CONTACTS:    Nancy Hamilton, Lee Rose (941) 338-3500


Lee County Tourist Development Council Welcomes New Chair and Member

LEE COUNTY, FL Ė The Lee County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has appointed Commissioner John Albion as chairman of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) and Fort Myers Beach Town Council member Howard Rynearson as TDC member effective today.

Albion returns to the TDC having chaired it in 1994 and 2000. In addition to the TDC responsibilities, his other current liaison BOCC committee appointments include the Affordable Housing Committee, Agriculture, Fair Board, and Regional Planning Council.

In 1984, he received his bachelorís degree in government from Centre College in Kentucky. A licensed real estate broker with Safe-T Realty, Albion was director of operations for Safe-T Storage for eight years.

Elected to the BOCC in 1992 and 1996, his dedication to community service has included serving as board member and past president of the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, chairman for the Fort Myers Beach United Way campaign, and chairman of the Fort Myers Beach Quality of Life Committee. Currently, Albion serves as board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Public Schools Enrichment Program, and as president of the Uncommon Friends Foundation.

Commissioner Albion replaces TDC Chairman Andrew Coy.

In further news, Howard Rynearson, a 30-year resident of Fort Myers Beach and current Town Council member, was seated today to the TDC. The BOCC named Rynearson to replace Fort Myers Mayor James T. Humphrey on the TDC.

With a successful career as a general contractor, Rynearson moved from Adrian, MI, to Fort Myers Beach in 1971 to operate the Flamingo Inn.

Since being appointed to the Fort Myers Beach Town Council in Dec. 2000, Rynearson has been actively involved in such issues as business, public relations, and arts and entertainment. He has served on the Town Councilís road committee and is part of the Public Safety Task Force.

Rynearsonís long time commitment to community service and volunteerism has included energetic participation in various civic organizations and youth sporting groups.

The nine-member TDC was established by the BOCC in 1983 to increase off-season tourism.