Gulfshore Business Daily: June 3

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The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a plan to allocate $3 million of federal funds from the CARES Act to support local food security organizations and to continue phasing in operations previously suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $3 million allocated to food security organizations benefitting citizens in need includes $1.55 million to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, $425,000 to the Midwest Food Bank, $225,000 to Community Cooperative, $500,000 to Lee County food pantries through $5,000 individual grants, and $300,000 to reserves. In addition, programs utilizing funds from the federal CARES Act have resulted in 13,871 applications started for Individual Assistance, which includes payments directly to utility companies, landlords and mortgage companies (4,923 applications have been completed); 4,576 applications for the Business Relaunch Program; more than 1,000 kits of Personal Protective Equipment set to go to businesses with fewer than 25 employees. This includes more than 250,000 masks, 500,000 gloves and more than 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer; and United Way partner agencies establishing childcare scholarship programs. For more information, visit



During a special meeting Tuesday morning, Collier County commissioners approved restoring regular weekend hours at county beach parks and access points. Most beach operations ran smoothly during the last three weekends since restrictions were put in place on May 12, reported Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk and Public Services Director Steve Carnell. The vote was 3-2 with commissioners Andy Solis and Penny Taylor dissenting. Naples City Council is scheduled to meet today to discuss easing restrictions on city beaches.



Lee Health will host a Virtual Town Hall meeting on at 3 p.m. on Thursday. The Facebook Live event is open to the public and will feature a panel discussion with Lee Health leaders about the health system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as include a question and answer session. Topics that will be covered during the town hall include the spread of coronavirus in our community today, how to safely reopen medical services and our community, and the latest on treatment options. Moderated by David Collins, chair of the board of directors at Lee Health, the panel will feature Dr. Larry Antonucci, president & CEO at Lee Health; Dr. Alex Daneshmand, chief quality, and patient safety officer at Lee Health; Lisa Sgarlata, chief patient care and nursing officer at Lee Health; and Dr. Bill Hearn, physician leadership council chairman at Lee Health. For those without access to Facebook, the event will also be live-streamed at



Healthcare Network, a nonprofit organization working to ensure primary medical care is accessible to everyone in the community, has opened the three-story, 51,000-square-foot Nichols Community Health Center in Golden Gate. While Golden Gate, which is home to an estimated 36,000 residents, is located just a few miles from one of the wealthiest zip codes in America, it has been identified as one of the most underserved communities in Collier County. The Nichols Community Health Center will provide improved access to primary healthcare to residents, including restaurant, hospitality and retail workers–many of whom are facing unemployment due to the pandemic. Since 1977, Healthcare Network has been committed to filling gaps in care by providing high quality primary medical care, regardless of a patient’s insurance or employment status. A Sliding Fee Discount Program reduces costs to uninsured and underinsured patients based on their income and family size. Services offered at the Nichols Community Health Center include children’s care, obstetrics and gynecology, adult and senior care, integrated behavioral health, and a drive-thru pharmacy. Dental care and walk-in health are expected to open in the near future. Located at 12655 Collier Blvd., Healthcare Network broke ground in January 2019 on the $15 million medical center named after a gift from Naples resident Jerry Nichols.


Video courtesy of WINK News


From virtual to in-person help, CareerSource Southwest Florida is now open to help people back at its office space, but there are some strict social distancing rules in place. After more than two months of only assisting job seekers virtually, the doors to CareerSource reopened Monday. About 60 people have made appointments since CareerSource announced its reopening. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred to keep up with social distancing guidelines. CareerSource is also working to put together a virtual job fair to launch in July, WINK News reports.


Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is targeted to open this fall in the more than 40,000-square-foot space Winn-Dixie vacated last November next to LA Fitness in Springs Plaza on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. The Pennsylvania-based retail chain, promoted as “Good Stuff Cheap,” has more than 360 no-frills stores of closeout merchandise and surplus inventory of name-brand items. The fast-growing chain has 27 other locations in Florida, including stores in south Fort Myers and Port Charlotte. Meanwhile, a grocery store will be returning to Springs Plaza with the addition of discount grocer Aldi, which is moving into a more than 20,000-square-foot space that formerly was Bealls Outlet.



During a special meeting Tuesday morning, Collier County commissioners voted against the county hosting a July Fourth fireworks show this year at a local park. The limited holiday celebration was proposed to be moved from its longtime spot at Sugden Regional Park in East Naples to the new Paradise Coast Sports Complex in Golden Gate Estates. Despite a staff proposal to limit attendees to 1,800 people for a pre-registered event, commissioners decided the event was not critically important to have this year because of coronavirus concerns. The resolution failed 2-3 with commissioners Donna Fiala, Burt Saunders and Andy Solis dissenting. The city of Naples is expected to make a decision today about the annual fireworks show from Naples Pier.

