The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce has joined a coalition of businesses encouraging federal lawmakers to make permanent a moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
In September, the Naples Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to approve a resolution opposing off-shore oil drilling in Florida state waters and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Board also agreed to join the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition, an alliance of businesses and industry associations aimed at ensuring the federal moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf remains in place.
The Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition officially launched on Oct. 16, with seven chambers of commerce, representing thousands of businesses up and down the coast. The coalition was formed in response to efforts by the federal government to open nearly all U.S. waters to new offshore drilling. The existing moratorium, which is set to expire in 2022, ensures drilling doesn’t get closer to Florida’s shores.
“The FGCBC is a powerful collection of people and businesses who have the most to lose under these dangerous new plans,” said Robin Miller, the president & CEO of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. “We will not allow additional offshore drilling to threaten our businesses and the healthy coasts that they rely on.”
Tourism has a significant economic impact in Collier County. Between January and August, tourism has had an $1.6 billion economic impact in Collier, according to a recent report for the county’s Tourist Development Council. Labor statistics showed that in July approximately 26,500 people were employed in the leisure and hospitality sector in Collier County.
Florida’s beaches attract approximately 113 million tourists to the state, and the Gulf Coast supports 304,556 jobs and generates $18 billion in GDP through fishing, tourism and recreation industries.
For more information about the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition, visit www.ProtectTheGulfCoast.org.
Growing up in a household were volunteering was a way of life it was only nature that it too would become part of my company culture. I was raised with a very clear understanding that when you have, you give to others. Whether it be money, time, or compassion the reality of volunteering is that you get more out of it than what you give.
As a business owner, I am constantly trying to find innovative ways to keep my team motivated and dedicated to my mission. About 7 years ago I started a “Dedication Program” to highlight a local non-profit organization every quarter where Google reviews and Facebook likes drive the amount of the donation given to the selected organization. Each member of my team can nominate a non-profit which in turn educates our team about organizations we may not otherwise be familiar with. It has been a great way to bring my team together while supporting our community.
Last year, when I received the invite to send a couple of my team members to the "Get Involved Collier! Volunteer Expo" I was elated. I thought, what a great way to exposure my team to so many great organizations, all within a couple of hours. The day following the Expo I walked into my office to about 50 brochures and business cards laid out on my desk. But more importantly I was greeted by 2 very enthusiastic team members eager to share their experience and passion for the non-profits they were introduced to. They excitedly told me all about Well-Fit girls and later in the week we unanimously selected them as our next quarter Dedication Program recipient. My team’s enthusiasm did not end there. We continue to discuss our next opportunities for volunteerism weekly and one of my newest team members just completed her volunteer orientation at Naples Therapeutic Riding Center.
We are fortunate to have a Chamber and the Leadership Collier Foundation that values leadership not only on an executive level but also brings attention to the importance of employment satisfaction and encourages volunteerism within corporate environments. Understanding that employees who believe in the mission of the company they represent and having leaders who show them they care, by encouraging growth outside of the organization will create an environment of exponential success.
My focus has never been on how giving back to the community will look for my business. It is simply part of who I am, so it only makes sense that I would build this into my business model. I must admit that having my team represent our company through volunteerism has had a significant impact not only on our team internally but the external benefits of branding my company in such a manner has been a welcomed result. I find myself looking to do business with others who share the same passion of giving back. From spending time tutoring kids with New Horizons to Running a 5K with Girls on the Run we have met incredible people who have expressed their appreciation to my team for our support.
I live strongly by my personal mission statement, “Choose Building Character Over Building Wealth”, a quote from my mother that I discovered after her passing and this has shaped the way I run my business. I am blessed with a highly passionate team who finds great value in helping others. I have realized over the years that community involvement offers team members both personal satisfaction and development by providing an experience to be part of the connection between corporate and personal values. Team building in this manner fits our company culture as we are truly dedicated to our community.
Tiffany Lehman is the President of Insurance Source of Naples. She is a graduate of Growing Associates in Naples™ (GAIN™), chair of Youth Leadership Collier™, and serves on the Leadership Collier Foundation™ Board.
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce announces the recipients of the 2018 Excellence in Industry Awards.
