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Contents trendsport

sept/oct 2020


Local restaurants up their game in the takeout dining sector. Combat boots make a utilitarian comeback, while chunky jewelry make a cultural statement. School buses and van build-outs are becoming family homes-on-wheels, while strong offshore winds are calling for kiteboarding lessons and Hobie cat rentals. And believe it or not, gardening and crocheting are becoming the hottest hobbies in the neighborhood. Whether you’re heading to a grassy knoll to meet your pals for a socially-distant, picturesque picnic or jamming the buttons of your video game controller playing esports with virtual friends, the trends we’ve picked up on the last few months are likely to carry us throughout the rest of this turbulent yet trendy year. Written by Grace Castilow, Ariel

This page: Arancini with risotto,

parmesan, mint and spicy feta from Avli Mess Hall, Sarasota, photography by Wyatt Kostygan. Cover: Blasé Espresso Martini, photography by Wyatt Kostygan. Page 10: Whitney’s LBK, photos by Ryan Gamma, more on page 56. Scalloping at Crystal River, photography by Wes Roberts, more on page 76. Tom Gumpel cracks the bean, photography by Wyatt Kostygan, more on page 25.

Chates, Gabrielle Holliday, Phil Lederer, Brittany Mattie and Jacob Ogles. Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

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FIRMO CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES TO BREAK GROUND DURING A GROUNDBREAKING EPOCH This local design-build firm and commercial contractor has been spearheading profound projects in underutilized areas of Sarasota County since 2003. With 16 years of growth under their construction belt, little did Firmo Construction know a global pandemic would make their 17th year the most challenging, yet rewarding, one to date. At a time when so many smaller businesses around the country found themselves closing up shop, a few essential markets continued to maintain their equilibrium, and Firmo remained readily available to offer its steadfast services to those in need through these challenging times. As the penetrable effects of Covid-19 loomed in closer to the area, the team of industry leaders behind Firmo reacted quickly and swiftly to continue their operations for current clients as well as prospective ones. The company continued to operate as an ‘essential business’ throughout the months of lockdown—pivoting from their downtown Sarasota office space to working entirely remote, facilitating all meetings and project tours virtually, streamlining communications, implementing more regular updates with partners and clients, and enforcing thorough safety measures on all job sites as recommended by the CDC and OSHA. However long the Coronavirus pandemic sticks around, the Firmo team doesn’t plan to lose any momentum—having their sights set on many more endeavors in optimizing the future development and revitalization of our region. “Firmo has always been trying to innovate our industry, stay ahead of the curve and the demand,” says Maegan Ochoa, Director of Design. “We’re not the typical GC and because that’s who we are to the core, the challenges we’re all facing in order to continue working safely with our clients were a collaborative and almost seamless process for us to figure out as we adapted. We believe these are some of the reasons we’ve been able to still experience growth and success this year.” Above (Left to right) Maegan Ochoa, Stefan Baron, Heather Gilpatric, Jeff Bryde, Andor Keresztes, Andrew Wilson and Eric Collin.

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A D A P TAT I O N , I N N O VAT I O N + G R O W T H A look at what Firmo’s been quietly up to this past year, and what project plans lie ahead.“There’s a lot of things moving in our market locally and changing within the industry,” says Eric Collin, President and CEO of Firmo. “From working remotely to the adaptation of office space and social distancing on construction sites—we’re here to get through all that, and still expecting to see an increase in projects this year.” The Firmo team maintains long, established relationships with key partners in Sarasota—often selected to build out multiple locations for each company as they expand or move. Through strong, established partnerships in the community, their work spans about 600,000 square feet of commercial work in our region to date. Implementing new technology, optimized approaches, and innovative solutions as a result of an uncertain environment, Firmo Construction has partnered with each business and catered to unique needs such as contactless devices, minimal doors for entry, and upgrading HVAC systems to promote cleaner air circulation. The team knows these office builds are vital to our community, not only in helping our local businesses improve and upgrade their spaces, but also to create a safer, health-conscious experience for customers when they come back to visit in person. Their work has also taken them beyond Sarasota to places like Fort Myers, Tarpon Springs, and Sun City, where more businesses are seeing the value in having Firmo Construction as the commercial builder that brings their business space to life.

Loftus Law Firm Remodel In Progress

REVITALIZING THE COMMUNITY’S WORKSPACES Many local businesses have discovered the silver lining among the uncertainty and turbulence since the outbreak of pandemic, recognizing this time as a unique opportunity to reflect, renovate, and revamp their workspaces for their employees and customers. When the time comes to bring people back, through whatever our new normal may be, these companies want to be ready to welcome them safely and have reached out to the Firmo team about their new spaces. Capitalizing on Firmo’s expertise in office remodels, tenant build outs, and workspace revitalizations, the Firmo team now has multiple office projects in progress during this time, implementing innovative techniques and new technologies to accommodate whatever that new normal might become. One of the spaces is an office renovation for a local attorney office right on Ringling Blvd downtown. With a quick, six week turn around and working alongside Fleischman Garcia architects, the office will be modernized and open with suites, conference rooms, and break areas for the team. Finally, Firmo is welcoming new tenants within its own building on N Orange Avenue and 2nd Street, upgrading and revitalizing each workspace with updated finishes and new layouts, with Weichert Realty already prepared to make one its own. Through Firmo’s strategic partnerships and longstanding project success, this is the second or third time many of these companies have decided to work with Firmo as they’ve moved locations or opened satellite offices. Trust in their ability to deliver a new workspace that is not only functional but also safe, healthy, and prepared to withstand whatever the future may hold is invaluable to these local businesses and their well-being in our community.

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TAKING ACTION Through adaptation, optimization and expansion, Firmo continues to find new innovative ways to collaborate and succeed. “As Firmo grew last year, we decided to get together and firm up who we are, what our values are and what we were going to move forward and focus on,” says Heather Gilpatric, Business Development Manager. “Then all of this happened, so it was a really huge team effort and great timing to bring it all together. I think that really helped us prepare and get to where we are today. That cohesiveness just blended into the way that Firmo was moving while keeping our values at the forefront.” One of these values is the health and safety of everyone working alongside Firmo is the first priority, pandemic or no pandemic. “Eric and the team really rose up to the occasion, managing to keep staff and subcontractors up-to-date on health and safety policies on construction sites, and continually keeping an open line of communication with vendors, partners and clients on the business fulfillment process,” shares Stefan Baron, Vice President of Operations. “It’s made us a stronger team even though we’re all working remotely and separately. We’ve not only been able to maintain customer service to our clients, but we’ve elevated our skills throughout this adaptation to a new normal.” Busier than ever, and tackling multiple projects at a time, the team behind Firmo have found themselves in the exciting upward motion—requiring additional help to handle their daily operations and inquiries. Firmo has not only been able to provide job security and responsive resources for its existing members, but new employment opportunities for three individuals to join their growing team. In June, they filled positions by hiring a Superintendent, Construction Estimator, Assistant Project Manager and a Director of Marketing & Communications. “As our team grows through all this and adds more people, we’ve found the perfect combination that has encouraged us to operate and communicate in new, better ways,”

Office Remodels In Progress

says Ochoa. “And with a team member now solely focused on invigorating our communications, we’re able to create more accessible and engaging correspondence as we shift to a more digital focus that aligns with our growth.” In addition to external newsletters to clients, third party contacts and contractors, Firmo now sends out internal newsletters to keep everyone in the company connected. Firmo also recently integrated virtual walkthroughs on job sites so clients can see the progress of what’s happening even if they’re on another coast. “They don’t have to get on the plane or take a crazy four-hour road trip just to see what’s going on now. We want to work smart, use the tools that we have and make everything more efficient.” In addition, the team has been working the last year on integrating a breakthrough virtual reality program to create building designs from scratch to finish. “It now identifies construction mistakes before they happen, minimizes construction delays, designs more efficiently and allows us to guarantee a set price without any change orders,” says Baron. In the business development aspect, Firmo has managed to virtually reach and establish relationships with people they hadn’t been able to before and start projects together, without even meeting face to face. “As the world has been putting up barriers, we feel we’ve been able to break down barriers—not only within the company to communicate with each other, but with current clients and potential clients that maybe we wouldn’t have been able to meet in person before all this,” says Ochoa. And while reaching out and finding new clients is different now, there is a lot more sharing of information that wasn’t there before. “Everyone’s a little more softer, a little more understanding. They want to brainstorm and put in an effort to make a conversation happen. At the end of the day, we want to keep business going, keep projects going, and get the economy moving.”

Tru Hotel | In Progress

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Below: Virtual reality technology transforms the design-build experience.

OPTIMIZATION & COST SAVINGS THROUGH VR TECHNOLOGY Earlier this year, Firmo was hired to construct the first Tru by Hilton in the region. Located in Bradenton, the newest Hilton model is a ground-up build that will feature 80+ rooms. The build is an infill lot development, an approach that aims to maximize ecological benefits and reduce development pressure on surrounding areas, and is also involving Virtual Reality (VR) technology to ensure accuracy, troubleshoot potential construction issues, and reduce the overall cost of construction. “Construction in the field is a constant evolution. There’s no longer time or the need to fix issues the old way, which was taking a tape measure and spending days on site documenting discrepancies and fixing them,” explains Collin. “With this VR approach, not only does it take into account the variations in construction plans from architect to engineer to construction, it also avoids crazy situations and most importantly, saves cost for the owner.” Currently more than halfway complete, the VR capabilities for this project utilizes Lidar scanning to provide a 3-D scan and the ability to virtually walk through the entire space before the walls are covered, including framing, pipes, and electrical wiring. This technology is also everlasting in its benefits as future maintenance or remodel issues when the hotel starts aging can be assessed, analyzed, or diagnosed through the headset before any walls are opened up. Firmo’s technology, though still in its infancy, is a game changer for an industry with countless moving parts, close to no margin of error, and walls that hide the important parts.


CERTIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS • Class A Certified General Contractor • NASCLA Certified Commercial Building Contractor • Member of the US Green Building Council • Member of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange • Member of the AIA • LEED AP Staff Members • EPA Energy Star Partner + Indoor Air Plus Partner • Insurance & Bonding: Roe Insurance

Find out how Firmo Construction can assist with your upcoming project.







205 N. ORANGE AVENUE SUITE #301 SARASOTA, FL 34236 (941) 917-0494 @firmo_construction











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sept/oct 2020

SRQ360 12

Inside the Brand


BRANDSTORY Firmo Construction


LOCAL STRONG Supporting local restaurants, shops and experiences.


NOSH Local Restaurants



srqist 25

By treating grains as a living thing, Tom Gumpel hopes to make bread great again.

forage 56

Whitney’s LBK brings 1950s charm, California surf vibes, Cuban bodega flavors and opengarage-door fun to LBK.

interview with 65

An interview with Forty Carrots Speaker Marc Brackett, Ph.D., psychologist and best-selling author of Permission to Feel shares insights on the significance of cultivating emotional intelligence in schools, at home and in our interactions in our communities.



Crystal River sparks opportunities to explore an eclectic itinerary of underwater experiences, from gathering scallops in saltwater beds to visiting with resident manatees in their freshwater spring home, all from the comfort of the Plantation of Crystal River.

BRANDED CONTENT 49 TRIBUTE TO BUSINESS Regional businesses demonstrate their tenacity, strategy and resilience in navigating during a time of uncertainty by celebrating achievements, recognition and leadership. 67 IN CONVERSATION with thought leaders on building opportunities to pivot, survive and thrive during the pandemic featuring guests from Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Children First, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Humane Society of Manatee County, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Tidewell Foundation and Van Wezel Foundation. 79 ELITE TOP ATTORNEYS Recognizing the honorees hand-selected by their peers in the legal field.

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Wyatt Kostygan






Phil Lederer, Jacob Ogles



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

Andrew Fabian, Gabrielle Holliday Olivia Liang, Abby Weingarten COPYEDITOR Maude Campbell CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS Chris Leverett, Evan Sigmund, Woody Woodman EDITORIAL INTERN Grace Castilow MARKETING INTERN Gabriella Alfonso DESIGN INTERN Winona Nasser








Suzanne Munroe Julie Mayer Magnifico Rob Wardlaw CLIENT SERVICES AND MARKETING MANAGER

The “SRQ” in SRQ magazine originates from the designated call letters for the local Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. “SR” was the original abbreviation for the airport before the growth in total number of airports required the use of a three-letter code. Letters like “X” and “Q” were used as filler, thus the original “SR” was revised to “SRQ,” much as the Los Angeles airport became “LAX.” As a regional publication committed to the residents of and visitors to both Sarasota and Manatee counties, SRQ captures the place that we call home.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE PRINT AND DIGITAL EDITION Join our readers in the pleasurable experience of receiving SRQ magazine in your mailbox every month. To reserve your subscription, provide your information and payment online. You can set up multiple addresses, renewals and special instructions directly through your online account. When you subscribe online, your first print issue will arrive in your mailbox in 4–6 weeks. For immediate access to the digital edition, subscribe directly at our flipbook. Subscribe online at SRQMAG. COM/SUBSCRIBE. Contact us via email at Vol. 23, Issue 228 Copyright © 2020 SRQ MEDIA. SRQ: Live Local | Love Locall. Sarasota and Bradenton Area is published 10 times a year. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The entire contents of SRQ are copyrighted by Trafalger Communications, Inc. Column and department names are property of Trafalger Communications, Inc. and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION: Subscriptions to SRQ are $36 for 20 issues. Single copies are $4 at area newsstands.

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Local Strong


In February of 1995 six people sat around the dining table of Sandy and Doug Ramsey’s home in Sarasota, Florida, united in the passion of making a difference in the world. Most had been involved in a fair trade store and saw the difference it could make in the lives of low-income artisans around the globe. Out of that meeting Artisans’ World Marketplace was established to provide a fair trade presence in Sarasota for the entire Gulf Coast region. Throughout the years Artisans’ World Marketplace has not only helped artisans gain self-sufficiency through the purchase of products, every $1,200 in retail sales provides an artisan with work for one year and feeds her family of four, but has channeled financial resources in the form of grants for service projects as needs have been identified to us. ARTISANS’ WORLD MARKETPLACE 128 S Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, Florida | 941-365-5994 |

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Local Strong CURATORIAL DESIGN Visit Blu Home to revitalize your living space this season. Blu Home brings a fresh approach to design, specializing in custom upholstery, lighting, art, rugs and home decor. Blu Home provides a diverse mix of collected pieces from various lines carefully selected by their design team. Their passion is to provide excellent service to customers and designers while offering an array of products and lines that are refined, yet livable. The ever changing collection remains sophisticated without sacrificing comfort or livability. BLU HOME, 1830 S. Osprey Ave. Ste 101, Sarasota | 941-364-2900

SHOPBLUHOME.COM | @bluhomesarasota

HISTORIC CUISINE Since 1976 the Crow’s Nest Restaurant and Marina has been a part of the Venice community. This waterfront restaurant has taken great pride in providing the highest quality food and service to our community. The freshest seafood and most delicious cuisine all available while admiring the beautiful view of the inlet. By road or by water, stop on by and enjoy either the marina, with kayak, SUP or bike rentals, the cozy tavern or the beautiful upstairs dining room. Reservations can be made by calling 941-484-9551. Restaurant | Tavern | Marina CROW’S NEST RESTAURANT & MARINA 1968 Tarpon Center Drive, Venice, FL 34285 | 941-484-9551


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Keep your family entertained at Palm Aire Country Club. Join us for 36 holes of golf and our full practice facility with the assistance of our professional staff. There’s more than just golf! Grab your tennis or pickleball racquet and hit on one of our 8, Har-Tru tennis courts and 8 regulation pickleball courts with fun groups to help sharpen your game. Take a dip in our pool or join us at our popular Water Aerobics classes before heading to the Clubhouse to enjoy delicious food and drinks made by our excellent Culinary Team. Join Palm Aire, where Our Members Make the Difference.

Sarasota’s Premier Salt Therapy & Wellness Center. You take care of your body by working out, but what about your lungs? We offer non- invasive, drug free, and effective treatments that reduce symptoms of Allergies, Asthma, Sinus, Bronchitis, Coughs, and other respiratory issues. Studies show an increase in lung capacity and reduction in need for medicines for those using salt therapy on a regular basis. Breathe better today in as little as 20 min.

PALM AIRE COUNTRY CLUB 5601 Country Club Way, Sarasota | 941-355-9733

SALT OF THE EARTH SARASOTA 4037 Clark Rd. Sarasota | 941-702-8300



LIFE ON THE WATER Freedom Boat Club, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), is the world’s oldest and largest members-only boat club. Founded in 1989 in Sarasota, Florida, Freedom Boat Club boast 18 locations in Southwest Florida (including two locally in Sarasota) and over 70 locations across the state of Florida. Like to travel? Freedom Boat Club offers reciprocal access to over 230 locations in 31 states, Canada and France. The Club model is simple: we buy and maintain a fleet of boats; you join the Club with a 1x entry free and monthly dues; you receive free, unlimited training; and you reserve a boat and enjoy. We handle the cleaning, maintenance, insurance and other tasks of boat ownership; leaving the best part – fun on the water - for our members to enjoy! So, join us and come find out why Summer is better in the Club.


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Local Strong


Over the last 10 years Molly’s! A Chic and Unique Boutique has offered our community a special place to shop offering a large selection of quality items. Their wide variety of women’s shoes, handbags, jewelry, gifts and locally made items helps make your shopping experience one of a kind. Explore their selection of quality lines and get the perfect shoe selected for you by a professional shoe specialist. Molly’s stocks a wide variety of national and local brands including Naot, Aetrex, Vionic, Spartina, Vera Bradley, Oofos, 4Oceans and Simply Southern. “We are very proud to be awarded Best Gift Store in Sarasota for several years and continue to strive to earn that designation so we are continually bringing in new and unique offerings,” says owner Molly Gaffney Jackson. Over the years, Molly’s has done business with over 300 vendors and continue to use cross marketing strategies to grow their impressive stable of retail stores in our community. Last year, Molly and her husband David were named Retailer of the Year by the National Shoe Retailers Association, an organization comprised of 3,000 independent shoe store owners across the United States. MOLLY’S HAS THREE LOCATIONS

Shop the store just off the bridge to Siesta Key at 1874 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota or their store near downtown at 711 S. Osprey Avenue, Sarasota and well as their on-line store at Private shopping opportunities are also available by appointment | 941-921-1221

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Local Strong RECIPES OF ITALY Whether you’re coming in to cozy up with a bowl of Zuppa Del Giorno soup, or need a good meal on the go, like our half Panini plus soup or salad lunch special, Speaks has what you need to keep you going with a smile on your face. It’s no wonder why our house made pasta, homemade sauces and fresh seafood, paired with Prohibition era decor and a family feel have made Speaks THE go-to place for a swell time. Enjoy either of our award winning locations, in Lakewood Ranch or St. Armands Circle, with a heart of New York and recipes of Italy. SPEAKS CLAM BAR Lakewood Ranch, 8764 E. SR 70 St. Armands, 29 N. Blvd of the Presidents


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SPROUTED BRAIN Baker Tom Gumpel introduces

the science of the best thing since sliced bread. Andrew Fabian

TOM GUMPEL LIKES TO SAY HE IS JUST A BAKER. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in baking and pastry arts, where he went on to serve as dean. He worked as VP of product development for Panera, managing the entire bakery output of the national chain. He can bake a mean loaf of sourdough or a textbook muffin. To refer to himself as “just a baker,” though oversimplified, is not entirely wrong. But it hardly seems to explain how, earlier this year, he stood in front of a room full of nutrition scientists and told them something they did not know. “Just a baker” cannot explain how the literal creator of the food pyramid and dean of Harvard’s School of Public Health found his jaw dropped after Gumpel’s presentation on the potential of sprouted grains to revolutionize public health and everyday nutrition.



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HOW GUMPEL CAME TO WOW a room full of scientists begins, unsurprisingly, with bread. “Bread fed entire civilizations, right?” says Gumpel, “but then suddenly you wake up one day and someone in yoga pants is telling you it’s bad for you.” Bread, asserts Gumpel, is not inherently evil (neither are yoga pants). The evil comes from the transition in the early 20th century toward mass-produced wheat products. When bread production becomes industrialized, the nutritional value of wheat begins to drop dramatically. The grains that comprise wheat flour used to undergo a more natural life cycle. After harvesting, they would sit in silos or train cars for days and weeks on end, continuing to germinate. Gumpel used to instruct his legion of Panera bakers to leave their grain shipments in shipping containers to age. While this sounds at first glance like a recipe for foodborne illness, the truth is the opposite. Grains, seeds, nuts, beans and legumes are all coated in a pesky little compound called phytic acid. The coating is designed to survive the digestive tracts of the animals that eat it, who then expel it out the other end intact, and primed to sprout into the plants from which they came. Phytic acid is an antinutrient. It acts as an armor shell that prevents its nutritious insides from being broken down by the human (or bird) body. Aging grains that are coated in phytic acid yields two natural 26 | srq magazine_ SEPT/OCT20 live local


processes that break down the armored shell—fermentation and/or sprouting. When Gumpel instructed his bakers to let their grain shipments sit around, he was promoting these two processes in order to increase the bioavailability of nutrients in the wheat. The same thing used to happen to wheat when it sat in silos and train cars. When expediency becomes the priority, however, the grain is processed before this natural process can occur, yielding high-glycemic bread that is rightfully demonized by carb-conscious eaters and partially responsible for the rise of obesity and diabetes in the US. What Gumpel showed in his presentation to the expert nutrionists is that a scientific approach to sprouting and/or fermenting common grains, seeds, nuts, beans and legumes can transform these staples into the superfoods they nearly used to be. “Imagine a food that has the protein of meat, the omega-3 fats of fish, the vitamin content of vegetables and the antioxidants of the trendiest berry,” says Gumpel. “It sounds crazy, but that’s what you get when you sprout or ferment these things under the right conditions.” If it sounds too good to be true, consider these additional benefits: the earthiness that makes some people dislike whole wheat bread disappears, mineral counts increase as much as tenfold, and pre- and probiotics appear that further aid in nutrient absorption.

But bread is just the beginning. Gumpel has his eye on transforming another global staple into a superfood. Coffee, like bread, seems to have gotten a bad rap in the last several decades. Despite its documented health benefits, people continue to drink it in moderation the way they would a glass of wine. “The problem with coffee is all the stuff we put in it to candy it up,” says Gumpel. Coffee also presents an obstacle in that it tastes bitter and contains fairly high levels of cavity-inducing acids. The discolored teeth that come from drinking black coffee serve as a kind of a working-class badge of honor. Sprouting the coffee bean before roasting, grinding and brewing it, however, eliminates the issues presented by its taste and acid. “It’s smoother and a little sweeter,” says Gumpel, who is currently working with a team of food researchers in Canada to develop the coffee sprouting process. Like sprouted wheat, sprouted coffee beans also contain higher nutrient and antioxidant numbers. This is very powerful information that has the chance to revolutionize the health of an entire population. “I didn’t invent the information,” says Gumpel. “I just framed it in a new way and somehow got a chance to start a new conversation with a bunch of people in lab coats.” Not too shabby for a guy who is just a baker. SRQ


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8 JPAN Coconut Smile Coffee Cocktail

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Local restaurants up their game in the takeout dining sector. Combat boots make a utilitarian comeback, while chunky jewelry make a cultural statement. School buses and van build-outs are becoming family homes-on-wheels, while strong offshore winds are calling for kiteboarding lessons and Hobie cat rentals. And believe it or not, gardening and crocheting are becoming the hottest hobbies in the neighborhood. Whether you’re heading to a grassy knoll to meet your pals for a socially-distant, picturesque picnic or jamming the buttons of your video game controller playing esports with virtual friends, the trends we’ve picked up on the last few months are likely to carry us throughout the rest of this turbulent yet trendy year.

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A Latte Fun Coffee-infused cocktails tick all the right boxes: bitter, sour, sweet, punchy and bold, and if the Frappuccino has taught us something, it’s that coffee can be mixed with just about anything and still taste phenomenal. You truly can’t beat a classic. Long live the Espresso Martini, am I right? But for those a bit more daring, there are plenty of cool beans out there to try. These local spots will have you cold-pressed to find a better happy hour drink. So sit down, drink up and stay brew-tifully buzzed. —A. Chates

Coconut Smile Previous page: Kona Coffee– infused Mermaid Rum, coconut granola simple syrup, topped with salted coconut cinnamon foam; JPAN, 3800 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota,, @jpanutc.

Westin Espresso Martini Top far left. Absolut Vodka, Absolut Vanilla, Kahlua, amaretto, cream; EVOQ, 100 Marina View Dr., Sarasota,

Frejus Top right. Whipped coffee, cognac, macadamia nut liqueur, almond milk, sprinkle of cinnamon espresso; Melange, 1568 Main St., Sarasota,, @melangesarasota.

Carcano Bottom far left. Espresso orange peel sugar rim, Campari, orgeat syrup, fresh lime juice, toasted coconut coffee porter; Pangea Alchemy Lab, 1564 Main St., Sarasota, pangealounge, @pangea.alchemy.lab.

Gun Smoke Bottom right. Diplomatico rum, cold brew coffee, apple-cinnamon syrup, egg white; Jack Dusty, 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr., Sarasota, en/hotels/florida/sarasota/dining/ jack-dusty. @jackdusty

Blase Espresso Martini Front cover. Grey Goose Vodka, RumChata, espresso; Blase Bistro, 1920 Hillview St., Sarasota,, @blasebistro.

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Life is a Highway Locals are taking to the roads to explore the nomadic lifestyle that encompasses living it on four wheels. The delight of transporting yourself within the comfort of your own home whenever the impulse hits has hungrily fueled the increase in popularity of van life, vehicle conversions, tiny homes and RV travel. It is as if we are returning to a sense of wanderlust long since forgotten by conventional home living. This adventurer’s dream became a reality for Gianna, Jake and their daughter Luna (@ourvanquest) after they were struck by restlessness. “We sold our house, our car and everything we owned and jumped right into it” says Gianna, who got her first taste of transit after converting a van, aptly named VanNessa, and traveling the rambling routes of the country for two years. Having fallen in love with life on the road, Gianna and Jake are now converting a school bus, Buster, to accommodate the soon-to-be fourth member of their caravan. Her family’s lifestyle has allowed them the priceless opportunity to spend uninterrupted time together—never missing any of the milestones that have and continue to make their experiences so special, no matter how long they remain in a given location. For Liz, Wes and their daughter Finley (@nauticalnomands), the decision to purchase and fully renovate a school bus themselves named Octobus, was one of those life-altering “aha” moments. Despite this being their first experience with a conversion, Wes’ background as a contractor and Liz’s career in photography will allow them to travel in style while consulting others considering a similar lifestyle change. “Sometimes it feels like a journey that’ll never end, but then you take a look back and realize you’ve come further than you ever thought you could,” says Liz. The conversion connoisseur community in Sarasota is incredibly tight-knit—friendships like that of Liz and Wes and Gianna and Jake allow members of varying ages and interests to feel close to others chasing, quite literally, the same dream. “No matter your situation, there will always be people in this community who can relate to your struggles and help you through them.” It is no surprise that those who have adapted a life on the road are passionate about the versatility of their homes and will jump, rightfully so, at the opportunity to share their passion with those around them. After all, the ability to pave a life of elation along the unending asphalt of any open road is one of the many luxuries for those who live, and travel, tiny. —G.Castilow

0 “Our advice is to go for it; you won’t know if you like it unless you try it.” Gianna, Jake and Luna @ourvanquest

“Sometimes it feels like a journey that’ll never end, but then you take a look back and realize you’ve come further than you ever thought you could.” Liz, Wes and Finley, @nauticalnomads, shown above

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Knitting Together, Apart Knit one, purl two. “Knitting is cheaper than therapy.” Knit three, purl four. “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t knit.” All you need are bare hands and a pair of knitting needles to create incredibly satisfying projects, especially during the sheltering of the pandemic. Meet three women who found solace, kinship and camaraderie in knitting together. Susan Post, the owner of A Good Yarn, noticed an boost in sales accompanied by the whirring of knitting needles from newcomers to veterans of the hobby. Customers can order their supplies online and join a Zoom class to learn the skills necessary to create sweaters for the holidays and scarves for the grandkids. Post’s customers share that knitting has become more than a hobby: It’s become a way of life during quarantine. As a result, their online classes have expanded to 15 to 20 participants all from different skill levels. “These classes have a silver lining,” says Post. “We can connect and knit with people we only normally see for a week over the summer.” Post herself has been knitting since she was in high school and has found it to have a methodical calming effect. “Knitting is cheaper than therapy” is a common phrase in the knitting community and is fully backed by this veteran knitter. Knitting with a group at Siesta Key Chapel for the last decade and a half, Ruth Ulrich took her 68 years of knitting experience to grow the church’s stockpile of knitted creations. The group has met the second Tuesday of every month for years, only stopping due to the global pandemic. When they get together, these knitters mainly work on their projects to donate to charities such as Guideposts, Knit For Kids, Mothers Helping Mothers and Habitat for Humanity. Ulrich is looking forward to a time when the group can meet safely again for, as she says, “the fun time of getting together, talking and lunching.” Ever since Kelly Tignor was a little girl, she knew how to knit but it wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she took it back up again as a hobby. When the pandemic hit, she was inspired to pick up her knitting needles. Her childhood experience allowed her to dive back in, even though it had been a while. She has been working on the same blanket ever since senior year—her goal is to make it massive. Tignor, like Post, feels knitting serves as a destressor. “I have ADD, so I love doing something that occupies idle hands and keeps me busy,” says Tignor. Her favorite thing? “I love to knit while I’m watching Real Housewives.” —G.Holliday A Good Yarn, 7222 S. Tamiami Trl. #108, Sarasota, 941-487-7914,

“I think quarantine has definitely inspired me to pick [knitting] back up again with all the free time I have now.” — Kelly Tignor, local knitter

Garden Party Showstoppers With a noticeable uptick in green thumbs, an interest in home gardening has peaked thanks to a pandemic. Local nurseries are not complaining. Sparse, shabby, derelict lawns saw lush summer makeovers—filled with vibrant colors, fragrant florals, butterflies, birds, edible treats and soil-filled fingernails. The best part of this newfound affinity. The gorgeous greenscapes and outdoor sanctuaries we’ve created during those months of isolating will outlast long after COVID-19 and reap benefits to the environment. Someone who knows a thing or two about sprucing up landscapes with greenery is Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nursery and Gardens. As the family business grew out of its backyard facility, the Crowleys moved to larger operations out in Old Myakka. Since expanding, she and her family have been bringing beauty to backyards for close to 30 years now. Kathy weighs in on the most popular plants flying off the shelves and the most sought-after garden additions this spring–summer season. Edibles are experiencing even more love than usual at the nursery: Avocado Florida Haas, Brogdon, Lula, Marcus Pumpkin and Mango Dwarf varieties like Mallika Nam Doc Mai and Maha Chanook are among popular purchases. In addition, citrus trees such as Persian limes (the bartender’s lime), Key limes to make pie, juicy Meyer lemons for lemonade, Ruby Red grapefruits and, of course, Florida orange trees to make world-famous orange juice are setting roots in neighborhoods all over for personal picking. There are also new citrus crosses Kathy says, such as Sugar Belle, which is honeybell crossed with clementine (Little Sweetie), and a new mandarin/tangerine cross called Matango, which is a sweet, tangy and tart mix. “It’s one of my favorites, which surprised me, being a sweet freak.” —B.Mattie Crowley Nursery & Gardens Inc., 16423 Jomar Rd., Sarasota, 941-322-0315,

7 “The biggest sellers at the moment are food gardens; bamboo; gardenias like August Beauty, which blooms most of the year; Brunfelsia perennial flowers; Grand Duke Jasmine to steep in black tea; and hedge plants to hide the neighborhood. And as always, butterfly- or bee-attracting plants like Dwarf Powderpuff bushes and Texas Sage shrubs are popular.”

