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SRQ DAILY Jun 3, 2024

Monday Business Edition

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Monday Business Edition

"I rely heavily on my marketing and PR background to help get the word out about my pet sitting business."

- Caryn Hodge, Owner, Peace of Mind Pet Sitters.

[Real Estate]  Region's Millennials Pay Less For Homes Than Most
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

As millennial homebuyers devote a larger share of income toward homes, buyers in the Sarasota-Manatee region may be reserving less of the incomes for mortages. That’s according to a new study from Construction Coverage.

The analysis of home prices looked every metropolitan markets nationally, and specifically what costs millennials are paying for homes. It found the national median income in 2023 for millennial homebuyers at $125,000.

In the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton market, the median millennial income sat around $141,000 for the year. The median home value in the metro market for millennial buyers is around $465,000 for the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton area compared to the national median. That means when looking at the difference between annual income and the cost of a home, buyers here are better off than nearly any other similar market.

“When compared to all homebuyers in their respective metro, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton millennials are buying the 4th least expensive homes in the U.S. in the midsize metro cohort,” wrote Mike LaFirenza, a publicist for Construction Coverage, in an email.

Millennials in this market are paying 6.1% less for homes when compared to buyers in the market as a whole. That’s based on comparing the median home value for millennial homebuyers compared to a $495,000 median price for homes for the region in totality. But then, millennials also make slightly less than the median income for all homebuyers in the region, which is around $150,000.

The only other markets where millennials are paying less for homes based on a comparison of incomes and home prices are in the Salisbury market in Maryland and Delaware (15.1% cheaper than marketwide median price), the Salinas market in California (9.6% less), and in another Southwest Florida metro area, the Naples-Marco Island market (6.1% less).

By comparison, millennials in the Davenport, Iowa market, are paying 10.3% higher prices for homes than the median price of homes in the market, the biggest difference in the country.


Chart courtesy Construction Coverage

[Pet Care]  Four Paws Up for Peace of Mind Pet Sitters
Eliana Burns, Eliana@srqme.com

Marketing veteran and local entrepreneur Caryn Hodge invites pet owners to experience Peace of Mind Pet Sitters, her newest business concept. Peace of Mind Sitters provides animals with the comfort of of staying in the familiar surroundings of their own homes while their owners are away.

A Virginia native, Hodge moved to Florida in 1990. Pursuing a career in marketing, Hodge has spent the last 20 years working for agencies like the Chiles Group and Mattison’s Restaurants and Catering. After her elderly dog Hannah passed away, Hodge was asked to dog sit for her friend. Working remotely, she accepted the request with open arms. “I needed a dog fix,” says Hodge. “I hadn't had a dog around for a while and I needed some dog love.” After that, a light bulb went off. “I thought, well, everybody else is getting a side hustle. I want to give the pet peace of mind that they get to stay in their own home. They're familiar with the environment. They're such creatures of habit. They know our schedules better than we do, and they know when you take them out of that environment.” Hodge says some dogs require more attention, “A lot of dogs, especially older or younger dogs, get very anxious and disoriented. I like to keep them in their home where they're comfortable.”

Four months later, Hodge set up her website and was quickly booked and busy. Her devotion to animals is apparent, and she soon had to hire more people to keep up with demand. “I'm individually owned. I have to be the scheduler and the hiring person, all while marketing and advertising it,” Hodge says. “I rely heavily on my marketing and PR background to help get the word out about my pet sitting business.”

With a team of qualified animal lovers, Peace of Mind Pet Sitters specializes in drop-ins and overnight stays. Developing her own marketing agency Create and Connect Marketing Services this past October, Hodge’s ability to work from home allows her to pet sit during the day, ensuring the animals are comfortable and cared for. She has also grown a team of sitters she can deploy.

Hodge’s commitment to animals doesn’t stop there. As a board member of the nonprofit organization, Friends of Manatee County Animal Welfare, she organizes fundraisers for Manatee County Animal Shelter. In seven years, they have raised over $700,000.

“Animals inspire me.” Hodge says, “They live in the moment. They don't have greed and regret, and they don't hold a grudge. When you leave your house, you can leave for five minutes or five hours and that dog’s just happy to see you when you come back.”


