Gulfshore Business Daily: October 16

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Employer of the Year Awards


Collier County ranked No. 7 in SmartAsset’s Counties with the “Lowest Credit Card Debt Per Capita” list for Florida. Collier County was measured as having an income of $41,239, wealth of $52,168, credit card debt of $4,223, credit card debt of 10.2% as percentage of income, credit card debt of 8.1% as percentage of wealth, and a Lowest Credit Card Debt Index of 85.53. For SmartAsset’s full methodology and a national view of the rankings, click here


Employer of the Year Awards


Seventy local businesses will receive a Family Friendly Business Award presented by Collier Child Care Resources at the Awards Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Hilton Naples. An Employer of the Year in each of four categories will also be recognized for showing the most innovation and commitment to family-friendly practices. Florida Gulf Coast University President, Dr. Michael V. Martin will give the keynote address, “It’s Never Too Early to Start Educating.” Sue Huff will emcee. Tickets are $50 per person. Genco Office Systems is the presenting sponsor of the event. Naples Daily News, Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, DeAngelis Diamond and Guadalupe Center are also sponsors. To purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit


Waterside Health Center Rendering


Shell Point Retirement Community recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on Waterside Health Center, a $77 million health care building that will include a 180-bed skilled nursing facility with private rooms, a full-service health clinic and more. More than 150 people attended the event, which was held at the future building site. To complete this project, Shell Point has partnered with The Weitz Co. The project is expected to be complete in 2021. The six-level, nearly 200,000-square-foot health care building will provide easy access for residents to receive medical care and a variety of health and wellness services all within a functional, modern space. The building will include a grand entrance and lobby, rehabilitation center with therapy pool, pharmacy, dental suite, nurse stations, dining and living rooms, sunrooms, plus a salon and day spa. Additional features include a butterfly garden, chapel and prayer garden, boardwalk, gazebo and bistro.


The Life Fitness showroom in Vineyards Country Club’s Wellness Center and Spa.


Vineyards Country Club’s Oakmont restaurant is now Blue Zones Project Approved, and the Wellness Center and Spa has earned Blue Zones Project Recognition. Sponsored locally by NCH Healthcare System, the Blue Zones Project is a well-being initiative undertaken by 50 communities across the U.S. The project aims to create communities where healthy choices are easy, and connection and socialization are part of everyday life. Vineyards Country Club’s Oakmont restaurant offers Blue Zones Project Approved dining options. The community’s new 15,000-square-foot Wellness Center and Spa offers a variety of amenities and services to promote wellbeing, such as The Life Fitness showroom facility with wellness programming, cardiovascular and strength training equipment, personal training and more, along with Café V, a Blue Zones-approved café. The accompanying spa facility offers services such as massage therapy treatments, a halotherapy salt room, a heated, outdoor saltwater half-Olympic size lap pool and more.



As part of the next phase of redevelopment, Vi at Bentley Village has announced the opening of 51 new independent living residences and a state-of-the-art golf studio, featuring two golf simulators. Construction on the new $45 million expansion began in August 2018 and was completed in September 2019. The new apartments are attached to the community’s East Clubhouse, allowing residents easy access to the clubhouse’s amenities. In addition, the new golf studio adjacent to the Golf Pro Shop offers two golf simulators that will capture swing data and provide an indoor option during inclement weather. In 2016, Vi at Bentley Village completed an $85 million redevelopment project which included two new clubhouses and 72 new independent living apartments. 


Laird A. Lile


Laird A. Lile, a board-certified wills, trusts and estates attorney in Naples, presented the Probate Power Hour at the Florida Legal Education Association’s recent Probate Team seminar in Orlando, which was attended by nearly 600 judges, lawyers and paralegals. The Probate Power Hour provides information regarding timely and topical issues regarding practicing law as a probate and trust attorney, a summary of recent legal cases involving guardianship and elective share issues, and relevant legislation. Lile was recently recognized for the second consecutive year as a Top 10 Florida Super Lawyer and as one of Florida Trend’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders in Florida. He serving a seventh consecutive term on the Board of Governors for The Florida Bar. In June 2018, Lile was selected by Chief Judge McHugh to serve as Clerk of Court ad Interim for Collier County. For more information, call (239) 649-7778 or visit



STARability’s STAR Store: Upscale Resale and Stellar Art will have a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at 106 10th St. N., Naples. From 10 a.m. to noon, Live Art Naples will be putting the finishing touches on a custom work of art with help from STAR participants. There will also be a live performance by Naples Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Basham beginning at 1 p.m. Attendees can enjoy 25% off the entire store as well as giveaways and prizes all day. All proceeds go to STARabiltiy programs to support people with varying abilities. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or contact Carrie Jo Terry at