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This spread, left to right:

New Balance and ON shoes. Masa-dusted Cauliflower taco bowl from Screaming Goat Tacqueria.

Chunky Cherishables While delicate and dainty have their place in understated looks on mod influencers, right now we’re enjoying the adversary of simplistic styles—thick, bold and capable to be seen across the room. The following accessories aren’t afraid to be seen or make a statement. These specially sourced items are not only enlarged emphasizers to enhance your outfit, but were chosen to retrofit perfectly with our accompanying fashion trends this season. Wide leather belts, straps that are studded and also versatile, and combat boots with chunky soles don well with the strong, dominating utilitarian look. Meanwhile, big hair barrettes and old Hollywood glamour sunglasses give us total ’60s vibes. For some on-trend carrier vessels, put aside the tiny wristlets and mini purses that fit your coins and chapstick. We’re expanding to large bucket bags, briefcase-style purses and oversize totes—which mean you can fit all of life’s daily essentials, plus a puppy, in one roomy carrying compartment. By now it should be fairly obvious. We want to be able to spot your conspicuous accessories from across the street and salute you. —B.Mattie Haute Shore Greyson Tote Lady, $98; Greyson Tote Naples, $95; INfluence Style, 474 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941-343-2315,, @influencestyle. Cori Leather Belt, $132; Hair Clip Barrettes, $10 (sold individually in a variety of colors and shapes); Aniya Hoop Earrings, $40; BLEND Fashion House, 1913 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-552-9379, blendfashionhouse. com, @blend_fashion_house. Free People Blake Platform Boot, $199; Sovage Covey Blue Sandal, $199; Tapa Fly London Combat Boot, $300; T.Georgiano’s Boutique, 1409-B 1st St., Sarasota, 941-870-3727,, @tgeorgianos. Quay Star Struck Sunglasses, $80; Quay Frivolous Sunglasses, $39; Charley’s Boutique, 5761 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, 941-345-4603,, Le Snob Black Leather City Bag, $860; Etoile Novelty Star Studded Shoulder Strap/Belt, $175; Evocateur Snakeskin Chocolate Cuff, $378; MOI Concept Store,, @moiconceptstore.

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Utilitarian Function When we think of “functional,” apparel, we think of boxy T-shirts and unflattering sweatpants. Today, the utility trend incorporates both fitted and intentionally baggy pieces with a slight taper in the right places to show off a woman’s curves, or incorporate stylish embellishments to create a visual, rugged statement. The contrasting, unconventional nature of this relaxed style is what makes it so appealing for tomboys who still like to look good. Marching from the fashion runways in 2019 and carrying well into the streets of 2020, it appears the new iteration of the industrial look is here to stay awhile. Military undertones, neutral hues, synthetic fabrics and durable (even waterproof) textiles, cargo pockets, straps, metal accents, drawstrings, and zippers galore are making their way into wardrobe pieces such as structural boiler suits, vintage-inspired jumpsuits, trench coats and bomber jackets. You no longer have to be a garage mechanic, racecar driver or farmer to rock the utility “coverall” look. And well-known designers like Dickies and Levi’s aren’t the only ones providing the goods. The Gia Romper by Grey State, found at Fixxation Boutique, features oversize pockets with mesh detail, a full-front zipper, belt loops at the waist for a tighter fit, cuffed sleeves, breathable fabric and rolled shorts to show off the legs. Pair with a retro bandana, some combat boots, and a utility bag and you’ve got yourself a Rosie the Riveter 2.0, ready to be put to work and get a little dirty. For a utilitarian power suit with a retro spin, trailblaze in a blazer from Moodie’s Lily matching set at BLEND Fashion House. The 100 percent cotton material makes this business-casual outfit breathable and comfy to work in, while the tie-dye pattern and faux belt buckle is perfectly executed with ‘60s chicness. —B.Mattie Grey State Gia Romper, $128; Fixxation Boutique, 1108 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, 941-467-3553, fixxationboutique. com, @fixxationbtq. Moodie Lily Tie-Dye Blazer, $110; Matching Short, $82; BLEND Fashion House, 1913 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-552-9379,, @blend_fashion_house.

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When Clouds Deliver The popularity of commercial cloud kitchens and delivery services have swept the nation as chefs can focus their creativity on developing mobile dishes for their customers rather than filling seats in a traiditonal brick and mortar restaurant. Rebekah Peranio started Bekah’s Pantry out of a pure love for cooking and a desire to provide busy locals with healthy meals. Bekah is a selfproclaimed one-man band and is committed to buying seasonal and organic foods from local establishments, crafting weekly menus tailored to those with and without dietary restrictions, preparing delicious meals from a commercial kitchen space and delivering her creations directly to clients. As her referrals thrive and the number of locals depending on delivery grows, Bekah acknowledges her unique ability to spark connections. “My clients don’t have many options outside of cooking for themselves so it becomes very intimate,” she says. “We get to know each other and they become part of my life, and I, theirs. Taking care of your community will always come back to you as an investment.” Brothers Erik and Evan Decker began Deck’s Plate to normalize plant-based foods in Sarasota, where they felt there were not many options for fully vegan eaters. “The best thing about what we do is nourish the body; we are chefs, we are doctors working with the most powerful medicine,” they say. Garnering success from prominent pop-ups, in-house private dinners and local collaborations, Erik says, “our challenge now, is finding manageable real estate to provide Sarasota with newer-aged chefs who want to create plant-based, labor-intensive whole foods in a modest fashion.” Patrik and Gloria Malatinszki, the owners of Fresh Flamingo, are enthusiastic about planning, preparing and presenting healthy meals daily. Customizable by lifestyle and dietary preference, they deliver carbconscious keto, fresh beach seafood, nostalgic comfort, protein-dense fitness as well as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals right to your doorstep. Changing their menu with the dawn of each new day has rendered lunchtime lulls a thing of the past. As more and more people opt for delivery in lieu of restaurant dining and word of mouth travels, Flesh Flamingo has grown through the praise of clients that don’t just order once, but stay with them for the food and the familiarity. —G.Castilow Below left: @eatfreshflamingo. Below right and top: @ bekahs_pantry, Broiled salmon with grilled summer veggie, quinoi and spinach salad. @decksplate.

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Garish Garnishes Too Cool to Eat The decorative, sometimes edible, embellishment accompanying your cocktail can come in the form of all kinds of items or substances. In many cases, it may give added or contrasting flavor to the beverage, while other garnishes are selected purely to augment the visual impact of the drink. No matter the case, we’re digging the imaginative and unexpected garnishes atop locally made craft cocktails. Among the few that put in as much effort on top of the glass as what goes in it. MADE, Pangea Alchemy Lab and The Doctor’s Office standout with creative glass toppers. Over at Sage, mixologist and beverage director David Tlaiye curated uniquely shaped sugar molds for its award-winning cocktails. Imbibers see a neon blue octopus tentacle hanging from the rim of their matching blue libation. In reality, the surreal serpent leg is actually a blue spirulina sugar mold—not just for show, but for an added vitamin dose of nutrient-dense sweetness. More fun garnishes from the Sage bartenders include dehydrated lemons and limes dyed with natural food coloring to make a rainbow of sliced citrus wheels, a lime fire bowl with cinnamon flair, smoked cinnamon sticks from the bar’s smoke chamber and a signature lightening-cut orange peel to jazz things up. While taste will always be the number one priority to makers and consumers alike, it doesn’t hurt that the presentation—in the visually influenced, Instagrammable world we live in today—makes the appeal of craft cocktails that much more alluring. —B.Mattie RIght: Neptune’s Revenge cocktail by Sage, 1216 1st St., Sarasota, 941445-5660,, @sagesrq.

Virtual Politics Drake Buckman had his grassroots campaign planned out since last fall. The Sarasota Democrat may not be able to raise as much money as some Republicans running in House District 72, but he could out-schmooze and had a plan to shake 25,000 hands. That was before COVID-19 struck the region and guaranteed Buckman couldn’t get within arms reach of most voters. “I feel like we are exploring a whole new era of campaigning,” he says. The pandemic disrupted the standard plan of pressing flesh, but it also upended traditional fundraising as well. Republicans Fiona McFarland and Donna Barcomb, the leading contenders for GOP nomination in District 72, both canceled evening fundraising events as candidate forums and debates moved from banquet halls to webinars. The public health crisis has affected races at all levels. Vice President Mike Pence canceled a rally in Sarasota when infections in Florida began to surge in early July. Margaret Good, the Democrat challenging Congressman Vern Buchanan this year, listed Broadway stars like Sarah Silverman on the guest list for a fundraiser held online, with music and entertainment being provided with the intimacy of a YouTube channel. Sarasota City Commission candidates like Joe Barbetta and Don Patterson jumped into the race well into the pandemic and found themselves in debates held by the condo association, unable to meet with condo tenants. Joe Gruters, a state senator and chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, can’t say for certain how the disintegration of the traditional campaign plays out in November. He does figure incumbents in the region hold an edge both for the fact they raised some money before the spring and come in with name recognition already. “Raising funds is challenging enough for us, I can’t imagine what it’s like trying to build up resources in this environment,” he says. Challengers just hope voters feel more anxious than ever for change. That should become clear in November when results roll in, via a tiny video channel in the corner of a home video screen. —J.Ogles

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Arcade to Arena With the rapid rise of esports, thousands of college gamers find a heretofore unexpected opportunity unfolding before them as they chart the scholastic waters of their secondary education—that of the student athlete. And while the schlubs of sports-gone-past sweat on the sunbaked track outside the gym, this new generation of air-conditioned athletes drifts through hairpin turns while hitting top speed on ’shrooms and hurling explosive turtleshells at their equally absurd opponents. From Fortnite to FIFA, Rocket League to Madden. Overwatch. League of Legends. Call of Duty. Super Smash Brothers. Mario Kart. All of the time-honored and respected means of combat previously relegated to the unofficial and underground have emerged blinking in the sun with high scores to settle. International competitions garner spectators by the millions and global e-sports revenues are projected to top $1 billion this year. In short: Yes, mom, someone will pay me to play video games. And that means someone else will pay to learn. Keiser University offers to hone students’ gaming skills, get them into the competition and set them up for career opportunities. University of South Florida just launched an organization spanning all three of its campuses and comprising more than 200 student gamers. In collaboration with Florida State University, University of Central Florida and University of Florida, they hosted a Battle for Florida tournament this year. At Ringling College of Art + Design, what began as an e-sports club started by a pair of first-year students, has spiraled into a collegewide partnership with e-sports organizing app MissionControl, and multiple tournaments hosted throughout the year, with students competing for prizes in front of streaming viewers. Relatively pandemic-proof, the esports league even continue past lockdown and hosted competitions throughout the summer. Local entrepreneurs have taken notice as well, including Sy Pilz and Rich Schineller of Samurai Sy Productions, who this past year began production on Esports Edge, a television series about the competitive gaming industry. Shot at Ringling College’s studios and labs, as well as the new esports arena at Ohio State University, the show takes viewers behind the scenes in the world of competitive video games, explaining everything from the basics of gaming to the intricacies of high-level play and starting a career in the business. —P.Lederer

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Wind and Water

0 “All my lessons are taught in areas with shallow water with the best wind conditions,” says kiteboarding instructor Drew Christianson.

Stand up paddleboards and kayaks grant you the use of a paddle to move you through the water. Hip hydrofoils come equipped with a fin with wings to allow surfers to skim above the surface. Boats throw a line out to pull wakeboarders behind at top speeds. Then there are particular watersports that depend less on the power of electric motors or a bladed pole to propel you through water. Water enthusiasts are channeling the winds to guide them. From Hobie Cats and sailing skiffs to wing surfing and kiteboarding, people want to rely less on man-made tools and more on the direction of the wind for a thrilling, hard-to-control ride. With much more experience needed to read and navigate the pulling force and physics of the wind, many instructors for these activities require lessons on land first before even getting in the water. The more mph in the air there is, the more lift, agility and speed you get. The direction and power of the winds determine your experience, and what control you do have is maneuvered through the belt and handlebar of your kite. Though more intricate, dynamic, expensive and harder to come by in terms of ideal weather conditions to ride, that isn’t stopping people from wanting to learn. Local kiteboarding instructor and “professional waterman” Drew Christianson says he’s getting more calls than ever of people wanting to get into the sport. “All my lessons are taught in areas with shallow water with the best wind conditions,” he says. “Most lessons will be brought out to the Sunshine Skyway where we can ride any wind direction in waist-deep water.” Mandatory introduction classes cover all the basics to become a self-sufficient kiteboarder, including wind theory, gear anatomy, gear setup and safety options. “These easy 1,2,3’s are before getting in the water and flying the kite in a controlled fashion,” he says. Once in the water, you’ll learn how to fly the kite, then add the board into the picture. Remaining lessons focus on riding upwind, mastering bodydragging and transitions. Advanced students can also have Drew coach on jumping, flips, unhooking and landing tricks. He most recently has gotten into teaching wing surfing as well, which combines kitesurfing and foiling for an even faster and more challenging ride. Meanwhile Vanhunks Boarding Co. can’t keep its Twin Tip or Directional kiteboards in stock, says owner Tyrone Cochrane. Customers come in just about every day looking for equipment to get them started. Instore demos are available to book as well before investing in the pricey new hobby. Meanwhile, nonprofit Sarasota Youth Sailing (SYS) continues to host packed summer camps of kids wanting to learn the coastal craft of O’Pen Skiff sailing. These highperformance, one-person shells have evolved into competitive classes with races held all over the world. “There’s a reason this boat is so popular,” says SYS Executive Director Mary Trichter. “It’s definitely a summer-camp fave!” Kids learn all the necessary seamanship skills for single-person sailing including gaging knots, upwind/downwind steering, capsize recovery, rigging/ de-rigging, casting off/landing, tacking/jibing through the wind and more. Farther up the Gulf Coast, watercraft rental company Coastal Watersports offers free sailing lessons on its Hobie Wave for beginning sailors when rented—launching right from the beautiful Anna Maria Island beaches. They also have an 18-foot catamaran for intermediate and advanced sailors. —B.Mattie Drew Christianson Coaching,, 941-780-5744, Vanhunks Boarding Co., 6227 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota, 941-218-9095, Sarasota Youth Sailing, 1717 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota, 941-288-2355, Coastal Watersports, 4711 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, and 1301 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach, 941-778-4969,

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Clockwise this page: Tacos from Circo. Sushi from JPAN. Arancini from Avli Mess Hall. Ribs from Brick’s Smoked Meats. Fried zucchini beignets from Avli Mess Hall. Nachos from Brick’s Smoked Meats.

Ready to Travel Ever since the safer-at-home orders back in March and April, many of the restaurants that remained open had to pivot from plates to paper. Most of whom had never really dealt with many takeout orders before the pandemic, suddenly had to source sufficient containers for their cuisine to supply customers with safe and efficient carryout. Even new social media campaigns such as @ TakeOutSRQ launched to feature restaurants crushing the takeout game in the midst of the restaurant dining shutdowns. Among them, Main Street’s Avli Mess Hall converted their gorgeous Mediterranean spreads, tapas platters, handhelds and flatbreads into appropriate boxing for shareable picnicking in the park. Circo upped the ante with recycled paper containers manufactured with inventive compartments built in for each individual artisan taco to stay upright in transit— avoiding spillage of taco fillings and breakage of shells. JPAN brought in a brand new cardboard bento box for its customers to call ahead and pick up large orders of sushi rolls curbside, and Speaks Clam Bar launched meal kits for two, which include salad, garlic bread and an entree—deconstructed pasta, meat, sauces and cheese to build at home. Meanwhile, Brick’s Smoked Meats didn’t let the mess of barbeque deter them from ramping up their takeout sector—utilizing aluminum pans for their ribs, boxes for cornbread and large ramekins for mac and cheese. With dining at home, or in an outstanding setting becoming more prevalent, an increased number of restaurants are streamlining their takeaway process and materials so you can still enjoy your favorite chef-cooked meals when you need a break from your own kitchen. —B.Mattie Avli Mess Hall, 1592 Main St., Sarasota, 941-365-2234, Circo, 1435 2nd St., Sarasota, 941-2530978, Speaks Clam Bar, 29 N. Blvd. of the Presidents, Sarasota, and 8764 E. State Rd. 70, Lakewood Ranch, Brick’s Smoked Meats, 1528 State St., Sarasota, 941-993-1435, brickssmokedmeats. com. JPAN, 3800 S. Tamiami Trl. #3, Sarasota, and 299 N. Cattlemen Rd. #61, Sarasota,

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Playful Picnicking Everyone loves a good picnic. Whether it is a thoroughly planned out affair or a last-minute get-together with all your food thrown into a shopping bag, picnics allow us to get out of the house and enjoy a meal alfresco in the beautiful outdoors. No matter the occasion or setting, picnics have a way of providing an escape so we can feel some normalcy in this everchanging world and add a touch of nostalgia to our childhoods. Local shops are teeming with travelable products crafted in our own back yard perfect for transporting to a blanket on a piece of grassy knoll or sandy beach. —G.Holliday

Luxury Picnic in a Box

A Family Day Boating

Although creating your own picnic is half the fun. sometimes it’s nice to not have to try and remember every component. That’s where Sarasota Picnic Co. comes in. Offering artisanal charcuterie (every millennial’s dream), Victoria Purvis creates picture-perfect boxes that are bursting with vision and flavor. Consisting of three different types of cheese, three types of meat, crackers, beautifully cut fruit, chutney, honey and assorted nuts, you won’t know where to start. Enjoy the elevated finger-foods and downtown views from Ken Thompson Park.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite memories was my family out boating and some Publix sandwiches. For many locals, that sounds like any other summer day, but why not make the picnic more locally-based? Head over to Morton’s Gourmet Market for their assortment of tea sandwiches, ensuring there’s something for everyone, and one of their curry chicken salad wraps. Add in a few bottles of 221 B.C. Kombucha and a bag of Morton’s chocolate-covered popcorn to round out the meal. From there, head to Perq to get your caffeine fix and pick up a few doughnuts and cookies for the kids’ afternoon sugar rush. For the adults, head over to 99 Bottles and get a growler filled with a beer of your choosing from the assortment on tap.

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Romance Along the Bayfront

Happy Hour

A walk through Bayfront Park at sunset is a quintessential stop on an outdoor date downtown. Add a cozy picnic blanket, a charcuterie box, and a few cans of locally brewed beer and sparks will fly. To add a few carbs, head to Morton’s for a bag of their perfectly toasted crustinis and a pack of their ham and cheese pinwheels. 99 Bottles is the place to go to pick up a 6-pack of locally-brewed cans from Darwin Brewing Co., Big Top Brewing Company and Naughty Monk Brewery. Whether you’re an IPA guy or a stout gal, their U-Pick local packs are sure to appease everyone. When it comes to the centerpiece of your picnic, Artisan Cheese Company’s Cheesemongers’s Choice Cheese box has five different cheese, two types of meat, house-made pickles, crackers and an assortment of berries. This is one cheese box that you will not want to miss out on and, trust me, your date will thank you.

It’s Friday afternoon and you and all your co-workers can’t seem to decide where to go for happy hour. Then it hits you, why not plan a picnic instead? Head down to Grand Cru Wine Bar and pick up a bottle of crisp sauvignon blanc (Azienda Deltetto) with a slightly sweet rosé (Château Barbebelle). Next, head over to Morton’s for all your snacking needs. La Bonne Vie’s Triple Crème Brie balances out the slight bitterness of Clawson’s cranberry speckled Wensleydale. Both being soft cheeses, they spread easily on a crispy baguette, fresh out of their bakery oven. Les Trois Petits Cochons’s chorizo completes the spread, as does a package of ripe blueberries that burst in your mouth. Make sure to grab a pack of playing cards and a wine opener and you have a happy hour that everyone at the office will be talking about for weeks.

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Bold Caribbean Splash Pretty certain Billy Ocean was singing about Elma Felix in his catchy reggae tune of Caribbean Queen. The St. Lucian native, public arts advocate and multipurpose designer stays busy, but always goes with the flow. After graduating from University of Miami’s School of Architecture and Urban Design, Elma went westbound, settling in Sarasota as a trained architect and urban designer—helping to shape the development and design of the region as the principal planner of Sarasota County’s Planning and Development Services. In her travels a few years ago, Elma found herself stricken by an overzealous airport traveler whose interaction lit a fire to accelerate her jewelry-making hobby into a professional side hustle. As Elma was walking through Miami International Airport wearing a braided neckpiece she had been experimenting with funky textiles and metals, someone passed her in stride and did a double take—prompting the beguiled stranger to ask where she had purchased it. “When I told her that I made it, she asked for my website, which I didn’t have at the time. She really gave me a tongue lashing!” she quips. “When she offered to buy it right off me, I was in disbelief. At the time I couldn’t process what was happening, but I later realized I had something special on my hands.” Elma continued to experiment with traditional braids, cords and twists—and every redesign got better and better. Ebijou was born. The

Ebijou Wearable Art,,, Photos courtesy of Ebijou.

name is a blend of Elma’s first initial and “bijou,” which translates to “jewelry” in Kwéyol—a fusion of French and Afrikaans spoken on the windward island of St. Lucia. Its handcrafted pieces of island funk bring the neck of the wearer vibrant esprit, rich texture and dimension. And while she channels her inner fashionista, it’s the urbanista within that contributes to initial design inspiration. Geometric lines of street corners, on buildings, books, colorways in nature, photographs, magazines—Elma’s constantly looking, testing and experimenting. Still, she hasn’t forgotten her roots and St. Lucian heritage. To the imaginative onlooker, Ebijou’s larger-thanlife necklaces are emblematic of the dramatically tapered mountains, volcanic beaches, underlying coral reefs and powerful waterfalls pounding in the rainforest. As bold and beautiful as the Pitons, each piece is bound to make a bold statement whether dressed up or dressed down. Often paired with classic silhouettes, Elma enjoys her pieces’ versatility—rocking on top of a simple white tank, or paired with a fanciful floor-length gown. “When I’m running around, I’m casual in a pair of skinny jeans and T-shirt with the Ase. The next day, I’m in a Lois London silk dress at an event with the Ayel,” she says. “I love the visual interest each piece adds to every look.” Even the custom magnetic clasps and toggles to secure the necklaces are engineered with style and embedded with the brand’s eye-catching eyelashed logo. Ebijou’s logo soon caught more eyes. Artisan markets and local art institution curators wanted a piece of the queen. Her line has since been featured at 73° Flea and in trunk shows

at The Ringling Museum of Art. Additionally, a five-piece collection of wearable works of art are currently on display in the gift shop at Sarasota Art Museum (SAM). Having created a limited-edition capsule collection exclusively for SAM, Elma incorporated the museum’s signature fuchsia color and a graphic pattern in black, white and navy. Natural textiles remain at the core of every piece she makes by hand, and Elma’s medium of choice. “There are so many ways to treat them to get the exact result you’re looking for,” she says. Absorbing Caribbean hues, intricate patterns and authentic Ankara wax prints, Elma describes each piece as “an outward expression of culture to the wearer.” The diversity in color, weight, texture, stretch, prints and flaws fuse a cultural backstory that adds an unexpected layer of depth and history. Much like fashion designers, Elma resorts to the sewing machine for creative stitchwork. Although not completely unheard of in the jewelry world, it isn’t very common. But learning how to sew is what Elma believes to be her most important jewelry-making skill she’s learned so these raw components can be weaved into her necklaces. “I grew up with my grandmother in St. Lucia. Every important conversation was had around her sewing machine,” she shares. “I remember the dim glow of the light on her face and the heavy churning from her Singer foot pedal. Sitting at my sewing machine reminds me of her and weaves her memory into every piece I make.” —B.Mattie

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Living Room Gym Conversion People are converting their living rooms and virtual home offices into makeshift workout studios, going from working to working out in the blink of an eye. Local studios found they could make the transition to virtual workouts without completely overhauling the original structure of the classes and were quick to seamlessly engage with clients virtually.—G.Holliday

CircuSoulYoga Kerry Tice has been teaching yoga for almost a decade and made the transition to online, livestreamed yoga classes in 24 hours. Aside from not being able to connect with everyone’s shared energy in the studio, Tice notices there hasn’t been too drastic of a change, with the main hurdle consisting of not being able to connect with everyone’s energy. CircuSoul, being known for their aerial yoga, sells their yoga hammocks so students can practice once a week from the comfort of their living rooms if they do not feel comfortable going back to the studio. The physical format of the classes has not changed, but the themes have shifted, mainly focusing on being “powerful, strong and uplifting.” Tice says that the main thing that students are missing is its hot room and how their bodies respond, although it is Florida, so it is easy to be creative.@circussoulyoga

Pure Barre “As much as I love the in-person classes and miss my instructors and workout buddies, it is kind of nice to be able to take them whenever I want.” After being a loyal Pure Barre member for about two years, Lindsay Cosby made the switch to Pure Barre GO. Rather than offering a livestream, these are prerecorded classes in the same format as those that she attended in the studio. This service was available before the pandemic hit, so attendees didn’t have to miss a single workout. She believes that they are easy to follow, especially if you know the class format. “I still feel the motivation and energy from the instructors to get through the class as I did while I was in the studio,” which helped make the transition even more seamless. @ pbsarasota, @purebarrelwr, @purebarrebradenton

Lotus Loft When Palm City resident Shelly Vantuinen moved to Sarasota, she had to leave her yoga studio behind. Once they began offering classes over Zoom, she jumped at the opportunity to connect with everyone while being able to continue her practice from the comfort of her living room. “I wish I had done it a while ago. I can get home, change into a pair of shorts and connect with my friends on the other side of the state.” She believes that it is much more convenient and plans to continue attending their virtual classes, even after the pandemic. Loftus Loft uses the app Mindbody (which many workout places in Sarasota also use) to book courses, as well as offer at-home good/furniture props. Due to Amazon and many other big-box stores selling out of yoga blocks and weights quite early in the pandemic, these athome ideas allow one to get the same experience, even if it calls for swapping out a 5-kilogram weight with a bottle of wine. @loftusloftyoga

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Shop Local, It’s As Easy as ETSY Etsy bursted onto the scene 15 years ago and hasn’t slowed down since. Both an artisan haven and entrepreneurial catalyst, the platform has transformed the crafts cottage industry into a thriving virtual destination. Supporting family-run candle-making businesses or young fashion designers who might not have the capital to open a brickand-mortar store, Etsy provides online tools for these businesses to reach shoppers looking to buy small and “local,” but on a global scale it’s becoming something of a worldwide farmers market. Offering everything from vintage clocks to handknit sweaters and upcycled bags, each purchase combats fast fashion by connecting people with the actual makers behind the curtain. With no factories in sight, Etsy truly sells from one hand to the next. —A.Chates

CHEEK & PEN PAPER CO. Hallmark is all good and fun if you’re looking for that perfectly corny Valentine’s Day card, but what if your brand of humor is a littler cheekier? Bailey Spasovski created Cheek & Pen Paper Co. for special occasions when plain old “Happy Birthday” just won’t cut it. Motivated by a group of online moms she bonded with during their pregnancies, Spasovski set out on her “bad word blunt card game” to turn her witty hobby into a full-time business. An artist who never quite fit in with the fine-arts crowd, she shirked the formalities of art school and, in a serendipitous twist of fate, settled on crafting as a profession. Spasovski remembers never being her art teachers’ favorite because she’d often branch out and do her own thing. It is exactly that independent sense of humor that has made Cheek & Pen such a success. Her one-of-a-kind cards, stickers, stationary and the hilariously popular Middle Finger Confetti can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to create, depending on what jump-starts her creative juices and perhaps, most relatably, the level of silence her kids allow. With a five-year-old and a one-year-old running the roost, she admits “it’s not much.”

ASHJOI This crafty mother-daughter duo took up soapmaking on a whim, wanting to try something fun together and ended up with a best seller on their hands. Quickly realizing that the 18 bars of soap yielded by each of their batches was way more than they could share with family and friends, they decided to unload the handmade soaps to make some extra cash at the Siesta Key Farmers Market 12 years ago. Next, they decided to join Etsy to reach a broader audience and have been sudsy online savants ever since. Ashjoi, founded by Sarasota natives mother Joy Loos and daughter Ashley Baker, use the hot process to craft their soaps, which require about four hours, instead of the cold process that can take up to a month. Using essential oils to perfume their soaps, their best sellers include: gardenia, lemongrass, lavender and honey. Ashjoi soaps are eco-friendly in that they are never prepackaged; instead, they are gifted in paper bags or glass jars or completely packagefree. At the farmers markets, Ashjoi offers a $1 discount for every jar a customer brings back.

Clockwise this spread: Cheek & Pen Paper, Co., Vegetabowls, Romantic Art Life, Ashjoi, Driftheory and Dapper Bowtique.

