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Boundary Crosser Award
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Since 2005, SCOPE has honored a “Boundary Crosser” at our Annual Celebration.  A Boundary Crosser is a person who connects people across boundary lines that traditionally divide community. They are citizen leaders who extend past their familiar territory, whether that’s government, non-profits, business, ethnic groups, religion, or neighborhoods to become community builders.

The name Boundary Crosser was inspired by a book called Boundary Crossers by the Kellogg Leadership Studies Project.  The award recipient is given a bronze sculpture of a tree, as a symbol of the Boundary Crosser who branches out to find unmarked territories and new possibilities for the future.  The unique sculpture is commissioned from local artist, Hank Bruenning. 



SCOPE Boundary Crossers
Syd Adler (2005)
Bob Richardson (2006)
C.J. Fishman (2007)
Isabel Norton (2008)
Charles D. Bailey Jr. (2009)
Pamela G. Truitt (2010)
Diane McFarlin (2011)
Dr. Larry Thompson (2012)





Syd Adler

In 2005, the first Boundary Crosser Award was given postumously to Syd Adler, former SCOPE Board member. Referred to by many as an arts angel and activist, Syd served on the Sarasota Arts Council for six years. He was the driving force behind the renovation of five historic beach front buildings on Manasota Key, which came to be known as the Hermitage Artist Retreat. As president of the Hermitage, Syd encouraged artists from around the world to spend five weeks at the Hermitage and to give back by working with children, adults and seniors from the community. Syd also developed mobile home communities throughout the country, including the first in Manatee County, and was a member of Sarasota Rural Heritage, a group formed to preserve East County as a rural community. He served on the board of Circus Sarasota and sat on the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA).  Whether it was supporting his beloved Circus Sarasota, CONA or helping to protect old Sarasota High School, Syd knew no boundaries when it came to strengthening his community.


Bob Richardson

Bob Richardson’s footprints are found in all corners of the community as he puts the community agenda first and does so with passion.  Crossing the boundaries of his life in commercial real estate, Bob was a founding member of the Friends of Myakka River State Park Board and a past President of the Sarasota Manatee Sierra Club while being on the board of the Argus Foundation.  He has served as President of the board of the Downtown Partnership and is a past President of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.  Before the establishment of the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) and the Herald Tribune’s “April 22nd Group,” Bob was inviting developers and environmentalists to find common ground.  Bob was instrumental in raising funds for the Environmentally Sensitive Lands tax to protect our community’s natural habitat. He is also passionate about providing youth with the opportunities that could change their lives and has led backpacking trips for Inner City Outings and helped organize a trip to Peru for Boys and Girls Clubs and Girls, Inc. Bob is also the President and a founding member of Florida Children’s Lobby a co-initiator of the Citizens for Better Schools campaign, and is the Chairman of the Goodwill Industries Board.


C.J. Fishman

Charles J. “C. J.” Fishman boundary-crossing leadership goes beyond his involvement in different groups and activities – of which there are many – extending across geographical boundaries in this community.  He is active and involved in both the Venice area and around Sarasota County.  His numerous activities include community service clubs, local business development, human service and faith-based organizations.  A few weeks’ worth of meetings might take him to diverse organizations and groups such as: the Salvation Army of Venice, Tourism and Economic Development Board of Sarasota County Government, Boys & Girls Club of Venice, Leadership Sarasota County, Jewish Community Center of Venice, Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way’s Success By Six, Sertoma Club of Venice, Citizens for Quality Government, Venice Regional Medical Center and All Faiths Food Bank.


