Five Florida Gulf Coast University alumni and one FGCU staff member were selected for Gulfshore Business’ annual “40 Under 40” list celebrating outstanding regional business and community leaders younger than 40.
“We are so excited to learn that our graduates were honored in this year’s 40 Under 40,” said Kimberly Wallace, director of Alumni Relations in University Advancement. “This is a testament to how our alumni are making a difference in the community.”
It’s the 18th year the magazine has singled out 40 rising stars for the recognition. A panel of judges reviews hundreds of nominations, considers individuals’ career accomplishments and volunteer work.
“This year’s recipients draw experience from impressive backgrounds and have amassed significant accomplishments in their respective fields,” Editor in Chief Heidi Rambo Centrella wrote in her column in the magazine’s September issue. “Our honorees haven’t only proven successful in their careers; they’ve each given back to the community through volunteerism and other charitable endeavors.”
Alumni honorees were:
♦ Vanessa Chaviano (’08, B.S., Criminal Forensic Studies; ’10, M.S., Criminal Forensic Studies). She is the founder and CEO of LIV Digital Marketing, a full-service marketing and advertising agency based in Cape Coral.
♦ Connor Firmender (’19, Interdisciplinary Entrepreneur Studies). He is the co-founder and CEO of Fieldr, a web-based software company in Bonita Springs delivering career opportunities to students and connecting their talent to employers.
♦ Stephanie Hoffman (’06, Marketing). She is the director of operations for Fort Myers-based Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida and is responsible for event management, marketing and strategic development assistance.
♦ Hasan Kajtezovic (’16, MBA). He is a supply chain manager at Arthrex Inc. as well as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Information Systems & Operations Management at FGCU.
♦ Jaimie Miller (’11, Communication). She is vice president of marketing at CONRIC PR & Marketing in Fort Myers and also serves in leadership roles for the Florida Public Relations Association and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee.
Also honored was Calli Johnson, dive safety officer at FGCU’s Vester Marine & Environmental Science Research Field Station in Bonita Springs. She also is the wine steward and fourth-generation owner-operator of Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel Island.