Sanibel-Captiva Chamber Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Quik Pack & Ship

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for Quik Pack & Ship, the mailing and copy center under new ownership since October 2016.

“We remodeled and moved the counter to create a sense of more space,” said Rob Wright, who owns Quik Pack & Ship with his mother Kathy Wright. “Quik Pack & Ship has been a convenient location on Sanibel for 14 years and we are poised to continue reliable packaging and shipping services.”

From delicate items, souvenirs or artwork to large items, Quik Pack & Ship uses major carriers along with specialized freight carriers and offers an array of packing and shipping supplies. Full-service printing and mailbox rentals are available, as well as notary, package pick ups and off site storage services.

“Rob and Kathy are excited to offer a broader selection of printing, mailbox and business services to the islands and we wish them great success,” said Chamber President Ric Base.

Quik Pack & Ship, located in the Roberts Center at 1456 Periwinkle Way, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Rob can be reached by phone at 239-472-0288 or email at rob@islandbusinesscenter.com. Learn more at islandbusinesscenter.com.

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Sanibel Captiva Chamber Hosts Ribbon Cutting for New Island Taxi

Island Taxi has become a member of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, which hosted a ribbon cutting for the new business. Island Taxi was established in September 2016 to provide the best customer service with experienced and friendly staff and drivers.

“The community has really embraced us and the Chamber has been instrumental in getting our business in front of potential clients,” said Island Taxi’s Tom Jones. “Our drivers live on the island and clients fall in love our dispatcher Madeline. It has been really good since we started operating.”

Island Taxi offers a new fleet of luxury sedans for rides to or from the airport, doctor appointment, an evening out to dinner or any other transportation need. Group transportation is a breeze with Island Taxi’s new fleet of 15-passenger vans and Madeline will handle the details.

“We welcome Island Taxi to our island community and wish them the very best,” said Chamber President Ric Base.

Schedule a ride at islandtaxi.com, by calling 239-472-4888 or emailing ride@islandtaxi.com. Island Taxi is located at 975 Rabbit Road, Suite 6

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Fort Myers Pest Control Celebrates 50 Years with Sanibel Captiva Chamber Ribbon Cutting

Fort Myers Pest Control celebrated its 50th anniversary with the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce in a ribbon cutting Dec. 14 at Blue Giraffe. Fort Myers Pest Control is a family-run business serving more than 17,000 customers in Southwest Florida.

“We believe in treating people right and doing our very best, which has led to word of mouth advertising and the best kind of it,” said Fort Myers Pest Control David Brooks, whose stepfather founded the business.

Fort Myers Pest Control has been named “Best in Southwest Florida” and “Best in North Fort Myers” by The News-Press. Services range from termite, mosquito and bed bug to household and lawn/turf grass pests. Fort Myers Pest Control is respected in the industry for its experience and innovation.

“We applaud Fort Myers Pest Control for its 50 years of business and wish them even more success in the next 50,” said Chamber President Ric Base.

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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 Dedicates Visitor’s Guide Cover to McCarthy

The Sanibel & Ccaptiva Islands Chamber of Commerce dedicated its 2017 Visitor’s Guide cover to the memory of Paul McCarthy, owner of Captiva Cruises and longtime Chamber member. The cover photo of Lady Chadwick, the Captiva Cruises flagship vessel, was unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 11 during the monthly business luncheon at the Captiva Island Yacht Club, where McCarthy was also a member.

“He left us with a rich and full legacy of stewardship and eco-tourism embodied in Captiva Cruises, whose goal will continue to respect and appreciate the natural beauty of Southwest Florida,” the Visitor’s Guide dedication states. “In 2013, the Chamber honored Paul as Business Person of the Year. He had a generous spirit, a zest for life and shared his laughter and passion with everyone who touched his life. Paul will be missed by all of us.”

McCarthy, a Boston native, passed away Aug. 24 at the age of 63. He practiced law in Chicago prior to discovering the tour boat business. He started Captiva Cruises in 1986 and made the island his full-time home in the early 1990s. McCarthy partnered with organizations like the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation to bring a high-quality environmental message to his Captiva Cruises passengers.

McCarthy’s family from Boston, along with Captiva Cruises staff members Jenny Rando and Brad Junghans, were in attendance for the unveiling. The Visitor’s Guide will be available late January and can be found at the Chamber Visitor’s Center, 1159 Causeway Rd. The Chamber distributes 125,000 copies of the Visitor’s Guide annually.

