The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce's annual Salute to Business luncheon honored some of Sarasota's oldest and most successful businesses at its 95th annual meeting.
Today The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce hosted its 95th annual membership meeting and luncheon, Salute to Business, in the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Hundreds of local business leaders, family members and friends reflected on the last year and honored organizations for their decades-long support to the community and local economy.
The one person whose absence was greatly felt was the late Rod Warner. Affectionally known as Mr. Roundabout, Warner was the most public advocate for implementing roundabouts into the city and county's streets and thoroughfares. In honor of his efforts and positive impact on Sarasota, the Chamber posthumously awarded Warner the Chairman's Cup. His daughter Amanda Warner accepted the honor on behalf of her late father and her family.
"He will have more impact on your daily life than any individual here," says Chris Gallagher, outgoing chairman of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. "His is the finest expression of a civic leader. I never saw him strong-arm anyone or criticize anyone."
In addition to the awards and festivities, Gallagher passed on the chamber gavel to his successor Lisa Krouse, senior vice president of FCCI Insurance Group.
The chamber's other top honorees of the year included:
"Hiring Our Neighbors" Award: Hawthorne Village of Sarasota; TableSeide Restaurant Group; The Resort at Longboat Key
"Investing in the Future" Award: Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay; Matter Brothers Furniture; Sarasota Ford
And for the "Milestone Anniversaries of Service" award, three organizations who combined have contributed over 270 years of service to the Sarasota area were honored for their past and continuing support for the community: Herald-Tribune Media Group; Girl Scouts of Southwest Florida; and the law firm of Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz & Getzen.