Sanibel Captiva Chamber Hosts December Luncheon at Remodeled Sanctuary GC

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce hosted its December luncheon at the newly remodeled Sanctuary Golf Club and members packed the room for a three-course meal created by Executive Chef Joe Albertelli.

Bobby Logue, BIG ARTS theater artistic director, provided holiday tunes from “A Christmas Carol,” playing through Dec 23.

Special guest Congressman Francis Rooney briefly addressed Chamber members pledging to be an advocate for water issues. Rooney has set up a Cape Coral office and said he was ready to work for island citizens.

“It will begin with a very busy four months, but I look forward to working for you,” said Rooney, who was joined by several local dignitaries at the luncheon.

Luncheon sponsor R.S. Walsh Landscaping is a family-run business started in 1982 by Robert Walsh, who attended with his family. R.S. Walsh provides complete custom landscape planning, design and installation services. Clients work directly with a landscape architect to achieve an ultimate paradise for any size project from start to finish.

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Author Barbee Talks Innovation with Sanibel Captiva Chamber Members

Author and businessman George E. L. Barbee spoke to members of The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce during the monthly luncheon hosted by Shell Point Retirement Community. Barbee has been teaching innovation for the past 15 years and presented a small portion of his latest book “63 Innovation Nuggets (For Aspiring Innovators).”

“I encourage you to try the art of observation,” said Barbee. “Once you take a moment to pause, you’ll see things that would otherwise go unnoticed.”

Barbee feels innovative ideas are well within anyone’s grasp if preconceived notions are dropped. In his 45-year business career, Barbee has led innovation with Fortune 100 companies, including Gillette, General Electric, PepsiCo, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He is one of the original Batten Fellow faculty members at top-ranked University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He received Darden’s highest alumni honor, the Charles C. Abbott Award, and has written numerous articles as well as made multiple appearances on NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, PBS and CNN.

“Discover your innovative side,” said Barbee. “You have more innovation than you give yourself credit.”

Discover Barbee’s book at MacIntosh Books and Paper, 2300 Palm Ridge Rd. It spent all of the 2015 season on the Island Top 10 Bestsellers List.

Island Vacations of Sanibel & Captiva sponsored the November luncheon and had a special give-a-way. The next business luncheon will be Tuesday, Dec. 13 at The Sanctuary Golf Club. Reservation are required and can be done by calling the Chamber at 239-472-1966 or visiting sanibel-captiva.org.

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Sanibel Captiva Chamber Members Hears of SCORE Business Services at Luncheon

SCORE Volunteer Mentor C. Robert Leadbetter was guest speaker of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce business luncheon Tuesday, Oct. 11 at the Captiva Island Yacht Club. Leadbetter discussed services offered by SCORE, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering vibrant small businesses through mentoring and education.

“We have more than 11,000 volunteer mentors nationwide with about 30 in the Fort Myers area,” said Leadbetter. “Our mentors share their expertise from across 62 industries and free of charge. It’s experience which small businesses don’t usually have, unlike large corporations. SCORE fills that gap.”

Leadbetter spent more than 40 years working in the human resources field with companies such as General Motors, Gulf + Western, Mazda and Brunswick. His extensive career includes both domestic and international assignments and in more than 40 industries. He retired in 2013 and settled in Fort Myers with his wife.

The October business luncheon was sponsored by Southwest Florida Distributing & Publishing, which publishes the Chamber’s annual Visitor’s Guide of which 125,000 copies are distributed annually. The next luncheon will be Nov. 8 at Shell Point Retirement Community with Innovation Nuggets as guest speaker. Registration is required and can be done at www.sanibel-captiva.org or by calling the Chamber Visitor’s Center at 239-472-1966.

To learn more or become a volunteer for SCORE, visit score.org or call 239-489-2935.

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Everglades Restoration is Topic at Sanibel Captiva Chamber Business Lunch

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce welcomed Everglades Trust Executive Director Kimberly Mitchell as guest speaker of the business luncheon Sept. 13 at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. Mitchell spoke about how to save the Everglades by uniting to fight a giant.

“We the people must have the same message, be on the same page, to be effective,” Mitchell said. “The Now or Neverglades declaration is that message.”

The Sanibel & Captiva Chamber hosted a Now or Neverglades Declaration signing in August, while the City of Sanibel was among the first cities to enact an ordinance in support of saving the Everglades. Mitchell explained the problem with Lake Okeechobee discharges flowing east and west instead of south, as nature intended.

