liquidity events and long-term estate planning across generations.


her for a flight on a Monday with a return on a Tuesday, and she called me up Monday afternoon and said, “I just changed my flight.” The opportunity here for individuals to grow their lives and for businesses to come in here, I think is tremendous. We’re in a bifurcated economy right now, and that’s one of the dilemmas we always face in our job. This area is just a tremendous recipient. People are leaving high tax states, they’re coming down here, they’re establishing their lives down here. They get a pretty big pay raise just by doing the same activity in a different location. The stores and the restaurants, everyone’s out and about. Quite frankly, from a living perspective it’s great to see. HOW DOES LAKEWOOD RANCH MEDICAL CENTER STAY AHEAD OF THE HEALTH NEEDS OF LAKEWOOD RANCH? GUZ: The more people that move here, the more people we just know statistically are going to need medical care. We’ve been planning for this since really the opening when we started, but especially since 2016, when we really started to kick up more projects and more growth and adding service lines. We’ve actually expanded the offerings of what we’ve done here in terms of this service line, so people don’t have to drive to Sarasota or to the Tampa areas to get the sub-specialized care they may need. For a hospital and being the only actual hospital in the Lakewood Ranch community, we take that pretty seriously. What we’re trying to do is really meet the demand and the needs of the residents that are here. And then there is the pandemic; any human on the planet in 2020, is going to say that was not a very good year at all for anyone. But the lessons learned, we are building on. We have a very good culture here and I think that this doesn’t just apply to hospitals,

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but probably every company that has had employees and customers reevaluate their priorities in their lives and of what they’re going to be doing in the future. If you had a good, strong culture pre-pandemic, you probably made it out better than a company, or an organization, that people were just kind of going in there to punch the clock and get a paycheck. I think the better people who were taking care of their employees, and for us that’s nurses and our whole staff of employees, because, there is no “frontline healthcare worker” without the entire team. Everyone from the people making the food and delivering the food to the nurses, it’s the staff that is taking care of the respiratory physician that is taking care of the patient. It’s a hard job, and to add an additional stress of thinking about your own personal safety and your families’ safety when you go home to them is tough. I think what we tried to do the most, was communicate to our staff members that we’re taking care of you and we want to make sure you’re safe and we want you to be safe when you go home. LET’S TALK ABOUT DEMOGRAPHICS, SCOTT, WHO IS YOUR CLIENTELE? ZELNIKER: That’s an interesting question. We used to define it by the type of person, a doctor, a lawyer, a business owner, a charitable institution, but we’ve really redefined it into anybody that wants to outsource their investment decisions. People don’t know what’s going on out there. They need help. They need advice. Particularly down here in Florida, because they’ve recently moved and when you make a move, there’s a change. When people move, they’re going to get new doctors, they have to, because they need to be near their doctors. The second step they’re going to take is they’re going to

update their estate plans and their wills to Florida, because nobody wants to be taxed outside of Florida. The third domino to fall is the financial advisor. Our clients are people that want to outsource their investment making decisions and need help. That relationship has to be one that’s founded in a tremendous amount of trust, obviously for them to have faith that you’re going to handle their accounts. SO MUCH OF OUR COMMUNICATIONS ARE REMOTE THESE DAYS, HAS THAT CHANGED HOW YOU CONNECT WITH CLIENTS? ZELNIKER: I started the business in 1992 and in 1992, as you might imagine, I was cold calling 200 people a day. Then it morphed into financial planning. At the beginning of this pandemic, if you recall, the stock markets were in flux, the market dropped 30% in a month. As you might imagine, our phones were ringing off the hook, and our team had a life change as well. We were adapting from being in an office to everybody working from home. I watched my team really rise to the occasion. The beginning was very reactionary, and we became a major information source. As the CARES act was passed, as the PPP paycheck protection act was passed, people had questions. Because of the size and scope of the firm, we were able to get a lot of research out there, not only to our clients, but to their other advisors, their CPAs, their lawyers, then after about six weeks, when things settled down a little, we wanted it to be business as usual and make the clients feel normalized. When I made client calls, I asked my business manager to block out a full hour for each call. We were allaying fears. We were educating on what was going on. It was a great deepening of the relationship, as it turned out.

OF COURSE THE HOSPITAL HAD TO MAKE ENORMOUS CHANGES AS WELL. GUZ: It was interesting because there was no national blueprint for this thing. You had to adapt, almost daily, what you were doing to try to just keep as many people safe as you possibly could. Restricting visitors was something that we did and it lasted for a good 30 to 60 days. Even now we’re under a limited visitor policy. But when we had no visitors, much like Scott’s dilemma, we’re used to having a family member present with the patient, so that we can explain to them, “Here’s what’s happening to your loved one. Here’s what we need your permission to do.” If someone is not capable of making that decision, whether they’re very sick or we have to sedate them and they may not be of the most lucid mind, then we were trying to do that over the phone and we’re implementing zoom calls with folks and giving patients iPads to FaceTime with their loved ones. There’s a real mental part of the physical healing portion of being in the hospital where if you don’t get to see your loved ones, especially, if you were in an isolation rooms alone, and the people that come in to talk to you to take care of you are all gowned up in PPE and masks and things like that, it could be a scary thing for the patient. We worked really hard to make sure that we could put hospital visits back in place as fast as possible, but you do lose a lot of the human interaction. You lose the the touch and emotionalism that comes with just laying hands on people, and being able to say, “Hey, it’s okay.” Holding someone’s hand or talking to them while you’re sitting down next to them and explaining to them what’s happening to them about their health.