Video courtesy of WINK News


School Board members say they likely won’t know how the reopening of Lee County schools will occur until late this summer. Leaders of the local school district are throwing around ideas about how they will return students to the classroom while facing financial cuts. Will teachers and students be in the classroom this fall, will e-learning continue, or will there be some kind of hybrid? The schedule could be split between virtual and in-person instruction, said Dr. Gregory Adkins, district superintendent. The school budget is going to take a big hit as state and local tourism dollars and sales tax receipts are way down because of the pandemic, WINK News reports.

Darryl Gordon


Sanibel Captiva Trust Co CCO earns AFIM accreditation

The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co.’s chief compliance officer, Darryl Gordon, has earned the designation of Accredited Fiduciary Investment Manager (AFIM), which is based on an established set of industry-wide competencies that cover the concepts, rules, regulations, laws, and standard operating procedures that the candidate should be proficient in the fiduciary investment management field. Gordon oversees and implements compliance and risk management standards for The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co. and its divisions of The Naples Trust Co. and The Tampa Bay Trust Co. His responsibilities include the monitoring of The Trust Co.’s strength of internal controls and audits, compliance with governing instruments, applicable laws and sound fiduciary principles.

Patricia Crump

Pushing the Envelope Inc. adds Crump as digital marketing specialist

Pushing the Envelope Inc. welcomes Patricia Crump as its digital marketing specialist. In her role, Crump is responsible for the development and implementation of social media strategies (paid and organic), as well as email marketing efforts, online reputation management, and mobile marketing (SMS) services. Crump holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Florida Gulf Coast University. Bringing more than five years of experience in digital marketing, she worked both in agencies and in-house for a variety of clientele prior to joining Pushing the Envelope.

Naples Senior Center adds three additional community leaders to board of trustees

Naples Senior Center, a nonprofit organization that supports and enriches the lives of seniors and their families in Collier and southern Lee counties, has appointed Steven Coplin, Marsha B. Karp, and John F. Levy to its Board of Trustees. Coplin is the senior portfolio manager and founder of The Coplin Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley. Karp is retired after a successful career as a finance professional with several companies, including Proamics Inc., a global provider of software solutions. Levy served as founding president and CEO for Waban Inc., a public company and major participant in the field of warehouse merchandising through its HomeBase and BJ’s Wholesale Club businesses.

Lenore T. Brakefield

Woodward, Pires & Lombardo P.A. partner earns CFL designation

Southwest Florida law firm Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. Partner Lenore T. Brakefield has earned her Certified Financial Litigator (CFL) designation by The American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators. Brakefield joins fellow CFL’s with the firm, attorneys Chris Lombardo, Kenneth Mundy and Ross Schulman as a member of this designation of distinction designed for attorneys to better serve their clients and community. The CFL designation represents an accomplishment that provides a wide variety of benefits to its members, including being among an elite group of practitioners with increased member resources and enhanced credibility in the field. Representing clients in general civil litigation, business and government law, contracts, condominium law and banking, Brakefield focuses her practice on her clients and the betterment of the community. She handles various legal issues, such as contract disputes, mediations, litigation, representation of government entities, mortgage reviews, landlord-tenant disputes and more.


Dotty St. Amand and Brian Sykes


Lighthouse of SWFL raises $16,000 Dining in the Dark at A Distance

Lighthouse of SWFL held an online auction in conjunction with the center’s 10th annual Dining in the Dark at a Distance fundraiser. The Dining in the Dark at a Distance event was held on May 16, along with an online auction held from noon on May 15 until 11:45 p.m. on May 18, raising $16,000 for programs serving the blind and visually impaired. On May 16, guests were greeted at the Millennial Brewing Co. parking lot entrance for curbside pick-up of their pre-ordered meal prepared by 3g Catering, craft beer from Millennial Brewing Co., and dessert from BIMBO Bakery.  An informational card with UR codes provided guests access to the online auction and video clips with instructional tips for using a blindfold and techniques taught by Lighthouse of SWFL certified instructors to help them enjoy their food and beverage without vision. The funds raised from Dining in the Dark at a Distance allows Lighthouse of SWFL to provide the necessary skills and training to people with blindness and vision impairment to help live a life of independence. For more information about Lighthouse of SWFL, visit

Angelina’s Ristorante donates meals.

Angelina’s Ristorante makes second food donation to local healthcare workers

In an effort to express both support and gratitude for local healthcare workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Angelina’s Ristorante provided fine Italian meals to more than 70 healthcare workers at Lee Health Coconut Point Emergency Room department on May 27. For more information about Angelina’s Ristorante, visit

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

Proceeds from the second Swinging With Purpose (SWP) 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 Bonita Springs Lions Club food distribution efforts.  Due to overwhelming demand in the community, those services have been extended through Aug. 31. To participate in this virtual opportunity, you may make your suggested donation of $200 at  A virtual drawing will be held on July 4 to select two winners of items donated by Golf Legends and Hall of Famers Jack Nicklaus and Nancy Lopez. For more information, visit

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