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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Small Business Development Center Announces 2nd Annual Distinguished Entrepreneur Award

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) announces the 2013 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award to recognize a small to mid-sized Southwest Florida business for the local business community to celebrate its achievements.

The 2013 event builds on the success of the inaugural Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. The sold-out inaugural event was held in May and honored entrepreneur and chocolatier Norman Love of Norman Love Confections as the first Distinguished Entrepreneur Award recipient.

The 2013 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award will be presented at the 2nd Annual Awards Dinner on Wednesday, May 22, in the ballroom at the Cohen Center at FGCU.

The SBDC will begin accepting applications for the award on Feb. 1, and the application process will end on March 15.

"Southwest Florida has shown that it loves to come together and recognize the business community for its achievements," said Dan Regelski, director of the Small Business Development Center. "With the 2013 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, we continue this exciting new tradition and showcase the many successes of our local entrepreneurs."

Keynote speaker for the event is Jerry Ross, executive director of the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando. Known to be a dynamic and entertaining presenter, Ross will speak on the topic of the state of entrepreneurship and small business in Florida and nationally.

Community members are encouraged to nominate a local business from the five-county area (Collier, Lee, Glades, Hendry and Charlotte) for consideration as the 2013 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. Candidates must be in business for three or more years; display a high level of overall success; and be able to demonstrate their innovations, achievements and local impact. Full nomination rules and eligibility can be found at Entries will be judged by an expert panel of community business leaders.

Presenting sponsor for the Award is Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. The dessert sponsor will be Norman Love Confections. Additional event sponsors to date include Guerilla Media, Photo Magic Events, Relevanza, Slink Ink ALL MEDIA, Gator Press and Third Eye Management. The event's magazine media sponsor is Gulfshore Business magazine.

Tickets for the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award and Dinner are $100 per person. To learn more about exclusive sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Dan Regelski at (239) 745-3705.

The Small Business Development Center at FGCU is a dynamic community -based resource, which helps small business owners take advantage of new opportunities to grow their business through a diverse collection of programs and services.

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