Gulfshore Business Daily: May 4

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Photo courtesy of WINK News


Some Southwest Florida malls, shops and restaurants are reopening today after Gov. DeSantis announced the state would move into Phase 1 of reopening following the “safer-at-home” order. In accordance with Phase 1, restaurants and retail establishments are permitted to open with 25% capacity. WINK News is compiling a list of malls and shops that are reopening. Click here for a list that will continue to be updated. 

Video courtesy of WINK News


Lee County officials announced Friday the opening of two new testing sites for the coronavirus. One of the new testing sites will be a drive-through at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers and you don’t need to exhibit any symptoms or even have a doctor’s note. That site will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and can handle up to 400 tests a day and there will be no charge for it. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the National Guard will be monitoring this site. In addition, another site will open at the Walmart on Lee Boulevard in Lehigh Acres. However, this site will require you to have symptoms and a doctor’s note in order to be tested. Story reported by WINK News.

Photo courtesy of WINK News


Miromar Outlets regional shopping center in Estero plans to reopen today. The hours for the outdoor mall are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Individual stores and restaurants at Miromar Outlets may have different operating hours. The outlets’ “Rock Climbing FunWalls” and “WINK Playground” will remain closed until further notice, as well as all events at the mall. For more information, see the latest update from Miromar Outlets onlineStory reported by WINK News.

Video courtesy of WINK News


Fort Myers-based Chico’s confirmed deep job cuts last week, both locally and nationwide. The apparel retail company filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission outlining what it calls a “significant restructuring.” The pandemic has sparked the company’s second shakeup in a year, which includes a lot of layoffs. Chico’s said in its filing it will save $30 million by eliminating high-ranking officers and leadership positions in the field and at its Lee County headquarters. The shakeup at Chico’s goes all the way to the top. CEO Bonnie Brooks will become the executive chair of the board of directors, and Molly Langenstein will take over as CEO in June. At the start of 2019, Chico’s employed 1,100 people locally. Management will not say how many they now have on the workforce now. Story reported by WINK News.

Video courtesy of WINK News


Starting May 11, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Community Counseling Center is offering remote therapy, so community members can get professional help for mental health issues when, where and how they need it. A newly published report in the Journal of the American Medical Association says coronavirus is affecting the mental health of people nationwide. “We’re doing a lot of self-medicating behaviors because we are so overwhelmed,” said Alise Bartley, the clinical assistant professor and director of Community Counseling Center at FGCU. “And our anxiety is off the charts right now. This is unprecedented in our lifetimes what we’re going through right now.” Measures such as social distancing or large-scale traumas intensify feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression and substance abuse, Bartley said. Story reported by WINK News


Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, the League of Women Voters of Collier County and Women for a Better Lee have joined Growing Climate Solutions in its efforts to expand climate change education and action in Southwest Florida. Since its leadership kickoff meeting in March, Growing Climate Solutions has welcomed more than 20 community, health, education, business, environmental and philanthropic organizations as its partners. Growing Climate Solutions partners pledge to further the organization’s mission of educating the Southwest Florida community about the changing climate, as well as encouraging positive efforts within their organizations to act and advocate. For more information or to become involved with the initiative, visit

Tim Russell


Conditioned Air Co. of Naples has promoted Tim Russell to senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). In this expanded role, Russell will be responsible for overseeing all financial operations of the company. He also will become a partner in Conditioned Air. Russell has lived in Southwest Florida for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Conditioned Air, he was CFO for Fusion Industries and director of finance and business development for its predecessor Stevens Industries. Before that, he served as CFO at Pulte-Knipper, a construction and development firm. Russell earned his bachelor’s degree in finance with honors from Florida Gulf Coast University with a minor in real estate. He has professional experience in construction and development, manufacturing, and related businesses. He also has been a computer company owner and business consultant which adds to his talents beyond accounting.

Richard Borton


Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. (O-A-K) has appointed Richard Borton as a project manager in the company’s Fort Myers office. Borton is currently managing the Fort Myers High School heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) renovation project and the Diplomat Middle School serving line renovations. Both are projects for the School District of Lee County. Borton has 27 years of experience in the construction industry.  His career in construction began in the paving industry and later worked as a project manager in the building industry on multi-million-dollar projects including assisted living facilities, sports centers, colleges, schools, roadwork hardscaping and high-end residential. Borton holds a Master of Business Administration in project management from The Florida Institute of Technology; a Bachelor of Science in construction engineering technology from The University of Southern Mississippi; and an Associate of Science degree in civil engineering technology from Horry-Georgetown Technical College.  He is currently working toward his Engineer in Training designation from National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying and Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.


Charity for Change launches interactive video series GiverTV

Charity for Change, the Collier County nonprofit behind the classroom-based Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Giver Program, announces the launch of interactive video series GiverTV. The approximately 10-minute videos are hosted on and Charity for Change’s YouTube channel. Videos feature the program’s mascots, Giver and U2Can, teaching foundational skills that include character education and service learning. Episodes include real-world examples of key character traits and activities families can do together to help their community. New videos will be added regularly. “With distance learning and children losing connectivity through school, it’s increasingly more important that they have the tools to deal with isolation, stress and anxiety,” said Karen Conley, founder and CEO of Charity for Change.

Video courtesy of WINK News

Boys & Girls Club providing meals to kids on weekends

Because local school districts have daily food distributions, the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County distributes food only two days during the week—Tuesdays in Immokalee and Fridays at its office in East Naples. But families also need food on the weekends. In addition to handing out groceries with Harry Chapin two days a week, the club is also providing meals during the weekend. In just six weeks, the organization handed out more than 9,000 hot meals. The club serves both breakfast and lunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the club office on Davis Boulevard or at its Immokalee location on Roberts Avenue. Information from story reported by WINK News. 


Dwayne Bergmann Interiors offers Mother’s Day Room Refresh giveaway

Dwayne Bergmann Interiors is giving away a “Room Refresh” to one essential worker for Mother’s Day. As part of his ongoing Your 4 Walls initiative, aimed at reimagining the meaning of “home,” Dwayne Bergmann will transform a space for one essential working mom. The Dwayne Bergmann Interiors Room Refresh will include the designer’s signature design consultation, followed by an expertly assembled room. Participants can enter by submitting a brief story, under 200 words, about the nominee, including her role as an essential worker during the current crisis. Send the story to along with photos and/or videos of the mom, including her email address and zip code. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 7 to be included. The winner will be announced on May 8 and notified via email.


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