John Horne is the Owner & President of the Anna Maria Oyster Bars – four local, casual and affordable seafood restaurants that he founded in 1996 on Anna Maria Island.
Always a man with a vision, John both personally and professionally has been a constant supporter of education in our community … he says his proudest moment was being asked to give the State College of Florida commencement address last year – a proud moment for someone who graduated early from the five year program at Clemson!
So where do we start? In 2003 John started the Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB) Annual Golf Tournament that raised over $600,000 for local children’s organizations, primarily focusing on education. The beneficiaries included PACE Center for Girls, Anna Maria Island Community Center and Pinnacle Academy, to name a few. When the golf tournament had run its course he looked for another avenue to raise funds for education.
In 2014, after hearing of the great need for adult based scholarships at our local institutions he and his wife Amanda teamed up with Stewart and Trudy Moon (Air & Energy) to create the Horne & Moon Scholarship Social – an event that in three years has raised well over $250,000 towards adult scholarships at State College of Florida, Manatee Technical College and USF – Sarasota Manatee. The 4th annual Horne & Moon Scholarship Social is planned for October 21, 2017.
PACE Center for Girls of Manatee is a school that is near and dear to both his heart and the 300 plus AMOB employees who volunteer and help raise funds for the school.
- All four restaurants sell “ducks” for the PACE annual fundraiser, and staff volunteer with race preparation and activities – last year all 15,000 ducks were sold resulting in a record breaking fundraising event for PACE and this year they are aiming to sell and race 20,000 ducks.
- Students visit the restaurants on educational field trips to learn about the industry and what employment opportunities look like
- Kitchen managers teach students how to make healthy, affordable meals to feed themselves and their families
- Each of the four restaurants will be delivering meals to the 54 girls this summer – PACE is a year round school with the majority of students on the free or reduced lunch program, and the school district does not supply meals during the summer
- Donations of wine, food & gift certificates to help with fundraising activities, including hosting the main fundraiser at both the restaurants and his home
- Co-chairing the upcoming Capital Campaign
- Facilitating partnerships within the business community & higher education institutions – such as the use of the USF Culinary Innovation Lab
- Both personally and through the AMOB’s John has donated over $190,000 to PACE Center for Girls
But John and his awesome crew’s efforts do not stop with PACE, as evidenced with receiving the 2015 Manatee Chamber Foundation’s Business & Education Partnership Award as “Partner in Excellence”.
This honor is bestowed upon the partner that has typified the mission of the Manatee Partnership Program through active and exemplary accomplishment of the various ‘levels’ of participation. For John and the AMOB’s this has included:
- Partnering with schools local to each of the restaurants, helping them with projects, fundraisers and student incentives
- Hosting the entire staff annually – from Principal to janitor – to a Christmas Dinner/Party at each of the three locations, cooked and served by volunteer staff members
- Providing five annual $1,000 scholarships to students through the Manatee Education Foundation
- Sponsoring and providing lunch for all the players and volunteers at the annual Bill Galvano Golf Tournament that raises scholarship funds for the Manatee Education Foundation
- Donating gift certificates annually for 60 Judges plus volunteers for the Bradenton Herald ‘Golden Herald Awards’.
- John and his staff are currently working on a 3rd Grade Level Reading program for the summer to be incubated at his Ellenton location – providing lunch and reading skills for local children during the summer with staff & guest volunteers. This program will touch over 100 children during the summer.
John loves to see his staff learn, and after graduating from the Leadership Manatee program in 2008 he has encouraged any staff member who wishes to go through the program to do so with a full sponsorship from the AMOB – to date seven have graduated. His involvement has continued and he hosts the Alumni Association board retreat and hosts each incoming class to a breakfast and a dinner…This year John was the recipient of the Leadership Manatee Alumni Associations Kent Schulz Leadership Award. John is also a graduate of Leadership Florida Class XXVIII where he has served as Calusa Regional Chair, co-chair of the 2015 Annual Meeting as well as on the State Board level.
So what else has John done in our community?
- 2012 Chairman of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce
- 2010 Spirit of Manatee Volunteer Spirit Award Winner
- 2017 Spirit of Manatee Community Spirit Award Winner
- 2016 & 2017 Board Member and Corporate Sponsor – Together Manatee
- 2014 – 2016 organizer of the Bradenton Riverwalk Regatta food vendors
- 2013-2016 Chair of the Symphony of the Sands food vendors committee
- Served on the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) Manatee Chapter Board as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer
- Served on the State Board of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association as committee chair or co-chair. For 2016/17 serving on the PAC, Government Relations and Membership Activities committees
- Serves on the Advisory Committees for both Manatee Technical College’s Culinary Program and USF Sarasota-Manatee Hospitality Program
- Corporate Sponsor & advocate of the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee, including hosting the WRC Manatee’s Donor Appreciation cocktail reception at his home for the past seven years
- 2012 winner of the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Champion of Tourism Award
- 2015 Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourism Ambassador Award
- 2014 winner of Florida Association of Blood Banks Dorothy C. Smith RN Award for challenging the community to support local blood drives
- 2014 Award of Excellence from the SunCoast Blood Bank
- 2015 winner of the nationwide America’s Blood Center’s Corporation of the Year
- Sarasota Chamber of Commerce 2015 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business of the Year winner
- 2016 941CEO Magazine Great Good Award Winner in the Hospitality category
- Manatee Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year winner
- Consistently voted “Best Of” in numerous categories including Seafood, Early Bird, All Round, Margarita and more by readers of the Bradenton Herald, the Anna Maria Island Sun and the Sarasota Herald Tribune
- Donates on average of 300 meals monthly in the form of gift certificates to various non-profits within our community
There are many more awards, and ways, that John Horne and his Anna Maria Oyster Bar crew have contributed to our communities. They are always open hearted and willing to help, from a gift certificate to a full blown progressive dinner, catering or, as has been known to happen…a wedding at his home!