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Originally from the country of Belarus in Eastern Europe, Anastasiya Sivakova landed on the shores of Sarasota 12 years ago to join her then boyfriend, now husband. “I didn’t choose Sarasota,” she says, “it was simply meant to be.” On the hunt for her own wedding decorations, Anastasiya stumbled upon Etsy for ideas and was inspired to start crafting her own unique collection of wedding hair accessories. Made entirely by hand, these one-of-a-kind creations take precise and intense concentration—any one part of her Romantic ART Life pieces can take up to five hours. Drawing upon childhood memories of her grandmother crafting flower arrangements from handmade fabric and paper flowers, Anastasiya feels a strong connection to her family roots as she makes each piece. Every bead and stone on her tiaras, headbands and hair clips are hand-sewn with flower petals hand-cut and shaped. Having studied art for a decade, Anastasiya is passionate about shopping locally, not only to help small businesses flourish but for clients to hear the stories of the artists directly “to feel their passion and, therefore, appreciate the art even more.” RomanticARTlife

Anyone can buy a keepsake bracelet from a vacation spot, but what if you could literally bring the vacation spot home with you? Danielle Ferrantino, creator of Driftheory, uses resin jewelry to do just that. She captures a moment forever, by using the landscape and foliage unique to a location and sealing it beautifully in a necklace or pair of earrings. The lengthy process takes on average three days. Danielle travels to a local destination to collect and preserve natural materials such as shells and botanicals and then hand-designs and hammers all of the copper and sterling silver she uses for finishing touches. A selftaught artist who credits her creativity to her mother, Danielle enjoys using recycled bits of nature in all aspects of her business, even using sea grape leaves for her jewelry displays (which she dries and presses herself). Her pieces use native Floridian flora such as palm bark, wildflowers, shells and sand, but she also features pieces with flowers and honeycombs from places such as Montana or Idaho. driftheory

VEGETABOWLS After falling in love with the beautiful beaches of Sarasota, Melanie and Justin McKenney swapped the cold winters in Buffalo, New York to make a permanent move down South. Veterans of the Etsy world, these two have been crafting their whimsical, food-inspired homeware for a decade. Each bowl begins with finding the perfect fruit or vegetable for the creation of a plaster mold. The clay picks up the texture and shape, lending the final work a realistic and lifelike resemblance to their fruit or vegetable inspiration. Each piece is glazed and fired twice in a kiln to make them safe to eat from. Melanie and Justin both majored in art and have been able to make their ceramic business a full-time job. Etsy provides the perfect online outlet for them, and the success of Vegetabowls encourages the couple that even in the age of fast- ashion, “people want to buy unique items that show the handmade quality of creative people.” vegetabowls

DAPPER BOWTIQUE Bursts of imagination can come from anywhere. For Travis Ray of Dapper Bowtique, his whimsical spark came to him in a dream. The creator of gorgeous silk and cotton hand-sewn bow ties, Travis dreamed of his ancestors dropping African printed fabrics in his lap and took it upon himself to trace back the origins of his family tree. After three DNA tests, Travis learned the ancestors appearing in his dreams originated from Cameroon and Gabon. Travis himself was born in Alabama and relocated to Florida to work as the associate managing director of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. Now in his sixth year with the company, he finds his new home special because “there is a community appreciation for the arts and local artists that is infectious.” Encouraged to put his creations on Etsy by friends and coworkers, Travis says it has been his most successful year yet, with many locals connecting with him for custom orders. Giving back is also important to him; he donates a portion of all profits each year to the Visible Men Academy drama pilot program.

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SEPT 2020

As a locally grown, locally owned company, SRQ MEDIA pays tribute to our community’s visionary local businesses and the people behind them who work hard to create economic opportunities every day on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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“Our focus at SunCoast Blood Centers has always been to put our community and our hospitals first.

That was the reason why we were

the first blood center in the United States to offer Pathogen Inactivated Platelets and it’s the same reason why we work 24/7 to provide Convalescent Plasma “free of charge” to our hospitals and patients.”

SUNCOAST BLOOD CENTERS FOR MORE THAN 71 YEARS, SUNCOAST BLOOD CENTERS has been faithfully providing blood services to our community. SunCoast Blood Centers (SCBC) is a local 501(c)3 nonprofit charity that is best known for our blood donor centers and colorful bloodmobiles. However, there is so much more that we do to promote the welfare of our community. SCBC participates in research programs aimed at creating new vaccines and enhancing treatment therapies for patients. SCBC plays a large role in the treatment of cancer patients and we constantly strive to discover newer innovative approaches to transfusion medicine. SunCoast Blood Centers works inside our hospitals at the patient’s bedside to provide cellular therapies to treat blood disorders such as Sickle Cell Anemia. Our blood center also has the capability to perform complex antibody testing and DNA molecular analysis to customize the treatment for patients needing transfusions. In March 2020, SCBC opened up a 25,000 sf facility in Lakewood Ranch, which features new laboratories, blood component manufacturing, and a state-of-the-art donor facility specifically designed to create the most comfortable, pleasant, and convenient experience for our blood and platelet donors including a Starbucks coffee bar and iPads. Today, SunCoast Blood Centers is on the frontlines of COVID-19 working 24/7 to provide Convalescent Plasma to the critically ill patients in our community. Convalescent Plasma is a highly desired treatment recommended by physicians to combat the severe effects of COVID-19 and can only be donated by those who have recovered from the Coronavirus. These very special people can donate the antibodies in their plasma every 14 days. SunCoast relies on a selfless act to provide a live-saving gift to others. When you donate at SunCoast, you might not only save a life, but a family in your own community. The success of SunCoast lies solely within its generous blood, platelet, and plasma donors, as well as volunteers and financial donors. There would be no lifetime ahead without your donations. To schedule a blood donation, contact 1-866-97-BLOOD,, @suncoastbloodfl


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TRADE MARK INTERIORS TRADE MARK INTERIORS IS ALL ABOUT YOU AND Your Style of Living . Each project we design is unique and reflective of the homeowner or business. We use a collaborative approach to immerse ourselves in our client’s preferences and lifestyle. Inspired by travel, architecture, and nature we bring our clients unique design details, all while enhancing the function of the space. We specialize in full service interior design for both residential and commercial spaces. From concept design to final accents and accessories, Trade Mark Interiors is here to help you design your dream home. For clubhouses, offices, and more our team will be there from start to finish creating brand relevant and beautiful spaces. Our award-winning team is passionate about the designs we create. CEO, Tracee Murphy, is a licensed interior designer in the state of Florida. Her degrees in both Interior Design and Psychology make the TMI team particularly adept at understanding client needs, managing multiple perspectives on a project, and creating interiors that have the most positive impact on mood and function. With 40 years of combined experience, Tracee, Ashley, Kristin and Marcia love bringing our clients’ vision to life. We also enjoy being able to work in this amazing area and collaborating with other local businesses on our interior design projects. Through our 20-year proven process, we work with professionals on all stages of residential and commercial design projects. Or, as we like to say, from plans to pillows!

“Nothing makes us happier than hearing how our clients’ dream home or workplace is even better than what they envisioned. ”



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the residents of Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties since 1977 by providing our product: total comfort. We have always been a true family-owned and operated business. Our current owner, Bill Swanson, is the 2nd generation to own and operate Tri County Air. His eldest son, David, is working in the business today along with his nephew, Jeffrey, who has

worked here for over a decade. We say our product is “total comfort” because we believe comfort comes in three forms: environmental, physical, and emotional/ spiritual. We comfort our customers in their environment by keeping their A/C system in the best shape possible and providing a 100% Comfort Guarantee. To comfort our customers physically, we work to ensure that they have excellent

This page—left to right: Chief Operating Officer Jim Entsminger, Processing Manager Maddy Presley, Service Manager Seth Lisik, Owner and President Billy Swanson, Sales Manager Matt Koehl and Human Resources Director Holly Burnette. Opposite page—left to right: Install Manager Rich Trehuba, Inside S&P Manager Jeff Overholt, Scheduling Manager Susan Orsini and Comfort Care Directors Jim and Chris Foubister. 52 | srq magazine_ SEPT/OCT20 live local

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“We aren’t a typical air conditioning company because our reason

for existence is fundamentally different from others in our industry.” — BILL SWANSON, SECOND GENERATION OWNER

indoor air quality and are not breathing in allergens, toxins, and harmful gases. For the last form of comfort, emotional/ spiritual, we have established our Comfort Care Department which exists to care for employees and customers. Out of the Comfort Care Department, we established the Tri County Community Foundation which works to connect hurting people with community resources. We aren’t a typical air conditioning company because our reason for existence is fundamentally

different from others in our industry. Our mission is to do everything in a way that honors Jesus Christ. As you can see, we are not interested in simply selling our customers a new Comfort Plan or air conditioning system. We don’t want to come around only once per year to make sure their A/C is working and then be on our way until next year. Instead, our goal is to walk with our customers through difficult times and partner with our community to build a better future for our children.





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“We help keep our clients’ financial houses in order. Our total wealth management services help ensure that regardless of how your life evolves, your financial house remains unshaken.” — Paul Allen, CFP®, MS, President of Wealth Strategies Partners


James Financial Services Network, is known for keeping its clients’ financial houses in order so they can be well positioned for the future. The practice provides total, generational wealth management services to families, retirees, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. Wealth Strategies Partners recently moved into a new office building in the beautiful Burns Court Historic District to expand its local footprint and continue offering tailored, white glove financial services to the Sarasota community. In addition to portfolio management, their advisors counsel clients on estate, tax and longevity planning. The company’s dedicated team of experienced professionals makes complex financial situations easier to navigate. While many wealth management practices focus simply on investment management, Wealth Strategies Partners provides comprehensive portfolio management that doesn’t rely on formulaic models or one size fits all solutions. Their team treats its client families like their own and ensures their plans are tailored to their individual lives. Wealth Strategies Partners has been recognized for its commitment to its core values and ensuring its clients’ interests always come first. Practice President, Paul Allen, has more than three decades of industry experience. He was recently named to the Raymond James Financial Services’ 2020 Chairman’s Council*, a distinction given only to those financial advisors who have demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to personal service and lead the largest revenue-producing branches. *Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisors’ future performance. No fee is paid in exchange for this award/rating. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Securities are offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. 5500 Maryland Way, Brentwood, TN, 37027 615-457-3481. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Wealth Strategies Partners is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.


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Whitney’s brings 1950s charm, California surf vibes, Cuban bodega flavors and open-garage-door fun to LBK. Brittany Mattie

SIMMERING ALONG AN IDYLLIC STRETCH OF BEACH ROAD, Whitney’s LBK pops up at the crossroads of flawless shoreline and seclusive neighborhoods—providing lowkey locals and transient travelers with a welcoming moment of respite. Directly across from the Whitney Beach public access point, and just a short jaunt from the Longboat Pass Bridge, early rising fishermen and surfers unwind at the barstools for a Buddy Brew cold brew and refuel after a morning out on the water near Bradenton Beach or Anna Maria Island. As AM shifts to PM, beach cruisers fill the bike rack out front, and a steady flow of tanned, sandy beachgoers spill in to wash their feet off at the outdoor shower, happy and hungry from a long day in the sun, now fiending for a salty or sweet snack. Meanwhile, remote-based creatives slide into booths in the back for a chill spot to post up and work on their laptops. In the evenings, Longboat residents, before turning in after a nice dinner on the Key, head over for a relaxing nightcap of cucumber margaritas around the stone firepit under the stars. From an abandoned service station to a design-centric bodega bar, Whitney’s brings a little bit of Malibu, a little bit of Cuba and a lot of fun to Longboat Key. Before it, a 1950s gas station sat vacant for years as a roadside eyesore to passersby heading north and south on Gulf of Mexico Drive. That is, until partners James Brearley of JB Holding Company and Joseph Chillura saw the lot’s camouflaged potential. “We believed the need for Whitney’s was hidden in plain sight,” said Brearley. Wanting to ensure a place that would still “fit into the fabric of the north end,” the developers integrated plans for a casual community gathering spot and a much-needed hub for the village that felt like their own. Overhauled by architect Bob Rokop, AIA, builder Mason Martin and acclaimed Brooklyn firm Studio Tack; together the design team repurposed the derelict building with modern infrastructure while preserving the spirit of its ’50s charm. “Longboat Key itself has a different allure, an area that almost feels lost in time, hearkening back to the original draw and promise of the Florida lifestyle,” said Studio Tack. “While the bones of a shuttered gas station might not be considered a modernist gem, it was an opportunity for us to celebrate a tension of utility and sculpture, high-touch points with a relaxed leisurely ease.” 56 | srq magazine_ SEPT/OCT20 live local

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Taking on new life with nostalgic details and mid-century modern undertones, the design scheme brings chill surfer vibes with lush tropical landscaping that seamlessly blends the interior from the exterior. The building’s original architectural elements—such as the lofty canopy providing shade for the picnic tables outside and the expansive garage doors always propped open for easy foot-traffic— allow natural light to flow in and provide a peek into the whimsical interiors where an openair layout features a palette of playful colors, custom furnishings and patterns from local makers. The chrome countertop contrasts bamboo-top barstools while retro tiles of teal, yellow and peach are dispersed throughout the walls and walkways. Funky floral textiles from Sarasota designer Charlotte Osterman cover the cushions of throwback diner booths where succulents, leafy plants and stacks of surf history, design and architecture books lay atop for curiosos to pick up and read during lunch. Before leaving, stop in the bodega shop, stocked with classic sundries and provisions to go, including sunscreen, Whitney’s flat brim hats, custom postcards, snacks and various packaged supplies. Topo Chico Agua bottles line the wall of vibrant colors and signage at the order station while fresh fruit juices and a wellcrafted array of refreshing Florida beers and bottles of bubbly sit in coolers of ice built into the countertops. The ever-changing menu is featured on the letterboard hanging beside the diner-style “Order up!” window.

Below: Retro interior with plenty of open seating. Gazpacho, Charred Romaine Salad, and Cripsy Chicken Salad

Whitney’s kitchen is overseen by executive chef and partner David Benstock—an alum of Wolfgang Puck with experience at several esteemed restaurants around the country. Benstock focuses on fun, playful dishes that emphasize the bounty of the local area. Expect a selection of shareable snacks, fresh seafood and crafty Latin staples. “The inspiration came from the food and places that the team loves to eat when they are at the beach—from Central American surf villages to California roadside concession stands, to the fresh local grouper on the docks of our Cortez fishing community,” said Benstock. “The result is a menu that offers our own perspective on beachside fare and dockside staples, reflective of the Gulf Coast lifestyle.” While the menu reads as simple and familiar, each item is crafted from the highest-quality ingredients. “As a tenant of approach, dishes are only served if prepared from scratch. Smoked salmon for bagels and bowls is cured in-house, as is Whitney’s signature bacon. Its sea proteins are sourced directly from fishing boats just north of the restaurant in Cortez. The individual fishermen who reel in the days’ fresh catch are always highlighted on the menu board each morning. “Our chefs are having fun at the beach creating and exploring daily based on what’s in-season and freshly caught,” says Brearley, “keeping the culinary program always interesting.” Eclectic offerings vary from smoked barbacoa or carnitas tacos to coconut shrimp with mango chili dipping, grouper

bites, chilaquiles, an octopus salad, classic beach burgers, and a Sun Dog—topped with pineapple slaw, pickled jalapeño, BBQ sauce and cilantro. The popular LBK Bowl mixes warm wild rice, quinoa, lime-roasted seeds and grilled veggies-of-the-day. The Egg and Avocado Bowl pleases late-starting beach bums, prepared with sous vide sunnyside eggs, avocado, whipped ricotta, caper/dill gremolata, fresh greens and wheat toast, with an option to peak it with a hang-ten helping of smoked salmon—not to be missed with a freshly roasted cup of coffee and a mimosa for the ideal beach breaky. For a heartier breakfast fix, the Patatas Bravas comes stacked with homefry-style potatoes and is drizzled with chipotle ketchup, garlic aioli and scallions. More naughty fixings include cinnamon sugar donut holes with a caramel dipping sauce, soft-baked chocolate chip cookies and Ybor City’s Chill Bros. Artisan Ice Cream with flavors such as Guava Pastele and Cafe Con Leche Chunk. Wash the goodness down with a pour of blended frosé or berryhibiscus kombucha on draft. Head outside to play some cornhole and tie your pup under the giant yellow umbrella surrounded by bird-of-paradise, palms and fallen coconuts. “Whitney’s is designed to be a part of how we enjoy daily life at the beach,” shared Brearley. “From custom seagrape vinyl cushions to old-school terrazzo floors, we hope you are comfortable walking in straight off the beach, bicycle or boat.” SRQ

Whitney’s, 6990 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, 941-383-4606,, @whitneylbk. 58 | srq magazine_ SEPT/OCT20 live local

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nosh CROW’S NEST MARINA RESTAURANT 1968 Tarpon Center Dr., Venice, 941-484-9551. CASUAL FINE DINING The Crow’s Nest is a casual fine dining restaurant, serving fresh seafood, steaks and other traditional Florida favorites. Located on the Island of Venice and nestled between the Gulf of Mexico on the west and the Intracoastal Waterway on the north and east, Crow’s Nest has become a waterfront fixture for surf ‘n’ turf. M–W 11:30am-10pm. Th 11:30am–11pm. F-Sa 11:30am–12:30am. Su 12–10pm. GECKO’S GRILL & PUB 6 convenient locations. Serving AMERICAN PUB FOOD WITH A GOURMET TWIST Fresh fare, smooth spirits & exceptional hospitality since 1992. Locally owned and operated, Gecko’s polished casual atmosphere, fantastic food, service-forward culture and specialty cocktails make it an enduring community gathering place. Serving Lunch, Dinner & Late Night and a favorite of Locals and visitors alike. Voted “BEST SPORTS BAR.” Featuring daily Happy Hours, weekly Chef’s Specials, locally sourced seasonal produce & beef from our farm and ranch partners, all your favorite sporting events, award-winning Kids Menu and teams of friendly hospitality professionals. GROVE 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 941893-4321. CONTEMPORARY GOURMET DINING GROVE Restaurant, Patio and Ballroom is the newest offshoot of PIER 22, the award-winning waterfront destination headed by restaurateurs Hugh Miller and Greg Campbell. A full-service restaurant and events venue offering contemporary gourmet dining. The menu is elevated yet approachable and locally inspired. Housemade dishes emphasize fresh seasonal ingredients as well as innovative cooking methods, and with 27,000 square feet of dining space including an elegant 400 person ballroom there’s room for everyone at the table! M-Th 11:30am-10pm, F-Sa 11:30am-12am, Sun 11am-10pm. LIBBY’S NEIGHBORHOOD BRASSERIE 1917 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-487-7300. CASUAL FINE DINING Libby’s serves bistro classics and seasonal New American cuisine. Named a er the restaurant’s unforge able family matriarch, Libby, this modern American brasserie evokes style and uniqueness with a welcoming warmth. Start with the Brasserie Tartare or the Crispy Brussels. Entrees include the Double Brined Porkchop, served with yukon gold mashed potatoes and Steak Au Poivre, a wood grilled NY Strip steak. Indoor, bar, and outdoor seating is available at this Southside Village favorite. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Su–Th 11:00am–9pm. F-Sa 11:00am–10pm.

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MARINA JACK 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, 941-365-4232. SEAFOOD, STEAKS AND PASTA The Sarasota landmark offers its customers exceptional food and great atmosphere while dining on the water. Come to the dining room on the second floor and try some new items on the dinner menu. Start with braised mussels in a chorizo broth or short rib tostadas, which feature Gouda cheese and pulled slow-braised short rib. Open daily for lunch and dinner. M–Su 11:15am–11pm.

OPHELIAS ON THE BAY 9105 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, 941-349-2212. FINE DINING With indoor and outdoor dining options boasting incredible waterfront views of Li le Sarasota Bay, Ophelia’s On The Bay is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a delectable meal. From their PEI mussels presented in a saffron-anise e broth to incredible cocktails such as the Pink Lady, you can’t go wrong. Happy Hour M–Su 5pm–6pm. Dinner M–Su 5pm–10pm. Sunday Brunch 11am–2pm.

MATTISON’S - 3 Locations: Ma ison’s City Grille, 1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, 941-330-0440/ Ma ison’s Forty-One, 7275 S. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota, 941-921-3400/ Ma ison’s Riverwalk Grille, 101 Riverfront Blvd., Bradenton, 941-896-9660. AMERICANN, EUROPEAN, PROVINCIALLY SOURCED MENU ITEMS Chef Paul Ma ison, executive chef and proprietor of Ma ison’s, operates a successful culinary group on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Located in Sarasota and Bradenton, each Ma ison’s restaurant location is unique to its neighborhood, offering Chef Paul Ma ison’s signature menu items, outstanding service, and quality ingredients, while supporting the community, regional farmers, and culinary suppliers. Each Ma ison’s location offers outdoor dining, happy hour and live music. Ma ison’s Catering Company is an award-winning, chef-owned and operated company. Hours vary by location.

PIER 22 1200 1st Ave W, Bradenton, 941-748-8087. CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN Pier 22 takes waterfront dining to a new level. On the mouth of the Manatee River, the picturesque se ing is relaxing and the perfect backdrop for any outing. With over 26,000 square feet of space, Pier 22 also offers catering and space for events. They focus on fresh, homemade fare and unique twists on everyday dishes. For lunch, try their so -shell crab sandwich with jalapeno tartar sauce, with a side of poutine. While watching the sunset on the patio, dine on their fresh game of the day, sourced from around the world and always a surprise. M-Th 11:30am – 10pm. F-Sa 11:30am-10:30pm. Su 11am-10pm. Happy hour daily 3pm-7pm and Sunday Brunch 11am-3pm.

MORTON’S GOURMET MARKET 1924 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-955-9856. GOURMET GROCER It’s the place where you can spend a lazy Sunday morning sipping coffee and breaking off pieces of a scone, a frenetic Friday evening collecting rare cheeses, meat and wine for Saturday’s soiree or a quick lunchtime bite to go. For the la er, Morton’s fresh-made sushi, salad bar or ready-to-go tea sandwiches are longstanding local faves. M–Sa 7am–8pm. Su 9am–6pm. OAK & STONE - 2 Locations: University Park, 5405 University Pkwy., Sarasota, 941-225-4590/ South Sarasota, 4067 Clark Rd., Sarasota, 941-893-4881 PIZZA AND CRAFT BEER At Oak & Stone, artisanal wood-fired pizzas are handcra ed and diners can select to B.Y.O.P. (build your own pie) or choose from the menu’s many custom cra pizza options. The standard tavern fare is elevated with options such as Smokey Gouda Mac n’ Cheese and Pretzel Crusted Tuna. Fresh offerings such as delicious salads and hummus plate round out the menu. Oak & Stone boasts the largest RFID technology selfserve brew wall in the region, with 56 taps that showcase local and American cra breweries, self-pourable by the ounce. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Su–Th 11:00am–11pm. F–Sa 11:00am–12am.

SHARKY’S ON THE PIER 1600 Harbour Dr. S, Venice, 941-488-1456. SEAFOOD A er just one visit to Sharky’s On the Pier, Fins at Sharky’s or Snook Haven, you’ll understand why all three restaurants have become Venice-area landmarks, smack-dab on the water. Boasting unparalleled views of the 720-foot long Venice Fishing Pier and Gulf of Mexico for over 30 years, Sharky’s has made a name for itself as Florida’s No. 1 Beach Bar with complimentary live music and entertainment, family friendly fun and a whole lot of ocean. M–Th 11:30am– 10pm. F–Sa 11:30am–12am. Sun 11:30am–10pm. TSUNAMI SUSHI & HIBACHI GRILL 100 Central Ave, Suite 1022, Sarasota, 941-366-1033. ASIAN FUSION In the heart of downtown Sarasota Florida, Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi Grill stands alone for creative sushi, fresh sashimi and a new spin on asian fusion--all at remarkable prices. FRESH SUSHI- Made fresh before your eyes by their talented chefs. FULL BAR- They feature a full bar, with specialty cocktails like the Hibiscus Rose, Japanese Julep and Shinsu Sour. ASIAN ENTREES- Fresh and flavorful with the unique taste of Japan. M-F 11am-Close; Sat/Sun 12pm-Close; Closed Daily 2:30-4:30pm.

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Forty Carrots Speaker Marc Brackett, Ph.D. Psychologist and best-selling author . Interviewed by Wesley Roberts

MARC BRACKETT, PH.D., PSYCHOLOGIST AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF Permission to Feel, is the guest speaker for Forty Carrots Family Center’s 18th annual free Educational Community Speaker Event. This year’s event transitions to a virtual platform, broadcasting on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 starting at 7pm. Dr. Brackett is a research psychologist and the founding director at Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. He has developed a process for understanding emotions and using them wisely to help, rather than hinder, all people, children and adults in achieving goals and success. SRQ Magazine Publisher Wes Roberts interviewed Dr. Brackett about the ideas presented in his book.

individual goals influence the directions we head in as a society?” We need to shift our mindsets as a

SRQ: Emotional intelligence. How is it more than an academic concept? Marc Brackett: How we feel matters. It matters for everything in life; our ability to learn, the quality of our decisions, the quality of our relationships, our mental and physical health, our creativity, and our everyday performance. When people understand the intersection between our emotion system and our other systems, then it’s hard not to take this work seriously. We defined emotional intelligence as a set of skills that involve recognizing our own and others’ emotions, understanding their causes and consequences, labeling them with the precise words, knowing how and when to express feelings, and then regulating them effectively to achieve goals.

In Permission to Feel, you offer a goal to the reader, to help people use their emotions in healthy and productive ways. How do you do that successfully? So, the opposite is allowing emotions to have power over us. Right now, there’s a lot of anxiety in the world. You could engage in catastrophic thinking for days on end. It’s easy to do that. So the question is, what kind of selfcare do you need so that you do not allow the anxiety to overpower you? We teach people how to engage in more positive self-talk, get the social support they need and manage their lives more smartly. It’s not that they deny themselves that feeling of anxiety, but learn how to manage it so it doesn’t interfere with everyday life.

When you write about achieving personal goals by harnessing your emotions, especially negative emotions, it caused me to ask myself, “How do our

nation around the way we see anxiety and other so-called negative emotions. We must accept the fact that, yes, there are people who are going to have mental health challenges. Yes. Anxiety is real. The policies, workplace policies, school policies and everyday practices have to align with the principles of emotional intelligence. If you are doing the emotional work, and no one else is doing the work, we won’t get the outcomes we want.

In your book, you write about how the support people in a child’s life have to model emotional skills which means that parents and teachers might have to change how they behave. do you get pushback from that? All the time. Adults, we’re very set in our ways. We want to confirm our own ways of believing and doing, and then this neurotic professor comes in and with these ideas about emotional intelligence, and they’re like, “What do you mean I’ve got to change the way I behave? You don’t think I’m a good role model for healthy emotion regulation?” I’m not saying that. I’m asking you to think about this and see ways to enhance your skills. The good news is that people’s mindsets around this work are shifting and that people are starting to recognize how important these skills are.

How will the impact of the pandemic on kids, parents and society echo into the future? I think we have to take this stuff seriously right now because it is a hard time. One thing we say is that, “When life is good, nobody cares about emotional intelligence,” you know, if you’ve got a good job, your kids are healthy, you’re healthy, you’re on vacation, whatever it might be, they don’t think about it because life is good. But, you know, when you’re on the beach and someone kicks sand in your face, that’s when you need these skills. Especially when we’re activated when we’re triggered. And right now, I think everyone is triggered. This is when we have to really apply the skills of emotional intelligence to achieve our goals.

JOIN VIRTUALLY REGISTER FOR THE 18th ANNUAL FORTY CARROTS FREE COMMUNITY SPEAKER EVENT SEPTEMBER 23, 2020 7PM-8:30PM Featuring Marc Brackett, Ph.D. Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Professor, Yale Child Study Center. Complimentary e-book available to attendees who register, limited supply.

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interviewwith There are many famous people who have achieved great things in society, let’s say Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs, who were famously sort of tyrants to those around them. We hear about people who weren’t happy and made people around them unhappy, but whose energy changed the world. Does society need at least a smattering of such people to push for big things? That’s a good question. The question is, “What is success?” right? If it’s only making a lot of money and being a famous CEO of a company, then yeah, you probably can get away with it because bullies can be very successful. They bulldoze their way to the top. The problem is, people who are like that often die very lonely because nobody wants to be around them—the way we make people feel drives how they treat us. Imagine how much more creative other people could have been at Apple had Steve Jobs been more supportive of other people’s ideas. Imagine how much time people are spending not thinking creatively or innovatively when they’re thinking, “I hate this guy, he’s so mean and cruel.” When people of lower emotional intelligence are


your manager, it just doesn’t make work fun and enjoyable. And so, what we know is that how we feel in the workplace drives our creativity, drives our performance.

You address how you want educators and parents to match their approach to the specific needs of a given child, not demand that the child fit into a prescribed mold. It sounded much like the “follow the child” concept at the core of Montessori teaching. Do you have educational approaches that you champion or that have influenced you? I think Montessori education is great. Those methods are fabulous, because they’re studentcentered. Of course, especially in education, everybody thinks their method is the best. Students learn in different ways. The most important thing in learning is relationships. I grew up in a suburban town in New Jersey. The education system was not great, I was bored a lot, I was bullied a lot. And now, I am a professor at a pretty good place. So, you know, I made it, objectively, I did okay. Academically, the ride wasn’t pretty. It was my

path, and it was a difficult path. It’s important for parents to recognize that every child has their own path and some people are going to do well early in life, and some people, well, it’s going to take time, so don’t be the judge, right? Be the compassionate supporter. It means that, for example, during these challenging pandemic times, if you get a few weeks or a few months of delays, it’s not the end of the world. We can catch up. We tend to overdramatize things around education. Sure, some kids need special treatment. But for most children, you know, “typical learners,” people fall into this craziness that “this literacy program is best” or “this math program is best,” and that’s nuts to me. I can do math just fine, and whatever program I had 40 years ago in my little suburban New Jersey elementary school was sufficient for me to count my change at the grocery store and do statistics. We’ve gone crazy around, “Everything’s gotta be the best,” and that’s just ridiculous. Instead, help kids find passion, and great things will happen. And so that, to me, should be the goal of education: to support children in finding love of learning and curiosity. SRQ

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BILL SADLO Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County

PHILIP TAVILL Children First

JENNIFER VIGNE Education Foundation of Sarasota County

MARK PRITCHETT Gulf Coast Community Foundation

RICK YOCUM Humane Soceity of Manatee County

COLLEEN THAYER NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)



DEBBIE MASON Tidewell Foundation, Inc.

