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SRQ DAILY Feb 20, 2023

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"I wish our next chairman, Christian Ziegler, all the best as we fight to expand our majority and take back the White House in 2024!"

- Joe Gruters, former Republican Party of Florida chair

[Politics]  Ziegler Wins Race to Lead Florida GOP
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

State Sen. Joe Gruters’ time in charge of the Republican Party of Florida officially ended. But another Sarasota political leader is taking the reins of the state party. Christian Ziegler, Sarasota County State Committeeman, won election on Saturday as the new state Chair for the Florida Republican Executive Committee.

“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to chair the state party and go to bat for so many hardworking Floridians,” Gruters tweeted. “I wish our next chairman, Christian Ziegler,  all the best as we fight to expand our majority and take back the White House in 2024!”

Ziegler won in a 126-100 vote over Leon County Republican Party Chairman Evan Power, who was promptly elected as Vice Chair for the state party.

Gruters has served as chair of for Florida Republicans since 2019, a position he secured two years after chairing the Florida arm for Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign in 2016. But Gruters in December elected not to seek another term as chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota County, signaling he would not run again for state chair. He ran last month for National Republican Committee Treasurer but lost that race.

Ziegler notably was running for state chair in 2018 before Gov. Ron DeSantis effectively recruited Gruters into the race. He’s maintained a close relationship with Gruters for the better part of two decades. Both Ziegler and Gruters worked on U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s first run for Congress in 2006 and have climbed the ranks of party leadership together. Ziegler served as Vice Chair of the state party the entire four years Gruters led the organization.

To run for state Chair, candidates must serve as committee members or county chairs for local Republican Executive Committees. That makes it highly unusual for two consecutive party leaders to hail from the same county.

Under Gruters, the party excelled at registrations, and Republicans now hold an edge over Democrats in registered voters for the first time in state history.

Ziegler served as a Sarasota County Commissioner from 2018 to 2022, when he opted against seeking re-election. His wife, Bridget Ziegler, chairs the Sarasota County School Board.



Image courtesy Facebook.

[Airport News]  Avelo Airlines Takes Off with New Nonstop Service from Sarasota-Bradenton to Raleigh-Durham, NC

Avelo Airlines today takes off with another new nonstop route from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in North Carolina. Avelo’s growth continues to usher in an era of affordable, convenient and reliable air travel for those on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Very low, one-way fares between Sarasota-Bradenton and RDU start at $49*. Customers can make reservations at AveloAir.com. These new routes will operate on Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. Avelo’s service to RDU will operate three days per week on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Specific dates and times at AveloAir.com. The Triangle Region offers the widest range of activities and attractions in North Carolina. This region boasts award-winning inns, hotels and spas, culinary delights for every taste, and cultural experiences including university gardens and art and history museums. A trip to this blossoming Southern metropolis leaves visitors enriched and energized the instant they’re welcomed by its smart, savvy locals. 

Pictured: First arrival from RDU. Courtesy of Avelo Airlines.

[New Hire]  Michael Brown Joins RE/MAX Platinum Realty

Michael “Mike” Brown has joined RE/MAX Platinum Realty as an associate in the Wellen Park office. Brown relocated to Venice, Florida, from Atlanta, Georgia, where he owned an architectural visualization company. Creating three-dimensional images of proposed architectural designs, Brown has brought the ideas and dreams of his clients to life for more than 30 years – from the creation of photorealistic renderings of high-rises in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates to European marketing videos and virtual walkthroughs of museums, schools and churches in his hometown of Atlanta. As one of the pioneers in virtual reality, Brown worked with renowned clients such as IBM, Coca Cola, Ernst and Young, RaceTrac and a large selection of architects, as well as residential and commercial real estate developers. With this background, real estate was a natural transition. Along with his wife, Realtor Heike Brown, a German native, he navigates buyers, sellers and investors locally and globally through the complex real estate transaction process with integrity, efficiency and a strong attention to detail. An experienced sales professional, he combines savvy negotiation skills and innovative marketing concepts with a comprehensive knowledge of architecture and design to benefit his clients in the areas of custom home design, new home construction and renovations. In his spare time Brown enjoys fishing, kayaking and the Florida lifestyle, yet most often the splendor of his surroundings serves as inspiration for his wildlife or landscape paintings.


