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El-Gendy is new honorary mayor

By Staff | Mar 29, 2012

Lehigh Acres has a new honorary mayor who earned the title by raising $164 more than his closest contestant in the competition. The race for honorary mayor is based on who can raise the most money by selling votes.

Ahmed El-Gendy, a technologist in his father’s Florida Lung & Sleep Associates, raised $2,680. This is the first year that the Honorary Mayor Contest was sponsored by the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce. For decades, it was sponsored as a fundraiser by Lehigh Community Services.

El-Gendy beat Marcie Deloreto, who came in second with $2,516. Coming in third was Julie Camp with $2,100 and in fourth place was Johnna Oaker with $1,629.20.

The announcement was made on the outside stage of the Lehigh Acres Spring Festival on Friday night, March 23 with several hundred people looking on.

Before the announcement, El-Gendy was asked how much he had raised and he said he didn’t know because he just turned it into the Chamber where the amounts raised by each candidate was kept a secret until Friday night.

“I didn’t keep track,” he said.

George Bright, executive director of the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce, was handed a brown enveloped, just like at the Oscar awards on TV.

“Our new honorary mayor is Ahmed El-Gendy. Congratulations.” Bright said with a wide smile.

In the contest that has been held for three decades, the runner-up becomes the deputy mayor. That would mean Marcie Deloreto would take over for El-Gendy if he were to vacate the position. The second runner-up was Julie Camp who would become the honorary deputy clerk.

A total of $8,925.20 was raised by the four candidates. Half of that – $446,10 – goes to the Chamber. The other half goes to the different candidates’ favorite charities.

New Honorary Mayor El-Gendy said the other half of what he raised goes to the Chest Institute and will help Lehigh residents financially who need medical assistance.

El-Gendy’s father, Dr. Alaa El-Gendy ran twice for the position in years past, but was never the number one fundraiser.

The younger El-Gendy plays an important role in the family business which is located on Lee Blvd. next to the Lehigh Walmart.

He is the clinical research coordinator and supervises and manages sleep technicians. He continues to attend conferences for continuing education in the lung and sleep field.

This is not the first time that El-Gendy has been honored. He was chosen last September by the Chamber of Commerce as Employee of the Month.

He has a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Florida Gulf Coast University and an associate in arts degree, also in business administration, from Edison Community College. He was founding treasurer of the Muslim Student Association at FGCU, a committee chairman for the Chamber, a director of Lehigh Community Services and an elected council person on the Community Council of Lehigh Acres. He also has served as a director of the Rotary Club of Lehigh Aches and was chairman of the club’s Interact Committee. He also is a graduate of Leadership Lehigh in the Class of 2009.

Lehigh Acres is not an incorporated town so it has no formal mayor and council.

The title of honorary mayor gives El-Gendy the authority to represent the community at ceremonial affairs such as town gatherings, store openings and ribbon cuttings.

Professionally, he is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Association of Sleep Technologists. He is believed to be the first honorary mayor who can speak two languages. He is fluent in both English and Arabic. El-Gendy is a respected member of the Lehigh community. Friends say he is warm and friendly and will be an outstanding honorary mayor.