Gulfshore Business Daily: September 16

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OAK Naples
Lead Photo: OAK Naples relocates in Naples. Details below.



Business owners can go to designated locations to pick up free face masks and hand sanitizer supplies paid for by the CARES Act. Out of $19 million spent so far, almost $2 million went to cleaning products, more than $5 million to PPE and $121,000 to the medical examiner’s office for morgue and medical supplies such as UV sanitizers and autopsy tables. All of this puts a small dent in the $134 million the county received under the CARES Act. Commissioner Brian Hamman says he thought there would be greater demand for the money, but that having some remaining was fortunate because plenty of families and businesses need help. Lee County is distributing PPE at multiple sites throughout the month, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while supplies last: Sept. 15-17 at Veterans Park in Lehigh Acres, Sept. 22-24 at North Fort Myers Recreation Center, and Sept. 28-30 at Estero Recreation Center. You do not need to register, but you’ll need to send a representative with your business’ name, address and employer identification number.


NCH Healthcare System started allowing patient visitors again Tuesday after restrictions were put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. NCH is allowing adult visitation to patients within its hospitals on a limited basis from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Per the NCH policy, guests to the hospital must be visiting a loved one already admitted or be a caregiver escorting a patient seeking care. Only immediate household members in good health and symptom-free of any illness may visit but children under the age of 12 will not be permitted. All visitors are required to wear face masks at all times and must follow physical distancing practices. Ventilated masks are not allowed. With the exception of its pediatric department and compassionate care circumstances, one visitor will be allowed per patient and will be restricted to the patient room and hospital lobby. To eliminate the risk of disease transmission, no visitation will be allowed for COVID-19 patients except under compassionate care circumstances. For more information, visit


Video courtesy of WINK News


With season right around the corner and the pandemic still underway, some think the region won’t be as busy during the holidays as usual. Others say the snowbirds will still come down for the warmth, WINK News reports. The owner of the Inn on Fifth in downtown Naples said the hotel doesn’t have many bookings yet. “Typically, right now, we would have Christmas week 50% booked right now,” owner Phil McCabe says. “We have zero.” McCabe still thinks seasonal residents will return for the winter, which will be good for restaurants and businesses. “Without a doubt, the snowbirds will be here,” he says. “I’m more hopeful for the restaurants and the season than I am for the hotels.”


A simple concept has been launched in hopes of benefiting local restaurants during what is the slowest time of the year. Initiated Tuesday at 25 local restaurants for 25 days, diners receive 25% off takeout orders. “It’s simple, it’s easy. When you place your takeout order, just mention promo code Save September,” says organizer Rafael Feliciano. “September is a terrible month for restaurants. This was an easy way to, hopefully, bring business to restaurants this time of the year.” Most of the restaurants are in Naples but a few are in Fort Myers. For more information or to see menus of participating restaurants, go to


The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve the purchase of 14 acres of riverfront land in Olga for Conservation 20/20. The property is located adjacent to Olga Shores Preserve to the west and south, the Caloosahatchee River to the north and Linwood Avenue to the east. The parcel is one of the few remaining undeveloped Caloosahatchee riverfront tracts of land with dense oak hammocks and pristine vegetation. The purchase price is more than $1 million, plus closing costs. In other action Tuesday, the board voted to authorize staff to pursue the purchase of an additional five parcels totaling more than 200 acres for Conservation 20/20. Any proposed purchase of those parcels will be brought back before the board for consideration. There are 30,225 acres within the Conservation 20/20, Lee County’s land acquisition and management program. For more information, visit

Skyline Apartments


MK Architecture announces the architectural and engineering services of a two-story, five-unit multi-family apartment building that will face Skyline Boulevard in Cape Coral. The new building will use a two-bedroom, approximately 1,000-to-1,200-square-foot floor plan with a spacious open concept and contemporary style. MK Architecture is near completion of the construction drawings for the new building and anticipates submitting for permit by the end of September. 


Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. (O-A-K) has moved into a larger Naples office to accommodate the company’s growth in Collier County. The new 3,350 square-foot office is located at 5100 Tamiami Trail N., Suite 103, just around the corner from the company’s former office on Castello Drive. “O-A-K has been expanding its presence in Collier County with a series of new construction projects, and we’ve hired additional team members,” said O-A-K President Dave Dale. “The larger office provides more space to continue serving the Naples community for years to come.” O-A-K has 16 employees who work from its Naples office, and the company recently hired three additional team members. 

Tiffany Esposito


Tiffany Esposito, president and CEO of SWFL Inc., has been selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to speak at its annual Future of Chambers Summit on Sept. 29 and share advice with chamber leaders nationwide on rethinking the traditional chamber model. SWFL Inc. rebranded in August from the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. It serves businesses in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties as a business services organization where members pay only for the specific promotional, educational, networking and leadership development benefits they want. ACCE’s Future of Chambers Summit will take place Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.

Salt Life opens a new 2,175-square-foot retail store at Miromar Outlets on Sept. 15.


