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SRQ DAILY Dec 17, 2019

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"It's the richest ice cream in the county."

- Dennis Yoder, Co-Founder of Siesta Creamery

[Business]  Dennis and Nancy Yoder are Back in the Ice Cream Business, For Now
John Witte, john.witte@srqme.com

Dennis and Nancy Yoder just started a new business—Siesta Key Creamery. The couple started the business because they felt like they had something unique to contribute to the already crowded Siesta Key ice cream industry.

“It’s the richest ice cream in the county,” Dennis Yoder says of the couple’s new endeavor, the Siesta Key Creamery. “We buy the cream with the highest fat content available.”

Dennis and Nancy clearly take pride in their work, and there’s a deeply engrained ethic to what they’re doing. More fat means a creamier treat. Better ingredients makes for better flavors. There are secrets to the process that Dennis would never tell a reporter, no matter how much pressure there might be to make a marketing campaign out of his process.

What you might not expect, however, is that Dennis and Nancy are in their 80s. The founders and original owners of Sarasota’s legendary Big Olaf Creamery, they have a deep history of making frozen confections in our town. And they never truly planned to return to the business.

Originally, Dennis and Nancy agreed to open the shop only as silent partners to a much younger entrepreneur. When that younger partner backed out of their agreement, Dennis and Nancy were left fully invested in the property with no choice but to start making ice cream again.

“It’s not good for my health,” Dennis tells SRQ.The couple is hoping to sell the business, which has been open for less than two months, to an interested partner as soon as possible. 

[Education]  Venice High School Students Take a "Career in a Year" Field Trip

Last month, Rotary Futures College Resource Center took 43 Venice High School students on the annual “Career in a Year” trip to the Suncoast Technical CollegeVenice High School students were introduced to the many career programs available at Suncoast Technical College that can be completed in 13 months or less and the services the college provides to help individuals receive training for high-demand jobs. This trip is especially beneficial to those students who do not yet have a post-secondary education plan. 

[Education]  Manatee District Proud to Announce Excellence in Education Awards Finalists

Eight employees of the Manatee County School District were surprised today by a visit from Superintendent Cynthia Saunders, Deputy Superintendents Genelle Zoratti-Yost and Doug Wagner, Executive Director of Manatee Education Foundation Mary Glass, members of the District Leadership Team and Marty the Marauder, as they learned they have been named finalists for this year’s Excellence In Education Awards.”  The Excellence In Education Awards celebrate excellence in education in Manatee County by selecting an “Educator of the Year” and a “Support Employee of the Year.”  The four finalists in the Educator of the Year category are: Faith Bench, Mathematics Teacher at Braden River Middle School; Amanda English, Science Teacher at Bayshore High; Susan Nickerson, 4th Grade Teacher at Palmetto Elementary; and, Jennifer Santora, 3rd Grade Teacher at Gullett Elementary. The four finalists in the Support Employee of the Year Finalists category are: Christal Cashmore, Paraprofessional at Myakka City Elementary; Alison Cooper, Clerical Assistant at Williams Elementary; Amie Golden, Registrar at Witt Elementary; and, Marth Stroup, Senior School Secretary at Freedom Elementary.  

[Philanthropy]  William G. and Marie Selby Foundation Donates $75k for Preschool Security

The William G. and Marie Selby Foundation recently donated more than $75,000 to The Florida Center for Early Childhood for improved building security and playground safety at campuses in Sarasota and North Port. The Florida Center, which provides early education and therapeutic services to children ages 0-8, plans to purchase a new camera security system, security locks and new windows for both its campuses. The grant also includes a much needed allotment for resurfacing the playground at Starfish Academy in Sarasota.“We know the importance of early education, but nothing is more important than the safety and security of our children,” said Susan Carney, principal and director of Starfish Academy. “We want parents to drop off their children with confidence, knowing that The Florida Center has taken a serious approach to ensuring safety and security in our classrooms and on our playgrounds.” The Florida Center operates Starfish Academies in Sarasota and North Port. The preschools function as inclusion schools, where typically developing children and children with special needs learn together and are challenged to meet their individual potential. Starfish Academy is only one of the many programs operated by The Florida Center. Today, the agency is nationally recognized for its early childhood expertise in a variety of specialties. The Florida Center provides developmental therapies, mental health counseling, Starfish Academy preschool, the Healthy Families home-visiting program, and the state’s only Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders clinic. For more information, visit www.thefloridacenter.org or call 941-371-8820.

