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SRQ DAILY Apr 20, 2020

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"What we're most excited about is the opportunity to tell the story of native Florida plants and of some of Southwest Florida’s earliest inhabitants, and we're excited that Historic Spanish Point will remain a place where locals and people from around the world can visit to learn about our history."

- Jennifer Rominiecki, President and CEO of Selby Gardens

[Destinations]  Selby Gardens Announces Acquisition of Spanish Point
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens just expanded its footprint to Osprey as Historic Spanish Point joined under the nonprofit organization’s umbrella.

Jennifer ROminiecki, president and CEO for Selby Gardens, announced Friday the board of trustees there voted unanimously to take on the destination as a companion campus. “For those who may not be familiar, Historic Spanish Point is a 30-acre gem on Little Sarasota Bay in the Osprey, less than 10 miles from Selby Gardens.

An online announcement by Spanish Point said a merger would advance both organizations’ missions. “Combining two nonprofits with similar missions, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will showcase air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history through both its Downtown campus, and its new Historic Spanish Point campus,” reads an announcement.

Selby Gardens assumed the Osprey attraction’s annual operating budget of just under $900,000. Executive Director John McCarthy will stay on the Spanish Point campus in a position of vice president under the Selby Gardens’ organizational chart.

The acquisition comes as Selby Gardens continues to move forward with a scaled back master plan proposal in Sarasota, and Rominiecki said nothing shifts with that proposal as a result of the merger. She said Spanish Point will not serve as a “backup plan,” and stressed that $35 million secured to implement a Selby master plan are tied to that's specific site. Any changes that ever take place at Spanish Poitn — Selby Gardens leaders alluded to a desire for better traffic flow at the Osprey destination’s entrance — will be done in a way that keeps with the existing carrier of the campus.

But she did allude to the fact the joining of the organizations will over time grow research and educational opportunities at Spanish Point. “The two campuses will work very well together,” she said.

“What we’re most excited about is the opportunity to tell the story of native Florida plants and of some of Southwest Florida’s earliest inhabitants, and we’re excited that HSP will remain a place where locals and people from around the world can visit to learn about our history.”

Of course, its notable the historic purchase happened in the midst of a global pandemic that has both facilities closed to the public right now.

“We are confident we are in a position to successfully merge and sustain the two organizations, thanks to the fact that Selby Gardens has no debt, and that we have a strong foundation of community and donor support,” Rominecki said. “We are focused on a long-term approach and strategy to sustain the organization into the future.” 

[PGT Innovations]  Humble and Fortuitous Beginnings

What many may not know is that PGT Innovations’ humble beginnings were in the form of a porch enclosure company known as Vinyl Tech, started in 1980 with just three employees out of Venice. “What’s fascinating is, even as a small porch enclosure company, our founders Paul Hostetler and Rod Hershberger really held to a simple philosophy: provide phenomenal customer care and on-time delivery,” says Jeff Jackson, President and CEO. “They realized early on that in the building product space, to be on time with custom-made products and to listen closely and react quickly to what our customers needed was a tremendous differentiator.” 

Now known throughout the world as PGT Innovations, the company is one of the largest employers in Sarasota County with approximately 1,700 team members spread across an extensive manufacturing campus in Venice, FL and 3,300 team members in total throughout its six U.S. production locations. Its main campus in Venice houses two massive assembly plants, a 4.1-acre glass processing plant, its own fleet of 50+ delivery trucks, product testing areas, and the newly-built iLab—an innovative extension of the business that serves as a product incubator and micro-factory to create products that require new and inventive features and custom needs. Led by Dean Ruark, VP of Design Engineering & Innovation, the new iLab operations include developing prototypes, producing initial product builds, and, if needed, assisting in setting up mass-production plans for products.  

Read More about PGT Innovations HERE

[Funding]  Florida Studio Theatre Received $100,000 Matching Gift in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis From Patrick and Mary Mulva

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) announces that it has received a $100,000 matching challenge gift from Patrick and Mary Mulva. Avid supporters of FST, the Mulvas are committed to matching every dollar contributed to FST up to $100,000 starting Friday, April 17. Through this challenge gift, the Mulvas hope to inspire widespread community support for Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, helping the nonprofit offset sizeable financial losses incurred due to the devastating spread of COVID-19.

