TEAM Talk header 2010
Nancy Morris, Editor                                                                         January, 2018
TEAM Punta Gorda is an all-volunteer organization committed to making the greater Punta Gorda area a great place to live, work and play. Originally created after the devastation caused by Hurricane Charley in 2004, TEAM volunteers focus on wide variety of projects to enhance our friendly, quaint, historic waterside community. For more of the history of TEAM click here

The Changing Face of Punta Gorda
The coming of the new year is the time when we all look forward and think about the future, for our own lives and for our community. At TEAM Punta Gorda, this is our core mission. Stewardship of our community's future development is the reason we were created and it is still our central concern. A major part of our role is, and has always been, to keep in touch with the needs and wishes of the community as we move forward, and to help ensure that these wishes are incorporated into future planning. City leaders must also look ahead, to safeguard the future of our City's financial health, by keeping an eye on economic development. Punta Gorda lost many businesses after the devastation of Hurricane Charley in 2004, a commercial tax base that still has not been replaced twelve years later. Striking this balance is the topic of our upcoming Annual Community Meeting.
TEAM Punta Gorda's Annual Community Meeting will be held on January 30 at 6:30 PM at the Punta Gorda Civic Association on Shreve Street. It is not only a time to honor our volunteers, but it provides an opportunity for us to come together and focus on the year that has passed and the times ahead. This year's theme is "The Changing Face of Punta Gorda".  
Our Speakers will be City Manager, Howard Kunik and Vice President of Banks Engineering, Todd Rebol. Howard Kunik plans to focus his remarks on the significance of appropriate growth for the City of Punta Gorda and how it will lead to a sustainable economy and lifestyle for both the residential and business sectors of the community.  Included in that discussion will be a review of our current land development regulations and the extent to which they should be adjusted to assist in accomplishing appropriate growth. These land development regulations were based largely on the Citizens Master Plan developed by TEAM Punta Gorda and the community after Hurricane Charley. Todd Rebol will discuss development activities in Charlotte County, such as the Murdock project, then focus on City of Punta Gorda projects. He'll also talk about both the challenges and advantages the City has with regard to development. 
We hope you'll join us and join in the conversation. We'll also give you a look at the City's new branding initiative which is now ready to be rolled out. The new tagline for the City is "Florida's Harborside Hometown".
We're also gearing up for our annual mega-bike ride, Pedal & Play In Paradise, March 9 & 10. Proceeds support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and TEAM's bicycling initiatives. Each year this great event draws over 600 bicyclists for a day of fun. Once again, the City Manager will reprise his City Manager's Ride on March 9, to showcase new development and improvement projects planned for the City. On March 10 expect a great day including a Mystery Bike Ride, and rides at all levels. Go to to learn more, and to register.
We want to wish you all a Happy New Year and encourage you to get involved in your community. A good place to start is to join our discussion on January 30.

         Mix and mingle with light refreshments at 6:30.  Program begins at 7.
Join Team Punta Gorda for its annual meeting Jan. 30 and hear what's in store from two key community leaders, City Manager Howard Kunik and civil engineer Todd Rebol.
The Tuesday meeting will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda.  Mix and mingle with light refreshments at 6:30.  Program begins at 7.
TEAM CEO Nancy Johnson will preside, highlighting the civic organization's achievements in 2017.  She also will introduce Punta Gorda's new police chief Pamela Davis.
Kunik will focus on the significance of appropriate growth for the City of Punta Gorda and how it will lead to a sustainable economy and lifestyle for both the residential and business sectors of the community.  He will review the City's current land development regulations (LDRs) and whether they should be tweaked to help accomplish that growth.  Many restrictions and guidelines that worked 10 or more years ago are no longer feasible, he says.
Rebol, vice president of Banks Engineering, with offices in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte, will discuss commercial development activities in Charlotte County, such as the Murdock and Sunseeker Resort projects, then focus on City of Punta Gorda projects and both the challenges and advantages the City has.
Kunik has been City Manager since April 2005.  Previously he
served 15 years with the City of Cape Coral as Assistant City Manager and beforehand as Financial Services Director. Prior to moving to Florida, he was Administration and Finance Director for the City of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and served local governments in Virginia and Ohio.  He holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Environmental Studies from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Kunik is an avid bicyclist and survives an occasional triathlon, biathlon or running event, while his wife Helen manages the equestrian activities of the family.
Rebol, a native of Charlotte County, holds a degree from Florida State University, where he played football (linebacker) from 1992-96, and the University of South Florida, where he completed an engineering degree.  Rebol moved back to Charlotte County in 2002 and began practicing civil engineering with Banks Engineering, a leading
engineering, land planning, and surveying firm in southwest Florida.
He is vice chairman of the Charlotte County Industrial Development Authority and a board member of CareerSource Florida. He previously was on the board of the Charlotte-DeSoto Builders Industry Association and is a past president the Economic Development Partnership in Charlotte County.He and his wife, Callie, have two children.  Rebol's hobbies include camping with his family, fishing and competing in adventure/endurance races within the region. 

