Ten movers and shak­ers in South­west Florida

Times of the Islands - - Women in Business - BY KIMBERLY PAULUS Kimberly Paulus is a Sani­bel free­lance writer.

1 LIZA CLOUSE & TRASI SHARP (Over Easy Café and Is­land Paws, Sani­bel) Sani­bel’s Over Easy Café is one of the go-to places for break­fast and lunch, not only for sea­sonal tourists but for year-rounders. Trasi has owned Over Easy Café for nearly a decade. Just a few steps away is Is­land Paws, which Liza owns, of­fer­ing healthy pet prod­ucts. Liza’s ad­vice: “Work re­ally hard but make it fun―it’s good for you.” Trasi’s ad­vice: “You should learn and be able to per­form ev­ery as­pect of your busi­ness, so that no one knows it bet­ter.”

2 DAWN HILL­MAN & KATE SERGEANT (On Is­land, Sani­bel) On Is­land is founded on the idea of sup­port­ing busi­nesses and is­land artists. The pair cre­ated a niche re­tail store con­sist­ing of such items as de­signer tow­els and a Jog­gling Board that is a must-see. Dawn is pres­i­dent of The Sani­bel School PTA, and Kate is an at­tor­ney for Great Prairie Risk So­lu­tions. Their con­sen­sus ad­vice: Don’t let fear stop you, it’s OK to feel afraid, but just move past it.

3 SU­SAN MCCAL­LION (McCal­lion & McCal­lion, Sani­bel) The word en­tre­pre­neur is im­printed in Su­san’s DNA. Her mother owned a real es­tate busi­ness in Con­necti­cut and the fam­ily was in­vested. So it’s not sur­pris­ing she fol­lowed in her mother’s foot­steps, start­ing McCal­lion & McCal­lion in 2014, part­ner­ing with her hus­band. Su­san’s ad­vice: “Never for­get what’s re­ally im­por­tant in life, no mat­ter what!”

4 MELISSA CONGRESS (Congress Jewel­ers, Sani­bel) When Melissa Congress joined the fam­ily busi­ness in 1989, her added value was in­stru­men­tal and im­me­di­ate. Hand­writ­ten re­ceipts and a dated or­der­ing sys­tem were still uti­lized, so she ini­ti­ated an in­ven­tory man­age­ment sys­tem. Her ad­vice: “Don’t be afraid to make sug­ges­tions!”

5 TRACEY GAL­LOWAY (Com­mu­nity Co­op­er­a­tive, Fort My­ers) As its CEO, Tracey strives to take the non­profit Com­mu­nity Co­op­er­a­tive to the next level, sup­port­ing ef­forts in ad­dress­ing ed­u­ca­tion, hunger and home­less­ness in South­west Florida. Her ad­vice: “No mat­ter what you choose in life, you must do it with a pas­sion.”

6 LINDA REYNOLDS (Gen­e­sis Coun­sel­ing of Fort My­ers) Coun­sel­ing can be in­valu­able. It is the pro­fes­sion that al­lows many of us to function in day-to-day life. Linda started with Gen­e­sis Coun­sel­ing III in 1996 and founded Gen­e­sis Coun­sel­ing of Fort My­ers in 2003. Linda’s ad­vice: “Learn the ropes first be­fore branch­ing out on your own.”

7 HOLLY PAULUS (Nexxus, Fort My­ers) Holly worked as a vice pres­i­dent with Ac­cu­d­ata be­fore branch­ing out a decade ago with Nexxus, a di­rect mar­ket­ing and data con­sult­ing firm. “I saw a niche that needed to be filled in cre­at­ing mar­ket­ing so­lu­tions that are more than just a list,” she says. Holly’s ad­vice: “Sur­round your­self with like-minded peo­ple and fol­low your in­tu­ition, dreams and vi­sion.”

8 JEN­NIFER PAGNUTTI (Stu­dio RK Sa­lon, Fort My­ers) Jen­nifer started working at Stu­dio RK Sa­lon al­most 20 years ago, was of­fered a part­ner­ship 10 years ago. “A dream come true,” she says of the op­por­tu­nity. Her ad­vice: “Sur­round your­self with peo­ple who have your back. Sup­port is para­mount!”

No mat­ter what you choose in life, you must do it with a pas­sion.” —TRACEY GAL­LOWAY, CEO COM­MU­NITY CO­OP­ER­A­TIVE, FORT MY­ERS

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