JUNE 2019
As we close out our fiscal year, I thought it a good time to update you on the Chamber, the Foundation and some of my recent learnings from a Business Leads Fellowship. 

Our Chamber board of directors recently completed their annual retreat, laying the groundwork for our next 3-year strategic plan. At our upcoming June board meeting, the plan will be approved and ready to start with our new fiscal year on July 1.

The Foundation focus is currently on Mentoring. We held a focus group last month and are working up a draft Mentoring program. Stay tuned for more information in the months to come.

Please join us for our luncheon on Thursday, June 20 at the Crowne Plaza, for installation of both the Chamber and Foundation boards. 

I was recently accepted into a Business Leads Fellowship Cohort sponsored by the U.S. Chamber. The Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges. The cohort brings together 35 fellow Chamber leaders from all over the country. It is scheduled in two programs, the recently attended Education program and Workforce, which is in September. 

I think we all agree that world class workforce begins with a world class education system. We learned about the gaps in systems, strong childcare and supporting a strong Education System. The importance of Early Learning is critical to the success of our future workforce. College and Career readiness of our students is instrumental not only in their success but in our future. Are our students ready, do they have all the pieces they need? If not, how can you and I make an impact? Though I haven’t finished this cohort, I am sharing the information received so far with the FutureMakers Coalition and am happy to share with you as well. 

The SWFL Alliance of Chambers is still meeting each month, currently focused on water quality. I am excited to share that the Alliance will be collaborating with the News-Press and Naples Daily News on the next “Save our Water” Summit. We are building the content and setting- up the speakers. Save the date: Wednesday, August 21 from 8:00AM to 12:30PM. More details to come on this. 

This is the time of year when the Chamber starts gearing up our event season. Last night, the Women in Business Committee named the top five finalists for the 14th annual APEX Awards: Kathleen O. Berkey, shareholder attorney and certified land planner, Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.; Kelly L. Fayer, attorney, Kelly L. Fayer, P.A.; Kerri A. Goldsmith, financial advisor, HBKS Wealth Advisors; Julie Koester, founder, managing partner, president, Dragon Horse Media LLC; and Karen L. Mosteller, business consulting and technology partner, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A. We will recognize the nominees and five finalists, and announce the APEX Awards recipient on Friday, August 16 at the Westin in Cape Coral (please note the change from our original date).  

Next Friday, June 14 , is our 10th Annual Chrysalis Awards and Trade Show. This is the largest attended event that the Chamber holds – with almost 40 trade show tables and more than 300 attendees. It is a great way to celebrate business and tourism.

If you are interested in our Leadership program , this will kick off on September 4 and finish on November 13 . Applications will be available this week – feel free to connect with me for more information. 

If you want to know more about what we are doing or any of the programs I shared, then let’s connect. Call me at 332-2930 or email me at colleen@fortmyers.org
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is offering a special tour for the members of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce at their headquarters located at 14750 Six Mile Cypress Parkway at 10:00AM on Friday, June 7.  

Space is extremely limited however we have a few openings still available. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Laurie Stanley at laurie@fortmyers.org as soon as possible.   
Guests at Leadership NEXT’s session on Tuesday, June 11 from 5:00 to 7:00PM will take a behind-the-scenes tour of Sun Harvest Citrus, a family-owned business that has become a top destination for orange-lovers in Southwest Florida.

Sun Harvest Citrus, one of Southwest Florida’s top tourist attractions, is hosting the June program and will be offering narrated tours of its packinghouse, as well as samples of its favorite house wines. Sun Harvest also will provide complimentary light appetizers and its freshly squeezed citrus juices. Sun Harvest Citrus is located at 14601 Six Mile Cypress Parkway in south Fort Myers. Attendees will be eligible to win prizes. Guests are asked to dress comfortably.

Florida’s citrus industry has an annual economic impact of $8.6 billion and employs more than 45,000 people. Sun Harvest sells fresh oranges, grapefruit and citrus, as well as other fruits and vegetables grown on farms and orchards across Florida. It also has added an extensive assortment of Florida-themed gifts and chocolates.

Kenny Howell, marketing manager for Sun Harvest, will offer an introduction to the business and showcase the packinghouse. Howell is responsible for the company’s social media, print and digital advertising, as well as securing media placement within the region’s citrus and tourism industries.

The June program is sponsored by Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Now approaching its 27th year, Broadway Palm entertains more than 170,000 guests annually and features a 450-seat dinner theatre, a 100-seat “black box” theater, a 120-seat dining room and a 30-seat meeting space. 

Leadership NEXT is a monthly program through the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce that offers unique educational and networking opportunities for advancing business professionals in Southwest Florida. Leadership NEXT attendees represent a variety of businesses and industries throughout Southwest Florida. Monthly sessions take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month and offer opportunities to develop new knowledge and skills, establish working relationships with colleagues and engage in valuable programs and discussions to further enhance their careers. Leadership NEXT’s annual sponsor is the Florida Gulf Coast University Alumni Association.

