Lead Photo: Attendees at the 2018 SWFL INCredible Awards event chat before the program. Photo Credit: Jesi Cason. Details below.
Video courtesy of WINK News
BUSINESS BOOMING AT FORT MYERS BEACH DESPITE COVID-19 SURGE
Business is booming at Fort Myers Beach despite the dramatic surge in coronavirus cases, as tourism all around Southwest Florida sets new records. It’s doing so well, in fact, that those working in hospitality are struggling to keep up with demand as tourism exceeds expectations. The Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce says it has seen a record summer season, with people from all over the country flocking to the region. Like most of the country, the area is facing a shortage in the workforce, so hotels and restaurants are having a more difficult time than usual trying to accommodate all their guests, WINK News reports.
CRISP & GREEN, GULF COAST ORTHODONTICS COMING TO POINTE AT FOUNDERS SQUARE
Crisp & Green eatery and Gulf Coast Orthodontics are the latest additions coming to The Pointe at Founders Square on the southeast corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard in North Naples, developer Barron Collier Companies announced this week. It will be the first Collier County office for longtime Fort Myers resident Dr. Michèle Laboda, who operates orthodontia offices in Fort Myers and Estero. The Naples location will be the first in Southwest Florida for Minnesota-based Crisp & Green, a fast-casual restaurant concept serving a menu of healthy, whole meals including grain bowls, salads and smoothies. The Naples opening this winter is part of the fast-growing chain’s expansion into Florida with a dozen locations expected in Orlando, Tampa and other markets.
Video courtesy of WINK News
22 TEACHERS ABSENT AT ONE AREA SCHOOL AFTER BEING EXPOSED TO COVID-19
Scores of teachers, more than a third of all teachers at one local elementary school, are absent after either testing positive for or being exposed to COVID-19. Now, a few classrooms are closed and parents are saying no one from the district let them know. Pelican Elementary School in Cape Coral has 22 teachers in quarantine. Parents say they want the Lee County school district to just be transparent with them about what is happening. Those same parents said they had no idea about the quarantine situation when they lined up to pick up their kids this week, WINK News reports.
LEE COUNTY BLACK HISTORY SOCIETY TO KICK OFF CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
The Lee County Black History Society (LCBHC) will officially kick off a capital campaign to raise money to construct a Black Cultural Center at Clemente Park in Dunbar at 10 a.m. on Aug. 30 in front of the Williams Academy Black History Museum at Clemente Park in Fort Myers. Councilwoman Watkins Brown will kick off the funding of the capital campaign by donating $25,000. As part of the City of Fort Myers’ comprehensive plan for Clemente Park, residents have expressed their desire to construct a Black Cultural Center in the expansive urban green space available, the LCBHC states. The first floor of the cultural center will include an art gallery with large glass windows. The second floor will be a community space for events and performances, and the third floor will include music studios, where residents can produce music, podcasts or photography. Currently, the LCBHC operates the Williams Academy Black History Museum at Clemente Park.
TICKET SALES CLOSE NEXT WEEK FOR SWFL INCREDIBLE AWARDS
Tickets sales end next week for the 2021 SWFL INCredible Awards. The event celebrates select businesses, nonprofits and individuals in Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties and takes place on Sept. 9 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa. The awards to be presented are Small Business of the Year, which is celebrating its 21st year, Nonprofit of the Year, Innovation Award, INCredible Award and SWFL Citizen of the Year. Both individual tickets and tables are available for reservation. The tickets are $95 and are available online.
THE GOLISANO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF NAPLES RESTRUCTURES LEADERSHIP
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON) announced the restructuring of its executive leadership team. To prepare for CMON’s second decade in business, the existing leadership team and board of directors have created a C-suite of officers, shifting Dena Rae Hancock from executive director to chief executive officer. Hancock has served as executive director of CMON since August 2020, when her role changed from interim to permanent. Hancock joined the organization in 2019, lending her expertise in philanthropy and advancement. Before joining CMON, she was vice president of institutional advancement at Marian University and director of campaign and major gifts for the Indianapolis Zoological Society. Beth Housewert, senior director of play and learning, and Desiree Cuenca, director of marketing and engagement, will keep the same titles until further notice.
