January 2021 Southwest Florida Business Today

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SWFL on road to recovery from COVID-19 The Naples Chamber President and CEO shares his thoughts on impact of pandemic on area’s industries

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MAR Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Karen P. Moore, Publisher

likely it was negatively impacted by the pandemic.” Hospitality and restaurants are coming back, Dalby added. However, he noted, while restaurants changed their business models to adjust to the new-and-ever-changing situation, they are tending to bring fewer people back, especially since the minimum wage increase amendment passed in Florida’s

November election. Ironically, he observed, some hotels had their best summers ever, especially on the weekends when they encouraged locals to take “staycations.” He observed, “Group tourism is pretty much gone for now, however.” Of course, he added, we have no real idea right now just how great an impact the loss of international travel is going to have on Southwest Florida’s economy. “It’s picking up slowly.”

A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in Southwest

Commercial Real Estate SWFBT’s annual edition is a comprehensive overview of the SWFL market’s plans, projects and partnerships, amid the pandemic.

SAVE THE DATE

“As one might expect, local companies most impacted by COVID-19 were hospitality, small businesses and personal services,” Michael Dalby, president and CEO of The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, stated. “The smaller the business, the more

COVID See page 14

TWO39 LABS ANNOUNCES 2020 WINNER OF PITCH EVENT

21st Annual Commercial Real Estate Outlook Conference Coming in May 2021. Industry experts will discuss the immediate and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the commercial real estate industry and how to navigate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. For more information, visit www.flccim.com/districts/ southwest-district/ ST FLORIDA’S

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Startups, of the economy visionaries fuel Southwest Florida.

Brady Photos by Christine trade to the Southof international offices. about the importance Buqueras talks Lee County Economic Development Director Carlos the first-ever stop at Port Manatee Executive during the Port’s west Florida market

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IN THE NEWS

to Dave Gammon elevated Charlotte EDO director

in the wake of Charlotte County, joinLucienne Pears former director Partners at Babcock ing Kitson and former Business Ranch, elevated and interim Recruitment Supervisor to executive director Dave Gammon Economic Developdirector of the ment Office. face in reGammon is a familiar he development as gional economic three years with his has proven in EDO. County Charlotte continue leading He is excited to like developments several existing page 19

Florida to communities in second one of four host as part of the Lee County was from seven countries welcome companiesTrade Summit. Manatee, annual International International Trade Hub at Port Fort Lauseries visited Organized by The one day Business opportunity ota and Tampa for the 2019 Global Bradenton/Saras derdale, Fort Myers,to 29. 26 Office, Southwest each from Aug. ReEconomic Development and the Southwest The Lee County Chamber of Commerce the event, which Florida Hispanic Association co-hosted gional Manufacturers Gulf Railway. Chile, Colombia, was sponsored Seminole from Argentina, other locales International companies Spain, Peru and Mexico, goods, artisanal apparel, El Salvador, Guatemala, food, coffee, fruits, cooking systems featured wine, snack and state-of-the-art to merchandise companies Lee County industryof founded as part summit showcases during the summit. Trade Hub at Port Manatee, and An expo-style from seven nations markets in Florida and business leaders visiting Summit. The International International Trade advice as a vital link between provides expert See page 6 the second annual in 2014, serves world. The hub TRADE throughout the

ENEURS h SALUTE TO ENTREPR poised for growt and Business Intermediary Proess Advisors experi- a CertifiedMergers & Acquisitions transaction Edison Busin the IBBA ap- Certified designations from ence totaling partner and

GAMMON See

Privacy & Cyber Security d Forum announce

& Cyber SeA special Privacy held on Friwill be at curity Forum 9 a.m. to noon day, Nov. 8, fromNews Community the Naples Daily room. Companies will William C. Huff and insponsor the informational for the community. teractive forum forum is for atThe goal of the clearer undera tendees to gain keep their famito standing of how businesses private. lies, wealth and FORUM See page

18

in fi$170 fessional a Eric Gall, managing with a concentration proximately for Edison Avenue, won and an MBAthe University of Michigan. broker of record brokerage and lower million. Gall transactions and nance from leading business Gall in business the 2018, 2016 and acquisitions Niehaus, Bro- Assisting middle market mergers Pfeffer, Steven 2014 Business significant changes No. 1 are Michael and Phillip Reda. firm, is announcing kers of Florida Edward Valaitis Business Adto operations. Top Dollar Producer to rebrand itself Pfeffer joins Edison of business The firm has decided over 20 years Award for Southwest Advisors” to better out visors with experience, including 12 as “Edison Business service offerings, Florida, beating busi- transactionbusiness brokerage franchise communicate addedbusiness appraisals, Gall a over 90 other He is years as Southwest Florida. Pfeffer is a including certified appraisals and certiness brokers. owner in Certified certified equipment Business Brokers Board Certified Intermediary, International an and also page 6 strategies. See fied exit EDISON Chairman’s Circle mergers and acquisiBrokerage and led by Association Award winner. Eric holds continue to be tions efforts will 20 years of business Deal Maker Gall. He has over OPENING

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Hoffmann Family buys Hertz Arena, Everblades

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The Hoffmann Family of Companies has entered into an agreement to purchase the Florida Everblades and the Hertz Arena. Plans are underway for a complete renovation of the 8,284-seat, multipurpose arena. The improvements will include enhanced skyboxes, food services and installation of a state-ofthe-art scoreboard. Hertz Arena, which opened in 1998 as Everblades Arena, hosts a variety of events including concerts, Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice, boxing and trade shows. The venue offers

Focus on Manufacturing

Area companies are building a better future — one made right here in Southwest Florida.

25 suites, two additional ice rinks, a private club and a pub, Breakaway Sports Pub. The arena is also home to the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles club hockey team of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. “We are optimistic that all of the 330 employees will remain with the Hoffmann Family of Companies,” said Craig Brush, Florida Everblades President and General Manager, who signed a five-year contract and has a commitment from all his senior staff to remain in place. “We are thrilled to be acquired by

A specially focused monthly section exploring the SWFL commercial real estate marketplace.

IN THE NEWS

Fort Myers sixth Business Summit slated for Sept. 20

Holly Bell addresses citrus growers about the 25,000-plus uses for industrial hemp, which can now be grown legally in Florida

Cannabis chief promises rich stash for hemp growers Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Jacob Ogles, Editor

SUMMIT See page 7

When other states started authorizing farmers to grow hemp, it didn’t take long to realize there was no place to sell it. Because no structures had been put in place for processing and manufacturing plants, state officials found themselves rushing a regulatory structure through so farmers could offload their first harvests. Holly Bell, Florida’s first Director of Cannabis, plans to learn from that mistake. She said the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will make sure all parts of the burgeoning hemp industry can move forward as soon as new rules unroll later this fall. “When our farmers are ready for a cash flow, we want to encourage them to get going,” she said.

Applications being accepted for the 25th Blue Chip Award The 25th Annual Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award application deadline is fast approaching. The Blue Chip Community Business Award recognizes successful, small businesses in Lee, Collier or Charlotte County that have overcome adversity to achieve success. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, Sept. 4. The independent judges select the honoree after all the applications AWARD See page 19

Bell spoke in August at the Citrus Expo and Vegetable and Specialty Crop Expo, where growers from around the region gathered to hear her discuss this new and just recently legal product to diversify their inventory. Just a few years ago, there were no legal reasons to grow cannabis in Florida. Now, medical marijuana dispensaries pop up in more shopping centers each week. Soon, farmers will grow non-narcotic hemp crops. With the 2018 federal farm bill allowing hemp to grow, a budding industry will soon emerge in Florida. The Legislature this year authorized a pilot program for growing hemp in the Sunshine State, and state officials are nearly done weeding through a stack of public suggestions.

GrowFL announced this year’s 50 Florida Companies to Watch honorees, including three from Southwest Florida. Companies to Watch is a statewide competition that identifies companies expected to see significant growth over the next several years. The GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch awards program—now in its ninth year—honors 50 select second-stage companies from throughout Florida for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida. Chosen from 500 growing second-stage nominations from throughout, Florida, the 50 companies named as the 2019 Florida Companies to Watch honorees generated nearly $1 billion in revenue and added over 900 jobs between 2015 and 2018. Together, the honorees project a 35 percent increase in revenue and 37 percent increase in job growth in 2019 compared to 2018. “These stand-out companies are all led by entrepreneurs, and have demonstrated their capacity and intent to grow,” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL executive director. “They also all have critical intellectual property or a niche position that gives them a competitive edge in their markets,” he said. Local honorees include: Cottrell Title & Escrow, Collier County; Mettauer Environmental, Lee County; and VeraData, Lee County . “This list recognizes second-stage Florida companies with passionate leaders who are making a difference in growing and diversifying our economy,” said Jennifer Barrows, GrowFL Chairman of the GrowFL Advisory Board and Business Development Executive with WithumSmith+Brown, PC. Second-stage companies are those

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HOT CROP Commercial Real Estate

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce has announced an exciting line-up for its 2019 Business Summit, set for Sept. 20. The summit, now in its sixth year, will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers. This year’s keynote address is “Communicate Your Way to Success,” by entrepreneur, business coach and international speaker Jason Evers. Evers has traveled to more than 20 countries on five continents

such a prestigious company. Our partnership with the Hertz Corporation and now this new ownership ensures that Hertz Arena will maintain our strong community presence and continue to be the number one choice for entertainment in Southwest Florida.” The team and the arena were previously owned by Peter Karmanos, founder of Compuware Corporation and prior majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes in the National Hockey League. “Simply put, without the support of

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IN THE NEWS Collier names Pelican as ‘Business of the Wire Month’

