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General Newsletter – December 2014

The Alliance has experienced a number of developments over the last several months. This newsletter includes the following topics:

  • The Alliance Road Show Moves Forward to Washington D.C.
  • Successful Site Selector Event Held in Atlanta
  • Website 2.0 Launched – See It Now:
  • Recruitment Begins for Executive Director
  • Public Funding Discussions Underway
  • Upcoming Events – Save the Dates:
    • Annual Investor Meeting – February 25, 2015
    • Urban Land Institute Southwest Florida Regional Perspective – February 20, 2015
    • Market Watch Regional Economic Development Summit – May 11, 2015

The Alliance Road Show Moves Forward to Washington D.C.

The Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance continued to execute against its 2014 Marketing Plan. Representatives across the region attended the CoreNet Global North American
Summit in Washington, D.C. from October 26-29, 2014. Below is an excerpt from an article that Christine Ross wrote for Florida Weekly.

It was another regional win for Southwest Florida. This past week, economic development professionals from both Lee and Collier Counties presented the Southwest Florida region to commercial real estate executives from all over the world at the CoreNet Global Summit trade show. Our second collaborative event of this kind, the program provided a tremendous opportunity for our region to present as a cohesive team. It was an impressive three-day program with more than 2,500 attendees from 23 countries. Our booth was colorful and visually depicted the very best of what Southwest Florida has to offer. Our representatives from Cape Coral, Naples, Fort Myers, and Bonita Springs were prepared with fact sheets and compelling collateral materials. Enterprise Florida, the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida, was a participant too. We were able to show their leadership team our “A” game and a professional regional presence that helps solidify the marketing message for the entire state.

Christine Ross, Executive Director
Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council

Successful Site Selector Event Held in Atlanta

In addition, the Alliance hosted an event in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 3, 2014, for approximately 20 site selectors. Attending from the region were representatives from Lee, Collier and Glades counties, as well as from the city of Bonita Springs, along with the chairs for the Partnership for Collier’s Future Economy, Julie Schmelzle, and the Alliance, Laurie Holquist. This event targeted site selectors specializing in real estate, along with a range of other industries. Mac Holladay from Market Street Services, the consulting firm that led the Opportunity Naples project, was the featured speaker and spoke of the importance of regionalism.

Website 2.0 Launched – See It Now

The Alliance has released the enhanced website 2.0, working with local Bonita Springs-based iPartnerMedia to take the website to the next level. Along with a very contemporary new look,
enhancements include a host of upgrades to keep the site fresh and optimized:

  • Migration to a new content management system that is more user-friendly and includes improved security features and easy integration capabilities
  • Added mobile responsiveness for viewing across devices and screen sizes
  • Performance improvements for speed, usability and load balancing
  • On-page search engine optimization that Google and other search engines utilize
  • Better integration of the LoopNet property locator into the website
  • Added flexible, allocated space for news and advertising

Recruitment Begins for Executive Director

The Alliance approved a 2015 financial plan and is in a position to hire permanent staff, beginning with an executive director to lead our Southwest Florida marketing efforts. The interview process is underway, with the hopes of having a director in place in February 2015.

Public Funding Discussions Underway

The Alliance is working with representatives from Collier and Lee Counties to obtain additional public funding for the organization for 2015. Agreement discussions are underway with the
anticipation that they will be presented for consideration by the Collier and Lee Boards of County Commissioners in early 2015.

Upcoming Events:

Annual Investor Meeting

The Alliance will hold its Annual Investor Meeting on February 25, 2015, 8:30 to 10:00 am, for investors only. For information on becoming an investor, visit our website at
and click on Investors at the top menu bar.

Urban Land Institute Southwest Florida

The Alliance will present a regional economic development perspective at the first of a four-part series focusing on growth in Southwest Florida. The series begins February 20, 2015, from 8:15
to 10:00 am at FGCU. For information on the series, contact Ann Seurer at [email protected]

Regional Economic Development Summit

The Market Watch Regional Economic Development Summit is scheduled for May 11, 2015 from 8:00 to 12 noon. The meeting will be held at the Harborside Convention Center, Fort Myers, FL. Market Watch will present an opportunity to learn of all the initiatives and momentum in Southwest Florida to promote and diversify the region’s economy. Major sponsors and
presenters include:

  • Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance
  • Horizon Council
  • Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce/Opportunity Naples
  • Workforce Now
  • Florida Gulf Coast University