About the SRQ Women In Business Initiative

SRQ Magazine formed the Women in Business Initiative as a year-long program engaging the participants in the annual Women in Business Competition to create highly-dynamic personal networking that catalyzes community leadership through the science and art of mentorship. Every April, we host the Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon recognizing the past years’ Women in Business Leadership Circle Class and announcing the finalists and winners of the current year's Women in Business Competition comprising the new inductees to the Leadership Circle. The winners, finalists and judges of the competition are published in the May edition of SRQ Magazine in a special awards section. Programs powered by the Women in Business Initiative include SkillSHARE: Mentorship at the Speed of Life and SMARTgirl.

Women in Business Salon Series

Hosted at The Resort at Longboat Key Club
220 Sands Point Rd, Longboat Key, FL 34228

Private Monthly Breakfast Salons: 9am-10am
By invitation only.

Annual Hear Me Roar Awards Luncheon

Hosted at The Francis
1289 N. Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida

Thursday, April 27, 2017
10:30am to 1pm


Hear Me Roar Logo

SRQ Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon

Thursday, April 27, 2017 at The Francis; 10:30am-1pm

SRQ | The Magazine will host the third annual Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at The Francis in downtown Sarasota. We will recognize this year's nominees, our judges, keynote speaker, past Leadership Circle ambassadors and the "Hear Me Roar" Trailblazer Award recipient and announce the finalists and winners who will be inducted into this year's esteemed 2017 WIB Leadership Circle. 

Announcing this year's Keynote Speaker and Trailblazer Award Recipient.

Ria Persad

2017 Keynote Speaker

Ria Persad, CEO, StatWeather

Ria Persad is the founding CEO of StatWeather, a weather and climate services corporation specializing Ria Persad is the founding CEO of StatWeather, a weather and climate services corporation specializing in state-of-the-art weather prediction systems for the risk management industry. Ria is both a mathematician and a classical musician and was a child prodigy researching under mentor, Eleanor F. Helin at the California Institute of Technology, in asteroid discovery, origin and motion. At the age of 13, she was a research assistant at the High-temperature Superconductivity Lab at Boston University. At the age of 14, Ria developed new methods of numerical integration including the “Method of Polygonal Partitions”, and “Vector Approximation Method” all while taking coursework at Harvard University.  


Nancy Bernardini

2017 Trailblazer Award Recipient
Nancy Bernardini, GM, Gurwitch Products  

Nancy Bernardini is the General Manager of Gurwitch Products LLC, the global luxury cosmetics and skincare enterprise best known for its Laura Mercier and ReVive brands.  Most recently she led the Laura Mercier brand to deliver the company’s most successful year ever, outpacing industry growth and increasing overall market share.  She is responsible for reengineering the company’s business model to fuel growth internationally.  Under Nancy’s leadership, the brand implemented a digitally-led marketing mix to increase brand awareness and reach a broader consumer base.  In 2016, she successfully managed the divestiture of the business to Shiseido Americas.  


Previous Hear Me Roar Luncheons

Click here to download the PDF file of the 2016 Women in Business Awards Supplement that includes
a full list of this year's nominees, judges, winners, finalists and special guests.

See photos from the "Hear Me Roar" Luncheon.

Past Trailblazer and Keynote Speakers

2016 Keynote Speaker | Anna Zornosa's career has included leadership positions at startups, as well as large public companies. She founded Ruby Ribbon in 2011 after being inspired to create a unique, everyday shapewear apparel company, whose products are only available through social commerce. She serves as an Advisor to several other startups including: Motista, Inc, Glam.com, and Chloe & Isabel. Zornosa’s rich experience prior to Ruby Ribbon encompassed both venture-backed start-ups and posts at large companies. 

2016 Trailblazer Recipient | Pamela Fiori is an editor, a writer and an authority on luxury travel and lifestyle. From 1993-2010, she was editor-in-chief of Town & Country, the oldest continuously published general-interest magazine in America (established in 1846). Under her leadership, Town & Country expanded its coverage of fashion and style, beauty and health, wealth management, home design, the arts and philanthropy as well as documenting the changing face of affluence in America. Prior to joining Town & Country, Fiori was at American Express Publishing Corporation where was widely credited with the success of Travel & Leisure, which she edited for fourteen years. In 1989, she was named executive vice president and editorial director of all of the company’s publications (including Departures and Food &Wine). At both Town & Country and Travel & Leisure, Fiori wrote monthly editor’s letters and also feature articles, interviews and profiles of prominent people such as Ralph Lauren, Robert Redford, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Giorgio Armani and Audrey Hepburn. 

