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SRQ DAILY Jul 31, 2023

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"Agriculture is one of Florida's leading industries, contributing more than $159 billion to the state economy every year and providing more than 2.5 million jobs."

- Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key.

[Federal]  Buchanan, Florida Delegation Fight For Farm Bill
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The state of agriculture and America’s health care run hand in hand, according to U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key.. The Republican co-chair of Florida’s congressional delegation led a meeting of Florida’s House Representatives in Washington on Thursday, and heard from state experts on how much is at stake in an upcoming Farm Bill.

“Agriculture is one of Florida’s leading industries, contributing more than $159 billion to the state economy every year and providing more than 2.5 million jobs,” he said. “However, between hurricanes, citrus greening and Mexico’s illegal dumping of specialty crops, it’s been a trying year for our farmers and ranchers.”

Hurricane Ian caused about $1 billion in production losses in the state, hitting citrus particular hard in many counties east of the Sarasota-Bradenton area.

Florida leaders have increasingly tied the issue of thriving agriculture to national security, something stressed by Mike Risola, who testified to the delegation on behalf of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“We are cognizant, as you are, that food security is indeed national security,” he said. “Together, we can protect and preserve Florida's agriculture for future generations through this Farm Bill and beyond.”

Congress passes a Farm Bill every five years, and the legislation is expected to cover a range of topics from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP, to subsidies from farms across the nation. Block grants regarding storm recovery could also be included and are being independently discussed by Congress in separate legislation as well.

Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic co-chair of the delegation, said it was important Florida’s bipartisan contingent in the House meet before an August recess and ahead of the release of initial drafts of the Farm Bill get published in September or October. Wasserman Schultz said she would like to have a field hearing in Florida later this year as well.

“I was really glad to see that there is commitment and concern around both making sure that we have the most robust nutrition title, as well as a robust agricultural title in the bill,” Wasserman Schultz said. “The Florida delegation steps up and is very unified around the issues that are the most important to our state. Those are the times when we put partisanship aside.”

Buchanan agreed. He also stressed that the Farm Bill will surely extend to other portions of policy impacting Floridians and everyone around the country. He also chairs the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, and noted Americans now spend $4.3 trillion on health care, with that cost ballooning every year. "We can't go in this direction of a sicker and sicker society, and we are spending more,” he said.

Dr. Scott Angle testified that Florida is a major domestic producer of fruits and vegetables, and better incorporation of those crops will innately improve the nutrition of Americans as a whole.

“Our food is making us sick, and the best and the easiest solution to improve health is simply to eat more fruits and vegetables,” Angle said. “It’s very, very simple. And that's what Florida does. We are the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the country. That industry is on the ropes right now.”

Buchanan said it's fiscally sound to support farmers and good policy to improve the health of Americans.

“We have fresh fruits and vegetables here,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way to get that more to families at risk — young children, everybody. It makes a big difference, because we don’t have enough money to continue spending the dollars that we are on health care.” 

Photo by Jacob Ogles: Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Vern Buchanan in Washington.

[Seniors]  Rep. Buchanan at Sunnyside Village

Sunnyside Village hosted an educational tour of their community recently for Florida state Rep. James Buchanan. It was an opportunity for Rep. Buchanan to see firsthand the quality of life and care that happens in a Christian mission-oriented senior community, but also understand the threat of soaring costs and lagging funding for senior living facilities. 

[Appointment]  Daniel J. DeLeo Appointed to Sarasota Planning Board

The Sarasota City Commission has appointed Shumaker Partner Daniel J. DeLeo to the Planning Board for the City of Sarasota, where he will serve a three-year term. The Sarasota Planning Board was established for the purpose of approving and influencing the type, quantity, and effect of current and future development within the City of Sarasota. The Board consists of five members, plus an alternate, who possess the technical, professional, financial, business, or administrative skills necessary to accomplish the work of the Board and who must be residents of the City. Dan has a long-standing commitment to Sarasota and has served as Board Chair of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County; an Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County Board Member; President of the Cherokee Park Neighborhood Association for the past 10 years; Chair of Citizens for Better Schools, which renewed the $1 million school referendum; Past Chair and Advisory Board Member of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast; School Board of Sarasota County Financial Advisory Committee Member; Forty Carrots Family Center Advisory Board Member; and Sarasota Crew Board Member, just to name a few. Dan is Board Certified in Business Litigation, and his legal practice focuses on commercial disputes, with particular emphasis on representing businesses in contract disputes, business torts, and complex business litigation. Dan is an experienced trial lawyer with considerable knowledge and experience in the areas of construction defect litigation, class actions, and products liability claims. 

