Gulfshore Business Daily: September 25

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BUSINESSES NAMED TO TOP COS. TO WATCH LIST

GrowFL has released its 2018 Florida Companies to Watch list. Several honorees hail from Southwest Florida, including: ArgoTrak and Benseron Hospitality of Naples, Oasis Senior Advisors of Bonita Springs, and Vectra Digital and AXI International of Fort Myers. These companies are expected to see significant growth over the next several years, according to a press release, and were selected from more than 500 nominees for Florida Companies to Watch, a statewide program managed by economic development group GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation. The winning company’s management teams, competitive market positions and strong community involvement were among several factors that put them in contention for the award.   

SWFL COS. MAKE TOP COMPANY CULTURES LIST

Best Home Services has been named to Entrepreneur’s 2018 Top Company Cultures list. Best Home Services is a 200-plus employee, family-owned and operated firm-based on 24 factors across seven areas: alignment, effectiveness, connection, management, engagement, leadership, and basics including pay, benefits and training. AccountingDepartment.com, a Bonita Springs-based company, also made the list, which is available at entrepreneur.com/top-company-culture.

LEE CLERK OF COURTS APPOINTS CHIEF OFFICER OF COURTS

Kevin Karnes has been promoted to Lee County Clerk of Courts chief officer of courts, effective Oct. 1. Karnes joined the clerk’s office in December of 2007 and has held several court department positions over nearly 11 years. Karnes has earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in legal studies and completed the certified public manager’s program from the Florida Center for Public Management at Florida State University. The Court Department is highly regulated by Florida statutes, court rules, administrative orders, and county ordinances juxtaposed with operational duties for 160 positions and five divisions, thousands of procedures and policies, improvement and efficiency projects, and technology and automation projects. For more information, visit leeclerk.org.

SAKS JOINS NAPLES CHAMBER BOARD

The Greater Naples Chamber has appointed Craig Saks, chief operating officer of ACI Worldwide, to its board of directors, effective Sept. 20. Saks has more than 20 years of payments and banking expertise. Prior to assuming the role of COO at ACI, Saks led the company’s strategic products division. Previously, he held senior-level positions at organizations including S1 Corp. (acquired by ACI) and Fundamo (acquired by Visa). Saks is experienced in global payments and payments disruption.

PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD VCB HONORED BY FOWA

The Florida Outdoor Writers Association (FOWA) awarded the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) the First Place Excellence in Craft Award in the Corporate/Tourism Self-Promotion category during the organization’s Awards Banquet, held on Sept. 15 in Brooksville, Florida. The honor recognized episode three of Adventure & Wildlife Hosted by the Shark Brothers, which highlights Charlotte Harbor’s commercial crabbing and seafood industries, Peace River Seafood, and the Peace River Wildlife Center as the episode’s conservation spotlight segment. The series is hosted and produced by Sean and Brooks Paxton, owners of Shark Brothers MultimediaAdventure & Wildlife Hosted by the Shark Brothers is part of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach VCB’s marketing efforts and invites those interested in exploring Florida’s wild outdoors, nature-based activities, and soft-adventure to visit the Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast in Southwest Florida. The series is available online at AdventureAndWildlife.com

OFFSHORE SAILING SCHOOL TO CELEBRATE 55 YEARS

Offshore Sailing School is heading into its 55th anniversary year in 2019, and launching course specials and events and programs throughout 2019. Offshore Sailing School just kicked off a year-long celebration with 15 percent savings through its Year End Sailing Special on Learn to Sail, Fast Track to Cruising, and Live Aboard Cruising courses at three resort locations on Fort Myers Beach, Captiva Island, and in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Next up will be Women’s Weeks in November 2018 and January 2019. These Fast Track to Cruising courses are for women, taught by one of the company’s female instructors at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Fort Myers Beach. In December 2018, the company will host its third Annual Racing Clinic on Fort Myers Beach, featuring US Sailing National Coach of the Year and Olympic sailing team coach Morgan Reeser, among others. More celebratory events and deals will be held in between. The company’s 55th anniversary year celebration culminates with its supporting sponsor role at the 22nd Hobie 16 World Championship, held Nov. 1-16, 2019 at one of Offshore Sailing School’s partner resorts, South Seas Island Resort, on Captiva Island. For more information, visit www.OffshoreSailing.com.

EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP SET

SCORE Naples will host “The Secrets of Effective Employee Management,” a guide for small businesses, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the Naples Accelerator. Kathy Rossi, director of workforce readiness at HR Collier and Junior Achievement volunteer, is the featured speaker. The workshop will include topics such as how to recruit the most qualified and talented employees, retain top performers, motivate employees and more. At the end of this session, attendees should understand how to unlock the full potential of their employees. The event is free and lunch will be served. For registration: go to scorenaples.org or call (239) 430 0081.

Charitable Notes

Galloway Captiva Triathlon raises $45,000 to help hungry children in need

The Galloway Captiva Triathlon, held at South Seas Island Resort, comprised more than 650 competitors from throughout the state of Florida and from 15 different states nationwide. In total, over $45,000 was raised to support the School Mobile Food Pantry program at Community Cooperative, whose mission is to end hunger and homelessness in Lee County. More than 500 adults and 150 children competed in the triathlon, with some 70 volunteers working the two-day event, handing out 100 trophies and plaques to both winners and sponsors. The swim portion of the annual race was canceled.

Eagle Eye Clay Shooting Tournament raises nearly $30,000

 The Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation’s Eagle Eye Clay Shooting Tournament featured seven teams competing on Sept. 7 at the Bermont Shooting Club in Punta Gorda. The tournament generated roughly $30,000 for scholarships for future construction management students. Sponsors for the event included Chris-Tel Construction, UBS Genesis Wealth Management, B&I Contractors Inc., Coca-Cola, Lee Drywall, Gulf Point Construction, RG Architects P.A, and Shoot Center. For more information about the tournament, contact Angela Kunkle at (239) 745-4343 or akunkle@fgcu.edu.

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