+ Neal reports strong june
Neal Communities had 29 closings in the month of June, the third highest month in closings since 1999.
In the first six months of this year, Neal Communities had 126 closings from January to June, making this the highest number of year-to-date closings in more than 10 years. Also significant, Waterscapes Pools and Spas (formerly Neal Signature Pools) sold 55 pools since the beginning of the year, and 71 pools since starting the company in the fall of 2009.
Furthermore, demand is building for Central Park at Lakewood Ranch, which opens on July 17, said President Pat Neal. The company anticipates large crowds for the grand opening weekend, which will include special events in the 10-acre park.
Neal Communities is ranked No. 1 locally by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence based on number of home sales and No. 126 among builders nationally in BUILDER Magazine’s 2009 listing based on sales.
For more information, visit nealcommunities.com.
+ USF names 18 leaders to business advisory board
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee announced the members of a newly formed Advisory Board for the College of Business, which will begin to meet in the fall.
The 18 local business leaders who constitute the Advisory Board will advise faculty about the skills business students in the 21st century need to enter a highly competitive workforce. The board’s recommendations will help the College of Business to develop new curriculum that is the most beneficial for students and local employers.
Members of the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Business Advisory Board are: Tommye Barie, CPA Associates; Danamichele Brennen, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.; Allen Carlson, Sun Hydraulics Corporation; C. John Clarke, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch; Bruce Coffey, L-3 Communications Corporation; Philip Delaney, Northern Trust; Mary C. Forristall, Forristall Enterprises Inc.; Scott M. Greer, BB&T; Dale Hoffner, CPA Associates; Rex Jensen, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch; Lana Krauter, Bealls Department Stores Inc.; Lisa Krouse, FCCI Insurance Group Inc.; Cathy Layton, Layton & Company Inc.; Alice Rau, community leader; Don Roberts, Goodwill Industries Manasota; Steven Roskamp, Roskamp & Patterson Management; Lindy Smith, Aladdin Equipment Company; and Susanne S. Wise, Take Care of Sarasota Inc.
For more information about the board, call Dr. Robert Anderson, dean, USFSM College of Business, 359-4274.
+ Webster University announces new director
Mary Ellis has been named director of the Sarasota-Manatee and St. Petersburg campuses of Webster University.
Ellis has more than two decades of higher education administration experience with Webster University, including six years in the Sarasota area. Ellis earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Limestone College and her master’s degree in management and leadership from Webster University. She currently is pursuing a second master’s degree in security management, with expected conferral in December 2010.
Webster University Sarasota-Manatee is located at 8043 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park.
For more information, call 358-3840 or visit www.webster.edu/sarasota.
+ Lakewood Ranch shuffles marketing staff
Lakewood Ranch announced recently three changes to its marketing and sales team.
Candice McElyea, formerly the public relations and promotions manager, is assuming the newly created position of director of marketing and public relations. Candice will play a lead role in both of these functions and will continue to be the main media contact person.
Lisa Barnott, formerly communications editor and publisher of Around the Ranch and LWRLife magazine, is assuming the newly created position of director of publications, events and community affairs and will play the lead role in events and communications.
Jimmy Stewart, formerly of Gibraltar Homes, has accepted the newly created position of director of sales and project management. Stewart will assist with further developing and overseeing the lot sales process. Stewart’s background is in sales management, marketing and in overseeing high-end hospitality operations.
+ Prudential’s Michel earns top-five status
Prudential Palms Realty’s Diana Michel recently was named a member of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network.
A 10-year veteran in residential real estate sales, Michel is consistently rated in the top 10% of agents in the Sarasota area and has been awarded the Presidents Circle award by Prudential Palms, placing her in the top 3% of agents nationwide.
For more information, visit www.top5inrealestate.com.
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12 Cooking Class: At Season's Peak: Winter Squash
13 Holidays around the Ranch
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
13 Holidays Around the Ranch-Lakewood Ranch
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
14 FREE Pictures with Santa Cow!
8:00 am - 10:30 am
14 Gingerbread Houses
14 Italian Wine and Dine
15 A 1913 Florida Cracker Christmas
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
15 Gingerbread Houses
Members and guests of the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club ventured Dec. 4 to Orlando, to view holiday decorations at the Grand Floridian and to have lunch at Downtown Disney.
The Play Readers of the Asolo Repertory Theatre Guild were in fine form as they entertained at the Art Association of Palm-Aire’s opening winter luncheon with “Fractured Fairy Tales.”
Catapulting into first place
Seven Manatee County elementary schools competed in the countywide Technology Student Association catapult competition Nov. 16, at Southeast High School. Students built the catapults on-site.