Rebekah Barney Among Featured Authors in "Slaying Southwest Florida: Stories of Powerful Women Leaving their Mark"

Alzada Company founder and owner, Rebekah Barney, is among the featured authors in the recently released “Slaying Southwest Florida: Stories of Powerful Women Leaving their Mark,” a collection of personal essays curated by Leigh M. Clark.

Released in October 2023 with a special book launch party at the Alliance of the Arts in Fort Myers, this book features inspiring stories of strength and resilience from 25 SWFL women, including Alzada Company president Rebekah Barney.

You can read an excerpt of Rebekah’s essay, “Finding My Light,” below –

“As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve learned that it’s simply impossible to be perfect, to know it all, to have everything figured out, and so I’ve grown more comfortable pushing myself into the spotlight (whether literal or metaphorical) because I’ve grown more comfortable with myself – my goofy, imperfect, always learning, always growing self.

One of the best pieces of professional (and personal) advice I’ve ever received is – “Never quit on a bad day.” The shadows of stress and strife and sabotage and setbacks will always fall across your path, and there will always be more dark clouds gathering on the horizon, but that’s life, and I’ve discovered that, when I live and love and work with good intentions, when I stop trying to control all those things and people beyond my control, usually, the light I’m looking for finds me!”

Order your copy of “Slaying Southwest Florida: Stories of Powerful Women Leaving their Mark” from Amazon (also available on Kindle) or Barnes & Noble.

Alzada president Rebekah Barney among 2023 Gulfshore Business 'Women in Business' honorees

The Alzada Company is proud to announce that Rebekah Barney, Alzada founder and president, is among this year’s honorees for Gulfshore Business magazine’s “10 Most Remarkable Business Women” making their mark in Southwest Florida.

Read Online at

This year’s remarkable honorees are

Deanna Wallin, founder and CEO of Naples Soap Co.
Joyce Owens, founder and principal architect of Architecture Joyce Owens
Julie Koester, co-founder of Veedor Holdings LLC
Michelle Avola-Brown, executive director of Naples Pathway Coalition
Missy Lamont, health care director at Naples Children & Education Foundation
Noemi Y. Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation
Rebekah Barney, owner and president of Alzada Co.
Samira Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare
Sheryl Soukup, president of Soukup Strategic Solutions
Sylvia Dorisme, founder of Zeal Technical Institute

All 10 honorees will be recognized in the May 2023 issue of Gulfshore Business magazine and celebrated with Gulfshore Business’ second annual Women in Business awards on May 15 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida.


The Alzada Company is pleased to announce that Alzada Owner & President Rebekah Barney has joined the Hodges University Board of Trustees.

After attending her first official meeting in November 2022, beginning her three-year term, Barney says she’s excited for what’s to come.

“I was honored and humbled to be recommended for the Hodges Board of Trustees, and I’m so grateful for the warm reception,” Barney said. “I’m looking forward to serving alongside my esteemed fellow board members, all of whom are so accomplished and active in our Southwest Florida community – of which Hodges University is an essential educational component – and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”

Barney also serves on several other Southwest Florida boards and committees, including the Lee County Pace Center for Girls and the Hope Hospice Shine Committee, and is co-chair of the 2022-23 SWFL American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign committee.

ABOUT HODGES UNIVERSITY | Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Hodges University is a private university in Fort Myers, Fla., offering 11 associate degree programs, 14 bachelor's degree programs and six master's degree programs, as well as several certificate programs and a comprehensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

Hodges University is home to the Terry P. McMahan Library, which since 2003 has participated in the Federal Depository Library Program, making it one of only two federal depository libraries in Southwest Florida.

Visit the Hodges University website to learn more.


It is with great sadness we share the news that Alzada Cross, the namesake of the Alzada Company and beloved grandmother of company founder Rebekah Barney, passed away earlier this week at the age of 96. She will be deeply missed and forever loved and admired by countless family and friends.

Here, we share an abbreviated version of her obituary, a brief glimpse at her extraordinarily wonderful life.


Alzada Cross

Alzada Estes Weaver Cross, age 96, passed away in the early hours of Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, surrounded by her loving family in the small Swansea home she lived in for more than six decades.

A 14th-generation descendant of Mayflower passenger Francis Cooke and named for her maternal grandmother, Alzada Estes Gifford, she was born to Susan Gifford and Louis Weaver on Oct. 19, 1926 in Fall River, Mass.

Alzada graduated from Durfee High School in 1944, and met the love of her life, Irving Cecil Cross – also known as “Mr. Wonderful” – while working behind the soda counter of a Fall River corner store in 1949. They were married on Feb. 17, 1950 in Fall River, and raised six children in their Swansea home, sharing a joyful, loving marriage and family life for 58 years. Irving passed away on Father’s Day in 2008.

Alzada enjoyed a long, rich life filled with friendship, square dancing, camping, crosswords and card playing – but, most of all, she cherished time with her loving husband and adoring children.

Alzada is survived by six children – Steven, Deborah, Pamela, David, Brian, and Dana; ten grandchildren – Jessica, Rebekah, Alexandra, Sarah, Cody, Allan, Benjamin, Brian, Dylan and Kayla; and seven great-grandchildren – Meriem, Leila, Luke, Noah, Madeline, Rylee and Juliette.

May we all be forever grateful for Alzada’s abiding love and legacy, and may our future generations be influenced by her exemplary life.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Alzada’s memory with a simple act of kindness.


