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Vote smart in the upcoming elections

Sparker's Soapbox

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Residence Inn as the December 2023 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Residence Inn at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on December 12, 2023. 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. The comp

Mary Seslar

Balancing work and family, breathing for stress relief, embrace self care, high performance habits, Holiday stress, how to boost performance, how to boost your emotional intelligence, how to improve your mental health, Learn to say no, mindful nutrition, Move your body, prioritize self care, Reduce stress hormones, ways to boost your mental health, ways to boost your performance

Jennifer Gross

Balancing work and family, embrace self care, Fitness Routine, high performance habits, holiday celebrations, holiday cheer, Holiday stress, how to boost performance, how to boost your emotional intelligence, how to improve your mental health, Mindfulness, Mindfulness practices, Move your body, Reduce stress hormones, Regular exercise

Jennifer Gross

Stress, Stress Management, Self Development, Self Improvement, Personal Development, Personal Growth, High Performance

GAIN

Pulte Family Charitable Foundation to Spearhead 50-Acre Project in Impoverished Community in Southwest Florida

With the unanimous approval by the Collier County Board of County Commissioners yesterday, the development of a new, affordable housing community in Immokalee, Florida, which could ultimately lead to the creation of 179 rental single-family homes and townhomes, has begun in the rural farm working community.

Pulte Family Charitable Foundation

Question: I have developed a unique software package that will be a hit if I can just find a way to convince my clients of its value to their operation. However, sales and marketing are not my strong suits. What can you suggest? Answer: It was Thomas Watson, Sr. who coined the phrase “Nothing happens until a sale is made.” He was president of International Business Machines (IBM) from 1914 to 1956.

SCORE Chapter 573- Naples/Collier

The Grant Thornton Invitational / CME Group Tour Championship

Ask SCORE

QUESTION: I am considering investing in a franchise, but somewhat in awe of the many details of the franchise agreement. What are your recommendations? ANSWER: If you have the desire to own your own business but aren’t sure if you should start from scratch, a franchise is worth considering.

SCORE Chapter 573- Naples/Collier

COMING FALL 2023 Four-Part Video Series: Tips for Purchasing a Vacation or Second Home in the Naples, Florida Area HOSTED BY CAROL RUDOLPH Certified RSPS real estate professional with the Lura Jones Group | Premier Sotheby’s International Realty | Naples and Marco Island, Florida

Carol Rudolph, Broker Advisor - Premier Sotheby's International Realty

Marketing, Lead Generation, Brand Awareness

Tasha Ho-Sang

QUESTION: I have just started a new venture and need some guidance regarding bookkeeping and record keeping. Should I engage the services of a CPA or just hire a bookkeeping service? ANSWER: Depending on your particular circumstances, you may require the services of both. A CPA or Certified Public Account, has passed a detailed accountancy exam and other requirements to become licensed and certified.

SCORE Chapter 573- Naples/Collier

We all yearn for the experience of being truly heard. The art of meaningful conversation begins with the practice of active listening. When executed skillfully, active listening possesses the remarkable ability to coax out thoughts, prevent misunderstandings, nurture collaboration in the workplace, resolve disputes, establish a foundation of trust, and grow into an empathic leader.

Inspire Big Dreams

Safety Heat

Lauren Ware

Healthcare In Our Community

The State of Healthcare & The Future of Healthcare in Collier County! The event, facilitated by Tyler Hardt, will introduce our community experts on this topic. The panel will include Jamie Ulmer, President & CEO of Healthcare Network,  Jim Mahon, Senior VP of NCH, Scott Burgess, CEO at David Lawrence Centers, and Iahn Gonsenhauser, M.D., Chief Medical Officer from Lee Health.  Listen to an insightful conversation about what is happening right now with health centers/hospitals. Hear how our health leaders respond

Red Gamso

Greater Naples Chamber and Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) are pleased to announce the new members joining the board of directors and the LCF advisory council. The new members bring years of experience and leadership to help address the growth of the economy and growth of leaders in Collier County.

Red Gamso

We want to take a moment to congratulate two of our Board Members, Jason Korn and Jeanne Seewald, on receiving awards that distinguish them as some of the best lawyers in Collier County!

Red Gamso

On Monday, June 12, 2023, the Association for Chamber of Commerce Executives' (ACCE) Association Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted a highly informative webinar as part of its Economic Mobility for Rural Workers cohort. ​The engaging virtual event featured Danielle O'Conner, Director of Talent Initiatives, of the Greater Naples Chamber, as one of the cohort presenters. As the Director of Talent Initiatives, she spearheads innovative workforce development strategies that bridge the gap between employers and local tal

Danielle O’Conner

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Norman Love Confections as the July 2023 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Norman Love Confections at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on July 11, 2023. 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 Co

Red Gamso

Ask SCORE: What are your business priorities?

