Gulfshore Business Daily: March 2

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Lead Photo: Naples artist Amy Moglia Heuerman opens showroom and studio in the Naples Design District. Details below.


One Naples rendering courtesy Stock Development


After a marathon special meeting Monday, Collier County commissioners voted 4-1 to amend the county’s growth management plan and rezone property to allow construction of One Naples, a high-rise condominium mixed-use development with a parking garage, restaurants and some retail/office space on the northeast corner of Vanderbilt Beach Road and Gulf Shore Drive in North Naples. The public hearing, which began at 9 a.m. and stretched until after 8:30 p.m., featured testimony on both sides of an emotionally charged issue. “This is the most controversial and probably the most important issue we’ve had before us for many, many years,” Commission Chair Penny Taylor said before voting against the project because county staff was blindsided by 11th-hour changes presented by Naples-based Stock Development. The developer reduced its proposal to two 12-story towers with a total of 140 residences over a two-story parking garage. The developer also announced Monday that it was purchasing DaRuMa Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge, which had been a holdout in the center of One Naples. Stock plans to convert the 30-year-old restaurant into green space in the 6-acre development. Speaking out against the overall project were individuals and community groups such as Save Vanderbilt Beach, which oppose it because of compatibility reasons involving density, height and traffic concerns. 



Relief is on the way for those who won’t be able to pay rent or utility fees because of the pandemic. Lee County commissioners are looking to get renters more money through the Lee CARES Emergency​ Rental Assistance Program. Through January, the county distributed more than $60 million in aid during the pandemic. The county has received more than $23 million to help renters through this program, which will be used to pay their bills. Lee County will pay up to six months of past-due rent and utilities and three months of prospective payments for qualified households, plus ongoing payment of future rent, as permitted. The application portal reopened Monday for applications.



Estero-based Hertz Global Holdings Inc. on Friday reported results for its fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2020. For the fourth quarter, the company’s revenue was $1.2 billion, net loss attributable to the company was $289 million and adjusted corporate EBITDA loss was $140 million. For the year, the company’s revenue was $5.3 billion, net loss attributable to the company was $1.7 billion and adjusted corporate EBITDA loss was $995 million. Liquidity at the end of 2020 was $1.1 billion, Hertz reports. “We are making significant headway on our U.S. Chapter 11 process,” said Paul Stone, Hertz Global’s president and CEO. “We are on track to close on the sale of our Donlen vehicle leasing and fleet management business in March 2021 and are making progress on our plan of reorganization with the goal to emerge from Chapter 11 by mid to late summer.”



The Founders Market in North Naples launched with a soft opening on Feb. 20 and plans a grand opening on March 27. The new 6,000-square-foot store is the second half of The Founders Market & Bistro. The restaurant launched a year ago but the pandemic delayed the opening of the market in an identical building on the other side of an expansive courtyard fronting Airport-Pulling Road just south of Vanderbilt Beach Road in the Fountain Park retail center. The Founders Market’s products include some groceries, household staples, grab-and-go meals, artisanal cheese and charcuterie, fresh produce and baked goods, beer and wine by the bottle or glass, freshly squeezed orange juice, and hot and cold coffee drinks. Hot fresh bread is ready at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Covered outdoor seating is available to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner items on the premises. The Founders Market, 7947 Airport-Pulling Road, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. 


Video courtesy of  WINK News


Business owners on Fort Myers Beach say more visitors have already come to town ahead of spring break and they’re planning for it. The sights and sounds of spring break arrived earlier than expected. Traffic is one sign that spring break has started. The Lani Kai Island Resort, a popular spring break destination is expected to scale back events this year to encourage social distancing, WINK News reports.



