Gulfshore Business Daily: November 20

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Paul Simeone has joined Lee Health as vice president of mental and behavioral health. Simeone will lead Lee Health’s behavioral and mental health initiatives while working with community partners to improve behavioral health care in Southwest Florida. Simeone has more than 30 years’ experience in mental and behavioral health as an educator, administrator and practicing clinical psychologist. He most recently served as the program coordinator for the cultural/linguistic and fee-for-service teams in adult outpatient psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) in Somerville, Massachusetts. Simeone has also held several faculty positions at universities in the Boston area and most recently served as a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. Simeone has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and master’s degree in school psychology from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, and a master’s degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College near Springfield, Massachusetts.​


Studio+ has hired 16 additional employees to support its continued growth and expanded services. They now have 65 employees via their four locations in Fort Myers, Sarasota and Tampa, and Newport Beach, California. Fort Myers hires include marketing manager Tanya Bentz, who previously worked with Gartner and PRG Real Estate. Bentz has a bachelor’s of business administration degree in marketing from Temple University. Marlene Tenorio and Abby Combs have joined Studio+ as business operations coordinators. Tenorio received her Bachelor of Arts in marketing from Florida Gulf Coast University and will be assisting in business operations on the Studio+ side. Combs will bring her management experience and education from Lansing Community College to facilitate the Studio+ Surfaces side of the business. Josue Jimenez has been hired as project manager in the Fort Myers office for Studio+ Surfaces. Joe Dykes has also been hired as a project superintendent in the Fort Myers office on the Studio+ Surfaces team. Logan Tackmann, Chandler Hilton, and Nancy De La Vega have been hired as architectural designers. Fernando Zabala has been hired as a senior project manager and brings more than 24 years of experience as a licensed architect in Argentina and the U.S. He also has experience in sustainable design and is pursuing his green associate credentials. ​​


Fifth Avenue South and American Express will partner for this year’s Small Business Saturday, held on Saturday. Small Business Saturday, held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is celebrated by communities all across the U.S. American Express launched the Small Business Movement in 2010 in an effort to promote shopping locally. 5thAvenue South has more than 200 local businesses headquartered on the avenue. For more information, visit​​


Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Victor Mraz to the board of the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. Mraz is a financial advisor with Blue Chip Financial of Southwest Florida. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Barry University. Mraz fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term lasting from Nov. 16 to April 30, 2021. The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida is one of 30 coalitions in the state of Florida. This system was created in 1999, when the Florida Legislature enacted the School Readiness Act, which consolidated each of the early childhood education and childcare programs into one integrated program of school readiness services. For more information, visit​​


Cape Coral Animal Shelter (CCAS) has earned the 2018 Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. To reach the Platinum level, CCAS added extensive information to its nonprofit profile on GuideStar: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission.​


Realtor Sue “Pinky” Benson of RE/MAX Dream in Naples has ranked No. 7 in the 2018 Real Estate Video Influencer Guide for all-around video content. This is the second year in a row Benson has received the designation. Benson produces a video segment called Pinky Knows Naples, which highlights local places, events and people in the area. She also serves as a national speaker for social media and using videos to grow business. More than 1,200 nominations were considered for the guide and thousands of videos were reviewed to rank the 50 finalists, 20 honorable mentions and five up-and-comers, in five video categories: All Around, Listing, Community, BombBomb and Social Media. Nominees were judged on a combination of consistency, quality, creativity, uniqueness and educational value with total videos and total views as secondary criteria.


The Junior Committee at the Gargiulo Education Center will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:45 p.m. today for its new store. The store was created to reward fellow students at the center for good grades, manners and behavior. The students earn points and then convert the points into dollars to purchase items at the store. The junior committee is a part of the center’s Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship Program and now has 32 committee members. Each of the students has a role and responsibility. Their store has a store manager, assistant store manager, sales associates and a cashier. The store employees earn a percentage of all sales of the store and are paid in points. The reward program originated as a continuation of the etiquette lessons that were provided to the students at Cypress Woods Golf and Country Club to expand on their manners, confidence and career readiness. The Gargiulo Education Center has 60 students in total that attend Naples Park Elementary, North Naples Middle School and Gulf Coast High school. The students come from low-income working agriculture and migrant families in the surrounding neighborhood of the center. The Center in funded through grants and donations from private individuals.​​​


Matanzas Craft Beer Fest on the Bay raises $3,500 for Operation Open Arms

 Matanzas on the Bay’s first-ever craft beer event, Matanzas Craft Beer Fest on the Bay, has raised $3,500 for Operation Open Arms, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military personnel. Matanzas Craft Beer Fest on the Bay featured a selection of craft beers poured by five local breweries, including Bone Hook Brewing Company, Fort Myers Brewing Company, Momentum Brewhouse, Palm City Brewing and Point Ybel Brewing Co. Matanzas on the Bay served up select menu items, and Soulixer and Sheena Brook performed live music.​​

Gulfshore Playhouse annual gala set

Gulfshore Playhouse will host its ninth annual gala “Bubbles, Baubles, and Broadway,” beginning with cocktails at 5 p.m., with a dinner and program at 6 p.m., on March 18 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. The event also celebrates the 15th anniversary of Gulfshore Playhouse and the continuation of its Next Stage Capital Campaign. Community philanthropists Barbara and George Franks will chair the event. Individual event tickets are $600. Individual patron tickets are $1,200 and include a private VIP event at a home in Bay Colony on March 14, 2019. Additional sponsor tables for 10 start at $6,000. Patron table sponsorships for 10 start at $12,000 and include preferred gala seating, Patron Party attendance and an ad in the gala program. For additional information, visit or call (239) 261-PLAY (7529). All proceeds benefit the Annual Fund for Artistic Excellence.

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