The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce held the first of two 2019 Member Showcases on Tuesday, March 12.
The bi-annual event was held at the Vineyards Country Club and featured over 40 local businesses.
“The member showcase is a great event. Not only did I find it beneficial for my business, but also a terrific way to educate yourself about other businesses in the community,” said Lisa Winters from Storm Smart.
The expo is here to serve the local business community, visitors and residents. This is a perfect event for small business owners and professionals who want to network with others throughout Collier County and develop new business and client contacts.
Attendees explored dozens of booths throughout the country club to discover the latest products and services from Chamber members. Anyone looking for a new internet services provider, financial advisor, caterer or place to stay found it at the expo.
“This being my first experience exhibiting and attending the Naples Chamber Member Showcase I was so excited to meet other members and listen to them explain why and what they do to help expand and build their business,” said Cindy Confer from Whole Foods. “It was no surprise to learn that just being a member of the Chamber, building a trusting relationship and taking part in one way or another with other successful businesses is a key proponent to their own successes. I have always known that people will do business with the people they like and trust which has been my own personal and continuous career / life goal.”
Join the Naples Chamber in August for our second Member Showcase for 2019!
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Collier County Commissioners selected Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida as the Business of the Month for March 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 creates a better quality of life for all citizens in Collier County.
The Board of Collier County Commissioners and Bethany Sawyer, director of membership at The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, presented Richard LeBer, president & CEO, with a commemorative plaque at the Mar. 12, 2019 County Commission meeting.
Harry Chapin Food Bank of SWFL leads Collier County in the fight to end hunger. Since 2013, Harry Chapin Food Bank has grown food distribution in Collier County to 5.1 million pounds by providing more fresh, nutritious food through partnerships with other nonprofit agencies and the food bank’s mobile pantry program.
In 2018, they distributed 24 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 6.4 million pounds of fresh produce, throughout Southwest Florida. Valued at $41.5 million, this food equals about 20 million meals for people in need. In Collier County, they distributed 5.1 million pounds of food.
Last year the food bank expanded their distribution by 90 percent and opened a larger 13,500 sq. ft warehouse to serve as a distribution and meeting center. The Collier County Center gives the capacity to supply more fresh produce and other items to more than 30 partner agencies in Collier County. The Center has expanded volunteer opportunities and offers space to collaborate and partner with other organizations.
Join us Tuesday, March 12 at the Vineyards Country Club from 4 -7 p.m. for our bi-annual Member Showcase!
The Naples Chamber Member Showcase is the perfect gathering of local community members. Under one roof you'll have industry experts that promote innovation and collaboration. We are excited to offer the opportunity for you to connect with others and find a potential new client.
Here are five benefits from attending the Member Showcase:
Enjoy delicious food, refreshing beverages and enjoy strolling through the booths. Don't forget to bring your business cards for our exciting door prize drawings.
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Melanie Schmees has joined the Naples Chamber as the new director of business & economic research. She will focus on supporting local business development efforts through economic development initiatives, business retention and expansion, and economic research and analysis.
“We are very thrilled to welcome Melanie to our team,” said Michael Dalby, president and CEO of the Naples Chamber. “She will bring a fresh approach to business development in our area. Her extensive background in data and research will prove beneficial to our entire community.”
Melanie grew up in Wellington, FL and earned her Bachelors degree in finance and economics from Florida Gulf Coast University.
“I am excited to join the Chamber and contribute to our mission of making Collier County the best place in America to live, work and visit,” said Schmees. “Through research and community engagement we can identify opportunities for growth that will benefit everyone."
Prior to joining the Naples Chamber, Schmees handled compensation valuation at Healthcare Appraisers. Previously, she conducted economic research at the Lee County Economic Development Office.
Andres Paz (GAIN '15)
Local Sales Manager for Media Vista Group, Vice-Chair of this year’s GAIN class, and GAIN 2015 alumnus, Andres Paz is proud to call Collier County home. Andres often expresses his appreciation for his participation in the GAIN program and is now focusing much of his volunteer efforts with LCF, working to promote the GAIN, YLC, and Leadership Collier programs through new and different media. His goal: To encourage more diverse applicants so that classes more closely resemble Collier County’s demographic makeup. He is especially excited to spark the interest of Hispanic professionals so they apply to LCF programs.
“Many Hispanics that I know of have never heard of any LCF programs,” Andres said. “I’m inspired to spread the word so that more Hispanics can go through programs like GAIN and enjoy the benefits of being an LCF alumnus.”
Elected by his GAIN classmates to represent them as graduation speaker, Andres says the program for emerging leaders had a huge impact on his life, both personally and professionally. Andres credits GAIN with providing valuable connections who have shaped his business relationships and friendships. He says, “the quality of my fellow GAIN 2015 Gold-Standards is outstanding,” crediting several of his classmates with inspiring him to “become a better person” and “opening doors” to new opportunities, organizations, and entities.
Even with a busy career, Andres finds time to give back to the community. Andres says GAIN “was a game changer for me,” connecting him to the young professionals who are working every day to make Collier County the best place to live, work, and visit. GAIN inspired him to dig in and volunteer more, surrounding him with new opportunities to give back that he never would have known existed.
Because of GAIN, you can call Andres a fairy godfather for children at Youth Haven, Southwest Florida’s only emergency and residential shelter for boys and girls ages 6-18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Andres has collaborated with fellow LCF alumni, including Denise Murphy (GAIN ‘15) and Danny Pate (LC ‘16), to provide unique opportunities for children at the shelter. Just this month, he took a group to the Collier County Fair for a night of fun and games. In past years, Andres organized a night out at the movie theater.
A fan of our envious weather, Andres enjoys the opportunity Naples’ climate offers for him to play soccer and ride his bicycle year-round. While some complain about traffic during season, he doesn’t mind it and is appreciative of the economic impact our snowbirds and tourists have on the local economy.