SRQ MEDIA is an innovative publishing company founded by Lisl Liang and Wes Roberts in October of 1997. SRQ Media Group produces daily, monthly and annual publications, which capture the uniqueness and mystique of a mini-metropolis on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The company strongly believes that media exists to bring together advertisers and consumers through publications full of compelling and vibrant local content. The companies mission is to create and maintain a regional brand with a clear vision that redefines the role of media by bringing local awareness and energy to Sarasota, Bradenton and neighboring regions.
SRQ Magazine | LIVE LOCAL is a monthly publication that engages an eclectic group of readers from many walks of life, seeking to influence their community with the information that surrounds them. Celebrating its 15th year anniversary in 2013, SRQ has served as the flagship of SRQ MEDIA. During its tenure, SRQ has garnered a readership of 78,000, which includes young professionals and families, baby boomers and active retirees, all of whom share a sense of engaging curiosity with local living.
The “SRQ” in SRQ magazine originates from the designated call letters for the local Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Originally, the letters “SR” were used as the airport’s abbreviation, until the growth in total number of airports required the use of a three-letter code - and so the “Q” was incorporated. Much like the national growth of airports in past years, Sarasota has seen a lot of growth and expansion of businesses, culture, and activity throughout the community. As a regional publication committed to the residents and visitors to both Sarasota and Manatee counties, SRQ resonates “home” and serves as a constant reminder of who and what we proudly represent.
SRQ MEDIA's portfolio includes SRQ ACCESS, a regional visitors and newcomers guide annually distributed to over 400 different lodging establishments and newcomer organizations, LUX magazine, which serves as the definitive guide to living and enjoying “la dolce vita” the sweet life, on the west coast of Florida, and SRQ DAILY, freshly-squeezed content, delivered directly to the email in-boxes of a powerful group of opt-in, influential subscribers. SRQ MEDIA's consumer publications make up a portfolio that the company feels speaks volumes about their commitment to providing Sarasota with a service that benefits individuals and brings them together within the community.
Find SRQ at Local Newsstands
SRQ | The Magazine is proud to sold at over 100 local retail locations throughout the region! For a complete list of where to locate your next copy of SRQ, click here.
Meet Our Staff
Lisl Liang CEO and Editor In Chief
Lisl Liang is an entrepreneur who contributes her expertise in strategic media communications, marketing, and business and brand development. Liang co-founded SRQ Media in 1997 to bring an urban, cosmopolitan media sensibility to the creative coast of Florida with the launch of the monthly city regional flagship publication, SRQ Magazine. Liang directs the strategic operations and management of the company by identifying new market growth, managing shifts in innovation, developing audience resonance and creating new revenue opportunities. As Editor in chief, she is also the senior strategic content director. Liang currently serves as the Chair of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce board and on the advisory board for SCTI (Sarasota County Technical Institute). She was also selected to participate in the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute (2014) and the Florida Executive Leadership Program (2014). In the past she has chaired the Sarasota Young Professionals Group and has served on the following boards of directors: SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence), The Artists Series, The Art Center of Sarasota and The Downtown Partnership of Sarasota. Liang received the Chairman’s Cup for community and business leadership in October of 2007 from The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. In 2006, The Downtown Partnership of Sarasota bestowed upon her their top honor, The Bob Richardson Award for Community Service for her leadership contributing to the economic health and vibrancy of Downtown Sarasota. She was recognized as a “40 Under 40” business leader in 2004 by The Gulfcoast Business Review. Liang earned a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communications and Environmental Policy from The American University in Washington D.C.
Favorite Fictional Character: MacGyver: One of the only television shows I was allowed to watch as a kid (along with Airwolf) , I was mesmerized to see how he could get out of any bind with something as simple as bubble gum and a paper clip. It really hard-wired resourcefulness and tenacity.
Aliases: Momma (the sweetest word) and "Lisl" Weapon (the slogan for my high school student government presidential campaign, aack!)
Favorite Quote: Two Favorites: "Make it work." – Tim Gunn. "The New MBA is the MFA," –Daniel Pink.
Pet Peeve: People who don't use turn signals. Small talk.
Favorite Historical Figure: Maria Montessori.
