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Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY

Acosta joins SVN Florida in Fort Myers

Carlos Acosta, an influential commercial real estate senior advisor in Southwest Florida, has joined SVN Florida at its recently launched office in Fort Myers. He specializes in the acquisition and disposition of retail, office, industrial, land and NNN investment sales, and has negotiated hundreds of leases throughout his stellar career, SVN executives said. “Carlos is an outstanding addition to SVN Florida’s Fort Myers team with his client-first approach,” said Jerry Anderson, executive managing director of SVN Florida. “His knowledge of the market is exceptional, and he will provide valuable services to our clients who are active in this region.” Acosta, a South Florida resident most his life, has an understanding of the dynamics of the Southwest Florida market. He brings more than 25 years’ experience in sales and marketing with a Fortune 500 company and ran a successful family owned business for more than a decade. He said the brand repu-

tation and what resources if offers were the reasons for joining the SVN team. “SVN is a renowned brand, not only in Florida, but across the country,” Acosta said. “SVN provides the tools and systems that aren’t available at many CRE firms. These resources allow us to better serve clients.” Acosta offers values such as commitment, dedication and old-fashioned hard work that he says are required to deliver superior service and meet his clients’ needs. Highly respected in the brokerage community for his expertise and integrity, he has been recognized by CoStar, an industry information and marketing group, as a five-time Southwest Florida Power Broker. He also is a member of the board of directors for Commercial Investment Professionals. Acosta joins Stephen Cunningham, managing director of the SVN Florida office in Fort Myers, and Bryan Myers, a buyer, leasing and tenant rep expert. The Fort Myers office specializes in advisory services for the sales and leas-

ing of commercial properties including medical and general office, multifamily, retail, industrial, self-storage, hospitality, marina, mobile home park and land transactions. The office also offers clients a wide range of ancillary services, including asset management, property management, valuation, tax abatement, court-appointed receivership and will have strong affiliations with attorneys, lenders, developers, acquisition and disposition consulting and medical sale-leaseback. SVN is the only commercial real estate company that markets all its properties to the entire brokerage and investment community. SVN advisors share commission fees with cooperating brokers to close more deals in less time and at the right value for clients. This open, transparent and collaborative approach to real estate is the SVN difference. SVN Florida provides services in more locations than any other Florida commercial real estate company.


Prosperity for our families and future By Pat Neal Guest Commentator Thanks to the efforts of Governor Rick Scott and the state’s committed business leaders, Florida has one of the strongest economies in the country. With our unemployment rate under 5 percent, Florida continues to exceed the nation’s annual job growth rate and tourism, one of the state’s economic drivers remains strong, with just under 113 million visitors in 2016, an increase from just 86 million visitors just three years ago. Much of this success has been a result of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. Their contributions are critical to our state’s recovery and continue to be important drivers in Florida’s economic well-being. The two organizations are responsible for helping create thousands of jobs in conjunction with private businesses, and the organizations allow us to compete with other states for businesses and visitors, many of whom have significantly increased their business and tourism marketing programs to entice companies and visitors. It is important to have a business climate that allows companies to flourish, people to be able to find high-paying jobs and to ensure that we are economi-

cally competitive on a national level. Political differences in the Capitol are putting the success of the Sunshine State at risk. Members in the Florida House have filed numerous pieces of legislation taking aim at Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. The bills call for drastic cuts or the complete elimination of the two public-private partnerships, outcomes that would undoubtedly slow down or even reverse the good economic fortune of Florida. As an employer of hundreds, I hear every day how important it is for Florida families to have good jobs that pay well and build a more prosperous future for our children. Research from Florida TaxWatch shows that Florida’s targeted economic development incentives have generated positive return on state investment by enticing qualifying businesses to bring high-wage jobs to the state and diversifying the state’s industry portfolio. Incentive programs also have numerous protections, such as sanctions and clawbacks, in order to ensure that the hardearned dollars of Florida taxpayers are not spent unwisely. We must compete with the millions each year of incentives paid by other

states, counties and municipalities. The data also backs up the power of tourism marketing in attracting visitors to the Sunshine State. Continuing to fund Visit Florida will bring hundreds of millions of people to the state. Every 76 visitors to Florida support one job. This investment is diversifying the Florida economy, creating jobs and improving the income of Floridians. If the Legislature were to make significant cuts to, or eliminate, Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida, it will put Florida at an economic disadvantage versus the rest of the nation, stifling job creation and slowing economic development and extinguish the hopes of hundreds of thousands of Florida workers who seek a more prosperous future. We must continue to fund our incentive and tourism marketing programs. We must remain a state open for business. Pat Neal, former state senator and the former chairman of the Christian Coalition of Florida, currently serves as chairman-Eeect for the Board of Directors of Florida TaxWatch, the state’s independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute and government watchdog, and is president of Neal Communities.

APRIL 2017

Plug Smart expands to Southwest Florida Columbus, Ohio based energy solutions company Plug Smart announced expansion to the Southwest Florida market. Named one of the fastest growing privately held companies for three years in a row, Plug Smart officials say the company will bring affordable, money-saving energy solutions to the area. “We are excited to provide commercial property owners in Southwest Florida with innovative energy solutions and unparalleled service levels that our customers in the Ohio region have become accustomed to,” said CEO Richard Housh, a Naples resident since 2000. Housh is a past board member for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, as well as one of the founding members of the Naples Pathways Coalition. With the strategic hire of Nathan Krieger as Southwest Florida Senior Project Development Engineer in December, Plug Smart took up office space within the Naples Accelerator building to better serve the Southwest Florida market. Nationwide, PlugSmart has assisted over 250 companies, school districts and governmental organizations to reduce their energy output. Locally, the company serves a large healthcare client in the Southwest Florida area and plans to expand into the government, education and commercial markets with customer-focused solutions. With Southwest Florida’s commitment to creating a BlueZone for healthier living, “Our innovative solutions allow our clients to improve their facilities while also realizing immediate savings on energy, operations and maintenance costs for clients,” said Krieger. “Our clients are driven by the financial benefits, but are also committed to contributing to a more sustainable and healthier community in Southwest Florida.” PlugSmart is currently providing introductory energy consultations for interested organizations at no cost.

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Kevin A. Kyle, a partner of Green Schoenfeld & Kyle, recently presented highlights from the 2017 Heckerling Estate Planning Institute to the Estate Planning Council of Lee County. In his presentation, Kyle reviewed topics discussed during the conference, including the potential impact of the 2016 election, issues surrounding intra-family wealth transfers, charitable giving, elder law and financial assets. Kyle has more than 20 years of experience in estate planning and probate, international and domestic trusts, and international and domestic tax advice and business transactions. He is board-certified by The Florida Bar as an expert in wills, trusts and estates and tax law. He has earned an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest

recognition available in the legal industry. Since 2000, Green Schoenfeld & Kyle has provided high-quality legal services to Florida individuals and businesses. With more than 181 years of combined legal expertise, their attorneys work proactively with clients and businesses to help formulate and implement estate planning objectives in a tax-efficient manner and provide specialized solutions for tax and business matters. Dedicated to providing clients with exceptional personal attention and respect, Green Schoenfeld & Kyle’s specialty areas of practice are estate planning; probate, estate and trust administration; business planning, corporate and partnership law; and estate and gift tax issues.

April 2017 Southwest Florida Business Today  

Southwest Florida's Business to Business publication