NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival Debuts in March

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Friday, December 7


The Planned Giving Council of Lee County Inc. will present “How to Leverage Non-Cash Gifts” at its meeting held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 19 at Blue Coyote Business & Social Club in Fort Myers. The speaker is Tracy Connelly, vice president of development, Guadalupe Center in Immokalee. Connelly will share his experience working with donors interested in making non-cash gifts, and engage the audience in sharing their successes and lessons learned in working with donors with these philanthropic vehicles. 

Connelly has worked in advancement and development for 30 years, previously serving as system director of gift planning at Lee Health Foundation, director of corporate and foundation relations at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and director of Corporate & Foundation Relations at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Zsebe and Associates Certified Public Accountants are sponsoring the meeting.

The event is free to members and $30 for nonmembers, including lunch. The reservation deadline is noon on Dec. 14. To RSVP, visit

Thursday, December 6


Lee Health’s Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Children’s Hospital” by The Leapfrog Group for the third year in a row. Just 13 children’s hospitals in the country—three in Florida—earned the distinction, which highlights each hospital’s highest commitment to safety and quality care of children. Only three children’s hospitals in the country have ever been recognized by Leapfrog for three consecutive years.

The selection of Top Children’s Hospitals is based on the results of the 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including inpatient care management, medication safety, and infections and injuries. The standards are defined in each year’s Top Hospital Methodology

Wednesday, December 5


The NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival will be held March 17-19, 2019 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Former First Lady Laura Bush will be the festival’s closing keynote speaker. She will join leading professionals and policy experts across a myriad of fields. Panels, roundtables and Q&A sessions will address subjects of global and national importance and integrate with culinary experiences directed by the James Beard Foundation.

Discussion leaders include Christine Brennan, sports columnist for USA Today, best-selling author of seven books, and contributor to several news outlets; John Brennan, former CIA director and senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Eric Eikenberg, CEO, The Everglades Foundation; Denis McDonough, former White House chief of staff; Dr. William Nelson, professor and director of oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University; Reince Priebus, former White House chief of staff and former chairman of Republican National Committee; and David Rubenstein, financier and philanthropist, co-founder of The Carlyle Group and chairman of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institution.

The event will also include live entertainment, an interactive lunch to kick off March Madness, a Mac Stone photography showcase and more. The three-day event is $3,000 per person. For information, visit​​​

Tuesday, December 4


Lee Health Coconut Point officially opened its doors to patients on Dec. 3 as the first freestanding emergency department in Lee County. Lee Health Coconut Point is Lee Health’s new 163,500 square-foot outpatient facility located near the intersection of Coconut Road and U.S. 41, just south of the Coconut Point Mall in Estero. The 24-hour emergency department at Lee Health Coconut Point is located on the southwest side of the building and features 16 exam rooms and nine rooms for short-stay observation, on-site ambulance transportation quarters if patients need to be transported to a hospital, and telemedicine that helps link patients with specialists, such as neurologists for patients suffering from stroke. In addition to emergency care, Lee Health Coconut Point offers an array of health care services, including primary and specialty care services previously unavailable in this area of the county. Lee Health Coconut Point features. For more information, visit

Monday, December 3


Hodges University has launched a public access paramedic program at its Fort Myers location. There are three information sessions interested students can attend, all at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 at the Fort Myers campus. In order to be accepted to the paramedic program, students must have a current Florida Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification and a Basic Life Support (BLS) Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) card. For more information, visit​​

Publicly Traded Companies


Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. (BBGI) Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock. The dividend is payable on Jan. 8 to shareholders of record on Dec. 31. While the Company intends to pay regular quarterly cash dividends for the foreseeable future, all subsequent dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion, a press release states.​

In other news…

Stay tuned for stories from our December issue, coming soon.


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