Business Briefs

March 16, 2013 

Public Relations chapter to hold gala

The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) will present "Celebrating PR Excellence, Elegance & Achievement" at its Image Awards at Selby Gardens next month.

The April 18 event will feature a keynote presentation from retired GEICO CIO, Jess Reed, who will speak about the development and evolution of the now famous GEICO Gecko brand. Reed will also honor winners of the Image Award in four areas: Public Relations Programs, Audio/Visual/Online Tools of Public Relations, and Student Projects in Public Relations.

Reservations for the event at Selby Gardens are $50 for members and $65 for non-members.

Sponsorships are still available. Visit for more information.

IT firm finalist for business prize

SARASOTA -- The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce recently named SouthTech, a Sarasota-based IT solutions firm, as a finalist in the Small Business of the Year category.

"It's an incredible honor", said Paul Hoffman, President of SouthTech. "We have a great team here and everyone contributes to building a wonderful work environment, the highest level of technology services to our clients, as well as an active involvement in our community."

Finalists are judged on several areas including innovation of product or service, response to adversity, business growth and contributions to the community. The next step will be in-person interviews with Chamber member judges.

The awards ceremony will be held May 10th at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota.

Food and Wine on Pine set for May this year

ANNA MARIA -- The 3rd Annual Food and Wine on Pine is expected to draw 3,000 people this year.

The event is scheduled to take place May 4 on historic Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria. It features food from more than 20 locally owned independent restaurants, a variety of art and music as well as the fine wines and craft beers.

Food and Wine on Pine, was established by restaurateur Ed Chiles at the city's Pier Centennial in 2011, to establish a not-for-profit entity to showcase the variety of sustainable seafood and produce that local independent restaurants are using in their menu selections, highlight the island's art and culture and to support local art and children's charities.

Event proceeds will go to benefit local art and children's charities such as the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra, Anna Maria Island Community Center, Cultural Connections, the Artists Guild of Anna Maria Island, the Anna Maria Island Historical Society and Anna Maria Island Preservation Trust.

For information visit

-- Herald staff reports

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