How’s Biz?

By Ilene Denton December 31, 2011

Greg ParryGreg Parry

Director of marketing and public relations, Sarasota Opera

“We came very close to selling out the entire run of Madama Butterfly in November, more than 6,000 tickets for six performances, and we broke a half-million dollars in revenue—almost twice what we grossed last fall. On average, 10 percent were new Sarasota Opera patrons. This winter, we’ll be presenting Carmen and a first-time production here of Otello, one of Verdi’s best operas. For that reason, and for the first time in years, subscriptions for the winter season are up.”

Sandra DaySandra Day

President and co-owner, NeoDerm Aesthetics

“We’ve been a corrective skin care center for 19-plus years, offering anti-aging procedures, corrective peels, photo-rejuvenation and permanent cosmetics. Certainly we have seen the economic downturn, but we have stayed viable by practicing good business, things like inventory controls and reducing personnel. We do a lot of social media now; we have a Facebook page and send e-blasts to our large client base with monthly specials. We’ve tried to work smart, clean and hard. And we have steady clients, people who’ve been coming to us every six weeks for almost 20 years.”

Robert ArelloRobert Arello

CEO, Hydrograss Technologies

“We specialize in specifically engineered products that stop soil erosion. We have offices in Boston and Sarasota, but we work all over the world for governments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private waste management companies. We’ve done fire restoration work in Colorado, and we’re working right now in Abu Dhabi on two golf courses and seven World Cup soccer fields. Locally we recently did the big celery field stormwater project for Sarasota County. Business is starting to pick up. It’s a niche market. We’ve got to work hard and be very aggressive in finding the jobs that correlate to our products and services.”

Mary Forristall, president, Forristall EnterprisesMy Worst Mistake

“I ended up buying thousands of junk dolls that I couldn’t sell.”

“In 1988 I bought nearly 3,000 dolls for my estate liquidations store. The ones on the seller’s shelves were in pristine condition. But the dolls in boxes that weren’t visible were a mess, so I ended up donating them to Meals on Wheels. I learned there’s a way to make lemonade out of lemons no matter how bad the situation looks.”Mary Forristall, president, Forristall Enterprises


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