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SRQ DAILY Jul 12, 2023

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

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Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"Everyone on the Suncoast and beyond should know about Aviva and what it has to offer. The nonprofit is built on a foundation of values that I espouse, and I will work hard to share its promise of giving seniors more of what they want and what they deserve."

- Meredith Dropkin, Board of Trustee Member, Aviva Senior Living.

[Board Members]  Aviva Senior Living Welcomes New Board Trustees
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

Aviva Senior Living, the area’s only not-for-profit, rental retirement community offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing for seniors who want a fulfilling environment and superior access to quality healthcare services, is pleased to welcome two new members to its Board of Trustees. Patrick Mulva and Meredith Dropkin will join a diverse group of trustees with expertise in business, marketing, healthcare, finance, and not-for-profit management.

Originally from Syracuse, New York, Dropkin is Director of Public Relations at the Sarasota-based marketing firm Grapevine Communications, a company that not only encourages, but celebrates community service and nonprofit involvement amongst its employees. As a public relations expert, Dropkin has helped companies and organizations achieve record-breaking profits and secure national and local press coverage.

Patrick Mulva, originally from Wisconsin, served as an executive at ExxonMobil, including his most recent role as Vice President, Controller and Officer of the Corporation for nearly 38 years. Mulva brings with him decades of business knowledge and strategy. In addition to his professional work, he is an avid supporter of not-for-profits, having served on many boards. After retiring from ExxonMobile in 2014, Mulva spent time in the state of Washington before relocating to Sarasota in 2018.

“There is a reason Aviva was named 2023 Best Retirement Community in Sarasota by SRQ Magazine,” says Dropkin, who loves what the organization offers to seniors. “I appreciate that Aviva has a continuum of care, from independent living to assisted living and memory care.” Through friends who had parents at Aviva, Dropkin had been very familiar with the vibrant community before becoming involved. She was impressed by the residents she met, including Ellis and Bernice Lasberg who raved about the programming, people and connections they’ve made since moving there over 8 years ago.

“Everyone on the Suncoast and beyond should know about Aviva and what it has to offer,” says Dropkin. “The nonprofit is built on a foundation of values that I espouse, and I’ll work hard to share its promise of giving seniors more of what they want and what they deserve.”

Mulva and Dropkin begin their terms on the Aviva Board of Trustees in early July. 

Pictured: Meredith Dropkin, one of two new members joining Aviva's diverse group of trustees.

[Nonprofit News]  Academy at Glengary, Inc. Joins Sarasota Leaders in Welcoming Clubhouse International Colleagues

On June 20 & 21, the Academy at Glengary, Inc. welcomed colleagues from Miami as well as California, Oklahoma, Washington and Massachusetts for a training on “Sustainability for Clubhouse Programs.” This was the first time the Academy offered this type of training experience, which engaged attendees with roundtable discussions of best practices, challenges, solutions, and innovations. The line-up featured several local guest speakers on a variety of topics: Stewie Bitterman, a member of the Academy’s Ambassador program, discussed the valuable role of Ambassadors; John Annis of the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation presented on relationship building with charitable foundations; Jeff Steinwachs shared strategies on mission, sustainable growth, and outcomes; and Robyn Faucy presented on Results 1st. In attendance were Linn Blohm and Melanie Reese of Thunderbird Clubhouse (OK), Rachel Riani and Luke Knowles of Genesis Club (MA), Bernadette Jacobs of Hero House NW (WA), Tamara Hunter and Lisa Breton of Mental Health Connections (CA), and Debra Webb, Amy McClellan and Lalita Airan of Key Clubhouse (Miami). Executive Director William McKeever, who was co-facilitator of the workshop, said, “We are grateful that several of our key community partners could join us for this training and share their expertise with the members of the larger Clubhouse International community. We have benefitted greatly from their support, so we are thrilled we could extend their reach to a larger audience.” The Academy’s Culinary Team served up breakfast and lunch each day—part of the vocational training at the Academy—and showcased their know-how with a BBQ for Board members, Ambassadors and guests. Attendee Rachel Riani, from Genesis Club, Massachusetts, said, “Thanks to the team at the Academy for a wonderful two days. The guest speakers gave us great insights, the food was very delicious, and your Clubhouse space is amazing. It was wonderful to learn from all of you! Luke and I are both eager to share our ideas with our colleagues here at Genesis Club.”



