“It’s a great way to help the neighborhood.”

Adrielle Langston joined the Board as an 11 year old and a neighbor of Central-Cocoanut and Newtown Estates.  She has two sisters and four brothers.  She attended nearby Bay Haven Elementary since Kindergarten, where she was on the Student Leadership Team, and in fourth grade she prepared research and presented in a formal debate.  Adrielle also was the youngest co-author to present at the national Children’s Mental Health Conference in Tampa, Florida in 2012.  She is a hard worker and she loves to read - often reading several books at once.  While still in elementary school, Adrielle noted that at least once a week  she would request books or videos and go to the North Sarasota library to pick them up.  


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“The idea that somebody is taking younger people seriously, as an asset, is so absolutely rare – I don’t know of [anywhere] else with this kind of approach.”

Mr. John McKnight lives in the Evanston community of Chicago in Illinois and is the Co-Director of the Asset Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University.  He explains, “I was raised in a working class neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio during the Depression (I'm pretty old!). During that time, before the new Deal really got rolling, I saw how neighbors took care of each other simply because they lived near each other. We fed each other, drove people places, loaned money, etc. Since that time I have experienced the slow erosion of community commitment. After I got out of the service, I decided to try my hand at neighborhood organizing in the era of Saul Alinsky in Chicago. I learned that people could be brought together locally if they saw a common enemy. Many changes occurred because of these efforts. However, they did not tend to stimulate local creativity and mutual support. For this reason, when I went to Northwestern University to teach, I decided to focus on methods people used locally when they wanted to build community rather than just fight about issues. The result has been decades of learning about how local residents create effective initiatives where they are the producers, rather than mere advocates, of their future. We gave a name to our learning called "Asset Based Community Development.”  John has written numerous books on community, including the recent book “Abundant Community,” co-authored with Peter Block.  He also co-facilitates the Abundant Community blog. 


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“The Studio is a place to have fun and let your mind be creative.  What will be different?  People in our whole neighborhood will be calm.”

Quinlan Peterson joined the Board as a neighbor of Central-Cocoanut when he was 11 years old and in 5th grade at Gocio Elementary.  From Kindergarten through 4th grade he was a student at Fruitville Elementary, and in preschool he attended Children First.  Quinlan has three sisters and two brothers.  He enjoys playing football and painting.  On the Seminoles football team he played the positions of left guard, right guard and middle linebacker.  He has also been involved in plays at Light of the World church.  He likes to play basketball and go fishing. 



(Board Member 2012 - 13)

Reverend Willie Charles Shaw lives in the Central-Cocoanut neighborhood.  He was born and raised in Sarasota, where his family has lived for 110 years.   He grew up in the Overtown and Newtown communities and today he is the father of nine children, grandfather of seventeen children and great-grandfather of seven children.  Reverend Shaw is the Vice-Mayor of the City of Sarasota and the District One representative.  He is also an associate minister at Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church, with an emphasis on bereavement counseling.  As a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, he served as a security police officer, and he is a retired supervisor in the U.S. Postal Service. 




“Neighbors of Central-Cocoanut have great passion for this work, and I have a great passion for culture.  The neighborhood is a culture to be celebrated.” 

Dr. Barbara Stroud lives in northern California with her daughter and is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialization in infant mental health, and a graduate fellow of ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families.   Dr. Stroud earned her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and has over 20 year of experience providing training and consultation in the early childhood, child development, and mental health arenas.  Her professional path has included Preschool Director, School Administrator, Director of Early Intervention Programs, Early Intervention Training Program Manager, Faculty and Lecturer at the graduate level, and Reflective Supervision Trainer.  She has been a key player in the inception and implementation of cutting edge approaches for children ages 0-5 and their families.  For more the 20 years, Dr. Stroud has worked with children and families in urban communities.  She is outspoken regarding children of color in the mental health and foster care systems, and she constantly works to create approaches that are relationship-based, honoring of cultural difference, and supportive of community based efforts. 




“This is an opportunity to do something different than we’ve done in the past, with the children being more leaders than just incidentals -- for them to become even greater than what we thought they could be.”

Ms. Glenda Williams lives in the Bayou Oaks neighborhood of Newtown, where she raised her son who is now grown.  She is an active member of Payne Chapel A.M.E. Church, one of the churches located in Central-Cocoanut.  She works as a radiology technician in Sarasota, and is also a local activist and leader involved in the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee, Organizing for America, Business and Professional Women of North Sarasota, and Friends of the North Sarasota Library.  In 2012 she received the Women of Wisdom Award from SISTAs, a local network of young women of Newtown.   She was thrilled to attend the second inauguration of President Obama in January 2013.




The idea that kids are natural community builders make so much sense.  I believe this is the most promising approach to lasting change that I have seen.”

With a Master’s degree in social and applied economics, Tim spent the first twelve years of his career as a hospital administrator in Ohio and later in Haiti.  These chapters in his professional development led him to explore ideas of how lasting change happens. 

It was the experience in Haiti that changed everything for Tim.   It connected him to the potency of relationship and trust and the impact that small changes can make toward large scale, even community-wide change.  It reinforced the long-standing commitment to equity and social justice that continues to shape  Tim’s thinking and decisions.

Though the love for Haiti remains, Tim moved to Sarasota two decades ago and has lived in many neighborhoods, including the Central-Cocoanut neighborhood.   He was the founding CEO of SCOPE, a community engagement organization in Sarasota, and shepherded it through a dozen years of development until the fall of 2012. During that time SCOPE developed the community’s first indicators report that evolved considerably, and ultimately SCOPE facilitated the development of the community data collaborative in 2011/12.  The methods used to engage community also evolved so that discussions included personal commitment and an asset orientation.  During the last years at SCOPE, Tim helped catalyze and birth the Institute for the Ages and served as its acting CEO.




“Neighborkids here in our Central-Cocoanut neighborhood are making brilliant contributions every day.   As community changemakers, they are naturals.  We are so fortunate to be able to partner with them.” 

Dr. Allison Pinto moved to Sarasota in 2008 when she fell in love at first sight with the Central-Cocoanut neighborhood.  On the block she is called Ms. Allison.  Professionally, she is a licensed clinical child psychologist with a specialization in infant mental health.  After earning a Ph.D. at UCLA, she served as a clinical program director and training director in a Los Angeles community mental health center. Upon moving to Tampa she joined the faculty of the Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida, providing consultation to communities across the country seeking to develop Systems of Care for children’s mental health.  Dr. Pinto also worked at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, facilitating community change efforts throughout the county.   She served as Principal Investigator of the "Communiplexity” Initiative, a collaborative established to develop complexity-informed resources for community sustainability.  

After moving to Sarasota she established Banyan Sprout, Inc., a private practice of child psychology and community well-being focused on her home neighborhood of Central-Cocoanut – a precursor to the Sarasota Community Studio.  Through Banyan Sprout, she was contracted to design and direct the Community Data and Neighborhoods Initiatives at SCOPE, a non-profit community engagement organization.  This led to the formation of the Community Data Collaborative of Sarasota County, a network of over 50 individuals from a diversity of neighborhoods and institutions developing resident-centric, neighborhood-scale community data resources to inform local community change efforts.  

Dr. Pinto has served on the Training Task Force of ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, and on the APA Presidential Task Force on Psychological Needs of U.S Military Service Members and Their Families.  She has presented at a variety of national conferences on children’s mental health, community change, and complexity science.