Suncoast Blues Society Inc.
PO Box 4232
Tampa FL 33677
The Suncoast Blues Society is dedicated to celebrating and promoting Blues Music, preserving its history, traditions, and introducing Blues Music to current and future generations.
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Mark Thompson
Board Chair Affiliation President
General Info
Organization DBA
Suncoast Blues Society
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1998
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Dec 2017
State Registration Yes Apr 2018
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
SBS Exempt NoticeView
Impact Statement

The Suncoast Blues Society has several accomplishments over the past year:

  • Expanded out Blues in the Libraries and Blues in the Community outreach programs in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee Counties (we're looking for Sarasota County library contact)providing "live blues" entertainment for audiences which might not experience it, 
  • SBS International Blues Challenge winner, Selwyn Birchwood Band, with SBS financial support represented Suncoast Blues Society at the 2013 International Blues Competition in Memphis and won the title of "Best Blues Band" out of 210 band entrants. Mr. Birchwood also won "Best Guitarist, 
  • Suncoast Blues Society recognized for continued community support at 2013 Tampa Bay Blues Festival 
  • SBS coordinates our family-friendly annual "pot-luck" August Beach Bash Day of Music at Treasure Island Lion's Club. Club rental, insurance, and host band expense equals $1500. We're in our 14th year of member appreciation the last Sunday in August, and 
  • We've grown our SBS membership to 700+ members and constantly growing advertisers in our Twelve Bar Rag bi-monthly newspaper.

Suncoast Blues Society 2014 goals are:
  • expand our Blues in the Library, Blues In the Schools, and Blues in the Community outreach programs ability to providing 2 performances /quarter in Sarasota, Manatee, and Pinellas Counties totally 24 performances at cost of $150/ 2 hour performance, 
  • raise revenue to replenish our "Diamond Tooth Mary" musician support fund. Any SBS member can write and petition SBS board of directors on behalf of a Tampa Bay musician who has experience a setback affecting their ability to perform. The board of directions convene and review the requests. If account funding is available, we determine the amount from $250 -$500, 
  • SBS board of directors have discussed potential of bringing two good draw touring bands in the area as a dedicate SBS operations fundraiser. To maximize our fundraiser efforts is a "angel" donor paying the expense of the band which could range from $2800 - $4000.
Needs Statement
  1. ($3600 for 24 performances)  3 outreach programs and patron workshop expansion including At-Risk youth programs launched summer 2016 expense in Sarasota and Manatee Counties 
  2. ($4500) SBS to upgrade business tools including new laptop computer for Treasurer, Updating / upgrading website to better communicate and branding, 
  3. ($2500) Increasing bank accounts cash balances for sponsoring International Blues Challenge band winner ($1000), IBC solo/duo winner ($500), and Beach Bash event ($1000)
  4. ($1000 for coursework) Official board member training needs.
Background Statement

After seeing Luther Allison at a Blues Festival in Ft. Lauderdale Blues in November 1996, Larry Lisk and Ken Torvik decided that there was a need for a Blues Organization in the Tampa Bay’s community so that there would be a unified voice to support bringing great acts like Mr. Allison to the Bay Area. Over the next 7 months, if there was a Blues show going on, Larry and/or Ken were there. They collected the names, addresses, and phone numbers of Blues fans at all varieties of bars, restaurants, and festivals north, south, and east of Tampa Bay. In June, 1997 they held 2 organizational meetings courtesy of Skipper’s Smoke House (who also paid for their first mailings). That effort brought out the 55 original members of the Suncoast Blues Society. The fledgling organization held their next official event on August 6th of 1997 when Molten Mike hosted a Blues Society jam at Dave’s Aqua-Lounge. The organization was off and running! Larry was at the helm of the Society for 8 years and still is an ardent supporter. Over the years the Suncoast Blues Society has produced a ton of events and quietly supported all manner of Blues in the local community.  

