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FGCU Small Business Development Center Accepting Nominations for 2nd Annual Distinguished Entrepreneur Award
1/30/2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) will begin accepting nominations on Friday, Feb. 1 for the 2013 Southwest Florida Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. The award recognizes a small to mid-sized Southwest Florida business for its overall success.

Community members are encouraged to nominate a local business in the five-county area (Collier, Lee, Glades, Hendry and Charlotte). Candidates must be in business for three or more years; display a high level of overall success; and be able to demonstrate their innovations, achievements and local impact. Full nomination rules and eligibility can be found at www.sbdcawards.com. The winner will be selected by a judge's panel of community business leaders.

The 2013 Southwest Florida Distinguished Entrepreneur Award will be presented at a dinner event on Wednesday, May 22 at the FGCU Cohen Center.

This event builds on the success of last year's inaugural Southwest Florida Distinguished Entrepreneur Award dinner. The sold-out inaugural event honored entrepreneur and chocolatier Norman Love, of Norman Love Confections, as its first award recipient.

Love joins Tim Cartwright, Stefan Bothe, Colleen Kvetko and Phil Borchmann as this year's panel judges. Keynote speaker is Jerry Ross, executive director of the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando.

New to this year's event is a special "Meet the Nominees" cocktail reception 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 21 at The Gallery on Fifth at the Mercato in Naples to welcome sponsors, judges and nominees.

Presenting sponsor for the award is Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. The dessert sponsor is Norman Love Confections. Additional event sponsors to date include Guerilla Media, Photo Magic, Relevanza, Slick Ink ALL MEDIA and Third Eye Management. The media sponsor is Gulfshore Business magazine.

Tickets for the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award and Dinner are $100 per person.

To learn more about exclusive sponsorship opportunities, visit www.sbdcawards.com, or call Dan Regelski at (239) 745-3705.

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