THE HOSPITAL HAD TO ADAPT TO THE IMMEDIATE, AND, AT THE SAME TIME, YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR ATTENTION ON THE FUTURE. WHAT DO YOU SEE COMING FOR LAKEWOOD RANCH? GUZ: If anything, we were surprised by the amount of growth that’s happened over the last 12 months due to the pandemic. It’s growing because of the pandemic, not in spite of it. People make decisions, shoveling snow stinks, paying higher taxes stinks. Lakewood Ranch has done a great job at developing this area. I think; making it attractive if people do decide to move down here, so our biggest challenge is always trying to accommodate the growth. And people that are moving down from very well-developed urban areas, you know, the New York Citys or the Chicagos are surprised to learn that they can get the same level of care and have the same types of physicians they might have in Manhattan or on the upper East side. BOTH OF YOU SEE SUCH GROWTH OPPORTUNITY FOR THE REGION, WHICH MIGHT SURPRISE SOME WHO FEEL LIKE THE WORLD IS BLEAK RIGHT NOW. ZELNIKER: We see it booming, and, what I’m hearing Andy say is very similar to what we’re doing, where we’re adding capacity for that growth. One of the things that could become a problem for Lakewood Ranch is being a victim of its own success, where you have too many people come down here, then you have traffic, which I’m very well familiar with from New York. But more importantly than traffic is having the quality of service, whether it’s restaurants with quality food, whether it’s healthcare with capacity and quality doctors, whether it’s financial services or accountants or lawyers, it’s

one thing to have a volume of professionals. It’s another thing to have quality. And the people of Lakewood Ranch are tremendous people, there’s business owners, CEOs, athletes, entertainers. There’s a lot of high profile, high net worth individuals coming here with really complex issues. So, I don’t see growth as the problem. GUZ: I would agree with that. I think, much to Scott’s point, with so much growth happening, this last year has actually given us opportunities to rethink how we do certain things, and reinvent ourselves. I think that’s one of the things that everyone has been able to do and good organizations will come out stronger. Especially this year, I think you’ll see the ones that say, “Okay, what’s the new normal?” We can’t go back in time and change things, so how do you reenvision yourself as opposed to just adding on. WHAT ABOUT THE CHANGES WE HAVE SEEN IN HOW EITHER AFFLUENT POTENTIAL DONORS, OR GENEROUS BUSINESSES SUPPORT THEIR COMMUNITY. HOW HAS THAT CHANGED? ZELNIKER: We’re seeing a lot of people rethinking their philanthropy, their time, their money. We were all running 150 miles an hour before this started, and then all the old ways went off a cliff. We used to support so many events with 200 or 500 people attending, fundraisers for charities. That’s gone. So you do have to re-invent. This conversation, with Andy and myself, makes sense because people’s money and people’s health are their concern, numbers one and two. When they’re feeling okay, money is number one, when we are not well, then health is our biggest concern. As far as philanthropy, I’m hearing from a lot of clients and people that they’re torn about

where to put their support. A lot of them give to the arts but now they’re hearing about all these people, hungry and homeless, from the pandemic, and they’re really torn because they want to give where their passion is, but they also want to help people that are truly in need of survival. GUZ: My wife is actually a violist and plays in the Sarasota Orchestra and she hasn’t played at all with them for a year-and they’re almost fully supported by arts benefactors and people that are giving to them. Luckily I’m still employed, she wasn’t our only source of income, but some people have lost all income. I’m on the board for Meals on Wheels of Manatee, we had to continue to expand. You talked about hungry people, the amount of people that applied for Meals on Wheels, just to have food delivered to their homes almost doubled. A lot of those folks are elderly people. Luckily, there hasn’t been a huge drop-off in charitable donations. I’m on the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund board, and we’re thinking of new ways of how to reach donors, Meals on Wheels was able to raise money online. Also, organizations need to rethink how they reach people in need. The hospital used to have a monthly physician seminar at UTC, but we can’t do those at this time, we are taking more of these efforts digital as well. ZELNIKER: People are struggling at this point, but you hope that in a community, all ships are raised by a rising tide. But boy, there are a lot of ships in trouble. I think about living in the city, where people go out of their apartment building and they go across the street to their local diner for pancakes. That local diner might be closed now, so 12 people are out of work and that’s not a good thing, but people still want their pancakes. So where are they going to go? They’re going