QUESTION: I have spent considerable time developing a written business plan with many priorities. Now I feel I need guidance to determine which of them I need to implement first. What do you suggest? ANSWER: You say you have many priorities and therein may be your problem. You will be far better off concentrating on a few critical initiatives, and focus all your energy on them. Good managers are able to prioritize and make the hard decisions necessary for success. Consider the following:

Gray Poehler

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Rooster's Men Grooming Center as the June 2023 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Rooster's Men Grooming Center at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on June 13, 2023. 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 i

Red Gamso

If we share the shore, vulnerable nesting birds will have successful breeding seasons. ​Multiple bird species use our coastlines as their nesting grounds. Read on to see which of these birds you have spotted!

Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

The key to preventing mold in laundry room is keeping it dry and clean. Since moisture and a food source (like dirt or cellulose) are the two ingredients of mold formation, keep them at a minimum. Wash your laundry often, dry clothes straightaway, maintain your appliances, and use a dehumidifier. Here’s how to prevent mold in your laundry room in more detail:

Michael Wudyka

Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo appointed Kristen Coury, CEO and Producing Artistic Director of Gulfshore Playhouse, to the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Her term of office begins immediately and expires December 31, 2025. "Kristen joined our Greater Naples Chamber Board in 2021 and we've been able to watch her grow Gulfshore Playhouse bigger and better than ever," said Michael Dalby, President and CEO of Greater Naples Chamber. "We also get to witness the state-of-the-art Baker Theatre and Educatio

Red Gamso

QUESTION: In past articles, you have made reference to target marketing. Exactly what is target marketing, and how does one go about developing the strategy? ANSWER: Target marketing is defined as researching and understanding your prospective customers’ interests, hobbies and needs so that you can focus your message on a specific segment of the market that is most likely to purchase your product or service.

Gray Poehler

Michelle Borders, co-owner of Naples Networks Services, has been named the recipient of the 2023 Greater Naples Chamber Chairman’s Award for her continued support of the Chamber’s mission. Borders will be presented the Chairman’s Award at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting on May 25, 2023, at Arthrex. Past recipients include Jason Korn, Jeanne Seewald, and Bill Barker. The Chairman’s Award is an opportunity for the chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors to recognize an individual that helped the organization fulfill it

Red Gamso

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Galt Insurance as the April 2023 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Galt Insurance at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on April 11, 2023. 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. The compan

Red Gamso

The most important habit is choosing the right habit to work on."- James Clear. Inspire Big Dreams Coaching works with many clients to determine and strengthen the best habits to increase their leadership skills. ​The below 5 leadership habits are the most critical habits leaders should heighten their focus and ability.

Melissa Severance

QUESTION: I am considering the purchase of a local insurance agency. In addition to financial records, what else should I request from the owners? ANSWER: The purchase of any business requires you thoroughly investigate all aspects of the entity in question. This is particularly important when buying a service business like an insurance agency.

Gray Poehler

QUESTION: I recently heard the term “influencer marketing.” Exactly what is it and how does it work? ANSWER: In simple terms, influencer marketing is basically word of mouth marketing. This type of marketing promotes and sells products or services through other people (influencers) who have the capacity to have an affect on your buying habits because of their real or perceived knowledge, position or relationship.

Gray Poehler

QUESTION: I recently heard the term “influencer marketing.” Exactly what is it and how does it work? ANSWER: In simple terms, influencer marketing is basically word of mouth marketing. This type of marketing promotes and sells products or services through other people (influencers) who have the capacity to have an affect on your buying habits because of their real or perceived knowledge, position or relationship.

Red Gamso

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Day Adjusting & Consulting as the March 2023 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Day Adjusting & Consulting at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on March 14, 2023.

Red Gamso

QUESTION: All the self-help books encourage me to develop a business plan. I believe I know how to run my business, so why should I go to the time and trouble of writing it down? ANSWER: Reflecting on my own experiences in growing my business I, too, felt I knew the steps necessary to ensure success. Organizations like SCORE, that offers free business counseling to aspiring entrepreneurs, did not exist at the time. I had my share of successes and failures learned in the "school of hard knocks.” Suffice to say, I would

Gray Poehler

Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) are increasing in number, range, diversity and earning power. As women business owners expand their companies, they contribute to the growth of our national economy and defense. According to the U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Collier County, Florida we have roughly 2,171 women owned businesses right here in Collier County! There are many benefits to supporting WOSBs such as the creation of jobs, adding revenue into the economy, and help shaping the way young girls see themselves a

Red Gamso

We had the best time during our Business After 5 at International Diamond Center! ​We enjoyed food, beverages, raffle prizes, and of course - the best company! ​Business After 5 is a casual networking event for business professionals to share lively ideas, create connections and build relationships. Hosted by a different member venue each month, the evening includes delicious food, refreshing beverages and dynamic entertainment.

