Gulfshore Business Daily: June 14

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Left to right: Kelly L. Fayer, Karen L. Mosteller, Julie Koester, Kathleen O. Berkey. (Not pictured: Kerri A. Goldsmith)


Southwest Florida metro areas have ranked in “The Most Dynamic Metropolitans,” according to new research released by the Walton Family Foundation, ranking the economic performance of metropolitan areas across the country. The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metro area ranked No. 18 with an index value of 1.0567. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area followed at No. 19 with an index value of 1.0241. The study demonstrates that a knowledge-based economy spurs economic growth in metropolises across the U.S. Metro areas with knowledge-based economies ranked higher than cities that have yet to make much-needed investments in technology, education, entrepreneurship and commercialization, according to a press release. To read “The Most Dynamic Metropolitans” executive summary, click here.


Mettauer Environmental


Mettauer Environmental is expanding its specialized eco-friendly land and aquatic management services and has turned to The Ignite Partners to make that happen. Mettauer Environmental was founded in Alva, Florida, in 2001 and has become a leader in the industry with its adoption of bio-friendly products that are gentle to the local flora/fauna. Governments and private developments count on Mettauer Environmental for lake management, erosion reversal, exotic vegetation removal, and stormwater systems. Its clients include state, county, and city municipalities. The Ignite Partners works with companies that have already proven market viability and have revenue of at least $1 million Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR). The goal is for The Ignite Partners’ portfolio companies to gain optimal market penetration and tech IP creation to maximize the value of the business.



Bonita Springs Utilities Inc. (BSU) received two awards for outstanding accomplishments from the Florida Water Environment Association. BSU’s wastewater treatment team received the 2019 Earle B. Phelps Award in the secondary wastewater treatment plants category, which recognizes wastewater treatment facilities that have maintained the highest removal of major pollution-causing constituents prior to discharging treated effluent for irrigation reuse. BSU’s East Water Reclamation Facility Lead Operator Jake Hepokoski received the 2019 Leroy H. Scott Award for exceptional contribution to FWEA operators and did the best job of managing a plant.


Michele DiRocco


Michele DiRocco has joined the Veranda Restaurant and Rib City Group as marketing manager. DiRocco holds a bachelor’s degree in applied science, supervision and management from Edison State College (now Florida SouthWestern State College) and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. She previously served as a recruiter and marketing manager in Southwest Florida’s healthcare community for the last three and a half years. In her new role, DiRocco will be responsible for implementing marketing and branding strategies for the Veranda as well as Rib City’s corporate locations.



Jesse Bryson, Fort Myers High School JROTC instructor and president of the I Will Mentorship Foundation (IWMF) recently received the Vocational Service Award from the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South for exemplifying integrity and high ethical standards in the community. Bryson has more than 20 years’ experience mentoring youth through his community involvement, military, and educator background. Bryson founded the IWMF, which cultivates youth into leaders of tomorrow with greater awareness of community, a press release states. His military experience includes assignments at the White House under past presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He was also instrumental in establishing the first English library in Izmir, Turkey.



The American Institute of Architects Florida Southwest Chapter (AIA Florida Southwest) is offering scholarships to college students or new Southwest Florida high school graduates enrolled and/or attending a full-time degree program majoring in architecture at an NAAB accredited college or university. Applicants must show academic excellence, design talent, and a need for financial assistance. Multiple scholarships available range from $500 to $2,000. Applications are available at  Application packages may be submitted electronically and are due June 30.



Pavese Law Firm partner Christopher Pope and attorney Matthew Gordon received The Florida Bar board certification in condominium and planned development law. The Florida Bar board certification requires a rigorous application process and examination, and is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar for the skills, special knowledge, proficiency, professionalism and ethics in condominium and planned development law. Pope and Gordon join four other Pavese Law Firm attorneys—Christopher Shields, Steven Hartsell, Charles Mann and Charles Capps—who are also board certified in condominium and planned development law. Additionally, Shields, Mann and Capps are Florida Bar board certified real estate attorneys, three of only 21 attorneys in the entire state of Florida to hold this dual distinction, according to a press release.


Stephen Prendiville, M.D.


Fort Myers facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Prendiville was a featured presenter at the 15th annual Vegas Cosmetic Surgery & Aesthetic Dermatology symposium held from June 5-8 in Las Vegas. Prendiville was the only Southwest Florida physician to speak at the educational conference, which is the largest event of its kind in North America. Prendiville spoke on the topic of minimizing bruising and bleeding in facelifts using tranexamic acid, which is a synthetic derivative of the amino acid lysine. Prendiville is the only fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon in Fort Myers who is certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He has performed more than 4,500 surgical procedures during his 15 years of practice in Fort Myers. 




Dean Lind Memorial Golf Classic supports St. Matthew’s House

The 22nd annual Dean Lind Memorial Golf Classic at the Quarry in Naples raised more than $125,000 for St. Matthew’s House, which serves some of the most vulnerable people Southwest Florida, according to a press release. Sponsors included The Golf Lodge at The Quarry; CMR Construction & Roofing; GL Homes; IBERIABANK; TerraCap Management and more.  St. Matthew’s House is a 501(c)(3) which does not depend upon government funding, and its 100 percent donation model allows all operating expenses to be covered by unique social enterprises. For more information, visit

Valerie’s House receives NCEF grant

Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, has provided a $100,000 grant to support the expansion of Valerie’s House’s Collier County-based support groups for grieving children and their families after the death of a loved one. This is the third year NCEF has invested in Valerie’s House programs. Valerie’s House, whose first home opened in Fort Myers in 2016, expanded to Naples in 2017 in borrowed space with limited capacity. Now with plans to open a new, permanent home of its own in Naples in August, the additional NCEF operating funds will help support the added capacity the new home will provide, helping approximately 100 more local grieving children and families.

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