Gulfshore Business Daily: July 28

The Landmark Building at 300 Fifth Ave. S., Naples

 

FLORIDA AMONG STATES WITH LOWEST CREDIT CARD DEBTS

The average Floridian has $2,159 in credit card debt that would take nearly a year to pay off with $166 in interest costs until payoff. Residents of 37 other states average more credit card debt than Floridians, according to a new WalletHub report that draws upon data from TransUnion, the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Census Bureau and WalletHub’s proprietary credit card payoff calculator to determine the cost and time required to repay the median credit card balance in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The worst-ranked state is Alaska, while the best ranked is South Dakota, the report shows. 

 

REPORT: FLORIDA RANKS NO. 15 FOR TECH SALARIES

Florida ranks No. 15 for tech salaries in 2021, according to a new study from Business.org. Tech workers in Florida earn an average salary of $82,810, the report shows. That’s 66% more than the average salary in Florida, which is $50,020. The average hourly wage for tech workers is listed at $39.81. For the study, Business.org collected the most recent available data for tech salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), then ranked each state on the percent change from the average annual salary to the average annual tech salary. The company considered tech jobs that the BLS defined as computer or mathematical occupations. For the full results, click here.

 

Peter Carroll

ANTARAMIAN NAME MAKES RETURN TO NAPLES’ FIFTH AVENUE SOUTH 

During the 1990s, Antaramian Development Group made a name for itself by developing a series of high-profile buildings along Naples’ Fifth Avenue South, transforming the city’s main street into a world-class shopping and dining district. Decades later, the Antaramian name is making a return to Fifth Avenue South. ADG4, a firm founded by four real estate and development professionals with ties to the original Antaramian Development Group, has assumed management over a large portfolio of buildings, totaling nearly 60,000 square feet in the downtown area. The collection of buildings was assembled over the years by the Meftah family and includes the Landmark Building at 300 Fifth Ave. S., Belair Building at 340 Fifth Ave. S., Commerce Building at 350 Fifth Ave. S.; and Terrazza Building at 494 Fifth Ave. S. The portfolio also includes the Anchor Building at Eight Street and 12th Avenue South. “Most of these buildings are highly leased and generally full. In our role as the management firm, ADG4 will be responsible for property management, leasing and asset management,” says Peter Carroll, property services director for ADG4.

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

FORT MYERS TO ASSIGN MORE OFFICERS TO CITY HIGH SCHOOLS 

Fort Myers Police Department will continue its school resource officer program in city schools, Chief Derrick Diggs confirmed at a special meeting Monday. Diggs was passionate while speaking to the Fort Myers City Council and wanted to make sure his message was clear: He wants his officers in Fort Myers schools and even wants to expand the program. During the meeting, a decision was made to add more officers to Fort Myers High School and Dunbar High School. The city directed the city manager and police chief to work out the funding for the additional school resource officers until the city budget can be finalized for 2021-22, WINK News reports.

 

AVE MARIA CONTINUES RECORD-BREAKING PACE WITH 400 NEW HOME SALES  

The master-planned community of Ave Maria, a development of Barron Collier Companies in Collier County, has surpassed a record 400 new home sales for 2021. New home buyers are attracted to the improved quality of life, strong sense of community, conveniences of the town, educational options, abundant amenities, recreational activities and better home values. Home sales were reported from Ave Maria’s four residential builders: CC Homes, Del Webb Naples, Lennar and Pulte Homes. Homes are available in a variety of styles from single-family homes to condominiums priced from the low $200,000s to more than $500,000. A recent report by RCLCO real estate consulting firm shows Ave Maria experienced one of the highest year-over-year growth rates in new home sales of all top master-planned communities in the nation. 

 

GOMO Travel recently accompanied a 94-year-old World War II veteran from Newark, New Jersey, to Palm Beach so he could be with his daughter.

GOMO TRAVEL LAUNCHES ASSISTED TRAVEL SERVICES IN SWFL

GOMO Travel has launched comprehensive assisted travel services from its headquarters in Cape Coral to domestic and international locations. The company recently relocated its headquarters from the Jacksonville area. Founded by 30-year nursing and medical sales veteran Kerri Johnson, GOMO Travel provides concierge-style assisted travel services. Johnson and GOMO’s travel companions help senior citizens, their families, and people of all ages take advantage of opportunities to travel freely and on their own terms, the company states. “We are here to help normalize assisted travel so that seniors or anyone who needs assistance can travel, whether it’s to visit family, for necessary medical appointments and treatments, for relocation purposes, or simply because they want to,” said Johnson. GOMO Travel is currently seeking registered nurses and travel companions to join its travel team. 

