Next-Mark president, Joseph Grano, Keynote Speaker at SUM+ Conference

The Sarasota Young Professionals Group (YPG) and The HuB are co-hosting the YPG Annual Conference and SUM+ Conference, a creative, collaborative event that brings leading creative thinkers together to discuss Sarasota’s economic, social and political future. The event takes place Friday, June 17, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, and is open to local professionals. A select group of area leaders will be invited to participate as collaborators in special break-out sessions to develop innovative solutions to some of the area’s most pressing issues. “SUM+ is a totally unique concept,” says Frank Maggio, Chair Elect for the YPG. “Instead of simply discussing the challenges that face Sarasota, we’re coming together with some of the best and brightest minds in the community to generate out-of-the-box solutions.” Community leaders and young professionals from different backgrounds, industries and perspectives will go through a series of creative exercises that stimulate new ideas and solutions. At the end of the day, each group will deliver a presentation on their respective topics and the results of their discussion. The goal of SUM+ is to prove that the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. SUM+ Topics will include downtown economic development, homelessness and its impact on the community, the role of area colleges, local festivals to drive tourism and improving voter turnout. The event’s keynote speakers are Steve Shenbaum, Head of Communications Training at IMG Academies, and Joe Grano, President of Next-Mark, who will cover topics such as communication, teamwork, marketing, presentation skills and leadership – all the tools necessary to succeed in today’s business and social environment. Ticket prices are as follows: • $90 Full-Day SUM+ Collaborator • Conference Only: $40 with YPG Member Discount, $55 Non-Member Event sponsors include: Michael Saunders & Company, The HuB, Ringling College of Art & Design, Sarasota Young Professionals Group, Grapevine Communications Advertising Agency, Ludwig-Walpole Insurance, Mattison’s, Hyatt Regency Sarasota, and G.Wiz- The Science Museum. About the Sarasota Young Professionals Group The Young Professionals Group is committed to fostering economic development and the revitalization of the Sarasota area. Its members include up-and-coming leaders in real estate, banking, law, education, tourism, healthcare, finance and marketing. The YPG’s mission is to create a platform for its members to build relationships, develop professionally, become politically and philanthropically active, and contribute to the economic development and high quality living of the community. About The HuB The HuB is a creative incubator based in Sarasota’s Rosemary District and co-founded by Matt Orr and Rich Swier, Jr. The group connects with entrepreneurs, artists, professionals and government leaders in the community to find new solutions to current challenges. Its mission is to bring a new energy to the creative class in Sarasota.

Joseph S. Grano, Jr., has a record of success providing vision and strategic direction to organizations experiencing rapid growth and change. He is one of those rare individuals who have made a successful transition from corporate leader to entrepreneur and owner of his own growing company.