Pictured: Caryn Hodge pictured with her beloved dog, Hannah.

To learn more, visit.

[Congress]  Buchanan and Moore Launch Congressional Preventative Health and Wellness Caucus
Paula Rodriguez-Saenz, paula@srqme.com

In Congress, the creation of caucuses provides a path for United State Representatives to work together to pursue common legislative goals. With hundreds of caucuses in government today, each caucuses’ ideological focus is dedicated to emerging policy issues that move a specific initiatives forward. U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) recently announced the launch of the bipartisan Congressional Preventative Health and Wellness Caucus aimed at bringing awareness to the obesity epidemic in the country—Buchanan serves as the Vice Chairman U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and Chairman of the Health Subcommittee.

The economic and social implications of obesity are profound. The Joint Economic Committee economists projected that Medicare and Medicaid would spend $4.1 trillion on obesity-related diseases from 2024 to 2033. Additionally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that roughly 74% of adults in the U.S. are overweight, including 43% who are obese and childhood obesity also seeing a dramatic rise, tripling since the 1970s. The rise of obesity is also posing a national security issue as the rates of obesity in service members have doubled in the past decade with one and three young adults unable to serve in the military because of their weight.

“With a staggering 43 percent of adults and 20 percent of children in the U.S. suffering from obesity, it’s clear we need to get serious about this growing health care crisis and give people the tools they need to tackle this disease and ultimately live longer, healthier and happier lives,” says Buchanan. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) echoed this sentiment, expressing her enthusiasm for the caucus’ potential to improve health outcomes for all Americans.

Aside from the creation of the congressional caucus, Buchanan, Congressman McGovern (D-MA), and seven other lawmakers led a bipartisan letter to the Accreditation Council for Medical Education (ACGME) asking the Council to better prepare physicians in treating diet-related diseases and other health related screenings.

Through the caucus, Buchanan aims to address the dangers of obesity in society by proposing new policy-centric solutions. His focus includes prevention, Medical Research and Innovation (MRI), Food as Medicine (FAM), health disparities, stigma and the impact of obesity on military readiness and physical fitness. The bipartisan group plans to achieve these goals by holding congressional hearings on strategies to tackle obesity in healthcare programs, conducting congressional roundtable discussions on regional obesity and quantifying the economic impact of obesity in the United States. 

[Hurricane Preparation]  Sarasota County Urges Community to Take Action Now for Hurricane Season

The start of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is just days away, on June 1, and Sarasota County Emergency Management urges residents to prepare and stay alert until the season ends on Nov. 30. "Now is the time to take the steps you need to prepare your family pets, home or business. Know the risks you may face, like storm surge and strong winds. Stay informed throughout the season to help you be as prepared as possible," said Sarasota County Emergency Services Director Rich Collins. "Every storm is different. Do not base your decisions on the last storm or wait until a storm is approaching. Have plans and take action to prepare you and your family now, before hurricane season starts. Know what you will do if you need to evacuate, have a stocked disaster supply kit and a way to stay informed to ensure you're prepared for an emergency," Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Sandra Tapfumaneyi added. Emergency Management officials recommend updating emergency plans, ensuring contact information is current, refreshing disaster supply kits and checking in on neighbors if possible, especially those new to the area. A crucial part of a preparedness plan is purchasing flood insurance as homeowners’ and renters’ insurance may not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance floodsmart.gov/find. For information about how to prepare for hurricane season and available resources such as the disaster preparedness guide, visit scgov.net/beprepared. 

[Event]  Exclusive Yachts and BSWANKY Host Spectacular Seas the Day Event Celebrating Gulf Coast Luxury

