Member News


From Chamber Member iPartnerMedia  –  Chamber Members may request a 2017 iPartnerMedia coloring book calendar be mailed or delivered to them at https://www.ipartnermedia.com/2017-calendar/


Congratulations to Estero Chamber Board Member, Nella DeCesare of WBN Marketing LLC!

SHY WOLF SANCTUARY NAMES TWO TO BOARD 

From Gulfshore Business Daily

Shy Wolf Sanctuary has appointed two to its board of directors. Nella DeCesare has worked in the marketing and advertising industry for 25 years and, after a successful fifteen-year career in the corporate sector, launched WBN Marketing in Southwest Florida in 2009. DeCesare holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a master’s degree in Organizational Management. She has volunteered for various local animal rescues and veteran causes. Steven Backman serves as the General Manager of Colonial Country Club in Fort Myers, managing the homeowners association and club operations on behalf of Troon, the world’s largest golf management company.


Christy’s Cause Receives Grant From Manning Family Trust Fund

Grant will help bring awareness to child sex trafficking in Southwest Florida

Christy’s Cause, a non-profit working to eradicate child sex trafficking through education, public awareness, restoration projects, and justice initiatives, has received a $3,000 grant from the Manning Family Trust Fund, a fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, to air their public service announcement (PSA). The goal of the PSA is to bring awareness to the epidemic of child sex trafficking in Southwest Florida and to direct viewers to The National Human Trafficking Hotline to report suspected child sex trafficking.

“Because of the generosity of the Manning Family Trust Fund and the support of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, we are airing our PSA 83 times through June on television stations targeting teens and their parents,” said Christy Ivie, founder of Christy’s Cause. “This will bring awareness to the horrific crime of child sex trafficking and reach vulnerable teens to let them know how to get help. This came at a critical time as school lets out for the summer – leaving teens more susceptible. As many as 1 in three runaways are lured or forced into sex trafficking within 48 hours of running away.”

According to The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern-day slavery. Estimates place the number of its domestic and international victims in the millions, mostly females and children enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money. Florida is the third-highest rate of sex trafficking in the United States, according to the Department of Justice.

To report information or suspicious activity call The National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “info” or “help” to 233733. The toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year in more than 200 languages.

For more information about Christy’s Cause visit www.ChristysCause.com, email info@christyscause.com or follow Christy’s Cause on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

About Christy’s Cause

Christy’s Cause, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization launched in Estero, Florida in 2015 that is working to eradicate child sex trafficking through education, public awareness, restoration projects, and justice initiatives. Christy’s Cause collaborates with existing organizations who are providing services to victimized minors locally, nationally, and globally. Christy’s Cause works to create awareness through speaking engagements, public service announcements, social media initiatives and community events. To effectively understand issues concerning the commercial sexual exploitation of children, Christy’s Cause stays informed and educated by networking with law enforcement, state agencies, educators, health professionals, and service providers. Christy’s Cause believes that as our community becomes more knowledgeable on the issues of sex trafficking we become more powerful in fighting against this epidemic.


The Florida SBDC has just released a recent success story for one of our clients, John Benkert of CPR Tools, Inc. in Fort Myers.

CPR Tools, Inc. is a woman-owned small business, owned and operated by John and Sue Benkert. The Benkert’s began working for CPR Tools in 2004, John as a Senior Computer Scientist and Sue as the office manager.  There were seven employees when John started at CPR Tools. He quickly determined the company’s potential went beyond data recovery services.  He hired several hardware and software engineers and began designing and building products for the data recovery and security markets.  In 2011, the Benkert’s acquired the company, Sue serves as CFO and John as CEO and employment has expanded to 28 employees.

While CPR specializes in data recovery, eradication, advanced repairs, and data security, they also offer training and research services.  Some of their largest contracts come from national and local law enforcement agencies, as well as internet technology companies.  In 2005, the company sold its first designed and built data recovery product, PSI CLONE. In following next two years, two new products were released. John continually develops new products for data recovery and data security all while continuing to offer those same services to their customers.

