Gulfshore Business Daily: February 14


Allegiant begins service today from Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) to Richmond International Airport (RIC). To celebrate, the company is offering round-trip fares on the new route starting at $75 each way (rules and restrictions apply). The new seasonal flights will operate twice weekly and bring an additional 15,000 travelers to Charlotte County. With the addition of this new route, Allegiant will now serve 47 cities from Punta Gorda Airport (PGD). Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found at


The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools and The FutureMakers Coalition will be hosting four FutureMakers Success Series Career Panels, introducing students to college and career opportunities in SWFL. The events will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Feb. 25 at Ida S. Baker High School, March 9 at South Fort Myers High School, April 6 at Lehigh Senior High School, and May 5 at Dunbar High School. The event is open to middle and high school students and their families in the School District of Lee County.  Students and families will have the opportunity to visit multiple college and career information tables provided by sponsors which including Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida SouthWestern College, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Technical Colleges, The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, The School District of Lee County and more. During this informational series, attendees will hear from local professionals, as well as gain more knowledge as to what is required to pursue different career paths. Following the career panel there will be a question and answer session with the speakers. To register for this free event, click here.


IBERIABANK and Physicians Regional Healthcare System will continue the Health Plus Lecture Series with the discussion of basic principles of heart health on Feb. 25 at the Marco Island branch of IBERIABANK at 605 Bald Eagle Drive. A welcome reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the presentation starting at 6 p.m. Board-certified cardiologist Dr. Sarah Mansson will reveal the unique symptoms and misconceptions that are faced regarding heart disease, as well as prevention and treatment options. Mansson is board certified in cardiology and promotes an integrative approach to cardiology with healthy lifestyle choices and therapeutic whole-body medicine. She practices non-invasive clinical cardiology to include echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), nuclear cardiology, electrocardiograms (ECG or EKG), Holter monitors, and women’s heart health. This lecture is open to the public, but reservations are encouraged. Please call (239) 393-2400 to make a reservation. Lecture content is provided by the featured physicians. IBERIABANK is responsible for hosting this event and not responsible for lecture content.


Osterhout & McKinney, P.A. is sponsoring a seminar called “Understanding Dementia, Dementia Behaviors, and Care Partner’s Needs” for healthcare professionals from 1-5 p.m. on Feb. 21 at McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers. For dementia care partners and their church family, there will also be a seminar called “Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and the Gospel” from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 at McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers. Keynote speaker Dr. Edward Shaw is a physician and mental health counselor and director of the Memory Counseling Program at Wake Forest Baptist Health. He is author of The Dementia Care-Partner’s Workbook; A Guide for Understanding, Education, and Hope and coauthor of Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade: The 5 Love Languages and the Alzheimer’s Journey. Registration for healthcare professionals for the Friday event is $15 and includes three CE credits. The Saturday event is free. For questions or more information, contact Nancy Perez at (239) 689-2554 or email To register, visit or the ticket counter at McGregor Baptist Church at 3750 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers.

Paul Van Buskirk


Metro Forecasting Models Chairman Dr. Paul G. Van Buskirk has been honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from Barry University. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to Barry University graduates who have made significant contributions to their professions and community, and who consistently demonstrate the university’s core commitments of knowledge and truth, inclusive community, social justice, and collaborative service through their daily lives. Van Buskirk is an accomplished engineer, strategic community planner, educator and author. A licensed professional engineer in three states and certified planner, he is a co-founder of Metro Forecasting Models, serving local governments across the U.S. Van Buskirk is a charter member of the American Planning Association and American Institute for Certified Planners. Van Buskirk received his undergraduate degree in engineering and taught urban and environmental studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He earned his master’s and doctor’s degrees from Barry University, where he also taught quantitative methods of inquiry as an adjunct professor.

Nicola Lutgert


Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has promoted Nicola Lutgert to chief marketing officer. In this role, she will be responsible for all marketing initiatives of the company’s 40 offices from Southwest Florida to North Carolina. Lutgert will oversee promotions, advertising, creative services, digital media and communications. She joined the brokerage in 2015 as vice president of marketing. A real estate and development industry veteran, Lutgert previously served as director of marketing for London Bay Homes. Her marketing background also includes work with national brands such as HGTV and American Express. Lutgert was named Marketing Director of the Year by the Collier Building Industry Association and has been honored on the 40 Under 40 lists by both the Business Observer and Gulfshore Business


Forbes Travel Guide awarded the Inn on Fifth & Club Level Suites with its four-star designation in its 62nd annual list of Star Awards winners, which marks the property’s seventh consecutive year as a Forbes-rated hotel. Located on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples, the Inn on Fifth Club Level joins the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples as one of only two Forbes-Rated Hotels in Naples and one of three on Florida’s west coast, as showcased on