During the July ty Commission 9 Collier CounWire was named meeting, Pelican ty ‘Business of the Collier Counthe Month’ and recognized by was the a manufacturing Board for being County for over leader in Collier 40 years. Pelican Wire President Ted Bill, who received the are truly honored award, said “We Collier County to be named the Month’ for July.‘Business of the Since moving AWARD See page

Gov. DeSantis announces job growth grants

4

Gov. Ron DeSantis the Florida Departmentannounced of Economic Opportunity Florida are acceptingand Enterprise economic development project proposals for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. $40 million is available to fund training and public job projects that support infrastructure growth and employment in Florida. “We know

the frastructure projects importance inand workforce training has on economic development,” said DeSantis. “The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund will help Florida communities ensure they GRANTS See page

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Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Noemi Y. Perez Southwest Florida tion’s business-theme students in The Immokalee Foundad summer camp entrepreneurial recently shared ideas their Tank event modeled and garnered awards during a Shark The four-week after the popular TV show. was a partnership Business Management Pathway Coast University’sbetween the foundation and Floridacamp Gulf developed businessInstitute for Entrepreneursh ip. among them: finding plans that solved problems Students common clothes on a budget; centric finances; handling ñera; and findinggetting better sleep; planning studenta quincearestaurants suitable stricted diets. for people with reStudent teams gave presentations about ences, startup costs, their target audiprojected profits, marketing other aspects of entrepreneurial plans and Dr. Sandra Kauanui, enterprises at iTECH mokalee. Judges FGCU Director spoke during the for of Entrepreneurs Smart Companies the presentations were: Brian in Imevent. hip, Rist, The Smart Companies executive chairman; Sofia Blanno, gram allows shoppers to arrange tor of corporate intern; and Matthew Turner, Hertz The through social an app, then physically to buy, sell or swap items direcFirst place awards responsibility. central location exchange those in Immokalee. items at a Shop team of Neika of $500 each went to the MentorUs, Daisy Montanez Exulus, Jessica Sales, Alondra Swap & smart financial an app that encourages students and Ailynee Ramirez. Estrada, decisions, earned interested in dressing Aimed at students for team members second place of to make fashionably on $250 each Alex Soriano, a budget, the pro- ie Etienne, Azael Simon-Quirino Je’an Espinoza, Myrlandand Simson Devesaint.

Fort Myers Mayor

Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Karen P. Moore,

launches Divers ity Committee

SHARK See page

more inclusive city. Publisher Student Hailey Countryman asked her employer, Sanibel Captiva “It is never too the Mayor if he munity Bank, Comlate to give up had to FGCU’s College on diversity whom a team of advisors Education. your prejudices.” of Henry David Thoreau for guidance. Since he could rely on said, “We In a recent interview she can’t really say question was no, the answer to that ing to be representative we are tryat that moment Fort Myers Mayor derson felt Henof our city’s derson has known Randy Hen- a team. inspired to create just such residents and community if we don’t have diversity Ndiang’ui wanted Florida Gulf Coast University on the to make She sure the Mayor explained the council itself.” was prepared ter Ndiang’ui for professor Dr. Pe- road ahead committee drew about 10 years and asked him, for the its 18 members was a guest speaker and from the commu“Are in his class, “In- really able to handle the truth?” you nity, representing troduction to Diversity,” diversity project moved The ethnicity, forward. in Novemgender and sexualin race, ber. Henderson Beth Countryman, asked students Hailey’s moth- tity. “We can’t be a committee idenhe could do to what er, became make Fort Myers up of old white made involved with men and think the project, going a which led to we are a $25,000 donation to be in charge of diversity.” from DIVERSITY See page 11 Payment Plans Available • Discounted Merchandise Parking Options Discount • Presale • Private Parties & Exclusive Gifts on Hertz Arena Concerts & Family Shows Buy Any 19/20 & Get A $20 Membership Pack FORD’S GIFT & ‘BLADES TOTE CARD BAG Valid on any NEW

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Seven local businesses completed a 12-week accelerator program cohort held by Two39 Labs. That included entrepreneurs from Endevr, Fayven, Propzie, Learn Robotics, My Undercover Agent, Stabilized Steps and Tailored.

The Tailored Co. takes top prize in pitch event

Two39 Labs announced the winners of its first Two39 Labs Startup Pitch Event. The virtual event took place on Dec. 10 as part of the free Two39 Labs’ 12-week accelerator program cohort. Seven local businesses that completed the Two39 Labs 12-week cohort competed for a grand prize of $5,000 in front of 200 plus registered attendees and a prestigious panel of judges. The winning startup was The Tailored Co., founded by Dave Desmarais and Jeff Collins, founders of The TaiCEO Dave Desmarais and COO Jeff Collins. lored Co., won the prize money at the debut Two39 Labs PITCH See page 7 Startup Pitch Event.

IN THE NEWS Deadline for Business Ethics lier, Hendry and Glades Counties who Space available at SWFL Inc. consistently demonstrate a systemAward nominations extended wide commitment to high ethical 2021 Community Expo The Uncommon Friends Foundation has extended the nominations deadline for its 2020 Business Ethics Award to Friday, Jan. 15. Businesses in Lee, Charlotte, Col-

business practices are eligible. Businesses can nominate themselves or be nominated by a third party.

ETHICS See page 10

Table displays are available to all Southwest Florida businesses for the 2021 Community Expo, presented by SWFL Inc. The Expo is an opportunity for businesses to showcase their

products and services, offer giveaways and connect with area visitors and residents. The Feb. 25 event will be held outdoors at the Promenade at Bonita Bay from 1 to 4 p.m. Table displays can be purchased EXPO See page 14

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Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

JANUARY 2021

Choose Cape Coral

for Supply Chain, Technology and Mixed-Use Development

Courtesy of Rowe Architects Inc. & Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects Inc. Rendering of Lucas Hall. It will house the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship, the Small Business Development Center and the Regional Economic Research Institute.

FGCU named top school in state for undergrad entrepreneurship Florida Gulf Coast University is the top public college or university in Florida for undergraduate entrepreneurship studies, according to The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Coming in at No. 29 out of more than 300 schools, FGCU ranked higher than entrepreneurship undergraduate programs at DePaul University, Florida State University, the University of St. Thomas and Syracuse University, among others. “We tried a new model with an independent School of Entrepreneurship, and it works!” said Sandra Kauanui, director of FGCU’s Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship. “This ranking by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine sets us apart from other entrepreneurship schools, especially many of those in Florida. It’s nice to be recognized for the hard work we have all contributed to reaching our goal.” Since its founding four years ago, FGCU’s entrepreneurship program has grown exponentially. Its mission is to infuse entrepreneurial spirit throughout the university with an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship major and minor. These are the fastest-growing degrees on campus with 2,793 students enrolled this past year in entrepreneurship classes. “Yet again our Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship continues to grow and excel,” said FGCU President Mike Martin. “We are proud of all that is being accomplished and the recognition by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine allows many others to recognize this great FGCU program as well.” Beyond degrees, FGCU’s School of Entrepreneurship is home to the

highly successful Runway Program, which helps students develop a business model and a viable product while earning their degree. That effort is furthered by a recent collaboration with the Naples Accelerator to offer entrepreneurship training, which is open to FGCU alumni. Other features include the Mentor Program, through which faculty and outside business experts offer guidance and advice, and the Faculty Fellows Program, which integrates entrepreneurship into academic departments across campus. Additionally, the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Veterans Florida, helps U.S. military veterans develop their business plans and obtain seed funding. “We pride ourselves on setting our goals high and achieving them. Each faculty member we have hired has placed students first in their work. We listen to our students and take their feedback and incorporate it into our program. That approach has made all the difference for the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship,” Kauanui added. The ranking comes at an important time for FGCU. The university is building Lucas Hall, which will house the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship, the Small Business Development Center and the Regional Economic Research Institute. The 27,000-square-foot facility will have a business incubator, flexible meeting rooms and expanded faculty and office space. It will be a central location for advancing the culture of entrepreneurship, business development and market analysis that are essential to growing Southwest Florida’s economy. It is slated to open in mid-2021.

Opulent Lighting & Design expands and relocates City of Cape Coral Economic Development Office 239-573-3081 CapeCoral.net/EDO EcoDev@CapeCoral.net

Opulent Lighting & Design moved into a larger Bonita Springs space to accommodate the company’s growth in Southwest Florida. The new 8,000-square-foot office is located on Trade Center Drive in Bonita Springs, half a mile east of Interstate-75. “Opulent has been expanding exponentially in Southwest Florida with lighting and design. In our continued growth, we have added new team members and focus on tradeshows, luxury rentals, and hosting virtual and in-person events at the new space,” said Owner Gina Sherrill. The company now offers rental space to host webinars, conferences, seminars, lun-

cheons, and networking events. It can host up to 110 guests, but is limited to 50 to promote social distancing at this time. The company also has added a new focus and space for virtual events. Partnering with Rick Gallo Benefit Auctioneer and Drew Townsend and The Naples Studio to provide optimal services for nonprofit and charity events, and corporate and individual celebrations. Opulent Lighting & Design can customize any event offering lighting, drapery and luxury rentals to elevate events, whether in a physical location or virtual.


JANUARY 2021

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

Page 3

Business Tax Provisions: The Year in Review Here’s what business owners need to know about tax changes for 2020.

