Winners 2017



Helen Midney knew she was destined for greater things while she was still a student at Immokalee High School. Her mother, who emigrated from Paraguay and never made it past elementary school, had instilled in her the importance of a proper education. “She basically said, ‘you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not taking advantage of your opportunities,’” Midney recalls.

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Xavier Brignoni is a wellknown force in the Lee County art scene. He’s aided in the River District’s artistic revival as cofounder of the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk, and given lesserknown artists a leg-up with his involvement in The Union Artist Studios and DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts.

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Traveling to a foreign place can be challenging, but Hilton Naples aims to make all people feel at home. Many of the luxury hotel’s 185 team members are bilingual—some speaking three to four languages—to better communicate with its visitors.

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Rochelle Graham-Campbell wants to shed the mainstream idea of female beauty. And she’s doing it with the help of her six businesses under Black Onyx World LLC.

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Picture Collier County as an hourglass. As affluent people continue to rise to the top and inhabit the area, the sand in the hourglass—which represents their needs— trickles down with more weight.

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A $30-million, 75,000- square-foot sports complex commands attention from a corner of the Florida SouthWestern State College Lee Campus. The Suncoast Credit Union Arena, which prominently bears the college’s signature buccaneer’s head in front, broke ground in in 2015 and hosts FSW’s basketball and volleyball teams, and also holds a student athletic center.

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