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NAPLES, Fla. (July 15, 2021) – The Immokalee Foundation has announced Dr. Alise Bartley as the second official judge of its 3rd Annual Shark Tank-style competition on July 21 at Florida Gulf Coast University. This popular event provides foundation students the opportunity to compete in teams to win a cash prize for the most creative business plan.

Bartley is the director of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Community Counselor Center, as well as a clinical assistant professor. She is one of the leading forces for creating a doctorate program in counseling at FGCU.

With more than two decades in a career of academia and extensive experience within her own private practice, Bartley is focused on helping those who are struggling with their mental wellness from a relationship perspective.

She was previously a faculty member at The University of Akron and currently holds licenses to practice in Ohio and Florida. Bartley earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The College of Wooster, a master’s degree in counseling and human development from Walsh University and a Ph. D in counselor education and supervision from The University of Akron.

Leading up to the July 21 competition, foundation students will spend four weeks in a Business Management Pathway camp to develop their business plans that will be aimed at solving problems that companies commonly face. The students will then pitch their innovative business start-up ideas – much like the popular TV show – to a panel of local business leaders. After the students’ presentations, the judges will announce which of the student teams placed first, second and third place. Students in first place will receive $500 each, second place is $250, and the third-place winners are awarded $100 each.

“Very few young people in the country have the opportunity to interact with professionals of this caliber,” said Melissa Phillips, vice president of philanthropy for the foundation. “To be able to provide our students, those from an impoverished community like Immokalee, this kind of access is truly life-changing. Her story will show them that their limitations don’t define them, their goals are within reach.”

The camp is a partnership between the foundation and FGCU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship. Students will work with FGCU’s faculty, as well as local mentors, to learn about the entrepreneurial mindset and how to critically examine problems to develop innovative solutions. Thus, providing valuable real-world business experience to the participants.

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation including becoming a mentor, its signature events, volunteering as a career panel speaker or host, making a donation, or including the foundation in your estate plans, or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit

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Joe Abruzzese