Gulfshore Business Daily: September 8

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Bill Colletti performs at a previous Evening on Fifth.


LeeTran is restarting the collection of bus fares today. Fares were suspended in the spring at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic as part of Lee County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts for contactless interaction. LeeTran also said riders will again be allowed to board at the front of buses. The county has installed driver shields and customer-service safety barriers, resumed selling fare passes and reopened its Rosa Parks Transit Center, LeeTran headquarters and transit vending machines. LeeTran also has upgraded its technology with new fast-fare boxes and fare-collection system. The new electronic fare boxes provide an improved rider experience while offering payment methods that minimize touch while boarding buses. For fares, service-related updates or to learn more about LeeTran, go to
Video courtesy of WINK News


Living in paradise during a pandemic has you spending more time on the water, and the boating business is booming. While the increase in sales is a good thing, there is also a downside. The increase in demand is forcing a boat shortage, so if you’re looking to buy, you might have some trouble. The fishing industry is also seeing a similar shortage with some of their supplies. Fishing tackle is getting harder and harder to find. The owner of a local bait and tackle shop said he’s breaking sales records like never before, WINK News reports.


Leadership NEXT, a monthly program for advancing business professionals, will present a virtual program on “Tips and Resources for Redirecting Your Career Path,” to be held from 5-7 p.m. today. As the current job climate continues to change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many business professionals are switching gears to pursue new opportunities and career paths. Janeth Castrejon, communications manager for CareerSource Southwest Florida, and Rose Fuller, director of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Career Development Services, will offer tips and resources to help professionals redirect their career paths and stay marketable. The program will highlight trends in the job market, an overview of career assessment and job search tools, and helpful tips for marketing yourself to potential employers, writing standout resumes and preparing for job interviews. The Leadership NEXT program is free for members of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and $5 for nonmembers. Attendees can register in advance at to receive webinar login credentials.


The 2020 Annual FutureMakers Coalition Champions Meeting will be held virtually on Sept. 17 from 7:30 a.m. to noon. The theme of this year’s meeting is “55%: A working revolution.” The FutureMakers Coalition aims to transform Southwest Florida’s workforce by increasing the proportion of working-age adults with college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications and other high-quality credentials to 55%. This year’s event will include an overview and update of the Coalition’s work, updates on Southwest Florida’s Talent Hub and a special report on how COVID has affected our region by Workforce Now. Douglas M. VanOort, CEO, NeoGenomics, Inc. will serve as the event’s keynote speaker and nationally known author and TED talk speaker Dan Pallotta will join for a Q&A with FutureMakers Coalition Director Tessa LeSage. The coalition has grown to over 300 FutureMakers representing business, education, government, nonprofits, philanthropy, residents, and students across Glades, Hendry, Collier, Lee, and Charlotte counties. Register for the virtual meeting here.


Lee Health announced that Bonita Community Health Center (BCHC) will expand its service offering to include occupational health services. Located at 3501 Health Center Blvd. in Bonita Springs, the new clinic will reside in an existing space near the main entrance of the building and is set to open on Sept. 15. The expansion of services is in response to the increased growth in the area to better serve the business community. BCHC is a 100,000-square-foot facility with physician offices, an urgent care center, diagnostics and imaging, a surgery center and physical therapy services. The center also includes occupational medicine, expanded services will include drug and alcohol screenings, Department of Transportation physicals, pre-employment physicals, immunizations and vaccinations, vision and hearing exams, TB testing, workers’ compensation, workplace wellness resources and more. Lee Health Occupational Medicine also operates clinics in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Initially, the occupational health clinic will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, click here.


A high-precision cancer treatment technology, the Varian Edge, is now available for the first time in Southwest Florida to treat patients with complex cancers, according to a news release. 21st Century Oncology, who recently joined the GenesisCare Network, has introduced two new non-invasive cancer treatment technologies at its Cape Coral center, the Varian Edge and Varian Halcyon systems. The Varian Edge, an advanced linear accelerator, allows clinicians to deliver highly targeted doses of radiation (known as stereotactic radiation therapy) to tumors of the lung, prostate, brain, spine, liver, pancreas, and other areas of the body. The Varian Edge system will also be used to treat other common cancers with highly advanced radiotherapy, including breast, uterine, esophageal, rectal and other cancers. In addition to the Varian Edge system, the Varian Halcyon System is now available at Cape Coral, also allowing clinicians to target tumors with pinpoint accuracy. Nationwide, GenesisCare is investing in 10 linear accelerators in 100 days to 21st Century Oncology facilities in the U.S., increasing patient access to world-class cancer care.


Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida has developed two new program delivery models available this school year to continue to provide young people with tools, resources, and support to navigate these uncertain times. The Educator and Virtual Volunteer Led model involves a program led by a classroom educator in-person or remotely via collaboration software. A virtual Junior Achievement volunteer will join for a small portion of the lesson either live or through a prerecorded clip to supplement the content of the lessons. Program materials would be delivered to schools, and educators would have access to additional online resources for virtual learning students. The Live Virtual Volunteer Led model involves a program led by a virtual volunteer “visiting” the classroom live via a collaboration software. Program materials would be delivered to the school for educators to distribute while the volunteer leads students through the lesson and activities. Additional online resources would be available to supplement the lessons. Educators can request a program for their school and/or classroom, they can click here. To volunteer, click here. Parents can access additional resources at Donations and sponsorships of all levels are welcome via the website as well.


For students continuing to be home-based this school year, WGCU continued its At-Home Learning initiative on Monday with educational programming on the WGCU WORLD channel as well as the PBS Kids 24/7 Kids channel. WGCU will share At-Home Learning schedules along with links to supporting resources each week on the WGCU website and on social media platforms. Additional free digital learning resources are available. At-Home Learning is an initiative of Florida public media stations in response to COVID-19. It began last spring when schools closed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. More information on the program is available at WGCU At-Home Learning is supported by grants from the Community Foundation of Collier County and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Bill Colletti performs at a previous Evening on Fifth.


Evenings on Fifth returns to Fifth Avenue South

“Evenings on Fifth” is returning to Fifth Avenue South from its hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Sept. 10. This free event is scheduled to take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and will feature an array of live musical performances interspersed throughout the sidewalk areas along Fifth Avenue South. Restaurants and bars along the avenue will be offering specials on dining and drinks, and residents and guests will have an opportunity to explore the area’s boutiques, shops and galleries. Scheduled entertainment and locations include Bill Colletti at Sugden Plaza, Matty Jollie at Sixth Street Median, Sarah Hadeka at Chase Bank, Chris Bepko at Fifth & Fifth near Blue Mercury, Danny Veras at BICE Courtyard, and Gianna Minichiello at Regina’s Ice Cream Pavilion. Evenings on Fifth will continue every second Thursday of the month. For more information, visit

Jennifer Bate Richy

Naples Senior Center names Richy as chief development officer

Naples Senior Center, a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive programs and social services for seniors, appointed Jennifer Bate Richy as chief development officer. Richy brings extensive experience in non-profit fundraising and will lead philanthropic strategy and campaigns for the center. Before joining Naples Senior Center, Richy served as chief operating officer for Selfless Love Foundation, where she established annual giving societies and led a successful statewide media and marketing campaign for National Adoption Month. Prior to that, she was executive director and chief operating officer of Boca West Children’s Foundation. A licensed attorney and member of the Florida Bar, Richy earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law where she served as president of the Student Bar Association. Richy also received a Master of Arts in mass communications and a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. Richy has actively participated as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Impact 100 Palm Beach County and Delta Gamma Alumni Association.

Jenny Ellis

Collins DuPont Design Group expands team

Collins DuPont Design Group has added four new staff members: Jenny Ellis, Natalie Parker, Julia Rose, and Sophia Yost. Ellis has joined the company as design assistant. Ellis is a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design. Prior to joining Collins DuPont, she served as a project manager for Naples-based Republic of Décor. Parker has been named construction administrative assistant. Prior to joining Collins DuPont, she served as an executive assistant with London Bay Homes. She has more than 20 years of experience in purchasing, payroll and senior administrative assistant positions with Minto Communities, Arlington of Naples, Health Management Associates, and Arthrex Inc. Rose has joined the company as a design coordinator. She previously served as a design consultant with Fort Myers-based Three-Day Blinds, and also worked as an assistant junior designer and showroom receptionist for Dwayne Bergmann Interiors. Yost has joined the company as design assistant. A graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, she previously served as a self-employed ceramic artist and as an assistant designer for Bonita Springs-based Michelangelo Homes.