2015 Keynote Speaker | Pam van der Lee is the Chief Marketing Officer for San Francisco based, financial technology company iMatchative, and its flagship product, AltX.  In her current position, Pam is responsible for communicating the iMatchative and AltX brands to its partners, customers, and the media. Throughout her 25-year career, Pam has worked at the intersection of marketing, strategic planning, and branding. Prior to iMatchative, Pam was a consultant to nonprofits, primarily within the educational and disability sectors. She served as chair of the National Down Syndrome Society and is currently President of the Board at the Tuxedo Park School, a pre-K to 9th grade independent school in Tuxedo Park, NY.  

2015 Founding Trailblazer Recipient | Adrienne Vittadini  reinvented knitwear as an up-to-date, feminine and sensual way to dress. She was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1945. When she was 12, her family fled Budapest during the 1956 Hungarian revolution. She studied at the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA and won a scholarship to apprentice with Louis Feraud in Paris, in 1965. After completing her education, she moved to New York. In 1979, she started what would become a multi-million dollar fashion business.

Meet the Leadership Circle

Class Of 2016

Lorrie LiangCOO, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Lorrie Liang joined Sarasota Memorial as chief operating officer in February 2015. 
Previously, she served as vice president of LifeBridge Health System/Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Maryland, a nonprofit health system providing a full continuum of care. A versatile senior executive with a proven track record for transforming vision into results, Lorrie has more than 25 years of experience in leading hospital operations, service lines, physician practice groups, graduate medical education and clinical research programs in academic and community health systems. She has been especially focused on improving population health through disease management and readmission reduction programs. Lorrie earned a Master of Health Services Administration degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science and Policy from University of Maryland.

Laurie PikeDirector of Sales and Marketing, Florida Division, MPH Hotels

Laurie announced in 2014 that she is the Director of Sales and Marketing for MPH Hotels Award winning Comfort Suites Sarasota. In 2015 she was promoted to MPH Hotels DOS&M Florida Division. She brings a strong history of career success and outstanding commitment to the Sarasota business and volunteer community with a career of Hotel experience. A resident of Sarasota for 20+ years, with established client and professional relationships. In 2014 she was the DOS&M at Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel for 22 years and nominated for Sarasota Tourism Leader of the Year Award in 2010.

Laurie has served on the VSC Marketing Committee, with a two year term as the chairperson. In 2012/13 on the VSC PR Committee, RFP Review Committee and Meetings Task Force. Currently the co-chair of the Sarasota Bradenton Hotel Committee since 2010 and sits on the Sarasota Chamber STOC Council. An active Partner of the Sarasota Chamber (winner of 2014 Partner of the Year Award), Siesta Key and LWR Business Alliance, Laurie still finds time to serve on the SMH Neighbor Advisory Committee, the FUM Church for youth teens, and past advisory at Booker HS Hospitality and Tourism Academy for over 5 years.
Her love for all that is Tourism has served many in Sarasota, as she is known for sharing much of her knowledge of tourism with business developers over the years. 
Laurie has been dedicated to working with industry associations including RSAA as the 1996 first recipient Associate of the Year Award, 2011 and 2013 Nominee for Stanley Award in the category of Excellence in Sales and Marketing & Stanley Fisher Award – Outstanding Travel Professional of the Year resulted in a win in 2013 Excellence in Sales and Marketing. Active in FSAE, TSAE, MPI, Florida Motorcoach and U.S.Travel Assoc. attending key tourism conferences including Pow Wow, Huddle for 23 years. 

