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SRQ DAILY Feb 7, 2022

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"We have never made headlines about working without a contract, dumping scooters or bikes on city streets and looking for forgiveness late."

- Alex Keating, Veo

[Mobility]  Veo to Bring Scooter Program to Sarasota
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Sarasota city officials will launch a micromobility program in March, when contractor Veo will dispatch 350 to 400 scooters and 50 to 75 bicycles available for rent. The same company has a program running in St. Petersburg.

City commissioners unanimously voted in January in favor of the program. “I think it will improve transportation options in a quick and efficient and sustainable way,” said City Commissioner Hagen Brody at the dais. While questions arose about the cost of rentals and the retrieval of abandoned vehicles, commissioners voted in favor or trying the program for two years in the city.

Scooters may be unlocked with a mobile phone app for $1 and will cost 37 cents a minute. Bikes, meanwhile, will rent for 50 cents an hour. A special Veo access program will also offer discount prices for low-income individuals who qualify with the city, Veo will set up rental stations and corrals for the bikes and scooters at no cost to the city, but the city will receive a share of revenue collected.

City Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch had initially expressed skepticism about scooters in Sarasota after seeing problems with a similar program in Los Angeles, but said Veo has largely addressed concerns. That includes allowing individuals using the app to park bikes and scooters away from corrals if they send a picture of the vehicle properly parked in a legal location.

“I’m not going to say that there aren’t going to be problems, that there aren’t going to be issues, that you’re not going to have to adjust your plan or how many you roll out or where they are corralled and all of that,” she told Veo executives at a city meeting. “But I never had even a glimmer of hope that this could work in our city until I fully read your proposal.”

The company has been putting in geo-fencing to make sure the rented units only work in designated areas of the city.

Veo officials stressed a record of success, with 35 programs running nationwide. “We have never made headlines about working without a contract, dumping scooters or bikes on city streets and looking for forgiveness late,” said Alex Keating, Veo director of public policy and partnering. “We only operated with contracts in long-term agreements where we look for deep collaboration with our partners.” 

[College News]  SCF is Everyone's College.

In the February 2022 issue of SRQ Magazine, we ran a BrandStory marketing feature on State College of Florida. Below is an excerpt.

The State College of Florida (SCF) offers students the flexibility of  “College when you can, the way you want.”  With campuses in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and a future Parrish campus, along with online learning, everyone can find a time and place to improve their life and career with education. Classes are available throughout the year with staggered start dates, accelerated completion timelines, evening and weekend options, and online courses with the choice of self-paced or live instruction. Work, family and personal commitments can be real obstacles to students. The array of flexible class times gives students control over how education can fit their schedule. 

SCF has a proud six-decade history of offering highly acclaimed two-year degrees to prepare students for continuing their education at a university or to jumpstart their career. As a state college, SCF provides more than two-year paths to success. Four-year degrees are available to power professionals to new heights in high-demand fields like health care, business, education and public safety.  Not everyone can commit to being a full-time degree-seeking student. With that in mind, SCF offers more than three dozen workforce certificate programs as a path to rapidly earning a new credential. Workforce certificates allow students to quickly add knowledge, skills and qualifications for their resume. Students make the choice to seek higher education at different times in life – as children, working adults, and lifelong learners. While some have lived near SCF their whole life, others have come from overseas.No matter what the motivation for seeking higher education, SCF has something to offer. No matter the barriers – real or perceived – one faces when considering a college degree, SCF can help them find their way.  At SCF, we meet you where you are. We’re everyone’s college.™

SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. W. Bradenton, FL 34207, 941-752-5050  

Photo courtesy of State College of Florida.

Click here to see the full article

[Education]  Florida Senate Budget Includes Historic Increase for VPK Program

The Florida Senate’s proposed budget includes almost $400 million in additional funding for Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program (VPK) over the next three years, with a focus on increasing wages for the state’s early learning teachers. 

The Florida Senate, through the leadership of Senate President Wilton Simpson, Senate President-Elect Kathleen Passidomo, Senator Doug Broxson and Senator Kelli Stargel, is making great strides to raise and recognize the level of professionalism of early learning. This funding will increase per-student school year funding from $2,486 to $3,294 through an $808 supplemental payment to increase VPK teacher pay to a minimum of $15 per hour from the current average salary of around $12.50 an hour. This increase would represent the largest increase in the program’s history.

With Florida’s increasing minimum wage requirements, offering competitive salaries to VPK teachers has been a challenge. The Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County (ELC) currently has almost 2500 children in the VPK program at 126 contracted child care providers. 

[Recognition]  Kerkering Barberio Fellows at USF Muma College of Business Announced

The University of South Florida Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy in the Muma College of Business has named three accounting faculty members in the school as Kerkering Barberio Fellows, a prestigious honor that recognizes continued excellence in undergraduate teaching.

