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.
When I first found out I was accepted into Youth Leadership Collier (YLC), I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had watched my father wake up early for Leadership Collier in 2017, so I knew to expect early days and late nights, but the one thing that would stand out when he would return home was the smile on his face and the eagerness to tell us what happened on that day. Every day was a new adventure: whether it was going to a courthouse and speaking with a judge, or getting to participate in an Improv activity with a professional actor, it all was so fascinating. But my experience at Youth Leadership Collier was much more than fascinating.
When I first arrived at the Hilton Naples, I walked into a room of teens that I had never seen before. I was nervous but confident as they called us into the room where we would start our retreat before the actual program commenced. Throughout the weekend, we played many group bonding games, learned about the different ways of communication, and really got to connect with my fellow youth leaders. I didn’t think the program could get any better. Then, the week started.
Each day was something new, just like Leadership Collier. We would be at Arthrex learning about how different medical instruments are engineered and how they are used, to then being in an Immokalee orange grove farm learning about economy of agriculture in Collier County. I never knew how dependent Florida is on agriculture. Another opportunity that stood out to me was touring Naples Daily News, where we learned more about the company as a whole and got an inside look on the newspaper production. As an aspiring communications major, I very much enjoyed this day at YLC. We met so many incredible speakers throughout the week but one speaker that stood out the most to me was Senator Richter, who is also a Leadership Collier graduate. Senator Richter delivered an excellent speech on how to be successful, but one thing he said stuck with me: “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.”
After my incredible time at YLC, I was filled with so much ambition and perseverance. I wanted to do nothing but succeed. Seeing what my community had to offer me in a different perspective and with my new leadership skills, I know it was my time to make a difference and start to change my life for the better. When an opportunity arose to be an intern under Amanda Beights at the Leadership Collier Foundation, I didn’t hesitant to apply. Today, it is my 3rd month working with the Leadership Collier Foundation and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world.
If you are thinking about applying for YLC, do it. I never knew how much something could impact my life this much. Please continue to support this incredible program so other teens can continue to have the life changing experience I did.
To learn more about Youth Leadership Collier and to apply click here. Applications for the 2019 YLC program are due February 1, 2019.
Check out more pictures from Maddy’s experience!
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.