Business briefs

February 20, 2013 

Neal Communities launched a new building phase this week at River's Reach, off Rye Road in Parrish.

The Celebration Series will be introduced at River's Reach this weekend, with homes ranging in size from just under 1,800 square feet to more than 2,500 square feet. Fifteen single-family home plans are offered at River's Reach. Two additional models, the Starlight and the Sweetwater II, will open next month.

New home prices start in the mid $100s and homeowners can choose 50-foot or 80-foot frontage homesites that overlook the Manatee River, nature preserves, bird sanctuaries or lakes. Visitors will also find placards describing historic events that took place there during the Civil War. Nearly half of the acreage is dedicated open space or preserve areas.

Studio launches TV campaign for SRQ

Be Creative Studios has launched a new TV campaign for Sarasota Bradenton International Airport's "Do You SRQ?" campaign.

The three videos created highlight local businesses including Mote Marine, IMG, Suncoast Gems, Bradenton Area CVB, Be Creative Studios, Morton's Market, Anna Maria Oyster Bar and the USF Rowing Team.

The concept for the "Do You SRQ?" campaign is to convey how the airport generates economic impact into Sarasota and Manatee counties. The campaign has helped the airport reach out to local businesses and create partnerships by having them sign a pledge.

Be Creative Studios is an advertising and design agency serving Tampa Bay, the United States and Europe.

Leadership Manatee wants Distinguished Alumni

MANATEE -- The Leadership Manatee Alumni Association is accepting applications for its 2013 Kent C. Schulz Distinguished Alumni Recipient.

The Kent C. Schulz Distinguished Leadership Award was developed 18 years ago after Schulz, a Leadership Alumnus, lost his battle with cancer.

The deadline for applications is March 1. Applications can be downloaded through the website: www.LeadershipManateeAlumni.org. This year's recipient will be recognized at the annual Association meeting and luncheon scheduled for April 3. Membership in the Leadership Manatee Alumni Association is open to all graduates of Leadership Manatee.

Past recipients include: Rose Carlson, Amanda Edge, Tom Seguin, Bob Bartz, Betsy Benac, Darrell Turner, John Vita, Edie Bustle, Connie Shingledecker, Diana Davis, Linda Agresta, Ruth Lawler, Cliff Walters, Robert King, Gerry Russell, Bob Sweat, Brenda Rogers and Bob Sweat.

Webster University's online program recognized

Webster University's

online graduate education and business programs has received national recognition in U.S. News & World Report's 2013 list of "Best Online Programs."

Criteria used by U.S. News to determine the rankings include admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, student services and technology, and student engagement.

In Florida, where Webster has a East Manatee County office, the online graduate business programs rank second, after the University of Florida's Hough School of Business.

U.S. News defines an online program as one in which "all the required coursework for program completion is able to be completed via distance education courses that incorporate Internet-based technologies."

Webster's online enrollment has been growing steadily for the past five years, with more than 9,000 of Webster's 21,000 students now taking at least some classes online. About 25 percent of Webster's online students are members of the active military.

-- Herald staff reports

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