(SARASOTA)- A Community Entrepreneur Opportunity (CEO) program graduation and reception will be held on Tuesday, May 26 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Sarasota. The event is to acknowledge and congratulate 20 CEO graduates for completion of the 12-week Introduction to Business Development Course. As part of the ceremonial event, each graduate will make his or her “elevator pitch” with businesses ranging from janitorial services to an insurance agency. Included in the program will be City of Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw and Carolyn Mason, chair of the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners.
Ed Davis, certified consultant for Small Business Development Center at USF Sarasota-Manatee, taught the 12-week course.
“Some students begin with a business idea but are not sure it will work or that they can do it,” Davis said. “A few classes into the program the light goes on. They say, “It will work,” and more importantly, ‘I can do it.’ That’s my reward. As students go through the program they begin to realize their idea can become a business and they can manage that business and make it grow.”
Carol Molnar is a VP, Florida CRA Manager, with Comerica Bank and has been involved in the CEO program since its inception in 2005.
“Comerica was a founding sponsor of this program, and it has been fulfilling to watch it grow from a small idea to graduating 185 individuals,” Molnar said. “Collaboration between community partners has been essential in growing this program and allowing it to develop into something beneficial to the North Sarasota community that we at Comerica are extremely proud.”
Sponsors and community partners include Comerica Bank, SunTrust Foundation, CareerSource Suncoast, Newtown/North Sarasota Redevelopment Office of the City of Sarasota, Sarasota County, and SCORE.
This event is open to the public. For more information about the program or this event, please call 365.2200, ext. 3220.