Gulfshore Business Daily: January 22

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Courtesy of Naples Airport Authority


Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has achieved a record $5.2 billion in total sales volume for 2019, a 15% increase year-over-year. With an average sales price of $725,116 (up 3%), the brokerage also closed 7,129 transactions—an 11% increase from 2018. With 40 offices from Southwest Florida to the High Country of North Carolina, the brokerage reported gains in each of its markets: In Naples, the number of transactions increased 13% with an average sales price remaining over $1 million; the North Carolina region reported a 27% increase in average sales price and a 35% increase in sales volume; central Florida’s number of transactions increased 38% with total sales volume increasing 49%; the Tampa Bay region saw a 16% increase in average sales price and a 13% increase in number of transactions; Sarasota’s average sales price rose 6% year-over-year. Premier Sotheby’s International Realty is ranked No. 34 in the annual REAL Trends 500 survey of the top U.S. residential sellers by volume and is No. 32 in RISMedia’s Top 500 Power Broker Annual Report.



During December, 1,077,818 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, an increase of 12.4% compared to December 2018. Year-end passenger traffic was up 9.1% compared to last year. December 2019 was the best December in the 37-year history of the airport, according to a press release. The airport also set a new annual traffic record of 10,225,180 passengers. The traffic leader in December was Delta Air Lines with 187,064 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Southwest (161,041), Spirit (138,925), Frontier (137,715) and American (137,090). Southwest Florida International Airport had 9,314 aircraft operations, an increase of 9.5% compared to December 2018. Page Field saw 9,926 operations, an 18.2% increase from December 2018. For more information, visit



Ave Maria School of Law has named its new wellness center Cancro Family Wellness Center. Peter Cancro, founder and owner of Jersey’s Mike’s, along with his wife, Tatiana, and family pledged $2 million, thereby receiving naming rights to the newest addition to the campus. Their contribution will assist with operations expenses for the facility going forward. The wellness center is nearing completion as final interior installments and details draw to a close. With architecture by Victor Latavish and construction by Compass Construction Inc., the 21,740-square-foot structure is slated to officially open in early February. For more information, visit


Courtesy of Naples Airport Authority


Naples Airport Authority (NAA) invites the public to attend three upcoming open houses for its Part 150 Noise and Land Use Compatibility Study. The first open house will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the Baker Park Sugden-Gomez Center. The second and third open houses will take place Feb. 12. The 9:30-11:30 a.m. open house will be held at Moorings Presbyterian Church. The 6-8 p.m. open house will be held at Lorenzo Walker Technical College. The open houses will be hosted by NAA representatives and Environmental Science Associates, the consultant contracted by NAA to complete the Part 150 Noise Study. All interested members of the public are encouraged to attend this event, which is the first of several to be held during the two-and-a-half-year study. More information on the NAA’s Part 150 Noise Study can be found at



Lee BIA Builders Care recently hosted its annual awards event honoring several community partners and volunteers for their service and commitment to Southwest Florida’s needy and deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners and their families. The 2019 awards include: Jimmy Rodgers Volunteer of the Year, presented to Mike Nilles; Partner of the Year, recognizing Priority Marketing; Contractor Partners of the Year, presented to both Target Roofing & Sheet Metal and Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings; Michael English Hearts and Hammers Award, awarded to Ferguson Enterprises; Builders Care Executive Award, honoring LSI Cos.; President’s Award, recognizing 2019 board president Dan Beiter; and the President’s Special Recognition, awarded to Lennar.



Membership Directors’ Association of Southwest Florida (MDASF) has released the list of industry leaders participating in its 2020 Florida Membership and Marketing Summit held on May 21 at Bonita Bay Club. The educational and networking program will focus on several topics for club industry professionals located in Florida and focus specifically on private club membership & marketing. Speakers will include Fred Fung, general manager, Bonita Bay Club; Michael J. Russ, president of Powerful Living International; Dr. Jim Butler, CEO of Club Benchmarking; Dale Smith Thomas, international motivational speaker. The panelists are Sean Bleyl, MembersFirst; Susan Green, The Oaks Club; Melissa Hansen, The Club at Olde Cypress; Claudine Wetzel, Stock Development. For more information or to register for the 2020 Florida Membership and Marketing Summit, visit



The Southwest Florida Council of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) will honor candidates at its annual Woman of the Year Luncheon held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport. Alexia Martin, owner of the award-winning Whitco Insurance Agency in Punta Gorda and ABWA Punta Gorda Chapter’s 2017 Woman of the Year, will present “Being Your Own Superhero.” Diane Kleim, the national 2020 American Business Woman, will deliver the keynote address. Tickets are $46.50 at



