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SRQ Daily Aug 12, 2019

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"We are proud to be known as having one of the best security departments in the nation."

- Vanessa Baugh, Manatee County Port Authority

[Commerce]  Grants Fund Security Boosts at Port Manatee
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

As Port Manatee’s size and reputation have grown, so have security needs. But a new $1.4 million federal investment should enhance both safety and efficiency at the Palmetto facility.

“It is very important that we keep port security updated not only to be able to help our customers but also to keep our Port safe,” said Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, Port Manatee Port Authority chair.

A federal grant of $1,425,000, matched with $475,000 in local funding, will move forward three projects at the port. A full $1 million will go toward expanding the south security gate into a full-service complex. The gate will now have four lanes and the capacity to handle a full spectrum of transactions.

This comes on top of Port Manatee working on similar upgrades to the north security gate complex. Some $1.7 million in prior federal grants supported that wave of projects.

“Since initial installation of the present port security system in 2010, Port Manatee’s gate activity has tripled, to the current annual pace of 750,000 transactions,” said David St. Pierre, public safety and security director. “These grant monies, along with federal awards in preceding years, allow Port Manatee to stay at the leading edge of port security while accommodating escalating amounts of cargo.”

Another $750,000 will go toward upgrading technology, including new video and access controls to use a common operating platform, as well as modernizing all software. The final $150,000 will go to upgrade existing emergency alarm systems. Port officials say the grant requires all those upgrades to be completed within a three-year time.

Officials say in addition to providing general security, the upgrades all help keep the port in a leadership role compared to other facilities.

“Our Port Security team travels to different ports in the Americas teaching other security teams the best techniques,” Baugh said. “We are proud to be known as having one of the best security departments in the nation.” 

Photo courtesy Port Manatee: Entry gates to Palmetto facilities will see significant upgrades.

[Firmo Construction ]  Firmo Construction Continues to Expand with New Projects in Southern Florida
Firmo Construction Continues to Expand with New Projects in Southern Florida

Firmo Construction is a local, sustainable construction management firm known for their innovative build projects, such as the expansion of Rosemary Square in downtown Sarasota, the ground up build of Hampton Inn and Suites by SRQ Airport, and the build-outs for White Sands Physical Therapy and Center For Sight. With the current growth of local and surrounding areas, Firmo has been expanding its expertise towards the Southern Gulf Coast region.

Recently, the Firmo team completed the revitalization of a Cove Communities property in Camelot Village in Sarasota. The project, driven with Firmo’s design-build approach to refurbish and upgrade multiple interior and exterior spaces, has allowed their work with Cove to evolve into an ongoing partnership across more of their locations in Ruskin, Ft. Myers, and Ocala.

Firmo Construction has also announced their newest opportunity in the region with the construction of a new Avid Hotel in Ft. Myers. Avid Hotels are a new Holiday Inn franchise and Firmo will be one of the first to bring an Avid to the Southern Gulf Coast region. Groundbreaking for the 119-room, 4-story structure will begin in four months.

Photo: A before and after image of a Cove Communities property in Camelot Village. 

Firmo Construction | 205 N. Orange Ave., Ste. 301, Sarasota | 941-917-0494

Firmo Construction Website

[Business]  Local PR Chapter Takes Home 16 Awards at State Conference

The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) was recognized during FPRA’s 81st annual conference in Tampa. Chapter members were recognized for excellence in public relations programs and for leadership; the chapter also earned a prestigious collective honor. During the Golden Image Awards, chapter members earned 16 awards—one of its best showings at the state level in the chapter's history.

FPRA state president Gordon Paulus recognized CWC-FPRA with the President's Award for Membership, making special note of the local chapter's new member numbers, multi-faceted retention efforts and numerous networking opportunities to keep members engaged with the chapter and one another. CWC-FPRA board member Eleni Kouvatsos was named to the 2019 Joe Curley Rising Leader Class, which recognizes and honors up-and-coming leaders in regional chapters.

For a full list of local winners, including the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, The Eclipse Agency, Wordslinger Marketing & PR, Visit Sarasota County and more, follow the website below. 

CWC-FPRA Winners

[Law]  Williams Parker Attorney Selected as FICPA 2019-20 Emerging Leader

Williams Parker has announced that attorney Jamie E. Koepsel has been selected as one of the FICPA 2019-2020 Emerging Leaders. Koepsel focuses on corporate and tax law. His experience includes handling federal and state tax issues for individual and business clients. Koepsel earned an LL.M in taxation and his law degree from the University of Florida and graduated with a B.B.A in Accountancy and a second major in English from the University of Notre Dame. He received an Estate Planning Certificate and multiple book awards from the University of Florida College of Law. 

Williams Parker

[Arts and Culture]  Hermitage Presents Beach Readings with Studdard and Seidlinger

The Hermitage Artist Retreat will present a “Sunset Reading on the Beach,” with poet Melissa Studdard and author Michael J. Seidlinger on August 23, 7pm, on the beach at the Hermitage. Studdard will read poems from her poetry collection, “I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast,” as well as from manuscripts in progress, some of which were created during an April residency at The Hermitage and reflect her time there. Seidlinger will read from a novel-in-progress based on a road trip he took during the summer of 2017. Audience members are invited to bring their own beach chairs and blankets. In case of rain, the event will be moved indoors to the Palm House.  

