+ Columbia employees honored at dinner
The Columbia Restaurant Group hosted its Employee Appreciation Dinner Thursday, June 24, at the flagship restaurant in Ybor City. The event honored 108 employees from the Columbia and Cha Cha Coconut’s nine Florida locations and the corporate office who have worked with the group for 10 years or longer.
Caren Link, a bartender with the St. Armands Circle Columbia location for 30 years, was inducted into the Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame for being instrumental in forming the restaurant’s legacy. Twelve additional employees from the St. Armands location were also honored for their years of service.
+ Richmond named FL Retailer of the Year
Mark Richmond, president of The Furniture Warehouse, has been honored as the 2010 Florida Retailer of the Year. A celebration luncheon honoring Richmond will be held at noon Thursday, July 8, at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.
Since 1985, Richmond has grown his business to four locations including Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice and Port Charlotte. Recipients of the award, which has only been awarded 10 times since 1981, are chosen based on their outstanding contributions to the furniture industry through creative skills, management expertise, hard work and loyalty.
“As part of our cost-conscious improvements, we implemented an electronic inventory system that allows us to take a complete inventory of the warehouse every three weeks and make buying decisions that benefit our customers, as well as us,” Richmond said about his business success.
The Furniture Warehouse also received the 2009 Best of Bradenton Award in the Furniture Stores category by the U.S. Commerce Association.
+ Airport CEO named premier volunteer
The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce awarded Frederick Piccolo, chief executive officer of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, with the Premier Volunteer Award at the Sarasota Prime Time exhibit Wednesday, June 16, at the Sun ’N’ Fun RV Resort, in recognition of his outstanding volunteer contributions, leadership positions and his commitment to the chamber.
Piccolo is the current chairman of the chamber’s Economic and Community Development Division and chairman-elect for the Board of Directors.
+ Doyle honored with Summit Award
Patrick Doyle, president and owner of More Space Place, an award-winning closet design, garage system and installation company serving Sarasota, Bradenton and Port Charlotte, was recently awarded the Summit Award at the company’s annual corporate meeting. The award recognizes the recipient for outstanding store-operation performance and team spirit and acknowledges the individual’s efforts to share successful business practices and act as a positive role model.
+ Historic Spanish Point joins blue-star museums
From May 31 to Sept. 6, Historic Spanish Point is offering free admission to military personnel and their families. The free-admission program is a result Historic Spanish Point’s membership in the Blue Star Museums program, which is a partnership among Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts.
+ New College of Florida lends oil-spill expertise
Nine New College of Florida faculty and staff will help assess and analyze damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The college representatives will serve as advisers to Florida’s Oil Spill Academic Task Force, which assists policy makers, regulatory agencies and others helping in the cleanup efforts. Almost 250 staff members at 15 universities serve as task force members.
New College task-force advisers are: Assistant Vice President Julie Morris, biology professor and Director of New College’s Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center Sandra Gilchrist, political science professor Frank Alcock, Biology professor Leo Demski, psychology professor Heidi Harley, biology and environmental studies professor Meg Lowman, biology professor Elzie McCord, biochemistry professor Katie Walstrom and mathematics professor Necmettin Yildirim.
+ Jennings receives online marketing award
David Jennings, of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, was awarded the Real Estate Online Marketing Award of Excellence at a recent real-estate marketing and technology seminar.
“My sellers expect me to bring more attention to their homes, which ultimately helps attract qualified buyers,” Jennings said in the statement. “Buyers are also appreciative of well-presented properties when considering what may actually be worth viewing. It’s a ‘no-brainer’ to maximize every online tool available.”