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Gulfshore Business Daily: April 15

Lead Photo: Restoration Senior Living will begin accepting deposits in mid-April and welcoming residents in early June. Details below. Photo Credit: Restoration Senior Living of Naples



Neither Collier County nor the city of Naples extended mask mandates, which expired at midnight Wednesday. Mask mandates were adopted last year by both the city and county in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with an April 13 expiration date. The issue was not discussed Tuesday at the regular Collier commission meeting. “I agree with our governor,” Commissioner Rick LoCastro, former chief operating officer at Physicians Regional Medical Center in East Naples, said later. “Even as you look at other counties, those with mandates and those without show little difference.” Some local businesses still may require customers to wear masks.



Collier County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a staff recommendation to award a nearly $3 million invitation to bid and construction services agreement to Curran Young Construction of Bonita Springs for an East Naples Community Park welcome center. The more than 12,000-square-foot building will include additional restrooms, a pro shop, lockers and offices. That park hosts the annual U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, which start Saturday and run through April 24. The park on Thomasson Drive in East Naples includes 54 pickleball courts in addition to other amenities.


Ristorante Ciao


Mother’s Day will be the last day of business for Ristorante Ciao, which marks its 34th anniversary next week at 835 Fourth Ave. S. in downtown Naples. The local Italian restaurant launched on April 24, 1987, in a 55-year-old brick building that previously was popular as Muldoon’s pizzeria, which succeeded Monty’s Bar B Q. For the next few weeks, Ciao’s chef/owner Gianfranco Loreti, 67, will continue to serve dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly for dining in or takeout. Reservations are required by calling 239-263-3889 for a farewell wine dinner set for 6:30 p.m. April 27 at $90 per person. Bottles of wine also will be marked down 30% while supplies last.



Collier County ranked No. 3 in SmartAsset’s list of “Best Places to Get a Mortgage” in Florida. The financial technology company identified the best places to get a mortgage in each state by analyzing four metrics, including mortgage approval rates, financing costs, property taxes and annual mortgage payments. Collier County was listed with a 63.25% loan funding rate; $69,947 in five-year borrowing costs; $8,967 in property tax; $13,056 in annual mortgage payment; and overall Best Mortgage Markets Index of 80.81. For more information on the study, including the interactive map and methodology, click here.


Left to right: Kenny DeLoach, Donald Sapaugh, Dayton Wheeler, Dan Meader, Doug Gunn, Colin Marshall. Photo Credit: Restoration Senior Living of Naples


Restoration Senior Living celebrated the upcoming opening of its new 54-unit senior assisted living community in Naples with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ceremony was hosted by Donald Sapaugh, CEO and president of Restoration Senior Living. Shane Frazier, head Pastor of Freedom Life Church in Naples, delivered the community blessing at the event, which was attended by 40 guests. Led by Executive Director Catherine Cruikshank-Eberle, the new senior community will fill a need in the local market with the availability of specialized memory care support, according to the facility. A partnership between Trinity Private Equity Group and Restoration Senior Living, the Naples community is their third in Florida, joining their Venice and Sarasota locations. Restoration Senior Living also currently operates additional communities throughout the Southeast U.S. Constructed by BBMK Contracting, Blue Team Restoration, and Flatiron Development, Restoration Senior Living of Naples will contribute to the economy with approximately 50 full-time staff positions filled by the area workforce.



Bailey’s General Store has reduced its carbon footprint with the addition of solar panels to help power the store. After two installation phases, a total of 480 solar panels now power half of Bailey’s General Store. When Richard Johnson, owner of Bailey’s General Store, joined the family business in 2004, he saw opportunities to reduce the store’s high demand for energy and increase the efficiency of the store. “Our electric bill averaged $24,000 per month,” said Johnson. Before installing the solar panels, the store made changes to equipment and the store’s building structure to increase energy efficiency. A new membrane roofing system was also installed with extra insulation, and fluorescent and candescent lights were updated to LED lights, significantly reducing energy consumption and materials for replacements. “By making these changes our electric bill has dropped $7,000 per month, showing that this is a great example of how a four-generation family-owned business can evolve to meet the needs of the community. Mother Nature is very resilient but we need to step more lightly upon her,” Johnson said.


