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Excellence is a flexible concept that can represent different things to different people, and there are many roads to reach it. The women in these pages have taken a variety of approaches to their professions—from translating business acumen into the nonprofit world to fulfilling a personal vision to simply recognizing and filling a particular need—but each has found a path to excellence in her own way, and we are pleased to honor them all as our 2024 Women in Business.

As they’ve risen to the top of their respective fields, all of these women have through extra effort and dedication also made substantial contributions outside their offices, improving the greater community through leadership and volunteerism. Their achievements are true inspirations; we hope the stories of their successes lead you to pursue your own path toward excellence in your business.

Marie Capita

Taste of Immokalee Inc.

Executive Director

Marie Capita oversees operations as executive director of Taste of Immokalee Inc., which provides students with hands-on experience in all aspects of business and an emphasis on giving back to the community. Capita, who also founded the Immokalee Business Development Center, said she simply wants to help others.

“My philosophy in life is to do good, and good will come back to you. What drives me in life is my desire to always help people,” she says. “Bringing Taste of Immokalee this far has been one of my biggest accomplishments. What has made me a successful businesswoman is that I believe in surrounding myself with people who are, or who have been, where you want to be in life. They are a reminder that it is all possible.”

Since 2014, 562 students have participated in the Taste of Immokalee program. Almost 98% of those students have gone on to higher education, many of them the first members of their family to attend college. Under Capita’s leadership, Taste of Immokalee student-created hot sauces, spices, salsa and barbecue sauces are now sold in Publix stores across Florida, and the profits are used to alleviate poverty in the community.

Kristen Coury

Gulfshore Playhouse

Founder, CEO and Producing Artistic Director

After moving to Naples from New York City, Kristen Coury founded the Gulfshore Playhouse in 2004. Under her leadership, the theater has grown to a staff of 50 and an annual budget of more than $8 million—and later this year it will open the $72 million, state-of-the-art Baker Theatre and Education Center. However, though she’s focused on continuing that growth, Coury said her greatest satisfaction comes from the productions staged by the Playhouse.

“Good theater can change the world by illuminating another person’s story, thus creating empathy. Sitting in a dark theater is a conflict-free way to be introduced to new ideas and spend a couple of hours walking in another person’s shoes,” Coury says. “When people see live theater with a group of people around them, as they watch, their heartbeats begin to synchronize. How fascinating that by buying a ticket to a performing arts event, you’re making a contribution to world peace.”

In addition to her work with the Playhouse, Coury was recently appointed to the Florida Council for Arts and Culture. She was also named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Business Leaders in Collier County in 2022 and 2023 by Naples Chamber and Leadership Collier.

Cotrenia Hood

Steel Bleu

Founder, CEO and President

As the founder, CEO and president of executive coaching and business consulting firm Steel Bleu, Cotrenia Hood works with business professionals and entrepreneurs on strategy, operations, organizational development and attaining goals. That’s a mouthful, but Hood said she strives for an even broader influence.

“I am driven by the desire to help leaders and organizations leave a legacy that not only affects their present and future, but also a legacy that impacts a community. I am inspired by the American Dream,” she says. “The idea that one person, with a vision to make a difference, can do something greater than themselves. I am inspired by my children and their generation’s tenacity. Seeing my son graduate from college and my daughter navigate middle school during a pandemic, while embracing a challenge that none of us could imagine with confidence and love, is inspiring.”

In addition to her clients, Hood also works to grow businesses throughout Southwest Florida, having served as the interim president of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. She also created Women of Steel, an annual event that brings together more than 200 women leaders and entrepreneurs from some of the top companies in the country.

Elizabeth Dosoretz

Elite DNA Behavioral Health

Founder and CEO

Driven by her personal journey through the challenges of postpartum depression, Elizabeth Dosoretz founded Elite DNA Behavioral Health with the goal of providing accessible, affordable mental health to everyone. Named after her sons Dylan, Noah and Asher, Elite DNA has served more than 200,000 patients and now has more than 30 locations across Florida. Though justifiably proud of the growth of Elite DNA, Dosoretz feels it’s simply part of a larger calling.

“What drives me is the unwavering belief that we are all here to do meaningful work, to gather people together to innovate, to find new solutions for age-old problems and ultimately, to ensure that our efforts and our time on this earth are as impactful and valuable as they can possibly be,” she says. “This isn’t about value in a traditional sense, but rather about leaving a legacy, a mark that signifies our contributions.”

Dosoretz’s contribution to the community was never more evident than in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. In addition to helping navigate the increased demand for mental health care, she also led a statewide hurricane relief collection and helped students recover through the company’s annual school supply drive.

Jaclynn Faffer

Baker Senior Center Naples


Ten years ago, when Jaclynn Faffer founded the nonprofit Baker Senior Center Naples, a comprehensive one-stop shop for senior services and programs, the center began with just 80 members. Today, the facility counts more than 2,500 residents over age 60 in Collier and southern Lee counties as members. Faffer cited good advice, and the passion of those around her, as the keys to the center’s growth and success.

