Drawing on lessons learned in his early youth, JMC Communities chairman and chief executive Mike Cheezem says values are more important in life than any knowledge or skills one might obtain.
Cheezem, the keynote speaker at the fifth Businesses Building a Better Community luncheon benefiting the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg, said he learned early on about the significance of honesty, integrity, humility and compassion, as well as understanding that every individual is important.
And he remembered by name people in the community who had helped teach him those principles as he learned to swim at the old St. Petersburg Y, as he took boxing lessons and attended school.
"We must master ourselves before we can successfully lead others," he told the audience of about 240 in the ballroom of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Cheezem has changed the face of Pinellas County, several speakers said, mentioning recent JMC projects such as the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach and the Florencia and Ovation in downtown St. Petersburg.
Speakers included St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, Y board chairman Harvey Ford, Times Publishing chairman and chief executive Paul Tash, and Tampa Bay Rays senior adviser Dick Crippen.
The event planning committee included Mary Evertz, Stephanie Goforth, Phil McLeod and Bill Stover.
More than 350 guests attended the ninth annual St. Anthony's Hospital Foundation Medallion Gala to benefit hospital programs and services, and to support the 27th annual St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg this weekend.
The crowd inside the Palm Court Ballroom at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort included St. Anthony's Hospital president William Ulbricht and his wife, Anne; Robert Sherman, executive director of the foundation and his wife, Pam; Charles Osterholt III, chairman of the foundation board of trustees, and his wife, Linda; Lana and John Bilchak; Sara Gallet; Jeanine Dagenais; Dr. Antonio and Jodi Gayoso; Tim and Gloria Higham; Royal and Alice Travis; Fran Davis; Mary Wyatt Allen; Janet Raymond; June and Randy Wedding; Joan Jaicks; Mary Ellen Conte; Dr. Andrea Woods; Ginny Jameson; Stuart Mellish; Worth and Betsy Blackwell; Drs. Eric and Beth Diner; and Markus and Susan Mittermayr.
Drizzles dampened lawns and streets, but not the spirits of visitors on the sixth annual Tour of Kitchens. The benefit for Lighthouse of Pinellas took in more than $50,000 and featured seven St. Petersburg homes, food prepared by some of the Tampa Bay area's best chefs, and entertainment from Blind Willie James and Blue Situation.
Honorary event chairs Tom and Bonnie Strickland greeted guests throughout the day. Celebrity chefs were Tyson Grant, Tom Kern, John Lewis, Dan Montgomery, Rich Norris, Chris Ponte, Tom Pritchard, Brian St. Arnold and Bill Schrems.
Doreen Dipolito and Tracy Jardine were co-chairs for the tour, leading a committee that included Karen Aungst, Marcy Daniels, Joe and Tena Donahey, Janet Henderson, Peggy Powell, Jeanie Renfrow, Dorothy Shuman, Ron Tucker, Jan Weaver and Suzanne Wilder.
Organizers of the Mainsail Arts Festival party moved the fun to St. Petersburg's Salvador Dalí Museum, celebrating the night before the 35th annual outdoor venue opened in Vinoy Park.
Pink balloons and a flock of faux flamingos greeted guests outside the venue, and party chairwoman Gail Falkingham and committee members Barbara Deininger, Linda Melleney and Lee Sauter dressed in the signature colors.
Festival judge Michael Milkovich, director emeritus of the Museum of Fine Arts, was there. So was glass artist Duncan McClellan, who designed this year's poster, along with his sculpture featured in the promotional material. And so were many Mainsail supporters including event chair Lisa Wells and longtime stalwarts Greg Fischer, Cathy Hakes, Jane Ferguson, Stevie Osterland, Linda Kinsey, Ann Vickstrom, Kathy Bara and John and Ginger Hanner.