The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce has joined a coalition of businesses encouraging federal lawmakers to make permanent a moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
In September, the Naples Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to approve a resolution opposing off-shore oil drilling in Florida state waters and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Board also agreed to join the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition, an alliance of businesses and industry associations aimed at ensuring the federal moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf remains in place.
The Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition officially launched on Oct. 16, with seven chambers of commerce, representing thousands of businesses up and down the coast. The coalition was formed in response to efforts by the federal government to open nearly all U.S. waters to new offshore drilling. The existing moratorium, which is set to expire in 2022, ensures drilling doesn’t get closer to Florida’s shores.
“The FGCBC is a powerful collection of people and businesses who have the most to lose under these dangerous new plans,” said Robin Miller, the president & CEO of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. “We will not allow additional offshore drilling to threaten our businesses and the healthy coasts that they rely on.”
Tourism has a significant economic impact in Collier County. Between January and August, tourism has had an $1.6 billion economic impact in Collier, according to a recent report for the county’s Tourist Development Council. Labor statistics showed that in July approximately 26,500 people were employed in the leisure and hospitality sector in Collier County.
Florida’s beaches attract approximately 113 million tourists to the state, and the Gulf Coast supports 304,556 jobs and generates $18 billion in GDP through fishing, tourism and recreation industries.
For more information about the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition, visit www.ProtectTheGulfCoast.org.
Growing up in a household where volunteering was a way of life it was only nature that it too would become part of my company culture. I was raised with a very clear understanding that when you have, you give to others. Whether it be money, time, or compassion the reality of volunteering is that you get more out of it than what you give.
As a business owner, I am constantly trying to find innovative ways to keep my team motivated and dedicated to my mission. About 7 years ago I started a “Dedication Program” to highlight a local non-profit organization every quarter where Google reviews and Facebook likes drive the amount of the donation given to the selected organization. Each member of my team can nominate a non-profit which in turn educates our team about organizations we may not otherwise be familiar with. It has been a great way to bring my team together while supporting our community.
Last year, when I received the invite to send a couple of my team members to the "Get Involved Collier! Volunteer Expo" I was elated. I thought, what a great way to exposure my team to so many great organizations, all within a couple of hours. The day following the Expo I walked into my office to about 50 brochures and business cards laid out on my desk. But more importantly I was greeted by 2 very enthusiastic team members eager to share their experience and passion for the non-profits they were introduced to. They excitedly told me all about Well-Fit girls and later in the week we unanimously selected them as our next quarter Dedication Program recipient. My team’s enthusiasm did not end there. We continue to discuss our next opportunities for volunteerism weekly and one of my newest team members just completed her volunteer orientation at Naples Therapeutic Riding Center.
We are fortunate to have a Chamber and the Leadership Collier Foundation that values leadership not only on an executive level but also brings attention to the importance of employment satisfaction and encourages volunteerism within corporate environments. Understanding that employees who believe in the mission of the company they represent and having leaders who show them they care, by encouraging growth outside of the organization will create an environment of exponential success.
My focus has never been on how giving back to the community will look for my business. It is simply part of who I am, so it only makes sense that I would build this into my business model. I must admit that having my team represent our company through volunteerism has had a significant impact not only on our team internally but the external benefits of branding my company in such a manner has been a welcomed result. I find myself looking to do business with others who share the same passion of giving back. From spending time tutoring kids with New Horizons to Running a 5K with Girls on the Run we have met incredible people who have expressed their appreciation to my team for our support.
I live strongly by my personal mission statement, “Choose Building Character Over Building Wealth”, a quote from my mother that I discovered after her passing and this has shaped the way I run my business. I am blessed with a highly passionate team who finds great value in helping others. I have realized over the years that community involvement offers team members both personal satisfaction and development by providing an experience to be part of the connection between corporate and personal values. Team building in this manner fits our company culture as we are truly dedicated to our community.
Tiffany Lehman is the President of Insurance Source of Naples. She is a graduate of Growing Associates in Naples™ (GAIN™), chair of Youth Leadership Collier™, and serves on the Leadership Collier Foundation™ Board.
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce announces the recipients of the 2018 Excellence in Industry Awards.
