William Merrill and Michael Saunders recognized with Argus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Awards

Honors accorded during nonprofit’s banquet on Nov. 10

Image from the Argus Foundation website
Image from the Argus Foundation website

The Argus Foundation, a nonprofit business organization in Sarasota, recently recognized Michael Saunders and the late William Merrill, a past Argus Foundation president, during its annual Lifetime Achievement Awards banquet.

More than 375 attendees were present in the Sarasota Hyatt Regency ballroom on Nov. 10 to pay homage to Saunders and Merrill, a news release says.

“My passion is making a difference,” Saunders told the audience. “For over 30 years, the Argus Foundation has done just that by forging public/private collaboration to make our community a better place.”

Saunders runs the 47th largest real estate brokerage firm per dollar volume in the U.S., the release points out. She is celebrating the 40th year of Michael Saunders & Co.

Saunders has served on the boards of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, among many others, the release continues.

Merrill’s three sons — Mark, Robert and William — accepted the award on his behalf, the release notes, as Merrill died in 2014.

Merrill “had an enormous influence on shaping Sarasota’s legal community,” having served as president of the Sarasota Bar Association, the release continues. He also developed some of the region’s biggest condominium complexes, the release points out, and he was involved with some of the most important land-use projects in Sarasota County, including what is now the Ritz-Carlton and the former Sarasota Quay. Furthermore, he once co-owned the land that was purchased for the Mall at University Town Center, the release says.

Since 2002, the Argus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Awards have honored people for contributions to the community, the release adds. Among past honorees are T. Mabry Carlton, John Cox, Fred Derr, Mary Francis Carol, the Rev. Don Roberts and Dana Rollings.