John Talmage, director of the Lee County Economic Development Office, will be the guest speaker at the next business meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at Sundial Beach Resort. The meeting, sponsored by the Santiva Chronicle, starts at 11:30 a.m.


Talmage, who has spent more than 30 years working in the field of local economic and community development for municipal governments and national research organizations, served previously as the chief of staff to the city manager of the city of Fort Myers. He also sat for several years on the Sanibel City Planning Commission and on a number of island boards of directors, including, most recently, the Sanibel Community Association, F.I.S.H., CROW, and the Sanibel Sea School.


From past work for the New York City Council to currently facilitating a Community Real Estate Development Program for the University of South Florida’s Florida Institute of Government throughout Florida, Talmage has vast experience working with communities to improve the business climate.


“John always brings practical, applicable knowledge and strategies to the meeting when he speaks,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to hearing his outlook on the current state of the regional economy.”


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, Sept. 9, 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].