Cover – Drew and Nikki Betz – Breaking Par


Drew & Nikki Betz

Breaking Par

By Ed Bertha

Photography by Giovanni Lunardi

Layout by Christian Lunardi

You might be hard pressed to find two real estate agents in today’s market who are as dedicated to the principle of “trust” as Drew and Nikki Betz. Not only do they believe trust is a critical element in the agent-client relationship, but it is also vital to creating honest and respectful relationships within the local agent community.

Drew and Nikki grew up in real estate families. Drew’s parents bought and sold 6 homes while he was growing up. Drew quickly gravitated to the construction industry and started out working with a custom home builder. At age 22 he bought, remodeled and sold his first home. Continuing with his hands on approach, while attending Minnesota State University for his Real Estate and Real Estate Development Degree, Drew stepped out and established his home automation business, Custom Pro Audio Video.

Nikki’s parents on the other hand assembled multiple homes starting with the “Al Capone” home (nicknamed so for its speakeasy) in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to laid back Key West, to bustling Ft Lauderdale, to idyllic Manasota Key, building and remodeling homes along the way. It is with these experiences that Nikki gravitated to the creative side of building, focusing on color, design and trends, ultimately ending up with a marketing degree from Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis. With the addition of their first daughter, Alexis, Nikki became heavily involved in Custom Pro Audio Video, taking on the marketing and creative side of the flourishing business. Read More

Cover – 1219 Westway Drive – Lido Shores


1219 Westway Drive

Lido Shores

Gulf Front Masterpiece

By Ed Bertha

Layout by Christian Lunardi

Located in the coveted neighborhood of Lido Shores, this Gulf Front Masterpiece offers exquisite sunsets year round. Featuring over 200 mesmerizing feet of waterfront with deep-water dockage and minutes to beach access, this impeccable estate offers breathtaking views. This masterpiece was designed by Clifford M. Scholz to capture ocean views & access to covered terraces from nearly every room.

Lush landscaping compliments the 50′ heated pool/spa, & the 2nd floor loggia with outdoor kitchen, fireplace and bath is perfect for entertaining. Entertain in style; formal living room features a fireplace, gallery and French doors leading to a covered terrace. Formal dining room features custom built-ins & private butler’s pantry. Culinary kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances including a wolf 6-burner gas range, 2 ovens, warming tray, island with prep sink, subzero ice machine, 2 subzero refrigerator-freezers, walk-in pantry & storage room. The adjacent dining area opens to the family room. Read More

REAL Profiles – Judy Kepecz-Hays – Coldwell Banker Previews


Judy Kepecz-Hays

Success is Earned

By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa

Click HERE to download the story

Throughout the course of her storied real estate career, Judy Kepecz-Hays has worked with generations of clients, navigated extreme market changes, and triumphed over personal adversity. The challenges of change, she says, are part of what she loves about the industry. But what has remained steadfast is her impeccable approach to professionalism, and the dedication with which she represents her clients.

Born in Budapest, Judy relocated to the United States before her sixth birthday. Her parents, respected professionals who enjoyed a good quality of life in their native land, sacrificed the comforts of home in order to provide their children with the opportunities associated with the coveted American Dream. “They left behind family, friends, and their lifestyle,” says Judy. “All so that my siblings and I would have access to a better world.”

Early on, Judy learned the benefits of real estate. Her parents, she notes, “dabbled in real estate” in Chicago, where she was raised. She quips, “In Europe, they take land away from you. In America, they don’t.” That systemic shift allowed the family to cultivate financial growth, and planted seeds that would eventually flourish among the Kepez children. Read More

Letter From The Publisher Ed Bertha – 2017 Thunder By The Bay?


2017 Thunder by the Bay. Where will it be held next year?

By Ed Bertha

2017 Thunder by the Bay. Where will it be held next year?

Click HERE to download a PDF of the 2016 Thunder by the Bay Impact Study. Read More

REAL Profiles – Pauline Kemps – Jennette Properties


Pauline Kemps

Jennette Properties

Sarasota’s Leasing and Property Management Resource

By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa

Click HERE to download the story

For nearly fifteen years, Pauline Kemps has offered exceptional leasing and property management services for a wealth of local and out-of-town clients. Specializing in high-end properties, Pauline has established an outstanding reputation with consumers and real estate professionals alike.

She launched her career in real estate sales, and Pauline’s strong work ethic and relationship-centered approach proved a solid foundation upon which to build a thriving business. Though she became a million dollar producer, there were elements of the industry that didn’t appeal to her. “I loved working with my clients, but wanted a new setting,” Pauline reveals. That opportunity arose when her former colleague Richard Jennette asked her to join his property management firm.

Jennette Properties was founded as a unique business model: the company works exclusively in property management and leasing, partnering with local real estate agents who retain their clients’ business when they purchase or sell. Read More

REAL Cares – 2016 Thunder By The Bay


2016 Thunder By The Bay

Benefiting Suncoast Charities For Children

Photography by Chuck Carroll

The direct and indirect overall economic impact of the 2016 Thunder by the Bay Motorcycle Festival was calculated at almost $8.9 Million (a 10% increase from 2015) and generated 8,400 room nights in area lodgings.

