40 Under 40: Where Are They Now?

Catching up with 2012 honoree Dave Breitenstein.

Dave Breitenstein [PHOTO: Erik Kellar]

Professional accomplishments and community involvement have always served as the basic attributes upon which 40-under-40 nominees are evaluated.

In 2012, Dave Breitenstein aced them. Back then, he served as senior education reporter for the News-Press, where his work the prior year brought attention to Edison State College problems: re-accreditation, course substitutions, nursing program accreditation, lack of governance, and the president’s pay and decision making. His series of stories exposed the truth for taxpayers and caused the governor to appoint new board trustees, who eventually agreed to dismiss the president. Breitenstein’s tenacious reporting earned him an annual Best of Gannett award—one of roughly 30 he had won in his long career as a journalist.

Away from the newspaper, he volunteered as a coach for Bonita Springs Little League, teaching children sportsmanship, discipline and how to play the game]fairly. One of those kids was his son, Justin, who was 6 at the time.

“I try to give my best to my job, my best to my family and the best to my community,” Breitenstein told Gulfshore Business in 2012. “Every child needs to have a better future and I will do my little part to make sure that the education system is the best it can be.”

During his last two years at the News-Press, he was in charge of digital readership, tracking trends and then guiding reporters on their approach to assignments.

Then in 2017, Breitenstein decided “it was time [for a] shift.” He stepped away from the newspaper business to work as public relations manager for the company that owns Miromar Outlets, Miromar Design Center, Miromar Lakes and University Village.

Last January, Breitenstein moved over to Priority Marketing, where he represents an array of organizations. He also thought it was a good fit, “having been on the receiving end of [the agency] for several years.”

“It’s good to be in a place where everyone is positive,” he says.

And these days, Breitenstein’s professional gratification comes from his clients’ success.

“You get more enjoyment out of helping others get their word out there,” he says. “More enjoyment than cheering for my own byline.”