We closed out our “Business As (Un)usual" Business Summit yesterday and once again, our amazing members stepped up and shared their knowledge in 20 sessions over 4 days. Big shout out to our keynote speakers, Christin Collins and Charly Caldwell. We were also lucky enough to share a 2-hour virtual session from Tessa LeSage, FutureMakers Coalition, on Implicit Bias. Thank you to our members that participated in our virtual Business Summit by presenting or attending.
As we all get ready for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday, I thought this article might be a good fit, Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier, from Harvard Health Publishing/Harvard Medical School.

WAYS TO CULTIVATE GRATITUDE - Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can't feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice. 

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis. 

Write a thank-you note.You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person's impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself. 

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual. 

Keep a gratitude journal.Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you've received each day. 

Count your blessings.Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you. 

Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude. 

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as "peace"), it is also possible to focus on what you're grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.). 
I am thankful for so many things. Thank you to all of you for your participation in the Chamber and being part our community. 
One of my favorite events starts next week, Holiday Nights at the Edison Ford Winter Estates!  

This year’s event, themed Sounds of the Season, runs from November 27 through January 3 from 5:30-9:30PM nightly (closed Christmas night). The tree lighting ceremony is November 27 at 6:00PM.

For information on health and safety protocols in place, click here.
Holiday Nights admission is $20 for adults, $10 for teens, and $2 for children ages 6-12. Lee County residents get $5 off admission with ID on Monday nights. Reciprocal museum or garden memberships are not valid for Holiday Nights admission. Tickets can be purchased online. 

The Edison Ford Winter Estates is located at 2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33901.
It has been 261 days since I attended my last Florida Everblades game. I took a weekend off to head to Pittsburgh to see the Pens play (where they lost horribly both games), not only missing the last Blades game of the season but also missed Hunter Garlent and his “spin-o-rama” goal that had the fans out of their seats!

As with everything else, there we will be some changes this season - a new mask policy and the popular promotional games that benefit our local non-profits are on-hold for now - but the players return this weekend and practice will be underway! The season will start with two preseason games against the Orlando Solar Bears on December 4 and the first regular season game on December 11 against the Jacksonville Icemen.  

If you are looking for a great night of hockey in a big space of physical distancing, then this is a great plan. You can purchase tickets online.

Counting the days, (only 14 now) until I put on my Blades gear on and spend the evening in my happy place.  
We won’t be putting out our Friday email next week – BFF Kelly is coming in from Arizona for the holiday and we will be out and about shopping locally, in particular visiting those that shared their Nov(m)ember specials with us.  

Please take care of yourselves, wear your mask and have a safe holiday. 

P.S. The Chamber office is closing at noon on Wednesday, November 25 and will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27.