Red Gamso

On Saturday, February 25th, the annual Naples Youth Business Fair was held at Gulf Coast High School where over ninety young entrepreneurs had the opportunity to set up shop and connect with their local community.

Mary Seslar

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose New Horizons of SWFL as the February 2023 Business of the Month. An award was presented to New Horizons of SWFL at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on February 14, 2023. 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

Red Gamso

We want to introduce you to Bethany! Bethany is our Vice President of Membership and Investors and has been with the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce for 6.5 years. She oversees membership activities that include welcoming new members, membership retention, supporting and recruiting investors and membership satisfaction. From sponsorship opportunities, membership support to investor benefits, Bethany is our go-to!

Red Gamso

QUESTION: I have several employees who are quite vocal and think they are being helpful with their suggestions. However, I feel they are undermining my authority. What do you suggest? ANSWER: It has been said that “A smart man knows what he knows, but a wise man knows what he doesn’t know.”

Gray Poehler

​One of the most compelling things about artist Frida Kahlo was her pronounced sense of self — her embrace of traditional Mexican dress. The way she wore her hair. The soul-bearing autobiographical paintings. And the transformation of her home and garden into an homage to her native culture.

Naples Botanical Garden, Inc.

We appreciate your interest in the critical issue of workforce housing. As Tony Ridgway said at the Forum, it’s critical for each of us to spread the message to our friends and community leaders. Our local government officials need to hear from us that we support building housing for workers in our community.

GNL/Greater Naples Leadership, Inc.

QUESTION: I am facing increased costs of operations and am considering downsizing. Are there options that will enable me to avoid layoffs of good workers? ANSWER: You should only consider downsizing if you are confident you can provide the same level of service your customers have come to expect

Gray Poehler

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Inn at Pelican Bay as the January 2023 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Inn at Pelican Bay at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on January 10, 2023. 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

Red Gamso

QUESTION: With all of the social media platforms available, which one is best to promote my small business? ANSWER: Before we discuss the various social media platforms, it is important that you understand the criteria necessary for choosing the best platforms for your business.

Gray Poehler

Buckle up and take some deep breaths, the holidays are here. And typically, they involve a lot of F-O-O-D. This can be thrilling for some and triggering for others. How can we manage it and MAINTAIN, NOT GAIN weight during this holiday season? We can continue to do what we do daily and plan for special occasions. Here’s some tips to try below!

Summer Manning

You've got a lot to accomplish for your business in 2023. ​ ​A fresh start can be, well... refreshing, but figuring out what to do each month to drive your clients' businesses forward can take a lot of time and effort.

Red Gamso

QUESTION: Of all the pitfalls in the marketplace, which do you consider the most common and how can I avoid making these mistakes? ANSWER: As a small business owner, you can have a solid business plan, a great concept and a good reputation in the community. Yet a single mistake can be all it takes to upset your apple cart. Consider these common errors that can doom small companies:

Gray Poehler

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose The Naples Money Managers as the December 2022 Business of the Month. An award was presented to The Naples Money Managers at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on December 13, 2022. 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 i

Red Gamso

IT Managed Service Providers are improving the way businesses operate by increasing security, improving operating efficiencies, and increasing profitability by partnering as their “Virtual Chief Information Officer” and providing an entire team of experts for less than the costs of hiring one full-time technician.

Anthony Seling

QUESTION: I am in a position of authority that requires me to make hard decisions that directly influence the success of our business. My fear of making a wrong decision sometimes causes me to doubt my instincts. What do you suggest? ANSWER: It has been said that a bad decision is better than no decision at all. While this may sound counterintuitive, there are lessons to be learned from a decision gone wrong.

Gray Poehler

QUESTION: I have been encouraged to develop a detailed business plan for a new business I am considering. The plan outlines I have found online are quite detailed. Is there a more user-friendly way to address the main issues I will encounter? ANSWER: I normally am not one to encourage shortcuts. However, the SCORE organization has developed a one-page business model that helps you answer the critical questions facing a start-up business.

Gray Poehler

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Guadalupe Center as the November 2022 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Guadalupe Center at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on November 8, 2022. 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. T

Red Gamso

We had the best time during our Business After 5 at Avow! ​We enjoyed food, beverages, raffle prizes, and of course - the best company! ​Business After 5 is a casual networking event for business professionals to share lively ideas, create connections and build relationships. Hosted by a different member venue each month, the evening includes delicious food, refreshing beverages and dynamic entertainment.