[Economic Development]  EDC names former Longboat Key Town Manager David Bullock as Interim CEO

The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County announced today that the interim CEO of the organization will be former Longboat Key Town Manager David Bullock. “We are very happy that someone of David Bullock’s experience and stature was willing to step in to guide the EDC while we conduct our national search for a new CEO,” said Art Lambert, Chairman of the Board of the EDC. “We cannot let our efforts to diversify and strengthen the local economy pause for even a moment.” Bullock has extensive public and private sector experience. He retired in 2018 after seven years leading the Town of Longboat Key. Before that he was Sarasota County Deputy County Administrator for 14 years. Previous to public service, he was in private consulting in Virginia and ran a small construction company prior to that. “I’m looking forward to serving as interim CEO of the EDC. A healthy, vibrant, and diversified economy is essential to making Sarasota County a great place to live and work,” Bullock said. “It’s a privilege to assist the EDC, local businesses,and local governments in the never ending job of strengthening and diversifying our economy. All our citizens benefit when the local economy is growing.” Mark Huey, CEO and President of the EDC for the past eight years, announced his resignation on December 5, but is working through the end of December to help in the transition process. The EDC Board has created a transition team empowered to carry forward, without interruption, the EDC’s mission during the search process, and to work closely on the formation and charge of the search committee. 

[Staff Change]  Visit Sarasota County Announces New Meeting Sales Manager

Visit Sarasota County (VSC) has promoted Amanda Walker to Meeting Sales Manager. The promotion within VSC’s sales department will allow the tourism bureau to better identify, attract and entertain conferences, meetings and groups, resulting in extended stays, large bookings, and an upsurge in first-time visitors to the areaHired as the Leisure Group Sales Manager in 2018, Walker secured accommodations and community activities for the social, military, educational, religious and fraternal (SMERF) groups market as well as for weddings and travel agents, contributing to more than $11 million dollars in Economic Impact to the area. Prior to VSC, Walker was employed with The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Sales department. Walker was recently has been appointed to the Emerge Board of Directors. The mission of Emerge is to provide connections, opportunities and a platform for young, professional minorities who have a passion for their community and careers. Walker has extensive knowledge of the area and is passionate about sharing it with these groups.


[Growth]  SRQ Traffic Growth Continues With 52% Increase in November

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) passenger traffic set an all-time record for the month of November with 182,607 passengers traveling through the airport.  Traffic for November 2019 was up 52% over November of 2018.  Year-to-date passenger numbers are up 42% with 1,738,935 passengers using the airport so far this year. “We are excited to see our twenty-first straight month of passenger traffic growth at SRQ.  With Sun Country beginning flights this week, we expect to continue this record-breaking growth,” said Rick Piccolo, President, CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Sun Country starts nonstop seasonal service from SRQ to Minneapolis – St. Paul (MSP) this Thursday, December 19.  Delta will bring back their seasonal service to New York’s JFK airport this Saturday, December 21, and Allegiant will start nonstop service From SRQ to Allenton, PA. (ABE) beginning February 13.  SRQ now has a total of 9 airlines providing nonstop service to 39 destinations.  

[Museum]  The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Has Two New Manatees

Two new manatees — Viva and Collie — arrived at The Bishop’s Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat last week for pre-release conditioning before they return to the wild. Viva is a female manatee about 6.5 feet long, weighting about 332 pounds. She was resuced on November 11 from Pine Island Sound near Captiva Island in Lee County suffering from the effects of red tide. Collie, another female manatee, was about 7 feet long and weighed about 551 pounds when she was rescued after a boat strike from the Gordon River near Naples in Collier County on June 11.Viva and Collie are the 41st and 42nd rehabilitating manatees that The Bishop has cared for since 1998 and they join our current manatee residents, Felicia and Doscal. 

Photo courtesy of The Bishop.

[Business]  Saralyn Abel Dorrill Appointed To Commercial Real Estate Alliance Board of Directors

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Saralyn Abel Dorrill has been appointed to the Commercial Real Estate Alliance (CREA) Board of Directors, which was formerly the Commercial Investment Division of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. CREA brings together more than 300 commercial brokers and salespersons, lenders, lawyers, insurance agents, and professionals involved in all aspects of the commercial real estate market. Board certified in real estate law, Saralyn's practice encompasses all facets of real-property transactions. She focuses on the acquisition, development, construction, financing, and leasing of commercial, resort and residential real estate, and planned developments and title insurance.  Saralyn represents institutional and private lenders; creditors; commercial, resort, condominium, and residential developers; and commercial and residential landlords, sellers, and purchasers. She also services clients in corporate, tax, estate planning, and litigation matters involving real estate. 