Lee Health has announced the newly elected officers of its board of directors for 2021. David F. Collins has been re-elected as board chairman for 2021. A resident of Lee county since 1984, he has been a mortgage banker for more than 29 years and has served as a board member for PACE Center for Girls of Lee County, and as treasurer for the PACE Capital Campaign. Therese Everly has been re-elected as vice chairman. She is a registered respiratory therapist and licensed Florida Realtor who also serves on the boards of the Lee County Homeless Coalition and Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter. Donna Clarke has been re-elected as treasurer. She is a former Florida state representative and has served as an adjunct professor with State College of Florida. Diane Champion has been re-elected as secretary. She is a nine-year Board liaison to the Lee Health Volunteers and an elected member of the Community Council of Lehigh Acres. In addition to the officers, other Board members include Dr. Stephen R. Brown, Dr. Sanford Cohen; Kathy Bridge-Liles, Chris Hansen, Nancy McGovern, and Stephanie Meyer. The Board of Directors’ primary goal is to set the mission and vision of Lee Health. 



Greater Naples Chamber will host a panel of restaurateurs to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the local restaurant industry and the opportunities and trends they see in the future. The event will take place from 3:30-5 p.m. tomorrow, March 3, at Hilton Naples. The panelists are Vincenzo Betulia, owner of Osteria Tulia, Bar Tulia and The French; Mick Moore, partner at The Turtle Club; and Tony Ridgway, co-owner of Ridgway Bar & Grill, Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar and Tony’s Off Third. Register here.


Tamara Pigott


Tamara Pigott, executive director of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), will be the guest speaker at Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce’s next virtual business meeting, starting at noon on March 10. Since 2010, Pigott has overseen the promotion of The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel as a travel destination to targeted domestic and international visitors, including vacationers and business travelers. The Sanibel-Captiva chamber will send its members Zoom invitations to register for the virtual event. When members RSVP, they will receive a link to the Zoom meeting in advance. The chamber currently seeks a sponsor for the meeting. For more information about sponsorship and registering for the March business meeting, contact Lai at



Naples-based Capital Wealth Advisors (CWA) will present a three-part webinar series, Opportunity in Change, on how to navigate recent and potential changes in IRA and estate planning under the new administration. The webinars are at 11 a.m. on March 10, 17 and 24. The webinars are free and open to the public. Prior registration is required. Register here. Questions may be directed to CWA President and CEO William Beynon will present the webinars. He will share his more than 20 years of experience in providing asset management and estate planning guidance to some of the wealthiest families in the U.S. 



The Lodge at Cypress Cove has been given approval for the appointment of Tily Sayeh as the healthcare community’s first Administrator in Training (AIT) intern. The acceptance of Sayeh by the Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators (BNHA) comes less than a month since The Lodge’s Administrator Matthew Lessig earned his Preceptor Certification which paved the way for the HealthPark Florida skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility to begin offering the internship program. Sayeh has been with Cypress Cove since 2012, starting in dining services and eventually becoming health service administrative assistant. While working full-time, she became a two-time Cypress Cove scholarship recipient and earned a degree in health science/health care administration from Florida Gulf Coast University. An AIT program, run through BNHA, provides college or university students full-time training under the direct supervision of a certified preceptor—an experienced and qualified director who guides, tutors, and provides direction aimed at assisting one’s operational experience in a senior care and living services environments.



CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA), an investment advisor that provides industry-focused wealth advisory, outsourcing, audit, tax, and consulting services, with offices in Fort Myers and Naples, has appointed Jen Leary as chief executive officer. Leary brings more than 22 years of experience and spent the last 11 years at CLA serving in various client services and firm-wide roles, and most recently as chief strategy officer and a member of CLA’s board of directors. CLA has more than 120 U.S. locations and a global affiliation.



HR Collier has elected its 2021 board of directors. The board includes president Karen Shepherd; president-elect Melissa Sweeney, immediate past president Dena Rader, secretary Amber Ashton, treasurer Alexis Barkis, vice president of membership Kelsey Browne, vice president of programs Lori Kleiman, director of public relations/social media Kathleen Sibert, director at large – sponsorships Damian Taylor, director at large – legislative affairs Otto Immel, workforce readiness Dr. Darlene Alvarez,  director of diversity Melissa Arrazola, foundation chair Marguerite A. Ulrich, director at large – certification Anjeza Osmenaj, and webmaster Christie Ford. HR Collier is the local Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Chapter for Collier County.  For upcoming events and more information, click here.


