Meg Stepanian Steps Into

The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District
Executive Director Role

The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District (BID) is pleased to announce that Meg Stepanian has been named the new Executive Director of the Fifth Avenue South BID. A highly experienced marketing and communications professional with decades of experience in the hospitality and broadcast media industries, Meg most recently served as director of membership and marketing for the Estero Country Club where her leadership contributions improved the value of the brand and experience offered to its members. Known for blending analytical and creative disciplines, Meg will add significant depth to the BID’s marketing, public relations, and events initiatives, according to Chris Shucart, President of the BID Board of Directors.

“I enjoy creating strategies that grow revenues and improve the success of organizations, and I look forward to putting my years of experience to work for the BID. I’m very excited to be a part of one of the most iconic brands in the nation and internationally,” says Meg.

Previously, Meg was also head of marketing for The Venice Golf and Country Club. Prior to that, she owned her own communications company, where she managed branding, advertising, and media relations efforts for dozens of clients for more than 13 years. Her work was recognized nationally for her creativity. Earlier in her career, she was an account executive for a CBS affiliate in Syracuse, NY, receiving national recognition for her ability to leverage co-op dollars that catapulted sales efforts for her clients. Additional career highlights include a decade of work driving the profitability for 1600 restaurants belonging to a national brand.

“After an extensive search, we are so pleased to have Meg on board and to have found someone whose vast experience mirrors the role and responsibilities required of the BID’s executive director. She will be critical in helping our Board and our members prepare for the centennial of our great city and guide us as we continue to elevate the Fifth Avenue South brand we all know and love,” says Shucart.


Fifth Avenue South's
Silver Eagle Gallery Soars

as a Family Affair

While one doesn’t immediately think Native American jewelry when shopping in Naples, since 1996 the Silver Eagle Gallery has been one of the most popular shopping destinations on Fifth Avenue South and one with a very rich history.

In 1974, in the little town of Baraboo, Wisconsin, the owners of a fledgling plant and macramé shop decided to pursue their interest in Native American culture and featured a few pieces of Native American jewelry, acquired by a relative on his travels out West.

Above: Nelson Family

Owners Craig and Deborah Nelson had a long-time, deep connection to Native American art, culture, history, and spirituality, so featuring these precious works of art in their shop seemed only natural. Well, it took off from there, and in no time, they moved their business to main street at the slightly larger town of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, first settled by members of the Potawatomi and Winnebago tribes. The couple began making multiple trips out West and more importantly, making connections with representatives of the Navajo, Zuni, Santo Domingo, and Hopi tribes, among others.

The business grew over the years, and the Nelsons began exploring the idea of opening another store but this time in sunnier climes. Deborah’s father lived in Naples, as well as other relatives, so in 1996, they decided to locate on Fifth Avenue South. Deborah ran the Naples store, while Craig stayed behind to manage the Wisconsin operation. Ultimately, due to the success of the Fifth Avenue South store, the Nelsons sold the Wisconsin store and in 2001 opened another Silver Eagle Gallery in Highlands, N.C. Today, the couple’s son Ben, a fine arts major with a focus on glass blowing, silversmithing and ceramics, is the Highlands’ gallery manager and his wife Mia from Bulgaria is also involved in the family business.

“Silver Eagle Gallery is dedicated to presenting an authentic American art form,” says daughter Heather Nelson Neils, an advertising major and photographer who spent 10 years in New York City and Miami in the fashion industry. Heather joined the family business in 2011 as the Naples' gallery manager and head of its website sales division. She says, “The rugged spirit of Native Americans is part of our cultural history. Turquoise jewelry is ageless…timeless. Through the years, Native Americans have experimented with even greater variations in design. The fine craftsmanship of their jewelry is recognized worldwide.”

In addition to Native American jewelry, the gallery also carries contemporary sterling silver jewelry from top non-Native Americans, as well as beautiful crystals, gems, minerals, and teakwood sculpture from around the world.

“We handpick everything, inspect and authenticate it,” says Deborah, “especially when it comes to our Native American art.”

"Our family has been honored to represent the work of more than 200 talented Native American artists and more than 20 tribes for almost 50 years and to do so in a way that avoids cliches and stereotypical thinking has been a joy and a privilege.”

The Silver Eagle Gallery is another survivor of Hurricane Ian. With more than 2 ½ feet of water damage, all the store’s furniture, walls, and floors were destroyed. A recent reopening had customers commenting “just awesome” on the store’s new look after renovations.

When asked about being on Fifth Avenue South, Heather responded “Fifth Avenue South is such a cool place to be with people coming here from all over the world. Our customers are great, and with the new stores and restaurants along Fifth Avenue South, there is so much energy. Fifth Avenue South is truly the place to be in Naples.”

