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Business Briefs

July 3, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

honors Gold Star Employee

As part of its campaign to honor top employees, the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce honored its first "Gold Star Employee" Thursday, June 22.

Chef Norbert Mess, who works at Gulf Coast Village, was nominated by Community Relations Director Eileyn Sobeck-Bador. She said, "Chef Norbert not only is an outstanding team member at Gulf Coast Village, but to say he is a very nice man is an understatement. When he found out a family was in need to help plan a wedding for two United States Marines, who were rushing to get married, so the bride to be could have the memory with her terminally ill father. Chef Norbert stepped in, in many ways, to help. He embodies that service is above self and helps to make people's lives better everyday."

"Chef Norbert is the type of employee that we love to honor here at the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce," said Chris Jackson, executive director of the North Fort Myers Chamber. "These are the unsung heroes that go out of their way to make this community better and we were pleased to honor him for his exemplary performance above the call of duty."

Jackson went on to say that North Fort Myers Chamber members are free to nominate their top employees on the website, It is a free service and nominees are chosen at random monthly.

For more information about the North Fort Myers Chamber, visit its website at or stop by the Welcome Center, located at the Shell Factory. Phone is 997-9111.

Leapin' Lizard @ the Bridge

to hold annual Fire Cracker Beer Garden & Festivities

Every year Leapin' Lizard @ the Bridge on Cape Coral Parkway hosts a Fire Cracker Beer Garden July 4 starting at 4 p.m. The Lizard event started small the first year.

According to owner Jack Evans, "The first year we saw people struggling with lawn chairs making the trek up to the bridge. We invited them in, moved chairs and tables outside for them. Our restaurant and patio has a perfect view of the fireworks. Over the years the Lizard Beer Garden has grown, we rent chairs and tables, provide live entertainment, charity events, a dunking tank, a large beer garden with food/ beverage service and a dance following the fireworks every year."

Cape Coral's Martial Arts University & Street Defense will have a martial arts exhibition sponsored by the Home Mag this year. Chuck Peterson will be singing before and during the fireworks and a dance featuring PUSH Band follows the fireworks.

Every year Leapin Lizard has sold parking spaces on its block to benefit local charities. Jack Evans is a Vietnam Vet and sponsors many veteran events at Leapin' Lizard. This year the Bernard Keenan and the local VFW volunteers will be selling parking places on the block to raise funds for the downtown VFW.

The Leapin' Lizard @ the Bridge is located at 1719 Cape Coral Parkway, East.

Sullivan joins Busey Bank

Janet Sullivan has joined Busey Bank as a vice president in business banking for Florida serving Charlotte, Sarasota and Lee counties. With more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, Sullivan partners with business leaders in Southwest Florida to ensure their financial success. Sullivan generates and maintains quality loans while utilizing Busey's other lines of business to meet customer needs.

Sullivan studied at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pa., earning an associate degree in business and real estate. She recently relocated to Southwest Florida and is excited to give back to the community by volunteering at local non-profit organizations.

First Busey Corporation is a $3.5 billion financial holding company headquartered in Champaign, Ill. Busey Bank also provides electronic delivery of financial services through its website,

Akin, McCabe named to

JA Business Hall of Fame

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida has chosen Richard B. Akin, president and CEO of Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, and Philip J. McCabe, CEO and owner of Gulf Coast Commercial Corporation and founder of the Inn on Fifth and McCabe's Irish Pub & Grill in Naples, to be inducted as laureates into the 2012 Business Hall of Fame, Collier County. Akin and McCabe will be honored during a dinner and awards ceremony on Oct. 30 at the Waldorf Astoria Naples. The prestigious award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who serve as role models for youth through their professional accomplishments and commitment to the community. For more information including sponsorship opportunities and tickets to the event, visit

Akin and McCabe join a distinguished group of individuals who have been inducted into the Business Hall of Fame, Collier County since it was established in 1988.

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida provides in-school and after-school programs for students in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties that focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Today, 122 individual area operations reach more than 4 million students in the U.S., with an additional 5 million students served by operations in 120 other countries worldwide. For more information about Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida visit or contact Anne Frazier at 239-225-2590 or

BJ's Wholesale Club

hosting 'Open House' event through July 8

BJ's Wholesale Club is opening its doors and welcoming the public to a free, Open House event. The event, which began Thursday, June 28, runs through Sunday, July 8. All area residents and businesses are invited to shop their local BJ's Club without a membership to learn just how much they can save. Guests will experience great value on food, general merchandise, gas and more. Attendees can also enjoy a variety of samples and special attractions throughout the club.

BJ's Wholesale Club is located at 1929 Pine Island Road, NE, Cape Coral. For more information, call (239) 829-3300. You can print a free 60-Day Trial membership from

FGCU Small Business Development Center

to host workshop

The Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University, in partnership with Stroemer & Company and Phoenix File & Pagidipati PLLC, hosts a five-week workshop to help participants discover key strategies for operating a not-for-profit business every Wednesday, July 11, through Aug. 8, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the Stroemer & Company office located at 14030 Metropolis Ave., Suite 200, in Fort Myers.

The cost to attend the series is $49, and includes a continental breakfast and certification of completion.

Seating is limited. To register, or for more information, visit or call (239) 745-3700.

Topics will be presented by professionals in their respective fields. The series will teach proper legal structure and governance; financial structure and compliance; identifying and preventing fraud; fund-raising and grant writing; and how to use the internet and learn marketing strategies.

