Editor's Notebook

By Hannah Wallace June 30, 2008

Boundless energy, business smarts and a positive attitude sum up the 25 movers and shakers we’ve included in our 2008 annual showcase, People to Watch. As the editors interviewed our winners, we came away filled with admiration, but truth be told, we also felt exhausted and, yes, we admit it, a teeny bit demoralized, by the number of activities they could pack in a day.


Patrick Kilbane, for example, is taking on the top position at Sarasota YPG and the presidency of a Rotary club while holding down a full-time job as a financial adviser. And he still finds time to sing lead in a barbershop quartet. Multimedia marketing whiz Anand Pallegar has built a triple-digit-growth business while holding leadership positions on seven community boards.

Attorney Anne Weintraub writes a real estate column for a local magazine, sits on numerous boards and wants to take the bar exam in another state, travel, sing the national anthem at a sporting event and have her own TV show and syndicated newspaper column. As one editor remarked wryly after reading all the applications, “I’m happy if I get to Publix on the weekend.”

We aren’t all made equal, at least not in terms of our capacity to multitask, and that’s why we believe the 25 individuals profiled here will be impacting our communities for years to come. Many of them are newcomers, and they are evidence that this region—despite its current economic challenges—continues to attract the talented and enterprising.

Another feature in this issue, “On the Defense,” profiles a different group of entrepreneurs—local defense contractors. We were surprised to find out that Sarasota and Manatee are home to 159 companies that have won contracts from the Department of Defense, and the products they have developed are cutting edge and deal with our national security.

Also read Nancy Wollin’s story, “A Tale of Betrayal,” on Alpha Mining’s winning lawsuit against a former employee who sold patents to companies in China and Dubai that his longtime boss—and friend—had developed over decades. It’s a heartbreaking lesson to all business owners and entrepreneurs that protecting intellectual property in this global world is a necessity.

And finally, two personal farewells: one to New College Foundation CEO John Cranor, whose dedication to his alma mater (he’ll tell anyone that his MBA from Harvard wasn’t nearly as influential and life-changing to him as his B.A. from New College) has helped raise the profile of New College in this community, and is now embarking on other ventures; and another to Dr. Sarah Pappas, whose sharp intelligence, energy and warmth took MCC to another level during her 11-year tenure. Both will be missed. While Cranor’s replacement hadn’t been found at press time, Pappas and the MCC board have left us in good hands with Dr. Lars Hafner, another one of our People to Watch, of course.

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