Gulfshore Business Daily: January 8

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John Potanovic, Suzanne Boy and John Agnew

Miriam Pereira


STARability Foundation announces Miriam Pereira as the chief philanthropy officer. She will work closely with executive director Karen Govern and the STARability board of directors to further the organization’s fundraising efforts and strategies. Originally from Miami, Pereira has lived in Fort Myers since 1995. She holds an associate’s degree from Miami-Dade Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in communication from Florida International University and an MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive with over eight years of experience. Prior to her fundraising career, Pereira spent 20 years as a newspaper print reporter and editor, including The News-Press. Pereira is the immediate past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals/Collier-Lee Chapter, and secretary of the Greater Naples Area Planned Giving Council.



Suffolk’s RiskX software program recently won a Safety Innovation Award from the Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA), which recognizes companies who have created a new idea, device or method to increase jobsite safety. The mobile-based observation and activity tracking system allows Suffolk team members to enter real-time data about project site safety trends into an app so the data can be tracked and measured, ultimately enhancing safety on jobsites. After its yearlong beta test, Suffolk saw a 29% decrease in lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) and a 27% decline in Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR), while also increasing 12% of total hours worked, a press release states. First developed in 2017, RiskX made further developments into technological-enabled safety by partnering with image analysis firm and merging its technology with the AI capabilities of Smartvida’s solution. For more information, visit


John Potanovic, Suzanne Boy and John Agnew


Boy Agnew Potanovic, a boutique employment law firm, will host its inaugural seminar and networking event, 2020 Proactive Workplace Solutions:  An HR & Employment Law Seminar, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Jan. 24 at The Club at Grandézza. Created for Southwest Florida employers, the all-day seminar will feature sessions focused on proactive and cost-effective solutions to workplace legal issues. Topics include legislative and case law update, problem-solving wage/hour issues, advice on anti-harassment and drug-free workplace policies, and tips to avoid common mistakes that lead to employee lawsuits. Registration is $75 for general admission; $50 for Boy Agnew Potanovic clients. Registration includes a continental breakfast, plated lunch, and cocktail hour. There also will be SHRM/HRCI certification credits available. Attendees can learn more information by emailing or by visiting


Kayla Richmond


Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. has elected attorney Kayla Richmond as stockholder. She began her legal career at the firm as a summer associate in 2012, and then as an associate after graduating from law school in 2013. Richmond handles dissolution of marriage (divorce), custody, paternity, child support and domestic violence cases. Richmond has received numerous accolades throughout her career. She serves as a governor for the 20th Judicial Circuit on the Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division Board, is a member of the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida’s Board of Directors and a participant on the Hunger Walk Committee. She is a member of the Association of Family Law Professionals, and is a barrister for the Calusa Inn of Court. Richmond previously served as president of the Lee County Association for Women Lawyers and the Lee County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. Richmond is a Fort Myers native and graduated from Fort Myers High School and received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida, her law degree from Stetson University College of Law, and her graduate degree from Stetson University. 


Kris Tripp


Kris Tripp is celebrating her 20-year milestone work anniversary with Preferred Travel of Naples. Tripp joined the Preferred Travel of Naples team in 1999 and is a travel advisor who specializes in designing customized travel itineraries for her clients. Prior to joining Preferred, Tripp worked in the hospitality industry at Provincetown Boston Airline, Airways International, Hyatt Hotel, and Sheraton Suites Key West. She has been a resident of Naples for the past 42 years and originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.



The American Heart Association recognizes cardiologist Dr. Sajan Rao of the SWIFCT Institute in Naples as the recipient of the 2020 Dr. Pascotto Golden Heart Award. The award honors a Southwest Florida medical professional who has made a significant contribution to improving heart health within our community, and will be presented during the Southwest Florida Heart Ball on March 28 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa. Rao began practicing in Naples at the SWIFCT Institute and Naples Community Hospital in 2009. Rao has held numerous volunteer leadership roles within the Naples medical community. Rao currently serves as the American Heart Association’s Southwest Florida chairman’s board president and was the 2018 Collier Heart Walk Chair. Through his personal fundraising, Rao has raised over $175,000 for the Association. Rao is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease and is a Diplomate with the National Board of Echocardiography and the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology. For more information about the Southwest Florida Heart Ball, contact


Angie Manley


Angie Manley, the director of University Advancement for Hodges University, has earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential. She is now one of more than 6,900 professionals worldwide with this distinction. In order to earn this credential, Manley met the standards set by CFRE International: tenure in the profession, education and a demonstrated fundraising achievement for not-for-profit organizations. She passed a rigorous written exam, and agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights. Manley has nearly 12 years of fundraising and corporate event expertise in New Jersey and Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Villanova University and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Collier-Lee Chapter (AFP), and has earned the Society of Certified Senior Advisors (CSA) certification.