Florida Skin Center has officially launched an ongoing, first-of-its-kind campaign—Hello, Skin Health—that will allow providers to track critical diagnoses and personalize guest outreach via video-linked messages. Tracking active guests’ individual medical outcomes using an electronic health records program, Aurora Badia, M.D., D.O., and her team are sending text messages—some of which are also available in Spanish and Portuguese—that are tailored to the guest’s skin condition. For example, if one has been previously diagnosed with a pre-cancer, cancer, melanoma or serious rash, he or she will receive messages reminding him or her to schedule an appointment with Florida Skin Center on a date that is dictated by the condition. Other messages may alert guests to follow their treatment protocols or include new treatment options or clinical studies, while others may simply remind people with no prior condition about their next visit or their free skin check once per year. The process for the text messages with private video links from any of the providers and additional team members will continue as long as a guest remains in Florida Skin Center’s care. Dozens of other conditions and messages will be added to the campaign as it is expanded. For more information, call Florida Skin Center at (239) 561-3376.


Special Equestrians Taste of Love set for March

Special Equestrians’ 17th annual culinary extravaganza, Taste of Love, will be held from 5-9 p.m. on March 15 at The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon in Fort Myers.  The event theme is “Taste of Love Makes the Merry Go Around” and will feature dishes from area restaurants and chefs, wine tasting, and live and silent auctions. Celebrity auctioneer Jay Severson and award-winning radio and television personality Gina Birch will oversee the evening’s events.  Nearly 500 guests attended the event in 2019, raising more than $200,000 for the local nonprofit organization. Tickets are $100 per person and may be purchased at or by calling (239) 851-7070 or emailing All proceeds from Taste of Love will benefit Special Equestrians. Additional sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available at or by calling Freda Jones at (239) 565-3792 or or Jan Fifer at (239) 851-7070 or

Melanie Moraga, the Museum’s Assistant Director, welcomes guests to the Museum’s gala, Under the Sea. Image by Nick Adams Photography.

Local attraction closes $6 million capital campaign ahead of schedule

Reaching its fundraising goal ahead of schedule, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has completed its $6 million capital campaign. At its 17th annual gala event, Under the Sea, nearly 200 people from Sanibel and surrounding Southwest Florida communities, including Sanibel’s Mayor Kevin Ruane, gathered to support the museum’s dedication to science and the community, a press release states. At this signature event, guests bid in an auction to close the museum’s capital campaign, supporting its new aquarium experience, opening in March. This experience, “Beyond Shells: The Mysterious World of Mollusks,” focuses on mollusks. 

Zoobilee 2020 breaks records

Naples Zoo hosted its sixth annual Zoobilee to raise funds and awareness for the zoo’s efforts to inspire people of all ages to respect, value and help conserve wildlife and our natural world. With the help of co-chairs Nikkie Dvorchak and David Ruben, and a committee, the Zoobilee 2020 raised more than $285,000—a 25% increase over Zoobilee 2019. In addition to breaking the event’s fundraising records, this year’s event also sold more tickets than ever before, saw more food vendors, and featured a sold-out raffle for an African safari for two. This was the first year that the event has ever sold out completely with 1,400 tickets sold. Proceeds from Zoobilee 2020 will be dedicated to the continuation and expansion of Naples Zoo’s conservation and education programs. Save the date for the next Zoobilee, set for Feb. 12, 2021.

Allegra Marketing Print Mail FootPRINT Fund celebrates 10 years, over $170,000 in donations

Allegra Marketing Print Mail in Naples has recently unveiled the winners of its 10th annual FootPRINT Fund. Since the program’s launch, Allegra has awarded 203 awards to 72 local nonprofits and organizations, totaling more than $170,000 in free printing and marketing services. A luncheon for the 2019 FootPRINT Fund award recipients celebrated the achievements of each organization and spark momentum for exceeding goals in 2020. This past year, $20,000 in services was awarded to the following FootPRINT Fund recipients: Action for Life; Collier Child Care Resources, Inc.; Community Pregnancy Clinics; Freedom Waters Foundation; Friends of Foster Children Forever; Golden Paws; Greater Naples YMCA; Guadalupe Center; Gulf Coast Runners; Gulfshore Playhouse; JDRF – South Gulf Coast Chapter; Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, Inc.; Laces of Love; National Alliance on Mental Illness of Collier County; Neighborhood Health Clinic; Pace Center for Girls, Inc.; Path2Freedom; The Immokalee Foundation; The Salvation Army; and The Village School. To be considered for a FootPRINT Fund award, nonprofit groups, associations and charitable organizations that serve the greater Naples area must submit a completed application, proof of nonprofit certification and a copy of their most recent 990 form. For more information about Allegra in Naples, visit or call (239) 643-2442.

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