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: The Brat Pack Sinatra, Straight-Ahead Jazz, B-side 80s
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: Cheetohs, Danish Salt Licorice and Enjoy! Arare--not all together.
Wesley Roberts Executive Publisher
Wes Roberts oversees the advertising sales and business development operations for SRQ Media's portfolio of publications. As a co-founder of the business Roberts has worked to grow client businesses over the past 15 years by engaging and reaching viable regional audiences. Roberts serves on several boards and marketing committees locally including the board of the Sarasota Film Festival and the State College of Florida Foundation. He holds a BA in Film and Literature from the American University in Washington D.C. and an MFA in Film from Florida State University. A native of Sarasota, Roberts went to Out-of-Door Academy and Pine View while growing up on Siesta Key. In his free time, he spends time with his two gorgeous children Griffin and Piper, reading about nutrition and traveling.
Favorite Fictional Character: Sir John Falstaff, Don Quixote, Yossarian, R. P. McMurphy
Aliases: None. Best to always be yourself.
Favorite Quote: "Extremities are the trier of spirits; Common chances common men can bear; and when the sea is calm all boats alike; Show mastership in floating." Paraphrased from Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
Pet Peeve: Inconsiderate drivers (Use those turn signals even if you don’t see any other cars-I might be on my bike and I care where you are going with your two-tons of steel.)
Favorite Historical Figure: John Adams, Marcus Aurelius, Charles Darwin
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: Troubadour’s from the 60’s 70’s and through to today; from Donovan to the Mountain Goat. Songs with stories.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: Frozen blueberries, pecans, dark chocolate chips and heavy cream is pretty great-but not so guilt inducing. Guilt comes in the form of a palmier or pain au chocolate and a large cappuccino.
Ashley Grant Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
Working across multiple platforms, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Ashley Grant handles strategic relationship development and directs initiatives that facilitate collaboration between SRQ Media and local and national businesses, non-profits, and arts and culture organizations. Ashley manages our Women in Business program and has been making a positive impact through all of the SRQ Gives Back programs since 2004. After graduating from Rollins College with a BA in English/Business, Ashley directed marketing and PR campaigns in New York for Reebok International Limited, American Express Publishing, The Body Shop International, and Conde Nast Publications, before returning to her hometown of Sarasota. Out of the office, Ashley does yoga, goes horseback riding, and likes to swing by Starbucks.
Favorite Fictional Character: Hermione Granger and Elizabeth Bennet
Aliases: "Miss Grace" for my infinite capacity to trip over anything within 5 miles of me.
Favorite Quote: "Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." – St. Francis of Assisi
Pet Peeve: Passive aggression and open mouth smacking of food
Favorite Historical Figure: Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn, J.K. Rowling, Coco Chanel
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: 90’s British new wave pop and 1950’s/60’s jazz. Anything by Erasure, ABC, REM, Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker or Miles Davis
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: Dark chocolate - but I don’t feel guilty about it. :)
Ashley Ryan Associate Publisher
Ashley Ryan has been with SRQ MEDIA since 2009 and loves every minute. As a senior manager of sales development, Ashley manages the business developmen team, tracks sales acquisition budgets, managest client advertising traffic and is also the producer for the annual SRQ GOOD|Gala and Independent Spirit Awards every October. A true foodie, Ashley manages the Nosh channel for local restaurants. After the SRQ Magazine display advertisements and marketing profiles are finalized and gala details confirmed, this dog lover is likely off adoring her two pups, Reagan (yorkiepoo) and Riley (snorkie) or enjoying golf, yoga, and all things sun, salt, water and fashion.
Favorite Fictional Character: Jordan Catalano
Aliases: I’ll Never Tell
Favorite Quote: I believe that love that is true and real, creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing.
Pet Peeve: Kids on Leashes
Favorite Historical Figure: Hemmingway
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: The Avett Brothers
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: Cheetos.
Jennifer Miller Sales & Business Development Associate
Jennifer Miller is a Sales & Business Development Associate at SRQ Media. Chiefly responsible for advertising and special marketing sales in our portfolio of publications, Jennifer manages client relationships. Always keeping a sharp focus on the right program or opportunity for our partners, Jennifer brings a creative vision and get-it-done spirit to business development. Jennifer is originally from Indiana and has worked in the non-profit sector for charity events and sponsorships. On the weekends, you might catch Jennifer out enjoying any of the beautiful beaches in the area.