AnneMarie RizzoAttorney, The Law Place

AnneMarie Rizzois a former Assistant State Attorney with extensive trial experience in the State of Florida. She graduated with her Bachelors degree from the University of Florida, Magna Cum Laude. She graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law with her Juris Doctorate. During law school, AnneMarie was trying criminal traffic and domestic violence cases as lead prosecutor during her internship with the State Attorney’s Office in Gainesville, Florida. During her tenure as an Assistant State Attorney she specialized in prosecuting Domestic Violence and Criminal Traffic cases. She assisted hundreds of victims involved in Domestic Violence relationships in criminal prosecution and assisted victims at hearings seeking protective injunctions. AnneMarie leaves a legacy of winning four separate, consecutive criminal traffic jury trials in the same trial week. She was appointed as a Special Prosecutor by the Governor of Florida to represent the State of Florida on a DUI case in Lee County in 2007 which resulted in another favorable jury verdict for her at trial.  She has quickly gained the reputation of being an aggressive and zealous advocate.

AnneMarie has trained law enforcement officers and prosecutors across the state specifically in the areas of evidence based prosecution and trial advocacy in Domestic Violence and Criminal Traffic. She also has trained medical doctors at SHANDS UF and Child Protective Investigators with the Department of Children and Families in the area of domestic violence and family dynamics. AnneMarie has successfully completed the Advanced DUI School hosted by the Florida Prosecutor Attorney Association. She also has successfully completed the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Course sponsored by the Institute of Police Technology and Management, a course designed to train law enforcement to effectively identify impairment in individuals suspected to be driving under the influence. (A field sobriety exercise regularly used on the roads today) AnneMarie also attended and successfully completed the Trial Advocacy School at the National Advocacy Center held at the Department of Justice in South Carolina.

Locally, AnneMarie serves in the community as Chair of Sarasota County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Law Week Committee where she recruits attorneys to teach high school students about the legal system. She also has served as a Guardian ad Litem since January 2004 and continues to help children involved in dependency cases have a voice in court. In addition, she spends time serving as a presiding judge over Teen Court proceedings in Sarasota County. AnneMarie is involved in other local organizations such as Florida Association of Woman Lawyers, Young Professional Group of Sarasota, and Junior League of Sarasota.

Jennifer RominieckiCEO and President, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Jennifer O. Rominiecki possesses nearly twenty years of varied and senior-level management experience at major, audience-driven, and complex New York City cultural institutions with educational missions and historic preservation aspects.

Rominiecki served The New York Botanical Garden—one of the world’s most dynamic botanical gardens ‎and research institutions—for 15 years in increasing roles of responsibility. As the Garden’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Special Assistant to the President‎, she was involved in many aspects of the organization’s management. She was also responsible for oversight of the Garden’s seven-year campaign to raise $479 million in capital, operating, and endowment support.

Earlier in her career, Rominiecki held key positions at The Metropolitan Opera and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art History and English from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Art History.

Rominiecki is joined here in Sarasota by her husband Robert and their two boys.

Dr. Sandra S. StoneRegional Chancellor, USF Sarasota-Manatee

USF Sarasota-Manatee officially welcomed its new regional chancellor at the 21st annual Brunch on the Bay on November 2. Dr. Sandra Stone joins USF from Dalton State College in Georgia, were she was vice president for academic affairs. Part of the University System of Georgia since 1996, Dr. Stone brings with her extensive experience in higher education administration, including strategic planning, faculty and program initiatives, accreditation, applied research, economic and workforce development, student retention, graduation improvement and change initiatives. Her experience, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit will help guide USFSM toward further excellence and strategic growth.

Dr. Stone has a deep understanding of public higher education at both the institution and system levels—on  campuses of varying sizes—and has earned a reputation for openness, candor, humor and strong relationship-building skills. She also has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the fields of social services, health care, teaching, policy development and enforcement, and has served local, state and national committees, government agencies and task forces. “All of the pieces of my career come together nicely in this new role,” Dr. Stone says. “This is an excellent opportunity and an exciting time in the evolution of USFSM. It is clearly a special place with a wonderful future, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help shape that future alongside our talented faculty, students and supporters in Sarasota-Manatee.”