The Excellence in Industry Awards, presented by The Naples Chamber recognize Collier County businesses and individuals that exemplify innovation, economic diversification and community enhancement. The winners will be recognized at the 25th annual awards reception on Nov. 14, 2018 at the Silverspot Cinemas from 8 – 10 a.m. Alex Sink, Florida’s former chief financial officer from 2007 to 2011, will deliver the keynote address. To register visit, www.napleschamber.org/excellenceinindustry
The 2018 Excellence in Industry Awards winners include:
BUSINESS EXPANSION: CID Design Group
CID Design Group, founded over 30 years ago, has grown from two to 38 employees; 18 of those hired since January 2017. The interior design group has unique multifamily, hospitality and commercial projects in 35 states and over 65 cities. Annual revenues have grown from $1 million to over $15 million since 2014.
Pictured : Barbara & Jenn Zella - Founder, Owners and Principal of CID Design Group
COMPANY TO WATCH: Lenkbar, LLC.
Lenkbar LLC started operations in 2012 with three employees and an idea: to design and manufacture safe and innovative surgical instruments. It has grown to over 25 employees and is expanding into a 16,000 square foot state of the art facility.
Pictured : Erik Papenfuss - President at Lenkbar LLC.
HEART OF THE COMMUNITY: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Founded almost a century ago, the 43-acre Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens reaches over 350,000 guests each year with its conservation and education mission. Constantly evolving and adapting, the Zoo seeks innovative ways to connect people with animals and nature to inspire them to respect, value and help conserve wildlife and the environment.
Pictured: Jack Mulvena, President at Naples Zoo
Pillar Award: Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc. has been serving Southwest Florida for over 40 years. Its team of engineers, geologists, scientists and surveyors design workable alternatives to produce results that are in harmony with natural ecosystems. It encourages staff to get involved in the community and has served dozens of nonprofits over the last four decades.
Pictured : Michael Poff, President at CEC
YP of the Year: Alyssa Haney
Alyssa Haney has demonstrated ambition and a strong commitment to the community through her advancement at First Florida Integrity Bank and volunteer work for numerous organizations. A 2018 GAIN (Growing Associates in Naples™) graduate, she serves on the boards of the United Arts Council, Naples Players and Humane Society of Naples Pawfessionals.
Pictured : Alyssa Haney
Chairman’s Award: John Passidomo
John Passidomo served as a Chamber board member and chair of its Public Policy Committee for many years. His dedication to economic and workforce development is unmatched and he has been an integral part of shaping the mission of the Chamber and its governmental relations platform.
Pictured: John Passidomo
Naples Children's Business Fair
Saturday, October 20th!
Gulf Coast High School - Outdoor Courtyard
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
$5 suggested donation for attendees.
Learn more about the fair here.
Proceeds benefit the Leadership Collier Foundation™ in support of youth development and work-based learning programs for local students.
When moving to Naples in my early twenties, one of my first thoughts was how I would make a difference in my new community; but making a difference as a single person is a lot to take on individually.
Currently, I work in the public section as a local government employee and feel that I need to give back to the community that has given me so much. Thanks to Growing Associates in Naples™ (GAIN™), I can make a difference and give back! Throughout the 9 weekly sessions the program offered, I met some of the best, smartest, and determined group of young professionals who share my passion to make Naples the best it’s ever been. Through this program, I was given the opportunity to see the behind the scenes “gears” that make our community turn like the Collier County Sheriffs office, who work night and day, selflessly to keep our community safe; Arthex, who is the masterminds behind the medical advancements and making great achievement; and my personal favorite, the Supervisor of Elections team, who work tirelessly during the election seasons to ensure our votes are counted.
GAIN also gifted me to opportunity to utilize the friendships I have made through this program and incorporate them into my day to day life. My classmates and I have been involved of various fundraisers and events, which have helped various communities in Collier County. Due to these friendships, we have been able to establish a support system as well, supporting one another, both in our careers and our personal life. Thanks to my involvement in GAIN, I was recently introduced to another young professionals’ group, Naples Humane Society after hearing the good they offer our community, lead me to adopting three wonderful pets.
GAIN is one of the best opportunities I have been gifted by my employer to be a part of and the lasting impression of each session will continue to drive me to be a valuable member to not only Collier County but to society as a whole. My commitment to my job and the continual participating in the wonderful events that support the individuals and organizations, makes up Naples, Florida, my forever home.
I would strongly recommend all young professionals in Collier County to apply. Whether you’ve lived here your entire life or just moved to Naples recently, the program will leave a lasting impression and you’ll leave with lifelong connections.
