Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

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Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

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.

2022 Honorees

Eddie Morton

Eddie was born in Tampa and moved to Sarasota at age 6. After graduating from college, the Morton family bought Marable’s Market, renamed Morton’s Market in 1977. Morton’s Market has been a family operated business for over 50 years. In addition to his career, Eddie had served the Sarasota Community through leadership on numerous boards of directors including, The Pines of Sarasota, The Salvation Army, Sarasota Tiger Bay, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, and Southside Village Business Association to name a few. – Watch the Video

Ron Ciaravella

Ron was born and raised in Ybor City, his entrepreneurial spirit started at an early age, and he knew that working hard would allow him to attain his goals. His biggest goal was to fly. Ron began his professional aviation career at age 19 as a Flight Instructor at Dolphin Aviation, and eventually worked his way up to buy the company in 1979. Ron gave his time, wisdom and resources to so many. – Watch the Video

2021 Honorees

Robert Soran

Bob Soran was born in Oregon and worked his way through California Polytechnic State University with a degree in mechanical engineering by holding down two and three jobs. Bob’s family sold their business to Beatrice Foods when he was 30. With Beatrice foods Bob worked in Dallas, Denver, Chicago and overseas. In 1985 he became EVP of operations at Tropicana, and later became president of the company. While at Tropicana he developed a drug free workplace initiative that George H.W. Bush adopted for a national rollout. After leaving Tropicana in 1991, Bob became president of Uniroyal Technology a plastics and polymer manufacturer. Since 1999, Bob is currently president of SRS Ventures (Suntex Marina and Marina Jack’s restaurants. – Watch the Video

John “Jack” Shea

Jack was born in New Jersey. He is a WWII Veteran and awarded World War II Victory Medal. He graduated from UCLA in 1950 and joined Shea & Company accounting firm in Villanova, PA. In 1958 he opened a branch office of their CPA firm in Sarasota. Jack was a founding father of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. He served on a number of community boards and a published poet. He and his wife June were dedicated parents to their five sons. – Watch the Video

2019 Honorees

John McKay

Former Florida Senate President John McKay was born in Winter Haven, FL and earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. John has led a life of public service with the Florida National Guard and US Army Reserve from 1965 through 1975. He has extensive real estate development, investment, and management experience. He was elected to Florida State Senate in 1990 and served as Senate President from 2000-2002. -Watch the Video

Dr. Eugenie Clark

Eugenie Clark was born and raised in New York City and from an early age Genie was passionate about marine science. Following her first trip to the New York Aquarium at Battery Park she returned every Saturday and was fascinated by marine animals and deep submarine dives. This inspired her to earn her Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Hunter College in 1942, and went on to receive her Master of Science in 1946 and Doctorate of Ichthyology in 1950 from New Your University. Dr. Eugenie Clark nicknamed “The Shark Lady” was a world authority on sharks and fish, published researcher and founder of Mote Marine Laboratory. – Watch the Video

2018 Honorees

Michael Furen

Mike Furen is a second-generation Floridian born and raised in St. Petersburg. Mike attended University of Florida for his undergraduate degree and continued at UF School of Law. Mike is an avid Florida Gator sports fan and a Gator Booster. In 1961He joined the law firm, which was then known as Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm & Holroyd and was invited to become a partner in 1971. Early in his legal career he gravitated towards the emerging and specialized field of land use, zoning and development law. His fingerprints are on many major developments including Palmer Ranch, Sarasota Quay, Regional Impact Developments like UTC, and numerous subdivisions and condominiums.  Mike has been giving back to the community through organizations like Score for a Child, Josh Provides, and The Argus Foundation. – Watch the Video

Gil Waters

Gilbert Waters arrived in Sarasota with nothing but $400, a suitcase in his trunk and visions of a career in journalism. The year was 1949 and he was 22 years old. Gil is remembered as a journalist, PR agent, Insurance Executive, Developer, Visionary, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Gil was involved with Sarasota Herald Tribune, Downtown Sarasota Inc, Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, Sarasota’s first downtown Capital Improvement Master Plan. He launched FCCI in 1959. Perhaps his most enduring legacy for Sarasota was a hard-fought campaign for elegant fixed-span Ringling Bridge. – Watch the Video

2017 Honorees

Dan Bailey

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. – Watch the Video

Bob Johnson

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. – Watch the Video

2016 Honorees

Michael Saunders

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. – Watch the Video

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. – Watch the Video

2015 Honorees

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. – Watch the Video

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. – Watch the Video[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

2014 Honorees

John Cox Watch the Video
Mary Francis Carol Watch the Video

2013 Honorees

Dana RollingsWatch the Video
Fred Derr Watch the Video

2010 Honorees

Cy Bispham & Patrick Dickinson – Watch the Video

2008 Honoree

Gene SimmonsWatch the Video

2007 Honorees

Kay GlasserWatch the Video
William R. MoteWatch the Video
Charlie Bailey – Watch the Video


2002 Honoree

Wendel Kent Watch the Video[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”5/6″][ultimate_exp_section][/ultimate_exp_section][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]