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Uhler and Nathan inducted into Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame

By Staff | Feb 10, 2010

On Wednesday, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida announced that they will induct Tom Uhler, a founding principal of Uhler and Vertich Financial Planners, and Jim Nathan, president of Lee Memorial Health System, into the 2010 Business Hall of Fame – Lee County at a dinner and awards ceremony on May 5 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Estero.

The prestigious award recognizes prominent business leaders who are outstanding entrepreneurs and serve as role models for youth through their professional accomplishments and commitment to the community.

Uhler and Nathan will join a distinguished group of individuals who have been inducted into the Business Hall of Fame since it was founded in 1987.

A 30-year veteran of the financial services profession and a member of the Financial Planning Association, Uhler is founding principal of Uhler and Vertich Financial Planners, an independent firm specializing in comprehensive estate, financial, retirement and investment planning for successful families. This entrepreneur also founded The Wine Merchant in Fort Myers and is a member of the Society of Wine Educators.

A frequent speaker on financial planning, investments and food and wine, Uhler is frequently called upon by local media as a resource for stories on food, vintner’s specialties and wine collecting. Uhler holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Susquehanna University.

A resident of Sanibel Island since 1977, Uhler has been an active community leader, serving on the boards for organizations such as Kiwanis Club of Sanibel-Captiva Islands, Good Neighbor Community Foundation of Sanibel-Captiva, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Association, United Way of Lee County and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF). He has a special interest in assisting nonprofit organizations with planned giving efforts and has helped a number of Lee County groups identify, educate and establish long term relationships with donors. He is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association, a former Cub master and serves on the Council Executive Board and Endowment Investment Committee of the Southwest Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

After a six-year career selling cars in his family’s automobile business and serving in the U.S. Army Reserve, Nathan earned master’s degrees from Xavier University and moved to Lee County to begin a one-year residency at Lee Memorial Hospital. Upon completion of his residency, he was offered the position of vice president at Lee Memorial Hospital and went on to become president and CEO in 1981. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a single hospital to a large system of acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a skilled nursing facility, home health services, outpatient facilities and physician group practices.

Nathan left the company in 1997 to provide leadership consulting and pursue interests in national healthcare reform, including testimony before the U.S. Senate. He returned to Lee Memorial Health System in 2000 and continues to serve as president. Nathan holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University and master’s degrees in business administration and health care administration from Xavier University.

In addition, Nathan is a leader in professional organizations such as Hospital Safety Net Alliance of Florida, Florida Hospital Association, VHA-Southeast and American College of Healthcare Executives. He serves the community as a board member for Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, American Heart Association of Lee County, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Coalition for a Drug-Free Lee County and The American Red Cross of Lee County. Most recently, he was named in Gulfshore Life magazine’s “Men and Women of the Decade” and received the title “A Champion of the Movement” by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee.

Many Lee County students involved with Junior Achievement will attend the Hall of Fame event, where they can interact with local professionals and practice their etiquette skills. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the event are now available. Proceeds benefit Junior Achievement programs.

For event tickets and sponsorship information, call the Junior Achievement office at 239-225-2590 or visit www.JASWFL.org.