Gulfshore Business Daily: Oct. 6

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Lead Photo: Empire Bagel Factory opens a third location in Collier County. Details below.

 

HERTZ NAMES FORMER FORD CEO AS INTERIM CEO
Estero-based Hertz announced Tuesday that it named Mark Fields as interim CEO of the recently restructured company that emerged from bankruptcy this summer. Former Hertz CEO Paul Stone was named president and chief operations officer. The moves, effective immediately, are part of a vision for an all-new Hertz that combines the iconic company’s brand strength and global fleet management with new technology and innovations charting a dynamic, new course for travel, mobility and the auto industry, the company reports. Fields, who joined Hertz’s board of directors in June, also is a senior advisor at TPG Capital and former president and CEO of Ford Motor Co., where he served for 28 years. In addition, he is lead independent director of Tanium and serves on Qualcomm’s board of directors. In his new roles, Stone will focus on the company’s operations and customer service. The Hertz Corp., a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings Inc., operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty vehicle rental brands. 

 

GARDEN STREET STEEL MANUFACTURING BUSINESS SELLS
Garden Street, a locally owned steel manufacturing business in Fort Myers since 1989, has sold for an undisclosed, multi-million dollar amount, according to the seller. The David Joseph Company, a division of Nucor, the largest steel manufacturing company in the U.S., bought the company Monday from founder Rob Weber. Weber declined to disclose the sale price. Garden Street serves all of Southwest Florida. It has a metal yard and a 46-acre campus at 3350 Metro Parkway in Fort Myers. There’s also a metal yard at 4246 Exchange Ave., in east Naples and one at 220 South Industrial Loop Circle in LaBelle. For the full story, click here.

 

LEE COMMISSIONERS APPROVE LEETRAN ON-DEMAND SERVICE IN BONITA SPRINGS AREA 
Lee County commissioners voted Tuesday to launch a pilot program for a mobile on-demand transit service in the Bonita Springs area. The new Ultra On Demand Transit service will feature a minibus that will take riders anywhere within three-quarters of a mile from the existing Route 150, which will no longer operate as a fixed route. The on-demand service will be available 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Passengers can use a mobile application or a phone call to schedule a ride rather than wait for fixed-route service. Service is scheduled to begin in January and rides will cost $1.50. The on-demand service will support LeeTran’s fixed-route services by connecting Bonita area riders to the 600 LinC route, which ventures into Collier County, as well as Route 410 with service to Lovers Key State Park. Transitioning to an on-demand service not only offers more convenience to riders, but it will save the county about $300,000 annually in public funds. The new service will not replace ADA Passport service, which will still be available to those who qualify. 

 

LEE COMMISSIONERS ACCEPT MATCHING GRANT TO ADD SAND TO BONITA BEACH 
Lee County commissioners on Tuesday voted to accept a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to add sand to the northern end of Little Hickory Island on Bonita Beach. The project will add sand to 0.8 miles of beach considered critically eroded by the state. The grant will pay for design, permitting and placement of the sand, which is expected to be added to the beach in about a year, depending on the permitting process. The $2.54 million matching grant includes $983,600 from Lee County paid through the tourist development tax on short-term lodging, $946,000 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and $610,000 from the city of Bonita Springs. The benefits of a sandy beach include storm protection, increased recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, as well as environmental benefits such as dune and sea turtle nesting habitat. To read more about beach renourishment projects, click here.

 

EMPIRE BAGEL FACTORY OPENS THIRD LOCATION IN COLLIER COUNTY 
Empire Bagel Factory opened its third location Saturday in Collier County. The new store refreshed the former Dunkin’ space in the Flash convenience store/food court, car wash and gas station complex, 9995 Tamiami Trail E., across from Treviso Bay in East Naples. Chunky Bunky’s Ice Cream Shop also recently opened in that plaza, which provides indoor and outdoor seating for the eateries. The new Empire Bagel shop, open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, joins its other locations in North Naples and Marco Island. “We have the same menu as the other stores. However, we did extend our lunch menu a bit. We have added wraps and salads along with our sub sandwiches,” says Rachel Oest, who co-owns the local business with her husband, Lucas. 

 

RIBBON-CUTTING NOV. 3 FOR BROOKS COMMUNITY PARK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT 
The public is invited to attend a ribbon-cutting at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at one of Lee County’s oldest parks, Brooks Community Park, 50 South Road, just south of Page Field in Fort Myers. The ceremony will feature brief remarks by county commissioners and other officials. The $1.6 million project features a shade structure for the pickleball courts, new restrooms, upgrades to existing restrooms for compliance with ADA standards, 196 additional parking spaces, sidewalks, additional landscaping and plumbing improvements. The local park, which was originally constructed in 1973, hosts youth and adult athletic leagues and has baseball and softball fields, football fields, pickleball courts, picnic shelters and other amenities

 

CORE HEALTH PARTNERS LAUNCHES MEDICAL SERVICES AT GRACE PLACE
Core Health Partners and Grace Place Center for Children and Families have partnered to provide greater access to preventive health care screenings, diabetes and nutritional education, as well as medical interventions through speech, physical and occupational therapy. In this partnership, Grace Place for Children and Families will provide a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant space for clinicians to work directly with the children enrolled in the school’s early education and after-school programs. With parental consent, Core Health Partners’ licensed pediatric clinical staff will provide developmental screenings to ensure children are meeting key physical and social-emotional milestones. Registered dieticians and nutritionists provide education and diabetes screenings to engage children in making healthier choices. Beyond the screenings, medical professionals will be on-site to provide follow-up treatment for children that need medical interventions. Families were invited to attend an orientation meeting at Grace Place between Sept. 15-29 to learn more about the services to be provided.

