Gulfshore Business Daily: October 29

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Lead Photo: Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels



Lee County-based NeoGenomics Inc., a leading provider of cancer-focused genetics testing services, announced record third-quarter results Tuesday for the period ending Sept. 30. “Third-quarter results were strong as we bounced back nicely from a challenging second quarter and set new company records for quarterly consolidated revenue and pharma services revenue and backlog. Importantly, test volume in our core clinical oncology business continued to trend higher on what looks to be a V-shaped recovery,” said Douglas M. VanOort, chairman and CEO of NeoGenomics. Consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2020 was $125 million, an increase of 20% over the same period in 2019. Gross profit was $54.1 million, an increase of 6.4%, compared to the third quarter of 2019. Net income for the quarter was $3 million compared to net income of $2 million for the third quarter of 2019. The company reports making strategic investments, even during the pandemic, to put it in a stronger position for growth. Its new state-of-the-art laboratory and global headquarters are under construction in Fort Myers. 


LeeCARES application process officially closes Friday. The county started a new round of online applications on Oct. 19. LeeCARES programs were extended to assist residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including new rounds of utility payment assistance, expanded childcare assistance and more funding for area food banks. The program extensions included three new rounds of utility assistance in October, November and December to pay up to $1,000 in water and electric bills for eligible applicants during each round. The application deadline for Collier County’s similar CollierCARES program is noon Monday, Nov. 2. Both local programs are funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). 


AC by Marriott Hotel, a 132-room hotel to be built in the downtown Fort Myers redevelopment area, has been approved for a tax increment rebate of $5.57 million, according to the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (RDA). It will be located at 2300 First Street on the southeast corner of First and Jackson streets, across from the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. This eight-story, 77,000-square-foot hotel will strengthen the area’s convention capabilities by acting as overflow lodging complimenting the Luminary Hotel and adjacent Caloosa Sound Convention Center, a news release states. The proposed completion is fall 2022.

Video courtesy of WINK News


Florida SouthWestern State College is helping members of the community get the mental health resources they need during the pandemic, which has taken a toll and created anxiety with the suspension of classes, businesses, jobs, travel, hugs and hospital visits. FSW’s Mental Health First Aid training, a free, eight-hour course for students and staff, helps identify signs and symptoms of mental stress and to know what to do about it, said Terri Housley, FSW professor of psychology. FSW is hoping its students will know how to support not just each other, but everyone in the community, WINK News reports.

Video courtesy of WINK News


The School District of Lee County is working on a plan to build another middle and elementary school in Estero to help with overcrowding and serve the more than 1,000 new elementary and middle school students expected in the area within the next decade. The new schools, targeted to open by fall 2023, would be located north of Corkscrew Road along Three Oaks Parkway. Some community members WINK News spoke to this week are worried about the additional traffic congestion from the schools, as well as runoff water from the property that could cause more flooding in their backyards. They don’t deny the need for new schools, but they think they should go on the other side of Interstate 75. Planning for the new schools is still in the early stages, but the school district is being proactive in seeking permission from the village to develop in the area.


Marco Island-based single-family homes in September saw sales soar to highest levels and inventory plummeted to its lowest levels, according to a news release from John R. Wood Properties Agent Natalie Kirstein. Inventory is scarce in the single-family home market, the report showed. Condominiums sales started to surge in August and continued its stellar performance in September. In some beachfront condominiums, there is little to no inventory, whereas other condominiums are experiencing an oversupply of inventory, the news release states.


The beach at Lowdermilk Park in Naples will soon get a renourishment after years of erosion. Crews will begin trucking in new sand to raise and widen the beach. Trucks will carry sand down Interstate 75 from a mine in Immokalee and dump the sand from Doctors Pass to Lowdermilk Park. About a half-mile of the beach will be closed at a time so crews can dump the sand. The project also will temporarily close the park’s north parking lot and exit so construction trucks can have access. Cars will be able to enter and exit at the south entrance of the park. Tourism tax dollars will pay for the $2 million project, WINK News reports.


