What does it take to be a Biz(941) Person to Watch? You need to have bold, fresh ideas that will impact our region and the talent to make these ideas a reality. Our readers helped us find these innovators by submitting hundreds of names this summer. The judges had a tough time cutting the number to 20, and you’ll need no more proof that Sarasota and Manatee attract exceptional talent than the people you’ll meet on these pages.
Three other things stand out in this year’s list.
The range of industries represented is huge. Our people range from a circus owner whose economic impact will end up in the billions to paddleboard enthusiasts who hope to make Sarasota a destination for this growing sport.
This group also includes several people who want to help budding entrepreneurs launch their own dreams. Their belief that we can be an incubator for start-ups and keep young people here—and their ability to raise funds to help that happen—bodes well for our region.
Finally, the average age of our People to Watch is 53. Baby boomers should rejoice. Sarasota and Manatee are great places to reinvent yourselves and make a difference. -Susan Burns