Industry Appreciation Awards announces 2023 winners

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November 2, 2023



The Horizon Foundation, the Horizon Council and Lee County Economic Development have announced the winners of the 2023 Industry Appreciation Awards. The 30thannual awards program recognized Lee County businesses and leaders that drive the local economy, employ the workforce and shape their industries.

The event took place on Oct. 27 at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center in Fort Myers and honored 21 finalists.

Winners were recognized in six categories:

  • Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LCEC) received the Large Business of the Year award. Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc. has served Southwest Florida since 1940. As of 2023, the company has grown to over 240,000 customers. The cooperative showed immense dedication to its customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, when its employees put aside their own hardships to help the company’s members by rebuilding bridges and restoring power to Lee County residents. With the dedication of its employees, LCEC restored power to one in four customers within just four days.
  • Pushing the Envelope was awarded the Small Business of the Year award. Founded in 2006, Pushing the Envelope has continued to evolve its practices, from developing packaged services for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, to social media partnerships with large-scale clients. Pushing the Envelope strives to go above and beyond in each aspect of its work, and the company is driven by innovation.
  • Advanced Hurricane Technoloy won the Diversity in Business Award. Advanced Hurricane Technology was founded in 2003 and prides itself on its dedication, innovation and diversity. Since relocating to Lee County, the company has seen an 85% increase in revenue. The company’s diverse background and employees allow the company to see value, quality and ability where others may not. Advanced Hurricane Technology strives to recognize the abilities, intel and knowledge of its diverse employee pool.
  • Timilon Corporation received the Innovative Technology Award. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Timilon Corporation has developed its advanced technology and commercialized it for residential use. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Timilon Corporation was able to positively impact over 6,000,000 student lives through its indoor air quality technology.
  • Botanical Brewing Co. was recognized as Manufacturer of the Year. In 2020, Botanical Brewing Co.’s journey began in the back of a Kava bar on Fort Myers Beach. After the onset of the pandemic, the bar closed its doors, and CEO Jacqueline Rusher began to master the art of brewing. From starting with home-brew kits, to now owning a brewery in Cape Coral that produces 180,000 cans per month, Botanical Brewing Co. continues to innovate its practices.
  • United Way of Lee County and Matter Brothers Furniture were honored with the Nonprofit Partnership Award. For seven years, the Matter Brothers and United Way of Lee County have been partners. After Hurricane Ian, United Way learned that over 700 Lee County students lost their beds. Upon hearing the news, United Way connected with Matter Brothers Furniture, and the company leaned into its vendor partnerships to receive over 700 mattresses to provide to the families in need.

“The Industry Appreciation Awards is an opportunity to celebrate our local businesses who distinguish themselves in innovative ways as they drive our local economy, employ our workforce and shape their industry,” said Holly Smith, president of the Horizon Foundation. “Many of our winners stood out in challenging times, demonstrating their commitment to their clients and community. We celebrate their resiliency and congratulate all the winners and finalists for their continued focus on business excellence.”

To learn more about the Industry Appreciation Awards, visit