Achievements that Last Beyond a Lifetime

Argus

BY CHRISTINE ROBINSON SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY NOV 17, 2018

Two days ago, The Argus Foundation celebrated our Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards. These awards honor the trailblazers of our community. Our honorees, past and present, are business men and women involved in our community and who significantly helped to shape it. Their legacies will last for generations.

The awardees this year are business men who were in the public arena and striving to make their community better. Visible and opinionated, these men dared to put themselves out there to move Sarasota forward into a brighter future. 

Gil Waters

Gil Waters’ fascinating life took him all around the world, but Sarasota would be the place that he would stay and make his mark. His time in the newspaper business helped to shape his passion for the community. He was a visionary in business, helping to find and start the Gulf Coast Builder’s Exchange and FCCI Insurance. 

He drew from his worldly experience to focus on planning and infrastructure, he formed a group to present Sarasota’s first downtown Capital Improvement Plan in 1958. He became a City Commissioner and pushed a bond issue that would lead to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Island Park and Marina, Marina Jack and other amenities we enjoy today.

He focused on solving the problems of aging and built communities around that concept.

Then, there was the bridge. The fixed-span Ringling Causeway Bridge that he confidently fought so hard for. Unrelenting, he won that battle with the naysayers and today we have a bridge, named after him, that has become the icon of Sarasota.

Michael Furen

Michael Furen is a native of Florida. A respected attorney, Michael put his legal fingerprints on some of the most defining developments of Sarasota County that include Palmer Ranch, The Colony and the Sarasota Interstate Park of Commerce Development Center (now known as University Town Center). 

Mike has spent 52 years at Icard Merrill helping to build the firm into one of the best in the area while providing pro bono services and financial assistance to those who needed help.

He always gave back to the community. He worked with and served on the board of Score for a Child, which provided equipment for disabled children. He also served on the board and became vice president of Josh Provides Epilepsy Assistance Foundation, which provides assistance to victims of epilepsy and their families.

The Argus Foundation would like to congratulate Michael Furen and the family of Gil Waters for their lifetimes of achievement. We are thankful for their forward-looking vision for our community.

Christine Robinson is executive director for The Argus Foundation.

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