The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced Colleen DePasquale, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, has graduated from its premier business leadership program.

The inaugural Business Leads Fellowship Program trained and equipped leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.

“It was an honor to be among those selected for this opportunity, representing one of only five chambers from Florida,” DePasquale said. “The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is focused on connecting, empowering and unifying the community, and our involvement in this program will further our efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for members to impact the Southwest Florida community by growing their businesses, advancing their careers and serving as valuable resources for consumers and visitors.”

“As clearly displayed throughout this program, state and local leaders know better than anyone the critical link between education and economic development,” says Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce. “Not only did the Fellows gain a network of peers and experts in the field, the program is designed to help these leaders find opportunities to develop initiatives that will continue to advance the growth of their local economy and put education policy into practice.”

Following a competitive application and selection process, DePasquale was selected along with 32 other state and local chamber executives to participate in the second cohort.

The four-month program covered the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education and workforce development.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.

About the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce:
Serving Lee County and surrounding areas since 1989, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a business organization of professionals who support and promote a progressive, sustainable community. The Chamber represents nearly 800 businesses, professionals, and individuals throughout Lee County, providing opportunities for members to connect and unite through a variety of empowering networking, educational and community- and business-focused programs and events. The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is located at 2310 Edwards Drive in downtown Fort Myers. For additional information regarding membership opportunities or events please call 239-332-2930 or visit www.fortmyers.org. For the latest news and updates, follow the Chamber on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gfmcc or Twitter at @FtMyersChamber.