Gulfshore Business Daily: March 12

WGCU will host a national NPR reporter, 1MC Naples is held Wednesday, Lee Clerk earns a national award and more.


WGCU will host “An Evening with Mara Liasson” from 4-6 p.m. on March 29 at Hilton Naples. Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR’s award-winning news-magazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered

Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC— focusing on the White House and congress—and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway. 

Tickets are $75 per person. Valet, light hors d’oeuvres and one drink ticket is included. There will also be a cash bar. RSVP at (888) 809-9809 or
For questions about the event, call Jennifer Denike at (239) 590-2514.


Two Southwest Florida entrepreneurs will present their startups to 1 Million Cups Naples (1MC Naples) on Wednesday. 1MC Naples is held from 9-10 a.m. the second Wednesday of every month at the Naples Accelerator in Naples. Startup founders get six minutes to present their businesses, then the audience gets 20 minutes to ask questions and provide advice. 

The startups presenting will be Infinite Pouches, an organic, herbal supplement designed to reduce stress and anxiety; and The Cinch It, a fashion accessory that can make clothing look slimmer. 

Coffee will be provided by the new Bean To Cup Coffee Lounge in East Naples and paid for by event sponsor, TheNaplesCard, the local gift card for Naples retailers, restaurants and businesses. For more information or to apply to present, call (239) 252-8591 or go to


The Lee County Clerk of Court received the Special Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of State on Feb. 22 for its passports program. 

Representatives from the clerk’s office accepted the award at the ceremony in Washington, D.C. The clerk’s office was the only passport acceptance facility in Florida to be honored at the ceremony. Two other federal agencies were also recognized with the Special Recognition Award. 

The clerk’s office partners with local universities and government agencies to educate citizens about passports and recently began providing passport services at the Tax Collector’s Bonita Springs branch. In 2018, the clerk’s office processed 8,961 passport applications. For more information, visit


The Tiger Bay Club of Southwest Florida will host a meeting on immigration facts and fiction, and the effect of immigration policies on the state of the economy, at 6 p.m. on March 27 at the Marina at Edison Ford in Fort Myers. Check-in and networking lasts from 5-5:45 p.m. and the dinner and discussion concludes at 8 p.m. 

The speaker is Dr. Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a Washington, DC-based research institute that examines the consequences of legal and illegal immigration on the U.S. Tickets are $35 for members and $45 for non-members. For more information or to register, click here


Pediatric Dentistry of Florida, Dr. Tim M. Verwest, DMD & Associates, has hired Julie Berger as director of operations. Berger will be responsible for daily operations and management of the multi-office practice. Recently, Berger served as the surgical patient care coordinator for Farahmand Plastic Surgery in Fort Myers. Berger brings patient-centric care and organizational structure to the growing pediatric dental practice. Berger graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in health science, specializing in health service administration. 


eTitle, a nationwide provider of residential and commercial real estate title and closing services, has opened its Southwest Florida office. The Naples team is led by senior title attorney Jaime Hewitt and account executive Laurien Bartuccio. 

The core service offerings include residential and commercial real estate transactions, title curative, title insurance and our easy closing services. Additionally, eTitle brings its hybrid digital closing program to Southwest Florida.  eTitle is a certified WBENC Women Owned and Operated Business. 


Vi at Bentley Village has appointed Martine Francois as care center administrator for the Bentley Care Center. Francois has more than 25 years of experience in the field of social work and has worked with Vi since 2012. 

She has spent the past year at Vi at Bentley Village completing her administrator in training program through the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards and achieving her license as a nursing home administrator. 

Francois holds a doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from Nova Southeastern University and a master’s degree in social work from Yeshiva University in New York City. In addition, she holds certifications as an assisted living administrator; an assisted living facility Alzheimer’s disease and related disorder training provider; and a dementia practitioner. 


SWFL Children’s Charities supports Lighthouse of SWFL

Lighthouse of SWFL was selected as a recipient of a $22,000 grant from Southwest Florida Children’s Charities Inc. at the recently held 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. 

 Staff and children participants of the Blind Babies & Children’s Programs volunteered at the event. 

These funds will provide toys and equipment for a play space area and after-school sports program, which will significantly aid in developing skills for independence for babies and children with major vision loss, a press release states. For more information, visit

St. Vincent de Paul Society Golf Tournament scheduled

The fourth annual St. Vincent de Paul Society Golf Tournament will begin with lunch at 11:30 a.m. on April 8 at Quail Creek Country Club. The event will follow with a gift bag, 1 p.m. shotgun start and gourmet buffet dinner and silent auction. 

Admission is $165 per player.  The tournament proceeds will benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Meals on Wheels Program. Register online at You may also contact or call (239) 775-1667 ext. 307 to participate or sponsor a hole. 

World Wine Tour coming in April to Bell Tower Shops

Coldwell Banker presents the 11th annual World Wine Tour, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida, at 6 p.m. on April 4 at Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. 

Samples of domestic and international wines are hand-selected by CRU Executive Chef Bob Boye. Light bites will be available from participating Bell Tower Shops restaurants, with musical entertainment from New Beginnings Events. 

Admission to the event is $40 per person. VIP tickets are available for $150 per person or $250 per couple and include event entry, plus a tasting certificate to a four-course pairings dinner, presented by Boye to use at guests’ leisure. Tickets can be purchased at