Gulfshore Business Daily: Oct. 8

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club
Lead Photo: GMA Architects & Planners completes design of Immokalee Fire Station No. 30


Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club

Tech billionaire Michael S. Dell’s MSD Partners purchased the exclusive Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club in Naples for $16.625 million on Sept. 27. The seller was Collier Enterprises Inc., a Naples-based real estate investment and development firm that also sold its Old Collier Golf Club last week to Hoffmann Family of Companies, headquartered in Naples. Dell is the founder, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies computer IT company and also the money behind The Athens Group’s redevelopment of the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, which permanently closed in May and is proposed to be the future home of a Four Seasons resort. Dell’s MSD Partners and MSD Capital control a luxury portfolio that includes the Boca Raton Resort & Club purchased two years ago. MSD, which has offices in New York, California and West Palm Beach, is a private investment firm established in 1998 to exclusively manage the assets of Michael Dell and his family. Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club is tucked away in a protected harbor off Naples Bay on 28.38 acres at the southern tip of the city of Naples near Naples Botanical Garden, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Gordon Pass and Keewaydin Island. Developed by Collier Enterprises in 2008, the private club has 25 floating wet slips and an advanced storage center that can hold as many as 325 boats. Its Old Florida-style clubhouse includes a full-service restaurant and bar. For the full story, click here.


Leaders and elected officials from across Charlotte, Collier and Lee counties will meet today for the first time as part of the Southwest Florida Regional Resiliency Compact. The purpose of the compact is to build an alliance among county and municipal governments and natural and cultural resource managers to improve the region’s resilience to the effects of sea-level rise, storminess and warming temperatures. The session is the first of two workshops to formally organize the group and will be facilitated by The Water School at FGCU, Growing Climate Solutions and the FCRC Consensus Center. The meeting will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Room 118 at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Emergent Technologies Institute, 16301 Innovation Lane, Fort Myers. The meeting will also be accessible virtually. Participants include representatives from the three county governments as well as those from Everglades City, Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, the Captiva Erosion Prevention District and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. These jurisdictions previously ratified a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to establish the compact. 


Estero-based Hertz Global Holdings Inc. announced the appointment of Evelina Vougessis Machas to its board of directors, effective Sept. 30. Vougessis Machas is an accomplished executive in the European financial industry with proven success raising capital and leading teams through corporate transformations. She is the co-founder and CEO of Moneikos Global Asset Management, an independent asset management company based in Monaco. She is also the co-founder of MaxInvest Holdings, a single-family office that invests in startups and early-stage companies. The Hertz Corp., a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty vehicle rental brands. 


The daily operation of the new Food & Thought 2 all-organic restaurant in North Naples will be led by General Manager Dan Kniola and Executive Sous Chef Raena Hobson. Targeted to open in November or December, the new restaurant will replace Founders Market & Bistro, which permanently closed this spring at 7941 Airport-Pulling Road. Kniola recently left his role as executive chef at Players Club & Spa in Lely Resort after working for Stock Development for 21 years. He previously was a chef for the Ritz-Carlton hotel company and the Grand Floridian resort at Walt Disney World. Hobson most recently was executive chef at Meridian Café in Naples for more than three years and previously was chef at Three60 Market in East Naples, Naples Grande Golf Club and The Club at Grandezza in Estero. The restaurant will have a large courtyard and an adjacent organic market. The venue is owned by Alfie Oakes of Naples-based Oakes Farms, Randy Johns of Phoenix Associates construction company and Anthony High of Marjon Specialty Foods. 


The Collier Public Transit & Neighborhood Enhancement Division is announcing a 30-day public comment period for route modifications that will take effect Nov. 21. Major changes will be taking place across multiple Collier Area Transit routes. As part of the process of introducing these changes and informing the public, a public comment period is held, and a public workshop will take place. Changes have been proposed to 10 CAT routes, including the removal of one route completely to provide enhanced service through other routes. These enhancements consist of service frequency, consolidation and realignment modifications along with several additional modifications needed to approach a cost-neutral implementation. These changes will be available for public review online and across multiple locations throughout Collier County. A public workshop is scheduled for Nov. 5. 


Collier County ranked No. 6 in SmartAsset’s list of “Most Paycheck-Friendly Places” in Florida. The financial technology company determined paycheck friendliness by comparing income taxes, purchasing power, unemployment and income growth in counties across the U.S. Collier County was listed with an estimated semi-monthly paycheck of $1,676; purchasing power of 1.57; unemployment rate of 4.7%; income growth of 4.4% and Paycheck Friendliness Index of 87.33. Additional details on the study, including methodology and an interactive map, can be found here.


The Leadership Collier Foundation, in partnership with the United Way, the Community Foundation and Greater Naples Leadership, will host the seventh annual Get Involved Collier! Volunteer Expo from 3-6 p.m. on Nov. 10 at Coastland Center in Naples. More than 50 nonprofit and government agencies within Collier County who have needs for board members, committee members or general volunteer needs will have exhibitor tables. Guests are invited to network with representatives from the organizations about their needs, learn more about their mission and see what might be a good fit for their time investment. The Volunteer Expo is free for attendees, but registration is required. 


