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5th annual Chrysalis Awards honor 7 local individuals/businesses for community contributions

Lee County VCB, Greater Fort Myers Chamber salute winners

LEE COUNTY, FL – The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Inc. honored six local individuals and businesses with Chrysalis Awards at the annual Celebration of Business & Tourism Awards Luncheon and Trade Show today at the Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.

In addition, the VCB presented its long-standing annual Junonia Award to Paul McCarthy, owner of Captiva Cruises. Created in 2006, the VCB’s long-standing Junonia Award recognizes individuals who have positively impacted the local tourism community by demonstrating unique capabilities, leadership, commitment, and dedication.

The 2014 Chrysalis honorees in six categories who were celebrated for their positive impact on the local community were:

• Business Development: Sun Harvest Citrus • Cultural Achievement: Center for the Arts Bonita Springs • Education: Sue Roshon, Lee County Public Schools • Sales & Marketing: Edison & Ford Winter Estates • Sports: Lee County Sports Organizing Committee • Sustainability: Enterprise Holdings

Any local business could nominate itself or others for a Chrysalis Award, regardless of whether the nominees are directly a part of the tourism industry. The 50 nominees included area attractions, accommodations, retailers, educational institutions, arts and cultural organizations, transportation companies, and other local businesses in six categories. The awards are designed to foster a stronger alliance between the tourism industry and the county’s business community.

Chrysalis Award nominees were judged on 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 were 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.

The trade show and luncheon celebrated the value of tourism and the community teamwork involved in maintaining and enhancing tourism as a major economic engine for the county. It was held to commemorate National Travel and Tourism Week as part of the VCB’s year-round Team Tourism informational program to strengthen destination teamwork.

Gulf Coast Coin & Jewelry served as title sponsor for the event. Other event sponsors included: AT&T, Keiser University, Enterprise Holdings, Lee County Hotel Association, and IBERIABANK.

Tourism contributes $2.7 billion to Lee County’s economy annually and employs nearly one in five residents.