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SRQ Daily Oct 18, 2016

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"It was time to rebrand and grow the effort to help entrepreneurs succeed."

- Jesse Biter, BOLD | Live, Work, Play

[Development]  HuB Relocating, Biter Branding Buildings as BOLD
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The HuB in Sarasota will relocate to a new space on Main Street, while the current building, still owned by developer Jesse Biter, will be rebranded as BOLD | Live, Work, Play.

Biter announced today that the building would take on a new name, a move that aligns with plans for a mixed-use development Biter plans to open in early 2018, BOLD Lofts. The new structure will include 97 apartments, and both BOLD Lofts and BOLD will feature private office rentals, common work areas and various amenities geared toward startups and freelancers. Biter expects to roll out a formal venture fund and incubator at BOLD in late 2017. The shared office space at the BOLD buildings, which will be built as BOLD Co-working, will operate somewhat differently than the HuB. We are going to have more focus on networking, education and growth resources,” Biter says. “I have experience building three successful startups and my plan is to help others do the same.”

As for the HuB, which was founded by Rich Swier in 2009 in the Rosemary District, the move comes after four years in the Fruitville Road building bearing the startup incubator’s brand. Swier remains involved with a number of startups operating at the HuB and Assunta Swier, Rich’s wife, now serves as the HuB’s CEO. Now, the HuB will move into Palm Tower, a structure at the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue and a prime locale in Downtown Sarasota. The building will undergo extensive renovations before the HuB reopens there in early 2017, but owners have committed to maintaining the building’s character and history. "Our goal is to make it the epicenter of innovation," says Rich.

“Our new concept will be different,” says Assunta. “Our coworker space will be 5,000 square feet (one floor) and we have many other floors in the building to attract tech companies. Our focus will be to continue to build the innovation economy.” 

Both the rebranding of Biter’s buildings and the relocation of the HuB were announced in quick succession Monday afternoon. Biter, who became more heavily involved with the HuB when it moved into the Century Bank building he redeveloped four years ago, says the break between his projects and the HuB has been an amicable one. “I like Rich and Assunta a lot but the HuB has always been their brand it has always been more than co-working,” Biter says. “They have multiple HuB businesses. With the addition of BOLD Lofts, along with the amenities I plan to add during the construction, it was time to rebrand and grow the effort to help entrepreneurs succeed.”

“We see this as an expansion for the creative community,” Assunta says. “The current building will continue to offer amazing space and our new place will be a new concept we have been working on for a year.” 

[Daily Shop]  Distressed Charm
Taylor Young

While trolling Pinterest to create that perfect inspo board, you’ve surely come across those trendy DIY projects featuring effortlessly distressed mason jars, side tables and chairs. However, don’t immediately balk at the supposed difficulty— the way to achieve this look is closer than imagined: think Sarasota’s own Rustic Rooster. The local furniture store carries the prestigious Annie Sloan chalk paint in almost every color imaginable. Use the hue of your choice to spruce up plain walls, or even dab it on a dresser to create a more shabby-chic feel through your house. One thing is for sure, if you have been contemplating whether or not to try out that chalky paint project you saw on Pinterest, now is the time.  

Rustic Rooster, 532 South Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-8485.

[SRQ Story Project Partner Spotlight ]  Top Workforce Professionals Come Together for State of Jobs Conference

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce State of Jobs Conference on Thursday, October 27 will bring together some of the area's top professionals to educate and prepare the next workforce generation. Speakers represent varied tracks including healthcare, information technology, business manufacturing, hospitality, marketing and the arts—all with a common goal in mind.

“This is the first year the arts have been included in the State of Jobs Conference and Sarasota Opera feels honored to participate,” says Director of Audience Development and State of Jobs speaker Sam Lowry. “The Arts in Sarasota are one of the biggest employers in Sarasota with a myriad of career opportunities available beyond being a performer. We are excited, along with our colleagues from the Sarasota Orchestra and the Ringling Museum, for the opportunity to inform the next generation of Sarasotans about our industry.”

Throughout the day, students will experience at least five sessions, three focused directly on their career interest. In addition to learning about their career, State of Jobs focuses on college readiness, leadership, social responsibility and preparing for being a professional.

Mireya Eavey, conference speaker and President of CareerEdge strives to grow workforce development in our community and region. “Similar to the State of Jobs Conference, CareerEdge’s greatest goal is to connect students with the professionals and potential resources they might need in order to succeed," she says. "For me, this conference is a great opportunity for students to not only learn about college, but is also a chance to discover a new industry, explore a new certificate program or just a chance to sort through their options before they walk across that stage at their high school graduation. We want to better prepare our young community members for a bright and promising future.” 

SRQ magazine’s CEO and Editor and Chief Lisl Liang will return as a State of Jobs speaker and discuss what it takes to run a business in our region. "At previous State of Jobs conferences, many participants expressed an interest in owning and running their own businesses," says Liang. "As a local entrepreneur and founder of the SRQ|MEDIA enterprise, I am thrilled to engage our students in a workshop that gives them a few tools to experience the culture of accountability, adaptability and artisanship that go into the creation and diversification of a successful creative class company.” 

For more on the State of Jobs Conference, contact Chris Laney at cdlaney@gmail.com or visit their website online at StateofJobs.org.


State of Jobs

[Exec Moves]  FST Welcomes New Director of Individual Giving

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) has appointed Melody Mora-Shihadeh as the new director of individual giving. In this role, Mora-Shihadeh will provide leadership for FST’s annual fundraising efforts. She will be responsible for setting strategies and executing fundraising plans for sustaining and growing the number of annual donors to FST’s diverse programming and special projects. Mora-Shihadeh joined the development team on September 12, previously working in administration and serving as company manager for FST between 2005 and 2008.  

Florida Studio Theatre

[Recognition]  Conservation Foundation Awarded Lee County TDC Grant

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast was awarded a grant of $639,080 for the boardwalk and kayak launch on Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass from Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) Beach and Shoreline Funding. By 2018, Conservation Foundation will open Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass to the public, free of charge and 365 days a year.  

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast

[Recognition]  LWR Community Fund Awards Grant to Easter Seals

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund has granted $5,000 to Easter Seals Southwest Florida. The funds will provide support for Project Rainbow, a respite care program that offers home-based care for families in Lakewood Ranch with disabled children. With Project Rainbow, trained respite care workers provide home-based care services in four-hour increments to families of children who are chronically ill, medically fragile and/or developmentally or physically disabled. Project Rainbow staff supervise all of the minors in the home, not just the child with special needs.  

Easter Seals Southwest Florida

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine and edited by Senior Editor Phil LedererNote: 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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