My name is Butch Swank, and I’m working with some very bright individuals to build a brand new business advocacy group. It is called the Southwest Florida Business Alliance, and we have announced an event: A Focus On Employment Issues. Most of my work in our community has been centered on improving our kids’ education here locally. But in doing this, as a business owner, I noticed something else. It became clear to me that businesses and schools are not working together enough. Historically, schools have had long-term business partners to help them with fundraising and support. In return, the business partners get excellent exposure to a broad audience of potential customers. Additionally, your business is now seen helping the community, which can only elevate the public’s view of your business. That is true win-win thinking, and we need to make local businesses more aware of how beneficial these school partnerships can be. The goal of our new organization is to share essential ideas just like this.
Please keep in mind that education is the first topic among many that we will explore going forward. The way I see it, local businesses have been mainly operating alone. Our organization aims to change this by providing resources and opportunities to help grow and strengthen each other’s company. If you’ve been able to succeed so far without support, imagine how much you can accomplish provided the opportunity to be around other success-oriented business owners regularly. We’ll introduce you to influential business and governmental leaders. We’ll explore the challenges facing our businesses and how best to approach them. We’ll make you aware of the upcoming (massive) infrastructure improvements and the many new (large) companies opening up here. Our community is undergoing a period of enormous growth, and the more you know, the better you can navigate this exciting time.
Let me share a bit more about our first event. Business owners and education leaders will gather for a discussion on The Role of Businesses in Education. Many of our area’s businesses are frustrated with the lack of qualified and available candidates for jobs. One way to solve this problem is to bring leaders together to exchange information and ideas. Speakers may include but are not limited to representatives from Lee County Economic Development, FGCU, Hodges Univerisity, the Lee County School District, various job placement, career development organizations, and educational foundations. It will be held on September 24th from 11 AM – 1 PM at the Double Eagle restaurant in the Majestic Golf Club. We will network, hear presentations, and participate in a Q&A forum. You can stay as long as you would like to follow up with contacts new and old. We will gather at 11 AM for networking, with the program opening at 11:30 AM and closing at 1:00 PM. This program costs $40 and includes a great lunch.
Also, let me share a bit more about the organization we are forming. The Southwest Florida Business Alliance is a group of vetted, trusted, performance-oriented business people that seeks to highlight and promote what’s best about doing business in Southwest Florida. Our members can be described as top talent sharing an outlook towards growth and improvement. Our philanthropic arm will lean towards assistance and support for fixes only. In short, we favor action over talk. SWFL Business Alliance is a place where the best and the brightest are supported and where fellowship has a new home. There is so much opportunity for us to grow together, and it begins, simply enough, by us getting together.