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Community Manatee Movers and Shakers, 11/29/12


Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund and Payton Wright Foundation Team Up to Spread Holiday Joy and Good Will to Community

Taylor Emmonds and Paytom Wright Wreath SalesThe Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund, which provides four-year scholarships to The Out-of-Door Academy for financially challenged students, will once again be selling fresh, handmade holiday wreaths this year to help raise funds to support their mission. This marks the organization’s second annual event of this kind and the first time it has partnered with the Payton Wright Foundation, an organization that seeks to raise awareness and funds in support of those touched by pediatric brain cancer.

Wreaths will be available for purchase just north of University Parkway in the Cooper Creek shopping plaza, between Total Wine and Bonefish Grill. Volunteers will be selling wreaths from December 1st through the 16th, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The two non-profit organizations will split 100% of the proceeds.

“Every wreath is handmade with Balsam fir branches fresh from Maine. They are then adorned with festive berries, pine cones and a colorful bow,” stated Katie Emmons, Taylor’s mother. “They add a beautiful and festive touch to any home, office or business. But the real gift will be knowing that your generosity helped make a difference in the lives of those in need.”

The Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund was created in the wake of Taylor's tragic death in 2010 at the young age of 19. As a student at The Out-of-Door Academy, Taylor excelled in both academics and sports, and was voted vice president of his senior class, Homecoming King, and student with the most school spirit. He also volunteered for All Faiths Food Bank, helping fill backpacks with basic necessities for children in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

By raising funds to send students through four years of high school, the Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund is a way of carrying on this young man’s spirit and energy. In 2011, the inaugural recipient of the fund was Desmond Lindsay, who also happened to be an athlete who shared in Taylor’s love for the game of baseball. The 2012 scholarship recipient is Sierra VanSuch, a young woman who is actively involved in her community. She is also an A student who enjoys playing volleyball and basketball. 

“It’s been a real pleasure getting to know Sierra and her family. She’s an enthusiastic student and we know she’s going to achieve whatever she put her mind to,” added Mike Emmons, Taylor’s father. “We are proud to carry on Taylor’s legacy through this bright, energetic and smart young woman.”

To order your wreaths, go to www.Temmons.org for delivery anywhere in the continental United States. Or you can pick out a wreath in person at Stickney Point Road and Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, or call 941-915-9249.

Nolan Middle Art Students And Teacher Create Beautiful Mural On Wall Of A Portable

Nolan Middle School MuralNolan Middle School students and visitors will have yet another source of pride as they drive through the school’s drop-off lane.

Students in Nolan Middle School’s one-year old FACTS Club (Fine Arts Club for Talented Students) have completed their second mural under the direction of Nolan Art Teacher Wade Smith. This year's mural is a 25-foot by 8-foot mangrove scene inspired by Emerson Point and completes the second mural in a planned series of three designed to transform the sides of the school’s portables into an impressive, outside gallery. The new mural is close to last year’s Florida wetlands scene located on the northeast side of campus.

The FACTS Club’s goal is to transform the portables into a stunning mural gallery showcasing Florida's unique environments, while learning painting techniques. Students met after school for nine weeks to complete the mural and enjoyed a rewarding and educational experience while coming closer to that goal.

“The artwork that was created, by Nolan art students, is most extraordinary,” said Nolan Principal Nancy High. “Wade Smith has provided the guidance and leadership to assist our art students create murals that are absolutely astonishing. If I had not actually seen the students doing the artwork on their own, I would have never believed that middle school students could produce such masterpieces.”

Smith once again took the opportunity to instruct on a massive scale.

"Learning to utilize perspective and more technical concepts, the goal was to make the viewer feel as if they are standing in the actual scene,” Smith said. “Students had to re-work the composition many times to achieve those results; part of the learning process and the progression of the work.  The massive scale helped students grasp the concept. I am very proud of my students.”

Wade Smith is a well-known Florida artist as well as a teacher. To learn more about his work, visit www.wadesmithgallery.com

Sean Lynch Named Senior Consultant At Lead Star

Sean LynchLead Star announced that Sean Lynch has been named to the position of Senior Consultant.  Sean will conceptualize, design and deliver leadership development solutions to solve client’s business challenges.   

After graduating from Yale University, Mr. Lynch gained tremendous leadership experience as an officer and F-16 fighter pilot in the United States Air Force.   After completing military service, Sean became a commercial airline pilot where he excelled and advanced within the airline industry.  Ultimately, his passion for building effective leaders and teams inspired him to join Lead Star.

