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SRQ Daily Jun 12, 2018

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"We've doubled the size of the company a couple times over the years I have been here."

- Chris Tomasso, First Watch Restaurants
 

[Exec Moves]  First Watch's Changing of the Guard
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

First Watch Restaurants just promoted one of its lead executives to the top of the food chain. Chris Tomasso, president of the University Park-based company, got promoted on Monday to be chief executive officer, with outgoing CEO Ken Pendery transitioning to executive chairman of the board. “We’ve doubled the size of the company a couple times over the years I have been here,” Tomasso tells SRQ. “I want to continue along the path we’ve been on of growing very successfully.”

Tomasso originally joined First Watch in 2006 as the company’s first chief marketing officer, and in 2015 he moved into the president’s office working closely with Pendery. In the nearly 12 years Tomasso worked in some executive capacity here, the restaurant chain has grown from 60 locations in nine states to 330 locations in 29 states. And he still sees room for growth, especially with a brand synonymous with the most important meal of the day.

“The breakfast segment for a while now is the only part of the restaurant industry that has grown,” he says, something that helped catapult the Florida-based chain into a nationally loved brand. The company recently opened new locations in markets like Philadelphia and Detroit, and will soon serve its first breakfasts in New Jersey. 

But the Sarasota-Bradenton area remains a “core” market for the company, Tomasso says. He notes you can find locations throughout the Gulf Coast region, notably on every interstate exit sans Clark Road. The most recent local addition came with a Fruitville Road location in December. Meanwhile, the company serves as name sponsor for the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay, and it continues a significant partnership with Forty Carrots Family Center. And as the company grows its reach across the nation, Tomasso says there will be job growth at the corporate offices that will benefit this area.

Don’t expect a major shift in direction for the company. With a long-planned transition and a working relationship between Tomasso and Pendery that lasted years, the company’s strategic moves have been set with Tomasso in the room. Pendery in a statement expressed confidence in the strength of the company and in Tomasso’s leadership. “During the past 32 years, I have had the tremendous honor to work alongside some incredible people, and I am so proud of the company we have built,” Pendery said. “Chris and I have worked together for more than a decade, and he has played an integral role in the success of First Watch during that time. I am confident that he will approach this new role with the same passion and commitment to our culture that he has demonstrated these past 12 years, and I believe he is the ideal person to maintain our success and culture during this period of accelerated and aggressive growth.”

Before landing at First Watch, Tomasso serves as vice president of marketing for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and vice president of worldwide marketing for Hard Rock Cafe International. But when asked whether his past companies offer a path for First Watch, he demurs. First Watch seems to be doing fine, with a grip of foodie trends kept fresh by rotating seasonal menus and with a growing fan base that loves the quality and innovation found in First Watch kitchens. “We are creating our own legacy,” he says. 

Pictured: Chris Tomasso, First Watch president and CEO

[GoodBite]  Cue the Dad Jokes
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Idyllic partners in crime may be you and your old man, but for dinner time we’re talking the classic burger/beer duo. Luckily, Libby’s Cafe + Bar celebrates the big man on campus this Sunday, so scrap the ‘Best Dad Ever’ mug and take pops out for a poppin’ beer and burger special. Fathers enjoy their beer for free–choose any draft beer of choice, including local gulps such as Calusa Focus IPA, Big Top Circus City IPA, Motorworks V-twin Lager and Big Storm Wavemaker Amber Ale.

Then have your pick of the menu’s featured burgers served with a side salad, truffle fries and a pickle spear. You’re sure to fill his bottomless pit with the hefty Brisket Short Rib Burger—a hearty mix of ground brisket, short rib and chuck blend. Adorned with melted baby swiss cheese, sliced tomatoes and shredded lettuce, the best is yet to come with a homemade bacon jam spread on a toasted brioche bun. Dads, milk this meal for all that it’s worth and charm the table with your cheesy, stand-up jokes. This is your big day—they have to laugh. 

Image courtesy of Tableseide Restaurant Group

Libby's Cafe + Bar, $10 burger & draft beer Father�s Day special, 1917 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-487-7300.

