Gulfshore Business Daily: December 4

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The Fort Myers Miracle baseball team changed its name to the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, effective Tuesday. Andrew Kaufmann, CEO and owner of Zawyer Sports, which owns the team, announced the name change Tuesday during a VIP event at Hammond Stadium attended by elected officials, community and business leaders, corporate sponsors, media and baseball fans. Mussel Man, a hulk of an animated clam, will share mascot duties with Sway, the lovable, oversized palm tree that’s been pumping up fans at Hammond Stadium since 2015. The Mighty Mussels will remain a Class-A Advanced Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and play home games at CenturyLink Sports Complex. The franchise began in 1926 as the Fort Myers Palms, a name that paid tribute to the city’s stately royal palm trees.



The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau announced that tourist development tax revenues collected during fiscal year 2018-2019 (Oct. 1, 2018 – Sept. 30, 2019) totaled $4.34 million. This is up 5.1% over fiscal year 2018-2019 ($4.12 million). Since the Bureau’s inception in 1997, this is the most tourist development tax revenues Charlotte County has collected during one fiscal year. In addition to the 7% sales tax, Charlotte County levies a 5% tourist development tax on accommodation stays six months or less. The first 3% is spent for tourism promotion and marketing support and the fourth and fifth percent are used to fund the debt service on the bond for the recent renovations at the Charlotte Sports Park. For information, contact Jennifer Huber at (941) 743-1900 or



Naples Airport Authority is initiating a voluntary study to assess its airport noise compatibility planning. The Noise and Land Use Compatibility Update, also known as a Part 150 study, provides a structured approach for airport operators, pilots, neighboring communities and the FAA to evaluate opportunities to address community concerns regarding noise exposure, while preserving safety and operational capabilities of the airport. As part of the NAA’s objective to include extensive public involvement, it is forming a Technical Advisory Committee for the two-and-a-half-year study that will include community volunteers representing the city and county. Interested citizens are encouraged to apply. For information about the Technical Advisory Committee, membership criteria, and the application process, visit Applications must be received by Dec. 31.



Operation Pet Rescue (OPR) and Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT) have joined together to help victims of abuse. Up to 70% of abuse victims do not leave their abuser because they would have to leave their pet behind, oftentimes in fear of the pet’s safety. OPR is taking in these pets so the victims can enter shelter, especially in an emergency, and know that their pet is safe until they’ve secured safe, independent housing when their pets can once again be with them. For more information, visit



The Inn on Fifth & Club Level Suites in downtown Naples has promoted Milena Maksimova to general manager, while adding five other key promotions and additions to the management team. Other internal promotions include front of house manager Miriam Graniel; revenue manager Shanda Williamson; and club level manager Nancy Hernandez. New to the hotel’s executive team are catering and conference services manager Reena Felix; and group sales manager Tammy Smith. The management announcement comes on the heels of a recently completed $5 million renovation in October. For more information, visit



Ashley Shenk has assumed an equity partnership position with NOISE Inc. Most recently, Shenk served as vice president of brand experience. Her equity position provides her the opportunities to participate in the direction of NOISE Inc. in consumer brands, particularly hospitality and tourism, healthcare, outdoor recreation, entertainment, food and beverage, real estate, retail and financial services. Prior to joining NOISE, Shenk owned Kalon Consulting of Fort Myers, whose clients are now serviced under the NOISE Brand. She possesses more than 15 years of travel, tourism and hospitality marketing experience. Shenk holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and two master’s degrees from the University of Tampa—an MBA as well as an MS in marketing.


Lisa Spiller


Preferred Travel of Naples has hired Lisa Spiller as a luxury travel advisor. Spiller has 25 years of experience serving clientele in the luxury hospitality and travel industry. She specializes in extensive international travel and port knowledge extending over six continents, 60 countries and islands, and more than 100 ports of call. Most recently, Spiller served as director of residential sales aboard The World-Residence at Sea, the only private residential community at sea. Previous travel industry experience also includes many years working aboard cruise lines such as Holland America, Royal Majesty, Dolphin, and the Greek family-owned cruise line Sunline Cruises. For over six years, she traveled and hosted international clientele and escorted tours in global ports of call. In between these career highlights, Spiller built a successful sales and marketing career in the hospitality industry. 


