Gulfshore Business Daily: November 27

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For the seventh-straight year, VA purchase loans increased year-over year, with volume for fiscal year 2018 up 59 percent compared to five years ago, according to the annual VA loan statistics map released by Veterans United Home Loans, the nation’s largest VA lender. VA purchase loans in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro increased 145 percent in fiscal year 2018 over fiscal year 2013. Florida surged 106 percent in fiscal year 2018, compared to 2013. Nationally, the VA backed more than 610,000 loans in FY18 worth more than $161 billion, according to a press release. No other Southwest Florida data was included in the report. For more information, visit


Charlotte County Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenues collected during fiscal year 2017-18 totaled $4.123 million, which is up 4.8 percent over fiscal year 2016-17, according to Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. Since the bureau’s inception in 1997, this is the most TDT revenues Charlotte County has collected in one fiscal year. October through June exceeded last year’s TDT collections, but there was a drop in collections July through September compared to last year, which was most likely due to the red tide bloom, a press release states. Two new hotels opened in Punta Gorda, which also contributed to the overall increase in TDT collections. In addition to the 7 percent sales tax, Charlotte County levies a 5 percent TDT on accommodation stays six months or less. During calendar year 2017, Charlotte County welcomed an estimated 422,500 visitors, tourism generated an estimated $380.8 million in direct expenditures, and made an estimated $580.8 million economic impact.​


Marianne Wolfe has joined the property management team as an assistant real estate manager at CRE Consultants. Wolfe is based out of the Naples office, where she will handle owner and tenant relations, collections and cost containment, among other real estate asset services. Wolfe has been in the property management field for more than 20 years, primarily in association management and apartment management. She has held her Community Association Managers License (CAM) for the past 10 years and is pursuing her Florida Real Estate Salesperson’s license.​


Led by President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith, the Hope Healthcare Board of Directors has named officers for the upcoming term, including chair Charles Idelson, vice chair West McCann, secretary Sandy Stilwell Youngquist, and treasurer Jerry Nichols. Idelson is principal founder of Investors’ Security Trust Co., McCann is president of The Naples Trust Co., Stilwell Youngquist is owner and CEO of Stilwell Enterprises and Restaurant Group, and Nichols is a specialist for employee benefits planning with Brown & Brown Benefits and a Northwestern Mutual Financial representative. Hope Healthcare board members include past chair Bo Turbeville, vice president of Accent Business Products; Lori Shaffer, senior vice president at Chico’s FAS; Noreen DiPlacido, a Florida licensed health care risk manager; Joe Gammons, principal at Office Furniture & Design Concepts; Tom Giles, founder, president and CEO of Avalon Engineering; Rev. Dr. Tim Halverson, pastor and head of staff at Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral; Larry Hart, tax collector for the state of Florida; and Trudi K. Williams, CEO of TKW Consulting. Board members serve three-year terms.​​


Business Dynamix Solutions (BDS) has appointed Tim Philbrick as the new lead sales and marketing consultant. Philbrick joins the team with more than 20 years of experience in graphic design, marketing and sales, and mentoring. Philbrick will be responsible for running and designing new marketing strategies, managing sales with new and existing clients, and mentoring on work flow and marketing within the team. Philbrick is also active in the community. He once served as a basketball coach and is now a board member of the Panira Medical Clinic and chair at the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing.​​


The Harry Chapin Food Bank and Abuse Counseling & Treatment Inc. (ACT) have been selected as the first recipients of Property with a Purpose, a new program that Top Rocker Events at Six Bends launched this year as part of Scott Fischer Enterprises. The two Southwest Florida nonprofits will have their choice of either Top Rocker Field or Thunder Plaza for an event of their choosing. ACT and the food bank were chosen among a field of nonprofit applicants based on their community impact and need. ACT will host ITS annual fundraising concert, “Rock Out Against Domestic Violence,” at Top Rocker Field on March 30. Organizers can take advantage of a preferred partner program with local vendors for event-related needs and wants. Top Rocker Events has an events director on staff, and management services are available. For more information, visit​​​


Calusa Blueway tournament upcoming

The Calusa Blueway Kayak Fishing Tournament returns to Matlacha from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8 at The Olde Fish House Marina. Organized by Gulf Coast Kayak, the tournament is a family friendly event, featuring door prizes, raffles, food, live music and silent auctions. Fishing will be catch, photo and release. Anglers must fish from paddlecraft of Lee County waterways. The tournament will begin at safelight, weigh-ins will be from noon to 3 p.m., and the ceremony will begin at 3:30 p.m. Point Ybel Brewing Co. will host the captains’ meeting and registration before the tournament. All anglers must be present. The entry fee is $65 per angler. For more All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Candlelighters of Southwest Florida, a charity that benefits childhood cancer research. For more information, search “Calusa Blueway kayak fishing” at or call Mike Hammond at (239) 707-7981.

Dress for Success SW Florida to host inaugural holiday event

Tickets are now on sale for “Small Gifts, Big Impact – Holiday Brunch & Bubbly,” Dress for Success SW Florida’s inaugural holiday event. The brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on on Dec. 15 at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs. Lisa Demmi, an inspirational speaker, coach and social media professional, is the keynote speaker. Attendees can also expect brunch, one complimentary mimosa or Bloody Mary and a silent auction. Holiday music will be provided by DJ Russ Sampson. Tickets are available for $75 each or tables of 10 for $700. All proceeds from the event will benefit Dress for Success SW Florida.  Sponsorships are still available. To purchase tickets, call (239) 689-4992 or visit

Matter Brothers donates furniture to United Way

Since June of 2018, Matter Brothers Furniture has donated more than $78,000 worth of furniture, rugs and bedding to United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee’s Gifts In Kind program.  Businesses give new and used furniture, household items, and office supplies to United Way, and United Way distributes these items to local nonprofit agencies. Nonprofit agencies then distribute them to families who have been devastated by disasters, or in the case of office furniture, keep them to replace badly worn-out desks and chairs. Matter Brothers began donating furniture after Hurricane Irma. Companies or individuals who wish to donate to United Way Gifts-In-Kind program should contact Asia Johnson at (239) 433-7556 or​

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