Mr. Aardema has decades of entrepreneurial experience in business formation, ramp-up, management, branding, communications and operations, including science and engineering, real estate redevelopment (brownfields), finance, materials supply, manufacturing, construction, public relations/media, and management consulting companies.
Mr. Aardema has led initiatives in market and operations analysis, branding/re-branding, restructuring, recruiting, rolling out and winding down companies and subordinate operations, programs and projects. His work has included public, political and regulatory relations including press strategies and releases, presentations, negotiations, permitting, and media production. Mr. Aardema has also participated in business capitalization at seed, venture capital, mezzanine, and corporate banking levels in due diligence, business planning and forecasting, investor presentations, and management.
Mr. Aardema co-founded Community Service Media, Inc. in 2004 as a public relations and integrated media agency producing community outreach campaigns, digital, and traditional media for public and private clients in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, and New Jersey. Mr. Aardema has directed, managed, and worked on strategy, creative writing and media development, editing, production review and quality assurance for campaigns in television, radio, billboard, internet and print media. Aardema has a special interest, talent, and experience in video creative, scripting, production, and post-production as a story-teller/writer, producer and director of enterprise, campaign, and commercial video.
Mr. Aardema founded Strategic Management Arts, Inc., SMARTS and Strategic Marketing Arts, Inc., SMARTS in 2008, and serves as President & CEO of both brands. Strategic Marketing Arts is a full service traditional and digital media marketing agency serving commercial and civic clients. Strategic Management Arts serves commercial and civic clients in agile strategy training, applied Strategic Doing, and leadership and communication skills.
Sara Hand has a diverse business development background across public and private sector enterprises, which including early stage investment experience. Her motto is “Think Big. Keep it Simple. Make it Happen.” Utilizing Strategic Doing, Sara drives action-focused agendas in solving complex problems and is widely recognized for consistently achieving her goals with grace and confident skill.
An entrepreneur, Sara uses her strengths to find and leverage unique value propositions and create synergistic partnerships. From Spark Growth, her business, organizational and community development practice to founder of 3.0 Leaders Conference and multiple community partnerships, Sara enjoys developing creative and collaborative solutions for delivering maximized results.
Sara is a visionary, a valuable leader and significant asset to her community. Her recognized accomplishments have presented opportunities with the State Department, the United Nations and the 2015 Harvard Future-Ready Economies Summit.
Mark Huey joined the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County as president and CEO in June 2011. The EDC is the public/private partnership collaborating with community and regional partners to foster economic growth and diversification.
Mark’s career spans C-level positions in the private, non-profit and public sectors. Mark came to Sarasota County after leading economic development for the City of Tampa. Mark’s prior experience includes executive posts in the affordable housing industry, as well as the private sector, product management, and corporate real estate development.
During his career Mark has participated in a wide range of public-private partnerships and incentive agreements valued at more than a billion dollars. Partnerships have been in the areas of urban redevelopment, affordable housing, and business attraction and expansion. Among the business relocation and expansion projects Mark has played a leadership role are Raymond James’ Corporate Headquarters, Allstate Insurance Regional Operations Center, Chase Bank Regional Operations Center, Anchor Glass Corporate Headquarters, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation Operations Center, Community Health Systems Shared Services Center, and M2GEN (Merck/ Moffit Cancer Center personalized medicine partnership).
Mark has been a proponent for and fostered entrepreneur support services for “Stage 2” companies in Sarasota County that have facilitated significant business growth. He has also led efforts to establish unique economic development higher education partnerships, including the University of South Florida’s Tampa Bay Technology Incubator and its Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, as well as the first in the state University of Florida Innovation Station.
Mark has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BA in accounting from the University of Florida. He is a Certified Public Accountant. Mark is married and has four children and two grandchildren.
Stan Schultes is co-founder of Spark Growth, growth consultants helping companies grow sustainably and globalizing their business. Stan is an expert in Strategic Doing, an agile and action-centric protocol for rapid development and implementation of strategies across organizations and sectors. His current development work is focused on Smart Cities initiatives and developing localized Innovation Districts.
Stan has a passion for creating community engagement between entrepreneurs, investors, and educational resources, and helping early stage companies grow. He is co-founder of 3.0 Leaders which annually convenes thought leaders, and DaVinci’s Faire and BarCamp. He works actively with Manatee Chamber’s Downtown Redevelopment Committee and has served on the Suncoast Technology Forum Board of Directors and Florida High Tech Corridor Core Council.
Stan is certified by InBIA in Business Incubator Management, internationally recognized as a technology expert, and has earned the coveted Microsoft MVP award 14 years running. As an entrepreneur and professional technologist, he has led teams from the Fortune 200 to stewardship of several startups.