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Heidi Rambo Centrella
Heidi Rambo Centrella

Last month, we looked back at 2021 with a year in review feature, chronicling Southwest Florida’s tremendous commercial growth, grand openings, new and emerging corporate headquarters and the pandemic’s effects on business throughout the year. But with the ups and downs of 2021 now behind us, this month we’re taking a look forward.

As regional growth and development continues in 2022, we’ll have our eyes on commercial projects taking shape or nearing completion and an increasing focus on infill developments, as well as the labor shortage, inflation and the economy as a whole (pg. 32).

It’s during times of growth and change that leadership is needed most. And perhaps one of the best quotes of all time comes from the great leader Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s a tall order, but we see it happening every day, even right here in our own backyard.

This month’s leadership issue is packed with inspiring messages from leaders within our community. Bart Zino of PBS Contractors addresses the ever-evolving and generational shifts in leadership, while impressing upon us that leaders must be consistent and predictable while remaining flexible. Brandon Box with Cogent Bank shares his thoughts on working within a team environment and adapting to a new workplace culture. Michael Martin, Florida Gulf Coast University’s president, says to start with a fundamental philosophy of how you’re going to lead, and, at the end of the day, remember that a leader—while always setting the example—is a servant and, ultimately, a means to an end (pg. 86).

Martin and FGCU are preparing to celebrate the school’s 25th anniversary this year, and it’s kicking off 2022 with the opening of the FGCU Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship (pg. 56). Sandy Kauanui’s story of rising through the entrepreneurial ranks has inspired adults and students alike, resulting in her name being given to the school she helped found. The entrepreneurship program, while formally created in 2016, had been an image in her mind well before then, and today she can celebrate with the rest of the community the fruits of her labor.

We’re excited about what the future holds—for both FGCU and the region as a whole. After taking a look at what’s on the horizon for our area, we think you will be too. Welcome to 2022; let’s try to “be the change” and make it a stellar year for everyone.

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