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Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in News |

CEO Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame Member Gene Landrum to be Honored Graduation Speaker

CEO Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame Member Gene Landrum to be Honored Graduation Speaker

Joanne Show, Vice President of Central Bank Southwest Florida is pleased to announce that Gene N. Landrum, a member of the CEO Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame who has started 5 businesses, the most notable being “Chucky Cheese” that now grosses over a billion dollars with 512 units, will be the guest speaker at the Central Bank’s sponsored Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute class graduation on June 26, 2013 at 6 p.m. held at Central Bank located at 4099 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 100 in Naples.

Central Bank Southwest Florida’s sponsorship and support of Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute is providing a series of programs in Lee and Collier communities to educate the unemployed and underemployed to become their own boss. Experienced entrepreneurs who provide valuable insight and information for the budding business owner guide these six-week programs. Upon graduation students are eligible to apply for a microloan from their lending partners.  The first of their four sponsored programs will start on Monday, May 20, 2013 in Naples at Central Bank located on 4099 Tamiami Trail N., Suite 100. The classes will be held on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. for six weeks (with the exception of holidays). For more information or to register, go to or call 239-995-2106, Ext. 2219. There is a $65 processing fee. Seating is limited, so participants are urged to sign up early.

Gene N. Landrum, a Naples resident, is a prolific author having written 20 books on entrepreneurship and now teaches Entrepreneurship as part of the M.B.A. program at Hodges University. “We could not be happier than to have Mr. Landrum speak to our class of aspiring entrepreneurs who have taken the first steps in making their dream a reality,” states Joanne Show, Vice President of Central Bank Southwest Florida.

In partnership with Goodwill, aspiring entrepreneurs will learn the skills they need to succeed as independent business owners.  This program is designed to assist disadvantaged individuals with low-to-moderate income levels become successful entrepreneurs. “Partnering with Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute was a great direction for Central Bank as we want to be out there for the community as much as possible,” says Mike Durkin, Market President for Central Bank of Southwest Florida.

“After the economic recession hit Southwest Florida much focus was placed on attracting big business and assisting them with job creation in our area, while our focus at Central Bank of Southwest Florida is on the education and financial literacy of individuals who already call Southwest Florida home,” says Joanne Show, Vice President at Central Bank Southwest Florida. Show adds, “Our goal is to help independent small business owners grow their business and create new jobs, as well as, help natural entrepreneurs start their own business.”

Dorothy Browning, Program Manager of Goodwill’s SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute states, “Central Bank’s generous donation and support allows us to expand our program from four to ten programs in 2013, which gives us the opportunity to increase the number of participants by 246%.”

The Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute is available to aspiring small business owners who meet income requirements and live in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry or Glades Counties.  The program provides business and management training and mentoring. 

Browning adds, “Approximately 80% of businesses nationally, possibly even more locally, are small start-up businesses with five or fewer employees.  Helping them achieve success will create more jobs and revenue for our local community.”

Central Bank is an FDIC insured community bank based out of Stillwater, Minnesota with 21 locations serving the Greater Twin Cities Metropolitan Area of Minnesota, Western Wisconsin and Southwest Florida. The overall strategy for Central Bank has always been to provide a higher level of personalized service than is generally available from larger banks. Central Bank delivers localized personal service combined with widely established technology-based services to provide convenience and easy access for its customers. Central Bank Southwest Florida takes an active role in the community by providing free financial and credit seminars to small business owners, business professionals and students. Florida branch offices are located in Fort Myers at 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd. #100 and Naples at 4099 Tamiami Trail N, Suite 100. For more information call 239-430-2500 in Naples or 239-274-1900 in Fort Myers, or visit  Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. provides programs and services that help people with disabilities and disadvantages overcome their barriers to employment and independence in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee Counties.  Supported programs include Job-Link centers, youth mentoring and job shadowing, income-sensitive housing for people with disabilities and seniors, the Four Wheels For Work vehicle assistance program, the Goodwill L.I.F.E. Academy charter school, and the Goodwill SWFL MicroEnterprise Institute.  For more information about Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, please visit