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SRQ DAILY Jun 27, 2022

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"It's important to have someone in the room who has a real vested interest. Not only do I bring expertise to board meetings, but I'm a parent with kids in the public school system."

- Lauren Kurnov, Sarasota School Board candidate

[Politics]  Kurnov Wants Sarasota Schools Focused on Outcomes
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

School Board candidate Lauren Kurnov grew up attending public schools in the region. Now holding a Doctorate in Education, she hopes now to pay a role in continuing a level of excellence and encourage improvement.

“What we really need to be focused on is career readiness academic success, supporting teachers and doing everything we can to create best outcomes for students,” she said. “We need to be focused on educational outcomes.”

There’s been criticism of the district in recent years on a decline in third-grade reading levels in Sarasota schools, and while Kurnov said it’s important to remember the impact of COVID-19 in disrupting classroom practice the last two years, it’s also critical the district improve that metric. She sees addresses wages, which in turn will help solve a teacher shortage, will help put more teachers in classrooms. That will allow schools to reduce class sizes and ensure students see more individual instruction so they can catch up and read at grade level.

She’s now seeking an open District 4 seat on the board; incumbent Shirley Brown is not seeking re-election.

While Kurnov said she’s committed running a positive campaign, her website makes reference to the outrage expressed by a conservative group of voters at School Board meetings. “Lauren is committed to running a positive, no-nonsense campaign that focuses solely on the success of our schools, not on fighting a proxy battle in a culture war,” the site states.

Kurnov has raised more than $180,000 for her campaign, more than any other candidate running for Sarasota County School Board this cycle to date. Opponent Robyn Marinelli has raised over $61,000.

Asked about Marinelli, Kurnov leans on her own background, which she said stands in contrast to any other candidate running for one of three seats on the board.

“I am uniquely qualified as parent and educator,” she said, noting her own children attend Sarasota public schools. “It’s important to have someone in the room who has a real vested interest. Not only do I bring expertise to board meetings, but I’m a parent with kids in the public school system.”

Kurnov moved her family back to her home county seven years ago when she took a job as assistant vice president and director of Student Success at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. She later worked for New College in its Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence and Student Affairs. She earned her doctorate in from USF last year.

Asked about the nature of recent meetings, she said it’s important to hear from all members of the public and that she would not want severe limits on citizen comments.

“We certainly need to be making sure parents have a seat at the table to have any of their concerns addressed,” she said. “We certainly need to make sure the business of the school district gets accomplished. These are business meetings need to be productive.”

Asked about charter schools, Kurnov said her test for approving new schools would offer something truly differentiated from traditional schools and that will provide an enhancement to what already exists in the community.

She wants the district focused on student success, and has concerns about recently passed bills like a parental rights law called the “don’t say gay” bill by critics. “The language is vague in that bill,” she said “If there is this desire to be implemented, there will need to be more guidance. But this really is a distraction from the real educational aspect when we need to make sure we’re focused on getting students caught up from COVID learning loss.”


[Economic Development]  EDC Vice President Erin Silk Appointed to Florida Workforce Development Association

Erin Silk, a Certified Economic Developer and the Vice President of Business Development Services for The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, has been appointed to the Florida Workforce Development Association (FWDA) board. FWDA is statewide organization that was traditionally comprised of the CEOs of all 24 CareerSource chapters in Florida; CareerSource Florida is Florida’s workforce policy and investment board. Recently, however, it expanded to include economic development professionals, recognizing the value of their voices in conversations about meeting the current and future needs of Florida’s employers and economy. In her work with FWDA, Silk will be working closely with CareerSource Suncoast, the local CareerSource chapter.

“The Florida Workforce Development Association is honored to have Erin Silk join our board of directors. Erin's leadership and economic development expertise is a tremendous asset for the association and will contribute greatly to our charting the path to Florida becoming a global talent leader” said Joshua Matlock, the president and CEO of CareerSource Suncoast. Silk’s work with The EDC of Sarasota County allows her to interact directly with local businesses, which can be useful in this new role. “This group is a testament to collaboration and the way that Florida is leading in workforce solutions. Adding economic developers to the group that is managing our workforce boards will only further help the cause. It shows across the state that people are willing to give time and resources to continue to improve the workforce,” said Silk. 