[Recognition]  Big Brothers Big Sisters Winner of Award

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast is proud to announce it is the winner of the 2022 Gold Standard and Quality Award. Every year, Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country are recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Nationwide Leadership Council, made up of local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency leaders and board members, for excellence in the organization’s signature one-to-one youth mentoring program. In order to receive this Award, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast met the following criteria: Quality Award: Served a minimum of 100 children and raised at least $200,000 in revenue; Achieved a Community-Based/Site-Based Plus 12-month retention rate of 74% or higher; Achieved a Site-Based/Site-Based Facilitated 12-month retention rate of 51% or higher. Gold Standard: Met the requirements for the Quality Award; Grew the number of End Active Matches; Posted a positive net income at the end of the agency’s fiscal year that ended during 2022. 

Pictured: Accepting the award at the National Conference are, Joy Mahler, President | CEO alongside 2022 Corporate Board Chair, Randall Woods. Photo courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

[Nonprofit News]  Resilient Retreat Unveils 2024-2026 Strategic Plan

After reaching the goals laid out in its initial 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, Resilient Retreat, a Sarasota non-profit providing free and confidential support for survivors of abuse, first responders and helping professionals, is looking ahead with its new Strategic Plan for 2024 to 2026. In addition to setting new programming and financial goals, the organization has appointed a new Chair and Vice Chair of its Board of Directors who will ensure that the mission and vision statements remain a focus for the years to come. The newly appointed Chair of the Board is Gino LaMarca, a retired executive with over 30 years of experience in strategic planning, business development and operations. LaMarca is passionate about helping others, and since retiring to Sarasota from Washington, D.C., he has become an active volunteer in the Greater Southwest Florida community. Newly appointed Vice Chair of the Board Ramin Mesghali is the owner of Jack Dean Flooring in Sarasota. Mesghali brings an extensive background in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, ranging from his experience in IT systems and medical records for Premier Health Partners in Dayton, Ohio to his previous role with Computers 2 San Diego Kids, a non-profit providing computers to low-income families through after-school programs. The top goals in the 2024-2026 Strategic Plan include: Assess Resilient Retreat’s strengths along with community needs to design and deliver the most robust, impactful programming, while remaining mission-focused and driven; Build upon Resilient Retreat’s strong and extensive reach with expanded virtual programs and dedicated space, technology and equipment; Implement financial plans and practices to promote the long-term sustainability and growth of Resilient Retreat, exploring additional revenue streams such as coaching, neurofeedback experiences, peer support trainings, conferences and more. Resilient Retreat’s initial 2020-2023 Strategic Plan included the goals of developing the organizational infrastructure to support future growth; piloting and expanding participant-centered, trauma-informed, empowerment-based programming to support the current and evolving needs of the community; planning for and completing a $7M capital campaign to build the Retreat Center and Community Center; and increasing community awareness and engagement locally, regionally, and nationally.


For more information or to donate, please visit

[Partnership]  SCSO and United Way Partner on Eviction Intervention Plan

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) is excited to announce a new partnership to support landlords and tenants facing an eviction crisis. SCSO has joined forces with the United Way of South Sarasota County (UWSSC) to establish a program aimed at mitigating the effects of residential evictions, which may result in homelessness of the tenant. Every day our deputies encounter tenants with no alternative housing options who are also grappling with health-related concerns, financial issues, or hurricane recovery. These tenants include vulnerable community members such as families with children, veterans, and the elderly. SCSO deputies will identify and engage with those experiencing eviction and guide them to a UWSSC case manager who will review the status of their eviction and deploy a plan of action for assistance or referral. According to Barbara Cruz, CEO of United Way of South Sarasota County, "This program is critical for our community because it aids in mitigating evictions which can lead to homelessness. Our agency witnessed first-hand how the 'perfect storm' impacted our community. Covid, rising inflation, and Hurricane Ian combined laid the foundation for the increasing number of evictions and homelessness". To increase awareness for this joint effort, the sheriff's office has begun placing informational door hangers at the residences where tenants face potential eviction. These door hangers provide tenants with the contact information for the UWSSC so they can engage with the agency as quickly as possible. Additionally, our deputies are making every effort to personally reach out to tenants before serving a final eviction notice to determine if UWSSC can assist them. While this collaboration aims to benefit landlords and tenants across Sarasota County, it also serves as a vital resource for our deputies responsible for evictions, enabling them to assist more effectively those who may find themselves in unique situations and are uncertain about their next steps. 