The City of Punta Gorda has taken a major step towards improving economic growth and creating a year-round economy to sustain the city.   The City Council has unanimously approved a new branding effort.   The new brand will be the cornerstone for upcoming efforts to enhance business attraction and retention as well as visitation to the city. The branding also marks the start of a new city-led communications effort to present a consistent, unified message and image.
The brand is the result of a year-long market study and analysis by the firm Aqua Marketing & Communications, which has created and led rebranding and marketing efforts for cities across Florida and beyond.
An in-depth market analysis was conducted. It included:
·   An analysis of the city's current market position
·   A review of its economic development and communications efforts and history
·    Survey of the city's Key Stakeholders
·   An assessment of the city's business, lifestyle and visitation attributes
·    A review of cities viewed as comparable
·   R esearch determining existing brand and reasons for the city's selection
Interviews were conducted with over sixty key community leaders.  Over 400 responses to a citizen survey were received. Multiple citizen-led focus groups were held. The resulting brand for Punta Gorda has been defined as follows:
"Punta Gorda is one of Florida's most relaxed, peaceful communities. With a historic ambience and intimate feeling, it's a small town that seems more like a neighborhood. And with a citizenry that is connected, involved and concerned for their town and each other, it's more than a town, it's a true "community." It's what so many of its residents have spent a lifetime seeking, and now have found in a place that truly is a "harbor," offering safety, comfort, and a place to set forth on more of life's great adventures."
This description will not appear in marketing materials, but it is
helpful to understand the brand's core essence, as well as its "personality."
Cities that carefully define themselves through branding efforts are better able to offer themselves as a clear alternative to others, and more likely to separate from the din of the marketplace. Successful branding efforts define a city as unique among others and clearly offer why the city is more desirable over the alternatives.
Once determined, the municipal brand becomes part of everything a city does. It's reflected in advertising and public relations and on its website and social media. But it's also reflected in what events the city considers, how its representatives answer the phone, how the various city partners reflect their role in relation to the brand, how the city identifies itself within the city limits, and much, much more.
In short, when branding is done correctly, the brand touches and becomes a part of everything the city says and does in its communications.
A "brand" is how our target defines us. It's what our city means to them, how they view our city in relation to themselves - and especially how they view our city in relation to other cities.
Now that the branding has received city leadership approval, Punta Gorda is beginning a major effort to roll it out in numerous public venues and platforms. 
Keep an eye out for more information at TEAM Punta Gorda's Annual event in January.

Wisconsin State Journal mentions TEAM Punta Gorda's Loaner Bike program.
MADISON, WISCONSIN -- The City's bike-sharing program is on target to record its highest annual ride total - 11,000 riders -- since it began more than six years ago, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.
The cost of the Trek bikes (with built-in cable and GPS locator) is  $3,500 if purchasing more than 100 and  $4,500 in smaller lots.   Trek, located in the Madison suburb of Sun Prairie, donated 100 bikes to the program.   Users pay a fee to use the bikes.   Madison's population is 252,551 and it is home to the University of Wisconsin.
By comparison, the State Journal notes, Punta Gorda, Florida, population 18,000, has between 5,000 and 6,000 riders per year.  No cost to users. The initial investment is $300 per bicycle.  That's 10% of what Madison's program costs. Furthermore, the Punta Gorda program has more riders per capita, and attracts riders from 43 states and 30 countries.
And.....on the local level:
Volunteers and their significant others joined Nancy in a rainy Christmas parade.   TEAM was well represented with Corinne's red truck and four decorated yellow loaner bikes.  
Twenty three new bikes are to be added to our fleet this year as some of the older bikes retire.  


Annual Community Meeting - 1/30/2018
Paint Your Heart Out - 2/3/2018
TEAM Mixer - 2/20/2018
Pedal and Play in Paradise - 3/9 and 3/10/2018
Build Punta Gorda - Mid-March through April, 2018
Golf Tournament - 3/24/2018
Giving Challenge - 24 hours starting at noon on 5/1/2018
Pedal and Play in Paradise 
March 9 & 10, 2018

Event Registration Now Open!

To register for this fun bicycle event that benefits the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society and TEAM Punta Gorda bicycle initiatives, click:

To download the COOL Pedal and Play event poster, click here:

To watch a video of last year's Pedal and Play, click:


Goodbye little conference room. 
We're moving upstairs.

After January 5th you'll find TEAM on the 2nd floor of the CCF building.