As the school year gets underway in both live and virtual fashion, I would like to send a big thank you to all the educators and the support people that are teaching our children and future leaders. Coming from a long line of teachers in my own family, I hold all of these folks in high regard for the work that they do.

My grandmother was a teacher in a one room schoolhouse in WI. My mother taught elementary school for numerous years and was the first woman ever elected to the school board where we lived when I was a youngster. My wife, Mary, was a substitute teacher for many years and now works at FGCU. And I am very proud that one of my daughters is a special education kindergarten teacher in Atlanta. Last fall, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend an afternoon in her classroom in Atlanta and watch her work with her students. Proud Papa does not begin to describe my feelings on that day! Both of my (twin) daughters are the successful products of Lee County schools, having gone kindergarten through senior high school year in Lee County Public Schools. They both then went on to graduate from FSU - GO NOLES! And then there are numerous friends and neighbors who are involved in education that I have been privileged to know and have tremendous respect for. Thank you all! 

With the start of the school year, what better time to remember that the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is known as the Education Chamber and salute the great work the Chamber Foundation has done and continues to do! Since the Foundation’s inception in 2004, it has raised well over $250,000 and given that away in scholarships, grants to local educators and institutions, support of educational programs and providing recognition of outstanding students and educators. This is accomplished with the help of WIB (Women in Business) as well as other Chamber fund raisers held throughout the year.

As we all know, raising funds in the days of Coronavirus is a challenge - to say the least. But if you would like to help support the Foundation and the work being done, you can do so here. Your contribution is greatly appreciated as we work to continue supporting the educational community.

I hope that you will take the time to say thank you to those that you know in our educational community. Whether they are working virtually over a computer monitor or face to face, they are shaping our future and helping to make a difference in a young person’s life. So, take a moment and send a text, write a note or make a call and say thank you to the educator that you know. Excuse me now as I need to call my daughter in Atlanta...

-Jim Larkin
As the current job climate continues to change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many business professionals are switching gears to pursue new opportunities and career paths.

Tonight, Tuesday, September 8 at 5:00PM, Leadership NEXT presents a program with Janeth Castrejon, communications manager for CareerSource Southwest Florida, and Rose Fuller, director of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Career Development Services, who will offer tips and resources to help professionals redirect their career paths and stay marketable. The program will highlight trends in the job market, an overview of career assessment and job search tools, and helpful tips for marketing yourself to potential employers, writing standout resumes and preparing for job interviews.

The virtual event is free for Chamber members and $5 for future members. Registration is required for access to receive login credentials. 

Leadership NEXT’s annual sponsor is the FGCU Alumni Association.
Tonight's event is sponsored by Wear the Fund.
The Chamber annually publishes Fort Myers Magazine, which is distributed throughout the year in-person at the Chamber, by mail, and at various venues throughout the region. It is also available digitally.

We are now working on our 2021 Fort Myers Magazine, in collaboration with Vector & Ink. This popular publication is a great resource for visitors, residents, and those looking to relocate. Many of our Chamber members advertise in the magazine, and now is the time to make your reservation. Here is the rate sheet and advertising agreement for your review.

Remember, this publication is used for 12 months and provides significant reach locally, regionally, and nationally!

Ready to sign-up, or have questions? Contact Kate or Alex at Vector & Ink, 239.337.0999.

On Wednesday, September 30 at 9:00AM the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce will present a program to educate attendees on the six Florida Amendments on the November 3 ballot.

This non-partisan event will be led by Andrew Wiggins, Senior Director, Political Affairs & Coalitions Advocacy at the Florida Chamber of Commerce, who will discuss the implications of voting yes or no on each. Mr. Wiggins will also share an update on the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

This virtual event $10 for Chamber members, $20 for future members. Advance registration is required for login credentials.
Fred’s Award World is a family owned and operated business located in Fort Myers, Florida since 1977. They are a full service advertising specialties company offering a wide range of promotional items to promote your company. Fred's Award World is a multi-decade Member of Chamber.

Fred's Award World staff can assist your marketing objectives with these quality programs:
  • Corporate recognition programs
  • Premiums and Incentives Sales
  • Trade Show Programs
  • Safety Programs
  • Service Awards
  • Employee Recognition
  • Product Introductions
  • Business Gifts
  • Sport Tournaments
  • Company Outings
  • Thank you programs
  • E-Commerce Services: online stores and fulfillment services
They help you find a cost-effective way to market and promote your business with custom promotional items that speak to your customers and clients. With the number of companies they work with, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

3512 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33916
239.332.0363, rose.freds@coconet.com
One of the benefits of being a Chamber member is having your company's marketing materials displayed in the Chamber lobby and distributed by the Chamber. In addition to the people who come in to the Chamber looking for information, we send LOTS of relocation and visitor packets all over the country.
Don't miss this opportunity to promote your business!

Please send or deliver up to 15 copies (to start!) of your materials to Debra DeHaven at the Chamber office. Our address is 2310 Edwards Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33901. There is free parking in front of our office and we are open 9:00AM to 4:30PM Monday-Friday.

Questions? Give Debra a call at 239.332.2930 ext 211 or send an email to Debra@fortmyers.org.
Did you know that the Member Directory on the Chamber website is directly populated by the information YOU provide?

The Member Directory is a popular and frequently-accessed resource for the public to research Member businesses. They also access the Coupon section of the Directory to find special offers and coupons. When looking for services, many people choose a business that is a member of their local Chamber of Commerce, as they feel that it represents a company's community and business commitment, making them a more desirable choice.

It's helpful to keep your listing fresh and updated!

  • Is your company description correct?

  • Have you added your social media pages?

  • Have you included coupons or special offers?

It's easy to make these additions and edits by logging in to the Member Portal*.
*If you don't remember your Member Portal login information, please reach out to Linda by email at Linda@Fortmyers.org, or phone at 239.332.2930 ext 213. She can also help you with your company category listing in the Member Directory and will do her very best to answer any other questions you may have.