AMANDA BEIGHTS, SENIOR DIRECTOR, LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS & ALEX BREAULT, DIRECTOR OF WORK-BASED LEARNING
In 2019, the Leadership Collier Foundation’s Youth Leadership Collier (YLC) program expanded from a week-long program to include a year-long mentoring experience. This experience pairs YLC graduates with adult graduates from Associate Leadership Collier (ALC) and Leadership Collier (LC) who provide guidance on education, career, and community leadership goals. This supports the Greater Naples Chamber’s overall investment to develop future talent and leaders through student-business connections.
This year, Youth Leadership Collier class member, Abigail, was paired with Lisa Kahn-Allen, current Leadership Collier class member and CEO/Lead Designer for Lisa Kahn-Allen Designs. This match has allowed Abigail to explore her interest in interior design and the industry itself, while also making connections in the field and clarifying her goals for the future.
Lisa and Abigail meet virtually during the LCF’s regularly scheduled mentor sessions, and Abigail recently completed a job shadow that Lisa thoughtfully put together on the work site. A detailed schedule can be found below.
When asked why Lisa has decided to give her time to be a YLC mentor, she responded “I am investing in the future of our youth and the talent they have because they are poised to take the baton and run the next leg of the race. I want to do what I can to help them be successful and to have the support they need to get experience, mentoring, and inspiration. They were born to help take our community, and our world to the next level. I believe in the power of our youth and want to do what I can, in my own small way, to assist them.”
Abigail believes she has gained perspective and motivation on her future, stating: “For me, hands on experience is the way that I know that I learn best. Being able to come in and see what Lisa does and ask questions as I am put right in front of what she does daily was one of the coolest things I have experienced. It was the perfect way to participate in something much bigger than me. It was truly a pleasure to shadow Lisa and be an add on to her team for the day. Working with Lisa only motivates me to go on and start my own business.”
Lisa’s Job Shadow Schedule
This work is possible through a Director of Work-Based Learning, Alex Breault, who connects students to employers through hand-on, work-related experiences. The Leadership Collier Foundation’s Work-Based Learning initiative is financially supported by the Naples Children Education Foundation, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, Halstatt, Arthrex, Karl and Alice Sheffiled and Jan and Kim Kantor, with collaborations through Greater Naples Chamber members, Leadership Collier Foundation Alumni and Future Ready Collier.
JENNA BUZZACCO-FOERSTER, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
United States Sen. Marco Rubio discussed a wide variety of topics during Wake Up Naples, sponsored by Florida Power & Light, at the Hilton Naples on Wednesday, April 7. Photo credit: John Eder/Marker4Photos
For United States Sen. Marco Rubio, infrastructure is more than just roads and bridges. It’s water management systems and broadband, an expansive network to better prepare communities across Florida and the nation for the future.
Infrastructure was among the topics Rubio touched on during a wide-ranging discussion during Wake Up Naples on April 7. Sponsored by Florida Power & Light, the event was a chance for Rubio to provide Greater Naples Chamber members with an update from Washington, D.C. and talk about some of the issues facing the nation.
“The most important question we have to ask all the time is: what direction is our country headed in and what do we need to do to change the course if we’re (headed) in the wrong direction,” he told the crowd of about 80 people at the Hilton Naples. “I think it’s easy to take for granted some of the things that make us special and unique.”
Rubio went on to say that he thinks the two things that make America unique is opportunity and freedom. He said his background as a son of Cuban immigrants has shaped what his views of what it means to have opportunity and freedom.
“It’s the ability to go out and find a good job that allows you to provide for your family and live the life that you wanted. It isn’t about wealth. It isn’t about how many things you own,” he said. “That may be someone’s definition of happiness, but for millions of Americans happiness is basically the ability to live in a safe neighborhood, in a home you own, start a family … retire with some level of dignity. And for my parents, they lived to see all four of their kids have better lives than theirs.”
Rubio touched on several hot button issues during his remarks, including freedom of speech and voter identification laws. He also talked about the Biden administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, and needs of communities across the nation. Rubio said when talking about infrastructure needs it comes down to whether communities are “willing to define infrastructure in responsible ways that are more expansive.”
“If we wanted to do a bipartisan bill, we could,” he said. “It (would be) very meaningful and it would fund a lot of infrastructure and it would create a revenue structure and responsible and would pay for most of it.”
For more information or to register for an upcoming Chamber event, visit www.napleschamber.org/events.