Gulfshore Business Daily: June 26, 2018

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Herc Holdings Inc. has appointed Mark Irion as senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective June 25. In this role, Irion will oversee the company’s finance function and perform a lead role in Herc Holdings’ ongoing activities in the capital markets and in its relationships with banks, ratings agencies, institutional investors and financial analysts. Irion joins Herc Holdings with nearly 25 years of experience in finance and public accounting. For the past 19 years, he served as chief financial officer for Neff Corp., a publicly traded equipment rental company, until its sale in October 2017. His career experience also includes serving as chief financial officer for a computer component distribution company and audit senior for Deloitte & Touche LLP. Irion will be based at the company’s Bonita Springs field support center.


Ryan Benson, principal with A. Vernon Allen Builder, has been named president of the Collier Building Industry Association. The CBIA is a not-for-profit professional association of industry professionals and represents the collective voice of the Collier County building industry while serving as an advocate for its members. Benson earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stetson University and his Master of Business Administration degree from Florida International University in Miami. He has been in the construction industry for 16 years and was a finalist for the National Association of Home Builders Young Professional’s Award.


Jeff Fridkin, founding member of Grant Fridkin Pearson, P.A., and Adria Starkey, Collier County president for FineMark National Bank & Trust, will be inducted into the Junior Achievement (JA) of Southwest Florida 2018 Business Hall of Fame, Collier County. The laureates will be honored during a dinner and awards ceremony which begins with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. on Nov. 1 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples. Dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who serve as role models for youth through their professional accomplishments and commitment to the community. Fridkin and Starkey will join a distinguished group of individuals who have been inducted into the Business Hall of Fame since it was founded in 1988. For more information on the event, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities and purchasing tickets, visit


The third annual Southwest Florida Government Contracting Symposium and Expo organized by the Lee County Economic Development Office (Lee County EDO) will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on July 20 in building U-102 at the Florida SouthWestern State College campus in Fort Myers. The event is designed to help interested business leaders gain insight into government contracting and identify resources that align with what area businesses have to offer. More than 25 exhibitors will be available for possible government subcontracting opportunities. In addition, presentations on various topics are planned throughout the event. To register, visit and enter “government contracting symposium and expo” in the search field or call the Lee County EDO at (239) 533-6800. For exhibitor information, please contact Amy McQuagge at To request an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a reasonable modification to participate, contact Joan LaGuardia at (239) 533-2314, Florida Relay Service 711, or Accommodation will be provided at no cost to the requestor. Requests should be made at least five business days in advance.


The Bonita Chamber’s 2018 Awards Celebration Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa. Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Center for Workforce and Education, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s event. Oldham’s work impacts small businesses and the workforce. Her experiences include eight years of service in the President George W. Bush Administration and time in the U.S. Department of Education. The Bonita Chamber will also celebrate its five-star accreditation, which it achieved for the fourth consecutive time in 2017. This designation, the highest possible from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ranks the Bonita Chamber among the top 1 percent of chambers in the nation. It is the only chamber of commerce in the region with any level of accreditation, according to a press release. In addition, the program will unveil the 42nd Bonita Springs Citizen of the Year and the 18th Small Business of the Year awards, along with additional chamber member accolades. Tickets are available for $65 through Aug. 10, and sponsorships are available for Bonita Chamber members. Register at or call (239) 992-2943.


Partners for Breast Cancer Care Inc. has expanded no-cost breast screening, diagnostic testing, surgery and treatment to uninsured residents in Collier, Lee, Glades, Charlotte and Hendry counties whose household income is up to and including 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The organization funds mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsy, surgical consultation, MRI and treatment at no cost to its clients. Its mission is to rule out or diagnose breast cancer for those who cannot afford it. For more information, call (239) 454-8583 or visit


Forrest J. Bass, partner at the Farr Law Firm, will serve on The Florida Bar’s Wills, Trusts & Estates Certification Committee as of July 1. Bass, appointed by president-elect Michelle R. Suskauer, will serve throughout the year of Suskauer’s presidency. Bass is board-certified in wills, trusts and estates, which is The Florida Bar’s “legal expert” status. He received a Master of Laws degree in taxation from Boston University School of Law and a juris doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law. He also received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Flagler College. Bass is active in the community and supports a number of local organizations. He is chair of the of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee “C” for the 20th Judicial Circuit, past president of the Charlotte Estate Planning Council, and general counsel for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.


J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Manager ( Paul Tritaik presented Toni Westland, supervisory refuge ranger at the refuge, with her 20-year award for service to the U.S. government, on June 19. Westland joined the staff of “Ding” Darling in 2002 as environmental education specialist. She previously served as environmental educator for the Corps of Engineers at the Lake Okeechobee Waterway, which she began in 1998 as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, with a major in natural resource management and emphasis on environmental education. In 2009, “Ding” Darling administration promoted Westland to her current position. Westland has received accolades including a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Regional Director’s Award, for her curriculum design and proactive approach to resolving student transportation problems to the refuge. With the help of “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge and contributions, she arranged private busing for thousands of kids each year, a private-public partnership program that continues to this day. Earlier this year, Westland accepted the Florida chapter of The Wildlife Society’s 2018 Outstanding Educator Award.

Charitable Notes

The BIG Backpack Event returns in July

The Multicultural Centre of Southwest Florida will host The BIG Backpack Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 29 at North Fort Myers High School. The 19th annual event is free and open to the public. Neal Communities is the title sponsor and has set a goal to raise $20,000 to support the more than 2,000 students who will receive free backpacks and school supplies for the 2018-19 school year. After a record-breaking donation in 2017, the home builder hopes to set another new fundraising mark this year. The final amount of the donation will be unveiled at a check presentation to be held the week prior to the event. In advance of the event, the public is invited to participate in the Adopt-A-Student fundraiser. Each $10 donation provides a student with a new backpack and school supplies that include notebook paper, folders, crayons, glue, pencils and pens. To date, The BIG Backpack Event has provided new backpacks and school supplies to more than 35,000 students. Children age 5-12 will receive free backpacks and school supplies while supplies last. Students may also receive eye exams, haircuts and other giveaways, provided by vendors. Children must be present with a parent or guardian to receive the free supplies. For more information on how to Adopt-A-Student or become a vendor, volunteer or sponsor, visit or email

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