2021 40 Under 40: Celebrating This Year’s Class of Young Leaders

Share on facebook

Andrew Twetan, Connor & Gaskins Unlimited Vice President, is recognized in Gulfshore Business’ 40 Under 40 class of 2021. The annual event honors professionals in Southwest Florida who are younger than 40 are acknowledged for their accomplishments and contributions to the community.

Featured article in “Gulfshore Business” on September 1, 2021.

2021 40 Under 40

Hats off to the 19th class of Gulfshore Business’ 40 Under 40. Each year, 40 business professionals in Southwest Florida who are younger than 40 are acknowledged for their accomplishments and contributions to the community. We are pleased to acknowledge this year’s 40 honorees who have earned the recognition.

LINDSEY TOUCHETTE, 38

Vice President of Community Engagement, Community Foundation of Collier County

Lindsey Touchette serves as vice president of Community Engagement for the Community Foundation of Collier County. In that role, she sets the strategic direction for the foundation’s community engagement and works with local stakeholders to identify opportunities for positive and lasting changes within the community. But her passion for helping others isn’t limited to Collier County.

“I’m an active member of the Council on Foundations, the Florida Philanthropic Network, CF Leads, Connecting Communities in the Americas, FCAN and the National Scholarship Providers Association,” she says. “Helping others to accomplish meaningful and transformational philanthropic goals that create positive and lasting change will always be a part of the work I love to do.”

Closer to home, Touchette is involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Future Ready Collier, Teachers and Parents Together at First Baptist Academy and Collier Coalition for Healthy Minds task force, among others.

What are your future aspirations?

To lead, live and work in a community that cares for one another, that is founded and built on the generosity of many individuals, that thinks big ideas and brings those ideas to fruition for future generations. To look back and celebrate the great work that we’ve all accomplished together as a community.

BRITTANY FEROCE, 30

Manager of Child Care Services, NCH Bears Den Childcare Center

Brittany Feroce graduated from Clarion University and then received her Master’s of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from Florida Gulf Coast University. While she now serves as the manager of child care services at the NCH Bears Den Childcare Center, her career is just a part of her life.

“My biggest passion is helping people and making a difference in their lives, so I strive to be as involved as possible,” she says. “I completed the Associate Leadership Collier program class of 2020 and was a session chair for the ALC 2021 class. I was also a member of the Big Brother Big Sisters program for three years, and I support the Collier County Humane Society.”

Feroce is a member of the Naples Junior Women’s Club, Young Professionals of Naples and has recently participated in a build for Habitat for Humanity. She has also volunteered in the wildlife hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

What are your future aspirations?

I want to continue helping people and get more involved in other aspects throughout the community. I want to use my personal experiences to help others and to make a difference. I also aspire to get married and have a family.

JEFFREY GALATI, 33

Executive Vice President — Private Wealth Management, Capital Wealth Advisors

Jeff Galati was born in Newburgh, New York, and moved to Naples in 1994. With a background in the financial industry, he helps his clients at Capital Wealth Advisors manage their wealth through a discovery of goals, client education, behavioral coaching, portfolio construction and investment advisory. But his experience as a Rotarian also plays a big part of his life.

“I was the Rotary Club of Naples president in 2020 and was awarded Rotarian of the Year in 2016. Being a Rotarian, we live by the motto, ‘Service Above Self,’” he says. “I truly believe the more you give, the more it comes back in the end.”

In addition to his Rotary membership, Galati was also in the 2017 Leadership Collier Foundation class. He is a Certified Financial PlannerTM and holds Chartered Life Underwriter® certification.

What are your future aspirations?

I aspire to involve my kids in the community and teach them the power of giving back. I wish to raise my kids to show empathy and support the people around them. I want to be an example to my family that, if you put others ahead of yourself, you can have a profound impact on your community and world.