Standard Mileage Rates The standard mileage rate in 2020 is 57.5 cents per business mile driven. Health Care Tax Credit for Small Businesses Small business employers who pay at least half the premiums for single health insurance coverage for their employees may be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit as long as they employ fewer than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers and average annual wages do not exceed $50,000 (adjusted annually for inflation). This amount is $55,200 for 2020 returns. In 2020 (as in 2014-2018), the tax credit is worth up to 50% of your contribution toward employees’ premium costs (up to 35% for tax-exempt employers). Section 179 Expensing and Depreciation Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Section 179 expense deduction increases to a maximum deduction of $1.04 million of the first $2.59 million of qualifying equipment placed in service during the current tax year. The deduction was indexed to inflation for tax years after 2018 and enhanced to include improvements to nonresidential qualified real property such as roofs, fire protection and alarm systems and security systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. Businesses are allowed to immediately deduct 100% of the cost of eligible property placed in service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023, after which it will be phased downward

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

over a four-year period: 80% in 2023, 60% in 2024, 40% in 2025, and 20% in 2026. The standard business depreciation amount is 27 cents per mile (up from 26 cents per mile in 2019). Please call if you have any questions about Section 179 expensing and the bonus depreciation.

Towles Garden will be built on a 7.5-acre lot at corner of Edison Avenue and Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard in Fort Myers.

Fort Myers CRA supports more affordable housing in MLK area

Work Opportunity Tax Credit Extended through 2020 unBY W. BRADLEY der the Further Consolidated COOPER, JR. Appropriations Act, the Work Guest Columnist Opportunity Tax Credit can be used by employers who hire long-term unemployed individuals (unemployed for 27 weeks or more). It is generally equal to 40% of the first $6,000 of wages paid to a new hire. Please call if you have any questions about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners has approved a tax increment rebate of $4.9 million for the development of Towles Garden, a 140-unit affordable townhome community. Towles Garden is a project that the redevelopment plan for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd./ VSSB Plan supports and Florida State Statute encourages working with private enterprise: “Any county or municipality, to the greatest extent it determines to be feasible in carrying out the provisions of this part, shall afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the county or municipality as a whole, to the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the community redevelopment area by private enterprise.” It will be built on a 7.5-acre lot at corner of Edison Ave. and Veronica S. Shoemaker Blvd. in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard redevelopment area.

SIMPLE IRA Plan Contributions Contribution limits for SIMPLE IRA plans increased to $13,500 for persons under age 50 and $16,500 for persons age 50 or older in 2020. The maximum compensation used to determine contributions is $285,000. Please contact the office if you would like more information about these and other tax deductions and credits to which you are entitled. W. Bradley Cooper, Jr. is a certified public account based in Fort Myers. Contact (239) 275-4511. Learn more at www.wbcoopercpa.com.

TOWLES See page 13

Thank you Lee County Businesses!

I am both honored and humbled by the outpouring of support I have received through this election, being thankful to have been elected to continue to serve as your Lee County Sheriff. To all the supporters, volunteers, men and women of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and most importantly to all the residents and business owners of Lee County-thank you for your heartfelt support, and for the faith and trust you have placed in me. I am excited to continue to build on our successes and to protect our piece of paradise!”

Lee County Sheriff

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JANUARY 2021

Goodlette named chairman of ethics commission J Dudley Goodlette an attorney at Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt was appointed to the Naples Ethics Commission by Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk At the inaugural meeting Goodlette was also named chairman Additional Ethics Commissioners include Laird Lile John Thomas Cardillo Susan Jones and John Lehmann The Ethics Commission which was Good ette overwhelmingly approved by over 70% of City voters in August 2020 has the authority and responsibility to develop and draft an amended Ethics Code to advise the City Council in all ethical matters to recommend proposed ordinances or resolutions and to provide training in state and local ethics to all persons covered by the Ethics Code Goodlette shared that he is “looking forward to working collegially with the members of the Ethics Commission to pursue the goals established by referendum ” “Dudley’s participation in the work of the Ethics Commission continues his lifetime of service to the community in so many areas ” commented Russell Schropp managing attorney for Henderson Franklin Goodlette serves on the Board of Directors for the Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation and Quest He previously served as Interim President of Edison State College (now Florida SouthWestern State College) was a member and former chairman of the Board of Trustees of Florida Gulf Coast University and was a member of the Board of International College (now Hodges University) Goodlette also served as chair of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Goodlette is also Chair of Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company’s Underwriting Committee Executive Committee Business Development Committee and Nominating Committee He served on the Florida Bar Board of Gov-

PUBLISHER Karen P. Moore PRINT EDITOR & ASSOCIATE WEB EDITOR Jacob Ogles PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Ogles PHOTO REVIEWER Scott Toner

ernors was a member of the 20th Judicial Circuit Judicial Nomination Commission and was chairman of the Real Estate Certification Committee Goodlette is a former member of the Florida House of Representatives and also served as Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the Florida House In recognition of his efforts for spearheading the passage of the Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance he received the Medal of Honor from the Florida Bar Foundation Goodlette has received numerous accolades throughout his career including most recently honored as one of Collier County’s most influential business leaders by Naples Illustrated magazine in the “Naples 100 ” He was also Hodges University’s Humanitarian of the Year Boys & Girls Club of Collier County’s Man of the Year and was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Leadership Hall of Fame Goodlette received his undergraduate degree from Eastern Kentucky University and his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law Email him at dudley goodlette@henlaw com or call (239) 344-1388 Henderson Franklin is the largest locally-based law firms between Tampa and Miami with 60 attorneys dedicated to providing a wide range of legal services in the areas of business and tax planning estate planning family law business and civil litigation eminent domain intellectual property workers’ compensation employment law real estate and land use and environmental law Since 1924 Henderson Franklin has been assisting clients to build their homes businesses and communities throughout Southwest Florida Henderson Franklin operates offices in Fort Myers Bonita Springs and Naples For more information on Goodlette or Henderson Franklin please visit www henlaw com

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Diversity in the workplace views are shared

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Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Karen P. Moore, Publisher

A font of useful information was given by Southwest Florida business professionals who recently participated in a lively and informative local discussion panel moderated by Above Board Chamber Executive Director Jeanne Sweeney. Panelists included Nirupa Netram, founder, Lotus Solutions LLC; Shanthy Bala, Esq, a Harvard-educated tax and business attorney; Theresa Ayers, owner, The

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Path of Being; Precious Gunter, Esq., Director of Equity, Ethics, & Compliance & Title IX Coordinator, FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business. When asked “What is diversity in the workplace?,” Nirupa, whose firm helps with diversification efforts in the workplace, shared, “Having a workforce comprised of all races, generations, genders, ethnicities, disabilities, LBGTQ, as well as immigrants and refugees.” Expanding upon the question of how employers can create diversity, Bala responded, “It’s impor-

tant that employers know that diversity and inclusion are two separate things.” She added, “The employer must create an environment where employees feel safe with their differences from other employees.” She notes two important questions employers must ask--is management giving opportunities for inclusion, creating a comfort level for those who feel they have differences from other employees, as well as offering professional growth opportunities for people with diverse backgrounds?” DIVERSITY See page 22

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in the wake of Charlotte County, joinLucienne Pears former director Partners at Babcock ing Kitson and former Business Ranch, elevated and interim Recruitment Supervisor to executive director Dave Gammon DevelopEconomic director of the ment Office. face in reGammon is a familiar he development as gional economic three years with his has proven in EDO. Charlotte County continue leading He is excited to like developments several existing 19

Florida to communities in second one of four host as part of the Lee County was from seven countries welcome companiesTrade Summit. Manatee, annual International International Trade Hub at Port Fort Lauseries visited Organized by The for one day Business opportunity the 2019 Global Bradenton/Sarasota and Tampa derdale, Fort Myers,to 29. 26 Office, Southwest each from Aug. ReEconomic Development and the Southwest The Lee County Chamber of Commerce the event, which Florida Hispanic Association co-hosted gional Manufacturers Gulf Railway. Colombia, was sponsored Seminole from Argentina, Chile, Peru and other locales International companies Mexico, Spain, goods, apparel, artisanal El Salvador, Guatemala, food, coffee, fruits, cooking systems featured wine, snack and state-of-the-art to merchandise companies Lee County industryof founded as part summit showcases during the summit. Trade Hub at Port Manatee, and An expo-style from seven nations markets in Florida and business leaders visiting The International Trade Summit. advice as a vital link between annual International provides expert in 2014, serves 6 the second world. The hub TRADE See page throughout the

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Intermediary and Proa Certified Business & Acquisitions transaction experithe IBBA ap- Certified Mergers designations from ence totaling in fi$170 fessional a Eric Gall, managing with a concentration proximately for Edison Avenue, won and an MBAthe University of Michigan. broker of record brokerage and lower million. Gall and nance from in business transactions leading business Gall the 2018, 2016 and acquisitions Niehaus, Bro- Assisting middle market mergers Pfeffer, Steven 2014 Business significant changes No. 1 are Michael and Phillip Reda. firm, is announcing kers of Florida Edward Valaitis Business Adto operations. Top Dollar Producer to rebrand itself Pfeffer joins Edison of business The firm has decided over 20 years Award for Southwest Advisors” to better out visors with experience, including 12 as “Edison Business service offerings, Florida, beating busi- transactionbusiness brokerage franchise communicate addedbusiness appraisals, Gall a over 90 other Pfeffer is a He is years as including certified appraisals and certiness brokers. in Southwest Florida. Certified Brokers owner Intermediary, certified equipment International Business 6 and Board Certified fied exit strategies. mergers and acquisi- also an EDISON See page Chairman’s Circle Brokerage and led by Association Award winner. Eric holds continue to be tions efforts will 20 years of business Deal Maker Gall. He has over OPENING

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Hoffmann Family buys Hertz Arena, Everblades

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The Hoffmann Family of Companies has entered into an agreement to purchase the Florida Everblades and the Hertz Arena. Plans are underway for a complete renovation of the 8,284-seat, multipurpose arena. The improvements will include enhanced skyboxes, food services and installation of a state-ofthe-art scoreboard. Hertz Arena, which opened in 1998 as Everblades Arena, hosts a variety of events including concerts, Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice, boxing and trade shows. The venue offers

