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Brian Rist Nominated for 2017 SWFL Distinguished Entrepreneur Award

Nominees Announced for FGCU Florida Small Business Development Center 

2017 SWFL Distinguished Entrepreneur Award 

FORT MYERS, Fla.  – The 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida Award will be presented at the annual awards dinner on Wednesday, May 10, from 6-9 p.m. at the SW Florida Performing Arts Center in Bonita Springs.

The final 2017 nominees include: Tanya Veit, AAE Glass LLC; Jeanne Sweeney, Above Board Chamber of Florida; Jeff Poirier , AXI International; Louis Bruno, Bruno Air Conditioning; Jenn Zella, CID Design Group; Shane Bailey, Cloud 9 Thermal Imaging and Home Watch; John and Sue Benkert, CPR Tools Inc.; Dan Puleio, Cape Cleaners; Jamilla D. Brooks , Desire To Inspire; Lisa Cochrane, Dorado Property Management; Caryn Smith, CEO, Driven By Design LLC; Dr. Anais Aurora Badia, Florida Skin Center, Inc.;Bradd Konert Jr., Gamma Tech Services, LLC; Michaela Reiterer Henning, Hlevel Architects; David Mulicka, HONC DESTRUCTION; Carleen McIlveen, Imagine By Carleen Inc.; Kirk McFee, Kirk’s Coney Island; Bess Charles, LadyCakes Bakery; Lori S. Adams, Lori’s Movin and Groovin for Lori Adams Enterprises, LLC; Lourdes McLeod, McLeod’s Construction, Paint & Restoration LLC; Guido A Minaya, Minaya Learning Global Solutions LLC;  Misty Kinzel, Misty’s Sunshine Cleaning LLC; Keith Daubmann, MY Shower Door/D3 Glass; Lora Mccann, Peace of Mind Patient Advocacy, LLC; Andreas Dolleschal, Smargasy Inc.; Brian Rist, Storm Smart, Inc.; Gavin Cresswell, Str8 Up Aviation; Carline Proux, The CarlionCo; Samuel Lewis, Wear The Fund LLC; and Christopher Gregg Fous, WooBamboo!

The awards recognize three Southwest Florida business owner for their business success, innovative technology, and business advocacy.   The event provides an opportunity for the local business community to celebrate their achievements.  Hallmark sponsor for the sixth year is Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co.  Other sponsors include Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Gulfshore Business, SW Florida Business Today, The News-Press Media Group,  Spiro and Associates, Spada, Tamiami Angel Funds, Grasmeier Business Services, and Platinum PEO Resources Inc.

Tickets for the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award and Dinner are $75 per person. Sponsorships are still available. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the FSBDC office at (239) 745-3700, email

The FSBDC at FGCU offers one-on-one, confidential, no-cost consulting and low-cost workshops for businesses throughout Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The state designates it as Florida’s principal provider of business assistance. The Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For information, contact Amanda Stirn at or (239) 745-3706.