Berneitha K. McNair


Residential Options of Florida (ROOF) has hired Berneitha K. McNair as executive director. She joins ROOF with more than 20 years of executive and management level experience at two multi-million-dollar nonprofit agencies. McNair has direct experience in leading and managing housing programs such as the State Housing Initiatives Partnership, Community Development Block Grant, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Home Investment Partnership Program, Housing Preservation Grant, Low-Income Workforce Housing Program, Mississippi Home Restoration Program, and Weatherization Assistance Program. McNair has a bachelor’s degree in speech communication. She is also a graduate of the Northeast Florida Regional Council’s Leadership Academy. McNair has experience as a nonprofit executive director, state association board chair, workforce development board member, and national trainer/consultant.


Janna Outlaw


The Village School of Naples, an independent school serving students in preschool through 12th grade, has appointed Janna Outlaw as its new head of early childhood education and lower school. In this role, she will oversee the school’s preschool through fifth-grade division and assist in all future strategic initiatives. Outlaw has 20 years of professional experience in the field of education. Most recently, she was head of school at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and Warwick River Christian School in Newport News, Virginia. Prior to that, she taught in various lower school grade levels. Outlaw holds a Master of Arts in education and human development from George Washington University. She also holds a Master of Education in educational leadership from Old Dominion University. Outlaw earned her Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Fayetteville State University. She has worked with Singapore Math, is trained in Orton-Gillingham, and is familiar with Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Workshop.



Emmanuel Academies and Emmanuel Communities welcome Kristin Delfs as the new administrative coordinator for the two local not-for-profit organizations under a management agreement with Success Facilitators, a Naples-based management services and consulting firm. Delfs will serve as lead administrative professional with an emphasis on communications, relationship building and community partner collaboration. Delfs, a former software business analyst, has a background in team leadership, customer service and software support. Originally from Colorado, Delfs moved to Naples approximately one year ago. Upon learning of the missions and community work of Emmanuel Academies and Emmanuel Communities, the call to community service and serving others drew her out of semi-retirement.



Jenna McElhone has joined Suffolk as data analyst. McElhone has nine years of experience as a business analyst and strategist and most recently served as manager, supply chain strategy and analytics for Chico’s FAS. In her new role, McElhone will use her experience in data mining, big data management and analysis to influence and drive the performance of Suffolk’s Florida Gulf Coast operations. McElhone earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and business administration from Kent State University. In March, Suffolk unveiled Rebuild the Ratio, a commitment dedicated to increasing visibility and career opportunities for women and girls in the construction and STEM industries, where there is a great disparity between the representation of men and women. With the launch of Rebuild the Ratio, Suffolk pledges to increase the percentage of women employed by Suffolk by 10% over 10 years, which is a dramatic increase that will provide more jobs for women and boost the percentage of women employees to near 40%, the company states.


Jose Pastor


Meaghan Schmitt and Jose Pastor have joined Lee & Associates/Naples – Ft. Myers as associates. Schmitt is the newest member of the industrial division of Derek Bornhorst, SIOR, CCIM, Bob Johnston, SIOR and Jerry Messonnier, SIOR. She will be focusing on industrial properties and client services. Schmitt has an associate’s degree from Florida Southwestern State College. Pastor will be joining the commercial investment team in Fort Myers headed by Jeff Forsythe, CCIM. He will be focusing on multi-tenant investment, with an emphasis on multi-family residential. Pastor’s credentials include a degree in telecommunications administration from Portland Community College, followed by his real estate certifications as a Realtor, Accredited Buyer Representative and Certified Residential Specialist.


Collier Enterprises donated 8.3 acres for The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways Learning Lab, which will include 18 single-family homes.


