Gulfshore Business Daily: April 26

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Debbie Kays


During March, 1.482 million passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers (RSW), an increase of 7.4 percent compared with March 2018. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 7.4 percent compared with last year. The traffic leader in March was Southwest Airlines with 288,142 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Delta (280,584), Spirit (187,471), American (175,855) and United (142,387). Southwest Florida International Airport had 11,202 aircraft operations, an increase of 2.7 percent compared with March 2018. Page Field saw 11,086 operations, a 31.7 percent increase from March 2018. In addition, nearly 3 million pounds of air freight moved through Southwest Florida International Airport in March 2019.


Florida Public Relations Association, Southwest Florida Chapter is hosting FPRA’s annual Nonprofit Day from 8:30 a.m. to noon on May 9 at Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center. The event serves as an opportunity for Southwest Florida’s philanthropic organizations, and those interested in learning more about the area’s charity landscape, to gather and learn from industry experts on topics to enhance community reach and impact. This year’s theme, “Cheering for the Home Team,” will focus on providing attendees with practical information on how to build effective strategic alliances for a common goal. Speakers will include Richard Kelly, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida; Amanda Beights, Leadership Collier Foundation; Kara Jeudy, and Shannon Hoyt, The Salvation Army Fort Myers Area Command;  Chris Wittman, Captains for Clean Water; and Nickole Hendra, Dress for Success SW Florida. The cost to attend is $30 for general admission and $20 for students. Breakfast is included. For more details, click here


Three foundation leaders will discuss the environment for philanthropy in Southwest Florida at the Naples Press Club lunch program held at 11:30 a.m. on May 2 at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples. Lunch begins at noon with the program to follow. Panelists will be Eileen Connolly-Keesler, president/CEO, Community Foundation of Collier County; Mary Beth Geier, Florida director, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation; and Maria Jimenez-Lara, CEO, Naples Children & Education Foundation/Naples Winter Wine Festival. The public is invited to attend. Reservations are required. The cost is $40 for non-members. Register at


The fifth annual Human Trafficking Symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 9 at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Cohen Center Ballroom. The symposium is presented by the Department of Social Work, Florida Gulf Coast University; and sponsored by Christy’s Cause Inc. and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Admission is $45 and breakfast and lunch are included. Students may attend at no cost, based on space availability. The State Attorney’s Office and Christy’s Cause are presenting a second training experience for Law Enforcement and Prosecution held at the Lee County Port Authority Airport Training Center on May 10, expanding the focus on child exploitation, child pornography, and child sex trafficking. The keynote speaker is Callahan Walsh of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Licensed clinical social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists can receive up to six hours of continuing education hours through the Department of Social Work, Florida Gulf Coast University. Nurses can receive two hours of human trafficking continuing education credits by attending the WeCare break out session. To register, visit or To become a sponsor, contact Christy Ivie at or (239) 301-0010.

Debbie Kays


Residential Options of Florida (ROOF) has created a Lee County Board of Trustees. The new board of trustees will allow the Collier board to focus on county-specific initiatives, while the newly created Lee board will focus on beginning work in the neighboring county. Both local boards are appointed by ROOF’s statewide board of directors. The three members of the Lee Board of Trustees are Debbie Kays, Keller Williams Realty in Naples; Michael Thakkar, HBK CPAs; and Paul Saad, banking and finance expert and Rotarian. All three have previously served on the Collier board.


Dr. Joseph Daley is now the sole medical director of Pulmonary Consultants of Southwest Florida. He will oversee the Cape Coral-based practice and its pulmonary and sleep medicine services. Daley is incorporating new minimally invasive Endobronchial Ultrasound Bronchoscopy (EBUS) and computer-assisted navigational bronchoscopy into the practice. He has also hired a sleep-certified licensed respiratory therapist to conduct full pulmonary function tests within the on-site sleep lab. Daley has been treating patients on behalf of Pulmonary Consultants since 2004 and was previously on the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine, Hershey Campus. Prior to  his current position, Daley served as medical director of Cogent Healthcare of Fort Myers.

Kurtis Jay Keefer


The law firm of Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC (GADC) has named Kurtis Jay Keefer a partner to handle property insurance claims from Hurricane Irma. Keefer has spent the last decade in private practice law and focuses his efforts on first party property insurance claims. He has handled multiple hurricane claims in the past, in addition to claims caused by a covered losses including plumbing leaks, water leaks, fire, smoke, mold, vandalism, theft, collapse, and others, as well as claims involving forced-placed insurance.  Those claims have ranged from small single-family residences to large condominium complexes as well as commercial claims for businesses.


Community Foundation of Collier County gives grant to plant trees in Immokalee

The Community Foundation of Collier County has granted $10,000 to Collier County Parks and Recreation for the Immokalee Sports Complex to provide 56 trees in honor of Arbor Day. This project will provide shade in the now barren area surrounding spectator bleachers at the park. The Immokalee Sports Complex is home to the Florida Youth Soccer program and Pop Warner Football, which currently has about 300 participants. The Parks and Recreation Soccer league estimate they have 600-1,000 spectators each weekend. Also, local nonprofits use the fields for special events. Currently, there are seven sets of spectator bleachers without shade. This grant is provided through the Community Foundation’s Changing Needs Fund. For more information, visit

Mother’s Day Brunch & Beauty panel coming in May

Stay Social’s Mother’s Day Brunch & Beauty panel will be held from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 11 at The Bevy in Naples. Panelists from both the east and west coasts of Florida will be covering a variety of trending topics from cosmetic procedures to scalp and hair care while guests dine on brunch and mimosas. Tickets are $50 and include access to a brunch, a networking session and presentations by panelists from the south Florida beauty and wellness industry. A portion of every ticket sale will benefit Our Mother’s Home of Southwest Florida. The event is open to guests 21 and up. For more information, contact Monica Ramos at (239) 272-8901 or, or visit

Project HELP receives Community Foundation of Collier County grant to empower teens

The Community Foundation of Collier County has awarded Project HELP a $2,500 grant to create a Sexual Assault Survivor Empowerment Group for teenagers in the area. The funding from this grant will go toward creating empowerment groups with the goal of helping affected teenagers deal with what has happened to them in a therapeutically guided peer setting, leaving them with the skills to make healthier and better decisions. Empowerment can be shown through art, music, clay therapy and yoga, all of which will be covered through this grant. For more information about Project HELP and its programs, click here.

Hope for Haiti hosts #MACChallenge virtual hike

Hope for Haiti presents the first annual #MACChallenge, named in honor of the rural community of Marre à Coiffe in Haiti, where community residents climb a mountain the equivalent of 200 flights of stairs to access clean water, healthcare, and education. Hope for Haiti is challenging the public to virtually hike the mountain in solidarity with the community over the weekend of May 10-12 to help raise funds to provide the students there with vital back-to-school supplies. Participants in the #MACChallenge will be challenged to climb 200 flights of stairs or walk 10.5 miles over the three-day period. Those who share their hike details on social media and tag @hopeforhaitifl and #MACChallenge are eligible for prizes. To register, please visit or email The $30 registration fee is 100 percent tax-deductible and supports Hope for Haiti’s back-to-school program.

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