FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) announced the winners of the 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida Awards at the annual awards dinner on Wednesday, May 10.

The FSBDC awards are held annually to recognize three SW Florida small businesses for their innovation, advocacy, and business growth. This year’s awardees include Distinguished Entrepreneur of SW Florida, Dr. Anais Aurora Badia, owner of Florida Skin Centers; Innovator of the Year, Dr. Guido A. Minaya, owner of Minaya Learning Global Solutions; Advocate of the Year, Brian Rist, owner of Storm Smart.  Additional award presentation included the William O. Webb award, which was presented to A & E Auto Repair.

“We celebrate the business owners that took an idea, grew that idea into a business and has created a positive impact both economic and community SWFL.” Lois Knox, FSBDC Regional Director.

The awards ceremony was made possible through the support of Hallmark Sponsor, Markham, Norton, Mosteller, Wright, and Company, P.A. Other sponsors include The News-Press, Gulfshore Business, Southwest Florida Business Today, Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation and Lutgert College of Business, Conric PR and Marketing, Spiro and Associates, Spada Salon & Day Spa, Tamiami Florida Angel Funds, and Grasmeier Business Consulting.