Click HERE to download the event collage. Slideshow below. Read More

REAL cares – Prayers For Kristina & Lucas


Prayers For Kristina & Lucas

A Bright Love

By Kimberly Burns

The past year brought the need for a lot of prayers and thoughts to a great Sarasota Family. Kristina and her son Lucas are surviving with a disorder called Mast Cell Activation Disorder. Jedidiah, husband and dad, is keeping it all together with the help of the devoted parents of Kristina, Linda and Jim Daly, as well as many other family and friends. This genetic mutation can make a person sensitive to a variety of triggers releasing excessive histamine causing a reaction of rash, pain, severe allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock. Recently she had a brain stem stroke while seeking treatment for her son out of state, causing paralysis of all her muscles leaving her with communicating only with her eyes and will. Recently using a blinking method, Kristina was able to relay to her mother “God said I will speak”.

Please take into your hearts this new year, the Brightbill and Daly families by providing prayers and any support you may have to offer as their lives are inundated with needs, financial, emotional and physical as living with genetic disorders require life-long management that is not covered by insurance.

You can show your support of this family by donating through You Caring at

If you have gift cards, meal train donations, services, food or other physical donations please email me at so that I can get you in touch with the family with your information.

Need a car? Check out the family business and show your support with a new ride!

The Car Seekers at 4401 Ashton Rd. Suite A Sarasota, FL 34233. Contact them at (941) 966-1111.

Click HERE to download PDF. Slideshow below. Read More

Chef Paul Mattison – Perspectives – REAL Delicacies


Chef Paul Mattison’s

Asparagus Velouté Cappuccino With Truffle Froth

When it comes to a catered affair, my goal is to create the same experience that the guests would have in one of my restaurants. This means we cook and/or finish all food at the venue where the event is taking place. We psychically build a mobile kitchen at the site and work as if we were in a restaurant kitchen. Any type of event of any size is our specialty…from weddings to corporate affairs to black-tie galas, we take great pride in making every experience the best it can be.

We customize the menu for each event and often work with a specific theme or food style incorporating décor, lighting and all equipment needed to execute a WOW celebration! Here is just one example of an hors d’oeuvre I prepared recently for a wine-pairing dinner menu. This is a perfect hors d’oeuvre for any dinner party or tapas reception, for both a small, intimate home party or large event.

This and other tantalizing recipes are available in the cookbook Chef! The Stories and Recipes of Chef Paul Mattison, available for purchase at Mattison’s Forty-One or at Read More

Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – Perspectives – REAL Health


Improve Your Health Through Your Style: Using Your Body’s Senses

By Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT

Your style is your approach to how you view the world. The effects of your choice of styling may be adding additional stress to your life. Heavy necklaces and filled purses can continuously put a strain on your spine even if they are that perfect shade of turquoise that matches your outfit so well…Dang! STYLE to me is representative of who I am and what I am passionate about. I choose accessories for weight, size, ease of getting on and off, as well as color, pattern and Bling! What you wear and display is a way to tell somebody about you without saying a word.

I also try to be functional and attentive to the pressures or the weight of the accessory. Having to always struggling against gravity or having sensitivity to pressure can leave you feeling that you have to go without jewelry or accessories in order to conserve your energy or reduce irritation to make it through the day. By adjusting your focus to include attention to your posture and spine, you can be restorative and preventative while still being a fashionista!

Five tips to healthy accessorizing!

1. Accessorizing is about Read More

Gail Coleman – Perspectives – REAL Skin Care


Stand Up Against Aging With Forever Young BBL + Colorescience!

By Gail Coleman

Get Back Your Youth!
Forever Young BBL is a non-invasive skin treatment procedure that uses infrared and visible light to penetrate the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin to reverse the signs of aging and create a youthful, healthy complexion. The broad range of wavelengths used in the BBL procedure deliver full face rejuvenation, as well as, targets many skin conditions including solar lentigines/liver spots, erythema/redness, skin texture, melasma, acne, rosacea, and more.

Deeper Than Skin-The Study Behind Forever Young BBL
Dr. Bitter’s study further concludes the Forever Young BBL treatment can restore the gene expression pattern in the damaged and aged DNA of human skin cells to resemble the DNA sequence of younger skin cells. This finding suggests Forever Young BBL potentially has the ability to bring back your youthful skin! In fact, a blind panel study of physician evaluators determined patients appeared 9 years younger than their actual age after receiving BBL treatments. Dr. Bitter recommends a regular regimen of BBL treatments annually to reduce and delay long-term signs of aging in a non-surgical, natural way. As a result, the skin cells are reinvigorated leading to better elasticity and more even overall pigmentation and color, as well as, smoother, firmer and clearer skin.

What Does It Feel Like?
The Forever Young BBL treatment itself is very quick, usually taking only about Read More

Patricia Tan – Perspectives – International REAL Estate


2015 Was A Record Breaker

What Does 2016 Hold?

