Mayor, New City Manager To Speak at Chamber Business Luncheon

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Sanibel Mayor Holly D. Smith and the city’s new manager, Dana Souza, will speak at the Dec. 8 business luncheon meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, to be held at The Community House on Sanibel Island starting at 11:30 a.m. SCCF sponsors the luncheon.

Souza officially took his position on Nov. 16 after receiving unanimous support from the Sanibel City Council in a field of 96 candidates tapped through an extensive search conducted by Colin Baenziger and Associates, a nationally recognized consulting and municipal recruiting firm.

Souza brings more than 35 years of local government experience to Sanibel. Most recently, he was the interim city manager in Naples, Fla. He previously held positions in Naples as deputy city manager and community services director. Souza earlier served the city of Greenville, S.C., as the parks, recreation, and sustainability director; Marco Island, Fla., as interim manager and parks & recreation director; city of Portland, Maine, as director of parks & recreation; Union, N.Y., as the director of parks & recreation; and city of New Bedford, Mass., as director of parks, cemeteries, and forestry.

“Dana’s vast knowledge and experience brings immense value to our city,” said Mayor Smith. “I am confident his leadership skills and managerial talents will create a huge positive impact both within our city campus and throughout our special community.”

Smith became city mayor in March and has served on the city council since December 2017, from December 2020 to March as vice mayor. In 2018, 2019, and 2020 she received the esteemed Florida League of Cities Home Rule Hero Award. Smith was a member of the Sanibel Planning Commission from 2009 to 2017 and served as vice chair for two years.

She serves as the Sanibel representative for the Lee County Tourist Development Council (TDC), liaison and vice chair to the Lee County Horizon Council, and on the Lee County Coalition of Mayors. The mayor is also the voting delegate for the Florida League of Cities (FLC), member at large for the FLC Legislative Committee, and on the FLC Municipal Administration Legislative Policy Committee. She has been appointed to the FLC Federal Action Strike Team (FAST), Florida Municipal Loan Council (FMLC), and the FLC 2020-2021 Advocacy Committee.

Smith is a member of the United States Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities Voting Delegate for Sanibel and also the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association of Southwest Florida.

As mayor, Smith serves as council liaison to the Sanibel Planning Commission and the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. She is treasurer for the Southwest Florida League of Cities. Locally, she has also been affiliated with the Sanibel Bike Club, Community Housing Resources, Inc. (CHR), and F.I.S.H. Board of Directors.

“We warmly welcome Dana Souza to our island community and look forward to meeting him and hearing his vision for Sanibel,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “Holly has been a steadfast friend of the chamber and we look to hear her guidance for the upcoming season.”

The chamber business lunch is a monthly networking opportunity held at various member locations. The chamber strives to provide speakers to discuss relevant business topics for the membership.

Sanibel-Captiva chamber members receive meeting invitations by email. Cost for luncheon attendance is $30 for chamber members only. Advanced registration is required to attend; walk-ins are not accepted. Register by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, at or by calling 239-472-8255. Payment is due at time of registration.

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.

For more information about the chamber, visit or contact Landen Drake, communications and marketing manager, at 239-472-8255 or

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