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For most of his life Thomas Mann has worked in the shadow of the Big Apple, but for just over a year now he’s been enjoying the drastically different small town vibe of Marco Island. As a relative newcomer, Mann wanted to learn more about the island, and is doing so through the Leadership Marco program. 

Leadership Marco is the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce's 10-week program that gets Marco Islanders together to learn the inner workings of the island and meet their fellow leaders. Mann said the program is unique because it gives its members the opportunity to meet 'the people behind the curtain.'

More: Profiles in Leadership: Mohamed Ahmed

“Meeting the people who have influenced or who continue to improve this community is a great honor,” he said, “and meeting other local business people who want to give back to their community is a great opportunity to get involved and learn.”

Mann studied criminal justice at Stockton State College (now Stockton State University) while working as a patrolman on the Wildwood Police Department. He's currently the president and CEO of All Event Party Rental in Naples and on Marco Island.

Mann said he is actively involved with all aspects of the company, including sales, deliveries and installations, but his favorite part of the job is making someone’s special event a success.

“I like the satisfaction when a large event is delivered on time and without difficulty,” he said. “I have a great team that works with me, and getting all aspects of a job to come together is a great feeling.”

Networking is also an important part of Mann’s job; in addition to professionally networking with many different organizations  in the area – including BNI Downtown Networkers, East Naples Merchants Association and the Elks Organization – Mann is a member of and the 2019 president elect nominee for the Marco Island Sunrise Rotary Club. In fact, it was through the rotary club that he learned of Leadership Marco.

“I was nominated by Stan Niemczyk, whom I had met at rotary,” he said. “He suggested that it would be a great way to learn about the island, and to meet many of the people who contributed to the quality of life that is enjoyed here.”

And one of the biggest boosts to the island's quality of life is the small town atmosphere, Mann said.  

“I like the small town feel. The local year-round residents are a fun and friendly group. I also like that seasonally, the island grows in inhabitants to become a much larger city,” Mann said. “The seasonal residents generate excitement, opportunity and revenue.  We have a number of great and unique restaurants, both casual and formal.”

Mann lives in Naples with his wife, Lisa. The couple’s oldest daughter, Megan, relocated to Naples in September.

The group's first educational session was History Day on Aug. 9. Media Day was Leadership Marco Class of 2017's next adventure, and provided an inside look at how journalists in the area do their jobs.

The group's Education Day, which included stops at Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology, Lely High School, Marco Island Academy, Marco Island Charter Middle School and Tommie Barfield Elementary, was supposed to be Wednesday, Sept. 6, but was canceled in preparation of Hurricane Irma.

The following two sessions, one of which was supposed to Law Enforcement Day with the Marco Island Police Department, were also canceled and rescheduled for a later date.

Leadership Marco's next regularly-scheduled session was its Culture/Real Estate Day on Oct. 18. The leaders visited and heard presentations from the Marco Island Area Association of Realtors, Marco Players, the Marco Island Center for the Arts and more.

During the following session the class got an inside look at both the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department and the island's health care facilities. This week's session, which was on Tuesday, was the rescheduled education day.

The Class of 2017 will meet through early December before its graduation ceremony on Jan. 27 at the Marco Island Yacht Club.

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