RIGSBY & BRESEE JOIN EXP REALTY, OPEN NAPLES BRANCH OFFICE
Phillip M. Rigsby and Matt Bresee have joined eXp Realty, one of the fastest-growing real estate tech companies in the world. Rigsby & Bresee focus on Naples and Southwest Florida Real Estate with 31 years of combined experience as full-time professional Realtors. Additionally, they have opened a new branch office at 5633 Strand Blvd., Suite 310, in North Naples. Rigsby & Bresee have been an award-winning real estate team for sales volume since joining together. A subsidiary of a publicly traded company, eXp Realty has more than 60,000 agents in 17 countries.
WILSON CREATIVE GROUP ADDS RIVAS AS ACCOUNT COORDINATOR
Wilson Creative Group (WCG) has appointed Gabriela (Gabi) Rivas to account coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for supporting all account service and public relations efforts and serving as a liaison between the agency’s clients and its creative team. Rivas recently obtained a master’s degree in media and communication studies from Florida State University (FSU) and served as a graduate teaching assistant in FSU’s College of Communication. She has a bachelor’s degree in communication with a focus on public relations from Florida Gulf Coast University, where she worked as a continuous improvement initiative intern for FGCU’s Office of the Ombuds. She currently holds FGCU’s diversity and inclusion certificate, FEMA’s social media emergency management certificate, and the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education diploma.
JOHN R. WOOD PROPERTIES ADDS SALAY TEAM
John R. Wood Properties has added the Salay team, consisting of Kimberly and John Salay and Lindsay Umphred, to its Broad Avenue South office. Kimberly is an award-winning, multimillion-dollar residential real estate sales associate with nearly 20 years of experience in waterfront property, resort property and golf course community residences. John began his real estate career after 28 years of experience in the sporting goods industry. The Salays have been southwest Florida residents since 2007. Umphred, the team’s newest sales associate, grew up visiting her grandfather in Pelican Bay and moved to Naples full-time after graduating from Purdue University with a degree in public relations and strategic communication.
INTEGRITY EMPLOYEE LEASING PROMOTES ROBERTS
Integrity Employee Leasing, headquartered in Punta Gorda, has promoted three employees and hired five. Catherine Roberts has been promoted to data analytics manager. She started with the company in 2018. Angela Garcia has been promoted to financial manager and will lead the accounting department. Tami Berndt was hired as payroll processor has been promoted to lead payroll processor. To enhance processing, data and finance teams, Integrity Employee Leasing has also hired Caitlin Kingery, business consultant; Ciara Leyva, staff accountant; Debbie Beaver, payroll specialist; Neel Patel, data analyst and Randy Valdez, staff accountant. The company says it has additional employment opportunities available.
Labor Day 5K Run/Walk to benefit Friends of Foster Children Forever
Registration is open for the Friends of Foster Children Forever’s annual “Labor Day 5K Run/Walk,” held on Sept. 6 at Lowdermilk Park in Naples. The public is invited to take part in this family-friendly event. All proceeds will go to the foster children. Register online.
Mercola Market to host Mid-Cape 5K Color Fun Run on Sept. 25
Mercola Market & Café of Cape Coral will host Mid-Cape 5K Color Fun Run from 6-9 p.m. on Sept. 25, at the new Mercola Market, 125 SW Third Place, Cape Coral, and go through the local area where runners pass different color stations at participating businesses. Registration for the run is $15 per adult and $10 for kids 14 and younger. To register, click here and search ‘Mercola Market’ under ‘Find a Race.’ The Market invites runners and their families to continue the fun with music, raffles, beer and wine specials, and 10% off all market and café items. Participating businesses include Wicked Dolphin Rum, ENG Crossfit, Sun Splash Family Waterpark, Cape Coral Animal Shelter and Team Doogie.
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