Sean’s appreciation for the finer points of leading well and achieving success through one’s ability to influence outcomes and inspire others make him an excellent facilitator and retreat leader.  To further support the organizational development needs of his clients, Sean is certified in the delivery of the DiSC, PMAI, and MBTI behavioral assessments and has noted expertise in leadership mentoring and coaching.  He is currently writing a leadership book that will offer practical guidance for all levels of leaders based on his personal leadership development journey and scholarly study.  Clients appreciate Sean’s quick wit, engaging personality and firsthand success in overcoming leadership challenges. 

“Lead Star is extremely excited to have Sean Lynch on the team.   His talent, capability, and commitment to excellence in client service is impressive.  Plus, his extensive leadership experience makes him quite credible when advising clients on all aspects of leadership development,” says Angie Morgan, Lead Star’s co-founder.

A talented professional with two decades of public and private sector leadership experience, Sean is a proven leader who can candidly and humbly advise anyone on best practices for leading others.  Sean is passionate about supporting others as they develop their leadership skills and achieve positive results for their organizations.

United Systems Hires Senior Sales Representatives, Quadrupling Sales Force


David Spire, President and CEO of United Systems, Bradenton-based IT consulting firm, announced today that he has hired three senior sales representatives, quadrupling his existing sales force. United Systems welcomes the following:

  • Jim Kennedy: Kennedy brings more than 30 years of experience in commercial sales and revenue generation to United Systems. Having previously served as Co-Founder of two different ventures, each having sold to larger vendors in their respective market spaces, Kennedy has great experience in building and leading sales and marketing initiatives.
  • Nick Fitton: A former successful business owner, technology sales representative and professional investigator, Fitton brings 10 years of experience in business operational management and sales to United Systems. With extensive knowledge in sales, marketing, and customer relationship building, Fitton excels in analytics, problem solving, and business development. 
  • Brad Stanford:A Bradenton native, Stanford brings nearly 15 years of sales and business operation experience to United Systems. Having owned and operated three of his own companies, Stanford demonstrates expansive knowledge in all areas of business management, finances, sales and marketing.

“In advance of economic improvements, we are continuing to expand our staff of professionals to better support the needs of our clients and business community,” says Spire. “This is an exciting time for United Systems and our associates, and we’re looking to continue our growth through our best-in-class services.”

Each having diverse yet complementary backgrounds in managing business operations, building and leading sales cycles, Kennedy, Fitton and Stanford will each place a great emphasis on working with clients to solve business challenges and drive business processes through the use of technology.

Blalock Walters Attorneys Elected to Community Boards of Directors

Ann BreitingerBlalock Walters is pleased to announce that attorney Ann Kathryn Breitinger has been elected to the Board of Directors of We Care Manatee, Inc.

Founded by the Manatee County Medical Society in 1999, We Care Manatee addresses the increasing need of uninsured residents to be seen and treated by a medical specialist by providing a link to primary and specialty physicians who volunteer their time and donate free medical services.

Ms. Breitinger is an attorney in Blalock Walters’ Health Care Practice Area where she counsels clients regarding entity formation, business governance issues, business transactions and health care transactional and regulatory matters.

Charles Johnson Blalock Walters is also pleased to announce that attorney Charles F. Johnson, III has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Manatee Education Foundation.  The Manatee Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 1988, which provides direct and indirect support to the Manatee County School District through a variety of programs that benefit students and teachers.

Mr. Johnson is a Principal attorney at the law firm of Blalock Walters and leader of the firm's Business Litigation Practice Area.  He holds an AV Preeminent Rating according to the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system representing his commitment to excellence in his field and the highest ethical standards. Actively involved in the community, he has served on a number of Boards including Manatee Education Foundation, Manatee County Family YMCA, Home Builders Association Manatee-Sarasota, and United Way of Manatee County.

Community Haven Hosts 15th Annual Jingle & Jog  5K Road Race

Is that Santa’s sleigh you hear? NO! it’s the over 450 runners with Jingle Bells on their shoes as they run the 15th Annual Jingle & Jog  5K Road Race in of support Community Haven for Adults & Children with Disabilities! 

The Race will be held Saturday December 1st  at 8:00 AM.

(Take University Parkway turn onto South Honore, take Honore to Desoto Rd., turn right, take Desoto Rd., to the end....turn right into Community Haven!)

Community Haven is an agency right here in Sarasota serving children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities.  They help children with disabilities in their preschool with therapy and Kindergarten readiness.  Teens with disabilities get a sense of belonging with the Transitions program as well as preparing them for the next step in their lives, secondary education or career development.  Our Adults at Community Haven learn the all important skills of independence with the safety net of Community Haven backing them with a place to learn, to socialize and earn a paycheck. 

Support Community Haven by registering now for the 15th Annual Jingle & Jog Road Race sanctioned by the Manasota Track Club. 

That’s the Jingle & Jog Road Race on Dec. 1st @ 8:00 AM to support Community Haven!  For more information contact Anny Barker Schefler @ 941-355-8808 ext. 258


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