Gulfshore Business Daily: October 8

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The Horizon Council and the Lee County Economic Development Office have announced the recipients of the annual Industry Appreciation Awards, recognized Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Estero. Edison National Bank earned the Business Citizenship Award in the small category, with one to 50 employees; and Pavese Law Firm won the award in the large category, with 51 or more employees. The Diversity in Business Award went to Lee Health; the Nonprofit of the Year Award went to Alliance for the Arts in the small category, with an operational budget of less than $1 million, and The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center in the large category, with an operational budget of more than $1 million; the Start Up of the Year Award was presented to Testimonial Tree; and the Business of the Year Award went to FineMark National Bank & Trust.


The Marco Island Foundation of the Arts in June awarded Gina Sisbarro, director, playwright and producer, Artist of the Year. Sisbarro has successfully researched, written, directed, produced and copyrighted three dramatic plays over the last three years. In addition to her solo work, she has partnered with the Marco Island YMCA to direct drama-based summer camps the last two years, and has donated proceeds of her plays to the Marco Island Academy and the Marco Island Historical Society. Her summer camp production was based on the plays Goldilocks On Trial. By the end of the week, the students performed the prepared pieces. Sisbarro has written plays including The Men of Rushmore and Their Wives, Battlefield of Brotherhood and the newly written Jersey Fried Tomato, which is expected to be in production by spring 2019. For more information, visit


Anthony Leopardi, founder and owner of Cornerstone Builders of Southwest Florida, will open Leopardi’s Italian Restaurant at 13851 S. Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers. The restaurant is expected to open this November. Leopardi’s Italian Restaurant will offer a casual family dining atmosphere and feature an Italian menu with some of Leopardi’s family recipes. A children’s menu will also be offered, and seating will be available downstairs and upstairs with indoor and outdoor options for both. The restaurant’s general manager, was born and raised in New York City and has 35 years of experience owning and operating restaurants. Leopardi’s will be open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. For more information, visit or call (239) 887-4940.


Naples real estate broker Heather Caine and agent Katie Werchek are set to appear on HGTV's House Hunters at 10 p.m. on Oct. 15. Caine is the founder of Caine Premier Properties, a full-service real estate brokerage firm with office locations in Naples, Florida, and McKinney, Texas. Werchek is an agent with Caine Premier Properties who will be searching for the right home with her fiancé, Anthony Lober. It will be Caine’s fourth appearance on the show and Caine Premier Properties’ fifth time being featured.


Oasis Senior Advisors has named Trevor West new IT team lead. West will be developing new features for Oasis franchisees and leading the company’s IT team from numerous different perspectives. He’ll seek to streamline processes and make the system more efficient, and he’ll also be working to perfect tools like the OasisIQ software, which helps pair seniors with the local communities that are the best fit for their wants and needs. West earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Rochester Institute of Technology and his MBA from the University at Buffalo, which sent him to study in China as part of an international residency program. He was a technical lead at M&T Bank headquarters, web developer/administrator for Seneca Gaming Corp., and a business intelligence developer for Mediacom Communications Corp., the fifth-largest cable operator in the U.S., a press release states.


The ABWA Neapolitan October Chapter Meeting, “Citizen Response to Active Shooter Events,” will take place from 6-8:15 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Hilton Naples. Networking opportunities will run from 5:15-5:55 p.m. Lt. Rebecca Gonzalez, a 21-year veteran with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, will present the event. Gonzalez is both a certified Florida corrections deputy and a law enforcement officer. She started her career in 1997 as a correctional deputy for the Naples Jail Center and has worked in the communications division as a dispatcher, road patrol and deputy and then transferred the criminal investigation division as a detective. She was promoted to sergeant in 2009 and is now a lieutenant for the community engagement division in the preventative services bureau. For more information, visit


Snead Eye Group’s newest board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Klaus Freeland, will serve as a weeklong volunteer beginning on Oct. 8 in Honduras, in conjunction with the Hospital Loma de Luz. Freeland will be providing otherwise unavailable ophthalmological care, such as cataract, glaucoma and pterygium surgery, to the residents of the rural community of Balfate Colon. Loma de Luz is a charitable outreach of The Cornerstone Foundation. In his work with Snead Eye Group, Freeland performs cataract and refractive surgery, glaucoma surgery and laser vision correction including LASIK. He holds numerous certifications demonstrating vast training on state-of-the-art equipment for laser vision correction and glaucoma surgery.


Bank of America  supports Habitat for Humanity of Collier County

Bank of America has made a $15,000 contribution to support the work of Habitat for Humanity of Collier County. The gift is to sponsor Habitat Home Building in Immokalee. It will pay for the construction materials for a kitchen and a family room. On Oct.13, team members will offer additional support in a build day as part of Bank of America’s 2018 Global Build Week.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk set

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk will take place at 9 a.m. on Oct. 20 at Miromar Outlets. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. near the WINK Playland. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk raises awareness and funds to help with innovative research, provide free information and support, and to help people reduce their breast cancer risk or detect it early when it's most treatable. The event will include live entertainment, kids’ activities, refreshments, a special survivor lap and more. Register at to volunteer, email

CFEF awards matching grant funds to the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools recently received matching-grant funds from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) to support the Classroom & School Grants program, Collegium for the Advancement of Education, Dancing Classrooms, FutureMakers and Student Advocacy and Mentoring Partnership (STAMP). This Matching Grants Program will be effective during the 2018-19 school year. The Classroom & School Grants program provides an opportunity for educators to purchase tools necessary to create innovative learning experiences and hands-on activities for students in various areas of study. Collegium for the Advancement of Education is a component of The Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Program and provides teachers and administrators with the psychological background on how and why children behave as they do. Dancing Classrooms is a national program that utilizes ballroom dancing as a vehicle to build social awareness, confidence and self-esteem through the practice of social dance. STAMP offers students college career-planning resources to ensure they graduate from high school and continue their education through either technical training or attaining a college degree. FutureMakers is an educational program that aims to inspire more high school seniors to take the next step after graduation. To learn more about the CFEF and the statewide impact of the program, visit

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