The Bonita Springs and Estero business community was on display recently, with Bonita Springs based Global Tech LED hosting the annual meeting of the Bonita Springs & Estero Economic Development Council.
Gary K. Mart, CEO of Global Tech LED who was honored in May as the 2015 Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida by the Florida Small Business Development Center at FGCU, spoke of the company’s success and what’s ahead.
“We’re on one heck of a ride as a company,” he said, noting Global Tech just installed lighting for the Biloxi Shuckers minor-league ballpark and is working with folks on lighting at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. It also works in places such as airplane hangars, car dealerships and community parks.
Global Tech manufactures LEDs, which reduce maintenance and produce energy savings, for new and old fixtures. It employs almost 60 people.
“You don’t have to touch it for 20 years,” Mart said of LEDs. “We have a customer once, that’s it. It’s going to be the wave of the future for the next 10 to 15 years.”
Mart is on the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, the state’s principal economic development organization, and is working to get more jobs to Southwest Florida: “We have so much to offer here,” he said.
Global Tech recently started work in India and soon plans to enter the Brazil market. India doesn’t yet account for much company revenue, Mart said, but he expects that to change quickly since it just started doing business in the country of 1.3 billion people that has major infrastructure needs.
The LED products, which can be custom made for the client, were on display on a tour that followed and wrapped up the event.
“They put out very little heat,” said Paul Schmidt, chief operating officer, showing off various products.
Someone asked what makes a good Global Tech employee.
“We’re looking for people who want to grow,” he said, noting the company’s emphasis on cross training. “We want to promote from within.”
Christine Ross, executive director of the Bonita Springs & Estero Economic Development Council and president/CEO of the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, talked about working with Atilus, the Bonita web design firm, to revamp its online presence. The intent is to feature more young professionals.
“We have a demographics issue to overcome,” she said, adding that marketing and social media efforts will be ramped up over the next year. “We are starving for workforce, and it’s going to get really bad over the next 10 years.”
The Camuto Group, a global fashion footwear company that opened an office in Bonita last December that now employs 26 people and plans to hire more, showed off commercials for various brands.
“It has been an easy transition. So far, so good,” said Chris D’Elia, vice president of credit and collections at Camuto Group. “The talent showed up and we’re doing well.”