John is a major advocate of small business and is glad to have made the switch from his data processing job in the government at the National Security Agency. Says John, “You can innovate, you can fail, and nobody is going to tell you that you failed.   If you don’t fail you’re never going to learn.”  John Benkert has degrees in Communications, Management, and an MBA.  He also has a diverse background in both commercial and government organizations, with over 25 years of accomplishments in the areas of technology and national security. John is a veteran and served in the United States Air Force (USAF) for over 20 years.

John really appreciates the help the FSBDC gave them when they were starting out.  The FSBDC helped answer a lot of questions that helped John transition from government work to small business ownership.  John had a learning curve when he first acquired CPR Tools and attributes credit to Kevin Brady, FSBDC International Trade Specialist. Brady created an international marketing plan for CPR Tools to assist them in expanding into worldwide markets.  In addition, the FSBDC is credited with helping create impactful connections between CPR Tools and Florida Gulf Coast University as well as the University of South Florida.   John states, “I would recommend the SBDC to anyone who asks me (where to go for assistance).”


The Rotary Club of Estero celebrated its 15th anniversary on May 6, 2016. 

Mayor Nick Batos read a proclamation on behalf of the Village Council, stating in part:

“Since its inception, the Rotary Club of Estero has served as an integral part of the Estero community by initiating such programs as Dictionary Day for third graders at Lee County Schools, Rotakids for third, fourth and fifth graders at Three Oaks and Pinewoods Elementary Schools and Walk for Water in support of International Water projects in Guatemala.

“The Village Council of the Village of Estero, Florida, acknowledges the history, contributions and invaluable community connections provided by the Rotary Club of Estero and congratulates the Rotary Club of Estero on 15 years of excellence and dedicated service to the quality of life in our community.”


est Moving & Storage/ Allied of SWFL has one of the country’s top Relocation Specialists

Company Strengthens Resources with top Relocation Specialist

Best Moving & Storage/Allied,  www.bestmovingnstorage.com, a locally owned and operated moving van company and storage facility, announced Danielle Rachel, a Relocation Specialist for the company, has been named of one of the country’s top sales personnel for Allied Van Lines, a partner of Best Moving & Storage.

Originally from Falls Church, Virginia, Danielle has called Naples home for the past 21 years. Danielle has been actively involved in her daughter’s local Girl Scout troop for the past seven years, as well as being a member in ABWA (American Business Women’s Association), BNI, Zonta Club of Bonita Springs, Naples and Bonita Chambers and Young Professionals of Naples.

Director of Operations, Suzanne Ward states, “Danielle is an integral part of our company, her enthusiasm is appreciated.”  Adds Linda Gutshall, owner of Best Moving & Storage,  “Danielle is rated 22 out of hundreds of sales personnel throughout the country associated with allied van lines. Her sales have increased 110 percent the first quarter.”

Danielle has many years of experience and states “serving the community as a relocation specialist allows me to incorporate so many of my professional skills as well as personal passions. “Best Moving & Storage is a company that cares about people as much as I do. It’s a privilege to assist clients through what can be a very stressful transition in their lives and make it my personal mission to educate and prepare my clients for moving day, resulting in a seamless and stress-free relocation experience.”

To learn more about Best Moving & Storage services, visit their website at www.bestmovingnstorage.com or call 239-592-6565.


Ft. Myers Golf Cart Dealer Donates Utility Cart to the Kowiachobee Animal Preserve

Coastal Carts www.CoastalCartsFL.com  a locally owned and operated golf cart, power equipment sales service, parts and rental business, recently donated a utility cart to the Kowiachobee Animal Preserve www.kowiachobee.com   a 5-acre facility located in Golden Gate Estates.

This 501-(c3) not-for-profit educational preserve is home to more than 130 animals and endangered species including big cats, reptiles, amphibians, nocturna animals and more.

Coastal Carts owner, Don Imbus, learned about the Kowiachobee Preserve when Grace Slaby, co-founder and board member of Kowiachobee, was looking for a golf cart that could help their volunteers who hand-carry their tools and equipment on the farm.   “We are so grateful that Coastal Carts came through for us.  When I mentioned our cause, Don and his staff were so gracious and immediately said we can help.  We will forever be grateful.”

