Florida SouthWestern State College Foundation Hosts the Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals November Social at New Exhibition, “Rauschenberg: China/America Mix”


Join the Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals for their November networking social at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Florida SouthWestern State College on  Wednesday, November 19th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Florida SouthWestern State College Foundation.

As the fastest growing Young Professionals group in the region, the Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals expect to bring together 80 to 100 fellow young professionals for networking and viewing of the current art exhibit, “Rauschenberg: China/America Mix.” Appetizers and a cash bar will be available.

“The Florida SouthWestern State College Foundation is proud to host the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals. We are proud of our 52-year history of providing arts and cultural awareness to the region, both through the gallery, and our strong student program in theatre, art, and music,” said Senior Director of Development, Arlene Knox.

Alan Gaunt, President of the Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals, said, “The Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals is excited to support the Florida SouthWestern State College Foundation by showcasing their campus to a whole new group of future community leaders.”

The Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals is a networking group for career-minded individuals, ages 21 to 40, who are looking to develop professionally and build their network in Southwest Florida.

To RSVP for this event, visit www.BonitaSpringsChamber.com, and click on ‘Chamber Events’ or call the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce at (239) 992‐2943. To be added to the official invite list of the Bonita Springs Area Young Professionals, email Chelsea@BonitaSpringsChamber.com. Learn more about the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bsayoungprofessionals.

October 31, 2014 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment

Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Online Job & Resume Bank Traffic Soars in September

In September, the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce experienced a large spike in website traffic due to a job fair being held for billion dollar company, Camuto Group that just announced their relocation of its finance division to Bonita Springs. The Chamber provided support to the company by posting Camuto Group jobs on their Job Bank, hosting and promoting the Job Fair on September 24. From one press release, website traffic more than doubled and over 300 applicants came prepared for interviews.

This comes at a remarkable time as more companies are deciding to move their headquarters to the Southwest Florida region due to the pro-business economic climate created and maintained by the city, county, and state.

In August, the chamber received 1,240 page views to their job bank, which increased to over 5,000 hits in September. As Bonita Springs and the surrounding region continues to grow, due to the relocation of many companies such as Hertz and Camuto Group citizens should look forward to seeing their businesses grow as well.

The Chamber’s Job & Resume Bank is used by job seekers, entrepreneurs and local businesses that are ready to take the next step toward growth. Utilize the Chamber’s Job & Resume Bank here: http://www.bonitaspringschamber.com/job-bank-bonita-springs-estero-naples-fort-myers/

If you’re company is interested in joining the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, call (239) 992-2943 and visit http://www.bonitaspringschamber.com/the-chamber/

October 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment

Two Bonita Springs Sign Ordinance Forums Scheduled

Bonita Springs Area Chamber INSIDER: Two Bonita Springs Sign Ordinance Forums Scheduled

By: Christine Ross, MBA, MS, CCE ,IOM, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council

As communities evolve, grow and mature, policies and regulations need to be updated. Every town goes through this process and its business owners and citizens should get involved in shaping the outcomes for their community. Bonita Springs and Estero are no exception to this pattern. We can see the blossoming Village of Estero working its way toward cityhood with pride and excitement over how its citizens will choose to move forward next month.

In Bonita Springs, the leadership is working on revitalizing the downtown and updating landscaping and sign ordinances so the area will be more attractive and functional. In my travels to national conferences on economic development, sign ordinance evolution is a prevalent topic in many communities. When policies such as these evolve, it is incumbent upon the business owners to make time to review and comment.

Bonita Springs has taken a slow and steady approach to the evolution of their sign ordinances and for that I applaud their leadership. In order to gain more feedback, they have scheduled another set of programs on October 30, 2014 at City Hall, at both 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. In addition, to capture as many comments as possible, the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce is holding their third Sign Ordinance Forum on November 6, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.at the Chamber’s office, 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs.

We have also posted the latest version of the draft ordinances on the Chamber website http://www.BonitaSpringsChamber.com in the press room, on Facebook, Twitter, and on the Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council’s web press room. We want the business community to have a big say in how these regulations develop.

If you cannot attend any of these public forums, please email us with your comments at Info@BonitaSpringsChamber.com and I will personally deliver these to the City staff on your behalf.

Let’s work through this process of shaping outcomes in the most positive way possible. Get involved and contribute your ideas to the finished product.

My team and I are at your service.