Red Gamso

We are the land of the free and the home of the brave! And as we work on making Collier County the best place to live, work, and play in America, it comes naturally to show our active duty and military veterans our appreciation. Below is a list of some of our Veteran Owned Business members that we can support right here in Collier County.

Red Gamso

QUESTION: I spend an inordinate amount of time crafting what I believe is a compelling sales presentation. However, my success ratio leaves much to be desired. What else do I need to do to ensure a more positive outcome? ANSWER: The successful sales presentation is much more than delivering a lot of information that you believe will be of benefit to the client.

Gray Poehler

Small businesses add flavor to our area. There is a sense of adventure when you explore a small business. You never know what beauties you’ll uncover or what scrumptiousness awaits. Sadly, that’s also why a lot of people choose to patronize chains. With chains they know exactly what they’ll get and there’s a lot of comfort in that. But comfort does come at a price and that price could be our community.

Red Gamso

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Valvoline Instant Oil Change as the October 2022 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Valvoline Instant Oil Change at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on October 25, 2022. 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 citize

Red Gamso

Friday, Oct. 14 attendees came together to enjoy a day of golf at The Club at the Strand. Teams were welcomed by the club with a beautiful breakfast followed by a shotgun start. ​ ​The tournament was concluded with lunch and an award ceremony and prize giveaway.

Red Gamso

QUESTION: I own a retail sporting goods store. My profit margins are declining, and my inventory is not moving as fast as I would like. What can you suggest to reverse this trend? ANSWER: Steven Strauss, senior small-business columnist for USA Today, says “There are three ways to increase profits: … increase prices, sell more and decrease your overhead.” Let’s analyze each:

Gray Poehler

QUESTION: My balance sheet shows a ratio of 1.5-to-1 assets versus liabilities, yet my cash flow barely covers my monthly expenses. What is wrong with this picture? ​ ANSWER: Without knowing the composition of your assets, I must assume that most are illiquid. Real estate, furniture, fixtures, equipment and inventory on hand are illiquid assets, meaning they cannot easily be converted to cash.

Gray Poehler

We had the best time during our Business After 5 at Headpinz Naples! ​We enjoyed food, beverages, raffle prizes, and of course - the best company! ​Business After 5 is a casual networking event for business professionals to share lively ideas, create connections and build relationships. Hosted by a different member venue each month, the evening includes delicious food, refreshing beverages and dynamic entertainment.

Red Gamso

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose HR by Karen as the September 2022 Business of the Month. An award was presented to HR by Karen at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on September 13, 2022. 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. The comp

Red Gamso

Q: I have spent considerable time developing a written business plan with many priorities. Now I feel I need guidance to determine which goal I need to implement first. What do you suggest? A: You say you have many priorities, and therein may be your problem. You will be far better off concentrating on a few critical initiatives and focusing all your energy on them. Good managers are able to prioritize and make the hard decisions necessary for success. ​

Gray Poehler

Florida gained 437,800 jobs from July 2021-July 2022. The industry with the largest year-over-year change was leisure and hospitality, adding 102,500 jobs. However, from the state perspective this industry is still lagging in terms of pre-pandemic employment.Florida gained 437,800 jobs from July 2021-July 2022. The industry with the largest year-over-year change was leisure and hospitality, adding 102,500 jobs.

Melanie Schmees

We want to introduce you to Amanda! Amanda Pearson is our the Vice President of Leadership Programs for the Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) of the Greater Naples Chamber. Through Leadership Collier, Associate Leadership Collier, and Youth Leadership Collier, and the Foundation’s Alumni Association, she develops the programming focusing on talent development, relationship building, and community engagement. For all things Leadership Collier Foundation related, Amanda is our go-to!

Red Gamso

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Wintrust Banking Center as the July 2022 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Wintrust Banking Center at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on July 12, 2022. 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 Co

Red Gamso

The School Board has four main responsibilities: Set the district priorities Hire, support, and evaluate the superintendent Oversee the finances and budget Listen to needs of the staff, the parents, and community This year, there are eleven candidates; 3 incumbents and 8 challengers in Collier County. With a budget of roughly $1.2 billion, all Collier residents are impacted by their decisions.

Red Gamso

Naples is the perfect place to get close to nature. Located in Florida’s Paradise Coast, plan your next nature vacation exploring some of what Collier County has to offer. ​​Since 1889, the Naples Pier has been a favorite location for sightseers, and is an ideal coastal place to stroll, lounge, fish, boogie-board and wade! Featuring covered eating areas, accessible beach supplies, a concession stand and passerby performers, the pier has been a must see for sunsets and marine life.