[Exec Moves]  Williams Parker Announces Diaz as Partner

Williams Parker has announced that attorney Elizabeth P. Diaz has been elected a partner of the firm, effective July 1. Diaz practices in the areas of taxation, estate planning and estate and trust administration. She works with individuals and families to achieve their estate planning goals, including tax mitigation, wealth transfer, succession planning for closely held businesses, planning for young families and philanthropy. Her training as a certified public accountant enables her to develop customized gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax plans using current estate planning methodologies. She currently serves on the board of Forty Carrots Family Center and on the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida Christmas in Candy Land Committee. Diaz earned a LL.M in Taxation from the University of Florida and her J.D. and M.B.A. from Stetson University and her M.Acc. in Taxation and B.S.Acc. from Florida State University. 

Williams Parker

[Travel]  SRQ Airport To Open Community Enrollment for PreCheck

The Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is inviting community members and passengers to enroll in the TSA PreCheck expedited screening program. This temporary enrollment event will take place at SRQ from July 23, 2018 through July 27, 2018. TSA PreCheck is an expedited screening program that enables identified low-risk air travelers to enjoy a more efficient screening experience. For TSA PreCheck travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, 3-1-1 liquids, laptops, light outerwear or belts. To enroll, applicants are encouraged to Pre-Enroll ahead of time by clicking the link below, choosing “Pre-Enroll” then “Apply Now” and filling out steps 1 through 4. Next, at the bottom of the screen, select an appointment time. The total cost to enjoy five years of TSA PreCheck in all participating U.S. airports is $85 per person. To complete the application process, bring proof of identity and U.S. citizen documentation. 

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport TSA PreCheck

[Philanthropy]  Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee Names Field for Neals

With the help of a substantial donation by Pat Neal, chairman of the board at Neal Communities, and his wife, Charlene Neal, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, an afterschool and summer program that offers hope and opportunity to every child in the community, has broken ground on its new facility. The longtime Lakewood Ranch-based builder and philanthropist and his wife will make $200,000 contributions over the next five years, totaling $1 million for the nonprofit’s Invest in Kids campaign. The couple’s donation will underwrite the new flex field at the Club. With less than $200,000 needed to close out the $7.5 million Invest In Kids campaign to rebuild the physically and functionally obsolete DeSoto Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 1 to celebrate the start of construction. The new campus will serve up to 600 kids, more than double the number currently served by the nonprofit. The new Flex Sport Field at the DeSoto Club campus will be named the Patrick and Charlene Neal Field. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County



[TODAY]  THEATER: Carole's Kings , June 12 – July 15

Be transported back in time with Carole's Kings, an all-male Carole King tribute that mixes fabulous music with clever writing by The Second City, the legendary home of sketch comedy and improv. With a cast fresh from Broadway, Carole’s Kings will have you singing and dancing along to “The Locomotion,” “You've Got a Friend,” and “I Feel the Earth Move.” Jam-packed with humor, this salute to Carole King will take you back to when she was the queen of the airwaves.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  PERFORMANCE: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 12 – July 28

The 2018 Circus Spectacular will amaze and dazzle you. Join the performers for an hour of incredible family fun at affordable prices. Presented in collaboration with The Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota, this onstage exhibition of circus artistry provides delightful summer entertainment for “children of all ages.”

Historic Asolo Theatre, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  DANCE: Behind the Curtain with Kira Blazek Ziaii , June 15, 3pm

Come out and enjoy an open rehearsal with Choreographer Kira Blazek Ziaii and Sarasota Contemporary Dance dancers followed by a Q&A session.

Sarasota Contemporary Dance Home Studio, 1400 Boulevard of the Arts Ste. 300, Sarasota.

[SOON]  DANCE: Physical Theater Workshop with Kwesi Johnson , June 18 – June 22, 9:30am-11:30am

Artistic Director of Kompany Malakhi in the United Kingdom, Kewsi Johnson will show dancers his passion for creating imaginative and inspiring narratives that often hold a message. He specializes in fusing dance styles such as UK Jazz dance, contemporary, Funk styles, and Breakin', with physical theatre and the unexpected to create a style that is incomparable. The workshop equips you with the skills to transform and reinterpret image, spoken and written language into 'physical theatre.'

Sarasota Contemporary Dance Home Studio, 1400 Boulevard of the Arts Ste. 300, Sarasota.

[SOON]  DANCE: Behind the Curtain with Kwesi Johnson , June 22, 3pm

Come out and enjoy an open rehearsal with choreographer Kwesi Johnson and Sarasota Contemporary Dance dancers, followed by a Q&A session.

