Gulfshore Business Daily: August 2

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Lee County will be one of four host communities in Florida to welcome companies from seven countries as part of the second annual International Trade Summit. Organized by The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, the 2019 Global Business opportunity series will visit Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Bradenton/Sarasota and Tampa for one day each from Aug. 26 to 29. The local event will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, in Conference Room 118 in the Administration East Building, 2201 Second St., Fort Myers. The co-hosts for the local event are the Lee County Economic Development Office, Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association. The sponsor is Seminole Gulf Railway. International companies from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Peru and more will feature wine, snack food, coffee, fruits, apparel, artisanal goods, merchandise companies and state-of-the-art cooking systems during the summit. The mission of the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee is to be the leading platform for global trade in Southwest Florida. For more information, visit


Timothy Cartwright


Fifth Avenue Family Office Partner Timothy Cartwright has been reappointed to serve on the board of the Florida Venture Forum, the statewide support and member organization for investors and entrepreneurs. This is the fourth year that Cartwright has been named to the board, joining the state’s leading venture capitalists to connect fast-growing companies with the capital and services they need. To date, the forum has helped Florida-based companies attract approximately $6 billion of equity capital investment and has contributed more than $9 billion in overall economic value to the state of Florida. The forum organizes programs statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting the Florida Venture Capital Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition and the Florida Early Stage/Angel Capital Conference.


John Caron


CFS Roofing Services Operations Project Manager John Caron passed his Florida Roofing Contractors License exam in July. Caron joined CFS in 2016, after retiring from the U.S. Army, serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. CFS Roofing is a full-service commercial, residential and service/maintenance licensed and insured roofing contractor, based on the West of Florida with offices in Naples, Punta Gorda and Panhandle. For more information, visit



Fran Belasco, administrative director for the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) in Southwest Florida, recently graduated from Destinations International’s (DI) executive program in destination management. Belasco received the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation at the DI Annual Convention, held from July 23-25 in St. Louis, Missouri. The CDME program prepares professionals to leverage their experience and apply their knowledge of destination management with a focus on vision, leadership, productivity and implementing business strategies. It is recognized as the tourism industry’s highest educational achievement, a press release states. Belasco joined the VCB in 2010. She manages the administration team and provides executive-level operations and international marketing support. Belasco holds a Master of Science degree in management and human resources from Hodges University. She also attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and studied sociology.



Preferred Travel of Naples welcomes Robert Wright as an independent travel consultant. Wright has been an entrepreneur in Naples for more than 20 years, working in finance and insurance for several decades. At Preferred Travel, Wright is specializing in European travel, cruises, boutique hotels in exclusive areas and off the beaten path. Founded by Wilma Boyd in 1984, Preferred Travel of Naples Inc. presents a team of domestic and international travel specialists and provides worldwide leisure and corporate travel services to individual clients and groups.



Michael Sheeley announces the re-branding and expansion of MK Architecture. Formerly LOTUS Architecture, MK Architecture will maintain its Fort Myers-College Parkway main office, with additional offices in Naples and Lexington, Kentucky. With its 35-year track record in multifamily and commercial construction, MK Architecture is poised to better serve broader markets.  The firm specializes in multifamily, assisted living, high-rise, commercial and interior design projects.  Local projects include the new Pineapple House Naples, the full renovation of the 24-story hotel conversion to Campo Felice Luxury Independent Living, Riva del Lago, Fort Myers Porsche, Lee County City-County Annex, and the Sanibel Public Library.



Johnny Limbaugh, director of business development at Wright Construction Group, is one of 59 professionals to earn the Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals (SCTPP) credential over the past four months. Since the program launched in 2016, 360 individuals from across the country have earned the credential. The program was launched with the aim to significantly reduce—or ideally eliminate—the 700 motorist and worker fatalities, and nearly 50,000 injuries that occur annually in and around U.S. transportation project sites. It is targeted at significantly elevating safety awareness among the thousands of transportation project workers across the industry who are in decision-making roles and have the competencies necessary to identify and mitigate potentially life-threatening on-site risks from project conception through completion. The program has earned American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation under ISO/IEC 17024:2012 international standard. 



Naples Area Board of REALTORS (NABOR) welcomes Danielle Hudson as its new vice president of public policy, effective Aug. 12. Hudson will monitor political, legislative and regulatory issues affecting the residential and commercial real estate industries in Collier County. She will advocate the REALTOR position to local, state and federal government officials and manage the operations of NABOR’s REALTORS Political Action Committee (RPAC). Hudson, formerly global trade compliance director for Allyn International Services, holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a master’s degree in international relations from Salve Regina University. Before joining NABOR, she served in multiple roles within state government, including internships with Gov. David Cicilline of Rhode Island and with senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island in Washington D.C.



Community Cooperative’s Becoming Cosmopolitan: Fire & Ice fundraiser returns

Community Cooperative has announced the 14th annual Becoming Cosmopolitan fundraiser scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 3 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Presented by FineMark National Bank & Trust. The returning theme will be Fire & Ice featuring Aerial Dragons. The event features shopping, cuisine, cocktails, desserts, a silent and live auction, raffles, music and an after-party. All the proceeds support the women and children’s programs at Community Cooperative. Limited sponsorships are still available. Donations for the event’s silent and live auctions and Key To The Closet raffle are also being accepted. Tickets will go on sale in late-August and will be available for purchase through


Lighthouse of SWFL, McGriff Insurance Services partner for Lighthouse Project

Lighthouse of SWFL recently partnered with McGriff Insurance Services to enhance the vision rehabilitation center as part of McGriff’s 2019 Lighthouse Project, an annual community service initiative that strives to positively impact the community. Over the course of several days, volunteers from McGriff spent time painting the lobby, kitchen, and meeting spaces to improve the appearance and functionality of the facility, as well as provide an updated and comfortable space for clients and their families. In addition to donating the paint and supplies for the project, McGriff Insurance Services also donated new cook tops for the teaching kitchen, which will create a safer and more efficient learning environment for countless individuals working to gain independence through life skills, according to a press release.

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