Gulfshore Business Daily: July 26

LEE HEALTH REACTIVATES COVID-19 TEAM AS HOSPITALIZATIONS RISE AGAIN 

Lee Health reactivated its COVID-19 Incident Management Team as its hospitals deal with an increase in hospitalizations because of the virus. The system’s hospitals are caring for 130 COVID-19 patients, and the 14-day rolling average positivity rate is at 22%, which is approaching levels seen last July, Lee Health said last week, noting that 89% of those hospitalized patients are not vaccinated. To make a vaccination appointment, call 239-343-0999 or click here. The clinic at Gulf Coast Medical Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays for free vaccinations. Masks are still required at all Lee Health facilities, WINK News reports.

 

RSW REPORTS RECORD-BREAKING JUNE TRAFFIC

A record-breaking 839,377 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) during June. This increased 253% compared to June 2020 and more than 43% above June 2019. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 49% compared to last year. The traffic leader in June was Southwest Airlines, with 200,194 total passengers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Delta (182,143), American (135,758), United (116,942) and Spirit (69,091). Southwest Florida International Airport had 7,374 aircraft operations, an increase of 91% compared to June 2020. Page Field saw 11,134 operations, a 2.2% decrease compared to June 2020.

 

REPORT: HOUSING FRENZY FADES AS INVENTORY DIPS GOING INTO SUMMER
With less than a one month supply of inventory available, the Naples area housing market experienced a 14.5% decrease in overall pending sales in June to 1,256 pending sales from 1,469 pending sales in June 2020, according to the June 2021 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). Low inventory levels in June also contributed to a 7% decrease in showings for the month. This simmering of activity has broker analysts who reviewed market report certain that the housing market frenzy that began about a year ago – peaking in March – is now decelerating and being replaced with a new level of activity that reflects improved market equity for sellers and sustained buyer interest from people seeking permanent residency, NABOR states. View the entire report here.

 

MARINE COMPANY BUYING FAMILY-OWNED NAPLES BOAT MART 

Naples Boat Mart, a local family-owned-and-operated business for three generations, is being purchased by Georgia-based OneWater Marine Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing premium boat retailers in the nation. Naples Boat Mart will continue to operate where it has since 1989 on the corner of Airport-Pulling Road and Enterprise Avenue in East Naples, said Philip Osborne, whose grandparents founded the local marine business. Once the sale closes in the fourth quarter, customers will not notice a difference, Osborne said. “I think for us it’s pretty much going to be business as usual,” he says, noting that his family worked hard on the deal, which is an exit strategy for his parents, Phil and Lisa Osborne, who own the local business. OneWater, which operates about 70 stores in 10 states, earlier this year also acquired Walker Marine Group, which has multiple locations in Collier and Lee counties. The businesses acquired by OneWater will continue to operate with their longtime, well-known local names. 

 


Video courtesy of WINK News
CAPE CORAL BREAKS GROUND ON OPERATIONS BUILDING AT WASTEWATER PLANT 

After the 27-year-old operations building at Cape Coral’s Southwest Water Reclamation Facility was deemed uninhabitable, the city of Cape Coral is beginning construction on its replacement. Council members and city staff broke ground Thursday on the new operations building, which will be able to withstand a Category 4 hurricane. The new facility will treat up to 15 million gallons of wastewater per day, help provide uninterrupted service and protect the city from potential contamination in the case of a major disaster, said Utilities Director Jeff Pearson. The new building costs about $15.6 million and is expected to be completed in 2023, WINK News reports.

 

CLUB CHAMPION PLANS NEW GOLF STORE THIS FALL IN NORTH NAPLES 

Club Champion Golf is building out units for a fall opening in the Gateway Shoppes at North Bay’s inline retail strip along U.S. 41 at Wiggins Pass Road in North Naples. First-generation units between Panera and Mattress Firm will become studio space for Club Champion, a service-oriented retailer which fits, sells and builds custom golf clubs. The new store will include three hitting bays and a putting green for analyzing golf swings and providing custom-fitted clubs. While nearly all of Club Champion’s other 80-plus locations have two bays, this new Naples location is an upgraded space with three, said Cassandra Bausch, the Chicago-based company’s director of marketing. Bausch estimates that the new business will open around Sept. 15. 

 

SEAGATE CONDUCTING FINAL SITE WORK FOR NEOGENOMICS HQ 

Seagate Development Group is completing site work and interior finishes for NeoGenomics’ 150,000-square-foot, $60 million global headquarters. It is slated for a third-quarter turnover at 9490 NeoGenomics Way in Fort Myers. The facility will ultimately hold hundreds of employees. It encompasses two buildings: one 75,000-square-foot, three-story space for corporate offices and another 75,000-square-foot full-service cancer diagnostic lab that includes a molecular laboratory for on-site physicians and technicians. Seagate is the owner, developer, construction manager and site contractor for NeoGenomics’ global headquarters. DeAngelis Diamond is the general contractor.

