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 21 NextGen™ Speaker Series events, with over 3,500 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.

Upcoming Speaker Series Event

DAVID HOFFMANN

Chairman of the Hoffmann Family of Companies

FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 2022
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST

GREY OAKS COUNTRY CLUB
2400 GREY OAKS DRIVE NORTH
NAPLES, FL 34105

The story of the Hoffmanns is one of hard work, dedication and respect for people. Their vision is one of longevity and to add value to the communities they love and their people.

Osprey Capital, LLC was formed by David Hoffmann shortly after he founded DHR International, the largest private executive search firm in the world, as a way to invest the excess cash DHR produced. Since that time, Osprey has grown into one of the largest private family offices in the world with diversified assets in executive search, real estate, oil distribution, insurance, public market investment, aviation and wine making. Through its operating businesses under the Hoffmann Family of Companies brand, they have expanded to over 21 countries and 240+ locations across the globe.

In real estate, Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate (HCRE) is accredited with reviving and growing the “main street” of cities in Avon, Colorado, Winnetka, Illinois, Naples, Florida where they have also donated over a million dollars in art and sculptures.

Named 2019 Man Of The Year by Gulfshore Life Magazine and Grand Marshall of the Naples St. Patrick’s Day parade. Mr. Hoffmann has been recognized in the 2020 & 2021 Florida Trend 500 list, Naples Top 100, is a member of the Florida Council of 100 and has been featured in numerous business publications such as the cover of Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun Times, The New York Times, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Business Journals, Crain’s Chicago Business, Smart Money Magazine, The Pioneer Press and Fortune magazine. He has also made multiple appearances on Fox Business, CNN and CNBC.

Upcoming Speaker Series Event

JOHN SCHUERHOLZ

Vice Chairman Emeritus of the Atlanta Braves

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2022
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST

GREY OAKS COUNTRY CLUB
2400 GREY OAKS DRIVE NORTH
NAPLES, FL 34105

John Schuerholz has had a long and accomplished career in professional baseball that started with a letter of inquiry to man he didn’t know in 1966, then Baltimore Orioles chairman Jerold Hoffberger. He worked for the Orioles from 1966 to 1969, when he left for the expansion team in Kansas City. After a successful tenure with the Kansas City Royals, Schuerholz became general manager of the Atlanta Braves in 1990 and immediately helped the team go from worst to first, winning the National League pennant in 1991. The Braves established an American professional sports record by winning 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 to 2005. During his tenure the Braves played in the World Series as National League champions five times and won the Series in 1995.

In 2007, Schuerholz was named president of the Braves. As president and then as vice chairman, he was instrumental in the planning and building of SunTrust Park and the mixed-use development, The Battery Atlanta, which opened in April 2017. Schuerholz was named Vice Chairman Emeritus by the Braves in 2018.

Schuerholz’s many honors have included inductions into the Braves Hall of Fame (2017), the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (2015), and the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame (2008); the Outstanding Achievement in Baseball Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation (2014); and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s Andrew “Rube” Foster Award (2001, 2002, and 2005).

Schuerholz received baseball’s highest honor when he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Upcoming Speaker Series Event

GREG MUZZILLO

Founder & CEO of Proforma

FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2022
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST

GREY OAKS COUNTRY CLUB
2400 GREY OAKS DRIVE NORTH
NAPLES, FL 34105

Greg Muzzillo founded Proforma in 1978, one year after graduating from college. He started the company with an investment of $200 to buy some business cards and a phone answering machine. The company grew quickly to several million in sales, earning a spot on Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies list for three consecutive years.

To accommodate the firm’s rapid expansion, in 1986 Muzzillo developed a franchise model that shaped the future direction of the company. By creating a network of independent distributors of printing and promotional products, he helped transform Proforma into a company with over 600 franchise owners generating more than $500 million per year. Every year 20 – 30 Proforma franchise owners are named to the Inc. magazine’s list of the 5000 Fastest Growing Companies.

In addition to Proforma, Mr. Muzzillo serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Florida Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, served on the Board of Directors of the International Franchise Association and served on the Board of Trustees at the University of Tampa.

Greg and his wife, Vera Muzzillo, CEO of Proforma, have 10 children and nine grandchildren. Together, they co-sponsor the $50,000 annual Big Idea Gator Business Plan Competition at the University of Florida.

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Thank you to our Sponsors!

Founding Sponsor

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Michael D. Benson
mbenson@bensonblackburn.com
239.348.1800

Visionary Sponsors

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Dennis O’Keefe
dennis.okeefe@arthrex.com
800.933.7001

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Michael G. Dana
michael.dana@dentons.com
239.444.1833

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Gustavo Botura
gustavob@elitejets.com
239.500.1000

John R. Wood Properties

Bill Benson
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239.304.1144

John R. Wood Properties

Phillip Wood
prw@johnrwood.com
239.659.6300

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Brian May, EA
bmay@luriellp.com
239.785.3113

Mark  Rupolo, CPA, ABV, PFS
mrupolo@luriellp.com
239.785.3093

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David J. Legus
dlegus@meristemfw.com
612.868.4107

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Michael Wynn
mwynn@sunshineace.com
239.992.0454

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Russell Beckner
russell.beckner@pnc.com
239.687.7260

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Sharon Hood
sharon@marketcrank.com
239.591.2709

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Robin Lankton
rlankton@yourobserver.com
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Our Community Partners

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