Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) announced the winners of the 2018 Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida Awards at the annual awards dinner on Thursday, May 3, 2018.
The FSBDC awards are held annually during National Small Business Week to recognize three Southwest Florida small businesses for their innovation, advocacy, and business growth. This year’s awardees include Distinguished Entrepreneur of SW Florida, Scott Fischer, owner of Scott Fischer Enterprises; Innovator of the Year, Jeff Poirier of AXI International; and Advocate of the Year, Amanda Jaron, owner of A.JARON Fine Jewelry. An additional award presentation included the William O. Webb award, which was presented to Melody Augustin of The Makeup Mansion.
“We celebrate the business owners that took an idea, grew that idea into a business, and created a positive impact on the economy in the Southwest Florida community,” said Lois Knox, FSBDC Regional Director.
Scott Fischer, Distinguished Entrepreneur of SW Florida Award winner is the owner of Scott Fischer Enterprises has worked in the motorsports industry since he was 15 and purchased his first motorcycle store in 1988 building it into Scott Fischer Enterprises. Fischer owns and operates Top Rocker Events and Top Rocker Field, an 18-acre event site. Fischer is active in the community, sitting on the boards for Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Blessings in a Backpack, Cypress Lake Country Club and Tamiami Angel Fund. As a visionary-philanthropist, Fischer supports and mentors startups, incubators, and accelerators with strategic, operational and business planning.
John Greene, Kimberly Haskins, Scott and Mary Fischer and Taylor Loethen
Innovator of the Year, Jeff Poirier, Chief Operating Officer of Fort Myers-based global company AXI International, has developed a myriad of new products and systems to facilitate Intelligent Fuel Management™ solutions. A graduate of the University of Maine with a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, Jeff also holds an MBA from Davenport University. Jeff specializes in the following engineering topics: optimization techniques, numerical methods, fluid flow control, finite element method, 3D CAD Development, and robotic controls. From new green technology to complete fuel management solutions, Jeff has led his team to many significant advancements in the fuel industry.
The Advocate of the Year Awardee Amanda Jaron of A.JARON Fine Jewelry is a fashion/jewelry designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist, who has won numerous awards for her designs and charitable contributions.
As the CEO, and Designer of A JARON Fine Jewelry. Amanda is best known for her signature “BLING-OVER” fine jewelry make-overs that take old/outdated designer jewels and repurpose them over into shiny new pieces that can wear every day. Also, Amanda’s charitable collection, A JARON Cares, has sold 1000’s of $99 rings to support SWFL children in need for the past 10 years.
Amanda spends her time split between her family, her custom fine jewelry design clients and the foundation she founded in 2013, The GLITTER Foundation, Inc. which supports Art Education & Art Therapy for children in SWFL.
Previous winners of the awards include Norman Love of Norman Love Confections in 2012, Pam Oakes of Pam’s Motor City in 2013, Felix Lluberes of Position Logic in 2013, Gary K. Mart of Global Tech LED in 2015, Chris Spiro of Spiro and Associates in 2016 and Dr. Aurora Badia of Florida Skin Center in 2017.
The awards ceremony was made possible through the generous support of the Hallmark Sponsor, Markham, Norton, Mosteller, Wright, and Company, P.A.
Other sponsors include: Fifth Third Bank, Florida Skin Center, Minaya Learning Global Solutions, Storm Smart, Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Bank United, Suncoast Credit Union, Brennan Manna Diamond (BMD) Law Firm, Florida First Integrity Bank, Gulfshore Business and Southwest Florida Business Today, The Path of Being, Spada Salon and Day Spa, Corioliss and Naturie Shea Butter Apotheca.
About the Florida SBDC at FGCU
The FSBDC at FGCU offers one-on-one, confidential, no-cost consulting and low-cost workshops for businesses throughout Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades counties. The state designates the Florida SBDC Network as Florida’s principal provider of business assistance. The FSBDC at FGCU is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida, and other private and public partners; and is hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University and nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.