Gulfshore Business Daily: July 24

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Video courtesy of WINK News


Masks are now required in Collier County, but at least one business owner says it won’t follow the order. Alfie Oakes, the owner of Oakes Farms, has made it clear he is against many things surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and he is against a mask mandate in the county, where he runs his businesses: Seed To Table, Food & Thought and Oakes Farms Market. Oakes said he won’t crack down on face coverings at his business locations because he doesn’t believe masks reduce the spread of COVID-19. “Hundreds of people are thanking me for having a place that’s still normal,” Oakes says. When WINK News asked Oakes if he was concerned about possible code enforcement fines from the county, he gave a combative response. “I guess they’ll have to keep writing papers,” he says. “We’ll see them in court.”


7-Eleven cut the ribbon Thursday afternoon on its new location at 4704 Golden Gate Parkway in Golden Gate. This location is the fifth 7-Eleven franchise for Bonita Springs resident Brian Konkel, who also operates three locations of the chain in North Naples and one in Lehigh Acres. The new business with 16 fueling stations and a convenience store, famous worldwide for its Slurpee and Big Gulp beverages, will operate 24/7 every day of the year, Konkel said. That Golden Gate address on the corner of 47th Street Southwest formerly was a BP gas station and convenience store, which was the No. 1 store for beer sales in Florida, Konkel said. After operating a fast-food restaurant for more than 20 years at the rear of that store, McDonald’s closed there last summer. 


The Local Showcase, debuting Aug. 1 at Miromar Outlets, gives the public a year-round indoor location to shop local arts, crafts and handcrafted items. The showcase will offer an array of handmade merchandise–from paintings, fused glass, coastal crafts, woodwork, jewelry, wearable art, soap and artisan food. Vendors and products will change daily at the year-round market, the first of its kind in Southwest Florida, according to a news release. Displays will be spaced to promote social distancing. The Aug. 1 grand opening of the Local Showcase is fully reserved with 30 vendors. Located next to Columbia Sportswear and across from H&M, the Local Showcase is opened during Miromar Outlets’ temporary new hours: Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. The Local Showcase will also sponsor painting and art-themed workshops, a free self-defense class and seasonal fairs such as fall and Christmas events. Artists and vendors interested in reserving space can contact Dunn at


Dal Lago Law, a business and bankruptcy boutique law firm based in Naples, has opened another office in Fort Myers. On the heels of the firm’s five-year anniversary, Dal Lago Law is expanding in order to meet its higher demand and better serve clients in Fort Myers, Sarasota and Tampa. The new Fort Myers office is located at 4972 Royal Gulf Circle, Fort Myers. Although the office will be helmed by Mike Dal Lago, founding partner of Dal Lago Law, for the time being, his goal is to expand the team with additional attorneys in the new office. 


Wilson Creative Group (WCG), a full-service advertising and marketing agency, is offering businesses and nonprofit organizations in southwest Florida the opportunity to receive a complimentary brand identity package valued at $2,500. Candidates must provide a statement outlining organizational needs and goals and submit them by July 31. Mission statements and/or business plans may also be included. Details and entry forms are available here. The winner will be selected on Aug. 7.


Kids’ Minds Matter will host “Why BIPOC Mental Health Matters” on Facebook Live 7 p.m. on July 27. This topic addresses Black, Indigenous People and People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month in July that acknowledges generations of trauma and socioeconomic disparities linked to mental health concerns in youth. During the program, speakers Antoinette Kruse, Kaleesha Bent, Belinda Bruster, Tesharia Folkes and Danesha Simmons will discuss current research on minority mental health and the impact of health disparities, how to understand and acknowledge behaviors for communities of color and how local mental health providers are serving diverse communities, including children of color. The virtual series is hosted by Kids’ Minds Matter via its Facebook page. The Mental Health Mondays series is streamed live every Monday from the Kids’ Minds Matter Facebook channel. To learn more, visit


Stock Signature Homes, the luxury homebuilding division of industry leader Stock Development, has sold out in one of Lakewood Ranch’s villages, Country Club East. The last Stock Signature Homes sold was the Margo within the Eaglescliffe enclave, listed at $1.23 million. The home encompasses 3,578 square feet under air with four bedrooms, four and one-half bathrooms, a great room, dining room, study, outdoor living, and a three-car garage. For more information, visit