GAIN applications for the class of 2019 are due October 26, 2018. Apply today!
Patty is the Zoning Plans Examiner for the City of Naples Planning Department, she is a 2018 GAIN graduate.
Over 100 children and their families attended an orientation on Tuesday, September 25 to get tips on how they can succeed as a young entrepreneur at the Naples Children's Business Fair.
The Children’s Business Fair, a nationally-recognized program, is coming to Naples on Oct. 20. Sponsored by The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), this national event gives students between the ages of 6 and 17 the chance to showcase their products, while promoting entrepreneurial skills.
The Acton Children’s Business Fair is a national event originally developed by the Acton Academy Schools and Acton MBA Program. The organizations believe in the power of work and entrepreneurship to improve self esteem and strong communities. At the Naples Chamber and LCF we work each day to expand our workforce and diversify our economy. We understand that to affect real change in our workforce and community, we need to be strongly invested in connecting students to the educational and business opportunities to excel.
At the orientation Chamber vice president of events and development, Nikkie Dvorchak and vice president of the LCF, Amanda Beights, walked through the event timeline, set-up and tear-down and covered helpful tips for selling products and services.
It was a delight to see the excitement in our local students! They asked a variety of questions about the awards, their business presentation and were diligently taking notes.
We are expecting around 800 attendees at the Naples Children's Business Fair! There are over 106 "businesses" registered with over 150 students participating. There will be everything to buy from soaps to art and even magic!
The 2018 Naples Children’s Business Fair will take place on Saturday, October 20th, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gulf Coast High School. Bring cash to support our young entrepreneurs’ ventures while voting for the most original business idea, highest business potential, and the best presentation/creativity awards. We will see you there!
Like the Facebook event here to stay informed!
The purpose of my summer internship with the Guadalupe Center was to research various methods to create a survey that would collect the alma mater information of donors, professional advisors and Guadalupe Center friends, select a method, and create a survey.
In this internship I was able to utilize my existing computer skills including Microsoft Word and Excel and learn how to use new programs such as Online Express, Constant Contact and Blackbaud software. I also had the opportunity to enhance my professional skills, including written and verbal communication, attire and overall presentation that will have a long lasting impact on my future endeavors.
At the beginning of the project, I was instructed and became familiar with the database the Guadalupe Center uses. This process helped me become more self-aware about how I learn best. I realized that when I manage my time and schedule; learning the database and all its functions would progress. This strategy helped me enhance my problem-solving skills by becoming aware that my decisions would have an impact on the work of those around me. I was given clear direction and guidance on all my assignments with the expectations that were needed along with their deadlines.
I divided my time between the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee, Florida and the Development Office in Naples, Florida. When I was in Immokalee I worked in the library which has a studious and vibrant ambiance to it. I felt a strong connection with the Guadalupe Center and the work that I was doing. I was filled with joy as I looked through the tall glass windows and saw children as they ran around the playground. At the Naples office, I was surrounded by business professional staff members and board members. They welcomed me with open arms and pretty soon I fell into a comfortable routine where it became a habit to have lunch together. One of my unexpected projects included being asked for suggestions on a name for a project that was being developed. By being put on the spot I was able to challenge my creativity.
After sending the Alma Mater Survey, I was excited to see 50 responses within the first 20 minutes! I felt such a sense of accomplishment by seeing the response number rise. Overall, this internship was an amazing opportunity that provided with many benefits and memories. If I were presented with another opportunity to intern for the Guadalupe Center, I would definitely do it all over again.
Interested in hosting your own intern? Email email@example.com for more information.
When I began my position as Membership Intern at the Chamber, I was just months away from earning my degree at Florida Gulf Coast University. I have held a few other jobs throughout my college career but have never worked for a non-profit organization. I knew my position would involve interacting with our members and assisting our membership team. What I didn’t realize was that this was only going to be one small part of my job description.
I have been with the Chamber for about 5 months now, and I have been able to work with every branch of our organization. While my primary goal has been to assist our Membership Department, I have also been able to work with our Marketing Department, Events & Development, Public Policy, and the Leadership Collier Foundation.
I couldn’t have asked for a position that was more well-rounded, versatile and, well… fun! From assisting with and attending events, updating our database and writing press-releases, to engaging with our members and attending meetings, every day is an entirely different experience. I never thought that through my internship I would learn about new restaurants, other local non-profit organizations and large and small local businesses. I feel very connected to the Naples community and have seen our continued growth first-hand.
