Gulfshore Business Daily: February 4

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A group of Naples physicians, led by Dr. Brian Smith and Dr. Joaquin Hernandez (pictured), has partnered to open Sagewood Institute. Sagewood Institute will bring together expert health professionals from a variety of disciplines to help people look and feel healthy as they age by using cutting-edge research and techniques, a press release states. The institute will strive to educate professionals and the public on effective and proven peer-reviewed research on healthy aging. Ongoing lectures and seminars will occur throughout the year.

The grand opening for Sagewood Institute will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at 801 Anchor Rode Drive, Suite 304, in Naples. Tours of the facility and procedure demonstrations will be available during the opening reception and afterwards by appointment. There will also be free gifts, free product samples, and drawings to win up to $500 in services.

To celebrate the grand opening, Sagewood is offering the first 100 members of the institute’s Founder’s Club a discounted annual fee of $1,200 (a $2,600 value). For more information, visit or call (239) 434-9710.


John Talmage has been named director of the Lee County Economic Development Office (EDO). Pamela Johnson, who led EDO in her role as acting director, will assume new responsibilities as deputy director of EDO, Lee County Sports Development and the Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB).

Talmage has spent his career working in economic development for both municipal governments and research organizations. He also served as CEO of Social Compact, a research organization serving the federal regulatory community, cities around the country and community development organizations. In New Orleans, Talmage served as the deputy director for economic development. Prior to that, Talmage worked in New York City, focusing on communities throughout north Brooklyn to address economic development matters.


Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, effective Feb. 1, has entered into a merger with Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP, a boutique litigation law firm based in Chicago. This makes Porter Wright the first Columbus-based, full-service law firm to enter the Chicago market. Porter Wright is one of central Ohio’s oldest businesses and largest full-service law firms, a press release states.

Porter Wright’s expansion into Chicago and the 2017 opening of a Pittsburgh office are a part of the firm’s strategy to expand its Midwest footprint. As the firm looks to the future, they will actively recruit additional attorneys in order to build an expanded service offering from the Chicago office.


The CCIM Southwest District was named District of the Year for 2018 at the Florida chapter’s recent statewide mid-winter meetings in Orlando. The Florida CCIM Chapter District of the Year is awarded to the district that shows exceptional accomplishments in membership growth, quality of events and fiscal responsibility. The Florida CCIM Chapter consists of eight districts statewide.

The 19th Annual Southwest Florida CCIM District Commercial Real Estate Outlook Conference will be held on Feb. 11 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs. For more information, visit

Olga Placeres, CFO and Preferred Travel of Naples manager with Diane Becker and Wilma Boyd, president of Preferred Travel of Naples.


Preferred Travel of Naples travel expert Diane Becker is celebrating her 25-year anniversary with the agency. Becker was born and raised in Ohio and graduated from Bowling Green State University. She attended the American Travel School in Michigan and began her travel career in 1981. Becker joined Preferred Travel in 1994 and specializes in worldwide cruises and tours. Becker focuses on group travel and has escorted groups to destinations including the Caribbean, the British Isles, Bermuda, Scandinavia, Russia, Cuba, the Mediterranean and more.


New Mission Systems International has changed its named to New International to celebrate 30 years serving the global community and to better reflect its widespread mission. The Fort Myers-based Christian mission-sending organization has three decades of experience equipping and supporting missionaries and ministries overseas and stateside. Its initiatives include poverty alleviation, youth ministry, care of orphans, helping victims of human trafficking, church planting, farming and agriculture, and the Gospel message. For more information, visit


The Above Board Chamber of Florida will host two social media-based panel discussions.

The first panel discussion will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Hilton Naples. Trish Leonard, owner and president at TLC Marketing & Creative Services, will serve as master of ceremonies. Panelists include Batya Maman, CEO and founder of Social Connect; Javier Fuller, vice president of web development at CONRIC PR & Marketing; Theresa Ayers, social media specialist for the Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University; and Guy Clarke, co-founder of the Food Idea Group.

NBC2 Meteorologist Jason Dunning will be the master of ceremonies for the next panel discussion, held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops. The panelists include Fuller, Ayers, Marilyn Santiago, partner and chief marketing officer of Creative Architectural Resin Products Inc.; and Rafael J. Feliciano, co-founder of the Food Idea Group.

The cost to attend is $30 for members and $38 for nonmembers on or before Feb. 7 for the Naples event and on or before Feb. 8 for the Fort Myers event. After those dates, it’s it’s $35 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Lunch is included in the price. Register at or call (239) 910-7426.


Scanlon Auto Group helps build Habitat home

Employees from Scanlon Auto Group volunteered their time to help build a new Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties’ home. Working alongside the future Habitat homebuyer, Scanlon employees raised the exterior and interior house walls, transforming the concrete slab into the framework of a home in just one morning. This is the 30th Habitat home Scanlon Auto Group has sponsored.

During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Habitat will partner with 65 families to help them build or improve a place to call home. Future Habitat homebuyers pay $1,700 in closing costs, attend of 20 hours of financial literacy and home maintenance classes, volunteer 300 hours of sweat equity, and purchase their Habitat home at the appraised value paying an affordable, monthly mortgage. For more information on how businesses can get involved in Habitat, contact Sara Jordan at

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