In 2004 the Society won the first Keeping Blues Alive (KBA) that Larry was part of, as “Blues Organization Of The Year”. At the time of the award the Suncoast Blues Society had an active membership of over 1,000 avid blues fans. We were also cited for our Blues in Schools and Blues in Library programs, and our sponsorship of two Blues concerts which raised over $9,000 for WNMF Radio’s new building fund. 

Creative Loafing said at the time sent “Kudos to Larry, hard working volunteers, many musicians, fans, and regular folk who’ve dedicated their time and talents to the SBS and it’s various philanthropic exploits at some point over the years.  

We were quite a young organization at the time, and to win when we were only eight years old was thoroughly amazing. Through all the changes in the economy, the availability of local venues, and changes in the Board of Directors we’re still here, still staging great shows, and growing once again. 

In June 2014, The Suncoast Blues Society celebrated 17 continuous years of providing and or facilitating exposing Tampa Bay audiences to outstanding live blues music performances. We are still an all volunteer organization committed our membership and blues music enthusiasts from all over the world.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
FL- Hillsborough
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments

Pinellas County - Pinellas Library Collaborative partners with SBS Blues in the Libraries. In Manatee County - Working with Public Library System to coordinate a series of Blues in the Library "teaser" performances leading up to a week of BITL coinciding with the December Bradenton Blues Festival. Suncoast Blues Society has been a 3 year supporter of the Bradenton Blues Festival. In 2016, Sarasota County Library System began scheduling Blues in the Library 90 minute musical performances. 

Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Description Suncoast Blues Society utilizes these outreach programs as our means of bringing blues music performances to venues not known for providing it. We expose new and seasoned audiences to blues music at a time convenient for everyone. 
Budget $5,200
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success

Either of our three outreach programs - BITS, BITL, and BITC being requested by community partners for repeat performances in Sarasota, Charlotte, Manatee, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties. Engaging Big Brothers Big Sisters of Suncoast as new community partners and utilizing both our resources with influences "at-risk" Littles in the community.

Long Term Success

The purpose and success of the Suncoast Blues Society (SBS) is measured growth in new members joining, additional venues requesting performances, SBS members accepting nominations to become board members and continue introducing new audiences to the History of Blues Music and its performances.

An enhancement of  SBS efforts has evolved from 2106 musical workshops where member musicians utilized the opportunities to tie becoming musician and performance to that of a self-employed business owner. Both take education, effort, and commitment. Several young attendees began to recognize the comparison. 
Program Success Monitoring

By example Blues in the Libraries tend to work better in audience attendance than Blues in the Community outreach programs. I attribute it to libraries we've partnered with have distinct on-going programs which their audiences are familiar. Blues In the Community performances locations and venues run the gambit from community centers, nursing homes, bars / clubs, VA Hospital, The Rays baseball game etc. The audience is more free flow and our partnership coordination not as strong. We can improve the BITC venue advertising and support along with the current use of SBS social media tools broadcasting the event. The proprietors control their level of advertising a BITC event and judge by cash register rings. SBS evaluates by the new face exposed to the performances and their post comments.

Program Success Examples

With both Blues in the Library and Blues in the Community, Suncoast Blues Society (SBS) offers to underwrite the first two performances with the understanding the venue will incur cost to continue the performances. Value perceive is when a library or business venue recognizes, decides to continue the blues music performances, and pay the performer expense. SBS continues coordinating the outreach performances for the venues at no cost.