Briana L. McDougall


The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co. has added Briana L. McDougall, senior vice president, senior portfolio manager to the investment management team, which includes the divisions of The Naples Trust Co. and The Tampa Bay Trust Co.  McDougall is responsible for the construction and management of investment portfolios of high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts, and nonprofit organizations.  She will also collaborate with clients’ internal and external advisors in developing comprehensive plans focused on their needs and goals. McDougall is located at the company’s Tampa location within The Tampa Bay Trust Co. She recently served as vice president, portfolio manager at Northern Trust in Tampa, after originally joining Northern Trust in Naples. McDougall holds a Bachelor of Science in finance and minored in economics at Florida Gulf Coast University. She holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst and is a member of both the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Tampa Bay.  

Ann Fallica


Ann Fallica, who has 17 years of financial sector experience, has joined Englewood Bank & Trust as a personal banker and support team member. She is based at the bank’s Gulf Cove office and is available to assist at all four full-service bank locations. Before embarking on a career in financial services, Fallica spent two years in Long Island University’s Bachelor of Science program in early childhood education, then became the lead preschool teacher at Small Steps Preschool in Hauppauge, Long Island. Shen then joined the Bank of New York as a consumer banker and later became a business banker and was promoted to assistant vice president. She remained in banking as an assistant vice president and sales associate until returning to education and working as an office administrator at Longwood High School.

Credit: WINK News


Annual backpack giveaway scheduled for Sunday in Fort Myers

The 21st Annual Big Backpack Event hosted by The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida has been scheduled for Sunday, July 26, in Fort Myers, and organizers say the event is needed this year more than ever. The giveaway will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fort Myers Skatium, 2250 Broadway. The yearly event is organized by The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida, and it has added two new partners this year, gaining help from Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. (CCMI) and Blessings in a Backpack of Southwest Florida. They will provide backpacks, school supplies, and food to Lee County children. Each family that comes through the carline to receive free backpacks for their children ages 5 to 12 will also receive a grocery bag full of kid-friendly food such as peanut butter, jelly, Pop-Tarts, a box of oatmeal packets, macaroni and cheese, tuna, SpaghettiOs, pasta and spaghetti sauce, WINK News reports.


Golisano Foundation awards $39,000 to LARC for COVID-19 response

Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens (LARC) has been awarded a $39,000 grant from the Golisano Foundation. The grant will help LARC, an organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, respond to urgent needs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The grant is a part of the foundation’s $2 million in grant funding to assist organizations in Western New York and Southwest Florida due to the coronavirus crisis. LARC will use the funding to create safer settings for participants and staff long-term including health screenings, air-conditioning upgrades, cleaning equipment and supplies, personal protective equipment and strengthening capacity for remote programming in response to and beyond COVID-19.

Florida Skin Center on track to exceed goal of 2,100 free skin checks 

As of June 20, the Florida Skin Center adult/pediatric dermatological facility is pacing to exceed its 2020 goal of 2,100 free skin checks to address and treat warts, molluscum, precancerous spots and more, as well as screen for cancer detection and prescribe needed medications. Board-certified medical providers conduct head-to-toe skin examinations once per year on anyone with an appointment, regardless of insurance, with savings up to $91. Any recommendation for a diagnostic procedure or treatment plan is provided in a written summary with estimated costs. A discount of 35% is offered to self-pay guests at the time of estimation. Reaching the annual goal of providing free skin checks will contribute nearly $100,000 of savings to the Southwest Florida community, according to a news release. During the onset of shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19, Florida Skin Center continued supporting the community via telemedicine and by waiving copays that totaled savings for guests of nearly $10,000.

Opera Naples receives $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation 

Opera Naples, a nonprofit professional opera company, has received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County. These funds will provide support for current staff positions and the Opera Naples education program so that season planning and programming can continue during these challenging times. “Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Opera Naples had to cancel two of last season’s grand operas that were to have taken place at Artis—Naples. This severely impacted Opera Naples’s finances,” according to Opera Naples Executive Director Sondra Quinn. 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.

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