Sarasota Contemporary Dance Home Studio, 1400 Boulevard of the Arts Ste. 300, Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: The Lion King Jr. , June 22 – June 23

The African savannah comes to life with Simba and Nala, Pumbaa and Timon, Mufasa and Scar, and more unforgettable characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again in this inspiring, coming-of-age story. This vibrant tale has captivated worldwide audiences. With Sir Elton John's music, dazzling costumes and extraordinary talent, this is a show not to be missed.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 3rd Ave. West, Bradenton

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Friday Fest: Jah Movement , June 22, 5:00pm

Opening the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s Friday Fest summertime concert series is reggae band Jah Movement. Fronted by hometown hero and vocalist extraordinaire Shantel Norman, Jah Movement plays top 40, Funk, Soul, R&B and Calypso Dance music. Winners of Creative Loafing’s 2016 ‘Best Local Reggae Band’ in the Tampa Bay Area and recent 2nd place winners of Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Best Local Entertainment for 2017, Jah Movement is made up of some of the best musicians in the South West Florida Region. 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. Don’t miss out - “The Movement” is sure to get you dancing!

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SPORTS: HotelPlanner Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix , June 23 – July 4

The 34th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, offers events for the entire family to enjoy.  Powerboat racing will take place off Lido Beach on July 1 broadcasted by CBS Sports, with boats racing at speeds over 100 MPH. Other Festival events include a Golf Classic, Car Show, Kickoff Party, Racer Autograph Signing, A Fan Festival, Downtown Block Party, Motorcycle Charity Ride and much more. The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix is produced by, and benefits, Suncoast Charities for Children supporting local children and adults with special needs.

[SOON]  THEATER: Murder for Two , June 27 – July 29

Officer Marcus Moscowicz is a small town policeman who dreams of becoming a detective. When shots ring out at the surprise birthday party of great American novelist Arthur Whitney, and Whitney ends up dead, Marcus sees an opportunity to prove his sleuthing skills. With only a short time to solve the case, he has to find out, “whodunit?” In a witty musical homage to classic murder mysteries, Murder for Two is the perfect blend of music, mayhem, and murder.

 

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip from Little Sarasota Bay to Palmer Point Beach , June 30, 8:30am-11:30am

Join John Sarkozy, as he shows you the natural beauty of Little Sarasota Bay. All kayak equipment will be supplied to you and is included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members. A short training session will be given before the trip for those who wish to take it. Take a break on the “crown jewel” of local beaches and take a swim or a walk before paddling back to the mainland.

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  FILM: Films on the Fairway , June 30, 7pm

The Palms Golf Club and the Sarasota Film Festival are teaming up for Films on the Fairway. Throughout the summer, you will be able to enjoy a film, food and fun on the gorgeous greens of the Palms Golf Club. In their upcoming screening, the golf club will show Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, the 1981 Steven Spielberg classic starring Harrison Ford. Tickets can be bought in advance or purchased at the door. Premium tickets are also available on a limited first come-first serve basis. For $27.50, enjoy dinner, a beverage of choice, a golf cart with preferred viewing, unlimited popcorn and waitress service! Reservations must be made and paid in prior to June 23rd, 2018.

The Palms Golf Club, 1990 S Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34232

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip from Caspersen Beach to Lemon Bay , July 1, 8:30am-11:30am

Enjoy quiet water, open-seated kayaking and exploration from Casperson Beach to Lemon Bay. All kayak equipment will be provided and is included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members.

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip from Little Sarasota Bay to Palmer Point Beach , July 4, 8:30am-11:30am

Join John Sarkozy, as he shows you the natural beauty of Little Sarasota Bay. All kayak equipment will be supplied to you and is included in the cost of the trip, which is $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members. A short training session will be given before the trip for those who wish to take it. Take a break on the “crown jewel” of local beaches and take a swim or a walk before paddling back to the mainland.

American Littoral Society

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular , July 4, 4:30pm-10:00pm

Join Marina Jack for their annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on Independence Day between 11:00 am-10:00pm. Indulge in the decadent menus from the Dining Room, Blue Sunshine Patio Bar & Grill and Deep Six Lounge & Piano Bar all while enjoying the magnificent display of lights in the sky. Marina Jack II will host a three-hour cruise featuring a buffet, live music and premier viewing of the fireworks display.

Marina Jack's, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Kayak Trip From Curry Creek to Nokomis , July 7, 8:30am-11:30am

Enjoy the great outdoors with a kayak paddle led by John Sarkozy, through Nokomis and the Curry Creek Preserve. All kayak equipment will be provided and is included in the cost of the trip, which $20 for ALS members and $25 for non-members. Bring drinking water, suncreen and your sense of adventure. 

American Littoral Society

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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