Favorite Fictional Character: Jack Bauer (24 series)
Favorite Quote: It always seems impossible until it is done -Nelson Mandela
Pet Peeve: People who can’t park straight or just can't park at all
Favorite Historical Figure: John F. Kennedy
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: pop rock, todays country, Motown
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: Wine, Cheese and crackers
Suzanne Munroe Sales and Business Development Associate
Suzanne Munroe is a Sales and Business Development Associate at SRQ MEDIA responsible for helping businesses increase brand awareness through advertising and special marketing from our portfolio of publications. Suzanne is a graduate from the School of Hospitality at Florida State University (Go Noles!). Her hospitality career, including hotel sales and management stints, has afforded her the opportunity to work with clients from several regions of the country. Suzanne’s broad experience with national, military, government and local clientele have built a strong foundation for relationship building and focused customer service, her principal strengths. A native Sarasotan, Suzanne grew up on Siesta Key and attended school at The Out-of-Door Academy before moving to Tampa and finishing high school. To relax, Suzanne loves boating, playing tennis and spending time with her family.
Favorite Fictional Character: Rey from Star Wars
Aliases: Suz…but don’t tell anyone!
Favorite Quote: "Don’t count the days; make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali
Pet Peeve: Not putting things back in the spot they belong. Unorganized space.
Favorite Historical Figure: Michelangelo
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: Classic rewind, 70’s and even 90’s
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: Warm fresh bread with butter, starburst, chocolate covered pomegranate, anything sweet!
Madeline Crotts Associate Producer: Marketing, Events and Programs
Maddie Crotts is SRQ MEDIA’s Associate Producer of Marketing, Events and Programs. She is in charge of scheduling, coordinating and executing all of our marketing, event, public relations and community engagement programs. Maddie graduated from the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality with a degree in Event Management. Upon receiving her diploma, Maddie backpacked through Europe to experience the culture and most importantly the food of various countries. She is passionate about her work, and is no stranger to meeting tight deadlines all while keeping a positive attitude. Next time you attend one of our signature events, you will see Maddie working her magic to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.
Favorite Fictional Character: Elle Woods (yes I went there), Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey
Aliases: Mad Mad (not the most flattering nickname, I know)
Favorite Quote: Dreaming after all, is a form of planning -Gloria Steinem
Pet Peeve: Messy, Unorganized Spaces and Lack of Motivation
Favorite Historical Figure: Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: 90's Throwbacks, Country, and Today's Hits Favorite
Guilty Pleasure Snack: Cheesepuffs, Cheesecake, and Chocolate
Tel: 941-365-7702 x221
Jacob Ogles Senior Editor
Jacob Ogles, SRQ Media Group's Senior Editor, was born in Illinois but moved to Florida at the age of 3, which we're pretty sure counts him as a native Sunshine Stater. When he studied magazine journalism at the University of South Florida, he dreamed of covering rock'n'roll all night while partying everyday, but was convinced during the Clinton administration that politicians lead just as interesting lives while holding the fate of the world in their hands. He has lived in Southwest for eight years and worked at SRQ since 2008. When he isn't huddled over his keyboard ensuring high quality product is delivered through your mailboxes, inboxes and web browsers, Jacob raises three children—Logan, Chloe and Nolan—with his wife Jennifer.
Favorite Fictional Character: Miles Vorkosigan
Aliases: Political Guru, Hairy Fat Guy in the Back
Favorite Quote: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out." Credited to Chicago City News editors Edward H. Eulenberg and Arnold A. Dornfeld
Pet Peeve: The word 'unique.' Don't ask.
Favorite Historical Figure: FDR
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: The one with the weird accoustic covers of rock songs
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: Politicians, or Cheetos. The small, wrinkly ones are the best to chew up.