CHERYL MENDELSON Van Wezel Foundation

IN CONVERSATION WITH THOUGHT LEADERS ON BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES TO PIVOT, SURVIVE AND THRIVE DURING THE PANDEMIC LET’S BEGIN WITH A MACRO VIEW OF HOW THE PANDEMIC, THE ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THE SOCIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY HAVE IMPACTED YOUR AREA IN PARTICULAR. Bill Sadlo, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County: The whole nonprofit sector was hit extremely hard by this, caught off guard, quite frankly. As far as the youth development sector, we were greatly affected. And I say “we,” as in our kids and our families. We went from a facility-based program where kids went to their schools, were educated by incredible teachers, and came to their Boys and Girls Club after school to enhance those things. They interacted with their counselors at the Boys and Girls Club. And then all of a sudden wham, they went to isolated at home, not seeing their teachers, not seeing

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their friends. It really just changed us quickly. The other big difference was we went from doing true youth development programming just to going to essential services and trying to feed our kids while the schools were getting their legs under. And of course, they were great partners in that, the Food Bank, others, all of our partners. We came together and offered those essential things that we like to provide at our clubs. But this time, it was a need. And that was the one thing we were offering when we were closed down the second week in March. Jennifer Vigne, Education Foundation of Sarasota County: It is an absolutely daunting challenge that schools have in front of them of “how do they reopen the schools.” This week with Governor DeSantis mandating that schools reopen

showed just how intertwined our community is and how interdependent we are. If schools don’t reopen, the economy can be hurt by that. And yet at the same time, there’s this incredible fear where we ask, “can we reopen?” So we’re looking at some significant things, whether it’s on the learning losses that students faced when they went to remote learning, whether it’s the potential of losing teachers as we reopen, those are significant components that along with the pervasive digital divide is starting to percolate up. For those kids who are most vulnerable, not having access to technologies while we’ve gone into a virtual world, sometimes you’re still not meeting the needs. Those are significant

challenges that I think all of us in this education field are trying to address. We pivoted to some of the virtual advising, virtual mentoring–replicating the programs that we were doing in our student success centers. We’ve also seen that that’s not enough and that we need to be in place and in person, while absolutely following, CDC guidelines. Our most vulnerable families need us and need that connection. Those are the things that we’re trying to wrestle with and solve. And one other point I want to make when we went into the remote learning we started pushing out social, emotional learning lessons on a weekly basis to the schools. We had a high usage of this, which is phenomenal.


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ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS BILL SADLO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA COUNTY While he became President/CEO in 2011, Bill Sadlo has been involved with Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County since he was a child as a proud Club member. Bill graduated from Sarasota High School in 1987 and acquired his Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education in 1992 from the University of South Florida. A er graduation, Bill sought to devote his career to advancing the mission of 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 30 years of dedication to the movement. JENNIFER VIGNE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, EDUCATION FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY Jennifer Vigne is a fi h-generation Floridian who passionately believes education changes lives and is guided by a strong value system whereby all children can learn and succeed. Vigne joined the Education Foundation of Sarasota County in November 2015 as Executive Director and was appointed President in January 2017. She brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit and corporate sectors. Vigne holds a B.S. degree in Political Science from Florida State University, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from University of South Florida and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. Vigne serves as Vice Chair for the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) and is the Vice Chair of Tiger Bay Club of Sarasota County. Vigne is a Sarasota Women’s Alliance member, past member of the

That just demonstrated to us that this is another area of need. Philip Tavill, Children First: I’m going to pick up on what Jennifer was saying: the distinction between virtual education and in-person education. We pivoted very, very quickly. We are very proud of our staff in terms of the work that they’re doing with our kids remotely. Most people wouldn’t think that there’s something like a toddler curriculum, but there is. It’s very well defined across several domains, including social and emotional. I want to amplify what Jennifer has said about the digital divide. We immediately surveyed our families to see if they had the hardware necessary, tablets, laptops, whatever it might be, and access to the internet. Well over a third of our families don’t have the tools required. This divide amplifies problems with the students in the greatest need. Most amps go to 10. Ours is on 11 regarding that digital divide. How are we addressing it? Our teachers put together a list of kids [who are high need]. Every week, we put together a drop box to leave on the front stoop and text and say, “here it is.” And then through phone calls and emails. The second thing that I would tell you is that we serve about 550 children in 15 sites across the County. They come, because of sibling groups, from 419 families. One hundred nine parents have lost work, if it wasn’t hard enough, based on our enrollment threshold being the federal poverty level. Our families, particularly that hundred and nine, they’re the first to get hurt. We know from the great recession they’re going to be the last to recover. Our work has been incredibly challenging, not just for those hundred and nine, but all 419 families, ensuring that the supports are there through food distributions, emotional support, behavioral services, and so on. Cheryl Mendelson, Van Wezel Foundation: For the Van Wezel Foundation, part of our mission


is to support arts education and integration. To focus in the area of using the arts, particularly as an intervention, and as a teaching tool. What was important was this idea of collaboration. I’m new to the community from Chicago and have quite a bit of experience in my previous work in early child development and working with people with disabilities. Many organizations here were a little bit siloed, particularly when it comes to the work they do in education. And so a silver lining, I think, is that the pandemic has brought together so many of the arts organizations so we can share our strengths. One of the first things that we did with the Van Wezel Foundation was convene and facilitate a task force of everyone working in arts, education, and integration. We worked to create a repository [of tools and best practices on how] to quickly move to create modules online. And to work in partnership with the school district and with other health and human service organizations that needed to quickly have content to help support families. And to help support teachers and educators. The main focus for us is bringing together the best strengths we already have, not trying to reinvent the wheel. We can be a resource to the organizations that are already doing great work in their space. CONTINUING ON POSITIVE OUTCOMES, WE HAVE HEARD THAT PEOPLE ARE ADOPTING PETS AT RECORD RATES. Rick Yocum, Humane Society of Manatee County: It’s accurate. And quite honestly, the high level of communication and collaboration that the animal welfare organizations before COVID has helped us work through this. I activated my emergency management plan on March 10th. And when I did that, I knew that that was going to impact many other organizations in our community. I immediately communicated with each and

every group of people that we deal with, so that they knew exactly what we were doing. We initially were lowering our clinic capacity to 60% and lowering our shelter capacity to 50%. The community stepped up in a huge way for all of the organizations that foster animals. We stayed open by appointment for adoptions throughout this entire pandemic. So really, the level of communication amongst the animal welfare organizations has been the key to us being able to continue to provide the services that the community needed. IT SPEAKS TO THE NEED TO BE AWARE OF SOCIAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH. Colleen Thayer, NAMI: We’ve heard some pretty dire stats in SRQ Daily recently about mental health, and suicide in particular. You were just talking about the value of having emotional support like animals; I would just say as a side note that the two dogs in my house are getting so much more love and attention than in normal times.We’re a support organization, so we aren’t clinical, we aren’t trying to be clinical, but we are plugged in with everybody who is, so what we’re trying to do is be a resource for people on the mental health side of things. We work to connect people with the right resources, which seems to be definitely on an uptick, but I honestly think that it’s going to really become an enormous issue in six to 12 months when things hopefully normalize a little bit from a pandemic perspective. Then it’s going to be all of the trauma that everybody’s incurred throughout all of this. But for our constituents in particular, for people who live with severe and persistent mental illness, so many volunteers run our groups and our classes. A lot of our volunteers worked in the service industry and got furloughed or laid off. Caring for them is about providing internal support. It’s a lot of communication with people. You know, we sent notes and cards to

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our volunteers to check in with them, we’re doing monthly Zoom check-ins. All of this effort to increase our virtual outreach has been very good for our peers in particular because they need to feel connected. WHAT COULD THE FUTURE BENEFITS BE FOR THE ESCALATING VIRTUAL AND REMOTE LEARNING? Colleen: It’s pushed us into a much more tech role that we didn’t think about. NAMI nationwide has been great in communicating with all of the affiliates. There’s a lot of sharing going on. What’s working, what’s not working. We had a peer support group in Sarasota, weekly and in person, and we had a peer support group down in Venice, monthly. We now have that same peer support group online twice a week. So, you know, we’ve technically increased the capacity. Thinking ahead, we’re going to do a combination. We’re going to at some point get some in-person back. But if you’re keeping the Zoom calls, it gives people more of an opportunity to participate. And it doesn’t matter where they are. They don’t have to drive somewhere if they don’t want to. Phil: Social, emotional is a huge part of what we do in early childhood education. You know, for brain development, it’s that window of opportunity where you set the basis for a very young child’s social growth and emotional growth for a lifetime. Over the last few years, we have been able to add two fulltime staff who deal specifically with mental health issues and behavioral health—we have found that the needs are tremendous during this time. Not just for the families, not just for the children, because that’s work that we’ve had ongoing, but we have also found that need amongst our staff. We have roughly 210 employees at Children First. We’ve provided the opportunity for those folks who are our specialists to work with our staff. What triggered that

thought was Colleen’s comment about the weekly meetings. We’ve set up for our staff, virtual support groups to deal with the issues, not just the frustration of, “I haven’t seen my babies in the classroom for this period,” which is very distressing [to them]—they’re so invested in those childrens’ well-being. But also the issues they’re dealing with within their own families at home. So many people feel trapped. This is so different from anything, any of us, unless we were alive during the Spanish flu and are over 100-years-old now, have dealt with. Debbie Mason, Tidewell Foundation, Inc: Tidewell’s long been, as the region’s only hospice provider, the community support base for all kinds of grief. We run 20 plus grief groups every month, reaching all kinds of diverse audiences in the four county region. We pivoted to do those online. It’s very interesting. There’s two kinds of grief going on. There’s grief from people who have lost family members and can’t celebrate their lives. But there’s also people who are experiencing grief at the loss of routine, loss of contribution, loss of meaning in life. It’s very interesting to see what’s going on in society, including the workforce. We at Tidewell Hospice have long been called into the community if there’s a crisis in a school or there’s a crisis in a workplace, or in other organizations, we’ve partnered with hundreds of groups to do that. We set up a 24/7 helpline for people to be able to help with the volume of anxiety and grief. The other piece I’d add to that is isolation. We deal with the most vulnerable population, about 1200 patients a day under our care for Tidewell Hospice. And then if you add to that, our sister organizations that are home health organizations, we have about 3,500 people daily under our care. And many of them are in long-term care centers. They’re locked in literally and isolated from their families because of this.

And that itself is a form of grief as well. I think mental health issues are going to be prolonged and much deeper than we anticipate. I lived in California during the 2017 fires that ripped through our area and learned a lot about psychological recovery skills. We’re going to be bringing in the international experts to train our community on skills for psychological recovery. This is going to be a health epidemic issue for our community. We want to be proactive about addressing that by training mental health professionals about the best psychological responses in post-disaster situations. THINKING ABOUT HOW THE GULF COAST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION TOUCHES SO MANY ORGANIZATIONS, YOU MUST HAVE A VERY BROAD SENSE OF THE MASSIVE CHANGES YOU’VE SEEN. Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation: We were at the peak of celebrating our 25th anniversary on March 12th, with our “Better Together” event. I decided to cancel it immediately. Then we went into crisis mode as everybody else did here. I had a very strict hierarchy on how to look at this issue. Number one was, take care of my people. I’ve got to take care of my team. I’ve got to make sure they’ve got the tools to do their job, that they’re healthy and that they’re safe. The second priority was first responders, anything we can do to help our healthcare workers, frontline workers, and first responders dealing with the crisis. And then the third would be to deal with the people that lost their jobs, including some of our nonprofits. We knew that unemployment could spike. So those were the three top priorities for us at Gulf Coast. I pulled our team together and said, “look, we’ve got to throw our hurricane response out the window. This is a different kind of crisis.” I got on the phone. I called many partners and many who are on this call today. Right

Sarasota County Commission Human Services Advisory Council, past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Southwest Florida Chapter, past executive member of the AFP Florida Caucus, and is an SRQ Women in Business Leadership award recipient. Vigne is a graduate of Leadership Florida Education Class IV where she serves as class representative, Leadership Manatee, Leadership Sarasota, and a graduate of the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. Vigne enjoys spending time with her husband of more than 25 years, three children, and their dog Finley. PHILIP TAVILL, CEO, CHILDREN FIRST: Philip Tavill has been the 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 continuously worked in the human services field, both in direct service and management capacities. He returned to Sarasota, Florida in 1990 and was appointed Executive Director of the Loveland Center in Venice 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. CHERYL MENDELSON, CEO, VAN WEZEL FOUNDATION: Mendelson has 20+ years of executive experience across arts and culture, education and health care. Mendelson is leading the Foundation’s vision to build the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center as part of the Bayfront master plan. Previously, Mendelson served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Harris Theater in Chicago’s

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Millennium Park where she played a vital role in the strategic vision for the Theater, building a national reputation as a venue of artistic importance. Additionally, she held senior positions at renowned organizations, including, the University of Chicago, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the nation’s #1 ranked hospital for physical medicine and rehabilitation, and Erikson Institute, a graduate school and research center for early child development, mental health and advocacy. Mendelson is a member of the Gulf Coast CEO Forum, and contributor to PLANit Sarasota. COLLEEN THAYER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NAMI (NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS) Colleen is a public relations professional and political advocate. She holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and master’s degree in Management and Leadership. She is also Accredited in Public Relations and a Certified Public Relations Counselor. Colleen currently serves as the executive director of NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties where she is responsible for management of the affiliate along with its education, support, and advocacy programs. Apart from the professional world is her family – husband Chad, two sons and a beautiful daughter. Sarasota, Florida is home where the family also enjoys their wonderful fur-children, Holly Belle and Lulu Belle. RICK YOCUM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMANE SOCIETY OF MANATEE COUNTY Rick has served in his current position since March 14, 2016. Rick comes to the position with extensive animal welfare, public and

off the bat, I checked in with them to see how they were doing. I told our team that we were going to do an initiative, that we were not going to have a grant application. We’re going to open ourselves to emails. I’m going to ask Teri Hansen at the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation to join us. And let’s raise as much money as fast as we can. They’ll deal with this crisis as quickly as we can. We know it’ll go through different phases, but right now, we’re in the crisis phase, the response phase. Fortunately, we were very successful, not doing a broad campaign, but mostly targeted with our donors, our existing donors. They have been very altruistic, generous. It’s been unbelievable. When you saw portfolios dropped by 50% and people still making big contributions to the causes they believe in, I can’t say enough about the altruism of our donors. LET’S EXPAND ON THE IDEA OF DONORS AND COMMUNITY GENEROSITY. Bill: I’ll jump in on that one. What Mark and his team and the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation did were start to convene a response fund. And they also convened calls every Tuesday. We had health officials on there, not-for-profits, the foundations, and we could all just listen and learn from each other, but then it quickly evolved into “what can we do together to make a difference.” For the Boys and Girls Clubs, that meant that we closed and went to essential services—feeding kids. Well, then the next step was to reopen our club just for essential personnel. We opened up for first responders, the Sheriff ’s department, police, and essential medical personnel. So their children had someplace to go when they were on the front lines, helping all of us out. We were able to go through the whole donor base, and just talk to them, tell them what we’re doing. I also want to talk about what we did in Arcadia. The Louis and Gloria Flanzer


Trust wanted to do something for the Arcadia community, where they’re already the namesake of our club. And we did a tremendous job out there helping All Faiths Food Bank feed people, helping people with their water bills, just so they could stay on their feet because many people fell behind. So I want to thank the Flanzer Trust as well. The real positives are that we were able to stay in touch with our donors and community partners and keep the lines of communication open. Debbie: We were grateful to Mark at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Teri at the Barancik Foundation, the Manatee Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Selby Foundation—everybody worked together and made it so easy for us to talk about our immediate pressing needs-the high cost of PPE and being able to find PPE. And then the fact that we were dealing with going into homes and nursing homes and ALS and longterm care centers for 3,500 patients a day imagine how much PPE that is to take care of your frontline workers. And then our frontline workers who had kids who then needed care for in school and childcare facilities were no longer open. Here’s what we think the financial hit is going to be. In the first month, we lost a million dollars. That’s a lot to lose in your first month in terms of impact and cost. We took our annual campaign and instead of making it for unrestricted purposes, we said, “every dollar that comes in will go to COVID related costs” because they’re going to be so significant to us and being a bigger nonprofit, we didn’t qualify for PPP funding from the government. We did qualify for Cares Act funding, but they still don’t even know what you can use that for. So local donors really made the difference for us and being able to connect and quickly tell our story and have foundations and individuals be so responsive. A good example

of that is the fast pivot we had to make using technology. A lot of the facilities were on lockdown. So we quickly pivoted with some grants from the Selby Foundation and others to buy iPads and literally send our teams in with iPads to at least be able to engage with patients and find out what they needed and to respond. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t as good as the hands-on touch that people want and need and are accustomed to getting from Tidewell Hospice and our sister companies, but at least it kept patients getting what they needed, and donors made that happen. So our local donor community, I think deserves not five stars, but ten stars for responding to all of the needs that you have represented on the panel and doing so in such a beautiful way. Phil: Echoing everything that’s been said—the collaboration amongst the foundations, the philanthropic community, rising to the occasion, you know, as Mark said, people, losing 50% of their portfolio value and still being incredibly generous. It allowed us to develop best practices for childcare facilities. There’s no question, and it’s really critical when you look at the small family daycares when you look at the agencies that don’t have a lot of resources and seeing resources being provided so that we can really establish best practices, not just in terms of what those specific standards will be but having the foundations and private donors support needs like PPE. Small places don’t have the resources, and they need them to reopen so that people can go back to work. So that first responders can do what they do. Colleen: Relative to the mental health space, the generosity has been overwhelming. We had gotten a grant for technology, iPads and laptops because our volunteers don’t all have access. Some of the NAMI affiliates in Florida and nationwide and ours, as of a few years ago, they’re all volunteer-driven. So the groups

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that they run and the classes they have are all volunteers. They don’t have any staff. They don’t have resources like we are gaining here. We’re out in the communities of Sarasota Manatee—we are not in our offices. So we are trying to figure out and work with our partners in those places because they all have very differing ideas. If we’re in a church or we’re over at mental health community centers, or here where we’re based, everything’s different depending on where you are. We are trying to share resources a lot these days in terms of what works and what doesn’t work—most everyone has had some benefit from that kind of collaboration. LET’S TALK ABOUT FUTURE PLANNING. WHAT’S ON YOUR AGENDA FOR THE MORE DISTANT FUTURE, PAST THE CURRENT CRISIS? Rick: One of the priorities for me throughout this entire pandemic has been to keep my staff focused and engaged and also use this time to plan the future. April 10th, a month after this started, I closed on the purchase of the property directly next to our veterinary clinic. And we now own another half-acre of the property with two buildings that we are developing a plan for. We actually constructed a permanent vaccine clinic in our community room, and added two wellness rooms for exams in that community room. We are currently planning the creation of a dental suite to expand our dental services. All of these things are happening while we’re dealing with the COVID-19 impacts. [My staff ] is a group of people that I want to make sure don’t develop mental health issues. I can’t control what’s going on in the streets, but I wanted to make sure that we kept moving forward. It creates excitement with the staff. The staff is engaged. People are uncomfortable when they get out of their routine. Well, the world is out of the routine right now. Keep-

ing our staff engaged and focused has really had a positive benefit. I made a commitment early on to my staff after going to my board— before the Cares Act, and before the Payroll Protection Program— that I’m not only going to keep everybody on the payroll but, with the blessing of my board, we’re increasing the number of staff we have and we’ve done that. Then the Cares Act and the PPP came, and that was a great thing for us. We made the commitment that we were going to keep our staff working and keep them healthy and so far, it’s worked. Cheryl: I’m happy to follow up with Rick because we are also in growth mode for this community. Pre-COVID, of course, the Van Wezel Foundation board was taking the role in building a new performing arts center as part of the master plan on The Bay. It wasn’t just to build a new performing art center, it was to build a community asset, multiple theaters, 10,000-square-feet of education and lifelong learning spaces, a really important opportunity for the community and the entire Gulf Coast to create a destination that will also drive the economy in the future. So we remain very firmly committed to that vision with hopefully a six-year timeframe. I think we’ve got a unique opportunity to be one of the first performing arts centers in the nation, post-pandemic, to also utilize all of the public health issues we’ve now learned about. New technology is available, and we can design the building in a way that, when we face another public health challenge, we will have designed a building that shows we have learned from the best and the brightest around the globe. Also, we are doing a significant amount of getting ready to launch a very major survey across the entire Gulf Coast to talk to people about what they envision for the future. I think everyone’s really aware that the arts are taking a terrible hit. I respect so many of you on this call who are dealing with

such essential human life activity, and the arts are also essential. They are the power of the human spirit. The reality is that the arts have been a lifeline in many ways during this isolation. Films, books, music, virtual theater, I mean, obviously Hamilton just crushed every single record there ever was in a premiere on Disney. And so I think the arts industry is going to go through a very, very major change in how they deliver. Live theater, live music, is essential. It will be back. We need to figure out, during this interim period, how we keep it a significant part of people’s lives. The foundation is in a unique position to be able to work with all of you, I hope, to think about ways the arts can be an intervention in helping you move forward with the spirit of what has to happen. But we also believe bricks and mortar of building a new few hundred thousand-square-foot performing arts center is an essential piece of the economic recovery of the community. WHO ELSE IS PIVOTING TO BUILD AND GROW NEW OPPORTUNITIES? Debbie: Tidewell just announced yesterday that we’ll be repurposing our Ellenton Hospice House and making it into our first family grief center. We’re taking our children’s Blue Butterfly program, that’s been phenomenally successful at working with grief with children who have lost a parent and, replicating that along with adding adult grief services up in Ellenton. We’ll also be expanding into Port Charlotte and taking our Blue Butterfly program down there to serve children’s grief. Just to give you a sense of the need, about 8,000 children a year in our four county area, lose a parent or caregiver. It’s a staggering number. We know that if those children don’t get mental health assistance, their life trajectory can be very, very different based on psychosocial issues, and actually based on

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. Rick was the recipient of the Manatee County Tiger Bay Club Pat Glass Non Profit Leadership award in 2019. DEBBIE MASON, PRESIDENT, TIDEWELL FOUNDATION, INC. Debbie Mason, CFRE, APR, CPRC, FELLOW PRSA is the President of the Tidewell Foundation, Inc. and Executive Vice President, Chief Philanthropy Officer of Tidewell Hospice. She joined Tidewell Hospice and Stratum Health in October 2019 bringing experience in philanthropy, strategic planning, communications and organizational management. She 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. Debbie holds the CFRE credential for Philanthropy; is an Accredited Public Relations professional and a Certified Public Relations Counselor and she has earned the distinction of Fellow PRSA with the College of Fellows.

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Debbie earned a BS in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Florida and a MS in Communications Management from Syracuse University. MARK PRITCHETT, PRESIDENT | CEO, GULF COAST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. As President | CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Mark S. Pritche is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of Gulf Coast, including corporate strategy and oversight of its programs, operations, and investments. Before being named CEO in 2015, Mark served as Gulf Coast’s Senior Vice President for Community Investment, developing and implementing transformative initiatives to address regional priorities like homelessness, economic diversification, and workforce investment. That leadership focus continues today under Mark’s guidance through collaborative efforts like the foundation’s COVID-19 Response Initiative, which has engaged many donors and corporate partners to invest over $5 million in mitigating the impacts of the pandemic in our region. Mark is known statewide as a seasoned leader in business, philanthropy, and public policy. He thrives on big challenges, having led Florida’s election reform task force a er the 2000 Presidential election and overseeing disputes between home owners and insurance companies a er the 2004 and 2005 record hurricane seasons. Prior to joining the foundation in 2008, he held leadership positions with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Florida, and the Collins Center for Public Policy.

human brain development. Both of those programs will be expanding. Piggybacking on what Cheryl said, we bring a lot of art and music into patient therapy. So we’ll be expanding the number of art and music therapists we have so that we can enhance the patient experience. We may still have to use technology to deliver that if we can’t be by the patient bedside. I agree with Cheryl—the ability to use the arts to connect with the human spirit is so significant. We’ve actually got a lot of expansion plans in motion. After forty years of serving the community, during our anniversary year, this year, we’ve just launched the Tidewell Foundation to better serve Tidewell and our sister company. We have been in the middle of a pandemic, but we certainly haven’t been sitting idle. Bill: You asked about growth, and that’s what Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County are doing right now. We’re celebrating our 50th year. Most people would think that [the pandemic restrictions] would be a damper on our 50th anniversary, but the way we’ve pivoted and changed our program model, I have to steal a quote from Winston Churchill and say, I think this will be “our finest hour”, because of the way we responded to the community. Thanks to all of you and our partners in the community continue to build the new Louis and Gloria Flanzer club in Arcadia, which is under construction. We’re very proud of that. We’ll be doing a massive remodel of our Roy McBean Club, which is built on public housing property in Newtown on 21st Street. And we are committed to expanding in North Port as the City of North Port continues to grow. We have one club down there, the Gene Matthews Club, and we are doing a community assessment of where we need to expand to, whether it be at that site or elsewhere. I think the evolution of all of our organiza-


tions is what’s so important. Fifty years ago, the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County started as a place for kids to go after school and just be safe and hang out. We’ve evolved into a complete youth development program with education and healthy lifestyles. And now we’ve evolved, because of the pandemic, our Great Futures Academy, which has educational programs and certified teachers in our clubs, with virtual programming. So I know all of us will continue to change with the times. Colleen: That’s a great example of how everybody works together, you know, we’ve provided our Ending the Silence program to the Boys and Girls Club. And we did it virtually a couple of weeks ago, which was really cool. We’re really excited to expand our groups and classes in Manatee. Additionally, over the course of the next year, with the help of the Barancik Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we are building our youth initiative focused on the zero to 25-year-old behavioral health needs in our community —it is important and also daunting. We funded a position that will start with us next month to help families navigate the behavioral health system in our community. We’re going to focus on SMH and at Bayside and with the school system, because that’s where a good chunk of the referrals are coming from and a good chunk of the Baker Acts that are happening are coming out of schools. So the idea is to have somebody who’s experienced with these issues to help families figure out what the next step is. We get calls all the time from families that have had a child Baker Acted, and they are in crisis, and they need a plan for the longterm. Maybe they need to go over to the Boys and Girls Club and connect and get into that system of care. Maybe it’s a young adult who needs housing, which is

another issue. So the idea is to really help families figure out how to do it right and how best to serve them, their kid, or young adult. Jennifer: I want to mention something that the Education Foundation is doing, just in terms of growth, there’s still kids and families that need to have that connectivity. We have invested a lot with our Student Success Centers in several high schools, providing advising and support, helping kids move into their postsecondary plans. It’s really important that we provide continuity of service and given the uncertainty of what public schools will look like, we really felt that it was for us to open LaunchPad4U, a site that is going to be in the Rosemary District that will allow us to really look at what are the emerging needs. It’s really a beta site to help us prototype and to test and to really try different things in the midst of all this uncertainty. Mark: I want to compliment my peers here. You asked a great question, Wes, “what do we have to look forward to?” We’ve heard from everyone on this call, they’re dealing with this crisis, but they are also executing their plans. Debbie is starting a new foundation, Jennifer is doing great work with local college access networking and making sure the kids get access to scholarships, Phillip is always a leader, Rick, and Cheryl, and Bill, all had examples. All my colleagues are innovating, and that makes my job easier because I can get donors excited and our board too when they hear about all this activity. Phil: Short term, one of the things that we’re looking at, which is both dire and uplifting at the same time, is we typically have a waitlist for infant and toddler services of about 150 children, from pregnant moms to threeyear-olds, all living below the federal poverty threshold. We believe that number is going to increase dramatically. There is

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going to be a lag between the folks who are losing their work and losing income and then falling into that category where they’ll become eligible for our services. So looking forward, we’re thinking, how do we care for all those new people? We will be applying in the next month or so for 72 additional infant and toddler slots through a federal funding source for early Head Start funding, which will help solve this problem. If it gets awarded, hopefully, that will halve the waitlist. But again, that waitlist is going to increase very dramatically. I’m not sure that we’re going to have a “V” shaped recovery. I’m not sure if we’re gonna have a “W” shaped recovery. I don’t know if we’re gonna have a “Z” shaped recovery. I don’t know what that will look like quite frankly, but our economy is taking a hit, and I there’s going to be a lot of opportunities that we should explore before it becomes forced under duress for enhanced partnerships and collaborations along the whole continuum. It can be something like a consolidation of back-office operations, or full-blown, like we see with Selby Gardens and Historic Spanish Point, in essence, mergers. I believe all the agencies represented in this call are very forward-thinking and are going to look for those opportunities. To take the phrase used by the Gulf coast, how can we be “better together.” Bill: Phillip, your speaking about partnerships just means so much to us. We have people convening discussions, like this one. Our nonprofit leaders stay in touch with each other, and we continue those conversations. I’m proud of how reactive everybody was to a situation, starting in February, that was something you just couldn’t plan for it. But look at the job that everyone did at that time, and now the simultaneous push towards

future improvements. It’s so refreshing to hear, and I commend each and every one of you and your agencies for being able to have that type of forward thinking, even in the most dire times. Rick: There is one sector of society and business that I think stands head and shoulders above all others in having a unified, intelligent, supportive, collaborative effort throughout all this. And that is the nonprofits and the nonprofit sector in Manatee and Sarasota County. I am amazed and stunned at how all of the nonprofits in our community have pivoted, innovated, and kept providing the services that so many people rely on. I am so proud to be a member of this group, and the leadership just blows me away. And SRQ, I’ve told you how much I appreciate you guys always stepping up and doing things to support the nonprofits. I’m so proud to be a part of this group; everybody is so supportive. It’s really unbelievably good. Jennifer: I want to reiterate back to what Mark said before, there’s such pride to be a part of this community, and I never want to forget that it is because of the generosity of people, the donors. Without them, we would be completely nonexistent. We wouldn’t be able to catalyze change. We wouldn’t be able to harness the impact that we’re doing. To me, it is very humbling to see that your phone rings, and you pick up, and it’s donors that just want to help. They ask, “what can I do?” We’ve had the privilege of serving as leaders of these nonprofits, but it is the donors that truly have made the difference in our community. Debbie: You know, Wes, you asked about how our goals were changing. At our organization, we’re very focused because we are the region’s only not for profit hospice provider. We have a mission, and a lot of what we do is around charity care. We haven’t relented in reaching our goal.

