Written by Janey Tate and Kataya Watson
Business professionals from across Florida descended on Naples for a three-day weekend full of networking, learning, shows, and of course a good time with like-minded people. Frater International Group, founded by Wesley Frater, hosted their 12th Annual Florida Business Retreat & HBCU Golf Classic on July 15-17 at the Naples Ritz Carlton Golf Resort. Professionals from various industries spent a relaxing weekend at all the retreat’s events that included a Jazz Concert, Comedy Show, Hair & Makeup Expo, Golfing, Dining, and high-end fashion.
“We choose to host our retreat in Naples so that you can get away from what you’re custom to,” said Frater.
What makes the retreat unique is the fact that it’s also a fundraiser for The HBCU Scholarship Fund at Florida Memorial University– a college that Frater himself is a graduate of. This is the second year that the retreat has used proceeds from the event to donate to the fund.
“One of the reasons why it’s important to me to help raise money at Florida Memorial University is because it was there for me when he needed it and it could also be there for other young men who need somewhere to go for college in their hometown through the fund,” he said.
In addition to all the fun and golf, Frater International Group hosted a back-to School Positive Peer Leadership for 150 inner-city youths of The Golden Gate Youth Club. The event was facilitated by NBA Hall of Fame guard, Wali Jones, of The 1968 world champion Philadelphia 76ers and North Miami Head Football Coach Gerald Cox.
The annual retreat is the brainchild of Frater, the founder, and CEO of Frater International Group. Frater said he wanted to create a comfortable atmosphere for business professionals to network that was outside of the conservative restraints of traditional networking events and conferences.
“We not only wanted to have a great and relaxing summer getaway for ourselves but also give back to the community in which we host our events. We would like to thank our great sponsors such as the Naples Ritz Carlton Resort Company, Joe DiMaggio Children Hospital, Daun Beauty Cosmetics, Klassy Kouture Fashion Boutique, Vaughn & Rose Young. Weinstein Legal, Bachelor & Associates, and featuring special guest Lee Pitts Live TV,” said Frater in a release.
The retreat kicked off on July 15th with a welcome reception and the 29th Annual Frater International Group Humanitarian Awards. The ceremony honored and celebrated the civic work of took three Southwest Florida Icons: Lee Pitts, Pastor Gregory Ford of Assembly of God, and Attorney Joe North.
On July 16th, guests attended a panel on money, marketing, and mindset, and then later that evening they were treated to a comedy show. After that guests attended a hair and makeup show. That Saturday featured a live jazz concert. On July 17th, guests attended a pink and white-themed Sunday brunch before festivities closed out.
“Tt’s a weekend designed for the family and many women attend,” said Frater. “The Ritz Carlton Resort is good for the family and kids– which has a water park.”
Frater founded his company, Tournament of Champions, Inc, (a 501c3 Nonprofit organization) in 1992. It has a legacy of conceptualizing and executing sporting events in Florida and the Caribbean. TOC has partnered with Nike Corporation since 1997 to produce a myriad of sporting events and academic symposiums inclusive of the premier football and basketball events for elite high school student-athletes in Florida. This year, Frater changed the name of his organization to Frater International Group, to appeal to their growing international presence. The organization produces numerous events annually in the United States as well as in the Caribbean under their Caribbean-based charity named Soul2Sole. Through their work in the Caribbean, the organization serves more than 20,000 children in Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Turks Caicos.
For more information on Frater International Group CLICK HERE.
Check out Pictures from the event and see what you missed.
Photo credit: J Lash Photography, George Frater and Charlene De’Towe.