Gulfshore Business Daily: May 2


The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) announced the winners of the 2019 Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida Awards at the annual awards dinner on April 30 at Bonita Bay Club. This year’s awardees were Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida, Ryan Carter, owner of Scotlynn USA Division; Innovator of the Year, Brian Rist of Storm Smart; and Advocate of the Year, Rafael J. Feliciano, owner of Food Idea Group. The FSBDC awards are held annually to recognize three Southwest Florida small businesses for their advocacy, innovation, and distinguished business acumen. The awards ceremony was made possible through the support of the Hallmark Sponsor Markham, Norton, Mosteller, Wright, and Co. P.A.

Dave Weston


Dave Weston, the chief operating officer at Naples Lumber & Supply, is the 2019 recipient of the Naples Chamber Chairman’s Award. Weston is being honored for his dedication to community betterment and continued support of the chamber. He will be recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting on May 16 at The Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. Prior to joining Naples Lumber in 2007, Weston spent more than two decades with Coastal Engineering Consultants. Weston, a 1990 graduate of Leadership Collier, served as the chairman of the Naples Chamber Board of Directors from 2001 to 2002. He served on the board from 1997 until 2004 and currently serves as an honorary director. Weston played a pivotal role in the chamber’s involvement in Collier County’s 2018 infrastructure sales surtax campaign, serving as treasurer of the One Collier political committee. To learn more about Naples Chamber’s annual meeting, visit

William Pearson


Grant Fridkin Pearson P.A. was named Law firm of the Year by Legal Aid Service of Collier County at its annual Barrister’s Bash fundraising event on April  25. William Pearson, a shareholder of Grant Fridkin Pearson, was also recognized as Attorney of the Month for his pro bono work through Legal Aid. Pearson is Florida Bar board certified in wills, trusts and estates and leads the trusts and estates practice group at Grant Fridkin Pearson P.A. He represents individuals in their estate planning, and fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate and trust administration matters and in estate and trust disputed matters.

Marie Collins


Dr. Marie Collins has been named the senior vice president of academic affairs at Hodges University. In this position, she will help oversee the academic aspects of the university, including the development and implementation of enhancing existing courses and degrees, in addition to launching new programs. Collins joined Hodges University in August 2018 as the senior director of program development in the school of health sciences. She brings more than 20 years of expertise, which includes holding positions as a full professor with tenure, department chair, course director, interim associate dean and dean. Collins is a member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Advisory Council for the Doctor of Nurse Practice program and serves as chairperson on the board of directors for the Quality Life Center of Southwest Florida Inc.


The Paradise Coast Wellness Tourism Task Force, organizers of the January 2019 Paradise Coast Wellness Experience, is now the Paradise Coast Wellness Alliance, a group of hospitality professionals and health and wellness providers from throughout Collier County. The newly-formed alliance, chaired by personal development coach Peggy Sealfon and JW Marriott Marco Island’s Wellness Director Paul Nunez, has launched several initiatives that build on Collier County’s stature as a wellness destination for visitors as well as locals, illustrated by the recent Gallup index rating the Naples area with “the highest wellbeing” across 156 U.S. communities for the fourth consecutive year. Initiatives include the new website developed by the BWIP Group LLC, with an app, BeWell100, expected to launch June 1. A Wellness Expo & Workshop will also be held on May 15 at the JW Marriott Marco Island.

Meredith Nassif Doupé


Meredith Nassif Doupé has joined the Community Foundation of Collier County (CFCC) as director of donor services. Her primary role will be to manage the foundation’s donor service program. She will provide the CFCC donors and their families with timely and integrated service. The CFCC manages more than 700 funds, collaborates with more than 400 nonprofits, holds $187 million in assets and has distributed more than $138 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and community programs since its inception. For more information, visit


Dr. Joseph Mitchell of Mitchell Dentistry in Fort Myers has achieved the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Fellowship Award. Mitchell will accept his award at the AGD’s scientific session to take place in Las Vegas in 2020. In order to receive this award, Mitchell completed 500 hours of continuing dental education, passed a comprehensive written exam and fulfilled three years of continuing membership with the AGD. The Fellowship Award symbolizes excellence in the dental profession and a commitment to providing exceptional patient care. Mitchell is a dentistry practitioner in Fort Myers and has been practicing for 11 years. He graduated from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 2008 and practices dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and more.


Michele Smith, a mortgage loan specialist with 12 years of experience, has joined Charlotte State Bank & Trust’s professional residential lending team. She is based at the bank’s Peachland office, 24163 Peachland Blvd., Port Charlotte. Smith began her real estate lending career in Sarasota in 2007 and subsequently expanded her territory to include North Port, Port Charlotte and Venice. She has earned multiple awards in loan production and customer satisfaction while handling numerous types of mortgage loans. Smith studied business law, accounting and business management at Manatee Community College and underwent extensive sales and compliance training throughout her 20-plus years of employment. She is a member of the Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port Association of Realtors and Business and Professional Women of Charlotte County. A licensed Florida loan officer certified through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System, Smith may be reached at (941) 624-1908 or


Leading Edge Benefit Advisors LLC has hired Kyle Mossbarger as an advisor. In this role, he is responsible for consulting with business owners and executives to develop strategic plans that effectively manage costs and compliance processes associated with employee benefits, including assessing overall business impact, future planning and risk management. Mossbarger has worked as a consultant in the IT and legal sectors for Fortune 500 companies, where he was a top-performer and earned a Circle of Excellence award. Prior to joining Leading Edge Benefit Advisors, he spent two years as a human capital management consultant with Paycor. Mossbarger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational leadership from Wright State University and holds a Florida 2-15 Life, Health and Variable Annuities license. He is active in the community serving as a mentor at local schools and youth baseball camps.

Lisa Davenport


Lisa Davenport Designs LLC has opened new studio space in the Design District of Naples. The new studio is a collaborative space within the studio currently held by designer Joan Simonsen-Hickok of Simonsen-Hickok Interiors. Simonsen-Hickok has been designing spaces for more than 50 years, with projects including the Florida governor’s mansion, a Gulfstream jet and more. Lisa Davenport, principal and lead designer of Lisa Davenport Designs LLC, has more than 25 years of experience in fine interior design. Lisa Davenport Designs and Simonsen-Hickok Interiors will host an opening reception later this spring. The studios, located at 380 10th St. S., are by appointment. For more information, visit


LCEC fishing tournament raises more than $53,000 for United Way

The 23rd Annual LCEC United Way Fishing Tournament reeled in more than $53,000 for the United Way. This catch and release tournament was held on April 13 at D&D Bait and Tackle on Matlacha. In total, 85 boats and 251 anglers participated this year, with 32 grand slams measured. The tournament included a raffle drawing with more than 250 prizes given away in addition to 46 silent auction items. LCEC employee volunteers prepared food for both the captains’ meeting and the tournament in addition to helping sell raffle tickets and apparel and more. For more information, visit

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