Crazy for You by Amy Moglia Heuerman


Naples artist Amy Moglia Heuerman has established Amy Art, a showroom and studio at 28 10th St. S. in the Naples Design District. Open houses to celebrate the grand opening will be held from 4-6:30 p.m. on March 12 and 13. Amy Art is Heuerman’s first studio and showroom located in Naples. Register here. Amy Art features the artist’s richly textured coastal abstracts and figurative paintings, dominated by a palette of blues in infinite hues. Amy Art offers a lounge-like setting to view Heuerman’s paintings and the artist’s working studio. Amy Art is open in the afternoons on most days and by appointment.




DLC and Wounded Warriors of Collier County collaborate to increase access to mental health services for veterans

Through a new collaboration with Wounded Warriors of Collier County (WWCC), David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) will establish a new Veterans Services Program designed to build meaningful partnerships with veterans and their families to help them function better at home, in the community, on the job, in educational settings and throughout life. An anonymous supporter has donated $100,000 to launch the program to assist veterans suffering behavioral health issues including post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and co-occurring substance use. Funds were made available through a donor-advised fund with the Community Foundation of Collier County. The program will develop a system of care that ensures availability of and access to a broad, flexible array of evidence-informed, community-based services and supports for veterans and their families that address their physical, emotional, social, and educational needs.

Naples asking public to donate money for new trees

The Naples Community Services Advisory Board is asking the public to help raise funds to plant more trees across the city. In 2017, Hurricane Irma knocked down 2,000 trees in the city. The city has been able to replant 1,000 trees, but even with increased funding and support from the Naples City Council, there are not sufficient funds for the missing trees, according to the board. For the rest of this year, the Blair Foundation is matching funds up to $500,000 through the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge. Donations will be used for trees within public spaces along roadways and city parks. So far, the tree challenge has raised $146,388, WINK News reports. To make a donation to the tree challenge, call the Naples Community Services Department at 239-213-7120 or click here

Gulfshore Playhouse Cultural Campus Capital Campaign receives more than $14 million

Gulfshore Playhouse continues to garner support for its Cultural Campus with new multimillion gifts for the Capital Campaign. The new Baker Theatre and Education Center on the Gulfshore Playhouse Cultural Campus will feature two new theaters – a 350-seat Mainstage Theatre and a 125-seat Studio Theatre – and spur more than $20 million annually in anticipated economic activity within Naples. Eight donors have committed more than $14 million to the Capital Campaign, bringing the total raised to date to just over $33 million. Supporters include Steve and Jane Akin, Rich and Glenda Struthers, Susan Regenstein and Barry Frank, Dr. David and Jane Wilson,  The John and Carol Walter Family Foundation, and David and Vicky Smith, and two anonymous couples from Naples. The campaign has also been supported by the East of 41 Coalition, the Naples Community Redevelopment Agency, City of Naples and various business and community executives.

Collier County Domestic Animal Services hosts Mutt Madness

This month, Collier County Domestic Animal Services (DAS) invites adopters to come and shoot hoops for discounted pet adoptions during Mutt Madness. Depending on your luck, you could take home your pet for 50% to 100% off the adoption fee. If you are looking for a furry friend to add to your family, DAS has a variety of dogs and cats looking for a place to call home. During March, sink a shot in our miniature basketball hoop for a chance at a discounted adoption. You will score big and so will your new companion. Adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, microchip, age-appropriate vaccinations, flea treatment, heartworm test for dogs, FELV test for cats, rabies vaccination and 30 days of free pet insurance. That’s a value of more than $400. For more information on DAS, stop by the shelter at 7610 Davis Blvd. in East Naples, call 239-252-7387 (PETS) or click here.

Greater Naples Leadership dedicates 25th anniversary to fighting hunger in Collier County

Greater Naples Leadership (GNL) is dedicating its 25th anniversary to the fight against hunger in the Collier County community in response to record numbers of those in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the month of February, GNL members have redoubled their efforts to collect food donations for Harry Chapin Food Bank, St. Matthew’s House, Meals of Hope and other local organizations in order to get as many consumables as possible to the community struggling to make ends meet, many of whom are essential workers. By Feb. 23, enough groceries had been collected to provide approximately 100,000 meals and 20,000 boxes of food packed or distributed by over 100 GNL members.


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