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25 suites, two additional ice rinks, a such a prestigious company. Our partprivate club and a pub, Breakaway nership with the Hertz Corporation Sports Pub. The arena is also home to and now this new ownership ensures the Florida Gulf Coast University Ea- that Hertz Arena will maintain our gles club hockey team of the Ameri- strong community presence and continue to be the number one choice for can Collegiate Hockey Association. “We are optimistic that all of the entertainment in Southwest Florida.” The team and the arena were pre330 employees will remain with the Hoffmann Family of Companies,” viously owned by Peter Karmanos, said Craig Brush, Florida Everblades founder of Compuware Corporation President and General Manager, who and prior majority owner of the Carosigned a five-year contract and has a lina Hurricanes in the National Hockcommitment from all his senior staff ey League. “Simply put, without the support of to remain in place. “We are thrilled to be acquired by EVERBLADES See page 6

GrowFL announces statewide honorees

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Fort Myers sixth Business Summit slated for Sept. 20 The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce has announced an exciting line-up for its 2019 Business Summit, set for Sept. 20. The summit, now in its sixth year, will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers. This year’s keynote address is “Communicate Your Way to Success,” by entrepreneur, business coach and international speaker Jason Evers. Evers has traveled to more than 20 countries on five continents

Holly Bell addresses citrus growers about the 25,000-plus uses for industrial hemp, which can now be grown legally in Florida

Cannabis chief promises rich stash for hemp growers Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Jacob Ogles, Editor

SUMMIT See page 7

When other states started authorizing farmers to grow hemp, it didn’t take long to realize there was no place to sell it. Because no structures had been put in place for processing and manufacturing plants, state officials found themselves rushing a regulatory structure through so farmers could offload their first harvests. Holly Bell, Florida’s first Director of Cannabis, plans to learn from that mistake. She said the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will make sure all parts of the burgeoning hemp industry can move forward as soon as new rules unroll later this fall. “When our farmers are ready for a cash flow, we want to encourage them to get going,” she said.

Applications being accepted for the 25th Blue Chip Award The 25th Annual Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award application deadline is fast approaching. The Blue Chip Community Business Award recognizes successful, small businesses in Lee, Collier or Charlotte County that have overcome adversity to achieve success. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, Sept. 4. The independent judges select the honoree after all the applications AWARD See page 19

Bell spoke in August at the Citrus Expo and Vegetable and Specialty Crop Expo, where growers from around the region gathered to hear her discuss this new and just recently legal product to diversify their inventory. Just a few years ago, there were no legal reasons to grow cannabis in Florida. Now, medical marijuana dispensaries pop up in more shopping centers each week. Soon, farmers will grow non-narcotic hemp crops. With the 2018 federal farm bill allowing hemp to grow, a budding industry will soon emerge in Florida. The Legislature this year authorized a pilot program for growing hemp in the Sunshine State, and state officials are nearly done weeding through a stack of public suggestions.

GrowFL announced this year’s 50 Florida Companies to Watch honorees, including three from Southwest Florida. Companies to Watch is a statewide competition that identifies companies expected to see significant growth over the next several years. The GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch awards program—now in its ninth year—honors 50 select second-stage companies from throughout Florida for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida. Chosen from 500 growing second-stage nominations from throughout, Florida, the 50 companies named as the 2019 Florida Companies to Watch honorees generated nearly $1 billion in revenue and added over 900 jobs between 2015 and 2018. Together, the honorees project a 35 percent increase in revenue and 37 percent increase in job growth in 2019 compared to 2018. “These stand-out companies are all led by entrepreneurs, and have demonstrated their capacity and intent to grow,” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL executive director. “They also all have critical intellectual property or a niche position that gives them a competitive edge in their markets,” he said. Local honorees include: Cottrell Title & Escrow, Collier County; Mettauer Environmental, Lee County; and VeraData, Lee County . “This list recognizes second-stage Florida companies with passionate leaders who are making a difference in growing and diversifying our economy,” said Jennifer Barrows, GrowFL Chairman of the GrowFL Advisory Board and Business Development Executive with WithumSmith+Brown, PC. Second-stage companies are those

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Commercial Real

Estate A specially section exploringfocused monthly mercial real estate the SWFL commarketplace. IN THE NEWS Collier names Pelican as ‘Business of the Wire Month’

During the July ty Commission 9 Collier CounWire was named meeting, Pelican ty ‘Business of the Collier Counthe Month’ and recognized by was the a manufacturing Board for being County for over leader in Collier 40 years. Pelican Wire President Ted Bill, who received the are truly honored award, said “We Collier County to be named the Month’ for July.‘Business of the Since moving AWARD See page

Gov. DeSantis announces job growth grants

4

Gov. Ron DeSantis the Florida Departmentannounced of Economic Opportunity Florida are acceptingand Enterprise velopment project economic deproposals for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. $40 million is available training and public to fund job projects that support infrastructure growth and employment in Florida. “We know the frastructure projects importance inand workforce training has on economic development,” said DeSantis. Job Growth Grant “The Florida Fund will help Florida communities ensure they GRANTS See page

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Dr. Sandra Kauanui Ailynee Ramirez, (left) and Noemi Y. Perez (right) Jessica Sales, Daisy Montanez, with - TIF Shark Tank winners

Alondra Estrada Swap & Shop teamNeika Exulus, Young entrepreneurs share ideas, earn awards

Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Noemi Y. Perez Southwest Florida tion’s business-themedstudents in The Immokalee Foundasummer camp entrepreneurial recently shared ideas their Tank event modeled and garnered awards during a Shark The four-week after the popular TV show. was a partnership Business Management Pathway Coast University’sbetween the foundation and Floridacamp Gulf developed businessInstitute for Entrepreneurship. among them: finding plans that solved problems Students common clothes on a budget; centric finances; handling ñera; and findinggetting better sleep; planning studenta quincearestaurants suitable stricted diets. for people with reStudent teams gave presentations about ences, startup costs, their target audiprojected profits, other aspects of marketing plans entrepreneurial and Dr. Sandra Kauanui, FGCU enterprises at iTECH mokalee. Judges Director of Entrepreneurship, spoke during the for event. Smart Companies the presentations were: Brian in ImRist, The Smart Companies executive chairman; Sofia Blanno, gram allows shoppers to arrange tor of corporate intern; and Matthew Turner, Hertz The through social an app, then physically to buy, sell or swap items direcFirst place awards responsibility. central location exchange those in Immokalee. items at a Shop team of Neika of $500 each went to the MentorUs, Daisy Montanez Exulus, Jessica Sales, Alondra Swap & smart financial an app that encourages students and Ailynee Ramirez. Estrada, decisions, earned interested in dressing Aimed at students for team members second place of to make fashionably on $250 each Alex Soriano, a budget, the pro- ie Etienne, Azael Simon-Quirino Je’an Espinoza, Myrlandand Simson Devesaint.

Fort Myers Mayor

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Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Karen P. Moore, Publisher more inclusive city. Student Hailey her employer, Sanibel Captiva “It is never too the Mayor if he Countryman asked munity Comlate to give had Bank, to FGCU’s on diversity whom a team of advisors Education. your prejudices.” up College of Henry David Thoreau for guidance. Since he could rely on said, “We In a recent interview she can’t really say question was no, the answer to that ing to be representative we are tryat that moment Fort Myers Mayor derson felt Henof our derson has known Randy Hen- a team. inspired to create just such residents and community if we city’s have diversity Ndiang’ui wanted don’t Florida Gulf Coast University on the to make She sure the Mayor explained the council itself.” was prepared ter Ndiang’ui for professor Dr. Pe- road ahead about 10 years and asked him, for the its 18 members committee drew was a guest speaker and from the commu“Are in his class, “In- really able to handle the truth?” you nity, representing troduction to Diversity,” diversity project moved The ethnicity, forward. in Novemgender and sexualin race, ber. Henderson Beth Countryman, asked students Hailey’s moth- tity. “We can’t be a committee idenhe could do to what er, became make Fort Myers up of old white made involved with men and think the project, going a which led to we are a $25,000 donation to be in charge of diversity.” from

Committee

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The Immokalee Foundation students, mentors, tutors and team transitioned to virtual learning.

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The Immokalee Foundation received a $25,000 technol- transition was swift and effective for our students. ogy grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. “The COVID-19 relief was tremendously helpful in setOriginally awarded as a challenge grant, the modified funds ting up our staff in virtual offices and putting laptops into supported the foundation’s technology needs during the the hands of students who otherwise would not have been able to stay connected to school and the foundation,” said COVID-19 pandemic. “The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation grant Perez. “All the additional challenges that our community helped us transition our Career Pathways programming to is facing make our work more important than ever, so we succeed. virtual platforms in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” need to do everything it takes to help our ® students LEAVE THE CLEANING TO US! said Noemi Y. Perez, president and CEO of The Immokalee We are so appreciative of the Richard M. Schulze Family Celebrating 12 Years Foundation’s generous support of our efforts.” Foundation. “In doing so, we continued current program• Provides quality janitorial services ming and were able to add new programming options. The • Committed GRANT See page 6 to honesty, integrity, hard work

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(239) that are unfolding across ev- B2B and Charlotte Counties, and a 368-1219 new SOUTHWEST FLORIDA’S MARKETPLACE • 239-573-9732 Goodwill offers training on mations Expanded Bonita Chamber ery sector and industry. name to reflect its regional reach –cepride.com billstaggs@offi digital literacy, work skills Vol. 13 No. rebrands asCape SWFL Inc. Labor believe that evenDistributed enSWFL Inc. 12 /experts OCTOBER 2020 in Fort Myers, Coral, TAKE ONE

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET

As Florida continues to manage The Bonita Area Chamtry level workers will now be expectedEstero, Bonita “We are ecstatic to share our new,FOLLOW SOUTHWEST FLORIDA www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com SpringsSprings and Naples BUSINESS TODAY® ON: the impact of COVID-19, Goodwill to use a variety of digital devices and ber of Commerce, a premier business more inclusive model with businesses Industries of Southwest Florida is fa- equipment. Here are a few examples services organization since 1953, has across Southwest Florida,” said Tifcilitating new digital skills training to of technology use by industry: launched a new membership model to fany Esposito, President and CEO ofSWFL companies help learners prepare for job transfor- INSIDE THIS ISSUE better serve businesses in Lee, Collier GOODWILL See page 8 CHAMBER See page 7

A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in Southwest Florida

named to top state list

Do you want a clean office ... or a clean and HEALTHY office?

