The 16th Annual Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award, coordinated and sponsored by BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company, recognizes small businesses that have overcome adversity to achieve success. The luncheon ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 4 at Harborside Event Center, located at 1375 Monroe Street in Fort Myers. Registration begins at 11 a.m. The program starts at 11:30 a.m. The keynote speaker will be Olympic gold medal winner Nikki Stone.

At the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, Nikki Stone became America’s first-ever Olympic Champion in the sport of inverted aerial skiing. What made this performance so unbelievable, was the fact that less than two years earlier, a chronic injury prevented her from standing, much less walking or skiing down a slope at almost 40 miles per hour. Nikki came dangerously close to being sidelined from aerial skiing indefinitely.

Her tenacity and refusal to step down from a challenge brought Nikki Stone back to the top of the freestyle skiing podium. This top spot was far from foreign to Nikki, as throughout her career she earned 35 World Cup medals, eleven World Cup titles, four national titles, two yearlong Aerial World Cup titles, and a World Championship title. She also became the first pure aerialist ever (male or female) to become the yearlong Overall Freestyle World Cup Champion.

Nikki Stone will add a unique, dynamic flavor to any meeting, conference, or celebration — explaining in detail how she achieved success and attendees can do the same when they “Spread Their Wings”. Past winners of the award include Denis and Lisa Meurgue of Bistro Soleil and Judy Barney of Arturo’s.

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