 

AVOW HOSTS AUG. 5 JOB FAIR FOR NURSES, SOCIAL WORKERS

Avow is hosting a job fair from 2-8 p.m. on Aug. 5 at the Avow campus in Naples. The company is hiring registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants, social workers and other healthcare positions and offering bonuses of $2,000 for LPNs and certified nursing assistants-home health aides, $5,000 for social workers and $15,000 for RNs. At the job fair, candidates can talk to representatives and explore clinical and non-clinical positions available. Avow is a certified Great Place to Work. The lowest hourly rate paid to an Avow employee is $15.25 an hour for housekeepers, cooks or maintenance positions. A newly licensed registered nurse can make $28 an hour. Avow also pays a premium for experienced RNs and those with hospice experience, the company states.

 

REIS LUNCHEON TAKES PLACE AUG. 10 IN FORT MYERS

The latest trends in property values in Southwest Florida will be explained by Lee County Property Appraiser Matt Caldwell at the Real Estate Investment Society (REIS) luncheon held at 11:45 a.m. on Aug.10 in the Osprey Room at Pelican Preserve’s Clubhouse in Fort Myers. Caldwell is also expected to report on advances in information technology for online mapping and property reports and how real estate professionals can access and use the information. Following the presentation, Caldwell will respond to questions from the attending real estate development and investment professionals. The meeting is sponsored by RWA. Admission is $30 for members and $40 for guests, which includes lunch. Reservations are required by Aug. 5 and may be made online.

 

CBIA HOSTING 2021 BUILDING INDUSTRY PANEL 

The Sales & Marketing Council of Collier Building Industry Association (CBIA) will present “Deconstructing the Construction Industry,” its annual building and real estate industry panel, on Oct. 20 at the Hilton Naples, 5111 Tamiami Trail N. Led by moderator Ryan Benson, principal of A. Vernon Allen Builder, panelists include industry experts Nick Casalanguida, senior vice president of development for Barron Collier Companies; Thomas J. Jones, AIA, principal/director of design for JMDG Architecture | Planning + Interiors; John M. Gleeson, senior vice president of development services for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty; Claudine Leger-Wetzel, president of sales and marketing for Stock Development; and Rich McCormick, Southwest Florida Division president for Pulte Group. The 2021 panel is sponsored by B-Squared Advertising. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for networking and heavy hors d’oeuvres, and the panel presentation will take place from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Cost is $30 for SMC members, $35 for CBIA and NABOR members, and $50 for non-members. To RSVP, call 239-436-6100 or email Nancy@cbia.net by Oct. 8. To register online, click here.   

 

LEE COUNTY MPO COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS LEE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION

The Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Citizen Advisory Committee will host a meeting at 3 p.m. on Nov. 5 to discuss the latest transportation planning in Lee County. Agenda topics for the meeting include approving amendments to the Unified Planning Work Program, approving the TIGER project data collection scope of services, approving the performance measure targets, approving the SUN Trail Agreement, and review and comment on the Draft 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan Summary Report. For additional information, click here.

 

Monica Schmucker

SCHMUCKER BECOMES FLORIDA SUPREME COURT CERTIFIED CIVIL MEDIATOR

The law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A. Litigation Attorney Monica Schmucker has completed the required training and is now a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court civil mediator. She is listed on the Dispute Resolution Center’s website under 20th Circuit Mediators. Schmucker is a former deputy attorney general in Indiana. Schmucker has received national accolades, including being named to the “Ones to Watch” list by Best Lawyers in America in 2021. Schmucker received her undergraduate degree from Florida International University and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School, cum laude. Schmucker is a member of the Lee County Bar Association and Lee County Association for Women’s Lawyers.

 

LEE COUNTY MPO COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS LEE COUNTY TRANSPORTATION

The Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Citizen Advisory Committee will host a meeting at 3 p.m. on Nov. 5 to discuss the latest transportation planning in Lee County. Agenda topics for the meeting include approving amendments to the Unified Planning Work Program, approving the TIGER project data collection scope of services, approving the performance measure targets, approving the SUN Trail Agreement, and review and comment on the Draft 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan Summary Report. For additional information, click here.

