Gulfshore Business Daily: January 3

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The Innovation Leadership Forum 2019, presented by Level Up Partners, is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the Holiday Inn Ft. Myers Town Center. The Leadership Forum provides practical information and skills for organizations, executives, entrepreneurs, individuals and teams to grow in personal and professional success.

The event’s presenters include: Dr. Steve Smith, a master organizational development tactician with more than 40 years of systems development and personal transformation experience; 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 the founder and CEO of ICFO Consulting Inc.; and Dr. Phil Phillips, a speaker, trainer and business consultant who has worked with more than 100,000 leaders and organizations worldwide.

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


The Above Board Chamber of Florida will explain new federal tax law changes and what business leaders need to do to prepare for them in upcoming meetings.

Attorney Luis Insignares will serve as master of ceremonies for the luncheon meeting held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Jan. 10 at the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops. He’ll be joined by panelists Kevin Alan Kyle, tax attorney for Green Schoenfeld & Kyle LLP; Lynn Rasnake, tax manager at Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A.; and Shannon Holland, associate vice president of investments at Raymond James.

The second panel discussion is on Jan. 14 at the Hilton Naples. Amy Oshier of Naples Daily News will be the master of ceremonies for Julio Barina, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A.; Jeannette M. Lombardi, senior counsel at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC; and Kevin Alan Kyle, tax attorney for Green Schoenfeld & Kyle LLP. Admission is $30 for members and $38 for nonmembers on or before Jan. 4 for the Fort Myers event and Jan. 9 for the Naples event. After those dates, it’s $35 for members and $40 for non-members. Lunch is included in the price. Register for the events at or (239) 910-7426.


LYNQ restaurant in south Fort Myers has partnered with Ada’s Natural Food Market to provide sushi and ramen. Located at the corner of College Parkway and U.S. 41, LYNQ's Sushi and Ramen Cafe is open Monday through Friday for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Sushi chefs prepare made to order fresh sushi and a variety of ramen along with grab-and-go sushi boxes made fresh each morning and available for pickup throughout the day. 

LYNQ was founded by Chris Whitaker, who is also the founder of Blu Sushi and co/creator of Blanc, both located in the Cypress Trace shopping center off McGregor Boulevard. LYNQ opened in April 2017 in the former Yabo space off Summerlin Road in South Fort Myers.   


Laura Simmelink will join the Community Foundation of Collier County as senior director of programs in mid-January. Her primary role will be to provide leadership and oversight of all community grants from Community Impact, Field-of-Interest and Giving Circle Funds, as well as oversee the development, research, and management of the foundation’s Vital Signs tool and nonprofit directory.

Simmelink has spent her professional career in the nonprofit sector and has worked for a university, a hospital and as a consultant. She is a graduate of the Leadership Collier Class of 2017 and currently serves on the public policy committee at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. She also volunteers as the vice president of programs for the Greater Naples Planned Giving Council and belongs to various professional associations. Currently, Simmelink serves as the development director at The Immokalee Foundation.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, a Master of Public Administration degree from American University in Washington, D.C. and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.


The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (SWFRTP) welcomes Wendi Fowler to its board directors. Fowler has spent more than 20 years in the technology field as past president and owner of The Client Server Inc., which ITVantage has acquired. In 2017, Fowler received the “Woman of the Year in Technology” award by SWFRTP. She is currently the director of marketing and sales at ITVantage. Fowler holds a degree in marketing and business management, plus various community honors and industry certifications.


Entech employees Shea Deemer, backup/remote monitoring and management administrator, and Alex Mnich, systems engineer, recently completed the requirements needed to be awarded key IT certifications.

Deemer has earned a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in SQL database development, a certification that recognizes proficiency in database installation, maintenance, configuration, and provisioning tasks. Deemer will use the knowledge gained from this certification to further Entech’s business intelligence capabilities and allow its’ clients to make informed business decisions through reporting.

Mnich has earned a Network+ Certification from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). This certification recognizes knowledge in IT infrastructure covering troubleshooting, configuring, and managing networks, as well as implementing network security standards and protocols. The increasing reliance of businesses on networks for accessing, sharing, and storing information necessitates Entech’s engineers stay current on network-related education, a press release states.


Suffolk employees volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

More than a dozen team members with Suffolk’s Florida Gulf Coast operations recently spent a day painting a Habitat for Humanity home in Lehigh Acres. The three-bedroom, two-bath home will become a new residence for a family of four that were displaced by Hurricane Irma. 

Over the course of fiscal year 2018, 491 Suffolk employees volunteered more than 4,730 hours of their time and contributed $537,000 to families through The Giving Circle, an employee-driven program at Suffolk that offers support to individuals faced with life-changing hardships. Suffolk Cares, the company’s charitable giving arm, also provided $12 million to 149 organizations over the course of this past year. 

"Meals for Harry” launched to help raise funds for Hunger Walk

The 11th annual WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk benefiting the Harry Chapin Food Bank will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 19 at the Miromar Outlets in Estero. Several area restaurants are taking donations, making a donation or donating a percentage of a patron’s food bill to the food bank for the walk. The Meals for Harry program started Jan. 1 and continues through Jan. 14, with various restaurants participating on various days. For more details or to sign up for the Hunger Walk, visit or contact John Kuhn at (239) 334-7007, ext. 152.

2019 Collier Heart Walk chair named

The American Heart Association announces James Krall as chair of the 2019 Collier Heart Walk, held from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 2 at Cambier Park in Naples. Krall is the executive director of engineering and construction at Moorings Park in Naples. Krall is a longtime volunteer with the American Heart Association, and led the 2018 Collier Heart Walk City Wide Executive Challenge Campaign. Through his leadership, the campaign raised over $260,000 for the event.

Krall joined Moorings Park in 2012 and previously served as a project manager with Davidson Engineering. Krall was appointed in 2009 by Naples City Council to serve on the city’s planning advisory board, and in 2013, he was elected board chair. In March 2018, Krall received the Sam Noe Award for distinguished service on the Planning Advisory Board. In January 2018, he was nominated to serve on the Greater Naples YMCA Board of Directors.

The Collier County Heart Walk is free to attend, with donations encouraged. For more information on participating or sponsorships, contact Liz Kellar at (239) 877-2959 or visit The Collier Heart Walk is sponsored in part by Southwest Florida Life is Why Sponsor Arthrex. ​

Lighthouse of Collier Annual Appeal Exceeds $100,000

The Lighthouse of Collier Annual Appeal reached new highs in terms of total donors and total raised. The $100,000-plus donations were received between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. The mission of Lighthouse of Collier is to foster independence and enhance the quality of life for the blind, visually impaired and their caregivers. To learn more about Lighthouse of Collier, visit or call (239) 430-EYE4 (3934).


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