The Leadership Collier Foundation and Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Grace Place for Children and Families to bring a “Student and Business Networking” event to their students. The event gave high school students a chance to practice their networking skills with local professionals and learn about career opportunities in our community. The Leadership Collier Foundation and Naples Chamber encouraged business professionals from all disciplines to attend the event. This was a great opportunity for the adults to engage with our future talent and potentially recruit their interns or future employees.
Read on to find out more!
“I was thoroughly impressed after speaking with several Golden Gate High School students at Grace Place. Their ambition, maturity and openness to networking was beyond refreshing and I’m grateful to The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce for hosting such a forward-thinking event. Many students don’t experience networking until well after college and I believe that this program allows students to have a distinct advantage in their future pursuits no matter their career choice. Once again, the Chamber has succeeded in connecting individuals in our community! Grace Place is an excellent community partner that continues to grow and serve Naples because they truly practice what they preach. I am looking forward to the next event!” – Kelsey Browne, Brown & Brown of Southwest FL
“The business networking event was a great experience for me. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to meet prominent members of organizations and different businesses. I had a great time meeting them. They were all very friendly and gave great advice pertaining to my future. The business networking event also helped me develop connections with organizations like the Shelter for Abused Women and Children and have opened doors to many opportunities. Furthermore, this event has been very beneficial in making connections and getting insight to the vast type of businesses in Naples. – Jonathan Oliva-Infante (11th grade
Interested in hosting a networking event at your organization? Contact Alex Breault, Work-Based Learning Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Leadership Collier Foundation™ (LCF), in coordination with The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, announces the Growing Associates In Naples™ (GAIN™) Class of 2019.
Each winter, the LCF accepts approximately 40 area professionals for the GAIN program. The program is specifically designed for emerging leaders and professionals in Collier County, ages 21- 40. Participants go through an intense, eight-session series of workshops focused on key issues affecting the community. After graduation, GAIN™ members are inducted into the LCF Alumni Association™ and encouraged to take an active role in civic and professional issues, address area challenges and work toward solutions in the public interest.
The Leadership Collier Foundation Board of Directors congratulates the following GAIN 2019 Class members:
Chair: Meredith McLean, Humane Society Naples
Vice Chair: Andres Paz, Univision SWFL
Vice Chair: Allison Durion, Naples Children & Education Foundation
Kate Albers, Arthrex, Inc.
John Brown, Moran Edwards Asset Management Group
Kelsey Browne, Brown & Brown Insurance of Southwest Florida
Matthew Catoe, Collier County Board of County Commissioners
Courtney Chaipel Pugh, Quarles & Brady LLP
Leroy Christiansen, Gulfshore Insurance Agency
Lauren Cox, Waterside Shops
Jessica Dang, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County
Jason Ensor, Naples Community Hospital
Peter Falisi, Two Guys Kitchen & Catering
Rafael J. Feliciano, Food Idea Group Inc.
Leonardo Gianfranco Fiorini, ACI Worldwide
Amanda Goebel, Halstatt, LLC
Christopher Goldhorn, Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Tahnee Guite, Physicians Regional Medical Center
Jeffrey Haut, Vernon Litigation Group
Hasan Kajtezovic, Arthrex, Inc.
Keira Lucas, Collier Mosquito Control District
Matt Meyers, William Raveis Real Estate, Matt Meyers, LLC
Chrissie Missal, Grace Place for Children and Families
Alina Mizerniuc, Clifton Larson Allen LLP
Charlotte O’Bryon, City of Naples
Kristin Peras, Champions for Learning
Monica Perez, Hope for Haiti
Lemay Perez, Collier County Board of County Commissioners, Growth Management Department
Paulina Perez, Barron Collier Companies
Sara Perkins, Naples Global Advisors
Deanna Elizabeth Peterson, Guadalupe Center
Maria Plata, The Immokalee Foundation
Parker Poage, NewsBank, Inc.
Michael Rubenstein, BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Jonathan Saunders, J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Emily Schaefer, Collier County Public Schools
Jessica Siefer, David Lawrence Center
Michael Sneeringer, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
Rachel Stone, Artis—Naples
Lindsey Thoman, Avow Hospice and Palliative Care
Jordan Tompkins, Merrill Lynch
Renee Waller, Naples Botanical Garden
Naomi Weathers, United Way of Collier County
Denise Williams, HBKS Wealth Advisors
Brandon Yarusi, Collier Enterprises
About Leadership Collier Foundation
The Leadership Collier Foundation™ (LCF), in coordination with The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, educates local business leaders about the societal and economic challenges facing the community today through the programs it governs: Leadership Collier™, Growing Associates In Naples™ (GAIN™), Youth Leadership Collier™, The Emerging Leadership Council and Campaign for Leadership™. Through the work of the LCF Alumni Association™, graduates continue to build alliances, foster goodwill and civic trusteeship that will strengthen Collier County. The foundation also leads the Chamber’s initiative for work-based learning opportunities for local business and students supporting talent development. For more information, contact Amanda Beights at email@example.com.
Author: Bethany Sawyer, Director of Membership
For more than 70 years, The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce has been committed to community and business leadership in Collier County. We are grateful to have more than 1,200 businesses representing over 50,000 employees who say “yes” to investing in the Chamber. When you become a member, you are joining into a collective effort to enhance your organization and improve the business climate in Collier County.
Chamber members are a blend of businesses ranging from small to large, with most members employing under 20 staff. We work to keep our business leaders informed of important issues and trends within the community, we are a resource for you. Our staff helps to ensure that our community has a sturdy base of high-value careers, a skilled and prepared workforce and that existing and relocating businesses have the resources grow and thrive in Collier County. The Naples Chamber is focused on enhancing our local workforce training and development efforts. By fostering relationships with community leaders and growing public and private partnerships, we are helping to grow and expand our local workforce.
