Gulfshore Business Daily: December 6


Collier County ranked No. 2 in SmartAsset’s “Most Generous Counties – 2019 Edition Florida” list. The financial technology company dug into IRS data to find the places where residents were giving the most. The study measured how much people donate as a percentage of their net income and the proportion of people in a given county who make charitable donations. Collier County received a Donation Index of 37.8, Contributor Index of 59.9, and Most Generous Places Index of 60.2. For more information on the study, including the methodology and infographic, click here


Tiffany Esposito


Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Tiffany Esposito presented a webinar on The Hub at the Bonita Chamber to ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, on Thursday. Esposito shared the story of how The Hub was created as a shared meeting space for local professionals, and how it has helped local businesses connect. ACCE is an Alexandria, Virginia-based membership association that represents more than 9,000 professionals who work with more than 1,300 chambers of commerce around the world. The webinar Esposito presents will be viewed by professionals around the globe. Learn more about The Hub at



Bonita Springs Utilities Inc. customers will not see a rate increase this year on their utility bills. For the ninth consecutive year, the BSU board of directors voted to maintain current rates. The member-owned cooperative could have raised rates by 1.3% without approval under its franchise agreement. The not-for-profit water and wastewater utility is permitted to raise rates annually based on the U.S. Consumer Price Index for the South Region. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the Consumer Price Index, a measure of the average change in prices over time of goods and services purchased by households. Bonita Springs Utilities Inc. is a not-for-profit water and wastewater utility cooperative founded by local citizens in 1970. For more information, visit



Thrift shoppers will get a chance to experience the new Goodwill Retail & Donation Center on McGregor Boulevard at 9 a.m. on Dec 12. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. just before shoppers are let in for the first time. The new store is located next to Big Lots in the McGregor Blvd. Island Plaza Shopping Center at 15271 McGregor Blvd. The Goodwill bookstore, which opened as a Christmas Pop-Up store on Oct. 12, will be permanently closing on Dec. 24. The grand opening will carry on through the weekend with 25% off all donated goods on Dec 14, and the opportunity for shoppers to register to win a large screen Smart TV throughout the four days.  The winner to be drawn at end of business day on Dec 15. On Dec. 14, several of the neighboring restaurants in the plaza are offering coupons, menus and food for sale onsite as part of the Goodwill grand opening festivities.



Taste of Immokalee, a social business created and operated by high school students, announces its 2019-2020 board of directors. The newly appointed board members include Tim Cartwright, chair – partner, Fifth Avenue Family Office; Kevin Carmichael – partner, Wood, Buckel & Carmichael, Attorneys at Law; Paul Evans – instructor, FGCU Institute for Entrepreneurship; Ray Jensen – former associate vice president, University Business Services and university sustainability operations officer, Arizona State University; Kathleen Maier – former CEO, Kipp Industrial Steel Sales Inc., co-founder, Michigan Seamless Tube; John K. Paul – owner, IFCO Consulting; Brian Scanlan – athletic director, Ave Maria University, founder, Mango Bay Beach Co.; Henry Suerth, former senior VP, Starbucks Coffee Co. and Caribou Coffee Co.; and Jaime Weinsinger – director, Lipman Produce. The announcement follows a year of tremendous success for the company, including its expansion into over 200 Publix stores through the Publix Florida Local Program. Learn more at


Joe Stusek


Joseph A. Stusek, a trusts and estates attorney in Cummings & Lockwood’s private clients group based in the Naples office, has been selected to the GAIN Class of 2020. Sponsored by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, Growing Associates in Naples (GAIN) is a highly competitive program specifically designed for emerging leaders and professionals in Collier County of ages 21-40.  Participants learn about local government, charitable organizations, arts, commerce, law enforcement, tourism, education and other resources so that they can become involved and be an effective contributor in the community. Stusek received his LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law; his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law; and his B.A. in Economics and Global Politics from Washington and Lee University. He is a member of the Tax Section and Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar Association. He is also a member of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Collier County Bar Association and board member of their Young Lawyers Section. He is a graduate of Class IV of the Florida Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Stusek is a co-author of Thomas Reuters’s Ancillary Probate in Florida, a Practice Law Guide.