Rice Insulation & Glass at Alico Trade Center

Seagate Development Group has started building a 32,000-square-foot warehouse and 3,000-square-foot office for Rice Insulation & Glass at Alico Trade Center. The Seagate-owned, Class-A business park is at Alico Road and Oriole Road in Fort Myers. The construction milestone comes after crews poured the foundation for the design-build as well as started exterior walls and steel columns. They are also continuing site development and additional exterior construction. The office space is reserved for sales and management teams. Rice Insulation & Glass is the first tenant at the 40-acre Alico Trade Center. The facility will be surrounded by other single-tenant offices, flex and industrial buildings in a growing area of Lee County. “We are working with Studio+, Quattrone & Associates and other key partners to have Rice Insulation & Glass up and running by the first quarter of 2022,” said Matt Price, CEO & Partner at Seagate Development Group. For more information on Alico Road corridor developments, click here.


GMA Architects & Planners celebrated the completion of its architectural design for Immokalee Fire Station No. 30 at a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 27. The firehouse will feature three apparatus bays and be equipped with bunker gear storage and a shop area. The building also will feature a lobby, conference room and two offices. Firefighters and emergency personnel will have access to a full kitchen and dining area, lounge, fitness room, five restrooms, bunk rooms and an outdoor porch, as well as a laundry room. Located at 510 New Market Road, Fire Station No. 30 will replace an existing firehouse that is not a hurricane-rated structure. The new three-story building is designed to withstand 170 miles-per-hour winds and will be Immokalee’s first ground-up firehouse construction; previous fire stations were all renovated structures. The total project cost is $4.2 million, much of which is being funded through the Collier County Community and Human Resources Division and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant funds. Project Architect Noel Hernandez served as GMA’s lead architect on the Fire Station No. 30 project. Wright Construction Group is the contractor. Project completion is estimated in late 2022.


John Lai

John Lai, president and chief executive officer of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, recently took the seat of chair for the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP). The statewide chamber agency installed its 2021-2022 board of directors from throughout the state at its annual conference held Sep. 22-24 in Jupiter, Florida. The board of directors is the governing body responsible for overseeing the operations of FACP, whose mission is to advance excellence in chamber management in the state of Florida. Lai served as chair-elect last year. He succeeds Corydon “Cory” Skeates, president and CEO of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. As chair, Lai will lead the board in the coming year and oversee its direction in providing development skills for professionals within the chamber of commerce industry. Lai has served at the Sanibel & Captiva Chamber’s helm since 2017. 


Shirley Nichols

Earn to Learn Florida has hired Shirley Nichols as matched savings program coordinator. Earn to Learn FL is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to empower income-challenged students to complete college. “The Matched Savings Program allows students and their families who income-qualify to deposit up to $500 into an Earn to Learn FL savings account each year,” said Brenda Tate, Earn to Learn FL CEO. “Their savings are then matched 8:1 by Earn to Learn FL. They match their total available funds for financial assistance up to $4,500 per academic year.” Nichols most recently worked at Claflin University in South Carolina as a student support coordinator in career development. She earned her Master of Education in Business Education from Georgia Southern University in Georgia and her Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Winthrop University in South Carolina. She earned 30 hours above her master’s in school administration.



SWFL Inc. to host golf tournament open to the community at Raptor Bay Golf Club
Team reservations are open now for the Nov. 5 golf scramble hosted by SWFL Inc. at Raptor Bay Golf Club. The tournament is open to community members and SWFL Inc. business members alike and will feature raffle prizes, activities throughout the course and lunch. Foursomes are available for $750. Hole and driving range sponsorships are also available featuring an opportunity to showcase your business with food, games and giveaway items for the golfers. For more information, contact Hannah Phillips at or call 239-992-2943.


Arts for ACT Virtual Gala and Auction held Oct. 29
The Arts for ACT Virtual Gala and Auction will be held on Oct. 29. The live auction starts at 7 p.m., with pre-show entertainment at 6:30 p.m. The event raises funds for the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc., a non-profit agency serving victims of domestic violence and their children and survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking in Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties. Auctioneer Scott Robertson is hosting with emcee Kellie Burns. Michelle Grimm and Heather Mazurkiewicz are serving as events chairs with Stephanie Davis and Gina Burch as honorary chairs. Registration is free. Silent auction items are already available for bidding, and live auction items are available for viewing. For more information, contact Jennifer Benton at 239-939-2553 or 


Tommy Bohanon Foundation to benefits from Nor-Tech charity art auction
Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats announced a limited online charity art auction to benefit the Tommy Bohanon Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida. Two donors gifted the charities high-value art pieces, and the auction boasts works from James Fairman and Rembrandt. The Tommy Bohanon Foundation is dedicated to young athletes in supporting them to reach their highest potential on and off the playing field. RMHC SWFL creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children and their families in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. The online charity art auction starts today and runs until Oct. 29. Interested parties can bid here. Proceeds from the online charity art auction will be split 50/50 for both charities.


Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.


You May Also Like

Post-high school education on the rise

Little by little, Southwest Florida’s workforce is getting more skilled. The FutureMakers Coalition is an initiative by local leaders to raise the overall education level...

The Economy, the Pandemic and FGCU

The last 18 months have been an economic roller coaster for Southwest Florida. One would be hard-pressed to find any economist or soothsayer who predicted...