 

Video courtesy of WINK News
LEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE TAKING OVER RESOURCE OFFICER DUTIES IN FORT MYERS SCHOOLS 

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office will take over duties of policing schools in Fort Myers. Until recently, the Fort Myers Police Department (FMPD) provided school resource officers to schools within the city. After the Parkland school shooting in 2018, the Florida Legislature enacted a law requiring school resource officers. Last week, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the school district learned that the FMPD would no longer be offering the service. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno plans to reassign deputies from different areas but he said that shift will not impact street patrols. According to the school district, it costs about $100,000 for each school resource officer. Those expenses for salary, benefits, training and equipment are shared by the school district and each police department, WINK News reports

 

CHARLOTTE DESOTO BUILDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION JOB FAIR THURSDAY
The Charlotte Desoto Building Industry Association (CBDIA) Reverse Job Fair will take place at 3 p.m. this Thursday at the CDBIA Office 17984 Toledo Blade Blvd., Port Charlotte. Job seekers will be able to take a seat and listen to companies share information about their business, benefits, openings and advancement opportunities. Job opportunities available will be office positions, laborer and management. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of their resumes. CDBIA can make copies for those without access to a printer. CDBIA Next-Gen leaders will offer tips such as providing interview skills, questions to ask during an interview, what not to do at an interview, how to communicate with the other generations and beyond the interview. Refreshments will be available. Reservations can be made online.

 

REAL ESTATE SYMPOSIUM TO ADDRESS WATER ISSUES SEPT. 8

Water quality issues and effects on growth in Southwest Florida will be the focus of the 2021 Real Estate Investment Society Real Estate Symposium, held on Sept. 8 at Florida Gulf Coast University. The event is presented by REIS and Lutgert College of Business at FGCU. Water experts, civic leaders and professionals in design and development will address water-quality challenges and solutions, impacts on growth, design and development considerations, and solutions and community initiatives. Registration for the half-day program is now open on the REIS website

 

NCEF NAMES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, has named Madison Smith as its community engagement manager. In this new role, she will enhance NCEF’s reach into the community and work with community partners to address the needs of vulnerable residents in Collier County. Smith has more than four years of professional experience. Most recently, she served as community resource coordinator for the NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County. In this position, she assisted NCEF and its community partners by participating in the public launch of Collier CARES (Community Application for Resources and Emergency Services), a free and bilingual app for families in need of assistance. Smith received both her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and her master’s degree in professional writing from Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

 

FLORIDA LIONS EYE CLINIC ELECTS BOARD OFFICERS

The Florida Lions Eye Clinic has elected new officers to its board of directors. Elena Gonzalez, past secretary, will now take on the role of president, replacing Noreen Thomas, who will now take on the role of secretary. Director Dawn Lieb has been selected to be the new vice president while Larry DeArmond will remain the treasurer for another term. Gonzalez is retired from the Senior Executive Service, U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington D.C. Lieb is a retired federal administrative law judge in the Departments of Health and Human Services and Social Security Administration. Thomas is the retired executive vice president and Lee County campus president of the former Edison State College. DeArmond is the retired chief financial officer and partner at Catalyst Equity Group LLC. The Florida Lions Eye Clinic offers free eye care to children, families and adults who are underserved, do not have medical insurance and meet the qualifying guidelines. 

 

HEALTHCARE NETWORK ANNOUNCES MEDICAL PROMOTIONS

Healthcare Network has promoted Valerie Sattler to director of clinical education and performance assessment and Anahi Guerra to associate director of nursing. Sattler began her career at Healthcare Network in 2013 as a clinical lead, where she focused on scheduling productivity and staff proficiency. Her first major project in her new role will be creating and executing a medical assistant training program for Healthcare Network employees. During her five-plus years at Healthcare Network, Guerra has piloted multiple projects to raise staff productivity, increase geriatric population management and improve workflows. In her latest role as infection prevention and employee health registered nurse, Guerra assisted in Healthcare Network’s COVID-19 response and the development of safety measures and policies. She will continue to oversee the infection prevention program in her new role.

 

Anthony Cetrangelo and Mark Nieds

ATTORNEYS DISCUSS CRYPTOCURRENCY FOR ROTARY CLUB OF FORT MYERS

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A. estate planning attorney Anthony Cetrangelo and intellectual property attorney Mark Nieds presented “Cryptocurrency 101 – What is it? What’s behind it? Where’s it going?” on July 20 at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre for the Rotary Club of Fort Myers. They discussed the history of cryptocurrency, investing, practical implications, Blockchain, NFTs and other potential future uses. Cetrangelo is a member of Henderson Franklin’s estate planning department. He assists clients in all aspects of planning an estate or setting up a trust. He also guides families through trust or summary administrations, as well as formal administrations in probate court. Nieds is chair of Henderson Franklin’s intellectual property practice group. Drawing on two decades of experience, he represents clients in acquiring and protecting copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Nieds also advises clients in franchising and privacy and data security. 

 

Zach Lombardo

LOMBARDO ELECTED TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF FRIENDS OF THE FAKAHATCHEE

Government relations law attorney Zachary W. Lombardo has been elected to the Friends of the Fakahatchee Board of Directors. Members are elected to the board each April for two-year terms. Friends of Fakahatchee work with Fakahatchee Strand Preserve park staff to provide resource-based recreation while educating, preserving and restoring natural resources. Lombardo is an associate attorney at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo P.A. and received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Florida State University College of Law. Lombardo grew up in Naples.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES
 

Opera Naples hires Calavitta to lead fundraising efforts

Opera Naples welcomes Carla Calavitta as development director. In the newly created position underwritten by Larry and Louise Ost, Calavitta will lead the fundraising efforts for Opera Naples’ annual gala, patron events and Millennium Club program and work directly with Sondra Quinn, executive director of Opera Naples. Before joining Opera Naples, Calavitta worked for the Lupus Research Alliance as the western regional development manager. In her more than 15 years of experience, Calavitta held positions with various nonprofits in New York City and Los Angeles. Beginning with the New York Botanical Garden, she then went on to lead the membership and development departments for the Natural History Museum of L.A. County and the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. In 2008, Calavitta was one of the founding staff members for the GRAMMY Museum L.A. Live. Calavitta is an Ohio University graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing.

 

Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.