Gulfshore Business Daily: November 9

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Lead Photo: Vascular & Vein Center at Gulfcoast Surgeons commemorates Bonita Springs anniversary by accepting new patients.



With the holiday season fast-approaching, Attorney General Ashley Moody is promoting a program that contains tips and resources available for Floridians to help protect themselves against emerging scams and fraud. “Scams at a Glance: ‘Tis the Season” aims to educate Floridians on common scams typical of holiday-season purchasing and giving. Know that if a deal appears too good to be true, it almost always is. To view the “Scams at a Glance: ‘Tis the Season” brochure, click here. To access a webpage for more content related to common scams, click here.


Hertz Global Holdings Inc. announced Thursday, Nov. 5, that it has secured commitments for fleet financing totaling $4 billion and has filed a motion for approval of Estero-based Hertz entering into the documentation for the financing by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Upon approval, and together with the up to $1 billion of Hertz’s debtor-in-possession financing that may be used for equity in the fleet financing subsidiary, Hertz will have access to up to $5 billion in total funding to support its fleet financing needs, the company reports. Hertz plans to refresh its rental car fleet in 2021 and anticipates the purchase of nearly 230,000 vehicles with a newly-formed special purpose entity that will be a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hertz Corp.


Florida-grown tomatoes pack a tasty punch for tomato juice, new University of Florida research shows. For years, researchers have toiled to help breeders develop the genetic traits to give UF/IFAS-bred tomatoes more flavor, according to a new UF blog by Brad Buck. Now, for a newly published study, scientists used six UF/IFAS varieties to process into six different tomato juices. In three testing panels, researchers asked how the juices tasted and smelled. The verdict: two “thumbs-up.” Panelists consistently rated juice made from the UF/IFAS-bred Garden Gem significantly higher for aroma, flavor and texture. “I think this study shows that Florida tomatoes are viable for making processed tomato products,” said Paul Sarnoski, a UF/IFAS associate professor of food science and human nutrition. Now that researchers know Florida-grown tomatoes are good for tomato juice, scientists want to know whether Florida tomatoes can be marketed at a cost-effective price. 

Video courtesy of WINK News


A family pastime has been shuttered at the Coastland Center Mall in Naples because of the pandemic. The carousel – and the woman who has been running it for 10 years – have ridden off into the sunset. Mary “Miss Mary ” Warder and her carousel have become a Naples bright spot over the years. Warder, from her cowgirl hat to her contagious smile, is the one who made the wheels turn at the carousel in the mall’s food court. “I’m sort of the grandmother at the mall, the mom of the mall,” Warder said. Sadly, Friday, Nov. 6, marked the end of the ride, WINK News reports.


The “Ding” Darling Nature Store2 at 2250 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island is soon opening to the public. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce will do a ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. on Nov. 20, and the store will offer specials all weekend long. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge will operate Nature Store2, along with its original storefront and online store, to support wildlife and conservation at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge (DDWS). While the flagship Refuge Nature Store in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center remains unable to open because it resides within a federal building that the government has mandated for closure, Nature Store2 will provide a storefront for selling books, clothing, jewelry, art, and other gifts to support the refuge. The space also will serve as a fulfillment center for the online store.


The Vascular & Vein Center at Gulfcoast Surgeons is commemorating one year in Bonita Springs by accepting new patients. The regionwide clinic’s third office location at 24301 Walden Center Drive, Suite 102, includes in-house, state-of-the-art treatment facilities and a specialization in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose and spider veins using the latest technology and procedures. Surgeons also offer same-day rule outs of Deep Vein Thrombosis via initial testing and noninvasive treatment, if necessary. The newest office features a full Angio suite for procedures at a fraction of the time and cost of an outpatient hospital, according to Vascular & Vein Center. Dr. Johan Escribano and Dr. Matthew Sanders have recently joined the four-person leadership team in Bonita Springs.



