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Dence named Al Mills Citizen of the Year

February 10, 2015
Special to The Eagle ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce has again presented the Al Mills Award to an individual for her outstanding dedication to the community, residents and businesses of the Greater Pine Island/Matlacha area.

On Jan. 26, the GPICC presented the 2015 Al Mills Citizen of the Year Award to a Matlacha business person who has dedicated her time and energy to making Pine Island/Matlacha a better place for all who live and work here and even those who visit are area. Lisa Dence, manager of the Olde Fish House Marina, was this year's recipient .

Dence was recognized for her years of community service working with other local organizations like the Matlacha Hookers, Pine Island Little League and Wounded Warriors of America and more. She has also donated restaurant property for local events.

Article Photos

Capt. Richard Dobson, left, from the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, and Lisa Dence, right, manager of the Olde Fish House Marina, with Jennifer Jennings, chamber executive director.

Photo provided

Her generosity to the community does not stop here - she also offers free dinners on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She has held fund-raisers and collected money for local residents in need of help to pay for medical and other expenses.

She participates and supports other local events such as Taste of Pine Island as a vendor to help promote our island and island businesses. This year she sponsored her grandsons' classroom at Pine Island Elementary.

Elizabeth Martin of Modern Woodmen present Dence with this year's Al Mills Citizen of the Year Award. Dence said she was pleased and honored to accept the award on behalf of herself and hard-working staff and family. For without their help, she said she wouldn't be able to do what she does for her community. She said she will continue to help where she can and encourage others to pitch in when then can. It does make a difference.

A second award was presented to Capt. Richard Dobson from the Lee County Sheriff's Department, who was named this year's Deputy of the Year. For over a year Capt. Dobson has worked determinedly to ensure that the new chamber building came to fruition - between meetings with contractors, phone calls, planning, county officials and assisting with the proper installation of the fire suppression and air conditioning system.

Capt. Dobson has always kept the chamber members and residents of the Pine Island/Matlacha area up to date on crime or lack of crime going on in the community. He gave friendly reminders to members to lock their cars and let the sheriff's office know when they were leaving town so deputies can do an area check. His dedication to the community is unwavering, officials said.

Capt. Dobson was born and raised in Miami, Fla., and started his law enforcement career in 1974 with the city of Miami Police Department. In 1981 he came to the Lee County Sheriff's Office to work full-time. Since that time Capt. Dobson has held numerous positions within the agency as he rose through the ranks to include road patrol, K-9, major crimes, major crimes sergeant, internal affairs lieutenant, major crimes lieutenant, district lieutenant, North District captain and currently the captain of Gulf District. Capt. Dobson said he loves his job and the communities of Pine Island/Matlacha for which he serves.

He said he hopes to continue working with the communities of Pine Island/Matlacha and the businesses and residents who live and work here.

The Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce has a business card exchange every third Thursday of the month and a business breakfast the second Tuesday of the month. For times and local, contact Jennifer Jennings, Director of the Chamber. 239-283-0888 or email at



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