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Greater Fort Myers Chamber to host business development panel on Feb. 17

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce will host a panel discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 17 to review the latest on business development for Fort Myers and surrounding Lee County.

The panel will include guest speakers John Talmage, director of the Lee County Economic Development Office, Michele Hylton-Terry, executive director of the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), and Todd Raines, owner and president of National Filters Inc. and NFI Masks LLC.

Talmage has spent more than 30 years working in local economic and community development, both for municipal governments and national research organizations. Before he was named director of economic development for Lee County, he was chief of staff to the City of Fort Myers’ city manager and served on the City of Sanibel’s Planning Commission. Talmage began his career working for the New York City Council and previously directed economic development for the City of New Orleans, served as a senior policy advisor for Mayors Diaz of Miami and Mallory of Cincinnati, and was CEO and president of Social Compact.

Hylton-Terry is an accomplished strategic city planning and redevelopment professional. Hylton-Terry and her staff manage the CRA’s $12.5 million budget to implement community redevelopment plans designed to advance businesses, transform communities and redevelop Fort Myers for the future. Hylton-Terry began her career with the City of Fort Myers in 2003, serving as a staff assistant to the Planning Division before she was hired by the CRA in 2005 to serve as office manager.

Raines has been in filtration manufacturing for 20 years, specializing in hydraulic, pneumatic, dust collection, marine-based engine air and aerospace filtration-based products. In May 2020, NFI Masks was created as the face mask manufacturing entity of National Filters to provide high-quality, American-made face masks. NFI Masks is now operating two shifts and has created 33 new jobs. The company will be moving into a new 45,000-square-foot facility in February 2021 and expects to double its workforce by the end of 2021.

The Chamber event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the Crowne Plaza at Bell Tower, 13051 Bell Tower Drive in Fort Myers.

Admission is $25 for Chamber members and $35 for future Chamber members. Advance registration is required as capacity is limited. To learn more or to register for the event, visit FortMyers.org or call 239-332-2930.

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 over 750 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 239-332-2930 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.

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