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SRQ DAILY Sep 11, 2019

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition


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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"We grow little chefs in the back."

- Chef Gordon Lippe, Your Culinary Place.

[At the Table]  Your Culinary Place Finds Winning Recipe Sharing the Kitchen
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

When plans for a catering partnership fell through, Chef Gordon Lippe found himself in need of a hard pivot. Armed with a space in Gulf Gate and his own expertise, he created Your Culinary Place—a commissary kitchen and “chef incubator” where entrepreneurs with foodie dreams can find professional space and equipment to make those dreams a reality. He officially opened on March 1 of this year. He thought it might be a gamble. He started tearing down walls to expand into a second kitchen almost immediately. “I wasn’t even open yet, and someone told someone and it spread like wildfire,” he says. “Before I knew what happened, I already had three or four clients in place.”

And the business hasn’t stopped growing. Now barely open half a year, Chef Gordon just started knocking down another wall to expand into a third kitchen space.

The concept is simple. Plenty of entrepreneurs have food-related ideas, just as many professional chefs have dreams of starting their own business. For both, building out and maintaining a physical space up to legal standards often remains prohibitively expensive. Your Culinary Place leaves those business details to Chef Gordon, while spreading the cost across several entrepreneurs, who all share a kitchen open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, renting only as much space and time as needed. “I break down the high-cost barrier to entry,” says Chef Gordon, and he thinks it’s only the beginning of something bigger.

“Just like Airbnb did to hotels,” he says. “The food economy is getting ready to go through a major shift and disruption, just like every other major business.” In the future he sees, great chefs rely on reputation and UberEats far more than a costly brick-and-mortar.

Currently comprising a hot kitchen, a cold kitchen and 18 clients ranging from a microbiologist who pickles and a single mom who makes nutmilks to a vegan baker, a caterer for a private club, multiple food trucks and a bulk tea company, Chef Gordon plans for the third kitchen space to open by Thanksgiving, and introduce retail space to the enterprise. And by next year, he hopes to see Your Culinary PLace add a fourth kitchen.

Still, he says, the business model remains person-focused, and Your Culinary PLace is not simply a shared kitchen, but a chef incubator, where Chef Gordon supplies not only space, but a helping hand with everything from chopping and mixing to marketing and logistics. “We grow little chefs in the back,” he says, “and one day they’ll grow up to be big chefs.” 

Pictured: Chef Gordon Lippe in front of a wall he has not torn down to add space at Your Culinary Place.

[StoryProject]  Bank of America Brunch on the Bay makes a difference in USFSM students' lives

Meet first-generation college student Kayla Collins. Entering her senior year at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Kayla is pursuing a career in law enforcement. She expects to graduate next spring and is fast-tracked to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice the following year.

Kayla is like a lot of USFSM students. Bright and engaging, she commutes daily from North Port while also working 40 hours a week. She plans to stay in Southwest Florida after graduation.

And like other USFSM students, Kayla appreciates the importance of Bank of America Brunch on the Bay, USF Sarasota-Manatee’s signature fundraiser for college scholarships.

“Brunch literally makes a difference in my life,” she said. “I am a first-generation college student and I’m pretty much on my own when it comes to tuition and books. Any scholarships I receive are based on merit and being a first-generation student. That’s why Brunch is so important to me and other students. Without it, I don’t know how I’d pay for college.”

Held each November – this year’s event is Nov. 3 – Bank of America Brunch on the Bay raises funds for college students like Kayla who need scholarships for tuition, books and other costs. Kicking off the social season in the region, the event features an elegant menu by some of the top restaurants in the region, who prepare and serve fine cuisine on USFSM’s scenic campus.

But what really distinguishes the event is the generous support it raises for students like Kayla.

For more about Bank of America Brunch on the Bay, visit usfsm.edu/brunch

Brunch on the Bay

[Philanthropy]  MCF Provides Startup Funds for Expanded Autism Program at Easterseals

An investment from Manatee Community Foundation has provided startup capital for an expanded autism program at Easterseals Happiness House. The idea arose in response to a grant from the State of Florida, which will award Easterseals funds in excess of $2 million to add early diagnosis of autism and virtual reality for employment for young adults with autism. Startup costs are reimbursed after delivery of services, approximately 3-6 months from the beginning of the grant. The Program Related Investment (PRI) from Manatee Community Foundation of $300,000 will also allow Easterseals to hire staff and begin the program in an efficient and cost-effective way. 

Easterseals Southwest Florida

[Philanthropy]  GCCF Funds Stipends for "Engineering Innovators"

Of 41 University of Florida engineering students who recently completed summer internships on the Gulf Coast, 19 received stipends funded by Gulf Coast Community Foundation to help ensure a successful and rewarding work experience. The internships were coordinated by the UF Innovation Station Sarasota County—the Sarasota-based extension office of UF’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.