Alzada Company owner and president, Rebekah Barney, is featured in the August 2022 Futuremakers Issue of Gulfshore Life, Southwest Florida's premier lifestyle magazine.

Entitled "Urban Legend: Second-generation developer Rebekah Barney marks a new era in Fort Myers urbanization with The Irving," the profile by Stephanie Davis, which features photographs by Anna Nguyen, describes the vision and philosophy behind Rebekah's debut development, The Irving Downtown, a luxury rental community coming soon to the historic River District in Downtown Fort Myers, Florida.


Read more from Gulfshore Life's August 2022 Futuremakers Issue online at


The Alzada Company has officially introduced its director of marketing and communications, Jane Brickley Disla.

As marketing director, Disla is responsible for conceptualizing and creating all branding, marketing and communications for Alzada and its debut development, The Irving Downtown, a luxury mid-rise rental community coming soon to the historic River District of Downtown Fort Myers, Florida.

“I’ve worked with Jane for over five years on several developments, and I knew she was the ideal candidate for our marketing director,” said Alzada owner and president, Rebekah Barney. “Jane has an innate ability to creatively translate facts and figures into engaging branded content and collateral, always with originality and nuance, always with exceptional quality and style.”

With 15 years of professional writing and graphic design experience and more than a decade in branding, web design and marketing, Disla’s expertise encompasses a spectrum of traditional and new media, from newspapers and TV ads to the vast, varied and ever-changing digital landscape of web, social, search engine, mobile and email marketing.

After receiving a B.A. in English from Ohio State, Disla relocated to Southwest Florida and was hired into a weekly newspaper group on Sanibel and Captiva, where she quickly rose from staff reporter and layout artist to editor, and received a “Best Feature” award from the Florida Press Association (2010). In 2011 she began her branding and marketing career, and has since crafted content and strategy across many industries, including art galleries and artists, high-end boutiques, skincare and cosmetics, luxury salons and spas, Realtors®, and various Southwest Florida small business owners. 

Since 2017, when she first joined Barney’s team as a marketing coordinator, Disla’s focus has been real estate development, including a $90M luxury 55+ high-rise rental community and a $140M luxury high-rise two-tower condominium, both located on the Downtown Fort Myers waterfront.  

“Rebekah’s mentorship over the past five years has been a privilege for which I’m so grateful,” Disla said. “Her vision is innovative and her commitment to historic preservation and sustainable development is inspiring, and I’m honored and so proud to be a part of the company – and communities – she’s building from the ground up.”

Although Disla grew up in Central Ohio, she has been visiting family and vacationing in Southwest Florida her entire life, finally making the move to Fort Myers in 2007. She now resides in Cape Coral with her husband.


On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, the Pace Center for Girls, Lee County presented “A Day in the Life of a Pace Girl,” sponsored in part by Alzada Company president Rebekah Barney, who also serves as board secretary for Pace Lee and is co-chair for the Believing in Girls Society (BIGS).

The unique event began with faculty and staff giving attendees an overview of the Pace Center, its mission, and its services, which was followed by an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour led by members of the Pace Lee Girls Leadership Committee.

The Pace Center for Girls provides girls and young women with an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy, with the belief that each individual deserves an opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential, and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity, and grace.

To make a donation and to become a member of the Believing in Girls Society, go to the Pace Lee Website and click the red “DONATE” button; you can designate your donation for Lee County from the dropdown menu. Donations of $500 more will automatically make you a member of the Believing in Girls Society, but not amount is too small, as every cent will help make a difference in the lives of these girls.

Learn more by visiting the Pace Lee Website and connecting with Pace Lee on Facebook.


School might be out for summer, but the Fort Myers community is still coming together in support of its students.

In June, Studio+, an architectural and interior design firm headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, hosted a BBQ & School Supply Drive, to which The Alzada Company was happy to contribute!

Donations of notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, earphones, crayons, backpacks and calculators – just to name a few – will all go to benefit The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools Education Resource Center.


Alzada founder and president Rebekah Barney was named among this year’s “100 Women to KNOW Across America, an annual award recognizing the top 100 female leaders across the United States.

Presented by Morgan Auto Group, the 100 Women to KNOW Across America Award recognizes and showcases the most influential, achieved, and honorable women in our society, including entrepreneurs, executives, creatives, and philanthropists who exemplify what it means to be high-achieving and ambitious, and who continue to give back to their communities as they do so.

This year’s honorees were recognized with an award gala during the annual KNOW Women Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. May 15-17, 2022.

Read more and see all 100 honorees at the KNOW website or at Yahoo! Finance.


The Alzada Company was among the proud sponsors of Gulfshore Business’ 2022 Women in Business, held at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs on May 3, 2022.

Hosted by the wonderful Lois Thome of WINK News, this inaugural event celebrated 10 of Southwest Florida’s most accomplished and innovative businesswomen.

The 2022 Women in Business Honorees are ­– Ingrid Aielli (Aielli Group), Nancy Dauphinais (David Lawrence Centers), Marie Grasmeier (Grasmeier Business Consulting), Teri Hansen (Priority Marketing), Gerri Moll (Southwest Florida Bank of America), Karen Mosteller (Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company), Sarah Newcomb (The Wine Room), Connie Ramos-Williams (CONRIC pr + marketing), Robbie Roepstorff (Edison National Bank) and Jen Whyte (Fort Myers Brewing Company).

Congratulations to this year’s remarkable honorees! Read more about the honorees at Gulfshore Business.


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