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SRQ DAILY Sep 16, 2017

"In our region's service-reliant economy, families that already teetered on the financial edge will be buffeted by economic wind-bands from this storm long after it has fallen off the weather radar."

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Argus]  Taking a CEO Approach to the Storm
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

This was by far my toughest column to write for SRQ Daily. I usually spend the few weeks before the column, looking for inspiration and researching information. But this past week I have spent my time locating a place to stay for my kids and preparing while we ride out the storm somewhere else other than Florida.

I am grateful that we had a chance to leave. I am also grateful for the leadership of our Governor leading up to this storm. His leadership through this has been unmatched. A lot of what you see from him, the calm and steady hand combined with the decisive action are traits acquired as a CEO of a successful business.

The Argus Foundation motto is: “We apply business leadership to important community issues.” We are certainly seeing the advantages of business leadership at the state level now.

The CEO Genome Project is a 10-year study conducted by ghSmart. Its results were printed in Harvard Business Review. The study used the expertise of 14 researchers including experts from University of Chicago and Copenhagen Business School. They assessed 17,000 C-suite executives, which include more than 2,000 CEOs.

From their research and analysis, The Project identified what exactly high achieving CEOs do better than the rest of us. They “decide with conviction and speed, practice relentless reliability, are relationship masters, and are proactive in adapting to changing circumstances.”

We agree, You cannot fully operate government like a business. There are things like open records and Sunshine laws that make that impractical or impossible. But you can take business principles and apply them to make government more successful.

Gov. Scott certainly did that and met each of the criteria listed in the CEO Genome Project with his command of the emergency situation our state was thrust into by mother nature. This is an excellent study for local governments after the clean up, and in some cases, after the rebuild is done.

We hope to see local governments go through a list of lessons learned as a result of this major hurricane. While doing that, they can take the lessons from the state and the CEO Genome Project and use them as a model to improve our emergency response and community.

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

[Gulf Coast]  When Civility Reigns, Even in a Storm
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

Hurricane Irma spared us the destruction whose landfall seemed frighteningly likely before it crossed the Florida Keys into Collier County. Yet damage did occur here, and clean-up and recovery continue across our communities. Nearly a week since this unprecedented storm swept past our region, there remains much to do, to assess and even to appreciate.

If anything has come into sharp focus for me in the past few days, it is how we pulled together as a community, with neighbors helping neighbors before and during the storm. There were many acts of generosity, as neighborhoods formed storm-shutter brigades, restaurants fed first responders, and shoppers stepped aside to let another in greater need grab that last generator or case of water. Thank you for these acts of compassion.

In spite of such unselfish kindness, many residents right here did suffer and will be slow to recover. The worst is yet to come for thousands of families who were in financial distress before the storm hit. The farther you go into our neighborhoods, the more downed trees and damaged homes you find. And in our region’s service-reliant economy, families that already teetered on the financial edge will be buffeted by economic wind-bands from this storm long after it has fallen off the weather radar.

In Sarasota County alone, 18,000 households are just a $400 emergency away from losing their homes, according to data in the United Way’s recent ALICE Report. Now think about the $1,000 it may cost to remove a tree that fell. Or the wages lost this week by restaurant servers and convenience store clerks who barely scrape by. Theirs are hurricane stories we must remember and share.

But this is a region that cares for its own. In just a few weeks, we will begin a year-long celebration of the civility and community spirit that we are witnessing right now. Thank you for staying positive, keeping your cool and making a difference during the darkness of this storm. Because it matters.

So, what can you do in the weeks ahead to accelerate our recovery while continuing to build our trust in one another?

Keep checking on our neighbors. The bonds we strengthen now will serve us in the future.

Volunteer. Agencies like All Faiths Food Bank and Harvest House have been on the ground providing relief from the minute it was safe to do so. More volunteer needs will arise through the recovery phase of Hurricane Irma.

Support local businesses. The more money we pump back into our local economy, the more families we can help keep afloat.

Donate. Please donate directly to service providers like the Food Bank, Salvation Army, and Jewish Family and Children’s Service, or contribute to trusted funds like our Gulf Coast Disaster Fund or the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Hurricane Irma Relief and Recovery Fund. We will ensure that 100% of these gifts directly support the charities that are providing much-needed services.

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

[Real Estate]  Luxury Housing Market Heats Up
Jennifer Putnam

We’ve been hearing it for months now—Sarasota’s real estate market, economy, tourism and population are at an all-time high. Credit the booming local economy, increased consumer confidence, low unemployment or the cyclical nature of business. Its affects are particularly noticeable in one rapidly growing area: the luxury housing market.

Luxury home transactions in Sarasota County rose 91 percent in July compared to the same month last year and 14 percent compared to June, according to new data released by Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. The data measures publicly recorded closed luxury property sales of $1 million or more throughout Sarasota County.

While sales increased substantially to a total of 42 transactions, prices slipped to a median of $1,397,500 in July, a decline of 21 percent from last July and down seven percent from June.  As luxury properties made improvements in affordability, overall sales reflected the change positively and translated to a great time to buy.