The Innovation Station works on several fronts to help build the innovation economy in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Through its Engineering Innovators program, as the subsidized internship program is known, the Innovation Station promotes talented UF students to the local community and vice-versa. The $3,000 Gulf Coast-funded stipends supplemented students’ internship salaries, making the region a more attractive destination for students seeking internships. Gulf Coast Community Foundation has been a key local partner in the Innovation Station, along with Sarasota County and the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. In addition to Engineering Innovators program, Gulf Coast supports an Engineering Innovation minor that helps engineering graduates think more creatively and entrepreneurially. Students who complete the minor and come to work for an employer in the Sarasota region after graduation have the opportunity for some tuition reimbursements. 

Engineering Innovators

[Philanthropy]  Goodwill Manasota, SunCoast Blood Bank to Launch Partnership

On Friday, September 20, Goodwill Manasota and SunCoast Blood Bank will officially launch a partnership effort to encourage donations of gently used items and of critically needed units of blood. The organizations will begin by bringing both the Goodwill “Giving Mobile” and the SunCoast Blood Bank “Bloodmobile” to the campus of PGT Custom Windows + Doors from 8am to 8pm, where leaders from both nonprofits and PGT will be in attendance for an informal celebration and brief remarks.

The organizations are currently seeking additional locations in order to hold “Change a Life, Save a Life” donation drives at least once or possibly twice per month. Already in the works are events at FCCI Insurance Group (November 14) and Booker High School (date TBA). While the September 20 event at PGT is limited to PGT employees, the public is welcome to donate during select future events. For more information or to inquire about becoming a “Change a Life, Save a Life” location, call 941-355-2721, ext. 163 or email pavitra.ciavardone@gimi.org. 

SunCoast Blood Bank

[Philanthropy]  Bannister and Kahn Join GCCF Philanthropy Team

Gulf Coast Community Foundation has added two philanthropic advisors to its philanthropy team, further strengthening the foundation’s ability to meet its mission of transforming the Gulf Coast region through bold and proactive philanthropy. In their new roles, C.J. Bannister and Matt Kahn work directly with Kirstin Fulkerson, a 16-year member of the Gulf Coast staff who was recently promoted to Senior Vice President for Philanthropy, to engage donors and grow philanthropic resources to benefit the region.

Bannister, who joined Gulf Coast in July, is an Air Force veteran as well as a former financial advisor. She transitioned into the nonprofit sector by joining Goodwill Manasota as its first Director of Veterans Services, and most recently served as Chief Development Officer for Sarasota Military Academy Foundation. Kahn joined the Gulf Coast team in mid-August after serving most recently as Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee’s San Francisco office. Before that, he worked as Associate Director of Interfaith Relations at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation currently administers nearly 1,000 charitable funds established by donors to the foundation. 

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Philanthropy]  Figgers Donates 20 Computers to Sarasota Military Academy

Freddie Figgers, founder & CEO of Figgers Communications, donated 20 computers to cadets at Sarasota Military Academy, a local, public charter school. The donation comes as an extension of the Figgers Foundation August 2019 “Back-to-School” initiative, designed to help teachers provide for the needs of students in the classroom. Figgers, a 29-year-old entrepreneur, donated the computers to Sarasota Military Academy to replace old, outdated models in the language arts classrooms.

In addition to the patents and cloud-computing service, Figgers is the youngest person to be granted an FCC license to operate a wireless service. His company, Figgers Communications, has a net worth of over $62 million, and is the only minority-owned telecommunications company that manufactures its own phones and sells talk, text and data plans. 

Figgers Communications

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems , March 17 – September 29

Mazurka’s work reflects the communicative potential of pattern by combining visual references to architecture, biology, data analytics and instructional code. From her intense research into pattern languages, Mazurka presents an art exhibition that flatters and disturbs concepts of certainty and stability residing within pattern systems existing all-around us.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Who Love You, Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and Beyond , September 3 – October 13

Experience the signature songs and dance moves of one of the most successful acts in music history: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. A musical tribute to the group that has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, Who Loves You will have you clapping and singing along to hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” and many more you know and love.

Florida Studio Threatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: CFAS: Halflants + Pichette , September 12 – October 10

Center for Architecture Sarasota opens its fifth season at the McCulloch Pavilion with its new Solo Architecture Series. The first exhibit of the series features the Sarasota firm of Halflants + Pichette. The opening reception is September 12 from 5:30pm until 7:30pm. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. Information and registration is available at the CFAS website.

McCulloch Pavilion, 265 South Orange Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: 14th Annual Intertape Polymer Group Leadership Breakfast , September 13, 730am

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County will honor Jaime DiDomenico, Cool Today/Plumbing Today/Energy Today President, and Dr. Rachel Shelley, Booker High School Principal, at the 14th Annual Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) Leadership Breakfast for their commitment to empowering our community’s future leaders to reach their full potential. The event will take place on Friday, September 13, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, located at 3100 Fruitville Road in Sarasota.  Individual tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at bgcsarasota.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Tanya Orr, Community Engagement Manager, for more information by calling (941) 366-3911 or emailing torr@bgcsarasota.com.

Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, 3100 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Oktoberfest , September 13, 5–8pm

Put on your best German lederhosen and get ready to sample beers and shop during Oktoberfest. Ticket holders will be able to enjoy a fall-themed beer tasting at each of the participating locations in Downtown Venice as live, traditional German music fills the air. Attendees will receive a small sampling stein on a lanyard and get to sample a variety of brews in 3-ounce tastings as they follow a map of beer-tasting locations.