Exclusive Yachts™, in partnership with BSWANKY, hosted an unforgettable evening of luxury and high fashion at the Hotel Escalante in Naples on May 16. The "Seas the Day'' cocktail party brought together over 70 guests, including Exclusive Yachts members, industry partners, and special invitees for an elegant poolside event that celebrated the best of nautical chic and bespoke fashion. The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of exclusive, yacht-inspired handbags by renowned artist and designer Gretchen Bauer of BSWANKY. These handcrafted pieces, inspired by the sea, showcased exceptional artistry and drew admiration from all attendees. Numerous collectors of BSWANKY handbags were present, and everywhere you turned, these exquisite pieces of art were on display, each transcending traditional fashion to emerge as true masterpieces. "Seas the Day" was not just a party; it was an experience that left an indelible mark on everyone who attended. The fusion of fine living, luxury yachts, and high fashion created an ambiance that was both inspiring and aspirational, celebrating the essence of Gulf Coast luxury. "Our 'Seas the Day' event was a perfect reflection of the Exclusive Yachts experience – luxurious, exclusive, and unforgettable," said David Arredondo, CEO of Exclusive Yachts. "We were thrilled to share our vision and the extraordinary opportunities that our membership offers with such a distinguished audience." Guests were welcomed by a stunning display of Ferrari cars from Ferrari of Naples, setting the tone for an evening of opulence. The event featured live music by the talented violinist Alex Cameron, and custom sketches by artist Tina Dillingham of Keepsake Couture, adding a unique and personal touch to the festivities. 

[Recognition]  Caldwell Trust Company's Nolan Wiggs Earns Prestigious Certification

Nolan Wiggs, CFP®, Trust Officer at Caldwell Trust Company in Sarasota, FL, has attained his Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification, the standard in financial planning, and has been authorized by the CFP Board to use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® certification marks. This accomplishment is particularly notable as only 6,207 CFP® professionals, or 6.2%, are aged 20-29, and only 7% of CFP® professionals reside in Florida. Wiggs has worked at Caldwell Trust Company since 2022 and is responsible for assisting clients with managing all aspects of their financial planning, including investing, budgeting, and estate and trust matters. Nolan's journey into the wealth management industry was driven by his passion for helping people and his interest in learning about wealth management. A native of Wilson, NC, Nolan graduated with honors from Campbell University with a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree, majoring in Trust and Wealth Management and minoring in Financial Planning. Nolan obtained the Truist Emerging Leaders Certification in 2021 and the BB&T Leadership Institute Certification in 2019. He completed the Southeastern Trust School program in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Campbell Business School’s Leadership Development program. During his college career, he served as the Treasurer and scholarship chair of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity – Sigma Phi Chapter. The CFP Board is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S., with a total of 100,538 CFP® professionals. The CFP Board consists of two affiliated organizations focused on advancing the financial planning profession for the public’s benefit. The CFP Board of Standards sets and upholds standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. For more about the CFP Board, visit www.CFP.net.


[Last Flight]  From the Farm to the Stage
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com
FROM THE FARM TO THE STAGE | Jeffery Kin, Sarasota Rising and The Living Arts Festival Sarasota, May/June 2024.

Read Here!

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Business Networking and Cowork Session , August 22 – June 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attention all business professionals. Join us for a productive and inspiring coworking event every Tuesday at Out and About Coffee in downtown Sarasota. Take advantage of this opportunity to network and collaborate with fellow professionals in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Limited spots available, so register now on Eventbrite. O and A Coffee Supply, 1316 Main St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Lets Connect at Oscura in Old Manatee , August 31 – December 26, 8:30-10am

Connect with local business owners at every Thursday at Oscura. Lets Connect is a community of collaborative business professionals from the Manatee and Sarasota County areas. RSVP on Eventbrite to attend, admission is free.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Sarasota County Connect Business Networking and Panel Discussion , May 9 – July 11, 5:30-8pm

Offered in conjunction with 26 West, the State College of Florida Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation, the monthly Sarasota County Connect Business Networking and Panel Discussion series held through July is for those interested in entrepreneurialism. The program taps into the fast-growing small business climate. Upcoming sessions include: the May 9 workshop with Zeev Wexler, a digital industry leader, marketing automation disrupter and the CEO of a growing marketing firm, who will present on brand-boosting with AI, the June 13 session which features Problem-Solving for Entrepreneurs by Stephen Diasio, a podcaster and professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of South Florida, and July 11 Business IDEA Lab, community forum moderated by Chris Williams, managing director of a Sarasota digital marketing firm, offers an opportunity for participants to share business ideas and gain expert feedback. Sarasota County Connect events run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and are free with advanced registration required at 26west.scf.edu/sarasotaconnect.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Collaborative Coworking Meetup at UTC , September 1 – December 27, 11am-4pm

