Gulfshore Business Daily: July 18

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The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) on July 16 announced $75 million is now available to local governments in communities impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program. Grant funding can be used by local governments to purchase homes damaged by Hurricane Irma from willing homeowners in high-risk flood areas or to match funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The Rebuild Florida Voluntary Home Buyout Program is designed to help reduce the impact of future disasters in high-risk flood areas. Local governments can apply for funding to acquire secured contiguous lots or single properties. Funding can also be used as leverage to match funding for projects that are also eligible for the Federal Emergency Management Agency HMGP. To complete an application by the Aug. 15 deadline, or for more information about the program, visit



Lee County residents and businesses led recycling efforts statewide in 2018, tied with only with Charlotte County with a 77 percent annual recycling rate. The amount of material Lee County residents recycled in 2018 would be enough to fill 107 football fields with material 70 feet high—as high as the tallest point of the Sanibel Bridge, according to a press release. Lee County received credit for recycling 1.5 million tons of the total 1.96 million tons of waste generated locally in 2018, according to numbers recently released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This is the fourth time Lee County has led the state in recycling since Florida began tracking in 2000. Recycling credits include curbside recycling by residents as well as business recycling of materials such as cardboard, yard waste, scrap metal and construction and demolition debris, among other items. Lee County also receives recycling credit for energy produced from garbage processed at the waste-to-energy plant in Buckingham. For more information, visit



Terracina Grand has received the 2019 Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) for its commitment to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The distinction is the first of three progressive award levels through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program. The program, presented by the leading association in long-term and post-acute care, honors association members across the country that have demonstrated their dedication to improving quality of care for seniors and persons with disabilities. The awards will be presented during AHCA/NCAL’s 70th Convention & Expo on Oct. 13-16 in Orlando.


Catherine Smith


Bayfront Health Medical Group welcomes Dr. Catherine Smith to its Charlotte County practice. Her office is located in the Bayfront Health Medical Office Plaza on the campus of Bayfront Health Punta Gorda. Smith provides care for patients who experience disorders and diseases of the ear, nose and throat (ENT), with a special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of the nasal passages and sinuses. Smith is a board-certified otolaryngologist with more than 20 years of experience treating patients with both surgical and non-surgical options for symptoms affecting the sinuses, ears, throat and salivary glands. She treats patients of all ages, including newborns. Smith received her undergraduate from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and her medical degree from SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn in New York. She completed her residency in otolaryngology at Louisiana State University Health Science Center in New Orleans.



C2 Communications has partnered with Hodges University in bringing a complimentary educational workshop on content marketing, thought leadership, and social media to local small businesses and nonprofit organizations. The program, held from 10-11 a.m. on July 31 at the Community Foundation of Collier County, will be led by Chris Schroder, founder and president of The 100 Companies, and Stephanie Spell, vice president of content marketing at C2 Communications.  Attendees will learn five leading truths about digital communications, three inexpensive ways to improve their social media, as well as effective strategies to build their brand with thought leadership. Pre-registration is appreciated online here or by emailing, but walk-ins are welcome.


Kimberly Royal


Florida Skin Center has hired Kimberly Royal as the marketing manager on its administrative team. She supports marketing efforts, led by CEO George Gulisano, in developing and overseeing projects that promote the dermatology practice’s mission and vision. With more than 15 years of experience in regional marketing and advertising, Royal has spent over a decade working with physician business owners to expand operations. She is the owner/CEO of PRN Marketing & Development, a consulting firm that provides customized services to privately owned medical practices. Prior to joining Florida Skin Center, Royal was the director of marketing and development for a large medical organization. Royal attended Auburn University in Alabama. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Florida SouthWestern State College.



Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens (LARC)  is hosting the grand opening for phase one of its newest program, “LAB:  Learn, Achieve, Become,” from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on July 25 at LARC’s Fort Myers campus.  LAB for Living is the first of five labs that will focus on skills for work, residency and leisure for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. LAB for Living is an apartment-style setting that provides participants with hands-on training in daily living skills. The Lab includes a bedroom area, living and dining areas, a kitchen and laundry facilities. Daily living skills include cooking, home management, housekeeping, laundry, menu planning, shopping, fire safety, home safety and more. Lowe’s Home Improvement (Lowe’s Heroes) donated and installed the cabinets and appliances, painted the room and installed the flooring. Aztec Plumbing donated plumbing services and materials.



Charitable Notes

Meals of Hope expands mobile food pantry outreach

Meals of Hope has expanded its weekly mobile food pantry outreach at two new Naples locations. The first is East Naples Community Park from 3-5 p.m. on first, second and fourth Tuesdays; and 3-5 p.m. every third Tuesday with Harry Chapin Food Bank. The second location is Max A. Hasse Community Park from 3-5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Anyone who needs assistance is welcome to choose from a varying selection of food offered at mobile pantries, including frozen meat, fresh produce and canned goods. Please bring an ID and bags to carry food. If you would like to help by donating food, sponsoring a meal packing event, or volunteering at a mobile pantry, email for information. Volunteers need to arrive one hour before the mobile pantry distribution starts, stay the full three hours, and wear closed-toe shoes.


The Immokalee Foundation receives $25,000 boost from Gannett Foundation grant

The Immokalee Foundation recently received a $25,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation’s national “A Community Thrives” program. Gannett’s fundraising challenge is providing grants to community groups that are driving positive change, enabling nonprofits to promote their ideas on a national level to court additional support through donations. The Immokalee Foundation is one of 16 nonprofits being honored with this funding during the campaign that ended in mid-April. The $25,000 grant will benefit The Immokalee Foundation’s newest program and Career Pathways Initiative, “Professional Careers in the New Economy.” Through extensive collaboration with local middle and high schools, industry professionals, and higher education institutions, this new Career Pathways Initiative creates opportunities for middle, high school and post-secondary students to identify their career paths through networking, field trips, career panels, and after-school and summer career programming. For more information, visit


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