“This is the fourth cart in the past four years our company has donated to local charities including Ave Maria University Athletics, Donohue Catholic Primary School, Easter Seals of Florida, and this year, Kowiachobee Animal Preserve, stated Imbus.  “This is our way at Coastal Carts to give back to the community and worthy organizations that provide services to others.”

Coastal Carts has been serving Southwest Florida for over 20 years and is an authorized dealer for Yamaha Golf Car Company. The dealership is located at 16611 S. Tamiami Trial, Fort Myers.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:30 pm or by appointment.  For more information, visit the website at www.CoastalCartsFL.com, or call 239-936-5676.


Christy’s Cause Releases Public Service Announcement to Bring Awareness to Child Sex Trafficking

Non-Profit Seeking Southwest Florida Partners to Share the Announcement

Christy’s Cause, a non-profit working to eradicate child sex trafficking through education, public awareness, restoration projects, and justice initiatives, announced the release of a new public service announcement (PSA).   The goal of the PSA is to bring awareness to the epidemic of child sex trafficking in Southwest Florida and to direct viewers to The National Human Trafficking Hotline to report suspected child sex trafficking.

“Every year 300,000 children are at risk of becoming the victims of child sex trafficking,” said Christy Ivie, founder of Christy’s Cause. “Florida is third in the country for reported incidents of child sex trafficking and 1 of three runaways are lured or forced into sex trafficking within 48 hours of running away. We are fighting to make a difference in the lives of those who desperately need our help.”

According to The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern-day slavery. Estimates place the number of its domestic and international victims in the millions, mostly females and children enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money.

The terms human trafficking and sex slavery usually conjure up images of young girls beaten and abused in faraway places, but human sex trafficking and sex slavery happen locally in cities and towns, both large and small, throughout the United States, right in our backyard, according to Ivie. In March 2015 fifteen people were arrested in Collier County in a human trafficking ring that operated in Collier, Lee, Hendry, Polk and Miami-Dade counties.

The PSA was created by Old Sparky Productions. Christy’s Cause is currently seeking partners to share the announcement. To view the PSA visit www.ChristyCause.com.

To report information or suspicious activity call The National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “info” or “help” to 233733. The toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year in more than 200 languages.

Christy’s Cause, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization launched in Estero, Florida in 2015 that is working to eradicate child sex trafficking through education, public awareness, restoration projects, and justice initiatives. Christy’s Cause collaborates with existing organizations who are providing services to victimized minors locally, nationally, and globally. Christy’s Cause works to create awareness through speaking engagements, public service announcements, social media initiatives and community events. To effectively understand issues concerning the commercial sexual exploitation of children, Christy’s Cause stays informed and educated by networking with law enforcement, state agencies, educators, health professionals, and service providers. Christy’s Cause believes that as our community becomes more knowledgeable on the issues of sex trafficking we become more powerful in fighting against this epidemic.

For more information about Christy’s Cause visit www.ChristysCause.com, email info@christyscause.com or follow Christy’s Cause on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


 Blue Zones Project

Attend a Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida informational meeting and learn the secrets of people who live the longest and healthiest in the world. Learn what you can do to improve your well-being and find out how our community can work together to help make the healthy choice the easy choice!

Click HERE for more information!


Monarch Builders Wins 2016 Best of HOUZZ Award for Overall Client Satisfaction!!

For more information, please click: http://www.houzz.com/pro/ejrcampos/monarch-builders-and-remodelers


Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort Wins a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2016

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs announces today they are a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2016 for Best Wedding and Reception Venue in Southwest Florida. Winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients. Hyatt Regency Coconut Point has won this award for the past three years consecutively and was recently distinguished with Hyatt Corporation’s Events Team of the Year award.

To learn more about the Couples’ Choice Awards®, please visit www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.

For information and to book reservations, visit www.coconutpoint.hyatt.com or call 239-444-1234.