Gulfshore Business Daily: August 29

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The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce has announced Teri Hansen as the recipient of this year’s APEX Awards. The 13th Annual APEX Awards, presented by Vector & Ink, took place on Aug. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa. The black-tie optional awards ceremony is designed to honor an individual who demonstrates career excellence and ingenuity, gives back to the community, and supports others in attaining their professional goals. Hansen, is the owner and president of Priority Marketing, which recently celebrated 25 years in business. Hansen is a Fort Myers native and started her business shortly after the birth of her daughter. Hansen ran her business from home until her daughter reached school age, at which time she opened an office and hired a small staff. Since then, Priority Marketing to become one of the region’s largest full-service marketing, advertising, and public relations firms with 35 employees. Hansen is also one of the founding members of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), and a member of FPRA’s Counselor’s Network.


Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has appointed Michael V. Reagen to the Collier Mosquito Control District Board of Commissioners. Reagen is filling the board seat vacated earlier this year when David Chapman resigned from the elected position. The district’s five commissioners are elected at-large and serve four-year terms. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates the state’s mosquito control organizations and under Florida Statutes 388, any mid-term vacancy on the board is filled by appointment by the Commissioner of Agriculture to complete the term. Reagen will serve the District’s Seat 5 position through December 2020. Reagen is the retired president and CEO of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and a business consultant and advisor.


The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation has appointed Mike Cosden, executive vice president at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, to its board of trustees. In this role, he will support the Florida Trust’s mission to promote the preservation of the architectural, historical and archaeological heritage of Florida through advocacy, education and stewardship. Founded in 1978, the organization is dedicated to protecting Florida’s heritage and history. It has worked to save important sites, such as the Florida capitol, serves as a steward for historic Florida properties and is a partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Participation with Florida Trust will help keep Edison Ford better connected to the national preservation community and expand efforts to preserve history and culture in Florida, according to a press release.


Marcelo Zottolo has been promoted to vice president of data analytics and continuous improvement at Lee Health. In his expanded role, Zottolo will be responsible for using data, analytics and business and clinical intelligence strategies to enhance decision-making in quality improvement. He will also oversee a specialized analytics team that will work to develop data-driven initiatives to provide system-wide support for operations and continuous improvement of Lee Health’s strategic priorities. Zottolo has been with Lee Health for almost eight years. During the last three years, he has led the process analytics team and prior to that held the role of process improvement engineer in the lean transformation office. Before joining Lee Health, he worked as a consultant for PMC, an operations improvement consulting firm in Dearborn, Michigan. Zottolo holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a master’s in health informatics from the University of South Florida.


The Planned Giving Council of Lee County Inc. will present “Ethical Fundraising with Older Adults,” at its meeting held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 at Blue Coyote Business & Social Club in Fort Myers. This presentation will explore the legal and ethical considerations of executing planned gifts and charitable giving options with donors who may have cognitive impairment. Speakers will be Beth Prather, elder law attorney, and Dotty St. Amand, executive director of Arden Courts Memory Care Community. The event is free to members.  The cost for non-members is $30 and includes lunch.  Reservation deadline is Sept. 24 at noon. To RSVP, go to


Suffolk launched its internal Career Start program in 2007 as a “boot camp” for its Build Smart approach to construction management. The program moves its participants through eight-month rotations in preconstruction, project management, and field operations. Eleven years later, 179 employees have graduated from the program nationally and the company is reportedly seeing an incredibly high retention rate among graduates. Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) alumnus Jack Hernandez graduates from the program this month and will be starting his permanent position in Suffolk’s preconstruction department as an estimator. FGCU graduate Alex Brawley just joined the Career Start program and will be doing his first rotation at University Village Phase II until March 2019. Chase Hilderbrand, another FGCU alumnus, is kicking off his second year in a project management rotation at Bentley Village until December, then will join Suffolk’s preconstruction department. Two additional Career Start participants who graduated from other schools are also starting their final years of the program. 


'Kids Racing for Life' receives $3K from Norris Furniture & Interiors

Fort Myers-based Zoeller Motorsports Ministries' "Kids Racing for Life" program received a $3,000 donation from Norris Furniture & Interiors for its annual program from Sept. 7-9. The not-for-profit program, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, sends local children battling cancer and their families to exclusives races at the Sebring International Raceway. The children also get the chance to meet the drivers, ride in race cars around the track, attend a pizza party and more. "Kids Racing for Life" is still looking for additional sponsors for this year. For more information, visit

Annual ElevateHer dinner set for October

The Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation will host its annual ElevateHer dinner from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 at Vyne House at Talis Park, Naples. This year’s event will include cocktail hour in the courtyard and a plated dinner. Sen. Kathleen Passidomo is the keynote speaker. ElevateHer aims to increase investments in programs that educate, boost security and entrepreneurship while advocating for policies to elevate women and their communities. The program also offers women the opportunity to graduate from college with little to no debt. To learn more about what the program supports, go to Sponsorship opportunities are still available. 

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