Amy Cooper (LC '12)
GOAL: Amy Cooper is on a mission to match LCF Alumni like you to the non-profit volunteer, board, and mentoring opportunities that best utilize your skills and abilities.
Supporting local non-profit organizations is an integral part of the Leadership Collier Foundation’s mission. Sometimes as alumni, we know we have talents, time, and specialized knowledge to pitch in and make a difference for local non-profits but aren’t sure where those talents could be best utilized. That’s where Amy Cooper and the Matching Needs Committee come in! Amy Cooper, a Certified Public Accountant and Principal of Non-Profit at CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, has been serving as Chair of the Matching Needs Committee for the last six years.
Amy sums up the committee’s mission like this, “The Matching Needs Committee advocates community trusteeship through volunteerism and mentorship. The committee supports the mission of LCF by being a source for alumni for volunteer opportunities.”
As volunteer and mentor opportunities arise, the committee plays a kind of matchmaker, helping non-profits solve complex challenges by finding a highly qualified LCF member to pitch in. LCF’s alumni have such diverse backgrounds, experience, and skills, they are oftentimes ideally situated to help non-profits perform their best. The committee’s matching service helps utilize the talents and expertise of LCF alumni so members can give back to their community in the most meaningful and impactful ways.
Amy is most proud of her work on the Volunteer Expo. “It was started several years ago and has become a sought after event for the alumni and public to get to know the non-profits in the area that are looking for volunteers and board members,” Amy said. Supporting LCF by chairing the Matching Needs Committee is important to Amy. "It is a good way to give back to the community. The LCF program was one of the best experiences that I’ve had and volunteering through this committee has been rewarding.”
If you are looking for a way to get more involved with LCF through the Matching Needs Committee, Amy invites you to contact Amanda Beights. Amy says, “We are always looking for people who want to contribute!”
JENNA BUZZACCO-FOERSTER | DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
When Syd Kitson set out to create Babcock Ranch, he wanted to prove that growth and sustainability could go hand in hand.
Thirteen years later, his vision is a reality. And Kitson, the chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, said the Southwest Florida community is a model for what smart development can look like going forward.
“All these things that we’re talking about are what create community,” said Kitson. “Babcock Ranch doesn’t have gates. This is truly a town.”
Kitson talked about his vision for creating Babcock Ranch during the August 14 Wake Up Naples at Hilton Naples. In his 45-minute conversation with Naples City Manager Charles Chapman, Kitson discussed the process of building a town from the ground up, the importance of preservation and how to create community.
“One of the things we wanted Babcock Ranch to be was multi-generational,” he said. “We didn’t want it to be a bunch of old people like me. We wanted to have that great mix of people.”
The best way to attract young people: Build a school. That was one of the first things Kitson did, at the urging of former Gov. Jeb Bush, a member of the Babcock Ranch board. It proved to be a smart decision. The school quickly had a waiting list and has since moved to a larger location.
Kitson said Babcock Ranch has incorporated a variety of other features, including community gardens and free Wi-Fi outside, to make the town attractive to all types of residents. His team is focused heavily on solar power, becoming the first all solar community in nation, and autonomous vehicles.
These measures have helped achieve the goal of attracting a wide variety of residents. Kitson said more than half the buyers are young families, and a fair share of them work in the community.
Kitson encouraged landowners, developers and governments to “work in partnership” to ensure sustainable communities can flourish in the future.
“I think what Babcock Ranch is proving … is that people what that kind of living,” he said.
To register for future Wake Up Naples breakfast events visit www.napleschamber.org/wakeupnaples
MADELINE YOUNG | DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Did you know the Naples Chamber has a Small Business Council? Collier County’s economy is dependent on small businesses and we value feedback and insight from each of our local entrepreneurs.
During July’s meeting, 15 council members from varying industries got together to discuss “out-of-season” tactics in slower months.
Blase Ciabaton from Naples Print Source led the conversation and cited a few ideas that keep his business running through the summer heat.
Keeping top talent
Those among the conversation said that finding ways to keep their top talent all year instead of losing them makes a significant difference on productivity and efficiency. Some examples to keep talent include hiring more part-time employees to keep their hours through the summer instead of cutting back, supplying flexible or remote work-time, providing “loyalty bonuses,” or planning individual or team volunteer days helps to maintain and engage staff members.
Find out what your team is looking for and how you as an employer can better serve them. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to buy the team lunch occasionally, to show that sign of appreciation.
Understanding your client’s needs is a great way to stay busy all year round. For example, Naples Print Source, known for its high-quality design and printing services understood their client’s needs for a database manager and found it perfectly aligned with their expertise and skill set. Now, they have diversity within their offerings and have budgeted work throughout the year that is less periodic.
Consider planning a “listening tour.” Go out and talk with customers. Find out ways that you can make their lives easier. Summer schedules are typically less chaotic, and that’s the perfect time to get qualitative insight, reflect and enhance your services.
Diversifying your client-base is another way to stay busy June-September. Finding clients in varying industries is a strategic way to manage the company’s workload. Supporting businesses in tourism, healthcare, nonprofit and government is an ideal way to expand your reach.
Planning Projects for the Slow Months
Take time to work with your team to prepare and “batch” projects for the entire year.
Whether it’s prepping that quarterly marketing plan, cleaning up the database or preparing materials, finding the time to build a backup for when things get crazy will prove to be invaluable in staying organized and efficient. Planning strategic internal projects in the summer months can keep creativity flowing when client work might slow down.
If you are a small business owner or work for a small business, consider joining the Chamber’s Small Business Council. To find out more contact email@example.com.
Corey was born in Naples FL and lived here until the age 2. He moved to St. Petersburg, FL and then moved back to Naples in 7th grade where he attended Oak Ridge Middle School and Gulf Coast High School. Corey attended Florida Atlantic University on a full football scholarship after playing 1 season of high school football.
After earning a degree in English at FAU, he embarked on a professional football career. He told himself that he would give it at least 1 year to chase my dream of playing pro ball. Entering into his professional career he taught English at Barron High School for 2 years and in 2013 I embarked on his insurance career with State Farm Insurance. He worked for agent, mentor and Chamber Member, Brian Glaeser, and opened his own State Farm Insurance agency in 2018.
Corey is a family oriented person and he is motivated by his beautiful wife and 3 children. "I have an awesome relationship with my father and learned all about hard work by working with him in my family catering business. Many say he has the best BBQ in town! I am extremely passionate about what I do and I am even more excited about being able to represent a brand like State Farm Insurance here in my hometown," said Corey.
As a proud Chamber member, he is looking forward to assisting in the Chamber's advocacy efforts and meeting other business professionals in the community. To learn more about Corey visit www.insuredbycorey.com
Interested in becoming a chamber member? Contact Susan Kuhar at firstname.lastname@example.org