After touring the soon-to-be-open Inspired Living at Lakewood Ranch Senior Community and seeing first-hand the beautiful grounds and state-of-the-art amenities, both you and your mom agree that this is going to be a wonderful move for her. With happy hours and social events, arts, music, and cultural programs, chef-prepared meals with flexible dining hours, and even a fishing pier, she knows she won’t get bored, and you know she’ll be well taken care of. The thing that put her mind most at ease though, was when she found out she could bring her sweet Yorkshire terrier to live with her. Right then and there, you both knew this was the perfect place for her.
Hope Winburn, community relations director for Inspired Living at Lakewood Ranch, is excited about the new Validus Senior Living community. The Lakewood Ranch multi-level community will cater to independent seniors, as well as those who need assisted care or memory care. It’s quite unusual to find all three types in one community. “Our footprint is going to be quite different than our existing memory-care communities,” Hope says.
Caring Is Their Business
Although Validus is known for its outstanding properties and remarkable amenities, their mission is focused on delivering compassionate, personalized care and programming for seniors. Validus Senior Living currently runs six Inspired Living communities in Florida and is set to open three more around the state, and three outside of the state within the next two years. Inspired Living at Lakewood Ranch, its newest community, is slated to open this month.
Read more: INSPIRED LIVING AT LAKEWOOD RANCH
Nothing makes your day better than found money, and that’s exactly what Kathy DeStefano just delivered to you. With Kathy handling your books, you not only learned the answers to questions you never knew to ask, you also nailed all your filing deadlines with paperwork you are confident was entirely accurate. Now, Kathy called with the news that she completed a review of a previous year’s taxes and found a few deductions the Other Guy missed. Of course, you’re smiling — a call from Kathy DeStefano is like finding cash you never knew you lost.
The Best Advice For Business Owners
Kathy is a strong believer in giving individual owners and smaller businesses service that is at least as good as, but most times better than, what big business gets from those massive corporate accounting firms. After all, she used to work for one but left so she could give her clients the quality she believed they deserved. Most of those clients came with her.
Read more: KATHY DESTEFANO, CPA
As you pull up into the dedicated Fast Pass lane, Tony Milen, owner of Clear Sunset Car Wash & Detail Center, sees you, calls out your name, smiles, and waves. And he’s not the only one who goes out of his way to make you feel welcome. It’s not just the unbelievable deal on the unlimited monthly membership that keeps you coming back, but also the incredible service and friendly employees. Besides, what other car wash company offers free popcorn in their lobby?
Tony Milen knows the car wash business and that it takes more than just good prices to keep the customers coming back. He learned from the best. His dad, Jack Milen, owned car washes since the early 1950s, and the suds run through his family’s veins.
“We have pictures of me wiping a car from when I was just two years old,” Tony says pointing proudly to a set of pictures that capture the long history of his family business.
Working At The Car Wash, Yeah
For over 60 years the Milen family has taken care of their customers’ car-detailing needs. It all started in 1950 in Detroit, when Jack Milen opened National Car Wash with a partner. Four years later, he struck out on his own and opened Jax Kar Wash, which later expanded to as many as 11 locations at one point.
Read more: AT CLEAR SUNSET CAR WASH
As you watch the video of your daughter’s first dance with her new husband, you once again marvel at how beautiful her wedding was, and how incredible the food tasted.
Chef John at Sixteen 17 Cuisine not only made an exquisite tasting dinner, but his presentation was incredible. Even your daughter made time to finish her plate once she tasted the cranberry and brie stuffed chicken, and she swore she would be too nervous and excited to eat anything on her wedding day.
For Chef John Gray, catering is not about just the food, it is about the whole experience.
“You get to really be a part of the event. You get to see the bride and groom get married. You get to deal with them before the event. I really enjoy the whole thing, working with the people and getting to see them smile and be so happy about what happened.”
From Home Cooking
to High Cuisine
Chef John has always loved cooking, and it all started at home when he would spend time in the kitchen with his dad. His dad was the cook in the house and prepared the meals for the family. From the time he was little, John liked to bond with his father while they fixed dinner.
After he attended his sister’s wedding and saw how the caterers worked, he knew that was what he wanted to do. At the young age of 18, he attended the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Atlanta, Georgia where he was trained in the art of French cooking.
Read more: SIXTEEN 17 CUISINE
It came on suddenly, something just wasn’t “right.” You called Lakewood Ranch Urgent Care, and they suggested you come in right away. You were upset—in pain, worried—but the staff did everything they could to calm your fears. Dr. Folkens asked some questions and ran some tests. Thanks to their care and skill, you began to feel more at ease. You still had questions, but now the entire staff at Lakewood Ranch Urgent Care was there to help you find the best answers.
The Best Care No Matter What
Eric Folkens began his career in the medical field as a laboratory scientist, but he found out that was not for him. “I was interested in the ‘other side’ of medicine, working with patients, so I went back to school.”
Dr. Folkens completed his internship and residency at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Texas. “That was a great place to learn, because you are exposed to so many different types of medicine. I spent a lot of time in the ER, but I also delivered babies, worked in the trauma center, got to do everything, really.”
In July 2007, Dr. Folkens took over Lakewood Ranch Urgent Care. “In the beginning, it was just me and three employees, including my wife, Teri, who is an RN. We worked seven days a week for three months before we could hire additional help.”
Read more: LAKEWOOD RANCH URGENT CARE
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