“As a leader in the nonprofit world, the best advice I ever received was: ‘Operate your nonprofit like a business … otherwise you will be out of business.’ I am inspired by people who are energized by what they do,” Faffer says. “Early in my career, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by leaders in the sector who made enormous contributions to the field. I learned to be data-based in my decisions, but also learned if I did not have a passion for what I was doing those decisions would lack luster. I still seek to surround myself with people who exude that passion, that commitment, to the business of what we do. Today it is the board, the staff, our donors and our constituents, and I am still energized.”

Angela Fisher

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida


As the President and CEO of Junior Achievement, Angela Fisher helped secure a 600% increase in funding, which translated to an 80% growth in student program impact and doubled student program education time. While Fisher said her goal is to be a role model and use her business acumen to help Southwest Florida’s youth develop and expand their financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship knowledge, she’s constantly looking to learn from those around her, too.

“I’m always open to learning new things, cultivating creativity and collaboration. Most importantly in the not-for-profit network, kindness is a key to happiness and success. It helps to surround yourself with positive, smart, kind individuals,” Fisher says. “I try to always look at the upside of any situation and what I have learned from it, good or bad. It’s still a lesson learned. I’m continuously inspired by the hope and confidence that I see bloom within the youth we serve.” 

In addition to leading the most successful fundraising event in the history of Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Fisher is also active in the broader community. She has participated in several statewide work groups and acted as a statewide trainer for newly developed program education.

Jennifer Johnson

True Fashionistas

Founder and CEO

Jennifer Johnson is not only the founder and CEO of True Fashionistas, Florida’s largest lifestyle resale store, but she’s also a best-selling author, a podcast host, an online store owner and a motivational speaker. Wearing so many hats might be daunting to some, but Johnson said learning about and pursuing new endeavors has always been a part of who she is.

“I gather inspiration from all around; from reading books, speaking with others who inspire me and education. I love learning. In fact, I have an acronym and it is ‘ABL,’ which stands for ‘Always Be Learning,’” she says. “The best advice I ever received was, ‘Start before you are ready.’ Many times, we wait for the perfect time to start something, and that perfect time may never present itself to you. Instead, change that mindset and just do it.”

On top of her many business ventures, Johnson stays involved in the community, as well. She has served as board president of Project Help, a board member of the Greater Naples Chamber, a March of Dimes chair and a volunteer with the Junior Women of Initiative.

Kathryn Kelly

The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center

Founder, President and CEO

An architect by trade, Kathryn Kelly saw a family of eight living in abject poverty in the Harlem Heights neighborhood while delivering a Thanksgiving dinner during a church outreach in 1999. Having grown up near the neighborhood, the eye-opening experience spurred Kelly to found the Harlem Heights Foundation in 2000 to help meet the specific needs of families in the Heights community. That led to the establishment of the Heights Center to serve as a neighborhood community center for education, opportunity and enrichment programs, but Kelly is most proud not of her own efforts, but those of her team.

“I love being part of a team and believe the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. None of my accomplishments have been ‘mine.’ I was very proud when we were able to build a community center in the Harlem Heights neighborhood as a place for Heights families to gather as a community,” she says. “Then I was proud when we built our education building, which serves over 280 neighborhood kids every weekday. Next, I look forward to building the Heights CareerTech Institute—coming in January 2026, God willing.”

Dawn Montecalvo

Guadalupe Center


Though she began her career in the corporate world, Dawn Montecalvo now serves as president and CEO of Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit that provides quality educational programs for more than 1,900 students a year in Immokalee. Beyond her day-to-day duties, Montecalvo credits her team with helping to build a cycle of prosperity through education for students and families in Immokalee.

“My personal mission statement is, ‘To inspire thoughtful impact through the empowerment of others.’ I strongly believe the culture of the organization is most important. Leading with a strong charter and guiding principles has made an incredible impact not only on me as a leader, but the organization as a whole, and more importantly, our students,” she says. “Everyone is a stakeholder in the company—donors, teachers, parents, staff and community partners. This philosophy has allowed us to weather the toughest storms and continue our mission to break the cycle of poverty for the students of Immokalee.”

Under Montecalvo’s leadership, Guadalupe Center has developed a national model for education providers that produces success stories in early childhood education, after-school tutoring and summer enrichment and tutor corps programs to increase high school and college graduation rates.

Vicki Tracy

Gulf Coast International Properties

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer of Gulf Coast International Properties, a Naples-based real estate brokerage, Vicki Tracy spearheads the day-to-day operations of the firm. Her career has been focused on building up startups and existing businesses, and she’s also worked tirelessly to build a stronger community in Naples.

“I’m incredibly blessed to work for a company that encourages and supports giving back. GCIP has within the fiber of its culture a philanthropic outlook,” she says. “Being able to work with the team in the heart of Old Naples and see it grow in a positive way over the years has been wonderful. My husband and I have a passion for this town in our souls, so it’s remarkable to see it thrive.”

In the community, Tracy is an advocate for seniors, veterans and children as a volunteer and board member for several local charities. That includes work with Collier County Industrial Development Authority, Drug Free Collier, Sugden Theater Community and STARability. In addition, she currently serves as co-chair of the Women Rock Philanthropy event for the Women’s Foundation of Collier County.

Copyright 2024 Gulfshore Life Media, LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent.

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