The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce welcomes board member Aaron Pruss, a Sanibel resident and practicing attorney. Pruss brings his experience as a member of the Government Affairs Committee and dedication to his community.

“The well-being of my neighbors and the business community are of critical importance to me,” Pruss said. “I welcomed the opportunity to serve my fellow members and help the Chamber achieve its objectives in any way I can.”

Pruss has been a licensed attorney for the past 15 years in Michigan with a consecutive 11 years in Florida. He recently opened a Fort Myers office for the Michigan-based law firm Hewson & Van Hellemont, P.C., after a decade with his previous firm.

Since establishing itself as an industry leader in litigating fraudulent claims asserted against insurance companies, Hewson & Van Hellemont has experienced rapid growth over the past few years – growing from 12 lawyers to nearly 60 today.

“While that growth has been previously limited to the firm’s three Michigan offices, management decided to take the next step and move out of state,” said Pruss, a Detroit native. “Because of the firm’s successes on behalf of its clients, many have requested an office be opened in Florida so it can defend against fraudulent claims here.”

Pruss’ office is the initial foray into the Florida market, but he is an experienced attorney in many areas of the law including construction, real estate, business/commercial, contracts, insurance and litigation of all manner of claims arising out of those areas. Hewson & Van Hellemont approached Pruss due to his relationship with a law school classmate who is now a partner with the firm, Robert Steffes.

“They needed someone with my experience and who can manage a start-up satellite office, so (Steffes) suggested and reached out to me,” Pruss said. “Professionally, this opportunity provides me a platform to grow my current construction and business law practice, manage an office and oversee the growth of an insurance practice throughout the state of Florida. Additionally, I have maintained my law license in Michigan and the natural ‘pipeline’ of people, business and need for legal work between Michigan and Florida provides an even greater opportunity for growth,” Pruss explained.

He strives for sound managerial judgement, has a tireless work ethic and wants the chance to expand the scope of legal services offered by Hewson & Van Hellemont – all while staying true to the firm’s established roots in insurance law.

“We are delighted to have Aaron join the Chamber Board of Directors,” Chamber President Ric Base said. “He has served as a member and brings a great wealth of knowledge to our board.”

Pruss says the Chamber is a very active organization which does a “great job of preserving the unique character and charm of Sanibel and Captiva, while championing the interests of local business community for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”