Gulfshore Business Daily: November 2

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NGALA Wildlife Preserve is the winner of the 24th annual Blue Chip Community Business Award. The winner was chosen from 10 applicants by a panel of judges. Owner Donovan Smith has overcome personal and professional challenges to maintain and restore the wildlife sanctuary following two natural disasters that occurred within five months of each other, a press release states. Last spring, as a 7,000-acre fire tore through the sanctuary, Smith ventured into the preserve to save NGALA’s white rhino, Walter. As a result, he suffered second-degree burns on 20 percent of his body, including internal burns on his lungs. Following several weeks of recovery, Donovan returned to the preserve only to face a second natural disaster, Hurricane Irma, which caused even more damage to the preserve. Smith and his team overcome these extreme hardships and have worked to restore the preserve to its original state. It’s because of these efforts that NGALA Wildlife Preserve was found deserving of the 2018 Blue Chip Community Business Award. The award, coordinated and sponsored by McGriff Insurance Services and BB&T Bank, is given to for-profit businesses in Southwest Florida who have overcome adversity to achieve success. The finalists are determined through an application process that is reviewed by an impartial panel of judges.


Florida Gulf Coast University is expanding access to mental and behavioral healthcare for underserved populations in Southwest Florida. The university officially broke ground Tuesday on its Student and Community Counseling Center. The 27,000-square-foot facility will feature a community counseling clinic. The building’s new clinic creates improved access to group counseling, psychoeducation and counseling services to Southwest Florida’s underserved populations, including children, adolescents and families, at little or no cost to them. This training facility will be staffed by advanced graduate student interns under the supervision of licensed faculty supervisors. Vital to the construction of this facility was a gift by David and Alise Bartley, who came to FGCU with the intention of creating a community counseling clinic. The Student and Community Counseling Center is slated to open in the fall of 2019 and is expected to cost $8 million to construct.


Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A. (MNMW) ( has been named as an INSIDE Public Accounting Top 400 Firm. This recognition was earned by MNMW based on the 2018 annual INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) Survey and Analysis of Firms. IPA 400 firms are ranked by U.S. net revenues and are compiled by analyzing the more than 550 responses received this year for IPA’s Survey and Analysis of Firms. For close to 30 years, IPA has ranked the largest accounting firms in the nation, but this is the first year of naming the Top 400 firms. For the most recent fiscal year, IPA 400 firms range in size from $4.55 million to $9.9 million, and from 20 to 80 staff members. These firms employ more than 4,000 total staff across the nation.


The ABWA Neapolitan November chapter meeting, “10 Secrets You Don’t Know About Public Speaking,” will be held from 6-7:45 p.m. on Nov. 27 at the Hilton Naples. Networking lasts from 5:15-5:55 p.m. Lisa McDaniel Brown will present the event. Brown is a former broadcaster having worked at several radio stations in Tucson, Phoenix and Cincinnati as morning show co-host and news director. She has appeared several times on The Maury Povich Show, Ricki Lake, Judge Hatchett and other TV and radio shows as the communications director and DNA expert for the DNA Diagnostics Center that performs paternity testing for the media. She is now the owner of Lisa Brown Presents. She serves as a holistic health coach, speaker, media trainer, and a member of the National Speakers Association. Register for the event at For more information, contact Nina Christensen at (239) 580-7306 or


MHK Architecture and Planning has been awarded the Communitas Award for Leadership in Community Service and Corporate Social Responsibility from Habitat for Humanity of Collier County for donating a single-family home in River Park in Naples. It is the first home to be built on city land, a press release states. Local firms Forge Engineering, Davidson Engineering, and Dagostino & Wood helped design the home. Naples Mayor Bill Barnett will present MHK Founder and President Matthew H. Kragh with the award from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Nov. 6 at Timeless – An MHK Eatery. Kragh is hosting a celebration with cocktails and appetizers. Register for the event here


For the third consecutive year, all Hodges University physical therapist assistant (PTA) graduates passed the National Physical Therapy Exam, according to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The PTA program at Hodges University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). PTA graduates can expect starting salaries in the mid-$40s in a career that is experiencing a 30 percent growth rate, a press release states. For more information, call (239) 938-7718 or visit


Florida Gulf Coast University videographer Jasmine Kettenacker’s film project, St. Louis Slam, will debut on Nov. 11 at the St. Louis International Film Festival during the “Doc Shorts: Black Voices” showing. The short documentary is about a women’s tackle football team. Kettenacker enrolled at Hollins University, a women’s institution in Virginia, as a film major, where she discovered her passion for documentary filmmaking, which often revolved around athletic storylines. She created a previous documentary, Rumble, Young Man, Rumble, that was shown at the St. Louis International Film Festival. Kettenacker, a Missouri native, joined FGCU’s video team in December 2017. She recently earned a Suncoast Regional Emmy nomination alongside her colleague, Tim Clark, for a video on the FGCU jazz ensemble. To watch St. Louis Slam, click here.


Truluck’s reopened for business on Oct. 16 at 698 Fourth Ave. S. in Naples after an extensive renovation of the interior and exterior of the restaurant and bar. Truluck’s has been at Fifth Avenue in Naples since 2004, specializing in seafood and steaks. The downtown Naples location marked the franchise’s first location in Florida when they opened nearly 15 years ago. Two significant changes to the restaurant include the reimagined entryway and new bar lounge. Guests are welcomed through the new entry, featuring rounded glass double doors and portico. The translucent onyx bar top is designed as the focal point of the lounge area. Other cosmetic changes were made in addition to these major updates, including updates to flooring, lighting, and millwork. Truluck’s also modernized its dining furniture throughout the restaurant. Stephen Moulton, Truluck’s director of construction, contracted Build LLC located in Naples to complete the renovation and Dick Clark & Associates from Austin, Texas, for architectural design.   For more information, visit


Sunrise Rotary Club donates to Hurricane Michael survivors with help from high schoolers

The Sunrise Rotary Club of Fort Myers on Oct. 29 donated 10,000 meals, provided by Meals of Hope to send to the victims affected by Hurricane Michael. Dunbar High School students from the football team, JROTC and the National Honor Society, along with staff from The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, joined forces to pack each meal together.

World Wine Tour rescheduled for April

The 11th annual World Wine Tour has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. on April 4 at Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. During the event, wine enthusiasts will sample a variety of domestic and international wines hand-selected by CRU Executive Chef Bob Boye. Guests will also be treated to lite bites from participating Bell Tower Shops restaurants, with music provided by DJ Robert McDonald. The event, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities, has been rescheduled to take full advantage of enhancements being made to the venue. The re-grand opening, happening this winter, will showcase Bell Tower Shops new gathering areas, redesigned storefronts and a newly designed center court featuring a new stage and contemporary lighting. Guests who purchased tickets to the Nov. 8 event should contact Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida at (239) 437-0202 or amy@rmhcswfl.orgfor further details. The event is $40 per person. VIP tickets are available for $150 per person or $250 per couple and include event entry, plus a tasting certificate to a four-course pairings dinner, presented by Boye. Tickets can be purchased at

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