Gulfshore Business Daily: January 12

Lead Photo: Stevens Construction completes Hibiscus dining room renovation at Village On The Isle. Details below.

 

Video courtesy WINK News

FDOT STARTS WORK ON DIVERGING DIAMOND PROJECT IN FORT MYERS

A major road construction project could change how long it takes to get to work in Fort Myers. The Florida Department of Transportation began work Monday on the diverging diamond interchange project starting at Colonial Boulevard and Interstate 75. The project is going to cost upwards of $52.7 million. The biggest thing to note is that I-75 will be widened to add an auxiliary lane in each direction from Colonial to MLK Boulevard. At each exit, emergency stopping sites will be added. FDOT says this project is supposed to help traffic flow and make the area safer, especially in the case of an emergency evacuation in fast-growing Lee County. This project is set to be completed by 2024, WINK News reports.
 

LEE HEALTH CONTACT CENTERS EXPERIENCING INCREASED CALL VOLUMES

Lee Health contact centers are experiencing an influx of callers due to the COVID-19 vaccine. The increased call volume has led to prolonged hold times and has placed a strain on the health system’s commitment to provide exceptional service to every patient, according to Lee Health. Currently, Lee Health is offering vaccinations to its own patients who meet the criteria – over the age of 65 and those who have significant co-morbid medical conditions – but others are calling adding to the backlog. Lee Health’s current supply of the vaccine is spoken for but the health system will reach out to eligible Lee Physician Group patients as they receive more of the vaccine. With limited supplies of the vaccine available, physician practices are prioritizing the most vulnerable patients first, Lee Health says. To better serve the community and improve the patient experience, Lee Health is encouraging patients to only call the contact center if they have other medical concerns unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine. A solution to support increased call capacity is in the works but could take several weeks for the health system to implement. For more information, visit LeeHealth.org.
 

LEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO HOLD VIRTUAL HIRING EVENT FOR GUEST TEACHERS

The School District of Lee County is seeking guest teachers and will host a virtual hiring event on Jan. 21 to increase the number of available guest teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Guest teachers assume the role of a teacher when teachers are absent for the day. The district will conduct virtual interviews to add qualified candidates to its pool of guest teachers. Positions offer flexible scheduling and compensation beginning at $92.70 per day. To qualify for a guest teaching position, candidates must have a minimum of 60 credit hours in college coursework, provide three qualified references, including one from a current or most recent employer, and complete a background check. The virtual hiring event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 21 with interviews taking place by appointment. To schedule an interview, click here.
 

 

LEE COUNTY SCHOOLS PLAN TO LIMIT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL OPTIONS

As of August 2022, elementary school students will no longer be able to go to any school they want, according to a plan revealed Monday by the Lee County School District. The idea is to keep children learning closer to home and create shorter bus routes. The school district says the biggest differences will be noticed down the Fort Myers-McGregor corridor because the area has the highest density of schools and students. An interactive draft map on the district website allows parents to enter their address to see what changes are in store for their area. Parents can email their questions and concerns to ProximityPlan@LeeSchools.net. Four public meetings also are planned this week with the final decision expected to be made by July, WINK News reports.
 

NEW MINIATURE GOLF PROJECT PLANNED IN NORTH NAPLES

Rising from the ground soon off Immokalee Road will be Volcano Mountain Adventure Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf project planned to open this summer between The Warehouse restaurant and Goodwill store. The new local venue will be behind the Taco Bell drive-thru and Brickyard car wash in the Cameron Commons retail center on the northeastern corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard. The proposed Volcano Mountain will include an 18,000-square-foot miniature golf course with lush tropical landscaping and waterfalls, a shade structure and an associated 514-square-foot building for offices and restrooms. The new family-friendly venue is being built by the same Forgèt family who has owned and operated The Warehouse Cuisine and Cocktails next door since May 2017. Robert Forgèt and V & T Land LLC, which owns The Warehouse property, purchased the 1-acre vacant commercial lot last May for $1 million, Collier County records show. Volcano Mountain is expected to break ground this month, said Kevin Forgèt, general manager of The Warehouse.
 