A native of Chicago, Dr. Stone spent her early childhood on her grandparents’ farm in Tennessee and moved to Atlanta with her family in 1965. She holds bachelors’ degrees in sociology and psychology and a master’s degree in psychology from the University of West Georgia, a doctorate in sociology from Emory University, a post-doctoral certificate in organizational behavior from Tulane University and is a certified mediator. Her research and teaching interests are largely in the areas of juvenile delinquency and justice, gangs, family violence, women in the criminal justice system, program evaluation and public policy. She credits her time working in hospitals, nursing homes, child protective services and a battered women’s shelter as formative years in both her professional and personal life.

Dr. Stone’s husband, Anthony, a police and forensic psychologist, received his PhD in psychology from USF in 1977. He looks forward to living in Sarasota, where he has significant family ties. The Stones have two adult children.

Michelle Bianchi PingelManaging Director/CEO, The Players Theatre

Michelle Bianchi Pingel is no stranger to the Longboat Key and Sarasota communities.  Born and raised on Longboat Key, Ms. Pingel attended St. Joseph Catholic School in Bradenton and graduated from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota.  She holds a Degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science.  After nearly 10 years of retail and two brief positions with both the county and city governments, Ms. Pingel joined The Players Theatre in August of 2002 as the new Administrative Assistant.  She was promoted to Office Administrator in August 2005 and Director of Operations in February 2007. In September 2008, the Board of Trustees of The Players Theatre promoted Ms. Pingel to the position of Managing Director/CEO during one of the greatest economic crisis the country had seen since the Great Depression.  Ms. Pingel immediately presented a “split management business model” to the Board with the position of Managing Director/CEO focusing on all aspects of business and finances and the position of Artistic Director focusing on artistic quality and productions.  She revised the operating budget, reorganized the staff, streamlined the theatre operations, and reduced expenses by 27%, saving the theatre from near bankruptcy.  The success of the “dual management team” has brought the theatre back to a growing $1.4 million operating budget.  In 2011, The Players Theatre was awarded the Cultural Organization of the Year Award presented by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce as a direct result of the duo management business model.

Chief Bernadette DiPinoChief of Police, Sarasota Police Department

Chief DiPino is a 2001 graduate of the F.B.I.’s National Academy, an appointee to the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a member of the I.A.C.P. Foundation Board and represents the State of Florida Chiefs at the I.A.C.P. State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP).   She is a past President of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Maryland Police Training Commission.

During her distinguished career, she received numerous Departmental awards and citations; and has been recognized as Police Officer of the Year in 1987, 1993 and 1997.  

Chief DiPino was appointed as Chief of Police of the Sarasota Police Department on December 31, 2012.  Chief DiPino began her career as a Police Officer with the Baltimore County Police in September 1985.  In April 1998, Chief DiPino joined the Police Department for the Town of Ocean City, Maryland where she rose through the ranks from Narcotics Detective to Chief of Police; a position she held for nearly 10 years.

The Chief of Police is the executive officer of the Sarasota Police Department and is ultimately responsible for decisions regarding policy, enforcement and use of resources in conjunction with the City Manager and the City Commission.  The Chief maintains command authority over all department employees, both sworn and civilian.

Jonna KellerOwner/Investment Advisor Representation, First Security Investments

Jonna Keller was recognized as the recipient of the Beverly Burton New Board/Council Member of the Year Award at the Florida Area Council meeting on August 21, 2015, for outstanding board leadership as member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County (BGCSC) Board of Directors. Keller, who is the accomplished and successful Owner/Investment Advisor Representative of First Security Investments, became involved with BGCSC as a volunteer who visited the Clubs to read with children who struggled with their literacy skills.

“Jonna is an exceptional board member who goes above and beyond for the children we serve,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at BGCSC. “She was invited to join our Board of Directors as Treasurer after volunteering countless hours, donating her own money, and inviting her friends to tour our agency’s facilities.”

Through her volunteerism at BGCSC, Keller noticed a great need for a program that educates and trains children on the tools necessary to succeed in a society with a technological environment that is constantly evolving. As a result, Keller introduced Tech Readers Enriching Kids (TREK) to BGCSC with the mission to supply homeless, or at risk of being homeless, children with light-weight electronic readers for easy portability, and to enable them to store large quantities of reading and reference material as these children move from one temporary residence to another. Keller believes that providing a continuous learning experience is essential to improve these children’s education and allow them to advance academically and socially by staying in school. Through TREK, participants are tasked with a project and, upon completion, are award e-readers. The program has impacted several children at BGCSC and exponentially increased their Language Arts grades.

