Today is National Bosses Day. I have had some great bosses throughout my career… and also some bad ones. And I mean bad. But frankly, who hasn’t? I can say that I have learned from all of them. 

One of my favorites came late into my hospitality career, Bruce Baerwalde, Executive Vice President for McKibbon Hotel Management. He became my boss when I shifted from the Residence Inn by Marriott on Colonial to the Hilton Garden Inn (HGI) on the corner of College & Summerlin. Not only was I changing brands but the HGI had a full restaurant and catering space, all new for me. He is younger than me but so accomplished, and with his support we had a great run before the hotel was sold. He was so patient with me as I learned my way through the new brand and a new business model. He taught me the importance of data. He understood and supported the balance of family and work and was one of the best bosses I had the privilege to work with.

In my current role, I have almost 50 “bosses” between the two boards of the Chamber and Chamber Foundation (so no gifts for them!) but a big “Thank You” for their support! With everything we have been through since March, I would rather celebrate my wonderful team today, and will be treating them to lunch, though they are worth much more than that! I did a little research and found an “Employee Appreciation” Day on the first Friday of March – I will remind you of this important day as we get closer! 
Lee Health is in urgent need of blood donations to help refill supply levels. Type O+ remains critically low, and they are also below normal supply levels for all other blood types. They are asking the community to please consider making a donation.

Lee Health blood centers have had a severe shortage due to the pandemic. All blood donated at Lee Health stays within the health system to care for patients in Southwest Florida. Blood donations are essential for trauma and cancer patients. To learn how and where to donate, please visit or call 239-343-2333 for more information.

In 2019, the Florida Legislature passed, and Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law, new human trafficking legislation affecting lodging operators. Section 509.096, Florida Statutes, includes mandatory human trafficking awareness training for lodging employees who perform housekeeping duties or work at the front desk or reception areas. Prudent lodging operators will also train their other guest interaction positions, including concierge, bell staff, valet, and others. 

The Florida Department of Business Professional Regulation (DBPR) just published this bulletin. 

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Human Trafficking training course was the first one to be approved by DBPR and is available free of charge online. You may also provide training-in-person with all your staff with one of FRLA's trainers for a small fee. 
Employees must complete training by January 1, 2021, or within 60 days of hire, whichever is later, and annually thereafter. Covered lodging properties must implement a procedure to report suspected human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or local law enforcement, and they must post prescribed signage in employee areas regarding the Hotline.  
Last week I shared about our new initiative "Spend Local in Nov(m)ember" and today want to provide some further detail. This campaign, which launches on Nov(m)ember 1st is all about encouraging the community to shop local and support Chamber member businesses.

Please consider putting something together that we can share through our newsletters, website and social media. We know times have been tough so we aren’t asking for free items or even a discount (unless that works for your business model). It is more about creating something that someone could purchase as a gift, or entices them to spend locally. 

You don’t have to be a retailer either! Here are some examples of what fellow Members are doing for Nov(m)ember:

  • Captiva Island Inn - gift certificates available for the Inn or on-site restaurants; bottle of wine given at check-in for every certificate sold $150 or higher at the Inn

  • Nothing Bundt Cakes - free Bundlet with purchase of 2 Bundtlets, $5 off purchase of $25 of more (expires 11/30/20)

  • WearTheFund - get 5% off your first order on company gifts, custom apparel/uniforms, and promotional merchandise. Plus, a percentage of every order is donated to the charity of your choice

Email Debra what your company is doing so we can feature it in Nov(m)ember promotions!
This week’s article is: “If You Regularly Use These 5 Words, You're a Better Leader Than You Think -These are more important than 'please' and 'thank you’” by Jason Aten. I want you to read the article so won’t share the words, but here is a little teaser: “Ultimately, leadership means being accountable. Even when it isn't your fault - it's still your responsibility."
Last Thursday I did something out of my comfort zone, I joined in on an Alliance for the Arts virtual event and learned how to paint a picture with Maria Collier. There were people from all over the country participating – the beauty of doing this virtually.

I grabbed a Cranberry Shandy from Fort Myers Brewing for a little liquid courage and spent the next two hours putting paint to canvas and having the best time (mine is the top painting, Maria's example is on the bottom.) I will definitely do this again! 

Have a safe weekend.