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  • 11 Jun 2019 8:37 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    The Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently announced 461 scholarship awards totaling $537,719 for the upcoming school year. More than $215,000 was awarded from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Scholarship Fund, an endowment established by the foundation’s board in 1997 to help local students pursue meaningful higher education. A total of 188 students received the Gulf Coast Scholarship this year, with awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. The remainder of the scholarship funding comes from more than 50 different scholarship funds established by donors and administered by the foundation on their behalf. Many of these scholarships support students pursuing specific fields of study, such as healthcare, vocational training, business, or the arts, while others focus on students from particular communities or schools. Since 1997, the foundation and its donors have invested more than $8 million in deserving students through scholarships. 

  • 10 Jun 2019 3:04 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Sarasota, Florida, June 5, 2019 – Shaun P. Merriman, Regional President – West Florida, announced recently that, as part of its expanding leadership team, Jim Kuhlman, former Chief Executive Officer and President of Premier Community Bank, has been named Community President for CenterState’s Sarasota/Manatee Market effective immediately.


    In this capacity, Kuhlman takes leadership of commercial and retail banking for both counties. Merriman will continue in his role as Regional President for the West Florida Region of CenterState.
    In making the announcement Merriman commented, “We are delighted to have Jim leading our local team of commercial and retail banking professionals. Having 30+ years of banking experience in our market, Jim has built a wealth of knowledge and is a proven leader, which will significantly contribute to the bank’s strong growth in our community.”
    Merriman added, “His excellent reputation and commitment to building and maintaining strong relationships will certainly help our organization to continue providing exceptional service during the integration of Premier Community Bank.”


    Further, as part of the expanding management team reporting to Kuhlman, Brian Hall, Area Executive/Commercial Team Leader, will continue to oversee commercial banking for Sarasota County while Chris Perkins joins as Area Executive/Commercial Team Leader
    for the Manatee County commercial banking team. Also reporting to Kuhlman is Cindy Denison, Retail Market Manager, who oversees all nine branches across both counties, including three branches recently added through the merger with Premier, as part of the National Bank of Commerce merger. 


    In his reaction to the announcement, Kuhlman noted, “I am delighted to take on this role and look forward to the future growth of our bank in the local community!” He added, “I am absolutely committed to CenterState’s core values, especially world class customer service
    and the importance of Family as it relates to employees, customers, and community.” Prior to Premier Community Bank, Kuhlman was Market President for Stonegate Bank in Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte County markets. He was the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida Shores Bank until its merger with Stonegate Bank in
    January 2014. He was Area President for Colonial Bank after its acquisition of the former Premier Community Bank in 2003, which Kuhlman founded as CEO in 1996. Prior to that, Kuhlman was City Executive for SunTrust Bank in Manatee County. In addition, Kuhlman
    served for 21 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He earned a B.S. in Finance from The University of Florida and a M.S. B.A. in Business Administration from Boston University. He is a graduate of Leadership Sarasota and Leadership Manatee and is a member of American Mensa, Manasota
    Chapter. Kuhlman is active in the community having served as Chairman of the Board and Finance Committee Chairman for the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County; Chairman of the Board (2 years) and Finance Committee Chairman (18 years) for South County Family YMCA; Investment Committee and Board Member (14 years) for
    State College of Florida Foundation; Treasurer and Chairman of the Board-Elect for Mission Valley Country Club; and Finance Committee Chairman and Board Member for the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce.

    CenterState Bank is a $17 billion Florida based bank operating in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, which provides online banking, commercial lending, residential mortgages and investment services. CenterState has a history of quality service and community focus. Our core values at CenterState focus on themes of sustainability, a long-term horizon and the career development of our team. We believe that local ownership and local management translate into a better bank. For more information on CenterState Bank, please visit, www.CenterStateBank.com.



  • 06 Jun 2019 8:48 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Sarasota, Florida— Alicia M. Phidd, Esq. became the first female general counsel of a soccer franchise in USL’s history when she joined Sarasota Sports Management. LLC that owns Sarasota Metropolis FC.

    What Glass Ceiling?

    “My approach in executing my career is simple.  If I see an opportunity that I believe I am qualified for, I go for it.” said Ms. Phidd.  “I’m usually surprised by the historic element that result.” she continued.

    Ms. Phidd has represented clients across many industries throughout her career.  “I look forward to the challenges and the cheers that accompanies working in the Sports and Entertainment industry.” said Ms. Phidd.

    Alicia Phidd, Esq. Profile

    Ms. Phidd’s career spans representing high profile clients in boxing, entertainment law, and general business. She brings to SMFC her expertise in contract negotiations, intellectual property, corporate transactions, commercial litigation, governance, employment, and compliance.

    During this career, she also shared her knowledge in academia as an adjunct professor. She taught Sports Law at Barry University and Business Law and Employment Law at the University of Phoenix.

    In 2014, Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners voted her in as the first black female attorney member to their environmental board in its 30 years of existence.

