By: Butch Swank
The SWFL Business Alliance is happy to announce that our inaugural luncheon was a resounding success! The original intent of the get-together was for local businesses to re-acquaint themselves and support one another while working together to address and solve issues that we face as a community.
Initially, our association’s co-founders Katrina Salokar, Jesse Nadell, and I reached out to a select number of high-quality people we wanted to attend and planned this to be an invitation-only event. We had conversations about the how’s and why’s of this decision, and our answers were well-received, but we also experienced an unexpected phenomenon. However, once we widened our perspective a bit, it made perfectly logical sense.
In our talks, we kept hearing that “outside” companies wanted to attend. Why would that be? These outside companies were all smart, successful, well-financed, and make it a priority to be fully aware of all new development opportunities. So, they heard about the event and wanted to be seen and heard at the luncheon. Isn’t it delightful that our tiny neck of the woods is on the radar of these powerful companies?
Historically, Lehigh Acres would only hear about a new development or construction from the media, after the ink’s been dry for a long time. They never had a shot to bid on that growth, and we, as a community, could never provide input into how these developments were crafted. These outside companies are in a prime position to appreciate the tremendous scale of the changes headed Lehigh’s way and can help us gain more representation in the decision-making of this growth.
This first meeting put the days of being out of the loop in the past.
This luncheon opened up a channel of purposeful engagement so our local businesses can interact with the outside businesses. It was so much fun to see everyone at the meeting furiously (in a good way, of course!) making all sorts of new friends and new alliances.
Because we had such a stellar group of people in the same room, we have effectively granted Lehigh Acres a seat at a table that we never had access to before. Your community business leaders took a stand and did right by Lehigh Acres. You would have been proud!
As an example, Walter Salazar Pest Control had a great conversation with Jonathan Graham of Horus Construction, who is the president of a massive construction firm based in Tampa. These types of conversations are what we’ve been missing and would not have been possible if we hadn’t all taken the time to get together.
Now that the word is out, the amount of interest continues to grow. We will be diligent in adding new members that meet our criteria. If we do this, in time, our growing body of extraordinary business leaders will have a profoundly positive impact in our community and beyond.
Being in that room with fifty exceptional people was only a dream a few short months ago. It’s truly amazing what can be accomplished by some very motivated and like-minded individuals. Lehigh Acres is such a great place and is only getting better.
If you are interested in joining the SWFL Business Alliance and helping change the future of Lehigh Acres, visit our website at www.SWFLBusinessAlliance.com.