Lew Hastings

Lew Hastings

Executive Director Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce

Boca Grande, Florida (Fort Myers, Florida Area)
Public Relations and Communications

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Lew Hastings's Overview

  • Founder/President at Native Now Foundation
  • Executive Director at Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce
  • International Board Member at Okiciyapi Tipi Housing Partnerships
  • Contributing Writer at Gasparilla Gazette
  • Radio Host/Producer WENG 1530AM -107.5FM at Radio Host/Producer "Gulf Coast Business Spotlight"
  • Senior Management at Barnes & Noble
  • Archaeological Research and Fieldwork at Center for Archaeological Studies
  • General Manager at Lechters, Inc

500+ connections

Lew Hastings' Skills & Expertise

  1. Social Media
  2. Public Relations
  3. Media Relations
  4. Press Releases
  5. Public Speaking
  6. Nonprofits
  7. Politics
  8. Volunteer Management
  9. Research
  10. Newsletters
  11. Training
  12. Advertising
  13. Event Management
  14. Editing
  15. Social Networking
  16. Speech Writing
  17. Storytelling
  18. Archaeology
  19. Blogging
  20. Publicity
  21. Copy Editing
  22. Facebook
  23. Strategic Communications
  24. AP Style
  25. Field Work
  26. Fundraising
  27. Non-profit Administration
  28. Radio Host
  29. Management
  30. New Media
  31. Community Development
  32. Newspapers
  33. Crisis Communications
  34. Broadcast
  35. Journalism
  36. Community Outreach
  37. Interviews
  38. Corporate Communications
  39. Publications
  40. Event Planning
  41. Economic Development
  42. News Writing
  43. Television
  44. Radio
  45. Grant Writing
  46. Leadership

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Lew Hastings' Experience


Native Now Foundation

December 2013Present (11 months)

Native Now Foundation celebrates the rich history that Native peoples have in sharing their wealth and caring for their communities.

About the Foundation

Established in 2013 Native Now Foundation is committed to the beliefs, traditions and history of Native peoples and towards Native Issues throughout the U.S.

Native Now Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that compliments the trend in Indian Country of becoming self sufficient and economically viable communities regardless of challenging locales, infrastructure and regulations. Our mission of providing a success driven support system based on outreach, relationship building and on-going training to eligible businesses and individuals with the assistance of our partner organizations is a combination we think can become a model for economically distressed communities throughout our country. We will help advance research, education, and training programs designed to further tribal sovereignty and self-determination through entrepreneurship and housing opportunities at every level.

The Native Now Foundation (NNF) board and members hold a vision of healthy and sustainable tribal communities.

This vision inspires and motivates engagement through our mission to promote self determination grounded in Native values and traditions.

To advance the mission of NNF, our framework for the future is centered on three strategic directions:

Engage Native and non-Native partners to focus on sustainable Native communities

Empower each other to be effective practitioners of sustainability, sovereignty and self-determination.

Make History -participate in dynamic activities and programs that strengthen leadership skills and promote economic growth.

Executive Director

Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce

February 2011Present (3 years 9 months) Boca Grande, Florida

Fostering the development and prosperity of our member businesses and the economic growth of the Boca Grande Area, positively affecting the quality of life for all area residents.

Using advertising, branding techniques, community events, social media and website traffic growth with the cooperation of the businesses in and around our service area to successfully impact the economic health of our entire community.

Executive Management of the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund. A separate 501(c)(3) company that awards numerous college scholarships annually to eligible local students.

Acquisition and successful management of volunteers for events both local and off-site.

Specialties include membership development and retention, social media management, event creation/promotion and brand reinforcement.

Professional Member National Broadcasting Society
Florida Film Commission Liaison Southwest Region
Member Public Relations Society of America
Environmental Education Team-Gulf of Mexico Alliance
Board Member Lemon Bay Conservancy
Communication Chair-Lemon Bay Conservancy
Tarpon Project Chair-Wildflower Preserve

International Board Member

Okiciyapi Tipi Housing Partnerships

October 2013Present (1 year 1 month) Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation -Eagle Butte, South Dakota

Okiciyapi Tipi means "helping people build houses" in the Lakota language. That's our mission.

