Gulfshore Business Daily: November 26

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 Lee Health’s HealthPark Medical Center is among the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for 2019, joining hospitals including the Mayo Clinic, Henry Ford Hospital and Duke University Hospital. IBM Watson Health’s 50 top-performing hospitals represent the best for heart care in the U.S., a press release states. HealthPark Medical Center is one of only two hospitals in Florida to earn the designation. The rankings are broken down by category, including Teaching Hospitals with Cardiovascular Residency Programs, Teaching Hospitals without Cardiovascular Residency Programs, and Community Hospitals. Lee Memorial Hospital and HealthPark Medical Center are included on the Teaching Hospitals without Cardiovascular Residency Program. The annual study identifies top U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services based on a balanced national scorecard of hospital performance metrics. The The IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study is part of the Watson Top 100 Hospitals program.​


Lee County Tax Collector has appointed Chris Bright as its new communications manager. Bright, who started in early November, will oversee both internal and external communications for the Tax Collector’s Office. He spent the past six years at Big Arts on Sanibel, first as technical director and later as director of operations, working to create and reinvent the video production, online and social media capabilities of the local performing arts hub. Before that, Bright was a digital production and computer information instructor at Rasmussen College in Fort Myers, and he also produced video, audio and graphic-based continuing medical education coursework for a Connecticut-based company. The Chicago native earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications at Saint Ambrose University in Iowa and has maintained his own video production company for nearly 20 years. Bright Idea Media LLC makes narrative and documentary features and also handles commercial projects. The company won a national Best Film award in 2015 for a documentary it produced about Southwest Florida, and Bright won Best Director and Best Screenplay awards as part of the 48 Hour Film Project.​


Tracy Connelly, vice president of development at Guadalupe Center, was honored as “Fundraising Executive of the Year” by the Lee-Collier chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Connelly joined Guadalupe Center two years ago to lead the nonprofit organization’s philanthropic and fundraising initiatives. Since his arrival, Guadalupe Center has experienced a 50 percent increase in donations, according to a press release. Three-fourths of the organization’s budget derives from philanthropic support and grants. In 2018, Connelly and his development team coordinated the “Welcome Aboard” Signature Event, Guadalupe Charity Golf Classic and Tutor Corps Celebration Dinner, which raised a combined $1.4 million. Under Connelly’s leadership, Guadalupe Center established the Rosemary and Walter Blankley Scholarship Endowment through the Community Foundation of Collier County, and more than 70 donors and organizations contributed $2 million to provide college scholarships in perpetuity to Tutor Corps graduates. Longtime supporters Bunny and Charles Salisbury established the E.G. Salisbury Tutor Corps Summer Academy, which sends Immokalee High School students on college exploration trips. For more information, visit


The Southwest Florida Community Foundation brought nationally recognized author and TED Talks speaker Dan Pallotta to town on Nov. 3 for a one-day board training seminar for 120 leaders and their board members from 32 nonprofits. Designed specifically for nonprofit boards, The Bolder Board Training taught how to work with CEOs to create possibilities for impact. The Bolder Board Training marked the first public event to be held at the Community Foundation’s new Collaboratory, located at 2031 Jackson Street in downtown Fort Myers. The community foundation plans to bring Pallotta back next November. Pallotta is an American entrepreneur, author and humanitarian activist who invented the multi-day charitable event industry with the AIDSRides and Breast Cancer 3-Days, which raised more than half a billion dollars in nine years and were the subject of one of the first Harvard Business School case studies on social enterprise. His 2013 TED talk on philanthropy is one of the 100 most-viewed TED talks of all time. Pallotta’s book Uncharitable is the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press.​​


The Southwest Florida Chapter of Association of Talent Development (ATD) will host “Developing Our Millennials/Reverse Panel Discussion” from 5-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center. The event will feature a group of young professionals as they share with human resource and talent development professionals what they look for in the learning and professional development space of today’s business climate. The overall purpose of the panel is to allow the audience to participate and ask questions about the needs of the "modern learner. Register for the event at​​​​


On this #GivingTuesday, held Tuesday, Hope for Haiti will celebrate the legacy of its founder, JoAnne Kuehner, with the launch of her book, Oh, for the Love of Haiti! Kuehner wrote this memoir to share her story of founding Hope for Haiti in Naples 30 years ago, her commitment to philanthropy, and the people who helped build Hope for Haiti along the way. Oh, for the Love of Haiti! also captures existing challenges in Haiti and a belief that love and hope can prevail in the face of those changes. Kuehner’s book is available on AmazonSmile and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Hope for Haiti.​​


Harry Chapin Food Bank celebrates 200 million pounds of food distributed

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is celebrating the distribution of its 200 millionth pound of food to feed neighbors in need in Southwest Florida. The food bank is marking the occasion by holding two special mobile food pantries on Nov. 27, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, also known as “Giving Tuesday.”  The pantries will be held from 3-5 p.m. at East Naples Community Park in Naples and from 4-6 p.m. at Franklin Park Elementary in Fort Myers. This is the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s 35th anniversary year. The food bank began in 1983 as a tiny, grassroots food cooperative. It took 31 years for the organization to get to 100 million pounds of food distribution in 2014, and just four more years to reach 200 million. For more information, visit ​

Society announces toy drive for Golisano Children’s Hospital

Society is hosting a toy drive for the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Beginning Dec. 1, patrons bringing a new, unwrapped gift for a child at the children’s hospital will receive a complimentary bottle of wine with their lunch or dinner purchase at Society, located at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. The toy drive will last until Dec. 24. For more information, visit or call (239) 334-0900.

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