HISTORY OF THE HORIZON FOUNDATION
Formed alongside the Horizon Council in 1991, the Horizon Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for public-private partnerships and businesses to invest in the long-term prosperity of Lee County’s economy. The Horizon Foundation privately funds the efforts of the Horizon Council, which in turn advises the Lee County Commissioners on matters of recruiting and maintaining companies to Lee County. The goal is to ensure a more diverse and competitive economy for all Lee County residents, business owners, and consumers.
Over the past 30 years, the foundation has made (and kept) Lee County the home of Gartner, Arthrex, Chico’s FAS, and many more large and successful businesses. However, that just scratches the surface of what the Horizon Foundation seeks to do for Lee County. By building a strong economic base – created and supported by investors – the foundation continues to push for higher wages for workers, attainable housing, a better and more robust educational system, investing in infrastructure and thus raising the standard of living and quality of life for the residents of this county.
The Horizon Foundation is funded by investors who make contributions on a yearly-commitment basis. Investors not only unlock investor-exclusive events such as high-profile speaker series, Annual Industry Appreciation Award recognition, and more, but they also make Lee County the best place to conduct business – not for just one company, but for other businesses within the county, too.
Lee County is growing at an exponential speed and has become a hub for aviation and aeronautics, retail, construction firms, and insurance businesses. Without the help of the Horizon Foundation, this burgeoning economy would not have been possible. Investors who gave their time, talent, and treasury to the efforts of the Foundation have, in return, benefited from the increase in population, capital, and demand that re-locating businesses have brought with them.
Recently, the Foundation established a diversity taskforce that is dedicated to providing recommendations to Lee County businesses to make them more inclusive. These include other educational and forward-thinking endeavors related to creating more attainable housing, raising the minimum wage, and improving the educational system.