Okiciyapi Tipi focuses mainly on building new houses and renovation of existing homes to support members of the community of Eagle Butte and the residents of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
In the past, rehab work has included:

Interior and exterior
Walls and roofing
Wheelchair accessibility ramps

Our goal is not only to help improve housing on Cheyenne River, but to work with community members and homeowners to improve their ability to repair and maintain their own homes. Homeowners provide the supplies to implement repairs, and work closely with Okiciyapi Tipi to complete them.

Volunteers of all experience levels are welcome, whether you're a professional contractor or you've never lifted a power tool. Like most nonprofit organizations, Okiciyapi Tipi runs on the willingness and manpower of volunteers. Any interested parties should call or email our office for more information.

We are located on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. During the 19 years we've been active, we have built 54 new homes for those in need and made repairs to hundreds of others. The help of good-hearted people like you is what makes it possible for us to keep supporting the reservation community.

The Cheyenne River Indian Reservation includes both Dewey and Ziebach counties. According to the latest census, Ziebach is now the poorest county in the nation with Dewey following close behind. Housing on the reservation often lacks basic necessities like properly running water and heat. Okiciyapi Tipi exists to resolve these issues and provide the residents of Eagle Butte with safe and affordable housing. Explore the "get involved" tab to learn how you can help.

Contributing Writer

Gasparilla Gazette

June 2013Present (1 year 5 months) Boca Grande, Florida

"One in the Chamber" is a new bi-weekly feature column in the Gasparilla Gazette newspaper which is owned by the Boca Beacon media network and first appeared in 1954. The Gasparilla Gazette covers Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande, Lee County, and the western Florida coastal area of Charlotte Harbor.
The column focuses on a wide range of topics that include business, politics, environmental issues, commentary and personalities of interest in the Gulf Coast Region.
It is designed to be engaging, entertaining and informative and can be considered as a sort of NPR meets Fox News.

Radio Host/Producer WENG 1530AM -107.5FM

Radio Host/Producer "Gulf Coast Business Spotlight"

July 2012August 2014 (2 years 2 months) WENG 1530AM /107.5FM Englewood, Florida

Gulf Coast Business Spotlight is a one hour LIVE talk show airing every Friday from 3 to 4pm that highlights SW Florida businesses and interviews the personalities that make them so successful.
Gulf Coast Business Spotlight, it's how we do business in SW Florida.
Be sure and visit our website at http://www.gulfcoastbusinessspotlight.com

Senior Management

Barnes & Noble

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; BKS; Retail industry

May 2002February 2011 (8 years 10 months) New Jersey, Florida

Involved in every aspect of the operation of several retail locations. Played an integral role in the selection, evaluation and development of the booksellers, fostering an employee-centric environment while maximizing productivity.

Developed a detailed training course successfully implemented in several locations designed to positively impact our membership program leading to a significant increase in customer loyalty and repeat business.

Took the lead in becoming a trainer for the company's new digital product facilitating training classes demonstrating device functionality and digital content to potential customers.

Facilitator of monthly History Book Club.

Archaeological Research and Fieldwork

Center for Archaeological Studies

January 1995September 2001 (6 years 9 months) New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Montana

Annual summer field studies in archaeology as part of a long-term research project to study, survey and inventory all National Register eligible prehistoric sites within Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Freehold, NJ

New Jersey Site Registration Program (NJSRP) initiated a state-wide data compilation of Native American Sites. The project involved the solicitation of site information from professional and avocational archaeologists, compiled into a series of technical reports and submitted to the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office.

Contract Archaeology Program (CAP) Provided professional archaeological services in cultural resource management compliance throughout the State of New Jersey.

Fieldwork included locating and identification of artifacts, preparation of field forms, site set-up, laying out of transect lines, labeling, bagging and securing artifacts and site interpretation.

Member Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)
Member Archaeological Society of New Jersey (ASNJ)

General Manager

Lechters, Inc

September 1982September 1996 (14 years 1 month) Greater New York City Area, New Jersey

Performed all duties involved with retail operations and grew with the company.

Served as Management Development Trainer and Merchandising Coach with my location providing staging for Store Managers throughout the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut markets.

Direct supervision of Executive Management teams and staff training for new store openings in the Metropolitan New York, Tri-State Area.

