Fast Track

By Beau Denton January 31, 2012

Dennis Geers, Bruce Dilges, Jennifer Compton, Felicia Cox

Positions Taken

Sharon Hillstrom, executive director, Manatee Economic Development Council.

Michelle Nelson, reappointed CEO, Anexio Inc.

Kathleen White, promoted to vice president, Freedom Village branch manager; and Darcy Lawn, promoted to vice president, University Parkway branch manager, Iberia Bank.

Patrick Wright, commercial lines sales executive, Bouchard Insurance.

Jim Cullum, reverse mortgage specialist, Blue Skye Lending.

Dennis Geers, sales manager, resort sales division, Longboat Key Club & Resort.

Michael Audet, senior accountant, Kerkering, Barberio & Co.

Linda Emery and Bruce Dilges, commercial advisers, Sperry Van Ness Commercial Advisory Group.

David Meador, executive chef, Renaissance on 9th.

David Russell, paralegal, law firm of Band Weintraub P.L.

Michelle Butler, director of development; and Mischa Kirby, director of marketing, South County Family YMCA.

Robin Lankton, director of public relations and communications, Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Alene Sartori Fowler, regional director, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Suncoast Sarasota Region.

Brad Dwight, premium sales and service account representative, Baltimore Orioles spring training staff.



Tervis Tumblers won a Gold Award for its new packaging design at the 68th annual National Paperboard Packaging Competition.

Molly’s! earned a national Golden Tote Award from Vera Bradley Designs for its outstanding marketing performance.

Vicki McClenathen of the Community Associations Institute West Florida Chapter won the national CAI award for Chapter Executive Director.

Mike Kramer of John Neal Homes was named Builder of the Year by the Home Builders Association Manatee-Sarasota.

The law firm of Fergeson, Skipper, Shaw, Keyser, Baron & Tirabassi recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.

Cannons Marina received the Grady-White Admiral’s Circle Award for the 13th consecutive year.

Stephen Bolander has been elected chairman of Easter Seals Southwest Florida, and Rose-Anne Frano has been elected vice chair.

William E. Chapman II has joined the board of trustees of the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation.

Rick Gomez, Alex Miller and Jena Wilson have joined the board of trustees of Forty Carrots Family Center.

The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded New College of Florida’s new Academic Center Gold LEED certification for its environmentally friendly features.

Carlson Studio Architecture has won three LEEDership Awards from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Caleb Grimes has been named chairman and president of the Foundation for Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

George Thomas, M.D., is the recipient of the 2011 Senator Edgar H. Price Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Manatee County Rural Health Services Foundation.

Karen LaPensee of LaPensee Plumbing & Pools is the new chair of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce.

Employees from Signature Sotheby’s and Publix Super Markets recently participated in Team Build projects for Habitat for Humanity Sarasota.

Darcie Duncan of Duncan Real Estate has been named the Anna Maria Island Rotary’s Businessperson of the Year.

Linda Jennings was named to the editorial advisory committee of the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has been named this metropolitan area’s Consumer Choice Award winner by the National Research Corporation for the 14th consecutive year.

Mullet’s Aluminum Products received the Aluminum Association of Florida’s 2011 Award of Excellence for its work at the new Palm Avenue parking garage.

William Lee “Buck” Strickland was named 2011 Agriculturalist of the Year and inducted into the Manatee County Agricultural Hall of Fame by the Kiwanis Club of Bradenton.

Brian Foster, M.D., of The Eye Associates has been named a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Deborah L. Simpkins, D.M.D., received the Academy of General Dentistry 2011 Fellowship Award.

Jennifer B. Compton of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP has been elected to the board of Girls Incorporated, and also will chair the workforce innovation and talent development council of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

Jennifer Davis of Shinn & Company has obtained the designation of Certified Public Accountant.


Moving and Opening

Ted Todd has acquired Felicia Cox’s JFC Insurance Group and relocated it to 5265 University Parkway, Suite 107, in Sarasota. Cox is now vice president, corporate relations/agency manager.

Station 400 and America’s Best Martial Arts have opened at Main Street Lakewood Ranch.

Two St. Armands Circle businesses have opened: Poshy Bags, Beach, Kids at 476 John Ringling Blvd., and David O’Keefe Studios at 438 St. Armands Circle.

Family Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has moved to 6400 Manatee Ave. W., Suite L119, in Bradenton.

Fresh Start Café has opened at 630 S. Orange Ave. in Sarasota.

Dojo Martial Arts has moved to 4220 59th St. W. in Bradenton.

CornerStone Title has launched The Service Firm, a third-party facilitator of short sale transactions, at

The Village Gourmet has opened at 5263 Ocean Blvd. in Siesta Key Village.

Sean Murphy has opened his second Eat Here restaurant at 1888 Main St. in Sarasota.

Kauffman Tire has opened at 6008 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. in Lakewood Ranch.


Pat Mathews, Co-owner, Workplace Solutions ProsPat Mathews


Workplace Solutions Pros

“The big word is collaboration, which embraces everything about employees feeling they’re valued and that the organization recognizes what they do.”

Pat Mathews and Michelle Colburn have opened Workplace Solutions Pros, offering human resources management to small and medium-sized companies. Mathews, current president of the Sarasota-Manatee Human Resources Association, says the biggest challenge for today’s employers is engaging their workers. “Recent research shows that 13 percent are totally disengaged and 73 percent of today’s workers are only partially engaged,” she says. “Retention of your good performers is going to be very difficult over the next few years. It’s your good people who can move because they have already established their reputations; it’s the less efficient people who stay.” —Ilene Denton


Volume 9/Number 2, FEBRUARY 2012, Biz(941) (ISSN 1936-7538) is published 11 times a year, monthly except August, by Gulfshore Media, LLC, 330 S. Pineapple Ave., Suite 205, Sarasota, FL 34236.

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