Gulfshore Business Daily: January 28

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Venture X is Expanding in Naples


United Way of the Florida Keys and United Way of Collier County will merge to create the United Way of Collier and the Keys as of April 1. The unification will allow the organization to increase operational efficiency and streamline duplicated internal processes, ultimately resulting in more dollars available for the local community, a press release states. By becoming United Way of Collier and the Keys, the organization will now offer a seamless experience for donors in both areas and increase local engagement and volunteer opportunities. As internal operations are consolidated, external activities and programs in the community will essentially remain the same. United Way of the Florida Keys President/CEO Leah Stockton has been named Florida Keys area president with the new organization. United Way of Collier County President/CEO Steve Sanderson will remain in his position with the new organization. Leaders from Monroe County and Collier County will serve on the new United Way of Collier and the Keys board. Local advisory boards will also be created in each county as a crucial component to identify needs and spearhead local community investment and fundraising efforts. The current staff will continue to work from existing local offices.


The Zonta Club of Bonita Springs-Estero is accepting nominations for the Woman of the Year. The annual Woman of the Year Fundraising Dinner will be held on April 22 at Pelican’s Nest Golf Club, in Bonita Springs. The Signature Sponsor for the Dinner is Baird Wealth Management. Each year a local woman is honored by the organization at the fundraising event. Members of the community submit nominations to the Zonta Club and they are reviewed by a selection committee made up of past women of the year, and Zonta members. Funds from the event are used to provide scholarships to local students and to support various service projects, as well as continued education for members. For more information, contact Trish Leonard at or visit

Venture X is expanding in Naples


Venture X, a membership-based workspace for entrepreneurs and businesses, is expanding its presence in Naples. The company will be located in the entire top floor of the Class A Lutgert Professional Center in Naples. The building is currently under construction and Venture X plans to open its 18,500-square-foot space in spring 2021. The new sustainably designed space, made up of mostly private offices, will be open 24/7 and will provide members with amenities including a podcast room, wellness room, meeting rooms fully equipped with the latest presentation and conference technology, high-speed internet, centralized café, lounge areas, and living green bio walls. Additionally, all full-time members will have access to every Venture X location around the world. Venture X’s first location was launched in 2012 in Naples and now has 40 locations throughout the U.S with international locations in London, Dubai, and Toronto. Thirty new locations are under development for 2020. For this new Naples location, Co-founders David Diamond and Brett Diamond have partnered with The Lutgert Cos. Leasing was brokered by Dougall McCorkle of Premier Commercial. 


Jordan Azis, Stickboy’s lead technology advisor; Josh Zachritz, director of operations; Bryant Jackson, chief technology officer


Stickboy, a Southwest Florida-based custom software and advanced IT solutions provider, has opened a new location at 28200 Old 41 Road, Suite 205 in Bonita Springs. Stickboy has been based in Fort Myers since 2007. Its expansion comes in response to the rapid growth of its advanced IT management division added late last year. For more information, visit


Oak & Stone is expanding into Collier County on Feb. 3 with its fifth location at 2270 Logan Blvd. N. in Naples at Logan Landings, a retail center anchored by Sprouts. The 5,300-square-foot standalone restaurant includes a 1,600-square-foot outdoor patio for pet-friendly al fresco dining. With a mix of bar stools, lounge seats and high-top tables for a capacity of 100 indoors, the newest location features an 18-seat bar with bourbons on display, large windows and Oak & Stone’s other natural elements of brick, wood, and concrete flooring. A massive booth sits in the middle of the room to accommodate large parties. The outdoor open-air space incorporates several seating areas, including a couch area with a fire pit, low-top and high-top tables with umbrellas, a round chef’s table and stools at the outdoor bar for a capacity of 120. Corn hole boards will also be set up. Utilizing RFID technology, Oak & Stone’s signature, self-serve beer wall allows visitors to sample nearly 50 rotating varieties of ciders and American craft beers on tap, with a special emphasis on local and regional breweries. Construction on the new Naples eatery began in fall 2019 by Poppa Construction. More than 100 employees have been hired to support the Oak & Stone team. 


