“Hi, Dad. It’s been about three months now, and every time I come to visit, I know how much you would have loved this spot. It is so tranquil and beautiful. Manasota Memorial does such a nice job of maintaining the grounds. I still can’t get over how perfect they made your service. We even laughed, just like you wanted us to. It really was a celebration of your life.”
Duane LaFollett, the General Manager of Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral Home, knows that issues surrounding end-of-life decisions are not easy, but he and his staff offer services that truly honor the life of the person who passed.
“Personalization is key,” Duane said. “We ask about hobbies or things a person enjoyed. We’ve had folks who have come in and said, ‘Grandmother played Bingo every Saturday night, and that was her whole world,’ so we’ve had the whole room set up like a Bingo hall with Bingo cards and daubers.”
Celebration of Life with Dignity
Duane thinks one of the most unique things about Manasota Memorial, which is a part of the Dignity Memorial national network of funeral homes, is its ability to offer very contemporary services. The open floor plans make it easy for guests to mingle and share memories. He also points out that the rooms can be set up with a Florida, baseball or military theme, or anything that reflects the personality of the deceased.
Read more: MANASOTA MEMORIAL PARK AND FUNERAL HOME
You set the phone back in your pocket, already smiling. Your friend looks over and asks what’s got you so happy. Well … you have to tell somebody. “That was Tim Kempf with We Insure Florida. He found me a better policy and saved me a hundred bucks on my premium … again.” Your friend looks confused, asks when you had time to price insurance on the golf course. “I didn’t,” you reply. “It’s just something Tim and Sarah do. Call me from time to time, tell me how much less I’m paying now.”
Looking a little jealous, your friend grins, “Well, then I guess lunch is on you … and I better get Tim’s number.”
So You Have The Best
St. Louis natives, Tim and Sarah Kempf, met in high school. They were dating other people when Tim and Sarah realized they were better off with each other. After high school, Tim graduated from a St. Louis trade school with a degree in computer systems and networking, but the job market had cooled. “There were a lot of people doing what I wanted to be doing, so the opportunities were not there.”
Tim found what he was looking for with Farmers Insurance. “I knew I wanted to work for myself, and I knew I wanted to take care of people. I had a great mentor in the business, and it turned out to be a great opportunity.”
A high school and college hockey player, Tim carried that competitive drive off the ice and invested it in his new business. “We started from scratch and built it up, account by account, by doing all we could for our customers and treating people right. Personally, I was very driven. We had nothing then, and I wanted more for my family, a better life.”
Read more: WE INSURE FLORIDA
There is nothing better than springtime in Florida. Picnics, cookouts, gardening and birthday parties—your lush green lawn is just begging for you to come out and play.
Your dogs love it every bit as much as you and the kids. Romping, running and rolling in the grass. They just can’t get enough! Of course, it’s easy to see when Lassie and Spot have roamed their territory. But, thanks to Dave Karshick and Doody Free, the whole family can indulge in your backyard oasis without worrying about any surprises Pongo and Princess may have left behind.
So You Don’t Have To
Long Island, NY native, Dave Karshick, started in the landscaping business at the age of 22. “I loved being out in the field, learning about the industry, about fertilizers and what happens when different things interact with your lawn.”
One constant issue nagged Dave and his coworkers. Dog poop. “It was a continual problem, getting all over our shoes and our equipment. I began wondering why no one was out there to take care of it.”
Before that seed of an idea could take root, Dave’s expertise got him out of the field and into an office—first branch manager, then district manager. In 2003, he was transferred to Tampa. That’s where Dave met Via, the love of his life and the lady he will marry on May 1, 2015. In 2010, Dave and Via moved to Sarasota. “We love it here. This was where we wanted to be.”
Dave was less certain about his job. “I loved being outside, but I was just filling out forms and answering e-mails all day long—that’s not for me.”
In 2011, Dave decided to give his dog waste removal idea a shot. “The need was obvious. Plus, many people don’t realize the environmental impact of dog waste. They think all waste is ‘fertilizer,’ but that’s only true of grass-fed animals. The EPA places dog waste in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals.”
Read more: DOODY FREE DOG WASTE REMOVAL
You step out into your yard with bare feet and see a lawn maintenance company drive up to your neighbor’s house for the first time since winter. You are reminded, once again, how much time and money you will save thanks to EcoTurf® of Florida. Ever since they installed your new lawn, you have gotten more compliments on your yard than ever before, and people still have a hard time believing it is not real grass. As you take a seat on the soft blades, you sit back and smile, knowing that no matter what the weather brings, from now on, your lawn is ever green.
Ed Wooster, owner of EcoTurf of Florida, knows one of the top benefits of artificial turf: no more yard work.
“Some people call it the lazy man’s grass, because instead of having to mow grass you can be bowling, playing golf, going fishing … whatever you want to do.”
Where The Grass is Always Greener
Ed started life in Georgia, but moved to Florida with his parents when he was 18 years old. In his early years, he installed pools and driveways, which involved setting everything to grade so it would properly drain, something that would come in handy later on. He moved on from that to flooring, and found he had a real knack for it—so much so that he went into business for himself. He quickly earned a reputation for excellence, which led to bigger and more complicated jobs.
