Gulfshore Business Daily: March 22

RSW reports record-breaking traffic, Lee Health names a new officer, Speaker Assembly sets it final luncheon of the season and more.


During February, 1.117 million passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, an increase of 6 percent compared to February 2018. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 7.3 percent compared to last year.

The traffic leader in February was Southwest Airlines with 195,690 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Delta (186,744), American (144,787), Spirit (139,907) and Frontier (119,081).

Southwest Florida International Airport had 9,079 aircraft operations, a decrease of 1.2 percent compared to February 2018. Page Field saw 9,003 operations, a 6.5 percent increase from February 2018. In addition, slightly more than 2.6 million pounds of air freight moved through Southwest Florida International Airport in February 2018.


Chris Simoneau has joined Lee Health as chief foundation and development officer. In his new role, Simoneau will be responsible for Lee Health’s strategic direction and oversight of the Lee Health Foundation, brand development, marketing, internal and external communications and community relationships in alignment with Lee Health’s mission, vision, values and strategic objectives.

Simoneau has more than 25 years of experience in institutional development and fundraising. He previously served as vice president of university advancement and executive director of the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Foundation for the past six years.

Simoneau has a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Villanova University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University. Prior to moving to Southwest Florida, he also worked in development at universities in Massachusetts and Ohio.


The Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida is hosting its final luncheon of the season on April 12 at Vi at Bentley Village. The topic of discussion for Robert A. Levy is titled “The Supreme Court and Constitution; A Libertarian Perspective.”

The Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute is named after Levy (pictured left), after he served several years as the Center’s senior fellow. Levy is now on the board of directors for Cato.

Tickets can be purchased online at Tickets are $50 for members and $65 for guests. This is the annual scholarship recipients’ luncheon.


Reuben Doupé, marital and family law partner at Coleman, Hazzard, Taylor, Klaus, Doupé & Diaz, has been accepted as a fellow in the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL). The IAFL is a worldwide association of practicing lawyers who are recognized by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.

Doupé is one of only a few attorneys in Southwest Florida admitted to the IAFL, and one of only three admitted to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an organization whose purpose is to promote the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in family law. Doupé focuses his practice on all Naples marital law, divorce law and family law matters.


Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Attorney Guy Whitesman recently co-presented “Tips and Traps in Drafting the LLC Operating Agreement” at the 2019 Florida Tax Institute in Tampa with Greenberg Traurig Attorney Joel Maser. This conference was presented on behalf of the University of Florida Levin College of Law Graduate Tax Program.

Whitesman chairs Henderson Franklin’s business and tax division and concentrates his practice in mergers and acquisitions, business organization planning and taxation. He also serves as general counsel to a number of the firm's clients. Whitesman is on the executive council of the Florida Bar Tax Section and former chair. He is also a Florida Bar Board Certified tax attorney and past chair of the Tax Law Certification Committee.

Whitesman currently serves as trustee and past chair of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida Law Center Association Inc. Whitesman received his undergraduate and law degree from University of Michigan, and his Masters in Taxation from the University of Florida.


Golden PAWS Assistance Dogs has partnered with the American Red Cross – Florida Southern Gulf Chapter to provide canine assistance therapy programs in the event of a natural disaster. The collaboration between these two organizations will help provide care and comfort to those affected by a disaster within Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

Families forced to evacuate their homes and stay in a Red Cross shelter, along with the first responders working to keep them safe, would receive emotional support from the highly trained service dogs provided by Golden PAWS. With the new partnership, the Florida Southern Gulf Chapter will also be strengthening their veteran programs and Golden PAWS will be able to offer canine emotional support to veterans in medical facilities in Collier and Lee Counties through a special visitation program.


CareerSource Southwest Florida will host a workshop for business leaders to learn about available funds to train new or existing employees from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on April 10 at the CareerSource Southwest Florida Fort Myers center. Seating is limited. Register by April 3rd to Sue Noe at For more information, call (239) 931-8282, ext. 1803.


Youth Haven’s annual golf tournament to return

Youth Haven will host its 32nd annual golf tournament, “Fairways for the Future,” on April 22 at Lely Resort’s Flamingo Island Course. Registration and breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The Players Club at Lely Resort will host the awards reception luncheon to immediately follow tournament play, which will include food, bar, entertainment, silent auction, and more.

The player package for this year’s event includes 18 holes of golf, cart and greens fees, entry into on-course golf contests, breakfast, awards reception, player gift, and prizes for winners and best-dressed foursome. Player registration is $300 for individuals and $1,200 for foursomes. Early-bird registration offers a discounted rate of $250 per individual and $1,000 per foursome if purchased by noon on March 27. Registration is live and sponsorships are available starting at $250.

For more details, click here, email or call (239) 687-5175.

YogaCAN 2019 seeking sponsors, auction items

Sponsors and auction items are currently being sought for YogaCAN 2019. Current sponsors include Practice Yoga, Yoga Lab, Yoga House, Naples Beach Hotel, Naples Grande Golf Club, City Mattress, M Waterfront Grill, Coastal Beverage, Intellus Financial Advisors, and PG Fine Wines.

Studio sponsors from Practice Yoga, Yoga Lab, and Yoga House will co-teach the yoga class on April 28 on the beachfront lawn on Naples Beach Hotel. A kid’s yoga class will be offered simultaneously to the main event with supervision and activities for younger ages. Naples Grande Golf Club will host the Sunset Social on April 27, with food and beverages provided by M Waterfront Grill and Coastal Beverage. Bidding on high end golf and sport experiences is live at by searching Cancer Alliance of Naples and will continue through March 25.

The main auction will begin on April 1 at Additional items will be offered on April 28 during YogaCAN 2019. All of YogaCAN’s event proceeds benefit local families through the Cancer Alliance of Naples. To participate sponsor or support YogaCan 2019, contact or

Hall of Fame Baseball player to headline Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation Awards

Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. will headline the 30th Annual Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation Awards Banquet. The annual awards presentation, which recognizes the achievements of Collier County’s best scholar athletes, will begin with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. on May 23 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.

Ripken is a former shortstop and third baseman nicknamed “The Iron Man” for holding the record of most consecutive games played at 2,632. He is a best-selling author and the CEO of Ripken Baseball Inc. Since his retirement, he has purchased three minor league baseball teams, including the Charlotte Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte.

Winged Foot Scholar Athlete Award finalists receive a $5,000 scholarship. The winner earns a trophy and $10,000 scholarship. Tickets are available for $275 per person. A number of sponsorship opportunities also are now available. For additional information, contact Brooke A. Hornbeck at (239) 280-3270 or email

Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation supports Naples Senior Center

The Naples Senior Center has been awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. The grant will help support the senior center with its “A New Era for Seniors” Capital Campaign for a new state-of-the-art facility. The Naples Senior Center is the only human services agency of its kind, providing “one-stop shop” services addressing the emotional and social needs of seniors in Collier and southern Lee counties, according to a press release.

Since opening its doors in January 2014, the organization has seen a surge in the depth and scope of need for comprehensive senior services in the region. For more information, visit

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