Bob Janes Team with UNITE Award sponsors

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 17, 2014) – Myers, Brettholtz & Company, PA announced Jan. 14 that the Bob Janes Triage Center/Low Demand Shelter was the winner of the inaugural UNITE (Uniting Nonprofits In Teaming for Excellence) Award and the $25,000 cash prize.

Established by Myers, Brettholtz & Company, PA and supported by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties, the UNITE Award is a regional award that recognizes successful nonprofit collaborative models across the five-county area that exemplify excellence and community impact. Its goal is to provide information to the nonprofit community about collaborative models that have succeeded in Southwest Florida area and to share proven effective practices for nonprofits working together.

Wayne Smith & Jennifer Coleman

The winner was announced at the annual Myers, Brettholtz & Company’s full-day nonprofit seminar held at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers. In addition, each of the runners up, Families First: Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, Inc. and Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. and Southwest Florida Addiction Services/Lee Mental Health Merger, received $2,500 thanks to funding made available by the Wayne Smith of the Smith Family Foundation who wished to reward the other finalists for their dedication to collaboration in the community.

Kelly Talamo, Maureen Meltzer & Kiondra White

“Each of the 27 entries we received were inspiring,” said Lori Sampson-Wilson, principal of Myers, Brettholtz. “It clearly shows that our regional nonprofits are working together to achieve positive collaborative results.”

Bill Blevins, Steve Brettholtz & Major Tom Louden

The Bob Janes Triage Center/Low Demand Shelter is a collaboration with the Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, law enforcement, Lee Memorial Health System, SalusCare, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the United Way.

Mell Dell & Bill Dabroski

The Triage Center serves primarily as a voluntary pre-arrest diversion program to reduce the number of individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders that are arrested and sent to jail for minor offenses.

“We are so appreciative of this recognition for our efforts that help make a difference in the community,” said Major Thomas Louden of the Salvation Army. “The cash award will be put back into the program to help participants with incidental expenses for job readiness such as needed medications, apparel for job interviews and other various items that will help them get back on their feet and become independent.”

Janet Taylor & Beth Lobdell

Families First is a collaboration of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, Inc. and Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. This community-based early intervention/prevention program is designed to help young families deal with risk factors associated with violence and abuse.

Dottie Pacharis, Debi Webb & Gina Britton

“Our collaboration with Child Care of Southwest Florida and the Children’s Network has enabled us to keep children out of the child welfare system and strengthen the family unit,” said Jill Turner, founder and CEO of CACSWFL. “We have all learned how to create a new program and grow it while staying true to our original mission. The three agencies play well together.”

Steve Brettholtz, Dave Miller & Emily Furlong

The merger between the area’s leading agencies for mental health and substance abuse disorders, Southwest Florida Addiction Services and SalusCare, created a new nonprofit entity allowing more patients to receive needed care, more access points for care and ease in registering for treatment.

“The SalusCare team is excited to have our efforts to improve critically needed services recognized, and we are equally excited by the new ways we have of serving individuals and families in need as we celebrate our first six months of operations as a new company,” said Kevin Lewis, president and CEO of SalusCare.

To be eligible for the first year’s award, a collaboration had to:

  • Be based in the five-county Southwest Florida area (Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades)
  • Involve two or more entities (i.e., nonprofit organizations, businesses, and/or government agencies)
  • Include a lead organization that is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
  • Have a structure that is evidenced by a formal written agreement (i.e., memorandum of understanding, contract or merger agreement)
  • Be able to demonstrate the impact of the collaboration through measurable outcomes
  • Have been in operation for a minimum of 18 months, with a formal written agreement in place no later than March 1, 2012

For more information on the UNITE Award, call 239-939-5775 or visit Myers, Brettholtz & Company’s website at, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s website at or the United Way’s website at

Since 1979, Myers, Brettholtz & Company, PA has been working with nonprofit organizations in Southwest Florida’s five-county region, helping them achieve their goals. The company serves clients across the nation by performing accounting and auditing, tax preparation, bookkeeping and consulting.