Horizon Council Hosts 2017 Annual Meeting

On January 27 over 150 business and community leaders attended the Horizon Council’s 2017 Annual Meeting at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers.  The meeting featured the election of a new slate of Horizon Council officers, Lee County Economic Development (EDO) highlights and keynote speaker Joe Hahn discussing “Better Business and Life Using 80/20”.

2017 Horizon Council officers elected were Gary Griffin-Chair (President, B&I Contractors), Gray Davis –Vice Chair, Foundation President (Senior Vice President and Agency Executive, BB&T Oswald Trippe and Company), Dan Eveloff-Treasurer (Senior Vice President, Ft. Myers-Naples City President, Regions Bank), Gail Markham-Secretary (Founder, Markham, Norton, Mosteller, Wright & Company).

Meeting highlights included:



·        A look at 2016 EDO efforts to help retain and grow existing businesses by “connecting the dots” with over 300 business visits listening to business owners challenges and successes.
·        The creation of the Lee County Limelight social media series and blog using the power of social media and the internet to tell the stories of great businesses doing great work. The series along with other social posts led to a huge increase in social media activity; 300% increase in posts, 5x more followers and reached 6x the number of people than in 2015
·        Community development- the DevelopLee initiative provides a forum to discuss creative ways to revitalize areas that have lagged the ongoing economic recovery including -North Fort Myers, MLK corridor of Dunbar and Lehigh Acres. 
·        LEARN-the Lee Entrepreneurs’ Assistance Resource Network  provides outreach activities and services to entrepreneurs and businesses in SWFL with the help of community partners to better connect entrepreneurs and businesses to resources in our community 
·        New events held in 2016 connected businesses to new customers, markets and opportunities like the SWFL Government Contracting Symposium & Expo held in July.
o   Horizon Council, EDO and the Small Business Development Center at FGCU partnered in this no-cost event connecting over 130 local businesses with 27 federal, state, local government entities for one on one meetings and speaker sessions. 
o   Smaller, targeted events like the Horizon Foundation Presidents’ Circle event at Wicked Dolphin Distillery bringing seasoned Horizon Council professionals together with local Young Professionals helping YP’s establish valuable contacts and giving Council members access to talent.
·        Keynote speaker Joe Hahn, Vice President of Strategex, a Chicago, Illinois-based company presented “Better Business and Life Using 80/20”.  Hahn leads the profit enhancement and growth strategies at Strategex and over the course of his career has run, helped run or consulted for 100 different companies.   The 80/20 rule, also called the Pareto principle, states there is an unequal relationship between input and outputs.  Basically, 20 percent of the invested input is responsible for 80 percent of the results.  From a business perspective Hahn claims about 20 percent of a business’s customers account for 80 percent of their revenue and 20 percent of employees do 80 percent of the work.  Hahn’s philosophy is if a business commits to focusing on the critical few as opposed to the insignificant many they will be more successful. 


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