RSW Reports Record-Breaking February Traffic

Plus: an artificial reef will be created with a grant, a boutique law firm opens in Fort Myers, Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation’s Earn to Learn FL Project is approved and more.

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, March 22


During February, 1.117 million passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, an increase of 6 percent compared to February 2018. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 7.3 percent compared to last year.

The traffic leader in February was Southwest Airlines with 195,690 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Delta (186,744), American (144,787), Spirit (139,907) and Frontier (119,081).

Southwest Florida International Airport had 9,079 aircraft operations, a decrease of 1.2 percent compared to February 2018. Page Field saw 9,003 operations, a 6.5 percent increase from February 2018. In addition, slightly more than 2.6 million pounds of air freight moved through Southwest Florida International Airport in February 2018.

Thursday, March 21


The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday awarded a contract to create an artificial reef at Chris Koepfer’s ARC Reef Site using a $120,000 grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The contract awarded to Kelly Brothers Inc., is for the creation of an artificial reef using 1,000 tons of donated concrete or limestone within Chris Koepfer’s ARC Reef Site. The reef site is located approximately 14 nautical miles southwest of Redfish Pass.

Lee County has had an active artificial reef program since the early 1990s. Grants from federal, state, and private sources help create a range of recreational opportunities from inshore to the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico. Chris Koepfer’s ARC Reef Site is named in memory of the pioneer of Lee County’s artificial reef program. For a video on Lee County artificial reefs, click here.

John Potanovic, Suzanne Boy and John Agnew

Wednesday, March 20


Local attorneys John Potanovic, John Agnew and Suzanne Boy have opened Boy Agnew Potanovic, PLLC, a boutique law firm in Fort Myers, focusing on employment, business and government law for clients throughout Southwest Florida.

Potanovic was among the first lawyers in the state to become board certified in labor and employment law by The Florida Bar, and was the first attorney in Southwest Florida to do so. Together with Suzanne Boy, who is also board certified in labor and employment law, they are two of fewer than 200 attorneys statewide who have achieved this certification.

Boy and Potanovic have teamed with John Agnew, a former president of the Lee County Bar Association, who serves as the city attorney of Sanibel through a contract with their firm.

Boy, Agnew and Potanovic each hold the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and they have been named for recognition by Florida Super Lawyers every year for the last decade—Potanovic and Boy in labor and employment, and Agnew in business litigation. For more information, visit

Tuesday, March 19


The Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation’s Earn to Learn FL  Project was approved by Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to participate in the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program (CCTCP).

Florida businesses will be eligible for sales tax credit or business income tax credit when they make a charitable donation to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation earmarked for Earn to Learn FL CCTCP.  The business tax credit will be up to 50 percent of the donation, in addition to other benefits associated with a charitable donation.

The Earn to Learn FL CCTCP project will provide financial aid and money management training to students attending Immokalee Technical College, Fort Myers Technical College, and S.W. Florida Public Safety Service Academy. 

For additional information about opportunities to invest in Earn to Learn FL CCTCP students, contact Mary Moore at (239) 908-0301 or  

Monday, March 18


Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) welcomes Dr. Paula Tropello as the new dean of the School of Health Professions.

Tropello was the founding dean of Wagner College’s School of Nursing in New York City, where she started the first doctorate for the nurse practitioners program. She has also taught associate-, bachelor’s- and master’s-level courses.

Tropello earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, her master’s degree at the University of Florida and her doctorate at Rutgers University. She is a nationally boarded nurse practitioner and has worked per diem for many years with a small rural practice. Tropello also serves as an accreditation/curriculum consultant.

Don’t wait until the end of the week to find out what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.