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to go to the chains. They’re going to go to Dunkin Donuts. They’re going to go to McDonald’s. The big are getting bigger and people that were on the margins, maybe very successfully on the margins, small entrepreneurs, all of a sudden the rug got pulled out from under them. You see it at some of the charities. At Meals on Wheels you’ll have somebody pulling up in their BMW SUV for food and someone will say, “Why are they there? They don’t need it.” That’s not true. This recession was different than anything else. This pandemic didn’t care if you had money, if you didn’t have money, if you were a business owner, if you were a corporate executive. We were seeing layoffs all over the place. How we get back up is really through communal efforts. The sense of community in the bigger picture is going to bail us out. I mean, I’m a big believer in the American spirit, regardless of the politics. I think we’re a great nation made up of great people and it’s going to start neighbor-toneighbor. GUZ: One of the things that draws people to Lakewood Ranch in particular, is it’s a sense of community, even though it’s not generations of people that have lived here. You usually immediately get linked in with a neighborhood, because everyone here has a neighborhood that they live in, and then just the whole amount of community-wide events. Whether it was coming down to First Friday at Main Street and listening to a concert and seeing all the vendor booths or going to the farmer’s market, and now with Waterside coming up another communal spot that people will be able to be at. Right now, it’s hard to support the little local businesses if you’re stuck in your house, but we’re going to have to keep doing it when we can. We’ve lost some


businesses for good but I’m hoping that we’re able to get back to normal as soon as possible. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS? WHAT WILL LIFE BE LIKE IN ONE OR FIVE YEARS? GUZ: I’m on the optimistic side. I believe that, with vaccines rolling out now, getting as many people vaccinated as possible, well if we can get anywhere between 50 and 70% of people vaccinated, then by the summer I can see us being mostly open as an economy and as a community, as we sort of are already, but with a lot less of the anxiety and fear. I think that here in Lakewood Ranch we have an opportunity to be national leaders. We do have the ability to be outside where it’s a little bit safer. We have the ability to hopefully get everybody vaccinated as well. We’re focusing on nursing homes and hospital workers and things like that. Once we start getting a lot of the general population vaccinated, it’s going to create a good momentum that will help us into the future. So I’m hoping that we are less than a year from being back normal. I can tell you that we’ve re-envisioned ourselves as a hospital and we’re planning on not having as much pandemic response needed in the later part of this year. AND, SCOTT, REALLY THE SAME QUESTION. I WOULD ADD TO IT THE LAST BIG BLOW OUR ECONOMY TOOK—THE GREAT RECESSION AND THROUGH A LONG SHADOW. THE RECOVERY WAS NOT A FAST PROCESS. DO YOU THINK THAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR THAT AGAIN OR DO YOU THINK IT’S GOING TO BE DIFFERENT? ZELNIKER: I’ll speak to the economic recovery. We’ve gone through a digital transformation now. Starting with

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the 1600s you had the agricultural revolution, then the 1800s, you had the industrial revolution, we’re going through a technology revolution right now. It started, give or take, in 1980. So it’s about 40 years on, and the rate of change has accelerated beyond anybody’s dreams. The past nine months especially. A company like Zoom that might’ve taken five, 10 years to become relevant and instead they became relevant overnight. Jobs are going to change. And it’s true that some people are going to get left behind. So the key is going to be education. We have to reeducate and re-train people for these new roles because the digital economy is here. The new technology economy is here to stay. It’s actually big for the corporate bottom line. Remember, the market has no conscience, right? So as companies lay off employees and they get more digital and more efficient, then when their business comes back, more of that dollar goes to the bottom line. I’m expecting a pretty darn strong economy, and it’s going to be up to the individuals to get themselves retrained and use their abilities to get on board for that train. I’m optimistic about what Andy said, and while I don’t want to use the words “the worst is behind us,” I see the light at the end of the tunnel and the tunnel doesn’t look quite as long as it used to. I’m proud to be part of this Lakewood Ranch community. I love it. I get excited by it. I see the growth that is happening here. I have friends up North say, “Oh, are you going down to Florida to retire?” And I say, “quite the contrary, I’m running harder than ever.” What we do, we can help our neighbors down here achieve better financial outcomes, and in doing that, we take a burden off of people when people are worrying

about money. I think if we can take that off people’s plates and help them achieve better financial outcomes, they will be happier. And by extension, they will be healthier. So that’s what I’m here for. GUZ: I have the same thought process. I think the exciting thing about living in Lakewood Ranch is that not only do we have a more optimistic outlook of things than some areas, but every day there’s a new person to meet in town or a new business that’s starting and people are coming from all over. I think we’re getting the best of the best moving down here, those that are able to, and those that see the opportunity. I think you do see a little bit different of a breed of people that moved down here in terms of opportunity seekers and entrepreneurs and folks that just are excited about growth and, and what this community offers. I’m excited about that as a person that runs the hospital, because it means that we have more people to be able to take care of. But just as a resident as well, it’s exciting to see the new things that happen. I’m from the rust belt, so there has not been a ton of growth where I was from. So it’s always exciting to see new things being built and new people coming into town. LL