Why You Should Join or Support Your Chamber


(By Kim Ryan) Another great Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon took place at Charley’s Boathouse on Thursday. The event, which drew a crowd from businesses on and off the island, was sponsored by State Insurance USA.

The meeting included a welcome and introduction to new management of the restaurant including Manager Mike Stevens, Marketing Director Megan Fasig, and Chef Debra.
Charley’s announced they’ll be opening 7 days a week starting next week with happy hour specials including $5 martinis.

Deputy John Montesino and Chamber President Jacki Liszak

During the luncheon, there was also an award presentation. Deputy John Montesino was announced as the Lee County Deputy of the Month. He was recognized for his efforts to help save the life of a man who suffered cardiac arrest. Deputy Montesino provided CPR until emergency services arrived.

Guests were treated to amazing food while they listened to a presentation given by Danielle Flood PR and Communications Manager at ECHO Global Farm. ECHO equips people with knowledge, provides training and resources to small scale farming families. They introduce sustainable plants, techniques, and technologies to farmers around the world who are struggling to feed their families.

ECHO is an international nonprofit organization with its Florida hub located on 57 acres in North Fort Myers. They have gardens that represent the 7 growing regions around the world to include rainforest, monsoon and urban, to name a few. All demonstrating what can be successfully grown in each of those different areas. According to their website ECHO Florida distributes more than 300 varieties of ECHO seeds every year and over 7000 trial seed packets. The seeds go to missionaries and development workers on the front lines serving the hungry.

Danielle Flood from ECHO

According to Flood, the farm has become an “accidental tourist destination” and has seen more than 10,000 visitors. They give guided garden walks, provide training on a variety of gardening/planting topics, have cooking shows and host events like their Food and Farm Festival in March. She invited everyone to come to visit the farm to see all the wonderful things they’re doing and take part in the training and education opportunities. Tours are Tuesday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. (May through Nov.) Tuesday through Friday (Dec. through April): 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday 9:30 a.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays. If you’re interested in upcoming events, like the festival in March or their free Get into Gardening workshop in October, CLICK HERE.

The Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce has a list of many local events which you can check out HERE. if you’re considering becoming a member here’s an application form. The Chambers goal is simple: “We strive to sustain a vibrant business climate, promote commerce, champion the interests of local businesses and protect the essence of the Fort Myers Beach Community. We would like to help your business prosper and grow in the upcoming year.”