[Recognition]  Sarasota Memorial Recognized as Role Model for Best Practices and Life-Saving Care

Sarasota Memorial Hospital received top awards from the American Heart Association (AHA) for providing life-saving care to patients experiencing heart and stroke emergencies. Part of its national “Get With The Guidelines” annual quality review, the AHA recognizes hospitals not only for following best practices, but for doing so consistently, year after year, ultimately leading to more lives saved, shorter recovery times and fewer readmissions to the hospital. James Fiorica, MD, chief medical officer of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, credits the hospital’s superior performance and patient outcomes to the expertise of clinicians, as well as the commitment of hospital leaders to research-based, high-quality care. This year, Sarasota Memorial’s Sarasota and Venice campuses received awards with multiple honors for their dedication to best practices and life-saving care for cardiac arrest and stroke patients. 

[Board Members]  Laura Spencer to Join Board of Directors of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation

The Board of Directors of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation has elected Laura Spencer as the newest board member of the private foundation. Spencer retired in 2022 after a career spanning almost 40 years and is known for her business acumen, financial expertise, thoughtful focus on problem solving, and knowledge of our community and foundations. Most recently, Spencer was the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for 10 years. She began her career with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in Tampa, followed by nine years at Kerkering, Barberio & Co. CPA’s before joining Tervis Tumbler Company in 1997. She spent 14 years at Tervis, where she held several key leadership roles during a significant period of growth in the organization, including the role of President and Chief Executive Officer from 2006-2010. Spencer is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting with High Honors from the University of Florida. She completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Spencer was awarded the Elijah Watts Sells Award for scoring in the top 1/10 of 1% on the CPA exam. She was also named Outstanding Florida CPA in Business & Industry by the FICPA for 2008/2009. Spencer officially joins the board on August 1, 2023 with current board members Barbara Zdravecky, Keith DuBose, Susan Hines, Carolyn Johnson and Tom Tryon. Susie Bowie is President and Chief Executive Officer. Visit SelbyFdn.org to learn more about the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation and its history of capital grant making and scholarships supporting nonprofits and students in a 4-county region. 

[New Hire]  All Star Children’s Foundation Selects New CEO

After an eight-month search, All Star Children’s Foundation’s board of directors has appointed Denise Marzullo, MBA, LMHC, as its new CEO. Marzullo most recently served as the president and CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Duval in Jacksonville. Before her tenure at the Early Learning Coalition of Duval, Marzullo served as an adjunct psychology professor at Barry University in Jacksonville. She was also the President & CEO of Mental Health America of Northeast Florida (2010-2017). Her role at MHA included developing and maintaining sound financial practices for the organization, grant writing, fundraising, and establishing corporate partnerships. While at the organization, Marzullo led a statewide mental health advocacy initiative, working collaboratively with community leaders, consumers, families, mental health professionals and state senators and representatives. Earlier work experience includes serving as a children’s clinical director at Northwest Behavioral Health Services in Jacksonville; as the clinical supervisor/EAP coordinator for Family Foundations in Jacksonville; and as a child therapist and team leader for the Mental Health Resource Center in Jacksonville. Marzullo recently served as the board chair for the Association of Early Learning Coalitions and was a board member and finance committee member for the Jacksonville System of Care Initiative. She received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Saint Leo University (2009); a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MACP) from the University of North Florida (1998); and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in sociology at Clemson University (1995). 

[Good Hero]  Nominate a Good Hero Today!

Do you know a board member, volunteer, philanthropist, staff member, or a corporate organization with a giving heart that has meaningfully impacted our community in the past year? Nominate them today! Nominations close Friday, October 6th, 2023 at midnight. 

Nominate Here!

