Arthrex Founder Earns Honorary Doctorate from FGCU

Plus: a market summit approaches, Collier tourism is up, big tax refunds are distributed, construction employment rises, and Q1 earnings are reported.



Reinhold Schmieding earned FGCU’s highest academic recognition.

James Greco/FGCU

Need to catch up on business news in Southwest Florida? No problem. Here are the top stories of the week pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily

Friday, May 11

Arthrex Founder Earns Honorary Doctorate from FGCU

Arthrex Inc. President and Founder Reinhold Schmieding received an honorary doctoral degree May 6 at Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) spring commencement as acknowledgment of his achievements in the healthcare product industry, the company’s regional and global economic impact and its support of FGCU programs, students and alumni. The honorary doctorate is FGCU’s highest academic recognition, and it has been awarded to seven other distinguished individuals since 1997. Born into a family of physicians, Schmieding has led the development and marketing of more than 12,000 surgical orthopedic products and techniques and overseen more than 1,100 patents and patents pending that have enhanced quality of life for countless people around the world. Established in 1981 and headquartered in Naples since 1991, Arthrex started with two employees and rapidly grew into a worldwide leader in sports medicine, arthroscopic surgery and orthopedic surgical implant and device design and manufacturing. It now employs 3,000-plus in corporate and manufacturing operations, and 1,000 in worldwide subsidiaries across 13 countries. The company employs more than 20 FGCU bioengineering graduates and supports the university’s outreach to the next generation of scholars in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by sponsoring annual programs such as the FGCU Coding Academy for elementary, middle and high school students.

Thursday, May 10

MDASF Membership, Marketing Summit Scheduled

The statewide 2018 Florida Membership & Marketing Summit hosted by the Membership Directors Association of Southwest Florida (MDASF) is scheduled for May 17 at the Quail West Country Club. Guests can expect club keynote speakers from around the country, marketing expert panels and networking opportunities. The event qualifies as a CMAA Club Management Institute (CMI) session and CMAA members receive six education credits for this full day of education. For additional information, visit MDASF.com.

Wednesday, May 9

Collier Tourism up in Q1

For the first quarter of 2018, from January to March, Collier County area visitation was up 2.1 percent and economic impact was up 5.9 percent over the same peak-season period in 2016, according to a report by the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. Overall visitation in 2017 was down only 1.1 percent over the previous year, despite two months of low visitation in September and October after Hurricane Irma. Direct visitor spending of $1.37 billion and overall economic impact from tourism of $2.05 billion were both up 3.4 percent in 2017. For more information, visit www.ParadiseCoast.com.

Tuesday, May 8

United Way VITA Program Brings $6.5 Million in Tax Refunds

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee provided tax preparation services to nearly 4,800 low-to-moderate income households completely free of charge in Lee, Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee, and Charlotte Counties for the 2017 tax year. Refunds to those using the free service totaled approximately $6.5 million, a 15 percent increase over last year. United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a free tax filing service that helps provide financial stability to working individuals and families making $66,000 or less. This year, 170 volunteers were trained and certified in partnership with the IRS this year and served at United Way Houses and various locations during the tax season. Appointments are still available to file a 2017 return at the Estero-San Carlos, LaBelle, and Lehigh United Way Houses. Those who prefer to file on their own can do so free of charge at MyFreeTaxes.com. The United Way will be recruiting volunteers to serve as tax preparers, greeters, and interpreters for the 2018 tax year over the next few months. Volunteers will complete free classroom and online tax preparation training and certification using the TaxSlayer software. To join, click here.

Monday, May 7

Report: Construction Employment up for April, Year

Construction employment increased by 17,000 jobs in April and 257,000 jobs (or 3.7 percent) over the past year, while firms boosted pay to help recruit new workers, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Construction employment totaled 7.17 million in April and is at the highest level since June 2008. Hourly earnings in the industry averaged $29.63 in April, an increase of 3.5 percent from a year earlier. Association officials noted that the increases in pay appear to be attracting more former construction workers back into the job market, but cautioned that labor conditions remain extremely tight.

Publicly Traded Companies

BBGI Posts Q1 Loss

Naples-based Beasley Broadcast Group (BBGI) posted a first-quarter net loss of $3.2 million, compared with a $7.5 million profit in the same period last year. The net loss reflects the lower operating income during the period and a $0.8 million year-over-year increase in income taxes, as the company recorded a $0.4 million tax benefit in the year-ago first quarter, which partially offset a $1.2 million year-over-year reduction in interest expense in the 2018 first quarter, according to a news release. Net revenue increased to $55.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, from $53.7 million in Q1 2017. 

Herc Posts Q1 Loss, Revenue Gain

Bonita Springs-based Herc Holdings Inc. reported a first-quarter net loss of $10.1 million, a change of  $29.1 million from its net loss of $39.2 million in the same quarter last year. First-quarter revenue was $431.3 million, up from $389.4 million for the same period last year. Equipment rental revenue in the first quarter of 2018 increased 15.1 percent, or $48.5 million, to $369.1 million compared with $320.6 million in the prior-year quarter.

Hertz Reports Q1 Loss

Estero-based Hertz Global Holding posted a first-quarter net loss of $202 million, compared with a loss of $223 million during the same period last year. Total revenue for Q1 was 2.1 billion, an 8 percent increase over Q1 2017.

In other news...

The craft beer scene is growing in Southwest Florida. Read more about it here

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