October 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

Help at Home Homecare Opens Location in Bonita Springs, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Host Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Help at Home Homecare on Thursday, October 23rd their new facility located at 9240 Bonita Beach Rd., Suite 1101, Bonita Springs, FL 34135.

Help at Home Homecare has provided all levels of home health services and care throughout Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties and have now extend their reach to residents of the Bonita Springs Area. As part of their mission to provide exceptional care, service and support, Help at Home offers a wide-range of services from non-hands-on to personal to skilled care, for residents in their home, facility or retirement community.

When selecting service providers, Help at Home go above and beyond the normal criteria that many home health agencies utilize. The Caregiver Quality Assurance seal guarantees that they are using the Leading Home Care’s Caregiver Selection System — an advanced technology and standardized online testing to screen for prospective caregivers and assure that the people in your home are trustworthy, dependable, and have the attitude and personality skills needed to provide top quality care.

Tammy DeCaro, Director of Business Development for Help at Home said, “So many times people are discharged from the hospital with new medications, no way to get home safely or get prescriptions filled. We provide a “Concierge Service” Car Transportation, which helps with returning home from hospital or skilled rehab stay, to getting prescriptions filled, grocery shopping, and many other services.”
Under the leadership of Administrator Joyce K. Berk, RN, BSN, MSN, Help at Home are dedicated, well-
trained service providers, caregivers, nurses and therapists who provide exceptional care, service and support that fosters peace of mind for individuals and their families’ services.

For more information on Help at Home Homecare, visit http://www.helpathomefl.com or call (239) 494-1039

Help at Home

October 24, 2014 at 6:31 pm Leave a comment

Vi at Bentley Village Marks a Milestone in $70 Million Redevelopment Project

Naples, Fla. (October 16, 2014) Vi (pronounced “vee”) at Bentley Village commemorates a significant step forward in its $70 million dollar redevelopment with a celebratory grand opening and two ribbon cutting ceremonies today at its new, stand-alone Sales Center.

The approximately 4,500 square foot state-of-the-art Sales Center emphasizes advanced technology to enhance prospective residents’ understanding of their living choices at the Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Naples. Sales counselors now utilize two Ideum tables with multi-touch displays and individual iPads to explain the amenities, apartment selections, and financial benefits of Bentley Village. With just the tap of a finger, they can show clients the features of existing and future Bentley Village, including renderings of two new clubhouses, floor plans and three-dimensional images of current and new apartments, and vivid photographs of an amenity-rich lifestyle.

Bentley Village’s Sales Director, Joe Chambers, says “These new technologies allow us to provide heightened interactive experiences for prospective residents. We are able to not onlyexplain, but also show them what existing Bentley Village has to offer now, and help them envision our forthcoming improvements.”

The new Sales Center also features a design center that showcases the high quality of options available to customize apartments, a theatre with seating for eight people, and a putting green with sand trap. Two Naples-based companies, Stofft & Cooney Architects, LLC and DeAngelis Diamond Construction collaborated to complete construction of the Sales Center.

The grand opening and ribbon cuttings are anticipated to bring together local government officials, including State Representatives Matt Hudson and Kathleen Passidomo, Collier County Commissioner Georgia Hiller, and Bonita Springs Mayor Ben Nelson. In addition, members of Vi’s corporate office, including Vi’s President Randy Richardson, are expected to be on hand for the events.

Executive Director, Ann Walsh, says “The Sales Center is the first visible sign of the significant investment we are making in the future of Bentley Village. We are excited to share this special day with members of the community and honored to receive recognition from local officials. We also are eager to move forward with the next phase of the redevelopment project and to continue enriching the environment we have provided for our residents to age well –physically, emotionally, and intellectually.”

Bentley Village is a long-standing continuing care retirement community located off Rt. 41 in Naples. The community’s $70 million redevelopment project has several phases that also include 72 new independent living apartments and two new clubhouses, featuring three new restaurants and a quick serve café, a new theater, auditorium, library, lounge, and arts and craft room. Both the clubhouses and 72 new apartments are scheduled for completion in late 2016.

Currently, Bentley Village boasts an 18-hole executive golf course, 12 miles of walking trails and cart paths, and an array of outdoor features including swimming pools and tennis and bocce courts.