The school, in partnership with Tampa Bay accounting firm Kerkering, Barberio & Co., began the Kerkering Barberio Fellows program in 2022 thanks to a five-year gift the accounting firm established with the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, which was announced in November. The gift encompassed multiple components in the school, including scholarships to students and the fellows program.

The gift provides that the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy name one Kerkering Barberio Fellow on each of the three campuses. The 2022 Kerkering Barberio Fellows are Patricia Gaukel, from the St. Petersburg campus; Luke Richardson, from the Tampa campus; and Ildiko Toth, from the Sarasota-Manatee campus.

“We are very excited to introduce the inaugural Kerkering Barberio Fellows. These three individuals represent outstanding undergraduate accounting instruction,” said Mark H. Taylor, director of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, who holds the Dan and Tina Johnson Endowed Directorship in Accountancy. “Not only are these fellows deserving of the honor, but the distinction will further strengthen their strong ties to the professional accounting community.”

The fellowship program recognizes faculty who have a history of excellence in delivering classroom instruction, proficiency in their field, as well as extensive engagement with the professional community. 

[Recognition]  Manatee Philanthropists Honored at the 2022 Spirit of Manatee Awards luncheon, March 30

Manatee Community Foundation’s 2022 Spirit of Manatee Awards Luncheon will honor seven champions of philanthropy and leadership in Manatee County.

Lifetime Spirit honorees Joe and Barbara Najmy, nominated by Easterseals Southwest Florida, State College of Florida Foundation, and The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, Inc., will be celebrated for decades of servant leadership in estate planning, charitable giving and inspiring others to support the community. The couple has been active in a multitude of missions, including advancing education, inclusion and access for those with disabilities, and community building. 

Others to be recognized are: Leadership Spirit honorees Steve and Carolyn Roskamp, nominated by United Way Suncoast and the School District of Manatee County, and Omar Edwards, nominated by Sarasota-Bradenton Kappa Alpha Psi Project Guide Right; Community Spirit honoree Bank of America; and Young Spirit honoree Gabriella Cortes-Alban nominated by Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee County. The Charles Clapsaddle Community Spotlight award will be presented to Paul Sharff, posthumously. Sharff was the President and CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County and passed away unexpectedly in January. 

“All of the honorees have committed much of their lives to advancing opportunity for others,” said Susie Bowie, Manatee Community Foundation Executive Director. “They reflect the quiet, humble and determined way many people give in Manatee County, and they will be celebrated with gratitude.”

The annual celebration will take place at the Bradenton Area Convention Center on Wednesday, March 30 at 11:30 am. Purchase tickets online at ManateeCF.org. 

Click for more.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Great Escapes: Be Mine , February 9 – February 13, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 8pm and 4pm

Love is in the air as highly acclaimed pops conductor Sarah Hicks leads a Valentine's Day program for all on Wednesday, February 9 at 5:30pm, Thursday, February 10 at 7:30pm, Friday, February 11 at 5:30pm, Saturday, February 12 at 8pm, and Sunday, February 13 at 4pm at Holley Hall. Celebrate love's sweetness with music from Gone with the Wind, La Dolce Vita and more.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Laughing Matters , February 9 – June 19, Varies.

Laughing Matters, FST’s hit musical sketch comedy show, is back for round six! And this time, nothing and no one is safe from a good-spirited roast. From never-ending Sarasota construction and the perpetual hunt for downtown parking to Mother Nature’s increasingly wild mood swings and our endless quest to stay young, Laughing Matters delivers fast-paced comedy inspired by the culture and politics of today. Laughing Matters, by head writer Rebecca Hopkins with contributing writers Kevin Allen, Sarah Durham, Stephan deGhelder, and Jim Prosser, will play beginning February 9, 2022 through June 19, 2022 in FST's Court Cabaret.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Asolo Repertory Theatre: The Great Leap , February 9 – February 16, Varies.

Born in the United States but inextricably tied to far off and forbidden China, Manford Lum finds his home on the basketball courts of San Francisco’s Chinatown. As fast-talking as he is athletically skilled, Lum wisecracks and dazzles his way onto a college team headed for a 'friendly' exhibition game in Beijing. As the story bounces between 1989 and 1971, past relationships collide with present day revelations right up to the final buzzer. Smart, feisty, and hilarious,  The Great Leap is about family, history, and learning that every game is a second chance. Contains mature language. Recommended for age 16+. The Great Leap will show February 9–April 2, 2022.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul , February 9, 8pm

Musician, vocalist and composer Damien Sneed toured with Aretha Franklin, developing a strong mentee relationship with the soul legend. In A TRIBUTE TO ARETHA FRANKLIN: THE QUEEN OF SOUL, Sneed pays homage to the icon with fresh renditions of the beloved hits including “Respect,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Think,” “Until You Come Back To Me,” “Daydreaming,” “Natural Woman” and more. Featuring an all-star cast of jazz, gospel and soul musicians and vocalists, Sneed’s multi-media tribute will honor the life of an iconic industry titan on February 9 at 8pm. Four-time Grammy® winner, gospel music legend and multiple Stellar and GMA Dove Award winner Karen Clark Sheard joins the tour with her signature, multi-octave vocal range.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association: Music Matinees: Sun-Young Gemma Shin and Avis Romm , February 9, 1pm

