Hart to Chair DeSantis Committee

Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis chooses two Southwest Florida leaders for his Transition Advisory Committees, Naples Airport Authority introduces new branding, awards are bestowed and more.

Friday, Dec. 21


The public is invited to nominate an exemplary civic-minded citizen for the 2018 Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award. The annual award strives to recognize a citizen who has provided outstanding civic contributions to Lee County government. The selection criteria includes a positive attitude, knowledge of the objectives and activities of Lee County government, a demonstrated interest in community/county government partnerships and promotion of harmony between the community and county government. Commissioners will select the winner. Nomination forms are available at Lee County libraries (www.leelibrary.net) and recreation centers (www.leeparks.org) or at www.leegov.com/citizenoftheyear. Nominations are due by Feb. 22. The award was created in 1991 to honor Burton, a long-time Sanibel resident and government watchdog.

Thursday, Dec. 20


Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis has tapped Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart to chair the Transition Advisory Committee on Government Operations. Hart will head a group of nearly three dozen community and business leaders from across the state. They’ll help ensure an efficient and responsible changeover as DeSantis prepares to take office on Jan. 8. The committee Hart is chairing will also focus on finding ways to create an unburdensome regulatory environment and streamlining the process of doing business in Florida.

Lee County citizens have twice elected Hart as tax collector following his appointment to the role by Gov. Rick Scott in 2012. Hart is a U.S. Air Force veteran, FBI National Academy graduate and former police chief of the city of Fort Myers. He also served as president of the Florida Tax Collector’s Association.

Wednesday, Dec. 19


Naples Airport Authority (NAA) has introduced new branding that includes a new family of logos and website to complement the Naples Municipal Airport’s name change to Naples Airport. In addition to the new airport name, NAA has renamed its fixed base operator (FBO) from Naples Airport Authority to Naples Aviation. The FBO now has a dedicated section of the website that includes FBO pricing on the FBO homepage. The FBO provides fuel, hangar space, parking and other services to private and corporate aircraft and other general aviation operators at the airport.

The new brand identity links together the entire NAA family of entities and programs, which include the Authority, airport, FBO and “Fly Safe Fly Quiet” campaign. In addition to its new logos, NAA has launched a new website with enhanced design and navigation. The redesigned website features improved functionality and enriched content for visitors to learn more about the NAA, airport and FBO, as well as access pertinent and timely information, such as airport noise abatement information and meeting agendas.

Tuesday, Dec. 18


Hope Healthcare President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith has been named to the Transition Advisory Committee on Health and Wellness by Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov.-elect Jeanette Nuñez. Beckwith will serve alongside 50 health care experts from a variety of medical fields on the committee that will be co-chaired by Nunez and Alan Levine, the former secretary of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration.

Monday, Dec. 17


Hodges University, through its faculty and staff, selected the Employee and Professor of the year winners. The 2018 winners are Maria Vacca and professor Andrea Fortin.

Vacca is the executive assistant to the dean of the School of Health Sciences. She joined the university in 2011. Vacca helped the university earn the first workplace Blue Zones certification in higher education for its Naples and Fort Myers campuses, a press release states.

Fortin joined the university in 2012 and is an associate professor in the School of Liberal Arts. Fortin has been an important part of helping Hodges transition to monthly class starts, and developing its new Associate in Science degree in professional communication.

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