Meet This Year’s FMB Chamber Annual Meeting Award Winners

May 5, 2024 Services

Each year at our Annual Meeting, the Chamber recognizes various organizations for their continued support and dedication to the community. This year, the Chamber issued awards for both 2022 & 2023 as this is the first Annual Meeting since Hurricane Ian.

Seventeen special awards were presented to area businesses and individuals for their outstanding contributions. The “Commitment to Community Award,” honored Beach Talk Radio – Ed & Kim Ryan (2022) in recognition of the communication, updates, disaster relief fundraising, and community assistance provided to those in need; and Beach Baptist Church (2023) recognizing their collaboration with area food banks which has fed the island, and for providing a refuge for the community to find fellowship and solace.

The “Civic Award,” honored the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation (2022) for their commitment to responding to the changing and emerging needs of our community through education, health and welfare; and Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club (2023) for their continued support of our community with their initiatives including, but not limited to, reviving the Bay Oaks Easter Egg Hunt, Pub Passports, fundraisers for other island organizations including 33931 Fund, FMB Strong, and more.

The “Outstanding Service Award,” honored both the FMB Fire Control District (2022) and Lee County Sheriff’s Office (2022) for their heroic actions and assistance to the Fort Myers Beach community in the days and weeks that followed Hurricane Ian. The 2023 award winner was the Employees of the Town of Fort Myers Beach. The Employees of the Town of Fort Myers Beach continued to work tirelessly throughout 2023 to restore our community. Their contributions to the restoration of the Town’s infrastructure and improvements made to the Town’s facilities will impact our island community for generations to come.

The Chamber chose La Ola Surfside Restaurant – Thomas Houghton (2022) and Beach Talk Radio – Ed & Kim Ryan (2023) to receive its “Friends of the Beach Award.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thomas demonstrated resiliency, creativity, and tenacity by quickly pivoting and re-opening La Ola in a new and reimagined layout. Beach Talk Radio has become an integral part of our Island Community, always ready to lend a helping hand whether it be organizing and fielding volunteers to paint in Times Square, to set up and tear down events, or hosting fundraisers for area organizations.

The Chamber’s “Environmental Award,” was presented to Tunaskin Aquatic Apparel (2022) and Keep Lee County Beautiful, Inc. (2023). Tunaskin’s initiatives in beautification, ending litter, and waste reduction with their Beach Keepers’ Club make Tunaskin stand out as a leader in the fight to protect our fragile environment. In 2023, Keep Lee County Beautiful, Inc. held events across the county removing 85,769 pounds of trash and debris and planted 145 trees to help reestablish the lost tree canopy. Much of that effort was spent on FMB cleaning up debris from Hurricane Ian.

The “Special Recognition Award” is presented to an individual or organization for outstanding service in a specific effort or cause that improves our community. The Chamber was pleased to honor the King Family Foundation (2022) and FMB Strong (2023) with the “Special Recognition Award.” The King Family Foundation believes that the best way to celebrate the King Family legacy and residency on the island for over 63 years, is to give back right here in Fort Myers Beach. In 2022, the King Family Foundation donated over $150,000 to FMB Strong, the FMB Woman’s Club, FMB Community Foundation, FMB Chamber of Commerce Water Foundation, Friends of Lover’s Key, the Lions Club, and various other causes. FMB Strong has served as a resource for residents to overcome the barriers to recovering from Hurricane Ian. In addition to a food pantry, goods, and rebuilding supplies, FMB Strong routinely provides hot meals for residents and assist with special needs.

The Chamber’s “Citizen of the Year Award” recipient for 2022 is Mayor Dan Allers. In the face of a natural disaster, Mayor Allers stepped up and showed leadership, communication, and compassion. He selflessly gave of himself through rescue, recovery, and rebuilding efforts despite his own personal losses. We are honored to announce that the Chamber chose Mitch Pacyna to posthumously receive the Chamber’s 2023 “Citizen of the Year Award.” Mitch was an integral part of our island community and his dedicated, outstanding service along with his ever-present camera, genuine sense of humor and infectious smile was a joy to be around. Stories of Mitch and his contributions to our island community will live on long into the future.

The “Ambassador of the Year Award” is given to a person that exemplifies volunteerism, attends Chamber functions, such as Ribbon Cuttings, Business After Hours, and more. For their service and dedication, the Chamber Board of Directors honored Barry Frank (2022) and Lisa Chambers (2023).

Thank you to our Big Kahuna Sponsors: First Priority Restoration, LMCU, and Nautical Tiki Cruises; and to our Aloha Ambassador Sponsors: Alex King Group, Extreme Florida Roofing, LLC, Island I.T. Pros, Margaritaville Beach Resort Fort Myers Beach, and Solar Guard, LLC. We would also like to thank our Tiki Torch Trailblazer Sponsor: Access Title Agency, and our Palm Paradise Patrons: Lightning Restoration, ECO Roof And Solar and Spalding Carpet & Tile Cleaners. Thank you also to our In-Kind Sponsor: DiamondHead Beach Resort.