Gulfshore Business Daily: June 24

NAPLES RANKS NO. 2 IN ‘AMERICA’S BEST SMALL CITIES’ LIST

Naples has ranked No. 2 in Resonance Consultancy’s annual “America’s Best Small Cities” ranking. The report lists top-performing small cities with metro populations ranging between 100,000 and 500,000. The Resonance Best Cities rankings quantify and benchmark the relative quality of place, reputation and competitive identity for the principal cities with metropolitan populations of 100,000 or more. They are based on original methodology that analyzes key statistics as well as user-generated reviews and online activity in channels such as Google, Facebook and Instagram. The full “America’s Best Small Cities” report is available here.
 

RIB CITY PERMANENTLY CLOSES LONGTIME LOCATION IN EAST NAPLES

Rib City has permanently closed its longtime location in Naples Towne Centre South on U.S. 41 East in East Naples. Rib City operated for more than 20 years in a space that previously was a breakfast counter. The longtime restaurant outparcel could be a future restaurant or another type of business in that 4,200-square-foot freestanding building, said Luli Cannon, vice president of leasing for RMC Property Group, owner of the retail center. “We are marketing to restaurants to medical uses and banks, as well. It’s a good location,” Cannon says. “We have the capability of having a drive-thru added to it.” Meanwhile, Publix has started interior demolition of the former Lucky’s Market store, which closed in early February in that center. A target opening date for that 38,300-square-foot store is not available yet. Rib City, a restaurant chain based in Fort Myers, also recently closed a location in St. Petersburg. Other locations have reopened. 
 

SANIBEL CAPTIVA COMMUNITY BANK REOPENS PERIWINKLE LOCATION

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank is reopening its Periwinkle location at 1037 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island. In March, the location was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the branch size, specific safety practices are being implemented to ensure the safety and health of all visitors, including servicing one customer at a time and requiring face masks to be worn during customer service appointments. Social distancing measures are also being enforced. Founded in 2003, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank has two locations on Sanibel Island and five more locations throughout Lee County. To learn more, visit SanCapBank.com.
 

ADVOCATE RADIATION ONCOLOGY OPENS NEWEST SWFL LOCATION

Advocate Radiation Oncology, the area’s only locally owned and operated radiation oncology practice, according to a news release, has opened its Cape Coral office located at 909 Del Prado Blvd. This facility joins Advocate offerings located in Port Charlotte and Fort Myers. Advocate Radiation Oncology is directed by a team of board-certified radiation oncologists: Drs. Alan Brown, Arie Dosoretz, Daniel Dosoretz, Amy Fox, Graciela Garton, Michael Katin, David Rice and James Rubenstein. The team of physicians have served the Southwest Florida community for decades and are partnering to provide compassionate health care expertise to cancer patients. For more information, visit AdvocateRO.com.
 

ABWA TO HOST DEAF & HARD OF HEARING CENTER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Imperial River Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) will present Alicia Miller, executive director at The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center, from 6:30-8 p.m. on July 8 via Zoom. Miller will discuss the addition of deaf- or hard-of-hearing candidates to your staff and business. This professional development webinar is free, with donations to ABWA encouraged. Registration and Zoom account is required; see ABWAImperialRiver.Eventbrite.com for details.
 

NAPLES ANGELS INVEST IN MARKETING TECHNOLOGY

Tamiami Angel Fund III, Florida’s largest angel fund, invested in Fotobom Media, a mobile phone keyboard application that delivers content based on users’ emails and text messages. Tamiami Angel Fund III invested $568,000 into Fotobom Media, based in San Francisco. Working in partnership with network carriers, phone manufacturers and messaging applications, Fotobom’s keyboard application is preloaded on mobile phones and set as the default across all applications on a user phone. Then, Fotobom’s technology suggests content, apps and websites to users based on contextual information gathered from messages sent via the keyboard app. Fotobom is the 15th company in the portfolio of Tamiami Angel Fund III.
 

Mark London and Stephen Myers

IN THE KNOW

Elite Jets Charters names new president, executive vice president 

Elite Jets, a Naples-based luxury charter air service, has promoted two of its pilots to executive leadership positions as the company responds to industry-wide changes in air travel. Mark London, who previously served as the company’s general manager, was appointed president. Prior to his arrival at Elite Jets, London was president of London Aviation Group, which offered helicopter sightseeing tours, flight training, aerial photography and maintenance from its base in Naples. In 1987, London Aviation became the first to base a helicopter at the Naples Airport, and the company later provided support for film crews shooting movies, as well as a team from National Geographic. Stephen Myers has been promoted from assistant chief pilot to executive vice president. He graduated from Naples High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Florida.
 

Entech hires Moran and Seitz as engineers 

Entech added two new engineers to its  Fort Myers team. Sam Moran will serve as a support engineer and Aaron Seitz will assist the team as a systems engineer. They will be responsible for working with clients on reactive tickets, new client onboardings, IT projects and IT security testing and remediation.  Moran holds a degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He also is an Apple-certified tech. Prior to joining Entech, Moran worked as a Swiss Air flight instructor in Vero Beach. Seitz graduated from the University of Florida with his Bachelor of Arts in English. Throughout his career, Seitz worked as a technology consultant dealing with clients in legal, healthcare, non-profit, construction engineering, and retail. Seitz also has certifications in CompTIA A+, NET+, Security+ and is currently pursuing MS-100 Microsoft 365 Identity and Services. 

