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Estero Economic Development Council


The purpose of the Village of Estero Community and Economic Development Team is to develop and implement a strategic plan that enhances the overall quality of life within the Village and focuses on...

  • Community Development:

Village Physical Place Identity, Village Center/Downtown, Cultural and Arts District, River Walk, Restaurants and Shops, Recreation and Entertainment, Village Hall

  • Business Retention Growth:

Supporting current and new businesses with training, education and human resources development, high technology district, new hospitals and medical corridor

  • Strong Chamber of Commerce:

Strong voice of the Estero Business Community, Executive Director, adequate funding, on-going business surveys, economic growth reports, working teams addressing business needs, Chamber permanent facility/office space


We envision Estero becoming the desired city in Florida for overall quality of life, economic development, new businesses, and sustaining growth businesses.

Basic Strategy

  • Establish a partnership of community and economic development entities.
    • The Village of Estero Council and Staff
    • The Estero Chamber of Commerce
    • The Estero Council of Community Leaders
    • Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council
    • Horizon Council Lee County Economic Development
    • Florida Gulf Coast University
    • Local Schools
    • Estero Business Owners/Operators
    • Local Board of Realtors
    • Non-Profit/Faith-Based Organizations
  • Establish a Community and Economic Development Team.
  • Support the Village of Estero's Comprehensive Plan for community and economic development
  • Develop a plan/strategy
    • Public and private partnerships and investments
    • Human resource development, education and training
    • Land use and sustainable housing growth
    • Social, recreational, arts and cultural development
  • Mobilize funding for the strategy

Area of Priority Focus for Estero Development

  • Education
  • Work Force Housing
  • Clean Water
  • Transfer of Wealth
  • Medical Corridor
  • Mobilization of Volunteers
  • Technology
  • Attraction of Young Families

Progress Report for First Several Months

  • Establishment of the Estero Community and Economic Development Team (ECEDT)
  • Teams of 10 ECEDT Members Enlisted
  • Hiring of New Full-time Executive Director for Chamber of Commerce and The Estero Community and Economic Team
  • Village of Estero Purchase of 62 Acres for CenterCenter/Estero on the River
  • Village Impact Partners Funding Plan for $50,000
  • Six Impact Partners Confirmed to Date
    • Diamond Level ($25,000) - Village of Estero
    • Platinum Level ($10,000) - Lee Health
    • Gold Level ($5,000) - GPS Life Journey
    • Gold Level ($5,000) - Spotlight Magazine
    • Silver Level ($2,500) - Elite Realty of SWF
    • Silver Level ($2,500) - State Insurance
    • Silver Level ($2,500) - Platinum Media
    • Silver Level ($2,500) - Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Partnership with the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation - Florida 2030 plan (Six Pillars Attached)
  • Sub Teams Working on Six Pillars Assignments

Estero Community and Economic Development Team Members

  • Gary Bonvillian - Co-Team Lead, President Emeritus, Thomas University
  • Barry Freedman, Director of Member Development, Estero Council of Community Leaders
  • Joseph Pavich, Sr. - Owner/Broker, J Pavich Real Estate
  • Nolen Rollins, Co-Team Lead - Estero Chamber of Commerce Board/Director, Kingdom Mobilization/Pastor, Legacy Church
  • Suzanne Specht - Assistant Director, Florida SBDC/FGCU
  • Stephanie Wardein - System Director Community Affairs, Lee Health
  • Christopher Westley - Director, Regional Economic Research Institute/Professor of Economics, FGCU
  • Jim Wilson - Village of Estero Councilperson
  • Sarah Newcomb - President & CEO, Estero Chamber of Commerce (Ex officio)
  • Steve Sarkozy - Village Manager, Village of Estero (Ex officio)


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