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Gulfshore Business Daily: January 23

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RSW REPORTS RECORD-BREAKING DECEMBER TRAFFIC

During December, 958,717 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, an increase of 9.8 percent compared with December 2017. Year-end passenger traffic was up 6 percent compared with last year, and the best year-end traffic in airport history, a press release states. Delta Air Lines led December traffic with 165,344 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Southwest (149,892), Spirit (121,638), Frontier (118,516) and American (114,081). Page Field saw 8,397 operations, a 15.2 percent increase from December 2017. In addition, nearly 3.2 million pounds of air freight moved through Southwest Florida International Airport in December 2018.

PEACE RIVER BOTANICAL & SCULPTURE GARDENS HIRES FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Adriana Quiñones has been named the first executive director of the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens Inc. Quiñones comes to the Peace River Gardens, located east of Punta Gorda, from the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

During her nearly five years at Cape Fear, she served as director of horticulture and education, interim executive director and then executive director. Quiñones, a graduate of The Ohio State University, also serves as a member of the board of directors of the American Public Gardens Association.

Quiñones will assume the executive director’s position in the near future, building on the work begun by the volunteer board of directors. The organization anticipates expanding opportunities for classes, speakers and special events.

CAPE CORAL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AWARDS PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS

The Cape Coral Community Foundation honored seven distinguished professional advisors on Jan. 14 at the 2019 Power Players Professional Advisor Awards. The Power Players were recognized for their work as top advisors who perform their duties with integrity and honesty, and for their substantial impact on Southwest Florida, according to a press release.

The honorees were Kevin A. Kyle, attorney at Green Schoenfeld & Kyle LLP; Don Koogler, founder of Koogler Homes; Bill Lange, senior vice president at Regions Private Wealth Management; Brian Chapman Jr., owner of Chapman Insurance Group; Joan Henry, attorney at Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano Law Firm; John Bobb, financial advisor at Finemark National Bank & Trust; and Joni Norton, partner at Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. P.A.

BITE SQUAD EXPANDS IN FORT MYERS AREA

Bite Squad has expanded to Lehigh Acres, Buckingham, Fort Myers Shores and Olga. The service delivers food from over 160 restaurants in the greater Fort Myers area. Bite Squad entered Fort Myers in summer 2017, with the acquisition of Grub Cab.

The company currently serves more than 115 Florida cities, including the west coast cities of Naples, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte, Venice and Sarasota. Along with a variety of restaurant choices, Bite Squad offers a top-rated consumer app with live order tracking to keep customers updated on when their food will arrive; a live chat support team; and employee drivers.

To celebrate the expansion, Bite Squad is offering customers in the Lehigh Acres, Buckingham, Fort Myers Shores and Olga neighborhoods free delivery for a year when they place a delivery order through the service during its grand opening celebration, starting on Jan. 25 through Feb. 28.

Customers eligible for the promotion will receive a one-year complimentary membership to Bite Squad’s subscription-based service, Unlimited (subject to its terms and conditions). To receive the complimentary membership, customers must enter the code UNLIMITED at checkout and reside in Lehigh Acres, Buckingham, Fort Myers Shores or Olga.

U.S. TRUST HIRES PRIVATE CLIENT ADVISOR

U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management has hired Andrew Buschle as a senior vice president and private client advisor. In coordination with his Naples based U.S. Trust team, Buschle focuses on advancing new client engagements, deepening existing relationships, client advocacy in the community and developing relationships with local philanthropic organizations.

Buschle has 20 years of experience as a large corporate banking manager, business banking manager, regional cash management manager and central operations manager.

Buschle serves on the Junior Achievement of SWFL board of directors and a Junior Achievement classroom instructor.  He is a volunteer mentor under the Take Stock in Children program, serves on the Entrepreneurship Advisor Council for Collier County Public Schools and as an adjunct professor at both Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and decision sciences from Miami University and a master’s degree in general business administration from Xavier University.

INK JOINS WALDROP ENGINEERING

Waldrop Engineering has appointed James Ink director of operations for its downtown Fort Myers office. Ink has more than 35 years of development consulting experience throughout Florida.

He has directed numerous complex entitlement efforts and high-profile projects, a press release states. Ink has experience in waterfront-related development, including marinas, resort-hospitality, residential design and jurisdictional permitting and compliance.

Ink serves on the City of Fort Myers Planning Board, Lee County Local Planning Agency, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program Management Committee and several other boards and committees across Southwest Florida.

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD ADDS PROMOTIONS, NEW HIRES 

Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida has promoted and hired several team members. Heather Adams has been named vice president of operations, Marina Joel has been named director of finance, and Gretchen Smith has been named director. Adams, with a 13-year background in facilities and property management, has been with the firm since 2016. She is experienced in establishing and maintaining cost controls and reporting procedures for assets.

Joel, with more than 11 years of experience in real estate and finance combined, has also been with the firm since 2016. She passed the Community Association Manager (CAM) licensing process and examination in 2018.

Smith, who was named Costar’s Top Office Leasing and Retail Broker in 2018 and Top Leasing Broker in Southwest Florida in 2017, has been with the firm for four years and has experience in the real estate market. Smith has held an active real estate broker’s license since 2014 and been licensed for more than 14 years. 

Michelle Jumalon has joined the firm as an accounts payable specialist. Jumalon brings 25 years of experience and knowledge in the accounting arena.

In addition to the promotions, the firm closed the year with record activity. Overall growth in business in all departments facilitated the need for increased staff, according to a press release.

CHARITABLE NOTES

Registration opens for fourth annual YogaCAN 2019

Registration is now open for the fourth annual YogaCAN 2019, held from April 27-28. Joel Waltzer founded YogaCAN five years ago after losing his wife, Jane, to breast cancer. All of YogaCAN’s proceeds are donated to the Cancer Alliance of Naples (CAN). The Sunset Social will kick off the event at 6:30 p.m. on April 27 at Naples Grande Golf Club. The yoga program will begin at 10 a.m. on April 28 at the Naples Beach Hotel.

Waltzer and Jodi Bisogno, executive director of CAN, will speak at the event. The owners of Practice Yoga, Yoga Lab, and Yoga House will co-teach participants in a practice of Vinyasa yoga designed for all levels. A kid’s yoga class will be taught simultaneously with the adult yoga class. A silent auction in a ballroom adjacent to the field will also be held and food provided by the Naples Beach Hotel will be served in the ballroom.

Tickets for the Sunset Social are $100 per person and tickets for YogaCAN are $45 online and $55 on the day of the event. VIP tickets are also available. To register, visit https://cancerallianceofnaples.com/ and click “events.” Additional sponsorships and auction items are sought. Email lisa@naplespowerplate.com for details.

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