Darcy Allen

Lee Health promotes several to key leadership roles

Lee Health announced several promotions within the organization to allow for more integration of clinical operations and improve collaboration across the system. In dyad leadership with Dr. Eric Appelgren, Darcy Allen has moved from Lee Memorial Hospital to HealthPark Medical Center to serve as the vice president of operations/chief nurse executive, a position she has held at Lee Memorial Hospital since 2019. Alyssa Bostwick has been promoted to vice president of operations and chief nurse executive for Golisano Children’s Services. Most recently, Bostwick served as the program development coordinator. Julia Liebscher has been promoted to vice president of operations/chief nurse executive at Lee Memorial Hospital. Liebscher previously served as system director of integration and planning. In her new role, Liebscher will work in dyad leadership with Dr. James Kasiewicz, interim chief physician executive.

Lori Fowler

Women’s Foundation of Collier County announces new brand and board members

The Women’s Foundation of Collier County (WFCC) has unveiled its new brand, including a mission and vision to empower women and inspire change, with the 2020-21 board members helping to accomplish these goals. Joining the WFCC board this year are Lori Fowler, founder of The Naples Luxury Team; Michelle McLeod, grants coordinator for Collier County; and Lisa Nakfoor, vice president and trust advisor for Regions Private Wealth Management in Naples. The Women’s Foundation of Collier County is a field-of-interest fund administered by the Community Foundation of Collier County. WFCC has granted more than $550,000 for local women and girls programs and scholarships since 2008.




FHP launches ‘Stuff the Charger’ campaign to collect food for families in need

The Florida Highway Patrol has launched its annual “Stuff The Charger” campaign, collecting food for families in need. It’s the fifth year troopers have helped feed the community they serve. The food collected will be donated to the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Nonperishable food items can be dropped off through Nov. 30 at any FHP office, including the Fort Myers office at 10041 Daniels Parkway.

Video courtesy of WINK News 

Salvation Army shifts online to spread cheer during pandemic

This holiday season is going to be trying for many reasons, and Southwest Florida charities are going to need help to make sure area families can put food on the table and gifts under the tree. The Salvation Army is teaming up with Walmart to come to the rescue. You can still find some bell ringers with the red kettle outside stores, but you can also go online and donate. The Salvation Army in Naples hopes to raise $400,000 this year, and usually gives new clothes and toys to 1 million children who would go without gifts. This year, it’s expecting an additional 1.6 million people to ask for help. So, it’s creating a safer way for people to spread holiday cheer through the web-based Walmart angel tree program
Families can go online, fill out an application and create a wish list, WINK News reports.

Donations snowball to create Fund-a-Need match for Voices of Hope Gala

Supporters have teamed up to provide a $10,000 match for Fund-a-Need donations collected during the Voices of Hope Gala, a Nov. 12 virtual fundraising event for Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit. The matching grant began when Charlotte County resident Robert Ives offered a memorial gift to honor his late wife, Rhoda Ives, a teacher who dedicated her career to educating children and young adults. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office then provided a donation from forfeiture funds. Additionally, two Foundation board members, Bruce L. Greenberg and Gary L. Lederer, and their wives Kathy Greenberg and Jean Lederer, contributed donations so the matching grant would be an even $10,000. For more information about the Voices of Hope Gala, including tickets and instructions on accessing the livestream link, visit or call 239-533-1435.

Spectrum Concierge partners with Fill-A-Bag

Spectrum Concierge LLC, a home management company serving the Naples and Bonita Springs area, has recently taken a big step towards keeping Naples’ beaches even cleaner. The City of Naples has approved the installation of a Fill-A-Bag beach cleanup station at Lowdermilk Beach Park, which will be installed later this month. Each station is equipped with reusable buckets that anyone can grab to fill up with ocean pollution. The owners of Spectrum Concierge, Dave and Steph Feightner, recently challenged their staff to form internal action committees dedicated to better serve the community, improve the health of their employees and the environment. “The concept is quite simple. We provide reusable buckets that you can take on your walks and if you see something that doesn’t belong on our beaches such as plastic or trash, pick it up and throw it away. At the end of your walk, simply empty the bucket and know that you are making a difference in keeping our beaches litter-free,” said Spectrum Concierge Marketing Manager Robert Peia. 
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