JENNIFER DENIKE, 37

Major Gift/Planned Giving Officer, WGCU Public Media

In 2017, Jennifer Denike landed what she calls her dream job at Florida Gulf Coast University, working with WGCU Public Media. Though serving as a concierge to leadership and legacy donors, and also helping raise more than $2 million for the station, Denike is most proud of her efforts in the community.

“I have been volunteering since I was a Girl Scout growing up in New York. Today, I am a peer buddy to Nicole, a young woman living with cerebral palsy, and I serve in various leadership roles for Best Buddies of SWFL,” she says. “My passion is working with underserved populations to promote patient advocacy, access to education and inclusive housing.”

Denike is also a member of the Planned Giving Council of Lee County, Association of Fundraising Professionals of Collier-Lee County and the Staff Advisory Council at FGCU. In addition, she is enrolled in Leadership SWFL and is passionate about promoting Southwest Florida businesses as they emerge from the pandemic.

What are your future aspirations?

I aspire to foster an inclusive community where individuals with special abilities experience friendships, belonging and independence. I’d like to help develop affordable housing communities where the young, elderly, able-bodied and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities live together in supportive housing and learn from one another.

JESSICA VARNES, 38

Marketing Director, Mercola Market

A Florida native and FGCU graduate, Jessica Varnes serves as the marketing director for mercolamarket.com, an e-tailer of premium natural health products. While overseeing the overall e-commerce strategy and the team that implements package design, branding and communications, Varnes says her broader goal is education.

“With a legacy rooted in regenerative agriculture, Mercola is dedicated to providing premium natural health products made with clean ingredients to help our customers take control of their health,” she says. “My goal here is to educate the public on the far-reaching benefits of regenerative agriculture and the natural approach to health and wellness.”

A runner and Savage Race enthusiast, Varnes is an active supporter of Girls on the Run SWFL, a program designed to inspire girls to embrace their inner strength. She is also a longtime member of North Naples Church, where she serves on the membership committee and connections team providing new member orientations and tours, and greeting constituents.

What are your future aspirations?

I plan to continue growing within Mercola and take on additional leadership opportunities that allow me to further develop the Dr. Mercola brand. My goal is to continue bringing clean, innovative products to market—products our customers can trust to help them take control of their health.

JACQUELINE RUSHER, 39

CEO and Co-Founder, Kava Culture Group/Botanical Brewing Co./Plant Tribals

While working in private banking, Jacqueline Rusher partnered with her sister to open the first Kava Culture Kava Bar location in 2017. Today, there are seven Kava Culture locations and Rusher’s full-time job is leading the chain’s 85 employees while growing the brand.

“Kava Culture was the first sober social bar of its kind. By creating social spaces where everyone can meet and connect, the community has welcomed and supported our growth,” she says. “Our bars use a unique community event model, opening our doors to young aspiring artists, musicians and entrepreneurs to showcase their talents. We also use our spaces to benefit local organizations like Gulf Coast Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity and Blessings in a Backpack.”

What are your future aspirations?

We’ve opened eight kava bars in four years, and our goals continue to evolve. With wholesale distribution and franchising in full swing, we are steadily moving beyond Florida borders, and I’ve never been more humbled or grateful.

LISA MURRAY, 38

Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Interop Technologies

Lisa Murray, APR, CPRC, is a nationally accredited and award-winning public relations professional. She serves as senior manager of corporate communications at Interop Technologies.

“I work to use technology to broaden business relationships, drive brand awareness, surpass strategic goals and achieve maximum profitability,” she says. “In my current position with Interop Technologies, I lead the development and implementation of PR and marketing strategies in the United States, Europe and South America.”

Murray is also an active member of her community through leadership in organizations like
the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA. She has also volunteered and supported local charities, including United Way, Community Cooperative, Children’s Advocacy Center and the Early Learning Coalition.

What are your future aspirations?

In the last year alone, we’ve seen a momentous shift in how we work, communicate and use technology. This is my passion and I know, in order to make a difference in these areas, I will need to continually evolve my skill set to meet the changing market. Most importantly, I want to stay ambitious, to keep growing and to lift others up by leading with authenticity, compassion and courage.

