Gulfshore Business Daily: October 21

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Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Southwest Florida’s unemployment rate was 2.9 percent in September, down 0.3 percentage point from one year ago. The Fort Myers area added 11,000 new private-sector jobs in the past year. The area’s unemployment rate was 2.9 percent in September, down 0.3 percentage point from one year ago. The industries with the highest growth over the year in the Naples area were leisure and hospitality with 1,600 new jobs, construction with 1,100 new jobs and trade, transportation and utilities with 1,000 new jobs. In September, the Naples area had 4,560 job openings and of those, 790 were for high-skill, high-wage STEM jobs. The industries with the highest growth over the year in the Fort Myers area were education and health services with 2,500 new jobs, professional and business services with 2,300 new jobs, construction with 2,200 new jobs and trade, transportation and utilities with 2,000 new jobs. In September, Fort Myers area had 9,912 job openings and of those, 1,881 were for high-skill, high-wage STEM jobs. To view the September 2019 employment data, visit


Tickets are now available for The News-PressMarket Watch 2020: Focus on Real Estate on Feb. 25.This year’s Market Watch will provide attendees “a 2020 look into the future,” highlighting the latest real estate market trends and how they will impact the big picture for Southwest Florida, individual homeowners and real estate professionals in the year ahead.The event will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway in Estero.The event is led by three well-known local real estate experts who will highlight the latest market statistics, forecasts and valuable insights into the local residential, land and commercial real estate industries. Tickets to the event are now on sale, with individual general admission tickets available for $50 per person, $600 for reserved premium placement tables of eight and $750 for reserved tables of 10. Registration is available online at For additional inquiries, email or call (239) 267-2638.  


The Gulf Coast Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America ( (PRSA) honored two prominent public relations professionals for their service to the industry during an awards ceremony on Oct. 2. Denyse Smith Mesnik, APR, president of the Mesnik Group, received the PRSA Sunshine District Geri Evans Award for Distinguished Service. She founded her company in 2016 following a 25-year career as vice president of corporate communications for Beasley Media Group. Donna Heiser, APR, CFRE, chief advancement and external affairs officer at Ave Maria School of Law, received special recognition for attaining 35 years as a member of PRSA. She served as president of the Gulf Coast Chapter of PRSA in 2013. 


Brown & Brown of Southwest Florida ( announced that Corey Walker, CPRIA – private client advisor, received the Chartered Private Risk and Insurance Advisor (CPRIA) Certificate, completing an intensive, 18-month program designed to enhance the knowledge of professionals who serve high-net-worth clients. Nearly 600 professionals from some of the most leading insurance organizations in the U.S. have graduated since its inception in 2015. The CPRIA program is offered by the Private Risk Management Association.


Food Logistics,the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food supply chain, has named North Fort Myers-based Florida Freezer to its 2019 Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers list. The directory serves as a resource guide of third-party logistics and cold storage providers whose products and services are critical for companies in the global food and beverage supply chain.  This year’s Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers list did appear in the August 2019 issue of Food Logistics, as well as online at


Twelve students enrolled in The Immokalee Foundation’s ( programs attended overnight camps in New England.The sites were Camp Deerwood in the White Mountains of central New Hampshire and Kingsley Pines in Raymond, Maine. Activities included archery, blacksmithing, ceramics, sailing, riflery, windsurfing, tennis, and canoeing, kayaking, dance, photography, stained glass and whitewater rafting. The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to professional careers through support, mentoring and tutoring, and life skills development leading to economic independence.


Community Cooperative is continuing to expand its reach throughout Lee County by adding a new Meals on Wheels delivery route in Alva, starting today.With a growing volume of inquiries and people reaching out to Community Cooperative in need of home delivered meals, the Meals on Wheels program knew it needed to increase its capacity to be able to meet those needs.

Charitable notes

Rescue Runway fundraiser scheduled

The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) will hold its first Rescue Runway fundraiser on Nov. 9, 11am to 2pm, at Bell Tower’s center court. Among the many fun activities planned, are five contests open to any dog—Best Costume, Owner Lookalike, Trick, Kisser and Ugliest. The fee is just $10 per dog, per contest. All proceeds benefit CAC. Pre-registration is highly encouraged, contact Registration also available at the event. To see the 20 dogs in the running and to place your vote, go to Votes are just a $5 (or more) online donation. All proceeds benefit CAC.

Baby Basics to host Fashion Show & Luncheon

Baby Basics of Collier County (—a volunteer organization that provides free diapers and kindness to 526 infants and toddlers from low-income, working families in Collier County and Bonita Springs—will host its 12th annual Fashion Show & Luncheon on Nov.1 at the Royal Poinciana Golf Club. Doors will open at 9:45 a.m., the fashion show will begin at 10:45 a.m., and lunch will be served at noon.Tickets are $135 per person, which will provide diapers for one month for one baby in need in our community. To reserve your seat or table,visit For questions, please contact Kath Bergin at  

Charity Golf Outing raises $50,200 to support child care program

The fourth annual Charity Golf Outing, presented by Brown & Brown Insurance of Southwest Florida (, raised a tournament record $50,200 to support scholarship programs for Child Care of Southwest Florida Sept. 27 at West Bay Golf Club, this year’s sold-out tournament field included 144 golfers who enjoyed a pre-golf breakfast and a round of championship golf followed by an awards luncheon and silent auction.

‘Saddle Up for Soldiers’ fundraiser slated

“Saddle Up for Soldiers” will be held from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Nov. 9at the Edison Restaurant & Event Center at 3583 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers. All proceeds benefit the Miles of Smiles Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, currently raising funds for veteran post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment programs and the Builders Without Borders covered arena project at Miles Ranch. The family-friendly event is $20 per person and features entertainment by the Ben Allen Band and includes barbecue-style food and a drink. Kids under 12 are free.  To purchase tickets, contact (239) 810-0636 or visit

Project HELP to hold “A Night in Monte Carlo” Casino Night fundraiser

Project HELP Inc. will hold its upcoming fundraiser, “A Night in Monte Carlo,” on Nov.23. The event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Hilton Naples. Tickets are $160 and include hors d’oeuvres, two drink vouchers, casino play money, and a commemorative photo booth picture from the evening’s festivities. The Casino Night fundraiser features casino games, food and drinks, a silent auction, raffle, guest speakers, DJ Monz and special entertainment by The Voice contestant Jack Cassidy. He hails from the star-studded Cassidy family, best known for award-winning actress Shirley Jones and David Cassidy’s roles in the 1970’s musical sitcom, The Partridge Family. For information about “A Night in Monte Carlo,” to become a sponsor, or to make a donation to Project HELP, visit or call (239) 649-1404.




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