Consistent commendations and awards for posting positive sales increases when sent as troubleshooter to various markets to reverse negative sales trends.

Lew Hastings' Publications

  • World's Richest Tarpon Magazine

    • Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce/ROI Media
    • March 2012

    A publication designed for educational outreach to bridge the gap between citizen and scientist in order to develop reasonable and prudent decisions for a sustainable fishery. The focus is on Conservation*Education & Sportsmanship and how a community can come together in the proper stewardship of their shared marine environment and create real change to ensure their natural resources can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Lew Hastings' Volunteer Experience & Causes

  • Volunteer Experience

    • Board Member, Tarpon Project- Chair

      Lemon Bay Conservancy
      • Environment
      February 2013 present (1 year 9 months)

      Established in 1971, The Lemon Bay Conservancy's MISSION STATEMENT
      “To forever protect and preserve
      the natural wonders of
      Lemon Bay, Charlotte Harbor and their surrounding waters and uplands...”
      Becoming a Board Member for this dedicated organization allows me to play an active role in the conservation and proper stewardship of our unique ecosystems and serve my community to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.

  • Volunteer Interests

    • Causes I care about:

      • Disaster and Humanitarian Relief
      • Economic Empowerment
      • Education
      • Environment
      • Politics
      • Poverty Alleviation
      • Science and Technology
    • Organizations I support:

      • Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
      • Mote Marine Laboratory
      • Okiciyapi Tipi Housing Partnerships
      • Native Now Foundation

Lew Hastings' Projects

  • 2014 "World's Richest" Tarpon Tournament

    • May 2011 to May 2014
    Team Members: Lew Hastings

    Making its historic return in 2012, on its 30th Anniversary, the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament and public festival was back in a big way with a renewed mission of conservation, education and sportsmanship. By combining the high-stakes allure of competitive, big-game sport fishing with practical conservation principles and informative entertainment, this trend-setting event is pioneering its way as a model for tarpon tournaments around the World.

    Anglers will enter a two-day tournament on May 15rd & 16th. Competitors will follow catch and release procedures designed for quick releases and the post-release welfare of all tarpon. Winners will be determined by the highest total number of tarpon successfully released, each of which are officially recorded when the Captain touches the leader and immediately releases the tarpon.

    The flood of unprecedented support and involvement from the sport, science, conservation and business communities has propelled the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament and Festival to receive local, regional and international mainstream media attention through TV news, radio talk shows and featured articles by respected journalists in several major publications. “As a result, this event has effectively reached millions of people, not only in our own back yard, but around the world”, states Lew Hastings, Executive Director of the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce. “And that reach is about to be extended as the result of an alliance between the Chamber and Sean and Brooks Paxton at Think Out Loud Productions who are producing an hour-long special feature entitled, Rich History…Priceless Future – the Tarpon of Boca Grande Pass.” The Paxton Brothers have made distribution arrangements with Fox Sports Florida to air the special to millions of households in the weeks leading up to this year’s event. They say, “We’re proud of the responsibility we’ve been given to share this important story with a television audience of this size.”

  • Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce 24th Annual Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament

    • October 2012 to May 2014
    Team Members: Lew Hastings, Melissa Laterza, Kelly Borza


    Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament -- “Twenty Third Anniversary”
    Bringing together mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.

    2013 “Keepin' it Reel” Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament.

    Our featured artist is Kelly Reark, selected as our official Ladies Day Tournament artist for 2013.
    The collectable tournament posters have become an island prize and this year a portion of the proceeds are going to benefit The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.
    Twenty three years ago a group of Boca Grande women got together and decided to have a tarpon tournament. There were three requirements: it had to be all women, all release and all fun. Those three requirements are what made the tournament unique. Tarpon tournaments were mostly men, usually involved dragging a prize tarpon several miles to the dock and displaying it for all to see. This was unacceptable for the women who founded the Boca Grande Ladies Day Tournament. Even the ritual of weighing and releasing a tarpon on site (still a common practice in some tournaments) was considered too stressful on such a beautiful creature. This practice is becoming less prevalent as many tournaments have changed to a more positive fishing style of “do no harm” a movement promoted and supported among the local tarpon fishermen here on Boca Grande.
    Multigenerational teams and an average of 50 boats are now competing in what has become an island tradition. This is the “unofficial” kickoff of the world famous tarpon season in Boca Grande.
    “We know our ladies will love what we are doing this year. This year’s tournament includes the traditions of years past and adds a new flair that the committee members are thrilled about that will for sure become traditions of the future.”