In addition to TREK, Keller serves as Chair of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), a group of women who come together with the common goal of changing and improving the lives of children and youth in our community through the mission of the BGCSC. As WLC Chair, Keller leads by example, encouraging youth and community leaders to get involved with the BGCSC mission through a variety of initiatives including volunteering at the Clubs’ Holiday parties, walking to raise money for summer scholarships for children living in poverty to attend our Summer Program, and hosting fundraising events. With Keller’s commitment to the cause, WLC has raised more than $700,000 for after-school programs at BGCSC. However, Keller’s passion for helping children achieve their full potential far exceeds the dollar amount raised through her work with WLC.

Katherine MoultonCEO and President, Hospitality Advisory Services

Katherine Moulton is a 30-year award-winning hospitality executive with expertise in luxury resort management; fine, casual and family dining restaurants; employee relations; recreation management; communications, marketing and public relations; retail operations; and alternative dispute resolution.

Ms. Moulton’s expertise lies in a collaborative approach to achieve results.  She is known for high quality/high value innovative and strategic guidance to project development, operations and competitive analysis, and conflict management.

As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator, Ms. Moulton brings a unique approach to both management consulting and solving challenges ranging from common to atypical within virtually all aspects of the hospitality industry.

Ms. Moulton was president of a world-renowned luxury beach resort, The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort, on Longboat Key, FL for more than 25 years.  Leadership expertise yielded not only considerable financial success for owners and operators but, also global recognition of the destination, innumerable coveted awards, and high praise from more than a million guests during her tenure.

In addition to garnering international attention for the resort, Ms. Moulton was herself presented one of the industry’s highest honors, The Independent Hotelier of the World, presented by Hotels magazine.  An interminable champion of her community and industry led to Ms. Moulton’s terms as chairman of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, board positions on the Florida Council of 100, American Hotel & Lodging’s prestigious Resort Committee, Sarasota Economic Development Corporation, Sarasota School Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council, University of South Florida’s School of Hotel & Restaurant Management and participation in non-profits such as Girls Inc., Boys & Girls Club, and Florida Winefest & Auction serving the community’s children’s charities.

For Ms. Moulton’s efforts in economic development, community service and industry leadership she has been presented The Tampa Bay Business Journal‘s Women in Business Award, Girls Inc. Visionary Award and the “She Knows Where She’s Going” Award, Tourism Leader of the Year award from the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau, Businessperson of the Year award from Sarasota Magazine, and Maddux Report‘s Distinguished Women in Business Award.

Ms. Moulton is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, is a member of The Cornell Hotel Society, and was privileged to be invited to participate as a Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer.

Hospitality Advisory Services, led by Ms. Moulton, is a hospitality consulting firm offering a broad range of expertise to its clients including hotel and restaurant consulting and mediation of industry specific disputes.

Dr. Inda MowettOwner, The Aesthetic and Wellness Center

As a family medicine specialist, I have witnessed the devastating effects of chronic medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Interestingly, I was able to see a common denominator in all these diseases: most of the patients were overweight or obese. Looking back, I struggled with my weight since childhood. Although I was the heaviest out of my brothers and sisters, I was not prepared to treat obesity.

After completing my residency program, I moved to New York State and started working in a family practice office. It was working here that sparked my passion for wellness and preventive medicine.

Afterward, I moved to Bradenton, FL and even though I practiced urgent care medicine, I saw the need of a physician supervised weight loss program in Manatee County.

In 2005, I opened The Aesthetic & Wellness Center, a medical facility specializing in comprehensive medical weight loss, natural hormone replacement therapy and medical skin care services.

My lifestyle has changed for the better now. My goal is to inspire my patients and help them not just to lose weight, but to keep it off by making positive lifestyle changes in regards to health, wellness and beauty.

Dr. Inda Mowett is a family physician with more than 25 years experience and special training in medical aesthetics, non-surgical weight loss, natural hormone balancing and preventive medicine. Dr. Mowett is the first physician in Manatee County, Florida to earn her certification in Bariatric Medicine (non-surgical weight loss) by The American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM).

