Gulfshore Business Daily: June 20, 2018

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Thomas Moran, managing director – investments, senior PIM portfolio manager of Moran Edwards Asset Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, has been named Florida’s No. 1 advisor on Barron’s annual list of America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in the U.S.  This is the fifth consecutive year that Moran has been named to the list. Barron’s is a financial weekly newspaper published by Dow Jones & Co. since 1921. Barron’s Top 1,200 rankings are based on data provided by thousands of advisors. Factors included in the rankings were assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record and client retention. With more than 30 years in the financial services industry, Moran has received local, national, and industry recognition as a financial advisor.  He was also named to Barron’s annual list of America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors for the 8th consecutive year in 2017 and to its Top 1,000 Advisors in the U.S. from 2010 to 2013. 


The Estero Chamber of Commerce 20th Annual Business Luncheon held on June 15 had more than 200 guests and dignitaries in attendance. Awards were presented to the following individuals and organizations: Person of the Year, Nolen Rollins, pastor of Legacy Church located in Estero; Business of the Year, Best Home Services; and Volunteer of the Year, Cindy Dugan. In addition, the chamber scholarship committee presented four Meg Judge Scholarship Awards to Estero High School students heading off to college.  Meg Judge was the founder and former CEO of the Estero Chamber of Commerce. Recipients include Sofia Collins, Brooke Klinker, Michael Brito and Brianne Anderson.  During the annual meeting, the chamber also unveiled its new brand identity and presented its 2018-19 slate of officers, including Judi Gietzen, Elite Realty of Southwest Florida, president; Nella DeCesare, WBM Marketing, vice president; Al O’Donnell, O’Donnell Landscape, treasurer; and Brandy Minchew, College of Life Foundationsecretary. New board members include Rollins of Legacy Church; Blake Chapman, State Insurance; Barbara Saxton, Smart Choices Health Care; Dr. Darlene Andert, Accounting for Profitability; and Sharon Van Rite, Platinum Media. Gene Montenieri presented outgoing board members Dallas Revord, FineMark National Bank; Kaci Carter, retired banker; and Cheryl Willett, Willet Business Management; with a certificate of appreciation. 


The Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation has successfully completed all requirements to become a Certified Community Reinvestment Act Nonprofit. The certification, provided by findCRA, demonstrates the foundation’s commitment to supporting the communities it serves in one or more of the bank regulatory focus areas of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA is a federal regulation that was enacted in 1977. It is designed to encourage insured financial institutions to help meet the credit and deposit needs in all segments of the communities where they operate. For more information, visit


Englewood Bank & Trust Business Development Officer Kristina Watts has been promoted to assistant vice president. Watts joined the bank in 2005, bringing 17 years of general merchandising, service management and training experience from her home state of Vermont. She earned an American Institute of General Banking degree 2010. Watts assists the bank’s business customers with a variety of financial solutions, ranging from small business loans and commercial real estate loans, to merchant services and convenience banking. A longtime member of the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce, Watts is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Englewood. She chaired the chamber’s leadership committee in 2017 and is the incoming leadership board liaison. She serves on the board of directors of both the chamber and the Englewood Rotary, which awarded her the Leo “Pete” Cypher Service Above Self Award and President’s Award and named her a Paul Harris Fellow +1 for her contributions to the Rotary Foundation. A graduate of the Rotary Leadership Institute, she currently serves as club treasurer. Watts is an affiliate member of the Women’s Council of Realtors and serves on the fashion show committee. In addition, she belongs to the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, the Englewood Board of Realtors and the patient advisory board at Englewood Community Hospital.


FineMark National Bank & Trust has appointed Heather Thomas as senior lending officer in Collier County. Thomas has 30 years of banking experience, with the last 19 years in Southwest Florida. Most recently, she was a vice president and relationship manager for Northern Trust. At FineMark, Thomas will be responsible for cultivating and developing relationships in Collier County. Thomas holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration and finance from Wake Forest University. She is a Champions of Learning board member, on the Golden Apple selection committee and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.


Hope for Haiti has launched a new professional development program in place of its former Next Generation Board. The program, Leadership 360, is a two-year leadership and development program designed for emerging change-makers in South Florida. Featuring learning and networking opportunities, Leadership 360 culminates in a service trip to Haiti. To learn more and apply, visit Applications are open through Aug. 15.

Charitable notes

Laughter is the Best Medicine Comedy Night returns for SalusCare

The fourth annual Laughter Is the Best Medicine Comedy Night, to benefit SalusCare, will take place from 7-10 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the Broadway Palm in Fort Myers. Four local celebrities will perform a five-minute stand-up routine for event attendees who will “vote” for the best comedic performance.  An award also will be presented to the celebrity comic who raises the most money for SalusCare. The performers are Gina Birch, radio/TV personality; Dr. Michael Martin, Florida Gulf Coast University president; Eric Raddatz, Fort Myers Film Festival founder and Florida Weekly presentation editor; and Amy Bennett Williams, The News-Press staff writer. Nationally recognized yet-to-be-announced comedians will round out the evening. Funds raised at the event will be used to provide outpatient psychiatry and therapy to children and adolescents in the area whose families can least afford it. Tickets are $150 each and include heavy hors-d'oeuvres, drinks and the show. Tickets are available at For information about sponsorships, contact Todd Cordisco at (239) 791-1575 or

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