“Pat and Mary Mulva are always there for us when we need them,” shared Richard Hopkins, FST’s Producing Artistic Director. “This is a critical time in the history of FST, and in the history of our nation. This is a time when we really need Pat and Mary. They are stepping up with a $100,000 matching gift, which I am sure will encourage others to give over and above what they normally give in support of FST.” On March 16, FST announced that it was cancelling the remainder of its Winter Season—including five productions playing to full capacity, weekly FST Improv performances, and educational programming—due to COVID-19. As a result of these cancellations, FST projects a loss of over $1 million in revenue to date this season alone—over 10% of the theatre’s total operating budget. FST patrons were encouraged to consider donating any unused tickets for cancelled productions back to the theatre as tax-deductible donations.

The fundraising period for the matching grant covers this year’s 24-hour Giving Challenge, scheduled for noon April 28 until noon April 29, when the Patterson Foundation will also match the first $100 of every donation to participating nonprofits. “This match could not come at a better time. It means that if someone gives $100 during the Giving Challenge for FST, that gift will become $300 because it will be matched by the Mulvas and the Patterson Foundation,” continued Hopkins. “We know that FST, and all theatres in America, have a long road ahead. The very essence of what we do requires a living, breathing audience, which is a dangerous thing today. We look forward to a new tomorrow—when the danger will be gone, and the joy and promise of all that is good and true in the American Theatre will once again take shape on the FST stage. When that happens, the strength of our theatre will be worthy of the generosity of Pat and Mary Mulva and people like them.”

Patrick and Mary Mulva have been steadfast supporters of FST since 2018, when they relocated from Seattle to Sarasota because of its beauty and diverse artistic offerings. The Mulvas have since become Season Underwriters for FST’s 2019 and 2020 Winter Seasons. They have also sponsored FST’s Shindig, its annual fundraising event, for the past two years. Patrick Mulva serves as a Trustee on FST’s Board of Directors, contributing almost 40 years of executive leadership to the governing body.

“FST is truly a jewel of Sarasota,” Patrick Mulva said. “Many people overlook the educational impact the theatre has in providing children with a unique opportunity to experience top-quality theatre, not to mention the economic impact FST has on Sarasota. We strongly support FST, and with this matching opportunity, we hope that others will demonstrate their support as well. FST is a vital part of our community.” 

[The Giving Challenge]  CareerEdge Helps People Make Real Changes

What does workforce development look like? Watch the video to share in Alayna Chavez's story, and learn more about the impact of CareerEdge Fast-Track trainings in our community. CareerEdge has been helping people make real changes in their lives for the last 10 years. Be the one to help continue this legacy by supporting the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Foundation in the 2020 Giving Challenge from noon Tuesday, April 28 to noon Wednesday, April 29, 2020. 

Visit CareerEdge's Giving Challenge page.

[Best of SRQ]  Who Won the Best Burger of 2020

Beef, it’s what’s for dinner, or lunch, or, heck, even breakfast. Whatever time of day, you can rest assured that the king of beef isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, with PATRICKS holding on to the Best of SRQ 2020 Platinum position. GECKO’S beefed up their game and came in swinging to take the Gold by a close margin, passing on Silver to SMACKS. Meanwhile, SHAKESPEARE’S stacked votes to keep its Bronze standing for mouthwatering burgers that bring people from near and far.

