Since 2002, The Argus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Awards has been an annual highlight for the organization, honoring business people of Sarasota who have made valuable contributions to the community throughout their lives.
Dan Bailey is a Florida native who moved to Sarasota from Jacksonville in 1957 with his family. A graduate from Mercer University and officer of the U.S. Army Reserve, Bailey has since been practicing law at one of the most prominent law firms in the Sarasota area, Williams Parker Harrison Dietz and Getzen. Bailey was recognized for his many civic engagements in the community taking on previous roles including President of the Sarasota County Bar Association, Founding Chairman of SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence) and Chairman of the Sarasota County Tiger Bay Club.
Senator Bob Johnson was a distinguished alumnus of Florida State University where he graduated and served as Captain in the United States Air Force. Upon his discharge, he pursued a Master of Divinity degree at Duke University and later obtained a law degree at the University of Florida. He moved to Sarasota in 1964 where he practiced law at Evans, Thomas and Boylston and additionally became involved in many organizations and legislative efforts that have impacted our community. Senator Johnson was recognized for his instrumental efforts including the establishment of New College as a state university, supporter of The Ringling Museum and preservation of the Myakka River.
Michael Saunders runs the 47th largest real estate brokerage firm per dollar volume in the U.S. She is currently celebrating the 40th year of her real estate company, Michael Saunders & Company. She has served on the boards of The Gulf Coast Community Foundation, The Education Foundation of Sarasota County, The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, among many others.
William Merrill. Sr.
William Merrill, Sr. passed away in 2014. He had an enormous influence on shaping Sarasota’s legal community having served as president of the Sarasota Bar Association and developing some of our region’s biggest condominium complexes. Merrill was involved with some of the most important land sites in Sarasota County, including what is now the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, the former Sarasota Quay land and once co-owned the land that was purchased for the Mall at University Town Center. He was a Shriner, a Mason, an Eagle Scout and a chairman of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 90. Merrill was a charter member and Elder at Church of The Palms.
Reverend Don Roberts
Reverend Roberts, a dedicated community activist and advocate, led the successful nonprofit organization Goodwill Manasota as its president for almost 40 years before his retirement in 2011.
T. Mabry Carlton
Mabry Carlton, an eighth generation Floridian, rancher and notable Sarasota County philanthropist, was a Sarasota County Commissioner from 1980-89 before he passed away after a plane crash in 1989. During his tenure on the Sarasota County Commission, Carlton played a critical role in the County’s purchase of a 24,000-acre natural preserve. After his death, the preserve was renamed the Mabry Carlton Memorial Reserve in his honor.
Mary Francis Carol
Cy Bispham & Patrick Dickinson
William R. Mote