Gulfshore Business Daily: November 8

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The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) is seeking nominations for the 10th annual Chrysalis Awards Celebration of Business & Tourism. The VCB and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce organize the luncheon and trade show, which will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 10, 2019 at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa. The Chrysalis awards recognize the value of tourism and community teamwork in maintaining and enhancing tourism as a major economic engine for Lee County. The awards represent an opportunity for Lee County community members and businesses to recognize tourism partners. At the luncheon, six Chrysalis award recipients will be announced. A panel of local business and community leaders judge the nominations and select one award recipient for each of the six categories: Business Development, Cultural Achievement, Education, Business Tourism Leader, Eco Innovation and Sales & Marketing. Submit nominations at  Nomination deadline is Jan. 18, 2019. 


Youth Haven has received its fourth consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the most utilized evaluator of charities in the nation, according to a press release. This is the highest possible rating awarded by the organization, highlighting Youth Haven’s fiscal responsibility. Youth Haven’s four-star rating is a testament to its adherence to sector best practices and financial efficiency. Charity Navigator recognizes nonprofits that demonstrate strong financial health, and commitment to accountability and transparency. Fifteen percent of charities evaluated by Charity Navigator have received at least four four-star evaluations. Nearly 83 cents on the donated dollar is spent on Youth Haven’s enrichment programs.


Leopardi’s Italian Restaurant, established by Anthony Leopardi, founder of Cornerstone Builders of Southwest Florida, will open on Saturday at 13851 South Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers, in the building that formerly hosted Dwyer’s Restaurant and the Tilted Kilt Restaurant. The restaurant will offer a casual family dining atmosphere, featuring an Italian menu with some of Leopardi’s family recipes. It will be open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11-2 a.m.; and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. On-site catering is also offered and private parties for up to 70 guests can be accommodated.


Gulfshore Playhouse has named Jeanne Sigler as its interim capital campaign director of the Next Stage Campaign. Sigler has served as the theater’s capital campaign consultant for several years and will fill this position until the end of the current season. A longtime fundraising strategist, consultant and nonprofit leader, Sigler served as president of Jeanne Sigler & Associates Inc. for 31 years. She also founded and led Interim Solutions, a boutique staffing service providing interim senior-level staffing for major arts and education organizations. In 2012, Sigler launched Sigler Consulting, through which she has served as a fundraising strategist for clients including Gulfshore Playhouse. Sigler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kalamazoo College and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She has served on many nonprofit boards over the years and founded Women in Development Philadelphia, a networking group for women in the development field, which now includes more than 225 members. Anticipated plans for the new Gulfshore Playhouse include two new theaters and an education center on a three-acre parcel at the corner of First Avenue South and Goodlette-Frank Road, which will extend the core of downtown Naples to the east of Fifth Avenue. For more information, visit or call 239-261-PLAY (7529).


Conditioned Air Co. of Naples received the Southern Business Unit (SBU) Outstanding Achievement Award on Oct. 29 at the at the Mitsubishi Diamond Dealer Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. The company was one of three Florida firms to earn the honor and the only one from Naples to Sarasota. The SBU Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes Conditioned Air as the largest heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company in its market, utilizing state-of-the-art inverter-driven intelligent systems as the future of the industry and home automation. Based in Naples, Conditioned Air has more than 375 employees serving Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties.


NOISE Inc. has hired Ashley Burns as senior brand experience leader. Burns previously led Kalon Consulting in the branding and marketing of boutique to mid-sized business to consumer clients throughout Southwest Florida. Kalon Consulting will fold into NOISE Inc. as a new partnership. A Florida native, Burns has more than15 years of customer service experience within the hospitality, recreation and tourism industries and specializes in customer experience and service marketing strategy and delivery. Burns earned a Master of Business Administration degree and a master’s in marketing from the University of Tampa and completed undergraduate studies in event management at Florida State University. She is also a U.S. Air Force veteran.


Project HELP was recently visited by 15 leaders from across the globe through a partnership known as Global Freedom Exchange. Women leaders from Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Madagascar, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the U.S., and Vietnam participated in the visit and tour of Project HELP’s Rape Recovery Center in Naples. Vital Voices, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, arranged the visit to bring together women leaders to curb the tide of human trafficking around the world by exchanging information, ideas and best practices. Project HELP offers a 24/7 crisis and sexual assault helpline, a sexual assault nurse examiner for immediate services, and sexual assault response advocates who provide guidance in coordination with local law enforcement to navigate the judicial system.  For more information, visit


2018 Celebration of Philanthropy award winners announced

The Trustees Emeriti of the Community Foundation of Collier County hailed the 2018 Celebration of Philanthropy honorees along with about 300 attendees at the 2018 Celebration of Philanthropy event on Nov. 2 at Grey Oaks Country Club. The awardees, recognized for their Hurricane Irma recovery efforts, included Outstanding Corporation, Rooms To Go; Harvey Kapnick Award, nonprofits that worked with CFCC during Hurricane Irma; Excellence in Civic Leadership Award, Collier County Public Schools; and the Collaboration Award, FineMark National Bank & Trust and First Florida Integrity Bank. For more information, visit​

Sanibel Captiva Community partners with DAV to support veterans

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank is honoring the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day by partnering with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter #108 to raise funds for local veterans in need. The DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than one million veterans ways each year. DAV Chapter No. 108, serving Sanibel and Captiva, is seeking to collect $10,000 in donations during November to help provide the necessities needed for disabled veterans and their families. Throughout November, individuals are invited to drop off checks, payable to DAV #108, to any of the seven Sanibel Captiva Community Bank locations located in Sanibel and Fort Myers. For more information, visit​

Fair at Fenway South returns to JetBlue Park in November

The Fair at Fenway South will open from Friday to Sunday, and again on Nov. 15 through 18, at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. It will run from 5 to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and from 1 to 11:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The fair will feature a Pirates of the Caribbean Show, the all-new Horses, Horses, Horses! Show, illusionist Lance Gifford, a Las Vegas hypnotist show and more. All live entertainment and shows are free and included with fair admission. A portion of the proceeds from the fair will benefit the Jordan Schuman Foundation for Kindness. For tickets and more information, visit​

ROOF receives Florida Community Bank grant

Residential Options of Florida (ROOF) has received a $7,000 grant from Florida Community Bank ( This award will support ROOF to create opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to live independently in the community with support services designed to help them be successful in their new homes. In addition to grant funding, Florida Community Bank helped to furnish ROOF’s office space with an in-kind donation of more than $16,000. They also provided support for a ROOF representative to attend training on affordable housing financing and development. ROOF will use the grant funding from Florida Community Bank to create its second home in Immokalee, known as Liberty Place. Currently under construction, Liberty Place is due to be completed in December.


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