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SURVEY QUESTION: DO YOU FEEL SAFER ABOUT TRAVELING NOW?
Traveler confidence is soaring, according to a recent AAA survey. More than three-quarters of Floridians feel more comfortable traveling now than they did three months ago because many received COVID-19 vaccinations and are more confident in safety measures being implemented. What about you? Let us know here. The survey will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, and results will be shared in an upcoming issue of Gulfshore Business Daily.
Video courtesy of WINK News
NCH REQUIRING COVID-19 VACCINE FOR ALL NEW HIRES
NCH Healthcare System announced Wednesday that all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 within 30 days of their hire date when the new policy becomes effective Aug. 16. The health system says this policy is similar to its flu vaccination policy, which allows for approved exemptions. NCH says its new policy complies with all federal, state and local rules and regulations and was based on CDC and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommendations, WINK News reports.
RENTAL ASSISTANCE MAY HELP THOSE FACING EVICTION FROM THEIR HOMES
More than 4.7 million Americans behind on housing payments expect to be evicted soon, as the federal ban on evictions expires in less than two weeks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has sent $46 billion allocated for emergency rental assistance to state and local agencies, but only $3 billion has actually reached renters and landlords to help cover housing costs affected by the pandemic, WINK News reports. For more information about the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program click here.
BONITA SPRINGS CONSIDERS BARRON COLLIER COS. PROPOSAL FOR DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT
A 5-acre property owned by the city of Bonita Springs for nearly two decades is closer to being developed. Bonita Springs City Council voted Wednesday on a rank of companies that council members will consider negotiating with to develop Imperial Crossing, or Bamboo Village, along the Imperial River on Old 41 Road near Everglades Wonder Gardens in the downtown area. The top-ranked Barron Collier Companies is proposing a waterfront development with a market area and a park, as well as commercial and residential space.
NAPLES REAL ESTATE INVENTORY DROPS IN JUNE
Overall real estate inventory dropped 79% to 1,271 in June compared with June 2020, according to the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). Overall pending sales decreased by 15% to 1,256 in June, and the median closed price increased by 30% to $465,000. New listings were down by 12% to 1,147 in June compared with June 2020. NABOR will release the full June market report online at noon today.
Video courtesy of WINK News
LEE COUNTY PLANS COMMUNITY PARK EXPANSION IN LEHIGH ACRES
Lehigh Acres Park at 1400 W. Fifth St. is expanding by 42 acres into a forested area on the western edge of the community park. The Lee County Parks & Recreation plan includes building new football and soccer fields, pickleball courts, a disc golf course and a fishing pier, WINK News reports.
ONE 7-ELEVEN CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS ON PINE RIDGE ROAD IN NAPLES
After operating for 45 years, the 7-Eleven store permanently closed Wednesday on the corner of Shirley Street and Pine Ridge Road, less than a mile from a new one that will open Friday on the corner of Airport-Pulling and Pine Ridge roads in Naples. The convenience store closed at 1871 Pine Ridge after operating since 1976, said Bonita Springs resident Brian Konkel, who purchased that franchise location nine years ago. It was the first 7-Eleven for Konkel, who now owns five, including the new one set to open this morning at 2495 Pine Ridge Road. The new 7-Eleven store and Mobil station are replacing a nearly 35-year-old gas station that was recently demolished on that 1-acre outparcel lot in Bed Bath & Beyond Plaza at one of the busiest corners in Collier County.
LEE CLERK’S OFFICE ADDS SPECIAL DAYS FOR PASSPORT SERVICES
As the demand for international travel increases, Lee County Clerk of Court Linda Doggett announced that her second-floor office at 2115 Second St. in downtown Fort Myers will be open on Saturday, Aug. 7, and Nov. 6 to help travelers who have not been able to apply for passports on weekdays. Appointments are required and can be made by clicking here. Customers are asked to save time by downloading and completing their passport applications with black ink prior to coming into the office. Applicants must bring their own photos for passports, which take up to 18 weeks to be processed by the U.S. Department of State, WINK News reports.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE TO BE DISCUSSED AT JULY 28 ROUNDTABLE
The Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association is hosting a roundtable at 8 a.m. on July 28. The online webinar is part of the organization’s summer event series that provides manufacturers and businesses support and recovery after the 2020 pandemic. Panelists include Elena Mendez, EXIM Bank; Dan Bierk, Department of Commerce; Kevin Brady, Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Gary McKinley of Craters and Freighters. International certifications, EXIM Bank, vetting international firms, quality standards and imports/exports will be discussed. Registration for this Zoom event is open for all to attend at no cost.
CAPITAL WEALTH ADVISORS ADDS MANAGING DIRECTOR
Naples-based financial advisory firm Capital Wealth Advisors has added Stephen Smith as managing director of portfolio management. Smith will oversee trading and portfolio implementation of the firm’s investment strategies and application to client accounts. He has more than 35 years of experience in portfolio management, security analysis and investment strategy for both individual and retail clients. Prior to joining CWA, he was vice president at Noesis Capital and senior vice president at Sterne Agee Asset Management.
