Gulfshore Business Daily: Sept. 29

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Lead Photo: The Naples Players

 

NAPLES PLAYERS ANNOUNCES $15 MILLION REVITALIZATION
The Naples Players (TNP) has announced a $15 million capital project to renovate and re-imagine its home on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples. Plans for the revitalized facility include significant improvements to the existing theaters and the creation of an additional theater designed to anchor the organization’s Educational Theatre program, serving students of all ages and abilities. To date, TNP has raised more than 60% of the construction cost – and local philanthropists Jay & Patty Baker have pledged $2 million in matching funds to help continue the current momentum. The theater has hired David Corban Architects to lead the project and Theatre Consultants Collaborative to oversee the design of performance systems. Lead donors have named each of the three theaters in the facility. The major performance hall is named by Patty & Jay Baker as “The Kizzie Theater,” the blackbox theater named by Henry Price will be known as “The Price Studio Theater,” and the new educational theater will be “The Tanya & Denny Glass Educational Theater.” Several prominent spaces are named in honor of supporters. 

 

FORT MYERS CRA ANNOUNCES REVOLVING HOUSING LOAN PROGRAM
The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) announces a Revolving Housing Loan Program available in the Cleveland Avenue and Dr. MLK Jr. Boulevard redevelopment areas. The fund is to be used exclusively for the purpose of supporting developers seeking to construct housing targeting individuals that make 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less. Loans acquired through this program must be repaid within 24 months. Upon repayment back to CRA, the money returns to the trust fund so that it can be loaned out once again in the project area to build additional affordable housing units. Catalyst Community Capital Inc., a Florida 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization and certified Community Development Entity (CDE), is partnering with the CRA to create the loan fund. The program will primarily target smaller projects, including single-family homes and multifamily properties with less than 40 units. To apply, contact Michael Maguire at mike@catalystcd.com.

 

CONSERVANCY PARTNERS WITH FISH & WILDLIFE FOUNDATION TO EXPAND PROGRAM TO CONTROL PYTHONS
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida in partnership with the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida reports the success of expanding its sentinel snake program targeting invasive Burmese pythons that are devastating native species across the Everglades. Through the collaboration, an additional 10 adult male “scout snakes” were captured and implanted with radio-transmitters to lead biologists to reproductively active female pythons across multiple breeding seasons. Through the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida “Conserve Wildlife” license tag grants, the Conservancy’s groundbreaking research and removal program was expanded by 40 square miles into Picayune Strand State Forest, a critical wildlife management area in Collier County with an active Everglades restoration project. 

 

gomerica mobile bank bus

COMERICA BANK LAUNCHES GOMERICA MOBILE BANK BUS
Gomerica, the Comerica Mobile Bank, made its debut in Naples on Monday. Gomerica offers most traditional banking services and features a Banker Connect Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) on the outside of the vehicle. A ribbon-cutting ceremony in partnership with the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for 1 p.m. today. The mobile bank bus is located in the rear parking lot of the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County in Naples. On-site office hours will be from 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, while the operating hours for the ITM are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday. The ITM will provide traditional ATM capabilities while also offering the option to interact with a customer service representative in real-time via live video stream. With the arrival of gomerica, Comerica Bank will have two locations in Naples, including the full-service banking center at 3001 Tamiami Trail N., Suite 100. Through gomerica, Comerica plans to host financial education sessions and other community and customer events, as well as continuous assistance to customers and communities with their banking needs during natural disasters or temporary closures. 

 

STARABILITY FOUNDATION TO HOST FAMILY FORUM ON EMPLOYMENT OCT. 20
STARability Foundation’s next Family Forum will be on the topic of employment in celebration of October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The forum will be held from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Naples Therapeutic Riding Center Community Room in Naples. A panel of speakers will address “Charting the Path for Employment” and provide an overview of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Security benefits and vocational services at STARability. This portion of the forum will also be offered virtually via Zoom. Speakers include Robert Richards, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; Lisa Oleary, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; Idela T. Hernandez, IAS LLC and Halley Kretschmer, STARability. STARability’s Family Forums are free of charge and open to the public. Register here.

