International College announced yesterday its inaugural Fort Myers President’s Council, which includes 24 business, law enforcement and hospital representatives.
An induction ceremony was held Thursday, July 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., at The Club at Renaissance, 12821 Renaissance Way, in Fort Myers.
The installation of a Lee County Council was a logical step, particularly as the new Fort Myers campus inches closer to its scheduled April 2005 opening, explained International College President Terry P. McMahan. The new Fort Myers campus will be located at 4501 Colonial Boulevard, off Winkler Extension, within city limits.
The role of the new Council will be to assist the College in building awareness, and development and fundraising projects through established relationships with local business and community leaders. It also will be charged with participating on various steering committees.
McMahan is optimistic the Fort Myers Council’s experience in and knowledge of Lee County will help the College become an integral part of the community --just as the Naples President’s Council has done for the Naples campus.
“The Council will be able to establish greater awareness in the community about International College, improve networking opportunities, and aid with advancement efforts – including some fundraising,” McMahan said. “The Council will be pivotal in directing us in the right direction to enhance academic programs for our students. This is an exciting time for the College as it expands into the Fort Myers area.”
William Valenti, Sr., President and CEO, Florida Gulf Bank, will serve as the Council’s chairman. Steve Greenstein, Executive Director, Sanibel-Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, will act as Vice Chair.
Valenti, said he is eager to serve on International College’s new Fort Myers President’s Council by providing input on community needs and acting as a sounding board for potential new programs.
“I think International College serves a very important, but often, absent role in the community by providing an opportunity for working adults to obtain an education -- while at the same time -- maximizing the contributions to themselves as well as the community,” Valenti said. “I don’t think there is anything more liberating for a person than to receive an education. I have so much respect for people who reach a decision in their life to return to school. If these people are willing to make sacrifices for the sake of education, then I’m willing to make what sacrifices I can to help make their academic dream come true.”
Greenstein said he is also looking forward to helping the College fulfill its academic mission.
“Attending college can be a life-changing experience,” Greenstein added. “International College creates opportunities for its students by defining their existence and allowing them to pursue a better life for themselves and their families.”
The other 22 Council members are:
- Jackie Cadkin, Fort Myers;
- Joseph P. D’Alessandro, former Lee County State Attorney, Fort Myers;
- Marianne deVargas, COO, The Vargas Group, Fort Myers;
- Richard Durnwald, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network; Fort Myers;
- Janet E. Forrer, Charitable Volunteer, Cape Coral;
- Michael P. Geml, President, Busey Bank, Fort Myers;
- Thad Gentleman, VP Arnold Gentleman & Assoc., Fort Myers;
- John Gnagey, Principal, The Worthington Group, Fort Myers;
- Randall Henderson, Jr., Ward 5 Councilman, Fort Myers;
- Tom Hoolihan, President, Heritage Residential Group, Fort Myers;
- Tom Horton, CEO, Palm Printing, Fort Myers;
- Paula Kaminski, Edwards Jones, Fort Myers;
- Stephen Kolody, Attorney, Fort Myers;
- Nora Price, Nora Price Antiques & Interiors, Fort Myers;
- Michael Reitmann, Executive Vice President, Lee BIA, Fort Myers;
- Scott D. Robertson, Founder, Benefit Port Southeast, Fort Myers;
- Rod Shoap, Lee County Sheriff/International College graduate, Fort Myers;
- Theodore Steele, Steele Truck Center, Fort Myers;
- Sandy Stilwell, Captiva Island Inn, Captiva;
- John W. Steakley, Smith Barney, Fort Myers;
- David S. Vargas, Pres./CEO, The Vargas Group, Fort Myers;
- John Weist, Chief Financial Officer, Lee Memorial Health System, Fort Myers;