Newsletter -- Summer 2017 from Club President Peter Cooper, MBA '75


Dear Members of the Sarasota Area Harvard Community,

It is my pleasure to provide you with the first update on plans for your Club’s 2017-2018 season and on a few important decisions the new Board has made.


New Directors

We are very pleased to welcome Kenneth Louard (AB 84, MBA & JD 88) and Stanley Rutstein (AMP 75) to the Board. Both Ken and Stan have been active members of the Club and bring valuable experience and exceptional contacts. The opportunity to invite them to join and to restore Board membership to nine Directors (provided for in our Constitution) arose when Ethan Frizzell accepted a transfer to Nashville, and also because Oliver Janney assumed the dual roles of Secretary and Treasurer. We thank Ethan for his service and wish him and Sue well in their new assignment.



Thank you to all who responded to our Survey in June. We are pleased to report a response rate of 23% and a completion rate of 13% (several respondents experienced a small ‘glitch’ part-way through). Both rates are above those typically achieved with this type of survey. We gained important insights which we are now applying, most notably:

  • Membership – it will become significantly more attractive for you to register as a dues-paying member;
  • Our website will be refreshed and streamlined;
  • Communication in advance of the start of the season will commence earlier;
  • We will continue with the very popular luncheon events, while adding variety in venue and format.

Thank you, also, to those of you who expressed an interest in participating in Club operations.

Our thanks for arranging and sponsoring the Survey go to Board First Vice-President, Richard McCaffery, who contributed the expertise of McCaffery & Company, including his market research expert, Rick Bettencourt.


Membership – What’s New

The value of registering as a dues-paying member will be enhanced while the dues will remain unchanged:

  • Favorable event pricing (non-member Alums will pay additional $10/person/event);
  • Access to the online directory and continuation of the inclusion in and distribution of the annual printed directory;
  • Advance access to events that may be capacity-limited, and access to member-only events;
  • Attractive re-usable name labels.

The Membership Year will henceforth begin on October 1 each year (instead of September 1), and registration/renewal reminders will begin in late August. We have simplified the membership categories and clarified the definition of eligibility:

  • Alumni/ae, as defined by the Harvard University Affiliation Key (posted on our website);
  • University Faculty and senior officers (current and retired);
  • Current students and their parents and grandparents;
  • Honorary Members, including non-Alum widows/widowers of Alums, Honorary Degree holders, parents of alums, and select individuals recognized by the Board for outstanding contribution to the Club.

Watch your email/mail for the membership registration/renewal notices from Board Membership Chair Ken Louard.



We are building a roster of excellent speakers which we will begin to announce very soon. For now, we know that  Sarasota season gets busy so please mark your calendar with these dates (a few might change) so that you do not miss events when they are announced!


All Alumni Welcome Back Party at Sarasota Yacht Club on Sunday, November 5 at 4:30 pm


Luncheon dates at Michael’s on East (unless specified: speakers to be announced):

November 10

December 8

January 12

February 9 (Harvard-Yale-Princeton)

February 21 (Likely to be at the new Art Ovation Hotelon North Palm)

March 9

April 13

We are also working with Ringling College for a dinner and presentation – Jan. or Mar. date TBD


Happy Hours (tentative, venues, formats to be announced):

September 13

October 18 (also HBS Global Networking Night)

November 15

December 13

January 17

February 21

March 21

April 25

May 23


The Harvard-Yale Football game will be November 18.  We plan to schedule a group viewing opportunity as in past years.


Harvard College Admissions Interviews

If you are interested in participating, please email Schools Committee Chair Karen Chapman, MD: as soon as possible.


We will be back to you soon with more information about our events and speakers.

The Website “refresh” has begun behind the scenes and we will let you know when it goes live.

On behalf of your Board, we look forward to seeing you at our events and to hearing from you with any suggestions and comments.



Peter Cooper