[Recognition]  Icard Merrill Attorneys to Serve with Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance

Two Icard Merrill attorneys will serve on committees with the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance (LWRBA) in the upcoming business year. Shareholder Steve Rees was appointed to LWRBA’s Governmental Affairs Committee, where he will assist in strengthening relationships with local, regional, and state government officials. The committee stays at the forefront of all governmental issues that could impact LWRBA members or the business community. Attorney Macaire King is a new member of the Young Leaders Alliance (YLA) which engages young professionals under the age of 40 to increase professional competency, give back to the community, and build authentic relationships. Icard Merrill’s Lakewood Ranch office, which opened in 2006, was recently expanded and continues to offer a full range of legal services to the growing community and region. The firm has been an active member of the LWRBA since 2012. Rees practices in the areas of land use, zoning, municipal law, and real estate. He brings many years of experience to his representation of developers, landowners, and others in rezoning cases, obtaining
development approvals, and handling the myriad complex issues that arise in the development and use of real estate. King practices primarily in the areas of land use, land use litigation, and commercial real estate. She has experience representing developers, landowners, and others on issues such as rezoning, special exceptions, comprehensive plan amendments, and a variety of other land-use related matters. 

[Recognition]  SMH Earns Magnet Status for Fifth Time, Recognizing 20 Years of Nursing Excellence

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System announced last week that its Sarasota hospital has for the fifth time, and for 20 years running, achieved Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Association’s Credentialing Center (ANCC). Only 10% of more than 6,000 hospitals in the U.S have achieved Magnet status at least one time, but fewer than 1% have received the recognition five times or more. Magnet recognition, which must be renewed every four years, is the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence and the gold standard for measuring quality of care and professionalism in nursing. Sarasota Memorial first earned designation in 2003 and has remained the only hospital in the region with Magnet recognition for the past 20 years. To earn its fifth consecutive Magnet designation, Sarasota Memorial nurses completed a lengthy and rigorous review process to demonstrate their enduring commitment to top-quality patient care, nursing excellence, exemplary professional practices and a supportive, collaborative work environment. Earlier this year, SMH submitted a detailed written application followed by a four-day on-site appraisal in May by multiple Magnet appraisers who met with nursing leaders and staff across the organization to validate patient care practices, policies and procedures. David Verinder, CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, congratulated the health system’s nursing leaders and team of more than 3,000 nurses for creating a clinical environment that promotes excellent nursing care and patient outcomes. Research indicates that Magnet facilities consistently outperform other hospitals in key quality measures and patient satisfaction results. Magnet hospitals also are more successful at attracting and retaining an extraordinary caliber of nurses and have higher staff satisfaction. During a video call from the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program office early Tuesday, Dr. Sharon Pappas, chair of the Commission on Magnet Recognition, delivered the good news, calling SMH a "national and international role model.” Beyond its Magnet status, Sarasota Memorial has repeatedly earned accolades.. Earlier this year, SMH-Sarasota was ranked in the top 10 hospitals for nurses in the state of Florida and the highest in the region by NurseJournal, a national resource in education and career development for nurses and aspiring healthcare professionals. For more on SMH’s Magnet designation, visit smh.com/magnet. 

[Community News]  Lakewood Ranch Remains Number One Top Selling Multi-Gen Community in the Nation

Lakewood Ranch continues to be the best-selling community for all ages in the U.S., according to national real estate consulting firm RCLCO’s 2023 mid-year survey. The Ranch secured 1,227 new home sales through the end of June of 2023, beating last year’s numbers by 20% percent, and keeping it in the No. 1 position for more than five consecutive years. Lakewood Ranch also distanced itself from other regional master-planned communities (MPCs), with more than two- and-a-half times the sales of Babcock Ranch, and almost three times as many sales as Wellen Park, the only other two MPCs in Southwest Florida to rank in the top 15 positions on the list. “Post pandemic, we continue to see buyers attracted to Lakewood Ranch because of our lifestyle, multi-generational appeal, and diversity of neighborhoods,” said Laura Cole, senior vice president of LWR Communities, LLC. “In 2023 we introduced three new entry-level villages and two new luxury villages to round-out our segmentation. This provided a boost to sales. “The move-up and active adult markets continue to perform exceedingly well even in this high-interest rate environment,” Cole continued. “Builders have helped buyers get across the finish line by assisting with closing costs.” There is no question that the new home market has benefited from low inventories in the resale market, Cole pointed out, but she doesn’t feel that this advantage will be dampened when interest rates drop. “There is great pent-up demand within Lakewood Ranch for new homes.” Lakewood Ranch also benefitted from being in the nation’s fastest growing state as well as in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, which continually appears in national and international rankings for its high quality of life. RCLCO has been ranking master-planned communities since 1994; for more information, visit www.rclco.com. 

