Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Announces 2014-2015 Incoming Chairman of the Board

Bonita Springs, FL (September 17, 2014) Current Chairman of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Wendi Fowler, will pass the gavel to incoming Chairman, Scott Duval on September 30th at the Chamber’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon. The Annual Meeting Luncheon will take place at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Scott Duval, incoming Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, as of October 1, 2014, is an Attorney with Brennan, Manna & Diamond, P.L.  Duval took his seat on the Board during the 2009-2010 term then moved to the Executive Committee for the 2010-2011 term.

The Board of Directors serves as Chamber diplomats as well as represents the Chamber at business and networking events.  The strength and talent represented on the Board is significant and assures the members and community leaders that the Chamber will continue to provide a high level of dedication to the betterment of the region.

Christine Ross, President & CEO of the Chamber said, “We look forward to welcoming Scott Duval as Chairman of the Board.  Scott has shown tremendous dedication to our organization and willingness to lead over the past five years.  He is a thoughtful leader who is passionate about the success and sustainability of our community.”


Designated as the 2014 Chamber of Commerce of the Year by the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, the Five-Star Nationally Accredited Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce strives to serve members, promote a region where business can grow and prosper and enhance the quality of life of the Bonita Springs area.  With the support of annual partners including Lee Memorial Health System, Naples Daily News / The Banner, NCH Healthcare System, Physicians Regional Healthcare System, and The News-Press Media Group, the Chamber is able to focus on their mission of community development.  The Chamber operates a fully-staffed 2,000 square foot Visitor’s and Business Center at 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive in Bonita Springs, Florida Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For more information, please call (239) 992-2943 or visit


September 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council Hosts Job Fair for Relocating Camuto Group

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (September 9, 2014) – The Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council will host a job fair for Camuto Group, a Greenwich, CT based company that is relocating their finance division to Bonita Springs. The job fair will be held on September 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce located at 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34135.

Camuto Group, a privately owned company which operates in 62 countries, is best known for its design, development and distribution of women’s fashion footwear including but not limited to Vince Camuto, BCBGMAXAZRIA, BCBG Generation, Jessica Simpson, Tory Burch and Lucky Brand.  With plans to relocate their financial division to Bonita Springs, they expect to provide 50 administrative jobs.

Camuto Group is seeking applicants for the following positions:

  • Senior Accountant
  • Staff Accountant
  • Billing Specialist
  • Accounts Payable
  • Retail Real Estate and Tax Coordinator
  • Retail Sales Auditor
  • Retail Inventory Control

The positions of Staff Accountant and Billing Specialist report to the Senior Accountant and all other positions report to the Controller. For several of the positions knowledge of Island Pacific is a plus. Camuto Group is seeking candidates that have strong computer and communications skills and who are highly detailed oriented and organized in their work.

An accounting degree is required to apply for Senior and Staff Accountant, with an MBA or CPA certification as a plus for all. For Retail Sales Auditor and Retail Inventory Control, Retail Real Estate and Tax Coordinator Billing Specialists and Accounts Payable, candidates must have 1-5 years of experience, a high school diploma and college courses in Accounting are preferred.

All positions with full job descriptions are posted at, click on “Live & Work” then click on “Job & Resume Bank.”

Interested candidates are asked to attend the September 24th job fair. For more information call (239) 333-2332. 


September 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment

Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Island Park High School

Island Park High School Ribbon Cutting (1)BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (September 3, 2014) – The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Island Park High School on Wednesday, September 3rd to celebrate the grand opening of their new location at 16520 South Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, FL 33908.

Open as of August 18th for their first official day of school, Island Park High School is one of three locations, which include Coronado and North Nicholas High Schools, focused on 16 to 21 year olds.

Offering a credit recovery program, Island Park High School is an accredited school which permits students to earn their high school diploma at an accelerated rate.  Students are able to earn their four year high school diploma in as quickly as one year.  A privately owned public charter school through Lee County Principled by Arthur J. Nauss, Island Park High School is made possible by Community Education Partners and Accelerated Learning Solutions.

Claudine Milz, Executive Assistant for Island Park High School, said “Every child deserves another chance and it’s within every student to get a high school diploma.”

For more information on Island Park High School visit their website at or call (239) 204-5965. The school is continuously accepting enrollment of students until they hit their 500 student max capacity.   “Take charge of your education, your diploma your way.”








September 8, 2014 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council Highlights the Accomplishments of Victory Marketing Agency

Victory Marketing Agency founder photo

Victory Marketing, a company which began on a couch in Downtown Fort Myers in 2008, is a repeat member of the Inc. 5000, ranking this year at #993.  The Inc. 5000 is an expansion of the Inc. 500 which ranks the country’s top 5000 fastest-growing private companies.  Since 2008, founder, Vinny Antonio, has worked to create a company that is people driven – consumers, clients, and casting.  Victory Marketing has been awarded “Best of Staffing” by CareerBuilder, and their membership in Inc. 5000 has gained the company features in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan and more.  Antonio says, “We are most proud about creating opportunities for hard working individuals both locally in Southwest Florida and nationally through results producing experiential campaigns.”  For those who do not know, experiential marketing is a form of advertising that focuses primarily on helping consumers experience a brand.

After graduating college with a degree in Business Management from Washington College in Chestertown, MD, Antonio landed a job working for an experiential marketing company in Alexandria, VA, where he began learning the ropes.  It was not long before the company put Antonio on the road for three years, wearing the GEICO Gecko costume at fairs, festivals, concerts, and sporting events.  He says, “Those were the most important years of my professional career and the most fun.”  On top of mastering the robot in a green lizard costumer on front of tens of thousands of people, Antonio learned what elements are used to create a successful experiential marketing campaign.    