"We are excited to offer this first-time program through the SBDC," said Trish Leonard, marketing director for the SBDC. "We often receive calls from people who want to know how they can start a not-for-profit organization, the pros and cons and legal aspects of it, and where to find the proper resources. We felt this would be a great opportunity to offer a series, and to partner with Stroemer & Company, and File & Pagidipati, who have held these classes before."

For more information, contact Trish Leonard at (239) 745-3706.

SBRN plans Facebook

networking discussion

The Southwest Florida Small Business Resource Network will host a networking and discussion event about using Facebook in small business, 5:30-7 p.m., Thursday, July 19, at the Holiday Inn, Fort Myers Airport @ Town Center, 9931 Interstate Commerce Drive, Fort Myers. SBRN, a statewide organization, is sponsored locally by Florida Gulf Coast University's Small Business Development Center.

Participants will learn about the new Facebook timeline for business, the anatomy of a Facebook, and the options for reaching out to existing and future clients through networking and posting. Birgit Pauli-Haack, owner of Pauli Systems and co-founder of Relevanza, is presenter for the event.

The evening begins with the Resource Network's monthly "Network after Five" social event where members and guests network and exchange ideas for growing their business.

Cost for SBRN members is $15 per person, which includes hors d'oeuvres. Guests and unaffiliated small business owners pay $25 per person.

Space is limited and RSVP is required. To register, go online to Deadline for registration is Wednesday, July 18.

For more information, to register for the event, or to get directions, contact Lorna Kibbey, coordinator for the Small Business Development Center at (239) 745-3700.

Fifth Third Bank donates nearly

3,500 pounds of food to The Salvation Army

Fifth Third Bank (South Florida) recently concluded its month-long "Fight Hunger. Feed Dreams." campaign, which benefitted The Salvation Army and its partner food banks. During the drive, more than 60 Fifth Third financial centers throughout South Florida collected nearly 3,500 pounds of non-perishable food items - 2,387 pounds were donated in Collier and Lee counties.

"We are committed to investing in the local community and dedicating our resources to critical issues, like hunger and homelessness," said David Call, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank (South Florida). "Together, we've shown that we can make a difference, and we are so thankful to everyone who contributed to 'Fight Hunger. Feed Dreams.'"

This year's campaign kicked off on the third day of May (Fifth Third Day), with the goal of collecting 5,300 pounds of food. Collection bins were set up at all 63 Fifth Third (South Florida) banking centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Palm Beach and Broward counties. Bank employees and customers - as well as local businesses and community residents - were encouraged to contribute non-perishable food items. This is the third consecutive year that Fifth Third Bank has collected food donations for the Salvation Army.

Hunger and homelessness are on the rise in Florida. According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, nearly 84,000 children are homeless in the state a number that's increased from 50,000 in just the last five years.

To donate to The Salvation Army, please visit For more information about Fifth Third Bank, please visit

Hispanic Chamber to hold

'Business Women's Conference'

The Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will hold its "2012 Business Women's Conference" Saturday, July 14. from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., at The Edison Restaurant located at 3583 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. The purpose of this annual conference is to contribute to business women in our community by offering tools and information on how to strengthen and expand their business, ways to improve their business decision-making abilities and avenues to increase their productivity. The speakers are highly successful business women in our community who deliver accurate, dynamic and useful information to strengthen businesses and people.

This year's main sponsor is State Farm Insurance. Guest speakers and topics include Pam Adams, agency field executive for State Farm Insurance, "Easy to Do, Easy Not to Do;" Dr. Anais Aurora Badia, president/owner of Florida Skin Center, "Keep Your Skin Healthy for Life" and Ingrid Molina, president of Fuller Online Solutions, "Secrets of Powerful Women."

The event is open to the public at $35 per person which includes lunch, networking, prizes and giveaways. The deadline to sign up for the conference is July 9. For additional information or to make a reservation, call the Hispanic Chamber at (239) 418-1441.

SBDC workshops planned for month of July

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University hosts a series of workshops and seminars for small business owners in July.

- Record Keeping and Organizing Office Mayhem Thursday, July 12, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Cape Coral SBDC Office, 1020 Cultural Park Blvd, Unit 3, Cape Coral. Cost is $20.

- Lee County-Doing Business with the Federal Government (Part 1 & 2) Friday, July 13, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the SWFL Works Lee County, 4150 For Extension, Fort Myers. Free.

- Doing Business with the Federal Government Thursday, July 19, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, 2390 Tamiami Trail North Suit 210, Naples. Free.

- Marketing Your Business Friday, July 20, 9 a.m. to noon at the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, 2702 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. Free.

- Lee County-Doing Business with the Federal Government (Part 3 & 4) Friday, July 20, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the SWFL Works Lee County, 4150 For Extension, Fort Myers. Free.

- Social Media and the Law Tuesday, July 24, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at FGCU Lutgert College of Business, LH 4201. 10501 FGCU Blvd, Fort Myers. Cost is $20.

- New Business Chat Wednesday, July 25, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Cape Coral EDO Office, Cape Coral City Hall. Free.

- How do I get certified as a minority, woman, or service-disabled veteran entrepreneur? Thursday, July 26, 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, 2390 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 210. Free.

- Lee County-Doing Business with the Federal Government (Part 5 & 6) Lee County Friday, July 27, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the SWFL Works Lee County, 4150 For Extension, Fort Myers. Free.

- Quick Books for Beginners 3- week Series Friday July 27, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Renaissance Academy of FGCU- Fort Myers 8965 College Parkway, Suite 1181, Fort Myers. Cost is $149 for series.

To make a reservation for any SBDC workshops visit the website at or call the main office at (239) 745-3700. Contact the SBDC office if you are unable to attend.

For further information contact Dan Regelski, executive director for SBDC at (239) 745-3705.



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