Publix Executive to Speak at PRSA Luncheon

Need to catch up on Southwest Florida business news? No problem. Here are the top stories of the week pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily.

Friday, May 3


The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Gulf Coast Chapter will host Brian West, media and community relations manager of Publix, at its May 28 luncheon at Hilton Naples. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. and the program begins at noon. West began his career with Publix Super Markets in 1991, working in the deli kitchen. He will speak about the history of Publix, customer service and the company’s approach to public relations. The cost to attend is $30 for PRSA members, $38 for non-members, and $25 for students. Reservations must be made by May 24. For additional information or to register, visit or click here.

Thursday, May 2


The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) announced the winners of the 2019 Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida Awards at the annual awards dinner on April 30 at Bonita Bay Club. This year’s awardees were Distinguished Entrepreneur of Southwest Florida, Ryan Carter, owner of Scotlynn USA Division; Innovator of the Year, Brian Rist of Storm Smart; and Advocate of the Year, Rafael J. Feliciano, owner of Food Idea Group. The FSBDC awards are held annually to recognize three Southwest Florida small businesses for their advocacy, innovation, and distinguished business acumen. The awards ceremony was made possible through the support of the Hallmark Sponsor Markham, Norton, Mosteller, Wright, and Co. P.A.

Wednesday, May 1


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has named Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) marine science professor Mike Parsons to the Blue-Green Algae Task Force. Parsons is one of five researchers on the panel, joining scientists from the University of Florida, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University and the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. DeSantis originally called for the response team in an executive order he signed during a visit to FGCU’s Vester Field Station on Jan. 10. According to the order, the task force is “charged with focusing on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years.”

Tuesday, April 30


Keiser University will soon host The Sales Institute of Southwest Florida, a workforce development curriculum designed to address the sales, customer service and leadership training skills gap for employers. The Sales Institute of Southwest Florida launch event will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on May 16 at the Keiser University Fort Myers campus. To register for the launch event contact Growth Development Associates Inc. (GDA) at (800) 996-4321 or visit The Sales Institute of Southwest Florida is powered by GDA and nationally certified by the National Council for Continuing Education and Training (NCCET). The four-course training program is applicable to every industry and tuition is $1,185 per course. Course registration is available at

Monday, April 29


The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (SWFRTP) has announced the finalists for the 11th annual Technology Awards. The finalists for the Innovention Award are Cigent Technologies, Vectra Digital and VeraData. The finalists for the Transformation Award are BMP Logic, Chico’s FAS and NCH Healthcare System. The finalists for the Woman in Technology Award are Reema Bhatia, Stickboy Creative; Michelle Borders, Naples Network Services; and Priya Janardhanan, Chico’s FAS. The finalists for the Technology Student Award are Klaudia Fisheku, Florida Gulf Coast University; Elisabet Ortiz, Cape Coral High School; Sophia Vellizzi, Gulf Coast High School. In addition, the Partnership Award, which honors a person who has made significant contribution to the SWFRTP, will be presented at the dinner, held at 6 p.m. on May 16 at the Club at Grandezza in Estero. Ann E. Joyce of Chico’s FAS will be the keynote speaker. The emcee of the event is Lindsey Sablan, News Anchor, WINK-TV. Tickets are available at until May 12. D & A Strategic Enterprise Solutions is the welcome sponsor,  Bonita Print Shop is the print sponsor and ITVantage is the dessert sponsor.

Publicly Traded Companies


Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. (BBGI) reported a first-quarter net income of $1.4 million for the three-month month period ended March 31, compared with a first-quarter net loss of $3.2 million in 2018. The $1.4 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, in 2019 first-quarter net income primarily reflects the higher operating income during the period, which more than offset a $1 million year-over-year increase in interest expense, according to a press release. Operating income, net loss and net loss per diluted share in the three months ended March 31, 2018, were impacted by a $4.4 million charge due to the change in fair value of contingent consideration while 2019 first quarter results reflect a $3.5 million gain on dispositions.

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