    In 2016, she presented to the Society of Corporate Compliance on the topic, Social Media, Your Business and The Law.

    Ms. Phidd was the first black female General Counsel panelist at the Daily Business Review’s General Counsel Legends of the Boardroom, Law & Technology Section held in Miami, Florida in 2016.

    Ms. Phidd believes in community, educational and environmental empowerment. She was formerly a member of the African American Advisory Council to Moffitt Cancer Center as well as the University of South Florida. She continues to give of her time by organizing community cleanups in Sarasota.

    She holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry, a Master’s in Environmental Studies, Graduate Certificate in Solid Waste from SUNY Stony Brook and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from St. Thomas University School of Law.

    Ms. Phidd is currently a member of the Florida Bar, the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and the 11th Circuit.

    Phidd is of Jamaican descent.


  • 03 Jun 2019 2:36 PM | Dan Sidler (Administrator)

    Best Places to Work Annual Ranking

    Is your company is one of the best places to work in our region?  Now is your chance to find out!

    Nominate your company for the Herald-Tribune’s 2019 Best Places to Work. Registration is open through June 21 and can be entered at HTBestPlacesToWork.com.

    Best Places to Work is a survey competition to determine which participants are the best employers in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The two-part survey process recognizes companies that demonstrate workplace excellence and are known for retaining and recruiting the best and brightest employees.

    Independent firm Best Companies Group evaluates the selection and ranking of entries and winners are published in the Herald-Tribune. The contest is open for For-profit or nonprofit companies as well as those publicly or privately held entities. All must maintain a facility in Sarasota or Manatee and maintain a minimum of 15 permanent, non-contract employees working locally.

    Companies that choose to participate are assessed on two factors: A questionnaire about company policies, practices, demographics and benefits; and, a survey of randomly selected employees at each firm. The employees will respond anonymously to 78 statements on a five-point agreement scale, as well as a handful of open-ended questions and demographic inquiries.

    Best Companies Group analyzes and ranks participating firms in eight areas: Leadership and planning; corporate culture and communications; role satisfaction; work environment; relationships with supervisors; training, development and resources; pay and benefits; and, overall engagement.

    The Herald-Tribune will recognize the 2019 Best Places to Work in a special section that publishes on Sunday, Sep. 29. A celebration luncheon will be hosted on Thursday, Sep. 26 in the Grand Lobby of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall to announce the results of the surveys and list the top local employers.

  • 30 May 2019 1:48 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Icard Merrill is pleased to announce that eight of the firm’s attorneys have been selected to the list of 2019 Florida Super Lawyers and Florida Rising Stars. Super Lawyers recognizes outstanding attorneys in more than 70 practice areas who have distinguished themselves in their legal practice, attaining a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

    Icard Merrill attorneys selected to the list of 2019 Super Lawyers are:

    • §  Charles J. Bartlett, Business Litigation
    • §  Thomas F. Icard, Jr.,Construction Litigation
    • §  William W. Merrill III, Land Use & Zoning
    • §  Alyssa M. Nohren, Real Estate

    Selected to 2019 Florida Rising Stars are:

    • §  G. Matthew Brockway, Land Use & Zoning
    • §  Bradley J. Ellis, Land Use & Zoning
    • §  Worth Graham, Securities Litigation
    • §  Anthony J. Manganiello III, Personal Injury

    Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators such as experience, transactions, honors, certifications, professional activity, and community service. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The final published list represents no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state.


  • 24 May 2019 3:34 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)


    SARASOTA, FL – In recognition of commitment to the triple bottom line, social responsibility and environmental stewardship, Children’s World has won the 2019 Sustainable Business Award for Retail Businesses from the Sustany Foundation.

    The award was presented at the Sustainable Business Awards Gala at the historic Tampa Theater May 22nd.  The other retail business recognized was Publix.

    Judging criteria included:

    • Company contributes to the environmental health of the Tampa Bay area through sustainable environmental practices such as the use of environmentally-friendly products, waste reduction, managing consumption of energy and non-renewables, recycling, toxic substances mitigation and/or LEED construction.
    • Company strives to be a good citizen of the Tampa Bay community through fair and beneficial business practices such as programs to improve work environment, diversity, employee benefits, CSR, community impact and charitable outreach programs.
    • Company contributes to the overall economic health of Tampa Bay through local hiring or purchasing, product/service innovation based on customer needs, community infrastructure, employment growth and reinvestment.

    The Sustany Foundation sponsored the awards with independent judging done by USF Muma School of Business students.  In announcing the award, Sustany Foundation Director Leslie Belovich cited several of the green business initiatives and recycling efforts Children’s World has done, as well as recognizing some of their community support of non-profits such as Toys for Tots, with their innovative 50% match program.

    Company President, Cynthia Holliday said “We are thrilled to be recognized for our efforts to make a difference in the community, and are happy to be recognized with another great company in Publix”.