While Craig and Deborah claim to be retiring, Heather thinks that will be a real challenge. “Dad has been the outside guy, who goes out West, and gets to make the selections, while Mom has been the insider handling the financial side of the business. They both love what they do,” says Heather with a smile.

With so many interests, it’s doubtful that either will be bored, if they do retire. Craig is a botanist by training, but he’s also a jewelry maker himself, who rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and fishes and gardens in his spare time. Deborah majored in fine arts and has always had a passion for music and art, when she’s not focusing on transcendental meditation, hypnosis, quantum physics, and spiritual counseling.

There is a Native American proverb that says, “Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.” One thing for sure: The Nelson family members have certainly listened to their hearts.

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Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Join us here on Fifth Avenue South for these upcoming events.

Miradas de Mujeres: Isabelle de Borchgrave and The World of Frida Kahlo

Now to June 11

Naples Art Institute Miradas de Mujeres: Isabelle de Borchgrave and The World of Frida Kahlo presents a collection of paper dresses and built environments by renowned Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave, which was inspired by the style and life of the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. This exhibition honors a conversation between two women who have never met, but who nevertheless shared the same love of fabric, patterns, and colors.

learn more

Barefoot in the Park

Now to April 16

Gulfshore Playhouse One of the longest-running plays in Broadway history turned into an iconic film starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, Barefoot in the Park has the perfect recipe for laughter.

buy tickets

Taking Chances An Evening of One-Act Plays

April 23 | 7:30 p.m.

The Naples Players Five different plays presented without the distraction of sets, costumes, or lighting to celebrate the power of the written word.

buy tickets

Free Movie Night in the Park - Turning Red

April 14 | 8:00 p.m.

The City of Naples Parks Dept. will be hosting a free movie night at the Cambier Park Bandshell, 755 8th Avenue South. Bring your own chair or blanket and park your vehicle in the City’s free garages on either side of Fifth Avenue South.

learn more

Evenings on Fifth

April 13 | 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

An array of live musical performances up and down the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue South, plus dining, shopping, and more.

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Fifth Avenue South Business' Updates

Journeys 360 Travel

Oceania Cruise Limited Offer
Book an Oceania Cruise and get all 3 for Free: Shore Excursions, Beverage Package and Shipboard Credit, a value of $2,154 per person. Book by April 30, 2023. Contact Journeys 360 travel team to find out more details. Certain restrictions apply.

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Call Of Africa's Native Visions Galleries

Vibrant Glass Artworks by Peter Kuchler III
Peter Kuchler III forms an artistic medium of liquid glass and represents contemporary art in the sculptural field. He was born in Wiener Neustadt in Austria in 1991. As an emerging artist he grew up in a glass dynasty and represents the third generation of glass artists.

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Ocean Prime

Easter Brunch in Full Bloom
Join us for Easter to enjoy our special brunch menu beginning at 11:00 a.m., with dinner menu available at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 9.

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Start or End Your Night at Truluck's
Sit, sip, and savor our favorite affordable options to fill you up after a long day, and experience our most popular cocktails and shareable bites by our delightful bar.

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In The News

The Naples Players Breaking Ground April 2 On $20 Million Renovation

The Naples Players (TNP) are hosting a groundbreaking event for the public from 5:00- 6:30 PM on April 2 at 701 Fifth Avenue South. Just ahead of a $20 million renovation set to begin on Monday, April...

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Oldest House In Naples – Historic Palm Cottage Celebrates Grand Re-Opening April 4

The public is invited to join Naples Historical Society’s staff, members and volunteers in celebrating the long-awaited re-opening of Historic Palm Cottage™, the oldest house in Naples. We will be open for self-guided tours with knowledgeable docents on hand to answer...

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Emillions Art To Host “Expressions Of The Spirit” Exhibition With Emerging Master Dario Campanile Through April 14

Emillions Art, a Naples-based art gallery and consultancy representing artists and collectors worldwide, will host a special “Expressions of the Spirit” exhibition March 17 through April 12 featuring the work of Emerging Master Dario Campanile. “Well known to Naples, Dario Campanile is...

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Dine on Fifth

Join us here on Fifth Avenue South for a great meal.

See All Restaurants on 5th


Shop on Fifth

Shop a variety of stores here on Fifth Avenue South.

See All Shops on 5th


Play on Fifth

Join us here on Fifth Avenue South for some fun.

See All the Ways to Play on 5th


Concierge Services on Fifth

Many concierge services are offered right here on Fifth Avenue South.

See All Services on 5th


Fifth Avenue South | The Crown Jewel of Naples

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649 Fifth Avenue South I Naples, Florida 34102

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