We are Argus

Guest Correspondence

BY CHRISTINE ROBINSON SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY NOV 19, 2016

Over the past 33 years, the Argus Foundation has been a vocal, enthusiastic proponent for Sarasota County. With over 170 members from 50 different industries, our nonprofit’s mission is to apply business leadership to identify, educate, advocate and collaborate on solutions to important community issues that will enhance the quality of life, environment and economic well-being of our community.

These area leaders—from major economic, business and professional organizations—come together in a creative non-partisan effort to better facilitate communication and cooperation between the public and private sectors to improve our community. 

Over the past two years, Argus has completed an administrative and internal overhaul. We have improved our technology, put new internal processes in place to be more current, and we have reassessed our goals for the future through strategic planning and a new mission statement. Now as we shift our focus back to tackling critical local issues, we are poised well to advocate for solutions to make this a better place to live, work and do business. That is and has always been the common thread among our leadership. It is epitomized by our recent Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Michael Saunders, a past Argus Foundation President and an accomplished entrepreneur, community advocate and philanthropist. 

I think Michael said it best when she addressed the crowd at the awards banquet, saying: “My passion is making a difference. For over 30 years, Argus has done just that by forging public, private collaborations to make our community a better place. All Argus members know that there is still much work to be done so none of us can rest on past achievements. None of us can do it alone. I look forward to continuing the journey of giving back with all of you.”

She’s right; our work isn’t finished. In order to maintain the quality of life in our community, we need to continue to work together on the issues facing us. We will do this by keeping a broad community perspective and coming to the table with solutions. We will try to understand the underlying nature of problems and will not expect to solve problems with quick fixes. We believe in systemic change, persistent attention, and time in moving us to a better community. We live here, work here and raise our children here. We believe in Sarasota County and its people.

Education on issues will continue to be a focus through our Meet the Minds luncheons, which inform and stimulate with guest speakers who discuss the important issues impacting the community, state and world. Last year we experienced record-setting attendance at these luncheons with candidate forums, state officials addressing transportation and work force training, our own Ringling College addressing education and economic impact, and a business executive focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Our signature events, including the Low Country Boil which is a casual mixer with our elected officials and candidates saw over 250 attendees, and our Lifetime Achievement Awards, which honors and teaches us about the history of our important community leaders, saw over 375 attendees. This is a community that wants to learn, wants to engage, and wants to take action. These civil community conversations, which move all of us to action, are vital to our prosperity.

We look forward to working with the community to solving problems affecting our home. We are Argus and we are ready to apply business leadership to important community issues.

Christine Robinson is executive director of the Argus Foundation.

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