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Wise ones

The Business Observer seeks to find outstanding octogenarians.

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Forget Generations Z, X and those pesky millennials that grab most of the headlines.  

For an upcoming issue, the Business Observer looks to profile entrepreneurs, executives and all-around business doers who remain at the top of their work game and are over 80 years old. These sages don’t have to be going at the same pace they did when in their 40s or 50s, but we are looking for thriving people active in day-to-day operations, strategy, sales and other parts of a business or entity. 

Inspiration for this issue abounds. One example: Nate Benderson, who died in April 2012 at 94 years old, was still doing deals well into his 80s at east Manatee County-based Benderson Development, one the largest retail landlords in the country. He would sometimes even ride his bike to the office.

File. Nate Benderson, who died in 2012, was still doing real estate deals well into his 80s.
File. Nate Benderson, who died in 2012, was still doing real estate deals well into his 80s.

Another example is in Fort Myers, where Steve Colgate oversaw Offshore Sailing School for five decades. Now 86, Colgate, who has run the business with his wife, Doris, 80, recently handed over some operational aspects of the company to a pair of longtime employees, Beth Oliver and Bryce Jackson. But through the pandemic, with a series of videos and other work, the Colgates kept the business humming.

If you know of, or work with, an outstanding octogenarian like that, please let us know. Send a note to Managing Editor Mark Gordon at [email protected]. Please include your name and contact information; the name and contact information for the nominee; and a few sentences on what he or she does and what makes them stand out. The deadline is Feb. 1.





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