2018 usf sarasota manatee

Dr. Karen Holbrook
University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee

Tell us about your business and what you do?
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee provides high quality bachelor’s and graduate-level education and scholarly activity in a personalized learning community that prepares successful leaders and responsible citizens.

What makes your business stand out?
As a proud member of the USF System, we are able to provide high quality post-secondary education in a small college environment while offering students and faculty access to the resources of a large research university. In addition, by working closely with community and business leaders, we continuously strive to align our programs with regional market demands to provide a skilled workforce and ensure career success for our graduates.

Why have you been successful?
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee provides area residents the opportunity to obtain a convenient, low-cost, high quality university education. Through our community engagement initiatives and utilization of local employers on program specific and general university advisory councils, we attempt to maximize our ability to meet local workforce needs. In addition, our personalized approach to student success prepares graduates to achieve both their personal and professional goals. As an integral part of the communities we serve, USFSM strives to enhance the overall quality of life through intellectual, economic, cultural and social contributions on the part of our faculty, staff and students.

What advice would you give for someone planning to do business in Manatee County today?
Manatee County is a growing, dynamic community, rich in both human and natural resources. In addition to meeting current community needs, government officials, business leaders, decision makers from other organizations, and engaged citizens are actively involved in planning and preparing for the future. My best advice for those considering doing business in Manatee County would be to get involved in activities sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Council, and other organizations that monitor and predict as much as possible the trends that shape the direction of the County and the business environment. It is also helpful to get to know County leaders and ask questions about their particular segment of the community to better understand the varied needs of different segments of the population.

Why did you choose to be involved in ‘Together Manatee’?
As a founding member of the program and a school that’s committed to being actively involved in the community at-large, we feel it’s important to continue to help shape the direction of the Together Manatee program. Working with others in the community is how a community grows and prospers, and we want to be a part of that in Manatee County.