[SRQIST]  A Hero For Our Future
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

A HERO FOR OUR FUTURE | Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and Desoto Counties President and CEO Bill Sadlo says he makes decisions in the best interest of the children, July/August 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Webb Space Telescope Anniversary , July 12, 6:30 pm

Join us in The Planetarium at The Bishop as we celebrate the one year anniversary of the first Webb Telescope images. At 7 pm, we will join the NASA live stream featuring expert panels and a new image. After the live stream, our Planetarium Manager will open the floor for questions and discussions about this historic mission. The evening begins at 6:30 pm in The Planetarium Lobby with free NASA giveaways where drinks are available for purchase. Visit bishopscience.org to purchase tickets. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St W, Bradenton.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Create and Send Your First Email Campaign in 15 Minutes or Less , July 12, 12 pm
Not sure how to get started with your first email campaign? Do not worry, we will take you through how to create and send your first email campaign. By the end of this session, you will know how to create an effective email campaign that looks great on any device and gets your subscribers to take action. Free, online event. To enroll, visit score.org/manasota.
[SOON]  FOOD: RADD BBQ Bash , July 13, 6:30 pm
The Rosemary Art and Design District presents the RADD BBQ Bash. Enjoy delicious barbeque alongside friends, family, and neighbors in the hottest spot of downtown Sarasota at The Rosemary Park. There will be music by Sunsets and Soundwaves. Arrive at 6 pm for the Blvd Bike Ride, a community staple. Rosemary Park, 1386 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota.
[SOON]  FILM: Mission Impossible at Cinema at The Bay , July 13, 8 pm

Join us for a free screening of the OG 1996 movie that kicked off this blockbuster series at The Bay Park. Bring your blankets, chairs, family, and friends to enjoy a wonderful evening under the stars. Enjoy tasty food from Simply Greek Food Truck and refreshing beverages from The Nest. The Bay Park, The Oval at The Bay, 1055 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, thebaysarasota.org.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Be Fearless, Conquering Self Doubt and Imposter Syndrome , July 13, 5 to 7 pm

The Womens Resource Center continues its Wonder Women Collective series with Be Fearless, Conquering Self Doubt and Imposter Syndrome. The keynote speaker is Kim Richmond, director of the 26 West Entrepreneurship Center at State College of Florida. The $25 admission includes the program, complimentary drinks, and food. All proceeds from the Collective support the programs and services of the Womens Resource Center. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit mywrc.org/fearless. State College of Florida, Manatee Sarasota, Building 8, 26 West Center, 5840 26th Street West, Bradenton.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Thursdays , July 13 – December 14, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Join Sarasota Art Museum for Jazz Thursdays featuring live jazz music, contemporary art, and sips and bites from Bistro. Hosted by the Jazz Club of Sarasota. Jazz Thursday happens on the second Thursday of each month, 5:30-8 p.m. Galleries, Bistro, and SHOP open. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members.

[SOON]  FOOD: 14 juillet Apero , July 14, 5 to 7 pm

Join the Alliance Francaise de Sarasota in Celebration of 14 juillet/Bastille Day at Bijou Garden Cafe. The apero is a great way for Francophiles to come together and share their passion for the French language and Francophone cultures. Bijou Garden Cafe, 1287 1st St., Sarasota, afsarasota.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The 2023 Hermitage STARs with Five FAAE selected Arts Teachers from across the state of Florida , July 14, 1 pm

The 2023 Hermitage STARs with Five FAAE selected Arts Teachers from across the state of Florida. The incredible talents of the art educators of Florida reach well beyond the boundaries of the classroom. The STARs program, now in its thirteenth year, is designed to nourish and replenish the passionate artist within each of the remarkable teachers selected for the honor. This year, they represent multimedia strands of visual art, writing, and music and come from all across the state of Florida. The artists will have two weeks to create new work, culminating in a sharing with the community on Friday, July 14th on the Hermitage campus. Family and student friendly program, all are welcome. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org $5. per person registration fee. Hermitage Beach,
6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood.

