Sustainable Sarasota

Sarasota County Sustainability Workshop


The Keynote Speakers have been announced and a tentative Agenda is now available for the 8th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop, to be held on Dec. 18, 2013.  Please register now to attend this exciting workshop.

Businesses and organizations are also invited to consider partnering in presenting this important workshop asExhbitors and Sponsors.  The 2013 Sustainable Communities Workshop theme is "Investing in Our Future." Please support this goal and have your commitment to community sustainability recognized. 

Register Now!
 Join attendees from across the region at the 8th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop on from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2013 at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center. The $30 registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon "Local Food Showcase." The student rate is $20.

Workshop Sponsors 
Sponsors are in an ideal position to offer information and services to residents, businesses, organizations, and government agency workshop attendees. 

Sponsors will be recognized, based on their level of support, on the workshop's promotional material, website and at the event. Further information on sponsorship opportunities and the application form are available on the Workshop Website.  

Workshop Exhibitors 
The 2013 Sustainable Communities Workshop invites businesses to offer their products, services, and programs as exhibitors at this year's workshop. Showcase your sustainable solutions for water, energy, and infrastructure demands, renewable and alternative energy, resource conservation, electric vehicles, recycling, reuse, clean tech, green business, ecotourism, local food, health improvements and housing choices.  Exhibitors may sell resource conserving, local products, as this event will be promoted as an opportunity for holiday shopping.   
Exhibitor space is available for a fee of $75 upon approval, and includes two complimentary registrations. Information and the application are on the Workshop Website.

Keynote Speakers
Carol Peppe Hewitt
"Financing our Foodshed: Rethinking How We Pay for our Food"
Carol Peppe Hewitt is an author, business owner, social entrepreneur, and a pioneer in the Slow Money movement. Since founding Slow Money NC in 2010, she has catalyzed more than 90 low-interest loans to nearly 50 small farmers and local food businesses in North Carolina, with a goal of building resilience in local foodsheds.
Her book, "Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money,"tells the compelling, real life stories of 22 Slow Money entrepreneurs who grow, process, distribute, and sell local food, as well as the generous people in their communities who became their lenders.
Trish Riley
"Greening Your Business: Working Together Toward a Sustainable Future"
Trish Riley is an award-winning journalist and author. Her books include: The Complete Idiot's Guides to Green Living and Greening Your Business; and The Explorer's Guide to South Florida, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and the Keys. Her articles have appeared in Hemispheres, The Miami Herald, South Florida Business Journal, Natural Health, Natural Home and E/The Environmental Magazine.
Riley publishes, an environmental news site and resource to help build sustainable communities. She founded the Gainesville Chapter of Green Drinks and Cinema Verde, Gainesville's environmental film and arts festival.

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, religion, or genetic information.  Persons with disabilities who require assistance or alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), or who wish to file a complaint, should contact: Sarasota County ADA/ Civil Rights Coordinator, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236, Phone: 941-861-5000, TTY: 7-1-1 or1-800-955-8771, Email:
Please note: The listing of a sponsoring company's name will not constitute an endorsement by Sarasota County or other organizing partners. 
November 21, 2013
Sustainable Communities Workshop
Register now for the
December 18, 2013
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Thanks from Antonio Zonta

Dear Sarasota Sister City Association, dear USF, dear Friends and Colleagues

First of all I want to thank the Sister City Association and the USF for the warm hospitality that I was offered in Sarasota, and for the faultless organization and the high scientific level of the conference.

But I also remember the wonderful experience that has allowed me to meet new colleagues and make new friends: I really hope that we can keep in touch and find new opportunities to meet.

Thanks so much to all of you and take care!
Grazie a tutti e un grande saluto!

Antonio Zonta

Director of the Building and Estate Department 
Province of Treviso

Haifa Professor at Sustainability Conference

Professor Ori Lahav with Sarasota Sister Cities Tel Monde Director Linda Rosenbluth 
at Museum of Whimsey amongst the “hands of friendship” sculptors

The Sarasota Sister Cities Association recently organized and hosted an International Conference on “Sustainability through Renewable Energy & Aquaculture” at the University of South Florida-Sarasota/Manatee, Nov 13-15, 2013.  Representatives from six of our eight sister cities and from all four area Colleges and Universities gave presentations at the conference. Over 300 people were in attendance. 

The theme for Day 1 of the conference was Sustainability Concepts and Practices and in this session Professor Ori Lahav, the Sister City delegate for Tel Mond, Israel, provided an enlightening presentation on “Improving the Quality of Desalinated Seawater”.  Dr. Lahav is an Associate Professor of Environmental, Water and Agricultural Engineering at Technion-the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel.  His research interests focus on water quality and aquacultural engineering. He has received several significant awards for research innovation and academic excellence in this field. Dr. Lahav arrived from Durham, NC where he is currently on sabbatical leave at Duke University.  

Professor Lahav was thrilled to be a part of the program and is planning to develop cooperative work with Dr. Kevan Main, the Director of the Mote Marine Laboratory, Aquaculture Facility in Sarasota. Dr. Main’s presentation at the conference was on “Opportunities to Conserve Our Fisheries and Ocean Resources Using Sustainable Aquaculture”.  Forty percent of the seafood consumed worldwide is from aquaculture. Water quality is a very important factor for production of healthy seafood from aquaculture and cooperation between these two institutions will provide new insights for future developments in aquaculture. 

Our Thanks and Acknowledgement

The Sustainability Conference held November 13-15, 2013 was a great success with interesting and informative presentations made by experts from all over the world. The importance of sustainable activities are obvious in everything from our energy resources to our food supply. 

Our thanks to Ray Young and his committee who did an outstanding job.  We, also, thank our outstanding presenters who spoke to the conference.  It is rare that a conference of this caliber can be developed by a Sister Cities Organization. We thank the University of South Florida Sarasota/Manatee for their participation and support.

Beth Ruyle Hullinger, President Sarasota Sister Cities.

Sandy Murray, Scotland


Can I pass my thanks for your hospitality and the chance to meet you last week, it was a great experience. I hope we can build on what was started at the meetings and look forward to help in any way I can. Just to keep you informed it is freezing here in not so sunny Scotland L!

Thanks again and take care.


Sandy Murray CEng FIMechE BEng (Hons) DEM
Assistant Head of School (Rosyth Campus)
Fife College
Wood Road
Rosyth Business Park
KY11 2EA
Tel: 01383 559144 (ext 5144)

Merida - Humberto Cervera Comments

Dear Sarasota Sister Cities Association and USF-S/M:

Now that we are back and more or less organized after taking care of the pending work, due to a week's absence, we want to thank you all of you, and those whose addresses we don't have, for your warm hospitality and the invaluable experience the International Conference provided to the Merida delegation.

Fernando Herrera and myself are truly grateful and hope that as a result of our visit, the wonderful people we met, the variety and importance of the topics presented,we can establish solid links with all the sister cities and develop projects of common interest in the near future.

Looking forward to seeing you again, perhaps in Merida, we send you our best wishes for all the great work you do.

Muchísimas gracias,

Humberto Cervera

Great Conference

The Sustainability Conference was a great success.  Speakers from six of our Sister Cities made fine presentations.  We all learned a great deal about sustainability and will take this knowledge back to our part of the world for implementation.

Poster Session

Students presenting their sustainability posters at the conference.