Winners 2013

Though he’s a native of Colombia and a resident of Naples, local artist Juan Diaz considers his citizenship on a global scale.

“My father always told me that you have to perceive yourself as a citizen of the world,” he says.

“The whole planet is our home. We categorize ourselves as different things to make sense of it sometimes, but we’re all from this same world. We’re all together.

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Born in the Dominican Republic and now a citizen of the United States, Felix Lluberes knows about diversity first hand.

And as CEO of his own company—with 13 nationalities present among its three dozen local employees—it’s not as if he’s really got a choice.

“It’s not something we necessarily set out to do. It sort of presented itself through the opportunities that were out there,” says Lluberes, who founded Position Logic five years ago and runs the B2B location-based services provider from its headquarters in Naples.

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Growing up in Hartford, Conn., Carmen Rey-Gomez’s household was steeped in the traditions of Puerto Rico, where her mother and father moved from in the 1960s. And like countless others who’d come to the United States from Latin countries before them, assimilating into American society was a mix of confusion, challenge, hard work and pride for her family.

“My parents were very adamant about maintaining language and culture,” says Rey-Gomez.

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Each year, Specialists in Urology/Premiere Oncology publishes a keepsake album that features photos of its 300-plus employees and their families. Looking at the colorful portraits, two things are evident: Everyone is happy, and the staff represents a rainbow of cultures.

The diverse makeup of the company is of utmost importance to its founder, Dr. William Figlesthaler, who opened Specialists in Urology in 1997 and Premiere Oncology in 2009.

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Naples-based Arthrex designs and manufactures its cutting-edge medical devices mostly at local plants, but it serves a global clientele via several locations around the world. So, embracing different cultures is essential to its success. As such, the company has initiated a variety of programs and practices that emphasize diversity.

“Arthrex has employed over 1,500 ethnically diverse employees in Southwest Florida since 1991 with a significant economic diversification impact to our state and community,” says Arthrex spokeswoman Lisa Gardiner.

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When it comes to diversity … some talk it and others live it.

There’s little doubt that Abdul’Haq Muhammed, executive director of the Fort Myers-based Quality Life Center of Southwest Florida, is firmly entrenched in the latter category.


Several times in his 64 years, the native of the Harlem section of New York City has found himself in situations where the rights and representation of minority groups—whether religious or racial—have been in question.

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