[SOON]  FOOD: 14 juillet Gourmet Menu at Cest La Vie , July 14

If you cannot make it to France for the 14 juillet and Bastille Day holiday, head to Cest La Vie for a delicious gourmet menu crafted by Executive Chef Christophe Coutelle. The three course menu includes a glass of wine and classics dishes like vol au vents and beef burgundy. Cest La Vie, 1553 Main St., Sarasota, cestlaviesarasota.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Roxx Revolt and The Velvets at Oscura , July 14, 8 pm

Oscura presents a night of music from Roxx Revolt and The Velvets featuring The Dirty Janes and Widows. Doors open at 7 pm. Music at 8 pm. Ages 18 and up. $15 ADV. and $20 DOS. Oscura, 816 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton, oscura.live.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Limelight Market , July 15, 10 am to 3 pm
This week, the spotlight is on Limelight Market. This fun, pop up market happens in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime with rescue dogs from TenderHeart Charities looking for their furever home, unique guest vendors, food, and live music with Sabrina. Check out over 40 local creators and curators inside. Great way to support local. Free, until you buy something amazing. This month the guest vendors include Siesta Key Rum, The Tie Dye Nerds, Bread Bandits, Mystic Blooms, Wordier Than Thou, Charlie Sarasota, and Surfing Coconut. For more information visit www.BazaaronApricotandlime.com. Located at 821 Apricot Ave, Sarasota.
[SOON]  THEATER: FAME The Musical , July 15 – July 16, Various times

For the eighth summer, aspiring actors, dancers and singers ages 13-18 are taking the stage with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. WBTT is proud to present Stage of Discovery, an intensive, five week summer musical theatre program that is offered at no cost to participants. The program will culminate with two public performances of FAME The Musical, is a stage musical based on the 1980 musical film of the same name. It follows the lives of students at New Yorks High School for The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through classes, auditions, and the highs and lows of life. This bittersweet but uplifting story explores the issues that confront many young people today. Tickets, which are $27 for adults, $17 for active military and students age 25 and under, are now on sale. Visit westcoastblacktheatre.org or call the Box Office at 941-366-1505. Performances take place in The Donelly Theatre at WBTT 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FILM: 25th Anniversary Screening of Oklahoma , July 16, 1:30 pm

Sarasota Opera is pleased to present an HD at the Opera House film of a National Theatre production of Oklahoma starring Hugh Jackman. This will be shown on Sunday, July 16 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and are $22. This riveting stage production was filmed during its record breaking 1998 run in London. Oklahoma! features delightfully hummable songs, including Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin, “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top and the joyous title tune, Oklahoma. Now one of the most beloved musicals ever to grace the stage is now coming to big screens around the globe 80 years after it first premiered on Broadway. All seats are general admission. Ticket buyers are encouraged to purchase tickets before arriving at the theater. Information and tickets can be found online at SarasotaOpera.org or by calling (941)328-1300. Sarasota Opera, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: 2023 Players New Play Festival , July 10 – July 14, 7:30 pm

Running July 10 through 14, The Players is back with the 2023 Players New Play Festival Each night hear a brand new play written by a local playwright, directed by a local director and performed in readers style theatre by local actors. The winner will be produced in The Players 2024 summer season. The Players Shop, 2169 10th Street, Sarasota. Visit theplayers.org for detailed information about each play and to purchase tickets.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Conservation Foundation Trivia Nights , June 9 – August 11, 5 to 8 p.m.

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is excited to announce a monthly trivia series this summer at their Bay Preserve headquarters in Osprey on June 9, July 14 and August 11. The free community events will take place from 5pm to 8pm with trivia beginning at 6pm. Each month a different food truck duo will be onsite offering a variety of tasty options the whole family can enjoy. The public is invited to come watch, play, or simply enjoy nature and food with family and friends. Each monthly event will have a different theme with a variety of questions covering categories ranging from movies and music to science and nature. Teams can have up to eight members and multi-generational teams are encouraged. The winning team for each individual monthly event will receive a prize package in recognition of their win. Points will also be accumulated across the series, with the overall winning team receiving their choice of a private, guided hike or kayak trip for up to ten people. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit upon for this outdoor, picnic-style gathering. In the event of rain, the trivia component will be moved to an area under cover. Learn more and RSVP at conservationfoundation.com/events. Conservation Foundation, 400 Palmetto Ave., Osprey.

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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