JAMES PROMOTED AT WGCU, BARBOR ELECTED SMALL STATION REP
Pamela James has been promoted to executive producer of content at WGCU Public Media in Fort Myers. The new position will integrate the dual-licensed station’s content team toward a more digital future and reach out to the 12 counties served in South and Southwest Florida. James was most recently the station’s assistant director of membership and communications. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Before joining WGCU as membership and special events manager in 2013, James was senior writer and producer for Kansas City Public Television, where she won several Regional Emmy Awards, among other awards.
Additionally, Cary Barbor, host of All Things Considered and Gulf Coast Life Book Club for WGCU, has been elected small station representative to the Public Media Journalists Association Board of Directors. While living in New York City, Barbor was a producer for Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius XM. She was a producer of several shows for public radio station WNYC and has written and edited for national and regional magazines. Barbor began her two-year term in June.
CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER WELCOMES FIVE NEW BOARD MEMBERS
The Children’s Advocacy Center of SWFL has added five new members to its board of directors: John Bodner, Lee County Tax Collector; Dr. Martin Sherman, retired pediatrician; Karla Y. Campos-Andersen, attorney; Sergeant Yadi Perez-Luna, Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Charles Idelson, Busey Bank. They join the following board directors: Kellie Burns, NBC News; David Fry, Vantage Construction; Larry Hart, Lee County Tax Collector (retired); Emily Hunter, Hendry County Board of County Commissioners; Candis Loving, Florida Blue (retired); and Jessica Walker, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. The 2021-2022 slate of officers includes president Cole Peacock, RC Peacock Consulting; vice president Jake Spanberger, Entech; secretary John Clinger, Clinger, Sizemore & Associates Merrill Lynch; and treasurer John Pearson, Fiddlesticks Country Club.
LEE HEALTH WELCOMES EIGHT NEW RESIDENT PHYSICIANS
The Florida State University College of Medicine (FSU COM) Family Medical Residency Program at Lee Health welcomes eight new resident physicians who started their training on June 21. The new residents include Drs. Sandy Bolis, Jessica Byas, Danielle Ferra, Laura Hart, Deliabell Hernandez, Nicole Jimenez, Stacy Stephen and Audrey Wagner. The FSU COM Global Health Fellowship Program also welcomes two new fellows: Dr. Kristin Randa and Dr. Elizabeth Trout. Based at Lee Memorial Hospital with The Florida State University College of Medicine as its institutional sponsor, the residency program was created to abate the shortage of primary care physicians anticipated nationally, an issue that is compounded locally by rapid population growth in Southwest Florida, Lee Health states. Medical school graduates are required to complete residency training in their chosen specialty to become independently practicing physicians.
CAPRIO NAMED FINANCE AVP AT HODGES UNIVERSITY
Janice Caprio has joined Hodges University as the assistant vice president of finance and administration. In this role, she provides oversight and guidance to the university’s finance, human resources and IT departments. Her responsibilities include overseeing the university’s financial reporting and tax filings, in addition to ensuring regulatory compliance in her areas of responsibility. She has held positions ranging from staff accountant, audit manager, vice president of finance and administration, and chief financial officer during her career. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting with a computer science concentration from Utica College of Syracuse University and a master’s degree in human resource development from Villanova University. She also earned a graduate certificate for HR Business Partner from Villanova University and a Professional in Human Resources designation from the HR Certification Institute. Caprio holds a Certified Treasury Professional designation from the Association for Financial Professionals, is a Chartered Global Management Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey and Florida.
OASIS SENIOR ADVISORS ADDS SIX NEW FRANCHISE LOCATIONS
In the past two months, Bonita Springs-based Oasis Senior Advisors has added six new franchises. These include Carmel, Indiana; Southwest Dallas, Texas; Greenville, South Carolina; Dayton, Ohio; Birmingham, Alabama; and Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 2014 by Tim Evankovich, Oasis Senior Advisors provides free, personalized assistance in finding senior living solutions for seniors and their families that best fit their needs. This includes independent living, assisted living, memory care, residential care homes, respite and more.
Uncommon Friends Foundation to host annual Uncommon Evening Gala
The Uncommon Friends Foundation is hosting its annual Uncommon Evening Gala at the Burroughs Home and Gardens, “Be Uncommon!,” on Nov. 10. The cocktail reception is from 6-6:45 p.m., with dinner starting at 7 p.m. The foundation’s signature event celebrates the organization’s core values, awards scholarships, and showcases the business ethics award recipient. This year’s award nominees are Scotlynn, CONRIC PR + Marketing, and Sanibel Captiva Community Bank. The Uncommon Evening Gala will include a tour of the historic Burroughs Home and riverfront dining. John Morgan from Morgan and Morgan law firm will serve as the guest speaker. The gala raises funds to support its mission for character education, business ethics, scholarships and historical preservation.
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