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SRQ DAILY May 20, 2023

Saturday Perspectives Edition

Saturday Perspectives Edition



[Gulf Coast]  A Fresh Perspective
Rachel Denton

Gulf Coast Community Foundation is in a transformative, exciting time with the announcement of our incoming President and CEO Phillip P. Lanham joining the foundation on June 1. We sat down with Board Chair David Green to get his perspective on this thrilling new chapter for Gulf Coast and our region. 

Q: What attracted you to Gulf Coast Community Foundation?
Green: “Gulf Coast passionately believes in the leadership model of doing bold and proactive things for our community. We engage our donors and their ability to make meaningful donations in our initiatives.  But our key role comes from really understanding the critical issues affecting our community and prioritizing issues where we as an organization can make the greatest impact. Part of the magic formula or secret sauce is our team working with our community’s constituents and elected officials on key issues while forgoing taking the credit for success. Gulf Coast is more interested in the result than getting the credit. We are a trusted partner and that is so critical. I feel our incoming President|CEO Phillip Lanham with his personality and perspective easily fits into this leadership model.”

Q: How did Gulf Coast’s incoming President|CEO Phillip Lanham impress you? 
“Meeting with Phillip felt almost immediately like you were conversing with a longtime, close friend. He has this wonderful humanistic value that is so important especially when looking at the leadership of a nonprofit. Because Gulf Coast has such an important culture of collaboration, civility, and truly listening for the best interest of the individual and organization, I immediately felt that Phillip would be a great fit. Phillip’s background as chief philanthropy officer at Greater Cincinnati Foundation gives enormous credence in his ability to develop relationships with donors, nonprofits, and community leaders.”

What are some of Phillip’s greatest qualities?
Green: “Phillip is a leader. He is a listener. He is a strategic collaborator. And he is a creative force with the goal of making a difference. He now joins an organization, both a leadership team and staff that is poised to create the future. While Phillip embraces the philosophy and leadership model that Gulf Coast represents, he also demonstrates his desire to take us to a new level, and along with the team, forge new ground that will enhance and ensure Gulf Coast’s leadership position for many years to come.”

Green shared that Phillip is a family man with two terrific sons and a wonderful wife who is an entrepreneur. Green feels that Phillip embodies some of the key characteristics of the American dream of a family. Phillip, even with his intense schedule and responsibilities, has rarely missed a football game for his sons. “A great leader has to have a work-life balance between the commitment to the organization and commitment to their family,” said Green.

Q: How do you feel about Gulf Coast’s future? 
 “There is no doubt in my mind that Gulf Coast is in the strongest position it has ever been to continue to make a dramatic and transformational influence on our community. What a perfect time to make the CEO transition. Mark (Pritchett) has been an outstanding leader and now steps into retirement, the next chapter of his wonderful life. It’s the perfect time for an exceptional candidate to take the helm of a great organization. I’m very confident that Phillip’s leadership with Mark’s mentorship and the leadership team’s support will make this transition very successful.”

Rachel Denton of is a marketing associate for the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. David Green is Chair of the Board of Directors of Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  

Photo courtesy Gulf Coast: David Green, Phillip P. Lanham

[Higher Education]  Is there value in higher education?
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

There is a national narrative right now questioning the value of higher education, the role of community colleges, and the process of enrollment and retention of students. What does a degree really offer? Should college enrollment be that difficult?

Yet, many of us know from personal experience of having “been there, done that” that any higher education, including an undergraduate degree, affords us more personal time, higher pay and professional opportunities. This became evident for a recent State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota outstanding graduate finalist, Blake, who shared he worked on tugboats, putting in long hours with strenuous labor as he entered the workforce right after high school. Eventually, he realized if he was going to work that hard, it might as well be toward getting a college degree, and he graduated this Spring from SCF with an associate degree and two Python Programming certifications.

Studies show that individuals who obtain college degrees have, over their lifetime, more wealth, a wider support network of peers, enhanced skillsets, resiliency during a recession, and the ability to reinvent themselves throughout their careers.

These studies also reflect that college graduates make wiser choices for saving, borrowing, and investing money; buying homes; and planning for retirement. There is an adage, “You can’t know what no one’s told you.” Or, more apropos in this scenario, “what no one’s taught you.” 