Two Southwest Florida companies announced they were among the first CONTACT US TODAY round of the 2020 Florida Companies Nikko Conn Nikko@imageoneusa.com to Watch finalists announced by GrowAnthony Conn FL. The awards event, now in its 10th Anthony@imageoneusa.com year, honors impressive second-stage It’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN! Are You Ready? companies from throughout the state (239) 789-2267 for developing valuable products and www.imageoneusa.com/fort-myers services, creating quality jobs, enrichSalute to Entrepreneurs ing communities and broadening new Startups, solo practitioners industries throughout Florida. and visionaries fuel the economy Founded in Naples in 1980, of Southwest Florida. Presstige Printing is experiencing record growth fueled by its commitment to customer satisfaction and investment in industry leading technology. The recent round of investments is part of the company’s “Presstige 2020” initiative, which includes nearly $3 million in state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The results are industry Dane Eagle, right, shakes hands with Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-76th District, leading quality, consistency, and efon the floor of the Florida House of Representatives. ficiency to match with the company’s superior customer service. “We were blown away when we Commercial Real Estate Special to SWFBT cision to resign, months after DeSansaw the list of phenomenal companies An 8-page pullout secSubmitted By: Jacob Ogles, Editor tis, unhappy with leadership, largely that we are alongside,” Presstige Printtion that is a quarterly SWFL sidelined the director. ing Owner Wes Weidenmiller said. Commercial Real Estate market Dane Eagle came a couple hun“Look, we certainly have got our “This recognition confirms my belief overview. dred votes short of the Republican challenges ahead of us,” Eagle told that investing in technology here at nomination for Congress. But he still Southwest Florida Business Today. our SWFL headquarters positions us ended up in a position of responsibil- “But there’s a great staff in place. among the best printers in the state.” Get ity and influence. Gov. Ron DeSantis They’ve been overworked. I look forPriority Marketing is also among Southwest in September announced the Cape ward to giving them more resources the Southwest Florida businesses to be Florida’s Coral lawmaker as his choice for ex- and fixing the problems of the past named finalists. business ecutive director of the Department of with the CONNECT system and “GrowFL received more than 400 news and Economic Opportunity. moving forward to a brighter day.” nominations this year, and it’s gratifyThat’s a position under extraordiEagle brings with him an intimate ing to know that we’re not just regarded information nary scrutiny at the moment. When knowledge of Southwest Florida as as a successful business in Southwest delivered the coronavirus pandemic spurred he takes over the agency after repreFlorida, but across all of Florida,” said straight statewide layoffs this year, the state senting House District 77 for the last Teri Hansen, president and creative to your unemployment system, CONNECT, eight years in the Legislature. That director at Priority Marketing. “Our crumbled under intense demand. will guide decisions for the new dimailbox company has grown to over 40 emThat ultimately led into former each month. ® DEO rector.THE CLEANING TO US!ployees that are working tirelessly to DEO See page 13 LIST See page 14 executive director Ken Lawson’sLEAVE de-

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2019 INTERNATIONAL

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and Salute to Entrepreneurs solo practitioners

Startups, of the economy visionaries fuel Southwest Florida.

Brady Photos by Christine trade to the Southof international offices. about the importance Buqueras talks Lee County Economic Development Director Carlos the first-ever stop at Port Manatee Executive during the Port’s west Florida market

Estate Commercial Real 8-page pullout

South American

A comprehensive a quarterly Southsection that is Real Eswest Florida Commercial

IN THE NEWS

to

Dave Gammon elevated Charlotte EDO director

businesses visit

Fort Myers

Special to SWFBT

tate market overview.

in the wake of Charlotte County, joinLucienne Pears former director Partners at Babcock ing Kitson and former Business Ranch, elevated and interim Recruitment Supervisor to executive director Dave Gammon DevelopEconomic director of the ment Office. face in reGammon is a familiar he development as gional economic three years with his has proven in EDO. Charlotte County continue leading He is excited to like developments several existing 19

Florida to communities in second one of four host as part of the Lee County was from seven countries welcome companiesTrade Summit. Manatee, annual International International Trade Hub at Port Fort Lauseries visited Organized by The for one day Business opportunity the 2019 Global Bradenton/Sarasota and Tampa derdale, Fort Myers,to 29. 26 Office, Southwest each from Aug. ReEconomic Development and the Southwest The Lee County Chamber of Commerce the event, which Florida Hispanic Association co-hosted gional Manufacturers Gulf Railway. Colombia, was sponsored Seminole from Argentina, Chile, and other locales International companies Mexico, Spain, Peru artisanal goods, apparel, El Salvador, Guatemala, food, coffee, fruits, cooking systems featured wine, snack and state-of-the-art to merchandise companies Lee County industryof founded as part summit showcases during the summit. Trade Hub at Port Manatee, and An expo-style from seven nations markets in Florida and business leaders visiting The International Trade Summit. advice as a vital link between annual International provides expert in 2014, serves 6 the second world. The hub TRADE See page throughout the

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GAMMON See page

Edison Business partner and

Privacy & Cyber Security Forum announced

& Cyber SeA special Privacy held on Friwill be at curity Forum 9 a.m. to noon day, Nov. 8, fromNews Community the Naples Daily room. Companies will William C. Huff and insponsor the informational for the community. teractive forum forum is for atThe goal of the clearer undera tendees to gain keep their famito standing of how businesses private. lies, wealth and FORUM See page

18

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Intermediary and Proa Certified Business Mergers & Acquisitions transaction experithe IBBA ap- Certified designations from ence totaling in fi$170 fessional a Eric Gall, managing with a concentration proximately for Edison Avenue, won and an MBAthe University of Michigan. broker of record brokerage and lower million. Gall and nance from in business transactions leading business Gall the 2018, 2016 and acquisitions Niehaus, Bro- Assisting middle market mergers Pfeffer, Steven 2014 Business significant changes 1 are Michael and Phillip Reda. firm, is announcing kers of Florida No. Edward Valaitis Business Adto operations. Top Dollar Producer to rebrand itself Pfeffer joins Edison of business The firm has decided over 20 years Award for Southwest Advisors” to better out visors with experience, including 12 as “Edison Business service offerings, Florida, beating busi- transactionbusiness brokerage franchise communicate addedbusiness appraisals, Gall a over 90 other Pfeffer is a He is years as including certified appraisals and certiness brokers. in Southwest Florida. Certified Brokers owner Intermediary, certified equipment International Business 6 and Board Certified fied exit strategies. mergers and acquisi- also an EDISON See page Chairman’s Circle Brokerage and led by Association Award winner. Eric holds continue to be tions efforts will 20 years of business Deal Maker Gall. He has over OPENING

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Hoffmann Family buys Hertz Arena, Everblades

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The Hoffmann Family of Companies has entered into an agreement to purchase the Florida Everblades and the Hertz Arena. Plans are underway for a complete renovation of the 8,284-seat, multipurpose arena. The improvements will include enhanced skyboxes, food services and installation of a state-ofthe-art scoreboard. Hertz Arena, which opened in 1998 as Everblades Arena, hosts a variety of events including concerts, Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice, boxing and trade shows. The venue offers

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25 suites, two additional ice rinks, a such a prestigious company. Our partprivate club and a pub, Breakaway nership with the Hertz Corporation Sports Pub. The arena is also home to and now this new ownership ensures the Florida Gulf Coast University Ea- that Hertz Arena will maintain our gles club hockey team of the Ameri- strong community presence and concan Collegiate Hockey Association. tinue to be the number one choice for “We are optimistic that all of the entertainment in Southwest Florida.” The team and the arena were pre330 employees will remain with the Hoffmann Family of Companies,” viously owned by Peter Karmanos, said Craig Brush, Florida Everblades founder of Compuware Corporation President and General Manager, who and prior majority owner of the Carosigned a five-year contract and has a lina Hurricanes in the National Hockcommitment from all his senior staff ey League. to remain in place. “Simply put, without the support of “We are thrilled to be acquired by EVERBLADES See page 6

GrowFL announces statewide honorees

HOT CROP

Commercial Real Estate

A specially focused monthly section exploring the SWFL commercial real estate marketplace.

IN THE NEWS

Fort Myers sixth Business Summit slated for Sept. 20

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce has announced an exciting line-up for its 2019 Business Summit, set for Sept. 20. The summit, now in its sixth year, will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Myers. This year’s keynote address is “Communicate Your Way to Success,” by entrepreneur, business coach and international speaker Jason Evers. Evers has traveled to more than 20 countries on five continents

Holly Bell addresses citrus growers about the 25,000-plus uses for industrial hemp, which can now be grown legally in Florida

Cannabis chief promises rich stash for hemp growers Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Jacob Ogles, Editor

SUMMIT See page 7

When other states started authorizing farmers to grow hemp, it didn’t take long to realize there was no place to sell it. Because no structures had been put in place for processing and manufacturing plants, state officials found themselves rushing a regulatory structure through so farmers could offload their first harvests. Holly Bell, Florida’s first Director of Cannabis, plans to learn from that mistake. She said the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will make sure all parts of the burgeoning hemp industry can move forward as soon as new rules unroll later this fall. “When our farmers are ready for a cash flow, we want to encourage them to get going,” she said.