Charity for Change’s ‘Enchantment in the Rainforest’ gala raises $177,425

Charity for Change’s “Enchantment in the Rainforest” gala raised $177,425 Nov. 16 at Quail West Golf & Country Club to support more than 5,000 students throughout Collier County who participate in Charity for Change’s after-school, summer school, preschool and in-school programs. The evening was themed “planting seeds of humanity.” Attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour with a silent auction, interactive trivia-style games, dancing and dinner. After 135 guests viewed the preview of a video about the impact of Charity for Change programs, a cash call raised $35,000 that was matched by the William Rosenberg Family Foundation. Howard Schwartz served as the evening’s auctioneer. State Sen. Kathleen Passidomo and John Passidomo were honorary chairs, and Becky Sharon was the event’s chair. The event emcee was Lois Thome, news anchor for WINK-TV. The event’s committee members were Kathy Feinstein, Jennifer Lofstrand, Caroline Marino, Sonya Sawyer. For information, visit or call (239) 592-6787.


Glass Slipper honorees

Champions For Learning announces 2019-2020 Glass Slipper recipients

Champions For Learning announces its 2019-2020 Glass Slipper recipients. The honorees are Donna Issenmann, Lili Montes and Dottie Whipple. Each year, the Glass Slipper event is held to honor female leaders for their dedication and service to the children of Collier County. This event and recognition program benefit young women who are graduates of Champions For Learning student programs, and helps to generate funds for the third and fourth year of their post-secondary education. The public is invited to honor the Glass Slipper recipients at a cocktail reception, held from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the Club at Olde Cypress. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Tickets for the event are $50. For tickets, visit or call (239) 643-4755.


PTE team members help load the Community Cooperative van, from L to R: Hannah Anderson, Annelise Przywara, and Samantha Scott, APR

Pushing the Envelope Inc.’s CAN IT! Campaign surpasses goal

Pushing the Envelope Inc. on Nov. 15 completed its ninth annual CAN IT! Campaign, a food drive benefiting those less fortunate in Southwest Florida. The campaign collected 3,296 non-perishable food items for Community Cooperative Inc. (CCI), the most collected since the campaign’s inception and far exceeding the 1,000-item goal. From daycares to car parts stores to churches and roofing companies, Pushing the Envelope partnered with a record 26 businesses and organizations to collect donations (which can all be found here). With the completion of this campaign, the CAN IT! Campaign has donated thousands of items amounting to more than 13,100 pounds of food to CCI since its inception in 2010. The firm plans to host the campaign again in 2020. For more information or to help, contact


Next Plumbing Inc. raises funds for Partners for Breast Cancer Care Inc.

Next Plumbing Inc. has raised $4,836 to support Partners for Breast Cancer Care Inc. (PfBCC) who funds breast screening, diagnostic testing, surgery and treatment at no cost to underserved women and men in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In the past 12 years, PfBCC has helped 10,185 women and men and funded 15,689 breast care procedures at an expenditure of $2.1 million. Of these, 163 women and one man have been diagnosed with breast cancer through their efforts, according to a press release. For more information, visit


Gourmet Vintner Dinner to benefit  Neighborhood Health Clinic

The Neighborhood Health Clinic’s 2020 Gourmet Vintner Dinner will take place on Feb. 8, at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples (Beach). Chaired by longtime clinic volunteer Susan Jones, the event features a wine reception with international vintners selected by The Ritz-Carlton sommelier, as well as a gourmet dinner, dancing and entertainment. All proceeds benefit the charity’s patient services, ensuring some 400 volunteer medical professionals are able to provide more than 27,095 patient procedures and 11,000 patient visits with working, uninsured men and women from across Collier County. Sponsors for the 2020 event include Key Private Bank, Naples Community Hospital, é Bella Magazine, Millennium Physicians Group, Naples Daily News, Cummings and Lockwood, Physicians Regional Healthcare System, Moorings Park, SWIFCT Institute of Southwest Florida, The Woodruff Institute, Gulfshore Insurance and Insurance Source of Naples. Tickets for the Gourmet Vintner Dinner are $375 per person. Cocktail attire is appropriate. Tables of 10 are available for $3,750. For more information about the event, call Marcie Burland at (239) 316-7416 or visit


Youth Haven’s Annual Soiree on the Strip announced

Youth Haven’s Annual Soiree on the Strip will be held from 6-10 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2020 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples (Beach). Tickets are now available for our signature annual fundraiser to support the children & teens that call Youth Haven home. The evening will feature dinner, cocktails, entertainment, dancing, casino games and more. Giving opportunities will be available. Co-chairs are Doug Olsen, Philip Douglas & Co.; Philip Douglas, Philip Douglas & Co.; and Jackie Ressa, Jacqueline Ressa Interior. Media sponsor is Naples Illustrated. To purchase tickets or to become a sponsor, visit


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