ANDREW TWETAN, 39

Vice President Partner, Construction/Management/Development, Connor & Gaskins Unlimited LLC

As a Florida native and third-generation contractor, Andrew Twetan says he grew up on construction sites and received a hands-on education in the business. Today, he applies those lessons building high rise construction and beachfront homes as a partner of Connor & Gaskins Unlimited LLC (CGU).

“I focus on creating an effective team to provide each project with innovation and hands-on solutions. For CGU, it’s important that each employee identifies as a part of the team for each project,” Twetan says. “Our goal for each client, no matter the project’s size, is that they walk away with a successful project and a desire to work with the CGU team again on their next project.”

In his free time, Swetan is passionate about giving back to the local community with organizations such as Young Life. Believing the future relies on the strength of the community’s youth, his goal is to help young people build genuine, long-term friendships with mentors and other young adults, outside of social media and societal pressures.

What are your future aspirations?

Professionally, I want to continue creating a community with employees and clients through a team approach that includes innovation and collaboration.

To read the full article, click here.

About Us

We also build strong, long-lasting relations based on mutual respect, trust and integrity. From responding to small emergency renovations to managing the largest projects, Connor & Gaskins Unlimited has the experience, people and resources to take your concept to completion with confidence and satisfaction.

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter

TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA

CARTERSVILLE, GA

VINOY GOLF CLUBHOUSE

St. Petersburg, FL

Connor & Gaskins provided extensive renovations to the Vinoy Golf Clubhouse from the bar to dining and relaxation areas.

LE JARDIN

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins completed cnstruction improvements to the main entrance at Le Jardin. Scope of work included new planters, decorative walls, brick pavers and signage.

LAKE TOWN WHARF

Panama City, FL

Connor & Gaskins completed an entire renovation that included 760 units, the addition of large hardscape pools, spas, golfing and putting greens, bars, garage top pools, meeting rooms, hotel resort dining and shopping areas.

HYATT ROSEVILLE

Roseville, CA

Connor & Gaskins renovated the Hyatt Place hotel with 151 rooms located in Roseville, CA.

UPTOWN SUITES TN

Smyrna, TN

Connor & Gaskins completed the entire construction of a new 127 key, 4-story hotel from the ground up, located in Smyrna, TN.

FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES RENOVATION

Marathon, FL

Marathon Hotel Renovation.

 

UPTOWN SUITES FL

Homestead, FL

Connor & Gaskins Unlimited turns over another completed ground up hotel in Southeast Florida.  CGU oversaw the project from initial entitlements all the way through Construction working with Miami-Dade County and the City of Homestead.  The building was designed with 127 rooms to deliver to each guest the comforts of home for longer stays, including kitchenettes, class-leading Wi-Fi, fitness center, guest laundry…. all while being walking distance to retail and restaurants.

850 Central Avenue

Naples, FL

The 850 Central Avenue project consists of a three-story mixed-use commercial / residential project including 22 condominium units located over approximately 10,000 sf of retail space in the downtown Naples area. The total combined building area is 80,500 gross square feet and construction includes a post tension and masonry block structure. The building has a sleek urban design with private amenities including 2nd floor private pool and lawn as well as a roof deck terrace with fire pit, outdoor seating, kitchen and dining spaces. The condominium units range in size from 1,587 to 1,943 square feet.

MARILYN’S CLOTHING STORE

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated Marilyn’s Clothing Store in Naples, FL. Marilyn’s Clothing Store is a refined luxury boutique located in the heart of Old Naples on 5th Avenue South know for its highly personalized service.

HILTON HOTEL

Tampa, FL

Connor & Gaskins are currently renovating the Hilton Hotel located in downtown Tampa, FL.

NAPLES MEDI SPA

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated the Naples Medi Spa interior from the lobby and waiting room areas to the hallway and display cabinetry.

RITZ CARLTON BEACH CLUB

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins provided extensive renovations to the Ritz Carlton Beach Club.

