Jesse Lavender, director of Lee County Parks & Recreation, will be the guest speaker at the August 10 business luncheon meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce at the Captiva Island Yacht Club starting at 11:30 a.m. He will be informing chamber members about the ongoing beautification, erosion-control, and enhancement projects that began at the Sanibel Causeway in July 2021 and are scheduled to continue through June 2024.


“We have been watching the progress on this project for a year, already seeing its significant impact on island businesses,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “At the time of Lavender’s last couple of reports to the chamber, some details were still up in the air. We’re all keen to learn where plans currently lead.”

Lavender, a Fort Myers native, has served with Lee County Parks & Recreation for the past 17 years at almost every level. Prior to that, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in travel, tourism, and commercial recreation; and worked as a fishing guide in Pine Island Sound and Everglades National Park.


The chamber business lunch is a monthly networking opportunity held at various member locations. The chamber strives to provide speakers to discuss relevant business topics for the membership.

Sanibel-Captiva chamber members receive meeting invitations by email. Cost for luncheon attendance is $30 for chamber members only. Advanced registration is required to attend; walk-ins are not accepted. Register by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, at or by calling 239-472-8255. Payment is due at time of registration.


The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. With more than 460 active Chamber members from both islands and businesses from Lee and Collier counties, the Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents, and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. The Francis P. Bailey, Jr., Chamber Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year. VISIT FLORIDA named the visitor center one of 13 official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers in the state. It is open 365 days a year and provides comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, and where to stay, shop, and dine. The chamber website receives more than 1.3 million website visits per year.


For more information about the chamber, visit or contact Landen Collins, communications and marketing manager, at 239-472-8255 or [email protected].