Planet Fitness has signed a 20,293-square-foot space at the Imperial Bonita Plaza retail center at 11601 Bonita Beach Road. This marks the eighth Southwest Florida destination for the expanding fitness center, which is among the world’s largest, with more than 2,000 locations, according to a press release. The new “junior anchor” is expected to add momentum to this project by drawing in other traffic generators that will fill remaining vacancies. Imperial Bonita, nestled in the heart of a redeveloping corridor, will also be completely redeveloped with a full access curb cut that connects to Imperial Parkway, enhanced landscaping, and more. Recent projects along Bonita Beach Road have brought national brands like Starbucks and Five Guys to the area, with others on the way, including Dunkin and Sherwin Williams. LandQwest Principal Mike Concilla represented the landlord, GBR Properties, Inc., and David Hochstadt with Stix Commercial represented the tenant.



STARability Foundation has earned a 2019 GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency. The nonprofit organization earned the designation by adding information to their profile on GuideStar, which is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. The Gold Seal will help community members, as well as more than 10 million GuideStar users, find in-depth information about STARability’s goals, strategies, capabilities and progress. The new information is available to more 200 charitable websites and applications that use GuideStar data, such as AmazonSmile, Facebook and Network for Good. STARability Foundation exists to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing life-transforming opportunities that emphasize teamwork and connection to the community to build awareness and respect for their individual abilities. For more information, visit


Phillip Amos


LeeSar and Cooperative Services of Florida Inc. (CSF) welcome Jonathan Girnys, vice president of pharmaceutical services, and Phillip Amos, executive director of plant operations. Girnys joined LeeSar/CSF in 2019 as executive director of pharmacy through a recent partnership with Vizient, a national group purchasing organization (GPO). Girnys graduated with his Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Georgia and is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist. Amos was previously director of facilities for AdventHealth Sebring, where he was responsible for facilities management of three hospitals, an outpatient surgery center, and nearly 40 office buildings across three counties. Amos earned a Master of Science Degree in Management from Troy State University with a Bachelor of Science from University of the State of New York. He has served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy.



2020 Naples Winter Wine Festival online auction open

The Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF) 2020 online auction has opened. The items up for bid include experiences in travel, food and wine in Naples and around the world. Since its launch in 2015, the NWWF online auction has provided additional participation opportunities to the community, as well as bidders and supporters nationwide, who may not be able to attend the live auction during the festival. Since its inception, the online auction has raised over $1 million to benefit underprivileged at-risk children of Collier County. A full roster and additional details on the online auction lot items are available at The auction is open until 5 p.m. on Jan. 28.


From L to R: Lauren Branson, Brooke Spencer, Jill Wheeler, Colby Robertson, Kelly Wild, Spencer Smith

Wellfit Girls receives $27,500 grant from United Way of Collier County

Wellfit Girls, a Southwest Florida nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring, challenging and empowering teen girls, received a $27,500 grant through United Way of Collier County’s Innovation Fund. The money will be used to underwrite Summit Sisters, Wellfit Girls’ comprehensive multi-year leadership, fitness and empowerment program. The Innovation Fund is a collective impact grant that can address existing gaps in service, or new and evolving needs in Collier County by funding innovative, problem-solving projects and programs. The grant will allow Wellfit Girls to offer more scholarships to families who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). ALICE is a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level but struggle to manage their most basic needs, a press release states.


Harmon-Meek Gallery hosted a sold-out Art Inspires

The Harmon-Meek Gallery Fund at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation hosted a sold-out Art Inspires event on Jan. 7 at the Naples Sailing and Yacht Club in Naples. Supporters dressed inspired by an artist, art movement or artwork and danced to music from Winslow and the Rockefellers. The three-course art-inspired dinner finished with a Mondrian inspired cake by Naples Sailing and Yacht Club Pastry Chef Michael Kitum. Table patrons included Morton & Wasmer Builders, Jacoby, Nealon and McCain Wealth Management, and Southwest Florida Community Foundation. The event was entirely underwritten by Harmon-Meek Gallery so every dollar of ticket sales, table patronage and donations went to the donor-advised fund for children’s art programs in Southwest Florida. Grants were awarded at Art Inspires for an Art in the Park day for Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast, an outdoor art easel at Child’s Path for CCCR, and an art therapist for Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County.


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