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  • 06 Sep 2019 11:30 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    The Food Bank of Manatee, a program of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, distributed over 21,000 Summer Hunger Relief “Sacks” to food-insecure children in Manatee County during the months of June, July, and August. The summer relief bags included over 126,000 meals for children during the weekends. 

    Numerous volunteers donated over 870 hours to pack the “sacks” which were distributed throughout the county at 46 partner sites.  All the sacks were made possible through funds raised thanks to generous supporters.  Donations ranged from $3 to $50,000 and each gift made this program successful.  In addition to summer hunger sacks, nearly 800 families in crisis received emergency food and baby baskets and over 1 million pounds of food was distributed to food pantries and partners. 

    “We began distributing weekend food to children in 2015, by following the Manatee County School District Summer Break Spot buses and provided about 5,000 bags that first year.  This year’s efforts enabled us to increase that number by 400% and serve our youngest, most vulnerable neighbors in need, thanks to the generosity of our community.  I am so very proud of what we accomplished together,” said Maribeth Phillips, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. 

    Call To Action:

    Thank you Manatee County for supporting food-insecure children in Manatee County over the summer.  Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee and The Food Bank of Manatee are feeding people in our community 365 days a year.  You can help by donating online at www.MealsOnWheelsPLUS.org/donate or by texting FEEDMANATEE to 243725.


  • 05 Sep 2019 8:58 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) recently received national recognition as an “Age-Friendly Health System,” joining more than 100 hospitals in the US that are implementing best practices to enhance care for older adults. The movement is led by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to encourage hospitals and other care settings to deliver safe, reliable, high-quality care based on what matters most to older adults as individuals.

    SMH is the only hospital in the region and one of a handful in Florida with Age-Friendly status. Health systems participating in the initiative are testing and putting into place a set of evidence-based interventions—known as the “4Ms”—which have proven to be essential in providing better care to older patients: What Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility. An example of the “4Ms” in action at SMH includes the deployment of specially trained mobility technol ogists in nursing areas to help patients get moving earlier during their hospital stay, which can result in improved patient outcomes. Another 4M initiative is SMH's REACH pilot program, in which teen volunteers visit patients 65 and older on select nursing units to provide friendly conversation and activities. 


  • 05 Sep 2019 8:37 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    On Friday, September 20, Goodwill Manasota and SunCoast Blood Bank will officially launch a partnership effort to encourage donations of gently-used items and of critically-needed units of blood. The organizations will bring both the Goodwill “Giving Mobile” and the SunCoast Blood Bank “Bloodmobile” to the campus of PGT Custom Windows + Doors (1070 Technology Dr., North Venice) from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Leaders from both nonprofits and PGT will be in attendance from 9:30-10 a.m. for an informal celebration and brief remarks.

    The organizations are currently seeking additional locations in order to hold “Change a Life, Save a Life” donation drives at least once or possibly twice per month. Already in the works are events at FCCI Insurance Group (November 14) and Booker High School (date TBA).

    "We are proud to be partnering with Goodwill Manasota for the ‘Change a Life, Save a Life’ campaign,” said SunCoast Blood Bank CEO Scott Bush. “This partnership is a wonderful example of two well-respected nonprofits working together to create an even more meaningful impact in the communities we both serve.”

    “We are thrilled to forge this new partnership and help to raise awareness and increase vital resources for both of our organizations. We are particularly happy that these collections from the community stay local, benefiting the people who live and work here,” added Goodwill Manasota president and CEO Bob Rosinsky. “We look forward to finding more community-minded organizations – like PGT – who are happy to lend their parking lots or community areas to our collection efforts.”

    While the September 20th event at PGT is limited to PGT employees, the public is welcome to donate during select future events. For more information or to inquire about becoming a “Change a Life, Save a Life” location, call 941-355-2721, ext. 163 or email pavitra.ciavardone@gimi.org.


    About Goodwill Manasota Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.