 

UNITED WAY ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBERS, OFFICERS

The United Way of Collier and the Keys has welcomed three new directors to its board and appointed Kathy Connelly of the Naples Botanical Garden as chair-elect. Connelly will serve alongside board chair Debbie Mathews-Finch and Maria Jones, vice chair, this year before becoming chair in 2022. Nancy Limb of Bank of America has rejoined the board as treasurer. United Way of Collier and the Keys’ CEO Steve Sanderson will continue to serve as the board’s secretary. New to the board this year are Ross Dickmann of Moorings Park, Todd Lyon of NCH Healthcare System and Jessica Tressler of Fifth Third Bank. All three new members and Limb will serve three-year terms.

 

PREFERRED TRAVEL ADVISORS SELECTED FOR TRAVEL EXPERT SELECT PROGRAM

Three travel advisors at Naples-based Preferred Travel have been selected for the Travel Expert Select Program, each in their select area of specialty. Select Experts are experts in their destination or special interest area because they have either lived in the destination or visit often. Karen Berger, Cindy Macrides and Lisa Spiller were selected from more than 200 travel agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada. They are the first advisors at Preferred Travel to earn this title. Berger has 41 years of travel experience and became a Signature Travel Network expert advisor for California. Macrides has 40 years of travel experience and is now listed as an expert advisor for Scotland. Spiller has been in the travel industry for 15 years and is now considered a Signature Travel Network Expert Advisor for Caribbean Cruises.

 

John Egan

VILLAGE SCHOOL OF NAPLES NAMES ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

The Village School of Naples, an independent school serving students in preschool through 12th grade, has appointed John Egan as its new athletic director. In this role, Egan will focus on building the Knights athletic program. Egan comes to The Village School from Trumbull, Connecticut, where he has served as the athletic director at Christian Heritage School since 2012. He also has served as the school’s varsity girls soccer coach, turning the program around from a 3-15 record the year before his first year to winning a New England Championship in six years. In his prior position, Egan also started girls tennis, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse and swimming and diving programs. Before his tenure at Christian Heritage School, Egan served as the athletic director and boys soccer coach at Portsmouth Christian Academy in Dover, New Hampshire. He also has experience coaching collegiate men’s soccer at the NAIA and Division III levels. Egan earned a Bachelor of Arts in business from Gordon College and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis on athletic administration from Springfield College.

 

 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Artis—Naples announces $1 million matching gift

Artis—Naples announced that Ellen and David Ryan have pledged to match all donations made through Dec. 31, dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million, in support of the Naples Philharmonic. The announcement comes as Artis—Naples is poised to announce its full 2021-22 exhibition and performing arts season in the coming weeks. As longtime patrons and subscribers to the Pops, Broadway and Lifelong Learning series, the Ryans said they hope their pledge will inspire the community to further support and engage with Artis—Naples. Matching gifts can be made by contacting the development department at 239-254-2615 or online

 

The Ware Bluegrass Foundation supports Florida Lions Eye Clinic

The Florida Lions Eye Clinic (FLEC) has received a grant from the Ware Bluegrass Foundation. The foundation has committed to three years of funding, $20,000 each year, with $10,000 directly supporting the Clinic’s Surgery Fund. FLEC’s in-house eye care services include minor surgical treatment for eye diseases such as glaucoma and pterygium. Many of the FLEC’s patients are referred to outside specialists that require surgery beyond the clinic’s capability. In either case, there is no charge to the patient and all costs are covered by the Clinic’s Surgery Fund. The Ware Bluegrass Foundation was established in 1999 by Jack and Alice Ware, both of whom were blind during their lifetimes. Recently, the foundation elected to narrow its focus by supporting organizations that maintain ongoing vision-related programs. 

 

CDBIA awards scholarships to students

The Charlotte DeSoto Building Industry Association (CDBIA) has awarded 10 students with construction scholarships, totaling more than $10,000. The CDBIA Construction Scholarships were awarded to Aidan Kelley and Ethan Morton; Tools of the Trade Scholarships went to Damien Brown, Martin Luther, Dekwann Martin and Virgil Luther; the Professional Women in Building Scholarship went to Jazzlyn Embury and Laticia Nina; and the Gene Extejt Construction Scholarships went to Roland Lytle and Marshal Francis. Since 2007, the CDBIA has awarded more than $65,000 in scholarship funds to students interested in a career in the construction industry.

 

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