DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY INN APPROVED FOR CRA REBATE
Holiday Inn, a six-story, 135-room full-service hotel to be built in the downtown redevelopment area of Fort Myers, was approved for a tax increment rebate up to $3.3 million at the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board of Commissioners meeting on May 22. Holiday Inn will be built on the three original city land parcels located on the northeast corner of Royal Palm Avenue and Second Street. The hotel will add approximately 152 construction jobs and 59 full-time jobs to residents of the area once it is completed. The Holiday Inn is being developed by HIDEV Group LLC, a division of Land Developers Associates (LDA). Construction completion is expected in April 2020, with an estimated project completion date of 2021.
FREELAND FIRST IN NAPLES TO IMPLANT VISAN TORIC ICL
Snead Eye Group’s Dr. Klaus Freeland was the first ophthalmologist in Naples to implant the Visan Toric ICL, an innovative solution to astigmatism and myopia, according to a press release. The procedure took place for patient Clint Daley on April 24 at Snead Eye Group’s Naples Surgery Center. The ICL, or Implantable Collamer Lens procedure, is an alternative to LASIK surgery. Freeland is the second leading surgeon in the U.S. and the Department of Defense performing this procedure, a press release states. Freeland recently concluded his military career, which included service at Irwin Army Community Hospital as chief of ophthalmology services, where he acted as primary surgeon and “officer in charge” of both a military comprehensive ophthalmology clinic and warfighter refractive eye surgery center. Daley’s procedure took less than 15 minutes and at 10 minutes postoperatively, Daley was able to see the numbers on the anesthesia monitor positioned at the end of the bed. Before surgery, he said they were just a blur.
FGCU EXPANDS LEADERSHIP TEAM
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) President Mike Martin has added Aysegul Timur to his leadership team as the assistant vice president of strategic initiatives, strategy and program innovation. Timur worked at Hodges University for the last 20 years, most recently serving as dean of the Johnson School of Business and senior vice president of academic affairs. She started at FGCU in April. In her new position, Timur will develop innovative services and experiences that drive improved academic performance for students. She will increase interaction with private and public entities to expand the impact of FGCU in Southwest Florida and across the state. Timur, who will also work with FGCU’s Regional Economic Research Institute, was recently honored by the Florida College Access Network as one of its first Workforce Education Innovators.
SUSAN G. KOMEN FLORIDA ESTABLISHES TASKFORCE
Susan G. Komen Florida has established the new Komen Florida Advocacy Advisory Taskforce focused on reducing breast cancer mortality and ensuring access to affordable, high-quality breast healthcare throughout the state. The six-member taskforce comprises experienced legislative insiders with personal connections to breast cancer who have dedicated their time to reduce Florida’s 2,700 deaths from the disease each year. Taskforce chair is Andrew Watt, former director of legislative affairs for the School District of Palm Beach County. Other taskforce members include Matthew Choy, the Florida Chamber of Commerce; Ben Durgan, Economic Council of Palm Beach County; Rachelle Litt, council member, pharmacist and Race for the Cure volunteer; and Tyler Smillie, who has held multiple legislative affairs roles at Florida’s capital, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Senate, and Enterprise Florida.
PUBLIC SPEAKING CLASSES OFFERED IN COLLIER, LEE
The Naples Players and the Laboratory Theater of Florida will host “Public Speaking with Randall Kenneth Jones.” Two public speaking series will take place: from 6:30-9 p.m. each week from June 24-Aug. 5 at the Naples Players Sugden Community Theatre, and the other from 6:30-9 p.m. select weeks from June 26 to Aug. 14 at The Laboratory Theater of Florida. Jones will provide hands-on public speaking guidance for business professionals, government employees, members of the news media, civic activists and others. Jones is an actor, author, podcaster, marketing/PR consultant and motivational speaker. The class fee is $200. Students are required to purchase “Knockout Presentations, Third Edition” by Diane DiResta. To register for Collier County Classes, call The Naples Players at (239) 434-7340, ext. 10. To register for Lee County Classes, call The Laboratory Theater at (239) 841-4250. Registration deadline is June 16. Class size is limited.
MERRILL LYNCH FINANCIAL ADVISORS EARN AWARDS
Five Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Financial Advisors from Southwest Florida have been named as top advisors this year, receiving multiple national recognitions. They are Michelle Mayer of Naples; Judi Aber, Roy Borrego and Robert Dwyer of Punta Gorda; and Dominic Casanueva of Sarasota. The financial advisors received awards including Barron’s “Top 1,200 Financial Advisors,” and Forbes’ “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” and “America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors.”
BRINGARDNER APPOINTED TO NAPLES DRB
Andy Bringardner, principal of A. Vernon Allen Builder, has been appointed to the City of Naples’ Design Review Board (DRB). The DRB is a five-member board appointed by City Council which typically includes two architects; one landscape architect; and two at-large city residents. Architects and landscape architects may reside in the city or Collier County. Other members must live in the city. The majority of board members must be city residents. The purpose of the DRB is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare by reviewing proposed petitions and recommending regulations necessary to preserve existing areas of natural beauty and cultural importance; assuring that buildings and structures contribute in a positive way to the public environment of the city; and assuring new structures are consistent with other provisions of the code and promote the appearance, health, safety or general welfare of the community.
Southwest Florida Community Foundation awards $739,676 in scholarships
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently granted $739,676 and 128 scholarships through a competitive process to local high school students and undergraduate and graduate students from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. For the third year, the Foundation awarded 12 of the scholarships as multi-year awards which will help the students each year until completion. For the 2019 scholarship season, 468 eligible students applied and their applications were reviewed by 130 volunteer reviewers. Details of the scholarships and a list of recipients are available here.
Love That Dress! collection event coming in June
Pace Center for Girls, Lee County’s next Love That Dress! collection event, “FUNky Fashion Show,” will be held from 6-9 p.m. on June 19 at Cape Coral Yacht Club. FUNky Fashion Show, hosted by IBERIABANK and presented by the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, includes a fashion show of recycled or repurposed pieces created by individuals and businesses, as well as a selection of “ready to wear” looks from Cape Coral-based boutique Razzle Dazzle. Guests can enjoy food and signature cocktails from Big Blue Brewing, raffle items and music by Robert McDonald of New Beginnings. Guests at the collection party also can be among the first to purchase tickets for a chance to win a 24-month lease on a new 2019 INFINITI QX50 SUV. Only 150 tickets will be sold, and the winner will be drawn at Love That Dress! on Aug. 21. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door. Bring a new or gently loved dress to donate and receive a free raffle ticket. To purchase tickets, visit www.LoveThatDressLeeCounty.com.
MS Center of Southwest Florida receives $23,000 grant
Women’s Giving Circle of Southwest Florida, a fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County, has awarded a $23,000 grant to the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center of Southwest Florida to support its care coordinator program. Care coordination and case management help to ensure that each client’s comprehensive wellness plan is implemented and optimized to achieve the best possible outcome. These services are designed to achieve the program’s overall goal to increase clients’ self-sufficiency and improve their quality of life, a press release states.
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