IT’S IMPORTANT FOR COMMUNITY LEADERS, AND YOU ALL ARE THAT, TO SHOWCASE THAT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS CRISIS, THAT IT’S GOING TO BE A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR EVERYONE. THAT REALLY IS A POWERFUL MESSAGE. Jennifer You know, so often, as nonprofits, what we talk about is sustainability. That’s a common conversation for us. I think that gives us a foundation of resiliency, and if we can embody and model that resilience, then that will help bolster up and strengthen our community. That’s the proof in the pudding. Bill: Jennifer and I were discussing recently, “what is the central role of nonprofits in our community” and I think [through our response to the pandemic] we’ve proven that nonprofits are essential to our community. It has reiterated the importance that so many nonfor-profits are essential services for our community. The future leadership role of notprofits is that we will continue to be essential for our constituents. I don’t think there’s any greater leadership we can have than being there for your people during the toughest times. Phil: Bill, you mentioned Churchill before. Churchill said something to the effect of “the pessimist sees the problem in every opportunity, and the optimist sees opportunity in every challenge.” And I think for all of us, we see the opportunities in these challenges while we deal with very, very dire circumstances, well beyond, we see what we’re doing today to serve our respective populations, but how to be better, more collaborative, resilient, and sustainable. Cheryl: I want to also give a shout out to our boards. You know, the leadership of our boards who have really, really stepped up and offered the guidance and the governance, and the courage, frankly, The courage of our board leaders, to cut through the noise of politics and other things and stay focused on the vision. That has been

critical for our success as leaders to be able to continue to drive the mission and to be able to make these course changes without a lot of bureaucracy. The sense I get is that the majority of the community all want the same thing. And at the end of the day, they want our better selves to rise. Colleen: I agree with what Cheryl was saying. This whole thing is very inspiring. We’re all very intertwined. Everybody is connected throughout this whole thing. And I think that’s a testament to how our community works overall. Politics aside, all of those other things aside, everybody really is focused and seems to have everybody else’s best interest at heart. I think this is why collaborations work here, maybe better than other places. Mark: I just find that the spirit of altruism, of people sacrificing for the greater whole, is the theme that’s running throughout this whole pandemic from the nonprofit community. I’ve seen CEOs and staff take pay cuts to keep their mission afloat. We’ve seen donors, boards, and even staff invest in initiatives that’ll get money out in the community. We’ve seen donors step up with declining portfolios, that whole sense of, you know, the greater good and “What can I do? What can I do?” It’s refreshing. You certainly don’t hear it a lot from the politicians, but you do with people like those that are on this call. So thank you for that opportunity to shine a light on the great goodness we find throughout our community. I think it’s that; people being good to each other, is what’s going well during this terrible time. SRQ The In Conversation program is produced by the BrandStory Division of SRQ MEDIA.

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Get away from the crowds, and close to nature. Written and Photographed by Wesley Roberts



you are missing an opportunity to step back in time to a more prehistoric side of our beautiful state. Massive ocean-going mammals swim in the shallow waters, and hard-shelled bi-valves, mostly unchanged for 200 million years, lie in the brackish sea waters just off the coasts, made possible by the magic of our freshwater rivers. For Floridians and visitors looking to reclaim some normalcy while sheltering and maintaining social distance, returning to the “wilds” has been a fantastic solution. Outdoor activities, like boating and snorkeling, lend themselves to maintaining safe distances, and if a manatee brushes against you in its natural habitat, worries about an ongoing pandemic will be the furthest thing from your mind. In times like these, Crystal River is perfectly situated to offer relief and escape to visitors. At the mouth of Crystal River, a unique balance of freshwater from more than 50 springs flows west towards the Gulf of Mexico. There mixes fresh and salt, cool and warm waters, creating the unique environment of Crystal Bay, where unnumbered mollusks wait patiently for a lunch of plankton to move across the filters half-hidden in their cautiously opened shells. The Florida Bay Scallops watch with their one hundred blue eyes for hungry predators, ready to snap shut and jet away at a moment’s notice.


In 1969, scientists overseeing excavations at the Crystal River Power Plant discovered rhinoceros and mastodon bones and carapaces from giant armadillos and huge land tortoises. Unfortunately, these giants from the past are no longer around, but their near relative, the Florida manatee, has survived and swims now where land animals of the past once roamed. The numerous springs feeding Crystal River keep it delightfully cool in the summer, and comparatively warm in the winter. At a constant 72 °F (22 °C) temperature year-round, it serves as a winter refuge for as many as four hundred manatees and a summer home for a dozen or more. It’s also the only place in the United States where people can legally interact with manatees in their natural conditions. This is what brought my family this summer to the manatee mecca: Plantation on Crystal River. Our days at the Plantation on Crystal River were spent mostly in the water. And it’s hard to imagine a more convenient and relaxing place to base oneself. The resort offers an on-premise dive and boating center. Each of our adventures started the same way, we woke, put on swimsuits, and walked out the individual backdoor to our room. A brief walk across green grassy yards, running along a quiet canal, brought us to the Plantation Adventure Center Dive Shop where we could collect masks, snorkels and fins for scalloping, or

This page left to right: A bucket of

scallops waiting on the docks at the Adventure Center to get shucked for dinner that night. Captain Ed Menster comes up with our first batch of live scallops.

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masks, snorkels and wetsuits for manatee observation. And on return, it was just as easy to walk back to our rooms to shower, clean and rest a bit. It’s hard to put into words just how pleasant it is to walk “home” and not be loading one’s wet and exhausted family into the SUV for an uncomfortable drive. Our adventure was focussed on being in the water with various critters, but just about every other guest at Plantation had brought fishing rods with them. When they were not off on boats, with and without guides, our fellow travelers were fishing from the lawn into the canals. For the Crystal River manatees, summer turns the river and bay bottoms into endless “all-you-can-eat” salad bars. We swam along beside a beautiful momma and calf as they crunched their way through the tall seagrass. The big herbivore’s grinding teeth cut clear paths in the grass, and, sometimes, you would hear, underwater, the animals’ loud chewing before you could see them. Manatees are entirely harmless to people, but I did manage to have one startle me. With a mask and snorkel, peripheral vision drops to almost nothing. I swam with our small guided group over to see what they were looking at. I peered in the green water ahead, trying to make out what was so interesting. I sensed that the fellow swimmer beside me was drifting a little close, so I paddled lightly to shift away, barely moving my hands. In the springs, you swim carefully and without flippers so as not to stir up the river bottom. The not-practicing underwater-social-distancing swimmer kept coming closer, so I looked to see who had such poor swimmer’s manners. I then realized I was a couple of inches from the grey, rough-skin of a 1000-lb female sea cow. It was startling, to say the least. I guess she also had wondered what we were all looking at, had outflanked us and joined our circle. Our guide Courtney, noticed the curious giant and held me still in the water while the manatee snuffled at my face and mask with her soft snoot and her head the size of an over-large pumpkin. The big cow decided I was less interesting than the seagrass, and she dropped back down and returned to her mowing. The photo the guide took of me receiving “manatee kisses” will forever remain with me as a highlight of the trip. Scallop hunting was an altogether different experience. We climbed aboard Captain Ed Menster’s fishing boat and zoomed out into the broader expanse of Crystal Bay. The captain anchored the boat. The shore was quite distant, but the bottom was never more than five feet below. With masks, snorkels and swimfins, we This page top to bottom: Your fresh scallops are expertly shucked at

the dock for $6 a pound. Chef prepared fresh scallops in lemon and butter and mushroom cream suaces. Headed into Crystal Bay with Captain Ed Menster and deckhand, Leslie Wade. The Plantation on Crystal River property at sunset. My seven-year-old, overjoyed with her fresh housemade spaghetti with marinara sauce.

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This page:

A special “manatee kiss” from a curious mom. GoPro photos of Manatee Tour: Courtesy of Plantation Dive Center.

TRIP DETAILS Plantation on Crystal River. 9301 W Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, Florida 34429. Reservations 800.632.6262. Information: 352.795.4211 . Adventure Center and Marina, 352-795-5797.

all slipped overboard and began scouring the bottom for scallops. Again, it was essential to keep your feet up high, so as not to stir up the silty floor, but it was good to know that if you needed a moment to recompose your mask, or just take a break, it’s always an option to just standup in the calm waters. The scallops were both comically frenetic and strangely alien at the same time. Those one hundred eyes shine and shimmer underwater, and when you reach for a scallop, you need to be quick and hold on tightly as their snapping, flapping swimming motion can quickly take them out of reach if you aren’t committed to the capture. Bring them to the surface, and they squirt and wiggle vigorously, resulting in peals of laughter from the kids. Our captain let us know that a recent storm had stirred up the Bay, and as such, our quest was more challenging than usual. For the stronger swimmers in our family, that was fine; we just had to cover extra ground on the hunt. The kids ended up spending more time frolicking by the boat than searching for the evening meal. When asked to rate the day on a one to five scale, my 10-year-old son answered, “one million,” so that’s a big success. Despite the effect of the storm, the playful semi-participation of the kids, and the shy mollusks, we (with the help of the captain) still nabbed a good 50-60 scallops, plenty for a hearty meal. This is a place where the cleanliness and health of the environment are vitally important. Like many bodies of fresh and brackish water in Florida, the Crystal

River waterways are under attack by the invasive bluegreen algae, lyngbya. This mat-like growth blocks light, crowds out other plants and renders the waters murky. A home-grown initiative, the Save Crystal River project, has innovated new ways of clearing the waterways and works at planting healthy eel grass. The grass variant in use was cultivated at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. It has specific strengths such as salt tolerance and hardiness that enable it to stave off the algae’s return. The first pilot project, Hunters Cove Restoration Project, begun in 2015, has flourished. About four acres of canals near Hunter Springs, a part of the Crystal River spring system, have seen 6,714 hand-planted seedlings flourish into an eel grass meadow estimated to include five million plants. If you are exceptionally fortunate, the Manatees will be playing and eating in the part of the system during your visit. The water is clear and lovely, much as it was when the name was given to the river. The program seems to be a success, and the cleaning process should move through the rest of the King’s Bay water system at an increasing pace in the coming years. Our time on the Bay left us happy and tired, so it was wonderful to hand off the bucket of shellfish and ice cubes to the expert shuckers set up under a tent beside the Adventure Center. For $6 a pound, the husband and wife shucking team turned barnacled shells into delightful scallop medallions with dizzying speed. Finishing our trip, and our hunting expedition, with dinner at the on-premises restaurant West 82, was perfect. The scallops we (and our captain) had found were already in the restaurant kitchen. We were given a range of options on how they might be prepared, and we decided on two sauces: one with lemona dn garlic and the other with cream mushroom. Both were delicious, and the kids were especially proud to have contributed to the haul. My daughter put in a special request for spaghetti with red tomato sauce, which the kitchen accommodated fully. They even reduced fresh tomatoes, making the sauce from scratch. It was fantastic and should be on the menu! West 82 can name it after my daughter if they like, she surely wouldn’t mind. For the grown-ups, there was an excellent selection of mixed drinks. I heartily recommend the Crystal River Cruise, with Bulleit Bourbon, sweet and sour mix, pineapple juice, fresh orange and a sprig of mint. The Plantation had so much else to offer, from a vast pool and a soon-to-be-finished water area for kids to shuffleboard, horseshoes, beach volleyball, and cornhole. If we had had more time, we would have done it all, but for my family, this trip was spent perfectly—in the water, exploring the springs, meeting the world’s cutest baby manatee and gathering prehistoric bivalves for dinner. We felt very much at home in the nature and naturalness of Florida. SRQ

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Honorees/ Index ADOPTION LAW Griffin, Linda Ethel Linda E Griffin, P.A. 1800 2nd St Ste 705 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-4878; Lic.#949752 Stockham, Susan L Law Office of Susan L. Stockham, P.A. 4017 Swift Rd Sarasota, FL 34231 941-924-4949; Lic.#342521

APPELLATE LAW Butler, Jesse R Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#84058 Maglio, Jennifer Anne Gore Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. 1605 Main St Ste 710 Sarasota, FL 34236 888-952-5242; Lic.#88013 Miller, Jason M Najmy Thompson, P.L. 3400 S. Tamiami Trail Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-907-3999; Lic.#624551 Pouget, Andrew Fowler Law Group 2075 Main St Ste 38 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-404-8909; Lic.#1013551 Wallace, David A Bentley & Bruning, P.A. 783 S Orange Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-556-9030; Lic.#608386

ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION Bates-Buchanan, Dawn Marie Bates-Buchanan & Savitsky Law Group, P.A. 333 Tamiami Trl S Ste 298 Venice, FL 34285 941-799-3015; Lic.#179183

Brannan, Stephen G West Coast Mediators P O Box 2008 Sarasota, Fl 34230 941-356-1041; Lic.#521442 Chase, Steven J Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#210277 Christopher, William Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. 1605 Main St Ste 710 Sarasota, FL 34236 888-952-5242; Lic.#751936 Icard, Thomas F Jr Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#162741 Larsen, Gary H Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#266906 Lyons, Robert G Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#234230

Hecker, Susan Barrett Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#948380

Messick, Robert E Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#314773

Krouse, Megan Krouse Law Firm 9040 Town Center Pkwy Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 941-306-3672; Lic.#125700

Pitchford, Malcolm J Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#175403

Marshall, Elizabeth C Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#440884


Mroczkowski, Tina M Bowman, George, Scheb, Kimbrough, Koach & Chapman, P.A. 2750 Ringling Blvd Ste 3 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-5510; Lic.#96629 Pennewill, Elizabeth Colvin Community Foundation of Sarasota County 2635 Fruitville Rd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-556-7152; Lic.#156140 Stover, Robin Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. 1112 Manatee Ave E Fl 2 Bradenton, FL 34208 941-746-6151; Lic.#64494

O'Day, Sharon O'Day Resolutions 9040 Town Center Parkway Lakewood Ranch, FL 34203 941-228-8571; Lic.#415472


Telford, Leslie Mediation Services of Southern Florida, Inc. 2480 Fruitville Rd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-957-3004; Lic.#212644

Grimes, Michele B Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#264393


Jensen, Adria Maria Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#11690

Fields, Pamela Legal Aid of Manasota 1900 Main St Ste 302 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-0038; Lic.#37015

Cole, R John III Cole & Cole Law, P.A. 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 24 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-4055; Lic.#59708 Cole, R John II Cole & Cole Law, P.A. 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 24 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-4055; Lic.#191364 Ellis, Richard V Richard V. Ellis, Attorney 3202 N Tamiami Trl Sarasota, FL 34234 941-351-9111; Lic.#288322 Gensmer, Timothy W Timothy W. Gensmer, P.A. 2831 Ringling Blvd Ste 202A Sarasota, FL 34237 941-952-9377; Lic.#586242 Hildreth, Mark D Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#454893 Johnson, Sherri L Johnson Legal of Florida, P.L. 2937 Bee Ridge Rd. Ste 1 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-926-1155; Lic.#134775 Roberts, Kelly Roberts Law, PLLC 2075 Main St Ste 23 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-444-9783; Lic.#83804

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CONTACT INFORMATION dwallace@bentley

783 South Orange Ave. 3rd Floor Sarasota, FL 34236

David A. Wallace HONOREE Appellate Law



(941) 556-9030

BIO David Wallace is an appellate and civil trial lawyer with over 30 years of experience in both Florida and Federal courts. David was also recently certified as a Circuit Mediator by the Supreme Court of Florida, and looks forward to adding mediation to his appellate and civil litigation practices. David has been a Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice for nearly 20 years, since 2002. He has been re-certified three times by the Florida Bar. David’s appellate work spans a wide variety of subjects including governmental issues (sovereign immunity, public records, Government in the Sunshine), real property and commercial leasing, homestead, guardianship and probate, and contracts. While the majority of his appeals are before Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, he also regularly appears in other District Courts and has appeared in the Supreme Court of Florida and the Federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. David has been annually recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer since 2009 and is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. David graduated from Duke University Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1983. He received his law degree from the University of Florida School of Law in 1986. In law school David was a

member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif, a scholastic honor society for law students. David is a life-long Floridian and a Sarasota resident since 1986. He was born in St. Petersburg, relocated to Sarasota after law school to begin his legal career, and never left. David and his wife Lynn married in 1987 and have one son, Henry, a theater major at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. David moved his practice to Bentley & Bruning in 2016. Bentley & Bruning is an 8-lawyer commercial litigation firm. Bentley & Bruning’s active and successful civil trial practice is a perfect fit for David’s appellate practice.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT David has been active over the years in a variety of civic and professional organizations. David has served several terms as the Chairperson of the Sarasota County Bar Association Appellate Committee. In that capacity David has presented at several seminars on panels with appellate Judges. David serves as a member of The Florida Bar’s Local Professionalism Panel which investigates lawyer professionalism complaints. He is also a long-time member of the Judge John M. Scheb Chapter of the American Inns of Court, an organization devoted to improving and enhancing professionalism, ethics and civility in the legal profession. In the civic arena David has served on various boards including New Gate School, SunCoast Blood Center, and The Wellness Community.

DEGREES AND CERTIFICATIONS Bachelor of Arts, Duke University Magna Cum Laude, 1983

Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice, 2002-present

Juris Doctor, University of Florida School of Law,1986

Certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a Circuit Mediator, 2020

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Honorees/ Index Ross, Sacha Grimes Hawkins Gladfelter & Galvano, P.L. 1023 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-748-0151; Lic.#557315



Brej, Caroleen B Bentley & Bruning, P.A. 783 S Orange Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-556-9030; Lic.#93188

2020 Rising Star Arroyo, Erik J Band, Gates & Dramis 2070 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8010; Lic.#123485 Buffington, Zachary B Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#87748 Compton, John M Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, P.A. 1819 Main St Ste 610 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-954-4691; Lic.#128058 McPheeters, James-Allen Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#65434 Schembri, Jenifer S Blalock Walters P.A. 802 11th St W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-748-0100; Lic.#154458 Serrano, Meghan O Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#53124 Wilson, Michael J Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#641502

Bentley, Morgan R Bentley & Bruning, P.A. 783 S Orange Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-556-9030; Lic.#962287

2020 Rising Star Chin, Warren H Eastmoore, Crauwels & DuBose, P.A. 1626 Ringling Blvd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-8888; Lic.#124960 Denny, Charles W IV Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#488615 Dorman, Lori M The Law Office of Baker, Paul & Dorman 515 9th St E Ste 100 Bradenton, FL 34208 941-747-0888; Lic.#75401 Fredericks, David J Anderson, Givens & Fredericks, PA 5500 Bee Ridge Rd Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34233 941-866-4348; Lic.#84185 Grosso, Jennifer L Bentley & Bruning, P.A. 783 S Orange Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-556-9030; Lic.#637815 Guarnieri, Daniel C Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#914401 Huss, Cady L Spivey & Huss, P.A. 1515 Ringling Blvd Ste 885 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-840-1991; Lic.#88661

Johnson, Andrea M Law Office of Andrea M. Johnson, P.A. Bradenton, FL 34206 941-896-7215; Lic.#802751

Stall, Tyler B Hutton & Dominko, PLLC 2639 Fruitville Rd Ste 302 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-364-9292; Lic.#116074

Lowther, Bailey S Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#1002396

Whitney, Jonathan P Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A. 2 N Tamiami Trl Fl 5 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-951-1800; Lic.#14874

McLain, G Robert Jr Metcalfe & McLain, P.A. 100 Wallace Ave., Ste. 260 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-365-4174; Lic.#84475 Norton, Hunter G Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#30534 Polk, Bonnie Lee Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#30678 Rolfes, A James Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#373524 Rosin, Andrew W Law Offices of Andrew W. Rosin, P.A. 1966 Hillview St Sarasota, FL 34239 941-359-2604; Lic.#598305 Schuchat, Michael E Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#85382 Schwartz, Mark A Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#664367

CIVIL LAW TRANSACTIONAL 2020 Rising Star Selvaraj, Natasha Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#124513

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION Bartlett, Charles J Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#273422 Bruning, Kevin R Bentley & Bruning, P.A. 783 S Orange Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-556-9030; Lic.#411485 Chapman, John The John Chapman Law Firm, P.A. 1515 Ringling Blvd Ste 870 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-404-4616; Lic.#846820 Davis, Jade C Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#95943 DeLeo, Daniel J Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34230 941-366-6660; Lic.#14268

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Honorees/ Index Dominko, Przemyslaw L Hutton & Dominko, PLLC 2639 Fruitville Rd Ste 302 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-364-9292; Lic.#74143

Shuboy, Eugene M III Eugene M. Shuboy III, PLLC PO Box 17938 Sarasota, FL 34276 941-404-4313; Lic.#39682

Preston, David S Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#23973

France, Michael A Law Office of Michael A. France, P.A. 1515 Ringling Blvd Ste 800 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-217-1125; Lic.#521345

Vitale, J Ben Vitale Law PA 5214 Paylor Lane Lakewood Ranch, FL 34240 941-552-7887; Lic.#88304

Sanchez, Albert A Sanchez Law, PLLC 2055 Wood St Ste 220 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-0001; Lic.#267953


Staine, Christopher A Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34230 941-366-6660; Lic.#572861

Garcia, Martin Eastmoore, Crauwels & DuBose, P.A. 1626 Ringling Blvd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-8888; Lic.#817597

Abate, Anthony J Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#289558

Tannenbaum, Alan E Tannenbaum Scor Lemole Kleinberg Attorneys at Law 1990 Main St Ste 725 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-316-0111; Lic.#259144

Gibson, James D Gibson, Kohl & Wolff, P.L. 1800 2nd St Ste 717 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-362-8880; Lic.#709069

Dramis, George III Band, Gates & Dramis 2070 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8010; Lic.#935549

Goodrich, Brian D Bentley & Bruning, P.A. 783 S Orange Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-556-9030; Lic.#106948

Gurley, David E Gurley & Associates 601 S Osprey Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-4501; Lic.#402214

Hall, M Lewis III Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#249513

Hammersley, Philip N Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, P.A. 1819 Main St Ste 610 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-954-4691; Lic.#280887

Hutton, Steven D Hutton & Dominko, PLLC 2639 Fruitville Rd Ste 302 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-364-9292; Lic.#342221

Henson, Brett M Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#84259

Marco, David M SmithMarco, P.C. 1111 3rd Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 888-822-1777; Lic.#125266

Inverso, Darren R Inverso Law Group 1800 2nd St Ste 884 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-926-6039; Lic.#462470

Murphy, Michael P Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#40207


Kison, Amanda R Bentley & Bruning, P.A. 783 S Orange Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-556-9030; Lic.#96151

Peebles, Douglas A Peebles Law Firm, PA 1201 6th Ave W Ste 505 Bradenton, FL 34205 941-742-6611; Lic.#50237

Van Hise, Christian T Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#58459

CONSUMER DEBT Ellis, Sherry Sherry Ellis Law, PLLC 1834 Main St Sarasota, FL 34236 941-363-0800; Lic.#146668

Kalish, Carol Ann Sarasota Memorial Health Care System 1700 S Tamiami Trl Sarasota, FL 34239 941-917-9000; Lic.#992755

Owen, Katharyn Edna Star2Star Communications, LLC 600 Tallevast Rd Sarasota, FL 34243 941-234-0001; Lic.#89378 Rubio, Mark Fernando American Torch Tip, Co. 6212 29th St E Bradenton, FL 34203 941-753-7557; Lic.#72711

CORPORATE FINANCE, MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS Hanan, Benjamin R Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#89559

CRIMINAL DEFENSE Baily, Allan Law Offices of Baily & Baily, P.A. 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 18 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-364-9997; Lic.#138241 Byrd, Derek The Byrd Law Firm 2151 Main St Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-954-3400; Lic.#81167 Dunn, Adam The Dunn Law Firm 1269 1st St Ste 8 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-866-4352; Lic.#107323 Flynn, Sean P Flynn Law, P.A. 2200 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-800-1140; Lic.#102616 Fowler, Alene Sartori Fowler Law Group 2075 Main St Ste 38 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-404-8909; Lic.#76658

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2075 Main St., Suite 38 Sarasota, Florida 34237

James Fowler HONOREE Criminal Defense Law



(941) 404-8909



James Fowler is the founding partner of Fowler Law Group, P.A., a criminal defense firm. James draws upon his diverse criminal law experiences to defend adults and juveniles involved in all types of criminal law matters, including federal and state crimes, DUI offenses, driver’s license suspensions and traffic cases. He is a 4th generation native of Sarasota County with strong ties to the local community. James has served as a prosecutor with the Office of the State Attorney in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties. As a prosecuting attorney he handled numerous DUI, misdemeanor, felony and juvenile cases and received specialized training from the Florida Traffic Safety Resource Prosecution Program in the areas of drugged drivers and DUI refusal cases and Motion Practice. James has been recognized as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” and “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers Association from 2014 – 2020. He has been named to Super Lawyers Magazine list of “Rising Stars” from 2014 – 2020. James has also been nominated for Judicial Appointment by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission three (3) times over the past three years. James has been featured in numerous publications throughout his career; most notably Forbes, Entrepreneur, HuffPost, and Business Insider.

• • •


• • • •

Forty Carrots Key to the Cure Lakewood Ranch Young Leaders Alliance Americans Inn of Court Sarasota County Bar Association Manatee County Bar Association Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

MISSION James has developed a reputation within the community for providing exceptional client service and proudly stands by his firm’s motto of “Respect. Reputation. Protection.”

TESTIMONIAL “I had the pleasure of hiring Mr. Fowler for my criminal case. Mr. Fowler's level of expertise and attention to detail on the affairs involved truly brought not only myself but also my family peace of mind. Whenever I needed to meet with him in person, scheduling and meeting with him was always a priority on his list. One would be hard-pressed to find an individual as thorough, insightful, responsible, ambitious, academically sound, and as genuine as him.” — David Mickens


Bachelor of Science, Ferrum College, 2002 Juris Doctorate, Coastal School of Law, 2008

12 years


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Honorees/ Index Fowler, James A Jr Fowler Law Group 2075 Main St Ste 38 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-404-8909; Lic.#55830

Griffith, Kevin McIntosh Law 766 Hudson Ave, Ste B Sarasota, FL 34236 941-306-3230; Lic.#102647

Fury, Jennifer L The Law Office of Colleen M Glenn, P.A. 1017 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-746-8800; Lic.#371830

Haynes, Jeffrey A Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Haynes, P.A. 240 N Washington Blvd Ste 460 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-919-3666; Lic.#902081

Glenn, Colleen M The Law Office of Colleen M. Glenn, P.A. 1017 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-746-8800; Lic.#635588

McIntosh, Brett McIntosh Law 766 Hudson Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-306-3230; Lic.#993972

Mogensen, Andrea Flynn Law Office of Andrea Flynn Mogensen, PA 677 N. Washington Blvd, Ste 128 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-955-1066; Lic.#549681

Zimmerman, Mark R Zimmerman & Zimmerman Law Firm 434 S Washington Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-364-8503; Lic.#911666

Reid, Jason Attorney Jason Reid 912 7th Ave. E Bradenton, FL 34208 941-920-5662; Lic.#28307


Wagner, Dustin S Lightning Law PLLC 1201 6th Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-993-4226; Lic.#98164

Windsor, Jane Windsor Law, LLC 2014 4th St Sarasota, FL 34237 941-487-7527; Lic.#86988

HONOREE Civil Law Litigation BIO Warren assists insureds - such as homeowners, business owners, and injured victims when the insurance company denies or undervalues their claim which oftentimes results in bad faith litigation. Warren’s practice also focuses on helping injured victims with an emphasis on medical malpractice. Warren began his legal career in Miami at one of Florida’s largest law firms. He was mentored and supervised by Thomas E. Scott – a former State and Federal Court Judge and U.S. Attorney. After marrying his law school sweetheart (a local real estate attorney), he moved to Sarasota to be with her and start a family. Warren is involved in the Sarasota community and sits on the following boards: Young Lawyers Division of the Sarasota County Bar Association (“SCBA”); SCBA’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion; and the Sarasota Gator Club (UF Alumni Association). Warren also represents Florida as an appointed delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates.