The Fair at Fenway South returns to JetBlue Park in November, with an additional weekend. The family-friendly Fair at Fenway South takes place over three weekends: Nov. 8-10, 15-17, and 22-24. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Fridays and at 1 p.m. on weekend days. The fair closes each night at 11 p.m. (Schedule and attractions are subject to change due to weather.) This year, the Fair at Fenway features more free entertainment, new amusement rides, fair food, and games of skill. Attendees can also enjoy a motorcycle and trapeze show, circus performances, Kiddieland, and more than 40 state fair-style amusement rides. For tickets and more information, visit For vendor, sponsorship, and group sales information, contact Once again this year, the Fair at Fenway will donate a portion of the proceeds to the not-for-profit Jordan Schuman Foundation for Kindness.



Ninth annual CAN IT! Campaign food drive kicks off

Pushing the Envelope, Inc. (PTE) is launching its ninth annual CAN IT! Campaign food drive. The Fort Myers-based marketing communication firm has teamed up with Community Cooperative (CCI) once again to help relieve hunger in Southwest Florida. PTE’s goal is to collect 1,000 food items to help feed local families in need this Thanksgiving. Donations for the CAN IT! Campaign, including canned food and other non-perishable food items, will be accepted through Nov. 15 at multiple participating locations across Southwest Florida. A complete list of food items, along with drop-off locations, is available on the or at


Private shopping fundraiser with Chico’s to benefit SWFRTP

A limited number of tickets are available for a private shopping spree fundraiser to benefit the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (SWFRTP). The shopping event will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 at The Company Store operated by Chico’s FAS at 6120 Idlewild Street, Fort Myers. One-hundred percent of ticket proceeds will help the SWFRTP continue free TechTalk seminars and other technology programs for students and professionals. Advance purchase of tickets is required for $20 at The Company Store carries an assortment of clothing and accessory samples from Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma. All items have special pricing categories that include Florida sales tax. Cash, checks, debit and credit cards will be accepted. 


The Heights Foundation to host The Heights Party Band concert

The Heights Foundation will host The Heights Party Band concert at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 at The Heights Center in Fort Myers. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The concert features local musicians including Grammy-award winning songwriter Randy Thomas and his wife Lori, Rob Robinson, Kevin Kenworthy and Willie Miller, and Nashville’s Matthew Chapman. Admission is $10 per person and includes complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.  The event is sponsored by CRE Consultants and entech. For tickets visit  Tickets will also be available at the door. 


Sunshine Ace Hardware to host Bonita Ladies Night Out

Sunshine Ace Hardware will host its fourth annual Bonita Ladies Night Out, “Heels, Hounds and Hardware,” event from 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Sunshine Ace Hardware, 9100 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. The first 100 women in line will receive complimentary gift bags stuffed with items valued over $100. All attendees will receive a 20% discount on purchases made during the event, including holiday gifts and accessories (some exclusions apply). Bonita Ladies Night also features DIY demonstrations led by Sunshine Ace’s expert associates, a raffle, food samples, wine tasting and musical entertainment. The event also includes a fashion show, featuring dogs and cats available for adoption in addition to models sporting men’s and women’s clothing labels available in Sunshine Ace stores. For more information, visit


Inaugural Purple Tie Ball raises nearly $50,000

More than 90 community supporters came together for the inaugural Purple Tie Ball event on Sept. 28, raising nearly $50,000 for One Way Out Ministries. The event included live and silent auctions, dinner and entertainment by Carla Del Villaggio, a Barbara Streisand tribute artist. The inaugural event invited the community to help One Way Out’s ministry of reaching women in rough places. Supporting women in One Way Out Ministries means subsidizing costs for every day needs. The government spends more than $20,000 a year to support basic and emergency requirements for a woman living on the street. One Way Out takes on this expense when a woman comes into the program, also providing additional emotional and spiritual support. For information, call (239) 628-1774, or visit


United Way of Collier County grant supports Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee

With a $47,000 grant from the United Way of Collier County, Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee (Pathways) will be able to provide both tuition assistance and family engagement support to 125 children from infants through 5-years-old. Pathways uses a nationally recognized, evidence-based curriculum, with hands-on learning activities for every level of learning. Curriculum standards are further customized for the individual needs of our students, who often arrive at Pathways school with a language delay or learning deficit because they have not been exposed to as many conversations, books, and personal connections. For more information, visit


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