Leadership NEXT is free to attend for members of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and $10 for future members. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance
Enjoy light refreshments while networking and be sure to bring plenty of business cards! The "Member of the Month" will be randomly drawn from Chamber members business cards submitted at this event.

Date: Thursday, June 13th, 7:30-8:30AM

Cost: FREE

We kindly ask you to register to help us with attendee counts for breakfast.
Join us on  Friday, June 14 from 10:30AM-2:00PM   at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa  for the 10th Annual Chrysalis Awards & Tradeshow, presented by  iBERIABANK and co-produced by the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and the  Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Chrysalis celebrates the value of tourism and the community teamwork involved in maintaining and enhancing tourism as a major economic engine for the county. The awards were designed to foster a stronger alliance between the tourism industry and the county’s business community, and honor recipients in the categories of  Business Development, Eco-Innovation, Cultural Achievement, Education, Sales & Marketing , and  Business Tourism Leader

The tradeshow, sponsored by the  Lee County Chapter of Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association,  provides a great exhibition opportunity for businesses to reach the hundreds of attendees at this special event. Book today to ensure your company has a place!

Tradeshow Exhibitor
$250 Tradeshow Registration, includes 2 luncheon tickets and event trade show table 

$45 Per Person General Admission Seating
$55 at Door Per Person General Admission Seating  (pre-registration strongly encouraged) 

Reserved Luncheon Tables

Coquina Table:  Table of 8, $450 / Table of 10, $550
Includes VIP reserved table at luncheon, company name and logo on event Powerpoint presentation*

Swallowtail Table:  Table of 8, $550 / Table of 10, $650
Includes VIP reserved table at luncheon, company name and logo on event Powerpoint presentation*, trade show table, and company name/logo on Chamber website

*reservation must be made by Friday, June 7 for inclusion
Join us at our monthly luncheon on Thursday, June 20 at Crowne Plaza at Bell Tower when we will have the installation of the boards for the Chamber and Chamber Foundation. We will also recognize outgoing Chamber Board Chair, Joe Mitchell.

Address: 13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers

Time: 11:30AM to 1:15PM

Cost: $25 for Chamber Members, $35 for Future Chamber Members

Please keep in mind that refunds and credits are given to cancellations made 72 hours prior to event. 
Arrivals after 12:15PM are not guaranteed seating.
Liven up your business routine by joining us for our Conversations & Cocktails! Each month we visit a Greater Fort Myers Chamber Member location for a more casual networking opportunity.

Date: Thursday, June 27, 2019

Time: 5:00-7:00PM

Address: 10450 Corkscrew Commons Drive, Estero, FL

Business Location: 9171 College Parkway, Fort Myers

Years in Business: 50 

Keys to success: Do something good for somebody every day.

About Moose International:

You may have heard the saying, “A burden heavy to one is borne lightly by many.” This is at the core of the Moose organization and what makes them unique in their Lodges, local communities and charitable “cities” that they support. Their roots can be traced to 1888 and the founder of the Moose, Dr. Henry Wilson, who successfully established the first Lodge in Louisville, Kentucky. In the early years, the Moose was to serve a modest goal of offering men an opportunity to gather socially, to care for one another’s needs and celebrate life together.

With a combined membership of over 1,000,000 members in the Loyal Order of Moose and Women of the Moose, their presence is felt in over 1,500 communities across all 50 states and four Canadian provinces, plus Great Britain and Bermuda. The Moose organization contributes between $75 to $100 million worth of community service (counting monetary donations, volunteer hours worked and miles driven) annually.

In addition to Mooseheart and Moosehaven, the Moose fraternity’s Heart of the Community effort is multifaceted with internally developed programs like Tommy Moose. Tommy Moose aids in helping children overcome fears and anxiety during times of stress. Donated to law enforcement, fire fighters and other emergency workers, Tommy Moose plush dolls are presented to children in various traumatic situations. The external focus of our service is directed towards many worthwhile national charities, a few of which are: Salvation Army, Safe Surfin’USA Foundation, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, and St. Jude.

In their local Lodges, you will find a wide array of activities to participate in both as an individual and as a family. From holiday parties, dances, sports, themed dinners and live entertainment, the Moose has much to offer. Membership can mean different things to different people. You are the one determining what you want to get out of the organization, and what you want to give back.
Be a part of the celebration by attending ribbon cuttings!

Thursday, June 19
6:00PM – 6:30PM
9740 Commerce Center Ct., Fort Myers, FL 33908

US Petroleum
Thurs, June 20
9:00AM- 9:30AM
(Grand Opening Celebration 2:00-5:00PM)
7137 Maida Lane, Fort Myers, FL 33908

US Petroleum
Friday, June 21
(Grand Opening Celebration 2:00-5:00PM)
16971 Alico Mission Way, Fort Myers, FL 33908

Wednesday, June 26
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
8001 Dani Drive #3, Fort Myers, FL 33966

Thursday, June 27
8:30 am – 9:00 am
10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Ste. A, Fort Myers, FL 33966