Cynthia PetersonBoard Chair, Center for Architecture Sarasota

Cynthia Peterson, MLIS, CA holds a Master in Library and Information Science with concentration in Archival Science and Preservation from Simmons College, Boston, MA. She is a Certified Archivist (CA) and a specialist in the preservation and description of architectural archives. She has worked with important historical architectural collections including those at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Florida. She was the former curator of the University of Florida Architecture Archives and helped to establish the acquisition and collection of the historical archives in Florida. She is currently the Director of Operations of the Elling O. Eide Charitable Foundation, Sarasota, FL. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement (DOCOMOMO) Florida.

She was recently awarded the Florida American Institute of Architects Bob Graham Architecture Awareness Award for her continuing efforts to identify and preserve the important documents and history of Florida’s built environment.

Jessica RoodDirector of Communications and Marketing, New College of Florida

Rood is the Director of Communications and Marketing for New College Florida. She was previously the director of creative services at St. Lawrence University, in upstate New York, since 2011. In that position, she helped launch a comprehensive brand messaging project and visual identity project for the college. She designed publications for the college’s alumni relations and admissions departments, donor relations, annual fund and other programs.

She previously served as director of publications and creative services at the State University of New York at Potsdam from 2006 to 2011, and as graphics coordinator for the State University at Geneseo Student Association from 2005 to 2006. She also worked in private industry for a graphic design firm from 2003 to 2005.

Rood will be responsible for all facets of New College’s public presentation, including its website, magazines, newsletters and development and admissions materials. She begins work at New College on November 4.

“The New College story lives with the alumnae/i, students, faculty, staff, and the larger Sarasota community,” Rood said. “It will be our job to listen and tell that story to a regional and national audience while capturing the personality and character of New College in a compelling way. I am both thrilled and honored to have been chosen to help lead this effort and I am looking forward to learning more about this unique and special place.”

Rood has received a dozen awards for excellence in the design and production of college publications, including viewbooks, orientation guides and annual reports. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and women’s studies from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2001.

She, her husband and three-year-old son look forward to joining their extended family in Sarasota and enjoying outdoor activities including canoeing and camping.

Class Of 2015

Class Of 2014

SkillSHARE Mentor Program


Made for speed, SkillSHARE is the basics of mentorship concentrated into mini-sessions that encourage honest interactions and allow for spontaneous connection. This event is a way to meet like-minded professionals, make valuable connections and get straight to your most burning questions about career and personal development. Each participant will be paired with several mentors for mini-sessions. Lasting from 10-12 minutes, each mini-session is unstructured, allowing for conversation, guidance and direction from each mentor. Thank you to our mentors and participants for the February 9, 2017, summit! The next summit will take place in June of 2017.

SkillSHARE Summer Mentorship Summit: Thursday, June 15, 2017

Meet the Mentors for the June 15, 2017 Summit

Joy Randels, New Market Partners, President

Laurie Pike, MPH Hotels, Director of Sales and Marketing, Florida Division

Dr. Sandra Stone, Regional Chancellor, USF Sarasota-Manatee

Kameron Hodgens, The Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center, CEO

Jennifer Rominiecki, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, CEO and President 

Katie Moulton, Hospitality Advisory Services, CEO and President

Click here to submit your application. Deadline for applications is Friday, May 26, 2017.

Application Fee: There is no fee for submitting your application.

Registration Cost: When selected and accepted: $25/per person — Cash, credit card or check accepted at the event. Non-refundable.


Click here to view photos from the February 2017 SkillSHARE event.

Click here to view photos from the June 2016 SkillSHARE event.

Click here to view photos from the October 2016 SkillSHARE event.

Comments from participants of previous SkillSHARE summits:

"I gained a wealth of knowledge from the mentors I visited. I was very impressed how well it was structured. I met some really impressive women in a various business settings. I was most pleased with the age range of everyone that attended - I was glad to see that you are never too old or too young to learn from others."
"Wonderful and energetic evening.Completely exceeded my expectations. The professionalism and caliber of the mentors and mentees was a great mix."
"All the mentors had suggestions that I will follow up on. Two especially had ideas that I don't think I could have gotten anywhere else. One idea was a very different approach to a problem I have been seeking help for and the other was a personal connection that could take the networking even farther. Thank you for hosting this event and everything you do for the community."
"Excellent job of coordination. The event ran very smoothly and professionally."

