Articles

Executively Speaking
Soaring High…

Soaring High…

WORDS & PICTURES: Gabrielle Versmessen

A career in the Air Force, specializing in nuclear weapons, isn’t exactly the background you’d expect a prestigious hospital’s President and Chief Executive Officer to have. But it was precisely that background that made HCA Florida Blake Hospital’s Steve Nierman so passionate about serving others. 

Originally from Indiana, Steve attended the Air Force Academy and went into active duty until 1997. From there, he went

Teens Tackle Tough Topics… 

Teens Tackle Tough Topics… 

WORDS: Merab Favorite
PICTURES: Gabrielle Versmessen

Health education for high schoolers. Could there be a more frustrating topic? For parents, it invokes visions of awkward conversations filled with bad analogies like birds and bees, an egg sizzling in a frying pan, and of course, that oversimplified slogan, “Just Say No.”  

For teens, it’s even worse. The gut wrench that comes when the teacher asks them to answer an embarrassing question.

Wading His Way In Agricultural Conservation… 

Wading His Way In Agricultural Conservation… 

WORDS: Merab Favorite
PICTURES: Whitney Patton

Just as the crest of the sun started to spill over the horizon, he placed his bicycle on the rack, hurled his bag of equipment over his shoulder, and headed down the familiar trail at Robinson Preserve. 

Once he arrived at the perfect spot, Mac Carraway assembled his camera. He waded into the shallow water looking to the mangroves for his most sought-after subject,

Not Your Typical General Counsel…

Not Your Typical General Counsel…

WORDS: Gabrielle Versmessen
PICTURES: Whitney Patton

The title of General Counsel for the School District of Manatee County may sound like an ordinary job, but Mitchell Teitelbaum (MT) brings a vibrant personality and unique passion to his career that makes this particular General Counsel one of a kind. 

According to the school district’s website, the position of General Counsel is “hired by and reports directly to the Superintendent. He provides

A Man You Can Bank On…

A Man You Can Bank On…

WORDS: Bre Jones Mulock
PICTURES: Whitney Patton

With stifling summer heat so thick you could almost see it hovering tauntingly above a field dotted with bright, white cotton, 10-year-old Ross Hodges – with his grandmother’s pantyhose pulled over his face to protect him from inhaling fibers – feverishly worked his pitchfork atop a cotton tractor that soared into a vast turquoise sky on his grandparents’ west Texas farm. 

Trees are

Strong Hopes for the Future…

Strong Hopes for the Future…

WORDS: Bre Jones Mulock
PICTURES: Whitney Patton

Like intriguing characters woven into a page-turner adventure novel with each chapter more astounding than the next, a collection of diverse life journeys leap into focus from a dazzling, mile-long resume and demand attention.  

There’s the 16-year-old who hired his football buddies to hammer nails after school until 2 a.m. each night for his startup construction company and the high school track star

Following in the Footsteps of Greatness…

Following in the Footsteps of Greatness…

WORDS: Bre Jones Mulock

Like a flipbook of vintage Florida postcards – popping with vivid color and rolling seascapes – Mary Glass’ childhood stretched out before her with idyllic, adventure-seeking charm filled with sandy horse trails, bare feet, swimsuits, and spontaneous football scrimmages on quiet streets.

A dreamy, tropical snow globe to explore, the 1950s and 60s Sarasota unfolded during a time when famous authors gathered at restaurants over strong …

Why Parenting Matters…

Why Parenting Matters…

WORDS: Amy Treis
PICTURES: Whitney Patton

There is no magical algorithm to follow to become the perfect parent. Education, support, and dedication are the foundations for happy households. Katrina Bellemare, the Executive Director of Parenting Matters, focuses on ensuring that parents are supported in their most important role and that children grow up in a safe, nurturing home. She has directed her efforts in both Manatee and Sarasota counties, and …

The Quinn Quest!

The Quinn Quest!

WORDS: Amy Bell
PICTURES: Whitney Patton

Even in these precarious times, business is booming for Your CBD Store. However, founders Rachael and Marcus Quinn are not content to enjoy the spoils of their success alone. This husband-and-wife team prefers to pay it forward.

The Quinns’ CBD journey started in March 2018, when Rachael opened her first store in Bradenton. After using CBD oil herself with incredible results, she wanted to …

Ben There and Done It…

Ben There and Done It…

WORDS: Amy Bell
PICTURES: Whitney Patton

From 2012 to 2020, Betsy Benac served tirelessly as a Manatee County commissioner at-large. Although she decided not to seek re-election, one thing is certain: Betsy’s unwavering dedication to the community will continue to have an impact for years to come.

“Local government is where things get done, so I was very excited to get elected eight years ago,” she reflects. “It was a …

Food For Thought…

Food For Thought…

INTERVIEW: Kara Chalmers

One Thanksgiving, years ago, when he worked in the financial industry in Manhattan, Thomas Mantz decided he’d like to volunteer at a food bank for the holiday.

He called a local bank and asked if he could help. The man who answered the phone said thanks, but no.

“He said, ‘We don’t need you. Everyone and their brother want to give out food on Thanksgiving. People are …

Promoting Beautiful Bradenton!

Promoting Beautiful Bradenton!

INTERVIEW: Amy Bell

The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) promotes tourism to Manatee County and the communities of Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch. As Executive Director of the CVB, Elliott Falcione has overcome countless obstacles during his 10+ years in the role. However, most of those past problems pale in comparison to the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has put a major dent in the …