Business briefs: Saunders takes agents to international conference

February 5, 2014 

SARASOTA -- The founder and CEO of Michael Saunders & Co. is leading a contingent of her agents who specialize in selling luxury properties to the inaugural Christie's International Real Estate-Top Agents Conference at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The conference on Thursday and Friday is the first of its kind and will unite more than 150 of the top-performing agents specializing in luxury real estate sales throughout the United States, Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Agents Marcia Salkin, Karen Greco, Nicole Hammons-Dovgopolyi and Alexei Dovgopolyi will accompany Michael Saunders to the conference.

Sessions at the conference will focus on how to target international buyers from Asia, Russia and the Middle East; methods for positioning a luxury property for sale; and how to detect new trends specific to major resort markets like Sarasota.

SCORE offers workshopfor start-up businesses

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Manasota SCORE will present "Building Your Business Plan," a workshop for entrepreneurs who want to start up or grow a business.

The workshop, scheduled for Saturday, includes a step-by-step process to organize business concepts and financial projections into a business plan for any company seeking start-up or expansion financing.

Attendees will have access to the SCORE templates and financial projection model as well as guidance from experienced SCORE volunteers and mentors.

The workshop costs $25 and will be conducted from 9 a.m. to noon at ComCenter, 9040 Town Center Parkway, Lakewood Ranch.

For registration and additional information about Manasota SCORE, call 941.955.1029 or visit

Neal Communities keeping up sales pace

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Neal Communities has continued a swift sales pace in January.

The builder sold out its homes at Belleisle in Country Club East at Lakewood Ranch and has closed its sales center at Sawgrass in Venice, with just one home remaining.

The builder notched 54 total sales spanning 16 communities, from Manatee to Lee counties, last month.

Notable neighborhoods for Neal in January included Central Park at Lakewood Ranch with nine sales and Fairfield in Bradenton with six sales.

The builder expects several communities to reach completion this year, including Central Park at Lakewood Ranch.

Neal's overall expansion will continue with plans for nearly a dozen new neighborhoods in 2014.

The builder also expects to celebrate its 10,000th home sale.

Industry Network gives nod to Cutting Loose

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Cutting Loose Salon has been recognized as an industry leader by American Salon's Better Business Network, considered the foremost salon industry program measuring performance drivers for service and retail success.

The program employs comprehensive research to survey, define and identify the key business processes that make salons successful. A cornerstone of the Network is an annual business survey that identifies the practices, strategies and tactics that separate the best-run salons from the industry-at-large. The top performing 50 salons were identified and the top 25 were given distinction as a Pinnacle Winner.

-- Herald staff reports

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