Applications being accepted for the 25th Blue Chip Award The 25th Annual Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award application deadline is fast approaching. The Blue Chip Community Business Award recognizes successful, small businesses in Lee, Collier or Charlotte County that have overcome adversity to achieve success. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, Sept. 4. The independent judges select the honoree after all the applications AWARD See page 19

Bell spoke in August at the Citrus Expo and Vegetable and Specialty Crop Expo, where growers from around the region gathered to hear her discuss this new and just recently legal product to diversify their inventory. Just a few years ago, there were no legal reasons to grow cannabis in Florida. Now, medical marijuana dispensaries pop up in more shopping centers each week. Soon, farmers will grow non-narcotic hemp crops. With the 2018 federal farm bill allowing hemp to grow, a budding industry will soon emerge in Florida. The Legislature this year authorized a pilot program for growing hemp in the Sunshine State, and state officials are nearly done weeding through a stack of public suggestions.

GrowFL announced this year’s 50 Florida Companies to Watch honorees, including three from Southwest Florida. Companies to Watch is a statewide competition that identifies companies expected to see significant growth over the next several years. The GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch awards program—now in its ninth year—honors 50 select second-stage companies from throughout Florida for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida. Chosen from 500 growing second-stage nominations from throughout, Florida, the 50 companies named as the 2019 Florida Companies to Watch honorees generated nearly $1 billion in revenue and added over 900 jobs between 2015 and 2018. Together, the honorees project a 35 percent increase in revenue and 37 percent increase in job growth in 2019 compared to 2018. “These stand-out companies are all led by entrepreneurs, and have demonstrated their capacity and intent to grow,” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL executive director. “They also all have critical intellectual property or a niche position that gives them a competitive edge in their markets,” he said. Local honorees include: Cottrell Title & Escrow, Collier County; Mettauer Environmental, Lee County; and VeraData, Lee County . “This list recognizes second-stage Florida companies with passionate leaders who are making a difference in growing and diversifying our economy,” said Jennifer Barrows, GrowFL Chairman of the GrowFL Advisory Board and Business Development Executive with WithumSmith+Brown, PC. Second-stage companies are those

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Sign with us, get your both 4th month freeW. Parish. “These new routes mark AlAllegiant announced two new nonternational Airport, beginning stop routes from Punta Gorda Airport Nov. 20. The new routes will oper- legiant’s first flight from PGD into the

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Estate A specially section exploringfocused monthly mercial real estate the SWFL commarketplace.

IN THE NEWS Collier names Pelican as ‘Business of the Wire Month’

During the July ty Commission 9 Collier CounWire was named meeting, Pelican ty ‘Business of the Collier Counthe Month’ and recognized by was the a manufacturing Board for being County for over leader in Collier 40 years. Pelican Wire President Ted Bill, who received the are truly honored award, said “We Collier County to be named the Month’ for July.‘Business of the Since moving AWARD See page

Gov. DeSantis announces job growth grants

4

Gov. Ron DeSantis the Florida Departmentannounced of Economic Opportunity Florida are acceptingand Enterprise velopment project economic deproposals for the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. $40 million is available training and public to fund job projects that support infrastructure growth and employment in Florida. “We know the frastructure projects importance inand workforce training has on economic development,” said DeSantis. Job Growth Grant “The Florida Fund will help Florida communities ensure they GRANTS See page

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Dr. Sandra Kauanui Ailynee Ramirez, (left) and Noemi Y. Perez (right) Jessica Sales, Daisy Montanez, with - TIF Shark Tank winners

Alondra Estrada Swap & Shop teamNeika Exulus, Young entrepreneurs share ideas, earn awards

Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Noemi Y. Perez Southwest Florida tion’s business-themedstudents in The Immokalee Foundasummer camp entrepreneurial recently shared ideas their Tank event modeled and garnered awards during a Shark The four-week after the popular TV show. was a partnership Business Management Pathway Coast University’sbetween the foundation and Floridacamp Gulf developed businessInstitute for Entrepreneurship. among them: finding plans that solved problems Students common clothes on a budget; centric finances; handling ñera; and findinggetting better sleep; planning studenta quincearestaurants suitable stricted diets. for people with reStudent teams gave presentations about ences, startup costs, their target audiprojected profits, other aspects of marketing plans entrepreneurial and Dr. Sandra Kauanui, FGCU enterprises at iTECH mokalee. Judges Director of Entrepreneurship, spoke during the for Smart Companies the presentations were: Brian in Imevent. Rist, The Smart Companies executive chairman; Sofia Blanno, gram allows shoppers to arrange tor of corporate intern; and Matthew Turner, Hertz The through social an app, then physically to buy, sell or swap items direcFirst place awards responsibility. central location exchange those in Immokalee. items at a Shop team of Neika of $500 each went to the MentorUs, Daisy Montanez Exulus, Jessica Sales, Alondra Swap & smart financial an app that encourages students and Ailynee Ramirez. Estrada, decisions, earned interested in dressing Aimed at students for team members second place of to make fashionably on $250 each Alex Soriano, a budget, the pro- ie Etienne, Azael Simon-Quirino Je’an Espinoza, Myrlandand Simson Devesaint.

Fort Myers Mayor

launches Diversity

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Special to SWFBT Submitted By: Karen P. Moore, Publisher more inclusive city. Student Hailey her employer, Sanibel Captiva “It is never too the Mayor if he Countryman asked munity Comlate to give had Bank, to FGCU’s on diversity whom a team of advisors Education. your prejudices.” up College of Henry David Thoreau for guidance. Since he could rely on said, “We In a recent interview she can’t really say question was no, the answer to that ing to be representative we are tryat that moment Fort Myers Mayor derson felt Henof our city’s derson has known Randy Hen- a team. inspired to create just such residents and community if we don’t have diversity Ndiang’ui wanted Florida Gulf Coast University on the to make She sure the Mayor explained the council itself.” was prepared ter Ndiang’ui for professor Dr. Pe- road ahead about 10 years and asked him, for the its 18 members committee drew was a guest speaker and from the commu“Are in his class, “In- really able to handle the truth?” you nity, representing troduction to Diversity,” diversity project moved The ethnicity, forward. in Novemgender and sexualin race, ber. Henderson Beth Countryman, asked students Hailey’s moth- tity. “We can’t be a committee idenhe could do to what er, became make Fort Myers up of old white made involved with men and think the project, going a which led to we are a $25,000 donation to be in charge of diversity.” from

Committee

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October webinar to provide CRA updates

The Urban Land Institute Southwest Florida will host a webinar on Oct. 6 with officials from Community Redevelopment Agencies in Southwest Florida. The officials will pro-

thousands of Chicago residents to our sunny beaches and outdoor paradise.” Allegiant offers a special option to BUSINESS TODAY® ON: thrilled to fly with ease from Punta Gor- Punta Gorda-area travelers with low da into these major metropolitan areas,” base airfare and savings on rental cars said Punta Gorda Airport CEO James and hotels.

IN THE NEWS vide behind-the-scenes updates from the Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Bayshore Gateway Triangles CRAs. The event, scheduled from 2 to 3 p.m., will provide a chance for participants to hear from all the local CRAs and the work being done to WEBINAR See page 13

Professional, construction jobs on the rise in SWFL

The Department of Economic Opportunity announced that in August, construction and professional jobs in Southwest Florida went up even as the total number of jobs went down.

Three major industries gained jobs over the year in the Fort Myers area: construction (+900 jobs); professional and business services (+700 jobs); and government (+600 jobs). Four major industries gained jobs over the year in the Naples area: construction

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The Hoffmann Family of Companies has entered into an agreement to purchase the Florida Everblades and the Hertz Arena. Plans are underway for a complete renovation of the 8,284-seat, multipurpose arena. The improvements will include enhanced skyboxes, food services and installation of a state-ofthe-art scoreboard. Hertz Arena, which opened in 1998 as Everblades Arena, hosts a variety of events including concerts, Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice, boxing and trade shows. Th

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Lee County receives its share of federal funding, like the $134 million targeted for Lee County COVID-19 The importance of completing the relief through the CARES Act. 2020 Census is especially clear as the For the first time, the Census community responds to the challenges is available to complete online at of the COVID-19 pandemic. my2020census.gov or by phone at Participating in the Census ensures

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FGCU veterans’ program assists entrepreneurs

In early Spring Marine Corps Veteran Derrick Aguilar registered for the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship This 12-week program in Southwest Florida is designed to give honorably discharged Veterans the opportunity to start or grow their business At the end of the program the Veterans were given the opportunity to participate in the Compassionate Shark Tank Pitch Competition in which Aguilar was awarded a $13 300 grant which was to be used towards a commercial vehicle for his mobile welding business The owner and operator of American Veteran Welding is a United States Marine Corps Veteran with over 10 years of certified welding and metal fabrication experience The Collier resident continued on with the Summer Growth Program through virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic for another six weeks An additional $21 200 was awarded through the FGCU VFEP to fund the veteran-owned business for a total of $34 500 by the end of both programs Florida Gulf Coast University selected Aguilar to represent FGCU at the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Expo where he pitched American Veteran Welding in the statewide pitch competition which drew in a nationwide audience “The FGCU Veterans Program investing in my business has given me the opportunity to expand onsite capabilities that cater to industrial commercial clients After three months the program helped to establish a profitable sustainable and targeted strategy which has enabled me to grow my business for large scale construction projects ” Aguilar said According to the American Veteran Welding Society there is a predicted shortage of 375 000 welders by 2023 which led the USMC Vet to cater to commercial contractors subcontractors in renovating and multi-family apartment complexes to fit the demand of the growing South Florida real estate development and construction industries The Minority Owned Business will now be able to service heavy equipment repairs for industrial projects to avoid down time reduce setup and departure times and offer flat fees for clients who don’t have a need to hire a full or part time employee in Collier and Lee County Aguilar enlisted after graduating from Golden Gate High School in summer of 2011 and deploying overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012 After four honorable years of active service the Marine Vet continued to move forward in his welding career obtaining higher certifications and various lead welding roles The next certification to be obtained will be a crane welding week long course in order to assist piling companies in the area


