Gulfshore Business Daily: January 15

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Ian Read

Ian Read


Ian Read, former CEO and chairman for Pfizer, will share insights and stories from his four decades with the pharmaceutical company during the Benson Blackburn NextGen Speaker Series event on Feb. 28 in Naples. The NextGen Speaker Series brings together business and community professionals to encourage leadership, mentorship, empowerment and philanthropy. Keynote speakers are world-renowned entrepreneurs and distinguished CEOs who share their life journeys with audience members. The NextGen Speaker Series was founded by Michael Benson, CEO of Benson Blackburn. The series has hosted 17 events and drawn more than 3,000 attendees since its inception. The NextGen event begins at 8 a.m. on Feb. 28 at the main clubhouse of Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples. Tickets are $30 and available online at



Allegiant is including a new nonstop route to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) from Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) beginning June 6. To celebrate, the company is offering one-way fares on the new route starting at $44 (Seats and dates are limited, and fares are not available on all flights. Flights must be purchased by Jan. 16 for travel by Aug. 15, and other rules and restrictions apply). The new seasonal route via Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) will operate twice weekly. Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found at



Longevity Solutions Inc., a Naples-based medical and wellness destination, has been established by Dr. William Kapp, founder and CEO. Longevity Solutions is a technology company specializing in proactive precision diagnostics, customized nutrition, personalized exercise, and regenerative therapies to extend the healthy human lifespan. The new company comprises two medical approaches for lifelong health and fitness: a deep-dive assessment of a person’s true health status, including proprietary whole genome sequencing (DNA), advanced MRI imaging, and comprehensive labs; plus, an adjunct fitness center which focuses on strength training and lifestyle modifications to diminish and prevent age-related diseases. The proprietary DNA and MRI analyses are accomplished via a partnership with San Diego-based Human Longevity, Inc., founded by Craig Venter, who sequenced the first human genome. Human Longevity and Longevity Solutions are the only facilities in the world offering the deep-dive assessment, according to a press release. For more information, visit Call (239) 529-1777.



The Bonita Springs Area Chamber is launching “Chamber Chat,” a podcast series designed to answer popular business questions. New episodes of “Chamber Chat” will be released every Tuesday for the first quarter of 2020. Each episode of the program is 15 to 30 minutes long and features different business professionals and community leaders as guests, including business consultant Jason Teeters and the Lee and Collier Supervisors of Elections, Tommy Doyle and Jennifer Edwards. The podcast was created to give busy professionals an opportunity to learn about new business topics and possible solutions to everyday problems on-the-go, without the need to attend an event or sit and watch a digital webinar. Chamber Chat is available on Spotify, Stitcher, Anchor and YouTube, and will become available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts later this month. Learn more at



Naples Senior Center has named Dorrie Karnis as its first Volunteer of the Year. The award was presented to Karnis at the Naples Senior Center’s eighth annual Evening for Better Tomorrows, “Motor City Magic – Memories of Motown,” on Jan. 11 at a private country club in Naples. The senior center opened its doors in 2014 and is the only human services agency of its kind in our community, according to our press release. The center provides comprehensive programs and social services for seniors. Beginning with 80 initial members, the center has expanded to more than 1,400 members today. Karnis has volunteered with the Naples Senior Center since the beginning six years ago. She has served in almost every program the center offers, from the weekly Lunch and More to the Dementia Respite Support Program. The Volunteer of the Year Award is a new recognition by Naples Senior Center and was sponsored by Ray Harman.



Community Cooperative board of directors announces its new officers and members. Keith Banasiak of WastePro will serve as chairman, Charlotte Miller of Florida Power & Light will serve as vice chair, and Ryan Van Horn of Custom Packaging & Products with serve as secretary/treasurer. Immediate past chairman is Wayne Kirkwood of Kirkwood Electric. The board of directors comprises local community members who provide stewardship for the nonprofit organization. Additional board members include Joe Catti of FineMark National Bank & Trust, Cathy Devine of Soma/Chico’s FAS, Ty Roland of Aloia|Roland Attorneys at Law, Jordi Tejero of CRS Technology Consultants, Betsy Alderman of Northern Trust, and newly appointed member Casey Crowther of Target Roofing.



Christy’s Cause announces new advisory council members Jason Perry of Securities America Inc. and Sgt. Wade Williams of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Special Crimes Bureau Exploitation Section.  The new members join current advisory board members Jeff Cecil, Lt. Daniel Cote, Francine Donnorummo, Sam Galloway III and Wayne Smith. Christy’s Cause is an Estero-based nonprofit working to eradicate child sex trafficking through education, public awareness, restoration projects, and justice initiatives. For more information about Christy’s Cause visit or email


Nelson Taylor


Nelson Taylor, lead appraiser and market research director of LSI Cos. Inc. has been awarded the designation of Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the leading professional organization in the world for land, property, construction and related environmental issues, according to a press release. Membership is only awarded to individuals who demonstrate a high level of competence and are prepared to maintain exemplary standards. With Taylor’s 10 years of experience in the industry, he has established a mix of academic and professional qualifications to join a network of 100,000 members and become an RICS-qualified professional.



Valerie’s House has hired Jennifer F. Clark as grants and advancement manager. Clark served as the grants manager for Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples for three years before accepting the position with Valerie’s House. At Valerie’s House, Clark will be responsible for expanding the nonprofit’s reach in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties through community engagement and relationship building, including fostering collaboration and bringing awareness to the mission through public speaking. Clark will also be involved with the children and families at Valerie’s House as a group leader, since she herself lost her own father when she was 9 years old and can relate with many of the children at Valerie’s House. Clark is a graduate of the University of Florida and has been working with various nonprofits since 2005.



Give Kids A Smile Day provides free dental services at FSW

The Dental Hygiene program at Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) in Fort Myers will host its annual Give Kids A Smile Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 8 in Building A on the FSW Lee Campus in Fort Myers. Children ages 3 to 17 will receive free dental services on a first-come-first-served basis. Services that will be offered at no charge include dental cleanings, X-rays, dental sealants and a dental examination. Health educational activities, wellness assessments and child safety education will also be provided. For more information about Give Kids a Smile Day, call the FSW Dental Hygiene Clinic at (239) 985-8334.


Larry Ford

Gaither Homecoming Soloist to sing at Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing 

Gaither Homecoming Soloist and Grammy Award winner Larry Ford will make a special guest appearance at the 31st Annual Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing sponsored by the Galloway Family of Dealerships. The community can celebrate the Edison Festival of Light and help feed the hungry by attending Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing on Feb. 11 at The First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fort Myers. Three performances are planned at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The doors will open 30 minutes prior to each performance. Admission is free, but organizers are requesting that those who attend bring cans of non-perishable food and a voluntary cash donation to benefit The Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative. Ford is a featured soloist on the Gaither Homecoming DVD series, which consistently ranks in the top of Billboard Magazine’s music charts. The tenor was awarded a Grammy for Best Southern Gospel Recording in 2003.  


Fort Myers family to receive home renovations

Lee BIA Builders Care on Dec. 6 hosted its third annual Charity Clay Shoot at the Bermont Shooting Club in Punta Gorda, helping raise funds to support a local family in desperate need of home repairs. During the event, guests raised $15,300 for a special Builders Care project that will provide home modifications to help a 70-year-old Vietnam War veteran with Parkinson’s to live more comfortably. Fort Myers homeowners George and Penny Phillips are in need of critical home repairs to provide wheelchair access for George, who is no longer able to access his bathroom safely. Thanks to the support of Charity Clay Shoot attendees, Builders Care will provide a bathroom remodel and new front entry. The project will be completed in early 2020. For more information, visit


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