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SRQ DAILY Jan 16, 2016

"C4 encourages me that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well here on the Gulf Coast. As a community, we should nurture and reward it."

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Higher Education]  Collaborative Curriculum Development
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

Education can no longer afford to be a linear exercise where we teach, students study and employers hire graduates. Today’s economy demands a collaborative approach. At the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, we must bring the workplace into the classroom to create skill-based education to equip students for real jobs in real companies in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

An innovative curriculum that meets the academic standards of faculty, the knowledge and critical thinking requirements of the workplace and the aspirations of the student is a collaborative effort. Between now and 2020, we will boldly engage in this crucial process through the third priority of our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. We will aggressively engage faculty, program managers, business leaders and community leaders in collaborative curriculum development from start to implementation for programs that are rapidly responsive to workforce needs.

I am committed to generating opportunities for our faculty and students to boldly engage employers. We must increase the number and quality of cutting edge, innovative programs in rapid response to our community’s needs. SCF is the place where students can combine working in the community while pursuing their education. We will partner with businesses to grow our students into their future employees and their current employees into future leaders.

We will also collaborate with the other higher education institutions in Manatee and Sarasota Counties to create opportunities for our students. We kicked off 2016 with the announcement of the partnership between the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast and a trio of community foundations to develop synergistic programs between the region’s higher education institutions. Together with New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, Florida State University/Ringling Center for the Cultural Arts and Eckerd College, we will market our region as a “multiversity,” with almost all the characteristics of a research university. One result of this collaboration will be cross registration, in which students can take classes for credit on a space available basis at another C4 institution while paying their home school rates.

As we develop innovative curriculum for inside the classroom, we also plan to greatly expand our internship opportunities for our students. I am committed to creating an environment in which SCF will be the first call employers will make because we will collaboratively develop internship programs where they can, for a modest investment, give very capable and eager students the chance to prove themselves. When they do, our business partners will have an exceptional graduate ready to help them grow their business.

SCF has been the community’s college for 58 years and is a proven and trusted partner for the future of our region. Partner with us to develop the kind of employees your business needs.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld is president of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 

[Argus]  Better Together
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Back in 2011, I was privileged to hear a wonderful speaker as he made the rounds, speaking to several area organizations about consolidation. At the time, we were at some our highest levels of unemployment in the recession, governments were forced to cut services and municipalities were raising taxes.  The city of Venice had just experienced a large turnover of its council and Jerry Abramson, the first mayor of a consolidated government in America – Louisville metro – was asked to come to Sarasota to share his experience, good and bad.

A guest of The Argus Foundation, Abramson, formerly the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, noted that when it came to attracting and creating new jobs, cities, counties and state governments were like 19th century organizations trying to solve 21st-century problems. While visiting with business owners, executives and elected officials, he spoke about how Jefferson County and Louisville, Kentucky. — the city for which he served as its elected mayor 15 years — collaborated to merge into one entity in 2000.

I was profoundly affected by his words, which emphasized how important community partnerships, public private partnerships and strong collaborative relationships can be to regional development and the well being of a community.

In Kentucky, the merging and alliances saved millions of dollars, created a more efficient local government and facilitated a region of 750,000 people to move forward in one direction. 

Every time I hear about another incredible partnership like the recent announcement of the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast, or C4, I am reminded of Abramson’s notable message. Like C4, a joint effort among southwest Florida’s most prominent institutions of higher education that will allow Sarasota students to earn credit on six different campuses and will connect some 20,000 students to resources around the region, Abramson stressed that a collaborative focus will accomplish extraordinary things that can have a domino affect of wonderful achievements and vast regional benefits.

Another example of community collaboration is what is happening in South County at the Loveland Center. With partial funding from the state, thanks to the leadership of Sen. Nancy Detert, private donors and corporations like J.E. Charlotte Construction Corp., Halfacre Construction and PGT donating time, labor and materials, close to 100 adults with development disabilities will soon have a wonderful new apartment complex and clubhouse to enjoy. The Loveland Village is one more example of how community collaboration can achieve extraordinary results.  By the way, all of these community-invested companies are Argus Foundation members.

Additionally, just yesterday city and county officials gathered at Suncoast Technical College for the Convocation of Governments. Elected officials from the county and cities, the school board and planning staff, and members of the public shared ideas about joint use of facilities and partnering to maximize our public assets for the future. 

These wonderful examples should push us to continue this type of collaborative engagement. What more can we be doing to improve every aspect of our community and grow stronger? I applaud Ringling and its partners in the C4 initiative and the Loveland collaborative. I urge our community leaders to continue to engage in these important exercises that will make our community better and stronger for years to come. Together, we can certainly accomplish more. 

Christine Robinson the executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

[Gulf Coast]  Entrepreneurial Minds, Please Apply
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

One of my favorite lines from this month’s press conference announcing the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast didn’t come from the dais. It came from the crowd gathered in Selby Auditorium on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus to learn what C4 is all about.

“I applaud you for your entrepreneurialism!” is what Sharon Hillstrom, head of the Bradenton Area EDC, told the college and university presidents assembled at the front of the room. Those higher-ed leaders had just laid out their objectives and aspirations for an unprecedented collaboration of our region’s major colleges.

In a nutshell, the leaders of our community’s unique mix of colleges—which serve almost 20,000 students when you put them all together—have some big ideas for leveraging and sharing their collective resources to maximize opportunities for students. In the process, they aim to build (and brand) this region as a higher-education hub, one that attracts businesses and entrepreneurs hungry for top workforce talent.

