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was named in honor of Chuck Berger, who died in 2008. The tree’s colorful accent is an homage to his penchant for sporting brightly hued socks, a sartorial trademark his wife helped to originate. Berger met her husband when she was working for Neiman Marcus, and she attributes a great deal of what she has known and applied in a philanthropic capacity to her early days at the apex of fine retail during that industry’s golden age. Details and relationships matter. Berger notes that, at Neiman Marcus, there was always room for new ideas, and developing leadership was encouraged. Regardless of position or responsibility, each staff member was kept apprised of meaningful updates, and there were opportunities to be exposed to charity and high style. Throughout her life, Berger has sought to extend charitable opportunities to young organizations. The Bergers, both individually and collectively, have supported Artis—Naples, the Shelter for Abused Women & Children, the Community Foundation of Collier County, and the United Arts Council of Collier County, among others. Currently, Berger is especially enthusiastic to be aiding the growth of the Gulfshore Playhouse. Just as the next generation of charities is worthy of encouragement, so are up-andcoming donors and volunteers. Recognizing the challenges these budding philanthropists face, busy with careers and family obligations, Berger is hopeful that leadership will continue finding ways to “create real, sustaining involvement for younger supporters, over and above one-time events, based on genuine interest in the cause.” With many local groups and ideas still in their infancy, Naples presents numerous prospects for action. Berger is a proponent of the chance “to get in on the ground floor and do something really interesting,” she says, adding that “passion is what it’s all about.” For her part, Berger’s zeal for giving back has significantly impacted the local community. Her philanthropic spirit—and commitment to getting the job done—has not only brought purpose to her time here in Naples, but it has resulted in enduring projects that will ripple throughout the area for years to come. «

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