 

Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida

PHYSICIANS’ PRIMARY CARE OF SWFL OPENS NEW FORT MYERS OFFICE
Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida has opened a new Fort Myers adult medicine office located in the Burks Plaza at 13195 Metro Parkway. “This location allows us to accommodate the growth in patients as well as service the primary health care needs of Lee County. Our patients will have increased access to care from this location,” said Dr. Mary Yankaskas, managing physician of Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida. Physicians practicing at this location include Dr. Jorge Valenzuela and Dr. Jennelle Villaflor. Appointments can be made by calling 239-482-1010. New patients are accepted. Services offered at the new location include complete comprehensive care and treatment, disease prevention, health promotion and annual physicals.

 

Robert Hensley

INTEGRITY EMPLOYEE LEASING BOARD APPOINTS CEO
Integrity Employee Leasing’s board of directors has appointed Robert Hensley as its new chief executive officer. Hensley has served as the company’s president for the past four years, directing the company operations and strategic planning. Headquartered in Charlotte County, Integrity Employee Leasing is a national firm providing human resource services to clients in 18 states, with more than 15,000 leased employees. Before joining Integrity Employee Leasing, Hensely was a consultant with Gerson Lehrman Group. Prior to that, he was the president of operations for a franchisee of Dunkin’ Donuts. In addition to experience with Dunkin’ brands, Hensley has operated a variety of franchise businesses including First Watch, Taco Bell and Hurricane Grill and Wings.

 

James Walls

LEE & ASSOCIATES PROMOTES WALLS TO VICE PRESIDENT
Lee & Associates has promoted James Walls to vice president. Walls, earlier this year, completed a $2 million sale of a 20,000-square-foot warehouse on Enterprise Avenue in Bonita Springs and a 35,000-square-foot industrial lease on behalf of Zing Quality Furniture in Fort Myers. Walls specializes in selling and leasing of industrial and retail properties and recently added a large retail leasing assignment to his accomplishments. Walls has more than 10 years of commercial real estate experience spanning multiple sectors and markets. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2010 and started his commercial real estate career in Fort Lauderdale before becoming an industrial research analyst for another major commercial real estate company in Tampa. He joined the Naples’ branch office of Lee & Associates | Naples – Fort Myers in 2019.

 

VELOCITY ENGINEERING PROMOTES INGRAM, DEPONTO TO VP ROLES
Velocity Engineering Services promoted Christopher Ingram and Anthony DePonto, each to a vice president position. As vice presidents, they will manage the day-to-day operations of the company. This includes overseeing all engineering services provided by the firm including geotechnical, environmental, association services and forensic and building sciences. Ingram holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Florida Gulf Coast University, has 10 years of experience and joined Velocity in 2017. DePonto holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Florida State University, has seven years of experience and joined Velocity in 2014. Before the promotions, both individuals have most recently been serving as project managers for Velocity.

 

DECEMBER SPECIAL SECTION: RISING STARS IN LAW
The December 2021 issue of Gulfshore Business will include our annual Rising Stars in Law special advertising section. Don’t miss this special opportunity to spotlight your Southwest Florida law firm’s best young attorneys to the 40,000-plus monthly readers of Gulfshore Business! For advertising inquiries, please contact Associate Publisher Chris Renstrom at 239-498-8517 or chris.renstrom@gulfshorebusiness.com.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES 
 

Child’s Path children

Child’s Path receives $45,000 grant from Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation 
Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has awarded Child’s Path a $45,000 grant to support its Bright Paths Scholarship fund, which provides tuition assistance to underserved children in Collier County. These scholarships offer at-risk and underserved children access to early childhood education, which prepares them for kindergarten and future academic success. Child’s Path operates four early learning centers in Collier County, and 75% of the 400 children enrolled annually receive the scholarships this grant helps to fund. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation (RMSFF) was created in 2004 by Best Buy founder Dick Schulze to give back to the communities in Minnesota where he and his family grew up, and in Florida, where he now maintains a permanent residence.
 

Greater Naples Chamber secures $10,000 Wells Fargo grant
The Greater Naples Chamber, through the Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), has secured a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo for small business support programs. Funds from this grant will support chamber initiatives to retain and grow businesses within Collier County. The resources provided by the chamber and the LCF aid businesses when navigating the permitting process, communicating with local government, applying to training grants and other economic development challenges. Wells Fargo makes contributions in areas that are important to the future of the nation’s vitality and success, LCF states. This is the ninth time in 10 years that the Wells Fargo grant has been awarded to the organization. 

 

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