We apply business leadership to important community issues.

Welcome to Issue number 1 of our digital 2020 quarterly newsletter!  
We have kicked off the new year with a strong start and a look back at what may be the most successful year ever for our organization.  We had big victories on local government issues, record attendance at our events, and we are financially strong and ready to turn on a dime to handle issues that arise.

I encourage you to take a look at my Herald-Tribune column below for more details on how we strongly impacted 2019 and what we are looking forward to in 2020.  I would like to personally thank Keith Mercier for a great 2019.  His Presidency was marked by bold positions on issues that mattered and accountability of government for our community.  I am excited and looking forward to a great year ahead with John Wagner as our new President.

Already this year we hosted a fascinating and enlightening discussion with former Congresswoman and Google Executive Susan Molinari and former Congressman Bill Paxon.  Tomorrow, we are hosting our very fun annual sporting clays competition.

Upcoming is our Meet the Minds featuring Florida Chief Science Officer, Dr. Thomas Fraser who will be presenting  "Florida's Environmental Challenges: Past, Present, and Future."   Dr. Frazer is an expert in environmental science, data and programs and leads the newly established Office of Environmental Accountability which  is charged with ensuring key water quality objectives are clearly communicated to the public, as well as, organizing agency resources and scientific expertise, data and research to focus on and solve complex challenges. 

This year, we are holding a special event luncheon with former ABC News 20/20 Co-host and current Fox Business News and Fox News journalist John Stossel.  He will be speaking about $15 minimum wage laws, this is scheduled to be a Florida Constitutional amendment on the ballot in November.   The luncheon will be held on March 12th and if you sponsor the event, you will be a part of the special VIP reception with our speaker.  The proceeds of this luncheon will go to our Issues Fund which we use towards issues that are important to our quality of life and businesses.
We appreciate the support of our membership, and I want to thank each member for their leadership and investment in the future of Sarasota County, its municipalities, and our schools! It is your investment that allows us to apply business leadership to important community issues.



Christine Robinson
Executive Director 
Catch up on our latest news

Argus Foundation celebrates community figures at annual dinner

The Argus Foundation once again honored local leaders who have made an impact in their community during the 18th annual Lifetime Achievement Awards dinner Nov. 14 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. 

Former state Sen. John McKay was recognized for his work with several local organizations including the Ringling Museum of Art and the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. Posthumous honoree Dr. Eugenie Clark  - also affectionally known as "The Shark Lady"  - was credited for her lifetime of work with marine life and for being the founding director of the Mote Marine Laboratory. 

Colliding Worlds
Christine Robinson Reflects on Five Years Heading The Argus Foundation  
SRQ Magazine: Page 26-28; In many ways, she represents in manifest the crossroads of the government, for-profit and philanthropic worlds.  We sat down with the community figure to discuss how she managed interactions between politics, corporate lobbying and setting an agenda for the broader community.
Read more here: https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/education/article234962367.html#storylink=cpy

Argus Meeting  
Video:  The Argus Foundation held their Annual Meeting.
Read more here: https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/education/article234962367.html#storylink=cpy

A Trump running in 2024?  Expect it, former GOP congressman tells Sarasota crowd
There will be a Trump running for president in 2024.
Former GOP congressman Bill Paxon offered that prediction Friday during an Argus Foundation meeting in Sarasota.
Read more here: https://www.bradenton.com/news/local/education/article234962367.html#storylink=cpy


Mercier: Time to close dark chapter for school district
"Not credible." These two very important words were found on page 67 of the 119-page independent investigation on sexual harassment by the assistant superintendent and the handling of those claims by the superintendent.
These words were not used to describe the claims by the victim, which were sustained with sufficient evidence by the investigator. The independent investigator used the words "not credible" to describe the testimony of our current superintendent, Dr. Todd Bowden.
The superintendent was interviewed three times over two months and, more importantly, he was under oath. "Not credible."
It gets worse.
Click here to read more.

Published opinions from our Executive Director
The Importance of Our Chambers of Commerce

The Argus Foundation is a 501 (C)(6) just like a Chamber of Commerce. But we are not a Chamber of Commerce.  We focus solely on public policy including policy education. Our Chambers locally provide very important services to the business community including membership services, professional training, concierge services through business, leadership training, and visitor information. 
Our Chambers are so very important to our community. The Argus Foundation believes that strong Chambers make a strong community. We are lucky to have great dynamic leadership at our Chambers across the county right now.

Click here to read more.

'Blamestorm' Shows Absence Of Leadership
I had recently thought that responsibility and accountability was one in the same. I was wrong. 
Accountability is measuring the outcomes, transparently dealing with the lack of productivity, and setting a course for correction, if needed. We have seen an overall absence of this in government.
But responsibility is different. It includes accountability, but it is actually much bigger than outcomes. It is the reason why you get to the point you have reached. 
Every leader fails, they would not be a leader if they didn't. It is how they handle failure that separates those who are great leaders and those who never should have been a leader to begin with.

Click here to read more.

