People on The Sarasota SCENE

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Icard Merrill announces that six of its attorneys have been recognized by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018 in 13 categories.

They are:Sarasota Scene 10/20/17

Charles J. Bartlett
Michael J. Furen
Thomas F. Icard Jr.
Robert G. Lyons
William W. Merrill III
Jaime L. Wallace

In addition, Charles J. Bartlett, Thomas F. Icard, Jr., and William W. Merrill, III have received Best Lawyers 2018 “Lawyer of the Year” awards. 

Barbara Bourgoin

The State College of Florida Foundation has hired Barbara Lewis Bourgoin as its new director of development. In this role, Bourgoin, who has been working in fundraising for more than a decade in Manatee and Sarasota counties, will lead fundraising for scholarships, equipment and capital campaigns at SCF. She comes to the SCF Foundation after serving as chief development officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

“I have a deep passion for higher education,” Bourgoin said. “I am proud to be an SCF employee with all of the exciting things going on.”

Bourgoin, a certified fundraising executive, also has served as the development director for Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) and the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee.

For more information, visit To contact Bourgoin, call 941-752-5398 or email

Agent Shirley Taradash of Michael Saunders & Company’s Lakewood Ranch office has achieved Realtor® Emeritus designation, awarded by the National Association of Realtors, for 40 years of service in the industry. Taradash has been an agent with Michael Saunders & Company since 2002.

Shirley Taradash

“The dedication and expertise of agents such as Shirley are some of the main reasons that our company remains successful year after year,” said Michael Saunders & Company Founder & CEO Michael Saunders. 

Taradash began her real estate career in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1976, and moved to Florida and began working for Michael Saunders & Company 2002. 

“It means a lot to me that the company is local and plans to stay that way.”

To learn more about Michael Saunders & Company, call (888) 552-5228 or visit

Cabot Hart

Premier Community Bank recently promoted Cabot Hart from a senior underwriter to a chief credit officer at its Bradenton location. With more than 32 years of experience in the banking and financial industry, Hart joined Premier Community Bank in March 2017. In his new role, he will lead the management of a team of credit analysts and loan operations professionals, oversee the existing loan portfolio, manage the credit quality of the bank and ensure that the bank adheres to all credit policy and standard underwriting guidelines.

Carlos Puente

Neal Communities recently welcomed Carlos Puente to its Lakewood Ranch-based team as the vice president of sales in its north region. Puente brings over 10 years of experience in the real estate and home building industry. As the vice president of sales, he will lead a team of more than 30 people and will focus on strategic planning for sales, enhancing the sales process and continuing to ensure a structure to help reach goals each month. 


Drs. Sirianni and Harkess

Joint specialist Dr. John Harkess and pain management specialist Dr. Justin Sirianni joined Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine and Pain Management.

Harkess earned his doctorate from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia. He was a contributing author on three publications and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.

Sirianni earned his doctorate from Drexel University College of Medicine and received a master’s degree in biology from Chatham University. Sirianni is fluent in English, basic Italian, Spanish and American Sign Language. 

Children First, Inc. welcomes Jessica Rogers as the new Vice President of Philanthropy.

Jessica Rogers

Transitioning from one distinguished learning institution to another, Rogers comes to Children First from New College of Florida. As the leader of Children First’s philanthropy department, she will provide strategic direction for fundraising with the goal of expanding early childhood education and family services.While managing donor relations for the New College Foundation, Rogers led team fundraising efforts in securing over $36 million in outright and planned gifts since 2010. 

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