One of the most important things I have realized is just how much the Chamber does for our community. I feel that there’s a misconception that the Chamber is a business networking vehicle first and foremost—but that is only one small aspect of the work that is achieved within this organization. I have seen first-hand how our Chamber connects the whole community to new opportunities, not only it’s members. It has been such a rewarding experience to work with such a charitable and a driven team.
I will never forget my time here at the Naples Chamber and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work for such a terrific organization. I feel very prepared for my career and what the future has in store for me. I would highly recommend interning to any college student, as I would recommend hiring an intern to all our local organizations.
Rachel is a recent graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University earning a major in Psychology. After her internship, she is excited to pursue a career in human resources.
Interested in hosting your own intern? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This summer the Leadership Collier Foundation™ coordinated a work-site tour at the David Lawrence Center for students interested in a career in mental health or for students who wanted to learn more about the organization.
Students from The Immokalee Foundation and Youth Leadership Collier™ were educated about the vital services provided by the David Lawrence Center and their partnerships with other organizations throughout Collier County. The students also heard from Sgt. Leslie Weidenhammer, from the Collier County Sheriff’s Department, about her position, the relationship between DLC and CCSO, and the importance of interventions.
A work-site tour is one example of work-based learning opportunities for students. It allows students to see various aspects of an industry, network with employers, and connect classroom knowledge with a career. With these meaningful experiences, we hope to inspire learning and develop soft skills before entering the workforce.
What did you learn about the David Lawrence Center?
I liked the fact that the Sheriff’s office partners with the David Lawrence Center to make a difference in the community. They work together to create a welcoming place for people with mental disorders and addiction. I think it is interesting that there are different therapies for the whole body such as horse art therapy. Thank you for the opportunity to sit in and listen to what David Lawrence has to offer. -Cindy
I liked that the David Lawrence Center has many facilities, including one for children. They are also able to help people who are walk-ins. It’s nice that they really care about their community. –Alfonso
I learned that David Lawrence gives back so much to those in need of counseling and rehabilitation. The fact that they partner with different organizations to make the patients feel as helped and welcomed says a lot about the non-profit organization. Patients can participate in different therapeutic activities like art, music, and sports. I am thankful for the opportunity that was given to find out further on the impact the David Lawrence Center has on the community. -Madison
Interested in hosting a work-site tour for students? Email email@example.com
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce’s, Vice President of the Leadership Collier Foundation™, Amanda Beights will discuss the importance of a collective impact and “Growing Effective Business Partnerships that Support Work Based Learning” at the NAF Next National Conference, July 8 -11, in Washington D.C.
In coordination with Future Ready Collier, Collier County organizations, businesses, schools and community members are making significant efforts to support College and Career Readiness for all students. The Naples Chamber’s Leadership Collier Foundation has partnered with Collier County Public Schools to promote and connect work-based learning opportunities for NAF Academy students. In June, the Naples Chamber was awarded the 2018 Florida Commissioner of Education Business Recognition Award for their partnership with the Collier County Public School District.
Amanda Beights will speak on a panel with other local professionals including: Tu Chi, Director of Human Resources, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort; Nicole Litchko, Manager, Career & Technical Education, Collier County Public Schools; and Courtney Stahlman, Manager, High School Career Academies, Collier County Public Schools. The panel will discuss the importance of developing community and business partnerships to create and sustain work-based learning in a small community.
Amanda Beights is the Vice President of the Leadership Collier Foundation, an affiliate of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. In this capacity, she manages the Foundation’s programs, including: Leadership Collier™, Youth Leadership Collier™, Growing Associates In Naples™ (GAIN™), and Campaign for Leadership™. Additionally, Amanda administers the Foundation’s Alumni Association, comprised of over 1,800 graduates to date; acting as the primary alumni programs director and liaison for the Foundation’s Board of Directors. As the Leadership Collier Foundation continues to expand work with youth and workforce development, Amanda also oversees the implementation of the Chamber’s work-based learning initiatives.
Amanda is a graduate from the Institute for Organization Management (IOM), the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and has received the recognition of IOM. Awarded to all graduates of the Institute program, the IOM Graduate Recognition signifies the individual’s completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management.