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Fort Myers (Oct. 7, 2022) – As the new Executive Director of the Uncommon Friends Foundation, Marc Collins is committed to restoring the relevance and history of the organization and the five men who changed the world and then became friends.

The Uncommon Friends Foundation has many missions that Collins will lead including a scholarship fund, maintaining and offering tours of the historic Burroughs Home & Gardens and Langford-Kingston Home in Fort Myers, as well as partnering with many other groups and individuals for public and private events that occur at the Burroughs Home, located on the banks of the Caloosahatchee.

“I am so excited to help rebuild one of Florida’s greatest assets,” said Collins, a native of Athens, Ala. “I want to help recreate the foundation in a major way of fundraising. I am so excited to be part of the reform and rebirth of the foundation, especially with the scholarships.”

Uncommon Friends is a tribute to five individuals who were architects of much of this country’s history – Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alex Carrel and Charles Lindberg. Edison had a vacation home in Fort Myers – now of the area’s top tourist attractions – and was often joined by the other four. Author Jim Newton dubbed the visionaries his “Uncommon Friends.”

That legacy and the foundation’s commitment to personal values and continued personal growth drives Collins and his vision to grow the organization.

“I am a firm believer in the resurrection of great causes and being a voice for so many that don’t have a voice,” said Collins, a former Uncommon Friends Foundation board member. “I believe I can be impactful because of my commitment to the future of Southwest Florida and my love of the organization.”

Collins moved to Fort Myers in 1992, working more than 20 years as the lead interior designer for Carroll Properties, which managed hotels, restaurants and marinas.

Dedicated to local philanthropy efforts in Southwest Florida, Collins is on the board of the Florida Repertory Theatre and has served on the boards of SalusCare, “Chefs Cooking for Kids” event for Big Brother /Big Sisters of the Suncoast-Lee County. He was a committee member for the Cattle Baron’s Ball for the American Cancer Society, FGCU’s Wanderlust event and the Pace Center for Girls “Boo Ball.” He served as co-chair for the LARC fundraising event, the Pace Center for Girls fundraiser and Arts for ACT event. Collins also is founder of the Lori Carroll-Collins Scholarship at LARC and “Lunch With Friends.” He also has been involved in various local and state elections. He also serves on the City of Fort Myers Planning Board.

“Marc brings a passion and a dedication to Uncommon Friends that will be game changing for this organization,” said Brian Rist, who is Board Chair of the Uncommon Friends Foundation. “He cares about this organization’s future and will absolutely put in on a course to success in incredible ways.”

About Uncommon Friends Foundation

Founded in 1993 to carry out the generational values of Fort Myers, the Uncommon Friends Foundation is dedicated to lifelong character-building among today’s youth and business leaders, as it inspires future leaders toward excellence of character, a spirit of innovation and a sense of purpose. It is located at the historic Burroughs Home & Gardens on the waterfront in downtown Fort Myers, offering a sheltered pavilion and dazzling water views for public and private events as well as year-round tours. For more information, call 239-337-9503 or visit

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