Gulfshore Business Daily: February 26

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NCH Healthcare System has been named one of “America’s Best Hospitals for 2019” by HealthGrades. This recognition means NCH Baker Downtown Hospital and NCH North Naples Hospital are in the top 5 percent in the nation for overall clinical excellence in the current year.

HealthGrades America’s Best Hospitals is based solely on clinical outcomes for 32 conditions and procedures. This distinction rewards hospitals that consistently exhibit exceptional, comprehensive quality care.


Sun Country Airlines will inaugurate seasonal service between Fort Myers and Gulfport, Mississippi, on July 19. Sun Country will operate twice weekly nonstop flights on Monday and Friday between Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) and Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW).

Flights are on sale now exclusively to Sun Country Rewards members at with fares starting at $59 one-way. To join the rewards program, visit Flights for these routes will be available to the general public on Feb 26 at 10 a.m.


The Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau has hired Wendie Vestfall as the organization’s tourism development director. Her first day was Feb. 20.

Vestfall previously served as president of Kent County Tourism in Dover, Delaware. During her tenure, she led the creation of the destination’s brand called “Delaware’s Quaint Villages.” The new brand led to a 9 percent increase in tourism tax in 2018. In its first year, the brand campaign created an economic impact for the region of $14.3 million.

She brings more than 28 years of marketing and public relations experience, including working in radio and the motion picture industry. Vestfall holds a Bachelor of Arts in business and organizational communications, PR/marketing, from the University of Akron.


James Nolte, managing director-Investment officer and founder of Nolte Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, was named to the 2019 Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list.

The annual Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list spotlights over 2,000 top-performing advisors across the country who were nominated by their firms. Forbes researched, interviewed and assigned each a ranking within their respective states. The state of Florida is divided into two regions, north and south, with the southern region covering North Port south on the west coast, Palm Beach Gardens south on the east coast, and the inland areas in between.

Nolte has more than 40 years of experience as a financial advisor with a focus on helping clients and their families preserve their wealth and grow their investments. He leads a team of six at Nolte Wealth Management Group, including fellow financial advisors Nick Chlumsky and Al Rich.


Inn on Fifth & Club Level Suites has earned a four-star designation from Forbes Travel Guide for the fifth consecutive year. 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 just eight on Florida’s west coast, as showcased on The Inn on Fifth adopted the Forbes standards of excellence in service as their own, using the Forbes guide to train their staff in all departments. The four-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide is the highest standard in the hospitality industry since 1958, a press release states.


Advanced Aesthetic Solutions has appointed Dr. Marc Schneider as medical director. Schneider will partner with Advanced Aesthetic Solutions’ founder and owner, Cyndie Witthuhn, to lead the practice in efforts to continually enhance its client offerings and services, while offering a series of informative client seminars. In addition, Schneider will be available to consult on clients interested in cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures. 

Schneider brings more than 25 years of cosmetic surgery experience to his new position. He trained at the University of Kansas in Plastic Surgery and is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is dual-trained in both general surgery and plastic surgery, and is renowned for his endoscopic breast surgery technique, which was presented to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He has published and presented numerous articles in medical literature and has achieved several patents. 


The Alliance for the Arts, in partnership with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, presents a Community Appraisal Day, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 16 at 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Attendees can meet with auction house experts from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and find out the values of their fine jewelry, artwork, decorative objects, furniture, Asian works of art, books, maps, silver and more. A 20-minute appraisal session is $10 for Alliance members or $20 for non-members. Pre-registration is required. For more information, call (239) 939-2787 or visit


Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee receives $25,000 grant from Publix Charities

Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee (Pathways) has received a $25,000 donation from Publix Charities for the 10th year in a row. As one of 15 Nationally Accredited Early Education Childcare Centers in Collier County, Pathways currently has a group of 122 students ranging from 4-weeks-old to 5-years-old.

Funds from this grant will help the center provide a hands-on environment of books, art, and social play to help develop the whole child. To learn more about Pathways 55-year history in Immokalee, visit

CHEF annual fundraising gala set for April

Tickets are now on sale for CHEF’s (the Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation of Southwest Florida) annual fundraising gala, held on April 3 at Kensington Golf & Country Club in Naples. This year’s theme is “CHEF Celebrates Club Chefs,” honoring Kensington Golf & Country Club’s executive chef and past president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Caxambas Chapter, Naples & Marco Island, Ralph Feraco. Buy tickets here.

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center brings Kentucky Derby Party back

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) will host the Kentucky Derby Party from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on May 4, under the covered arena at their campus located at 206 Ridge Drive in Naples. The event will be hosted at the newly expanded campus for the first time in the event’s history. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres provided by catering sponsor Shula’s, one complimentary drink ticket, and a cash bar.

During the fundraiser, attendees can bid on the winning horses. A 50/50 purse will go to the winner and prizes will be awarded to place and show winners. Prizes will also be given to winners of the Best Hat category for women and the Crazy Pants category for men.

Proceeds will help support NTRC’s therapeutic riding and equine-related group programs. Courtyard outdoor tickets are $75 per person, a limited number of indoor seating is available for $125 per person, and tables of eight are $1,000. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, visit or call (239) 596-2988. 

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