SAND DOLLAR LANE

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins designed and built a custom home located in Sea Gate of Naples, FL.

NAPLES STONE WORKS

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins completed an interior tenant renovation for Naples StoneWorks located in Naples, FL. Naples StoneWorks is a premier countertop manufacturer and installer of floors and walls, specializing in granite, marble, quartz, glass and tile.

UMI GALLERY

1661 Trade Way, Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins constructed a new exotic stone sales center in Naples, FL.

RAW DELICIOUS II

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins designed and constructed a new juice bar in Naples, FL.

2265 TROUT COURT

Connor & Gaskins built a custom home located in Royal Harbor in Naples, FL.

TARPON ROAD

Connor & Gaskins built a custom home located in Royal Harbor in Naples, FL.

WINDSOR PENTHOUSE

Connor & Gaskins renovated the complete interior of a Windsor Penthouse (10,000 sq. ft.) located in Bay Colony of Naples, FL.

6840 Hunters Road

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins designed and built a new ground up 12,964 GSF custom residence located in Naples FL. Construction included guest house, swimming pool with elevated spa, multiple garages, exercise room, and many other custom features throughout

DOUBLETREE HOTEL

Gainesville, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated the entire hotel, including 206 guestrooms, corridors, lobby, bar, restaurant, kitchen, swimming pool and hardscape common areas.

ARTECITY

South Beach, FL

Scope of work includes completion of residential towers, villas, town homes, retail, hardscape and water features.

Tower North = 55 Units

Tower South = 58 Units

Park Villas East & West = 18 Townhouses

Park Plaza Corner = 10 Junior Suites & Retail

RITZ CARLTON

Sarasota, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated the entire building, including 266 suites, club lounge, ballrooms and common areas.

TARPON ROAD 2

Connor & Gaskins built a custom home located in Royal Harbor in Naples, FL.

AQUA 606

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated the complete interior of unit 606 at Aqua Condominiums.

TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA

SEYMOUR, IN

UPTOWN SUITES

Denver, Centennial

ROYAL HARBOR RENOVATION

NAPLES, FL

Private residence in Royal Harbor. CGU created additional bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs by taking the 2-story great room and turning it into a one-story space.

NAPLES CUSTOM HOME

NAPLES, FL

Custom residence built in the City of Naples.  The 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathroom
home was custom designed for the owners’ property with a 2 car garage.

RITZ-CARLTON JACK DUSTY RESTAURANT

SARASOTA, FL

ALTURA BAYSHORE

Tampa, FL

New construction for a luxury condominium with a rooftop experience, sunrise and sunset views and a private elevator foyer for each residence.

BAYSHORE WINE VENUE

Naples, FL

New Construction of a wine store and venue for entertaining wine enthusiasts.

FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES EXPANSION

Marathon, FL

Expansion of 27 new suites for Fairfield Inn on an existing property with a 135 room hotel.

 

HEALTH & REHAB FACILITY

DeSoto County

UPTOWN SUITES- AUSTIN, GRAND AVE

Austin, Grand Ave.

UPTOWN SUITES - AUSTIN, CLOCK TOWER

Austin, Clock Tower

UPTOWN SUITES - DENVER, WESTMINISTER

Denver, Westminister

PORT ROYAL RENOVATION

681 KINGSTOWN DRIVE

Naples, FL

BRIGHTON AT BAY COLONY

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated a luxury Brighton condominium at Bay Colony in Naples, FL.

COLLIER AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated the exterior entrances and the cafeteria of the Collier Automotive Museum in Naples, FL.

LULU'S KITCHEN

NAPLES, FL

Lulu’s Kitchen – St. Matthew’s House Restaurant and kitchen facility.

ST. MAARTEEN

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated the interior of a residence in the St. Maarten condominiums located along the Pelican Bay region of Naples, FL.

TAVIRA 1204

Naples, FL

Connor & Gaskins renovated the interior of a luxury Tavira condominium in Naples, FL.