Aviel Kanter Managing Editor
Born in California and raised in Sarasota, Aviel is a true sun baby. In an act of rebellion against her beachy roots, after graduating from Pine View she moved to New York City to attend New York University. She graduated NYU with a BA in English Literature and worked at Interview magazine. Aviel then decided to live in Paris for a year, where she attended the Sorbonne University and attained a DELF degree in advanced French language, all the while indulging (a bit too much perhaps) in rosé and brioche. She then returned to NYC to pursue a master's degree in journalism from NYU's Journalism Institute. After getting her MA, Aviel worked as an editor and writer at several New York-based publications, such as Artforum, Bookforum and The Baffler, along with a stint at a branding/advertising agency. After eight years in the city and Brooklyn, Aviel traded in her puffer coat for a bikini and returned to the sunshine state. Aviel can usually be found playing an endless game of fetch with her Toy Australian Shepherd puppy Chicken, doing yoga at the Yoga Shack or catching some rays out on the water in her kayak.
Favorite Fictional Character: Lady Brett Ashley, Eeyore.
Aliases: Viv, Vivi, Vivienne (only acceptable from the best of friends).
Favorite Quote: "The Dude abides."
Pet Peeve: Mouth noises, screaming children/apathetic parents.
Favorite Historical Figure: Virginia Woolf.
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: Good question--I work best with headphones firmly in place.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: My kingdom for a bagel.Tel: 941-365-7702 x212
Philip Lederer Staff Writer
Our newest Staff Writer, Phil Lederer covers the arts and culture beat for SRQ’s portfolio of publications as well as reporting features and departments in both SRQ DAILY and SRQ Magazine. Born in Texas but raised in Louisville, Kentucky, he graduated from Centre College with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. From there, Phil earned 1.75 master’s degrees from Morehead State University: one in public administration with a focus in political philosophy and the other in government. An avid reader, Phil enjoys and is inspired by the works of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Cormac McCarthy and James Ellroy.
Favorite Fictional Character: Gregory House M.D.
Aliases: Sheldon Jeffrey Sands, Reverend, Mr. Longbaugh
Favorite Quote: “The world in which you seek to undo the mistakes that you made is different from the world where the mistakes were made. You are now at the crossing and you want to choose, but there is no choosing there. There’s only accepting. The choosing was done a long time ago.” - Jefe
Pet Peeve: Overreactions. Especially loud ones. Self-focused conversationalists.
Favorite Historical Figure: Alcibiades of Athens.
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: Whichever one has the most Jack White
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: An entire loaf of freshly baked bread. In one sitting.
Anthony Casto Art Director
Most can remember an "aha" moment or perhaps an almost spiritual point in time that shaped the rest of their lives. For Anthony, it began with a larger than life cover image, the feel and even the rustic smell of the freshly printed pages of his first comic book. Bold, graphic, visual story-telling and adventurous pacing grabbed his attention and is primarily how he thinks and conceptualizes in his every day life as an art director, graphic designer and illustrator.
Allured by the art of visual content, posters and cover designs, Anthony pursued and earned a two-year Commercial Arts degree in design and advertising before he even graduated high school. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbus College of Art and Design in 2001 for Graphic Design and Advertising in his home state of Ohio.
He's gained some super design powers as a result of his 13 years worth of design experience. His work spans across printed media from newspaper design and revitalization, to art director and contributing columnist for multiple magazines. He's judged for a handful of photography and design contests and involved as a contributing advisory board member for a startup magazine. He earned a collection of Charlie Awards from the Florida Magazine Association, The Florida Press Club and Florida Society of News Editors. In 2013, he was awarded Employee of the Year for hard work and good character in the sight of his superiors, community and peers.
Anthony is currently the newest addition to the team at SRQ Media. His role as art director and designer is to super-charge and lead the team in the design of client projects while also directing and creating fresh and interesting page layout designs and covers for the portfolio of SRQ Media publications.
When he's not trying to save the world from bad design, you can usually find Anthony playing and teaching his two kids, plucking his guitar, drumming, working out or relaxing with a bowl of cereal before bed.
After a near-death experience he discovered the kryptonite that almost took his life: lack of clean food and physical fitness. Now a true "practice what he preaches" food guru, his look on life has been enlightened and he appreciates his second chance to be a real hero in his children's lives by being a great dad. (A super dad.)
Favorite Fictional Character: Growing up, comic books were influential in how I became an artist/designer so along the way I became a fan of the Hulk, X-Men, Image comics and most of all he's a Silver Surfer fan. Yes, I know, total comic nerd. However, the Surfer's story line intrigued me more than others since he sacrificed his life by becoming a servant to a powerful being in exchange to save his planet from annihilation. Sacrifice: it was a very powerful message for me at a young age—it just resinates. Plus, he's indestructible and he looks cool. C'mon; his whole body is silver chrome. That's pretty cool.
