Gulfshore Business Daily: October 4

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Lee Health Employee speaking with STEM@Work Students


Collier County ranked No. 2 in SmartAsset’s 2019 Places With the Lowest Closing Costs in Florida. The study shows where closing costs are the lowest by measuring closing costs as a percentage of median home value at the county level. Collier County was listed as having an average closing cost of $7,595, median home value of $316,200, closing cost as a percentage of home value of 2.4%, and a Closing Costs Index of 76.81. The full study results, methodology and interactive map can be found here 


Michele Hylton-Terry accepts 2019 Lee Pitts Live Economic Development Person of the Year Award.


Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Executive Director Michele Hylton-Terry received the 2019 Lee Pitts Live Economic Development Person of the Year Award at the annual NAACP Freedom Fund Gala held Sept. 21. Master of Ceremonies Lee Pitts chose Ms. Hylton-Terry for the award for her unwavering effort in leading the City of Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency in creating jobs, housing and economic growth in our underserved communities. Hylton-Terry has been executive director since July 2018. During this time, she has implemented several new programs and furthered initiatives, including a TIF Guidelines and Application program, Job Creation and Talent Attraction program, to be built on Michigan Avenue in Fort Myers.



ULI Southwest Florida will host “Signature Emerging Trends” from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 1 at the Club at Olde Cypress in Naples. The program will feature presentations by Christopher Ptomey, executive director of ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, and Kristine Smale, senior vice president of Meyers Research. They will discuss how the operating landscape for asset managers will change by 2020 and how real estate players can prepare for the changes ahead and turn them into competitive advantages. Following the presentations, panelists Alexis Crespo, Waldrop Engineering; Doug Meschko, LSI Cos. Inc;), Richard McCormick, PulteGroup; and Jeff Williams, Konover South will discuss how these changes impact Southwest Florida. For more information or to register, visit Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Contact Jackie Davis at for additional details.


Lee Health Employee speaking with STEM@Work Students


The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools on Sept. 25-26 held the annual STEM@Work Kick Off event hosted by Lee Health, Coconut Point. The STEM@Work program is a collaborative partnership between The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools and the Career & Technical Education Department of the Lee County School District. More than 400 select students from The School District of Lee County participated in this event.  Students took part in hands-on activities focused on science, technology, engineering, math, career planning and business marketing. The STEM@Work program aims to introduce high school students to STEM-based learning and career opportunities. This year, more than 22 businesses are partnering with the STEM@Work program.



 Lee County Medical Society and the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties partnered to host the ninth annual Medical Service and We Care Awards on Sept. 20 at the Coconut Point Hyatt Resort. The 2019 Annual Medical Service and We Care Award Winners are Non-Physician Appreciation Award: Donna Neff, registered nurse; We Care Award: Dr. Ronald Gardner; Rising Physician Award: Dr. Andres Laufer; Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Robert Casola; Citizenship and Community Service Award: Dr. Janette Gaw; Scientific Achievement Award: Dr. Nazareth Asorian; Health Education Award: Dr. Abbott (Bo) Kagan, II; Leadership and Professionalism Award: Dr. Larry Hobbs; and In Memory of an Outstanding Physician Award: Dr. Allen Shevach. Proceeds of the event went to Salvation Army’s We Care Program and the Lee County Medical Society Foundation’s Physician Wellness Program.   



Creative Architectural Resin Products Inc. (CARP) has acquired a new, major piece of equipment. The Fort Myers-based company, which manufactures faux architectural elements, has purchased a state-the-art RIM-Pro 100 pump. The new RIM (Reaction Injection Molding) device will be the backbone of CARP’s production line, designed to form custom-cast, molded-resin simulated stone and pre-engineered wood fabrications. The acquisition announcement closely follows CARP’s recognition as a finalist for Lee County’s Economic Development/Horizon Council’s “Startup of the Year” award. For more information, visit


Katherine Cook


Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. has appointed Katherine Cook as an associate in its business litigation department. She assists clients in general litigation matters including contract disputes, landlord/tenant disputes, and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights matters. Cook graduated from Evangelical Christian School and received undergraduate degree from Florida Gulf Coast University. She graduated top of her class at Ave Maria School of Law and served as the publications editor of the Ave Maria Law Review and was a legal intern for United States Middle District of Florida. She currently serves on the board of Lee County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and is a member of the Lee County Association for Women Lawyers.



Bellisimo Salon and its sister salon Terrence Michael will now be operating from the same South Fort Myers location. They will offer personalized services that utilize specialized training and include an Aveda product line. Bellisimo Salon and Terrence Michael offer a wide range of services, including hair coloring, facial waxing, and professional makeup artistry. The staff also offers clients classes in makeup application. If one requires a makeup artist for a wedding, the team at this hair salon in Fort Myers can also help the entire bridal party with their makeup as well. No matter the occasion, this professional team will get their client prepared properly. Bellisimo Salon and Terrence Michael is located at 9671 Gladiolus Dr., Suite 101, in Fort Myers. For more information, visit



Atilus has appointed a new director of sales, Jennifer Coomer. Coomer previously worked with Atilus from 2015 to 2017 and rejoined the team in August 2019. As director of sales, she supervises all activities related to new business, including developing new service initiatives, representing Atilus at networking events, and connecting those in need of a new website and digital marketing services to Atilus. Coomer has a background in account management and working one-on-one with clients to develop digital marketing plans, social media management, Google Advertising, and more. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from Florida Gulf Coast University.



Bell Tower United Way Community Impact Center opens Monday

The grand opening of the Bell Tower United Way Community Impact Center will take place at noon on Oct. 7 at Bell Tower, Suite 145. There will be remarks from Jeannine Joy, the president of United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee. Following the 12:15 p.m. ribbon cutting, United Way will be kicking off the school supply distribution, Publix Tools for Schools, at 1 p.m. This initiative is in partnership with Boys and Girls Club of Lee County. United Way’s Community Impact Center will host a variety of special initiatives following Tools for Schools. In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in the community, United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives. For more information, visit


The Forest Country Club to host charity classic

The Forest Country Club will host the 22nd annual Florida Chapter Club Management Association of America (FLCMAA) Everglades Reign Charity Classic at 1 p.m. on Oct. 21, with 11 a.m. lunch and registration. Wine, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and prizes follow the play. A 5 p.m. Enchanted Forest gala will be held on Oct. 20, with a silent and live auction, dinner and more. The event will benefit Barbara’s Friends, Youth Haven, and the Hospitality Program at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). Tickets and sponsorships available online at


LCEC provides J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Society with Environmental Funding Award

LCEC  will provide the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Society with a $2,754 environmental funding award to support its second-annual Merit Badge University for local Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts. At this day-long event, scouts will be given the opportunity to complete two different merit badges pertaining to the mission of J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. To apply for an environmental funding award from LCEC, organizations can email to receive an application. The deadlines for 2020 award applications are March 15 and September 1, 2020. Interested organizations must meet certain criteria to be considered for the award including being located within LCEC service territory, funding utilized for projects/programs related to the environment and the utility industry, and having a demonstrated need for funds.


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