    SunCoast Blood Bank SunCoast Blood Bank is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing a reliable supply of safe blood products and services to our community for 70 years. SunCoast provides 100 percent of the blood products and services for Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Complex Care Hospital of Ridgelake, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota, North Port Emergency Room, Fawcett Memorial Hospital of Port Charlotte, Englewood Community Hospital and DeSoto Memorial Hospital. Recognized for its outstanding service, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce honored SunCoast as the 2017 Non-profit of the Year. SunCoast participates in cancer treatment programs, research and provides therapeutic services at the hospitals it serves. For donor locations and more information, visit www.scbb.org or call 1-866-97-BLOOD.


  • 03 Sep 2019 8:56 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Manatee County Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director Diana Shoemaker has been promoted to the position of CEO, and Greg DeMeuse and Gurn Freeman have joined the organization’s board of directors. Shoemaker has been with Manatee Habitat for 10 years, earning her promotion through strong leadership and a commitment to its mission to help hardworking families achieve strength and stability through affordable housing. Greg DeMeuse of Blalock Walters and Gurn Freeman, formerly Director of Government Sales for FedEx, were brought on as board members to enhance the efforts of the board in accord with organizational growth and capacity building plans.

    Prior to joining Manatee Habitat, Shoemaker served as the Director for Family Promise of Manatee County, a nonprofit providing shelter and resources to homeless families. She also served as chair of the Manatee County Affordable Housing Task Force and is a graduate of Leadership Manatee and the LWRBA Executive Academy. She and her team recently completed the Patterson Foundation’s No Mission, No Margin initiative that provides guidance to nonprofits, helping them to increase their capacity to do good.

    The Manatee Habitat Board of Directors is led by Board Chair Roger Arnholt, Vice-President Kirsten Regal, Treasurer Barry Berman and Secretary Lauren Fuller. DeMeuse and Freeman will join current board members Todd Powers, Tim Polk, and Gary French. 


  • 29 Aug 2019 12:02 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Alera Group, a leading national insurance firm, today announced its acquisition of Comprehensive Benefit Administrators (CBA), effective August 1, 2019. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    A LWRBA member, Janice Belmonte, represents CBA in the Sarasota Manatee area.  The company also has offices in Tampa and Norwell, Massachusetts.  CBA creates benefits programs that are focused on exceeding client expectations while minimizing costs. Their expertise in brokerage services, claims administration, and enrollment allows them to design tailored benefit plans that deliver measurable results for their clients.

    “We are excited to welcome Comprehensive Benefit Administrators to the Alera Group team,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “Mike McKenna and the CBA team’s professionalism and industry expertise are an exciting enhancement of our existing solutions as we continue to enhance the client experience.”

    “Becoming an Alera Group company is a fantastic step for our firm as we continue to serve our clients with excellence,” said Michael McKenna, President of CBA. “We look forward to offering national resources to our clients alongside our powerful local relationships.”

    All CBA employees will continue operating out of the firm’s existing locations under the name Comprehensive Benefit Administrators, an Alera Group Company, LLC.

    Alera Group was formed in early 2017 and is one of the nation’s foremost independent insurance agencies. For more information on partnering with Alera Group, visit Partner With Us at www.aleragroup.com.


  • 29 Aug 2019 8:33 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Visit Sarasota County (VSC), Sarasota County’s official destination marketing organization (DMO), has received a Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) re-accreditation with distinction at Destinations International’s (DI) Annual Convention. This is the highest international recognition in the travel and tourism industry and marks VSC’s eighth year of accreditation. Of the 48 DMOs that received a DMAP seal at this year’s DI Convention, there were nine, including VSC, that received accreditation with distinction.

    According to DI, the DMAP accreditation program requires a destination organization to successfully comply with a multitude of mandatory and voluntary standards that span a variety of performance areas. The standards cover nearly all aspects related to the management and marketing of destination organizations including governance, finance, human resources, sales, communications, destination development and research. To earn accr editation with distinction, a DMO must also achieve the 21 aspirational standards, which are such due the variances in budgets between each organization. VSC met 20 of the 21 aspirational standards, with categories like long-range planning, employee wellness and social responsibility. 


  • 28 Aug 2019 4:34 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)



    Sarasota, Florida, August 30, 2019 – Shaun P. Merriman, Regional President – West

    Florida, announced that Brian D. Hall has just been named Senior Vice President and

    Community President for CenterState’s Sarasota/Manatee Market effective immediately.