Downtown Venice

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Sarasota Wellness Expo , September 15

This expo provides an opportunity for locals to meet with local businesses that promote healthy living, and learn how to better their health and mind. This event caters to all ages and attendance is free. Guests can enjoy free fitness demos, health checks, a teddy bear clinic for kids, healthy food demonstrations, interactive activities and more.

Westfield Sarasota Square , 8201 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  HEALTH: Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group , September 16

On every third Monday of the month, Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers Comfort Creations, LLC, facilitates a Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group. This group focuses on the caregiver and offers a retreat from the never ending mental and physical responsibilities of caregiving. This free, open group provides compassionate support and an opportunity to explore new solutions together to caregiver challenges. The group meets in the classroom outside of the cafeteria.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  HEALTH: Veterans' Caregivers Free Lunch and Learn Support Group , September 16, 12:15pm-1:45pm

Welcoming all Veterans' Caregivers and Veterans caring for a loved one to a free lunch and monthly Caregivers Support Group every third Monday of the month. This group focuses on the Caregiver, and not the patient. Julie Cook Downing, Facilitator and President of Caregivers' Comfort Creations, LLC, has over two decades of experience with both support groups and Family Caregiving.

Mindspa Integrative Wellness Center , 5632 Bee Ridge Rd #101, Sarasota, FL 34233

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Voice + Visibility Women's Summit Lift Off Luncheon , September 17, 11am

Don’t miss the Voice + Visibility Women’s Summit hosted by Shannon Rohrer-Phillips, LLC at 11am on September 17 at Michael’s on East. The Voice + Visibility Network of SW Florida convenes diverse female leaders in Business, Philanthropy, The Arts and Community Advancement for maximum impact. At the event, SRP, LLC will highlight local leaders and announce the Inaugural Program for February 4th, 2020. VVWS will feature nationally recognized visionaries who will share their stories of leadership, innovation, wealth creation, and community investing in women and girls.

Michael's on East, 1212 South East Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Ari and the Alibis , September 20

FREE outdoor summertime concert series! The events run from 5-9pm and are located on the Bayside Lawn of the Van Wezel. Each of the four events will feature food trucks, beverage vendors and more – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a summer sunset over Sarasota Bay. Rounding out Friday Fest 2019 is the high-energy band, Ari and the Alibis! Infusing Funk, Jazz and Samba with Blues Soul and Rock, this 5-piece group has earned two Grammy® nods (Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance) and an award for “Best original song by a local group” in the Bradenton Times “Best of the Bay.” Don’t miss Ari’s powerhouse voice filled with emotion and strength – live at the Van Wezel’s Friday Fest!

Van Wezel

[SOON]  GALA: ACS Real Men Wear Pink Fashion Show , September 21, 5pm

Don’t miss the 2019 Real Men Wear Pink fashion show at 5pm on September, 21st in the Grand Court at The Mall at UTC. The show will feature Sarasota and Manatee candidates and each man will be dressed by one of the stores in the UTC Mall. These men are raising awareness and funds to fight breast cancer in our community.  Public is Welcome. Reserved Seating available. Contact Bethany Lynch at bethanyk.lynch@cancer.org to reserve your seat. Let's support these men in our community who are dedicated to fighting breast cancer.

The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  SPORTS: Totally Tailgate Benefiting Girls Inc. , September 21, 630pm

Get ready to tailgate at the 4th Annual Totally Tailgate benefiting Girls Inc. of Sarasota County. Girls Inc. invites you to the largest tailgate party under one roof with fan favorite food and drinks, classic games, raffles, multiple screens to watch your favorite football games and the opportunity to brag about the team nearest and dearest to your heart. Come out and represent your favorite team and support Girls Inc.

Michael's on East, 1212 South East Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  GALA: Sertoma Speakeasy and Casino Night , September 21, 7pm

Come out and support Sertoma Kids at the Speakeasy and Casino Night featuring casino-style games, hor d-oeuvres, cocktails, silent auction and raffle. Entertainment provided by Bill Buchman's Art of Jazz Band. Flappers, Hollywood Glam and Ganster attire is encouraged. True to Speakeasy tradition, the party will be held at an exclusive private location. Password and location will be provided via email after purchasing tickets. All proceeds benefit Sertoma Kids, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit outpatient speech clinic funded by Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota. Purchase tickets at SertomaKids.org/news.

Private Club in Downtown Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Social Entrepreneurship Conference , September 21, 10am-3pm

Join Cross College Alliance at 10am at the Sudakoff Conference Center for the inaugural Social Entrepreneurship Conference. This free event features panels addressing social issues, green initiatives, and creative endeavors, as well as an incubator program and contest with cash prize. Creative professionals will also be on hand for student portfolio reviews. The conference brings together students from the CCA’s member institutions: New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. Free registration at seconference2019.eventbrite.com.

Sudakoff Conference Center, New College of Florida, 5845 General Dougher Place, Sarasota, FL 34243

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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