Business Acquisitions, Expansions in Southwest Florida

Plus: A national NPR reporter comes to WGCU, Chico's is named a top company for female executives.

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

Nor-Tech 340 Sport shown at the Westin Resort in Cape Coral

Friday, March 15


Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats is stepping up its staff and production in its new manufacturing headquarters in Cape Coral. The custom boat builder expects the $2 million, 55,000-square-foot facility to increase production by 30 percent.

The Cape Coral expansion doubles the company’s total 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Lee County, which includes 45,000 square feet in North Fort Myers. Nor-Tech has partnered with Cape Coral Technical College to train skilled staff.

Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats established its roots in Cape Coral in 1991, founded by Norwegians Trond Schou and Nils Johnsen.

Thursday, March 14


Land Solutions has established LSI Companies to operate as the umbrella organization serving the company’s homebuilder, developer, landowner and investment clients.

LSI Cos. will function as the parent company for Land Solutions and Development Solutions, as well as the company’s newly established commercial property division, LSI Commercial, which focuses on the acquisition and disposition of commercial properties and land suitable for commercial development.

Justin Thibaut, who has previously served as director of sales at Land Solutions, has been appointed chief operating officer for LSI Cos., overseeing the daily operations of all three subsidiaries. Randy Thibaut will continue to serve as chief executive officer of LSI Cos.

Guadalupe Roastery partners in Nicaragua

Wednesday, March 13


Guadalupe Roastery, an Immokalee coffee-roasting cooperative that helps impoverished communities, was acquired Saturday by Pittsburgh venture development firm BlackStripe Ventures.

BlackStripe Ventures will take over day-to-day operations; implement a strong marketing, sales and logistics strategy; and provide legal counsel; website services; and capital investment. The venture development team also will update the website and make online purchasing and checkouts easier. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The coffee roasting and import-cooperative startup was incorporated as Guadalupe Life in 2017 by Brad Fassbender and silent partner Tom Pinter. Fassbender was joined by Andrew Natali, who roasts the coffee and works as the chief business developer.

The deal will enable Fassbender to reduce prices by offering a tiered price structure based on the coffee’s country of origin. Under the deal, Pinter will become the chief operating officer and Natali will become president of day-to-day operations.

Tuesday, March 12


WGCU will host “An Evening with Mara Liasson” from 4-6 p.m. on March 29 at Hilton Naples. Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR’s award-winning news-magazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered

Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC— focusing on the White House and congress—and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway. 

Tickets are $75 per person. Valet, light hors d’oeuvres and one drink ticket is included. There will also be a cash bar. RSVP at (888) 809-9809 or
For questions about the event, call Jennifer Denike at (239) 590-2514.

Monday, March 11


Chico’s FAS, Inc. has been named one of the 2019 NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives in partnership with Working Mother.

The recognition acknowledges U.S. corporations where there is a strong focus on best practices that demonstrate effectiveness in moving women to senior ranks, including mentoring, sponsorship, involvement in employee-resource groups and leadership-development training. It also highlights company benefits, including flexibility, corporate culture, and CEO involvement in advancing women. The NAFE Top 70 Companies is featured in the April/May issue of Working Mother.

The executive team and board of directors at Chico’s FAS comprises 57 percent and 56 percent women, respectively. The company celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 with a yoga session for its associates, seven women-owned food trucks, a company video, social media messages and more.

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