Gulfshore Business Daily: January 14

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Chico's FAS Inc. will close 250 stores and conduct an expanded review of its operation as part of the company’s initiatives to build its omnichannel platform. With its retail fleet optimization plan, the company will close at least 250 stores in the U.S. over a three-year period. This will allow the company to take advantage of its lease expiration cadence, while improving profitability and return on invested capital, a press release states. Closings will be across the three brands and weighted to years two and three. The company is also updating its outlook for the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter ending Feb. 2 and anticipates a low double-digit decline in net sales compared to its previous expectation for a mid-teen decline, which includes the negative impact of the 53rd week of $29 million in fiscal 2017, and a mid-single digit decline in consolidated comparable sales, versus its previous outlook for a high single-digit decline in consolidated comparable sales.


The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’mon) STEAM Society will host a kickoff event from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday at the museum. The STEAM Society is a new group of young professionals, parents, and advocates for children. They support the overall mission and vision of C'mon by cultivating the next generation of support and providing increased awareness, engagement, and fundraising. The 21 and up event includes hors d'oeuvres, wine/beer, and activities such as virtual reality and dry ice bubbles. Attendees will learn more about the group, meet the STEAM Society leadership, and explore the museum. To register, click here. For more information, call Laura Richardson at (239) 260-1604. 


M. Travis Hayes, a shareholder of Grant Fridkin Pearson P.A. in Naples, has been appointed chair of the Probate Law and Procedure Committee of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law (RPPTL) Section of the Florida Bar.  Hayes is a past chair of the Probate Rules Committee of the Florida Bar. Hayes has practiced law in Southwest Florida since 2005.

He focuses his practice in estate planning, estate and trust administration, and probate and trust litigation. Hayes is a frequent speaker and author on estate planning and estate and trust administration topics. Hayes is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and currently serves on the Fiduciary Litigation Committee and the Fiduciary Income Tax Committee for ACTEC. He has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career.


Naples Zoo will celebrate its 100th anniversary as a garden and 50th anniversary as a zoo in 2019, with a yearlong celebration of special events and activities at the Zoo. The yearlong celebration will highlight two “birthday” parties. The first birthday celebration will be of garden founder, Dr. Henry Nehrling, on May 11. The second celebration will be for the zoo co-founders, Lawrence “Jungle Larry” and “Safari Jane” Tetzlaff on July 28. Both celebrations will include kids’ activities, cookie decorating and special anniversary enrichment for the animals. Naples Zoo’s social media platforms will also share memorable stories from Zoo guests, staff and volunteers from the past 100 years.


Millennium Physician Group has added a walk-in clinic, three doctors’ offices and a dentist’s office to its building in the Colonnade Medical Park at 9500 Bonita Beach Road Southeast. The remodel of the 15,000 square-foot office building took one-and-a-half years. The renovated walk-in center has imaging and lab capabilities and is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Learn more at or call the walk-in center at (239) 498-9294.


Spiro & Associates Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations and Brand Architecture has welcomed Gail Gubelman back as a senior art director. This comes after taking a hiatus six years ago to pursue her own design studio out of Cape Coral, which is still serving select clients to this day.

Gubelman holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in advertising design from the University of San Francisco’s Academy of Art College. She previously worked with the former Tweed Advertising and National Media Services before becoming an art director for WCI Communities and then the former AdWorks Inc. in Naples. In 2007, she joined what was then Spiro & Waites Advertising, taking on the same position, before venturing out on her own with Gohman Design, a boutique shop serving companies from two-man operations to corporations.


The Allergy, Asthma, Sinus & Immunology Center has opened the new location of their center at 680 Second Ave. N., Suites 201 & 202 in Naples. The new facility is accessible from U.S. 41, located just south of NCH Downtown Hospital. Doctors Shawky Hassan and Fikria Hassan will continue their services in their specialties of allergic and immunologic diseases.


RMHC Southwest Florida partners with Charity Pro Travel

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida (RMHC) has partnered with Charity Pro Travel, an international online travel site that raises money for charities around the globe. Founded by Fort Myers entrepreneur Megan Maloney, Charity Pro Travel has partnered with the Priceline Partner Network. The no-cost program offers full support and a program services representative.

RMHC Southwest Florida will receive 50 percent of the earnings for each completed booking and is featured on the travel site with enhanced marketing and social media promotion. RMHC Southwest Florida will also enjoy event Sponsorship, co-branding for special events and fundraisers to increase funding opportunities. This partnership will help RMHC Southwest Florida continue to provide stability and resources to families, so they can be near their hospitalized child while they receive the care they need, a press release states.

The Immokalee Foundation receives grant from Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

The Immokalee Foundation received a $100,000 grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to support Immokalee Readers and to fund operations for the early literacy intervention program, which serves nearly 700 young readers in Immokalee’s five elementary schools. The program’s 100-plus tutors are high-school students who are paid an hourly wage and are supervised by certified classroom teachers.

Additionally, the grant funds the ACT/SAT prep under the career development program. The six-week class for high school students who are enrolled in The Immokalee Foundation programs includes math, science, English and reading components. Students participating in the ACT preparation course realized an average of 12.5 percent gains in their scores. Students participating in the SAT preparation course realized an average of 7 percent gains in their scores, according to a press release.

Bling & Bags Bingo fundraiser to benefit Children's Advocacy Center of SWFL

The Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) of SWFL is holding its third annual Bling & Bags Bingo fundraiser from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on April 3 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fort Myers. The night's special caller will be Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart, who also serves on CAC's board.

Tickets are $50 per person, which includes 16 bingo game cards for a chance to win jewelry and designer handbags, heavy hors d'oeuvres, silent auction items and raffle baskets. Tickets must be purchased in advance by going to Sponsorships are available. For details, call Lisa at (239) 939-2808 or email

Annual Benefit Dinner for The Music Foundation coming soon

The 2019 Annual Benefit Dinner for The Music Foundation of Southwest Florida will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the Helm Club at The Landings Yacht, Golf, and Tennis Club in Fort Myers. The fundraising celebration will include a social hour and silent auction followed by dinner. The Music Foundation’s high school scholarship recipients and featured artist, award-winning professional pianist Noah Waddell, will perform. This year The Music Foundation will also announce winners of the new professional development program, which supports local music teachers with continuing education opportunities.

The annual dinner is the main source of funding for the programs that The Music Foundation sponsors. Each year The Music Foundation benefits more than 4,000 students with its programs and awards $10,000 to $15,000 each year to disadvantaged and deserving students.  Tickets to the annual benefit dinner are $50 each and can be purchased at

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