Erica Fish

Collier County Government and Greater Naples Chamber partnered together and chose Dragon Horse Agency as the June 2022 Business of the Month. An award was presented to Dragon Horse Agency at the Collier County Board of County Commissioners meeting on June 14, 2022. 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. Th

Red Gamso

The Political Landscape As of June 3, 2022, 51 percent of Collier County voters were registered as Republicans, 23 percent were registered as Democrats, and 26 percent were registered with other parties or with No Party Affiliation. (colliervotes.gov) But that close split between Republicans (51 percent) and everyone else (49 percent) is misleading. How people are registered is irrelevant to how they vote in the privacy of the general election voting booth.

Sandy Parker

The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) of the Greater Naples Chamber, graduated Youth Leadership Collier (YLC) participants on June 10, 2022 at 5pm at The Players Club. This group of 33 youth leaders completed their program and are now part of the LCF Alumni Association.

Red Gamso

The Greater Naples Chamber and Collier County Government hosted their 1st Annual Economic Development Day on June 15, 2022, from 3pm to 5pm, at The Cove at Paradise Coast Sports Complex. This free event highlighted the partnership between the Chamber and Collier County, Collier Economic Development Office (EDO), as well as the resources available to help local businesses launch or grow in Collier County.

Red Gamso

One of the most fundamental rights for Americans is the right to vote. In order for our government to function and respond to the needs of our people, citizens must play a role in shaping it. The elections in 2022 are of great importance and the Collier County Supervisor of Elections office has made it their mission to remind voters about how crucial their voice is this year.

Jennifer Edwards

Hurricane season begins on June 1st and lasts 6 months, ending in November, with storms typically peaking in August and September. Knowing the essentials of how to prepare could be a life saver. Get your home and business prepared for a potential impact. Learn about resources and tips to protect yourself and your business from hurricanes and other disasters at the links below.

Red Gamso

We want to introduce you to Melanie! Melanie is our Director of Business and Economic Research and has been with the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce for 3 years. She provides resources to businesses that want to launch, expand, or relocate here in Collier County. From business resources to managing The Partnership for Collier's Future Economy, Melanie is our go-to!

Red Gamso

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Florida has seen people flock to the state, drawn to the unbeatable weather and friendly hospitality, the family fun in the many theme parks throughout the state, and the miles and miles of beautiful coastline. Verizon is responding to Florida’s exponential and unexpected population increase by allocating an additional $149 million to its local capital spending to meet skyrocketing demands on the network.

Verizon

Q: Much has been written recently about identity theft and hacking of individual email accounts. As a small business owner should I be concerned about my business being compromised by these cyber criminals? A: You should absolutely be concerned and take many of the same measures individuals do to protect themselves. In fact, under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), businesses have shorter reporting timelines, less protections, and higher liability for fraud than with consumer banking accounts.

Gray Poehler

Bayfront Inn hosted a Business After 5 on May 4th at 5pm. The event was highlighting their delicious food, friendly staff, and amazing atmosphere! A Caribbean Chic hotel located in the heart of paradise made for stunning views and a great time!

Red Gamso

The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Collier County Commissioners selected CyberSecure IT Solutions as the Business of the Month for May 2022. 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.

Red Gamso

​The Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) marks its third year providing high school students, college graduates and full-time workers the opportunity to learn and execute skills necessary to exceed in today’s manufacturing field. Serving as an extension campus of Immokalee Technical College (iTech), CME collaborates with Collier County Public Schools, the Naples Chamber of Commerce and local manufacturing leaders, preparing students to take on the demands of this industry and apply their certifications through CN

Erica Fish

One of the most important tools any local business has for being discovered online is their Google My Business account. ​ While your website is table stakes, your GMB account actually has a great deal of influence on how visible your brand is on Google search results, so it’s absolutely vital that you spend some time and effort setting up and optimizing your Google My Business profile.

P. Blake Renda

From housing affordability to rising property insurance rates, Collier legislators provided Southwest Floridians with an overview of the 2022 legislative session during a recent Wake Up Naples. The Greater Naples Chamber was joined by Senate President-Designate Kathleen Passidomo, Rep. Bob Rommel and Rep. Lauren Melo during Wake Up Naples on April 6. The post-legislative breakfast, sponsored by TECO Peoples Gas, was an opportunity for business leaders and community members to learn more about what was passed during th

Erica Fish

QUESTION: Since the beginning of the pandemic our growth has been stunted. Sales are now improving, but our client count is about the same. What can we do to gain more new customers? ANSWER: Client growth is a function of attracting new customers and retaining old ones. It does no good to bring in a new account today if you lose an old customer tomorrow.

Gray Poehler

Venturing beyond the lemonade stand, young entrepreneurs got to showcase their products and services to the public at the Greater Naples Chamber’s third Youth Business Fair, on Saturday, March 26. Hosted by the Greater Naples Chamber in partnership with Collier County Public Schools, this event gave students in kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to learn free-market principles and demonstrate the importance of how our workforce drives the local economy.

