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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


Finalists Announced for Small Business Development Center's 2013 SWFL Distinguished Entrepreneur Award

Four chosen from 30 nominees across the five-county area

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) announced the four finalists for the 2013 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. They are: Mark Loren, owner of Mark Loren Designs; Ben Fleischer, owner of Pyure Brands LLC.; Pamela Oakes, owner of Pam's Motor City Automotive; and David Branton, owner of TGM Inc.

Now in its second year, the award recognizes a small- to mid-sized Southwest Florida business for its overall success, as well as provides an opportunity for the local business community to celebrate its achievements.

The finalists were chosen from 30 nominees from the five-county area by the following panel of expert judges: Tim Cartwright, managing director of 5th Avenue Advisors and chairman of the Tamiami Angel Fund; Stefan Bothe, chairman of the board of directors and CEO of FlexiInternational Software Inc.; Colleen Kvetko, president and CEO of Shamrock Bank of Florida; Phil Borchmann, editor of Gulfshore Business Magazine; and inaugural Distinguish Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner Norman Love, owner of Norman Love Confections.

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 on the FGCU campus. The keynote speaker will be Jerry Ross, executive director of the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando. Ross will speak on the topic of the state of entrepreneurship and small business in Florida and nationally.

Presenting sponsor for the Dinner is Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. The Dessert sponsor will be Norman Love Confections. The trophy sponsor is Marie Grasmeier, CPA. Additional event sponsors to date include Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation; the SWFL Technology Partnership; Law Firm of Brennan, Manna & Diamond; Shamrock Bank; J Ross Enterprises; and in-kind sponsors of Guerilla Media; Photo Magic; Heaven Scent Flowers & Tuxedos; Plantscape Interiors; Relevanza; John Fernandez Photography; Slick Ink ALL MEDIA; and Third Eye Management. The event's 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 call Dan Regelski at (239) 745-3705.

The Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University 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. The SBDC is located in FGCU's Center for Leadership & Innovation, the external administrative unit of the Lutgert College of Business, providing a unique collaboration between the College of Business faculty, students and small business owners. The Center serves a five-county area and provides business assistance through various partner locations in Southwest Florida.

For additional information, contact Regelski at (239) 745-3705, or

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