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Gulfshore Business Daily: February 1

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Lead Photo: Napoli on the Bay Pizzeria expands. Details below.

 

2021 40 UNDER 40 NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN

Gulfshore Business magazine welcomes you to nominate yourself or someone else for the 2021 40-under-40 issue in September. We will identify 40 individuals who have distinguished themselves in their professions and in the community. We require that nominees must still be under 40 by Sept. 1. The deadline to nominate is 11:59 p.m. on March 31. Access the nomination form at GulfshoreBusiness.com.
 
 

TRUIST BANK MERGER CLOSED FOUR BRANCHES IN COLLER, LEE COUNTIES

Four branch offices recently closed in Southwest Florida since the Truist bank merger in December 2019. All of the closures have been related to Truist’s blended branch program between the merged BB&T and SunTrust banks, said Amber Odom, corporate communications manager for Truist, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The receiving branch for each closure remained open without disruption of service and began serving clients of both heritage BB&T and SunTrust banks, Odom said. For the list of local branches that closed on Dec. 8 and their receiving branches, click here.
 

ENSEMBLE HEALTH PARTNERS WITH NCH

Ensemble Health Partners, which provides healthcare financial management services, has entered a strategic partnership with NCH Healthcare System to drive financial performance in support of exceptional patient care. Ensemble will serve as NCH Healthcare System’s revenue cycle management partner in order to ensure full and fair payment from insurers as well as excellent patient experiences in accessing care. Ensemble partners with more than 380 hospitals and 7,000 total health care providers across the U.S. to improve financial outcomes and patient experiences. For more information, visit EnsembleHP.com.
 

LEE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM EXPANDS EARLY LITERACY OFFERINGS FOR FAMILIES

The Lee County Library System has enhanced its early literacy services with the redesign and relaunch of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program and the addition of a website section specifically for families with young children. These efforts come as educators nationwide look for opportunities to reach young children before they enter kindergarten. The additional library services complement the library system’s diverse collection of books and resources for young children while providing support to parents and caregivers as they navigate their child’s first years. Parents interested in the early literacy programs for children up to age 5 may visit any Lee County Library System location or click here
 

EVERGLADES COALITION HOSTS VIRTUAL CONFERENCE FEB. 2-5

The Everglades Coalition convenes its 36th annual conference Feb. 2-5 with the theme “Equitable Everglades.” This year’s conference will be held virtually and is accessible to Everglades stakeholders across the state and nation. The four-day event features speakers and educational breakout sessions on a variety of topics relevant to the restoration of America’s Everglades, with a special focus on the need to include diverse perspectives and goals in the ongoing work to achieve ecosystem restoration. Attendees include scientists, educators, conservationists, the media, students and concerned citizens, as well as decision-makers and representatives from federal, state, local, and tribal governments. The public is invited to participate in a complimentary virtual session, Everglades 101, from 5-7 p.m on Feb. 2. This session is open to the public and appropriate for all audiences. Both English and Spanish language sessions are available. Learn more at EvergladesCoalition.org.
 

‘ADVOCACY & ACTIVISM’ DISCUSSION SET FOR FEB. 24

The “CommUNITY Speaks: Advocacy & Activism” event, presented by the Multicultural and Leadership Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Zonta Club of Fort Myers, will take place at 6 p.m. on Feb. 24. The event will include discussions around current social justice issues. An expert panel will discuss how to support causes, organize to influence, and build a power base to mobilize communities. A Q&A will follow the panel discussion. To attend the Zoom meeting, click here. The meeting ID is 988 3761 6783 and the passcode is 208126. There is no cost to attend the event.
 

NAPOLI ON THE BAY PIZZERIA OPENS SIXTH LOCATION IN NAPLES AREA, PLANS SEVENTH IN BONITA

The sixth location of Napoli on the Bay Pizzeria launched in mid-January in Pebblebrooke Center on Collier Boulevard just south of Immokalee Road in North Naples. The family-owned pizzeria’s small unit next to Stevie Tomato’s Sports Page was home to Pizza Hut for six years until the franchise closed last fall. Operating for more than 35 years in Naples, Napoli’s seventh location is scheduled to open in a few months in Entrada, a redeveloped retail center on the northeast corner of Bonita Beach Road and Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs, owner Tony Brito said. Napoli on the Bay, 15215 Collier Blvd., Suite 305, is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to napolionthebay.com
 

CREIGHTON CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT COMPLETES 7-ELEVEN IN FORT MYERS

Creighton Construction & Development has completed the construction of a 7-Eleven convenience store with fuel in Fort Myers that is home to Southwest Florida’s first Laredo Taco Co. The new 7-Eleven is located at 5951 Enterprise Pkwy., positioned at the northeast corner of Luckett Road and Enterprise Parkway along I-75. Creighton completed the ground-up construction of a 4,650-square-foot convenience store with 16 fueling positions under a covered canopy structure and three high-speed diesel positions that allow commercial drivers to refuel in less time. Laredo Taco Co. is an authentic Mexican quick-service restaurant. Its menu features tacos, street tacos and breakfast tacos made with hand-rolled tortillas, as well as plates, bowls and family meals made fresh to order. Creighton’s team for this project was led by development manager Lauren Evans and project manager Dane Edwards. Great Dane Petroleum Contractors was the petroleum contractor, Lamar Johnson Collaborative was the architect and Quattrone & Associates was the civil engineer for the project.
 

