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Chrysalis Awards luncheon to be held on May 20

By Staff | Apr 27, 2010

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Inc. are busy judging 60 entries in their first annual Chrysalis Awards to honor businesses and individuals who have positively impacted the local community.

Any local business could nominate itself or others, regardless of whether the nominees are directly a part of the tourism industry. Award recipients will be announced at a jointly hosted Celebration of Business & Tourism Awards Luncheon and Trade Show on Thursday, May 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.

Nominees include area attractions, accommodations, retailers, educational institutions, arts and cultural organizations, transportation companies and other local businesses in the six categories:

Business Development


Cultural Achievement



Sales & Marketing

The new awards are designed to foster a stronger alliance between the tourism industry and the county’s business community. A seventh award category is the VCB’s long-standing Junonia Award, created to recognize those individuals who have positively impacted the local tourism community by demonstrating unique capabilities, leadership, commitment, and dedication.

The event, also sponsored by the Hotel Indigo and the Butterfly Estates, will celebrate the value of tourism and the community teamwork involved in maintaining and enhancing tourism as a major economic engine for the county. It is being held to commemorate National Travel and Tourism Week as part of the VCB’s year-round Team Tourism informational program to strengthen destination teamwork.

A panel of local business community leaders is judging nominations and will select one award recipient in each of the six categories; and, as in past years, the Junonia will only be awarded at the sole discretion of the VCB.

Businesses and individuals nominated for the six Chrysalis Awards are being judged on their innovation in their respective category, how they have distinguished themselves in the community, the results of their efforts to promote the destination, their contributions to business and tourism partnerships for the overall benefit of the county, and their work to foster growth and sustainability.

Honorees will be recognized for their commitment to excellence in improving community growth, creating job opportunities for the citizens of Lee County, and encouraging more vacationers to the destination.

“To have 60 nominations from a broad cross-section of our community in the first year of this awards program is very encouraging. Selecting just six honorees will be a tough challenge, since we have very high quality entrants,” said Tamara Pigott, VCB executive director. “The level of participation fosters our goal of helping the business community gain greater awareness of the tourism industry’s role in our economic livelihood, while helping tourism partners better understand the needs and role of the larger business community.”

While the VCB has always pooled its resources with those of local chambers for the common good of the destination, this is the first such alliance between the VCB and a local chamber. In addition, all local chambers are involved with the new program.

The Celebration of Business & Tourism Awards Luncheon and Trade Show where the awards will be announced will feature a trade show from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the awards luncheon will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Costs to attend the event are $25 for a single admission and $250 for a reserved table for eight attendees. Those who wish to exhibit in the trade show will pay $120 for a booth, which includes two admission tickets. The event is projected to attract about 300 attendees.

Those who wish to register to attend the luncheon and trade show or exhibit there can do so through a link to the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce website at www.fortmyers.org. For questions or further event details, contact either Christine Davlin at the VCB at cdavlin@leevcb.com or at 239-338-3500, Glee Ann Agius at the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce at GleeAnn@fortmyers.org or at 239-332-2930, ext. 211, or Colleen DePasquale, event chairperson, at Colleen.DePasquale@hilton.com or at 239-790-3500.