Isabel Norton

Isabel Norton has lived, worked and shared her energy and talent for over 30 years, making Sarasota County, the larger region and the state of Florida a better place for all residents.  Her passion and commitments cuts across many areas including youth, community, education, the workforce, and health prevention.  Isabel served on the initial Steering Committee and Board of SCOPE and co-chaired the Aging: The Possibilities initiative.  She is on the Board of Trustees of Ringling College of Art and Design and is Library Committee chair for their Capital Campaign.  Isabel has been a member of the Board of Prevent Blindness, Florida for over 12 years and received their Chairman’s Award for Leadership in 2006. She gave of her time and talent for the 5th Annual Caring Hearts Luncheon benefitting First Step of Sarasota’s Mother’s & Infants program.  Isabel is a 1993 graduate of Leadership FLORIDA, past Board member of Suncoast Workforce Board and has provided leadership to the Girl Scout Council of Gulfcoast Florida for nearly 20 years.


Dan Bailey
Dan Bailey
Click here for Dan's inspiring acceptance speech.

Charles D. "Dan" Bailey Jr. is a sixth-generation Floridian and a lifelong resident of Sarasota County. He is well-known for both his professional and civic life. Dan is a shareholder with Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen, and his civic and community contributions run broad and deep throughout Sarasota, our region and the entire state of Florida. Dan is one of the founding fathers of SCOPE and helped shape early discussions on civility in public dialogue in the mid ‘90s.

Boundary Crossers are leaders who step outside of their area of expertise or comfort to work across sectors in the community. Dan Bailey demonstrates this leadership time and time again with the broad range of organizations in which he takes part. His leadership in the community includes: American Red Cross, United Way of Sarasota County, First Baptist Church, Kiwanis, Sarasota County Civic League, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Sarasota Bar Association, Ringling College of Art & Design, Enzyme, Citizens Tax Oversight Committee and SCOPE.

Pam Truitt
Pam Truitt

Pam Truitt is the President and founder of Truitt Consulting and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).  Her civic and community contributions include the sectors of business, education, government, health care, the environment and leadership development.

Boundary Crossers are leaders who step outside of their area of expertise or comfort zone to work across sectors in the community.  Pam Truitt has demonstrated her leadership as a collaborator within the broad range of organizations in which she takes part. 


Diane McFarlin 2011


The 2011 honoree is  Diane McFarlin, President and Publisher of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. She is a fourth-generation Floridian who began her journalism career in high school and took a reporting job in Sarasota after earning a degree in journalism at the University of Florida.

Diane McFarlin’s civic and community contributions reflect her belief that a community  thrives when  residents are connected, Her collaborative efforts span the sectors that help create a vibrant community – business, grassroots leadership  and deep engagement that includes everyone.


Dr. Larry Thompson


Dr. Larry R. Thompson has been the celebrated president of Ringling College of Art and Design since 1999. In Sarasota and beyond, he is known for transforming the quality, real-world impact and perception of arts and design higher education while merging smart business with creativity and innovation.

With his broad range of passions, Larry has served the arts and creative community as president of the Sarasota County Arts Council and Leadership Spokesman for the Innovation 41 Art and Cultural Corridor Project. He also contributes to the community as a board member of Coastal Behavioral Healthcare, the Community Health Corporation for Sarasota Memorial Hospital, SunTrust, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County Partners Council.  Larry was also part of the initial advisory committee that formulated the Institute for the Ages in Sarasota.

SCOPE is pleased to recognize Larry’s vision by presenting him with the 8th Boundary Crosser award for continually branching out to find unmarked territories and new possibilities for the future.


About the Artist:

Hank Bruenning has been sculpting on and off for the past 25 years.  As a mechanic he worked with Agape Flights, a charitable organization that flies bi-weekly to several countries, including Haiti and the Dominican Republic, delivering supplies to missionaries. In his down time, Hank played with various metal scraps from around the air yard transforming them into distinct shapes and figures. Today he works primarily with copper and aluminum.  His work is on display and for sale at the Fiori Gallery in Osprey, Florida.  He has sold his art to several private homeowners in the Sarasota community. 

SCOPE ~ 1226 North Tamiami Trail, Suite 202 ~ Sarasota, FL 34236 ~ (941) 365-8751~ Fax: (941) 365-8592

Photos courtesy of Kazuaki Nagata & PolaBran Summers