Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “champion” in two different ways. The first as a noun meaning an advocate or defender. Secondly, also a noun, as a winner. In this issue of Estero Life Magazine, we are going to explore both definitions.

The Village of Estero has two “champions” passing the torches this month: Don Eslick, retiring chairman of the board of the Estero Council of Community Leaders (ECCL) and Dick Schweers, chairman of the Board of Commissioners for Estero Fire Rescue. Both men have been tireless advocates for the Village of Estero while defending the quality of life of our community. In our story, you will learn details of their impressive contributions to our community. Don and Dick, we wish you both a healthy and long-lived retirement!

When it comes to celebrating a winner, we need only to travel a few short miles down Ben Hill Griffin Parkway to Florida Gulf Coast University’s Alico Arena, where we will encounter one of the most successful women’s basketball coaches in the country, Karl Smesko. Karl is the founding coach of the women’s basketball program and has an astonishing third-best winning percentage among active women’s head coaches!!! Our cover story this month highlights the many accomplishments Karl has amassed since the 2002 beginning, as we honor this Estero resident as he begins his 17th season. I can assure you it has been a tremendous honor to get to know Karl Smesko and, even more so, to watch the successes that his teams, over the years, have accomplished on the court. Certainly, some of the best sports entertainment in Southwest Florida!

The Village of Estero also has our own “champion” in Village Finance Director Lisa Roberson. Lisa’s winning skills are on display in this month’s “Village Connection” as we highlight the 2019-20 Annual Budget. Our congratulations to the entire village staff for their effectiveness in fiscally managing our community.

Some of you have probably heard about the new Water School at FGCU and the collaborative effort with the Village of Estero to monitor the water quality of the Estero River. This 12-month project that began this past August will “champion” the cause for improved water quality in Southwest Florida. “What’s in our Water” explores the details of the new school and the environmental potential of such programs.

“7 Questions” is back this month, focusing on Elizabeth McCrank, president of Women’s Council of Realtors – Bonita Springs/Estero, giving us a fourth quarter insight into our real estate market and how WCR aids local realtors.

Our dining feature this month takes us on a trip to nostalgic Paris to capture the “simple, honest food” of The French Brasserie Rustique on 5th Avenue in Naples. You will find our menu selections both unique and exquisite!

And, of course, no issue is complete without our Best Bets, Happenings and our reader’s favorite, the Scene on Site galleries!

As always, remember to….

           Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!


Gary Israel, President & Publisher

Estero Life Magazine

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