Female Leadership Survey

Attracting and retaining talent to the Bradenton-Sarasota area is a top priority of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, an organization which Sokos Social supports as an Investor-Partner.  Eleni is the Events Committee Co-Chair and a Board Member of this organization which builds brands through creative storytelling in the digital age.

Caitlyn Haley, community relations coordinator at Firkins Nissan, Manatee Young Professionals Leadership Committee member, MBA student at USF, and friend of Sokos Social, created the following survey as a research project for her MBA. There is especially a dearth of females in leadership roles, and in particular, leadership roles that are accessible and available to women.  We wanted to share Eleni’s submissions to the survey as insight into the talent attraction and retention crisis that our region is currently facing. Caitlyn graciously shared all of the survey responses with us, and we’ll share some insightful responses anonymously below.

Q: Are you involved in any non-profit boards, volunteer groups, community advocacy, or business networking groups? (List up to five)


  • Manatee Chamber of Commerce’s Manatee Young Professionals, Leadership Committee, Networking Chair
  • Leadership Manatee Alumni Association
  • South Florida Museum, Marketing Committee
  • Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, Events Committee Co-Chair and Board of Directors
  • Manatee Seminole Club, Board of Directors

Q: What made you originally decide to live and work in this area?

ES: After college, I wasn’t entirely sure which field to pursue despite having a number of interests, but I fell into a great opportunity and built a career out of it, including eventually growing my freelance enterprise into a company that employs 6 people, grew 125% in 2018, and is on track to continue that growth by a slightly more manageable 60% in 2019.

ANON:  Weather, people & water!

Q: What positive things has this area brought to your business?

ES: The local business network, especially in the Manatee-Sarasota area, is incredibly strong and supportive.  Our marketing & sales efforts have relied nearly 100% on referral/word of mouth, which is the most valuable marketing tool.

ANON: Where do I begin…this area has provided so much! A sense of community, collaboration, a thriving population of young professionals. An active chamber of commerce which has made such a difference in my business. The networking opportunities and volunteer opportunities in our area are wonderful allowing me to give back, help, educate and improve my business.

Q: List one challenge that your business has gone through from being located in this area

ES: The talent pool of college graduates looking for a job in their senior year/upon graduation is extremely small.  And companies like ours have a tough time competing against larger players with better compensation packages, despite more hands-on learning experience and better work culture.

Q: What would you currently say is your biggest achievement from working within this company or the local community?

ANON: Working with the community has helped me achieve building relationships with people who are different from me.

ES: Our clients’ successes are our greatest achievements.  We had four clients win major local AND national awards in 2018, and each attributed some portion of their success to our marketing plans.

There are so many reasons to love the Tampa Bay area and Manatee County. Sokos Social, as well as our fearless leader Eleni Sokos, is committed to contributing to the growth of Manatee County. We love our home and are blessed to be a part of amazing networking circles, nonprofit and charity resource development, and our clients’ success.

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