SARASOTA, FLA. — On the fourth floor rooftop patio of S-One Holdings Corporation’s headquarters in Downtown Sarasota, a group of young professionals gathered for the first intern mixer, a collaborative event put together by area businesses that recently joined forces to create Gulf Coast Millennials in Motion.
The group formed when Kerkering Barberio & Co recruiter Camille Norman approached the Gulf Coast CEO Forum for ideas to keep bright, young intern talent in the area, rather than losing them to full-time jobs in bigger cities. The team at the CEO Forum embraced the idea as an extension of BIG: Bright Ideas on the Gulf Coast.
“With BIG, our mission is to interact with students on Gulf Coast and connect them with companies here, and vice versa,” says Mary Darby Guidroz, administrative director of the CEO Forum. “With BIG, we thought this would fit nicely with our mission and Gulf Coast Millennials in Motion.”
The Millennials in Motion group includes several companies headquartered in the Sarasota-Manatee area, such as Boar’s Head, Bealls, Tervis, IMG, Florida State Theatre, Asolo, Kerkering Barberio & Co and S-One.
“The idea with the rooftop tailgate was not necessarily professional development, but a chance for the interns to get together for an event that was supported by their organization,” Guidroz says. “We were really pleased to have as many people as we had — it was nice to see exactly what we hoped for come to fruition.”
About 55 interns from those eight companies attended the event, which featured barbecue from Choo Choo’s Catering and entertainment by Bradenton-native singer-songwriter Matt Walden.
“It was really cool to meet so many young people and learn how they got to Sarasota,” says S-One intern Matt Block, an accounting major from the University of Texas. “It was different than how you would think of Sarasota — but young people definitely have a presence here. It changed my opinion of it — there was a mix of young people like myself, who are just starting college, and people just starting their careers and settling in here permanently.”
The next intern mixer is scheduled for July 12 at IMG for a lunch and learn, tour and a bit of athletic competition. Companies interested in Gulf Coast Millennials in Motion can email BIG@gulfcoastceoforum.com.