Read More About SRQ SkillSHARE

SMARTGirl Mentorship and Leadership Luncheon


As the SRQ Women in Business Initiative continues to grow, so does our responsibility to give back to the community. SRQ MEDIA believes that girls can do anything. Sometimes girls need an extra boost of encouragement and examples of how to make their dreams come true. Supported through SRQ Women in Business, this initiative is a collaborative effort to set local girls up for success. SMARTGirl fosters “curated networking” and engages local middle school young women in a program designed to educate them on career possibilities and the tools they need to succeed through mentorship, so# skills training and hands-on workshops. Let’s help her ROAR and engage middle school girls through Sarasota and Manatee counties!

SMARTGirl Luncheon — Friday, April 14, 2017, The Hyatt Regency, Sarasota

Part networking, part testimonials from professionals and fully impactful, SMARTgirl is an event held at the Hya$ Regency for select young women who are actively involved in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Sarasota YMCA, Girls Inc or the Girl Scouts. SRQ Media will host a soft-skills focused luncheon where a leader-mentor will be present at each table to connect with the girls and give them the opportunity to ask their most burning questions about their desired career path. The format of the luncheon is a presentation lineup of inspiring women leaders and the organizations supporting the program. Prior to the luncheon, the girls will participate in a networking meet & greet with mentors and local leaders.The goal is to connect young girls to examples of excellence within in our region and provide encouragement, advice and feedback on how to make it happen.

2017 SMARTGirl SPONSORS — Thank you for your commitmen to our future leaders!



Women in Business Program

Mission: SRQ Magazine formed the Women in Business Initiative as a year-long program engaging the participants in the annual Women in Business Competition to create highly-dynamic personal networking that catalyzes community leadership through the science and art of mentorship.

Leadership Circle and the Business Peer Mentorship Program:  Each year the twelve finalists selected by the national jury of women leaders will join the Women in Business Leadership Circle, which carries with it a commitment to engage in the initiative as the steering committee and lead mentors for the Business Mentorship Program. The program will be launched at the 2015 Hear Me Roar Awards Luncheon. The SRQ Magazine Engagement Team will work with the Leadership Circle from May to March of the coming year to cultivate, guide and implement the Mentorship Partnership Program.

Salon Series:  The Women in Business Leadership Circle is invited to high-level private networking over breakfast very month starting in September at the WIB Salon Series hosted at The Resort at Longboat Key Club. These breakfasts will serve to not only create an intimate personal connectivity between each year’s Leadership Circle Class, with opportunities to network and professional develop, but to also invite twelve other women leaders to engage in the Business Peer Mentorship Program. Each year’s five winners will be invited to make a presentation at one of the breakfast salons on experiences that changed their point of view, either personally, in business, in the community or globally.  

Hear Me Roar Awards and Leadership Luncheon: Every April, we host the Hear Me Roar Awards and Leadership Luncheon recognizing the past years’ Women in Business Leadership Circle Class and announcing the finalists and winners of the current year's Women in Business Competition comprising the new members of the Leadership Circle. Stories from each mentor partnership will be shared and key findings published regarding opportunities for further community growth and empowerment. 

Nominations for the 2017 program are open. Nominations close Friday, January 27, 2017 at midnight. Click here. 

2016-17 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Champion Sponsor

Leadership Circle Sponsor

Collaborator Sponsors



Participating Sponsor

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Contact Us for a Leadership Mentor

Women in Business Program Sponsorship

We invite you to explore the opportunity for your business to support and incredibly meaningful program—the Women in Business Initiative. You can become an annual sponsor of the program, or sponsor specific targeted event such as the moving Women in Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon, the SkillSHARE program aimed to connect peers for deep-dive mentoring at the speed of life and the newly launched SMARTgirl program which engages middle and high school young women in mentorship and leadership opportunities with the Women in Business Leadership Circle with an emphasis on soft skills and personal development. For sponsorship, contact Ashley Grant at 941-365-7702 x204. For tickets and event inquiries, contact Madeline Crotts at 941-365-7702 x221.

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