Robb & Stucky collaborates with PGI Homes to complete Park Shore estate

Robb & Stucky’s interior design team of Christine Neal and Leslie Gentry have collaborated with PGI Homes on the design and installation of the interiors for 677 Fountainhead Lane in the Naples residential development of Park Shore. Priced at $2.65 million, this furnished home is the most recent build by PGI Homes. This design team came together with PGI Homes to provide a total interior design for this 3,928 square-foot home, including three bedrooms, three baths, a great room, and study. The home also consists of an island kitchen, dining room, and living area that opens up to feature an outdoor living space with a sun deck, pool, and spa.

Myxn Scents in Naples Bayfront scents masks for free

Myxn Scents is offering to scent your mask or face covering for free. Stop by Myxn Scents and choose from more than 500 in-store scents. Visit the local store at 457 Bayfront Place in Naples. Myxn Scents is open noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Contact Tracy Sherles at 239-280-0045 or go to


Scott Hamblen, Sunshine Ace Hardware, with Blue Bucket during Sunshine Ace Hardware’s ‘Round up at the Registers’ summer campaign for Children’s Miracle Network.

Sunshine Ace Hardware raises over $37,000 for Children’s Miracle Network 

Sunshine Ace Hardware raised more than $37,000 for two Children’s Miracle Network hospitals on Florida’s west coast through the company’s “Round up at the Registers” summer campaign. From July 1 through Aug. 31, Sunshine Ace customers were able to make donations and round up their purchases at the register to support Children’s Miracle Network. Between July 31 and Aug. 2, customers also had the option of donating $5 for a limited-edition, blue 5-gallon Ace Hardware bucket to receive a 20% discount on nearly everything that could fit inside the bucket. Donations raised at Sunshine Ace locations in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties support Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, while donations at stores in Manatee and Pinellas counties support Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. The “Round up at the Registers” summer campaign was Sunshine Ace’s third fundraising initiative of 2020 for Children’s Miracle Network. Combined, the campaigns have raised more than $60,000 this year.

RedSnook Catch & Release Charity Fishing Tournament returns in October

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida will hold the 27th annual RedSnook Catch & Release Charity Fishing Tournament Oct. 24 and 25 to benefit the Conservancy’s commitment to water quality protection, as well as preservation and enhancement of local fisheries. In light of the pandemic, the traditional in-person Friday Night Kickoff Party will not be held. Instead, an online silent auction will be available the week before the tournament. Contactless angler bucket and measuring devices will be available for participants to pick up by appointment on Oct. 22-23 at the Conservancy Nature Center. A virtual award ceremony will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 25. Over the years, funds raised at the RedSnook Catch & Release Charity Tournament have helped support the Conservancy’s water quality work in several ways. For information on sponsorship and registration, visit

Valerie’s House cancels annual event, launches giving campaign

Valerie’s House has decided to cancel its annual Sunset Soiree event, normally held in the month of October, due to ongoing COVID-19 safety concerns. 2020 would have been the fourth year hosting the Sunset Soiree. In lieu of the event, Valerie’s House is launching the Every Sunset Brings the Promise of a New Dawn giving campaign. Various photos of children and families in the Valerie’s House program with the backdrop of the Southwest Florida sunset will be shown throughout the next few months over social media and other outlets reminding the community of the promise of a new beginning, even in times of darkness. The goal of the campaign is to raise $100,000 from individuals and businesses for the children of Valerie’s House across Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties. Supporters can learn more about helping Valerie’s House reach its $100,000 goal by visiting and clicking the Sunset Campaign page. The organization’s Facebook page also has more details on supporting the organization.

FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers offering complimentary fall-risk screenings

FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers is offering complimentary fall-risk screenings to Southwest Florida residents as part of its annual “Fight the Fall” awareness campaign. During National Fall Prevention Awareness Week, which is Sept. 21 to 25, FYZICAL will provide free personal fall-risk screenings to help patients identify compromises in balance, flexibility and strength that make them more susceptible to falls. Physical therapists then will outline steps to prevent future falls. Falls Prevention Awareness Week is an initiative of the National Council on Aging. During FYZICAL’s “Fight the Fall” campaign, the company is striving to complete 1,000 fall-risk screenings over the five-day period. Appointments are required for FYZICAL’s complimentary fall-risk screenings by calling 239-785-1150 or visiting Screenings are available at locations in Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Naples, North Fort Myers, North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Sanibel.

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