Meredith Dropkin

Greater Good Awards 2015

greater goods award 2105Biz941

September 4, 2015, - Saluting the companies and leaders who make the 941 a better place.

We live in a remarkably philanthropic region. We knew that, but we were still surprised by the avalanche of nominations—255 in all—that we received when we launched our first ever Greater Goods Awards this summer. Our judges were both impressed and inspired by the many ways that business contributes to our community—thousands of volunteer hours, millions of donated dollars, and immeasurable talent, energy and love. On these pages, you’ll meet the winners—and finalists—in 11 different categories. They represent a variety of companies and industries, but they share some common convictions. They believe they have an obligation to help the community that helped them succeed; and they not only believe this—they embrace it. And they also believe that the more they give, the more they prosper.

Philanthropy, it turns out, not only enriches the soul, it also boosts employee morale, productivity and the bottom line.

Congratulations to all our winners and finalists, and thanks to our judges, who included nonprofit consultant Sophia LaRusso and Wells Fargo business banking manager Kevin Stencik, as well as editors Ilene Denton and Susan Burns.

Small Business Winner: Grapevine Communications

angela massaro fain silver awardAngela Massaro-Fain remembers the day she committed Grapevine Communications, the marketing firm she owns with husband John Fain, to corporate giving on a large scale. After listening to grant recipients speak at the Florida Winefest & Auction in 2002, she was moved to tears by the immense need welling under the surface of such an affluent community.

Since then, Grapevine Communications has given $1.7 million to more than 70 area nonprofits, serving on their boards or volunteering time, expertise and services. For the 2014 Modern Pentathlon, Grapevine Inc. ended up donating more than 700 hours over six months at a value of $95,000.

While they started with a focus on children’s charities, today Grapevine chooses projects with potential to impact entire families and future generations. This year, the company formally supports eight groups, but Massaro-Fain admits she can’t resist creating the occasional ad for a nonprofit supported by a client (or founding a giving circle, the Sisterhood for Good, or the Massaro Kozak Art Scholarship Fund at the Out-of-Door Academy).

“If we can do something, we should do it,” she says. “It’s a part of our commitment to being in such a great community.” —Anu Varma Panchal

Read the Full Story

Grapevine Communications provides full-service advertising, marketing and public relations services to clients nationwide. The firm is the most award-winning advertising agency in Sarasota, Florida, and the surrounding areas. For more information on Grapevine Communications, contact Shaunna Norris ( at 941-351-0024 or visit the website at