The increasing population in Sarasota County is credited for this shift. Economic consultant firm Fishkind & Associates estimates that by the year’s end, 21,030 new residents will have relocated to North Port, Bradenton and Sarasota this year. If those estimates hold true, that puts the area’s total population count around 810,535 by the end of 2017.

Economic confidence among Floridians is also on the rise, according to the University of Florida Consumer Sentiment report. The research center states that consumer sentiment is at its second-highest over the past 15 years. Consumers are more confident in their personal finances and this has affected Sarasota’s luxury market.

While housing markets around the country typically experience a slowdown as summer comes to a close, we are not finding that true in Sarasota County. The luxury housing market is as healthy as ever.

Jennifer Putnam is the regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Southwest Florida. She can be reached at Jennifer.putnam@floridamoves.com.  

[KUDOS ]  Thank You SMH!
As Hurricane Irma rocked the Gulfcoast, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System remained open throughout the storm, making sure the needs of 500-plus patients plus those with special needs seeking shelter continued to be met during this difficult time. SMH "sheltered in place" and continued to care for patients 24/7 with designated teams of medical specialists, nurses and support staff staying in the hospital around-the-clock.  More than 2,500 Sarasota Memorial staff members left their homes to report to work to support the efforts. “Hurricane Irma prompted the largest mobilization of resources in the hospital’s 92-year history. The storm tested everyone in our community and brought some of the most challenging conditions to our hospital’s emergency operations and public safety teams,” SMH CEO, David Verinder stated.  A big thank you goes out to the entire Sarasota Memorial team for the great work they did during the storm, as well as the outstanding care they provide our community each and every day. 

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

[SCOOP]  A Call For Volunteers: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

The staff at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is safe post storm and in the process of returning the garden to its regular, beautiful state. As an expected result of Hurricane Irma, a number of trees, branches and debris are down. Fortunately, many of their iconic trees held up. The Gardens will remain closed to the public to clear away debris and further assess damage. In the meantime, they are  looking for clean-up volunteers. All help (and rakes) will are welcome. Please call 941-366-5731 ext. 221 to help. 

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

[SCOOP]  CPL Ben Kopp Celebrity Golf Classic

On Saturday October 7, Operation Renewed Hope Foundation and Goodwill Manasota will present the CPL Ben Kopp Celebrity Golf Classic at the Legacy Golf Club. The event will benefit Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program which helps veterans to reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs. On-course registration begins at 8 a.m and the event will start at 9:30 a.m. Format will be a five-player scramble with one celebrity playing in each group. At the completion of play, there will be an awards ceremony and buffet lunch. 

Goodwill Manasota

[SCOOP]  #ClearTheShelter

Currently, there are hundreds of displaced animals stuck in emergency situations across the state of Florida due to Hurricane Irma. To help as many animals as possible, the Humane Society of Sarasota County is reducing adoption fees to just $10 for all dogs, puppies, cats and kittens to clear the shelter and make room for animals in desperate conditions. Head to HSSC today to adopt today. 

The Humane Society of Sarasota County

[SCOOP]  Beer, Bands and BBQ

Music Compound kicks off the fall season with their 3rd annual Beer, Bands & BBQ. With craft and domestic beers, local BBQ favorites, top local bands and local businesses, this event is fun for the whole family. Guests are welcome to bring chairs or blankets to sit back and enjoy music from Dance band Funktastic Soul, nationally acclaimed blues artist Steve Arvey, well-known banjo player, Banjo Bob with Trailer Tricks and Finger Picks, Jah Movement, Celtic band Blue Skye Pipe and Drums, Music Compound’s Got Talent Winner Trey Wanvig and and rising stars from Music Compound. Tickets for general admission are $15 at the gate or $10 in advance online.  

Music Compound

[SCOOP]  Hurricane Irma Classroom Relief Fund

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County has created a Hurricane Irma Classroom Relief Fund to help Sarasota County teachers restore their classrooms and focus on student learning. Cleanup and maintenance are now top priority at each of these schools so that teachers and students can return to their classrooms on Monday, September 18. To assist in the effort, the Education Foundation is seeking cash donations which will be used to purchase and replenish much needed classroom supplies. Visit tinyurl.com/classroomrelief and donate today. 

Education Foundation of Sarasota County

[KUDOS]  Every Child, Inc. Recognizes Local Scholarship Recipient

With the help of generous donors such as Don and Lisa Lawson, Every Child, Inc. presented a scholarship to Raven Peters of Sarasota. Raven is attending the University of Central Florida, majoring in Political Science on an International Law track. She hopes one day to be able to fight for basic human rights across the globe, with a special interest in the refugee crisis to protect those without a voice. Raven began volunteering with Every Child Inc. in their afterschool program in Newtown and has since assisted with art classes at the Boys and Girls Club, volunteered for fundraisers, and participated in the Cinderella Project and Cinderella Project Runway, all sponsored by Every Child, Inc. Raven writes, "Every Child Inc. is the pinnacle of community organizations as they have committed time, energy and effort into numerous aspects of a child's development, whether that's financial, providing school supplies and prom gowns, after school programs, art classes and encouraging creativity through design. They are there to show a young child, like me, what service is all about and to foster a love for community, service and self.  Through my experiences volunteering with such a community driven organization my passion for giving back has only grown over time." 

Every Child, Inc.

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.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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