The Collier County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday recognized The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways Learning Lab and received an update on the 18-home subdivision underway in Immokalee. The Learning Lab serves as a hands-on professional career experience for students participating in the foundation’s Career Pathways program. Noemi Y. Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee Foundation, provided a brief overview to commissioners about the Learning Lab and the foundation’s successes – including the 100% high school graduation rate for its students, who also have a 100% acceptance rate into postsecondary college and technical programs. Collier Enterprises donated 8.3 acres of land for the Learning Lab subdivision on Foundation Way and helped underwrite the cost of the permitting and infrastructure work, an investment of more than $1 million. Commissioner Bill McDaniel said the Learning Lab is “near and dear to his heart” since he put himself through college by working as a carpenter and learning different trades along the way.




Video courtesy of WINK News

North Collier firefighters build playground for 4-year-old cancer survivor

Adrian Cruz may only be 4 but he already knows what he wants to do as an adult: a firefighter. Members of the North Collier Fire Department are helping him achieve that by building him a new playground in his backyard. Adrian has spent half his life battling leukemia, but doctors declared him cancer-free in December. The firefighters recently put together a new playset they gave to him as a gift. The firefighters paid for the $1,600 playground with their union dues. Adrian was able to spend all day outside helping his heroes build his new playset, WINK News reports.


The League Club grants, donations top $400,000

The League Club of Naples awarded 23 grants to area nonprofits in Collier and Lee Counties this month. These grants will address community needs including enhancing education for 2,720 students; providing healthcare and emergency shelter for 1,200 people and combating hunger with 141,042 meals, the League Club states. This year’s grants totaled $352,569. An additional $48,444 was made in donations to emergency funds of Collier Comes Together Coronavirus Relief Fund, Harry Chapin Food Bank and St Matthews Pantry. A sum of $38,444 was raised via a member challenge. This brought the total of The League Club financial gifts to the community in the past twelve months to $401,013. The League Club, Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization of women in Southwest Florida strengthening communities through fellowship, education, volunteerism and philanthropy.


Photo courtesy DLC

DLC receives grants from Community Foundation of Collier County campaign

David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) has received two grants from the Community Foundation of Collier County (CFCC) to help address the increasing mental health and addiction crisis plaguing Collier residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds were provided from the CFCC’s $15.5 million “Your Passion. Your Collier.” campaign launched this year to address challenges facing the community. These grants will address the dramatic increases in the acute behavioral health service needs of adults and children that DLC has experienced in the last year. A $255,000 crisis response grant will enhance DLC’s capacity to assist individuals at risk for suicide and ensure access to care following the crisis. An additional $30,000 education and awareness grant will be used to fund a communications campaign to address the lasting psychological impacts of the pandemic. 


Bobby Nichols Charity Foundation donates nearly $150K to Blessings in a Backpack

The Bobby Nichols Charity Foundation recently presented $149,500 to Blessings in a Backpack of Southwest Florida to support its mission of making hunger-free weekends a reality for food-insecure children in Lee and Collier counties. Proceeds from the 18th Nichols Cup Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament were earmarked for several not-for-profit organizations that serve vulnerable children. The money from this donation will be used to feed every child at Colonial Elementary and James Stephens Elementary, more than 1,200 children in all. The Bobby Nichols Charity Foundation, founded in 2002, is a group of Fiddlesticks member volunteers, known as Pipers, who organize and run the golf tournament and a charity tennis tournament.


Midwest Food Bank Florida donates school supplies

Midwest Food Bank of Florida, a volunteer-driven, faith-based organization dedicated to alleviating hunger, malnutrition and providing disaster relief locally and throughout the world, has donated school supplies to The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. The donation included pens, pencils, pencil cases, notebooks, folders, sticky post-its, and coloring supplies for schoolchildren of all ages. Midwest Food Bank Florida currently supports more than 172 nonprofit partner agencies. In Lee County, the food bank supports 84 partner agencies, which also includes providing food to several Lee County public schools. 


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