Lead Photo: LSI Companies Inc. brokers a 45.08-acre industrial property in Fort Myers
Video courtesy of WINK News
BARBERSHOPS, HAIR SALONS BECOMING COVID-19 VACCINATION SITES
Barbershops and hair salons are often popular community gathering spots. That’s why the Biden administration is pushing to make them vaccination sites as well. The goal is to get 70% of Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 by July 4, especially minority communities. And it’s a plan one Fort Myers barbershop owner can get behind. “If we make the vaccine available, readily available, then I believe people will begin to get themselves vaccinated,” said John Tobler, owner of Utopia Barber Shop, 3069 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Through the Shots at the Shop program, local barbers and stylists can become advocates for vaccinations in their communities, offering information to customers and booking appointments for them, besides using their own businesses as vaccination sites, WINK News reports.
TRAILBLAZING FORMER FORT MYERS COUNCILWOMAN KNIGHT DIES AT 89
The Fort Myers community is remembering a trailblazer. Former Councilwoman Dr. Ann Knight recently died at 89 years old. Knight, the second African American ever elected to Fort Myers City Council, was known as an educator who made sure children had the opportunities they needed to be successful. “Definitely, she was a trailblazer,” Councilwoman Teresa Watkins Brown says. “If there was no Dr. Knight, there would be no Teresa Watkins Brown.” Knight grew up in Dunbar and graduated from Dunbar High School. She was known for her efforts to fight juvenile crime in the city during her 22 years on council. As part of Knight’s legacy, she was present during the S.T.A.R.S. Complex dedication and blessing in Fort Myers in 1991, and it was renamed after her in 2017, WINK News reports.
Video courtesy of WINK News
NAPLES PRIDE POSTPONES JUNE FESTIVAL UNTIL NOVEMBER
Naples Pride is working with the city of Naples to recognize June 16 as a day to celebrate pride. But Naples Pride won’t be having its annual festival during pride month this year. The annual event has been postponed until November. With the annual event expected to bring hundreds to Cambier Park to celebrate the LGBTQ community, Naples Pride says it feels it’s safer to wait. Naples Pride plans to celebrate becoming a stronger LGBTQ community in November at the new festival date, WINK News reports.
LEE COUNTY STILL NEEDS BUS DRIVERS TO FINISH 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR
The Lee County school district is now recruiting bus drivers to continue the 2020-21 school year. “If you believe in our mission to ensure that each student achieves his or her highest personal potential, then, we want to hear from you,” according to the district’s website. The district offers training for prospective bus drivers. Qualifications include five years of driving experience and a satisfactory driving record. For more information, call 239-590-4048 or click here.
Video courtesy of WINK News
NAPLES SENIOR CENTER UNVEILS FUTURE PLANS
The future of the Naples Senior Center was unveiled during a celebration on June 3 after the public got to see the plans and land for the center. The new center will include a special wing that will help seniors with dementia, a wing that will be the first of its kind for Southwest Florida. The groundbreaking will likely be in November and construction is planned to be completed in October 2022. The new Naples Senior Center will be located along Oakes Boulevard, just south of Immokalee Road, in North Naples. The new building will provide more space with two stories and 30,000 square feet on 13.7 acres of land, WINK News reports. The facility will be funded through a capital campaign launched in 2019 and accelerated by a $5-million commitment from local philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker.
45.08-ACRE FORT MYERS INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY SELLS FOR $15.13 MILLION
LSI Companies Inc. brokered an approximately 45.08-acre industrial property in the Alico corridor of Fort Myers for $15.13 million. The first property, roughly 14.90 acres, was purchased from Wayside Industrial Inc. for $6.1 million and is located at the northwest corner of Alico Road and Lee Boulevard. The second property, roughly 30.18 acres, was purchased from Alico Family Golf Center LLC for $9.03 million. The deals were brokered by Justin Thibaut and Alexis North of LSI Companies Inc.
