Gulfshore Business Daily: November 14

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Sandra Kauanui


The Lee Board of County Commissioners this week received wire transfers of $17.7 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for debris removal costs incurred during Hurricane Irma. This is the county’s single largest reimbursement of funds since Irma hit in 2017. Last month, the county received a reimbursement of $2.2 million for debris removal. In all, the county requested $40.4 million in expenses incurred to recover from the hurricane. The federal government’s 90% share totals $36.4 million, and the State of Florida’s 5% share is $2 million. The county has received $20.7 million to-date. In August, Gov. Ron DeSantis requested that the federal cost-share be increased from 75% to 90% based on the magnitude of damages from Irma. That request was approved. Hurricane Irma made landfall in Lee County on Sept. 10, 2017. The county collected 2.7 million cubic yards in debris post-storm.


Sandra Kauanui, courtesy of FGCU


Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is the top college or university in Florida for undergraduate entrepreneurship studies, according to The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Coming in at No. 30 out of more than 300 schools, FGCU ranked higher than entrepreneurship undergraduate programs at Florida State University, Drexel University, the University of Saint Thomas, Boston University and American University, among others. Directed by Sandra Kauanui, FGCU’s School of Entrepreneurship has 1,800 students currently enrolled in entrepreneurship classes. For more information about the FGCU School of Entrepreneurship, visit


A. Luis Soto


A. Luis Soto has joined Lee Health as its first vice president of supply chain management. In this new role, Soto will provide strategic oversight to how Lee Health manages inventory and delivers medical goods throughout the health system. Soto brings nearly 20 years of supply chain and logistics experience to his role at Lee Health, previously serving as the vice president, supply chain management for MaineHealth in Portland, Maine, and vice president for supply chain services for ARIA Healthcare System in Philadelphia. Darcy Allen has joined Lee Health as the vice president of operations and chief nurse executive at Lee Memorial Hospital. In her new role, Allen joins Scott Wolf, vice president of operations and chief physician executive in a shared leadership model called a dyad. Together, Allen and Wolf are focused on collaboration, standardization, quality, safety, reliability and patient experience at Lee Memorial Hospital. Allen brings nearly 20 years of nursing experience, including leadership roles to her position with Lee Health. She previously served as chief nursing officer at Inova Medical Center in Fairfax, Virginia, and held multiple positions at Kaiser Permanente in California.



The Greater Naples Chamber will host the Professional Education Workshop “Marketing Strategies and ROI,” sponsored by LocaliQ, at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 19 at the Greater Naples Chamber. The seminar will be presented by William Nann, senior account executive with LocaliQ, and Shawna Devlin, vice president of sales for Naples Daily News.  In this session, attendees will learn five key marketing strategies every business should implement in order to drive ROI.  Launched in 2018, LocaliQ is the business-to-business brand for the Naples Daily News. Under its umbrella, Naples Daily News media professionals bring proprietary technology to the marketplace to help clients. Individuals and teams are encouraged to attend. The cost to attend is $25 for chamber members and $35 for community members. To register, visit 


The halotherapy salt room in Vineyards Country Club’s new Wellness Center and Spa includes illuminated Himalayan salt bricks and salt vapor infusion in a lounge setting to facilitate improved health and mood.


The Wellness Center and Spa at Vineyards Country Club received the South Florida Hospitality Industry Network (NEWH) 2019 Golden Palm Award for excellence at its annual gala held on Oct. 25 in Key Biscayne. The Golden Palm Awards are the highest accolades given by the NEWH each year in recognition of hospitality and design industry excellence. With 24 chapters in the U.S. and internationally, NEWH is the premier networking resource for the hospitality industry. Interior design partner Peacock + Lewis Architects and Planners nominated the Wellness Center and Spa at Vineyards Country Club for the award. The 15,000-square-foot Wellness Center and Spa is located moments from the community’s clubhouse and offers a variety of amenities and services to promote wellbeing. The facility was recently designated one of America’s Healthiest Clubs allowing for long-term, sustainable growth.



SWFL Marketing Group has hired graphic designer and customer service professional Amanda Dickson to its marketing team. Dickson joins the team as a Hodges University graduate with a degree in digital design and graphics. She brings her industry experience in the printing and promotional industry. SWFL Marketing Group serves its customers in the area of trade show displays and merchandise, uniform and event apparel, corporate gifts and other campaigns using printing and promotional items. For more information, visit


Adam Palmer


Adam Palmer was elected to serve on the CCIM Institute board of directors and also to the board of directors of CCIM Technologies Inc. Palmer, a 15-year industry veteran and 16-time CoStar Power Broker recipient, is a principal of LandQwest Commercial. His diverse background in sales, leasing, and tenant representation spans across office, industrial, land, and investment assets. Palmer has served as member-at-large for the Horizon Council and was the 2018 Florida Chapter President of the Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIM). Palmer marks the third LandQwest Commercial leader to sit on the CCIM board (predecessor to Robin Webb and Cynthia Shelton). 


Ryan Benson


Ryan Benson, principal with A. Vernon Allen Builder, has been selected to the inaugural Construction Industry Advisory Board (CIAB) for Florida Gulf Coast University’s U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering. Benson will also serve as the chairman of the advocacy committee. Both are for the newly formed Department of Construction Management program at the University. The Department of Construction Management is committed to leadership in innovative construction education. The objectives of the CIAB are to promote and improve the construction profession by education and development of the body of construction knowledge; provide a liaison between the construction industry and the Department of Construction Management (DCM); assist in development and implementation of innovative programs, which will benefit the DCM program, its students and the construction industry; offer advice, counsel, and provide vision for the DCM program; assist in raising funds for the DCM program and aid in placement of graduates after successful completion of the program and to promote the FGCU Construction Management Degree Program to local students seeking a degree in construction management. 


