Three attorneys with the Sarasota law firm of Syprett Meshad have been selected by Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, to its 2020 Florida “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” lists.
Firm President Michael L. Resnick and Managing Partner Nancy E. Cason were both selected to the “Super Lawyers” list, in the Family Law and Real Estate Law categories, respectively.
Partner Amanda M. King was selected to the “Rising Stars” list, in the Family Law category.
Lawyers selected to the “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” lists have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only 5 percent of lawyers in the state are selected for this annual honor.
Super Lawyers rates attorneys nationwide through independent research, as well as peer nominations and a statewide survey of lawyers and peer reviews by practice area.
Hollywood actor and Sarasota native Bruce Merkle has placed first in the Men’s Division of the United States Yoga Federation’s National Championship event.
Merkle placed first earlier this year in the West Coast Region, which encompasses 11 states, to qualify for the National Championship. He placed seventh in the World Championship, held in Beijing, in 2018.
Merkle lives in Los Angeles.
Halfacre Construction Co. recently hired Brian Berges as an assistant project manager at its Lakewood Ranch headquarters. A new graduate, Berges has several years of experience working in a variety of roles within large corporations.
At Halfacre, he will assist with the $28 million renovation of the R.L. Anderson Administration Center, in Venice.
He previously worked as a sales management intern for Pepsico’s Frito Lay division. Berges also worked as a human resources intern and sourcing and logistics intern for Mauser Corp., a provider of industrial packaging.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management, with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation, from Pennsylvania State University.
The Paradise Center, of Longboat Key, has hired Donna Sharp Blaney as its new community outreach and marketing manager.
She will be responsible for getting the word out about the center’s newly expanded wellness facility, interfacing with the business and residential communities, and growing the newly created membership program.
Blaney joins the Paradise team most recently from the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, where she coordinated marketing for the chamber and its members.
Before moving to the Suncoast, she was marketing and events manager for 10 years at Boscobel House & Gardens, in New York.
Since 2008, the Paradise Center has been a resource to enhance the quality of life for the Longboat Key community. In 2020, it expanded its services to include a wellness center, where a variety of medical practices are available to serve island residents.
Suncoast Charities for Children held its annual board meeting recently, electing the following officers for fiscal year 2020-2021: Greg Linehan, president, Wittmer Linehan Law Firm; Sam Chavers Jr., vice president, Suntex Marinas; Peter Schneider, secretary-treasurer.
New members of the board are: Michelle Hazeltine, Hazeltine Nurseries, Inc.; Bob Morrison, Hy-Tech Power Equipment; and Noel Speranza, Black Jack Air & Mechanical.
Board members continuing their terms are: Julie Brown; Stephen Jaynes, XByte Technologies; David Oriente, Professional Concrete, Inc.; and Christine Robinson, Argus Foundation.
Ron Foxworthy remains director emeritus, with Lucy Nicandri as executive director.
With the proceeds of various event fundraisers, Suncoast Charities for Children is able to provide an annual grant to the Suncoast Foundation in support of the following area nonprofit agencies: The Haven, The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Children First, Special Olympics, Venice Challenger Baseball and Sertoma Speech Clinic, in Venice.
The founder of Wealth Strategies Partners, Paul Allen, has been named a member of the Raymond James Financial Services’ 2021 Chairman’s Council, a distinction given only to those financial advisers who have demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to personal service and lead the largest revenue-producing branches.
This marks the second year that he has received this recognition.
Allen founded Wealth Strategies Partners, in Sarasota, in 2014 to provide comprehensive, white glove financial planning services to retirees, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives and high-net-worth individuals.
Lightspeed Voice, in Venice, has hired Ed Hill to fill the newly created position of director of community engagement.
Hill most recently was executive director of the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce. Since moving to Southwest Florida in 2007, he has served on multiple nonprofit boards and assisted with various community initiatives.
Lightspeed is a national provider of private hosted phone networks and sales automation tools that seamlessly connects employees and streamlines the communication processes, allowing businesses to focus on delivering exceptional customer service.
James Coalwell brings nearly two decades of experience in community bank lending and finance to his new position as vice president of commercial lending at Charlotte State Bank & Trust. A resident of Punta Gorda, Coalwell has filled similar positions locally, as well as in the Lee County area and his native Minnesota.
Before moving to Florida in 2006, he worked at a pair of firms in Minnesota as a senior home equity representative, senior retail credit analyst and lead underwriter.
His career really took off in Florida, where he held leadership positions as a senior vice president, chief credit officer and vice president of commercial lending prior to joining Charlotte State Bank & Trust.
He graduated with honors from the Florida School of Banking, in Gainesville, and received a diploma from the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in 2014, the same year he completed the Farr Leadership Institute.
Coalwell earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and an associate degree in management at Minnesota State University.
He is based at Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s Punta Gorda office.
The Humane Society of Sarasota County has named Anna Gonce as executive director. Gonce brings 20 years of experience in animal welfare to the organization at a time when HSSC is expanding to be the state’s premier no-kill shelter.
Gonce spent many years with Best Friends Animal Society, which runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. She helped Best Friends launch several national initiatives designed to reduce the number of animals entering shelters. She then led their Salt Lake City–based program, delivering a strategy to make Utah a no-kill state.
Gonce was previously executive director of the Gabriel Foundation, one of the country’s largest parrot sanctuaries.
Most recently, she worked in philanthropy for Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, which was the first nonprofit to be named the Small Business of the Year by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.
The Humane Society of Sarasota County, in Sarasota, is the area’s premier no-kill shelter and relies solely on private donations, bequests and community support to continue its mission to engage the hearts, hands, and minds of the community to help animals.