A longstanding community outreach program, Music Matinees feature accomplished area-based musicians who perform an array of musical styles. Concerts take place on Wednesdays from noon to 1 pm in David Cohen Hall, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center. Sun-Young Gemma Shin, violin, and Avis Romm, piano will take place on February 9. Dr. Shin is an internationally sought-after performer on both baroque and modern violin as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra leader. She is the concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota. Avis Romm dazzles audiences as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. She has worked extensively with the Sarasota Opera, both as a musical/vocal coach and pianist/conductor and she performs regularly with internationally renowned soloists.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Reza: Edge of Illusion , February 10, 7pm

REZA has taken the art of illusion to a new level, delivering his rock concert style magic show to audiences across the globe. Young and fresh, Reza's new show, Edge of Illusion, has earned various awards including “Magician of the Year.” Don’t miss this Sarasota premiere — LIVE on the Van Wezel stage. A world-class entertainer, Reza's unique brand of illusion has landed him on popular reality shows across 31 countries, including recent US TV appearances on A&E’s Duck Dynasty and The CW’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us. Audiences can expect to witness such mega illusions as passing through the spinning blades of an industrial fan, a record-breaking recreation of Houdini’s most famous stunt and the appearance of a real helicopter, live on stage on February 10 at 7pm. More than a magic show, Reza infuses state of the art production elements, masterful comedic timing and numerous interactive and inspirational moments, allowing the audience to experience the magic first hand.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Thunder By The Bay Rocks The Runway Fashion Show , February 10, 6pm-9pm

On Thursday, February 10 the Thunder By The Bay "Rocks The Runway" Fashion Show will take place at the Sarasota Yacht Club from 6pm to 9pm. Special guest models from the local community will be wearing fashions provided by Rossiter's Harley-Davidson and Darci located downtown Sarasota. We will be raffling off two $500 shopping sprees and a Thunder By The Bay Festival VIP Weekend Experience Basket. Tickets are $125 per person and include: Full Open Bar, Hors D'Oeuvres Stations. All Ticket Proceeds Benefit: Suncoast Charities for Children. 

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Ringling: ROAR! , February 10 – April 29, 2:30pm and 10:30am

ROAR! is The Ringling's free storytime program that connects art with early literacy. Every week we read together, make art, and learn about an object in the museum. This program is designed for preschoolers and toddlers, but all ages are welcome. ROAR! will take place from February 10, 2022 to April 29, 2022 at 2:30pm and 10:30am in the Museum of Art.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Audra McDonald , February 11, 8pm

Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she received a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama and was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people that year. Tony-winning performances include Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill — which served as the vehicle for her Olivier-nominated 2017 West End debut. This performance will take place on Friday, February 11 at 8pm.  

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: American Littoral Society: Eco-Tours Aboard the Carefree Learner , February 10 – April 14, 1pm-3pm

Enjoy wildlife and a hands on experience around Sarasota Bay from 1pm to 3pm. Departing from Bayfront Park near the LeBarge. Cost: Adults $20, Members $15, Children 10 and under $10. For reservations for February 10, March 3, March 24 and April 7 call John 941-966-7308. For reservations for February 24, March 10, March 31 and April 14 call Linda 607-423-9027.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Chef Paul Mattison's 1st Wine Dinner of the New Year , February 11, 6:30pm

Join St. Supéry Estate Vineyards Regional Director, Elizabeth Parenteau and Chef Paul Mattison on Friday, February 11th at 6:30pm as they present an exclusive 5-course wine pairing dinner featuring the 100% Sustainable, 100% Estate, and 100% Napa Green Certified wines of the St. Supéry portfolio. The event will be held at Mattison’s Forty-One in their private event space, The Galleria. Reservations are required. Call 941-921-3400 to reserve your seat for this special event. Perfectly paired and perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day. Make it a special Valentine’s Day for you and your special someone.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Hermitage Artist Retreat: Pen to Paper with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Paula Vogel , February 11, 5pm

“Pen to Paper with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Paula Vogel” A “Hermitage @ Booker” program is Presented in Partnership with Booker High School and Florida Studio Theatre. It will take place on Friday, February 11 at 5pm at Booker High School, outdoor courtyard (Entrance at: Building 1, 3201 N Orange Ave.) Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, American Theater Hall of Fame Honoree, and Hermitage Fellow Paula Vogel offers an exploration of playwriting in which Paula and members of the audience will write a short play and work on writing exercises together. Culminating in an event Vogel lovingly calls a “bake-off” in which writers create and design a short play, there are no critiques during the workshop; rather, all writing prompts are seen as gifts to everyone in the room. No knowledge of theater or playwriting required – just an open mind and a willingness to explore the theatrical voice.

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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