Chetan Vedvyas, M.D.


Florida Skin Center has appointed Dr. Chetan Vedvyas to its executive committee. He—along with founder and chief medical officer Dr. Anais Aurora Badia; Practice Manager Diana Gonzalez; Regional Manager Jesmarie Roldan; and CEO George Gulisano—will discuss important operating issues and set the vision, goals and objectives for Southwest Florida’s leading skin care center. Vedvyas joined Florida Skin Center in 2018 as the director of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology. As the medical director of the Punta Gorda office, he collaborated with Badia on the design and layout of six specially designed suites in the Mohs surgical center by synthesizing his Harvard Medical School training, Mohs surgical fellowship and nine-plus years of Mohs surgical experience. Vedvyas helps to yield Mohs micrographically controlled surgery’s 97% to 99% cure rate for up to 160 patients per month.  For more information, visit 


Charitable notes

NCEF sets sights on future with 2020 Fund a Need

The Naples Children & Education Foundation’s (NCEF) annual Fund a Need at the 2020 Naples Winter Wine Festival will celebrate the past 20 years of accomplishments and lead the way for the next 20 years and beyond. The vision for “Fund the Future” is that every dollar raised during a special call-to-action auction lot will go to support NCEF’s seven strategic initiatives focusing on the wellbeing of the whole child. Founded by NCEF, the Naples Winter Wine Festival enters its 20th year and ranks as the most successful international charity wine auction in the world raising more than $191 million for children’s causes. At the 2020 festival, guests will have a chance to show their support through a live auction on Jan. 25, while supporters across the country who are unable to attend the festival will be able to participate in an online auction starting Jan. 20. Since its inception, NCEF has become the single largest source of funding for essential services for at-risk and underprivileged children in Collier County, according to a press release. For more information or to make a donation, visit


Youth Haven’s holiday drive a success

Youth Haven Inc.’s 2019 holiday drive was a success, the organization announces, with numerous businesses, organizations and individuals hosting holiday drives, purchasing items from its wish list or assisting with gift wrapping. As Southwest Florida’s only emergency and residential shelter for boys and girls ages 6-19 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or are homeless, Youth Haven relies on community support in order to help the organization achieve its goals. For more information, call (239)774-2904 or email


Millennial Brewing Co. to host second annual ‘Drink (and eat) Around the World’

Millennial Brewing Co. will host the second annual “Drink (and eat) Around the World” event from 5-10 p.m. on Jan. 31 at its Fort Myers location. The event features beer and wine pairings, a street festival, live music, and a representation of eight countries. The fundraiser benefits Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc.  (ACT), a nonprofit social service agency serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties. For more information, visit


Windstar Gives Back event supports Boys & Girls Club of Collier County

The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County received a $43,000 grant from the 2019 Windstar Gives Back fundraising event held on Nov. 15-18 by Windstar Club Charitable Foundation Inc. Windstar Gives Back is hosted by Windstar On Naples Bay members and raises money for area charities that serve at-risk Bayshore area youth. Windstar Gives Back included fishing, tennis and golf events, which culminated in an awards ceremony and silent auction. The funds awarded to Boys & Girls Club of Collier County will provide scholarships to Bayshore area income-qualified youth who attend either Avalon or Shadowlawn Elementary Schools so that they can participate in the club’s structured, daily academic and enrichment programs after-school and during summer months.


Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education & Experience Center earns $2,500 grant

Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education & Experience Center has received a $2,500 Community Impact Grant through the Community Foundation of Collier County. The grant will fund a portion of the strategic planning process for Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s capital campaign. The planning process formalized after the Collier County Board of County Commissioners approved the sale of land, which will allow Shy Wolf Sanctuary to expand to a 17-acre parcel on the corner of Golden Gate Boulevard and 3rd Street Northwest, in Golden Gate Estates. The land is currently undergoing standard rezoning process. The nonprofit organization will be unveiling site plans in spring. For more information on how to get involved in Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s Capital Campaign, contact Deanna Deppen at


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