Studdard is also the author of the young adult novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, and her work has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Harvard Review, Psychology Today and elsewhere, and has received awards, including the The Forward National Literature Award, the International Book Award and the REEL Poetry Festival Audience Choice Award. Seidlinger is a Filipino-American author of a number of books, including My Pet Serial Killer and The Fun We’ve Had. He is an editor at large for Electric Literature and is a member of The Accomplices. In 2012, he founded Civil Coping Mechanisms, an independent press specializing in poetry, hybrid-form fiction and nonfiction. His writing has appeared in Buzzfeed, Forbes and more.

Reservations for this free series are required and can be requested at the website below. 

Hermitage Artist Retreat

[TODAY]  FILM: Sun Xun: Time Spy , August 11 – February 16

A mesmerizing 3D animated film by Chinese painter and draughtsman, Sun Xun incorporates traditional techniques including ink painting, charcoal drawing and woodblock printing. He uses analog and digital technologies to explore pressing concerns of the time.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Interpolations: Artwork from The Ringling and Monda Collections , March 17 – September 8

This new exhibition fuses artworks from The Ringling’s permanent collection of modern and contemporary art and selections from Keith D. and Linda L. Monda’s collection. As part of the four promised gifts from the Monda family, pieces by Beverly Pepper, Teo González, Yayoi Kusama and Richard Serra enable the Museum to present a broader and more complex history of late twentieth- and early 21st-century art. These new promised gifts will be featured along with other selections from Monda’s collection and key works from the Ringling’s own growing collection of modern and contemporary art.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems , March 17 – September 29

Mazurka’s work reflects the communicative potential of pattern by combining visual references to architecture, biology, data analytics and instructional code. From her intense research into pattern languages, Mazurka presents an art exhibition that flatters and disturbs concepts of certainty and stability residing within pattern systems existing all-around us.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The Swingaroos: Hollywood Serenade , July 23 – August 30

Back by popular demand, The Swingaroos return to FST with a brand new show. Inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, this jazzy music revue pays tribute to such icons as Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, and Fred Astaire. Travel back in time this summer to the ‘30s and ‘40s when big bands and swing dancing were all the rage. 

Florida Studio Threatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Scorch , July 26 – August 25

For Kes, falling in love for the first time happened online. But the exhilarating fantasy quickly turns into a terrifying reality when the young teen is accused of criminal conduct. Inspired by real cases of ‘gender fraud,’ Scorch is a touching and provocative story of love though the eyes of a gender-curious teen.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: The Cottage , July 31 – August 24

Set in the English countryside in 1923, this sexy comedy of love and betrayal unfolds when Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her secret love affair to her husband. The true meanings of love and marriage are called into question as a surprising, hilarious web of secrets unravels in this ridiculous—potentially murderous—romantic comedy.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Reverend Barry & The Funk , August 16

Join us for The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s FREE outdoor summertime concert series! The events run from 5-9pm and are located on the Bayside Lawn of the Van Wezel. 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.


Featuring 3 Grammy®-nominated musicians, this 8-piece band plays a high-energy set of originals and covers of funk & soul music including Earth, Wind & Fire, Commodores, Kool & the Gang and Prince. Sit back and relax or dance the night away as Reverend Barry & The Funk returns to the Friday Fest stage! 

Van Wezel

[SOON]  HEALTH: Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group , August 19, 10am

On every third Monday of the month, Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers Comfort Creations, LLC, facilitates a Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group. This group focuses on the caregiver and offers a retreat from the never ending mental and physical responsibilities of caregiving. This free, open group provides compassionate support and an opportunity to explore new solutions together to caregiver challenges. The group meets in the classroom outside of the cafeteria.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, FL

[SOON]  GALA: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick Off Celebration , August 29, 530pm

Join us to Kick Off the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer season and for the reveal of the 2019 Real Men Wear Pink candidates.  Hear about the American Cancer Society’s lifechanging research and patient programs that are funded by Making Strides and Real Men Wear Pink events. Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. RSVP is required. Please RSVP by Monday, August 26th to Lucy.Fox@cancer.org or 941-328-3755. MakingStridesWalk.org/SarasotaManatee

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FOOD: Caregivers Comfort Socializing Lunch , September 2, 1215pm

Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers' Comfort Creations, LLC and Doctors Hospital Caregiver Support Group Facilitator, hosts a monthly lunch at The Rosemary restaurant. This event provides caregivers some time to relax, enjoy themselves and eat super delicious food with others sharing similar situations. The lunch takes place from 12:15pm-1:45pm. For lunch details, contact Julie at caregivercomfort@aol.com.

The Rosemary, 411 North Orange Avenue

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Stars, Stripes and Style 26th Annual Fashion Show , September 4, 11am

Join us in celebration of the Women's Council of Realtors Sarasota Network 26th Annual Fashion show on Wednesday, September 4 at 11:00 am. WCR will honor America's veterans at the Stars, Stripes and Style fashion show featuring fashions by Goodwill Manasota. Enjoy lunch by The Hyatt Sarasota and a fun filled fashion show by local realtors and business partners. There will be a live auction, lotto tree raffle, silent auction and shopping at tabletop boutiques.

Hyatt Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FILM: Gazebo Starlight Cinema Series , September 6

Join the Gazebo Starlight Cinema series with this month’s movie: X-Men. With a screen stretched around the Gazebo pillars and family flicks back-projected from within, what better place than the facing grassy knoll to relax in a beach chair or curl up on a blanket? Bring the whole family to kick off your weekend while enjoying the park! Support local Venice Avenue businesses by bringing snacks, dinner, ice cream (or gelato!) to enjoy during the movie.

Downtown Venice Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Ave.

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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