Erica Fish

We want to introduce you to Alex! Alex is our Director of Talent Initiatives and has been with the Leadership Collier Foundation of Greater Naples Chamber for 4 years. She helps to connect educators and students to local employers and to address challenges employers are facing with their workforce. ​ ​From talent resources and emerging talent to childcare issues and workforce training, Alex is our go-to.

Red Gamso

Mental illness affects people of all ages and backgrounds and by addressing the symptoms that may signify a problem can lead to a successful treatment. The Greater Naples Chamber hosted Scott Burgess, CEO of the David Lawrence Centers of Behavioral Health, during Wake Up Naples on March 2. The event, sponsored by Gulfshore Playhouse, provided Burgess with the opportunity to discuss the impact mental health has in Collier County, and what business leaders can do to remain proactively aware.

Red Gamso

The Collier Board of County Commissioners highlighted the important role career and technical education plays in Southwest Florida’s economy during a recent meeting. Commissioners approved a proclamation declaring February “Career and Technical Education Month in Collier County” during the Feb. 22 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

Red Gamso

Hi there, and welcome to Housing Matters – an occasional update on housing affordability issues in Collier County, Southwest Florida and beyond. Here’s what you need to know this week: The Collier Board of County Commissioners discussed housing affordability during the Feb. 22 meeting. Commissioners heard from a variety of stakeholders, including Greater Naples Chamber President & CEO Michael Dalby, about this important community issue.

Red Gamso

The Collier Board of County Commissioners will discuss housing affordability when it meets on Tuesday, Feb. 22. The discussion is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and will be held in Collier BCC Chambers. Commissioners are expected to receive a presentation from county staff and hear from stakeholders about how to address housing affordability in Collier County.

Red Gamso

More than a dozen early learning centers have closed in Collier County since March 2020, impacting the current workforce and creating economic barriers for employers trying to recruit and retain top talent. “Early learning is a talent availability issue, which is a business issue, and will continue to be an issue for generations to come if we don’t do something about it,” said Alex Breault, the director of talent initiatives at the Greater Naples Chamber.'

Red Gamso

Welcome to Housing Matters – an occasional update from the Greater Naples Chamber about housing affordability issues facing Collier County, Southwest Florida and beyond. Here you’ll find information about upcoming meetings, calls to action and news about housing. The Greater Naples Chamber has identified housing affordability as a top public policy priority, and works at the local, regional and state level to address this important talent issue.

Red Gamso

Career and technical education is a key component to developing the region’s workforce. That’s why the Greater Naples Chamber supports efforts to expand and enhance career and technical training opportunities both in Collier County and across the state. Career and technical education provides youth and adult learners alike with the training and experience they need to enter the workforce.

Red Gamso

A bill to expand housing affordability is one step closer to a vote of the Florida Senate. The Senate’s transportation committee voted on Jan. 26 to advance a bill (SB 962) that would allow local governments to approve residential development projects on any parcel zoned for commercial or industrial use, regardless of zoning ordinances, if a portion of the project is affordable.

Red Gamso

​We want to introduce you to Jenna! Jenna is our Director of Government Relations and has been with Greater Naples Chamber for 5 years. She helps to advance the Chamber's governmental and legislative priorities at the city, county, and state levels. From the City Council elections to helping facilitate conversations with our elected officials, Jenna is our go-to.

Red Gamso

From how to attract local talent to creating an immersive workplace, talent initiatives have emerged as leading workplace themes for 2022, leading employers to strategize the best ways to improve employees’ work-life balance. Retaining existing staff has become a top priority for employers, with the 2021 seeing a sharp increase in resignations across all industries. Employees have cited issues related to job security, wages and benefits, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and workplace culture as a few of the factors for le

Red Gamso

For decades tourism has been the leading influence of Florida’s economy, amounting close to $40 billion dollars in revenue each year, driving the state’s main source of income and increasing overall support for businesses and residents.

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Many employers at a local and national level are struggling with workforce shortages. The question of “why” this shortage happening has many dimensions. Locally, even with the area’s high population growth rate, growth in the 65+ population – those that are more likely to be retired – will still out pace growth in younger age cohorts by over 50%. ​For context, that national average of millennials for an area of this size is approximately 80,981 whereas our area has 55,844 – that’s over 30% less than the national avera

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The Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) is offering open enrollment, no fee courses for Collier County workers and students in the Spring 2022 term. With their hands-on learning approach, the CME blends career subject knowledge with collaborative training, so students can reach master level skills and spike their competitiveness in this technical industry.