AAA: AIR TRAVEL INCREASES; CRUISE LINES PREPARE TO SET SAIL
The return to travel continues gaining momentum across the U.S. and around the world, according to AAA. The Transportation Security Administration says the Friday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend were the busiest days for U.S. air travel since March 2020. Countries like France, Portugal and Spain have announced plans to reopen their borders to vaccinated travelers. This also enables river cruising to resume at destinations like these. Sailings are scheduled to depart as early as July, AAA reports. Travelers can now book ocean cruises from many major U.S. ports, with sailings expected to resume as early as this month. How passengers will be required to prove their vaccination status is still being reviewed in states like Florida.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS NAMES FINALISTS FOR 2021 APEX AWARDS
The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee has named the top three finalists for its annual APEX Awards, announced during the committee’s monthly networking program on June 2. The finalists are Kathleen O. Berkey of Becker & Poliakoff P.A.; Kerri Goldsmith of HBKS Wealth Advisors; and Alicia Miller of Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center. Presented by Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, the APEX Awards recognizes women with outstanding reputations for professionalism, philanthropy and leadership in Southwest Florida. The top finalists will be honored and all nominees recognized at the APEX Awards luncheon on Aug. 27 at The Westin Resort at Marina Village in Cape Coral, where Women in Business will reveal the 2021 APEX Award recipient. Tickets to the awards luncheon are $75. For more information or to purchase tickets for the event, click here or call 239-332-2930.
GROW BUSINESS NETWORK ANNUAL LUNCHEON HELD THURSDAY
The Grow Business Network annual network-wide luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at Artichoke and Co. in Bonita Springs. The complimentary professional networking event is open to all Grow members from the six teams in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, and any guests. Seating is limited to 100. Every attendee will have an opportunity to introduce themselves to the audience and be eligible to win prizes. There is no cost to attend. To register, email John See at email@example.com or call 239-304-6224.
KL MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS LLC EXPANDS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
KOVA Cos. and Commercial Property Managers have entered into a strategic partnership and established KL Management Solutions LLC, a joint venture that will expand property management and accounting services throughout Southwest Florida. Through the KL Management Solutions partnership, KOVA Cos. provides turnkey back-office property management solutions to a growing portfolio of clients. The new firm will leverage the KOVA platform to provide capacity, capability and experience in property management and financial services. Commercial Property Managers, co-founded by Derek Bornhorst and Jerry Messonnier, principals at Lee & Associates, manages the daily operational oversite of commercial properties across Southwest Florida.
3 GROWING SWFL COMPANIES SELECTED TO GATOR100
Three Southwest Florida businesses were named to the University of Florida’s (UF) 2021 Gator100 during a virtual ceremony on April 23. The Gator100 recognizes the world’s fastest-growing Gator businesses owned or led by UF alumni. The Gator100’s ranking is based on each company’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past three years. For the third year in a row, J2 Solutions Inc. made the list. J2 Solutions, a Venice-based construction management firm, was named No. 29 out of 100 companies on the list after another year of growth. Making the list for the second year, Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management of Punta Gorda was ranked 35 on the Gator100. First-time honoree Heatherwood Construction, based in Bonita Springs, was ranked 52 on the UF list.
Naples Therapeutic Riding Center Kentucky Derby Party raises $150,000
Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) held its annual Kentucky Derby Party in May to a sold-out crowd after taking one year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chair Marc Halcrow and his committee came up with a format that included safety logistics for the outdoor event, such as pre-packaged food and pre-purchased buckets of beer and wine already placed at sponsor tables. Before the race, the NTRC horses were paraded to the crowd as attendees placed their bets on the winning horses. Jeff Fortier, Harry Witt, Dave Joyce and Jano Janoyan collectively bid on the winning horse, Medina Spirit. They surprised the audience by donating their winnings back to NTRC, bringing the total raised from the auction portion of the evening to $37,850. Long-time supporters Connie and Gary Sharpe matched the amount raised during a cash call, raising $80,800 to support NTRC’s expansion to the two acres next to its campus in Pine Ridge Estates. This is the first time proceeds from the Derby Party were specially allocated to help purchase new therapy horses to expand NTRC’s programs. The 2021 NTRC Kentucky Derby Party raised a total of $150,000.
Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.