Horizon Council Honors Business Leaders At Annual Lee County Industry Appreciation

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Six local companies and one individual were recognized during the 2012 Industry Appreciation Luncheon at the Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers. The awards program honors businesses and industries that help to improve the business environment in Lee County.

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Six local companies and one individual were recognized during the 2012 Industry Appreciation Luncheon at the Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers. The awards program honors businesses and industries that help to improve the business environment in Lee County. In recognition of this state-wide observance, Lee County and each city issued a proclamation, officially declaring this week Industry Appreciation Week.

The annual event drew a record crowd of nearly 1,000 government, business, and community leaders to celebrate the significant contributions of the business community in Lee County and to increase public awareness of how industries boost the state’s economy and improve the quality of life in the communities in which they are located.

The Horizon Council is a public-private board established in 1991 to advise the Lee County Board of Commissioners on economic development issues. The Council has up to 80 members representing five cities; 10 chambers of commerce; 16 economic development and trade organizations; 14 community, business, and education organizations; along with various officers and at-large members.

Based on their exceptional level of leadership, innovation, investment, and community involvement in Southwest Florida, the 2012 Business Leadership Awards, Business Expansion Award and Lifetime Achievement Award winners are:

  •     General Business Award: Ensite Corporation
  •     Tourism Award: Boston Red Sox
  •     Information Technology Award: dESCO, LLC
  •     Manufacturing Award: Shaw Development
  •     Newcomer Award: Arthrex
  •     Business Expansion Award: Gartner, Inc.
  •     Lifetime Achievement Award: Ron Inge

Watch the 2010 Industry Appreciation Awards videos online.

“On behalf of the entire Economic Development Office, we applaud the tireless efforts of the Horizon Council and Industrial Development Authority. ‘Together, We Mean Business’ is more than a tagline or a motto, it is a driving force among our community with a united mission for business expansion and location commitments that brings jobs to Lee County and positions our community as the economic development leader to enhance the quality of life for all of us,” said Jim Moore, executive director of the Fort Myers Regional Partnership.

Throughout 2012, signature task force initiatives were developed and successfully implemented by the Horizon Council to include the Educators Immersion Tour and Healthy Horizon Wellness Challenge. Lee Memorial Health System President and CEO Jim Nathan also recognized the winners of the Healthy Horizon Challenge during the Industry Appreciation Lunch. Award winners are:

  •     Most Improved: Bill Schroder and Marilyn Miller
  •     Most Fit: Gary Griffin and Brooke Gabrielson
  •     Special Award for Workplace Wellness Champion: B. Pat O’Rourke

“Healthcare is a key pillar in our community with a solid correlation between a healthy workforce with increased productivity and morale and decreased absenteeism and overall health care expenses for our community,” said Nathan.

“As we continue the year-long festivities to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Lee County, it is important to reflect upon our county’s rich history while we remain focused on the future. Each of the businesses honored serve as an example of the area’s potential for success. The future promises more strategic partnerships and innovation to Lee County,” said Horizon Council Chair Kitty Green.

The mission of the Horizon Council is to improve the business environment in Lee County, retain and encourage the expansion of existing businesses, and attract new and diversified employment to the area. The Fort Myers Regional Partnership promotes and builds the region through ongoing efforts from its proactive team of domestic and international recruiters, research staff and community liaisons, as well as through its partnerships with the Horizon Council and the Lee County Industrial Development Authority.

About Fort Myers Regional Partnership

The Fort Myers Regional Partnership works to attract new and diversified businesses resulting in high-wage, high-skilled jobs; retains and encourages the expansion of existing businesses and improves the overall business environment. Lee County is a thriving business community with a highly regarded airport, significant corporate development and ample real estate opportunities. The area is attracting, retaining and growing high-value businesses with a unique blend of an outstanding business climate and superior quality of life. The county is home to five vibrant cities--Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, and Sanibel--and is the heart of Southwest Florida.

The Partnership continues to promote and build the region through ongoing efforts from its proactive team of domestic and international recruiters, research staff and community liaisons, as well as through its partnerships with the Horizon Foundation, the Horizon Council and the Lee County Industrial Development Authority.

Since 1996, more than 5,000 new jobs and more than $1 billion in economic impact have been committed to as a direct result of key local incentive programs; Lee County Job Opportunity Program and the First Incentives for Recruiting Strategic Targets as well as State of Florida incentives and the State Closing Fund.

Fort Myers Regional Partnership can also be found social networking sites including Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Tune in for Together4Business, a weekly television program that explores economic development in the Southwest Florida region through a series of interactive discussions with area executives and experts, highlighting key factors of the overall business environment with a highly regarded airport, significant corporate development, and ample real estate opportunities. Watch the show videos and link to more information and resources from each guest expert.

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Editor’s Notes: Unique story angles, resources and trend data are available in the online Media Center. For executive interviews, success stories, and additional media relations services, please contact Jennifer Berg, Fort Myers Regional Partnership, via phone at 239.338.3161 or email at JBerg(at)leegov(dot)com.

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