[New Homes]  Explore a New Vibrant Lifestyle and Resort-Inspired Amenities at Sapphire Point in Lakewood Ranch

Sapphire Point in Lakewood Ranch is hosting a grand opening event on Saturday, Feb. 25 in celebration of its new outdoor amenities. Sapphire Point’s resort-style amenity campus gives residents – and the family dog – new unique places to picnic and play. The grand opening event, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., includes live music, free food truck fare, a balloon artist for the kids and giveaways. The outdoor amenity destinations include a shaded playground, basketball court, open-air picnic pavilion, and a dog park in the 472-home gated, neighborhood located in sought-after Lakewood Ranch, the top-selling multi-generational master-planned community in the country. Construction of Sapphire Point’s clubhouse and resort-style pool is well underway and nearing completion as well, with an anticipated grand opening later this spring. Sapphire Point offers an ideal location in Lakewood Ranch, close to top-rated elementary, middle, and high schools, post-secondary education campuses, shopping, golf and tennis facilities, and the famed white-sand beaches of Sarasota and Anna Maria Island. The community is also convenient to Lakewood Ranch’s entertainment and dining destinations, 150 miles of biking and walking trails, and adjacent to The Premier Sports Campus which hosts year-round sports and recreation activities. For more information about Sapphire Point at Lakewood Ranch, visit the sales center at 16411 Sapphire Point Drive, Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m., or call/text (941) 213-1179 to arrange an appointment. Additional information is also available at www.Pulte.com/SapphirePoint.



Pictured: SaSapphire Point amenity campus offers a resort-style pool, lounge areas for entertaining and relaxation along with a fitness center, playground, dog park, and more.

[Recognition]  Siesta Key Chamber Names Sean Altice Businessperson of the Year

Sean Altice, Co-owner and COO of Sarasota-based Altez Vacations, was recently named Businessperson of the Year by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. Altice has been an active member of the Siesta Key Chamber for over seven years. At age 26, Sean Altice co-founded Altez Vacations, LLC, with a focus on luxury rental properties. His entrepreneurial journey began in predicting the exponential growth of third-party travel distribution companies, such as Airbnb and VBRO. Altice realized that travelers were missing out on consistent high-quality standards of service typically found in five-star hotel experiences – and homeowners were lacking the time, knowledge or skills to deliver the type of service guests should expect. “Our goal is for our guests to say, ‘This is the best vacation I have ever taken,’” said Altice. “We want every first-timer to be a repeat guest.”As COO, Altice plays a critical role in training standards, policies, procedures and guidelines that form the Altez Diamond Standards. His passion and vision for delivering curated and individualized vacation rental experiences for guests, while maximizing profit for homeowners, are the cornerstone for the national company. Guest comfort and exceptional service are at the heart of everything Altez Vacations stands for. Altice is a Business Observer 40 Under 40 recipient and a past chair of the Surfrider organization, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the waterways. He also has his pilot’s license and is a genuine DIYer. Altice lives with his family in Sarasota. 

Pictured: Co-Owner/COO of Altez Vacations Sean Altice and Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Mike Gatz.

[SOON]  HEALTH: A Woman's Journey , March 3, 9:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Don't miss A Woman's Journey, on March 3rd at the Westin Sarasota. Since 1995, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s annual women’s health program A Woman's Journey provides new and compelling information about important issues affecting women's health. Through a selection of seminars presented exclusively by Hopkins faculty physicians, participants are able to hear first-hand about advances in medicine from the individuals performing the research, all the while interacting with a diverse group of attendees. Registration is $95. Click here to register: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/awomansjourney/upcoming-live-programs/florida-2023-sarasota.html

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Walking Tours at The Ringling's Arboretum Available Now Through May 2023 , November 26 – May 29, 12:00 PM

This walking tour led by volunteer guides will introduce you to interesting botanical specimens on the estate while providing a historic overview of the development of the estate. The Ringling Arboretum has been accredited at Level II through ArbNet and there are over 2350 trees within the arboretum representing native, exotic, historical, and culturally significant trees. Garden Tours are available Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays and take place entirely outdoors. It is 90 minutes in length and covers approximately 1 mile. We encourage visitors to bring bottled water, and wear appropriate footwear, preferably closed-toe, sunblock, and hats. There will be a maximum of 10 participants per tour. Tours are subject to weather conditions. Please check it at the Visitors Pavilion prior to your tour. Tickets will be available 30 days prior to each tour.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association announces Free Music Matinees , January 4 – April 19, 12:00 PM

The Sarasota Concert Association announces its 2023 Music Matinees concert series. These four free noon-time concerts showcase exceptional regional musicians performing a variety of musical styles, including classical and folk music. Scheduled this season: Passerine; Wednesday, January 4 at noon. With inventive vocal harmonies and song-writing skills, supported by the sounds of acoustic strings, Passerine offers a fresh take on traditional folk and bluegrass music, as well as a repertoire of original songs that range from ballads to contemporary Americana. Duo Pianists Michael Baron and Priscila Navarro; Wednesday, February 22 at noon; The Baron-Navarro Piano Duo performs a wide range of music, from classical to popular, for two pianos and piano four–hands with electric energy and melting lyricism. Their New York City debut as a piano duo at Carnegie Hall in March of 2022 was sold out and met with critical acclaim. Soprano Hein Jung and pianist Gregorios Zamparas; Friday, March 17 at noon Soprano Hein Jung has performed in recitals and with opera companies in major cities throughout the U.S, Italy and South Korea. She will be accompanied by pianist Gregorios Zamparas who has been praised for his versatility as a recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and Europe. Cellist Natalie Helm and Pianist Jesse Martins; Wednesday, April 19 at noon Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Natalie Helm is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and educator. For this performance she will collaborate with pianist Jesse Martins, who also serves as conductor and vocal coach with the Sarasota Opera. The concerts are free but pre-registration is required and available 30 days before each concert at SCAsarasota.org. Performances take place at David Cohen Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Visit www.SCAsarasota.org or call the box office at 941-966-6161.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Ken Ludwigs The Three Musketeers , January 11 – March 26, Varied

Adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. Directed by Peter Amster. Harrowing adventure, bravery, and friendship take center stage in Ken Ludwig's THE THREE MUSKETEERS, a thrilling adaptation of the popular novel by Alexandre Dumas. One of the world’s most enduring comedies, this classic tells the tale of a daring young man who finds himself in the company of the world’s greatest swordsmen, as well as some of the world’s most dangerous men and women. Directed by Peter Amster, who most recently directed Asolo Rep’s smash hit Murder on the Orient Express in 2020, this play promises to be a fast-paced, witty, swashbuckling good time. All for one, and one for all! 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST - A Place in the Sun - A Tribute to Stevie Wonder , November 16 – April 16, Varied

A Place in the Sun – A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, will begin playing in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret on November 16, 2022. The new music revue celebrates the legendary musician whose catalogue spans six decades and multiple musical genres, taking audiences through the beloved songbook of musical pioneer, Stevie Wonder. Created by Jason Cannon, Richard Hopkins, and Sarah Durham, this all-new Cabaret features such timeless hits as “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Isn’t She Lovely?,” and “Superstition.” Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks at the Bishop , January 11 – March 18, During museum hours

Get inspired to create your own ‘towers of tomorrow’ with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks available in hands-on construction areas. Young and old will be limited only by their imagination as they add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the exhibition. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Silent Sky , January 19 – March 5, Varied

At the turn of the 20th century, years before women had the right to vote, one woman’s breakthrough changed our perception of the stars. Full of wonder, humor, and heart, SILENT SKY is the remarkable true story of Henrietta Leavitt, one of the pioneering women astronomers working at Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s. You will be enthralled by the story of this extraordinary woman who took on the astronomy establishment in order to discover the mysteries embedded in the sky. Henrietta transcended the odds while navigating love, family, and the universe, going on to make a world-altering advancement to the field of astronomy that forever changed our view of the cosmos.  Written by one of today’s leading playwrights, Lauren Gunderson, this mesmerizing drama is directed by Seema Sueko, who recently brought this work to life at Washington D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  MUSEUM: She Engineers at the Bishop , January 24 – July 30, During museum hours

SHE ENGINEERS is a bilingual (English and Spanish) poster exhibition highlighting eight women in various engineering fields. In their own words, the women share their passion and what inspired them to become engineers. If we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world.

[SOON]  THEATER: Network at Florida Studio Theatre , January 25 – March 19, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to present Network, a fast-paced drama following the downward spiral of Howard Beale, a longtime news anchor who has worked at a television network, UBS, for 25 years. When Beale learns that he is being fired for poor ratings and low viewership, he unravels live on air during his final broadcast. As a result, his show’s ratings soar, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on television. Seeing Howard as a new populist prophet, UBS decides to leverage Howard’s newfound popularity to boost its bottom line. Network begins playing January 25, 2023, in FST’s Gompertz Theatre. Single tickets to Network range from $25-39. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Elements by Cheryl Moody to be Featured at Art Uptown Gallery in February , January 27 – February 23

From January 27, 2023 to February 23, Art Uptown Gallery will exhibit Elements by Cheryl Moody. Cheryl loves being outdoors and painting subjects in oils that spark her interest, whether it's the way light filters through leaves, reflects on water, creates patterns of color in the landscape, or how palm fronds twist in the wind. Cheryl enjoys hearing from people saying they could “ feel the wind blowing” or “smell the salt air,” and knowing that they have been transported to her special places. Meet the artist at the gallery on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the monthly First Friday, 6 p.m. public reception on February 3. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street daily where the diverse art works of regional, award-winning artists are exhibited. Telephone 941-955-5409 or visit www.artuptown.com for hours and further information.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Ranch Nite Wednesdays at Waterside Place , February 8 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy a night of fun at Waterside Place during Ranch Nite Wednesdays. The event features food trucks, live music, a night market, a vintage mobile bar and cornhole. Visit lakewoodranch.com to learn more. Waterside Place, 1561 Lakefront Drive, Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature , February 12 – June 26, During garden hours

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 2023 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature showcases the creativity and innovation of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). The first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, the exhibition highlights the inspiring connection between Tiffany Studios and the natural world through unique horticultural displays in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens, accompanied by seminal examples of Tiffany’s work on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts. To learn more, visit selby.org. Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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