4 years


Sarasota Jurisdiction

J.D. University of Florida, 2016 cum laude

CONTACT INFORMATION 1626 Ringling Blvd., Ste. 300 Sarasota FL, 34236 (941) 366-8888 ECD.LAW

B.A. University of Pittsburgh, 2012

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Honorees/ Index ELDER LAW Bach, Babette B Bach, Jacobs, & Byrne, P.A. 240 S Pineapple Ave Ste 700 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-906-1231; Lic.#969753 Bennett, Jeanne O'Brien & Bennett, P.A. 1800 2nd St Ste 819 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-316-9200; Lic.#32881 Boyer, Andrew R Boyer & Boyer, P.A. 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 21 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-2304; Lic.#35409

Boyer, Edwin M Boyer & Boyer, P.A. 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 21 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-2304; Lic.#252719

Dine, Erika Dine Elder Law, PLLC 1101 6th Ave W Ste 218 Bradenton, FL 34205 941-746-3900; Lic.#634581

Lyons, Neil T Boyer & Boyer, P.A. 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 21 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-2304; Lic.#91826

Butler, Sierra Butler Elder Law, P.A. 8784 East SR 70, Ste 102 Bradenton, FL 34202 941-254-6611; Lic.#103145

Ferrari, John Jr Ferrari, Butler, & Moneymaker, PLLC 2477 Stickney Point Rd Ste 107B Sarasota, FL 34231 941-960-1676; Lic.#111132

Moneymaker, Liz Liz Moneymaker Law, P.A. 714 Manatee Ave East Ste C Bradenton, FL 34208 941-677-7237; Lic.#885851

Byrne, Sean M Bach, Jacobs, & Byrne, P.A. 240 S Pineapple Ave Ste 700 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-906-1231; Lic.#51988

Likens, Christopher A Christopher A. Likens P.A. 1800 2nd St Ste 971 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-7838; Lic.#981303

O'Brien, Gerald F O'Brien & Bennett, P.A. 1800 2nd St Ste 819 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-316-9200; Lic.#768820

HONOREE Commercial Litigation

James D. Gibson

BIO Mr. Gibson is a founding partner of the law firm and has practiced in Sarasota since 1988. Mr. Gibson’s practice emphasizes commercial, business and real estate litigation, plus creditor’s rights. Mr. Gibson has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1987. He is also a member of the Bar of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal District Courts of the Middle District of Florida. He is a long-standing member of the American Bankruptcy Institute. Mr. Gibson is AV® rated – Preeminent - by Martindale-Hubbell® Lawyer Ratings, the highest rating available. Mr. Gibson has three adult sons. He has coached youth sports for many years and is a longtime supporter of The Suncoast Youth Basketball League. MISSION At Gibson, Kohl & Wolff, P.L., our goal is to provide solid legal counsel with a highly personalized approach when representing each of our clients. We have built our law firm largely from referrals — something we attribute to our willingness to put clients first. Your satisfaction is our top priority. PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS Sarasota County Bar Association, Member, 1988 - Present; Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, Member, 2000 - Present PRACTICE AREAS Business and Contract Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Civil CONTACT INFORMATION Litigation CERTIFIED LEGAL SPECIALTIES LITIGATION OFFICE Business Litigation Lawyer, Florida Bar, 1996 1800 2nd St., Ste. 717, Sarasota FL 34236 FLORIDA BAR DATE OF ADMISSION 1987

DEGREES J.D. Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, 1987, Dean's List


B.S. Ball State University, 1982

(941) 362-8880

REAL ESTATE OFFICE 1800 2nd St., Ste. 901 Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 365-1166

SOUTH COUNTY OFFICE 414 South Tamiami Trail Osprey, FL 34229 (941) 966-3575

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Honorees/ Index Scott, Neil William Neil W Scott Atty At Law 1800 2nd St Ste 818 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-906-8555; Lic.#402575

Brown, Faith Z Brown & Brown 1001 3rd Ave W Ste 375 Bradenton, FL 34205 941-953-2825; Lic.#11280

Keane, Dana Keane & Keane 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 5 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-7255; Lic.#30425

Murphy, Stephanie L The Murphy Law Group 665 S Orange Ave Ste 1 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-328-8142; Lic.#553751

Sobel, Donna Irvin Donna Irvin Sobel, P.A. 4900 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34209 941-747-0001; Lic.#370096

Byrd, Heather The Byrd Law Firm 2151 Main St Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-954-3400; Lic.#76074

Wiesner, Ira Stewart Law Office of Ira S. Wiesner 328 N Rhodes Ave Sarasota, FL 34237 941-242-7270; Lic.#222887

Drumm, William William Drumm PA 434 S Washington Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-955-1700; Lic.#288240

King, Amanda M Syprett, Meshad, Resnick, Lieb, Dumbaugh, Jones, Krotec & Westheimer, P.A. 1900 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-7171; Lic.#78996

Poole, Kenneth M Jr Syprett, Meshad, Resnick, Lieb, Dumbaugh, Jones, Krotec & Westheimer, P.A. 1900 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-7171; Lic.#21223


Flaherty, Angela D Flaherty Law Firm 2180 Main St Sarasota, FL 34237 941-706-2860; Lic.#125695

Kleinberg, Lisa J Law Office of Lisa J Kleinberg 1990 Main St Ste 725 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-306-4126; Lic.#940010

Resnick, Michael L Syprett, Meshad, Resnick, Lieb, Dumbaugh, Jones, Krotec & Westheimer, P.A. 1900 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-7171; Lic.#157765

Blucher, Paul A Blucher Law Group, PLLC 7300 Delainey Ct Sarasota, FL 34240 941-361-1145; Lic.#860409 Moore, S William Moore Bowman & Reese, P.A. 551 N. Cattlemen Rod. Ste 100 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-365-3800; Lic.#157268

FAMILY LAW Bell, Lisa Ann Lisa Bell, PA 435 12th St W Ste 216 Bradenton, FL 34205 941-404-4625; Lic.#97100 Blue, Deborah J Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#522030 Bragg, Adam Bragg Law Firm, PLLC 713 S Orange Ave Ste 105 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-893-1555; Lic.#71542

Flaherty, Mark Flaherty Law Firm 2180 Main St Sarasota, FL 34237 941-706-2860; Lic.#114472 Gillett, Carmen R Carmen R. Gillett, PLLC 1845 Morrill St Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-9826; Lic.#375446 Grondahl, Paul F Paul F. Grondahl, P.A. 2017 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-251-6900; Lic.#97918 Halvorsen, Kathi Busch PO BOX 1866 Sarasota, FL 34230 941-953-2612; Lic.#974382 Hubbard, Natoria Deniese PO Box 1624 Bradenton, FL 34206 941-747-8499; Lic.#103053 Itts, Erin Ann Itts Law, LLC 355 W Venice Ave Venice, FL 34285 941-451-8074; Lic.#11938

Kowtko, W Matthew Kowtko Law Group, P.A. 1800 2nd St Ste 882 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-227-4945; Lic.#111142 Leibovitz, Janella Kayla Law Office of Janella K. Leibovitz, P.L. 2014 4th St Sarasota, FL 34237 941-362-3355; Lic.#194824 Loftus, Leslie Loftus Law 783 S Orange Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-444-7278; Lic.#996440 Mancuso, R Lynette Burgess, Harrell, Mancuso, Colton & La Porta, P.A. 1776 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3700; Lic.#445101 Meshberger, Lindsey A Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#36451

Salisbury, Debra M Law Office of Debra M Salisbury, P.A. 3293 Fruitville Rd Unit 101 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-1616; Lic.#973769 Schipani, Philip J Schipani & Norman, P.A. 1605 Main St Ste 1110 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-549-8981; Lic.#557528 Solnoki, Drew The Byrd Law Firm 2151 Main St Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-954-3400; Lic.#661341 Villaverde, Monica Law Offices of Monica Villaverde, P.L.L.C. 1990 Main St Ste 725 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-284-4985; Lic.#71014 Wallace, Jaime L Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#370665

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601 South Osprey Avenue Sarasota, Florida 34236

Direct: (941) 556-1480 Fax: (941) 365-2916

HONORS Highest attainable Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell International Attorney Directory. A Florida Trend “Legal Elite” in construction law. Recognized by Chambers & Partners Guide to Leading Business Lawyers and Law Firms in the World. Acknowledged by Super Lawyers as a leading Florida Construction & Surety lawyer. Listed in Best Lawyers in America for expertise in Construction Law.

David E. Gurley HONOREE Construction Law


BIO David E. Gurley is the principal shareholder of Gurley & Associates. He has been Florida Board Certified as an expert in Construction Law since 2005. Mr. Gurley’s practice for the last thirty-five years has concentrated on matters relating to the construction and design of private and public development projects including, contract negotiation and drafting; project oversight and Board of Claims proceedings; construction and design defect analysis and documentation; scheduling and delay claims; lender issues; project takeovers and completions for sureties; surety indemnity actions; construction licensing and disciplinary matters; and, the mediation, arbitration and litigation of construction and design disputes. Gurley & Associates’ clients include multiple ENR Top 50 contractors; surety companies; CD insurers, national and international “big box” retailers; REITS; private development companies and, major construction materials supply companies. Mr. Gurley is admitted to practice in all Florida courts, Texas and in the District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. He counsels clients nationwide and in the Caribbean basin in the avoidance and resolution of construction and bond claims arising from commercial, hospitality, theme park, medical facility, luxury resort, high rise residential, transportation and public infrastructure projects.



Construction Law, Surety Law, Busn iess and Commerca L iltg i ato in I,surance Defense In,surance Coverage C,ondomn iu im Law Tr,a P ilractc ie

J.D., Florida State University, 1983

Mr. Gurley is AV peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for construction law. He has been recognized by Chambers & Partners Guide to Leading Business Lawyers and Law Firms in the World and by Super Lawyers and Florida Trend magazine as a leading Florida construction and surety lawyer.

PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS · American Bar Association (Fidelity and Surety Law Committee; Forum Committee on the Construction Law Committee) · Florida Bar · Sarasota County Bar Association · Construction Law Institute, Certified Instructor · National Bond Claims Association · Defense Research Institute · Florida Surety Association · Master, Judge John M. Scheb Inn of Court

MISSION Gurley & Associates is a commercial litigation, construction and surety boutique law firm with a national and international reach. Gurley & Associates provides the responsiveness and personal service of a boutique law firm, with the experience and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of larger firms.


B.S., Florida State University, 1981


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Honorees/ Index Wesley, D Scott Law Office of D. Scott Wesley, PLLC 2127 Ringling Blvd Ste 103 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-951-6733; Lic.#127462 Young, Robert L Band, Gates & Dramis 2070 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8010; Lic.#107122

GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE Bailey, Crystal Hansen Sarasota County Sheriff's Office 6010 Cattleridge Dr Sarasota, FL 34232 941-861-4059; Lic.#69010 Barnebey, Mark P Blalock Walters P.A. 802 11th St W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-748-0100; Lic.#370827 Dillard-Spahn, Stacy Law Office of Robert K. Lincoln, PA 2055 Wood St Ste 206 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-681-8700; Lic.#22496 Good, Margaret Eastmoore, Crauwels & DuBose, P.A. 1626 Ringling Blvd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-8888; Lic.#97931 Kardash, Regina A Persson, Cohen & Mooney, P.A. 6853 Energy Ct Lakewood Ranch, FL 34240 941-306-4730; Lic.#66381 Kayan, Bora S Office of the Sarasota County Attorney 1660 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-861-5000; Lic.#105759

Mooney, Maggie D Persson, Cohen & Mooney, P.A. 6853 Energy Ct Lakewood Ranch, FL 34240 941-306-4730; Lic.#555924 Palmer, Mitchell Mitchell O. Palmer, County Attorney 1112 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-745-3750; Lic.#351873 Slayton, Amber L. City of North Port 4970 City Hall Blvd North Port, FL 34286 941-429-7260; Lic.#116071

HEALTH CARE LAW Brownlee, Steven D Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#103246 Moore, John L Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#908118 Rosenberg, Alexis Rosenberg Law, P.A. 1895 Floyd St Ste B Sarasota, FL 34239 941-373-6777; Lic.#335400 Sapp, Joseph Glenn JGS Law, PLLC 1848 Eagles Point Apopka, FL 32712 407-421-4978; Lic.#44902 Stroud, Robert S Blalock Walters P.A. 2 N Tamiami Trl Ste 408 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-748-0100; Lic.#783781

Jaensch, P Christopher Jaensch Immigration Law Firm 2198 Main St Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-9841; Lic.#72044


Carson-Freymann, Catherine M Goodman McGuffey LLP 6751 Professional Pkwy W Ste 103 Sarasota, FL 34240 941-806-2984; Lic.#418986 Douberly, Andrew L Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#88193 Peairs, Jeffrey D Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#875260

INTELLECTURAL PROPERTY RIGHTS Cherry, Douglas A Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#333130 Portnow, Adam B Law Office of Adam B. Portnow, P.L. 2071 Main St Sarasota, FL 34237 941-373-1797; Lic.#56807 Stamoulis, Elizabeth M Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#120765

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT Collier, Jason A Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34230 941-366-6660; Lic.#733318

Compton, Jennifer B Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#128041 Duggan, Patrick J Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#899461 Farb, Gail E Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#619191 Farrelly, Jessica M Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#103055 Fowler-Hermes, Jennifer Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#127442 Herbert, Joseph Norton Hammersley Lopez and Skokos P.A. 1819 Main St Ste 610 Sarasota FL 34236 941-566-1482; Lic.#84260 Sensenig, Christine Hultman Sensenig + Joshi, P.A. 2055 Wood St Ste 208 Sarasota, FL 34234 941-953-2828; Lic.#74276 Walker, Kimberly Page Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#30661

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1800 2nd St. Suite 882 Sarasota FL 34236

W.Matthew Kowtko HONOREE Criminal Defense




BIO Matthew is the owner-managing attorney at the Kowtko Law Group, P.A. Matt’s approach to the practice of law combines pragmatism, innovation, dependability, dedication, and tenacity; he’s a persuasive and successful trial lawyer, as well as an assertive and decisive negotiator. Clients describe him as compassionate, knowledgeable, professional, responsive, and a bull in the courtroom with a keen ability to think clearly and rapidly under pressure. Matthew is a Georgia native and has been helping Sarasota families through some of the most difficult times of their lives since 2014. Legal issues often devolve and quickly become emotionally draining, consuming a person's time, energy, and financial resources; being a family man helps Matt empathize with the stress and the emotional toll that come with dealing with the important and sensitive issues involved in family and criminal law matters, making it easy for him to be a good listener, compassionate, patient, and understand his client’s needs. From the moment you meet Matt he will educate you in the process of your family or criminal law case, and him and his team will start working immediately to build an individualized approach and case strategy tailored to your unique situation to defend and protect your rights.

FLORIDA BAR DATE OF ADMISSION 2014, Middle District of Florida Court

(941) 227-4945

• Sarasota Women’s Resource Center • Legal Aid of Manasota • Sarasota Pregnancy Center

MISSION To deliver superior, efficient, and effective legal services by taking a genuine interest in our client’s needs and objectives, working closely with them to achieve their goals while educating them in the practicalities and complexities of the law. As a firm we will maintain the highest ethical and professional integrity standards while fostering open communication, mutual respect, initiative, innovation, loyalty, and teamwork.

TESTIMONIALS “Matt is extremely knowledgeable, and his negotiation skills are outstanding. He helped us walk away with exactly what we came to him for. The outcome truly changed our lives.” —Shannon Belt “They give great advice, they don’t overcharge, and they know what they’re doing. If you are looking for a pitbull attorney, for a reasonable price, this is the right place.” —Sandy Bennett



Family and Criminal Lawyer

Barry University School of Law, —Juris Doctor, Top 33% Georgia State University, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration & Business Economics

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Honorees/ Index LAND USE ENVIRONMENT Bailey, Charles D III Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#17884 Bailey, Charles D Jr Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#135878 Colburn, Casey The Colburn Firm 7321 Merchant Ct Ste A, Sarasota, FL 34240 941-928-6801; Lic.#647551 Lincoln, Robert K Law Office of Robert K. Lincoln, P.A. 2055 Wood St Ste 206 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-681-8700; Lic.#6122 Mapes, Sara W Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-329-6615; Lic.#112618 Merrill, William W III Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#341207 Patten, Brenda L Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#383236 Rees, Stephen D Jr Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#17460

Thompson, Stephen W Najmy Thompson, P.L. 3400 S. Tamiami Trail Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-907-3999; Lic.#509310

LEGACY Band, David S Band, Gates & Dramis 2070 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8010; Lic.#3287 Blalock, Robert G Blalock Walters P.A. 802 11th St W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-748-0100; Lic.#6601 Burgess, James H Jr Burgess, Harrell, Mancuso, Colton & La Porta, P.A. 1776 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3700; Lic.#280763 Harrell, Donald J Burgess, Harrell, Mancuso, Colton & La Porta, P.A. 1776 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3700; Lic.#343781 Harrison, William T Jr Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#34232 Keane, Gerald B Keane & Keane 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 5 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-7255; Lic.#156572 McLain, George R Sr Metcalfe & McLain, P.A. 100 Wallace Ave., Ste. 260 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-365-4174; Lic.#115510

Seider, William M Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#282960 Seitl, Wayne F Wood, Seitl and Anderson, P.A. 3665 Bee Ridge Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34233 941-954-5772; Lic.#184074 Spivey, Barry F Spivey & Huss, P.A. 1515 Ringling Blvd Ste 885 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-840-1991; Lic.#130660 Vaughan-Birch, Norman Mediation Outside The Box 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 6 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-364-2405; Lic.#116463 Walters, Clifford L III Blalock Walters P.A. 802 11th St W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-748-0100; Lic.#221971 Wuchner, John William 892 Acadia Rd Venice, FL 34293 941-360-0023; Lic.#973017

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE DEFENSE Haskins, Mark A Gulf Coast Mediators 2801 Fruitville Rd Ste 230 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-281-4000; Lic.#881627 Marchbank, Ralph L Jr Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A. 401 N Cattlemen Rd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-366-4680; Lic.#305571

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE PLAINTIFF Bucha, Sandra L McCue, Reams, Bucha & Associates 524 9th St W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-748-1358; Lic.#11780 Eastmoore, Theodore C Eastmoore, Crauwels & DuBose, P.A. 1626 Ringling Blvd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-8888; Lic.#300950 Horne, James M Shapiro | Delgado 433 8th Ave W Palmetto, FL 34221 941-749-1446; Lic.#98994 McArdle, Patrick S Patrick S. McArdle, Esq. 1023 Manatee Ave W Ste 509 Bradenton, FL 34205 941-214-7122; Lic.#99548

PERSONAL INJURY Barak, Anthony D. Barak Law Group 1322 3rd Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-782-8242; Lic.#523380 Battaglia, Alyson Legler Murphy & Battaglia, LLP 2027 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-748-5599; Lic.#56548 Delgado, Jim L Shapiro | Delgado 433 8th Ave W Palmetto, FL 34221 941-749-1446; Lic.#155446

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889 N Washington Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236

Alan L. Perez



BIO Alan’s recipe for success is a mixture of innovative ideas and traditional business values. As a personal injury trial lawyer, Alan focuses his practice on compassionately and aggressively advocating for the injured throughout Florida. Alan’s extensive courtroom experience includes successfully trying numerous cases to verdict. He capitalizes on cutting-edge technology and revolutionary ideas and argument. Outside of the courtroom, Alan achieves outstanding settlement results, setting himself apart with the level of commitment and personal attention he gives each of his clients. This type of service results in positive word-of-mouth referrals, which are the best advertisement that no money can buy. Whether the case involves a motor vehicle crash, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or neglect, or institutional child physical or sexual abuse, Alan’s principals of dedicated service and unrelenting advocacy make for a powerful combination. A Texas native and proud Floridian, Alan reads, writes and speaks Spanish. Florida Super Lawyers Magazine recognized him as a “Rising Star” for the past 9 consecutive years. This designation is bestowed upon no more than 2.5% of Florida lawyers every year based on independent research designed to recognize lawyers who demonstrate excellence and professionalism in practice.



(941) 952-1682



November 14, 2008

12 years of extensive litigation experience, involving numerous jury and non-jury trials.

• “Eagle Member” of the Florida Justice Association • Chair-Elect of the Florida Justice Association’s Solo/Small Firm Section • Active member of the Sarasota County Bar Association • Active member of the Judge John M. Scheb American Inn of Court • Appointee to the Florida Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity • Appointee to The Florida Bar’s Twelfth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee “A” • High School Student Mentor in the Faces of Accomplishment mentorship program • Volunteered as a Booker High School Mock Trial Team Attorney Coach • Volunteered with VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, assisting Spanish-speaking people fill out and file income tax return documents

TESTIMONIALS "We hired Alan Perez at Mallard Law Firm to help my wife and I after being seriously injured in a car accident. Alan exceeded our expectations. He not only resolved our claim tenaciously, quickly, and efficiently. Alan was accessible throughout the process and was thorough in his explanation of the process and any questions we had." —Seth 2/27/19

DEGREES B.A. from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, Texas on May 17, 2005 J.D. from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio on May 10, 2008

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Honorees/ Index DuBose, E Keith Eastmoore, Crauwels & DuBose, P.A. 1626 Ringling Blvd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-8888; Lic.#84999 Fernandez, Stephen Goldman Babboni Fernandez & Walsh 3550 S Tamiami Trail, 3rd Floor Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-1234; Lic.#723673 Goldberg, Christina A Luhrsen Goldberg, LLC 6954 Professional Pkwy E Sarasota, FL 34240 941-212-2600; Lic.#41081 Guy, Jeffrey M Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#92428 Hagopian, Gregory S Gallagher & Hagopian, PL 4420 5th St W Bradenton, FL 34207 941-727-6944; Lic.#980481 Hale, Patrick M Hale Law, P.A. 2803 Fruitville Road, Ste 240 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-735-4529; Lic.#113304

2020 Rising Star Iyampillai, Patrick Hale Law, P.A. 2803 Fruitville Road, Ste 240 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-735-4529; Lic.#1001457 Ketchum, Lindsay J Lindsay Ketchum, P.A. 1800 2nd St Ste 895 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-952-8392; Lic.#113868

Linehan, Gregory P Wittmer & Linehan PLLC 2014 4th St Sarasota, FL 34237 941-263-8314; Lic.#87970 Luhrsen, Julie S Luhrsen Goldberg, LLC 6954 Professional Pkwy E Sarasota, FL 34240 941-212-2600; Lic.#163848 Mallard, Damian Mallard Law Firm 889 N Washington Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-952-1682; Lic.#882348 Ortiz, Michael A Michael A. Ortiz, P.A. 535 Lafayette Ct Sarasota, FL 34236 941-706-9000; Lic.#794414 Perez, Alan L Mallard Law Firm 889 N Washington Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-952-1682; Lic.#60409 Robertson, Bill The Robertson Law Firm 889 N Washington Blvd Sarasota, FL 34230 941-364-2455; Lic.#436607 Telfair, Charles W Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A. 2 N Tamiami Trl Fl 5 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-951-1800; Lic.#883964 Walsh, Bernard F Goldman Babboni Fernandez & Walsh 3550 S Tamiami Trail, 3rd Floor Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-1234; Lic.#263826 Westheimer, F Scott Syprett, Meshad, Resnick, Lieb, Dumbaugh, Jones, Krotec & Westheimer, P.A. 1900 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-7171; Lic.#100242

Young, Roger L Law Office of Roger L. Young, P.A. 2831 Ringling Blvd Ste 107B Sarasota, FL 34237 941-906-1980; Lic.#349607

PRODUCT LIABILITY Maglio, Altom M Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. 1605 Main St Ste 710 Sarasota, FL 34236 888-952-5242; Lic.#88005 Sayeg, Ilyas Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. 1605 Main St Ste 710 Sarasota, FL 34236 888-952-5242; Lic.#99140 Stephan, Michele S Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. 1605 Main St Ste 710 Sarasota, FL 34236 888-952-5242; Lic.#96628

REAL ESTATE Belle, Michael J Law Office of Michael J. Belle 2364 Fruitville Rd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-955-9212; Lic.#840882 Berlin, Evan N Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#980919 Carr, Kathryn Angell Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#363618 Cason, Nancy E Syprett, Meshad, Resnick, Lieb, Dumbaugh, Jones, Krotec & Westheimer, P.A. 1900 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-7171; Lic.#574244

Chapman, Kenneth D Jr Bowman, George, Scheb, Kimbrough, Koach & Chapman, P.A. 2750 Ringling Blvd Ste 3 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-5510; Lic.#863394 Christy, Erin Hope Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#60510 Coldiron, Natalie G Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#99420 Conaboy, Andrew J Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#114391 Currin, Peter T Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#190446 DeMarsh, Benjamin T Dunlap & Moran, P.A. 22 S. Links Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-0115; Lic.#119878 Dorrill, Saralyn Abel Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#3387 Ebling, Jamie Adam Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#369284

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Honorees/ Index Edwards, Sheryl The Edwards Law Firm, PL 500 S Washington Blvd Ste 400 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-363-0110; Lic.#57495

McComb, William C Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#87063

Saba, Richard D Law Office Of Richard D. Saba, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 400 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-952-0990; Lic.#175810

2020 Rising Star Brosious, Erin Michelle Ms. Erin Michelle Brosious 1051 Manatee Ave W Fl 7 Bradenton, FL 34205 941-747-6436; Lic.#1004121

Shaw, Timothy S Blalock Walters P.A. 2 N Tamiami Trl Ste 400 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-748-0100; Lic.#331661

2020 Rising Star Buckman, Allie R Buckman and Buckman, P.A. 2023 Constitution Blvd Sarasota, FL 34231 941-923-7700; Lic.#118584

Featherstone, Ryan A Dunlap & Moran, P.A. 22 S. Links Ave Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-0115; Lic.#17824

McKay, Telese B Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#179371

Gates, Chad L Band, Gates & Dramis 2070 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8010; Lic.#981095

Moore, Lisa Gonzalez Moore Law 9040 Town Center Pkwy Bradenton, FL 34202 941-822-8780; Lic.#484377

Thomas, Aaron M Najmy Thompson, P.L. 3400 S. Tamiami Trail, Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-907-3999; Lic.#116747

Horstkamp, Julie A Horstkamp Law Firm PLLC 901 Venetia Bay Blvd Ste 260 Venice, FL 34285 941-584-2060; Lic.#149446

Najmy, Louis J Najmy Thompson, P.L. 3400 S. Tamiami Trail Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-907-3999; Lic.#158402

Infanti, Michael P Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, P.A. 1819 Main St Ste 610 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-954-4691; Lic.#483590

Nohren, Alyssa M Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#352410

Tirabassi, E Ralph Fergeson Skipper Attorneys at Law 1515 Ringling Blvd Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-957-1900; Lic.#245097

Kelly, Sean M Najmy Thompson, P.L. 3400 S. Tamiami Trail Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-907-3999; Lic.#106435

Pflugner, J Geoffrey Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#152304

Koontz, Jo Ann Koontz & Associates, PL 1613 Fruitville Rd Sarasota, FL 34236 941-225-2615; Lic.#29111 Lawrence, Richard SRQ Property Law, PLLC 1800 2nd St Ste 888 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-479-8500; Lic.#30463 Luzier, Thomas B Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#899194

Pitchford, Jan W Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#507784 Riddell, Cynthia Riddell Law Group 3400 S Tamiami Trl Ste 202 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-366-1300; Lic.#51456 Ryskamp, Patrick W Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#178179

Turner, James L Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#285560 Villaveces, Juan C Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#188042 Wickman, John E Ulrich, Scarlett, Wickman & Dean, P.A. 713 S Orange Ave Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-955-5100; Lic.#46884

RISING STARS 2020 Rising Star Ackley Suarez, Andrea Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#119047

2020 Rising Star Castro, Colton F Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#125370 2020 Rising Star Christie, Nicole F Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#1003223 2020 Rising Star Cowgill, Michael J Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. 1605 Main St Ste 710 Sarasota, FL 34236 888-952-5242; Lic.#1010945 2020 Rising Star DeMeuse, Gregory S Blalock Walters P.A. 802 11th St W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-748-0100; Lic.#1003636 2020 Rising Star Fall, Katherine M Boyer & Boyer, P.A. 46 N Washington Blvd Ste 21 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-2304; Lic.#1008504

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Honorees/ Index 2020 Rising Star Garcia Cordovés, Roberto M Najmy Thompson, P.L. 3400 S. Tamiami Trail, Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-907-3999; Lic.#1020001 2020 Rising Star Grollman, Jacob Grollman Law 544 12th St W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-896-6775; Lic.#118711 2020 Rising Star Gurley, Alex Gurley & Associates 601 S Osprey Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-4501; Lic.#126321 2020 Rising Star Koepsel, Jamie E Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#125975 2020 Rising Star Matechik, Matthew The Matechik Law Firm, P.A. 2477 Stickney Point Rd Ste 107B Sarasota, FL 34231 941-926-6755; Lic.#126342 2020 Rising Star Murphy, Daniel Goldman Babboni Fernandez & Walsh 3550 S Tamiami Trail, 3rd Floor Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-1234; Lic.#119576 2020 Rising Star Nicodemi, Alexandria Catherina Manatee County Attorney's Office 1112 Manatee Ave W Unit 969 Bradenton, FL 34205 941-745-3750; Lic.#124794

2020 Rising Star Parker, Corey R Najmy Thompson, P.L. 3400 S. Tamiami Trail, Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-907-3999; Lic.#1018370 2020 Rising Star Pasquali, Jamie Nicole Office of the Public Defender 2071 Ringling Blvd Fl 5 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-861-5500; Lic.#117555 2020 Rising Star Perakis, Dino Dino Law 2151 Main St Ste 100, Sarasota, Florida 34237 941-524-1272; Lic.#115155 2020 Rising Star Pratt, Thomas A Goodman McGuffey LLP 6751 Professional Pkwy W Ste 103 Sarasota, FL 34240 941-806-2986; Lic.#122239 2020 Rising Star Price, Nicole M Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#1008117 2020 Rising Star Robinson, M Brandon Barnes, Walker, Goethe, Perron, & Shea, PLLC 3119 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-741-8224; Lic.#119364 2020 Rising Star Salmonsen, Chelsea V Goodman McGuffey LLP 6751 Professional Pkwy W Ste 103 Sarasota, FL 34240 941-806-2987; Lic.#1002603

2020 Rising Star Seidensticker, Patrick Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#1018473 2020 Rising Star Senior, Justin P Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#1004223 2020 Rising Star Shook, Alyssa L Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#1003179 2020 Rising Star Snell, Maris K V Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#125585 2020 Rising Star Toups, Bishop L Law Offices of Daily & Toups 2014 4th St Sarasota, FL 34237 941-357-7379; Lic.#120525 2020 Rising Star Williams, Tamara Joi Office of the Public Defender 2071 Ringling Blvd Fl 5 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-861-5500; Lic.#127625 2020 Rising Star Wood, Charles A Jr Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#118970

SECURITIES LAW Clayton, Drew Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#739464 Graham, Worth Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. 2033 Main St Ste 600 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-366-8100; Lic.#92417

SPORTS LAW Unkel, Christina E Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. 1605 Main St Ste 710 Sarasota, FL 34236 888-952-5242; Lic.#99203

TAX LAW King, Mary Law Office of Mary E. King P.L. 3389 Magic Oak Ln Sarasota, FL 34232 941-906-7585; Lic.#987001 McLaughlin, Thomas J Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#772291 Wagner, E John II Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#167551

TRAFFIC LAW Finebloom, Darren Finebloom Haenel & Higgins PA 2445 Fruitville Rd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-444-4444; Lic.#336660

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Honorees/ Index Haenel, David The Law Place 2445 Fruitville Rd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-444-4444; Lic.#494712

Caswell, Christopher Berlin Patten Ebling PLLC 3700 S Tamiami Trl Ste 200 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-954-9991; Lic.#371211

Rizzo, AnneMarie The Law Place 2445 Fruitville Rd Sarasota, FL 34237 941-444-4444; Lic.#35007

Elmore, Douglas J Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#20858

WILLS Archbold, J Allison Archbold Law Firm, P.A. 2389 Ringling Blvd Ste A Sarasota, FL 34237 941-960-8825; Lic.#115088 Band, Gregory S Band Law Group 1 S School Ave Ste 500 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-917-0505; Lic.#869902 Burchett, Charla M Shutts & Bowen LLP 1858 Ringling Blvd Ste 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-552-3500; Lic.#813230 Casanueva, Melissa Butler Elder Law, P.A. 8784 East SR 70, Ste 102 Bradenton, FL 34202 941-254-6611; Lic.#105788

Goethe, Jeffrey S Barnes, Walker, Goethe, Perron, & Shea, PLLC 3119 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205 941-741-8224; Lic.#861420 Gordon, Cheryl L Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP 240 S Pineapple Ave Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-6660; Lic.#284483

Fowler, Christopher J Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, P.A. 1819 Main St Ste 610 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-954-4691; Lic.#104085

Gregoria, Ric Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#908551

Frano, Rose-Anne B Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#592218

Heedy, Alisa M Fergeson Skipper, P.A. 1515 Ringling Blvd Fl 10 Sarasota, FL 34236 941-957-1900; Lic.#119749

Gerling, Dana Laganella Affordable Attorney Gerling Law Group Chartered 6148 State Road 70 Bradenton, FL 34203 941-756-6600; Lic.#503991 Gerling, Rodney D Affordable Attorney Gerling Law Group Chartered 6148 State Road 70 Bradenton, FL 34203 941-756-6600; Lic.#554340

Lee, H Greg H. Greg Lee, P.A. 2601 Cattlemen Rd. Ste 503 Sarasota, FL 34232 941-954-0067; Lic.#351301 Najmy, Joseph L Najmy Thompson, P.L. 3400 S. Tamiami Trail, Ste 201 Sarasota, FL 34239 941-907-3999; Lic.#847283

Payne, David W The Payne Law Group, PLLC 766 Hudson Ave Ste C Sarasota, FL 34236 941-487-2800; Lic.#958530 Shaffer, William Bouziane and Shaffer Law 2170 Main St Ste 103 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-404-4940; Lic.#65952 Troiano, Jeffrey T Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen 200 S Orange Ave Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-4800; Lic.#31557

WORKER'S COMPENSATION Cromley, Terri F Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. 714 Manatee Ave E Ste C Bradenton, FL 34208 877-728-9653; Lic.#118230 Eure, Rosemary B Lancaster & Eure 711 N. Washington Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34236 941-365-7575; Lic.#797782 Kalo, Lisa Kalo & Verheul, P.A. 2580 University Pkwy Sarasota, FL 34243 941-359-2580; Lic.#898960

Program Methodology SUMMARY To create the list, the magazine contracted DataJoe Research to facilitate an online peer-voting process and Internet research process. DataJoe Research is a software and research company specializing in data collection and verification, and conducts various nominations across the United States on behalf of publishers. To create the list, DataJoe Research facilitated an online peer-voting process. DataJoe checked and confirmed that each published winner had, at time of review, a current, active license status with the appropriate state regulatory board. If we were not able to find evidence of a lawyer's current, active registration with the state regulatory board, that lawyer was excluded from the list. In addition, we checked available public sources to identify lawyers disciplined for an infraction by the state regulatory board. These entities were excluded from the list. Finally, DataJoe presented the tallied result to the magazine for its final review and adjustments. FINAL NOTE We recognize that there are many good lawyers who are not shown in this representative list. This is only a sampling of the huge array of talented professionals within the region. Inclusion in the list is based on the opinions of responding lawyers in the region. We take time and energy to ensure fair voting, although we understand that the results of this survey nomination and Internet research campaign are not an objective metric. We certainly do not discount the fact that many, many good and effective lawyers may not appear on the list. DISCLAIMERS DataJoe uses best practices and exercises great care in assembling content for this list. DataJoe does not warrant that the data contained within the list are complete or accurate. DataJoe does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. All rights reserved. No commercial use of the information in this list may be made without written permission from DataJoe. QUESTIONS For research/methodology questions, contact the research team at 102 | srq magazine_ SEPT/OCT20 live local — elite top attorneys awards section


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HONOREE Wills BIO J. Allison Archbold began her career as an estate planner in Sarasota in 2007 after serving as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps. She became board certified in wills, trusts, and estates in 2011. She is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named to the Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers lists. She is a member of the Executive Council of The Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section. MISSION My firm and I are committed to practicing law with integrity and providing the highest level of legal representation and customer service at fair prices.

