For Jamie Andersen (LC ’18), life is coming full circle.
Having grown up in Collier County, attending Pine Ridge Middle School and Barron Collier High School, Andersen left for the early part of her adult life and a career in New York City. She returned in 2015 to a little town that had grown up. Since her homecoming, Andersen has contributed to our community in significant ways, as she inspires others to fulfill their leadership potential.
“I’m so impressed by everything that has transpired in the county. For a population to have the resources we do—to have the arts and culture scene we do, to have access to great education opportunities at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University, to have such a strong business community spearheaded by the Chamber and to have a very patriotic, charitable community—is really special,” Andersen said. “I’m just loving every day being here and raising my family here.”
Andersen is mom to Jimmy (6) and Julia (3).
As alumni of the Leadership Collier Foundation know, our leadership programs encourage participants to get more involved in our community. For Andersen, Leadership Collier also inspired her to deepen her commitment to the Chamber.
Since graduation, Andersen joined the Greater Naples Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, participating in discussions about pressing issues in the area, including workforce housing and growth management. Andersen joined the committee, “to stay engaged on the topics that impact our community and to sustain relationships with other leaders, which will benefit the community in times of need.”
As a member of “The Great 1-8,” the Leadership Collier class that took place in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Andersen experienced such a time firsthand.
“Although it presented a lot of scheduling challenges, people were very gracious in moving around sessions,” Andersen said. “It was wonderful to have that type of community in place in that challenging year.”
For Andersen, the shared experience of Hurricane Irma brought an immediacy to the program, demonstrating why Leadership Collier is so important. It also helped to inspire the class to give back by creating an endowed scholarship fund with the Community Foundation of Collier County to support the Leadership Collier Foundation and future program participants.
Andersen proudly serves as Board Chair for Florida’s Southern Gulf Chapter of the American Red Cross, covering Collier, Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties.
“The Red Cross is a community asset that depends on volunteers,” Andersen said. “In an area with so many veterans, in an area that faces hurricanes and wildfires, I encourage anyone with an interest in giving back to get involved. This organization means so much to me, and we’re always looking for people to join.”
In addition to her work with the Red Cross, Andersen serves as Vice Chair of the Community School of Naples’ “CSN Fund for Excellence,” a fund supporting the independent school’s annual budget. She also participates with the Business Hall of Fame Advisory Board for Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. Junior Achievement provides financial literacy education and mentorship for youth in our area. Every year the organization recognizes two outstanding business leaders from Collier County.
“I’m inspired by the businesspeople we recognize and the students that we’re doing this on behalf of. It’s a nice tradition for Collier County,” Andersen said. The event also serves as the main fundraiser for JA.
Spurred by her involvement with the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, Andersen was selected to sit on the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Oversight Committee. This citizen committee oversees how the money generated by the one-cent sales surtax, approved by voters in 2018, is spent.
“I value the will of the people of Collier County,” Andersen said. “They’ve invested this one-cent sales surtax, and I thought it was very important to make sure we had proper citizen oversight and that their hard-earned taxpayer dollars were used for the intended purpose.”
To expand her community work to a statewide level, Andersen traveled to Tallahassee in February as a representative of the Southwest Florida delegation. It was an opportunity to experience the legislative process firsthand. Andersen and the group met with lawmakers—including Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo (LC ’91)—to discuss needs and priorities for our area.
When Andersen reflects on leadership, she thinks of a line from consumer advocate and environmental activist Erin Brokovich: Superman is not coming.
“It’s up to us. We’re the leaders of this community,” Andersen said. “If there is something that we want to tackle or needs to be done, there is nobody better to do that than those equipped by Leadership Collier. Go for it!”
The Greater Naples Chamber, in partnership with Collier County Government and Florida Gulf Coast University, is pleased to present the Collier County Business Climate Survey Report for the first quarter of 2020.
About the survey:
The Collier County Business Climate Survey Report, published in partnership between Collier County Government, the Greater Naples Chamber, and Florida Gulf Coast University, provides primary research to the business community, elected officials, and other concerned citizens designed to gauge the state of Collier County’s economy over time as well as impressions and concerns about it in the future.
The Executive Business Climate Survey provides a view of the local economy based on responses from senior executives from a range of industries across the county. The internet survey was sent to 198 executives and business owners in Collier County.
The business climate survey is comprised of three areas of focus. The first area examines Collier County business executives’ impressions of economic conditions and trends with respect to hiring and investment. The second area provides the calculation of an Executive Business Climate Index (EBCI). The third area is comprised of issue-specific questions that change from survey to survey. The current “special topics” section focuses on the firm’s ability to fill their most skilled position and expectations they have for potential candidates.