“The Everglades is in a state of collapse right now, from not enough fresh water,” Mitchell, whose father was the sixth man to walk on the moon and her inspiration to fight for the Everglades, said.

Mitchell is a former West Palm Beach City Commissioner who served from 2002 to 2015. During her Commission tenure, she was a leading proponent of water supply management for the city and region. Mitchell’s understanding of the need for Everglades restoration is rooted in her leadership during numerous droughts, water shortages and polluted water releases from Lake O.

Mitchell’s well-rounded career also includes working as a governmental affairs professional in Tallahassee where she specialized in local and state representation, and management of local, state and national campaigns.

Adventures in Paradise sponsored the October business lunch. Owner Evelyn Stewart gave away a cruise for 50 passengers aboard any of Adventures in Paradise vessels.

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Denham, Zimomra Talk Traffic, Water Quality at San Cap Chamber Business Lunch

February 9, 2016

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce business members heard from Vice Mayor Mick Denham and City Manager Judie Zimomra during the Tuesday, Feb. 9 luncheon at Sanibel Recreation Center. The pair talked traffic and water quality issues, two points of conversation among island business owners.

“We partnered with several island organizations, including our local Chamber, and strategized over the traffic numbers,” said Zimomra. “Our message is not ‘don’t come to Sanibel,’ but rather plan your visit to get the maximum island experience.”

While traffic has been a topic of conversation, water quality has taken front and center after an extraordinary 16 inches of rainfall in January. The situation caused back pumping of water in Lake Okeechobee and water releases from the lake by the Army Corps of Engineers into an already saturated Caloosahatchee Basin.

“When there is a crisis, we need somewhere to put the excess water,” said Dehnam, who along with Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane has recently met with nine Florida Senators on this issue.

Denham gave a call to write to the Army Corps of Engineers. “It’s a critical problem and you can help,” he said.

The afternoon was sponsored by the City of Sanibel, which incorporated in 1974 after the completion of the Sanibel Causeway 11 years earlier threatened to change the face of the island. Many were afraid Sanibel would succumb to over-development and lose its charm and natural heritage. Today, residents and visitors are able to enjoy the special ambiance and quiet harmony Sanibel and Captiva Islands have to offer.

A buffet-style lunch was catered by Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s, part of the historic Bailey’s General Store. It’s officially known as Sanibel Packing Company and was founded in1899 by the late Frank P. Bailey, who wanted to provide groceries and general supplies to locals and visitors. It’s a family business that continues to carry out his vision of providing quality products, personalized service and value.

For more information on the City of Sanibel, visit www.mysanibel.com. To learn more about the historic Bailey’s General Store, visit www.baileys-sanibel.com.

 

Mick Denham                                 Judie Zimomra

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank becomes Luminary 2015 Sponsor

(Nov 2nd, 2015) – Sanibel, FL – The Sanibel Captiva Community Bank presented The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce with a check for $1000 on Monday, Oct. 26th. The Chamber welcomes them as a gold sponsor for this year’s Luminary Festival Weekend. The 31st annual 2015 Luminary celebrations will take place Friday, December 4th on Sanibel and Saturday, December 5th on Captiva.

“Luminary is such a great community event and a wonderful way to start the holiday season,” stated David Wright, San-Cap Bank. “We love the event and are very happy to be a gold sponsor for this year’s festivities.”

During the Luminary celebrations, the streets will be lined with illuminated candles, businesses are open welcoming island residents and guests, and decorated trees and other festive trimmings create a magical atmosphere sure to enchant young and old alike. Sanibel and Captiva visitors and local residents can enjoy these two magical nights on our islands.

“San-Cap Bank is a strong community supporter; we are excited to include them as one of our 2015 Luminary sponsors. We truly appreciate their support.” said Ric Base, President of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce.

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Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts becomes Luminary 2015 Gold Sponsor

(Nov. 2, 2015) Sanibel, FL – Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has taken a gold sponsorship for this year’s Luminary Festival Weekend. The 31st annual 2015 Luminary celebrations will take place Friday, December 4th on Sanibel and Saturday, December 5th on Captiva.

