Horizon Foundation continues successful collaboration with Edison Awards

2024 edison awards

July 8, 2024

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By Mark Stevens

As Thomas Edison once said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” That testament certainly rings true when it comes to the Horizon Foundation. Since 1991, the Foundation has put in the hard work to ensure that Lee County businesses have the tools and support they need to thrive.

Some of that support includes ensuring Lee County is visible and viewed in a positive light by other entities across the country and around the world. One of these entities includes the Edison Awards, a global competition previously held in New York City that honors excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design and innovation.

The awards, named in honor of longtime Fort Myers winter resident Thomas Edison, were held this spring for the fourth time here in Southwest Florida. Horizon Council Chair Guido Minaya and I had the opportunity to welcome attendees to our region for this amazing event. We stressed the Foundation and business community’s unwavering commitment to supporting events like the Edison Awards, which has been instrumental as we continue to strengthen the economic environment in our area.

Guido said, “Thomas Edison would be amazed at the business landscape in Lee County today! Innovation is alive and well here, and it’s the most powerful tool we can use as we look to the future of Lee County. That’s why it is such an honor to host the annual Edison Awards event again this year!”

In addition to the widely heralded event, the boost to the Southwest Florida economy was strong. This year, the Edison Awards invested nearly $1 million into organizing the 2024 event, with the largest turnout of about 800 attendees across all events, with 550 attending the gala. These attendees represent almost 500 hotel room stays which greatly contributed to our local sales tax and bed tax dollars.

Additionally, nearly 400 people from out of town came to Fort Myers for the event with visitors from 15 foreign countries attending including: Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, China, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Israel, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Africa, France, the Netherlands and India.

Factoring in direct, indirect and induced impact, the economic contribution to our economy is approximately $5.5 million and growing, doubling last year’s economic impacts.

The Horizon Foundation proudly sponsors this world-renowned program and is invested in keeping innovation initiatives like this alive in Lee County. Fueled by the inspiration it brings, the Horizon Foundation, Horizon Council, Lee County Commission and Lee County Economic Development Office will continue to excel at attracting and retaining quality businesses, large and small, throughout Lee County.

About the Author

Mark Stevens is chair of the Horizon Foundation and president of Stevens Construction, a Fort Myers-based company that provides construction management, general contracting and consulting services to clients and design professionals.