Colleen DePasquale, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, has been selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to participate in the third cohort of its premier business leadership program, the Business Leads Fellowship Program.

The national fellowship program trains and equips 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.

“The greater Fort Myers area is consistently identified as one of the fastest-growing markets in the nation. Business is thriving and more and more young professionals are joining the workforce,” DePasquale said. “With this growth comes the challenge of being able to adapt, sustain and flourish. Workforce development is key to the continued success of our region, and it’s more important than ever for business leaders and professionals to have access to quality resources, education and professional development opportunities that promote a more progressive, sustainable community.”

“We created the Business Leads Fellowship Program in response to the needs of our state and local chamber partners,” says Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce. “They, better than anyone, see the critical link between education and economic development, and we are glad to be able to support them as they take on this critical leadership role in their community.”

Following a competitive application and selection process, DePasquale was selected along with 33 other state and local chamber executives to participate in the third class of this program.

“It is an honor to be among those selected for this opportunity, as well as to represent one of only five chambers from Florida,” DePasquale said. “This program provides the opportunity for our Chamber to become more effective in our efforts to connect, empower and unify the community, and I look forward to working with like-minded organizations in the months ahead.”

The four-month program, which concludes in September 2019, will cover the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education and workforce development. Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows will 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.

For a full list of participants in the Business Leads Fellowship Program, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website.

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 participate in a variety of meaningful 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 239-332-3624 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.