Lead Photo: U.S. Renal Care Winkler Home dialysis clinic opens May 6. Details below.
FLORIDA DEO WAIVES WORK SEARCH, REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS THROUGH MAY 29
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity confirmed this week that it will waive the work search and work registration requirements through May 29 and the waiting week requirement through June 26, among other updates to the state unemployment system. When the waiver expires, claimants must submit work searches for every week of state or federal benefits requested. Additionally, new claimants who file after the expiration of the waiver must complete the work registration through Employ Florida, according to the DEO order. The department encourages claimants to continue searching for work regardless of the waiver extension.
FORT MYERS BEACH ASKING PUBLIC TO PARTICIPATE IN TOWN SAFETY SURVEY
The Fort Myers Beach Public Safety Committee is seeking feedback to make the island safer. It’s asking for public participation in an online survey that will be reviewed and shared with Town Council. The questionnaire includes questions on pedestrian safety, traffic, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office response, street lighting times and more. To participate in the survey, click here.
FLORIDA HOUSE KILLS PLAN FOR COLLIER–POLK CONNECTOR TOLL ROAD
The Florida House on Tuesday scuttled large parts of a controversial toll-road plan that would have included a road from Collier County to Polk County. House Democratic co-leader Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, told reporters that a bill (SB 100) to repeal the road program dubbed the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, or M-CORES, pushed through in 2019 by then-Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, would protect sensitive environmental lands and lower costs for taxpayers. The House took up the bill Monday and put it in position for a final vote on Tuesday, when it passed unanimously, WINK News reports.
CHARLOTTE COUNTY MOVING TO WALK-UP-ONLY MODEL FOR VACCINE SHOTS
COVID-19 vaccine appointments will soon be a thing of the past in Charlotte County because only a few people are making first-dose vaccine appointments and 87% of seniors 65 and up are now vaccinated in the county. The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County plans to switch to a walk-up-only model. The health department said this plan will allow people to get vaccinated at their convenience rather than plan their schedule around an appointment. For a list of available COVID-19 vaccinations in Charlotte County, click here.
NEW COMPANY ACQUIRES DOCKSIDE BOARDWALK, SAVES IT FROM DEMOLITION IN NAPLES
The Shoppes at Dockside LLC has acquired four mixed-use commercial buildings at Dockside Boardwalk, 1100 Sixth Ave. S., near Tin City in downtown Naples. The group purchased the 22,000-square-foot property — which includes a mix of office, retail and restaurant space — on March 12 for $4.89 million, Collier County property records show. The property is currently 33% occupied by Mino Italian Pizzeria, The Parrot Bar & Grill and other tenants. According to ownership representative Clayton Coleman, the previous owner had plans to raze the property and redevelop it into condominiums. “We bought this nostalgic property to rescue it from demolition,” said Coleman. “We plan to restore it and lease it to unique local businesses.” The Shoppes at Dockside LLC is managed by Coleman and Bonnie Reams. The LLC acquired the downtown Naples property, with buildings dating to 1984, from the Brookline Companies LLC, which bought the property in 2017 for $4.55 million. The new owners also own The Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples. The Shoppes at Dockside is actively seeking tenants for the property. For information, call 239-776-9803 or email email@example.com.
U.S. RENAL CARE WINKLER HOME TO OPEN MAY 6 IN FORT MYERS
The new U.S. Renal Care Winkler Home dialysis clinic will have a ribbon-cutting and grand opening at 4:30 p.m. on May 6 at 2675 Winkler Avenue, Suite 130, Fort Myers. The clinic will offer Home Hemodialysis (HHD) and Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) for both adult and pediatric patients. The brand-new facility features five home training rooms and flexible scheduling for patient training on how to dialyze at home. The clinic is led by medical director Dr. Gautham Mogilishetty and has seven medical professionals on staff. U.S. Renal Care Inc. partners with nephrologists and health systems to serve people living with chronic and acute kidney disease.