Attention all business professionals, join us for a productive and inspiring coworking event at Panera Bread at the UTC Mall every Friday. Take advantage of this opportunity to network and collaborate with fellow professionals in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Limited spots available, so register now on Eventbrite. Panera Bread, 215 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Divorce Support Group , May 1 – January 6, Every Wednesday from 5-6:30pm

The Womens Resource Center presents a Divorce Support Group facilitated by Paula Falk, BS. This in-person, free program happens every Wednesday, 5-6:30 p.m., starting May 1, at the Womens Resource Center Sarasota, 340 S Tuttle Ave., Sarasota. Participants can attend one or all of the sessions. To register, visit www.mywrc.org/divorcesupportgroup. For more information, call 941-366-1700.

[SOON]  FOOD: Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch , September 3 – September 30, 10am-2pm

Experience some of the best food and flavors of the region with more than 100, and still growing, curated vendors. The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch has fast become a favorite weekly tradition for people from all over the region seeking farm-fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and specialty items and gifts. Aside from all the goodies you can shop at the Farmers Market, find your flow in a free yoga class or have the kiddos get creative during weekly-hosted workshops. 1561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Byzantine Style Icons , April 7 – June 28, Gallery hours: Mon-Thurs. 9-1, and Sundays 11:30-12:30. June will have no Sunday hours.

All Angels Church is delighted to offer an exhibition of Byzantine-style icons by noted iconographer Christine Simoneau Hales. Since the beginning of Christianity, icons have been revered as aids to prayer and contemplation. They are visual reminders of the Saints and Gospel stories that have inspired all Christians throughout the ages. Ms. Hales has studied for many years and now teaches and produces icons for churches and private collectors. She is sought after for her modern, yet traditional icons for churches all over the world. She has won several grants and awards for her painting and is now a local Sarasota iconographer. She will share the icons she has crafted in the ancient Byzantine Tradition using egg tempera paints and gold leaf gilding on wood panels. There will be over twenty original icons on display, and all icons will be available for purchase by contacting the artist/iconographer. To learn more, visit allangelslbk.org/.

[SOON]  FILM: On the Waterfront at Sarasota Opera , July 5, 7:30pm

From May 10th- October 18th, Sarasota Opera House will be showing classic movies as timeless as the theater itself. Our Classic Movies at the Opera House series begins on Friday, May 10. HD at the Opera House series begins on June 9. Tickets on sale now! One of the greatest films ever made, receiving twelve Academy Award nominations and winning eight. The film focuses on union violence and corruption among longshoremen on the waterfront of New Jersey. The musical score was composed by Leonard Bernstein. Directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, and Eva Marie Saint. Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes.

Sarasota Opera, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FOOD: Geckos Hospitality Group Iron Chef Challenge , May 13 – June 16, Various times

Join the Geckos Hospitality Group family of restaurants to celebrate the culinary creativity of your favorite Geckos Grill and Pub Chefs during the annual Geckos Hospitality Group Iron Chef Challenge. From May 13th to June 9th and June 10th to 16th 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 the 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 10-16th, with the winning GHG location being crowned the Geckos Hospitality Group’ Iron Chef 2024 Champ. www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Salvation Army of Sarasota Food Pantry , May 30 – September 1, 12pm

The Salvation Army of Sarasota has a new Food Pantry that is now open Mondays and Thursdays from 12:00om to 2:00pm at 1701 South Tuttle Avenue. Food is being supplies by All Faiths Food Bank. 

Salvation Army of Sarasota , 1701 South Tuttle Avenue

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Piecing Together the Past , June 3 – June 7, 8:30

There are many things to explore and discover at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Summer Camp. Learn, explore, craft, play, snack, and have fun every day! Camp Times are 9am-3:30pm Monday through Friday with 8:30-9am Drop off & Pick up 3:30-4pm. $250 members/$300 non-members per week. Summer Science Camp is for campers in Grades 2-5, Ages 7-11 (starting second grade/Leaving fifth grade). What was Florida like more than 1 million years ago? Explore the animals and plants of this region during the Ice Age.

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. West Bradenton

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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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