J. Allison Archbold



September 25, 1997

23 years



A.B. 1994 Cornell University J.D. 1997 University of Miami


Board Certified in Wills, Trusts and Estates

CONTACT INFORMATION 2389 Ringling Blvd, Ste. A Sarasota, FL 34237 (941) 960-8825

LL.M. in Estate Planning 2007 University of Miami

HONOREE Eminent Domain BIO Paul Blucher, Esquire has been practicing eminent domain law in Florida since 1990. In 1997 he founded Blucher Law Group, PLLC dedicated to protecting property owners and business owners’ rights against the government. Blucher notes, “We help clients understand their rights – that attorney’s fees and costs are paid by the government and that owners are entitled to be paid full compensation for the taking of their property, compensation which may be more than the government's appraised value. TESTIMONIALS “Paul Blucher possesses all of the qualities of a great attorney: exceptional expertise, ethical conduct, compassion and concern for clients. His advice and counsel allowed us to successfully navigate one of the most difficult periods we have ever experienced.” — Melanie Michaels, Ph.D and David Sorg, property owners June 2020 FLORIDA BAR DATE OF ADMISSION

Paul Blucher, Esq.

September 24, 1990. Member: Florida Bar Eminent Domain Committee 1990, Federal Bar MD Fla. 1997; Fla. Bar Real Property Probate & Trust Law Section.

PRACTICES Eminent Domain, Real Estate Litigation, Real Estate Title Closings and Title Insurance

CONTACT INFORMATION 7300 Delainey Court Sarasota, Florida 34240 (941) 361-1145



University of Pittsburgh, School of Law JD 1990

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HONOREE Rising Star BIO I am a Florida native who was raised in a Big Fat Greek Family. After college, I traveled to Seoul, South Korea, where I taught English for 11 months. After law school, I returned to Daytona Beach to practice law and be near my father. In 2015, I visited Sarasota for the first time and within 30 seconds knew I would make this place home. Before I opened my firm I worked at Fowler Law Group and am grateful for that experience. PHILOSOPHY Any challenge can be overcome by doing the right thing for the right reasons, one-step at a time no matter how overwhelming it may be. The aim is to perform the best job we are able to guide our clients through their hardest times in the legal arena. NEW LICENSES Middle District of Florida, Federal Court (2015) & Southern District of Florida, Federal Court (2019) DEGREES

Dino Perakis DINO LAW

Florida State University, 2009 Florida Coastal School of Law, 2014 Legal Studies Institute, Washington DC, 2012; Constitutional Originalism and the Federalist Papers Certificate


PRACTICES Trials (Criminal Defense, Personal Injury), Estate Planning

CONTACT INFORMATION 2151 Main Street, Ste 100 Sarasota, Florida 34237 Satellite Office: 595 W. Granada Blvd, Ste L, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174 (941) 524-1272

HONOREE Real Estate BIO Mr. Featherstone is a locally born, AV Preeminent® real estate and business law attorney with a practice focused on residential and commercial real estate transactions, including title analysis, title curing, and title insurance and representation of individual and business entities in the buying, selling, developing, and leasing of residential and commercial property. His practice also includes the representation of clients in the purchase and sale of all types of businesses. His services include contract negotiation/drafting, resolving disputes, and conducting real estate and business closings. He is also approved counsel for various national and community banks, and is involved in the legal analysis, documentation and closing of secured and unsecured loan transactions. MISSION I adhere to the highest ethical standards in pursuing my clients’ interests, and work diligently to remain abreast of the latest developments in laws impacting my areas of practice. The relationships I establish with clients typically develop into strong, longstanding ties, the outgrowth of which is the bulk of my referrals come from satisfied clients.

Ryan A. Featherstone

DEGREES Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Finance from University of Florida (2001) and J.D. from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California (2005)



Sarasota and Manatee County Jurisdiction

CONTACT INFORMATION rfeatherstone@ 22 S. Links Ave., Ste. 300, Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 366-0115

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HONOREE Wills BIO Attorney H. Greg Lee has been named to Florida Trend Magazine's prestigious list of Legal Elite attorneys. This honor is a recognition by an attorney's peers as to their high level of legal services. Mr. Lee concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration. He has been practicing in the Sarasota, Venice, & Bradenton area for 38 years, maintaining offices in East Sarasota and Venice. Having an LLM in Taxation allows Mr. Lee to bring an added dimension to his practice. Mr. Lee is a member of the Sarasota Bar Association; Florida Bar Association; Real Property, Probate and Trust section of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court. MISSION To provide high quality and efficient legal services in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration at a competitive cost.

H. Greg Lee H. GREG LEE, P.A.




38 years

Practicing in Florida


Hendrix College, B.A. Business/ Economics - 1978 Advanced Studies, London School of Economics - 1976 University of Arkansas, Little Rock, J.D. - 1981 University of Miami, Miami, FL LLM Taxation – 1982

CONTACT INFORMATION 2601 Cattlemen Rd., Ste. 503 Sarasota, FL 34232 (941) 954-0067 735 East Venice Ave. Venice, FL (941) 484-0067

HONOREE Commercial Litigation BIO Darren R. Inverso is the Managing Attorney at the Inverso Law Group specializing in Construction and Commercial Litigation, Real Estate law, Corporate law, Association law, Estate and Probate matters and Creditors rights. Mr. Inverso has been practicing law in Sarasota County for over 20 years is a member of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, Gulf Coast CEO Forum, the Gulf Coast Builder’s Exchange, the Sarasota Home Builder’s Association and the Downtown Sarasota Condo Association. MISSION Inverso Law Group is a well-established firm that assists corporations, small businesses, and individuals with a wide range of legal matters in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and throughout Florida. FLORIDA BAR DATE OF ADMISSION 2001


DEGREES Western New England University School of Law: Law School, J.D., 2000 University of Massachusetts at Amherst, B.A, 1997

ASSOCIATIONS Florida State Bar, Sarasota County Bar Association, Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, Gulf Coast Builder’s Exchange, Sarasota Home Builders Association, Gulf Coast CEO Forum

CONTACT INFORMATION 1800 Second Street, Ste 884 Sarasota, Florida 34236 (941) 926-6039 Mobile: (941) 320-6136

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HONOREE Rising Star BIO A lifelong resident of Sarasota, Jake Grollman concentrates his legal work solely on criminal defense and has represented individuals charged with various misdemeanor and felony offenses. During his career as a defense attorney, Jake has tried numerous jury trials, from DUIs to Attempted Murder. He works relentlessly to protect the rights of the accused and has proven his ability to get results, whether in front of a judge or jury. He is committed to providing the attentive service and representation necessary to obtain the most favorable outcome for his clients and their future. MISSION In today’s world, when I have the privilege of representing your liberty interest, it is more important than ever that I maintain an unwavering commitment to fighting for your Constitutional Rights.


Jacob Grollman

University of Central Florida B.A. (2011); Florida State University College of Law J.D. (2015)

FLORIDA BAR DATE OF ADMISSION September 28, 2015 All Florida


State Courts, U.S. Federal District Court - Middle District of Florida

544 12th St. West Bradenton, FL 34205


(941) 896-6775

Criminal Defense


HONOREE Personal Injury BIO I have spent my entire legal career representing injured individuals and I would not have it any other way. There is something incredibly satisfying to me about representing an individual and getting them what they are entitled to, often times outnumbered by a team of lawyers who are working for the insurance industry. I pride myself on taking an individualized approach to every case and treating every client like a person, not just a number. TESTIMONIAL "Attorney Battaglia was the best! If they had a 10 star, she would get it! She was kind and understanding and always returned my calls or emails in a timely and efficient manner. If you have been injured make the call to her you won't regret it."


Alyson Battaglia

2008 - J.D. Barry University School of Law 2003 - B.A. Loyola University



CONTACT INFORMATION 677 N Washington Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34236 2027 Manatee Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205 (941) 748-5599

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HONOREE Family Law BIO Ms. Loftus is a family law attorney who has practiced in Sarasota and Manatee Counties since 2002. She was licensed to practice law in 1984, in Chicago, Illinois. In 1994, she became licensed in Florida. Loftus enjoys her practice and her clients, with whom she works closely to provide individualized service. It is important to her that clients feel welcome, understood, and informed. Ms. Loftus favors negotiated and agreed resolutions where possible and is an active collaborative law practitioner. Some cases are not collaborative and cannot be agreed, however, and when litigating Loftus is steadfast, purposeful and determined. She is a vigorous and experienced advocate.Loftus balances her professional life with volunteerism. MISSION Loftus Law is here to provide individualized legal services to clients who are going through lifechanging family law issues, and who wish to have those issues handled promptly, with sensitivity, proficiency, and discernment. RECOGNITION

Leslie Loftus LOFTUS LAW

2018 -2020 – Leslie Loftus designated a “Super Lawyer”, an honor afforded to only 5% of Florida lawyers, after rigorous independent review and nomination by peers. AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell since 1996. Awarded the C.L. McKaig award for professionalism. 2018 – Leslie Loftus recognized in the 2018 Edition of Florida Legal Trend magazine as one of Florida’s “Legal Elite.” This was an honor based on peer review, and Ms. Loftus was the only Sarasota/Manatee family law lawyer recognized this year.

CONTACT INFORMATION 783 S. Orange Ave., Ste. 300 Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 444-7278

HONOREE Civil Law Litigation BIO G. Robert McLain Jr. is a litigation-oriented attorney representing commercial and individual clients in civil, criminal, and family law matters. He began his legal career at a prominent law firm in Washington, D.C., before returning home to Sarasota to practice law with his father. Since then, he has successfully litigated against individuals, corporations, and a foreign government and has helped clients resolve commercial disputes, malpractice claims, probate disagreements, torts, criminal charges, and marital dissolutions. FIRM PHILOSOPHY At Metcalfe & McLain, we believe that effective representation requires more than aggressive advocacy. It requires rationality, reason, and decency. Whether the case is a civil, criminal, or family matter, we practice Civil Florida Law.


G. Robert McLain Jr. Metcalfe & McLain, P.A.

DEGREES George Mason University School of Law, J.D., Magna Cum Laude, 2008 University of Florida, B.A., (Philosophy, minor in English), 1998.

AFFILIATIONS Sarasota County Bar Association, Family Law Section, Florida Bar, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, John M. Scheb American Inn of Court (Barrister)

CONTACT INFORMATION rob.mclain@ 100 Wallace Ave. Ste. 260 Sarasota, FL 34237 (941) 365-4174

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HONOREE Construction BIO Mr. Sanchez obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, with High Honors, and received his Juris Doctor from UF where he was a member and editor of the UF Law Review. He has practiced law in Sarasota for over 30 years. From 1997 through 2012, Mr. Sanchez also was a managing partner of a real estate development and homebuilding business. He is also a certified building contractor license. Mr. Sanchez represents businesses, owners, contractors and associations in all dispute resolution matters, including litigation and arbitration. Mr. Sanchez is a member of the Florida Supreme Court Business and Contracts Jury Instruction Committee. He is also a member of the City of Sarasota Historic Preservation board.

Albert A. Sanchez

CONTACT INFORMATION MISSION The goal of Sanchez Law is to provide its clients with an understanding of the law applicable to their contract or dispute, thereby enabling them to 2055 Wood St., Ste. 220 Sarasota, Florida 34237

make strategic business decisions and

(941) 366-0001

accomplish the best possible result.


HONOREE Labor and Employment BIO Christine Sensenig is the managing partner of The Sensenig Law Firm, P.A. She provides human resources and employment law advice as well as litigation defense to employers of all sizes in all aspects of the employment relationship To build strong long-term relationships with clients, the Firm explores the “why” behind a client’s concerns. In employment law, clients have needs in “real time” and the Firm believes in being an accessible resource to our clients. “I do my best because I am counting on you counting on me.” — Maya Angelou

Christine Sensenig



1995, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Florida Trend Magazine Legal Elite, 2009-2020

1992, University of Florida, M.L.A., B.A. 1988.

SuperLawyer, 2015-2020 AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell 2015 to present

CONTACT INFORMATION csensenig@ 1515 Ringling Blvd., Ste. 230 Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 953-2828

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HONOREE Criminal Defense BIO Derek Byrd was born and raised in Sarasota. He graduated from Florida State University in 1990 and graduated from Quinnipiac College of Law in 1995. Derek is Board Certified in Criminal Defense. He is a Past President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Sarasota County Bar. In 2019, he was awarded the Jim Slater Professionalism Award. Derek is also on the Board of Directors of the Innocence Project of Florida. MISSION Our mission is to provide outstanding legal representation in the areas of criminal defense and family law in the Sarasota/Bradenton area and to represent each client as if they are a member of our own family.


Derek Byrd

May 23, 1996


Florida Jurisdiction




1990, B.A. Criminology Florida State University

1995, Juris Doctorate Quinnipiac College of Law

(941) 954-3400

2151 Main St., Ste. 201 Sarasota, FL 34237

HONOREE Land Use and Environmental Law "Much of my firm’s work comes from other lawyers," says firm Principal, Casey Colburn. "Being entrusted to assist their valued clients is the highest honor. Thanks to SRQ for providing a forum for our legal community to recognize Top Attorneys." Over 25 years, Casey earned a national reputation for solving problems among clientele ranging from Dow 30 conglomerates to fixed-income seniors. When Casey arrived in "sleepy" and seasonal Sarasota nearly 20 years ago, he dove-into Sarasota-Manatee civic life. A founding director of the Sarasota Young Professionals Group, and a leader in local, state and international civic, charitable and professional organizations, the community’s year-round vibrancy, skylines, and shorelines reflect Casey’s involvement. MISSION The Colburn Firm helps solve real estate matters complicated by federal, state and local government regulation and enforcement, waterfront, land use and development issues, green building, environmental permitting, due diligence and docks.


Casey Colburn

Zoning, Land Use & Conservation Environmental Permitting and Enforcement. Cleanup, Remediation and Redevelopment. Federal, State and Local Approvals. Real Estate Due Diligence and Development. Shopping Center Law. Green Building. Code Enforcement. Federal, State and Local Legislation. Waterfront Permitting and Development. Docks and Riparian Rights

CONTACT INFORMATION 7321 Merchant Ct, Ste. A Sarasota, FL 34240 (941) 928-6801 (850) 692-9656

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HONOREE ATTORNEYS FOR NONPROFITS BIO Betsy Pennewill serves as corporate counsel at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, working with donors and professional advisors to craft planned giving agreements. She is also skilled in real estate transactions and estate planning matters. Pennewill is a member of the Public Policy Committee of the Southeastern Council of Foundations and the board president of Charitable Gift Planners of Southwest Florida. She is also a member of the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council. MISSION Community Impact Powered by Philanthropy: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County unites people and organizations to create opportunities across generations to improve lives. Each one of us has the potential to impact a person, cause, community. Be The One. DEGREES


Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Stetson University College of Law, 1998 Graduated from Miami University with a degree in Finance, 1990


License to practice law in Florida since 1998.


CONTACT INFORMATION 2635 Fruitville Rd. Sarasota, FL 34237 (941) 556-7152

17 years

Florida Jurisdiction

HONOREE ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION BIO Steve was born in Tampa and is a sixth generation Floridian. Steve graduated from Florida State University in 1977 and Memphis State College of Law in 1985. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 1985, he has practiced law and mediated civil disputed throughout Florida. As a litigator, he tried numerous cases to verdict, representing both plaintiffs and defendants involved in personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, commercial litigation, and real property disputes. Steve was board certified by the Florida Bar in civil trial ligation from 1992 until 2012. He became certified by the Supreme Court of Florida in mediation in 1996. Since then, he has mediated over 7,500 cases involving many areas of civil law. He is certified by the Federal Court Middle District of Florida and is a member and former board member of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. Steve has been a member of various professional and honorary organizations, including American Bar Association, Florida Bar Association, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Eleventh District, Sarasota County Bar Association, Vice Chair of the Twelfth Judicial Grievance Committee, President of The American Board of Trial Advocates of Sarasota, Director of The American College of Civil Trial Mediators, Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, Certified CONTACT INFORMATION Mediator by the Florida Supreme Court, Certified Federal Court Mediator and steve@ A.V. Rated by Martin-Dale Hubbard.


Since 2006, Steve has practiced with Joseph Lieb in the firm of West Coast Mediators specializing in mediations for civil litigation. Their goal is to bring about an amicable resolution to a civil dispute prior to having litigants undergo the stresses of trial and the potential financial burden an adverse verdict can bring upon them.

PO Box 2008 Sarasota, FL 34230 (941) 792-1695

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HONOREE Personal Injury BIO Greg Linehan grew up in Sarasota before leaving to attend college at the University of Florida. After receiving his Bachelors Degree, he attended law school in Miami. In 1997, he relocated back to Sarasota to be near family and friends while building his practice in Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation law. Mr. Linehan became a partner at Wittmer | Linehan in 2007. He primarily focuses on Personal Injury law, including auto and motorcycle accidents as well as Worker’s Compensation cases and Social Security Disability claims. Greg enjoys the ability to use his expertise to help members of the Sarasota community, whether through his practice of law or by serving on the board of various local community based organizations.


Gregory Linehan WITTMER | LINEHAN


U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1997

DEGREES St Thomas University School of Law, Miami, Florida, 1996 J.D., Juris Doctor University of Florida, 1990, B.A., Bachelor of Arts

CONTACT INFORMATION glinehan@ 2014 4th Street Sarasota FL 34237 (941) 365-2296

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Fall 2020

Below: Spending time with the family outdoors at the many parks and trails.



Positive Living at The Ranch

Our Beloved Hometown

It’s our community. And right now community means a lot. It means everything. Lakewood Ranch has spent years as one of the most successful and fastest-growing planned destinations in America. It’s true that you only really know the quality of a place and a people when times are challenging, and of course, the COVID pandemic has been precisely that. And the community of the Ranch has responded with an energy and positivity of which all residents should be proud. The opportunity to be outside in the sunshine and gorgeous weather waving to neighbors who are also enjoying the outdoors has made social distancing so much easier. We’ve had local businesses, and resources lead the way in reopening safely. For years, Lakewood Ranch has hummed with growth and energy, and when the world suddenly shifted into low gear, it was amazing to see that the community we had built adapted as well. Neighbors supported neighbors, and our many beautiful outdoor spaces filled with people, masked or carefully six-feet-apart, waving hello and wishing each other good health and wellness. There has never been a better time to be living on The Ranch.

Did you know the best-selling community for all ages in the entire country is located right here in Sarasota? Our hometown, Lakewood Ranch offers more than 20 unique villages to choose from, each with its own style and amenities. Some have golf courses, others have walkable town centers. All are within minutes of Lakewood Ranch’s A-rated schools, trails and parks, a sports campus, Sarasota Polo Club, a farmers’ market and 365 days worth of activities, arts and entertainment. In fact, there’s so much here that’s believed to positively impact well-being, that Lakewood Ranch has been voted the Best Health and Fitness Community by IDEAL Living, and has even been selected as the home for a landmark, multi-generational research initiative that will have global impact on brain health. Just 25 minutes from the white-sand beaches of Sarasota and close to all the cultural attractions of Tampa, Lakewood Ranch is by far one of the best places to call home. Learn more at LAURA COLE Lakewood Ranch, SPRING 2020 Partnering Sponsor of Living Lakewood

WES ROBERTS SRQ MEDIA | Executive Publisher

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FEATURES Riding in the Ranch, 8 Road extensions, water taxis and electric cars are part of the future of transit in, around, and throughout Lakewood Ranch. Navigation A listing guide to dining, shopping, private schools, things to do and business organizations encompassing the fastest growing neighborhood in the country. Global Flavors, 16 With a boom of international flavors on the rise in Lakewood Ranch, take a culinary tour around the world without leaving the neighborhood. Great Outdoors, Ranch Style, 22 As the summer heat relents and more people take to the blue and green to enjoy the area’s natural beauty, Ranchers can be seen frequenting a multitude of outdoor opportunities and activities. This page: Beef Chow Fun from Dim Sum King, photography by Wyatt Kostygan. Exploring the walkways and bikeways of Lakewood Ranch parks image courtesy of Lakewood Ranch. Cover: Lomo Saltado from Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant, photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

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Road extensions, water taxis and electric cars are part of the future of transit in Lakewood Ranch.



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THE CONSTRUCTION OF A LAKEWOOD RANCH BOULEVARD extension prompted celebration in Lakewood Ranch. Officially opened March 2, government leaders gathered to mark the momentous connection of the relatively young community’s main thoroughfare to Fruitville Road, along the most frequented gateway from interstates into Sarasota. Rex Jensen, president and CEO of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch called the completion of the Lakewood Ranch Boulevard projects and the nearby Lorraine Road expansion projects of “regional significance… not for just Lakewood Ranch residents but everyone in Manatee and Sarasota counties.”

RIDING IN THE RANCH As it happens, the timing of the event came as a pandemic arrived, slowing or stopping commerce in the region and state. But planners take the long view and say the project remains important to the area’s future. “The extension of Lorraine Road and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard to Fruitville have been critical for connecting Lakewood Ranch with Sarasota, keeping traffic off I-75, and providing unfettered access to Waterside and Waterside Place,” said Laura Cole, senior vice president of Lakewood Ranch Communities. “Completion of Uihlein Road and Bourneside Boulevard on the eastern border will connect state roads 70 and 64, and provide north/south alternatives to Lorraine Road, and provide a road system for the villages in The Ranch’s northeast sector.” Cole said plans to extend 44th Avenue East to connect Cortez Road west to Lakewood Ranch aims to add capacity for 30,000 vehicles per day, which in turn will ease capacity on State Roads 70 and 64. David Hutchinson, executive director of the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization, said it’s important these roads come online now as the Ranch continues growing eastward. Because of the nature

of a planned community risen from land, undeveloped until the late 90s, it’s important road corridors establish. “We will see a grid of road networks out east, though it won’t be perhaps as robust as in the established past of the region which have a more substantial grid and more activity already,” he said. Translation: two roads won’t turn Lakewood Ranch into Downtown Sarasota or Bradenton overnight. But then, that’s not necessarily what this 21st century community aims to be. Developers started to explore mixed-use development in areas of Lakewood Ranch like the new Waterside, where hundreds of apartments and townhouses are being rented or sold. Of course, that’s on top of new 4,000 freestanding homes, so it’s clear Ranch plans remain focused on lower densities than found in urban centers. That means planned water taxis and pedestrian-bicycle trails will be attractive amenities in Lakewood Ranch’s future, but vehicle traffic will still be mobility king for a while. Throughout the effort, Cole said trips around town become shorter, and reasons to drive great distances became fewer as more banks, stores and restaurants pop up. “Lakewood Ranch’s master plan was designed to be a mixed-

use community, providing shortened distances to neighborhood conveniences and services,” she said. “Half-way through buildout, Lakewood Ranch now has the critical mass and infrastructure in place to facilitate no more than 1.5- to 2.0-mile trips for most of its residents to reach a grocery store, school, or even place of employment. That said, we have an aging population in certain villages and greater mobility needs at times of peak activity in the community due to lifestyle and sporting events. We also have commuters to St. Petersburg and Tampa, all of which have prompted us to study trip generation and alternative mobility strategies for our growing community.” Hutchison said there’s also the possibility for different types of transit in the Ranch’s future. What exactly that looks like changes as the market rapidly evolves. Developers already make accommodations for electric vehicle charging stations. But there’s also been growth in rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. That could further revolutionize with self-driving cars in ways only imagined. “There’s a million factors changing our future transportation needs,” he said. “We’re still assuming and planning for increases in traffic and vehicles on roads.” LL

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DINING Another Broken Egg Café

A neighborhood favorite, Another Broken Egg offers breakfast and lunch. Get the Very French Toast topped with bananas, berries, walnuts, cinnamon and whipped cream for a sweet morning, throw in a mango mimosa to make it even sweeter. Broken Egg offers two-forone specials on domestic beers and house wines on Friday a ernoons. Breakfast and lunch. 6115 Exchange Way, Lakewood Ranch, 941-388-6898.

Big Olaf Creamy

Take a stroll down Main Street and stop in this local favorite for a sweet treat. Formerly an Amish enterprise, the new owners’ commitment to quality can be found in every scoop of handmade Amare o Almond, Maple Walnut, Royal Banana Crunch, Bu er Pecan, Plantation Praline and more. Sugar-free options, sorbet and frozen yogurt available as well. 8151 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-0151.

Casa Maya Mexican Restaurant

Find authentic south-of-the-border flavors with a genuine Mayan emphasis at this casual dining locale. A Guadalajara favorite, signature molcajetes serve up steak, chicken, shrimp, scallops or fish in a heated volcanic stone, mixed with grilled onions, peppers and homemade salsa, served with fresh tortillas. Other specials include Mayan Fajitas, taco salads and enchiladas from the family recipe. 8126 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-9449.

Cra Growlers Tasting Room

Check out the first cra beer and growler pub in Sarasota/Manatee. It is both a spot to purchase and fill 64- and 32-ounce growlers from 45 taps to take home with you, and a casual place to hang out and down a pint as well delicious sandwiches, beer bites and shareable items. Its cra taps are filled with a wide array of brews, ranging from Belgian-style ales to ciders, IPAs and a big selection of Florida beers. 8141 Lakewood Main St., N103, Lakewood Ranch, 941-822-8131.

DimSum King

Conveniently located in the UTC area, DimSum King offers a delicious assortment of small, medium and large traditional Chinese dishes and, most famously, “dim sum all day,” as their mo o declares. With its comfortable atmosphere and expansive menu, this is the perfect spot for family dinner, date night or anything in between. 8194 Tourist Center Dr., Bradenton, 941-306-5848

Ed’s Tavern

The friendly, neighborhood sports bar—complete with a full menu and outdoor seating area—is right next door to the movie theater. Enjoy finger foods and classic bar bites with friends while watching the game, or take a date to the cinema and follow it up with everything from burgers and flatbreads to wings, chili and entrees like the Smoked Pulled Pork Pla er, Jumbo Shrimp and House Smoked Ribs. Don’t forget to explore the rotating taps, free-to-play trivia nights and live music on weekends. 10719 Rodeo Dr., Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-0400.

Fast N Fresh

For casual dining and on-the-go eats that won’t leave one feeling guilty, a menu full of salads, wraps and grain bowls fits the bill. Try the meaty Baja Chicken salad or the Spicy Thai Kale, grab a Flower Child bowl made with brown rice, kale, carrots, chickpeas, avocados and house-made tahini or go Mediterranean with spinach, feta, olives and onions in the bowl. And for sandwich-lovers, the panini press is open. 8138 Lakewood Main St, Lakewood Ranch, 941-462-2650.

The Granary

From the previous owners of MacAllisters Grill & Tavern, this local spot boasts traditional dishes with modern, and delicious, twists, handcra ed caffeine and pastries as well as a bar area. Whether you indulge in a decadent breakfast of pancakes, benedicts and lighter bites or prefer a fresh salad, soup or sandwich for lunch, there’s something here for everyone. 2547 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, 941-746-2000

Grove Restaurant

This latest offshoot from the restaurateurs behind the famed Pier 22 offers a wide variety of cuisine—all with a focus on locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Seafood lovers will

find their fill amongst Shrimp N Grits, Stuffed Lobster and Scallop Benedict, while those craving red meat can’t go wrong with the Roast Duckling, New Zealand Rack of Lamb or the Wild Game of the Day. Save room for dessert or an a er-dinner coffee or cocktail. 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 941-893-4321.

Hana Sushi Lounge

RRoll up expecting an artful mix of raw and refined traditional Asian cuisine—and don’t leave disappointed. Say “Aloha” (shrimp, tempura, cream cheese, mango and coconut) to “Godzilla” (spicy tuna, asparagus, eel and avocado) and “King Kong” (shrimp tempura, kani, cream cheese, scallions, spicy tuna, eel and avocado) and leave feeling “Soul Good” (shrimp, cream cheese, avocado, asparagus, salmon and garlic). For those thinking outside the roll, check out the poke bowl selection and bento box specials. 8126 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-1290.

Inkawasi Peruvian

Homestyle cooking in the Peruvian style brings ceviches, empanadas and yucca to the menu, as well as chifa, a culinary tradition fusing Cantonese Chinese with classic Peruvian. The Tallarin Saltado unites wok-prepared Peruvian flame noodles with green onions, snow peas, peppers and cabbage, complete with chicken, beef or seafood. 10667 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 941-360-1110.