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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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Sanibel & Captiva Chamber Members Learn Importance of Customer Service at Monthly Luncheon

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce held its monthly business lunch Tuesday, Aug. 9th at The Captiva Island Yacht Club. Members heard from guest speaker Christine Davlin from the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Davlin educated members on the VCB’s Guests First Customer Service Training Program. It consists of seven sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours, aimed at polishing customer service skills for those from the front-line to management professionals.

The VCB partnered with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute to make program participants eligible for the Certified Guest Service Professionals certification exam.

“We have done this program from Boca Grande to Bonita Springs and a big percentage of participants are from Sanibel and Captiva,” said Davlin. “Most businesses focus on the bottom line and marketing, but don’t focus as much on customer service. It’s a mistake.”

Members also heard an update on the Now or Neverglades Declaration from Island Inn General Manager Chris Davison and Capt. Daniel Andrews of Captains for Clean Water. The Chamber formed a three-part call to action, which culminated into a well-attended declaration signing rally on Aug. 4.

“It’s best to stay aware and educate yourself on this issue,” said Davison, a Chamber Board Member. “Together, we can help create real progress.”

 

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Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber Unites Supporters for Signing of Now or Neverglades Declaration

A crowd of more than 100 supporters gathered in front of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Aug. 4, to sign the Now or Neverglades Declaration. The waters of Southwest Florida are a national treasure that power the economy and shape our way of life.

“This is a very important issue to all of us,” said Daniel Andrews, of Captains for Clean Water, one of the guest speakers. “We all have a vested interested in the quality of our water and the Everglades.”

Andrews was joined by SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel and City of Sanibel’s Director of Natural Resources James Evans – two more champions of scientific solutions to the serious issues facing our waters and Everglades.

“We know what the impact is on our ecological resources,” said Evans. “We are learning what the impact is on our economy….It’s really time to start making decisions about the Everglades based on science, not politics.”

Scientific opinion is that increased storage and treatment of fresh water south of Lake Okeechobee, and additional flow from the lake southward, is essential to restoring the Everglades, Florida Bay and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. Florida’s fishing, boating and tourism industries that depend on these estuaries are at risk, as well.

“It was gratifying to see such a varied group of supporters who are united in solving this very real problem,” said Chamber President Ric Base. “We appreciate everyone who took their time to come out and add their voice to this imperative cause.”

To join the more than 21,000 supporters who have signed the Now or Neverglades Declaration, visit www.gladesdeclaration.org.

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Florida Native Mark Blust Joins Board of Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce

Mark Blust is a Florida native who loves to cook, bike and run. He oversees three Sanibel Island restaurants in the Prawnbroker Restaurant Group portfolio as Vice President of Marketing and Operations. Recently, he was welcomed as a member of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

“Mark brings valuable skills honed over the course of his extensive career in the restaurant business,” said Chamber President Ric Base. “We are delighted to have him on the Chamber’s board.”

Prawnbroker is South Florida’s seafood specialist with five distinct restaurants on each coast. Three of the five west coast establishments are on Sanibel. The Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market carries the largest selection of fresh oysters and fish in Southwest Florida. It’s dinner-only menu highlights that uniqueness with a wide variety of tasty seafood dishes and limited steak options.

The Timbers, originally located on Rabbit Road, moved to its 12,000-square-foot Tarpon Bay Road location in 1991 and opened Sanibel Grill in the same building. The Grill was the island’s first sports bar with a casual menu, first established as a waiting area for The Timbers. It’s become less of a waiting area and more of a popular island hangout spot.

“The Timbers sets itself apart in many ways, but the freshest fish and oysters on the islands are at the top of the list,” said Blust. “It’s become a popular destination for sushi and sashimi.”

Matzaluna is the Italian “link” in the Prawnbroker chain. It opened in 1994 and quickly became Sanibel’s Italian kitchen. In addition to the island’s only wood-fired pizza oven, the menu offers traditional Italian favorites and ever-changing weekly specials.

Blust recommends the popular Mulberry Street Shrimp dish for its great combination of flavor. “It’s our signature dish, prepared with sauteed shrimp, capers and tomatoes in a sage cream sauce over pasta,” he explained. “Our rotating selection of local craft beers has also gained popularity.”

Blust has spent 15 of his 30-year career on the island and has come to rely on his decade-long business relationship with the Sanibel & Captiva Chamber. He says serving as a board member is “a great opportunity to contribute to the business community and pay it forward.”

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