Gulfshore Business Daily: July 10

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Lead photo: Rendering of the new San Carlos Park, Fire District Station 54. Details below.


Video courtesy of WINK News


The Collier County Tourist Development Council approved a recommendation for commissioners to further consider a mask mandate in a close 4-3 vote Wednesday. This came after passionate pleas from the public for the tourism council to oppose a mask recommendation. And there is the question about whether they can enforce a mask mandate. The Collier County Board of Commissioners meets Tuesday to review the TDC’s recommendation on masks, WINK News reports


In a move designed to enhance the skill sets of entrepreneurs in Collier County, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) will begin offering its entrepreneurship training at the Naples Accelerator. Led by the faculty and staff of FGCU’s Frank and Ellen Daveler & Sandra Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship, the new curriculum will help entrepreneurs cultivate their businesses. The collaboration was endorsed by the Collier County Board of Commissioners in late May with applications for the program now open to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs interested in joining the Naples Accelerator program led by FGCU’s Frank and Ellen Daveler & Sandra Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship should call (239) 590-7433 or visit  


Lee County Library System is now offering free online training. Lee County residents can access a wide selection of digital e-books and audiobooks from Lee County Library System. With a library card, members of the community can borrow from the digital collection by visiting or downloading Libby, the award-winning one-tap reading app from OverDrive. To learn how to get started borrowing e-books and audiobooks through the Libby app, the Lee County Library System is hosting four live, virtual demonstrations on July 15.  The virtual presentations will offer beginner and advanced sessions on topics including finding your library and signing in, navigating the app, browsing and searching for titles, borrowing titles and placing holds, managing holds and notifications, tagging titles, switching between libraries and much more. To register for one of the training sessions, visit the Library Events Calendar at The sessions will be recorded and made available for viewing on-demand.


Quigley Eye Specialists has acquired an established optometry practice in Port Charlotte. The optometry office of Dr. Denise Billings joins two other Charlotte County practices under Quigley Eye Specialists ownership as well as six other offices in Lee and Collier counties. By adding another location in Charlotte County, Quigley Eye Specialists is able to give patients better access to care so that patients can be seen the same day, if needed, Dr. Thomas Quigley, founder of Quigley Eye Specialists, said. Other Quigley Eye Specialists offices in Charlotte County are located at 20600 Veterans Boulevard in Port Charlotte and 2529 Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda. Billings will continue to provide care from the office at 2135 Tamiami Trail. No operational changes are planned as a result of the acquisition. 

The new San Carlos Park, Fire District Station 54 broke ground on Wednesday.


Wright Construction Group, construction manager for the new San Carlos Park, Fire District Station 54, broke ground on Wednesday. Located on Oriole Road near RaceTrac, the new station is slated to begin construction immediately. The brand-new fire station facility will total nearly 10,000-square-feet and include three apparatus bays, sleeping quarters for on-duty crews, a storage tank to supplement the fire protection service, and a backup power generator. The new fire station will also include a stand-alone-training tower on the property as well as a large training room within the station itself. The company will work closely with subcontractors and suppliers to ensure the project is delivered ahead of schedule, under the district’s budget, a news release states.

NeoGenomics rendering


Seagate Development Group and DeAngelis Diamond have broken ground on the construction of NeoGenomics’ new global headquarters, located just west of Interstate 75 and north of Alico Road along Three Oaks Parkway in Fort Myers. Seagate Development Group is the developer, construction manager and site contractor for the $60 million state-of-the-art facility, while DeAngelis Diamond was chosen as the general contractor for the project. The Seagate Development Group and DeAngelis Diamond partnership was part of a bigger goal of putting together a talented local team to bring the client’s vision to life, a news release states. DeAngelis Diamond first pushed dirt on May 11 and began onsite work to install the footers the week of May 13. On June 4, DeAngelis Diamond began construction of the walls of the buildings. The new headquarters will comprise two buildings totaling approximately 150,000 square feet. One building, consisting of 75,000 square feet, will be the main working space for the corporate offices, spread out over three stories. The secondary building, an additional 75,000 square feet, will be utilized as a laboratory for the onsite physicians and technicians. The laboratory portion of the project will consist of wet and dry labs of varying levels as well as a molecular lab. The project is scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2021.

Trent Swartz


Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI) has appointed Trent Swartz to its Fort Myers branch as project director. A 25-year veteran of the industry, he brings to the company extensive knowledge of commercial, government, healthcare, retail and educational construction experience. A University of Florida graduate, Swartz is a Certified General Contractor and will lead the market effort for the Fort Myers region. He is a LEED Accredited Professional and will oversee all aspects of construction and quality control. He is an active member of the Fort Myers Rotary and United Way of Lee County. 


St. Matthew’s House receives $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation 

St. Matthew’s House has received a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County These funds will help to support St. Matthew’s House in the organization’s COVID-19 response efforts by supplying food for the mobile pantry and soup kitchen, shelter and transitional housing for the homeless, and addiction recovery and job training for at-risk individuals. The Community Foundation of Collier County awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. Selected organizations receive grant dollars from the Changing Needs Fund. This fund is made up of donors who believe in the Community Foundation’s ability to identify and grant to the community’s most current needs.

Florida Lions Eye Clinic Receives Grant from United Way Collier and The Keys

The Florida Lions Eye Clinic has received a $10,000 grant from the United Way Collier and The Keys’ Project Alice Grant. Project Alice Grants are awarded to programs that support community members that are Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed (ALICE) ALICE families earn above the Federal Poverty Level, yet struggle to cover basic needs, including housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and necessary technology. The grant received will give Collier County individuals and families’ access to critical eye care services that will help them live a better-quality life, a news release states.

Youth Haven receives $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Community Impact Grant pool

Youth Haven has received a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Community Impact Grant pool. The grant pool is made up of donors who put their trust in the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors to use the funds to address current community needs. The funds received will be applied to Youth Haven’s general operating support for residential care for abused, neglected, abandoned and homeless youth. The funds will provide assistance with unexpected expenses that accrued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Grace Place for Children and Families receives $75,000 ALICE Grant from United Way of Collier County and the Keys

Grace Place for Children and Families has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the United Way of Collier County and the Keys to support its Bright Beginnings family literacy program. Grace Place’s Bright Beginnings program combats intergenerational poverty by combining parenting education and literacy training for adults and high-quality early childhood education for preschool students, as well as opportunities for parents and children to practice learning together. 


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