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The Greater Naples Chamber recently convened an invitation-only, small group discussion to address current issues affecting the Southwest Florida healthcare community. Representatives from Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida SouthWestern State College, Lorenzo Walker Technical College, Physician’s Regional, Healthcare Network and NCH Healthcare System were present during the Nov. 30 round table. The small group setting ensured a meaningful and productive conversation as leaders explained challenges within their ind

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The Leadership Collier Foundation is the Greater Naples Chamber's 501(c)(3) arm, whose mission is to activate the potential of leaders to build a stronger Collier County. The foundation has three marquee leadership programs: Leadership Collier, Associate Leadership Collier, and Youth Leadership Collier.

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The Greater Naples Chamber Board of Directors recently voted to approve the Chamber’s 2022 legislative priorities. The 2022 legislative priorities were crafted following input from the Chamber Board of Directors, the Chamber’s government relations committee and various community partners.

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The Naples Chamber held its most recent Member Showcase on Nov. 4, 2021, hosting 50 businesses at Flexjet Naples. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about products and services available from businesses in Collier County, while mingling with guests in the hanger.

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​Mark your calendars! Black Friday isn’t the only shopping event to look forward to this holiday season. Small Business Saturday, held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, gives customers the advantage by shopping local and supporting their neighborhood favorites. There are many local businesses in the Naples area, all of which aim to serve the needs of Collier residents, tourists, and visitors. So, why shop small?

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For any job, an employee is trained to grow their skills, and for the employers, the return on investment is immense when training is consistent with talent and workforce opportunities. The Greater Naples Chamber supports investing in workforce education talent initiatives because the demand for necessary skills is how people can operate consistently with the ever-changing demands of the workplace.

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The health of the Everglades is critical to the overall well-being of Florida. That’s the message Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg sent to attendees of Wake Up Naples on Nov. 3. The event, sponsored by Andrew Hill Investment Advisors, was an opportunity for business and community leaders to hear an update on ongoing Everglades restoration projects, while also learning why the environment is an important economic issue.

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Shaw Gallery of Fine Art has distinguished itself as one of the premier art galleries of Southwest Florida. Located in the heart of Olde Naples, Florida on 5th Avenue South. Shaw Gallery offers an ever-changing display of fine art paintings, sculpture and art glass. For over 32 years, the gallery has featured artists of national and international distinction that are true masters in their respective fields. ​Watch the video of the Shaw Gallery below.

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Every year, shoppers are eager to take advantage of the best holiday deals and as we approach the 2021 holiday season, we have the opportunity to support our local businesses. From more traditional items to branded merch to gift cards, there are many ways to support the local businesses in our area and add a personal touch to the gifts you’re giving this year. So this year we decided to compile a list of the deals our members are offering this holiday season! ​​

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The Greater Naples Chamber hosted Henry Mack, Florida’s chancellor for career & adult education, along with a variety of employers, educators, coalitions, and non-profits to discuss how businesses can support workforce education in Collier County and the state of Florida. ​Provided with an overview of the state’s current career and adult education system, guests were able

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Friday, Oct. 8 attendees came together to enjoy a day of golf at The Club at the Strand. Teams were welcomed by the club with a beautiful breakfast followed by a shotgun start. ​ ​The tournament was concluded with lunch and congratulatory remarks by Chairman of the Board Garrett Richter and golf Chair Buddy Hornbeck. This

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Considered by some a public nuisance and breach of peace, certain leaf blowers are no longer to be used within the City of Naples. Last year Naples City Council held a public hearing whether certain leaf blowers should be prohibited for use within the city’s corporate limits. ​

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Florida’s minimum wage is on the rise. The state will see a new minimum $10 an hour on Sept. 30, up from the current $8.65. This comes about one year after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment to increase Florida’s minimum to $15 an hour by September 2026

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​Florida has been able to recoup more than half the jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent Florida Department of Economic Opportunity report. Florida’s unemployment rate was 5% as of August, compared to the national average 5.2%. That’s down nearly 3% from a year ago, when the state reported a 7.9% unemployment rate.

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Hasan Kajtezovic, Supply Chain Manager – Team Synergyexperience with Arthrex, and graduate of Associate Leadership Collier (ALC) Class of 2019, understands how strong community leadership programming can cultivate economic opportunity for all. Knowing this, Hasan took on a world-class leadership role to work with his home county of Bosnia, and with the Leadership Collier Foundation(LCF) of the Greater Naples Chamber to create a Bosnian ALC program!

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The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), of the Greater Naples Chamber, held its graduation of the Youth Leadership Collier (YLC) program on Friday, June 18, 2021 at The Players Club & Spa.