For more info on the Sarasota EDC.

[Board Members]  Forty Carrots Family Center Elects New Trustees

Forty Carrots Family Center welcomes new Board of Trustee members Valerie Dall’Acqua, Realtor, Premier Sotheby's International Realty and Joleen Searles, founding partner of Searles & Gornitsky.  They will both serve three-year terms supporting Forty Carrots' mission of nurturing healthy child and family development and preventing child abuse, neglect, and other childhood traumas. Current officers include Board Chair Susan Travers, nonprofit fundraiser, volunteer coordinator and event planner, Treasurer Ben Jones, Managing Director with Mariner Wealth Advisors; and Secretary Tammie Sandoval-Badger, Principal, Sabal Trust. Other board of trustee members remaining: Kevin Cooper, Dawn Doughty, Jag Grewal, Jackie Griese, Karimu Hill-Harvey, Chris Jarmul, Eric Kaplan, Bob Lewandowski, Jeff Reynolds, Alan Ross, Susan Sakhai, Kevin Stencik, CEO Michelle Kapreilian (ex-officio) and trustee emeriti Kim Githler, Stanley Kane (deceased), and Jeff Steinwachs. 

[Van Wezel]  New Season, New Shows at the Van Wezel

The 2022-2023 Subscription Series has been announced at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. This incredible lineup features nine Broadway shows, with four Sarasota premieres, three dance productions, and four subscriber specials. 

Every season at the Van Wezel includes a spectacular array of Broadway musicals, like Disney’s Aladdin, Tina Fey’s Mean Girls, the worldwide smash-hit Blue Man Group, the ridiculously clever Tootsie, the adored classic My Fair Lady and the iconic Chicago. But there is even more to see! The Dance Series is not to be missed. It includes the widely acclaimed Momix: Alice, the universally renowned dance company Ailey II, and the fresh and vibrant Pilobolus: Big Five-OH! 50th Anniversary show. 

Subscribers receive ticket discounts and the best seats in the house. To see all shows included in the 2022-2023 subscription series or to reserve a package, visit VanWezel.org/subscriptions. 

Visit Our Page Link

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Maytag Virgin , June 29 – July 31, Varies.

A classic Southern love story. When the unflappable Jack Key moves in next door to the endearingly neurotic Lizzy Nash, sparks fly. Over time, neighborly nagging softens and a deeper connection emerges between the two high school teachers. As the leaves turn yellow and the months march on, kept secrets shake loose and the pair finds themselves facing the same question: how do you know when you’re ready to live, and love, again? Maytag Virgin by Audrey Cefaly will play beginning June 29, 2022 in FST's Keating Theatre. Run Time is 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's Keating Theatre

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash , June 1 – July 2, Varies.

Johnny Cash was one of the most revered storytellers in American music. Now, his remarkable life story is told through his iconic songbook—from “I Walk the Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues” to “Country Boy” and “A Boy Named Sue.” With a cast of performers playing their own instruments, Ring of Fire takes audiences on a rousing adventure of love, faith, and struggle—told with the strength, humor, and authenticity that made Cash a music legend. Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, created by Richard Maltby, Jr., conceived by William Meade, and adapted from the Broadway production by Richard Maltby Jr. and Jason Edwards, will play June 1 - July 2, 2022 in FST's Gompertz Theatre. Run Time is 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's Gompertz Theatre

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: 31st Annual Siesta Key Fireworks , July 4, Varies.

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the 31st Annual 4th of July Community Fireworks Celebration, will be held Monday, July 4th, at Siesta Beach. The fireworks show will launch at dusk at the Siesta Public Beach (948 Beach Road) and is free and open to the public. The event is held in partnership with Sarasota County and supported by many generous community sponsors. Fundraising efforts are now underway. All sponsorship packages of $500 and greater include reserved parking, VIP seating, complimentary beverages, light bites, and the best view on the beach! VIP area opens at 6:00 p.m. Patriotic music will be choreographed along with the display!