Our Readers weigh in: Natasha Barrera (on Patricks): Perfectly cooked burger every time. Also amazing fresh fries! I bring friends from other countries to try Patrick’s burgers to represent the USA and they love it every time! Kristen Hogentogler (on Smacks): I really love their burgers and how creative their menu items are that suit everyone’s dietary and lifestyle needs. This includes bison burgers, vegetarian/vegan options and, my personal favorite, the Mac Attack, which satisfies my inner child. I occasionally enjoy building my own burger and topping it with their Smacks sauce, cheese, bacon, chili (the best topping they have) and lettuce. Texture and balance are two important features when it comes to food and I find that the majority of their menu items, especially the handhelds, hit the nail on the head. Farah Leitner (on Shakespeare’s): The Brie Burger: huge, cooked perfectly rosemary focaccia bun. The only burger that leaves you craving to come back for more (15 years, still can’t get enough!). Platinum Winner- Patricks 1481 / Gold Winner- Gecko’s Grill & Pub / Silver Winner- Smacks Burgers & Shakes / Bronze- Shakespeare’s Craft Beer & Gastro Pub 

Check out the Best of SRQ Competition Winners HERE

[Virtual Meeting]  Sarasota/Manatee MPO Virtual Board Meeting Today

The Sarasota/Manatee MPO Governing Board will meet at 9:30 am today, Monday, April 20, 2020, to conduct business required by State and Federal law. Meeting materials and information regarding technology and access is posted on the MPO website at www.mympo.org. Public access and public comment opportunities will be provided as permitted in Executive Order 20-69 for local government meetings, allowing the use of communications media technology, such as telephonic and video conferencing. Comments will be accepted before, during, and after the meeting. All comments will be included as part of the official public record.

Anyone wishing to make a public comment:

EMAIL Nanette@mympo.org, Please include your name, email address, and phone number.

LIVE STREAM & POST https://publicinput.com/I003

DIAL IN & VOICEMAIL 855-999-4008; Meeting code 7885

Anyone wishing to address the MPO Board directly:

EMAIL Nanette@mympo.org by 8:00 a.m. for your comments to be distributed to Board members prior to the meeting. Please provide the following information in the email:


Please include the following information in the body of the email: 1) Name, email, and phone number; 2) The agenda item you wish to address; 3) A summary of your public comment (3000 character limit) 

[Business Support]  Chamber Announces Save Small Business Fund

The U.S. Chamber Foundation is supporting supplemental financial assistance for small businesses by launching its Save Small Business Fund. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the U.S. Chamber Foundation will be providing $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities. Applications for the Save Small Business Grant Fund will open today Monday, April 20, 2020, at 3 pm ET. There are several eligibility requirements – including geographical location and employee count - which can be found here. In addition to providing accurate, official information as we all navigate the “Safer at Home” environment, the Chamber is also focused on developing strategies and resources to help local businesses prepare for the transition to economic recovery. 

[Cancellation]  Sarasota Memorial Day Parade Canceled

This year’s downtown Memorial Day Parade has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, organizers announced last week. The Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee, in consultation with the City of Sarasota, canceled the annual celebration in the interest of public health and safety. “Although we won’t be able to gather together this year, we hope the community will still join us in remembering the sacrifices of our beloved veterans and our fallen brothers and sisters this Memorial Day,” said Dan Kennedy, Patriotic Observance Committee chairman. “We’ll now turn our efforts to preparing for the Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony, and we look forward to Sarasota joining us this fall for an even greater celebration.” 

[Testing]  DOH Sarasota Sets Dates for Community Based COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing

The Department of Health Sarasota is scheduled to host three by appointment only COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites throughout Sarasota County next week. This community based COVID-19 testing is for anyone who is currently experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) or who works in a health care setting. To make an appointment, please call 941-861-2883.

Callers will be screened using current CDC testing criteria. Appointments are limited however more testing opportunities may be scheduled in the future.

North Sarasota: Tuesday, 4/21, 8 a.m. to Noon - R L Taylor Community Center, 1845 34th Street, Sarasota

Mid-County: Thursday, 4/23, 8 a.m. to Noon - Laurel Civic Association, 509 Collins Road, Laurel

South County: Friday, 4/24, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Heron Creek Middle School, 6501 W. Price Blvd, North Port

All patients must have an appointment to be tested, please call (941) 861-2883 to be evaluated and scheduled for an appointment. The Florida Department of Health continues to see new positive cases across the State, please visit www.flhealth.gov/covid-19 for the most current case count and county specific data. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The Florida Department of Health reminds everyone that the elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. Stay home except to get medical care: You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. 

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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