JANUARY 2021

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

Page 5

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CRE Trends of 2020: Insights from local property management team This year has altered the path of virtually every sector in society, including commercial real estate. Plans may have been in place at the beginning of 2020, but much like the rest of the world, adaptations had to be made and trends have been altered. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we have witnessed as a commercial property management company over the course of the year, how it compares to years past, and what the future might hold for industrial, office and retail properties. Sunizo Superior Realty Management is a commercial property management company located in Fort Myers. Sunizo manages a portfolio of properties that span throughout Florida and Georgia. The team has a cumulation of decades of experience in commercial property management. Here at Sunizo, we have managed, monitored and engaged with changes in commercial real estate over the years. Here is what is particularly notable about 2020. Industrial/flex market is expected to remain strong Sunizo Superior Realty Management General Manager Rich Hering has remarked as we finish out the fourth quarter, the industrial/flex market has remained as strong as it was pre-pandemic. Much of the portfolio Sunizo manages is industrial. The strength of the industrial sector is also reflected in the National Association of Realtor’s “Commercial Real Estate Trends & Outlook for October 2020.” In the report, NAR notes industrial flex sales were the least impacted this quarter, industrial leasing volumes for industrial warehouses and industrial flex spaces increased, more industrial property sales are expected, and additional industrial construction is anticipated. The expected forecast is that the industrial sector will endure and might even flourish next

year. This appears to also be the case locally as it is echoed by local officials. In reference to the Southwest Florida area, Ricardo Noguera, manager of the Cape Coral Economic Development Office, said there is high demand for warehouse flex space. Noguera said three buildings have already recently been built and are leased up. BY STEPHANIE MARTINEZ

Retail and office have slowed Many retail and office faGuest Columnist cilities have been impacted directly by measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Everything from capacity to operational structures have been modified as we have witnessed some restaurants switch to take out and some businesses, such as event facilities, have not been able to operate even on a minor scale. Some companies cannot afford rent because they do not have the customer traffic they depended on in the past. Each business is facing its own unique set of challenges. The Cape Coral Economic Development Office does note that locally there continues to be optimistic outlooks. It referenced a building boom on Pine Island Road with more than $300 million in construction and permitting underway, plans for the South Cape and other future developments. The speculations throughout the nation are abundant about how commercial real estate will fare, but only time will illustrate how retail and office will come out on the other side. According to the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” by PwC and the Urban Land Institute “millions of retailers will not survive.” The report also highlights the shift by society to adapt and engage in

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

For more business news, visit www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com business and personal lives, virtually. The stark reality is some businesses may not ever return to the traditional in-person formats we grew accustomed to. But it would be dismissive to not recognize there is a desire expressed by many for the longing of going back to how we engaged in business pre-pandemic. This creates a dichotomy of uncertainty for the future. Landlords and tenants are having to adjust It is important to remember in the majority of cases, commercial properties are foremost an investment. Right now, investors, REITS, business owners and landlords are having to determine if they should keep or sell their commercial assets. Landlords depend on tenants filling up their spaces and paying their rent so they can in turn pay their loans and/or maintain their income. While tenants are relying on their customer base for their revenue stream. All of which along the way have been impacted. As landlords and commercial property management companies review tenant requests case by case and evaluate possible rental concessions, some tenants are reviewing their leases and determining if they can even survive the length of their lease term. Property management companies have had to work on creative solutions to ensure both parties can move forward with possible resolutions. Prospects are taking longer to commit Hesitancy is a noticeable trend in prospective tenants over the past few months. The calls and inquiries about spaces available for lease continue to come in, however, potential commercial

CRE See page 13

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Lee, Collier and Charlotte businesses welcome! Seagate Development Group has recently completed Southport Truck Group’s 6,000-square-foot warehouse on Lee Road in Fort Myers.

Seagate Development Group completes freightliner expansion Seagate Development Group has completed Southport Truck Group’s 6,000-square-foot warehouse on Lee Road in Fort Myers. This fulfills the new and used truck dealer’s need for extra freightliner storage and complements the preexisting repair shop and sales parts building, also constructed and designed by Seagate. Crews broke ground on this project in late September, saw-cutting as well as removing the asphalt and excavating footers for the building pad. Seagate spent the next month completing the concrete slab and building skin, erecting steel columns, and installing the steel beams — all before turning the building over in mid-November.

Adjacent to Southport’s original facility, the warehouse reflects a classic industrial design — cement walls, open steel ceilings and fluorescent lighting. The shed-inspired, garage-type structure sits in the freightliner parking lot for maximized use and multipurpose space. “A growing business needs further accommodations for its parts and components, and we’re more than happy to oblige with rapid progress and our very best levels of efficiency,” said Matt Price, CEO and partner of Seagate Development Group. “This will result in and contribute to even more success for Southport Truck Group in 2021 and beyond.”

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Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

Iron Ridge Insurance announces acquisition

Iron Ridge Insurance Services, a boutique independent insurance agency based in Fort Myers, has expanded its footprint in the Florida commercial insurance market. On Nov. 30, Iron Ridge acquired Centennial Insurance Services, a move that will significantly increase Iron Ridge’s presence in providing solutions to condominium and homeowners Associations. “This move will increase our business by about 30%,” explained Norman Lutz, Iron Ridge CEO. “Our team has already reached out to our new clients to introduce ourselves, and the response has been McRedmond very positive overall. We look forward to providing them with the same excellent service that our existing clients receive.” Iron Ridge primarily serves commercial clients, with particular focus on physician and physician practices, and architects and engineers. Its team of insurance professionals hold a wealth of commercial and personal insurance experience. In conjunction with the transaction, account executive Jackie McRedmond will transition to the Iron Ridge Insurance team to ensure a smooth changeover. McRedmond has extensive experience in providing service to Homeowner and Condominium Associations, and to religious organizations. “We’re thrilled to have Jackie on board,” Lutz said. “Not only is she experienced in commercial insurance, but she’s also established a strong connection with our new clients. Jackie will be a great asset to our business and to our insurance customers.”

JANUARY 2021

Residential construction strengthens during pandemic Like every industry, residential construction experienced a pause in early 2020 as news of the pandemic and its impact became evident. Since then, residential construction has had a significant positive impact on the area’s economy and employment. Overall, I think we have seen growth in the industry this year from both a resale and new construction perspective. The market is stronger. Between resale and new construction, it is unbelievable. Residential construction permits in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties in the first quarter of 2020 were 70% higher than the same quarter in 2019. In the second quarter of 2020, permits were slightly lower than 2019. Total residential permits in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties in 2019 were 15,910. This year, 8,789 permits were pulled through June 30 and builders pulled nearly as many permits for apartments in the first half of 2020 than in all of last year, according the LSI Companies, which presented Lee Building Industry Association’s annual Market Trends in August. Part of that increase in residential construction and sales seems to be more people moving to Southwest Florida to get out of big cities that were pandemic hotspots. Historically low-interest rates and pandemic-related stimulus have also helped fuel the growth. Home has taken on new meaning amid the pandemic, with more time spent schooling, working and playing at home due to safety concerns tied to COVID-19. Also, with many people learning they can work from anywhere, they have decided to work from here. Thankfully, construction was considered essential so we didn’t have to shut down, and since our area did a great job abiding by all the CDC guidelines regulations, we’ve been able to keep construction projects moving and more importantly, keep our workforce safe and healthy. Still, the pandemic has impacted lead time for ordering materials. There was a surge due to demand in lumber prices earlier in the year, but it has since returned to near pre-pandemic prices, with better supply. Home projects and DIY projects picked up big time, which increased the demand for lumber. During the surge specifically, completion timelines were slightly impacted due to some supply chain issues, but I think our area’s builders did a great job

making adjustments elsewhere to accommodate the timeline changes, ensuring completion deadlines were met. While other industries were faced with layoffs, construction provided opportunities for new hires due to a surge in the available workforce. We saw highly qualified professionals from other industries interested in employment in the construction industry — everything from administration to office management and BY FRANK onsite crew members. JENKINS According to Career and TechniGuest Columnist cal Education in Lee County, there are more than 1,000 carpentry openings annually in Southwest Florida. Electricians make an average of $25 per hour with a certificate they can earn in high school. Construction managers make an average of $50 per hour with a bachelor’s degree. The industry continues to provide good paying jobs and quality careers to the local population. In October, Florida’s governor recognized the need to take steps to diversify its economy and strengthen its workforce by establishing a plan to invest in skillsbased education and make Florida number one in workforce education by 2030. We believe the future will continue to be bright for residential construction in 2021. To help keep the engine going, the Lee Board of County Commissioners voted to reduce building permit fees by 25% for one year beginning Dec. 1. You can glimpse our bright future at the LBIA Parade of Homes in January and February (LeeParade. com). The building industry is proud to be one of the largest and most important sectors in the U.S. economy that will continue to contribute greatly to its economic recovery. Frank Jenkins, founder of Frank R. Jenkins Custom Homes and president of Lee County Building Industry Association, has been building custom homes in Southwest Florida for more than 25 years and has been a president of Lee Building Industry Association five times. Learn more at frankjenkinscustomhomes.com.

