Gulfshore Business Daily: March 20

A boutique law firm opens in Fort Myers, the SWFL Economic Development Alliance annual meeting is set, new hires and more.

BOUTIQUE LAW FIRM OPENS IN FORT MYERS

Local attorneys John Potanovic, John Agnew and Suzanne Boy have opened Boy Agnew Potanovic, PLLC, a boutique law firm in Fort Myers, focusing on employment, business and government law for clients throughout Southwest Florida.

Potanovic was among the first lawyers in the state to become board certified in labor and employment law by The Florida Bar, and was the first attorney in Southwest Florida to do so. Together with Suzanne Boy, who is also board certified in labor and employment law, they are two of fewer than 200 attorneys statewide who have achieved this certification.

Boy and Potanovic have teamed with John Agnew, a former president of the Lee County Bar Association, who serves as the city attorney of Sanibel through a contract with their firm.

Boy, Agnew and Potanovic each hold the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and they have been named for recognition by Florida Super Lawyers every year for the last decade—Potanovic and Boy in labor and employment, and Agnew in business litigation. For more information, visit bapfirm.com.

LUJIC JOINS HODGES UNIVERSITY

Branislav Lujic has joined Hodges University as the assistant vice president of enrollment management. He oversees the admissions, first impressions and student experience teams. He will also continue developing the university’s international student recruitment and outreach.

Lujic brings more than 10 years of expertise in student recruitment and admissions. Prior to joining Hodges University, he was the director of admissions and marketing, Europe, for Schiller International University in Tampa.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in economics and international trade from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and his Master of Science degree in international management from the University of Phoenix. He is fluent in Serbian and English.

BAYFRONT HEALTH, CERT COLLABORATE FOR COMMUNITY EDUCATION

Beginning last year, Bayfront Health has collaborated with Charlotte County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to provide Stop the Bleed training, in addition to Hands Only CPR.

The CERT program is a training program that allows citizens to receive training in basic disaster response skills which allow these volunteers to provide immediate assistance to victims before emergency first responders arrive on scene.

CERT works in conjunction with Citizen Corps. Bayfront Health and CERT will unveil CERT’s redesigned emergency response trailer and further discuss the Stop the Bleed initiative on 10 a.m. on April 9 at the Charlotte County Public Safety Building in Punta Gorda.

To learn more about CERT, click here. To register to attend a Bayfront Health Stop the Bleed training course, visit www.BayfrontHealthEvents.com.

SWFL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES ANNUAL MEETING

The Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance will hold its annual meeting from 4-7 p.m. on March 27 at Quail West Golf and Country Club in Naples.

The keynote address will be delivered by Tony Carvajal, executive vice president, Florida Chamber Foundation. Carvajal will present its 2030 Report & Recommendations, discussing the challenges a growing and aging population brings to Florida’s healthcare, the need for sustainable and affordable workforce housing, and conversations on how business can lead the way in creating paths toward prosperity.

Attendance is limited. Complimentary tickets are available until March 25 online at Eventbrite at https://goo.gl/qXfHN8. For more information, contact Karen Dugas at kdugas@swfleda.com.

FARR LAW FIRM COMPLETES MAJOR FINANCE TRANSACTION CLOSING

Allegiant Travel Co. and TPG Sixth Street Partners on March 18 announced an up-to $1 billion partnership to develop the Sunseeker Resorts imprint, beginning with $175 million in committed capital for Sunseeker Resorts Charlotte Harbor in Port Charlotte.

Farr Law Firm attorneys Darol H. M. Carr and David A. Holmes are project counsel to Sunseeker Resorts Charlotte Harbor, representing Allegiant’s development subsidiaries in all aspects of the project.

Holmes and Farr attorney Jack O. Hackett II were lead counsel to Sunseeker Florida Inc. in the $175 million capital transaction. Title services were provided by Attorneys’ Title Fund Services, LLC, and title insurance was underwritten by Old Republic National Title Insurance Company with the Farr Law Firm acting as its agent.

FFIB PROMOTES JOHNSON

First Florida Integrity Bank (FFIB) has promoted Brandon Johnson to senior vice president – commercial lender. Johnson has 16 years of experience in the banking industry. He joined First Florida Integrity Bank (FFIB) as vice president – commercial lender in July of 2017. Prior to joining FFIB, Johnson was vice president – commercial banking relationship manager at Fifth Third Bank.

Johnson is as a board member for Impact for Developmental Education and on the Lee County United Way Allocations Committee. He has also participated with the Lee County United Way Days of Caring for multiple agencies throughout Lee County.

Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Florida Gulf Coast University and is a 2016 Gulfshore Business 40-under-40 award winner. He has also received Florida State Senator’s Proclamation from former Sen. Burt Saunders.

LCEC WELCOMES KOCHER

LCEC welcomed Inge Kocher as its new director of business alignment and performance. In this role, Kocher will be responsible for leading teams in areas of enterprise business strategy and planning, governance, prioritization, performance management, process development and redesign, and project management. Before joining the LCEC team, Kocher served as the director/regional head of business services Americas for Commerzbank AG in New York.  

CHARITABLE NOTES

Youth Haven receives $180,000 donation from Collier’s Reserve Country Club members

Collier’s Reserve Country Club (CRCC) Community Service Committee awarded Youth Haven donations totaling more than $180,000 this year. Member-run fundraising efforts have included a pickleball tournament, yoga event, and an evening gala.

Youth Haven, a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, is Collier County’s only residential and emergency shelter for boys and girls ages 6-18 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. For more information, visit www.youthhavenswfl.org.

11th annual ‘Love Your Neighbor’ raises more than $300,000

“Love Your Neighbor,” the 11th annual event benefiting The Heights Foundation, raised more than $300,000 for educational programs for at-risk kids in Harlem Heights. During the event, held at the Gulf Harbour home of Mary Jo Little, The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center President and CEO Kathryn Kelly announced plans to build a three story educational building on The Heights Center property.

Several supporters pledged more than $3 million toward the building. The building will house The Harlem Heights Community Charter School, a K-5 school and GLAD Kids, the organization’s preschool that serves children birth to five. David and Linda Lucas were honored for their years of support of The Heights Foundation.

Norman Love Confections and Mark Loren Designs helped create this signature event and have supported it since its inception.

A $100,000 giving challenge was made by Bill and Caroline Bloomhall, long-time supporters of The Heights Foundation, which attendees met. For more information, visit www.heightsfoundation.org or call (239) 482-7706.

Get breaking business news delivered straight to your inbox each weekday morning with Gulfshore Business Daily.