Read more: ECOTURF
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance has done a lot of growing in its first ten years. “We now have over 500 members and have become a huge part of this community,” says Executive Director, Heather Kasten.
“Both businesses and area shoppers trust our Alliance members, so being a part of our LWRBA family offers businesses more credibility. People know members are committed to our community and to growing Lakewood Ranch. That’s a big plus from both a business-to-business and business-to-consumer standpoint. We connect everyone together and that helps all of us grow and succeed as a community.”
The Perfect Opportunity
It’s been said that luck is where “Preparation meets opportunity.” That’s the ideal analogy for how Heather Kasten became Executive Director of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance. “All my previous jobs seemed to have perfectly prepared me for this position,” says Heather.
Heather started her career in hotel sales after graduating from college in the Midwest. She quickly became the Regional Sales Manager for Corporate Sales for Six Flags Theme Park. “My job was to convince business—with anywhere from 25 to 30,000 employees—to bring their staff to the Park for a day.”
Heather went on to do pharmaceutical sales for Eli Lilly, then eventually moved to sunny Florida where she became the VP of Membership for the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.
Read more: LAKEWOOD RANCH BUSINESS ALLIANCE
It is date night, and you have more than one reason to flash a smile. Even after two weeks, you can hardly believe you got out of the dentist chair, relaxed and pain free. Not only did Dr. Ashley at Smile Smart Dental Center in Lakewood Ranch give you a new implant that makes you proud to show off your teeth again, he actually put you at ease during the whole procedure. Although, as the waiter brings the fresh, warm, French bread to your table, and your date softly caresses your hand, you have to admit the best part of the post-dental work is enjoying your favorite foods again … especially with someone special.
Dr. David Ashley says his main goal is to get people smiling again.
“I really like working with people. I like talking to people, and helping them, especially when they come in with a problem. Whether it be they don’t like the look of their teeth, or they’re missing a tooth and they need an implant, or they’re in pain, I just basically like solving their problem and making them happy.”
David Ashley was born in the cold climate of Canada, and went back and forth between our neighbor to the north and Florida all throughout his childhood and college years. His dental aspirations started at just five years old when his childhood dentist left such an impression on him that he made up his mind, then and there, that he was also going to be a dentist. He stuck to his early career choice, eventually graduating from dental school at the University of Florida.
Read more: SMILE SMART DENTAL CENTER
Ahhh! That quintessential question of “Who let the dogs out?” is often followed by “Who’s going to pick up the dog business?” And in the past, the answer was usually you, which stinks! Now, thanks to Doodly Squat Pet Waste Removal, your reconnaissance missions of hunting for dog bombs are over. You get to sit back, relax, and enjoy a clean yard, while Doodly Squat makes sure you don’t have to do diddlysquat.
Ashleigh Silberstein, owner, operator and chief executive “poop-picker-upper” of Doodly Squat Pet Waste Removal knows from experience that being the one who is picking up doggie number two is not most people’s favorite job. So how does she make the task more pleasant?
“Just having the right mindset. I look forward to working outside, because I love the outdoors. And some of my clients live on the water.” She went on to say, “I really like meeting the dogs of my clients.” It is this positive attitude that makes Ashleigh such a treasure to her clients.
Read more: DOODLY SQUAT PET WASTE REMOVAL
Your party guests are about to arrive, and your house has never looked better. That carpet is cleaner than the day they installed it, and your furniture belongs on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. Of course, this is how your home always looks after Signa Perry of Pro-Care visits. With three kids and two dogs, you would have never believed “lived in” could look and smell this good. But ever since the first time you called Pro-Care, your home is always ready for company.
“Cleaning With A Woman’s Touch”
Signa Perry may have been a stay-at-home mom, but she was no homebody. “I love taking care of my son, but I need to be active. All my adult life I’ve been an athlete. I did roller derby for years, and I was an MMA fighter—a kick boxer. So, even when I wasn’t working, I had a strong work ethic. If I start a job, I will get that job done, and it will be right. That’s just who I am.”
When not at home with her son, Signa worked with animals and special needs children, so the fighter does have a softer side. “I loved working with kids and animals, and I enjoy people. Honestly, I’m very extroverted, and I’m pretty much always in a good mood.”
Read more: PRO-CARE
When you saw the sign for Healthy Living Organic & Natural Market, all you wanted to do was grab a smoothie. But once inside, you were hooked. There’s so much there—and it’s all healthy and organic.
You didn’t know where to look at first until Owner and General Manager, Maria Rosabal, came over and offered to help. You told her your health concerns, she gave you options, and explained her store’s mantra: “It’s all about education and empowering people to make the right choice so they can improve their health.”
Your choice was to take Maria’s advice and keep coming back to learn more about diet and nutrition. It’s turned out to be a life-changing decision.
From Managing Money To Helping People Manage Their Health
Maria wasn’t always interested in nutrition; she earned her MBA and spent 25 years as a banker. But when a severe health challenge threatened her family, she needed to make a change.
Maria went back to school. Got certified as a National Health Professional and Nutrition Counselor, a Master Herbalist, and, finally, as a Doctor of Naturopathy—a holistic and natural approach to achieving balance in the body.
Read more: HEALTHY LIVING ORGANIC & NATURAL MARKET