Program Comments by Organization  Suncoast Blues Society Board of Directors have determined our 5 most pressing needs are: a) 3 outreach programs expansion and expense, b) Improving cash flow & projections enabling SBS to upgrade business tools including new laptop computer for Treasurer, c) updating / upgrading website to better communicate and branding, d) increasing bank accounts cash balances, e) official board member training needs 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email n/a
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 8
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Suncoast Blues Society is one of 42 affiliate US blues society sanctioned by The Blues Music Foundation in Memphis, Tenn. SBS works with all Florida Blues Societies in a collaborative manner. SBS collaborates with all Tampa Bay Featured Blues Music Festivals - Tampa Bay Blues Festival, Bonita Springs Blues Festival, Sarasota Blues Festival, Bradenton Blues Festival, Dunedin Blues & Brews Festival.
Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance2017
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Keeping Blues Alive (KBA)Blues Music Foundation2004
Winner - Selwyn Birchwood Band (Suncoast Blues Society Entrant)Blues Founation - International Blues Competition2013
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization No CEO / Executive Director - Suncoast Blues Society is an all volunteer organization with a 7 member board & 1 alternate and a 4 board member steering committee which regularly conducts conference calls and discuss SBS operations.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization Suncoast Blues Society utilizes website , Twitter, Facebook,  bi-monthly Twelve Bar Rag (TBR) , and weekly Wednesday email updates to out 700+ members keeping them inform on SBS activities.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mark Thompson
Company Affiliation President
Board Term Dec 2016 to Dec 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Len Lomas Membership
Mr. Warren McDougle Director of Public Relations
Ms. Terri O'Brien volunteer
Mr. James Randolph Vice President / Outreach Programs
Mr. Conrad Sewer Director of Volunteers
Ms. Cheryl Spradling Director of Membership
Mr Mark Thompson President
Mr. George Willett volunteer
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 6
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 95
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Governance Comments by Organization

SBS has three means of generating cash flow for the organization a) new and renewing memberships, b) business advertisement in our Twelve Bar Rag bi-monthly newspaper distributed throughout Tampa Bay locations, and c) purchased inventory sold at blues festival season events February - June and with Bradenton Blues Festival in the 3rd year December. We have 6 - 9 blue festival events we participate.

Suncoast Blues Society Board of Directors is a volunteer group of committed members. We receive no stipend and few reimbursement for personal expense incurred in support of our mission on "exposing blues music to new audiences".

Rather than tapping operation funds, we'd like to create a recurring $300-$400 petty cash reserve enabling reimbursement for board members. In support of our SBS mission, BOD average 20-25 hours per quarter managing and volunteering at our music event not counting our growing Blues in the Library and Blues in the Communities outreach programs which could easily be a 75 - 100 mile drive for some Board of Directors.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Jan
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year End Month Dec
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $26,750.00
Projected Expenses $21,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$24,615$23,626$37,675
Administration Expense$5,783$4,763$2,404
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.361.150.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses81%83%91%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$23,504$12,512$8,123
Current Assets$17,753$9,495$5,716
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$23,504$12,512$8,123
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $28,221Contributions, gifts, grants $18,847Program Service Revenue $23,838
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $10,116Program Service Revenue $12,004Contributions, gifts, grants $14,571
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGross Profit From Sales of Inventory $3,051Gross Profit from Sale of Inventory $1,926Gross Profit from Sale of Inventory $1,669
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
As an all volunteer non-profit Board of Directors and organization concluding our 17th year, the current BOD recognize "with limited cash flow based mostly on Blues Music Festival season, we can achieve minute growth and expansion". Our Twelve Bar Rag (TBR) bi-monthly 24 - 28 page newspaper is one of our major costs with printing it, mailing to our 725 members, and distributing throughout Tampa Bay. We sell affordable advertising attempting to offset that cost. In the non-festival printing months and with limited ad space sold, production becomes and issues. To defray cost of production, our Treasurer has been performing the layout for 3 years. All board of directors and some members create content.
The Suncoast Blues Society has underwritten WMNF 88.5 Hillsborough County community radio "Mo Blues Monday" for several years. As we continue to expand south of the Bridge, along with expanding our three SBS Outreach Programs (Blues in the School, Blues in the Library, Blues in the Community), we like to contribute financial support to the Sarasota community radio station.
Along with SBS resident members, James M. Randolph, Vice President / Outreach /Grants in spearheaded expansion south.
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial information taken from Federal Form 990-EZ.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support as this information is not separately stated.
Nonprofit Suncoast Blues Society Inc.
Address PO Box 4232
Tampa, FL 33677
Phone 813 681-2099