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​GUEST CONTRIBUTOR, ASHLEIGH DROZ, DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF INTERNSHIPS & COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS, FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY

​An internship is more than a job. In fact, for many, a work-based learning experience, such as an internship or cooperative program, can be career-affirming or career-altering.

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What does your role entail at the Supervisor of Elections Office? As Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections, I am tasked with overall management of the office from the administrative side – budget, human resources, office administration, to the elections side where I oversee various departments. Together we coordinate and conduct successful elections while ensuring the security and integrity of the voting process.

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​The upcoming Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) Alumni Association "Leadership Lunch" will focus on the growing challenge of incivility in our society. Our hope is that this event will be an important step in elevating and prioritizing a community conversation on civility.

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​The second annual Naples Children’s Business Fair welcomed an impressive 1,200 attendees to peruse and shop young entrepreneurs’ businesses on Saturday, Jan. 11 at Gulf Coast High School. The fair had participation of 123 youth-run businesses with 211 student participants.

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The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), of the Greater Naples Chamber, has named high school senior Julien Zappulla as its first-ever student board member.

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Tony McClure, a partner in the litigation department at the law firm of Porter Wright, hales from Ohio. When he relocated with his family to Naples in 2012, not only was he looking to make his mark professionally in his new hometown, he was also searching for opportunities to have an impact and connect with like-minded people.

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In the modern workplace, even the most entry-level positions seem to require some form of related, hands-on experience. That is why Collier County high school and college students are turning to local internships to get a jump-start on their careers.

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As Vice President of Events and Development for the Greater Naples Chamber, Nikkie Dvorchak manages all the monthly and annual Chamber events and giving for the organization. Her work with the Chamber has given her the wonderful opportunity to work with a variety of businesses, community leaders, and talent every day.

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​The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) of the Greater Naples Chamber announces the Leadership Collier Class of 2020. The class began their program with a kick-off celebration at 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 at The Naples Players.

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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.

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Stacey L. Herring, Vice President of Private Banking with Morgan Stanley Private Bank, is no stranger to leadership, hard work and service to others. Born and raised in Southwest Florida, Herring has devoted her life to making a difference in the lives of those she encounters both professionally and personally – something she attributes to the lessons her aunt taught her growing up.

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Born in Argentina and raised in Maryland, attorney Martín Nestares has made Collier County his home for just over four years and he is already making a significant impact.

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With summer quickly approaching, students across the region are starting to sketch out plans for their time off from school. For some, that may mean a part-time job or volunteering. For others, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore an internship.

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Tim Philbrick (LC ’06) is on a mission to help Youth Leadership Collier participants “realize their potential and give back to the community they live in.” He would love the help of LCF Alumni like you to provide internships, mentoring, and learning experiences to maximize the impact of the YLC program.

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Though Leadership Collier Class of ’19 is probably best known for their surprise 4-hoofed guest at this year’s 30Th Anniversary graduation, they hope to be remembered as the Greatest Of All Time for their work in the community.

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The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), in coordination with The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, congratulates the 2019 graduating classes of Leadership Collier and Growing Associates in Naples. The graduation reception was held Thursday, April 18 at Artis—Naples. Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office was the featured speaker and Collier County Public Schools superintendent Kamela Patton was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

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When it was time to honor a Leadership Collier Foundation alumnus with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award, our winner, Collier County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton, stood out for her commitment to the entire Collier County community and her dedication to ensuring its future is bright thanks to its future residents, employees and leaders.

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Graduation time is rolling around soon for Leadership Collier. As a member of the Class of 2019 (Greatest Of All Time – GOAT!), it’s amazing to look back on the experience. It’s hard to sum it all up.

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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.

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The Leadership Collier Foundation and Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Grace Place for Children and Families to bring a “Student and Business Networking” event to their students. The event gave high school students a chance to practice their networking skills with local professionals and learn about career opportunities in our community.

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The Leadership Collier Foundation™ (LCF), in coordination with The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, announces the Growing Associates In Naples™ (GAIN™) Class of 2019.

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Buddy Hornbeck is an Area Vice President with Gallagher Lutgert Insurance and an Accredited Adviser in Insurance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Alabama.

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“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example,” said John Wooden, head basketball coach at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Sometimes, we think of graduation as an ending. The completion of a goal. The culmination of an achievement. The finale of your LCF program.

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When I first found out I was accepted into Youth Leadership Collier (YLC), I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had watched my father wake up early for Leadership Collier in 2017, so I knew to expect early days and late nights, but the one thing that would stand out when he would return home was the smile on his face and the eagerness to tell us what happened on that day.

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By day, Alyssa Haney is a talented Marketing Specialist for First Florida Integrity Bank. On weekends and evenings, she generously dedicates her free time to charitable causes in Collier County. The time she invests in volunteering is her biggest gift to our community.

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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.

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