By: Christine Ross, MBA, MS, IOM, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council
Today I participated in my first Partners in Education Academy session with twenty nine other business and community members. What a great experience! The program, initiated by the School District of Lee County and the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, is designed for all types of community partners, from business professionals and Realtors to parents, retirees and volunteers. The in depth orientation is meant to create a pool of Lee County School District Ambassadors who are knowledgeable about school choice and the amazing array of specialty programs that begin as early as the elementary grades.
During the first session we heard from Marshall Bower, CEO of the Foundation and Christy Kutz, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, the lead Student Assignment agent, Mark Mora and then a spectacular set of leaders from the Division of Teaching and Learning. These professional educators unraveled the intricacies of School Choice, advanced studies programs, Career Academies, Standards, Assessments, Elementary Math standards and techniques and how schools are graded. This is the first of four sessions; the others include focus on the Division of Operations, the Division of Business and Finance; and finally, the roles and functions of the School Board, the Superintendent and District Principals. I can tell you one thing already. We have highly motivated and passionate leaders working for our students. Each presentation we took in was well organized, succinct, topically important and engaging. I have three staff members going through at this time and can tell you that we are all looking forward to the next session.
Three cheers for the Lee County School District. They saw a need to tell a better story, one that would be easier for both parents and community members to understand, and after what we saw today, I’d say they are going to be very successful.
The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for iPartnerMedia, Inc. on Wednesday, February 26th to celebrate their new location in Bonita Springs. iPartnerMedia, Inc. is located at 28200 Old 41 Rd. Suite 206 Bonita Springs, FL 34135.
iPartnerMedia is celebrating the opening of their new location in the Bonita area and is proud to offer services to this local piece of paradise. Servicing local businesses in Naples, Bonita Springs, and Fort Myers, they want to echo the beauty that is seen throughout SWFL in their projects. Vice President of iPartnerMedia, Inc., Albert Arguelles, said, “We are excited about the new location in Bonita Springs and the new local market.
Not only do they want to promote the growth of Southwest Florida, but they want to make the world a better place. iPartnerMedia does this by supporting cancer research, and this year they are taking an active role by participating in the Golden Gate Relay For Life. At the ribbon cutting, guests enjoyed raffle prizes, snow cones, and more, with proceeds benefitting iPartnerMedia, Inc.’s Relay for Life team.
iPartnerMedia, Inc. began as a small quick print company and in 1998, and transitioned to a national branded print and marketing franchise. In 2012, with many months of planning, designing, testing, implementing and developing new systems, they re-branded to become the new iPartnerMedia.com. iPartnerMedia started with a fresh concept, created an image, added additional people and began 2013 with a growing team including Albert Arguelles as new Vice-President and partner.
iPartnerMedia believes that the business catch phrase “partner” should be taken serious and provide a true benefit to their clients, team members, and vendors. They believe in their client’s success as it truly dictates iPartnerMedia’s success. Their goal is to form long lasting relationships that are based on mutual trust, confidence and results.
Furthermore, iPartnerMedia offers a variety of services that include Website Design and Hosting, Internet Marketing, Search Engine Marketing and Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Apps, Video /Aerial Video Production and Photography, Printing and Direct Mail, Signs and Banners, Binding Equipment and Supplies, Promotional products and more. Their motto is “We work for YOU”. As a locally owned business, they provide what the client desires – Consultative Service Direction and Results – all within budget.
For additional information, please click here.
The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for To The Moon Boutique on Wednesday, February 19th to celebrate their grand opening. To The Moon Boutique is located in The Promenade shops at 26811 South Bay Drive, Unit 138, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
With a wide variety of clothing, accessories and jewelry, To The Moon offers fashionable choices for all tastes. The boutique has established a relationship with many vendors, who allow customers to custom order their own garments. To The Moon also offers private brands such as Eternal Gypsy, and Uniquely Yours by Tiffany Buntzman where customers are able to design their own one-of-a-kind garment.
Having been in the industry for many years, owner, Tiffany Buntzman, is very passionate about providing top quality customer service. Graduating with honors in fashion design and working for Kokun, a popular cashmere sweater design company in New York City, she brings experience in production sales, design, and offers top quality products. “I want to help women embrace their feminine beauty in a way that is comfortable, not overcomplicated”, she added.
Buntzman first fell in love with the Southwest Florida area when she visited the Promenade Shops. She was amazed by the landscaping, gorgeous architecture and amazing water falls. Buntzman said, “I wanted to make sure the location was consistent with the image and offerings of To The Moon.”
During the grand opening, guests enjoyed wine, gourmet cupcakes, up to 20% off a total purchase, and free gifts. Buntzman believes that the potential for The Promenade to come back stronger than ever is something that was factored into her decision to move to Southwest Florida, and she is very excited for the future. Buntzman promises, “At To The Moon, I have so much passion for what I do; ensuring that every woman who comes in has a unique experience and looks and feels beautiful and confident.”
For more information on To The Moon Boutique, call (239) 949-8200 or click here.
