Fast Track

By Ilene Denton October 31, 2011

(Left to Right) David Wyant Jr., Tim Gruters, Rudolph Seurattan, Mark Thiele, Maggie Mooney-Portale, T.J. Nutter

Positions Taken

Suzy Carter, director of finance, Longboat Key Club & Resort.

David Wyant Jr., associate, law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick.

Tim Gruters, staff accountant, Shinn & Company Certified Public Accountants and Consultants.

Esteban Scornik, attorney, immigration law firm of Goldman & Loughlin.

Marcie M. McGeehan, director of sales and marketing, and Linda Menshon, director of sales, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.

Rudolph Seurattan, director of food and beverage, Heron Creek Golf & Country Club.

Teresa Anderson, chief nursing officer, Voalté.

Kristen Nichols, chief operating officer; and Shimi Shah, executive director, Ziivaa, LLC.

Mark Thiele, procurement manager, Sarasota County government.

Heather Kasten, promoted to vice president of the membership experience, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

Peter Bartolotta, interim executive director, newly formed North Port Economic Development Corporation.

Jordan Hallam, vice president and commercial loan officer, Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida.

Brandi Jones, financial services assistant, Bridge Financial Solutions.

Lori Mamazza, business development, United Systems Computer Group.

Tom Knieriem, agent, Brady Insurance Group.

Justin Doss, chief operating officer, Blake Medical Center.

Doug Kerr, director of development, Venice Symphony.



Sequoia Financial Group has been named a Wealth Magnet 2011 Top Firm by Accounting Today.

Edward Jones financial adviser Ralph J. Cushing received the Jack Phelan Blue Blazer Award for outstanding business building skills and client service, and Edward Jones was named the No. 2 large company on the Florida Trend “Best Companies to Work For in Florida” list.

Mischa Kirby and KSC, Inc. won Awards of Distinction and the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau won a Golden Image Award at the recent Florida Public Relations Association state conference. All are members of the Central West Coast Chapter of FPRA.

Ron Ciaravella of Dolphin Aviation donated an annual college scholarship to Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County member Kris-An Hinds, a North Port High School senior.

Hope Family Services has appointed its new executive committee: Len Tabicman, president; Michael T. O’Keefe, vice president; Tom Salisbury, treasurer; and Twila Averill, secretary.

New College of Florida has been named a Best Buy school by the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2012.

Sage Hall, president of StarFruit Productions, was named Best Director for her short film, Candy, at the 2011 Underground Horror Film Festival in Tulsa, Okla.

Maggie Mooney-Portale of the law firm of Lewis, Longman & Walker achieved board certification in city, county and government law from the Florida Bar.

Rachel Rios-Ortiz of The Florida Center for Early Childhood was named the Healthy Families Florida Social Worker of the Year.

It Works! Global was named No. 43 in the Consumer Products and Services industry and No. 720 overall in Inc. 500/5000’s ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing companies.

Two Trails has consulted and certified on the world’s highest scoring LEED Platinum-certified home, the “Power Haus,” in the Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch built by Josh Wynne Construction.



Moving And Opening

Rational Energies MC has selected Manatee County as the location for its first green energy manufacturing facility, and plans to hire 21 employees by early 2012.

Lighthouse Treasures, a nonprofit variety store benefiting Light Under the Bridge Homeless Ministries, has opened at 4540 14th St. W. in Bradenton.

Lovelight Productions has opened at 1020 10th Ave. W. in Palmetto.

T.J. Nutter has opened Nutter Custom Construction at 5539 Marquesas Circle in Sarasota.

Events by Maestro has moved to 1361 Boulevard of the Arts, Suite 103, in Sarasota.

The Station 400 breakfast and lunch restaurant is expanding to a second location on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.

J. Jill women’s apparel has opened a store in October at Westfield Southgate.

Licensed massage therapist Amanda Excobio has opened Sea-renity day spa at 112 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach.

Mattison’s has been named the official in-theater caterer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and will operate under the name, Mattison’s Bayside at the Van Wezel.

The City of Sarasota has opened the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex at 1845 34th St. in Sarasota.

Trojan Florida Powder Coating is opening a 97,000-square-foot facility in south Manatee County.

Pandora Jewelry has opened a Pandora concept store at Westfield Southgate.

Golfsmith, the nation’s largest golf retailer, has opened at 143 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota.

U.K.-based Global Components has announced plans to open its U.S. operations base in Manatee County.

Pastries by Design has relocated to 10667 Boardwalk Loop, Main Street Lakewood Ranch.

Odato Marketing has launched to highlight its expanded video production capabilities.


David A. Brooks: “I saw Enron, WorldComm, the housing bust and all the scandals that came along.”David A. Brooks


With an M.B.A. from Oxford University, David B. Brooks has joined BB&T as area executive for Manatee County. A Nashville, Tenn., native, Brooks almost left banking several years ago. “We saw Enron, WorldComm, the housing bust and all the scandals that came along with it,” he says. “I questioned, ‘Why [has the banking industry] been co-opted?’ The hot topic at Oxford in 2004 was corporate financial responsibility. You could not further the shareholder at the expense of the public. Fortunately, BB&T had created its philosophy on mission, vision, values that are non-negotiable, years before this became a topic. I found it an excellent fit.”


Lori Rodgers: “You can’t survive in this business on a part-time basis anymore.”Lori Rodgers

President, Bert Rodgers Schools

Lori Rodgers, president of Sarasota-based Bert Rodgers Schools, is celebrating her company’s 50th anniversary. To date, the school has trained more than 1 million Florida real estate professionals, and now also trains community association managers, appraisers and mortgage lenders. All classes are online.

Trends in her industry? Real estate students are younger than before, some in their early 20s. Fancy offices are out, and the virtual office and technology skills are in. And forget going part-time. “You can’t survive in this business on a part-time basis anymore. It’s a profession, not a hobby,” says Rodgers, who’s marking the company’s anniversary by offering real estate associate courses to 50 clients of Safe Place & Rape Crisis Center.

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