Gulfshore Business Daily: August 14, 2018

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In the first seven months of 2018, Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) has already surpassed the 1 million-passenger threshold. The one-millionth passenger of 2018, as well as the 6-millionth passenger since commercial service commenced in 2007, traveled through PGD in July. PGD is Allegiant’s fourth-biggest operation with six to nine Airbus A320s stationed on site, varying seasonally. PGD officials predict the 2018 passenger count will total nearly 1.5 million by the end of December.  In July there were 73,721 departing passengers and 71,705 arriving passengers, totaling 145,426. This is a 24.51 percent increase in passenger traffic for July 2018 compared with July 2017, when there were 116,799 passengers. For more statistics and information, click here.


The Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association (SRMA) After Hours Social will take place tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Palm City Brewing Company in San Carlos Park. The association regularly organizes informational workshops, seminars and other activities like the After Hours Social to engage members and enhance their benefits. Tickets to attend the event cost $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers. The price includes small bites, one beer, a tour of the facility and networking opportunities. The brewery is also running a cash-only special for After Hours Social attendees: a wagyu beef burger and pint of beer brewed at Palm City for $10. 


Hilton Naples and its Shula’s Steak House restaurant will now serve guests with only biodegradable paper straws. The move is part of Hilton Naples’ commitment to conserving resources and protecting the environment. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection designated Hilton Naples as a Three Palm member of its Florida Green Lodging Program, which establishes environmental guidelines for hotels to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. The decision for the change in straws is partially based on statistics showing that straws contribute to the 5.25 trillion pieces of marine trash that have ended up in the ocean, according to a press release citing National Geographic, and that the small size of straws makes them dangerous for marine animals.


The Uncommon Friends Foundation is closing nominations for its 2018 Business Ethics Award on Sept. 1. Finalists will be announced in advance and honored at a special business ethics luncheon hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University’s Lutgert School of Business and the Uncommon Friends Foundation on Oct. 23. The recipient of the Business Ethics Award will be announced at the annual Uncommon Evening on Nov. 8 at the historic Burroughs Home & Gardens in Fort Myers. Companies that have already submitted nominations for 2018 are asked to call (239) 337-9503 and confirm that their nomination has been received and is on file. Businesses in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades Counties who consistently demonstrate a system-wide commitment to high ethical business practices are eligible to apply. Businesses can nominate themselves or be nominated by a third party. The nomination form and guidelines are available at  


Tamiami Angel Fund III has invested in Revibe Technologies, whose flagship product is a wristband that reminds users to stay on task in the classroom, in the office or at home. The members of Tamiami Angel Fund III invested $350,000 in North Carolina-based Revibe, which is the fund’s sixth company in its investment portfolio. Tamiami Angel Funds are member-managed funds that allow high-net-worth individuals and families to invest in promising early stage and expansion-stage companies located in the U.S., with a preference to those in the state of Florida. Rich Brancaccio, a former North Carolina school psychologist, invented Revibe.  


Hope Healthcare’s board of directors has welcomed Lori Shaffer, senior vice president at Chico’s FAS, as a new board member. Shaffer joined the company in 1998 and has held numerous leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including director of merchandising and vice president controller. In 2008, she assumed responsibility for the Chico’s FAS outlet business. Shaffer, a Fort Myers resident who also serves on Chico’s corporate giving board, joins current Hope Healthcare board members including Noreen DiPlacido, Joe Gammons, Rev. Dr. Tim Halverson, Larry Hart, West McCann, Sandy Stilwell, and Trudi K. Williams. The board’s officers include chairman Bo Turbeville, vice-chair Jerry Nichols, treasurer Charles Idelson, and past chair Sandy Robinson. The not-for-profit is led by Samira K. Beckwith, its president and CEO. Board members serve three-year terms.


The Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic ( has been selected as one of six recipients nationwide to receive a grant from the NORCAL Group Foundation, a foundation dedicated to improving healthcare in local communities.  The Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic currently offers a treatment model for low-income, uninsured pain patients utilizing medical and chiropractic care, massage and physical therapy, modalities, and health and exercise counseling to treat patients at the source of their pain without the use of drugs. NORCAL Group Foundation funding will assist in expansion of services for patients in need.


Roetzel & Andress shareholder Sarah E. Spector is the newly appointed co-chair of the Lee County Bar Association’s land use and governmental law section. Spector represents clients in zoning and land use matters, including environmental resource and water use permitting, local and state code compliance, and private and government agreement drafting and negotiation. As a board-certified specialist in condominium and planned development law, she also represents condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ association clients with the management and operational aspects of governing their communities as well as zoning and land use matters. In addition to her role with the Lee County Bar, Spector is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Southwest Florida Chapter, and the Community Associations Institute, South Gulf Coast Chapter, where she serves as its current president. Spector is also the vice president of the Babcock Neighborhood School Governing Board. She earned her law degree from the Florida State University College of Law.

Charitable Notes

Inaugural Big Green EGGfest raises $25,000 for five organizations

More than 1,000 Southwest Florida residents joined Sunshine Ace Hardware for its first Big Green EGGfest held on June 2, raising $25,000 to benefit five local nonprofit organizations. In partnership with Farm City BBQ, Sunshine Ace Hardware donated the proceeds from the event to Youth Leadership Collier, Collier County 4-H Association, Collier County Junior Deputies League, Northside Naples Kiwanis Club, and The Morning Rotary Club of Bonita Springs. Attendees were treated to grilling demonstrations, music, special promotions and a Big Green Egg raffle. EGGfest participants also sampled food from 14 chefs competing in the event’s grilling competition to name the 2018 EGGhead Grill Master. PBS Contracting won the grilling competition with barbecue cooked on the Big Green Egg, earning the title and a Big Green Egg MiniMax. 

AIA awards more than $6,000 in scholarships

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Southwest Florida chapter honored six local students during its 2018 scholarship awards program hosted by Richlin Interiors at Miromar Design Center. Scholarship recipients were: Dylan Scallan, Emma Pritchett, Sydney Matsumoto, Kaci Seitzinger, Christian Alonzo and Allie Stefanick.

Leg it for Literacy’ 5K coming in September

The “Leg It for Literacy” 5K run/walk will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 8 at Sugden Park, with two laps around Lake Avalon. The event will benefit Literacy Volunteers of Collier County and costs $25 for a timed 5K and $20 for a family-friendly fun run or walk. T-shirts, hydration stations, medals and refreshments will be provided to participants. To register, visit For more information, call (239) 262-4448.


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