FORT MYERS CRA APPROVES GRANT TO MURAL SOCIETY OF FORT MYERS

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) on Dec. 2 approved a one-time grant to the Mural Society of Fort Myers of $6,460 to cover a budget shortfall for the McCollum Hall “Art Stumble” event. The Mural Society reported at the meeting that it had successfully raised $17,300 for the project. The grant award from the CRA will help the Mural Society pay for paint, materials and supplies for volunteers. On Jan. 1, artists J.P. Almonacid and Erik Schlake began painting the murals. To commemorate the creation of the work, a stop-motion video of their progress on the wall is being made. Completion is projected for March 2021.
 

Reuben Doupé

DOUPÉ CERTIFIED AS FAMILY MEDIATOR

The Supreme Court of Florida has certified Reuben Doupé, a partner in the marital and family law practice of Coleman, Hazzard, Taylor, Klaus, Doupé and Diaz, Attorneys at Law, as a family mediator for a period of two years beginning Jan. 22, 2021. As a family mediator, Doupé will serve as an impartial third party for couples and families who need support resolving disagreements about marriage, separation, divorce, parenting schedules, child support, alimony, property division, elder care, family’s budget, property inheritance, family business succession and other family matters. Doupé is an AV Preeminent “Peer Review Rated” by Martindale-Hubbell, a Florida SuperLawyer, and one of a few attorneys in Southwest Florida admitted to the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is also Florida Bar board-certified in family and marital law. 
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Kids’ Minds Matter announces March 18 mental health event

Kids’ Minds Matter is holding a free “Unmasking the Epidemic” virtual event at 7 p.m. on March 18. The keynote speaker for the event is Brad Hunstable, founder of Hayden’s Corner. The world lost Hayden Hunstable to suicide in the middle of the mandated stay-at-home orders on April 17, 2020, just four days before his 13th birthday. The virtual doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-show preview of programs and resources from area mental health agencies and community partners of Kids’ Minds Matter, Golisano Children’s Hospital and Lee Health. Featured during the event will be local high school students who will share their personal struggles with mental health issues and why they are advocating for enhanced mental health services. The event also offers an opportunity to support efforts to expand access to area pediatric mental health services by making a donation, facilitated by auctioneer Rick Gallo. To register or for more information on the event, visit kidsmindsmatter.com/unmasking.
 

New date set for Community Cooperative annual Soup Kitchen benefit 

The 18th annual Sam Galloway Jr. & Friends Soup Kitchen Benefit for Community Cooperative will be held on May 6 at the service garages of Sam Galloway Ford in Fort Myers. The evening features a southern-style dinner prepared by restaurants and businesses as guests raise funds to support those struggling with hunger and homelessness. The date was rescheduled from March. The annual event last year raised a record $1 million on March 5. Community Cooperative will be taking necessary precautions and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Tickets will be sold by table only with a Soup Bowl table for 10 attendees for $5,000 and a Soup Spoon table for eight attendees for $2,500. For information, visit CommunityCooperative.com, or call 239-332-7687 ext. 101.
 

Big Sister Amanda spends time with her Little Sister Jazlyn.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast-Lee County receives community support

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast-Lee County has recently received multiple grants. The Lee County Bar Association Foundation awarded Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast-Lee County $5,000 for its one-to-one mentoring programs, and Arthrex awarded $15,000. Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers, called “Bigs,” and children, called “Littles”, who are between ages 6-21, in communities across the Sun Coast. In addition, The Schoen Foundation awarded $40,000 to the organization for its one-to-one Reading Bigs, Gateways to Graduation (GTG), Decisions to Win (DTW) and Beyond School Walls (BSW) programs. Reading Bigs is designed to foster a love of literature and aid in the development of grade-level reading skills for students at risk of failing Florida’s standardized reading tests. (GTG) serves 8-12th-grade students who have been identified by school personnel as at risk of not graduating or not being promoted to the next grade level. In the BSW program, high-school students meet with their mentors in a business setting.
 

Naples Pathways Coalition volunteers help protect at-risk commuter cyclists

Naples Pathways Coalition (NPC) volunteers recently helped protect 35 at-risk commuter cyclists by installing front and back lights on bicycles at restaurants on Fifth Avenue South. The restaurants whose workers benefited are Cafe Milano with 17 sets installed; La Trattoria with 10 sets installed in two visits; and Bistro 821 with six sets installed. NPC hopes to install many more in the future.
 
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