Gulfshore Business Daily: June 25

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Photo sourced from WINK News
Lead photo: A Port Royal home sale breaks 2020 records.


Video courtesy of WINK News


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warns restaurateurs and bar owners to follow proper guidelines during the pandemic or be prepared to lose liquor licenses. DeSantis said if these establishments are packed and people aren’t following social distancing, they will lose out on their ability to serve alcoholic drinks. The governor said that the cost of losing business while following the rules is better than the worst-case scenario. “It might cut down on your overall attendance, but it’s going to keep you open,” he said. This week’s message targets businesses blatantly ignoring the rules, WINK News reports.

Video courtesy of WINK News


Southwest Florida International Airport has ramped up protections for passengers to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. RSW has plexiglass shields at ticketing counters and has stations allowing passengers to self-tag luggage for flights. Many airlines also are requiring masks before boarding in an effort to make people feel comfortable traveling again. For information about each airline’s mask policies and seating capacities, see this WINK News story.


Emerge SWFL is hosting a free virtual expo from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today. There will be three unique virtual expo halls along with nine keynote speakers. Speakers will include Tatum Walker, the Lee County Economic Development Office; Connor Firmender, Fieldr; Dr. Stephanie Stovall, Lee Health; Chris Westley, Florida Gulf Coast University; Jordan Azis, Stickboy; Jeannine Joy, United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties; Alex Allen and Jessica Doan, Two39 Group; Dr. Debbie Psihountas, Florida SouthWestern State University; and Bryan Blackwell, Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. By connecting people to businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations across Southwest Florida, Emerge SWFL hopes to provide a much-needed service to the business community — a safe way for people to network, interact and explore opportunities as if they were in a convention center or expo hall. To register, visit

Photo sourced from WINK News


A recent study by the Better Business Bureau looking at employment scams found that nearly three out of four victims were already struggling to make ends meet while the pandemic shut down much of the economy. It found that more than half of the people targeted were looking for a work-from-home job, while 65 percent of those surveyed said their fake job offer was related to a “warehouse re-distribution coordinator” or a similar title. The scammers were often impersonating Amazon or Walmart, as well. Research and consumer education help prevent becoming a victim to these scams. The BBB website has tips to help avoid employment scams, WINK News reports.


As Alico Road continues to develop to the east, the Gulf Coast Town Center corridor continues to add retail and dining establishments. Currently in development is the approximately 8,000-square-foot City Mattress and adjoining retail strip center. Both are located on the 2.55-acre parcel at 9500 Interstate Commerce Drive fronting the Alico Business Center at the northeast corner of Alico Road and Interstate-75. This marks the sixth Southwest Florida location for City Mattress. LandQwest Principal and Managing Director, Mike Concilla represented the buyer, Richardson Commercial Properties LLC, on its $1.3 million acquisition. He also represented City Mattress after the purchase was completed and has now retained the continued leasing / build-to-suit assignment. Click here for details. Plans for the adjoining strip center include a fourth-quarter completion and a new name titled “Alico Lakes Village.”


The JCPenney store at Gulf Coast Town Center in Lee County is no longer on the list of stores the department store chain is closing in Florida. The JCPenney store at Coralwood Center in Cape Coral is the only Southwest Florida store among the more than 130 locations nationwide still scheduled to close, according to store closing details available on the company’s blog page.

1777 Galleon Drive


A waterfront property in Port Royal sold on June 18 for $19.8 million, making it a record sale in Southwest Florida this year, according to available data from the Southwest Florida Multiple Listing Service (SWFLMLS). The Port Royal estate, located at 1777 Galleon Drive, was designed by Stofft Cooney Architects and completed in 2017. Frank Sajtar, the listing agent, is a luxury properties specialist with William Raveis Real Estate. William Raveis Real Estate was number one in Port Royal market share and volume sold in 2019 and year-to-date in 2020, currently listing 29 properties in the community, 20 more listings than their nearest competitor, according to a news release. Named the priciest neighborhood in America by the Robb Report in 2018, Port Royal is a community of approximately 589 luxury properties.



