HELLO TO TERI HANSEN

Pri­or­ity Mar­ket­ing guru cher­ishes giv­ing, driven by faith, fam­ily and busi­ness

Times of the Islands - - Health & Wellness - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT Craig Gar­rett is Group Ed­i­tor-in-Chief for TOTI Me­dia.

There’s some­thing es­pe­cially nice about an un­so­licited love note lip­sticked onto the bath­room mir­ror. Pri­or­ity Mar­ket­ing CEO Teri Hansen knows all about such com­par­isons. She and her staff in Fort My­ers could, in fact, load a ware­house with the spon­ta­neous tro­phies and ci­ta­tions that Pri­or­ity in three decades has earned―Best Over­all this and that, lit­er­ally of­fices of pro­fes­sional awards.

Yet the achieve­ment she seems to prize most is this year’s in­duc­tion into the Ju­nior Achieve­ment of South­west Florida Busi­ness Hall of Fame, a peer con­fir­ma­tion to those giv­ing more to us than is taken from them. Hansen shares the Ju­nior Achieve­ment award with Sandy Stil­well, the Sani­bel busi­ness­woman and for­mer chair of the PACE Cen­ter for Girls board of di­rec­tors. JA Hall of Fame lau­re­ates and no­table givers such as re­tir­ing Lee Health CEO Jim Nathan and Hope Hospice CEO Samira K. Beck­with pre­cede Hansen and Stil­well, who got the JA award in May.

Which places Teri Hansen in rare air among Florida’s most in­volved and giv­ing ex­ec­u­tives. “[You] feel very hum­bled look­ing at that list,” she says of fel­low JA lau­re­ates. “It’s some­thing to be counted among that group.”

Pri­or­ity Mar­ket­ing rates as one of Florida’s most in­no­va­tive and suc­cess­ful firms in its field. Pri­or­ity and some of its 31 st af­fers, for in­stance, han­dled pub­lic roll­out of Lee Health’s new Golisano Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal of South­west Florida, a ma­jor event for those in­side the med­i­cal and mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Hansen was also the first per­son to be named Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor of the Year by the Lee Build­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, and she was the Florida Pub­lic Re­la­tions As­so­ci­a­tion PR Pro­fes­sional of the Year in 1999. In all, Hansen has been hon­ored with more than 150 lo­cal, state, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional awards.

Pri­or­ity is also be­hind the clever pack­ag­ing of Nor­man Love Con­fec­tions, the pre­mium choco­latier. “Teri stands for qual­ity and in­tegrity and her award-win­ning work has el­e­vated my com­pany,” Nor­man Love says.

In a taste­fully pur­posed head­quar­ters of­fice that con­veys her af­flu­ence and com­mer­cial suc­cess, Teri Hansen will con­fide that win­ning in busi­ness is won­der­ful. A South­west Florida native, she be­gan her ca­reer with a pre­mier Naples builder, tran­si­tioned to tele­vi­sion me­dia, open­ing Pri­or­ity from home in the 1980s to raise a daugh­ter, she says. She has also sur­vived can­cer, other ex­is­ten­tial chal­lenges, each for­ti­fied by her faith, her in­nate be­lief that yield­ing wealth and time is a far stronger and more grat­i­fy­ing guide­post, she says. Hansen will, for ex­am­ple, grasp an of­fice tro­phy by the throat and beam a flaw­less smile. You’d ex­pect oth­ers in her el­e­vated place to hold the stat­uette to the sun, an of­fer­ing to what­ever drives en­trepreneurs to suc­ceed. The gold fig­urine she chooses to share, how­ever, is for busi­ness cit­i­zen­ship, one of dozens of such awards for her firm’s gifts of energy, con­sid­er­a­tion and cash. “It never gets old," she says of giv­ing. "Never gets old."

You’d ex­pect oth­ers in her el­e­vated place to hold the stat­uette to the sun, an of­fer­ing to what­ever drives en­trepreneurs to suc­ceed.

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