AVOW, COLLABORATORS LAUNCHING ADVANCED CARDIAC CARE INITIATIVE
Avow is collaborating with National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) and the American Heart Association (AHA) on an Advanced Cardiac Care initiative that aims to enhance quality and access to hospice and palliative care within the region for patients with advanced heart failure. The purpose of the joint effort between Avow, NPHI and AHA is to provide standards of care for patients with end-stage heart failure while reducing unnecessary inpatient and emergency services and increasing quality of life through symptom relief with hospice and palliative/advanced illness services, Avow states. The treatment guidelines from NPHI and the AHA are designed to serve as a lifeline for patients, addressing care gaps that include low utilization of hospice care, low access to proper care for minority families and increased risk of premature death due to heart patients not seeking treatment for fear of contracting COVID-19.
NAPLES-BASED FOOD TRUCK LAUNCHES MENU OF EGYPTIAN STREET FOOD
Ready for the best Egyptian food this side of the Nile? That’s the promise of Pharaohs Fusion, a Naples-based food truck serving Egyptian street food. The local family-owned food truck is scheduled to launch Thursday, April 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Barron Collier Companies in Poinciana Professional Park, 2600 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. Mohamed “Mo” Higazy and his wife, Helen, have created a menu that includes brisket, beef and lamb shawarma, chicken shawarma, Egyptian falafel and koshary, a national dish of Egypt made with a seasoned mix of noodles, rice, lentils, fried onions and Pharaohs sauce, a vinegar-based condiment consisting of fresh tomatoes, garlic and cumin. The business is scheduled in late May to be at Ankrolab and Naples Beach breweries in East Naples. Call 239-248-1875 or click here.
STOGIE PAIRING CIGAR BAR OPENS IN BELL TOWER SHOPS
Stogie Pairing cigar lounge, which encourages the pairing of cigars with guests’ favorite wine, craft beer, coffee or espresso, had its grand opening earlier this month at Bell Tower Shops, located near the northeast corner of U.S. 41 and Daniels Parkway in south Fort Myers. The new business found a home in a nearly 2,700-square-foot unit between Burntwood Tavern and Ulta Beauty. During Stogie Pairing’s “ribbon-cutting” event April 2, owners Vidal and Jessica Rivera cut an 8-foot-long cigar to officially open their business. Stogie Pairing, 13499 S. Cleveland Ave., Suite 245, is open 9 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Call 239-437-4085 or click here.
MAHANA BREEZE APARTMENTS COMING TO MCGREGOR BOULEVARD IN FORT MYERS
MK Architecture has been awarded a new project by StoreBuilders Inc. to complete the architectural and engineering drawings for the Mahana Breeze Apartments project to be located on McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. The project will consist of three four-story buildings totaling 116 multi-family units of luxury rental apartments. It will also include a 4,500-square-foot amenity center complete with a resort-style pool. Currently in the construction document phase, the project is anticipated to be underway later this year. MK Architecture specializes in commercial architecture with offices in Southwest Florida and Lexington, Kentucky.
SEAGATE MAKES SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS ON SCOTLYNN HQ
Seagate Development Group is making significant progress on Scotlynn USA Division Inc.’s North American corporate headquarters. It is all taking place at 9597 Gulf Research Lane in Fort Myers. Crews have started the first lift of asphalt and curbing for the parking lot area and prepared the exterior of the building for painting. Inside, the team completed the drywall on the first floor as well as painted right behind it. The finishes on the second and third floors are scheduled for completion a few weeks after the finishes on the first floor. The updates come seven months after the commercial development company broke ground on the 60,000-square-foot, class-A multinational transportation and logistics facility. The eight-acre corporate office will be occupied by 350 management and operations team members over the next three years, including more than100 new employees. All site work is projected to be complete by mid-May. The project is slated for completion in July.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS TO HIGHLIGHT OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE IN MAY 5 PROGRAM
The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee will host its monthly networking event from 4-6 p.m. on May 5 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Attendees will hear from guest speaker Helen Edenfield, global director of facilities and operations excellence at NeoGenomics Laboratories, a cancer diagnostics company currently expanding its state-of-the-art headquarters in south Fort Myers. Admission is $10 for Chamber members and $20 for nonmembers and includes one complimentary beverage. Advance registration is required as capacity is limited to allow for social distancing.
