Gulfshore Business Daily: October 16

Stickboy Creative and Tamiami Angel Funds partner, SBA opens a business recovery center in Collier County, DMA expands to Naples and more.


 Stickboy Creative has teamed up with Tamiami Angel Funds, the largest angel fund in Florida. This kind of technology partnership is a first of its kind for both companies. Tamiami Angel Funds is relying on Stickboy for its expertise in “bleeding-edge” technology development while it conducts its due diligence investigating companies. Stickboy is an award-winning custom software, mobile application, and website development firm based in Fort Myers. Since 2011, Tamiami Angel Funds has invested $12.5 million in 20 portfolio companies including Catalyst OrthoScience, ConnexPay, and MassiveU.  The funds’ average investment is $655,000.


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is opening a Business Recovery Center (BRC) at 9 a.m. today at CareerSource Southwest Florida in Naples. Other BRCs in Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties are already in operation. SBA’s customer service representatives have been working to assist small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations financially impacted by the red tide algal bloom that began on Nov. 1, 2017 and the toxic algal bloom that began on June 1 to obtain an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan for their working capital needs. Impacted businesses are encouraged to visit one of the temporary locations before they close and get answers to program questions, assistance in applying for an SBA disaster loan and help with the reconsideration process. Electronic Loan Applications may be accessed at The filing deadline to return applications for economic injury is June 4.


Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare, has been elected vice chair of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation (NPHI), a nationwide partnership of community-based nonprofit, hospice, palliative and advanced illness care providers. A recognized authority on hospice care, Beckwith was a founding director of NPHI and has been a member of the organization since 2015. Beckwith also represented Hope and NPHI in a September meeting with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma to discuss reducing regulatory burdens affecting hospices today.  


Digital Marketing Agency (DMA), a global provider of digital marketing solutions for businesses worldwide, has launched its first Southwest Florida office at 3510 Kraft Road in Naples. A staff of 30 identifies and solves online marketing issues for small to mid-size businesses. DMA was founded in Chicago. For more information, visit


BUE Inc. has sold its assets of Gatekeepers to SWFL Gates Inc., effective immediately. SWFL Gates Inc. is headed by president Terri Evans, Enrique “Rick” Razo and J.W. “John” Wyland; all three are long-term Gatekeepers employees and management. Evans will continue with permitting and overseeing the office operation, Razo will continue to be the primary estimator and scheduler, and Wyland will continue as overall field supervisor, a position he has held for nearly 20 years. Robert Unger, president of BUE Inc., has retired but agreed to stay on part time as an adviser and consultant for at least three more years. SWFL Gates Inc. will continue to do business as Gatekeepers and Gateswork. For more information, visit


The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) will host a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center in Fort Myers. This presentation is focused on #SWFLChallenge and the #OneLee, two campaigns that are bringing locals and business owners together to help the community pull through the challenges faced by the water quality issues. Speakers include Francesca Donlan, communications director for the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau; Josh Milton, vice president of media relations for CONRIC PR & Marketing; and Angeli Chin, media and marketing director for Veer90 Creative. The goal of the challenge is to motivate local residents and visitors to create and share thousands of social media posts using the hashtag #SWFLchallenge highlighting area businesses and attractions. Seating is limited to 50 attendees and registrations must be received to attend. No walk-ins will be permitted. Individuals who registered for the original Oct. 9 meeting will automatically be registered for this event; if unable to attend, please email to request a refund. Refunds must be requested by Thursday. Cost is $30 for FPRA members, $40 for future members and $25 for students. Register at


Two Bonita Springs Chamber staff members earned their Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) designation Oct. 11 at the Lee County Tourist Development Council monthly meeting. Nina Barbero, communications coordinator, and Lauren Ware, marketing and events coordinator, join four other Bonita Springs Chamber staff members as CGSP-designated individuals. Guests First is an educational program offered by the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau to help hospitality professionals enhance their customer service skills. The eight-class course covers topics including resolving customer conflicts and working with different generations in the workplace. Participants who complete the course must pass the CGSP exam to receive the internationally accepted designation. The Oct. 11 ceremony honored 92 new CGSP-certified professionals. To date, 680 area professionals have earned the CGSP designation through this program.

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