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To view EDC Edge | February 2024 via Constant Contact, click here.


An Update From the President & CEO



On January 30th, it was an honor to represent our esteemed Board of Directors, Investors, and our dedicated team during our Fiscal Year 2023 report to the Board of County Commissioners. If you missed it, you can watch the video recording of the presentation here. You can scroll through the interactive agenda, click #48, and it will skip to our presentation.

In 2023, we had the privilege of supporting numerous companies from a wide range of industries as they evaluated and pursued their expansion in Sarasota County. We are proud to share that eight of these projects are celebrating their official openings and collectively investing over $13 million through their expansions. Over the past five years, we have supported 40 similar projects, generating nearly $6 million annually in new tax revenue for Sarasota County. These impressive figures exemplify the positive impact of the EDC’s efforts, resulting in diverse job opportunities, increased local GDP, and additional resources for investments in crucial areas such as education and infrastructure.

Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are now available for the highly anticipated 2024 Economic Outlook. You can check out event details by clicking here.

Thank you for your continuous support and partnership. We look forward to the exciting ventures that lie ahead in 2024, and we remain committed to driving economic diversification and prosperity for Sarasota County.

Warm Regards,




Erin Silk, CEcD
President & CEO


Economic Development Update


Cap Table Nation Advisory Committee for Sarasota County 

The EDC of Sarasota County hosted the inaugural meeting of the Cap Table Nation Advisory Committee for Sarasota County. Backed by Gingras Global, Cap Table Nation is investing $1 million dollars in new capital infrastructure tools, reporting, and administrative support so investors can deploy their capital in Southwest Florida while encouraging new and existing venture capital funds to deploy their resources into companies and projects within the six counties region, including Sarasota. This collaborative group of attendees from government, chambers of commerce, angel investors, collegiate partners, and entrepreneurs are looking forward to the launch of Cap Table Nation this year.

To learn more about Cap Table Nation: Captablenation.com


Regional Economic Discussion

Josh Ewen, VP of Economic Development, participated in a regional economic development presentation for the REALTOR Association of Sarasota and Manatee (RASM) to discuss growth and future potential for business development. During the discussion, Josh was joined by fellow economic development representatives from the City of North PortBradenton Area EDC and DeSoto County Economic Development Department.


Teaming up to Support Expanding Local Companies

The EDC and City of North Port Economic Development met with Worksite, a family-owned company headquartered in North Port. They are a professional employer organization that provides office services, such as payroll, employee benefits, workers compensation, and accounting services, to over 600 national companies in 20 states. Worksite employs 75 individuals and plans to grow locally as they expand their Florida and national client base.




Welcome New Investors!


Now in its 65th season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few select theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship bring to life this unique performance method that gives audiences the opportunity to see multiple productions in the span of a few days. Under the new leadership of Producing Artistic Director Peter Rothstein and Managing Director Ross Egan, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and ground-breaking education and community programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations. Visit asolorep.org to learn more.


The mission of the Circus Arts Conservatory is to engage and educate students using unique and innovative learning programs; to measurably improve the quality of life for individuals in care facilities; and to advance the extraordinary legacy and heritage of the circus. The CAC is home to world-class performances, excellence in training the circus arts, and community-based education and humor therapy outreach programs. Visit CircusArts.org.



Lodgco Hospitality, LLC is a multi-brand, hospitality company that delivers value, rewards and a sense of pride to its associates, guests, and investors. Lodgco Hospitality was founded on the desire to develop and manage hotels that offer guests premier accommodations with the finest service possible. They empower our associates to ensure total guest satisfaction. They are committed to continuous improvement, innovation, customer-centered technology, and developing future leaders. Visit Lodgco.net.

Sarasota Opera is entering its 65th Season of bringing world-class opera to Florida’s Gulf Coast. The company was launched in 1960 in the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. In 1984, the company moved into the former A.B. Edwards Theater—now the Sarasota Opera House. Since then, the company has gained an international reputation as one of the leading regional opera companies in the U.S. through initiatives such as the Masterworks Revival Series and the Verdi Cycle. The company’s Sarasota Youth Opera is the most comprehensive Youth Program in the U.S. Visit SarasotaOpera.org.


The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall presents a broad spectrum of the world’s finest performers representing the diverse tastes of Southwest Florida residents and visitors. The Van Wezel has carried on the long tradition of presenting spectacular Broadway musicals, top national and international performers, popular comedians, world-class symphony orchestras, and a compelling mix of classical, modern and ethic dance. In carrying out the mission of the Hall, the Van Wezel’s education program brings visiting artists into the community and area schools for a wealth of educational and outreach activities. To learn more about the Van Wezel, visit VanWezel.org.




