New Year's Resolutions

Local Business Leaders Share Their Goals for 2016

It’s the New Year, time for resolutions and self-improvement in business and life.

By Susan Burns January 11, 2016 Published in the January 2016 issue of Sarasota Magazine

It’s the New Year, time for resolutions and self-improvement in business and life. We asked some heavy hitters what their goals are for the year ahead. Their answers ranged from the professional, such as increasing sales and employee retention, to the personal (“I want my pants to fit better,” said Lee DeLieto Jr.). Almost everyone responded with multiple goals; clearly, these men and women are used to setting their targets high—and hitting them. Here’s a sampling of their impressive, amusing and ultimately inspiring answers. 

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CJ Fishman

President/owner/founder, Fishman & Associates, Inc.

“Take more personal time for myself. Our company will be in its 30th year of business in 2016 and it is time to adjust my priorities a little toward my family and myself. I feel this can be done because of the quality and commitment of our associates.”

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Dr. Michael P. Crosby

President and CEO, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

“Inspire and nurture the next generation to discover the wonders of the oceans. It is also incredibly important that everyone in our community, especially our children and our children’s children, have experiences exploring marine science, because they are the ones who will be affected most by the threats facing our oceans today.”

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Carolyn Mason

Sarasota County Commissioner

“Get a homeless shelter sited, approved and construction well under way if not completed by end of year in 2016.”

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Art Lambert

President, S-One Holdings Corporation

“Create a younger generation of leaders. Yesterday, we had one company. Today, we have four [companies] under the S-One umbrella, and our team members can find new challenges and ways to grow. We have had team members actually participate and lead in starting these new businesses, something they couldn’t get from any business school.”

Troy Roberts

Founder/CEO, Drum Circle Distilling

“Increase fermentation and distillation capacity. We are way behind on production of our Toasted Coconut rum. Since we make our rums completely from scratch, that means more production equipment and distillers. Distillers are particularly difficult to find in Sarasota.”

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Rob Brady

CEO/Design Director, ROBRADY

“Unplug! Two years ago my family traveled to Alaska. There was no cell service, zero. I painfully detoxed for a few days, but then the freedom became magical. [In] 2016, I want to find another digital detox zone to sample that freedom with my family once more.”

Rick Piccolo

CEO, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

“Spend more time with my grandchildren.”

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Jeff Mayers

General manager, Longboat Key Club and Resort

“Another year of revenue growth, which in turn will lead to an increase in staffing levels. Hiring qualified candidates in a highly competitive industry [means focusing] on employee retention [and continuing] to be the employer of choice.”

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Doug Logan

Director of Sarasota’s homeless initiative

“The city and county need to tackle homelessness together. I will do all I can in the coming year to heal some of the perceived wounds and close the divide.”

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Lee DeLieto Jr.

Commercial realtor, Michael Saunders & Company

“Try to meet a new person every day. The spice of life is change, and each new person can introduce you to another.”

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Terri Najmolhoda

Vice president/general manager, Saks Fifth Avenue

“Continue to establish relationships [between Saks and] nonprofit organizations and dedicate my time to charities close to my heart.”

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Alex Miller

CEO, Mercedes Medical

“Be active enough where my iWatch doesn’t buzz me every hour to get up from my desk. Maybe someday in 2016 I’ll know what it means to reach the elusive 10,000-step goal."

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G. “Kelly” Caldwell, Jr.,

CEO & President, Caldwell Trust Company

“My wife Melissa and I met at a triathlon and we continued doing them until we started a family. Now, 10 years later, [our] three boys have started triathlon training with their swim coach, so Melissa and I have a goal of competing along with our three boys in their first triathlon.”

Jim Delgado

Attorney, Kallins Little Delgado

“Try to recruit more attorneys for Legal Aid of Manasota to do pro bono work.”

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Harvey Vengroff

Chairman, VWA

“Spend more time enjoying the development of [employees] I have mentored. Over the last 25 years, 19 [of them] have gone from poverty to become millionaires.”

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Betsy Benac

Manatee County Commissioner

“Adopt a funded work plan for short-term transportation improvements to relieve congestion in the U.S. 301/41 corridor [crossing the Manatee River].” 

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