Gulfshore Business Daily: May 17

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Tish Sheesley


Out-of-county visitors generated an estimated $13.8 million in economic impact in Charlotte County, according to the 2019 Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training Visitor and Economic Impact study, released by the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. This figure includes direct and indirect spending by day-trippers and overnight visitors. Spending by Charlotte County residents and seasonal visitors, the Charlotte Sports Park, the Tampa Bay Rays organization, visiting teams, or media, are not included. The estimated figure is based on research the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners commissioned Research Data Services Inc. of Tampa to conduct during the 2019 spring training season. Sixteen Tampa Bay Rays spring training home games were played at the Charlotte Sports Park between Feb. 22 – March 22, attracting 67,001 fans. For the full report, click here.


Richlin International announced a rebrand to reflect the company’s evolution from interior design firm to exclusive distributor of contemporary European and American kitchen, bath, closet, and furniture products. Prior to 2012, the company, previously known as Richlin Interiors, had focused its business on providing interior design services to homeowners and trade. Since then, Richlin International, its official new name and also the parent company’s name, has been servicing the design industry as a product-driven company distributing interior and exterior products, while also providing a team to oversee projects from conception to completion. Poliform was Richlin International’s first partnership in 2003. Richlin International is now also the exclusive distributor for brands including Viva, Oikos, Fantini and Kasthall.

Tish Sheesley


Tish Sheesley has joined Soukup Strategic Solutions as a fundraising and event planning specialist. Throughout her 30-year career in the nonprofit sector, Sheesley has served as executive director for multiple organizations and has managed a variety of special fundraising events. Sheesley’s career in nonprofits includes work with a local arts council, humane society, science museum, education foundation, and several disease-specific nonprofits. Two projects she participated in were the founding of Florida Frontier Days, a regional pioneer festival in Punta Gorda, and the development of the Teacher Supply Depot to provide free supplies to public school teachers for their students and classrooms. Sheesley has an Associate of Arts degree from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Florida in journalism with a focus on advertising and public relations and a minor in radio and television.


Investors’ Security Trust has signed an agreement to merge with First Busey Corp., and the merger will be closed in 2019. Investors’ Security Trust is moving forward with this strategic partnership as the combined organization, Busey Wealth Management, which will allow the company to provide a broad range of banking services to complement its wealth management services. With access to additional tools and resources and the backing of a $9.25 billion organization, the combined company is better positioned to serve existing and new clients, and to retain and attract top talent. Charles Idelson, president and CEO of Investors’ Security Trust, has been named Florida market chairman.


The Parkinson Association of Southwest Florida ( has appointed Bill Morgan and Paul Delaney to serve two-year terms on its board of directors. Both Morgan and Delaney are members of the development committee at the Parkinson Association. The Parkinson Association has also elected the following three women to serve on the executive committee of the board of directors: Merrill Fox, first vice chair; Danielle Dyer, treasurer; and Joanne Hobin, secretary. Retiring from the board of directors is Amy Novakovic. The Parkinson Association has received grant-funding awards during National Parkinson Awareness Month. The Martin Foundation in Naples awarded $20,000 to fund ongoing operating expenses and the League Club Inc. of Naples awarded $5,200 to fund two exercise classes for 2019. Ed Wollman and Wollman, Gehrke & Associates are also matching all gifts made this month up to $1,500 through a Facebook challenge grant. Funding for this grant has surpassed the match.


Historic Old Captiva House located at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa on Captiva Island re-opened its doors to the public on Wednesday after the multi-million-dollar renovation of the kitchen and dining area. The Old Captiva House team includes executive chef Greg Nelson. The restaurant stands on the site of Captiva Island’s very first schoolhouse that opened its doors in 1908 to a few pioneering students and families. Old Captiva House features a “Darling Gallery”—a collection of original J.N. “Ding” Darling illustrations that he would sketch in ‘Tween Waters Inn’s registration book. It is named to the National Registry of Historic Places.


Elizabeth A. Whitmer has been recognized as a VIP Member for 2019 by P.O.W.E.R. (Professional Organization of Women of Excellence Recognized) for her outstanding achievements and high level of success in the field of healthcare services education. Whitmer has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare services and the education arena. She is a professor in the Health Information Technology program at Florida SouthWestern State College. Whitmer is focused on moving Health Information Technology (HIT) into the future of the healthcare and wellness industry.

Reuben Doupé


Reuben Doupé, marital and family law partner at Coleman, Hazzard, Taylor, Klaus, Doupé & Diaz, has been appointed treasurer for the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Doupé is one of only 1650 Fellows of the AAML in the U.S. Fellows are recognized by judges and attorneys as preeminent family law practitioners with a high level of knowledge, skill and integrity, a press release states. Doupé focuses his practice on all marital law, divorce law and family law matters. He is board certified in marital and family law by the Florida Bar, and he is a member of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, where he serves on the executive council.  


Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation supports Breast Cancer Care

Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation awards Partners for Breast Cancer Care Inc. a grant of $12,000 to fund up to 184 breast screening and diagnostic mammograms for uninsured, low-income women and men in Lee County. There are more than 54,000 women in Lee County without health insurance. Partners for Breast Cancer Care wants to ensure no woman goes without a mammogram. Visit at for qualification guidelines or call (239) 454-8583 for further information.

The Immokalee Foundation receives $10,000 grant from United Way

 The Immokalee Foundation recently received a $10,000 grant from The United Way for its Career Pathways – Professional Careers in The New Economy program by the United Way of Collier County. Career Pathways is an after-school program that introduces students to a wide variety of occupations available through post-secondary education, whether attained at a college or university, technical school or apprenticeship program. Students are eligible to apply for Career Pathways in middle school and high school. The United Way grant will open a future of possibilities for at least 200 Immokalee students, among the more than 1,300 served each year in The Immokalee Foundation’s roster of programs.

State Farm grant awarded to Junior Achievement 

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida has received grants totaling $7,000 to fund JA work readiness and financial literacy programming. The grants, from State Farm Insurance, are part of a larger statewide initiative totaling $60,000 that will support Junior Achievement programs in 11 localities throughout Florida, enabling over 5,000 young people to participate in JA’s economic education programs. Locally, the $7,000 allocation of State Farm funds to Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida partially funds 175 low- to moderate-income students to attend JA Our Nation, a program for elementary students that teaches about the U.S. free market system and how it serves as an economic engine for businesses and careers.

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center receives scholarships grant

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) has received a $15,000 grant from The League Club Inc. from its Community Trust Fund to provide 35 participant scholarships. The grant will specifically fund the annual costs for weekly therapeutic riding lessons for 23 riders with special needs and physical challenges as well as an eight-week equine group program for 12 at-risk children and teens with mental health challenges.

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