Chris Batchelor


Diamond Custom Homes has appointed Chris Batchelor as vice president of operations. Batchelor, a seasoned construction industry executive with more than 30 years of residential and commercial experience, will oversee all of Diamond Custom Homes’ construction operations including new construction, remodeling, warranty service, estate management, and its cabinetry division, with accountability for each division’s customer satisfaction, and profit and loss. Batchelor is a state-certified general contractor in Florida and Tennessee, and studied business administration at Arizona State University. Prior to owning his own construction company, he worked with national homebuilders and developers, and also with companies in the oil and gas industry.


Jeffrey A. Muddell


The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co. has hired Jeffrey A. Muddell as senior vice president, wealth services. Muddell joins the company after 12 years in nonprofit management and philanthropy, primarily in the health care sector. Most recently, he served as system director of gift planning for the Lee Health Foundation in Fort Myers. Muddell previously spent 18 years in the Orlando area, leading fundraising efforts at Orlando Health Foundation, and serving as vice president at Pace Center for Girls and senior fundraising consultant at Winkler Group. Muddell holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Florida’s Warrington School of Business and is in the process of earning his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Miami and began his professional career in broadcasting and journalism. He can be found at The Trust Co.’s Palm Ridge Road office on Sanibel Island.


Denise Tyler


Attorney Denise M. Tyler has joined the law firm of Cardillo Keith Bonaquist, P.A. Tyler is a graduate of Hamilton College and Suffolk University Law School in Boston. During her time at Suffolk, she was a member of and note editor for the Suffolk University Law Review and graduated cum laude to earn her Juris Doctor in 2005. Tyler was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2005 and the U.S. District Court (Middle District) in 2008. She was previously a prosecutor for the 20th judicial circuit state attorney’s office and was a private criminal defense attorney for 11 years. She specializes in practice areas of real estate law and title insurance, civil transactional work and criminal defense. She is a member of the Collier County Bar Association, Collier County Women’s Bar Association, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and The Fund and the Old Republic National Title Insurance Co.



 Stock Development to host open house benefitting Toys and Joys

Stock Development invites guests to attend a companywide open house event from noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. The event will benefit the 2019 Toys and Joys Holiday Toy Drive, an initiative of the Collier Building Industry Association for more than 10 years. The event brings holiday joy to 2,000 girls and boys in Southwest Florida each year. Guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift and explore dozens of model residences and move-in ready homes in Stock’s communities and neighborhoods. Gifts may be dropped off and Stock models may be toured at Naples Reserve, Fiddler’s Creek, TwinEagles, Isles of Collier Preserve, Quail West, Country Club East, and more. For directions and complete listings of all models and communities, visit


CHEF announces live auction lots for culinary showdown

CHEF, the Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation of Southwest Florida, announced live auction lots for its annual signature scholarship fundraising event, a Culinary CHEF Showdown, held on Jan. 6 at Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples. Proceeds will benefit Collier and Lee Country students who are pursuing degrees and careers in the culinary arts and hospitality industries. Live auction lots include culinary explorations and wine tasting adventures, including a three-night stay for two at Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa Valley; a seven-night stay for two couples in a Tuscan villa; a five-night stay for two couples in Porto, Portugal; and more. Wine and dine around town auction lots include a catered game dinner for eight guests by Chef Ruth Manchester at a private estate in Bonita Springs; a catered dinner with wine and photography for eight guests from Chef Brian & Nicole Roland of Crave Culinaire/Venue Naples; and more. The annual event features a culinary duel between CHEF’s 2020 honoree, Chef Asif Syed of 21 Spices by Chef Asif, challenging Aielli Restaurant Group Corporate Chef Jason Goddard. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit


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