Champions For Learning Helps Deliver Career Program

Plus: Lee County provides a permits report, Chico’s makes a sales move, big honors are bestowed, and Q1 earnings are released.



Nancy Stroud (left) and Mary Gibbs

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 4

Gibbs, Stroud Earn National Honor

The Village of Estero Community Development Director Mary Gibbs and land use attorney Nancy Stroud were inducted into the American Institute of Certified Planners, College of Fellows on April 22 in a ceremony in New Orleans. The award is based on “exemplary leadership, outstanding achievements, and distinguished contributions” to the planning profession throughout the careers of both Gibbs and Stroud. Only seven people in the state of Florida were selected for this award, including Gibbs and Stroud, and only 64 nationwide. The American Institute of Certified Planners is the American Planning Association’s professional institute and provides the only nationwide, independent verification of planners’ qualifications. Gibbs previously served as community development director for Lee County for 22 years prior to joining the staff at the Village of Estero in 2015. Stroud is a founding member of Lewis, Stroud & Deutsch, which focuses on land use law.

Thursday, May 3

Champions For Learning, The Florida Prepaid College Foundation Partner for Program

The Florida Prepaid College Foundation is partnering with Champions For Learning to pilot the In-Demand Career Scholars Program. By piloting this program, a model has been developed that can be easily replicated across the state. The program’s goal is to develop a trained workforce in targeted in-demand careers in Florida.  Four high school juniors will be selected who are interested in pursuing a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree (major or minor) with an entrepreneurship focus. The entrepreneurial focus will help students gain employability skills that cross all workforce careers such as customer service, communication, problem solving/troubleshooting, writing and computer skills. These students will be awarded a Florida Prepaid Two-Year Florida College Plan scholarship.  In addition, they will receive support from their advocate in weekly college and career preparation labs throughout their junior and senior year of high school, and continued support through college graduation and entry into the workforce.  The students selected to participate in the pilot will be announced prior to the end of the school year.

Wednesday, May 2

Lee Issues Nearly 6,000 Permits in April

During April, contractors pulled 143 permits to build single-family houses collectively valued at about $40.8 million in unincorporated Lee County. That compares with 151 permits issued in March and 96 issued in April 2017, according to the Lee County Department of Community Development. Also during April, 16 multi-family units valued at about $1.3 million were permitted, compared with six units in March 2018 and 12 units in April 2017. General commercial activity was valued at about $5.2 million for nine permits, compared to about $13.9 million in March and about $20.7 million in April 2017. Lee County Community Development issued 5,880 permits of all kinds in April.

Tuesday, May 1

Chico's to Sell on Amazon

Chico's brand apparel and accessories will soon be available to purchase on Amazon.comChico's FAS Inc. announces. Beginning in mid-May, shoppers will be able to find a select assortment of Chico's brand merchandise on Amazon, including the brand's core collections, no-iron shirts, select pants and jewelry. As the new business channel gains traction, additional Chico's merchandise will likely be made available, with the potential of adding White House Black Market and Soma products, the other Chico's FAS brands, in the future. All Chico's items purchased on Amazon will be eligible for Amazon Prime, free shipping, free returns and other benefits. Chico's FAS will maintain control of marketing, pricing and promotions for its products on Amazon. Given its early nature, this new sales channel is not expected to be material to Chico's FAS 2018 financial results.

Monday, April 30

Hansen Earns Lifetime Achievement Award

Priority Marketing President and Founder Teri Hansen has received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Southwest Florida Chapter. The FPRA Southwest Florida leadership team selected Hansen based on her accomplishments within the public relations industry, her ongoing mentorship of public relations professionals and her long-standing support of the chapter. Only four other Southwest Florida Chapter members have been honored with the award during the organization’s 33-year history. Hansen founded Priority Marketing, the region’s largest full-service marketing, public relations and digital marketing agency, in 1992 as a home-based business. Her contributions to the profession have earned her more than 150 local, state and international honors and awards, and her company is continually recognized as the region’s top-ranked agency. Hansen played a pivotal role in founding the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA and served as president four years after the chapter was established. She is also a member of FPRA’s Counselor’s Network and has served the organization at the state and local levels.

Publicly Traded Companies

NeoGenomics Income, Revenue up in Q1

Fort Myers-based NeoGenomics Inc. reported a first-quarter net income of $0.6 million compared with a net loss of $1.2 million in the prior year’s first quarter. Consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2018 was $63.4 million, an increase of 10.4 percent over the same period in 2017.

Beasley Broadcast Group to Release Q1 Results Monday

Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. will report its 2018 first quarter financial results before the market opens on Monday, May 7. The company will host a conference call and webcast at 10:30 a.m. that morning to review the results. To access the conference call, interested parties may dial (719) 325-4745, conference ID 7239783 (domestic and international callers). Participants can also listen to a live webcast of the call at www.bbgi.com. Participators should allow 15 minutes to register and download and install any necessary software. Following its completion, a replay of the webcast can be accessed for five days on the company’s website. Questions from analysts, institutional investors and debt holders may be e-mailed to ir@bbgi.com at any time up until 9:30 a.m. on May 7. Management will answer as many questions as possible during the conference call and webcast.

Chico's Declares Cash Dividend

Chico's FAS Inc. board of directors have declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.085 per share of its common stock, a 3 percent increase over the dividend rate from June 2017. The dividend is payable on July 2 to Chico's FAS shareholders of record at the close of business on June 18.

In other news...

Dr. Allen Weiss, president and CEO of NCH Healthcare System; and Gail Markham, stockholder and president of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., are our 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winners. Learn more about them and their lengthy list of accomplishments here.

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