Gulfshore Business Daily: September 12

Mercato announces enhancements and new tenants, Legal Aid Service of Collier County names its Lawyer of the Year, Allyn International expands in India and more.


Mercato, which is managed by Madison Marquette, will add six tenants and is making a number of common area enhancements in advance of the center’s 10th anniversary next year. Common area enhancements at Mercato will include shaded outdoor seating, an improved event lawn, a complimentary center-wide Wi-Fi network, landscape speakers, new hardwood benches, shaded valet areas, “selfie walls” and more. New retailers will include Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, Cariloha Bamboo, CycleBar, Southern Tide, The Hampton Social and TooJay’s Deli. Cariloha Bamboo, CycleBar, Southern Tide and The Hampton Social are slated to open this fall.


The Lee Board of County Commissioners appointed Bill Waichulis to the Lee County Tourist Development Council (TDC) at its Aug. 21 meeting. Waichulis has served as an ex-officio non-voting member of the TDC since February 2015, representing the VISIT FLORIDA board of directors. He replaces René Affourtit, who retired June 14 after serving 18 years on the TDC board. Waichulis is senior vice president of operations with the Florida Resort Division of Boykin Management Co. He previously served as general manager of Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina and director of operations at South Seas Island Resort.


Collier County attorney, mediator and arbitrator Patrick H. Neale has been named the 2018 Lawyer of the Year by Legal Aid Service of Collier County. Neale has contributed to Legal Aid by assisting in the growth of its program, an increase in pro bono service by members of the private bar, and in raising awareness about the work the program performs in the community, a press release states.


The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce has announced the 2018 Distinguished Public Service Awards (DPSA) winners. Entering its 16th year, the DPSA honors the outstanding contribution of an individual or team to their respective public service profession and to the well-being of Collier County. The 2018 DPSA recipients are: Fire Safety: lieutenant/paramedic Kevin Nelmes; Law Enforcement: Sgt. Leslie Weidenhammer; Emergency Medical Services: battalion chief Michele Williamson, and Emergency Management Services: Dan Summers, director, Bureau of Emergency Services Division. The DPSA ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. on Oct. 10 at the Hilton Naples. Seats are $35 for chamber members and $40 for nonmembers. To register visit,


Allyn International Services has expanded its business to Bangalore, India. Although the office was established in 2016 with only one person supporting logistics for its power generation clients, the team began to expand in January 2018. Bangalore is known for being heavily saturated with IT developers in addition to it’s abundant job opportunities, according to a press release. Companies such as HP, IBM and Wipro are located in the city. This location is convenient for the Allyn office, as it supplemented business by providing support to domestics movements across India, a major segment of the industry. With the logistics industry going paperless, Allyn India implemented its own transportation management system—Allyn Logistics Application (ALA). Thanks to the implementation, the Allyn India office has 90 percent of operations in place. Now with eight members, the Allyn India office foresees a strong advancement before the end of quarter four, as they will need to accommodate the increasing business deals, a press release states.


Hodges University is hosting a free information session for everyone interested in a career in nursing and earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The session is at 5 p.m. on Sept. 18 at the Naples campus. BSN graduates’ average annual salary is $70,000 in a career that is experiencing a 15 percent growth rate, according to a press release. Hodges’ BSN program is offered during the evenings and on weekend days. Students can complete the program in less than four years. For more information, call (239) 598-6285 or email


The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Gulf Coast Chapter will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Naples Hilton. Guest speaker Teresa M. Araque, associate vice president of marketing and public information officer for Hodges University, will discuss “The Thin Line Between Marketing and Public Relations.” Araque will address how public relations and marketing continue to blur; how shifting roles impact what public relations professionals do for their businesses, organizations and clients; and how these changes impact how others perceive the public relations profession. The cost is $30 for PRSA members, $38 for nonmembers and $25 for students. Reservations required by Sept. 21 at


Art Fest Naples at Fleischmann Park is seeking artists working in all media to exhibit at the annual juried art show, held Jan. 19-20 at Fleischmann Park in Naples. In its 22nd year, the show has consistently been rated in the top 100 shows in the country.  A jury of arts professionals will select the artists to participate in the show and will award prizes in numerous categories.  All artists must apply online by Oct, 15 at Art Fest Naples proceeds benefit St. Vincent de Paul’s Meals on Wheels program. Sponsorships are available.  For more information about the 2019 Art Fest Naples, contact Taire Malloy at (239) 634-2337 or email


Guadalupe Center Signature Event theme, chair announced

Guadalupe Center’s 2019 Signature Event, themed “Old Hollywood: The Glitz, The Glamour, The Giving.” will be held Jan. 17 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. “Old Hollywood” will offer a nod to the Golden Age of Hollywood in the early- to mid-1900s. Guadalupe Center’s Signature Event is an annual gala, dinner and auction that directly supports the nonprofit organization’s three educational programs: Early Childhood Education, After-School Tutoring & Summer Enrichment, and Tutor Corps. In 2018, the nautical-themed “Welcome Aboard” raised $1.3 million. “Old Hollywood” will be chaired by Mary McCabe, a longtime supporter and president of Guadalupe Center’s advisory board. She chaired the 2016 Signature Event – “Dazzle” – that raised a record $1.5 million, as well as “Aqua” in 2015 that raised $1.2 million. Sponsorship opportunities are available, including the presenting sponsor position. For information on tickets and sponsorships, visit or call Jamie Brown at (239) 657-7142.

Last call for NAMIWalks registration

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Lee, Charlotte and Hendry Counties is issuing a final call for walkers in their first annual 5K walk event, NAMIWalks Southwest Florida. The walk begins at 7 p.m., after a 6 p.m. check-in, on Sept. 29 at the City of Fort Myers Pier. Registrations will be accepted up until the day of the event, which has a fundraising goal of $75,000 and is designed to raise awareness and funds for mental health. Celebrating its 16th year, NAMIWalks takes place in more than 85 communities across the country to raise money for programs and services that are provided to those in need free of cost. This is the first time it will take place in Southwest Florida, specifically Fort Myers. Register for free at For more information, visit