Gulfshore Business Daily: October 9

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Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida and the University of Florida College of Dentistry (UFCD) announced a change in their administrative management at the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, Healthcare Network will transition the administration of the dental center over to UFCD, as Healthcare Network focuses on the Nichols Community Health Center, a new project that will enhance medical and dental health services offered to the community. UFCD will continue to provide the same oral health care services and educational programs, and it will take over the operational aspects of the center as well. The dental center will remain on the Collier Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College, where it has been since its inception. Patients’ families will receive official notification with information for making appointments with the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center and transferring their dental records. For more information about the transition, call (239) 658-3000.​


The Lee County Economic Development Office has named Ruth Buchanan its new business development manager. Buchanan will be responsible for developing, managing and executing strategies to retain, expand and attract businesses to Lee County. Buchanan brings several years of management experience to the position, most recently serving eight years as the economic development manager for the city of North Port. Her responsibilities included directing the department's efforts in business attraction and retention while acting as a frequent liaison to local economic and commercial organizations. Buchanan graduated from the University of the Philippines and received her MBA from the International University of Japan. She earned the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council.​


Florida Gulf Coast University will present the 13th annual Sanibel Island Writers Conference from Nov. 8-11 at BIG Arts on Sanibel Island. Participants may now register for a variety of paid workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by writers and teachers during the gathering. Bestselling authors Ann Hood and Joyce Maynard and singer-songwriter Alastair Moock headline the conference, which also features some free events. For a complete schedule of the conference, visit For more information, contact Tom DeMarchi at or (239) 590-7421.​


The first annual Florida Economic Water Summit (FEWS) will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers. The event will feature John Cassani, biologist and “Calusa Waterkeeper”; Wayne Daltry, former director of Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council; Dave Jensen, owner of Jensen's Twin Palm Resort and Marina on Sanibel; John Lai, president of the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce; Jacki Liszak, president of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce; Corey McCloskey, John R. Wood Properties; Adam Vellano, BEX Realty; Dr. H. Shelton Weeks, department chair of economics and finance and Lucas professor of real estate at Florida Gulf Coast University; and Capt. Daniel Andrews, executive director of Captains for Clean Water. For more information, click here.


SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. elected its 2018-2019 board of directors during the organization’s annual trustee meeting. The 2018-2019 board of directors is led by Sandy Stilwell-Youngquist, president, and Jason Stephens, vice president, in addition to Debbie Toler, vice president of public relations; Elaine Hawkins, past president and treasurer; and Brooke Denson, secretary. SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. board members are responsible for supporting the operations and mission of the nonprofit and administering funds that support local organizations committed to pediatric health care and education, with a new focus on mental and behavioral health. Officers are also responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of the organization’s 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, which will include a grand tasting and live auction at noon Feb. 24, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs. For more information, visit​


Seagate Development Group has recruited Mike Meeks as chief operating officer (COO). As COO, Meeks will be responsible for the day-to-day operations, overseeing the execution of corporate strategies, aligning and prioritizing company investments, and ensuring operational excellence across the company. A 30-plus-year building industry veteran, Meeks brings experience in all aspects of construction operations to the position, including recruiting and development, purchasing, customer service and product development. Prior to joining Seagate Development Group, he was employed at PulteGroup as regional vice president of construction operations, managing and developing operations teams throughout the U.S. Meeks earned a MBA from the University of Florida. He also earned a Bachelor of Science in construction management and is a licensed, certified general contractor.​


Seniors Blue Book (SBB) University will present “Aging Gracefully… Community Options to Keep You Active!” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 10 at The Estero Healthy Life Center and Oct. 16 at the Cape Coral Healthy Life Center. A panel will explore topics ranging from elder law, insurance options, retirement communities, and end-of-life planning designed for the savvy and independent senior in mind. The lunch and learn event is free, but registration is required by calling (239) 776-7353.​​​


Third annual C’mon Comedy Night upcoming

The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’mon) will host the third annual C’mon Comedy Night at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 at Off The Hook Comedy Club. This year’s comedian is Ali Siddiq, who has made appearances on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Comedy Central. Half of the tickets sold using the promotional code “CMON” will benefit will STEAM education at the museum. The event is for ages 18 and up. Tickets range from $22-180 and may be purchased at​

2019 NWWF to highlight mental health initiatives

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) will target children’s mental health for its annual Fund a Need initiative at the 2019 Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF). Founded by NCEF, the Naples Winter Wine Festival enters its 19th year in 2019 and has raised more than $176 million for children’s causes. The festival will include a live auction on Jan. 26, plus online donation opportunities starting Jan. 20. Ticket packages to the 2019 Naples Winter Wine Festival are limited to 600 guests and start at $12,500 per couple. A $30,000 package, which includes reserved seating for a party of four at a vintner dinner and for under the festival tent, is also available. For more information, contact Barrett Farmer at or (239) 514-2239.

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