2017 Monthly Meetings

ABWA Imperial River Chapter (in formation) - gathered for the 2016 Holiday Quarter Auction, December 14th 20162017 Monthly Meetings – ABWA Imperial River Chapter meets on the 2nd Wednesday of every month, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center, 9931 Interstate Commerce Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33913. Networking starts at 6:00 PM, plated dinner is served at 6:30 PM, and the evening’s speaker/activity begins at 7:00 PM. 

Visit our Eventbrite page to reserve your seat and plated dinner ($30).


Jude Griffin, Owner/President, Southwest Florida Transportation Group, Inc.CANCELLED – September 13, 2017

ABWA Imperial River is canceling our September 13th meeting in deference to the probable impact of Hurricane Irma. Jude Griffin has been rescheduled as our speaker for December.
We have instructed Eventbrite to send refunds to everyone who prepaid.
Please keep us in mind for next month’s meeting, when we will feature “Tell Mel” from the News-Press.
STAY SAFE, EVERYONE. Best Regards, Erin White

Jude Griffin CEO of South West Transportation Company

After selling their businesses in North Carolina, Griffin and her husband Phillip relocated in 1993 to his home state of Florida. They settled in Southwest Florida and purchased the small but well-known Blue Bird Taxi of Fort Myers. Over time, they acquired other cab companies, eventually forming the Southwest Florida Transportation Group.  She has been recognized as the 2017 TLPA (Transportation, Limousine & Paratransit Association) Taxicab Operator of the Year, and recently became a member of the Imperial River Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association. Griffin will discuss her journey as a woman business owner, as well as the impact of interrupters such as Lyft and Uber on the taxicab industry.

October 11, 2017

Melanie Payne, “Tell Mel” from the News-Press

November 8, 2017

To be determined…

December 13, 2017

Holiday Party


JANUARY 11th, 2017

BETTY CASTILLO, ABWA Southwest Florida Council “Woman of the Year” for 2016 will present an overview of “My Community Connections”, ABWA National’s new dashboard and online learning center. This is your opportunity for a guided exploration of YOUR online professional development benefits, including the Apex Campus, home of courses from School of Six Sigma and School of Lean.


ELIANA ZEM, Chief Human Resources Officer at HERTZ.  Eliana arrived at Hertz in July, 2015. Born and educated in Brazil, she’s served in various HR roles of increasing seniority at several international corporations. Her subject matter expertise includes Talent, Compensation, Total Rewards, Planning and Organization Development, as well as senior-level management. We’re excited to have Eliana speak with us about what it takes to make it to the top of a Fortune 500 company.

March 8, 2017

Jason Dolle, Founder and CEO, Testimonial TreeJason Dolle CEO of Testimonial Tree

Testimonial Tree helps businesses to leverage social media for the marketing and promotion of new products and services. Jason’s presentation will help businesses to learn how to leverage happy customers to generate new business via testimonials, social proof, social media, reputation management, marketing and SEO.

April 12, 2017

Vinnie Treppiedi
Toby Buerger-Ferrel
Jessica Macera

“ABWA 101” – a team of Southwest Florida’s ABWA leaders will discuss everything you ever wanted to know about ABWA and then some!

VINNIE TREPPIEDI is a member of the Punta Gorda Chapter and is also currently serving as Chair of the ABWA Southwest Florida Council

TOBY BUERGER-FERRELL is associated with both the Neapolitan Chapter and the Lehigh Acres Chapter, serving in a variety of roles. She is active in the Southwest Florida Council.

JESSICA MACERA is a member of the Neapolitan Chapter, and currently serves as their Programs/Professional Development Chair.

May 10, 2017

Kate Walter, Engagement Lead at Blue Zones Project for Southwest Florida, to speak at ABWA Imperial River May 10th 2017
Kate Walter

Kate Walter, Engagement Lead at Blue Zones Project for Southwest Florida

Kate Walter, MA, APR is the Engagement Lead for Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida. As a veteran in the public relations agency setting, Kate now manages the strategic marketing and public relations efforts of Blue Zones Project and also works with organizations to foster Blue Zones Project participation.

Kate’s topic of discussion is “Secrets of Longevity”. Beginning as a National Geographic research study that found locations around the world where people were living significantly longer, Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida takes these secrets of longevity and applies them locally. Learn how Blue Zones Project Southwest Florida is working to transform well-being in our community.


June 14, 2017

Ita Neymotin, Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Council for the second district court of appeals in Fort Myers

Ita M. Neymotin is the youngest attorney and the first female appointed in the State of Florida as Regional Counsel. Ms. Neymotin is currently serving in her second term as Regional Counsel for the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Second District Court of Appeal. In 2011, Ms. Neymotin was nominated by the Supreme Court of Florida Judicial Nominating Committee, appointed by Governor Rick Scott, and confirmed by the Florida Senate.

Ms. Neymotin escaped soviet oppression as a child when she and her parents immigrated to the United States as political refugees from the Former Soviet Union. As such, she is a passionate defender of inalienable human rights and a strong legal advocate for the citizens of Florida.

July 12, 2017

Amy Genzlinger, owner of Art From the Heart

August 9, 2017

First Annual Awards Night!

ABWA Imperial River Chapter invites you to Awards Night, Wednesday August 9th at 6:00 PM. Awards Night ensures that everyone who has contributed to the success of a project, the chapter, or another member receives the recognition and appreciation they deserve. JOIN US for a laid-back evening of fun and joy as we celebrate one another’s accomplishments!