Aliases: "The Diffuser" and Andrew. And Tony.
Favorite Quote: "Try not to become and man of success but a man of value." -Albert Einstein
Pet Peeve: Lip smacking while eating. Disingenuousness and pretentiousness.
Favorite Historical Figure: Historically, even if you believe it/him or not, I would have to say the story of Jesus is pretty impressive. Abe Lincoln and Steve Jobs are interesting figures as well.
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: I’m a big fan of 90’s rock, I can’t help it. (I don’t mind a little classic rock here and there.) Bands like R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers are at the top, with a little Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins sprinkled around makes for a nice playlist for me. Pearl Jam is by far my favorite band, however. They are the 'stranded on an island with no access to other music' band. They just don’t make bands or music like that anymore.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: Probably blackberry cobbler or warm glazed donuts. I’m a health guru, no, really I'm a fanatic. I eat as clean and organic as possible. I'm very disciplined. However, if there is an alluring temptation, warm blackberry cobbler baked to a slight crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream atop it's gooey decadence melting away in sweet blackberry lava oozing with … wait, so sorry. I seriously need to find organic cobbler. Can anyone help? Anyone?
Wyatt Kostygan Photographer / Photo Editor
Wyatt Kostygan is the Photographer/ Photo Editor at SRQ Magazine. Born and raised on the east coast of Florida in a sleepy little town, he ventured to Sarasota to attend New College. Having been long captivated by movies and film, his penchant for photography began in college when he looked for a hobby to take him outside and explore the constantly evolving world of digital photography technology. With the purchase of his first camera, he was hooked and the rest is history. Upon graduation, Wyatt answered the call to big city life and moved to New York City to rub elbows and train under talented photographers and filmmakers. But as it often happens, home came calling back by way of an opportunity with SRQ Magazine and he relocated back to the sunshine state. Since his return to Sarasota, Wyatt has enjoyed seeing the changes that the city has gone through, and is finding more and more reasons to love this perfect mix of city and country life. When he’s not snapping photos in the SRQ Studio or around town scouting the perfect image for a story, you can spot Wyatt enjoying his motorcycle and spending time with his “wonderful, beautiful and intelligent girlfriend.”
Favorite Fictional Character: That’s a tough one for me. I don’t really like playing favorites when it comes to anything concerning the nuts and bolts of a piece of art. I can say though that movies are certainly my favorite medium if I had to pick.
A trend I have noticed in myself (to what extent it’s Freudian I am not going to comment) is that I favor male characters that are incredibly pathetic and even tragic types, and I tend to think female characters make for far more interesting “everyman” types nowadays. I guess if we are talking recent movies Riggan Thomson from Birdman, Woody Grant from Nebraska, and “Doc” from Inherent Vice are characters I really enjoy. Likewise Frances Ha from her titular film or Hushpuppy from Beasts of the Southern Wild I both love.
Aliases: Wy Guy maybe? My parents told me they tactically picked the name Wyatt because they abhor nicknames. I guess their logic was Wyatt was short enough, rare enough, and weird enough that it would be hard to coin a catchier moniker from.
Favorite Quote: “Whats the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.” (I have no idea who came up with that but it wasn’t me so I’m calling it a quote.)
Pet Peeve: People who are always late. Being late to something is totally fine, but someone acting surprised that they are late when they are always late drives me up the wall.
Favorite Historical Figure: Being completely honest, I almost certainly don’t have one. Not just because there are too many interesting people to choose from (which of course there are), but because I really have a hard time with idolatry in general. I think I’m just bad with favorites, but of course (no biases here right) I think that’s a good thing.
Favorite SRQ Office Music Channel: If pressed I’d have to say whichever one plays Sultans of Swing from the Dire Straits. I’m not big on lyrical music, but I got a soft spot for 70s rock regardless.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Snack: These awful little things called “Snappers”. They are just these small pretzels completely smothered in caramel and chocolate, and 90% of the time they are all melted together into one huge mass when you go to open the bag. Can’t get enough of those.