 

SWFL COUNTIES RECOGNIZED FOR LOWEST CREDIT CARD DEBT PER CAPITA
Charlotte and Collier counties topped SmartAsset’s list of “Counties with the Lowest Credit Card Debt Per Capita” in Florida. The study analyzed the ratio of credit card debt to per capita income for each county and the ratio of credit card debt to net wealth per capita in each county. Charlotte County ranked No. 4, followed by Collier County at No. 7. SmartAsset’s full methodology and interactive map can be found here.

 

NCH BROOKDALE CENTER NAMED AMONG AMERICA’S BEST PHYSICAL REHAB CENTERS
NCH Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Rehabilitation has been recognized on Newsweek’s list of “America’s Best Physical Rehab Centers 2021.” The award is presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The “America’s Best Physical Rehabilitation Centers 2021” list highlights the nation’s top inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) based on the quality of care, quality of service, quality of follow-up care and accommodation and amenities. Facilities in the 25 states with the highest number of inpatient rehabilitation facilities, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, were part of the study. The rankings feature the top 230 centers nationwide. NCH Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Rehabilitation was the only Southwest Florida facility on the list.

 

Claribel Bocanegra

OUR MOTHER’S HOME APPOINTS NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Our Mother’s Home (OMH), an organization that helps teen mothers and their children transition from foster care to stable, productive lives, has appointed four new board members. The addition of new members comes at a pivotal time for OMH, as the organization begins rebranding and executing the vision of a new facility and transition home. The new board members joining OMH are Claribel Bocanegra, Porto Fino Dental; Kelly Thawley, the School District of Lee County; Malaina Mote, Collaboratory; and Melissa Vogt, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Each will work closely with Miller and existing board members, Beth Juliano, Mary Lynn Podolak, and Marin Asher to execute the organization’s goals.

 

HOMESNAP NAMES OSBORNE FASTEST-GROWING AGENT FOR FIRST HALF OF 2021
Homesnap, a provider of technology solutions to the real estate industry, named Call It Closed International Realty founder and agent Aprile Osborne the fastest-growing agent for the first half of 2021. She began her real estate career in Florida in 2002, and within two years had topped $100 million in sales volume. Osborne and her husband, Chad Osborne, are the previous owners of the RE/MAX Affinity offices located in Naples and Bonita Springs and currently own and operate the national cloud-based brokerage, Call It Closed International Realty. Homesnap looks at data for more than 1 million Homesnap Pro agents nationwide.

 

Emily Flack

NCEF NAMES NEW AUCTION RELATIONS COORDINATOR
The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, has appointed Emily Flack as its new auction relations coordinator. In this role, Flack will assist in guest liaison participation for festival chefs, vintners, donors, sponsors, patrons and others while maintaining wine inventory. She also will be responsible for coordinating the wine service volunteers and transportation. A native of Reno, Nevada, Flack was raised in Central Florida where she graduated with her Associate in Arts degree simultaneously with her high school diploma. She then graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. Throughout her college experience, Flack was very active in volunteering with multiple organizations serving at-risk youth. Prior to joining NCEF, Flack worked as a child protective investigator with the Florida Department of Children and Families. Before that, she worked in production management and design development for local firms.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES 
 

Publix Super Market Charities donates toward Midwest Food Bank trailer

Midwest Food Bank of Florida – a volunteer-driven, faith-based organization dedicated to alleviating hunger, malnutrition and providing disaster relief – has received a contribution toward a fleet trailer from Publix Super Market Charities. In 2020, the Midwest Food Bank Florida truck drove more than 170,000 miles, rescuing more than $52 million worth of food, which fed 2.4 million people in Florida. In a weekly route, the truck rescues more than 200,000 pounds of food, transporting it back to their Lee County and Polk County warehouses, Midwest Food Bank of Florida states. An essential component to the fleet and the success of the Midwest Food Bank Florida food relief rescue and distribution is the 53-foot trailer, which carries an average of 40,000 pounds of food supplies per trip, according to the organization. 

 

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