    Hall takes leadership of commercial and retail banking for Sarasota and Manatee counties

    following the recent retirement of Jim Kuhlman after his long and distinguished banking

    career.

    During the announcement, Merriman noted, “We are excited to have Brian lead our

    Sarasota and Manatee banking operations. Having more than 30 years of successful

    banking experience, Brian has built a tremendous reputation as a proven leader which will

    significantly contribute to the bank’s strong growth in our community.” Merriman continued,

    “Over the past several years, Brian has been instrumental in motivating his teams to

    provide remarkable service, and he is thoroughly committed to developing and carefully

    managing strong customer and business relationships.”

    Reporting to Hall will be Chris Perkins, Area Executive/Commercial Team Leader, who

    now takes on the additional oversight of commercial banking for Sarasota County as well

    as Manatee County. Also reporting to Hall is Renee Brady, Private Banking Team Leader,

    who oversees the local Private Bank as well as Cindy Denison, Retail Market Manager,

    who oversees all nine full-service branches across both counties.

    In his reaction to the announcement, Hall responded, “I am excited to take on this key

    leadership role with CenterState.” He added, “It is an honor and a privilege to work with

    an incredible team of caring and committed CenterState associates who are focused on

    providing exceptional service to our clients and the communities we serve.” Hall joined

    CenterState Bank in 2013 after serving eight-years as President, CEO, and Organizing

    Director of Sarasota-based Sabal Palm Bank. He also held various senior management

    positions with the former SouthTrust Bank in Sarasota, as well as for Star Bank and Irwin

    Union Bank in Ohio and Indiana. Brian earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance

    from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to his

    participation as the Board Chair for Plymouth Harbor of Sarasota Bay, Brian is Past Board

    Chair and current Chair of the HR Committee for Samaritan Counseling Services of the

    Gulf Coast, and is a Member of the State of Florida Bar Association Unlicensed Practice

    of Law Committee. Previously, he participated in the Selby Scholars Mentor program,

    served as a Regional Director and past Campaign Chair of United Way Suncoast, and

    served as the past Director and Treasurer of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

    CenterState Bank is a $17 billion Winter Haven, Florida based bank operating in Florida,

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    Georgia, and Alabama, which provides online banking, commercial lending, residential

    mortgages and investment services. Locally, the Sarasota/Manatee Community has $733

    million in bank assets with nine (9) banking centers. CenterState has a history of quality

    service and community focus. Our core values at CenterState focus on themes of

    sustainability, a long-term horizon and the career development of our team. We believe

    that local ownership and local management translate into a better bank. For more

    information on CenterState Bank, please visit, www.CenterStateBank.com.


  • 28 Aug 2019 10:58 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Southeasternbased CPA firm Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, is proud to announce

    the appointment of four new firm partners, effective Sept. 1.

    Jon Schultz, CPA, is a Partner with Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC in the Firm’s Atlanta office. Jon received his

    BBA in Accounting from Georgia Southern University in 2004, and his Masters of Accounting (MACC)

    from Georgia Southern University in 2005, and has since been with Mauldin & Jenkins.

    Jon specializes in providing various attestation and consulting services for the notforprofit & education

    practice. In addition, Jon has significant experience in providing various attestation and consulting

    services for the entrepreneurial services practice; including construction, healthcare, and professional

    service industries.

    Jon is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Georgia Society of

    Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA), the National and Southern Association of College and University

    Business Officers (NACUBO and SACOBO), Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Cherokee Chamber of

    Commerce, and the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

    Matt Hisey, CPA, is a Partner with Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC in the Firm’s Chattanooga, TN, office. Matt

    received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has worked in public accounting

    since 2008, joining Mauldin & Jenkins in 2015.

    Matt provides a wide range of both individual and business tax services. He enjoys working closely with

    smalltomedium sized business owners and assisting individuals with tax savings and estate planning.

    He also has extensive experience with notforprofit tax compliance including community foundations,

    educational institutions (secondary and college) and private foundations.

    He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA), Tennessee Society of

    Public Accountants (TSCPA), Hamilton Place Chattanooga Rotary, Chattanooga Tax Practitioners, and

    Chattanooga Estate Planning Council. He also serves on the firm’s Tax Committee and is a member of

    Silverdale Baptist Church.

