December 14, 2009

Concrete Countertops, Etc. in Business Weekly

The recent expansion and unique service of Sarasota's Concrete Countertops, Etc. was featured in today's Business Weekly, a feature of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The following is an excerpt from the article, entitled "From Cement and Water, a Niche Industry is Born," by Residential Real Estate reporter Tom Bayles:

Returning to Florida in early 2008, Brady took a job with a concrete design company. But he saw potential in using the product in different ways.

"On one hand, this stuff has been used for thousands of years, yet in this day and age people want it to be perfect," Brady said. "It's hard to maintain the balance between being a hand-made, artistic product and the stain-resistant durability that a customer seeks in their kitchens."

He did not stay with the company for long: "My entrepreneurial spirit got the best of me. I have always worked on my own, and now I had found concrete countertops."

Read the entire article here. For more information about Concrete Countertops, Etc. please visit

December 08, 2009

Ina May Gaskin Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Ina May Gaskin of Summertown, Tennessee, was awarded the title “Honorary Doctor” by the Thames Valley University, London, England, on November 24, 2009. The award was presented by the faculty of the Health and Human Sciences division of the University in recognition of her work in demonstrating through midwifery and natural childbirth that women’s bodies still work as they were designed. Gaskin accepted the award in the Grand Auditorium of Wembley Stadium before an audience of 600.

Gaskin, who will turn 70 in March, thanked her mother for not scaring her about childbirth; Dr. Grantly Dick-Read (author of the classic Childbirth Without Fear); her high school biology teacher for teaching her to keep an open mind; her husband, Stephen Gaskin, for allowing 270 young people to accompany him on a lecture tour in the winter of 1970-71; and several physicians for mentoring her during the early years of her career as midwife.

Gaskin also thanked “the little Capuchin monkey who, in 1970, held my hand with an electrifying touch, thereby teaching me in an instant that I could also have touch that powerful if I lived as much in the moment as she did.”

With the honorary degree, Gaskin is now a PhD(Hon.), as well as a CPM, Certified Professional Midwife. She is Executive Director of the Farm Midwifery Center, which she helped found in 1971; the center has handled more than 2600 births, with statistics showing much better than average outcomes. Gaskin herself has attended more than 1200 births. She is author of Spiritual Midwifery, now in its fourth edition, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and a new book, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding.

Gaskin lectures internationally at midwifery conferences, at medical schools and hospitals, both to students and to faculty. She was President of Midwives’ Alliance of North America from 1996 to 2002. In 1997, she received the ASPO/Lamaze Irwin Chabon Award and the Tennessee Perinatal Association Recognition Award. She was featured in Salon magazine’s “Brilliant Careers” in 1999. In 2003 she was chosen as Visiting Fellow of Morse College, Yale University.

Gaskin transformed her observation of increasing maternal mortality in the United States into The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, a national effort to honor women who have died of pregnancy-related causes and to draw public attention to the high maternal death rate in the U.S.

Her promotion of a low-intervention but extremely effective method for dealing with one of the most-feared birth complications, shoulder dystocia, has resulted in that method being adopted by a growing number of practitioners. The Gaskin maneuver is the first obstetrical procedure to be named for a midwife. Gaskin learned it from a Belizean midwife, who had learned it from indigenous midwives in Guatemala.