The home of Henry Ford at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers

0 Posted by - October 15, 2015 - Uncategorized

Auto pioneer Henry Ford purchased his home on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in 1916, giving him the opportunity to vacation in Fort Myers with inventor Thomas Edison. This year’s 40-under-40 winners from Lee and Collier counties were photographed inside Ford’s home. Today, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates cover more than 20 acres of botanical gardens and nine historical buildings near downtown Fort Myers.

Photo by Mark Wemple

Explore each of the Lee-Collier winners’ profiles in the interactive image below:


The theme of the 2015 edition of the Business Observer’s 40 under 40, old places/young faces, is to mix history with possibility.

The possibilities these young faces have in front of them span wide. They are a group, in total, of people who know how to get things done.

There’s a bank president on the list, and a caterer who can marshal the troops for some of the region’s most lavish events. There are architects behind glitzy and significant projects, and CEOs of fast-growing multimillion-dollar businesses. There’s an under-30 entrepreneur, who launched two stores in a year, who is the epitome of a woman who can get it done.   

The movers and shakers on this list are also comfortable taking risks. Some, for example, left successful companies, and steady paychecks, to start their own company. Others on the list take their risks in another direction, such as the seven people who chose skydiving for their most adventurous thing. (Another three people have skydiving on their bucket list.)

This issue — check out more on a website devoted to this issue and past winners at — also highlights three places that help define this region’s rich history. These places are seen in the group photos that go along with these stories. There’s one for the Lee/Collier region; one for Sarasota-Manatee; and one for Tampa Bay.

The Lee/Collier shoot location, given this issue honors movers, shakers and doers, is especially fitting. That picture was taken at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers — onetime home of business icon and auto pioneer Henry Ford.

One of Ford’s most famous quotes defines the optimistic, go-getting style of the class of 2015 40 under 40 winners. Says Ford: “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

— Mark Gordon

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