Devin Cannon works with his peer buddy, Savannah Louderback.


WGCU Public Media teamed up with Best Buddies of Southwest Florida the first weekend in November for a digital storytelling workshop that launched WGCU’s “Move to Include” initiative, which is ongoing and anticipates the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July 2020. “Move to Include” is a pilot project led by public media station WXXI in Rochester, New York. It began in 2014, and was made possible with the support of the Golisano Foundation and Tom Golisano, who also donated $20 million to build Southwest Florida’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. Funded by a $645,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (, this project includes multimedia elements developed by WXXI and the Golisano Foundation that combine content production, curation and engagement to encourage dialogue about disability issues. WGCU is one of the five PBS stations to participate in the national pilot project, which officially will kick off in July 2020. For more information, visit




Youth Haven’s ‘Uncorked’ raises record amount

Youth Haven’s sixth annual Uncorked was held on Nov. 8 at Mediterra Beach Club. The event raised more than $100,000 to support Youth Haven’s programs and services, which benefit children ages 6–19 that have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or are homeless. The event featured an exclusive food and wine pairing, sunset views over the Gulf of Mexico, live music and a silent auction. Two teenagers that are part of Youth Haven’s Rob’s Group Home, which supports homeless teens, spoke about how beneficial the organization is to them. The Uncorked committee consisted of: Evelyn McKoan (Chair), Erin Brahms, Lisa Fenda-Wallace, Laina Kennedy, Courtney Knox, Monia Lin and Ana Oates. Sommelier Sponsors were Crown Roofing and Knox Services and Wine Sponsor was Merryvale Vineyards. Youth Haven’s next event, Soiree on the Strip, is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2020. For more details, click here.


FPL awards Foundation for Lee County Public Schools with STEM grant

 The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) recently awarded The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools $7,300 for a Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) EmPOWERing STEM Educators grant. This grant will provide funding for Project FLOW, a peer-to-peer collaboration project. The training will impact 7,200 students in middle school and high school. The training supports will come from a water-quality monitoring curriculum that was developed over the last two years by a partnership between Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Lee County Teachers. It has been implemented at one middle school and two high schools, and by Argument Driven Inquiry Trained teachers. The goal of the new FPL program is to increase teacher knowledge of effective math and science instructional practices that align with Florida Standards through classroom-based, teacher-to-teacher learning of effective instructional strategies. For more information, click here.


Facepainting at Howl-O-Ween Wildlife Fundraiser

Matanzas on the Bay’s Howl-O-Ween Wildlife benefits CROW

Matanzas on the Bay’s family-friendly, Halloween and animal-themed Howl-O-Ween Wildlife Fundraiser has raised $2,028 for the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW). Held Oct. 26 at Matanzas on the Bay, the Howl-O-Ween Wildlife Fundraiser featured an array of children’s activities, food, craft beer and live music by guitarist and singer Scotty Bryan, as well as interactive, educational sessions led by CROW’s wildlife experts with appearances from wildlife ambassadors Lola, the American kestrel, and GiGi, the Virginia opossum. Proceeds from the Howl-O-Ween Wildlife Fundraiser will help CROW continue to operate its teaching hospital to save the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond. For more infromation, visit


DeVoe Subaru of Naples Names Baby Basics of Collier County a Share the Love community partner

Baby Basics of Collier County was named a community partner by DeVoe Subaru of Naples for Subaru of America Inc.’s 2019 Share the Love event. Now in its 12th year, Share the Love donates $250 for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased at more than 628 participating Subaru retailers nationwide to the customer’s choice of four national and over 1,000 local charities.  In total, Subaru Share the Love has donated an $145.7 million over the lifetime of the initiative. In addition, DeVoe Subaru of Naples will donate $50 to Baby Basics of Collier County for every vehicle sold or leased from today through Jan. 2, 2020.


Grampy’s Sporting Clays Tournament to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida

Grampy’s Charities has partnered with Kids & Clays for the Inaugural Grampy’s Sporting Clays Tournament, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida. The tournament will take place on Dec. 6 at Sarasota Trap, Skeet & Clays in Nokomis, Florida. Registration and breakfast begin at 8 a.m. followed by a brief safety meeting at 9:30 a.m. Shotgun start is 10 a.m. and lunch, raffle and awards will follow. Each participant will receive Grampy’s Famous Ditty Bag, Kids & Clays shooter gifts, eye and ear protection, ammunition and a loaner gun if needed. New shooters are encouraged to join as no experience is needed for this fun shoot. There will be a coach at each station to show new shooters exactly what they need to do. A block of rooms in close proximity to the event have been secured for out of town guests. Grampy’s Charities has offered to sponsor the entire event so 100% of the event proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida. Sponsorship opportunities and reservations can be made at


Suffolk participates in Heart Walk

More than 25 Suffolk team members along with their families participated in the American Heart Association’s annual Collier County Heart Walk. Rod Nobrega, project executive with Suffolk and executive committee member for this year’s Heart Walk, had heart surgery at 22 for a rare disorder called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, due to a specific type of problem with the electrical system of the heart. The Heart Walk raises life-saving dollars in support of the mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. Suffolk raised more than $20,000 towards the Heart Walk, which took place on Nov. 2 at Cambier Park in Naples. 


Don’t wait until the end of the week to find out what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.


You May Also Like