Some 600 business leaders from throughout the Sarasota area filled the ballroom Oct. 27 at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota for the 103rd annual meeting of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.
Emily Walsh, president of Observer Media Group, handed the board chair gavel to Teri Hansen of the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, but not before announcing John LaCivita of Willis Smith Construction as the winner of the coveted Chair’s Cup Award.
“This organization has been and will continue to be a trusted voice in our community as we continue to grow in our 104th year with several exciting initiatives,” said Hansen. Those include further engagement with the chamber’s young professionals and individual interaction with policymakers.
“We will be hosting an affordable housing summit that will bring local government and businesses together to hear about affordable housing best practices throughout the country and hear the survey results of our young professionals group and business members,” Hansen said. "We want the business voices, your voices, to be heard on this very important issue in our community.”
Hansen also referenced the Sarasota Chamber’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce accreditation last year, ranking it among the top chambers in the country. Accreditation with the U.S. Chamber defines excellence in chamber planning and recognizes chambers for contributions toward positive change in their communities.
“We will also continue to elevate our chamber in the national spotlight and bring the added attention to Sarasota as a great place to do business as a member of the top 2% of chambers nationwide,” Hansen said. “We're proud of an elite group of chambers demonstrating excellence in programming and community impact.”
A high-spirited keynote address was delivered by Jaime Marco, president and owner of Evolve Business Consulting, which is based in Lakewood Ranch.
Incoming board members are Kevin Gillen of SYNOVUS, Brian Hersh of Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, Zack Holzworth of Willis Smith Construction, DeAnna King of King HR Services, Phillip Lanham of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, David Polimeni of RITE Technology, Kari Queen of Sean McCutcheon’s Air Conditioning & Heating, and Chris Voelker of State Street/BESO.
Completing their service as board members were Nathan Bailey of Thrive, Paul Caragiulo of Caragiulos Italian American Restaurant, Chris Gallagher of Hoyt Architects, Kelley Lavin of Arts and Culture Alliance off Sarasota County, Kim Livengood of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, Mike McCoy of Valley National Bank, Chris Pfahler of Tidewell Foundation, Kristina Vorndran of Mariner Wealth Advisors and STAR Student Daria Tiubin.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Brian Hersh.
Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.