ABWA SWFL COUNCIL ELECTS OFFICERS, WOMAN OF THE YEAR
The Southwest Florida Council of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) met in person for the first time in over a year on April 17. The event was socially distanced and included a speaker, elections and luncheon at Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport. Toby Ferrel, currently serving as President of ABWA’s Lehigh Acres Charter Chapter, was re-elected board chair. Carolyn Graves, president of the Palms of Edisonia Chapter, was elected vice chair. Alexia Martin of the Punta Gorda Charter Chapter was named finance officer. Krystle Mabery, of the Palms of Edisonia Chapter, will continue to serve as communications officer. At the event, ABWA also announced Erin White, one of the founders of ABWA’s Imperial River Chapter, as Southwest Florida’s American Business Woman of the Year.
STOCK CUSTOM HOMES WELCOMES REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF CONSTRUCTION
Stock Custom Homes has added Chad Moore as its new regional director of construction in Naples. Moore is responsible for coordinating with superintendents in the field and supporting them in managing subcontractors, homeowners, architects, and designers. Moore brings more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry, working on both residential and commercial projects, including previously owning his own construction company. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in finance from the University of Central Florida.
BRIDGING THE GAP PHYSICAL THERAPY HIRES BUZAS
Bridging The Gap Physical Therapy has added Dr. Teo Buzas to the staff. Before joining Bridging The Gap, Buzas served for five years in the sports medicine department at the University of Michigan. He is certified through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and has certifications in both strength and conditioning and orthopedic manual physical therapy. Buzas received a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Oakland University. Bridging The Gap is a subsidiary of HealthLynked Corp., a nationwide healthcare network focused on care management of its members and a provider of healthcare technologies that connect doctors, patients and medical data. HealthLynked is also affiliated with Naples Center for Functional Medicine and Naples Women’s Center.
CONRIC PR + MARKETING ADDS MARGOLIS TO TEAM
CONRIC pr + marketing has welcomed Emily Margolis to its team as digital marketing coordinator. She joins the team to develop digital strategies and guide clients through full-scale marketing campaigns. Margolis is Google and Hootsuite certified. Prior to joining the team, she specialized in digital marketing, social media and copywriting for a local herbal supplement manufacturer. She also held positions in social media strategy and community engagement in various industries, including a literary and arts magazine, a voter efficacy-focused organization and marketing agencies in Gainesville and Chicago. Born and raised in Southwest Florida, Margolis studied advertising at the University of Florida, where she graduated summa cum laude.
HENDERSON FRANKLIN WELCOMES REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY
The law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A. has appointed Adam Bleggi to the firm’s real estate department. He will be based in the firm’s Bonita Springs office alongside long-time referral source John Spear. Drawing on his experience as a realtor, Bleggi guides and advises clients in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate sales and acquisitions. Bleggi is the former managing partner of a Naples-based firm and in-house counsel to an established family office. He received his Juris Doctor from The University of Akron School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from The University of Toledo.
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s virtual gala raises $850,000
This year, as an alternative to hosting an in-person gala, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute presented a unique “virtual gala-in-a-box experience” hosted by Grammy award singer Gloria Estefan. On March 26, each experience was hand-delivered to sponsors’ homes; the box contained all the necessary ingredients to celebrate in the comfort of home including a custom video folder with a personal LED screen. With a simple touch of a button, guests were delighted by live performances from the Frost School of Music while endeared patients shared their personal experiences. Thanks to the generosity of Bruce & Sherman, Premier Gala Patrons, along with sponsorships from individuals and corporations, including Key Private Bank and Waterside Shops, this year’s virtual gala raised $850,000.
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