Lead Photo: Florida Gulf Coast University opens Lucas Hall
FGCU OPENS LUCAS HALL FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Florida Gulf Coast University opened Lucas Hall – a 27,000-square-foot, three-story home for entrepreneurs – on Tuesday. Starting in late 2018, before it was elevated to a school within the university, the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship operated from FGCU’s off-campus Emergent Technologies Institute. The opening of Lucas Hall enables entrepreneurship students to take all of their classes on the main campus for the first time. “It’s very meaningful because we’re back home,” said Sandra Kauanui, Ph.D., the school’s founding director. In addition to office space and classrooms, the $10.4 million privately funded facility includes the FineMark National Bank & Trust Incubator and the Rist Family Foundation Maker Space. Lucas Hall will also feature a media lab incorporating total lighting and sound control, backdrops, props and cinema-quality audio-video equipment. The structure is named in honor of David Lucas, who gave the university a $4 million challenge – kick-starting the campaign that fully funded the building through philanthropy. The building is also home to the Florida Small Business Development Center and FGCU’s Regional Economic Research Institute.
MARGARITAVILLE RESORT BREAKS GROUND TODAY IN FORT MYERS BEACH
TPI Hospitality is breaking ground this afternoon on its Margaritaville Beach Resort in Fort Myers Beach. A private groundbreaking ceremony is planned at the site of the future destination, 1160 Estero Blvd. Inspired by the island lifestyle and music of Jimmy Buffett, the casual-luxe resort promises 254 high-end rooms and suites with signature Margaritaville services and amenities, including restaurants, entertainment and poolside frozen concoctions. After years of delays and setbacks, the major waterside project is scheduled to open in 2023 at the base of the Matanzas Pass Bridge.
FOUNDER OF JOHN R. WOOD REAL ESTATE FIRM IN NAPLES DIES AT 91
John R. Wood, founder of Naples-based John R. Wood Properties, died Aug. 4, just six weeks shy of his 92nd birthday. Wood received many awards over the years for his services to many local civic and philanthropic groups. Although he mostly retired in the mid-1990s, Wood still served as chairman of the board of the oldest major real estate brokerage in Southwest Florida. His son, Phil, is the president and CEO of John R. Wood Properties, which sold more residential listings, closed more units and achieved higher sales volume during the first half of 2021 than any other residential real estate brokerage in the region. Because of the pandemic, services for Mr. Wood will be determined at a later time. Donations in his memory can be made to St. Matthew’s House or Collier County Junior Deputies.
FPRA SOUTHWEST FLORIDA CHAPTER TO HOST SEPT. 14 SEMINAR
The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) will host its monthly luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 14, at Dave & Buster’s at Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. The September luncheon will feature FPRA President Devon Chestnut and a panel of chapter members who attended the 82nd FPRA state conference in August. The featured panelists include Alexandra Argueta, Pushing the Envelope; Kelly Apfel, Midwest Food Bank; Jennifer Benton of TeleSpecialists; Ashley Loubier, M&M Multimedia; and Juliana Metzner, Vectra Digital. The luncheon will also serve as the swearing-in ceremony for the 2021-2022 Board and leadership team. The cost to register for this event is $30 for members, $40 for guests and $25 for students. Register online.
Video courtesy of WINK News
LEE HEALTH OFFERS BONUSES TO STAFF WHO WORK EXTRA SHIFTS
Hospitals are overwhelmed and understaffed in Southwest Florida. Hundreds of patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, adding to the caseload and leaving hospitals trying to find a way to maintain quality care. Armando Llechu, Lee Health’s chief officer of operations, said the hospital got creative to incentivize people to pick up extra shifts. One extra shift per week for 12 weeks as an RN could earn a $6,000 bonus and one extra shift per pay period could mean a $3,000 bonus. The health system also had to move nurses from clinical roles back to bedsides – 67 of them, WINK News reports.
Video courtesy of WINK News
CAPE CORAL HOSTS FORUM TO DISCUSS CITY’S VISION PLAN
Cape Coral leaders hosted a meeting Tuesday in an effort to create a vision plan that will help guide the city for the next 20 to 30 years. “This is the third or fourth meeting that the council has been involved in to try to develop what our vision is, our mission and our goals and priorities to make sure that we can implement that vision,” says Mayor John Gunter. Cape Coral residents said priorities include education, jobs, public safety, the environment and more amenities such as parks. City leaders want to host another forum to further develop its goals sometime this fall before presenting a final draft to the city council, WINK News reports.