Robinson: Arts and culture will suffer unless Sarasota grows
We need to begin to panic. Our arts and cultural gems are on a collision course with no growth.
Why should we panic? According to the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, a 2015 study revealed that the arts and cultural attractions brought 7,445 jobs and $295 million in direct expenditures. Four years later, that number has grown for sure.
Most of our arts and cultural attractions are located in the City of Sarasota. They experience the bulk of the prosperity from our area unofficially being labeled "The Cultural Coast."
Click here to read more.

Making Affordable Housing a Real Priority Through Policy Examination

Once again, affordable housing has made the priority list of the Sarasota County Commission for 2020.  It is interesting to see it on there for another year. It is also interesting to see the lack of connection that is made from that policy to the other initiatives and policy setting the Commission acts on.  
The same week that the Commission made affordable housing a priority, the commission decided to consider a mental health taxing district to increase taxes and was told about a stormwater utility rate study- have you ever seen a government rate study that didn't call for an increase?
Not a breath was mentioned about the effects of these taxes and fees on affordable housing.

Argus strongly impacted 2019, looks ahead to 2020

One week ago today I celebrated five years with The Argus Foundation. I am very proud to be a part of such a great organization that cares deeply about our community and our future. This organization has been a catalyst for change and had a tremendous positive impact on our quality of life.
The Argus Foundation has had a strong 2019 and we accomplished a lot. We tackled important community issues through business leadership, had a strong year for educating our community through our columns and prominent guest speakers, and we are financially healthy with a secure and quality growing membership.
From preserving administrative review and adhering to the promises of the downtown masterplan, making sure mobility fees were properly implemented on the county level, co-founding and implementing a workforce training program in Newtown, getting the county to adhere to its priority of water quality and allocating dollars to septic tank replacement, to accountability in our school system and local government, we were there and taking strong positions.

County 2020 Priorities Correctly Focus on Infrastructure

The County Commission has set its Board priorities for 2020.  The final agenda was ratified this past Tuesday. It was divided into two lists, "Top Priorities" and "High Priorities." These lists tell us what the county commission is thinking about, where they want staff to focus, and what they want to do in the future.
On behalf of The Argus Foundation, I would like to congratulate the County Commission and county administration for a list that is infrastructure heavy, as it should be.


Sarasota County published a monthly economic report.   Data includes information on the labor force, unemployment, wages, industry, home and condo sales, permitting, hotel and motel sales, SRQ passenger counts, population, and taxable values.
Register now for our events!

Meet the Minds:
Florida Chief Science Officer
Dr. Thomas Frazer

"Florida's Environmental Challenges:
Past, Present, and Future"

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Michael's On East

2020 Special Event Luncheon
with John Stossel

Join The Argus Foundation as we hear from the former longtime ABC 20/20 co-anchor and current Fox Business News and Fox News analyst about the push to pass $15 minimum wage laws.

Thursday, March 12, 2020
The Grove
10670 Boardwalk Loop
Lakewood Ranch, Fl 34202

 Sponsorship tickets available now! Any Individual tickets left over will go on sale November 15th.

Contact Sharlene at Sharlene@argusfoundation.org 
for more information

Low Country Boil

Thursday, April 23, 2020
Sarasota Outboard Club


Sip & Savor
Wine Tasting and Food Pairing
Wednesday, May 13th
The Field Club

Sponsorships Available for events!
Contact Sharlene at Sharlene@argusfoundation.org

The Argus Foundation's members are an integral part of our community.
Sarasota Sheriff's Office presents community award to Mike Quillen
On Jan. 7, Quillen became first to receive the Community Partner Award, which was created to recognize a company, organization, or individual for their contributions in support of the Sheriff's Office's mission and the citizens of Sarasota County. Quillen serves on the sheriff's advisory board and is credited with working with other local business owners to create the SCSO Charitable Foundation. The goal of the nonprofit is to assist individual employees of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office who are experiencing extraordinary personal or family need. Since its inception a few years ago, the foundation has helped several Sheriff's Office members through personal and financial loss, and major medical expenses due to serious illness.
Argus Impact Spotlight:
Adams and Reese LLP
Founded in 1988 by partner and Pro Bono Paladin Mark Surprenant, the firm's Hope, Understanding, Giving and Support (HUGS) Program represents the embodiment of the firm's emphasis on giving back. Through HUGS, attorneys and employees across the firm donate their time to more than 100 charitable organizations in various philanthropic projects. Thirty years after the founding of HUGS, our attorneys and employees and their community spirit keep this program alive and thriving. Caring Adams and Reese Employees (CA&RE) allows every lawyer to provide pro bono work for clients and nonprofit organizations who cannot afford to pay for an attorney.
Click here to read more

Attention Argus Members!!!
Send us your good deeds and community work to feature on our website and newsletters!
Send your stories to christine@argusfoundation.org
Take a look at some of these great pictures from our most recent event!

Click here to see more photos from our 2019 Stakeholder Golf Tournament

Click here to see more photos from the 18th Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards

Click here to see more photos from The Annual Meeting featuring Congresswoman Susan Molinari and Congressman Bill Paxon
The Argus Foundation | 941-365-4886 |  http://argusfoundation.org