The Excellence in Industry Awards, presented by The Naples Chamber recognize Collier County businesses and individuals that exemplify innovation, economic diversification and community enhancement. The winners will be recognized at the 25th annual awards reception on Nov. 14, 2018 at the Silverspot Cinemas from 8 – 10 a.m. Alex Sink, Florida’s former chief financial officer from 2007 to 2011, will deliver the keynote address. To register visit, www.napleschamber.org/excellenceinindustry
The 2018 Excellence in Industry Awards winners include:
BUSINESS EXPANSION: CID Design Group
CID Design Group, founded over 30 years ago, has grown from two to 38 employees; 18 of those hired since January 2017. The interior design group has unique multifamily, hospitality and commercial projects in 35 states and over 65 cities. Annual revenues have grown from $1 million to over $15 million since 2014.
Pictured : Barbara & Jenn Zella - Founder, Owners and Principal of CID Design Group
COMPANY TO WATCH: Lenkbar, LLC.
Lenkbar LLC started operations in 2012 with three employees and an idea: to design and manufacture safe and innovative surgical instruments. It has grown to over 25 employees and is expanding into a 16,000 square foot state of the art facility.
Pictured : Erik Papenfuss - President at Lenkbar LLC.
HEART OF THE COMMUNITY: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Founded almost a century ago, the 43-acre Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens reaches over 350,000 guests each year with its conservation and education mission. Constantly evolving and adapting, the Zoo seeks innovative ways to connect people with animals and nature to inspire them to respect, value and help conserve wildlife and the environment.
Pictured: Jack Mulvena, President at Naples Zoo
Pillar Award: Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc. has been serving Southwest Florida for over 40 years. Its team of engineers, geologists, scientists and surveyors design workable alternatives to produce results that are in harmony with natural ecosystems. It encourages staff to get involved in the community and has served dozens of nonprofits over the last four decades.
Pictured : Michael Poff, President at CEC
YP of the Year: Alyssa Haney
Alyssa Haney has demonstrated ambition and a strong commitment to the community through her advancement at First Florida Integrity Bank and volunteer work for numerous organizations. A 2018 GAIN (Growing Associates in Naples™) graduate, she serves on the boards of the United Arts Council, Naples Players and Humane Society of Naples Pawfessionals.
Pictured : Alyssa Haney
Chairman’s Award: John Passidomo
John Passidomo served as a Chamber board member and chair of its Public Policy Committee for many years. His dedication to economic and workforce development is unmatched and he has been an integral part of shaping the mission of the Chamber and its governmental relations platform.
Pictured: John Passidomo
Naples Children's Business Fair
Saturday, October 20th!
Gulf Coast High School - Outdoor Courtyard
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
$5 suggested donation for attendees.
Learn more about the fair here.
Proceeds benefit the Leadership Collier Foundation™ in support of youth development and work-based learning programs for local students.
NAPLES, FL (October 12, 2018) – The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Collier County Commissioners selected The Immokalee Foundation as the Business of the Month for October 2018.
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 assist in creating a better quality of life for all citizens in Collier County.
Since its inception in 1991, The Immokalee Foundation's mission has been building pathways to success for the children of Immokalee by emphasizing education, vocation and life skills. The Immokalee Foundation now serves approximately 1,300 Immokalee students each year and matches area volunteers as mentors to its students.
The Board of Collier County Commissioners and Bethany Sawyer, director of membership, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, presented Noemi Perez, executive director, Immokalee Foundation, with a commemorative plaque at the October 9, 2018 County Commission meeting.
Community Enhancement Activities
The Immokalee Foundation annually commits more than $4,000,000 into the Immokalee community to enhance educational opportunities for the students residing therein. These funds also provide post-secondary scholarships to these students to help eliminate the financial barrier of a college or vocational education, enabling them to gain professional employment upon graduation.
An integral part of accomplishing The Immokalee Foundation’s mission is building bridges between residents of Naples and the children and families of Immokalee. The Immokalee Foundation’s and its students’ successes are intertwined with the generosity of our volunteers and benefactors from Naples. Without the support of the greater Naples community, the programming of The Immokalee Foundation would not be possible. In fact, most of the foundation’s 140 volunteers who serve as mentors are from Naples. This is an extremely important volunteer function because Take Stock in Children scholarships, administered by The Immokalee Foundation, can only be awarded to students who are matched with a mentor. Through the program 100 percent of its students graduate from high school and enroll in college or a vocational program. Of those students, 84 percent graduate from a post-secondary program.
Thanks to The Immokalee Foundation’s programs, graduates become skilled and qualified professionals, the majority of whom return to serve as part of the workforce in Collier County.
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.