September 1, 2015 – (Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida) – Shaun P. Merriman, President and CEO of Gateway Bank, announced today that the Bank has partnered with Sport Clips of Bradenton and South Sarasota to raise funds for the American Heart Association’s Sarasota/Manatee 2015 Heart Walk that takes place on September 12 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota. In addition, Merriman is serving as Chair of this year’s walk, and the Bank is sponsoring the event at the “Fit Friendly” level.
As Chair of the 2015 Sarasota/Manatee Heart Walk, Merriman has set an area fundraising goal of $195,000. He has challenged the Gateway Bank walking team, comprised of 25 walkers, to raise a minimum of $4,000. When Nick Choat, Gateway Bank client and owner of Sport Clips franchises, heard about this goal, he wanted to get involved. As a locally-owned business owner, Choat regularly supports the community by donating a portion of proceeds from sales of his stores in Bradenton (1606 Cortez Rd. West) and South Sarasota (8378 S. Tamiami Trail). As such, Choat has offered to donate proceeds from sales from both stores during September 5 – 12, 2015, directly to the Gateway Bank walking team.
“I believe in the importance of donating to local charitable organizations, and when I saw that my Bank’s President was involved with the Heart Walk at the leadership level, I knew I wanted to support his efforts,” said Choat.
Merriman has served on the local Heart Walk’s Executive Leadership Team for the past two years. His motivation for involvement was the loss of his uncle and role model 36 years ago to a massive heart attack. He was only 38 years of age. “As I grew up and approached the age my uncle was when he passed way, I realized a lot of similarities in my physique and lifestyle to his,” said Merriman. He continued, “I vowed to my family that I would do my best to eat right, exercise, and most importantly, truly understand the early warning signs of heart disease and how best to prevent it.”
Gateway Bank employees are encouraged to do the same, and the Bank has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a Fit-Friendly company since 2010 for its corporate wellness initiatives. Designed to be a catalyst for positive change in American business, the Fit-Friendly Companies Program recognizes employers who champion the health of their employees by creating wellness in the workplace. Through Gateway’s workplace wellness program, employees have made lifestyle changes that have not only benefitted themselves personally, but also the organization.
“I am extremely proud of our employees and their commitment to live a healthy, active lifestyle, and for their support of the American Heart Association,” said Merriman. He continued, “I am very pleased and honored to partner with Nick Choat and Sport Clips to help our team, and our region, achieve our fundraising goals!”
About the American Heart Association: The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org
About Sport Clips Haircuts: Sport Clips Haircuts is headquartered in Georgetown, Texas. It was established in 1993 by founder and CEO Gordon Logan and started franchising in 1995. The sports-themed haircutting franchise, which specializes in haircuts for men and boys, is ranked by Entrepreneur as one of the Top 10 ”Fastest-Growing Franchises” and ranks 36th in the “Franchise 500.” It is also ranked by FORBES as a “Top Ten Best Franchise” to buy for its investment category. With almost 1,400 Sport Clips stores, new locations open each month in the U.S. and Canada. Sport Clips is the “Official Haircutter” of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), offers veterans preferential pricing on haircuts and franchises, and was named as one of the “2014 Best for Vets: Franchises” by Military Times. Our “Help A Hero” program has raised more than $3 million to help deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members call home through the VFW’s Operation Uplink™ and to provide scholarships for veterans transitioning to a civilian career. Sport Clips is a proud sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards, and partners with numerous NCAA and professional sports teams. Further information regarding Sport Clips of Bradenton and South Sarasota may be obtained by contacting Nick Choat, CEO and Owner at 206-265-3130.
About Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida: Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida is an independent community bank serving business and consumer banking clients in Sarasota and Manatee counties. BauerFinancial (www.bauerfinancial.com) awarded Gateway Bank a 5-Star rating indicating the bank is well capitalized, exceeds regulatory compliance standards, and demonstrates high quality asset management.
Gateway Bank operates three full service banking locations. The main office is located at 1100 South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. The University Parkway banking center is located at 6204 North Lockwood Ridge Road, and the Manatee Avenue Banking Center is located on the northwest corner of 21st Street West and Manatee Avenue West.
The employees of Gateway Bank are dedicated to giving back to the community through volunteerism and monetary donations. In 2014, employees (41 in total) logged over 2,500 volunteer hours and raised $38,000 for local charitable causes.
The shareholders and directors of Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida are primarily residents of Sarasota and Manatee counties. The Board of Directors includes: Charles J. Bartlett – Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen and Ginsburg, PA; Dr. Gary K. Bockhold – Center for Sight; David J. Grain – Grain Management; David K. Maholias – Gateway Financial Holdings of Florida, Inc.; Shaun P. Merriman – Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida; Gavin W. Meshad – JWM Management, Inc.; Katherine K. Moulton – Resort Management Consultants; Wayne M. Ruben – WMR Consulting, LLC; and David E. Sessions, Willis A. Smith Construction Inc.
Further information regarding Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida may be obtained by contacting Shaun P. Merriman, President and CEO at 941-306-0105.