Lucky Pelican Bistro

Not only is this upscale seafood spot known for its iconic hot and cold selections, including a shell and fish bar, crab boil and dishes fresh off the cuff, but its ambience is enough to make this fan favorite your local go-to for lunch, dinner or takeout. 6239 Lake Osprey Dr., Sarasota, 941-907-0589.

Main Street Tra oria

Find classic Italian fine dining with an eye to artful presentation at this central hot spot. With a bar serving Margherita Flatbread and Fried Ravioli, save room for casual favorites like the Meatball Sub and MST Burger, or go full italiano and order up the Pollo Milanese, Salmon Piccata, MST Gnocchi or Frui i Di Mare. 8131 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-1518.

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Paris Bistrot

This family-owned and -operated bistro serves traditional, French cuisine, directly from “Grandma’s recipes books.� Signature menu staples remain the authentic French Onion Soup, Nicoise Salad, Foie Gras and the vast variety of quiches and dessert crepes, with many chocolate, fruit and ice cream accoutrements.8131 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-388-0564.

Pinchers Crab Shack

Vibrant hand-painted signs and tropical parrots abound within this down-to-earth seafood shack. Decide between a boatload of mussels or addictive crab and cheese dip with a kick to start off your meal. Load up on shrimp scampi with secret family spices or jumbo lump crab cakes before topping your meal off with homemade Key lime pie or a dreamy chocolate cake ice cream shake. 10707 Rodeo Dr., Lakewood Ranch, 941-922-1515.

Thai Spice & Sushi

Explore the authentic tastes of Thailand for lunch and dinner at this local favorite. Prepare your taste buds to experience an infusion of thai flavors in their house-made curries and sauces, an ever-changing variety of daily soups, and top off your meal with a slice of coconut cake, a family recipe. 8209 Natures Way #111, Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-4747.

Zenobia Mediterranean and Kebab Grill Toting an impressive

assortment of vegetarian appetizers, lunch specials and authentic dinner pla ers for the entire family, this Middle Eastern gem is guaranteed to satisfy your Mediterranean cravings with classics like falafel, baba ghanouj, house-made hummus and schwarma.

1857 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton, 941-900-2722.



The fast-growing Florida franchise is on a mission to bring fresh, whole foods, rooted in real ingredients. With a trendy fast-casual approach, the modern hangout is a go-to for a healthful lunch of salads, wraps, bowls and cold-pressed juices. SoFresh is also a great option for diet-specific preferences, including vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo and gluten-free. 11569 FL-70 #106, Bradenton, 941-769-9550.

Speaks Clam Bar

With a secondary location on St. Armands and having just announced a third in central St. Petersburg, it’s no wonder this local seafood spot is award-winning. While enjoying its vibrant bar scene and assortment of sea and land dishes, you’ll feel connected to Sarasota Bay without having to make the commute. 8764 E. State Rd. 70, Lakewood Ranch, 941-232-7646

Station 400

This is the third location of this beloved brunch spot and inspired by the quaint railroad depot building of the downtown “flagship� location. With a modern feel and the same chef-inspired cuisine, find the Station 400 locomotive circling above diners, along with its menu of mainstay sandwiches, salads, pancakes, cereals and grains, omele es, baked goods and speciality mimosas. 8215 Lakewood Main St., Suite P103, Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-0648.

Ana Molinari Salon & Spa

From professional hairstylists and colorists to makeup and eyelash artists as well as shiatsu masseurs, this glamorous boutique boasts the ultimate spa experience for locals. You won’t regret treating yourself to an a ernoon at Ana Molinari. 8120 Lakewood Main St. #102, Lakewood Ranch, 941-373-3900

Arts A Blaze

Stop in anytime the artistic mood strikes and try your hand at painting po ery or check out the Kid’s Open Studio and, coming soon, SmART Boxes for at-home projects. This all-inclusive art studio has the space and resources for po ery painting, group events, summer camp, birthday parties, and even off-site social and corporate events. 8111 Main St. #107, Lakewood Ranch, 941-306-5840.

The Barbary Shoppe

Whether you’re in the market for a traditional barbering experience or looking to invest in fine toiletries and fragrances, this family-owned neighborhood barbershop is the perfect spot for him. Their easyto-book haircut, beard and shave services are performed by skilled barbers experienced in the tonsorial arts. 8111 Lakewood Main St. #104, Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-6068.

Bows and Arrows Boutique

From everyday fashion rooted in southern style to college “game day� a ire and accessories, this womens boutique has an avid following of young trendse ers and local fashionistas of Florida state colleges and universities. 5275 University Pkwy., Suite #133, Bradenton, 941-210-7158.

EPIC Home DĂŠcor

This stylish home goods store offers an affordable variety of everything you need to turn your house into a home. From a range of living room accessories and furniture to design services, EPIC Home Decor makes it easy for locals to personalize their spaces. 10671 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 941-210-4713

Fantasy Flowers of Lakewood Ranch Stop into this Main Street

staple or simply order online to make someone’s day with one of their renowned flower arrangements. Whether you’re looking to impress with a designer’s choice bouquet or celebrate with a seasonal collection, you can’t go wrong with the freshest flowers in Lakewood Ranch. 8111 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-500-1000

Fashion Trade Bo-Tique

A trendy resale boutique specializing in both new and gently-used, “preloved� clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories. This new one-stop consignment shop is great for favorited brand name labels, discounted up to 70% off their original mall retail prices. 8734 East State Rd. 70, Bradenton, 941-216-3660.

Fine Wine & Tastings on Main

Different from large chain liquor stores, this boutique wine shop offers a selection of hard-to-get international and domestic wines by the glass, as well as a huge inventory of over 450 wines from more than 15 countries, with a focus on small and limited-production wineries. 8111 Lakewood Main St., Unit J105, Lakewood Ranch, 941-355-4718.

INfluence Style

This is the second location for the well-renowned St. Armands Circle modern clothing boutique. Find the same upscale, fashion-forward trends and basic wardrobe essentials with high quality threads and coveted brand names.8141 Lakewood Main St. Unit N-102, Lakewood Ranch, 941-351-9218

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Integrity Sound

Wish Boutique

wood Main St. #103, Lakewood Ranch, 941-360-2412

wood Main St. Unit N-106, Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-9125.

Knot Awl Beads

2nd Ann Rose

This is the second location for the well-renowned St. Armands Circle modern clothing boutique. Find the same upscale, fashion-forward trends and basic wardrobe essentials with high quality threads and coveted brand names.8111 Lake-

This full-service bead shop is your source for everything bead related. Featuring Swarovski crystals, semiprecious gemstones, pearls, natural elements, Czech glass, sterling silver, Bali silver, PMC (Precious Metal Clay) and sterling silver sheet and wire in most gauges, it also carries findings, beading wire, leather, silversmithing tools and unique beaded jewelry. 8111 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-8335.

Naples Soap Co.

Stop in to this fun, coastal-inspired, upscale boutique to find premium-quality skin and hair care products made with natural and organic ingredients. Naples Soap offers a wide variety of tropical-scented and fragrance free body bu ers, bath bombs, cleansers, serums and so much more. Everything you need for ongoing self-care or that coveted gi for a friend. 8130 Lakewood Main St., Suite #101, Lakewood Ranch, 941-907-0870.

Vanessa Fine Jewelry

Specializing in custom-designed and one-of-a-kind pieces, this fine jewelry showroom features world-renowned designs from manufacturers like Kabana, S. Kashi & Sons, Frederic Sage, Breuning, Elma Gil, Denny Wong, MarahLago and Yanni B. Their on-site repair shop can also handle all of your jewelry and watch repair needs. 8131 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-373-6311.

Village Bikes

This is the second location of the family-owned Sarasota bicycle and repair shop. Find a full assortment of bicycles and cycling accessories, including bike helmets, saddles/ seatposts, pedals and shoes, cycle clothing, lights, computers, bicycle cleaning and repair equipment. They carry quality brands such as Specialized, Kask, SRAM, Hincape, Shimano, Cateye, Garmin, and other top manufacturers of bike equipment. 8111 Lakewood Main St.,

A boutique shop offering women’s fashion, accessories, home decor and unique gi s with delightful service. From quirky finds to stylish brands, this shopping gem can help you find the perfect wardrobe piece or gi for any occasion. 8141 Lake-

A consignment boutique with a fabulous selection of high-end pieces, 2nd Ann Rose re-homes casual and couture secondhand or lightly worn styles and offers regular specials and sales that you simply can’t miss. 8225 Natures Way #107, Lakewood Ranch, 941-893-5959, @2ndannrose,


An independent, nonprofit, international, college-preparatory Montessori school, NewGate seeks to nurture intelligence, curiosity and imagination while supporting and developing each student’s individual talents. The school teaches universal values and instills a global perspective, responsible citizenship and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit, aiming to graduate young people who are lifelong learners, critical thinkers and active leaders. Also an International Baccalaureate World School. Grades 7–12. 5481 Communications Pkwy., Lakewood Ranch, 941-922-4949.

Out-of-Door Academy

Out-of-Door Academy is an independent, college-preparatory school educating students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 at two campuses in Sarasota. Students in preschool through grade 12 achieve high academic goals and build character through a balanced program of academics, athletics and the arts. Using a student-centered educational philosophy, ODA prepares students for college and for life. Each year, 100 percent of ODA graduates are accepted to four-year colleges and universities across the country. 5950 Deer Dr., Sarasota, 941-554-5950.

The Pinnacle Academy

Established in 2001, The Pinnacle Academy is dedicated to understanding and educating students who have learning differences. In small classes, learning differences are accepted and individually supported. Today, the school offers a private education to over 100 students and continues to grow and change with each passing year. 6215 Lorraine Rd., Bradenton, 941-755-1400.

Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School

Situated on a fully gated, 35-acre campus, St. Stephens ranks among the top independent, college preparatory schools in the nation, providing education for students in grades Pre-K3 through 12. Students are nurtured in small classes, with faculty who help them navigate a balanced curriculum of academic rigor and character development. 315 41st St. W, Bradenton, 941-746-2121.


Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance Since 2005, the Lakewood

Ranch Business Alliance has served the Lakewood Ranch business community as the go-to membership organization for companies to network and gain professional and personal growth. Their tagline, “The Power of Connection,” comes across in everything they do, from connecting you and your business to potential clients to connecting you with the tools and resources you need to grow your business. Today, the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance works with over 650 member businesses and 2,500 business professionals across a diverse range of industries, across Manatee and Sarasota Counties and beyond. 8430 Enterprise Circle, #140, Lakewood Ranch., 941-757-1664.

Cowork LWR As a collaborative work environment, Cowork LWR gives members the opportunity to grow their businesses through use of conference and training rooms, podcasting studios, a coffee bar, postal mail management and a virtual receptionist. 8130 Lakewood Main St. #103, Lakewood Ranch, 941-322-7199

Lakewood Ranch, 941-388-0550.

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This page, left to right: Dim sum from Dim Sum King. Lomo Saltado from Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant. Opposite page, top to bottom: Dim Sum King. Owner Ming-bo Sita (right) and his team at Dim Sum King. Jean Christophe and Alexandra Nebra of Paris Bistrot.


adventure through Asia, you can’t help but sink into the dissatisfaction of the latest pizza delivery. Regardless of the name, Hawaiian-style pizza is simply false advertising. And while the Great Wall, the Louvre or Machu Picchu can’t be served on a platter, the next best thing is eating authentically by the hands of those who strive to bring their culture to yours. With international travel off the table, the latest form of worldly indulgence is via the taste buds, and sinking teeth into genuine dumplings, crepes and ceviche has to be better than drooling over the latest Travel Network production. So instead of fastening your seat belts and raising your seat to the upright and locked position this fall, lean back and loosen your belt because these three Lakewood Ranch restaurants are serving up the world’s best flavors in style. Ingredients imported, tradition mastered, table set—let the Lakewood Ranch food tour begin. 16 | srq magazine_ LIVING LAKEWOOD FALL 2020 live local


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Dim Sum King Two centuries ago, traders and travelers embarking down the Silk Road would stop to rest, setting aside their packs and goods to raise cups of tea to their lips while reaching for rich snacks to replenish and refuel before continuing on. The dim sum tradition has since spread from tearooms in China throughout the world, even arriving in a small corner of Lakewood Ranch while remaining true to its traditional roots and flavors. Chef and owner of Dim Sum King, Mingbo Situ, from Guangdong in southern China, has worked as a dim sum chef for 20 years, melding tradition and experience to create authentic Cantonese-style dim sum. With hand-wrapped dumplings and carefully twisted buns, Dim Sum King presents almost 2,500 years of steamed and nourishing comfort food tradition in bamboo baskets. With fresh ingredients from Sanwa Farmer’s Market in Tampa, a multicultural and multilingual market for ethnic cooking, Situ creates everything from Pork and Shrimp Shumai and Shrimp Dumplings to Hong Kong– Style Rice and BBQ Pork Buns—hot, sticky, salty and sweet. Traditionally served as brunch, dim sum has found its popularity throughout the whole day in Lakewood Ranch, filling the often mouthwatering void for quality Chinese food in Florida. With many residents originally from larger cities up north, Dim Sum King is serving up not only traditional Chinese cuisine for those who wish to indulge in authentic flavors, but for those who only need a bamboo basket to satisfy some wanderlust. Dim Sum King, 8194 Tourist Center Dr., Bradenton, 941-306-5848.

Paris Bistrot After visiting his father-in-law’s restaurant on Anna Maria Island, Jean Christophe along with Alexandra Nebra, high school sweethearts who just celebrated 24 years together in June—decided to open their own restaurant and carry on the family tradition of French cuisine. Since 2008, Paris Bistrot has encapsulated France for the local community’s enjoyment and indulgence, using the same menu that Alexandra’s father has perfected and served since 1986 in Paris. “It’s always nice to be a small, authentic place,” says Christophe, priding himself on the Little Paris his family has worked to create, with him in the kitchen, his wife on the floor and French community tossed back and forth between them. With a casual atmosphere during the day, serving fresh crepes, pastries, salads and paninis, a Parisian afternoon is closer than you might think. Then in the evenings, the more traditional and elaborate plates arrive: Pork tenderloin with black pepper and a cognac sauce is a house favorite. And what could make you feel more French than Boeuf Bourguignon or a Bouillabaisse from the south of France? “All is French,” says Christophe, who selects only the most authentic and favored of dishes to cook for his customers. With Lakewood Ranch quickly growing, Paris Bistrot has become a globe-spanning, time-traveling haven for locals suffering from nostalgia, wanderlust, or a mix of the two. “It transports them a year, two years, five years or 10 years ago when they were in Paris,” says Christophe. “And they feel like they are back in a small European bistrot.” And what better dining experience is there than that? Paris Bistrot, 8131 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 941-388-0564. srq magazine_ LIVING LAKEWOOD FALL 2020 live local | 17


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Below: Kleyver Zamora of Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant and the Parihuela Peruvian Bouillabaisse .

Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant “We get people experimenting and trying different flavors,” says Kleyver Zamora, son of Jimmy Arias, the owner of Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant. A Peruvian native, Arias has always had an appreciation for travel and cuisine with a special love for the cooking of his homeland—thanks to his mother, the owner of a restaurant of her own in Peru. And with live music each weekend, imported Peruvian beer, wine and sodas, and a Peruvian chef with a specific dedication to authentic presentation and flavor, Arias has done well bringing a true Peruvian experience to Lakewood Ranch. “There are many people who have traveled to Peru and come [to Inkawasi] knowing what they are going to eat. Other people come out of curiosity,” says Arias. And with the majority of their ingredients arriving directly from Peru, there is no doubt of authenticity for both the experienced and first-time tasters. Whether it’s the Lomo Saltado, a flamed beef cooked with red onions, tomatoes and cilantro; or the Duo Marino, a half ceviche half fried fish dish, Inkawasi spans the land and sea for often overlooked and underrepresented traditions and flavors that have evolved from a fusion of Incan and often Asian influences. Chifa, dishes with a mix of Cantonese elements with traditional Peruvian ingredients and traditions, are a house favorite; specifically Chaufa Amazónico, a rice dish mixed with green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, Peruvian smoked pork and chopped sweet plantains. And with lunch specials and happy hours, tapas and canchitas— sometimes referred to as the un-popped popcorn of Peru—there is no shortage of true Peruvian gastronomic experiences to try at Inkawasi. LL Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant, 10667 Boardwalk Loop, Bradenton, 941-360-1110.

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Food, Entertainment, Travel, Legal, Insurance AND Financial Services, Healthcare AND Home Decor

Professional Businesses AutoLife Insurance Group* Home & Personal Insurance. AutoLife Insurance Group serving thousands of clients in southwest Florida. Lakewood Ranch Office. Friendly Staff. Best Companies. Great Rates to save you money! Call 941-210-4499 or email info@autolifegroup. com. 8131 Lakewood Main Street, Suite M203 Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 |

Blue Skye Lending* Local Mortgage Lender. We are here for you. Buying, refinancing, or pulling cash-out, Blue Skye Lending is your resource for Florida mortgage lending. Leslie Swart, Owner/Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #223153. 5-Star Mortgage Professional Certified Veterans Loan Specialist. 941-256-8420 |

CoWork LWR Remote Business Services and Virtual Offices on Lakewood Ranch Main Street. Postal mail management, flexible workspace, business incubation, & podcast studio. 941-322-7199 /

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Lakewood Ranch Information Center Learn More About Living in Lakewood Ranch. 941-907-6000

Observer Media Group* Your Local Community Newspaper. The East County Observer is the number one source of local news in Lakewood Ranch and East Manatee since 1998. 8130 Lakewood Main Street, Suite D207 // Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 941-755-5357 ext. 202 | Premier Sotheby’s International Realty Luxury Real Estate Company. “Everyone deserves the extraordinary, because luxury is not about price, it’s about an experience. And when it comes to real estate, experience ma ers.� O 941-907-9541 I C 941-374-2413 | maryellen. |

Raymond James Financial Advisors. www. 941-907-0168

Regions Bank Full Service Bank. At Regions, it is our goal to help you reach yours, right here in Lakewood Ranch. Come see us today! www.regions. com/Locator/Branch/bankbranch-South-Lakewood-RanchBradenton 941-806-5250 State Farm Insurance/ Quarterman* Personal & Commercial Insurance. For personalized & professional guidance call us today! State Farm – George Quarterman. Auto - Home - Life - Bank - Business – Retirement. 941-351-4663 |

Steiner Law* Estate Planning & Wills and Business Law. www. steinera 941-907-0302

Family Fun Arts A Blaze Glass and Po ery Art. Kids Camps Available. www.artsablazestudio. com 941-306-5840 The Fish Hole 18-Holes of Mini Golf Fun! Feed the Koi Fish & Turtles. Opens Daily at 11:00 AM. 941-306-5891

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Health and Beauty

Dining and Food Specialties

Ana Molinari Salon Relax.

Inkawasi Peruvian Restaurant Authentic Peruvian Cuisine. Lunch & Dinner. 941306-1110 Peruinkawasi/

Unwind. Indulge. Full service salon & boutique. *RECEIVE 30% OFF ON ANY SERVICES UNTIL NOVEMBER 15TH 2020 CODE: SRQ LWR *(new client only). 8120 Lakewood Main Street Suite 102 Lakewood Ranch, Fl 34202. 941-373-3900/ 941-373-3901 |

Big Olaf Lakewood Ranch’s

Lunch & Dinner Curbside Takeout 941-907-0400 www.

for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Curbside Takeout. 941-388-0564

Barbary Shoppe A gentleman’s

Fine Wines & Tastings on Main Retailing over

Pinchers Fresh Seafood

Finest Ice Cream. 941-907-0151 |

Optometric Physicians offering comprehensive eye examinations, the fi ing of contact lenses and a unique selection of designer eyewear! 941-362-2020 | www.

Naples Soap Skin & Beauty

Ed’s Tavern American Fare

Paris Bistrot French Cuisine

Casa Maya Best Mexican

full service Barber Shop featuring Haircuts, Beard Trims, and Shaves. Men’s grooming products & tools available. 941-907-6068 |

InFocus Family Eyecare Board Certified

Restaurant in Lakewood Ranch. 941-907-9449.

Main Street Tra oria Italian Cuisine. Lunch & Dinner. Curbside Takeout. 941-907-1518 www.mstra

400 Wines from Around the World. 941-355-4718 www.

Grove Restaurant Happy Hour, Lunch, Dinner & Brunch. Curbside Takeout and online grocery. 941-893-4321 www.

Hana Sushi Lounge Traditional and Modern Asian Cuisine. Lunch & Dinner. 941907-1290 HanaSushiLounge

Restaurant. 941-922-1515 |

Station 400 Breakfast & Lunch.

Specialty Shops Epic Home Decor & Design An Epic homestore without the Epic prices! Come in and shop and/or book a design consult. 941-210-4713 | www.

Fantasy Flowers Wide selection of flower arrangements for that special occasion or to make someone smile. 941-500-1000 |

Knot Awl Beads Beaded and Stone Jewelry. Classes Available 941-907-8335 www.knotawlbeads. com

Main Street Travel Boutique

7:30am -2:30 pm Daily. Specialty Mimosas, Innovative Brunch Choices, Chef Driven Menu. Voted Best Brunch in Lakewood Ranch! 20% Discount mention “SRQ Magazine” Gluten Free & Vegan Choices available. 941907-0648 |

High Quality Jewelry and Repairs. 941-373-6311 www.

USF Culinary Lab SarasotaManatee’s Culinary Innovation lab.

Village Bikes High Performing Cycles & Repairs. 941-388-0550

Supplies & Boutique. 941-9070870

American Express travel agency. 941-907-9145 | www. mainstree

Vanessa Fine Jewelry

* Located on the 2nd Floor


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Theatre in the Field

Great Outdoors, Ranch Style

As it has grown, the arts have become ingrained in Lakewood Ranch’s culture, and as such, the community strives to provide performances and theatrical courses throughout the year. Recently, Lakewood Ranch hosted Arts in the Park with The Players Theatre, a twice-weekly workshop teaching children the skills and subsequent values of theatre, song and dance. It saw patrons from across the community come together to enjoy a performance and bask in the natural beauty of Bob Gardner Community Park. The area also hosted an impassioned adaptation of Huck Finn at James L. Patton Community Park that treated residents to food and ice trucks, caricature artists, and glamorous glitter tattoos as well as a festive performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow around Halloween, complete with mask making and a costume sale. 2710 White Eagle Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, 941-755-6574.

Explore the parks, fields and outdoor venues of Lakewood Ranch.

AS THE SUMMER’S HEAT RELENTS and more people take to the outdoors to enjoy the region’s natural beauty we explore the walkways and parkways of Lakewood Ranch with tips on where to have th best experiences, from athletic sports to wildlife spotting. —Grace Castilow

Heron’s Nest Nature Park If you are more interested in a casual afternoon hike or a morning spent fishing on the marsh than a high-speed sports game, Heron’s Nest is the spot for you. Its 110 acres of pristine trail and untouched forestry coupled with the inviting waters of 12-acre Heron Lake and 27-acre Summerfield Lake make any amount of time at this park simply unforgettable. Whether you are in the mood for a tranquil bike ride through its treelined trails, a sunrise workout off the beaten path, paddling kayaks from Island Style Watersports along the sparkling waters of Summerfield Lake or simply want to BYOB (bring your own boat, of course) for a family day in the sun,

look no further. Ten-thousand new square feet of commercial, retail and office space will come online by the time Waterside fully opens this year, along with an eight-acre park. Johnson said it will be a shopping destination with plenty of water views serving more than high-wealth clients driving the luxury shops from Siesta Key, as well as a number of special realtors you won’t find at the nearby Mall at University Town Center. 6399 Tupelo Trl., Bradenton, 941-462-2357 The Market Not only does the area’s premier outdoor farmers market regularly attract more than 60 curated vendors that have their finger on the pulse of the region’s best food and flavors, it is also a hot spot for morning yoga sessions, local art and plant merchants, cooking demonstrations, and the Ranch’s cutest furry friends. An undisputed Sunday essential, The Market has and continues to provide locals and visitors alike with high-quality organic produce, poultry, prepared foods and so much more. Gather your reusable totes in anticipation of its return in November because you will not want to miss a morning in the heart of Lakewood Ranch planning and purchasing your meals for the coming week. Though your options are innumerable with such a variety of treats to choose from, one such meal may include an omelet of fresh eggs, spinach and tomatoes from Blumenberry Farms alongside a cherry cheesecake donut from Five-O Donut Co. and a dark roast from Java Dawg Coffee. 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, themarketlwr. com , 941-556-8300.

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Community Bike Rides and Nature Walks Whether you thrive on your feet or would rather ride on wheels, Lakewood Ranch’s active group opportunities are guaranteed to get your blood pumping and boost your mood for the day. Meet near the fountains on Main Street at 8am to get going with an expansive 10-mile, hour-long bike ride around the Ranch on the third Saturday of each month. These bike rides are an ideal way to get to know the community, your neighbors and your exercise regimen. If you don’t have a need for speed, consider taking it slower on the second Saturday of each month for a two-mile, hour-long nature walk around Greenbrook


Adventure Park where you can appreciate local wildlife. Depending on the season, you might even experience a fabled tortoise crossing or a flock of ducklings. 8131 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, 13010 Adventure Pl., Bradenton, 941-907-6000. James L. Patton Community Park It’s admittedly easy to become overwhelmed by Lakewood Ranch’s many outdoor options, but where do you go if you want the best of both worlds? The balance between waterfront views, places to party or play, and natural flora and fauna at James L. Patton Community Park makes it a must-visit. Structured around

the breathtaking Lake Patton, this preserve offers residents miles of interwoven trails for casual walks and motivating runs, picnic pavilions for family and community events, a tot lot for the kids, and boat launches for those who wish to explore its glassy waters more closely. 5725 White Eagle Blvd., Bradenton, 941-907-6000. Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club Shedding the skin of passé club concepts, Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club is making strides toward redefining what it means to be a country club member and ensuring that each of their members feels the freedom to be themselves, no matter the occasion.

As they evolve, their community flourishes and has been awarded the Herald Tribune’s Best Private Country Club, ideal-LIVING’s Best Golf Community and SRQ magazine’s own Best Best Golf Course. A day at the Club has been transformed into a choose your own adventure, as you are able to shape any and all activities depending on your interests, mood or skill set. If you are looking to play a round on one of three 18-hole championship golf courses or play for a tennis or pickleball league, feel the burn in the Fitness Center’s dance, yoga, core, strength, barre and pilates classes, swim laps in the junior-olympic pool or catch some rays at the resort-style pool. Plan and host an event of your choosing and enjoy good food and

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great conversation at the Main Clubhouse or Lodge. Membership is an excellent way to adore the outdoors in style. 7650 Legacy Blvd., Lakewood Ranch,, 941-907-4700 Music on Main Gather a group of music lovers or social butterflies and head down to Main Street Lakewood Ranch for free tunes, tasty food vendors and beer trucks, as well as rides and activities for the kids every first Friday from 6pm to 9pm. This monthly outdoor block party is the perfect opportunity to enjoy your community all the while savoring your favorite classic rock, swing, jazz, country, bluegrass and even today’s Top


100 songs. As if the accessibility and sense of belonging associated with this neighborhood concert series wasn’t enough in and of itself, proceeds raised go to a different local nonprofit organization each month. So, get your dancing shoes shined and make sure to master your moves in preparation for Music on Main’s long-awaited return in January. 8100 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch,, 941-907-9243. Premier Sports Campus If you are looking for somewhere with a more athletic appeal, consider utilizing one of Premier Sports’ 23 mixed-use fields for a game of your choice or an

afternoon with the family. This 140-acre campus is the perfect spot to watch or participate in a number of local, state, and national youth and professional athletics events throughout the year. Though we cannot all be professionals, we all certainly have the ability to book a field, gather a group of budding athletes or seasoned jocks, and play an enthusiastic game of your choosing before hitting the concession stands for a healthy, delicious snack. Should your interest grow beyond a day or weekend rental, Premier Sports Campus accommodates amateur, collegiate, professional and national leagues, is available for tournaments as well as weekly practices, and hosts instructional camps and

clinics year-round. Although the variety of ball is subjective, any game played here will be a winner. 5895 Post Blvd., Lakewood Ranch,, 941-757-1582. Greenbrook Adventure Park Should you seek a more exciting juncture, aptly named Greenbrook Adventure Park, is a family favorite that provides locals a dose of adrenaline within mere miles of their homes. With several fields for any sport your heart or team may desire, miles upon miles of well-kept trails invite residents to explore and experience the region’s wildlife,

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an inline skating track where you can showcase or develop your rollerblading skills, and a paw park for your furry friends, Greenbrook is the epitome of what it means to appreciate the outdoors while genuinely enjoying yourself in the Ranch. Open from sunrise to sunset and the site of many community activities, this Adventure Park is calling for a crusade. And though access is not limited to children, spending a day on the green at Greenbrook will have you feeling like a kid at heart no matter your age. 13010 Adventure Pl., Bradenton, 941-907-6000.

Yoga and Barre in the Park As the weather gets cooler and indoor classes are understandably overlooked in favor of their outdoor counterparts, morning recreation in the breeze and beauty of Bob Gardner Community Park is what many would consider the best way to begin any day in the Ranch. To encourage participation in community health and fitness, The Yoga Shack hosted morning flows every second Sunday of the summer—thus promoting healthier overall lifestyles as well as group and personal consciousness. In pursuit of a similar purpose, barre3 hosted barre classes each first Sunday of the month to improve the emotional

and physical balance, strength, and flexibility of residents. These calming classes are not only fun ways to get and feel fit, they are also a means to become closer with your mind and body. 2710 White Eagle Blvd., Bradenton. Sarasota Polo Club It would be remiss to not include the outdoor activity that put Lakewood Ranch on the map and continues to influence the area’s culture and history. Polo is a local’s right of passage around Lakewood Ranch and on Sunday afternoons, people from in and outside of the community make their way to the Sarasota Polo Club between December and

April to enjoy the sport of kings alongside their friends and family members. These combined sport and social events are the epitome of what it means to enjoy the outdoors in Lakewood Ranch. The grounds feature 45 private equestrian estates, seven Bermuda grass polo fields, a regulation-size polo arena, a half-mile horse track, on-site stabling for 72 horses, a Player’s clubhouse and a Polo pavilion. As we await their coming season, the standing winners will undoubtedly return to defend their titles and the public will not want to miss even a moment of “the fastest game on four feet.” 8201 Polo Club Ln., sarasotapolo. com, Sarasota, 941-907-0000. LL

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