“Think of us holistically—it’s like a ‘multiversity’” is how Ringling College of Art and Design president Larry Thompson put it.

“It’s like a dream come true for me” is how Hillstrom described it from the economic-development perspective.

Entrepreneurial. Perhaps not the signature trait of “higher education” in the minds of many of you reading this. But it does fit our local college leaders—from New College and State College of Florida, as well as Ringling College and USFSM—as was clearly on display at the C4 announcement.

Indeed, those hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs—creativity and innovative thinking—aren’t solely the domain of start-ups. That’s a message one of our country’s most recognizable entrepreneurs, Shark Tank star Daymond John, will bring to our community next month.

John is Gulf Coast’s guest for our Better Together community education luncheon on February 15. From his start selling hand-sewn T-shirts on the streets of Queens with a budget of just $40, John turned his FUBU line of urban apparel into a global brand worth billions. His personal journey is a quintessential rags-to-riches story. 

But he’s not coming here to simply say, “If I can do it, so can you.” John is a tenacious goal-setter and tireless learner. And he believes applying an entrepreneurial mindset is equally important in big companies and mature organizations that seek to maintain or gain a competitive edge. Like colleges that want to stand apart as nimble and flexible among their stereotypically rigid and creaky counterparts. 

C4 encourages me that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well here on the Gulf Coast. As a community, we should nurture and reward it. We’re headed in the right directions—onward and upward. But we can go farther, higher. I hope you’ll join us on February 15 for an inspirational lift.

To learn more about Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Better Together luncheon, go to GulfCoastCF.org.

Mark Pritchett is president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

[Scoop]  Race Tips from Sarasota Music Half Marathon's John Korff

There’s less than a month to go before the February 7 Sarasota Music Half Marathon.  Whether you’re a walker or a runner you should be doing longer weekend run/walks of 10-12 miles, stretch and ice anything that ails you and begin to taper (reduce your mileage) two weeks before the race.  Don’t panic because you feel you haven’t done enough miles.  The rule of thumb is you can run three times your average distance.  You may not be able to dance that night but take solace in your training. If you’re walking in the Music Half Marathon remember that a street walk is 20 minutes per mile.  You need to average 18 minutes/mile to meet the four hour cutoff.  It’s not that hard but you have to stay on pace.  You can dance, wave, party and play but keep moving. Headphones aren’t necessary on race day.  You’ll pass bands 42 times during the 13.1 half marathon. 

Sarasota Music Half Marathon

[SCOOP]  Pines of Sarasota Provides Education Institute Provides Valuable Tools For Caregivers

As our population ages the need for informed caregivers grows. Pines of Sarasota Education & Training Institute is recognized internationally as a cutting edge training center for residential and at-home caregivers, focusing on a diverse set of elder care concerns, from caregiving and nursing for dementia diseases and aging disabilities to elder law and end of life issues. Training is offered at informative on-site seminars, engaging webinars and by a series of DVDs created by Pines of Sarasota’s educators. Therse tools are backed by outreach programs that offer support and resources to help caregivers in their demanding and increasingly important role. 

Pines Of Sarasota Education Institute

[SCOOP]  2016 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards Nominations Open

Nominations are now open for the 2016 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards on June 3. Nominate a locally owned or operated business one of  six prestigious awards or a deserving individual for the Young Professionals Award. Nominees must be a local business with 75 employees or less  and a Sarasota Chamber member in good standing. The deadline to nominate is Monday, February 1. 

Greater Sarasota Chamber Of Commerce

[SOON]  Mardis Gras In SRQ

Don't miss Goodwill Manasota's Mardi Gras Gala on February 4 at Michael's on East. Dress in beads and masks and 'Laisssez les bon temps rouler' the night away with amazing Cajun food including shrimp etoufee, crab cakes, and jambalaya, New Orleans style drinks and live music by Skip’s Dixie Band. Get your mask at i tesori boutique in downtown Sarasota on 1st Street) and the store will donate 10% of each mask sold to Goodwill Manasota. i tesori masks are handmade in Venice, Italy are available in paper mache and laser cut metal, trimmed with crystals, glitter and feathers for women and men.


Goodwill Manasota

[SOON]  Sarasota Opera Opens 57th Season on January 30th

Sarasota Opera will open the 2016 Winter Festival Season, the largest and most climactic in the company’s 57 year history, on January 30th. The season will feature the final two installments of the 28 year Verdi Cycle – The Battle of Legnano and Aida in a grand spectacle of music, vocal prowess, awe-inspiring choruses, sumptuous scenery, and luxurious costumes. In addition, the company will present Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, and Mozart’s comedic Così fan tutteAt the close of the Verdi Cycle on March 20, 2016, Sarasota Opera will be the only company in the world to have performed every note of Giuseppe Verdi intended for performance. The season will culminate with a “Verdi Festival Week” March 15–20. and  include continued performances of both Verdi operas, two concerts dedicated to the music of Verdi, an international Verdi Conference, a 28 year retrospective exhibit on the Verdi Cycle, and many more commemorative events. 


Sarasota Opera

[SCOOP]  Samurai: The Way of the Warrior at The Ringling

The Ringling presents Samurai: The Way of the Warrior exhibition open now through April 17. Drawing from the rich and varied Japanese collection of the Stibbert Museum in Florence Italy, this evocative exhibition features over 80 exquisite objects related to the legendary samurai warriors - full suits of armor, helmets, swords, sword-hilts, and saddles, as well as objects intended for more personal use that all characterize the period in which Japan was ruled by the samurai military class. 

The Ringling

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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.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. 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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