Gulfshore Business Daily: Sept. 5

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Wendy Payton


Cape Coral ranked No. 8 in WalletHub’s 2019 Best Cities to Retire. Cape Coral had a total score of 56.50, with an Affordability Rank of 19, Activities Rank of 51, quality of Life Rank of 15, and Health Care Rank of 109. WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 46 key measures of affordability, quality of life, health care and availability of recreational activities. The data set ranges from cost of living to retired taxpayer-friendliness to share of the population aged 65 and older. For the full report, visit


Wendy Payton


Spiro & Associates Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations and Brand Architecture has welcomed Wendy Payton to its downtown Fort-Myers-based agency as director of business development | senior account service. Payton has worked with local, regional and national powerhouse brands. Some of the biggest names include Taco Bell, GE, Hunter Fan Co., University of Michigan Health System and Taylor Morrison. Payton started her career within the advertising and public relations department of The Florida Aquarium in Tampa before taking on other industry-related positions in Michigan and the west coast of Florida. They include vice president of account services for Tweed Advertising, cofounder and managing partner of Pearl Brands in Fort Myers, business development director of NOISE on Sanibel and senior account manager for The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee. This year, Payton founded Payton Brands, which is located in Cape Coral. Payton also chairs the board of trustees for the American Advertising Federation—SWFL. She graduated summa cum laude from Cleary University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a degree in marketing.



Soukup Strategic Solutions has hired Karen Krieger as its brand and marketing manager and Bernadette Marrero as its administrative office coordinator. Krieger has more than 25 years in the worldwide marketing and brand development industry with major fashion corporations including Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani, as well as with several nonprofits in Southwest Florida. Krieger graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian studies from Colgate University, with corporate experience in Manhattan, San Francisco and Southwest Florida. Marrero brings over 25 years of administrative experience to the Soukup team. Marrero received her certification in Business Communications from SCS Business and Technical Institute and has corporate experience in Manhattan and Southwest Florida.


Cameron Woodward


Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. (WPL) has appointed Cameron Woodward to the firm. Woodward passed the bar exam and was sworn in by Collier County Judge Provost, marking his official admission into the Florida Bar. Woodward joins his father, Mark Woodward; uncle, Craig Woodward; and grandfather, Arthur Woodward; as the third generation of the family to practice with WPL. The firm, located on the second floor of 3200 Tamiami Trail N., has now purchased the first floor of the building as well. The 5,000-square-foot floor will be divided in half, with one half utilized as additional offices and meeting room space for the WPL staff and the remaining half leased to a tenant for retail space. Humphrey Rosal Architects has been retained to design the planned renovations for this first floor space. The firm also has an office on Marco Island.


Dr. Kim Swanson


Kim Swanson, a crime prevention specialist in the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Community Response Unit (CRU), will present at the Florida Crime Prevention Association 50th Southern States Crime Prevention Conference, held on Oct. 21-25 in Sarasota. Swanson’s session at the conference is titled “Small Business Scams and Identity Theft: Recognition and Response.” Swanson will educate attendees about the top scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau, recognizing the red flags that scammers use to “phish” for a business’ information as well as discuss social engineering techniques that they use and prevention and response to customer and business identity theft. Swanson has more than 26 years’ experience in law enforcement and a PhD in business administration. For more information on the programs offered through the Lee County Sheriff’s Office CRU, call (239) 258-3280 or email


John Duncan


Wilderness Country Club in Naples has appointed John Duncan as superintendent of golf course operations. Duncan is responsible for managing all of the club’s golf course facilities, training and supervising department personnel, and overseeing any golf course construction, maintenance and renovations. Duncan has several years of golf and country club experience with properties in Florida. Most recently, he was the golf course superintendent for the Pines course at Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples. Prior to that, Duncan worked as the golf course superintendent at The Club at Mediterra in North Naples and as an assistant superintendent at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando. He started his career as an assistant superintendent at the Royal Poinciana Golf Club. Duncan is a graduate of Lake City Community College with an Associate of Science degree in golf course operations.


Crystal Marie


Emmanuel Communities has appointed Crystal Marie as its communications and administrative coordinator. Marie handles the organization’s communications and administrative needs as well as digital marketing and event planning. Marie previously worked as an executive assistant, office administrator and a creative marketing director for several other organizations. Marie volunteers at Grow Church or helping with the efforts to promote the Emmanuel Community Park. She is also part of the annual gala committee for Emmanuel Communities and Emmanuel Academies. Emmanuel Communities Inc. is a non-profit organization that was founded by Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Naples to create a community park that fosters an environment of family, faith and community experiences. Phase one of Emmanuel Community Park is now complete and open to the public. The park is located at 2770 Oil Well Road in Naples.



The ABWA Neapolitan September chapter meeting, “Effective Leadership,” will take place from 6-7:45 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Hilton Naples. Networking runs from 5:15-5:55 p.m. Kelly Townsend of Townsend Consulting Group will present the event, providing tips on how to assume leadership roles and be effective in managing those people and tasks. Townsend has spent more than 25 years in the business world and 20 years coaching and training in ontology (the study of being). To register for the event, visit


Charitable notes

3K Fun Run, Walk & Roll to benefit STARability Foundation

The STARability Foundation second annual 3K Fun Run, Walk & Roll will take place on Oct. 12 at Cambier Park in Naples. The Fun Run will be for all ages and starts at 8 a.m. with registration beginning at 7:15 a.m. After the race, attendees may enjoy music, sponsor booths/exhibits, and food and refreshments provided by First Watch. Proceeds will benefit STARabiltiy programs for individuals with disabilities and their families. Registration for this “All Abilities” event is open to the public; fees are $25 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under. To register, visit Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, email or call (239) 594-9007.


Storm Smart’s Tee Off for Take Off raises $80K for Honor Flight

Storm Smart hosted its second annual Tee Off for Take Off golf tournament on Aug. 30 at Coral Oaks Golf Course in Cape Coral. The event featured 18 holes of golf, breakfast, lunch, silent auctions, raffles and more. This year’s event saw over 125 golfers participate, up from 72 golfers last year. Tee Off for Take Off serves as a fundraiser for Collier-Lee Honor Flight. It is a nonprofit organization that transports local veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices. Storm Smart created the golf event in 2018 and raised $80,000. This year, the company match the previous year’s fundraising number and presented the organization with another $80,000 check at the conclusion of the event.


The Village Church, Women’s Connection at Shell Point to host Christmas fundraiser

The Village Church, Women’s Connection at Shell Point has chosen The Robert V. & Benjamin G. Miller/Trailways Camp as the beneficiary of its annual Christmas fundraiser. The event will take place at 2 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the Village Church in Fort Myers. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. They will be available in October and November. All proceeds will be donated back on the day of the event to the Robert V. & Benjamin G. Miller Fund for Trailways Camp scholarships. To RSVP or purchase tickets, contact Sharon or Jerry Miller at or call (512) 784-3879.


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