Gulfshore Business Daily: June 29, 2018

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The application deadline for the 2018 Industry Appreciation Awards has been extended to July 9. The Industry Appreciation Awards, organized by the Horizon Council and the Lee County Economic Development Office, celebrate the Lee County business community and recognize outstanding local businesses that have positively influenced Southwest Florida. Businesses will be honored in five categories: Business Citizenship, Nonprofit of the Year, Diversity in Business, Startup of the Year, and Business of the Year. To complete an application, visit  For additional information, call (239) 533-6800.


Lee County Attorney Richard Wesch has been named president of the Florida Association of County Attorneys (FACA). Wesch had previously served as vice president of the association. As president, Wesch will serve a one-year term. Wesch will assume the role effective immediately. He has been the Lee County Attorney since October 2013. His office represents the Lee Board of County Commissioners in matters such as land use, litigation, personal injury, contract disputes and labor relations. Wesch previously served as Citrus County Attorney and has also been a private attorney, county administrator and sheriff’s office general counsel. FACA is a Florida nonprofit corporation with the purpose of providing a forum for research, advice and discussion in the development of local government law. FACA is led by a board of directors and five officers. People who serve as the county attorney, assistant, associate or deputy county attorney for a Florida county are eligible for membership. For more information about Lee County government, visit


T3 Communications Inc. has merged with Shift8 Technologies Inc., an industry peer serving the Texas market and expanding into other U.S. markets. T3’s
management team, including the current CEO, Josh Reel, will continue with the company, and its headquarters will remain in Fort Myers, as the company seeks to expand into adjacent markets in the region. T3 provides cloud communications and broadband solutions in Southwest Florida. For more information, visit


Amanda Beights, vice president of the Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), an affiliate of The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, will discuss the importance of a collective impact and “Growing Effective Business Partnerships that Support Work-Based Learning” at the NAF Next National Conference, held July 8-11 in Washington D.C. Collier County is making an effort to support college and career readiness for high-school students. Multiple community and business organizations, including the Naples chamber, have partnered with Collier County Public Schools to help promote and provide work-based learning opportunities for NAF students. Beights will speak on a panel with other local professionals including Tu Chi, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort; Nicole Litchko, Collier County Public Schools; and Courtney Stahlman, Collier County Public Schools. The panel will discuss the importance of developing community and business partnerships to create and sustain work-based learning in a small community. Beights is a graduate from the Institute for Organization Management (IOM), the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and has received the recognition of IOM.


Habitat for Humanity of Collier County has earned gold in the Hermes Creative Awards for their original video, Because of this House. Hermes Creative Awards recognizes outstanding work in the industry while promoting the philanthropic nature of marketing and communication professionals. The winning video features three Habitat Collier children sharing the difference that their Habitat homes have made in their lives. The Hermes Award is the second trophy Habitat Collier has taken home for a video production, after their MarCom Award last year for their short film, Breaking the Cycle: Brighter Futures through Affordable Housing. Hermes Creative Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, media production and freelance professionals. AMCP oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the profession. 


Fifth Third Bank has opened five new financial centers in Florida, including the Bonita Grande Financial Center at 12971 Bonita Beach Road, SE, Bonita Springs. The new financial centers represent a key part of Fifth Third’s growth strategy, even as its digital transactions are growing. Financial centers offer consultations and expertise from financial experts. For more details, visit

Charitable Notes


Christy Taylor, a Miami resident in the class of 2020 at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has won the 2018 Dr. William Lascheid Memorial Scholarship for Medical Students from the Foundation of Collier County Medical Society (CCMS). The $12,500 award recognizes future physicians who are Florida residents and have demonstrated excellence in community service, in memory of Dr. William Lascheid, co-founder of the charitable Neighborhood Health Clinic in Naples and a past president of the medical society. It is the fourth year the foundation has provided this scholarship. Taylor received her Bachelor of Science and master’s degrees in public health at the University of Miami. She has volunteered with Birmingham Free Clinic, Women’s Center Clinic, Light of Life Rescue Mission Soup Kitchen in Pittsburgh and the American Heart Association. She plans to practice in a teaching hospital that provides care to vulnerable and underserved populations and contributing to diversity and inclusion in medicine.


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