Gulfshore Business Daily: February 1

Southwest Florida Community Foundation names a new CFO, The Gold Center expands in Naples, Lee Health launches an initiative to treat opioid addiction and more.



SWFL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION APPOINTS CFO

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation has promoted Luis Leon to chief financial officer. Leon joined the foundation as accountant in 2012, was named controller in 2014, and director of finance in 2017.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Leon was employed at Target in Fort Myers. He was part of the executive team leader management program, where his primary focus areas were logistics, replenishment, presentation and team management. Leon earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2012 and a master’s degree in accounting from Florida Atlantic University in 2018.

He is a member of Stellar Technologies’ Client Advisory Board, where he is involved in strategic discussions and beta testing databases to enhance the operations of community foundations. Leon also volunteers with the Sigma Phi Epsilon Florida Omicron chapter at Florida Gulf Coast University.

THE GOLD CENTER EXPANDS IN NAPLES

The Gold Center Inc. is opening a new location in Naples. Reconstruction of a former bank at 2400 Tamiami Trail N., Suite 101, is nearly complete, and The Gold Center is now open for business. A formal grand opening event is set for Feb. 12.

The Gold Center Inc. has been an authorized purchaser of United States Mint bullion coins since 1990 and has also specialized in precious metal refining, purchase and selling of precious metals and rare coins for more than 42 years. 

The Gold Center was formerly headquartered in Springfield, Illinois, before moving to Naples. A fully functioning satellite office with refining capabilities still operates in Springfield.

FORT MYERS CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING SET

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce will kick off Southwest Florida’s spring training season with a baseball-focused general membership meeting from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Twins Player Development Academy at CenturyLink Sports Complex.

The program will highlight how Southwest Florida’s favorite spring training teams gear up for the season, the draw of Lee County’s first-rate baseball facilities, and what’s in store for fans during this year’s spring training games, which begin late February.

The panelist lineup includes Sam Kennedy, president and CEO, and Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, for the Boston Red Sox, along with Dave St. Peter, president and CEO, and Thad Levine, senior vice president and general manager, for the Minnesota Twins. The panel discussion will be moderated by Jeff Mielke, executive director of Lee County Sports Development.

Admission is $35 for prepaid chamber members and $45 for future members and those who pay at the door. To learn more or to register for the event, visit FortMyers.org

LEE HEALTH LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO TREAT OPIOID ADDICTION

Lee Health is announcing a pilot program to treat opioid addiction and address the opioid crisis in Southwest Florida. The initiative includes implementing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for patients with endocarditis, a potential deadly heart infection. 

The opioid crisis has induced a marked increase in endocarditis patients, a heart valve infection that often stems from intravenous drug use and results in multiple surgeries and hospitalizations, a press release states. MAT is an evidence-based treatment that uses medication to block the effects of opioids and helps users effectively maintain sobriety and recovery.

MAT works by activating opioid receptors in the brain to provide relief from withdrawals and cravings without providing the euphoria that comes from using opioids. To make the program possible, hospitalists and emergency department doctors have applied for and received waivers to administer and prescribe buprenorphine, an opioid-like medication used to treat opioid addiction. 

To date, a handful of patients have been entered into the pilot program.

CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER OF SWFL CEO TO RETIRE

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida’s (CAC) Jill Turner, founder and CEO since 1981, will retire effective March 1. At that time Julie Boudreaux, formerly program manager with Lee County Human & Veteran Services, will be the agency’s new CEO; she joined CAC in early December to facilitate the transition.

Turner spent nearly 40 years of continuous service with the agency, whose mission is to assess and treat children who have been physically or sexually abused and neglected. Boudreaux, the new CEO, has lived and worked in Lee County for more than 26 years, holding management and leadership positions in the social services field her entire career. For more information, visit www.cac-swfl.org.

ENTECH HIRES TWO

Entech has hired two new system engineers to its Fort Myers team. Chris Ellison and Evan Coller will be responsible for working with clients on reactive tickets, new client onboardings, information technology (IT) projects and IT security testing and remediation.

Ellison holds a degree in computer support and networking from Athens Technical College. Prior to joining Entech, Ellison worked as a support engineer in Duluth, Georgia.

Coller graduated from South Hill School of Business and Technology with a degree in IT. Throughout his career, Coller worked in technical support roles and as an IT manager in Naples.

WOODWARD TO BE HONORED AT MARCO ISLAND GALA

Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. Partner Craig Woodward will be honored at the Marco Island Historical Society’s (MIHS) 25th Anniversary Gala. The invitation-only gala, themed “Dreams Do Come True,” will be held Feb. 9 at the Island Country Club on Marco Island.

Woodward, who leads the law firm’s Marco Island office, has been a Marco Island resident for more than 50 years. He has served as president and exhibit chairman of the Marco Island Historical Society/Museum and was on its various committees.

He and his wife, Bonnie, collectively raised $1.2 million to help build the museum as part of a fundraiser called “Dancing with the Stars.” Woodward has been named Marco Island Citizen of the Year and featured as a keynote speaker and sponsor of Marco Island’s 50th anniversary in 2015. He has been a board member of multiple local civic organizations and is known as Marco Island’s unofficial historian, a press release states.

CHARITABLE NOTES

Southwest Florida Community Foundation grants $596,923 to nonprofits

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation has awarded $596,923 to both established and new programs that are designed to increase the quality of life in sustainable and equitable ways for Southwest Floridians. Twenty-one local nonprofits were granted money from the community foundation’s available Field of Interest funds, as well as individual and corporate donations resulting from foundation’s Compassionate Shark Tank audience.

The nonprofits include American National Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, CAIR, Calusa Waterkeeper, Cape Coral Animal Shelter, Catholic Charities Diocese, Christian Medical Ministries, CROW, Family Health Centers of SWFL, Feeding Children Everywhere, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Department of Health – Charlotte, Glades Education Foundation, Gulf Coast Symphony, Home Base, LARC Inc., Naples Senior Center at JFCS, New Horizons of SWFL, Shelter for Abused Women Naples, and Shipley Cardiothoracic Center.

To review the details of the grants, click here.

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