The Edison Awards has issued a call for nominations for the 2021 Edison Awards, announced the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Companies who have recently launched outstanding innovations are invited to apply by Nov. 20. The Edison Best New Product Awards is an annual competition honoring excellence in new product and service development, marketing, human-centered design, and innovation. Past winners have included Fortune 500s, small start-ups, and everything in between. For more information, click here.



Hampton Inn groundbreaking ceremony a success

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Hampton Inn by Hilton was held on Oct. 15. Located in the downtown Fort Myers redevelopment area, the future four-story Hampton Inn will be situated on Cleveland Avenue and feature 118 rooms, an outdoor pool and patio area, a flexible boardroom for use, and a fitness center available for guests, according to a news release from the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Situated on a two-acre lot, the 65,000-square-foot building will be an infill lot development that will take about one year to complete before it opens to guests.

SCORE Southwest Florida hosts virtual award ceremony

SCORE Southwest Florida gave virtual accolades to four area businesses that have achieved strong successes after working closely with volunteer SCORE mentors. The Oct. 27 event also recognized three outstanding SCORE volunteers. The winners and honorees from the celebration are Business of the Year – Burma Spice; Entrepreneurs of the Year – Fieldr; Startup of the Year– Omeza; Family-owned Small Business of the Year – Exceptional Aluminum Sales & Service; Mentor of the Year: Ben Simmons; Volunteer of the Year  –  Sharon Schulman; and Distinguished Service Award  – Pat Loftus. For more details, click here.


Christine Hause

Free estate-planning seminars in November

Charlotte State Bank & Trust Vice President Christine Hause and Portfolio Manager Gregory Thomas have scheduled a full slate of complimentary seminars for November. These free seminars, held 10-11:30 a.m. on select dates, are hybrid events, meaning attendees may participate in person or online. In-person capacity is limited to allow for physical distancing. Advance registration is required. The first event, “Out of State Wills, Trusts, and POAs,” takes place on Nov. 3. For the full list of seminars and to register to attend online, click here. To attend in person at the bank’s Murdock branch office, 1100 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, register at any branch office. You can also email or call Brielle at 941-624-1943 to attend in person or online.

Fort Myers CRA Advisory Board meets Nov. 4

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Advisory Board will hold its regular meeting from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 4. In accordance with social distancing orders limiting gatherings, anyone who wishes to join or make a public comment during the meeting via Zoom may do so by calling 877-853-5257, toll-free. The webinar ID is 951 8215 1433. For assistance, contact the CRA office at 239-321-7100 or

Above Board Chamber of Florida webinar held Nov. 12

The Above Board Chamber of Florida will host the webinar “Why Now is the Best Time to Buy or Sell a Business!,” from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 12  on Zoom. A panel of experts will help businesses understand their options and present information that will help them make difficult but timely business decisions. Panelists include George Vukobratovich, president/broker, Welsh Companies Florida Inc.; Gary Tasman, CEO & Principal Broker Cushman & Wakefield; Steven Niehaus, Edison Business Advisors, and Jim Bolinger, Truforte Business Group. To register, visit or click here.



Golf Inc. magazine honors SWFL clubs

Golf Inc. magazine recognized four Southwest Florida locations in its “2020 Clubhouse of the Year Winners III: Clubhouse Renovation” list. Pelican Sound Golf and River Club in Estero received the highest score in the renovation category. Wegman Design Group began working with Pelican Sound in 2016 to initiate the reimagination and interior design of the clubhouse. Together with partners RG Architects and contractor EnviroStruct, they moved forward with a bold plan to reinvent this amenity. The clubhouse complex is the final piece of a multi-year, $14 million amenity enhancement program approved by Pelican Sound members in 2018. Shadow Wood Country Club in Estero ranked No. 2 on the list, followed by The Club at Mediterra in Naples. Bear’s Paw Country Club in Naples received an honorable mention.