[SRQIST]  Under The Sea
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

UNDER THE SEA | Dr. Joseph Dituri of the University of South Florida is on a mission to understand how living underwater affects the mind and body, July/August 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  BUSINESS: How to Scale Your Business Without Investors , August 2, 12 to 1 pm

In this workshop, Alexander Nouveau from nouveaustartups.com will teach you the secrets of how to scale your business without having to give up precious equity to investors. Discover winning strategies to attract a stampede of customers who pay, stay, and refer to fuel rapid growth. Learn how to run a lean operation and build a rockstar team. This webinar is free. Visit www.score.org/manasota to register.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: BUSINESS Key Financial Concepts for the Entrepreneur, A 3 Part Webinar Series 1, Cash Issues for New Businesses , August 9, 12 to 1 pm

All businesses require cash for their operations including Equipment, Location, Materials, Supplies, and Staffing. In this webinar we will cover how to fund the business until you are generating sufficient cash to sustainably fund as well as other payment decisions that can affect your operating cash position. We will also delve into sources of funding. This webinar is free. Visit www.score.org/manasota to register.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Key Financial Concepts for the Entrepreneur, A 3 Part Webinar Series 2, Budgeting, A Tool for Planning and Managing the Business , August 16, 12 to 1 pm

This session will focus on using a budget as a tool for both planning and ongoing management of business operations. Discussion items will include some valuable budgeting techniques, use of important financial ratios and data, tracking and comparing actual financial results to the plan/budget, and steps to creating an income statement for the business. The session will include a Q and A session and discussions. This webinar is free. Visit www.score.org/manasota to register.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Key Financial Concepts for the Entrepreneur, A 3 Part Webinar Series 3, Building A Balance Sheet , August 23, 12 to 1 pm

A balance sheet provides all sorts of insights into the strengths, risks, and future prospects of a company, and understanding the entries and reading between the lines is important. What about when it comes to your own company? Creating the balance sheet should be more than simply listing the entries in the right places. You have an opportunity to analyze trade offs, project future effects from today’s decisions, and fix problems before they spiral out of control. This webinar will address those factors, while reviewing the elements and rules for balance sheet creation. This webinar is free. Visit www.score.org/manasota to register.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Resources for Veterans Starting a Business , August 30, 12 to 1 pm

Learn what resources are available for veterans interested in starting their own businesses. We will review some of the national programs available including the SBA Boots to Business program as well as other free and low cost resources available for both the government, non profit and private sector. This webinar is free. Visit www.score.org/manasota to register.

[SOON]  GALA: Toast Local , August 19, 1-5 pm

On Saturday, August 19th from 1-5pm, at Robarts Arena in Sarasota join us for Toast Local, and raise a glass to local charities. Benefiting The Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation, enjoy a craft cocktail and beer tasting with delicious bites, plus special musical guest Kettle of Fish. The fun begins with a free family-friendly car show from 9am to 1pm. The Rotary Club of Sarasota is a network of active and retired business, professional, and community leaders dedicated to helping make Sarasota and the world a better place. Each year, the club receives requests from a number of local not-for-profit agencies seeking support. Toast Local will bring the local community together for an afternoon this summer to taste local beers, cocktails, and food. All proceeds will then be donated back to the local community. Information and tickets at rotaryclubofsarasota.com/toast-local, 21 and older.

[SOON]  GALLERY: 55 Frida Project , June 18 – August 18, Various times

Maverick, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo painted 55 self-portraits in her short and tragic life. View the commemorative exhibit by artist Beck Lane of her work at UUCS Lexow Wing Gallery, her artwork merges extraordinary creative vision and innovative technique and has been collected and shown in pop-up galleries, solo shows, galleries, and private collections in Boston, California, New York City, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Miami, Brussels, Switzerland, South America, and Israel. On her YouTube Channel, Catalyst and Co., Beck records herself painting live, while offering encouragement to fellow artists, and sharing her experiences as an artist and her painting process and techniques. These mixed medium works pulsate with powerful, vibrant energy, fluid color and rare style. On Sunday, July 16, Lane will be painting live from 12-2 pm at the Lexow Gallery. UUCS Lexow Wing Gallery, 3975 Fruitville Rd., www.uucsarasota.com, www.becklaneartist.com.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art at Ringling Museum , March 29 – September 4, Museum hours

Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art group exhibition will mark The Ringling’s first presentation of contemporary art by Native American artists with ancestral, historical, and present-day connections to Florida. An imperative step toward establishing a meaningful relationship with the Native American artistic community, Reclaiming Home will highlight the breadth and depth of the artwork by Seminole, Miccosukee, and mixed-heritage artists from Florida with the important work by internationally-recognized artists. The exhibition will expand the conceptual framework of Native American art made in Florida today and provide a fuller understanding of the complexities of issues within the art of the Seminole diaspora. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sights and Sounds at Waterside Place , July 28 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Head out to Waterside Place for a rocking evening as part of the Lakewood Ranch Sights and Sounds Program. Enjoy a live concert in partnership with Easterseals and EveryoneRocks, featuring artists who are rocking their spectrum. This event is free and open to the public; there is limited seating at the Plaza, but attendees are welcome to bring their own seats. Food and beverages will be available from numerous Waterside Place merchants. For more information on shows, dates, and times, visit lakewoodranch.com/sights-sounds/. Waterside Place, 1560 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: John Pirman, Diving Into Nature , July 22 – September 17, Garden Hours

Dive into nature this summer at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, where a retrospective-like show of the career of Sarasota artist John Pirman to date can be seen inside the Museum of Botany and the Arts and outside in the Gardens. The show features several of his signature views of Sarasota, including iconic scenes of Selby Gardens itself, along with diverse works from his 30-year career in New York City and even pieces from his childhood in Ohio. On view daily through September 17. Learn more at selby.org.

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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