SWFL CITIES NAMED AMONG BEST IN FLORIDA TO RETIRE
Three Southwest Florida cities placed in WalletHub’s 2019’s Best Places to Retire in Florida list. For Myers ranked No. 8, Immokalee ranked No. 12, and Bonita Springs came in at No. 16 on the top 20 list. To determine the most ideal places for older Americans to live their golden years, WalletHub compared more than 100 cities in the Sunshine State across 28 key indicators of retiree-friendliness. The data set ranges from cost of living to health care facilities per capita to number of attractions. For the full report, click here.
LEE COMMISSIONERS APPROVE WULFERT BAYOUS CONTRIBUTION
The Lee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted in favor of supporting the acquisition of the 68-acre Wulfert Bayous parcel located on Sanibel Island. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge have been working with the county on the collaboration for more than a year to make the acquisition a reality. Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 program will fund $6.5 million of the total $9.5 million cost to purchase the property. DDWS has raised the additional $3 million through private donations. The refuge, for its part in the collaboration, will manage the property as part of its complex. The city of Sanibel had already approved development of the land with up to 28 new homes. To donate or pledge funds to restore the Wulfert Bayous’ 68 acres, donors should contact Birgie Miller at (239) 472-1100 ext. 232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HODGES LAUNCHES ACCELERATED MASTERS IN ACCOUNTING DEGREE
Hodges University has launched an accelerated master’s degree in accounting. The limited enrollment program starts in September. The program can be completed in 10 months and includes the Becker Review preparation materials for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Along with the Becker Review materials, this degree includes tuition, books and fees for $24,900. The degree is designed so that students can earn their master’s in accountancy in less than a year while becoming fully-prepared to sit for the CPA exam, according to a press release. For more information, visit Pathways.Hodges.edu/course/accounting.
PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT LUNCH MEETING SET
The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA of SWFL) will host its monthly luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the chapter’s new meeting location at Dave and Buster’s, inside Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. Guests are welcome to join the FPRA of SWFL for the first professional development seminar of the new chapter year at the new location. The September luncheon will feature a panel of 2019 Annual Conference attendees sharing knowledge they gained attending the event. The panelists will share four reports from their favorite conference breakout sessions. The featured speakers include Vanessa Fernandez, Food Idea Group; Niki Mann, Sabilo; Jaimie Miller, Conric PR & Marketing; and Angie Strait, Lee County Port Authority. This luncheon will also serve as the swearing-in ceremony for the 2019-2020 board and leadership team. For more information, visit https://www.fpraswfl.org/.
PEREZ ATTENDS HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PROGRAM ON SCHOLARSHIP
Noemi Y. Perez, executive director of The Immokalee Foundation, recently returned from Harvard Business School, where she attended an executive education program made possible through a scholarship awarded by the Harvard Club of Naples. Perez was the sole recipient of the scholarship for this three-day program, titled “Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations.” In a joint program presented by the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative and Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at the Kennedy School, Perez and other nonprofit leaders explored the impact of measurement on resource allocation, organizational learning, internal processes, and internal and external accountability.
NAPLES BOTANICAL GARDEN VOLUNTEERS TO BE HONORED
Two longtime Naples Botanical Garden volunteers will be honored next month at the Florida Association of Museums (FAM) annual conference for their deep commitment to the Garden and its mission. Judy Sproul will receive FAM’s Outstanding Trustee Award. Sproul led the board of trustees during the critical construction phase of the garden and has held numerous additional roles within the organization. She was instrumental in forging a partnership between the garden and Florida Gulf Coast University and also conceived and funded an internship program to grow the next generation of botanical experts and nonprofit leaders. Betty Plum will receive the museum association’s Outstanding Volunteer Award. Over the past 14 years, Plum has logged more than 4,000 hours at the garden, working side-by-side with the horticulture team maintaining the display gardens. Following Hurricane Irma, Plum rushed to the garden to help the staff clear mountains of debris and reopen its gates a mere three weeks after the storm’s landfall.
ESTERO COUNTRY CLUB NAMES NEW GM
Estero Country Club located in The Vines Community has hired Joseph Iafe as general manager. Iafe was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. Prior to joining Estero Country Club, Iafe was the general manager at Treviso Bay in Naples, The Venetian Golf and River Club in Venice, and Harbor Walk Yacht Club in West Galveston Bay, Texas. Iafe holds both a Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation from the CMAA and a Florida license as a Community Association Manager (CAM). For more information, visit www.esterocc.com.
MARQUIS WEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Marquis Wealth Management Group is celebrating its 20-year anniversary in 2019. “We have been fortunate to have the opportunity to serve such loyal clients over the past 20 years, and we look forward to maintaining both our existing and new client relationships for years to come,” Rick Krichbaum, president of the company, said in a press release. Marquis Wealth Management Group is an Independent Registered Investment Advisory firm (RIA) registered with the SEC and is located in Fort Myers, dedicated to providing clients with comprehensive, personalized wealth management and wealth planning services.
SHINE TAPPED AS EVERGLADES GCSA PRESIDENT
Estero Country Club Superintendent T.J. Shine has been elected to be the 2019-2020 president of the Everglades Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSA). Shine has served on the board since 2014, previously as secretary, treasurer and vice president. The Everglades GCSA is the largest in Florida, according to a press release. Originally from St. Clair, Michigan, Shine attended Michigan State University where he graduated with a degree in turfgrass management. After graduation, he worked as a groundskeeper in minor league baseball for a year before moving to Florida to become a golf course superintendent. Shine worked as an assistant superintendent in Naples for six years before becoming a golf course superintendent in North Fort for seven years. Shine has been with Estero Country Club since April 2014.
Registration open for the Run 4 Your Lungs 5K Run/Walk
4 Words Foundation Inc. will host the inaugural Run 4 Your Lungs 5K Run/Walk from 7–10 a.m. on Nov. 9 at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers. Proceeds from this event will support uninsured and underinsured individuals who are referred into the Regional Cancer Center’s Lung Cancer Screening program receive Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screenings. Screenings will be performed at Radiology Regional or Florida Radiology Consultants. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Runners will start at 8:15 a.m. with walkers following. Early registration for adults is $25 and $15 for ages under 18. The first 100 registered will receive event T-shirts. A virtual” race will be held for those who cannot attend, with finisher medals provided to those who upload their date/time completed during the month of November. Registration is now open here.
STARability Foundation receives $7,000 from First Watch soft opening
The STARability Foundation benefited from a Friends and Family Pre-Opening event held at First Watch in mid-July at the newly opened restaurant located at 900 Neapolitan Way in Naples. The special fundraising event was held during the restaurant’s soft opening. All who attended were treated to a complimentary fresh breakfast, brunch or lunch entree of their choice plus a beverage. Each guest was asked to donate a minimum of $10 with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the STARability Foundation and, over the two-day opening, funds raised through donations at the restaurant amounted to $6,086. An additional $1,000 was donated to STARability as a result of this event. Kelsie Davidson, regional marketing manager of First Watch, and Gigi Sendejes, First Watch’s Park Shore general manager, presented a check to STARability in August.
Don’t wait until the end of the week to find out what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.