SARASOTA, Fla. (October 22, 2012) — A capacity crowd of more than 550 business and community leaders attended The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s 92nd Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon and First Salute to Business October 22nd 2012. Held at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, this year’s event honored exemplary member employers who hired our neighbors, invested in the future, and attained milestone anniversaries of service in our community.
Following a positive survey this summer, findings indicated that more than 70 businesses of the 100-plus that responded qualified for recognition in one or more of the three award categories. Members who met certain criteria received personalized “Salute to Business” certificates and were highlighted at a Winner’s Circle Reception before the luncheon. Nine of these exemplary members were highlighted at a press conference before the event and recognized during the luncheon on stage and through a video. (Please see honorees at bottom of page.)
“The number of businesses we discovered to have been moving forward has been really gratifying. The fact that just 79 of our members created more than 1,000 jobs this past year is great. Equally encouraging is that employers who completed our survey invested more than $164 million in facilities and equipment over the last year,” said Chamber President Steve Queior.
Another highlight of the event included the recognition of one outstanding Chamber member who has gone “above and beyond” duty. Chris Gallagher, Senior Designer at Jonathan Parks Architect, and chair of The Chamber’s Government Issues Council was named winner of the prestigious 2012 Chair’s Cup Award, sponsored by Kerkering, Barberio & Co. P.A. CPA’s, recognizing his leadership and service.
“Chris is a professional actively involved in both the world of business and that of government and was an educational leader as well,” said out-going Chair Shaun Merriman of Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida. “He volunteers a great amount of his valuable time and always brings a thoughtful approach to an issue.”
The annual luncheon, presented by Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP., recognizes The Chamber’s recent accomplishments in conjunction with Chamber members, volunteers and staff who have worked hard to improve both the quality of the organization and the future prospects for the community.
Merriman recognized the efforts of 300 plus dedicated Chamber volunteers who work alongside professional staff on two dozen councils, committees and task forces.
Incoming Chamber Chair of the Board Nick Gladding presented the Del Borgsdorf Award, named after its first recipient former Chamber Executive Vice President who was considered the master at shining light on common objectives of the private and public sector. The 2012 award was presented to Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta for demonstrating achievement in uniting business, government and civic interests to create a stronger Sarasota County.
“Moving forward, The GSCC welcomes Nick Gladding, Attorney at Law at Dunlap & Moran P.A., as the new Board Chair. Gladding, having served on The Chamber Board for several years is very dedicated to the organization and knowledgeable about the community and region,” Queior said.
“It would be hard to match Shaun Merriman’s great work growing The Chamber while we’ve been coming out of the great recession, but ill give it my best shot,” promised Gladding.
About The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is a 1,600-member, not-for-profit organization that exists to maximize its members’ success, the community’s competitiveness, and the area’s economic strength. Incorporated in 1920, it continues to grow at a rapid pace to serve the educational, social, governmental, and economic and leadership development needs of the greater Sarasota area and is the bridge that links businesses, organizations and residents together with innovative programs that strengthen long-term economic vitality, business success, job creation and quality of life.
Exemplary Top 9
Hiring our Neighbors:
· Costco – Scott Christensen
· Pope Golf – Jerry Moore
· Take Care of Sarasota Private Duty Home Health Care – Susanne Wise
Investing in the Future:
· Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy and School of Dental Medicine – Dr. Robert Hirsch
· Mercedes Benz – Ernie Withers
· Ringling College of Art & Design – Dr. Larry Thompson
· Bowman, George, Scheb, & Toale, P.A.- David Bowman, Sr.
· Sarasota Bradenton International Airport – Rick Piccolo
· Toale Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory – Jason and Jeff Toale