Miromar Outlets announces Salt Life as the center’s newest retailer. The store, located in Suite 164, will offer apparel for men, women and kids, plus sunglasses, accessories and a variety of watersports gear. Founded in 2003 in Jacksonville Beach, the Salt Life brand combines function and fashion with a fit tailored to an active lifestyle. 



Ron Howard

John R. Wood Properties hires VP of sales

John R. Wood Properties welcomes Ron Howard as vice president of sales. Howard’s real estate career spans nearly 30 years of executive leadership positions with various large and smaller brokerage companies including Prudential Nevada Realty in Reno, Nevada; John L. Scott in Bellevue, Washington; and Windermere Realty Trust in Portland, Oregon. He has a Master of Arts degree in organizational management and bachelor’s degrees in management and music performance. He attended Portland State University, Saint Mary’s College in California, and the University of Phoenix. He will be responsible for leading John R. Wood Properties’ sales associates to meet and exceed sales goals, creating and executing sales strategies, and developing and managing the sales department budget.

Bryant Johnston

PBS Contractors welcomes Johnston as project manager

PBS Contractors welcomes Bryant Johnston to the team as project manager. Johnston brings decades of experience in construction project management working throughout Florida and previously in Royal Oak, Michigan. He will be responsible for project planning, coordination, and financial controls. As the liaison to the client, keeping them informed of project updates and progress, he will ensure on-time completion within budget and exceptional quality. Johnston attended Central Michigan University and earned his Bachelor of Arts in facilities management. Johnston is OSHA and MOT certified and has attended Dale Carnegie management training.

Steve Chagdes

EDGE Cabinet and Space Creators adds new hires

EDGE Cabinet and Space Creators has announced the additions of Steve Chagdes, David Cureton and Nikole Richards to the positions of project manager, cabinet designer and design assistant, respectively. Chagdes has more than 35 years of experience in cabinetry construction and installation, as well as project management and supervision. Cabinet Designer David Cureton specializes in enhancing hand-drawn and computer-aided technical drawings with creative and unusual details to optimize solutions for living spaces. Cureton studied fashion illustration at The Art Institute of Atlanta, and his work has appeared in national publications. Richards has 12 years of construction and design experience. Her responsibilities include creating proposals, maintaining job files, ordering samples and staying abreast of the latest cabinetry and design trends. 

Champions For Learning appoints board of directors

Champions For Learning has appointed its 2020-2021 board of directors. The executive committee includes Beverly Feagin, immediate past chair; William Burke, chair; Dr. Bruce Mousa, chair-elect; Chuck Carlsen, secretary; William J. Lutz, treasurer; Denise Murphy, vice chair of programs; Dr. Jesse Roberts, vice chair of community outreach; Martha Rozman, vice chair of development; Carol Windfeldt, vice chair of strategic planning; and Susan McManus. The board of directors includes Bill Beynon, Serge Ecityan, Mary Beth Geier, Michael Jean-Baptiste, Charles A. Kerwood III, Daniel Lampe, Jeffrey P. Leedy, Roger Lipitz, Stephanie Lucarelli, Barbara Melvin, Dr. Kamela Patton, Nancy Potter, Jacqueline Rodriguez, and Kenneth P. Thomas. For more information, visit

Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee partners with Just Like Family Home Care for COVID-19 screening

Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee is partnering with Just Like Family Home Care to provide COVID-19 screening for staff and students. The program launched with the school’s reopening on Aug. 31. When Pathways reopened its doors, the leadership team recognized the need for a comprehensive COVID-19 plan to protect its children, teachers, and the community. Through the summer, the leadership team and educational staff at Pathways has undergone extensive training in best practices to safely welcome students. Students are greeted at the door by a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) from Just Like Family Home Care, who follows Pathways strict protocols by conducting temperature checks with an infrared thermometer, screening for COVID-19 symptoms, and ensuring social distancing procedures are followed during drop-off and pickup times. With an independent nurse conducting the health screenings, Pathways children, staff members, and their families are afforded an extra layer of confidentiality. Should a person need to be quarantined, the nurse will work closely with Pathways COVID safety operations manager to safely isolate and refer the person for care. Additionally, the nurse will support a healthy learning environment by proactively teaching hygiene in the classrooms to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Just Like Family Home Care, a licensed private duty home health care provider, is providing the nurse at a reduced rate.

Charitable notes

The Immokalee Foundation selects students for Career Pathways

The Immokalee Foundation has selected 61 students to join its Career Pathways program for the 2020-21 school year. Career Pathways provides a robust curriculum for Immokalee middle and high school students to place them on pathways to well-paying, in-demand careers in Southwest Florida in four employment sectors: Engineering & Construction Management, Education & Human Services, Health Care, and Business Management & Entrepreneurship. Each year, The Immokalee Foundation opens enrollment to motivated Immokalee students interested in becoming part of the Career Pathways program. This year’s process shifted to online platforms, with recruitment efforts and interviews conducted virtually. From the 106 applications submitted, 76 students were interviewed by The Immokalee Foundation board members, as well as two community leaders. The student selection committee ultimately chose 61 students in sixth through ninth grades to fill the limited number of spots available in each grade.

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