DESANTIS SIGNS BILL TO SUPPORT POSTSECONDARY ATTAINMENT
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 24 signed House Bill 7071 into law, which among its many provisions, sets in statute a postsecondary attainment goal for the State of Florida. The SAIL to 60 initiative sets the goal for at least 60 percent of working-age Florida adults to hold a high-value postsecondary degree, certificate or training experience by the year 2030. Southwest Florida’s FutureMakers Coalition was credited in part with helping to influence the state’s adoption of this goal, according to Laurie Meggesin, executive director, Florida College Access Network. The new statute calls for the Florida Board of Education and Board of Governors to collaborate on several initiatives, including support for Florida College Access Network (FCAN)-coordinated initiatives such as the FAFSA Challenge as well as FCAN-supported “public-private partnerships” of cross-sector leaders and organizations that work together to solve community-specific issues related to attainment. The Talent Development Council (formerly the Higher Education Coordinating Council) will be developing a strategic plan to achieve the goal. The FutureMakers Coalition was one of Lumina Foundation’s 75 national Community Partners in Attainment. Residents are encouraged to join and support the initiative. For more information, visit www.FutureMakersCoalition.com, call (239) 274-5900 or email Tessa LeSage at TLeSage@floridacommunity.com.
FIFTH AVENUE SOUTH RESTAURANTS RANKED AMONG BEST IN NAPLES
USA Today 10Best.com has ranked three Fifth Avenue South restaurants—Sails Restaurant, Osteria Tulia and Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro—as top 10 dining destinations in Naples. Number one in the national ranking, Sails Restaurant is led by executive chef Jacob Jasinksi. Coming in second is Osteria Tulia, which is run by executive chef and owner Vincenzo Betulia. The third Fifth Avenue South restaurant ranked in the Best10.com is Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro, the brainchild of executive chef and owner Michael Mir. For more details, visit 10Best.com.
COLLIER WINS FLORIDA SBDC AWARD
LaShaun Collier, business consultant with the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University, has received the Florida Game Changer of the Year Award from the Florida SBDC Network for her work to create a standard, holistic assessment of a new client. The honor was part of the Florida SBDC’s 2019 Performance Excellence Awards, which were presented on June 25 in Orlando as part of the network’s annual conference. The awards recognized top personnel, volunteers, and partners for their contributions to the network’s mission of helping the state’s small businesses grow and succeed.
JACKSONVILLE SELECTS MICROBE-LIFT FOR PILOT PROGRAM
The City of Jacksonville is working with Cape Coral-based Ecological Laboratories Inc. to use its proprietary bacteria blend, Microbe-Lift, in a two-year pilot program to determine its effectiveness in reducing nitrogen in municipal ponds. Nine city stormwater retention ponds will be treated with Microbe-Lift and water samples will be analyzed monthly for total nitrogen by the Jacksonville Environmental Quality Division (EQD) through December 2020. Nitrogen fuels harmful algae, which feed on it and create destructive blooms, according to a press release. The Microbe-Lift program is being funded with more than $300,000 in support from multiple state and Jacksonville-area entities.
GREATER NAPLES AREA PLANNED GIVING COUNCIL ANNOUNCES MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
The Greater Naples Area Planned Giving Council (GNAPGC) announces its 2019 Membership Drive for the membership year July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020. Membership in the GNAPGC gives members one-year access to educational programming in the area of planned giving, as well as networking opportunities that bring together tax and estate attorneys, financial advisors and nonprofit professionals. Meetings are generally offered monthly from 8:30-10 a.m. Members also enjoy a holiday networking event and the opportunity to attend the 2019 Fundraising Symposium on Sept. 19. Meetings are free for current members and $35 for nonmembers. Registration for all meetings is encouraged. For more information, visit www.naplespgc.org, email Meredith Nassif, or call (239) 649-5000.
AIA SWFL CHAPTER EARNS NATIONAL ACCREDITATION
The Florida Southwest Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has had its accreditation renewed by AIA National. Achieving accreditation demonstrates the component’s commitment to excellence in providing quality service for the members and communities it serves. Accreditation is based upon the delivery of services in the areas of public outreach, advocacy, continuing education, member communications, membership, finance/operations, and governance.
LCEC HIRES DIRECTOR OF ELECTRIC OPERATIONS
LCEC welcomed Harold Taylor as its new director of electric operations. In this role, Taylor will be responsible for directing the planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance of LCEC infrastructure including transmission, substation, and distribution facilities. Additionally, Taylor will play a key role in the development of corporate strategic and vision planning, and policy and procedure decision-making processes. Taylor comes to LCEC from Georgia with nearly 30 years’ experience in power supply working primarily for utilities and also as a consultant.
KAHLE JOINS FISHERBROYLES
FisherBroyles continues to grow its nationwide health and pharmacy law practice with the addition of Catherine A. Kahle to the firm’s Naples office as partner. Kahle joins FisherBroyles following a 19-year career representing health care entities in her capacity as both an attorney and compliance executive. Most recently, Kahle served as general counsel for Radiology Regional Center. Over a span of 12 years with Lee Health, Kahle held titles such as chief compliance officer and vice president of legal services, compliance and internal audit. She has also worked for Orlando Health. Kahle earned her law degree from Widener University School of Law and is licensed to practice law in both Florida and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She also has a master’s degree in counseling psychology.
Naples Therapeutic Riding Center expands equine services for military families
Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) is expanding Operation Stride, a tailored equine-facilitated program for military service members and their families. The program will launch with a veteran-only session on Aug. 8 and a family session on Aug. 29. Both sessions will be held from 5:30–7 p.m. at the Naples Therapeutic Riding Center and conclude with time for food, refreshments and camaraderie among fellow veterans and military families. The goal is to expand services to 50 veterans. Operation Stride is a special program devoted solely to the unique needs of veterans and military families by promoting reintegration and skills development. The program is free of charge. Register by Aug. 1 by calling (239) 596-2988 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida receives grant for children’s mental wellness program
The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida has received a $12,150 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County. These funds will support the Gollee Gator Children’s Mental Wellness Program. The program is designed to explain and define mental health, teach children to understand their feelings, provide children an introduction to problem-solving skills and encourages them to talk to trusted adults. It conveys a positive message of mental health and wellness covering topics such as bullying, stress and peer pressure.
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