Jonathan Wheeler

CFS Roofing welcomes Wheeler as controller

CFS Roofing has hired Jonathan Wheeler as controller. Wheeler brings more than 10 years of financial accounting and controller experience to the CFS Roofing team. Prior to joining CFS Roofing, he served as controller and HR director at an industry-leading disaster relief firm in Southwest Florida. Wheeler earned his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Florida Gulf Coast University. He and his wife reside in Babcock Ranch.

Samira K. Beckwith

Beckwith elected to the National PACE Association board of directors

Hope Healthcare President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith has been elected to the 2021 National PACE Association (NPA) Board of Directors. An NPA member since 2009, she previously served on its board from 2013 to 2019. Beckwith was a pioneer for bringing PACE (the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) to Florida as founding president of state’s PACE Providers Association in 2010. Under Beckwith’s leadership, Hope Healthcare offers five PACE Centers to serve Lee, Collier and Charlotte county seniors at risk for nursing home placement by keeping them healthy, comfortable and independent in their own homes for as long as possible, according to a news release. For more information, visit

Brett Diamond

DeAngelis Diamond names new partner

DeAngelis Diamond has appointed Brett Diamond as a partner in the company. As DeAngelis Diamond’s chief innovation officer, Diamond leads the innovation strategy to keep the company ahead of the competition in all technological aspects. He researches, tests and deploys technology such as artificial intelligence, drones, and mobile first software. Diamond has been involved with DeAngelis Diamond since its inception in 1996 and launched his professional career with the business in 2014 overseeing technology. Throughout his time at DeAngelis Diamond, Diamond has served on the customer advisory boards for Box, Procore and DocuSign, collaborating with industry leaders across the globe with a goal to increase the performance of each platform.

Budge Huskey

Huskey appointed to National Association of Realtors executive committee

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty President and CEO Budge Huskey has been appointed to the executive committee of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The committee is comprised of the NAR leadership team, regional vice presidents and select appointees from the industry. In January 2020, Huskey was named Premier Sotheby’s International Realty’s chief executive officer, following a three-year succession plan first announced when he joined the brokerage as president in 2016. He currently oversees all of the operations and growth strategies of the $5 billion real estate company, a leading affiliate in the Sotheby’s International Realty brand. He previously led the Coldwell Banker brand as president and chief executive officer. Throughout his career, Huskey has served the industry as president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association and Realtor of the Year; founding director of Mid Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service (MFRMLS); NAR director; and Florida Association director. He was also a member of the Large Firm Advisory Board and founding director of NAR’s Realty Property Resource.  



Fifth Third Bank supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast-Collier County

Fifth Third Bank is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast–Collier County for its annual Giving Tree Toy Drive campaign, held from Nov. 2-30. Each Fifth Third financial center will host a “Giving Tree” decorated with gift tags with specific information that pertains to the need of a child in the community. The public is encouraged to visit any local Fifth Third Bank financial center in South Florida during the month of November to pick up a gift tag. To find the nearest location, visit

Jennifer’s November Fashion Forward Friday to benefit Project Dentist Care

Jennifer’s women’s boutique is celebrating 38 years in business by giving back to local charities at “Fashion Forward Friday” events through April 2021. Project Dentist Care (PDC) will receive 5% of all sales from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. Shoppers will enjoy champagne and cupcakes and will receive 15% off jeans. Representatives from Project Dentist Care will be at the store from 1-3 p.m. to share information about their organization. Jennifer’s will also be collecting donations for Project Dentist Care. Suggested donations include paper towels, facial tissues, hand soap, trash bags and toilet paper.

Rotary Club of Ft. Myers South presents 32nd annual All Star Classic

The Rotary Club of Fort Myers South will present the 32nd annual All Star Classic (ASC), supported by title sponsor Acentria Insurance and Tower Hill Insurance Group, from Dec. 7-9. The organized countywide game recognizes players and cheerleaders from Lee county high schools, and a variety of sponsorships are available. Proceeds from the game will benefit the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South Foundation Inc. that supports various local community programs and scholarships for those in need. For more details, click here or contact the event chair, Read Sawczyn, at 239- 461-3820 or
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