Gulfshore Business Daily: August 11

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Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort Naples


Major additions to amenities are planned at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in North Naples. Work began last week on a project that includes a new outdoor restaurant, pool bar and event lawn targeted for completion by the end of November, as well as new swimming pools, a lazy river, waterslides and more to be completed next May, according to a news release from the local luxury hotel. The new immersive water activities will occupy more than 14,000 square feet adjacent to the hotel and include a new adult pool, children’s pool and play areas, two body waterslides, a tube waterslide and a 600-foot lazy river. The new outdoor restaurant and pool bar will be a contemporary casual dining concept with a new 3,600-square-foot event lawn located just off of the main dining patio. For the full story, click here.



The Real Estate Investment Society (REIS) will host its August meeting in a live, interactive online format at noon today. The meeting, “Big Shifts Ahead for Housing in a Post-COVID World,” will highlight community amenities, home plans for work and play, and accommodating new technology. Lesley Deutch, managing principal of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, will be the speaker. The event is presented at no charge by the REIS. Midland Trust is the sponsor. Registration is required here.


LeeTran will host two virtual public workshops to gather public input on its 10-year Transit Development Plan Update. The first virtual public workshop takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. today. Register here. The second workshop takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday. Register here. Each public meeting will feature identical information but are planned to allow more opportunities for the public to participate at their convenience. To register via phone or email, please contact Yvonne McClellan at 239-285-7552 or email Following a brief presentation by LeeTran staff and its consultants, a panel will respond to comments submitted in advance or during the meeting. To submit questions in advance, contact McClellan via email or by phone. Please submit questions via email or phone by 5 p.m. on the day before the workshop. Please include #LeeTranTDP1 or #LeeTranTDP2 in the subject line of your email, depending on which virtual public workshop you plan to attend. To request an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a reasonable modification to participate, contact Joan LaGuardia, 239-533- 2314, Florida Relay Service 711, or



Healthcare Network is offering free mental health support to teachers, school employees and their families who may be anxious about upcoming plans to open schools during COVID-19. Through an emergency grant of $50,000 from the medical aid organization Direct Relief, in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers, Healthcare Network will use the funds to provide up to three free visits with mental health providers. The free services are available to essential frontline workers and their families including but not limited to teachers, school employees, healthcare workers, protective service and first responders, grocery store workers, agricultural workers, janitors and maintenance workers, and restaurant workers in Southwest Florida. The grant will support up to a total of 500 visits before Nov. 14. Frontline workers who are interested in making appointments with mental healthcare professionals at Healthcare Network should call 239-658-3185. Appointments are available via telehealth or at Healthcare Network location. Learn more at

Tiffany Esposito


SWFL Inc. will help businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19 with help from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). Tiffany Esposito, president and CEO of SWFL Inc., has been selected by ACCE to study economic recovery and resilience strategies with 41 other chambers of commerce professionals from across the U.S. The Fellowship for Economic Recovery is an immersive, 10-month executive development program that provides chamber of commerce professionals with education and tools to improve the post-COVID-19 pandemic outcomes in the communities they serve. Throughout the fellowship, participants focus on addressing different aspects of economic recovery from education and talent to economic development and entrepreneurship. The curriculum will focus on strategies for building equitable economic outcomes and creating economies that work for everyone. For more information, visit

Jesse Meyers


Hodges University has promoted Jesse Meyers to the director of student accounts and veteran services. In his new role, Meyers continues to manage the student and institutional receivables as well as VA benefits programs for the university’s veteran students. He and his team also work with the university’s veteran students to help ensure they maximize their military education benefits. For alumni and donors, Meyers helps ensure their support is directed in a strategic, fiscally responsible way. Meyers served 10 years in the U.S. Army, including six years as a military police officer, and four years in talent acquisition. He joined Hodges University in May 2018 as the assistant director of student accounts and veteran services. He graduated from Minnesota State University with his Bachelor of Science degree in law enforcement and psychology and is now working on his master’s degree in business administration. In addition to his responsibilities at Hodges University, Meyers serves as the vice president of the Collier County Veterans Council.

Chelsea Castoria


CONRIC PR & Marketing has welcomed Chelsea Castoria to its team as digital marketing coordinator. In her role, Castoria will be responsible for enhancing CONRIC and their clients’ online brand presence. She will collaborate closely with CONRIC team members and clients to manage accounts and projects. She will work with the company president to launch CONRIC’s first podcast that will closely align with the agency’s #SWFLStrong campaign. Castoria brings more than 10 years of radio, community relations and social media management experience to the team. Most recently, she was the “Morning Drive” radio presenter for Sun Broadcasting’s 93XFM, where she also served as social media director. During her time at Sun, the station’s online presence saw rapid growth and she developed a following with her daily Facebook Live segment, “Coffee with Chelsea.” Castoria has also represented several local brands in the community as a brand ambassador and has her own podcast and blog.


‘Normal is Overrated’ students to host food donation drive

In partnership with Lee Health’s Kids’ Minds Matter, Healthy Lee, Costco and the Midwest Food Bank, this year’s “Normal Is Overrated” students are hosting a student event from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday at Costco at Gulf Coast Town Center to bring in donations for families in need. All donations are welcome, including EBT card funds. Students can donate the EBT card funds by purchasing food at Costco and delivering it to the Midwest Food Bank truck stationed in the Costco parking lot. “Normal is Overrated” is an annual mental health event that allows high school students to speak about their mental health issues. The event takes place in September and is meant to create awareness for student mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding this topic.

Earn to Learn FL receives $360,000 grant from AmeriCorps Florida

Earn to Learn FL is one of three new organizations to receive an AmeriCorps Florida grant this year to launch Near Peer Coaching for Postsecondary Success. Florida has been awarded $16.2 million from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to fund 36 AmeriCorps programs throughout the state during 2020-2021, Volunteer Florida CEO Clay Ingram announced. Together, these programs will recruit and manage 1,497 AmeriCorps members who will serve in 32 counties through the Sunshine State. The 40 AmeriCorps members sponsored by Earn to Learn FL and Volunteer Florida will provide success coaching to support a successful transition from high school to postsecondary education in Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, Hillsborough, Glades and Lee counties. The AmeriCorps members, sponsored by Earn to Learn FL and Volunteer Florida, will be serving 900 hours with a $9,000 stipend for their service, plus an additional education stipend of over $3,000 at the end of their 12-month service. The education award may be used to pay educational expenses at eligible post-secondary institutions, including many technical schools and G.I. Bill approved programs, or to repay qualified student loans.

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