The Lee County Board of County Commissioners has selected Tony Lapi as the recipient of the Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award for 2012. The announcement came at the board's Feb. 19 meeting.
Lapi has served on several committees for "Visit Florida" and most recently served as chair of the organization's executive committee from June 2011 to June 2012. He is also a current ex-officio board member of the Lee County Tourist Development Council. His business leadership has earned him the Horizon Council Award, Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the year Award, a Flagler Award, and the Gordon Schopfer Lifetime Achievement Award.
This dedicated community leader enthusiastically donates his time and leadership serving on boards of the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce, Sanibel Community Association, United Way of Lee County, Charitable Foundation of the Islands, Florida Gulf Coast University Hospitality School, and Captiva Civic Association. He is a United Way Alexis De Tocqueville Society Member and has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for his community service.
Lapi is known as a hard working leader with a keen sense of humor and entrepreneurial spirit who gives generously to those in need. An outstanding role model and business leader, Lapi is duly recognized by the Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida as an outstanding Laureate for the 2011 Business Hall of Fame, Lee County.
The board also acknowledged runners-up David Dutrieux (Fort Myers) and Susan Moore (Fort Myers).
The Burton Citizen of the Year award was created in 1991 in honor of Mrs. Burton, who died tragically in an automobile accident. Mrs. Burton, a long time Sanibel resident and government watchdog, spent many years serving as a voice of the people to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners as well as playing an active role in Sanibel politics.