Chamber Virtual Power Lunch Providing Update on Causeway Project

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Jesse Lavender spoke at a chamber business meeting earlier this year about changes to the causeway and will update chamber members about the $8.5 million project. Photo provided

Jesse Lavender, director of Lee County Parks & Recreation, will speak at Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce’s virtual October Power Hour at noon Wednesday, Oct. 6. He will inform chamber members about the upcoming erosion-control, beautification, and enhancement projects underway on the Sanibel Causeway.

The county and state will share the cost of the estimated $8.5 million upgrades, which will improve the safety and recreational value of the two causeway islands.

“This project will have a significant impact on island businesses,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “It’s the biggest thing we’ve seen happen on the causeway since the new bridge. Lavender will bring us up to date on the many facets of the makeover.”

A Fort Myers native, Lavender has served with Lee County Parks & Recreation for the past 17 years at almost every level. Prior to that, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in travel, tourism, and commercial recreation; and worked as a fishing guide in Pine Island Sound and Everglades National Park.

The Sanibel-Captiva chamber has sent its members Zoom invitations to register for the virtual event. When members RSVP, they will receive a link to the virtual meeting in advance. For more information about registering for the October Power Hour, contact Landen Drake, chamber communications and marketing manager, at 239-472-8255 or

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.

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