“Today’s forecast is 82 degrees with 0% chance of rain, and the best part is that it’s February!”
Can you think of a better place to be during the cold winter? I couldn’t imagine myself being in 20 degree weather, shoveling snow out of my street and clearing ice off my windshield during this time of the year. I can, however, picture myself sipping on a cold drink at one of the beautiful sandy beaches, such as Barefoot beach, paddle boarding through the Imperial river, or even riding a jet ski out on the Gulf. Whatever you may enjoy doing, visiting Bonita Springs is a trip you’ll thoroughly enjoy and definitely never forget, so let me give you some tips.
Pack your swimsuit, towels, some sunblock and fresh summer clothing! Okay, maybe it gets a little chilly down here, but that usually only lasts about three to four days. If you enjoy seafood, be prepared to enjoy some of the freshest seafood you will ever taste. If it was any fresher, you’d be swimming with it. You can even take advantage of all the different fishing charter trips, where you can catch your own dinner! There are also many different types of restaurants,that can accommodate your taste buds for an awesome experience. Living here for the past 10 years, I have tried many restaurants in the area, and I am more than satisfied with all of them, but one of my favorites is Randy’s Fishmarket.
If you enjoy being active and exploring the different areas of the city, you can visit some of the beautiful Florida State Parks. If you are an outdoors person, there is access to plenty of area campsites. Feeling adventurous? Take an airboat tour at the local Everglades Park through the swamps. What’s better than having the breeze flying through your hair as you experience the local wildlife right in front of you? If you prefer to spend time outdoors with your pet, take advantage of the Bonita Springs Dog Beach!
Finally, after a long busy day of engaging in the many activities our region has to offer, take your shoes off and relax at the beach to watch the beautiful Southwest Florida sunset. You can always enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants on the beach, so your sunset will be even more enjoyable. Now, if you want to continue the fun,you can enjoy evening mini golf at the Alico Family Golf Center or catch a Florida Everblades Hockey Game.
I I hope these ideas will get you excited for your visit!. I could not imagine being anywhere else than this area, and I constantly encourage others to visit. For additional information on all area attractions and things you can do, visit http://www.BonitaSpringsChamber.com. Or, if you are in the area, stop by their Visitor’s Center in person located at 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34135.
By: Aldo Yong (Intern)
The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce 2014 Visitor’s Guide & Professional Directory is now available for pick up at their 2,000 square-foot Visitor’s Center, located at 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34135.
This annual publication is the area’s comprehensive resource guide showcasing attractions, professional services, and everything in between. Sections included in the guide range from shopping and dining, to golfing, boating, accommodations and more.
In addition, the Chamber is offering free boxes of guides and detailed street maps of the Bonita Springs area to Chamber their members to distribute to their customers.
President & CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Christine Ross, said, “This beautiful new guide is so exciting and indicative of the glorious environment that we live in. We know you’re going to be thrilled to have it on your desks and give it to yours guests.”
For community members looking to obtain a copy of the 2014 guide, visit the Chamber’s Visitor Center is located at 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34135 or call Natalie Gagnon, Membership Assistant at (239) 992-2943.
For more information on becoming a member, please contact Ellie Connot, Membership Representative, at (239) 992-2943 or Ellie@BonitaSpringsChamber.com
Dear Chamber and Community Members:
I am pleased to announce that we have scheduled our 2014 Community Business Expo at the beautiful Promenade in Bonita Springs on March 13th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. My Special Events department has worked hard to secure a date in “season” for the first time ever so that more of you can take advantage of this free event. This will be the largest trade show opportunity of the year, showcasing over 70 Chamber member businesses. I personally invite the community to come out and see the displays and newly refurbished shops at The Promenade. Last year, we had high foot traffic with several hundred people pouring in throughout the course of the evening and expect even higher attendance this year. I have heard The Promenade has a few surprises in store for us, including entertainment and free tote bags for the first 500 guests.
This is a positive time for our region and to see the renaissance of one of our crown jewel properties is tremendous. I see much growth and prosperity in local businesses and The Promenade embodies the true heart and soul of this revitalization. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you at our Annual Expo.
The Promenade is located at 26795-27911 South Bay Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34134.
Christine A. Ross, MBA, MS, IOM
President and CEO
Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
Sales-Tax Holiday Extension
Gov. Rick Scott is proposing to extend the back-to-school sales-tax holiday to ten days. Part of his re-election year proposal is to cut taxes and fees by 500 million. Extending back-to-school sales-tax would more than triple its current length of time. According to Scott, extension of this holiday has happened before, but ten days is longer than usual.
During the back-to-school holiday, families will not have to pay local or state taxes on select items and amounts such as: writing utensils, notebooks, clothing, and electronic equipment. The holiday has been fixed at three days for the past four years. This proposal would allow families to save money, and invest elsewhere. According to John Fleming, Spokesman for the Florida Retail Federation, any slowdown in spending from the consumer savings will be allocated to other purchases not covered by the exemption. Fleming says, “There might some shifting of spending, but it really does increase sales overall.”
For additional information: Click here
By Vita C, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Intern