  • Local Business Synergy Video Marketing Day

    • November 2013 to Present
    Team Members: Lew Hastings, Tamara "TAMI" Patzer, dave herring

    Local Business People. I have teamed with Emmy-award winning Videographer/Producer Dave Herring to help local businesses get high quality video production for their video marketing needs. As you know, video marketing is the "secret sauce" of online marketing today.
    We will provide 10 (ten) Quality Question and Answer Videos for ONE client per category. Each video is 30 seconds up to 2 minutes long and we will customize your YouTube channel plus distribute it using my PROVEN systems that include tracking.

    When combined with Total Audience Market Immersion (TAMI) and Dave's high quality, video services, you will have the Synergy to start 2014 with a bang! This is open to local business people and I only have seven (7) openings for this exclusive video event. If you are in Sarasota,North Port, Englewood, Boca Grande, Rotonda West, Venice, Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda and you want to DOMINATE your market, call me or PM me today to see if you qualify for this video event. I can only have one business per category since I help my clients dominate their service area. Right now, I have openings for one HVAC contractor, one Plumber, one Roofer, one accountant CPA, one Attorney, one Plastic Surgeon/Cosmetic Surgeon and one Real Estate Professional. If you know someone who is interested, please let me know. These people will DOMINATE SW Florida for their category. Email: TamaraPatzer@gmail.com First come, first served.

Lew Hastings' Education

Rutgers University



In addition to my course work at Rutgers, I was able to spend some time living and studying in Wyoming. I concentrated primarily on research and ethnography involving some prehistory and cultural aspects of historic Native America which expanded and enhanced my knowledge base not covered during my academic studies.

I performed extensive research on the Battle of the Little Big Horn for a television project developed by author Robert Nightengale who wrote "1876 Little Big Horn" (Far West pub. 1996).
Working with the Little Bighorn Battlefield State Park staff and land owners from Crow Nation to complete my research, I was given access to areas normally off limits to visitors during my more than a dozen visits to the battlefield and it's surrounding areas.

Activities and Societies: Participated in several excavations in New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania/Useppa Island and Sarasota Florida. Each site helped increase the archaeological and ethnographic data of the areas studied. All data collected, analyzed and curated led to a more complete understanding of human development and prehistory. Specialties include prehistoric Native American lithographic analysis and nomenclature of typology with respect to geographic location.

Brookdale Community College

History/Secondary Education


Teaching Internship at Long Branch Middle School, Long Branch, NJ assisting in 5th, 6th and 7th grade history classes.

Worked as teaching assistant for Geology Department field trips.

Activities and Societies: Dean's Honor List 1995-1996, 1996-1997, Served on Planning Committee for 1996 Lenape/Delaware Pow Wow and Lenapehoking Festival on Sandy Hook New Jersey, Member of American Museum of Natural History Member Archaeological Society of New Jersey Member Little Bighorn Associates

The City University of New York- College of Staten Island

Liberal Arts


Activities and Societies: Worked at WSIA-88.9FM campus radio station as on-air news and weather reporter

Lew Hastings' Additional Information


Being the best Husband and Father I can be, Broadcasting, Management Executive training, Business development, Public Relations/Promotion/Marketing, Native American and First Nations history and education, Politics, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Native American Studies, Archaeology, Historical research and ethnography, Archaeological fieldwork, promotion of natural resource conservation, playing/writing/recording music, fishing, hiking, boating, reading, traveling America.

Groups and Associations:

Founder-Native Now Foundation, International Board Member Okiciyapi Tipi Housing Partnerships-Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, Professional Member National Broadcasting Society, Board Member Lemon Bay Conservancy, Member Public Relations Society of America, Member Archaeological Society of New Jersey, Member Archaeological Institute of America, Member International Game Fish Association, Associate Member of the American Museum of Natural History, National Membership in The Library of Congress, NAUI Certified SCUBA Diver

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