Fast Track

Sarasota Chamber Names Annual Small Business Awards Winners

Plus, Sarasota Ballet director Iain Webb is awarded the 2024 British National Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement and more.

By Staff June 24, 2024

The 2024 William G. and Marie Selby Foundation scholars.
The 2024 William G. and Marie Selby Foundation scholars.

The Greater Sarasota Chamber  of Commerce has named the winners of its 34th annual Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards. They are Express Employment Professionals (Small Business); Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC (Medium Business); Roofing By Curry (Large Business); Catalist Realty LLC (Community Impact); Aginto | A Digital Agency (Minority Business); Fly Dance Fitness (Woman-Owned Business); OnPlace (Rising Star); FleetForce Truck Driver Training (Workforce Development & Innovation); Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County (Nonprofit of the Year); and Gecko’s Hospitality Group and Michael’s On East Restaurant & Catering (Hospitality of the Year Award).

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has elected officers and appointed new members to its board of directors, which governs the organization. The Hon. Charles E. Williams, a circuit court judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit, will step into the role of secretary. Continuing service in their roles of chair, vice chair, and treasurer, respectively, will be Marilyn ThompsonPaul G. Hudson, and Andrew Stultz. Joining the board for three-year terms are Dan Denton, Erin Duggan and Mitzie Henson.

The Sarasota Ballet has announced that its director, Iain Webb, was awarded the 2024 British National Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement. The National Dance Awards have been organized by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle every  year since 2000; the Dance Section of the Critics' Circle comprises more than 60 dance writers and critics and is responsible for the recognition. In 2024, there were 311 companies, choreographers, performers, and other creative artist nominees for the award.

Karen E. Rushing, Sarasota Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, was awarded the 2024 Statesman of the Year award. The award is bestowed to the clerk and comptroller who exemplifies and best represents Florida clerks and comptrollers among state leaders, regional and local constituents, and agency partners.

The William G. and Marie Selby Foundation has named 45 new Selby Scholars, outstanding students who are eligible for up to four years of a renewable scholarship award to their chosen accredited college or university.  Twenty-four scholars are first-gen students, the first in their families to attend college. Graduating high schools in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto Counties, students are engaged in their communities and plan to use their education to help others.

Melissa Voigt has been named director of development of the Sarasota Opera. Voigt first joined Sarasota Opera in 2000 as an individual giving officer and became director of development for the first time in 2002. She left the company in 2009 to pursue other opportunities and returned in 2021 as senior development officer.

Visit Sarasota County has announced the appointment of Hunter Carpenter as director of partnership and community relations. 

Sonya Johnson, program coordinator for NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties’ Parents For Parents Program, was named Professional of the Year for Lived Experience by the Florida Institute of Child Welfare.

The Boxser Diversity Initiative has announced filmmaker Wilderley (Will) Mauricette as the newest member of its advisory board.

Sarasota County Schools has announced three new principal appointments. Marya Annicelli, the current assistant principal of Gocio Elementary, has been appointed as the new principal of Emma E. Booker ElementaryMichelle Giddens, the current assistant principal at Lakeview Elementary, has been appointed as the new principal of Lakeview Elementary. Jessica Fuesy, currently an assistant principal at Riverview High, has been appointed as the new principal of Laurel Nokomis School.

Choral Artists of Sarasota has awarded its Dr. Ann Stephenson-Moe scholarship to Karson White, who recently graduated from State College of Florida.

Coastal Orthopedics, a provider of comprehensive orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, spine care, diagnostic imaging and physical therapy service, recently had its surgery center named a Best Ambulatory Surgery Center by U.S. News & World Report.

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced the appointment of Kevin Cooper, Tiffany Barfield and Jennifer Infanti to the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County

The Junior League of Sarasota recently installed its new board of directors and management team for the 2024-2025 term. They board is comprised of  Laura Conaboy, president; Corey Talbot, president-elect; Nicole Zimmerman, executive vice president; Laura Sambursky, board administrator; Jill French, treasurer; Ashley Coil, at-large director; Emily Meinke, at-large director; Ella Lewis, nominating chair; Hannah Boehmer, board secretary; Debra Terek, at-large director, sustainer. The management team is comprised of Nicole Zimmerman, executive vice president; Dr. Nakia Liggins, executive vice president-elect; Amanda Bajorek, management team administrator; Katie Cianfaglione, community vice president; Carly Evans, communications vice president; Rachel Gregory, membership vice president; MaryAnn Hanson, finance vice president; Jill Bowen, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging vice president (DEIB); Kari-Jo Koshes, assistant treasurer; Amanda Hodo-Felix, records management vice president; and Barbara Wall-Magee, sustainer vice president.

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