    Trey Scott, CPA, is a Partner with Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC in the Firm’s Savannah, GA, office. Trey has

    been with Mauldin & Jenkins since 2008, after obtaining his Master of Professional Accountancy degree

    from the University of West Georgia. Trey has been licensed as a certified public accountant since 2010,

    and is currently licensed to practice in the States of Florida and Georgia.

    Trey works in the governmental practice of Mauldin & Jenkins, and his experience covers a wide variety

    of state and local governments in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.

    Trey is involved in a variety of organizations to both support the governmental industry and to promote

    the CPA profession overall. Trey is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Georgia Institute of

    Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of CPA’s, the Georgia Government Finance Officer’s

    Association, and the Government Finance Officer’s Association.

    Kristen Lord, CPA, is the Chief Financial Officer of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC. Kristen received her B.B.A in

    Accounting and a Masters of Accountancy from Georgia Southern University and works out of the

    Atlanta office of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC.

    Kristen joined Mauldin & Jenkins in 2006, and focused her career on audits of financial institutions

    before transitioning to the CFO role.

    Kristen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Society of

    Certified Public Accountants. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Georgia. She has

    attended the National Banking School at the University of Virginia. She was a member of the Leadership

    Cobb Class of 2015. Kristen currently serves on the Georgia Southern Alumni Association Board of

    Directors and the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Executive Board. Kristen was a 2017 Cobb Young

    Professionals Next Generation Award nominee and a 2016 Georgia Southern University Alumni 40

    Under 40 award recipient.






  • 27 Aug 2019 9:00 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Entech has been recognized in the Business Observer’s 2019 Top 500. Each year the Business Observer spends seven months researching companies on the Gulf Coast to rank the top 500 companies from Tampa to Naples by their gross revenues. On this year’s list, which reflects 2018 fiscal year data, Entech ranked No. 430, with 6.15 million dollars in revenue. Headquartered in Fort Myers, and with an additional location in Bradenton, Entech is an IT Managed Services and Integration provider doing business in Southwest Florida since 1998. 


  • 27 Aug 2019 8:59 AM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

    Sarasota-based Firmo Construction has been recognized in Business Observer’s 2019 Top 500 in the region, as well as one of the top fastest growing companies. The list ranks the 500 largest companies by gross revenues for consistency and comparability. Firmo ranked as the 35th fastest growing company in Sarasota and beyond.

    Established in 2003, Firmo Construction was formed with the purpose to design and build in a sustainable, forward-thinking manner. The construction management firm is licensed in over 15 states. An early adopter of USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system, Firmo began implementing sustainability and efficiency practices into projects, and is known for projects such as the expansion of Rosemary Square in Downtown Sarasota, the ground-up build of Hampton Inn and Suites by SRQ Airport and the build-outs for White Sands Physical Therapy and Center For Sight. Firmo has been expanding its expertise towards the Southern Gulf Coast region.  


Recent Member News





Hook Kids on Fishing

 

Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at tellershaw@aol.com or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org or 321-474-8202.

Hook Kids on Fishing

 

Anglers for Conservation (AFC)

 a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, in partnership with Fisherman’s Village, is coordinating its engaging Hook Kids on Fishing Program to be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 from 10am- 12:00pm at Fishermen's Village (1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda).

 Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult. The first 100 kids registered and complete the training will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling King Fisher Fleet at 941-639-2628.

 This hands-on, conservation-minded program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, boating safety, tackle box essentials, catch and release tactics, fishing habitats and conservation, and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers.

 Community support also provided by Fisherman's Village, King Fisher Fleet, local bait and tackle shops, and local Captains, Aylesworth's Fish & Bait, Canoe Outpost-Peace River, Coastal Angler Magazine, Diiachi Hooks, Fish Florida Foundation and Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

AFC’s mission is to inspire new generations of marine stewards through angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation practices. For more information, please visit www.AnglersForConservation.org.

 Volunteers are needed and donations are greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in volunteering please contact Theresa at tellershaw@aol.com or call me 321-433-3340/302-6260

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Heather Sears at Heather@AnglersForConservation.org or 321-474-8202.

8430 Enterprise Circle, STE 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

941-757-1664 | info@lwrba.org

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