Four local companies were recognized during the 2003 Industry Appreciation Week Luncheon today at the Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers. The companies were selected to receive this prestigious award based on their exceptional level of leadership, innovation, investment and community involvement in southwest Florida. Sponsored by the Horizon Council, Lee County’s economic advisory board, the event recognized the following 2003 Industry Appreciation Award winners:

Hope Hospice and Palliative Care
This not-for-profit, community-based health care agency has served people of all ages facing end of life issues for more than 20 years. Over the past five years, it has expanded its services in Lee County to embrace Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Boca Grande, and additional areas of North Fort Myers. The agency conducts customer surveys that are used by its improvement team to continually affect positive change. It has grown to nearly 400 employees, doubling its staff over the past five years. Special benefits to employees include continuing education, stress management, frequent social events and more. The agency’s summer internships, mentoring programs, in-depth two-day orientation programs, and strong ties to local colleges, all ensure the development of a steady, reliable workforce in Lee County. Grateful to benefit from community donations and the efforts of more than 700 volunteers, Hope Hospice and its employees participate in numerous volunteer efforts that give back to the community.

The Horizon Council is a public-private group that works toward improving the business environment in Lee County, retaining and encouraging the expansion of existing businesses, and attracting new and diversified employment to the area. The Industry Appreciation Week Luncheon is one of the Horizon Council’s major events each year.