Gulfshore Business Daily: January 29

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Lead Photo: The Loft at OT opens in Cape Coral. Details below.


Video courtesy of WINK News


One place that seems likely to house the novel coronavirus is an ambulance, especially when emergency medical services must transport someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. But there is new technology available to help disinfect the unit. It’s a disinfecting mist that’s sprayed throughout the entire patient compartment. By killing germs there, they are protecting patients being transported. And it’s not just used for COVID-19, but any virus. Before the pandemic, Lee County only had portable units of the solution. Now, thanks to federal CARES Act dollars, it has installed these mist units in all of its ambulances, WINK News reports.


Estero is forming a Planning, Zoning & Design Board as a result of adopting its new land development code. This new board will combine the functions of the current Planning & Zoning Board and Design Review Board duties. The board will review applications for re-zonings, comprehensive plan amendments, site plan approvals and development orders, and similar items for conformance with the Village Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan. Building design, architecture and landscaping aspects are of particular importance in maintaining Estero’s quality of life. Diverse backgrounds are encouraged. Prior experience in landscape, planning, zoning, engineering, or architecture is helpful but not required for all members. The board will meet in the evening two or three times monthly as needed at the Village Hall, 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle. At least four members of the board must be residents of the Village. All other members shall either own a business in the Village, own property in or work in Estero. To apply, contact Carol Sacco at 239-221-5035 or, or visit  Submit applications and resumes by 5 p.m. on  Feb. 12 to the Village Clerk at, by mail or in-person at Village of Estero, Attention: Village Clerk, 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle, Estero, FL 33928.


Felipe’s Mexican Taqueria opened its second location in the Naples area on Wednesday. The new Mexican restaurant is on the western end of Logan Landings, the Sprouts-anchored retail center on the southeast corner of Logan Boulevard and Immokalee Road in North Naples. The newly developed, first-generation unit features overhead doors that create a colorful open-air space for indoor and outdoor dining. A small chain based in New Orleans, Felipe’s launched its first Florida location more than five years ago in Park Shore Plaza in Naples and another area location opened on Fort Myers Beach. Felipe’s, 2220 Logan Blvd. N., Suite 810, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 239-323-6619 or click here


The Loft at OT has opened upstairs at Overtime Pizzeria & Sports Pub, 1708 Cape Coral Pkwy W., Cape Coral. Owners Mike and Kristina Amato started Overtime Pizzeria & Sports Pub five years ago and purchased the building that houses both businesses in 2018. The Loft at OT is an upscale lounge featuring a full liquor bar, craft cocktails, wines, craft beers, tapas and live entertainment. The tapas menu includes deviled eggs, fish dip, a hummus duo, smoked salmon, artisan paninis, a spring salad, and pepper shooters. The Loft at OT is open Monday and Wednesday, and Friday and Saturday nights. Most evenings will offer live music, and a comedy show will be booked each month. The space is also available to rent for private parties of up to 100 people. For more information, visit

Tina Ekblad


Morris-Depew Associates has formally transitioned its new executive leadership. Tina Ekblad will serve as president and director of planning, Bill Morris has been named chairman and director of engineering, and Ryan Shute will assume the role of director of operations. Under the trio leadership over the last several years, Morris-Depew Associates has seen tremendous growth, welcoming new clients and integrating expanded services for others in the Destin and Delray Beach areas, the company states. The firm has also expanded the team in Fort Myers in response to growing engineering and planning department needs, and most recently announced Michael Rooks as the director of survey and incorporated Michael Ekblad, the director of landscape architecture, into the firm’s leadership team. Earlier last year, the firm also relocated its office in Northwest Florida to accommodate the firm’s growing menu of services in support of commercial and residential development projects underway throughout the region, including the recent construction plans and preliminary plat approval for the 220-acre Milton Interchange industrial park near the airport.

Douglas Szabo


Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A. announces Douglas Szabo has been elected managing lawyer by the firm’s stockholders for a three-year term commencing May 21, 2021. Szabo will succeed Russell Schropp, who has held this position since 2015. Szabo began his career with Henderson Franklin in 1987. He currently serves as chair of the business litigation department and is a member of the firm’s marketing committee. In the community, Szabo currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida and is a member of the Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Professional Association and Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Lee County and served as chairman of its steering committee. Szabo received his undergraduate degree from Rollins College, with high distinction, and his law degree from the University of Florida, with honors. 