Samantha Encalada

Aloia Roland hires Encalada

Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC has appinted Samantha Encalada as an associate attorney. Encalada was admitted to the Florida Bar in April 2020. She was conferred her Juris Doctor in December 2019 at Ave Maria School of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship from Florida Gulf Coast University. While in law school, Encalada served as president of the Elder Law and Estate Planning Association, vice president of the Women’s Law Association and was involved on the Moot Court Board. She’s also dedicated her time to the Annual Wills for Heroes Clinic with Collier County Legal Aid, delivered pro bono services to the Pro Bono Immigration Screening Clinic with Americans for Immigrant Justice and supported Heartbeat International.

Gregory Herman-Giddens

Herman-Giddens re-appointed to The Florida Bar Senior Lawyers Committee

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A. stockholder and estate planning attorney Gregory Herman-Giddens has been re-appointed to The Florida Bar Senior Lawyers Committee. Drawing on the accumulated knowledge and experience of its members, the committee exchanges ideas to address issues that are of particular significance to senior lawyers. Herman-Giddens is a board-certified specialist in estate planning and probate law, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a registered trust and estate practitioner, and a member of WealthCounsel LLC. He is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and is admitted to practice in North Carolina, Florida, New York and Tennessee. Herman-Giddens also serves on the Carolina Meadows Board of Directors in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Herman-Giddens received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina, his Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law, and his LL.M. in estate planning from the University of Miami School of Law. His career spans more than 30 years.

Fiala joins Friends of Rookery Bay Board of Directors

Friends of Rookery Bay has elected Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala to its board of directors. She joins newly-elected officers Tom Marquardt, president; Matt Flores, vice president; Tom Wagor, treasurer; and Curt Witthoff, secretary; along with board members Ray Carroll, James Fourqurean, Charlie O’Connor, Lois Selfon, Jim Shea, Paul Tateo, Greg Tolley, and Milda Vaivada. Friends of Rookery Bay connects people with Southwest Florida’s coastal environment in support of Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. For more information, visit

Masters Designs expands to custom swimsuits

Fort Myers-based Masters Designs has recently expanded its offerings to include a custom swimsuit division, designing swimsuits for all body types. Prior to the pandemic, Masters Designs owner Gene Esposito had invested in the most up-to-date technology for effective dry cleaning with care and efficiency, according to a press release. Although dry cleaning services temporarily closed, Masters Designs will offer custom swimsuit services, which are available by appointment. Masters Designs has more than 40 years of tailoring experience. 

Dennis L. Webb


Law Offices of Dennis L. Webb, P.A., creates campaign to help families

The Law Offices of Dennis L. Webb, P.A. has created the “Webb of Support” campaign to give $1,000 a month, divided among four families or individuals, to help them cope with the financial challenges brought on by COVID-19. The campaign will begin July 1 and run through the end of the year and will partner with local nonprofits to serve those in need. Each of the recipients will be given $250 in gift cards from Publix and gas stations courtesy of the law firm, which annually supports community projects. Each month, four new applicants will be chosen to receive the gift cards. To apply for the donation, click here.

SWFL Marketing Group’s Hero Project Fundraiser ends July 5

SWFL Marketing Group’s Hero Project Fundraiser is in its final days, after operating for several weeks. The retail-based fundraiser supports organizations and endeavors such as Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc. (ACT), American Heart Association, The Bridge Fund Center For Spiritual Living in Cape Coral, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Gulf Coast Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida Inc., Help A Diabetic Child, Kunjani, Lee Builders Care, the Liberty Youth Ranch, Paint it Forward Ministries, Salvation Army, STARability Foundation, the Sunshine Kids, and VillageWorx. The stores close at midnight on July 5. So far, the fundraiser has resulted in more than $2,000. For more information, visit

Special Equestrians Virtual Taste of Love Event set for Sunday

Special Equestrians’ 17th annual Taste of Love Virtual Event will be held this Sunday. The live auction features an opportunity to bid on a trip to the Field of Dreams Ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa, where the Chicago White Sox will play the New York Yankees in a regular-season MLB game. Ticket holders and non-ticket holders are welcome to bid by clicking here for the silent auction and here for the program and live auction. The program and live auction will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 pm on Sunday while bidding for the silent auction is already underway.  Login can begin as early as 6  p.m. for the live auction items.  Celebrity auctioneer Jay Severson and award-winning radio and television personality Gina Birch will oversee the evening’s events. Over 400 guests attended the event in 2019, raising more than $150,000 for the local nonprofit organization.
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