 

Shiksha Shah

Stickboy welcomes junior software developer

Stickboy has announced the addition of Shiksha Shah to its team of award-winning software developers. Stickboy designs custom software and offers advanced IT. The team focuses on artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, and machine learning. Junior developers assist the Stickboy team with all aspects of software design and coding. Learning codebase and wireframes, and fixing bugs are part of their daily routine. Shah, a 2019 graduate of Hodges University and Fort Myers resident, works with front-end technologies such as AngularJS and Angular 2. As a junior software developer at Stickboy, she will have a close relationship with clients, helping them create the look and feel of their company’s mobile apps and websites.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Pace Center for Girls to host Love That Dress! shopping event Sept. 30 

Pace Center for Girls, Lee County will host its Love That Dress! event on Sept. 30. The 12th annual event features shopping, music, silent auctions and cocktails, with all proceeds benefiting Pace programs and services. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Estero, with additional social distancing guidelines and safety protocols in place. With ticket sales beginning Aug. 1, admission is $30 in advance of the event and a limited number of VIP passes are available for $150, allowing shoppers to enjoy early access to the shopping and exclusive access to the VIP Suite Level, which features private dressing areas, express check-out and complimentary beverages, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Advance registration is required, and tickets will be available for purchase at LoveThatDressLeeCounty.com.
 

The United Way of Collier and the Keys awards $50,000 to Habitat Collier

The United Way of Collier and the Keys awarded $50,000 to Habitat Collier to help fund the cost of building a home. Habitat Collier has been selected as an FY 2020-21 Project Alice Partner, working together with the United Way of Collier and the Keys to make homeownership a reality for low-wage earning, critical workers in Collier County. These workers are denied the opportunity to purchase a home because they are squeezed out of the conventional mortgage process due to insufficient wages, a news release states.
 

Youth Haven awarded $40,000 grant from McCune Family Foundation

Youth Haven Inc. has received a $40,000 grant from the McCune Family Foundation.  The funds received will benefit its Homeless Teen Transitional Living Program, which is designed to help abused, neglected, and homeless teens transition to safe, healthy and responsible adulthood. The grant will allow Youth Haven to continue to build the program and provide intensive case management, mentoring, and life skills classes for teens as they expand the shelter and receive an increased number of drop-ins. Working with a case manager, Youth Haven is able to develop individualized goals to help stabilize the teens and transition them to adult life, through counseling, therapy, education, training, transportation, referrals and employment services,
 

Amie Vaughn, “In Flight”

Gulfshore Playhouse to receive $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for their 2020 fiscal year. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $15,000 to Gulfshore Playhouse for “In Flight: The Story of Sabine Van Dam.” This is one of 1,015 grants nationwide the agency has approved in this category. Since its creation in 2017, “In Flight: The Story of Sabine Van Dam” has been performed for more than 7,000 people in dozens of venues throughout Collier County. Created in conjunction with the Holocaust Museum and Education Center of Southwest Florida, “In Flight” tells the true story of a Holocaust survivor through a 35-minute play performed by four actors. The play was developed for students in fifth grade and meets Florida standards for Holocaust studies. While this is the primary audience for “In Flight,” the program is also appropriate for adults of all ages and is flexibly designed to fit into any performance venue.
 

Meals of Hope to offer  COVID-19 testing at mobile pantry locations

Meals of Hope, the largest food pantry provider in Southwest Florida, has partnered with Lab 24 to offer COVID-19 testing at its mobile pantry locations. The test is open to the public and available to all adults and children in the community without charge. Results will be available within 48 to 96 hours. Lab 24’s telemedicine doctors will communicate results to the patients. Any positive results will be communicated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who will then report it to the state health department. Testing will be available alternating weeks at each location since the CDC recommends testing every two weeks. Visit Meals of Hope on Facebook for the weekly schedule or go to MealsofHope.org to learn more.
 

Swinging With Purpose continues virtual fundraising efforts for Naples Therapeutic Riding Center and Valerie’s House

Proceeds from Swinging With Purpose’s (SWP) second virtual fundraiser will be used to satisfy grants to Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) and Valerie’s House.  SWP will also use a small portion of the proceeds to provide ancillary support to the FL Lions Bonita Springs food distribution efforts.  Due to overwhelming demand in the community, those services have been extended through Aug. 31. To participate in this virtual opportunity, make your suggested donation of $200 here.  A virtual drawing will be held on July 4 to select two winners of items donated by golf Hall-of-Famers Jack Nicklaus and Nancy Lopez. SWP is a nonprofit organization that provides support (financial and in-kind) to grassroots organizations serving women, girls and children in Southwest Florida. For more details, visit swingingwithpurpose.org.
 

Vineyards Country Club collecting food items, donations for St. Matthew’s House

Vineyards Country Club has announced the formation of a food pantry program to benefit St. Matthew’s House. The country club recently collected three van loads of food items and $4,800 in cash donations, matched by a private donor (through the month of June) and donated to the facility. Throughout June, donations of nonperishable food items may be made at the clubhouse, Racquet Center, Wellness Center, or at the club’s concierge desk, located just inside the front entrance. Monetary donations are also accepted in the form of checks payable to St. Matthew’s House. For a complete list of food items needed, visit stmatthewshouse.org.
 

Wilson Creative Group seeks Entries for Logo Design Package Giveaway 

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 logo design package valued at $2,500. Details and entry forms are available at wcgpros.com/logogiveaway. Candidates must submit a 250-word statement outlining the organization’s needs and goals; mission statements and/or business plans may also be included. The deadline for submissions is July 31, and the winner will be selected on Aug. 7.
 
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