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Gulfshore Business Daily: February 28

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LATCHKEY LEAGUE HONORS FOUNDER

The Latchkey League held its annual “Sweetheart Soriee” on Feb. 16 at the Vineyards Country Club in Naples, honoring the nonprofit organization’s founder Myra Janco Daniels on Feb. 16 at the Vineyards Country Club in Naples.

More than 200 guests attended. The evening included performances from the Barron Collier High School Jazz Band, Opera Naples Youth Chorus and pianist Jodie DeSalvo.

Proclamations for her achievements in founding Latchkey League were presented by the City of Naples as well as the Collier County Commissioners. A State of Florida Senate proclamation was also presented. The Salvation Army presented Myra with four stars making her an honorary colonel for life. For more information, visit  www.latchkeyleague.org.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS TO HIGHLIGHT SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee will host a networking meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. on March 6 at Brunch Bar & Patio within Miromar Outlets, with La Bamba providing the food.

Welcoming representatives from the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University, the March Women in Business program will highlight the many services and resources available to area businesses at no cost through the FSBDC.

Speakers include FSBDC director Lois Knox, assistant director Suzanne Specht, marketing director LaShaun Collier and consultant Andrea Robinson. Admission is $10 for chamber members and $20 for nonmembers. Admission includes one free beverage and light appetizers. To learn more or to register for the event, visit FortMyers.org or call (239) 332-3624.

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT EARNS FIVE STARS

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida has earned national recognition for meeting each of its parent organization’s operational standards for compliance, student impact, operational efficiency, financial stability and sustainability.

Currently celebrating its 25th year of serving Collier, Lee and Charlotte County students, the Southwest Florida area of Junior Achievement was one of 45 nationally, and one of just three in Florida, to achieve the five-star rating.

During the 2017-2018 school year, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida partnered with more than 200 volunteers from the business community, providing nearly 63,800 hours of instruction to more than 11,600 students in 519 classes throughout Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties. For more information, visit www.JASWFL.org.

SHANGRI-LA SPRINGS HIRES SALES DIRECTOR

Shangri-La Springs has hired Cindy Ekonomou as the director of sales. Ekonomou has more than 30 years of hospitality management experience and is responsible for directing, overseeing and managing all sales and catering activities.

Ekonomou most recently served as director of special events for the Burroughs Home & Gardens in downtown Fort Myers. Additionally, she is the national new chapter ambassador co-chair for the National Association of Wedding Planners.

Her prior experience includes serving as director of destination services for Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau, director of sales and marketing for Palm Beach Island’s Brazilian Court, and director of sales and marketing for luxury resorts on the east coast of Florida. Ekonomou holds an Associate of Arts degree from Brevard College and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Central Florida.

NAPLES BAY RESORT HIRES MARINA MANAGER

Naples Bay Resort has hired marina manager John Boltz, a licensed captain with more than 25 years of experience on the water. Boltz will be managing the boat, kayak, stand up paddleboards and bike rentals, along with the Ship Store and boat slips. He comes to the Naples Bay Resort after spending six years at the Port O Call marina in Naples. Prior to moving to Naples and consulting for the marine industry, Boltz offered private cruises to local residents and tourists on the Bay of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

FIRST FLORIDA INTEGRITY BANK PROMOTES KEENAN

First Florida Integrity Bank (FFIB) has promoted Brian P. Keenan to senior executive vice president – chief lending officer. Keenan has 32 years of experience in the banking industry. He joined FFIB as regional president for West Central Florida in July 2011. He previously worked with the FFIB core team at First National Bank of Florida as market president for Tampa Bay and Orlando.

Prior to joining the company, Keenan was affiliate president for Fifth Third Bank – Tampa Bay. He serves as chairman of the board of WEDU – Tampa Bay public broadcasting, treasurer of the USF Foundation and chair of the investment committee. Keenan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from University of South Florida and is a 2006 graduate of Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

LA PESCHERIA OPENS IN NAPLES

La Pescheria, a new Italian seafood restaurant, has opened at 474 Fifth Ave. S. in Naples. La Pescheria, Italian for seafood market, creates the environment of a traditional Italian seafood restaurant where customers can choose from a wide array of fresh fish and catch.

Servers and chefs then give recommendations on the best way to cook the selected seafood dish. Every fish is deboned at the table and can be cooked in three ways: grilled, baked and rock salt.

La Pescheria is owned by the same family who opened Molto Trattoria, another Fifth Avenue South restaurant.

CHARITABLE NOTES

Youth Haven raises more than $78,000 in daylong giving campaign

Youth Haven raised more than $78,000 during the 24-hour long “Give Where You Live” campaign. Funds will be maximized through a matching fund provided by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and the Community Foundation of Collier County.

Forty local nonprofits participated in Give Where You Live, hosted by the Community Foundation of Collier County. The campaign ran from noon on Feb. 20 to noon on Feb. 21.

Donors were able to give to Youth Haven by check, credit card, or wire transfer. Give Where You Live Collier is a county-wide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Collier County through a donation match. Altogether, the 24-hour campaign yielded more than $5 million by 2,221 donors. 

Fourth annual Run 4 The Cause to benefit Christy’s Cause

The fourth annual “Run 4 The Cause,” a 5K fun run and walk to support Christy’s Cause, will take place at on April 6 at Living Waters Church in Estero. The run will begin at 7:30 a.m. concluding with an awards ceremony at 8:15 a.m. The walk will begin at 9:00 a.m. 

At the 2018 event, 400-plus participants raised more than $50,000. The 2019 goal is $60,000 and 500 participants. The fee to participate is $30 per person plus a $3 signup fee. The price increases to $35 per person after March 6.

A $5 discount will apply to a second participant. Registration on race day is $40 per person. Walkers and runners have the option fundraise. For more information or to register, visit www.christyscause.com.

Interfaith Charities of South Lee to host annual dinner, dessert auction

Interfaith Charities of South Lee will host its ninth annual fundraising dinner and dessert auction from 6-9 p.m. on April 4 at The Club at Grandezza in Estero. The event raises funds to help stock the organization’s food pantry and address the rising needs of families in Estero and San Carlos Park.

The focal point of the evening, a dessert auction, features confections from Mikkelsen’s Pastry Shop, along with desserts handcrafted by executive pastry chefs at Shadow Wood Country Club, Vi Bentley Village, and other Southwest Florida culinary destinations. Stacey Deffenbaugh, NBC2 Alert Center anchor, will emcee the event for a third year. Individual and group tickets are available here. Cost is $100 per person and includes a dinner buffet, silent auction and the live dessert auction called by auctioneer Rick Gallo.

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