Gulfshore Business Daily: November 14

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The Athens Group, the luxury resort and hotel development company selected by the Watkins family to redevelop The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, has released its initial plans and rendering for the redevelopment of the property. The Watkins family, third-generation owners of the beachfront Naples resort, will continue operating the hotel and its 18-hole golf course through the 2020-2021 season, when ownership will transition to The Athens Group. The Athens Group has teamed with architectural firm Hart Howerton to create a redevelopment plan. Following receipt of the required approvals and the 2021 ownership change, The Athens Group will commence redevelopment of the property, which at full completion will include a new 220-room hotel; a renovated Sunset Beach Bar & Grill and HB’s on the Gulf; up to 195 beachfront and golf-side condominium residences and hotel services; a further upgrade of the 18-hole championship golf course; enhanced tennis, spa and fitness facilities; updated conference and event spaces; a Market Square; and the redevelopment of Gulf Shore Boulevard through the property into a landscaped corridor, the Gulf Shore Garden, with bike lanes on both sides. The proposed plan will continue to be refined based upon input received from neighbors and other stakeholders during an extensive community outreach program.​ 


The inaugural flight between Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) on Frontier Airlines, will depart at 10:18 a.m. on Thursday. The flight serves as the kick-off for several new Frontier markets starting service this week from Fort Myers, which include Albany, New York; Las Vegas; Portland, Maine; Salt Lake City and Syracuse, New York. For more information, visit​


The Habitat for Humanity of Collier County board of directors has gained two members. Kathleen Flynn Fox and Richard Adams Jr. have been appointed to serve three-year terms, helping to guide the direction of the nonprofit organization. Flynn Fox has been involved in philanthropic work for nearly 40 years, serving more than a dozen charities in that time, including Catholic Charities St. Paul Minneapolis and Catholic Charities, U.S.A. Flynn Fox is currently a managing partner at residential real estate firm Silver Fox Partners. Adams has spent two years of working on Habitat’s Collier County construction sites. His consulting and leadership experience with KPMG and Towers Watson brings the organization further guidance in the areas of financial management and strategic planning. Adams has also held committee and board leadership roles with The Cleveland Yachting Club, Catawba Island Club, and Tavira at Bonita Bay Condo Association. The two new members join Habitat Collier’s 22 existing board members. In addition to general board duties, Flynn Fox will serve on the organization’s governance committee and Adams has joined the compensation committee while continuing his volunteer work on the construction site. ​​​


Christyna Torrez, a partner at Coleman, Hazzard, Taylor, Klaus, Doupé & Diaz, has received her AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney can receive for their professional ethics and legal ability by their peers and the judiciary.  Just 10 percent of all attorneys worldwide holds an AV Preeminent Rating. Torrez has represented businesses and individuals in a variety of matters including shareholder disputes, trust and estate litigation, employment litigation, real estate and property disputes, complex residential and commercial foreclosures, business torts, enforceability of non-compete agreements and general contract litigation. Torrez has been licensed to practice law since 2007 and is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. She joined the firm in 2007 upon receiving her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Prior to that, Torrez had worked at the firm as an intern and summer associate. During law school, she received the book award in trial practice and served as a teaching assistant for trial practice courses. ​


Melissa Blazier was honored with the “Distinguished Fundraising Volunteer” Award for her service to Collier Child Care Resources (CCCR) on Nov. 8, National Philanthropy Day. National Philanthropy Day is a day set aside each year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to recognize and pay tribute to the contributions that philanthropy, and those people active in the philanthropic community, have made. Blazier, chief deputy supervisor of elections in Collier County, has served as CCCR’s board chair for almost two years and was also the co-chair of its signature fundraising event in 2017. ​​​


The Morisey-Dart Group has promoted Steve Spencer and Jill Caballero to vice presidents. Spencer will have primary responsibility for the technology practice in executive search. Spencer joined Naples-based Morisey-Dart Group in 2010 as executive recruiter for the managed print (MPS) industry. He started his career with Wang Laboratories, where he had seven promotions in 10 years. He then spent time at ADP, Xerox Corp., and smaller technology companies before landing at Morisey-Dart Group. Spencer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Le Moyne College and an MBA from Syracuse University. In 2017, Spencer achieved the designation of Certified Senior Account Manager (CSAM)—the highest rank awarded to recruiters within the MRINetwork, one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. Caballero will have the primary responsibility for construction recruitment services in the Southeast U.S. and general business in the Fort Myers/Naples area. Caballero joined the Morisey-Dart Group in 2010 as senior executive recruiter for the construction and southwest Florida markets. She was previously with multiple firms as a staffing generalist across various industries that included construction, healthcare, insurance, legal, banking, manufacturing, nonprofits and hospitality. Caballero graduated cum laude with an associate degree in business administration from Hodges University. 


The Harry Chapin Food Bank seeks Thanksgiving meal donations

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is short on Thanksgiving birds to provide to families in need. The organization is looking to distribute 3,000 turkeys, but only about 100 have been donated so far. The food bank has also purchased $35,000 in gift cards, at $10 each, to distribute to families via its partner agencies. The cards are designated for the purchase of food at local supermarkets for holiday meals. Those who wish to donate turkeys or chickens can drop them off at the food bank’s Fort Myers Distribution Center or the new Collier County Center in Naples from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information or questions, call (239) 334-7007.​

The Wellington Group at Morgan Stanley sponsors 2019 CMGA

The Wellington Group at Morgan Stanley has signed on as the Veteran’s Silver Star Sponsor of the 2019 Celebrity Martini Glass Auction (CMGA). The event will take place on Feb. 8, 2019 at Artis—Naples. The annual CMGA showcases up to 15 martini glasses signed by celebrities and designed by renowned artists from across the globe. The works of art are auctioned-off during a by-invitation-only event held annually in Naples, with proceeds benefiting the Veterans Support Fund. The Veterans Support Fund, established in 2018 by the Celebrity Martini Glass Auction (CMGA) in partnership with the Community Foundation of Collier County, assesses and distributes funds to Collier County charities creatively meeting the physical, emotional, psychological and social needs of local veterans. Founded in 2008, the CMGA has raised more than $2 million for local veterans’ charities. For more information, visit

Second annual Grampy’s Pro-Am set

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank will host the second annual Grampy’s Pro-Am, with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m., on Dec. 7 at Fiddlesticks Country Club in Fort Myers. Registration and breakfast begin at 7 a.m., and cocktails, lunch and awards will follow at 1:30 p.m. The annual tournament was established 30 years ago by McDonald’s owner/operator Fred Frederic, founder of the Fort Myers Ronald McDonald House and chair of the golf committee for 27 years until his passing in August 2015. Grampy’s Charities has offered support and leadership for the foreseeable future. All of the event proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida. At the inaugural Pro-Am in 2017, Grampy's Charities raised more than $80,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. For more information, visit

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