Gulfshore Business Daily: December 6

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Lee Health’s Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Children’s Hospital” by The Leapfrog Group for the third year in a row. Just 13 children’s hospitals in the country—three in Florida—earned the distinction, which highlights each hospital’s highest commitment to safety and quality care of children. Only three children’s hospitals in the country have ever been recognized by Leapfrog for three consecutive years. The selection of Top Children’s Hospitals is based on the results of the 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including inpatient care management, medication safety, and infections and injuries. The standards are defined in each year’s Top Hospital Methodology


Marianne Zuk has joined Fifth Avenue Family Office,  formerly  Fifth Avenue Advisors, as general counsel. Zuk brings nearly two decades of expertise advising families with multi-generational wealth. Zuk has served as general counsel and senior executive for the family offices of prominent Collier County families and been involved in charitable efforts in Southwest Florida, including Harry Chapin Food Bank. Most recently, Zuk served as CEO of Knickerbocker Group LLC in New York City. Zuk received her Juris Doctor degree from State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1990 and is a member of the trusts and estates law section of the New York State Bar Association.​


Royal Shell has promoted Mike Fagan to managing broker. Stationed at the firm’s Bonita Springs location, Fagan will accompany three other brokers, as well as president and managing broker Michael Polly, in serving clients in Lee and Collier counties. A nine-year veteran of the Southwest Florida real estate industry, Fagan joined Royal Shell in 2011 as a broker associate. His duties included promoting properties and advising clients, while simultaneously operating a family-owned, independent insurance agency, Fagan & Michaud, with his wife. As a broker license holder and GRI-designated Realtor, Fagan has achieved top-producer status and consistently earned the Bonita Springs-Estero Association of REALTORS’ Golden BEAR and Platinum BEAR Awards for outstanding multimillion-dollar sales performance. Fagan is a former Lee County law enforcement officer the formatter owner of a small business enterprise, operated out of his hometown of Westford, Massachusetts.​​


The Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation of Southwest Florida (CHEF) has announced new directors, officers and the date of its annual gala event in 2019. The three new board members include Beth Oliver, director of marketing for Offshore Sailing School in Fort Myers; Chef Ruth Manchester, returning CHEF board member and private caterer living in Naples; and Jerry George, retired pharmaceutical executive and U.S. Department of Defense contractor who mentors high school students through the Immokalee Foundation. The four elected officers include Taryn Cafiero, who succeeds Jeannette Boucher as president; Ellen Granger, vice president; Bill Dunlap, treasurer; and Boucher, secretary. CHEF’s annual scholarship fundraising gala will take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 3, 2019 at Kensington Golf & Country Club. The event will honor CHEF board member Ralph Feraco, executive chef of Kensington Golf & Country Club. As president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) chapter for Naples & Marco Island, Feraco was honored nationally in 2017 with the Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award. It will also feature a silent and live auction and more. For more information, call (239) 985-7516.


The Founders Fund Inc. has appointed its 2018-19 board of trustees. The board includes Adam Crescenzi as chairman, Paul Duncan as treasurer, and Susan Brown, Patricia Chadwick, Michele Farrell, Tom Lear, Phil Leone, John Lord, Sue Luconi, Jim Marinelli, Sue McNaghten, Jim O’Brien, Cindy Schappert, George Thomas, Bob Tyre and Meg Tyre. Stacy Lee-Williams will be serving as the secretary to the board of trustees and is the fund administrator. The Founders Fund Advisory Board includes Dick Censits, John Levy, Maureen O’Gorman, Joan Thomas, Robert McNaghten and Karen Pulte. Each spring, The Founders Fund selects approximately 25 to 35 graduating students from Collier County high schools to receive scholarships based on their academic success and financial need. Since its inception, The Founders Fund has granted more than $3.9 million dollars in scholarships to over 680 Collier County students and has a scholarship commitment of more than $250,000 annually. For more information, visit​


The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to award a contract to an engineering firm to develop an ecosystem restoration plan for the Bob Janes Preserve near Alva. The contract, awarded to Soil and Water Engineering Technology Inc., is to identify projects to improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities at the preserve. The Bob Janes Preserve, which includes 5,620 acres, was purchased in 2006 as a Conservation 20/20 preserve. The preserve includes tributaries that flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary, which is subject to a State of Florida Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) due to total nitrogen levels. The preserve has large areas of ditched, drained and cleared lands that were previously altered for cattle grazing and other agricultural activities prior to its acquisition as a preserve. Natural surface water flow patterns have also been disrupted, so increasing on-site water storage and treatment will provide water quality benefits by reducing nitrogen levels, a press release states. Due to the size of the preserve, the $228,285 contract approved Tuesday is to evaluate and identify potential improvements. Subsequent phases will depend on the findings and recommendations. For more information, click here.


2018 Uncommon Evening sets records for attendance and fundraising

The Uncommon Friends Foundation’s 2018 Uncommon Evening event, held on Nov. 8, was its most successful annual fundraiser in its history, according to a news release. The sold-out event had a record attendance of 260 people and grossed a record $83,500. Storm Smart served as the title sponsor. This year’s event doubled as an awards ceremony and celebration of the 25th anniversary of the organization’s founding. It featured a 25-year photo retrospect of the Uncommon Friends Foundation and an original play, written by Melanie Payne and presented by the Laboratory Theatre of Florida, that highlighted the history of the original “uncommon friends.” Student scholarships totaling $20,000 were awarded to 17 students, with former scholarship winner and long-time annual donor Jared Basco as the keynote speaker. The evening culminated with the Business Ethics award being presented to PBS Contractors of Naples, and the Character Education Teacher of the Year award to Rachel Mas, an educator at Cypress Lake Middle School. Gray Davis received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service on the board of directors, and Brenda Stewart and Jody Van Cooney were recognized for their volunteerism over the years. ​​

Village Walk supports Partners for Breast Cancer Care Inc.

Village Walk presented a donation of $10,500 from its High Tea and Fashion Show event, held Nov.15, to Partners for Breast Cancer Care Inc. The donation will fund 160 screening and diagnostic mammograms for uninsured, low-income people in Lee and Collier County. Partnerships with local physicians make it possible for Partners to provide breast care at no cost to the client. For more information, visit

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