“We are pleased to be able to support the Luminary festival again this year,” said Jeff Shuff, Chief Financial Officer of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, owners of ‘Tween Waters Inn, West Wind Inn, Beachview Cottages and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages. “It is a great time of year on the islands and the Luminary festival on Sanibel and Captiva is the perfect way for the community to enjoy the official kick off to the holiday season.”

During the Luminary celebrations the main streets are lined with illuminated candles, businesses are decorated with festive trimmings and trees and landscaping twinkle with holiday lights. Sanibel and Captiva visitors and local residents can enjoy these two magical nights on our islands.

“’Tween Waters Inn is known for their legendary holiday décor, and this year with their new acquisition on Sanibel, they truly represent both islands. We are excited to see what they have in store for us at this year’s Luminary festival. We appreciate their continued support.” said Ric Base, President of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce.

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Island Inn Sponsors Luminary Festival 2015

(Nov. 5, 2015) Sanibel, FL – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce announced that the Island Inn has taken a Gold Sponsorship for this year’s Luminary Festival. The 31st annual 2015 Luminary celebrations will take place Friday,
December 4th on Sanibel and Saturday, December 5th on Captiva.

“Luminary Weekend is an important event that we value, as it brings the entire Sanibel and Captiva community together for an official start to the holiday season,” said Chris Davison, General Manager of the Island Inn. “It’s truly a memorable experience for our guests and we are proud to support the 31st year of this wonderful event,” he continued.

On each of the island’s Luminary nights the main roads are lined with white bags filled with island sand that support carefully lit candlesticks. These luminaries do more than just illuminating the holiday path. Their magical glow sets the mood for the evening and begins the holiday traditions we look forward to on our islands all year.

Steve Hatfield, VP of Administration & Finance with Island Inn and Chris Davison, General Manager of the Island Inn and are joined by The Sanibel & Captiva Island Chamber representatives Ric Base, President and Trent Peake, Member Services Manager

Steve Hatfield, VP of Administration & Finance with Island Inn and Chris Davison, General Manager of the Island Inn and are joined by The Sanibel & Captiva Island Chamber representatives Ric Base, President and Trent Peake, Member Services Manager

 

CHAMBER HOSTS RIBBON CUTTING TO WELCOME NEW MEMBER TECHNICAL EDGE

Sanibel, FL (Oct. 21, 2015) – The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting to welcome Technical Edge Inc., Electrical Contractors as a new member. The event was hosted at The Blue Giraffe in Periwinkle Place on October 21st. The owners of Technical Edge, Electrical Contractors, have worked on Sanibel for over 13 years.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the wonderful business community on Sanibel and Captiva and are looking forward to building future relationships to help us with our mission,” said Gil Polanco and Paul Landers, owners. “Our office is just off island, and we are well acquainted with the island,” stated Polanco.

Ric Base, President of the Chamber of Commerce added, “The Chamber welcomes Technical Edge, Electrical Contractors, as new members. We are pleased they have joined the Chamber and continue to encourage our members to support all Chamber businesses.

For more information on Technical Edge, contact them at (239) 826-1968 or visit their website at http://www.technicaledgeinc.com.

Technical Edge

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Earns State Recognition

Sanibel, FL (Aug. 25, 2015) – The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitor Center on Sanibel has been named one of only thirteen official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers in association with a new VISIT FLORIDA program.

The VISIT FLORIDA Certified Tourism Information Centers (CTICs) Program brings VISIT FLORIDA recognition to Visitor Services facilities around the state, providing these facilities and their staff with benefits that enable successful promotion of travel to and throughout Florida.

To become an official Florida Certified Tourism Information Center, visitor centers must meet requirements specified by VISIT FLORIDA, such as: centers must be a VISIT FLORIDA Partner, centers must be open year-round at a minimum of five days per week, centers must be located in a convenient and accessible location for the ease of travelers, and centers must have access to parking and restroom facilities to accommodate visitors including persons with disabilities.

“VISIT FLORIDA is not looking to franchise visitor centers,” said David Dodd, VISIT FLORIDA Vice President of Visitor Services. “The VISIT FLORIDA Certified Tourism Information Center Program is focused on presenting a consistent Florida message and a quality Florida experience for all visitors to the Sunshine State.”

“We are very proud of our staff and volunteers who look after the many visitors that come through our doors each and every day” said Chamber president Ric Base

The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes over 165,000 visitors each year. The Visitor Center is open 365 days a year and provides visitors with comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, where to stay, shop or dine.

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