Gulfshore Business Daily: January 24

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin


The Level Up Leadership Institute for Innovation Leadership Forum 2019, presented by Level Up Coaching & Consulting, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the Holiday Inn Ft. Myers Town Center.

The Leadership Forum features the following presenters: Dr. Steve Smith, a master organizational development tactician; Ismail Joseph, an expert on the millennial mindset; Tatiana Fortune, senior center director at Collier Senior Resources’ Golden Gate Senior Center in Naples; John Paul a certified accountant and founder and CEO of ICFO Consulting Inc.; and Dr. Phil Phillips, a leader, speaker, trainer and business consultant who has helped more than 100,000 leaders and organizations worldwide achieve success.

Tickets are $159 per person and include lunch. For more information and to register, visit or call (239) 603-7040.


Radiology Regional Center appointed David J. Palkovich as chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1. Palkovich succeeds Brad Reid, who retired after an 18-year tenure as COO. Palkovich has been in the healthcare industry since 1998 and has a background in diagnostic imaging leadership in both outpatient and hospital settings, experience in urgent care operations, business acquisition and operational consulting. Palkovich joins Radiology Regional Center from GoHealth Urgent Care, where he served as president of the Mercy/GoHealth joint venture.

Palkovich holds a master’s degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of South Florida. He is also a Six Sigma Green Belt with a specialization in healthcare.


The Greater Naples AAUW Charitable Foundation Inc. is now accepting applications from women residing in Collier or southern Lee County for scholarships to be awarded in April. The foundation’s Local Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to women age 21 and up pursuing an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree at an accredited college or university, who demonstrate academic achievement and financial need, and who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for award.

The Blanche and John Rebar Scholarship Fund of the Greater Naples AAUW Charitable Foundation Inc. offers a scholarship to a graduating high school senior or an older student; pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of the STEM fields at an accredited four-year college or university, who demonstrates academic achievement and who otherwise satisfies the eligibility criteria for the award.

Applications and supporting documents must be submitted by Feb. 28.  Previous applicants and awardees may reapply.  Complete eligibility criteria for each scholarship program is available at under the Local Scholarships tab.


The Lee County Board of Port Commissioners elected Larry Kiker as chair for 2019 during its first meeting on Jan.17. Brian Hamman was elected as vice chair. The board, composed of the five Lee County commissioners, meets bi-monthly as the Board of Port Commissioners to set policy and direct the operations of Southwest Florida International Airport and Page Field in Fort Myers. The other commissioners include Frank Mann, John E. Manning and Cecil L Pendergrass. For more information, visit


Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties has installed its full slate of officers and two new members of its board of directors for 2019. Gary Aubuchon (pictured), president of the Aubuchon Team of Cos., will lead the Habitat board as chairman for 2019.

Aubuchon has served on the board since 2013. Other officers include Pam Avesian, Chico’s FAS Inc.; Carl Barraco, Barraco & Associates; and Robert Arnall, FineMark National Bank and Trust. Joining the board of directors are Ginny Dickinson and Debra Penuel. Returning board members are Patricia Benner; Tim Byal; Edward P. Canterbury; Vicki Cooper; Jeananne Folaros; Cheryl Glover; Erica K. Harp; Tim Hawkins; John Hill; Mitch Hutchcraft; Paul Martin; Steve McIntosh; Linda Miller; Mike Mullinix; David Owen; and John Tobler.


Hodges University’s Dr. Aysegul Timur and Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s Tessa LeSage will present “Growing and Credentialing Employability Skills in SWFL – Professional Effectiveness Certificate” during the 2019 Florida College Access Network Summit held in May in Orlando.

The presentation features the issue of gaps that exist in employability skills and how to address them. The professional effectiveness certificate is a FutureMakers Coalition project. For more information, visit


Wintrust will open a new bank location at 3401 Tamiami Trail N., Naples, in early 2019. This new branch, Wintrust Banking Center, marks the first Wintrust Community Bank outside of the company’s Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin footprint.

The expansion will allow current customers who travel to or live in Florida during the winter season to access their finances and the banking services Wintrust offers year-round. Two veteran Wintrust employees, Tara Fedorko and Wendy Aguilera, will be branch manager and assistant branch manager at the Wintrust Banking Center. 

Customers will have access to banking services offered at all Wintrust Community Banks. Wintrust Banking Center will operate under Lake Forest Bank & Trust Co., N.A., one of Wintrust’s charter banks.


Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida awards grant to Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation

The Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida supported Earn to Learn FL students with a 2019 grant of $12,000. The grant will position the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation to provide Earn to Learn FL financial aid to five Lee County women who are expected to graduate in spring or fall of 2020. The grant helps more students achieve their goals through education.

Less than 20 percent of Southwest Florida women and men over the age of 25 have earned a bachelor's degree, a press release states.

Billy Graham’s daughter to headline Lifeline Family Center Dinner

Ruth Graham (pictured), daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, will be the guest speaker at the 23rd Annual Benefit Dinner for Lifeline Family Center held at 6:30 p.m. on March 14 at McGregor Baptist Church on Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Graham’s daughter Windsor Dienert-Bauder also will share the stage and tell her own story about unplanned pregnancy and the decisions she made. About 600 community leaders are expected to attend the annual benefit dinner Tickets are $85 each or $480 for a table of eight.

Sponsorships, which include a VIP reception with Graham and Dienert-Bauder, are available from $1,000 to $10,000.  Tickets may be purchased at or by calling (239) 242-7238.

Habitat for Humanity of Lee & Hendry Counties receives Let’s Play Construction Grant

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and the national nonprofit KaBOOM! awarded Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties a Let’s Play Community Construction Grant that will be used to build a new playground in Habitat’s Majorca Palms Community. 

The playground build is made possible by Let’s Play, an initiative by KDP to provide the funding, equipment and play spaces to help kids and families make active play a daily priority. Habitat’s Majorca Palms Community is home to many young families with children, a press release states. KDP has committed $38.5 million to Let’s Play through 2019, impacting youth-serving organizations across the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Through Let’s Play, KDP partners with two nonprofit organizations, KaBOOM! and Good Sports, to build and improve playgrounds in underserved communities and provide grants for sports equipment. For more information, visit

Get breaking business news delivered straight to your inbox each weekday morning with Gulfshore Business Daily.


You May Also Like

Post-high school education on the rise

Little by little, Southwest Florida’s workforce is getting more skilled. The FutureMakers Coalition is an initiative by local leaders to raise the overall education level...

The Economy, the Pandemic and FGCU

The last 18 months have been an economic roller coaster for Southwest Florida. One would be hard-pressed to find any economist or soothsayer who predicted...