As Antonio was wrapping up his multi-year national tour, he began to develop Victory Marketing.  He says, “I remember sitting in my tiny condo looking at the Inc. 5000 list and wondering, how do these guys do it? It was my first big goal for Victory Marketing and I was speechless the first time we won.”  As a repeat winner, Antonio is hungry to make the list five times in a row. 

Victory Marketing’s clients are assured that they are working with one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S, and the highest ranked company in experiential marketing. Upon walking into their office, one of the first things you will notice is all of the hard charging, creative staff, working around the clock to produce.  With 20 full-time employees, the company’s benefits package goes beyond great salary and insurance.  Everyone staff member has the opportunity to choose to attend an event managed by Victory Marketing.  So far, employees have been sent to the Grammy’s, Las Vegas, Comic-Con, and the Super Bowl. 

Entrepreneurial success changes regularly. Each milestone opens the door for another.  Antonio added, “Your first $1M in revenue, filling a table with employees you love during the holidays, working with a brand that you idolized growing up, making the Inc. 5000 — these were all amazing moments in my life as a business owner.  Each more surreal than the other considering I was a lizard for a third of my 20’s.  To even think that we have done $10M in revenue since I sat on a couch grinding out 15 hour days is both humbling and motivating.  “

Victory Marketing is proud to have given vested ownership to their Vice President, Dana Ponder, for her hard work and commitment to the company.  Completely bootstrapped, Victory Marketing has never received funding or loans to keep their doors open.

EDC logo    





September 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony for Discovery Day Academy

The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, August 27th for Discovery Day Academy’s newest campus which will be located at 23601 North Commons Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34134.

Discovery Day Academy was founded in 2006 by Elizabeth Garcia, a former public school teacher, and Kristy Bristoll.  Garcia facilitated the company’s growth in an effort to provide children with innovative educational options in Southwest Florida. Rooted in project based learning through community partnerships, Discovery Day Academy implements learning with a 21st century perspective.  Children engage in real-world learning experiences, with a focus beyond content knowledge.  The 4Cs of 21st century learning: critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration, are central to the school’s philosophy.

Discovery Day Academy credits C. Matt Joyner, P.A., architect, and DeAngelis Diamond Construction for their new building which will become their fourth campus location.  They expect this location to be open for tours summer of 2015 in preparation for the 2015-2016 school year, offering programs for children ages Pre-K3 through 5th grade.

Garcia said, “Future generations will be forced to create their own jobs, to address complex social challenges in a globalized world.  We must prepare students beyond the acquisition of content knowledge, instilling creativity and problem solving skills.  Our 21st century campus is designed to provide diverse learning environments, hands-on learning experiences and areas for children to innovate.”

For more information on Discovery Day Academy, visit their website at or call (239) 498-5826.

Discovery Day Academy Groundbreaking

August 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Nominations due September 2nd

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (August 27, 2014) – The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will announce the winner of the Bonita Springs Citizen of the Year at their 2014 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon on September 30th at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Co-sponsored by The News-Press Media Group and Naples Daily News / The Banner, nominations are now being accepted for Bonita Springs Citizen of the Year through September 2nd. The 39th annual award will be presented to a citizen who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the betterment of Bonita Springs during 2014. All nominations must include the following:

  • Nominee name and home address (nominee must reside in Lee or Collier for at least 5 years)
  • Nominee phone, business name and contact (nominees can be employed or retired)
  • Brief description of the civic accomplishments and contributions of the nominee in the past year
  • Statement on why the nominee should be the 2014 Bonita Springs Citizen of the Year
  • Contact information for the person submitting the nomination

Nominations must be submitted no later than September 2nd and emailed to  For questions, please call (239) 344-4761.

In addition to awarding the Citizen of the Year, this event will be a celebration of accomplishments from 2013-2014, and the Chamber will honor member businesses, volunteers and board members including the Director of the Year, Pat Lord Award and many other special presentations.

For ticket and sponsorship information, please call the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce at (239) 992-2943.


August 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Christine Ross Earns Certified Chamber Executive Accreditation

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (August 21, 2014) – The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has designated Christine Ross, President & CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Certified Chamber Executive (CCE). The CCE is the only national certification for chamber professionals.

“The CCE program assesses and tests the applicant’s knowledge of core chamber management areas—management, planning and development, membership and communication, and operations,” says Ben Haskew, CCE, president and CEO of the Greenville (SC) Chamber and CCE commission chairman. “Chamber professionals who are designated CCEs have rightfully earned this outstanding recognition through hard work, countless hours of dedication to their field, and leadership of their chamber to achieve the chamber’s goals. We are proud to have this year’s class join a long tradition of professional excellence.”

Ross was one of 11 chamber executives in the nation who earned the CCE designation which was awarded August 13 during ACCE’s Centennial Convention in Cincinnati. Since the program was initiated more than 40 years ago, only about 500 individuals have earned this highest designation in the industry.

In addition to serving as President & CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Ross is also a visionary coalition builder furthering the goals of regional sustainable development for the long-term improvement of Southwest Florida’s economy through her position as Executive Director of the Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council.  Prior to relocating to Southwest Florida over five-years ago, Ross was President & CEO of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  She has extensive management experience with proven success in managing board, foundation, and economic development agency objectives.  Ross not only upholds the Chamber’s Five-Star Accreditation, but has collected an impressive list of accolades herself including The News-Press Media Group’s Person of the Year, 14 Most Powerful Business Women in Southwest Florida, and Florida Weekly’s list of Power Women.  Her certifications include Institute for Organization Management, Ford Fellow, Regional Sustainable Development, Certified Economic Developer Candidate, and International Economic Development Council.


 Christine Ross Headshot




August 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

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