  • 23 May 2019 12:58 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Icard Merrill Real Estate Attorney Steve Greenberg has been selected by the REALTOR® Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM) as an instructor for its "Introduction to Contracts" course. The 3-hour class is required for all new RASM members and gives new realtors a detailed review of the FR/BAR Contract, the officially licensed real estate contract approved by the joint committee of the Florida Bar Association and Florida REALTORS®.

    Greenberg has been board certified in real estate law by The Florida Bar since 1993 and has been involved in thousands of real estate closings. He is an agent for most title underwriters, including Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund, and Chicago Title Insurance Company. In addition, he has served as general counsel to several companies, advising clients on all aspects of real estate law.


  • 20 May 2019 2:41 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Representatives from SouthTech attended the Innovation in Workforce luncheon which took place on May 2nd at Sarasota’s own Art Ovation hotel. The luncheon is one of many events that make up the larger SOTC (State of Talent Conference), which invites speakers from all over the world to discuss the latest trends in human resources. Recruitment, employee development and retention are key topics. The SOTC is presented by Career Source Suncoast, a non-profit to help businesses grow by providing workforce solutions for talent recruitment and development and helping job seekers and workers manage their careers. SouthTech was named this year’s Workforce Excellence Business Partner of the Year. The award is given to organizations that invest time and resources to workforce and community development, and recipients are chosen by a panel of judges.

    SouthTech employs nearly 50 full-time employees, with 80% of that number represented by engineers and information technology professionals. Many of those roles are held by individuals that first started at SouthTech as apprentices working through a 90-day program developed by senior engineers to prepare them for a full-time position. Apprentices are typically students fulfilling a credit requirement from a local institution, but this is not always the case.

    “This is an incredible honor for SouthTech, and we are very thankful for the service and support that we received from the local colleges and universities, our clients and our team members. They are the pieces that made this possible,” says Nathan Bailey, COO of SouthTech. Bailey works alongside SouthTech’s Client Services Manager Josh Haley, overseeing the hiring process.


  • 17 May 2019 8:29 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    A vision nearly 20 years in the making took a major step this week, with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe breaking ground on a large-scale theater renovation set to transform the WBTT experience for both performers and audiences. “It’s a day that, at one time in my journey, I thought would never happen,” says Nate Jacobs, WBTT artistic director and the man who founded the enterprise two decades ago. “It’s been a long time coming,” he says. “I am floating on a cloud.”

    WBTT purchased the warehouse space in 2013, converting it to theater use and staging its shows there to sell-out crowds and increasing acclaim, but this new extensive renovation will upgrade the facilities and turn the space into something tailor-made for theater at a more fundamental level. A redesigned MainStage will receive new lighting and sound systems, as well as upgraded dressing rooms and dedicated areas for props and costuming, while a second stage will be available for rehearsals and educational opportunities. Patrons will enjoy more and comfier seating, in addition to a larger lobby space for pre- and post-show mingling and much larger restrooms to accommodate those lengthening lines during intermission.

    The second and final phase of WBTT’s ongoing “Heart and Soul” capital campaign (currently sitting at $7.2 million of its $8-million goal), the construction comes on the heels of the newly renovated WBTT Education & Outreach Building. And with Willis A Smith Construction executing the project, plans are for the performers to be back in the building by December, ready to begin the belated season in January 2020 with a production of Caroline, or Change.

    In the meantime, educational programs such as WBTT’s Stage of Discovery summer theater intensive will find space elsewhere on the WBTT campus, and hold its performance at State College of Florida. It was important to Jacobs that these programs, which bring artistic opportunities to underserved youth, largely African-American, continue uninterrupted. “We’re that net,” he says, “launched out to capture these artists and give them a chance to shine.” Once completed, the new theater will boost these programs as well. “That building means that this will continue,” Jacobs says.

    But none of it would be possible without dedicated support from friends and patrons. “It’s a testament to what can happen when a community comes together,” says Jacobs.

    The new theater will be called the Gerri Aaron and the Aaron Family Foundation Theatre Building. 


  • 16 May 2019 11:05 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Hospital safety report cards were released this week, and both Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota have received "A" ratings for patient safety, keeping patients safe from medical errors, infections, accidents and other preventable harm. Sarasota Memorial Hospital earned its sixth consecutive 'A,' as Doctors Hospital of Sarasota earned its 10th consecutive 'A' rating. The Leapfrog Group assigned U.S. hospitals A, B, C, D or F safety grades based on performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harm to patients in their care.

    Of more than 2,600 hospitals graded, 32% earned an A, 26% earned a B, 36% earned a C, 6% a D and just under 1% an F. Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades are calculated by top patient safety experts twice each year to help patients quickly assess and choose the safest local hospitals to seek care. In its latest report card, the expert panel used 28 measures of publicly available hospital data.

    To learn more about Leapfrog Group's methodology and results, visit the website below. 


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Recent Member News





Hook Kids on Fishing

 

Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at tellershaw@aol.com or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org or 321-474-8202.

Hook Kids on Fishing

 

Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at tellershaw@aol.com or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org or 321-474-8202.

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