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular at Marina Jack , July 4

Celebrate the July 4th holiday along the Sarasota bayfront by watching one of the best fireworks displays in Southwest Florida. This fireworks display over Sarasota Bay is organized by Suncoast Charities for Children in partnership with Marina Jack and produced by Pyrotecnico. Best viewing is from Bayfront Park near Marina Jack. For more information or to make your dinner reservation, contact Marina Jack at (941) 365-4232.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: "Waves & Wheels" Summer Party at Robarts Arena , July 9, 6pm-1opm

Suncoast Summer Fest presents the Waves and Wheels Party on Saturday, July 9 at Robarts Arena from 6pm to 10pm for $100 per person. The party will feature live music from Tampa Bay’s ultimate party band, Hurricane Shane Band, as well as an open bar, food stations, raffle prizes, and casino style gaming tables. For more information and registration, visit suncoastsummerfest.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Urbanite Theatre: Athena , June 10 – July 10, Varies.

Athena by Gracie Gardner Directed by Summer Wallace will run from June 10 to July 10, 2022. Mary Wallace and Athena are brave young fencers training for the Junior Olympics. They practice together, they compete against each other, they spend their lives together. They just wish they were friends.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Charity Poker Tournament at One-Eyed Jacks Poker Room , July 14, 6pm

The Charity Poker Tournament will take place on Thursday, July 14 at One-Eyed Jacks Poker Room, 4404 Bee Ridge Road. There will be a welcome reception at 6pm with complimentary appetizers, tournament welcome gift, and full cash bar. The tournament will begin at 6:30pm. The entry fee is $115 and all participants must pre-register. $500 will go to each top 5 winner.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Florida Studio Theatre: The Jersey Tenors: Part II , July 19 – September 11, Varies.

Back with a new show, this opera/rock mash-up sensation blends iconic opera classics with Rock & Roll hits from artists like Queen, Journey, and Elton John, along with the songs from Jersey’s finest—Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Bon Jovi. From Frank Sinatra to Figaro, hear The Tenors’ original arrangements of songs celebrating artists from the stage to the screen, including “Walk Like A Man,” “Your Song,” “That’s Life,” “Eye of the Tiger,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and many more. The Jersey Tenors: Part II, created and conceived by Brian Noonan, will play beginning July 19, 2022 in FST's Goldstein Cabaret. Run Time is 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Florida Studio Theatre's Goldstein Cabaret

[SOON]  FILM: Summer Movies at Sarasota Opera House , May 22 – September 23, Varies.

Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce the lineup for the 2022 summer movie series: HD at the Opera House and Classic Movies at the Opera House. HD at the Opera House featuring filmed performances of opera and ballet from around the world will open on Sunday, May 22nd at 1:30 p.m. with Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, with tickets at $22, and $20 for Sarasota Opera subscribers. The Classic Movies at the Opera House series will open with In the Heat of the Night on Friday, July 8th at 7:30 p.m. with tickets at $12. (Tickets will go on sale starting Monday, May 2nd.)

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Circus Arts Conservatory & The Ringling: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 10 – August 13, Varies.

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts. Some of the circus world’s most exciting acts have signed on for the annual show - a longtime partnership of the Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling - with performances presented over nine weeks this summer. The lineup for the Summer Circus Spectacular includes a wide range of acts, including duo lyra, adagio, hand balancing/contortion, rolla bolla, and more. Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $18/adults, $12/children 12 and under. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for just an additional $5 – an incredible value for a full day’s entertainment. Go to Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399.

Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Friday Fest 2022 , June 17 – September 16, 5pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Friday Fest events are our outdoor concert series that provide the community with 4 entertaining and FREE events from June to September, showcasing the best of local bands from Sarasota and Bradenton. Friday Fest brings together a wide variety of talented artists along with food trucks and drink stations on the Van Wezel lawn along the beautiful Sarasota Bayfront. Our Friday Fest lineup includes: Yesterdayze - June 17, Kettle of Fish - July 15, Big Night Out - August 12, and Jah Movement - September 16 at 5pm. 

Van Wezel

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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