SAMUEL MANCINO’S PIZZA & GRINDERS OPENS IN NAPLES

Samuel Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders, Empire Bagel Factory and Gigi’s Bakery & Deli all opened near the end of 2020 in Vanderbilt Commons in North Naples. Samuel Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders launched Nov. 23 in a new unit of the retail strip on Vanderbilt Beach Road just west of Collier Boulevard. Samuel Mancino’s has proven to be a popular franchise since it started in the 1950s in the Midwest. In addition to pizza creations and classic grinders, the menu includes calzones, wings, appetizers, salads and baked dinners such as lasagna and spaghetti. Samuel Mancino’s, 7273 Vanderbilt Beach Road, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Indoor and outdoor seating is available to dine in. For takeout, call 239-280-0431 or order online at samuelmancinos.com
 

STEVENS CONSTRUCTION COMPLETES DINING ROOM RENOVATION PROJECT

Stevens Construction has completed the Hibiscus dining room renovation within Village On The Isle, a not-for-profit life plan community located at 930 Tamiami Trail S. in Venice, announced Dan Adams, vice president, south Florida and principal. Stevens Construction provided a 10,000-square-foot interior renovation, including an enhanced dining room with elegant finishes, expansive ceilings, private seating options and separate dining rooms. Stevens Construction worked with Village On The Isle and the design team for four months prior to construction. The project was completed in seven months as scheduled. The Stevens Construction team includes project executive, Dan Adams; project manager, Alan Bennett; superintendent, Gary Tipton; and project administrator, Sue Ziegenfus. Beebe Design Group was the architect of record. 
 
 

Samira K. Beckwith

HOPE HEALTHCARE LEADER TO CONTINUE SERVING ON NHPCO BOARD

Hope Healthcare President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith has been elected to an additional three-year term on the 2021 National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) board of directors. Beckwith’s commitment to NHPCO since 1984 has included serving as chair, along with multiple appointments to the board’s executive committee and terms of service as a national director. She has also served on several task forces and policy committees within the organization. Beckwith has more than 40 years of hospice and health care experience. Since becoming president of Hope Healthcare in 1991, she has led the organization through decades of growth to meet community needs with a broad spectrum of programs and services including Hope Hospice and Hope Palliative Care, Hope PACE, Hope Connections, Hope Parkinson Program, and Hope Kids Care.
 

CREW NAPLES FORT MYERS ELECTS 2021 BOARD

The Naples Fort Myers Chapter of CREW, an organization dedicated to business development, leadership development, industry research and career outreach for women in the commercial real estate industry, announced the newly elected slate of officers for 2021. New board members include president Brooke Gabrielsen, OFDC Commercial Interiors; vice president Joanne Roach, Old Republic Title; president-elect and membership chair Lori Moore, Roetzel & Andress; secretary Lori Buhs, First Citizens Bank; treasurer Janet Davis, Midland 1031; sponsorship chair Kim Donnelly, Suncoast Credit Union; marketing chair Erica Vanover, IBERIABANK; chapter liaison & UCREW, Kristin Conroy, Conroy, Conroy & Durant, P.A.; and immediate past president Christine Gonnering McManus, Investment Properties Corp. of Naples.
 

Christina K. Austin

AUSTIN PROMOTED TO ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Christina K. Austin has been promoted to associate executive director of the home and community-based service company Cypress at Home. Austin, who will be responsible for operations of the company’s care management and home care service lines, previously served as manager of Care Management by Cypress at Home. She is a nationally certified Aging Life Care Manager and licensed social worker with more than 20 years of experience in serving older adults. Austin graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work from Winona State University and then received her Master of Arts in international business from St. Mary’s University.
 

Luke Kenzik

BABCOCK RANCH RESIDENTIAL ASSOCIATION COMMUNITY MANAGER NAMED

Luke Kenzik has been named community manager of the Babcock Ranch Residential Association (BRRA). A Florida State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Kenzik is a certified manager of community associations, an association management specialist, and a Florida community association manager. Most recently, he served as community manager for several large master-planned communities in Texas. In his new role at Babcock Ranch, Kenzik will lead the BRRA’s daily business operations and management direction while helping guide long-term facility planning. For more information, visit BabcockRanch.com.
 
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Millennial Brewing Co. to host Pickup the Ball fundraiser

Millennial Brewing Co. will host a fundraiser for Pickup the Ball from 5-9 p.m. on Jan. 17 at its Fort Myers location. All proceeds will benefit the renovation of a new boarding house for members of Pickup the Ball, which mentors young men in low-income, high-risk areas to provide them opportunities that will raise their level of expectations for life, increase their chance of success, and improve understanding among all communities, according to the organization’s website. The event will feature a silent auction, raffle prizes, food trucks, a dunk competition and karaoke. For more information, click here. Tickets are available here
 
Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.