9th Annual Chrysalis Awards celebrate best of business and tourism






LEE COUNTY, FL – The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce honored six local individuals and businesses who positively influence Lee County. They received Chrysalis Awards today at the Celebration of Business & Tourism Awards Luncheon and Trade Show at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village with IBERIABANK as the presenting sponsor.


The event prior to National Travel and Tourism Week, May 6-12, celebrates the successful collaboration between tourism and the community to maintain and enhance tourism as the major economic engine for Lee County. 


“These are the MVPs of tourism and business in Lee County,” said Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass, chairman of the Lee Board of County Commissioners as well as the Tourist Development Council. “Their commitment to excellence goes a long way toward benefiting our community and our citizens.”


The 2018 Chrysalis honorees celebrated for their positive impact on the local community were:

  • Business Development: Sanibel Captiva Community Bank 
  • Cultural Achievement: Alliance for the Arts
  • Eco-Innovation: CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife)
  • Education: The Laboratory Theater of Florida
  • Sales & Marketing: HelloSWFL
  • Business Tourism Leader: Courtney Fraser/Eat Local Lee


The 19 businesses and four individuals nominated for Chrysalis Awards were judged on innovation in their respective category. The judges also focused on how the nominees distinguished themselves in the community, the results of their efforts to promote the destination and their contributions to business and tourism partnerships for the overall benefit of the county.


Honorees were recognized for their commitment to excellence in improving community growth and creating job opportunities for the citizens of Lee County. The awards event was attended by members of the local business and tourism community. Tourism brings an estimated $3 billion annually into the local economy and accounts for one in five jobs in Lee County.






The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) won the 2018 Chrysalis Award for Eco-Innovation. Pictured left to right are Marketing Manager Brian Bohlman, Hospital Director Heather Barron, Board of Directors Vice President Rob Lisenbee, Board of Directors Treasurer Paul Ben-Susan, Executive Director Linda Estep, Rehabilitation Manager Breanna Frankel, Development Director Mary Schoeffel, and Education and Development Coordinator Rachel Rainbolt.