By Patricia Tan

Spring is definitely upon us, and those of us in the real estate industry will be taking a welcome respite from a very busy selling season which came hard on the heels of a record breaking year for real estate transactions in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

2015 was certainly one for the record books. 20,691 homes were sold in our desirable spot on the Gulf Coast – 1,302 or more than in 2014, and an increase of more than 6%. As you would expect, our median sales prices also climbed. For single family homes, they were up 22% in Sarasota County to $239,900 and 12% in Manatee County to $262,963. Condo median prices also performed very well, up by 22% in Sarasota to $217,000 and by 6% in Manatee County, to $178,249.

Signs of a healthy real estate market were also bolstered in 2015 by a continuing decline in the number of distressed property sales. For single family homes, these declined by almost half across both counties. Distressed condo sales also fell: down 25% in Sarasota and 47% in Manatee County. At the time of writing, there were only 112 distressed sales listed in Sarasota and 100 in Manatee County. A far cry from the heady days of the not-too-distant past, when distressed sales represented almost half of the market.

Inventory levels were a challenge during the latter part of 2015 and Read More

Sheila Venancia – Perspectives – REAL Beauty


Bb Cream And Cc Cream …….What Is The Difference?

By Sheila Venancia

If you’ve been shopping for cosmetics lately you have most likely heard or seen something about a new group of products referred to as BB, CC, or even DD creams. It is a veritable alphabet soup of new products, all with enticing claims.

These creams are being launched rapid fire by cosmetics companies trying to take advantage of the fad. These creams are supposed to do everything from fading dark spots and healing breakouts to fighting wrinkles, lightening dark circles, and brightening skin tone. Not surprisingly consumers are curious to find out if the claims about BB and CC creams are true.

BB creams were originally developed in Germany and used for skin care following a cosmetic surgical procedure. “BB” stood for “Blemish Balm” (blemish referring to any skin imperfection, not just breakouts). They caught on big in Korea, and then became must-have beauty products in most of East Asia. When these products hit the U.S. market, they were renamed as Beauty Balms.

Regardless of the country, the main selling point of all BB creams is Read More

Becca Z Towery – Perspectives – REAL Style


Accessorize . Accessorize . Accessorize . The Sensory Intuition Way

By Becca Z. Towery

As we move into 2016 we are all wanting to freshen up our wardrobes. My REAL Style readers, I have just three words for you … “Accessorize, Accessorize, and Accessorize”!

Nothing updates a wardrobe or changes a look of an outfit more than a few chunky chains and bracelets, a hip belt, a colorful handbag or a pair of this season’s most fashionable shoes. Instead of spending a lot of money on outfits every season, you are better off buying some classic pieces, and then setting them off with some wow fashion accessories, which will say much more about your own personal style than clothes ever will. Accessories, far more than clothes, allow you to transform yourself and nurture your inner fashion chameleon. Our shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, belts and bags say much more about where we are in our lives or where we’d like to be. We accessorize to personalize our look, draw attention to ourselves, and to create an impact image. Accessories add interest, enables personal expression, and can further your figure flattery goals. They provide texture and polish to an outfit. With the right accessories an outfit will stand out.

A personal note to all you Fashionista’s who suffer with joint and back pain, like myself ── There are risk factors associated with Read More

William Henry PhD – Perspectives – Architect’s REAL Viewpoint


Required Procedures In Florida For Dealing With Design And Construction Defects

By William Henry, PhD

The Florida Legislature has created a mandatory method to resolve construction disputes with idea that it would reduce the need for litigation as well as protect the rights of property owners. It requires that a property owner file a notice of claim with the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional that he or she asserts is responsible for design or construction defects. It provides the contractor, subcontractor, supplier, or design professional, and their insurers an opportunity to resolve the claim through confidential settlement negotiations without resort to further legal process. Only time will tell how well the procedure works. I offer a summary of the law in this article.

A property owner may not file a law suit pertaining to design or construction defects without complying with the statute. If such a suit is filed without first complying with the requirements of this chapter, the court is required, asked, to stay the action, without prejudice, and the action may not proceed until the property owner has complied with the requirements. Read More

Cover – Dr. Sera Balderston – On Point


Dr. Sera Balderston

On Point

By Lalaena Gonzalez-Figueroa

Photography by Giovanni Lunardi

Layout by Christian Lunardi

At an instance, it becomes immediately obvious that Doctor Sera Balderston is driven by a passion for what she does. There’s an energy that emanates from her, an excitement that is palpable as she discusses her practice and the journey that has brought her to this moment. She is vibrant, engaging and incredibly well-versed in the principles of acupuncture, biochemistry and molecular biology. Her vast knowledge, paired with a desire to delve even deeper into the inner workings of the human body, have become the foundation upon which her career as a practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine has thrived.

Growing up, says Dr. Sera, there was always a drive toward medicine. “My father was diagnosed with cancer when I was six,” she explains. “Witnessing him waste away and being unable to help was my main motivator in becoming a physician.” Read More

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Language Translator


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