Students learn critical thinking and come to appreciate the importance of the interdependencies of the liberal arts, finance, statistics, and, most critically, social skills. Ask any higher education professional, and they will tell you that the more a student is engaged and socializes, the more likely they will succeed.

Earning a degree is hard work and requires persistence from a student and their support network. As with any industry, there are rules and regulations that make up a complex infrastructure. However, at SCF, we adapt each year to make higher education accessible to students despite family, financial or learning barriers. 

Battalion Chief for Sarasota County Emergency Services, Miguel Garcia ’11, ’18, shares that “SCF has made him a better firefighter, paramedic, officer, neighbor, husband and father!” He credits the college will honing his verbal, written and research skills and opening a network of local connections that have helped his professional development. But, most importantly, he’s learned patience, compassion and perseverance.

As our education system evolves to adapt to the new socio-economic norms and industry needs, we must maintain sight of the historical importance and value of what education offers. We should also not polarize the meaning of its value to serve a short-term purpose. We should work together as a community and with our local and state legislators each year to improve the system. 

SCF offers several programs that aim to increase access catered to the student. Through financial assistance, student life programs, and community collaboration programs such as our “College Reach Out Program,” 2+2 partnerships with state universities, collegiate schools, honors programs, “Bridge to Baccalaureate,” and dual enrollment, students of any age at any point in their higher education journey have an opportunity to start or continue their education affordably.

At SCF, we know not everyone will attend college. However, we believe everyone should be able to do so and to pursue careers that motivate and fulfill them, serve our community, and positively impact our society.

Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld is President of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 

[SOON]  FILM: Vermeer, The Greatest Exhibition at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas , May 19 – May 25, Various times
This Exhibition On Screen film invites audiences to a private view of the exhibition, accompanied by the director of the Rijksmuseum and the curators of the show. A truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As well as bringing together the works of Vermeers, both the Rijksmuseum and the Mauritshuis in the Hague have conducted research into Vermeer's artistry, his artistic choices and motivations for his compositions, as well as the creative process behind his paintings. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Dr. 8, Lakewood Ranch, filmsociety.org.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Artists Day and Education Morning at Myakka Headwaters Preserve , May 19 – May 20, Various times
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is delighted to announce two upcoming events at their forever-protected Myakka Headwaters Preserve, an Artists Day on Friday, May 19, and a morning of education and exploration on Saturday, May 20. The self-guided Artists Day takes place from 7 am to 12 pm. Participants will be provided a trail map upon entry and need to bring their own supplies for the medium of their choice. The May 20 event takes place from 9 am to 12 pm and will include guided preserve tours and lunch on the land. Conservation Foundation representatives will be onsite during both events to answer questions about the property and the vital work of the organization. Experience this stunning landscape firsthand on May 19 and 20. Both events are free and open to the public though registration is required. To learn more and sign up, visit conservationfoundation.com/events. Myakka Headwaters Preserve, Myakka Headwaters Preserve, 9600 Wauchula Rd., Myakka City.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Limelight Market at The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime , May 20, 10 am to 3 pm

On Saturday, May 20, visit the Limelight Market. This fun, outdoor, pop-up market is happening outside The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime with puppies from Tender Heart Charities looking for their fur-ever home, unique guest vendors, food, and live music. You can also check out over 40 local creators and curators inside and support local businesses. Free, until you buy something amazing. The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime, 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota, www.BazaaronApricotandlime.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Laughter in LWR Stand Up Comedy Show at Grove , May 20, Shows at 5 pm and 8 pm
Join us for Laughter in Lakewood Ranch, an extraordinary stand-up clean comedy event on Saturday, May 20 starring 3 hilarious, headliner comedians and an emcee. Come early and socialize, and after the Show, meet the Comedians. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Sarasota Rising through the Arts Alliance. Tickets start at $55. Grove, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, grovelwr.com.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Orchid Mounting, Make and Take Workshop , May 20, 10 am
It is common to see orchids grown in pots but did you know that most of them grow on trees in nature? The roots of an orchid wrap around or adhere to the bark without actually penetrating it. Unlike parasites, orchids do not take any nutrients from their host plant. Most orchids are epiphytes, which derive nutrients from the air, rain, water, or debris and only use other plants, like trees, as an anchor. With some initial support, mounting an orchid to your tree or a wooden plank can be a fun, easy process. For a hands-on workshop, join UF IFAS Extensions Manatee County on Saturday, May 20 for Orchid Mounting, Make and Take Workshop. Learn how to properly mount an orchid, care for it after, and take home your own orchid and wooden plank for $25. Register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/608684601027.
[SOON]  MUSEUM: Lorna Bieber, Natural World at The Ringling , May 20 – October 15, Museum hours

