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SRQ DAILY Feb 17, 2015

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"Kathy knew who she was, and she knew she had been given talents and accepted a responsibility to use her talents in a way that made a difference."

- Debra Jacobs, The Patterson Foundation

[Memoriam]  Community Remembers Baylis, Economic Development Pioneer
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

In a time when Southwest Florida’s economy thrived or starved entirely on the strength of a few industries, Kathy Baylis, founding president and executive director for the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, focused her energy on diversifying the economy. Upon news of her death, colleagues remembered Baylis for her ability to bring leaders from across the community together in building a stronger future.

“Kathy knew who she was, and she knew she had been given talents and accepted a responsibility to use her talents in a way that made a difference,” said Debra Jacobs, president of The Patterson Foundation. “What she really left for the community is that she set an example over and over again about crossing boundaries and doing something meaningful.”

Baylis turned her professional focus on economic development in the region before the EDC even existed. At The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, she rose to become vice president of economic development before setting out in 2004 to launch the EDC as an independent entity focused on recruiting new businesses to the region and helping existing ones expand. During an SRQ Magazine interview in October looking at the first decade of EDC operations, Baylis recalled the notion of an independent economic development entity was at first controversial, but enthusiasm grew with time. “We started getting people who hadn’t worked together before," she recalled. "It was very rewarding and everyone was excited about it.”

"The EDC came into being because Kathy Baylis had extraordinary determination and focus," said Jeanne Corcoran, Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office director, "and although a realist about what made economic engines run, she was a optimistic visionary about supercharging that local engine up to maximum efficiency and speed." 

Former Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta said Baylis was instrumental in the creation of a strategic plan for economic development, bringing in consulting firm RTI International to identify sectors of the local economy with the greatest potential for growth. “She was willing to reach out and help Sarasota County as best she could, and did it in a tough environment,” Barbetta said. “For a big period, the economy was not doing great throughout the country, but she stood steadfast."

During her time with the EDC, the agency attracted such companies as Boar’s Head while assisting companies like Tervis and PGT with facilities expansion in the region. Baylis retired in 2011 as she dealt with personal health issues. “The EDC and the entire Sarasota County community has lost a tremendous friend and contributor to our quality of life,” said Mark Huey, president and CEO of the EDC. “We all owe Kathy a tremendous debt of gratitude for her leadership over 15 years of making Sarasota County a better place to live and work.”

Jacobs worked with Baylis on a variety of volunteer and professional endeavors over the course of 30 years, and in the last two years invited Baylis to work in a consultant capacity for The Patterson Foundation. In that role, Baylis advised individuals and organizations on community building efforts. 

Those who worked closest with Baylis said her greatest strength lay in an ability to get people who normally weren’t cooperating or focusing on the same goals to find common cause for a greater good. “Kathy was a trustworthy leader, with the ability to bring people together to take on big challenges,” said David Sessions, Willis A. Smith Construction president and a former EDC chairman. 

[Design]  Fawley-Bryant Gives Fashion Week Makeover
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

While the fashions of Donna Karen and Zac Posen will be the highlight of many Fashion Week watchers, the management of crowds at the Lincoln Center in New York has been the focus of Fawley-Bryant Architects. The Lakewood Ranch-based firm was tapped last year by IMG Worldwide to take a look at the venue management for the marquis event at New York Fashion Week, an event which started last Wednesday and continues through Thursday. 

Stuart Henderson, of Fawley-Bryant, led a team of professionals in design and production to study past events put on by IMG Fashion and make recommendations how to better utilize the physical space at Lincoln Center, or other potential venues around the world, to handle the crowds and high-profile events associated with Fashion Week. Many of the recommendations were made for the first time at the event taking place now in New York, and more will be implemented in future events.

How did the biggest runway event in North America tap a Manatee County architecture firm for the job? Fawley-Bryant has a connection to IMG through a number of development projects at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. IMG trusts us to work with them and understand their values and their desire for efficiencies and flow for events and projects,” he says. “They trust us and our process, methodology, timing and craftsmanship.” 

[Exec Moves]  Shinn Reappointed as USF Trustee

Shinn, 57, of Bradenton, is a certified public accountant and president of Shinn and Company LLC. He previously served as a member of the Florida Board of Accountancy. Shinn received his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida. He is reappointed for a term beginning February 13, 2015, and ending January 6, 2020. 

Shinn and Company

[Exec Moves]  Brodksy Tapped for Juvenile Justice Committee

State Attorney Ed Brodsky was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency State Advisory Group. Brodsky, the state attorney for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term ending at the pleasure of the Governor. 

State Attorney's Office 12th Judicial Circuit

[Synergy]  MindSpa, CentrePoint Announce Addiction Program

The MindSpa Integrative Wellness Center is doing a joint venture with CenterPointe Counseling and Recovery in Venice to provide an Outpatient Addiction Program. CenterPointe at MindSpa leverages the combined expertise of the two clinics and also provides a strong emphasis on brain-based treatment. CenterPointe at MindSpa will be located at the new 14-office suite that MindSpa is moving into later this month. The facility is located at the Ridgegate Center on Bee Ridge Road. The new center is more than 4,700 square feet which is twice the size of the current center. MindSpa opened in January 2004 and the expansion is necessary to support continued growth. MindSpa will host a Grand Opening event at their new center later in March. 

MindSpa Integrative Wellness Center

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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