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AAF-SWFL 2019-2020 Board of Directors and Trustees
AAF-SWFL 2019-2020 Board of Directors and Trustees


Southwest Florida metro areas have been ranked in the Top 10 Places Where Jobs are Most Vulnerable to Automation list by SmartAsset. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island came in at No., with 59.69 percent of jobs reportedly at risk. The jobs most at risk in Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island are retail salespersons, cashiers and servers, according to the study. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, which ranked No. 7, has the second-greatest number of jobs at risk of any metropolitan area in the top 10 list. SmartAsset estimates almost 150,000 jobs of the total 251,400 jobs in Cape Coral-Fort Myers are at risk of being automated. The jobs most at risk in Cape Coral-Fort Myers, according to the study, are the same as Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island. Almost 30,000 jobs are expected to be lost should those occupations be automated, the report states. For more information, including methodology, click here



The Lee Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) recently appointed Town of Fort Myers Beach Mayor Anita Cereceda and Village of Estero Councilmember Jon McLain to the Lee County Tourist Development Council (TDC). Their first TDC meeting serving as councilmembers was Thursday. Cereceda was appointed April 16, and McLain was appointed May 21. Cereceda is serving her third term as mayor and was elected as the first mayor of Fort Myers Beach in 2014. McLain has been a resident of Estero for seven years and lives in Belle Lago. He is a Realtor and most recently as executive vice president of Party City Holdings. Cereceda replaces Holly D. Smith of Sanibel and McLain replaces John Carioscia of Cape Coral. Both will serve two-year terms. The nine-member TDC was established by the BoCC in 1983 to increase off-season tourism to Lee County.



Greater Naples Area Planned Giving Council (GNAPGC) and The Association of Fundraising Professionals Collier-Lee Chapter (AFP) will host the inaugural joint Fundraising Symposium in Southwest Florida from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Holiday Inn, Fort Myers Airport Town Center. The Fundraising Symposium will offer workshops and addresses by distinguished keynote speakers, who will share their experience and fundraising knowledge. Featured speakers include Vicki Pugh, vice president for development at Palm Beach Atlantic University, faculty member of Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; Jay Love, CRO and co-founder of Bloomerang; and Lynn Malzone Ierardi, director of gift planning at University of Pennsylvania, author of Storytelling – The Secret Sauce of Fundraising Success. Click here to register. The symposium is approved by Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFRE).


AAF-SWFL 2019-2020 Board of Directors and Trustees


The newly re-launched American Advertising Federation-Southwest Florida (AAF-SWFL) chapter officially began its tenure on July 1 with a kickoff event and swearing in ceremony in downtown Fort Myers on July 25. Now accepting membership applications, AAF-SWFL is open to advertisers, agencies, media companies, and advertising service providers in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades, and Hendry counties. Board members include Tim Hennessy, president; Kate Kintz, vice president; Jim Wyatt, treasurer; Julie Lawrence, secretary; Wendy Payton, immediate past president; Don Gross, membership chair; Chris Wright-Isak, education chair; Josh Pope, creative director; Erin Donati, events chair; Josh Milton, communications chair; Stephen Gray-Blancett, ADDY chair; Earl Quenzel, public service chair; and at-large members Laura Brandano; Bob Beville; Nancy Solliday; and Teri Hansen. The board of trustees includes chair Wendy Payton; Gary Firestone; Kerri Goldsmith; Stephen Gray-Blancett; Steve Hagewood; and Christopher Spiro.


Alexander Miel


Alexander Miel has joined Allyn International Services Inc. as a logistics specialist at its global headquarters in Fort Myers. Miel is responsible for collecting and communicating all necessary information related to upcoming and ongoing shipments, projects and services. Miel will also be providing support, consulting, and obtaining best possible transportation rates for one of Allyn’s biggest clients. Before joining Allyn, Miel earned his Bachelor of Arts in integrated studies from Florida Gulf Coast University. Miel brings to Allyn experience in transportation services, most recently serving as assistant manager at Penske Truck Leasing.



Guadalupe Center has earned its fifth consecutive five-star rating from the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida, the only preschool in Collier County to earn five stars every year since 2015. Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program serves more than 300 students ages 6 weeks through 5 years old, culminating with a pre-K program that sees 95 percent of graduates meet or exceed Florida’s kindergarten readiness standards. The coalition’s “Southwest Florida Stars” program is a voluntary rating system, similar to an accreditation, in which child care providers allow evaluation teams to examine three primary areas: learning environments and classroom interactions; screening, assessment and curriculum; and professional development and staff qualifications.



Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts (SCBR) has announced a new corporate leadership structure. Effective Aug. 1, Tony Lapi assumed the role of chairman of the board and president, with Doug Babcock now leading day-to-day operations as chief executive officer and vice president. Both Lapi and Babcock are majority owners of the corporation. Lapi first purchased with others ‘Tween Waters Inn in 1976, then added Beachview Cottages in 1979 and Castaways Cottages in 1982. With family ownership of both ‘Tween Waters Inn and West Wind Inn, Babcock was key in the addition of West Wind Inn to Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts in 2015, along with the launch of Sanibel Captiva Island Vacation Rentals in 2018. In total, SCBR offers visitors to Southwest Florida more than 400 lodging choices including resorts and vacation rental homes and condos; five restaurants including Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille at ‘Tween Waters, plus Normandie Seaside Cafe at West Wind Inn, two marinas, and day spa.


Annie Banion


The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) welcomes Annie Banion to the administration team as its new communications specialist. Her role will include assisting in the promotion of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel as a visitor destination in media outlets, both domestically and internationally. Banion’s duties will also include providing administrative, technical and analytical support, as well as assisting with journalists’ visits and media inquiries. She joins the VCB with experience in communication, public relations and member services. Most recently, Banion served as membership and communications director for the Lee Building Industry Association. She began her professional career in hospitality by serving in several roles at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village. Banion earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in management.



Fort Myers Miracle ‘Vs. Cancer Night’ held today

The Fort Myers Miracle have joined other Minor League Baseball teams across America to raise money for Vs. Cancer, the signature fundraising campaign of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The Miracle will host Vs. Cancer Night today at Hammond Stadium to generate support for pediatric brain tumor research as well as family support and child life programs. Fans can donate at the ballpark and purchase raffle tickets for baseballs autographed by former, current and future MLB ballplayers. Sport Clips also will be on hand offering haircuts in exchange for donations. Minor league teams have turned the Vs. Cancer fundraiser into a competition, allowing donors to offer online contributions on behalf of their favorite Single-A, Double-A or Triple-A baseball team. Several Miracle players also have created their own accounts and are soliciting donations from fans. To donate to the Miracle’s Vs. Cancer campaign, visit Team.CureTheKids.org/team/233684. Vs. Cancer Night highlights an eight-game homestand. For more information about baseball tickets and game-day promotions, call (239) 768-4210 or visit MiracleBaseball.com.


New grant challenge supports ‘Ding’ Darling’s Wildlife on Wheels

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) have received an anonymous challenge grant in support of the “Ding” Darling Refuge’s Wildlife on Wheels (WoW) project. The grant will match all donations made by Dec. 31, 2019, dollar for dollar up to $50,000. The goal is to reach $255,000 total. “Ding” Darling aims to unveil WoW in March 2020, if the money can be raised by the end of December. Donations will fund learning stations that interpret mangrove ecosystems, water quality, water conservation, pollution and plastic, animal scats and tracks, Florida’s native animals, wildlife sounds, and other topics that meet the refuge’s mission. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation that will double its impact in support of the WoW project can contact Miller at (239) 472-1100 ext. 4 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.


Sunshine Ace, Crowder Bros. Ace customers donate to red tide recovery

Customers at Sunshine Ace Hardware and Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware stores joined a quest to improve local waterways and the economy by donating $9,529 for red tide recovery programs. Over a 17-day period this summer, Ace Hardware associates asked customers if they’d like to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar to support Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Florida, an organization that is restocking coastal waters following massive fish kills in 2018. Nine Sunshine Ace stores in Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Pinellas, as well as two Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware stores in Manatee County, participated in the CCA Florida collection.


Soma celebrates 15 years with special sale Sunday

Chico’s FAS’ intimates brand, Soma, will host a $15 bra sale event in celebration of the brand’s 15 years of business. The Soma anniversary sale event will take place in-store only on Sunday. In addition to offering all women the opportunity to purchase one Soma bra for $15, the brand will be donating $1 for every bra purchased throughout the event, up to $100,000, to I Support the Girls. The $15 bra event is one per customer, in-store only and one-day only, on August 11, 2019. Other rules and restrictions apply. For more information, visit Soma.com. Soma has more than 250 boutiques and outlets nationwide and 2,200 bra-fit experts.


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