Dear Friends,

One of the initiatives of the Chamber’s adopted 3-year Strategic Plan is the Member Advocacy Committee (MAC). MAC acts as a voice for business on legislative, community and economic development issues within Greater Fort Myers through leadership and education. The co-chairs of this committee are Phil Stalnaker from B2 Solutions in Cape Coral, and Bryan Blackwell from Molloy Financial Group in Fort Myers. 

Over the summer, MAC developed a Water Quality Position/Issue Statement, which is as follows: 

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce advocates for responsible regional, state and federal actions to be taken to restore and sustainably improve the water quality in Southwest Florida as well as safeguard future resources vital to the success of business and the economy. 

Our area Chambers of Commerce are collaborating and meeting monthly to share and discuss the ongoing water quality issues. I have been attending these meetings representing our Chamber. 

Another topic that has been brought to the MAC’s attention is the expected ballot item related to the state’s mandatory minimum wage. Over the past few months, MAC has researched the pros and cons, and they are currently developing a position statement, which will be shared with the membership once approved by the Board of Directors. 

Next week, we are traveling to Tallahassee to meet with our representatives about water quality and its effect on business, as well other issues. Upon return we will share about our visit. 

Thank you to our dedicated MAC members for being a voice for our membership. 

-Colleen DePasquale
President & CEO
Wednesday, February 6, 4:00PM
14513 Global Pkwy., Fort Myers

You're in for a treat at the February Women in Business event! Proceeds will benefit the Women in Business scholarship fund supporting non-traditional female students who demonstrate financial need and giving preference to single, divorced, or widowed women with children.

Sponsor: HeadPinz.

$10 for Chamber Members, $20 for future members.

Kristin DiIorio
Vice President & Office Manager, Downtown Branch

A longtime local banking professional, Kristin has provided banking services to countless individuals and businesses in downtown Fort Myers for more than 15 years and is a passionate advocate for the area.

A 2009 graduate of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class, Kristin is active in the Southwest Florida community. She joined the Greater Fort Myers Member Concierge Services Committee in 2017 and is serving her second year as a board member for the River District Alliance. The alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the continued development of the historic Fort Myers River District as a hub of economic, social and cultural activity.

Kristin joined Sanibel Captiva Community Bank in 2016 to manage their downtown Fort Myers branch, one of seven in Sanibel and Fort Myers for the locally owned and operated bank. There, she manages daily operations and customer relationships, including business and consumer banking.

Founded in 2003 and nationally ranked as a top 20 best-performing community bank, SanCap Bank is well-capitalized, with $403 million in assets, and generates the highest return on equity of all Florida banks in excess of $155 million in total assets. The bank provides customized individual and business banking services and specializes in residential loans. The bank offers free personal and business checking, deposit accounts with competitive interest rates, safe deposit boxes, and a full array of online banking products and services, including electronic statements, mobile banking apps, CardValet, online bill pay, Positive Pay and ACH Manager.
Thursday, February 7, 4:30PM
13300 S. Cleveland Ave, Ste 23, Fort Myers, FL 33907

Tuesday, February 19, 4:30PM
6891 Daniels Parkway, #150, Fort Myers, FL 33912

Tuesday, February 26, 4:30PM
13421 University Drive Suite 102, Fort Myers, FL 33907
We'd like your help! The Chamber is planning a Cornhole Tournament/Chili Cook-off on April 27, 2019. If you have experience planning one of these events, an interest in cornhole or chili, or any great ideas about this concept, please email Katie Hanson at Katie@fortmyers.org , Once we hear from a few members, we will confirm a meeting date and time.
The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce will kick off Southwest Florida’s spring training season with a baseball-focused General Membership Meeting on Feb. 21. Featuring a panel discussion with representatives from the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, the February program will highlight how Southwest Florida’s favorite spring training teams gear up for the season, the draw of Lee County’s first-rate baseball facilities, and what’s in store for fans during this year’s spring training games, which begin late February.

The panelist lineup includes Sam Kennedy, president and CEO, and Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, for the Boston Red Sox, along with Dave St. Peter, president and CEO, and Thad Levine, senior vice president and general manager, for the Minnesota Twins. The panel discussion will be moderated by Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development. 

The February luncheon is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Twins Player Development Academy at CenturyLink Sports Complex , 14400 Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers. Admission to the February luncheon event is $35 for prepaid Chamber members and $45 for future members and those who pay at the door.

Register for the event online or call 239-332-2930.
Alec Ackernan
Financial Representative

My name is Alec Ackerman, and I help my clients with their long-term financial planning through Northwestern Mutual. Originally from Peoria, IL, I now study finance at Florida Gulf Coast University and work alongside my senior partners at the firm. I am proud to say that I finished last year in the top 4% of college interns in the nation, and look forward to making an impact on my clients’ lives in 2019! Please feel free to reach out to me for more information at alec.ackerman@nm.com .
Wednesday, February 6, 4:00-6:00PM

Tuesday, February 12, 5:00-7:00PM

Thursday, February 14, 7:30-8:30AM

Sunday, February 17, 4:00PM

Thursday, February 21, 11:00AM** **NOTE EARLIER TIME

Thursday, February 28, 5:00-7:00PM
The Chamber has tickets available for Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox Spring training games. Chamber members in good standing may purchase by tickets by emailing Katie Hansen . Tickets must be purchased in pairs. Please, no phone calls; email reservations only.
$50 per pair

February 25 vs Rays: 3 pair
February 26 vs Pirates: 3 pair
March 1 vs Red Sox: 1 pair
March 4 vs Orioles: 3 pair
March 5 vs Rays: 3 pair
March 8 vs Rays: 3 pair
March 11 vs Tigers: 1 pair
March 14 vs Nationals: 3 pair
March 15 vs Orioles: 3 pair
March 18 vs Red Sox: 3 pair
March 20 vs Pirates: 3 pair
March 25 vs Red Wings: 3 pair
March 26 vs Rockies: 3 pair
$70 per pair

February 22 vs Northeastern U*: 4 pair
February 27 vs Orioles: 4 pair
February 28 vs Nationals: 3 pair
March 2 vs Orioles: 4 pair
March 7 vs Twins: 4 pair
March 13 vs Twins: 2 pair
March 17 vs Rays: 1 pair
March 19 vs Blue Jays: 2 pair
March 21 vs Rays: 1 pair
March 23 vs Pirates: 1 pair

*Northeastern U. tickets are $35 per pair
Chrysalis Awards & Trade Show
Friday, June 14, 2019
Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa

Apex Awards
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Westin Cape Coral

Business Summit (formerly the Business Symposium)
Friday, September 20, 2019
Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa

Golf Classic
Friday, October 18, 2019
Fort Myers Country Club