Names and Faces

Sophie's, opening inside Saks Fifth Avenue at The Mall at University Town Center, recently announced its new team: General Manager Felicia O'Brien and Assistant General Manager Mark Resnick, will be responsible for the restaurant's day-to-day operations and overall management. Executive chef Dianna MacPhee and sous chef Richard Potts will be in charge of culinary development and management. O'Brien is known for her ability to plan and manage social and corporate catering events of all sizes. Before joining Sophie's, Resnick was general manager of Polo Grill where he was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations. MacPhee began her career as a sous chef under two James Beard Award-winning chefs, Lydia Shire in Boston and Vitaly Paley in Portland, Ore. MacPhee returned east to be a senior chef at Harvard University and eventually headed south to Coral Gables where she most recently served as the executive chef at Neiman Marcus. Potts was a consulting chef at Roux Tampa where he facilitated the restaurant group's growth and developed new menus focusing on Cajun, French and Creole Nouvelle cuisines.

Garrett Shinn, Christine Yekel and Christy Cardillo have been named partners in CPA firm Shinn & Co. Shinn joined the company in 2006 as staff accountant and became tax principal in 2010. He specializes in closely held businesses, agribusiness, health care, real estate and multi-generational businesses. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in accounting. He is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Yekel joined the company in 2005 and is a shareholder. She has more than 35 years of experience

in accounting and leadership positions and specializes in agribusiness, real estate and corporate franchisee accounting. She is a certified public accountant in Florida and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Yekel earned her bachelor's degree in accounting from Auburn University. Cardillo has been with Shinn & Co. since 2007.

Her areas of expertise include manufacturing and distribution, medical, tax planning and real estate development. Her experience includes corporate work in human resources and administration with large manufacturing employers.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Cardillo earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Florida with honors, and her master's degree in accounting from University of Texas at Arlington, also with honors.

Valerie Cribb has joined the design and sales team for Epoch Solutions, which specializes in custom cabinetry. She brings 35 years of experience in cabinetry design and sales.

Kate Rossi, executive vice president of Sarasota-based NRT LLC, southeast region, was named to Profiles in Diversity Journal's Women Worth Watching. Rossi supervises 140 Coldwell Banker offices in Florida, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Dallas-Fort Worth, including the more than 75 offices and 4,800 sales associates affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate. Winners will be featured in the publication's September-October issue. Since the award's inception in 2002, Women Worth Watching has featured nine women who have since assumed the role of CEOs in Fortune 1000 organizations.

David Eckel, president of Wagner Realty, received the Paul Harris Fellow award from the Rotary Foundation and Rotary International. The award is named after Paul Harris, who founded Rotary in Chicago in 1905. Eckel and Wagner Realty agents support many schools and philanthropic causes throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Brian Thomas has been named special assistant to the president for constituent and government relations at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. Thomas, a retired U.S. Army sergeant major, has more than 20 years of experience in public and media relations, internal communication, crisis communication and strategic planning. As the senior adviser to the director of communications for the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Thomas developed an integrated communications plan to support the senior leader campaign, advised staff members on external media plans and internal communications, and managed the production of the command's employee publication. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota and a master's degree in international relations from Troy University in Alabama.

Martha Meyers, Manatee Technical Institute, has been nominated for the 2014 Education-Workforce Partner Award by CareerSource Suncoast. Meyers, a career counselor at Manatee Tech, has been serving as a liaison between the school and local businesses and manufacturers. She has been working with the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. and CareerSource Suncoast to provide training for area business and industry and match MTI graduates with employers.

The winner will be announced at the Fifth Annual Workforce Professional Development Summit on Oct. 31 in Orlando.