Key survey results:
Key indicators seem to suggest overall confidence among business leaders’ that the local economy will not experience a decline in the coming year and optimism in business owners’ perception of the direction of the local economy in the last year:
One of the key features of this survey is the calculation of an Executive Business Climate Index. The EBCI provides a summary number which will allow one to quickly gauge whether the business climate in Collier County is improving or declining. The index measured at 66.4 during the first quarter of 2020 on a range of 0 to 100, 100 meaning the business climate is substantially better, and 0 meaning the business climate is substantially worse. Given that this is the first measurement overall, once more quarters are measured trends in the EBCI may be established.
Additional comments from the surveyed executives included cost of living concerns and availability of local and promotion trade work.
The Greater Naples Chamber and the Board of Collier County Commissioners selected Preferred Travel of Naples, Inc. as the Business of the Month for February 2020.
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, presented President/CFO Olga Placeres with a commemorative plaque on Feb. 11 at the County Commission meeting.
“As a long-standing business in Southwest Florida, we are honored to have been chosen as Collier County Business of the Month and are proud to support the community that supports us,” said Placeres.
Founded in 1984, Preferred Travel of Naples is the largest travel agency in Southwest Florida with a team of more than 50 advisors specializing in leisure travel from cruises to world adventures. The company’s travel advisors—most of whom have been with Preferred Travel for over 10 years—strive to deliver differentiated travel experiences and personalized service.
Preferred Travel plans travel experiences to places around the world. Some popular destinations include Africa, Austria, Thailand, Spain, Australia, Germany, the Holy Land and more.
In addition to donations and sponsorships supported by Preferred Travel, the company also selects a local charity each year as the beneficiary of its annual travel show. One hundred percent of the ticket sales goes directly to the selected charity. Since 2007, $224,760 has been raised from the travel show ticket sales and donated to charitable organizations in Collier County.
To learn more about Preferred Travel of Naples, click here.
Leadership Collier Foundation announces new name for Growing Associates in Naples, welcomes Class of 2020
The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), of the Greater Naples Chamber, has unveiled a new name for its popular Growing Associates in Naples (GAIN) program: Associate Leadership Collier.
“Our Leadership Collier brand has a very strong reputation and association,” said Amanda Beights, vice president, Leadership Collier Foundation. “We want to provide consistency with all of our Leadership Collier programs, so this name change is a natural fit.”
Each winter, the LCF accepts approximately 40 area professionals for the Associate Leadership Collier 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, Associate Leadership Collier 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 name change will take effect immediately with the incoming Class of 2020. The Leadership Collier Foundation Board of Directors congratulates the following Associate Leadership Collier 2020 Class members:
Chair: Andres Paz, AdVenture
Vice Chair: Priscylla Oliva, Barron Collier Companies
Vice Chair: Alyssa Haney, First Florida Integrity Bank
Sabrina Allard, Halstatt Legacy Partners
Claire Baker, ACI Worldwide
Amber Barr, The Immokalee Foundation
Laura Bidireanu, Community Foundation of Collier County
Haley Blorstad, LandQwest Commercial and NCH Healthcare System
Lauren Branson, United Way of Collier County
Garrett Carney, Coleman, Yovanovich & Koester, PA
Debbie Chiu, NewsBank
Morgan Cote, Pedal Pub
Davidson Lee, Davidson Engineering, Inc.
Larry Falisi, Self-employed
Brittany Feroce, NCH Bears Den Childcare Center
Andrea Fortin, Hodges University
Adam Hall, Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Sara Hall, Roetzel and Andress, LPA
Tyler Hardt, Pelican Bay Capital Management, LLC
Karen Harmon, The Shelter for Abused Women & Children
Bryan Holmes, The Naples Airport Authority
Michael Hushek, Naples Aviation
Cody Jones, Collier County Information Technology
Chelsea Klotz, Champions for Learning
Moira Larkin, David Lawrence Center
Rebeca Linz, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby P.C.
Nicole Litchko, Collier County Public Schools
Brent Loewel, North Collier Fire Rescue and Pearson CRE
Madison McNally, STARability Foundation
Ashley McNamara, Barron Collier Companies
Wotts Mercy, Avow Hospice
Alexa Nargi, Arthrex, Inc.
Stefanie Nelsen, Corporate Spending Innovations
Eric Olson, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby P.C.
Sloan Percival, Artis – Naples
Jennifer Rei, Dee & Associates CPAs
Aome Rogers, PBS Contractors
Melanie Schmees, The Greater Naples Chamber
Caitlin Schubert, SimpleTiger
Misty Smith, Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA)
Brooke Spencer, Wellfit Girls
Ramona Stockman, Barron Collier Companies
Joseph Stusek, Cummings & Lockwood LLC
Grace VanderMolen, Moorings Park
Brenton Weiskopf, Pelican Wire
Stephanie Yeargin, A Locksmith, Inc.