Research shows that when consumers know that a small business is a member of their local chamber of commerce, they are 44 percent more likely to think favorably of it and 63 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from that company in the future.
“Over the years, I have worked for many different banks in the Naples market. The one constant I can always count on for great business contacts and long-term relationships in the community is The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce,” says John Coffey, vice president and commercial loan manager for Southwest Florida for Capital Bank. “As a 30-plus year Chamber member, I can attest to the many opportunities that have introduced me to the business movers and shakers in the Naples market, some of them becoming long term excellent customers. The Chamber has provided me with a wide spread knowledge of the Naples business culture as a result of networking, volunteer, committee and ambassador involvement. It would be nearly impossible to meet all the diverse business people I have had the pleasure to interact with through any other organization.”
The Chamber is here to empower our businesses and professionals. Through events and strategic communication, we work to educate and engage our business leaders and have thoughtful discussions about what we wish for the future of our community. Our dedication to building a broad-based network of community leaders continues through the Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), an affiliate of the Chamber. Graduates of LCF programs use their knowledge and expertise to build alliances, foster goodwill and civic trusteeship that strengthen our community. With thousands of alumni, we recognize this opportunity to give back to Collier County and engage our future talent.
Chambers of commerce are a gathering place for people, ideas and solutions and that is why we are proud to be The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, ensuring our Collier County remains the best place to live, work and visit.
Let us help connect, promote & support you. Thank you for saying YES to our community.
To learn more visit www.napleschamber.org/membership.
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Collier County Commissioners selected Friends of Rookery Bay as the Business of the Month for February 2019.
Each month, the award is presented to an organization that has enhanced the community through financial, volunteer and active involvement in organizations and programs that assist in creating a better quality of life for all citizens in Collier County.
The Board of Collier County Commissioners and Bethany Sawyer, the director of membership at The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, presented Athan Barkoukis, executive director, with a commemorative plaque at the Feb. 12, 2019 at the County Commission meeting.
Founded in 1987, Friends of Rookery Bay connects people to Southwest Florida’s dynamic coastal environment in support of the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay Research Reserve, one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America.
Today, Friends of Rookery Bay play an instrumental role working directly with the Research Reserve staff to help ensure that enough resources continue to be available to help accomplish the Reserve's important mission.
More than 1,000 Friends’ members from the Naples and Marco Island communities serve as trained volunteers, assisting staff with everything from sea turtle monitoring and shark research in the Ten Thousand Islands, to teaching young students about estuaries in the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, as well as aiding the Reserve’s Coastal Training Program providing science-based education to individuals who make professional decisions that affect our coastal resources.
Members also act as a critical voice at the local, state and federal level advocating on behalf of Rookery Bay Research Reserve and the nationwide 29-Reserve system. In 2017 and 2018, the federal budget zeroed out funding to the entire Reserve system, with dire implications locally. Letters and calls of support from members led to the re-instatement of federal funding necessary for the Reserve to continue its important work managing the reserve.
Recent additions to leadership at the board and staff level, along with expanded strategic partnerships and a growing membership, ensure the Friends of Rookery Bay will play a vital role supporting Collier County and the Reserve, in 2019 and beyond.
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce will host its annual fund-raising golf tournament, the Naples Chamber Classic, on Friday, May 3 at The Club at The Strand.
The annual golf tournament is a long-standing tradition that Chamber members and non-members alike have enjoyed for several years. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at noon. The tournament allows players the opportunity to network with other business professionals and community members. In addition, the event will feature great prizes, one-of-a-kind experience holes as well as course exclusivity during the half-day tournament.
Organized by the Naples Chamber Golf Committee, the golf tournament is part of the annual campaign to raise funds to support all business and community growth initiatives of the Chamber. Sponsors include Naples Daily News, Gallagher Lutgert Insurance, Waste Management, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and Inspira.
Registration is now open at www.NaplesChamber.org/chamberclassic. ‘Early Bird’ rates are available to all registrants through April 1, 2019. Registration is $150 per person and includes green and cart fees, bag handling, professional scoring, lunch and reception.
For more information and sponsorship opportunities contact Nikkie Dvorchak, vice president of events & development, at (239) 403-2909 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buddy Hornbeck (GAIN '12, LC '17)
Buddy Hornbeck is an Area Vice President with Gallagher Lutgert Insurance and an Accredited Adviser in Insurance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Alabama. Buddy can regularly be seen supporting LCF Alumni events, as well as the Chamber where he serves as a board member and chairman of the annual golf tournament. He is also on the board of the Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation, and the Young Executive Society Board for the Naples Historical Society. Buddy and his wife Lindsey recently welcomed their first child, a son.
What was your favorite part of the LCF programs? You get a chance to learn and bond with people from many different industries and those relationships continue to grow once you graduate.
How did your experience with your class help you get ahead? I feel better prepared to look at issues in our community from multiple angles and have open discussions about how to improve our community for the generations to come.
Why do you think the LCF programs are important for the community? Leadership Collier really opens your eyes to issues that you might not have known were there. You learn to look at the bigger picture.
In what ways do you support the LCF Alumni Association? I like to attend as many LCF events as my schedule allows, including Wine Down Wednesday, LCF Behind-the-Scenes, or the LCF Holiday Party. As chair of the Naples Chamber Classic Golf Tournament, I hope my fellow alumni will come out strong and attend or sponsor the tournament! It takes place on Friday, May 3 at The Strand. It is always one of my favorite networking events of the year! Contact me or Nikkie Dvorchak (GAIN '17) for details.