The Ringling presents a solo exhibition of works by Lorna Bieber in May that includes two new pieces making their debut in the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art. Her artwork first and foremost encourages us to indulge in the pleasures of looking and discovering anew the details of the visual world. Her artistic practice is grounded in appropriating, recycling, and manipulating imagery. The work reminds us of the image world that inundates our daily existence. Our experience of reality is mediated through a barrage of photographic digital images that supplants our connection to the natural world. Yet, Bieber is less interested in a critique of this condition than she is in offering her work as an antidote, a way to inspire viewers and reconnect with our shared sense of wonder. Included with museum admission. The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  : Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Downtown Wellen , May 21, 9 am to 1 pm
Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, the Downtown Wellen Park farmers market begins Sunday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will offer a selection of local goods from local vendors. Attendees can peruse over 30 different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer produce, herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk, specialty cheeses, and prepared food and beverages. As a producer-only farmers market, Fresh Harvest will feature locally grown and prepared foods with limited exceptions, such as tea and seasonings. A limited selection of craft vendors are also participating in the farmers market. Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Pk. Blvd., Venice, wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market.
[SOON]  FOOD: Cookbook Signing at Daiquiri Deck , May 21, 1 pm

EHS Recruiting Company, a leading provider of staffing solutions for the hospitality industry, has released a cookbook, Cooking With Friends, An EHS Culinary Adventure. Each recipe in the book is accompanied by a story about the career and personal journey of each chef, offering readers a unique and personal look at the culinary industry. The book includes a range of dishes, from classic comfort food to contemporary cuisine, and showcases the diverse flavors and cultures that make up the American culinary landscape. The cookbook features recipes from James Beard Award-winning chefs Rick Tramonto and Nicola Zanghi and local chefs Greg Campell, Steven Phelps, and Jeremy Thayer. TV culinary stars also contributed several signature dishes to the book. Local and national chefs will be present at the cookbook signing on Sunday, May 21. Daiquiri Deck, St. Armand’s Circle, 325 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, ehsrecruitingcompany.com.

[SOON]  FOOD: Geckos Hospitality Group Iron Chef Challenge 2023 , May 15 – June 18, Restaurant Hours

Join the Geckos Hospitality Group family of restaurants to celebrate the culinary creativity of your favorite Geckos Grill and Pub Chefs during the annual Iron Chef Challenge. From May 15th to June 11th and June 12th to 18th each of our six Geckos will participate in a weekly special Iron Chef Menu, with several of our Chefs designing delectable and inventive fare, plus some tried and true favorites with a creative twist. The contest is a weekly competition between Geckos Kitchen Creatives and guests may sample what the GHG kitchen pros have up their Chef Jacket sleeves. Whichever Iron Chef Special Menu is the favorite of our GHG guests for the week wins the Iron Chef title for that week and a cash prize with seven Iron Chefs named after the competition knives have been cleaned and put away in June. There will be a Championship Final the week of June 12-18th, with the winning GHG location being crowned the Iron Chef 2023 Champ. All Geckos Hospitality locations, geckosgrill.com.

[SOON]  FOOD: SIN Nights at Geckos on Hillview , May 12 – August 31, 10 pm to midnight
Enjoy SIN Nights for Geckos Hospitality and Service Industry Colleagues. Join Geckos on Hillview Street in Southside Village and let us serve you late at night after your shift on Friday and Saturday nights. We will keep the light on late for you and offer Geckos food and drink specials just for you from 10-Midnight. Come in wearing your uniform or bring in your schedule and enjoy the camaraderie of friends at Geckos on Hillview. 1900 Hillview Street, Sarasota, www.GeckosGrill.com.

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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