The NextGen Speaker Series
Brings together business and community professionals to encourage Leadership, Mentorship, Empowerment and Philanthropy. Connect with business leaders in the community and hear inspirational stories of achievement from world-renowned entrepreneurs and CEOs.
About the NEXTGENTM Speaker Series
The prestigious NextGen Speaker Series is a gathering of America’s most distinguished business leaders, right here in Naples, Florida. Keynote speakers are world-renowned entrepreneurs and CEOs who share their extraordinary life journeys with an exclusive invitation-only audience.
The NEXTGENTM Speaker Series started with a simple question. Michael Benson, CEO of Benson Blackburn, asked industry leaders to visit his office for a mentorship session with his team. His team was so fascinated by what they heard, they decided this information and these life journeys should be shared with the community. This led to the establishment of the NextGen Speaker Series, held two to three times per year at a private venue by invitation only.
To date, Benson Blackburn has hosted 15 NextGen Speaker Series events, with over 2,500 attendees. The speaker series was established to encourage Leadership, Mentorship, Empowerment and Philanthropy.
As part of a community outreach and mentorship process, the NextGen Speaker Series partnered with FGCU, Hodges University, Florida SouthWestern State College, The Immokalee Foundation, Imagine Solutions, Leadership Collier Foundation, Community Foundation of Collier County and Champions for Learning, to encourage deans and students to attend and learn from these industry leaders.
Each session, Benson Blackburn nominates a “focused charitable organization” in honor of the featured speaker. Focused charities have included The Shelter for Abused Women and Children, The First Tee of Naples, The Immokalee Foundation, American Cancer Society, NCH Healthcare System, the Naples Children & Education Foundation and Leadership Collier Foundation.
We are proud to welcome the following keynote speakers to the
2018-2019 NextGen Speaker Series.
Join us for the next Speaker Series event featuring:
Shelley Broader December 14, 2018
President and Chief Executive Officer, Chico’s FAS, Inc.
Shelley will share the Chico’s story and her climb to top positions with various companies. Her story and lessons learned are amazing on personal growth and leadership.
Jim McGlothlin February 1, 2019
Founder, The United Co.
As a young man, Jim had entrepreneurial aspects and aspirations. Beginning his career as a lawyer, he was passing the local court house and purchased a coal mine for $25,000 at an auction. Along with seven of his poker game friends, he turned his coal company (United Co) into a multi-billion dollar company!
Jay Steinfeld March 8, 2019
Founder and CEO, Blinds.com, A Home Depot Company
Imagine selling window blinds from a van. Jay wanted to figure out a better way. Looking at the digital world, he decided to create blinds.com, which ultimately sold to Home Depot for nine figures. He will share this great entrepreneurial story and lessons learned.