Rod Nobrega


Suffolk has promoted Rod Nobrega to vice president. Nobrega joined Suffolk in 2016 and has since been responsible for some of the firm’s largest projects in the region, including the 55-acre Moorings Park at Grande Lake, Moorings Park Clubhouse and Moorings Park Buildings A, G, and R. His portfolio totals more than $250 million worth of construction in Southwest Florida. His areas of expertise include sectors such as senior living, multi-family residential, hospitality, transportation, and healthcare. Nobrega is an Estero native and attended Estero High School and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) before earning his bachelor’s degree in construction management from Florida International University. Nobrega is a LEED Accredited Professional. Additionally, Nobrega serves as a mentor for Suffolk’s Career Start Program, a boot camp for construction management graduates from across the country, including FGCU. He is involved with and donates to the Suffolk Cares Charitable Foundation. Annually, he volunteers for beach cleanups with Keep Lee County Beautiful and the Ocean Conservancy, prepares food for the homeless at a local soup kitchen, and participates in Habitat for Humanity Build Days. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the Collier County Heart Walk for the American Heart Association.

Carolyn Rogers


The Naples Trust Co. has hired Carolyn C. Rogers to the wealth services team as senior vice president. Rogers will be responsible for developing client relationships in both Lee and Collier Counties, spending substantial time at The Naples Trust Co., a division of The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. Rogers comes to The Naples Trust Co. from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory in Fort Myers as vice president of development and communications.  Prior to that, Rogers led SimplifyPR public relations firm, was instrumental in the initial and longstanding success of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, and guided fundraising growth at Canterbury School and the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida at Lee Health, The Naples Trust Co. states. Rogers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication, specializing in public relations from the University of South Florida, and holds certifications in public relations and philanthropy.

Jeff DeAngelis


Premier Sotheby’s International Realty announces Jeff DeAngelis has affiliated with its Bonita Springs office, located at 27400 Riverview Center Blvd., Suite 4. A 36-year real estate veteran, DeAngelis has experience in the Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero luxury real estate markets. He has spent the last 13 years selling luxury high-rise condominiums at Bonita Bay, where he achieved over half a billion dollars in sales. Originally from Morgantown, West Virginia, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from West Virginia University and is a member of the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR).



Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo is “pied” by Tutor Corps students after online donations exceeded fundraising goals.

Guadalupe Center’s virtual ‘Circtacular’ raises more than $950,000

Guadalupe Center’s Circtacular, a circus-themed virtual fundraising extravaganza, raised more than $950,000 to support the nonprofit’s mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. Livestreamed on Jan. 21 under the virtual big top, Circtacular was filled with special effects, comedic performances, videos, testimonials and traditional circus acts. Guadalupe Center’s signature event is the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser. Proceeds from Circtacular will support Guadalupe Center’s three educational programs: the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. WINK News anchor Lindsey Sablan served as emcee, sharing co-hosting duties with Guadalupe Center President Dawn Montecalvo. Auctioneer Greg Quiroga led the Jump Up for Education fundraiser.

Children’s Miracle Network partners raise $560,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital

Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) partners raised over $560,000 to help patients and families at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, which announced becoming a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in 2020. Participating CMN partners included Costco, Kirkland Signature, Ace Hardware, Walmart & Sam’s Club, Publix, ReMax, Dairy Queen, WaWa, Love’s Travel Stops, Phi Mu Fraternity, Panda Express, IHop, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Marriott International, and Coca Cola. The funds and support from CMN partners were provided in a variety of ways, including round-up campaigns at the register, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations, feeding frontline workers, and more. For more information, visit


Video courtesy of WINK News

In midst of pandemic, Naples Winter Wine Festival raising funds for children

One of the biggest fundraisers in town needs help in what it’s calling a “relief and recovery mission.” This year, the challenge to raise money is just as great as the need. In 2020, the Naples Children and Education Foundation raised a whopping $20 million in its largest fundraiser, the Naples Winter Wine Festival. All the money goes to more than four dozen child-focused local nonprofits. The private event is pared down and virtual this year, but there is an online auction open now until Tuesday with packages that range from $250 to $10,000. Or direct donations of any amount can be made on the website, WINK News reports.

Healthcare Network awarded $20,000 grant to fund Ronald McDonald Care Mobile

Healthcare Network has received a $20,000 grant from Suncoast Credit Union to help support its Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, which provides dental care directly to children and families in underserved communities. Funds will support Healthcare Network’s commitment to improving access to care in Collier County by eliminating barriers that keep vulnerable populations from obtaining essential medical services. Since 2004, the Care Mobile has traveled to schools, community centers and neighborhoods to deliver care to children throughout Collier County. In 2019, the Care Mobile provided 2,975 sealants and screened 2,435 children at 13 Title 1 Schools – those with a high percentage of students from low-income families. For more information, visit
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