Universal Window Solutions has new headquarters

April 19, 2013 

SARASOTA -- Universal Window Solutions has moved into a new 25,000-square-foot building that includes a state of the art customer design center.

The showroom is located just off U.S. 301 at 2502 81st Place E., Sarasota.

"There is nothing else like this new design center in the industry; we are breaking ground," said Bob Smith, co-owner and CEO of the Sarasota based window and door company. "Homeowners can look through a catalog or browse products online, but it just doesn't compare to actually seeing and touching a 10-foot-tall iron door or a 12-by-32-foot sliding glass door to ascertain its quality."

Universal Window Solutions provides product to new home builders or to consumers looking to remodel their homes.

"We have actually seen a dramatic increase in our customers who are remodeling," said Rocky Smith, co-owner of the company.

Bob and Rocky Smith have been selling and installing windows and doors since 1985. In 2000, they purchased Universal Window Solutions, which had been in operation since 1981. In the past six months they have hired four new employees and are looking to hire seven more in the next 30 days.

Based out of Sarasota, Universal Window Solutions distributes windows, doors, store front, window film and hurricane protection products. Universal carries a variety of brands including PGT windows and James Hardie siding and is the largest Andersen dealer in Southwest Florida. They sell and install a full line of entry doors from fiberglass to iron and 90% of their sales are impact rated products.

PGT Industries named the family owned business a Gold Level Dealer.

For more information, go to www.universalwindowsolutions.com.

Food event to showcase beach restaurants

The Third Annual Food and Wine on Pine is set for from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 4 in the City of Anna Maria.

The event along Pine Avenue includes food selections 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 is designed to showcase the variety of sustainable seafood and produce 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. The music selections include folk, jazz, reggae, bluegrass, classical, blues, in addition to acoustic guitar, percussions, wind instruments and even a bag pipe performance all performed by soloists, duos, trios, quartets and quintets.

The event is expected to draw 3,000 people. Entrance is free with wine glasses and plates available for $3. Food and beverage tickets are $1 each. Most items will be priced for 2 to 8 tickets. Event parking at the Anna Maria Island Community Center and at Crosspoint

Fellowship church is free with complimentary trolley rides to Pine Avenue.

Visit www.foodandwineonpine.com for information or contact Caryn Hodge at 941-778-8705 or chodge@chilesgroup.com.

Women business owners to discuss the economy

Congressman Vern Buchanan will host a women business owners panel on jobs and the economy today.

Over the past 16 years, the number of women-owned firms in Florida has grown at one-and-a-half times the national average, according to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. Nationally, Florida ranks as the fourth most populous state for women-owned businesses.

"This event will provide a woman's perspective on the effects that current federal policies and regulations have had on economic growth and job creation and what policies Congress can promote to quicken the pace of the economic recovery," Buchanan said.

The panel will include Lee En Chung, president and owner of Ivy Ventures Inc., a Sarasota-based construction consulting firm; Angela Massaro-Fain, founder and president of Grapevine Communications, of Lakewood Ranch; Mary Forristall, president and co-founder of Forristall Enterprises Inc., a Palmetto-based demolition company; Janet Mixon, co-owner of Bradenton's Mixon Fruit Farms; Trudy Moon, president and co-owner of Air and Energy, based in Holmes Beach; and Jennifer Behrens Schmidt, president of the Sarasota & Manatee Manufacturers Association and president of Atlantic Mold and Machining Corp., which designs and builds plastic and metal injection molds in Venice.

The discussion will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at Gulf Coast Eagle Distributing, 7151 Wireless Court, Sarasota. The public is welcome to attend.

-- Herald staff reports

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