Welcome to the Team!

We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Palano to the EDC team as Office Coordinator!

She is a motivated, resourceful, and a results-driven professional with over twelve years’ experience in administrative services. Lisa has proven to prioritize and manage multiple projects for support managers and fellow teammates in fast-paced, high-pressure environments. Lisa is adaptable and creative with experience of elegantly navigating through a consistent change of business dynamics.

Lisa enjoys cooking, fitness, theatre and traveling with family and friends. Lisa’s favorite thing about relocating to the Suncoast is our beautiful beaches.





Truist Foundation gifts EDF $35,000 grant to strengthen entrepreneurship. 


The Economic Development Foundation of Sarasota County (EDF) is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous $35,000 grant from the Truist Foundation. This partnership aims to bolster the entrepreneurial landscape in Sarasota County and empower entrepreneurs with the tools and resources needed for success.

“Sarasota County has long been recognized as a vibrant hub of entrepreneurial spirit, and this grant serves as a testament to the commitment of the Truist Foundation in nurturing and empowering small businesses. By working hand in hand with our philanthropic partners at the Truist Foundation, we intend to cultivate a supportive environment wherein every entrepreneur has access to the tools to thrive” said Erin Silk, President & CEO of the EDC of Sarasota County.

The grant will specifically support the Sarasota County Technology and Entrepreneur Network (TEN), an initiative driven by the EDC of Sarasota County (EDC). Through this program, entrepreneurs will benefit from access to invaluable business support and critical growth resources. The EDC will strategically identify assets and address gaps within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The objective is to provide small business owners with avenues for growth. By focusing on the “Strengthening Small Business” pillar of the Truist Foundation, the program will bridge the gaps in the Sarasota County entrepreneur ecosystem and create a brand that will showcase the entrepreneurial success of our community.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Economic Development Foundation of Sarasota County in their mission to diversify the economy by fostering entrepreneurship. At Truist Foundation, we firmly believe in supporting initiatives that empower individuals to achieve their full potential, and this grant represents our commitment to nurturing and cultivating a thriving business ecosystem in Sarasota County.”, says Mark Irwin, Sr. Vice-President Truist Bank.


About Economic Development Foundation of Sarasota County

The Economic Development Foundation of Sarasota County is a 501(C)(3) organization focused on carrying out initiatives that have a positive impact on business growth, the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and workforce development to further the tax-exempt purposes and mission of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County (EDC). To learn more, visit: edcsarasotacounty.com/foundation.

About Truist Foundation

Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at Truist.com/Foundation.




Join us as we help to fundraise for the next generation of entrepreneurs! Will you #BeTheOne to make a difference in a local entrepreneur’s life?

To view our Giving Challenge web page, go to GiveGab.com/Nonprofits/EDF-Sarasota-County





Opportunities to Engage!


Have you heard?! The EDC has a new exclusive newsletter for Investors called Inside Insights.

If you are an Investor and interested in learning about the EDC’s happenings first, you should subscribe to our Investor newsletter. You can do so by emailing Anna Eger, Community Engagement and Events Specialist at aeger@edcsarasotacounty.com.


Tickets are now on sale!


Join us, Thursday, May 16th at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota for our 2024 Economic Outlook.

Networking will begin at 7 a.m., followed by the event at 8 a.m.



Our esteemed panel:

The focus of the event will be looking at national, state, and local economic predictors, and their implications for Sarasota County.

If you are interested in being a Specialty Sponsor, please contact Anna Eger at aeger@edcsarasotacounty.com for more information.


Thursday, February 29th
12:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Calling all Chair Advisors! You are invited to join us for Business in the Ballpark: Baltimore Orioles vs. Pittsburg Pirates. A private reception begins at 12:00 p.m., and baseball game begins at 1:05 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon of baseball, food, and networking with fellow community members and business leaders.

Tickets are extremely limited.

For questions about the event, to sponsor, or to register, please email Anna Eger at aeger@edcsarasotacounty.com.


Thursday, March 14th
12:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Attention all Chair Advisors! Join us for Business in the Ballpark: Atlanta Braves vs. Tampa Bay Rays. A private reception begins at 12:00 p.m., and baseball game begins at 1:05 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon of baseball, food, and networking with fellow community members and business leaders.

Tickets are extremely limited.

For questions about the event, to sponsor, or to register, please email Anna Eger at aeger@sarasotacounty.com.