For more information about the Bentley Village redevelopment project, visit www.viliving.com/evenbetter


Vi at Bentley Village Ribbon Cutting

October 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

Fusion Yoga & Wellness Open in Estero, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Bonita Springs, Fla. (October 9, 2014) – The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Fusion Yoga & Wellness on Wednesday, October 8th to celebrate the opening of their new studio located at 10021 Estero Town Commons Place, Suite #102B, Estero, FL 33928.

Fusion Yoga & Wellness offers experienced, friendly yoga instructors who aim to inspire and guide students through their practice, blending a variety of different styles. The focus is always on proper body alignment and movements linked with the breath.  An added bonus is achieving calmness of the mind, the ultimate goal of ancient yogis.

Fusion Yoga & Wellness provides group and private classes, wellness-oriented educational workshops, seminars, and special events. Their variety of class times and programs offer convenience to anyone seeking peace and harmony within body and mind.

Gina Goodrich, Director and Instructor, decided to explore another way to become physically fit and offset the aging process. After her first yoga session, Goodrich discovered how different she felt beyond her physical state. After receiving her certification, she began teaching and has been passionate about the art the yoga ever since. Since becoming a Yogi, Goodrich opened Fusion Yoga & Wellness and has embodied the philosophy of Breathe, Move, and Connect to Fusion Yoga & Wellness.

Goodrich states, “I am so passionate about yoga and its great benefits should be shared with whoever has the slightest interest. We are excited to offer the area’s newest and beautiful Yoga studio and Wellness center in Estero that will proudly serve not only our wonderful Estero community, but the surrounding areas as well.”

“Our mission is attainable and realistic” Goodrich stated, “To guide students through practice and education, leading towards ultimate health and wellness by fusing a variety of styles and proper movements with awareness of the body and breath, while simultaneously achieving calmness of the mind.”

Fusion Yoga & Wellness is also offering students a FREE yoga session with the purchase of any yoga session/package or $89 for 30 days of Unlimited Yoga. Students would only have to mention the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce when they call, email or walk-in to the studio.

For more information on Fusion Yoga & Wellness call (239) 498-8800 and visit http://www.fusionyogawellness.com.

fusion yoga

October 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment

Navigating the EMV Landscape

Author: Marcy Bok, Marketing Director, Infintech

Are you up to speed on EMV? Let’s start with the basics. “EMV” stands for Europay, MasteCard and Visa, a standard for chip-based transaction processing technology created in the 90’s as a more secure way to handle credit and debit purchases. Why does it matter? Because MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express each have plans already in motion to affect EMV adoption in the United States. This means that merchants must adopt and integrate new compliance standards to handle these transactions.

What are chip-based payment cards?

A chip-based transaction card contains an embedded microprocessor that offers enhanced security features not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. In addition to enhanced security, chip cards offer contact, contactless and mobile payment operations.

How is EMV more secure?

On EMV payment cards, all of the payment information needed to complete a transaction is contained in a secure microprocessor chip rather than a magnetic strip. In addition, counterfeiting is prevented by a required card authentication that can be completed on or off line, and cardholder authorization can be completed using online PIN, offline PIN or a signature for both credit and debit transactions.

How will fraud liability change with EMV?

In today’s financial market, the institutions that issue credit and debit cards carry the weight of the liability for fraud. This will change once the EMV standard is fully implemented. Rather than financial institutions covering fraud, some liability will move to processors and individual merchants. Because of this, merchants need to pay close attention and get a full understanding as these changes are made in the coming years. Accepting EMV-enabled cards may help protect merchants from liability for fraud.

Do merchants need new software or equipment?

Each payment processor has a roadmap that contains deadlines of when merchants must have terminal equipment that supports EMV transactions, usually starting in 2015. For Visa and American Express the deadline is October 1, 2015. Because EMV uses chip-based cards instead of magnetic strip cards, merchants will need updated software or stand-alone equipment to take full advantage of EMV.

Do merchants have a choice?

The EMV standard will eventually replace the existing standard of magnetic strips. Though there is currently no government mandate, the large payment processors are taking it upon themselves to shift the liability to the merchants if fraud is committed and the merchant wasn’t compliment with the EMV standard. Choosing not to upgrade can have a major impact of fraud liability for merchants. Many merchants are choosing to purchase more advanced equipment or software now in hopes of future-proofing their card processing equipment. In addition, merchants need to decide whether they want to require customers to sign the transaction, enter a PIN or not require authorization in any form.

If you’re a merchant looking for more information on how EMV will affect your business, get in touch with your Infintech representative at 800-621-8931

October 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

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