The Conservancy of Southwest Florida members elected five new directors for four-year terms on the board of directors. Terry Edwards, Robin Hamilton, Katrina Lundmark-Kash, Jon Kukk and Charles Mueller were elected at the organization’s 56th Annual Members’ Meeting on Jan. 16 at the Conservancy Nature Center. Members of the Conservancy board of directors provide leadership, financial oversight and help set strategic plans for our organization. The Conservancy’s board of directors is currently led by board chair Van Williams, vice-chair Phil Gresh, treasurer John R. Walter and secretary Gerri Moll. For more information, visit


Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate announces John Tsiskakis has returned to and affiliated with the company’s Naples 5th Avenue office and joined The Grant Group. Tsiskakis, formerly of Realterm, has been in real estate for over 15 years and has experience in upscale residential and commercial real estate with over $200 million in lifetime sales. Tsiskakis won Coldwell Banker’s 2006 Rookie of the Year award and Coldwell Banker’s International Presidents Circle award. He earned both his Master of Science in real estate finance and Master of Science in real estate transactions and development from Cornell University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Massachusetts.


The Sky’s The Limit Consulting Inc. has launched self-paced online learning programs. Its first eLearning course, “Harassment Prevention Training,” is being offered in two versions—one for all staff (one hour) and one for all supervisory staff (two hours). At the end of either version, each participant is awarded a certificate of completion. As of January 2020, five US states (California, Connecticut, Maine, New York, and Rhode Island) and the City of New York have already legislated mandatory workplace harassment prevention training. This must take place at least once every two years for employers in both the public and private sectors. Employers who must comply will vary among the jurisdictions based on the number of employees and other factors. Traditionally, many employers regardless of legislation, have offered these types of training to bring awareness through continuing education. For more information, visit


Licensed Physical Therapist and nationally certified athletic trainer Dan Vogelbach is partnering with Elite Performance training team 2TheTop to host the first in a series of educational talks on increasing athletic performance, injury prevention, and wellness. Vogelbach will open the series at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 at 2TheTop Elite Training at 9150 W. College Pointe Dr. in Fort Myers, with a discussion on lower extremity injuries in sports and wellness activities and the beneficial activities to prevent them. Attendees can RSVP here or by calling (239) 340.2518. Complimentary refreshments will be offered as well as other giveaways and prizes.

Charitable Notes

Naples Winter Wine Festival raises over $20 million during 20th anniversary

The 20th Naples Winter Wine Festival came to a grand finale this weekend following its live auction, which raised just over $20 million for the underprivileged and at-risk children of Collier County, a record-breaking number. This brings the total amount raised by the Festival to more than $210 million since its inception in 2001. Festival attendees came together under the tent at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples to bid on 61 auction lots. The festival opened with a special performance by Kool & The Gang. Other celebrity attendees included comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, TV personality Judge Judy and PGA golfer Greg Norman, who supported an auction lot that included golfing with fellow PGA golfer Jack Nicklaus. On-the-spot donations supporting this year’s Fund a Need, “Fund the Future,” brought in contributions of over $4 million, which will go to support NCEF’s seven strategic initiatives focusing on the well-being of the whole child. These include early learning, healthcare, hunger, mental health, oral health, out-of-school time and vision. The Naples Winter Wine Festival online auction ends at 5 p.m. today. To participate, visit

Scholarship recipient Preston Beckner at Naples Air Center.

Community Foundation of Collier County distributes $16 million in Q2 grants

The Community Foundation of Collier County has distributed $16 million in 726 grants in the second quarter of the 2019-20 fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2019, to nonprofit agencies and scholarships for secondary education and specialized training. The total for the first fiscal half-year is over $19 million, already exceeding the entire 2018-19 fiscal year total, another record-breaker for the Community Foundation. Over $168 million in grants and scholarships have been distributed in the foundation’s 35-year history. The distributions from donor-advised funds included $33,000 for Gulfshore Playhouse’s new theater complex and $30,000 to the Shelter for Abused Women & Children for a sports court for shelter residents. Also included was $227,486 for 131 scholarships for local students to attend secondary education and specialized training at many state colleges and universities, as well as flight training centers.

Inaugural Generous Lee event set for February

The Rist Family Foundation will host its inaugural Generous Lee (GLee) event at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Burroughs Home & Gardens in Fort Myers. The event will benefit Valerie’s House and the Cape Coral Community Foundation. The gala will kick off with a cocktail reception and feature staff clad in “G-men” attire, including sunglasses, earpieces and dark suits. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a full bar, four-course dinner, live auction, silent auction, grand prize auction and live entertainment by Soapy Tuna. Valet parking will also be provided. Tickets are now available for $150 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are also available and range from $1,500 to $5,000. To purchase tickets, visit All ticket purchases and donations are 100% tax-deductible.
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