• Gulf Coast Builders Exchange welcomes new chair

    GCBX Executive Director Mary Dougherty-Slapp addressing the crowd

    SARASOTA, Fla. – The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, a not-for-profit trade organization, recently hosted its 65th annual installation and awards dinner and welcomed a new chairman and board members on Feb. 1.

    The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange (GCBX) event, attended by almost 400, featured guest speaker Senator Wilton Simpson, the Senate Majority leader and future Senate president (2020-22). Senator Simpson discussed important issues to the business community and his various committee assignments, including education, tourism and economic development, among other topics.

    During the annual meeting, Paul Stehle, co-owner of Climatic Conditioning Co. and immediate past chairman, passed the gavel to Kevin Hicks, the 2017 GCBX chairman and CEO of Gator Grading and Paving.

    Brett Raymaker, project manager at Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc., was installed as a new three-year term board member, and six were reinstalled to the board, including Russ Bobbitt, an insurance agent with Purmort & Martin Insurance Agency; Mark Freeman, president of McIntyre Elwell & Strammer General Contractors, Inc.; Hicks; Chuck Jacobson, co-owner of Aqua Plumbing & Air; Brian Leaver, senior vice president of Tandem Construction; and Lemuel Sharp III, CEO of Sharp Properties, Inc.

    “We always appreciate our officers’ time and dedication to serving GCBX as industry professionals,” said Mary Dougherty-Slapp, the executive director of GCBX. “We harness their talent, leadership and knowledge to strengthen relationships between all trades, promote fellowship and nurture community involvement within the membership.”

    Robert Flanders, director of Quality Walls Enterprises, Inc., was honored at the event with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Sarasota County Commissioner Alan Maio received the Chairman’s Award.

    About The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange
    The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange was established in 1952 and is a not-for-profit corporation operating as a trade organization. Under the guidance of a volunteer Board of Directors, the organization’s philosophy of “members working with members” has been successful in helping individual members grow. This success has become the foundation for the continued development of the organization.

    The GCBX membership is comprised of over 400 companies in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties. It includes some of the most respected contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, service providers and businesses in construction‑affiliated industries. For more information, visit www.GCBX.org.