ENGLEWOOD FARMER’S MARKET CLOSING DUE TO AREA CONSTRUCTION
A farmer’s market in Southwest Florida was supposed to start its season in just a few weeks, but instead, it’s closing. The Englewood Farmers Market was forced to close this season because of road construction nearby. The market operated Thursdays from October through May for a decade. The Englewood Community Redevelopment Advisory Board hopes to find a nonprofit to reopen the market in a temporary location until the construction is finished, WINK News reports.
MK ARCHITECTURE SELECTED FOR NORTH FORT MYERS WORKFORCE HOUSING APARTMENT PROJECT
MK Architecture has been awarded the architectural design services for the Lakeview Apartments by Youdali Investments of Orlando, to be located in North Fort Myers. The project consists of 24 two- and three-bedroom units in two buildings. The apartments range from 1,160-1,200 square feet and are intended to meet the needs of the local workforce. The project is expected to be completed in 2022. MK Architecture specializes in multi-family, hospitality, and commercial architecture with offices in Fort Myers, Naples, and Lexington, Kentucky.
SEAGATE HOSTS GROUNDBREAKING OF WHITE CAP CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY
Seagate Development Group hosted clients, partners and Lee County Economic Development on Aug. 6 during the ceremonial groundbreaking of the 10-acre, 45,000-square-foot White Cap Construction Supply at 16542 Oriole Road in Fort Myers. Crews are currently erecting an 18,000-square-foot steel structure for the national building materials supplier’s steel fabrication building. It will include an overhead crane and steel-bending machines. The shell of the building is projected to be complete by the end of the month. In September, the Seagate team will begin vertical construction on the 32,990-square-foot warehouse and an open-area conference room, a break room, a showroom and other office spaces. Site utility work is also underway through October. PDS Architecture is the architect on White Cap, while Quattrone & Associates is the civil engineer.
SPIRO & ASSOCIATES HIRES DAUGHERTY
Spiro & Associates Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations and Brand Architecture has hired Heather Daugherty as the new senior art director. Daugherty brings more than 20 years of design experience to the agency. She has spent most of her career designing books in the publishing industry in New York City, working for Penguin Group, Random House, HarperCollins Publishing and most recently, Scholastic Inc. Daugherty was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in the Tampa Bay area. She started her education in fine arts at The University of Tampa, where she studied photography before transferring to the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.
VI AT BENTLEY VILLAGE WELCOMES CARSTENS TO TEAM
Vi at Bentley Village has welcomed Janet Carstens as the new director of housekeeping for the Life Plan community in Naples. In her position with Bentley Village, Carstens oversees all housekeeping functions for the entire community. Carstens has experience in environmental services, including nearly 15 years in the senior living industry. She most recently served as director of housekeeping at Vi at Lakeside Village in Lantana, Florida. Carstens holds the designations of Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive, Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention and Certified in Housekeeping Operations through Spartan Chemical.
Naples Zoo announces $1 million pledge from the Hoffmann family
Naples Zoo has received a $1 million pledge from David and Jerri Hoffmann, on behalf of the entire Hoffmann family, dedicated to helping complete the zoo’s $25 million “Roaring into Our Future Capital Campaign.” The zoo’s capital campaign is nearing completion with more than $10 million in projects and improvements completed to date and $15 million to be invested and completed in the next two to three years. The zoo is planning to break ground on a new $1 million South American exhibit area and a $14 million new entrance and visitor center in 2022. With the help of the $1 million commitment from the Hoffmann family, the Zoo has a balance of less than $2 million to raise to reach its $25 million goal.
Simply Healthcare Foundation awards grant to Midwest Food Bank Florida
Midwest Food Bank Florida has been awarded a grant by Simply Healthcare Foundation, a philanthropic branch of Anthem Inc., in support of its faith-based mission providing food relief throughout the Fort Myers area and across the state of Florida. The partnership allows for the Simply Healthcare Foundation to continue to provide solutions to health care issues by working with Midwest Food Bank Florida to share food and support to hungry people in need. Thirty percent of the food distributed by Midwest Food Bank Florida to its 172 nonprofit partner agencies is fresh, nutritious produce, dairy and protein products, the organization states.
Youth Haven Inc. awarded grant from PNC Foundation
Youth Haven Inc. has received a $5,000 grant from the PNC Foundation. The funds received will be used to assist with the purchase of a new industrial washing machine and dryer for its 25-acre therapeutic campus. Youth Haven is Southwest Florida’s only residential shelter for children and teens ages 6-19 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, the organization states. With beds for up to 73 youth, Youth Haven accepts new residents 365 days a year, 24-hours a day, making its laundry services an instrumental part of its operations. Youth Haven’s programming addresses the trauma the youth has experienced and helps them heal by providing them with innovative therapies, normalizing experiences, and therapeutic environments that assist with their healing journey. Youth Haven strives to achieve transformational life changes in a home-like setting.
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