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Gulfshore Business Daily: Oct. 13

Lead Photo: Red Sox raise $47,195 at 10th annual Swings for the Sox golf tournament. Details below.

 

MATILDA JANE CLOTHING OPENS CORPORATE HQ IN FORT MYERS
Matilda Jane Clothing, a girls’ and women’s apparel brand, is opening its new corporate headquarters in Fort Myers, with a ribbon-cutting celebration at 3 p.m. on Friday at 12501 World Plaza Lane, building 51. Donna Noce Colaco is the CEO and executive chairwoman of the business. The Matilda Jane brand, which began in 2005 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, sells clothing for girls and women through its network of independent entrepreneurs known as Trunk Keepers. In addition to its fashion offering, Matilda Jane empowers women to become business owners and support each other through a network of other female entrepreneurs. The brand has given more than 2,000 women (or Trunk Keepers) the foundation to build businesses in their communities. 

 

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES MOSTLY BACK ON TRACK FOR RSW FLIGHTS
Although Southwest Airlines canceled eight flights Monday at Southwest Florida International Airport, no flights were canceled on Tuesday, although at least 10 were delayed. A third of Southwest’s 18 arriving flights at RSW were delayed Tuesday and a quarter of the 20 departing flights were delayed, flight data shows. This comes after the airline canceled hundreds of flights nationwide Monday and more than 2,000 flights over the weekend. The company cited weather and air traffic control issues for causing delays in getting aircraft and crews repositioned. The widespread disruptions began shortly after the pilots’ union asked a federal court on Friday to block the airline’s order that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

 

OFFICE DEPOT PERMANENTLY CLOSING STORE IN NORTH NAPLES 
The longtime Office Depot store in Naples Park is set to permanently close Nov. 13. A future tenant has not been announced for the 19,000-square-foot freestanding building at 10455 Tamiami Trail N., North Naples. In a filing last year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Boca Raton-based office supply company announced a restructuring plan that includes closing and consolidating distribution facilities and retail stores for a reduction of about 13,100 employees by the end of 2023. Another Office Depot store in Collier County remains open more than 6 miles south at 2175 Ninth St. N. in Naples Plaza. 

 

GREATER NAPLES FIRE RESCUE DISTRICT ACCUSED OF MISUSING COVID RELIEF FUNDS 
A whistleblower lawsuit is claiming that a fire district misused its COVID-19 relief funds. The Greater Naples Fire-Rescue District has been accused of misusing funds that were originally intended to be spent on personal protective equipment (PPE) and personnel costs. The lawsuit, filed by former division Chief Kevin Nelmes, claims that Nelmes warned the chief that the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District was not using its CARES Act money for the designated purpose, however, the chief did not investigate Nelmes’ complaint. Instead, the fire district opened an internal affairs investigation on Nelmes and fired him a week later. Nelmes seeks his job back, all of his benefits restored and double back pay. The fire district has not responded for comment, WINK News reports

 

Video courtesy of WINK News
FLORIDA COULD LIFT 30-YEAR BAN ON CATCHING GOLIATH GROUPER 
At its October meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a draft proposal for a limited, highly regulated harvest of goliath grouper in Florida waters. Staff was directed to explore additional changes before bringing the proposal back for final approval at its March 2022 meeting. The proposed draft rules include a recreational harvest of up to 200 goliath grouper per year, with a maximum of 50 from Everglades National Park; requiring a recreational goliath harvest permit and tag issued via a random-draw lottery; limiting harvest to one fish per person per open season with permit and tag during a season to tun March 1 through May 31. “Conservation is not about closing a resource forever; it’s about closing it as a management measure and giving access back when we can,” says FWC Commissioner Robert Spottswood. “I believe we are at this point, and it is a small and productive step in the right direction.” 

 

Aloia Roland senior partners

ALOIA ROLAND EXPANDS FOOTPRINT TO HENDRY-GLADES COUNTY
Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan PLLC has broadened its reach to better serve Southwest Florida’s five-county region, with the addition of two Hendry-Glades-based attorneys. As part of the Aloia Roland trial attorney team, Steve Ramunni will focus his attention on probate litigation and estate planning, business law, agricultural law, land use and zoning, and civil litigation. Maritrini Soto Garcia joins the law firm’s team as an associate attorney. Both Ramunni and Soto Garcia will be based in the Hendry-Glades office in LaBelle, Florida. Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan PLLC is a full-service law firm with practice areas in business and real estate law, commercial litigation, personal injury and wrongful death, class action litigation, family law and wills, trusts, estates and probate. 

 

Gabriella Di Falco

FIFTH AVENUE SOUTH WELCOMES ELECT LIFESTYLE
The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District announced that Elect Lifestyle, a customized travel and fashion experiences provider, has opened an office at 780 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 200, Naples. Elect Lifestyle membership benefits include access to hotel reservations, private air and yacht charter reservations, dining and nightlife, special event tickets and personal shopping. The new Naples office is led by co-founder and CEO Gabriella Di Falco. Born in Italy, Di Falco has a background in fashion design and has lived and worked in Milan, Florence, London and Miami and, most recently, at the W at South Beach. Di Falco is joined by company co-founder Larry Altruda, who is the second-generation owner of Big Tours. Big Tours was issued with one of the first International Air Transportation Association numbers in Italy and has since amassed membership in multiple worldwide hotel programs, the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement states.

 

HYATT REGENCY COCONUT POINT COMPLETING MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR GUESTROOM RENOVATION
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs is completing a multimillion-dollar guestroom renovation in recognition of its 20th anniversary. The updates will include a complete transformation of the property’s 426 rooms and 28 suites. The project is expected to be completed in November. The updated guestrooms will consist of new hardwood flooring, coconut wood bed frames and modern furnishing and décor, the hotel states. The new rooms will feature a light green and ocean blue color palette and new sandy-colored light fixtures, bold accent chairs and patio furniture matching a tropical theme. The new rooms complement the resort’s recently renovated meeting spaces and lobby. In addition, the resort updated its corridors with wavy light grey and green carpeting and dark brown furniture and fixtures.

 

CAPITAL WEALTH ADVISORS PROMOTES BOUTON TO ASSOCIATE PORTFOLIO MANAGER
Capital Wealth Advisors (CWA) in Naples has promoted Alex Bouton to associate portfolio manager. He is approaching five years with CWA as a member of the investment team. He will propose, deploy, and monitor the firm’s investment strategies for both fixed income and equity portfolios in his new position. Bouton earned his bachelor’s degree in finance at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He holds a Series 65 license, a state-specific securities license administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) that allows individuals to market and sell securities and give financial advice related to securities. CWA is an independent financial advisory firm serving families and entrepreneurs through wealth advisory, estate planning and family office services.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES 

The Red Sox Foundation hosts Swings for the Sox golf tournament
The Red Sox Foundation held its 10th annual Swings for the Sox golf tournament on Oct. 1 at the Tiburón Golf Club in Naples. This year’s event raised $47,195. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Lee County Red Sox Scholarship program. Each year, the Red Sox Foundation awards a $5,000 college scholarship to one deserving student from each of the 14 public high schools in Lee County. To date, the Swings for the Sox has raised more than $497,000 for local charities and specifically $437,175 for the scholarship program. This year’s title sponsor was DLD Builders and joined Millennium Physician Group as presenting sponsor. Once again, the Red Sox will go live with an online auction through mlb.com and its Ultimate Red Sox raffle that will raise additional funds for the local scholarships later this month.

 

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