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Lights In Bloom , December 14 – January 4, 6pm-9pm

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens lights up the holiday season with Lights In Bloom. Over two million lights will illuminate the gardens and walkways will be transformed into sensory light tunnels. Visitors will have the opportunity to stroll through magical gardens filled with beautifully lit flowers, radiant rainforest butterflies, dragonflies and more. The tropical holiday paradise includes nightly visits from Santa (before Christmas Eve), children’s arts and crafts activities and games and special entertainment. Grilled foods will be available for purchase from the Michael’s on East grill including a cash bar. The Selby House Cafe will also be open with its full menu. In its 16th year, Lights In Bloom has become a tradition for residents and visitors to celebrate the holiday season in Sarasota.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  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

[SOON]  THEATER: The Sound of Music , November 13 – December 28, 7:30pm and 8pm evening performances and 1:30 and 2pm matinees

Like a breath of fresh Alpine air, this beloved musical masterpiece sweeps onto the Asolo Rep stage just in time for the holidays. Maria, a young nun causing trouble at the abbey, is sent off to be governess to Captain Von Trapp’s seven troublesome children. She brings much-needed love and joy to the family – and the widowed captain – and transforms their world and hers through the power of music. But the looming threat of Nazi Germany’s invasion of their native Austria darkens their future. Overflowing with some of the most iconic songs of all time, this heart warming family musical will be helmed by Josh Rhodes, returning on the heels of his spectacular production of Evita in 2017.

FSU Performing Arts Center, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Specters and Parables , December 8 – March 1

Born and raised in Mexico City, where he spent most of his career, Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902-2002) was one of the most important figures in 20th century Latin American photography. Although he took art classes at the Academy of San Carlos, his photography was mostly self-taught, but he was savvy to the emerging international artistic avant-garde. Considered to be one of the founders of modern photography, his work extends from the late 1920s to the 1900s. He was a key figure from the period following the Mexican Revolution—often called the Mexican Renaissance—in which arts and literature flourished. This “Renaissance” owed to the happy—though not always tranquil—marriage between a desire for modernization and the search for an authentic national identity with Mexican roots, in which archaeology, history and ethnology played an important role. Support for this exhibition has been provided, in part, by the Ringling Endowment at the Florida State University Foundation. Paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues. 

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed , December 15 – April 26

Concealed and Revealed offers a unique selection of paintings by the artist, along with numerous objects from the Solomon Archive on view for the first time. Syd Solomon (American, 1917-2004) described himself as an “Abstract Impressionist” alluding to the fact that his work infused impressionism into the processes, scale and concepts of Abstract Expressionism. Solomon moved to Sarasota in 1946 with his wife Annie. His was the first work of contemporary art to be collected by The Ringling in 1962. His paintings were greatly influenced by climatic factors and reveal a fascination and concern for Florida’s aquatic environment. Solomon incorporated his experience as a camouflage designer during World War II into his painting. It is not well-known that he was also an accomplished graphic artist, who in his early years designed commercial signage for prominent hotels and businesses in Sarasota. Like his work in camouflage, Solomon’s calligraphic skill was essential to the development of his later gestural abstraction.

Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed is presented in partnership with the Estate of Syd Solomon and is accompanied by a 96-page publication with essays by former curator at The Ringling Michael Auping, George S. Bolge, Dr. Gail Levin, and Mike Solomon. The exhibition will include artworks from private collections and The Ringling’s permanent collection.

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency and Celebration Concert , December 21 – January 4, 5pm

Each season, The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast hosts The Perlman Music Program (PMP) Sarasota Winter Residency. Founded by Toby Perlman, and with a world-renowned faculty led by her husband, internationally acclaimed violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman, PMP augments its seven-week summer school program in Shelter Island each December with a 17-day winter residency, December 21, 2019 - January 4, 2020, in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The residency provides valuable mentoring and performance opportunities for approximately 35 young international string musicians, ages 12-20+, and offers 20+ free and low-cost musical events on the campus of USF Sarasota-Manatee. Each year, the winter residency culminates with the Celebration Concert, January 4, 2020, with Itzhak Perlman conducting the PMP String Orchestra and Patrick Romano leading the PMP Chorus at the Sarasota Opera House.

USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota 34243

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Peter Max Retrospective: Celebrating the Pop Art Movement, Music and Artistic Vision , December 16 – December 26

A Retrospective collection, with a significant nod to music, the arts and the legacy of the Pop Art genre from the studio of artist legend, Peter Max, will be on exhibition and available for acquisition in a limited engagement presentation at Chasen Galleries, Sarasota’s premier pop art gallery. The exhibition opens with an evening preview event on Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 5-8 pm. The Exhibition extends through Sunday, January 26. Two limited engagement, not-to-be-missed Gallery receptions for the public will take place on Saturday, January 25 from 6 to 8 pm and Sunday, January 26 from 1 to 3 pm. All receptions complimentary and open to the public with RSVPs suggested; 866-900-6699.

Chasen Galleries, 1830 S Osprey Ave suite 102, Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  THEATER: FSU/Asolo Conservatory and the Hermitage to Host Mime Workshop with Bill Bowers , December 21, 11am-12pm

The Hermitage Artist Retreat and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory are teaming up to present an open class with renowned mime artist Bill Bowers. The class will take place Saturday, December 21, from 11 AM – 12 PM, in the Jane B. Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for Performing Arts. The workshop is free to attend but reservations must be made through the Asolo Repertory Theatre Box Office. Bill Bowers will spend a week working closely with FSU/Asolo Conservatory students, who will assist him in this hour-long workshop in the Cook Theatre. Bowers will demonstrate basic pantomime technique and perform selections from his solo plays. The students, who have been studying with Bowers, will share work from their week-long residency with him.

Jane B. Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Perlman Music Program Suncoast Super Strings , December 28, 7pm

The Perlman Music Program Suncoast Super Strings is presented as part of a public orchestra rehearsal during the PMP Sarasota Winter Residency. Super Strings promotes the interaction of local young musicians with international students of The Perlman Music Program and world-class faculty. Forty-five string players from across the state of Florida join the PMP String Orchestra on stage, for a special one-time PMP Sarasota Winter Residency event, to perform the 1st Movement of Felix Mendelssohn's String Sinfonia No. 2 in D Major, under the baton of Itzhak Perlman. Tickets $10 at Perlmanmusicprogramsuncoast.org

USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: 9th Annual New Year's Eve Bayfront Fireworks , December 31 – January 1, 12am

Ring in the New Year at the Sarasota Bayfront Midnight Fireworks Spectacular! See one of the best fireworks displays Southwest Florida has to offer. Make your reservations now by calling Marina Jack at (941) 365-4232. Proceeds benefit Suncoast Charities for Children.

Bayfront Park, 5 Bayfront Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL) , January 7 – March 26, 10:30 am

Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL) is preparing for its 49th year of extremely popular global issues lectures and musical conversations. In 2020, these programs will begin in January and continue through the end of March. Speakers of global issues lectures are well-known, highly experienced experts, and guests on musical conversations are internationally renowned musicians, singers, and performers. SILL is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. In its 49th season, its programs will include 96 lectures and musical conversations presented in Sarasota, Venice, and Lakewood Ranch. SILL audiences mostly consist of highly educated and intellectually curious seniors living on the Suncoast year-round or during winter months. SILL also simulcasts some of its lectures to selected senior communities. Last year, attendance at SILL events exceeded 40,000. Single tickets to SILL events are only $10 at the door when available, and a season ticket for 12 same-day lectures cost just $85, which represents substantial savings. For program schedules, venues, speaker bios, and ordering season tickets visit sillsarasota.org

First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave.

[SOON]  GALA: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens New Year's Eve Gala , December 31 – January 1, 8pm-1am

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is proud to present Sarasota’s most sophisticated and diversely entertaining New Years Eve experience; a black-tie event featuring a private journey through tropical holiday light displays, passed hors d’oeuvres, a seated four course dinner, special performances by The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company and Trainees from the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory and dancing at Michael’s on the Bay. The countdown to the New Year culminates with a champagne toast and a perfect view of fireworks overlooking Sarasota Bay.  Celebrate the New Year in style.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GALA: The Hospital Gala , January 11, 6pm-11pm

The Hospital Gala has raised more than $2.2 million to benefit Sarasota Memorial Hospital ER/Trauma Services and Cardiac Services. This year, proceeds will support Cancer Services to help the SMH cancer care team deliver the best life-saving care for you, your loved ones and those in our community.

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

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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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