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JANUARY 2021

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

Page 7

2021 NABOR president makes history as first third-generation president

The Naples Area Board of Realtors installed its 2021 board of directors and officers in a live virtual ceremony on Dec. 1 from its Naples Conference Center. Corey McCloskey was welcomed as president and is following in the footsteps of her father Phil Wood who served as president in 1986, and her grandfather John R. Wood, who served as president in 1963 and 1964. The Wood family represents three generations of leadership in NABOR’s history. McCloskey’s first speech as president to NABOR members included a request for continued support as she focuses on improvements to the board’s education, communication and service efforts in 2021. Viewers of the event were treated to a special video message from President McCloskey’s father Phil Wood and grandfather John R. Wood, who – in addition to his two-year NABOR presidency – was also the president of the National Association of Realtors in 1981. After a video montage featuring photos of President McCloskey’s enthusiastic participation in past community and life events, installing officer Phil

Wood led the induction ceremony and passed the gavel to his daughter. The 2021 NABOR Board of Directors are McCloskey, president; Ryan Bleggi, president-elect; Adam Vellano, vice president/secretary; Nick Bobzien, treasurer; and directors P.J. Smith, Terrilyn VanGorder, Paula Angelopoulos Urbinati, Christine Citrano, Stuart Tackett, McCloskey David Puskaric and Lauren Melo. During her installation speech, McCloskey acknowledged the hallmark lessons learned and achievements made by members and the Board in 2020: • Members’ ability to quickly adapt and implement new protocols for delivery of real estate services to home buyers and sellers using virtual and safe distancing systems, • The initiation of the NABOR Helps charitable program, which she vowed will continue to help the lives of thousands of residents during her presidency

A happy banker makes for a happy business

With the onset of COVID-19, small business banker if your company can probanks are more nervous about potential loan losses vide evidence that your internal than ever. Here are several tips for your business controls are operating properly. to maintain a great working relationship with your • Communicate. If your busilender. These same tips can also be used if you want ness encounters turbulent finanto plant seeds with your banker for potential future cial waters, the best thing to do loans. is immediately let your lender • Produce timely financial statements. Your lendknow about it. Better yet, by er may require you to produce financial statements keeping in constant communicaover the duration of your loans to ensure that you tion, your lender will most likely have enough cash to make consistent, on-time paybe able to spot if your business ments. Strive to produce up-to-date financial statestarts experiencing a downturn ments and send them to your bank before they ask BY RICHARD and will try devising a plan befor them. Not only will timely financial statements SCHWANDT fore you begin missing payment make your lenders happy, the pro-active nature of Guest Columnist deadlines. your financials will show a level of transparency to Remember, your banker them. Be prepared to include a note explaining ma- probably has their hands full right now. These tips jor changes and schedule regular phone calls to go allow them to spend more time on their problem over the business. loans, and one of them will not be yours. • Implement solid internal controls. How does a lender have faith that the dollar amounts on your Richard Schwandt is a CPA based in Bonita Springs. financial statements are accurate? By properly im- Learn more at MyCPARichard.com. Contact plementing internal controls. You’ll have a happy (239) 829-5979 or Richard@MyCPARichard.com

PITCH PAGE 1 The company is for apparel retailers looking to increase consumer confidence, reduce returns and automate their supply chain. With Tailored, users gain access to our patented garment measuring software through our innovative web application. Simply snap a photo with a mobile device and instantly measure any garment. “It’s been a pleasure being a part of the Two39 Labs startup cohort, Desmarais said. “We’ve had the honor of working and learning alongside six other transformative startups for the past 13 weeks. Tailored took away many valuable lessons and tools from the well curated curriculum and has al-

Yesterday.

ready begun reaping the benefits. Two39 Labs is bringing a much needed sense of community to the entrepreneur and technology ecosystem in SWFL.” The 12-week cohort consisted of seven different startup businesses including: Endevr; Fayven; Propzie; Learn Robotics; My Undercover Agent; Stabilized Steps; and Tailored During the cohort, each startup had access to two dedicated mentors, over 1,000 mentor networks and 101 events. The events included informational presentations, fireside chats with successful entrepreneurs and virtual networking events. Tailored will receive a $5,000 prize and more importantly, immediate exposure to the Two39 Labs attendees that included potential investors who are looking for the latest pioneers in progressive technology and innovation.

Today.

For more business news, visit www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com as well, and • The tenacity of the many volunteers, staff and members who helped the board achieve its mission during the challenging environment in 2020. President McCloskey said these accomplishments will build upon the success achieved under Immediate Past President Melo’s leadership. As the first thirdgeneration NABOR president, McCloskey said she will “see to it that past success is built upon.” With an eye toward 2021, McCloskey was heartfelt in her position that “when we come together to invest in each other and our community, we all win.” In 2021, McCloskey will focus the board’s charitable efforts on programs that help children, animals, and those residents facing mental health needs. In conclusion, McCloskey called upon members to bring their fresh ideas to the board in support of the Board’s long-term strategic plan.

NEW BUSINESS

Shepherd opens HR by Karen Meet Karen Shepherd, MSHR, SHRM-CP, with HR by Karen, LLC, Consulting Services…from the Heart, www.hrbykaren.com. Shepherd believes no business, large or small, should be without HR Services. Leading with compassion, empathy and heart, Shepherd is bringing in the New Year with fireworks as the incoming president of HR Collier, Affiliate of SHRM, Society for Human Resource Management, as well as openShepherd ing her new office. HR Collier will continue to meet virtually the first quarter of the year on the third Thursday of each month. On Jan. 21 at 11:30 a.m., Carol Ring will bring her expertise at igniting a positive working environment with her six-step process to design a culture for success. Members and guests are invited to register on HR Collier’s website at www.hrcollier.org. Cost is only $10. In addition, Annual Membership is available for $65. You may also join Shepherd at her ribbon cutting event on Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. at her new office located on Castello Drive in Naples. If you have any questions regarding HR Collier’s upcoming meetings or Annual Membership or Karen’s HR Services, you may contact Shepherd at (239) 776-5919 or HRbyKaren@gmail.com. HR Collier is THE resource for all things HR! Shepherd shared, “You can’t spell HeaRt without “HR!”

ALWAYS.

For 50 years public media has been an essential part of our community through news, entertainment and education. Be a part of a long-standing tradition, and become a supporter of public media through your company today. Contact Rachel Peacock at rpeacock@wgcu.org or 239-590-2338.


Page 8

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

JANUARY 2021

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in Southwest Florida

Choose the right commercial professional for you ENN LUTHRINGER, CCIM

MICHAEL J. FRYE, CCIM

Lee, Collier & Charlotte Counties

Lee, Collier & Charlotte Counties Recipient of the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame Award. Serving the SWFL market for over 30 years. We have 7 CCIMs to serve all our clients’ needs.

RE/MAX REALTY GROUP 239-281-0441 mfrye@ccim.net www.michaeljfrye.com

• OFFICE • RETAIL • INDUSTRIAL • LAND

BEV LARSON, CCIM

Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry & Glades Counties Larson has over 39 years of diversified experience in the SWFL market. She is a Certified International Property Specialist. 2018 Florida CCIM Chapter Southwest District President. • • • • • •

LAHAINA REALTY 239-281-1290 bev1314@aol.com

COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT RETAIL OFFICE LAND-ACREAGE DEVELOPMENT

CCIM If you are a CCIM-SWFL Chapter member, as a benefit, you are eligible to participate in this section. Contact 2021 CCIM-SWFL President Artem Nashman for details at anashman@midlandtrust.com 2019 CCIM-SWFL President Ron Struthers says: “This ad got me listings. It works!”

A partner with CRE Consultants and 15-year commercial real estate veteran, he specializes in the medical and professional office market.

Why use a CCIM?

There are countless benefits to working with a CCIM. Commercial real estate investment requires the counsel of a qualified professional. A Certified Commercial Investment Member provides clients with the assurance that every decision will be made in the best interest of their investment objectives. When assembling a commercial real estate investment team, start with a CCIM.

CRE CONSULTANTS

239-994-3703 enn.luthringer@creconsultants.com www.creconsultants.com

The Benefits of Being a CCIM! “CCIM members can rely on CCIM as a single source for diverse solu�ons. The first one on that list is EDUCATION. Designees can take advantage of the ongoing opportuni�es so crucial to success for your clients in the commercial real estate field today, with the ‘Life A�er the Pin’ learning program. CCIM also offers its members many NETWORKING opportuni�es that may be of educa�onal benefit as well, offering more than just a mere social experience. These networking events also may provide the founda�on for building long-las�ng RELATIONSHIPS with fellow CCIMs who become invaluable RESOURCES for life.” - Adam Palmer, 2018 Florida CCIM Chapter President

CREDIBILITY

CCIM is the most prestigious designation commercial real estate professionals can achieve within the industry. Graduate-level education, coupled with industry-leading technology tools, practical proven experience, and in-depth knowledge of their local markets, gives CCIMs the ability and the credibility to conduct business confidently and successfully. By partnering with a CCIM, you effectively utilize the top-level, most reliable performers in the industry: with an average of 19 years of experience, 70% of CCIM members hold executive-level positions and 90% of members refer clients to other business services. When you use a CCIM, you choose the most credible professional in the business.

MARYANN MIZE, CCIM Lee, Collier & Charlotte Counties Senior Vice President and Senior Credit Officer. More than 30 years of commercial lending experience. CCIM Senior Instructor and 10+ years on the SWFL CCIM District Board.

COMMUNITY

Today there are CCIMs in every state, across Canada and Mexico, and in more than 30 countries around the world. Domestically, the network encompasses more than 1,000 markets, from large metropolitan areas to small cities and towns. A truly global network, CCIMs are a powerful force in markets large and small. When you use a CCIM, you choose a trusted community of real estate professionals that are consistently sought for their dependability, intelligence, success and confidence.

The Missing Piece is in your hands...

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CCIM designees are bound to the strictest ethical guidelines and standards of practice in the industry today. In addition, each CCIM has successfully completed a graduate level program comprised of 160 hours of education. If you ask around the industry, you’ll learn that companies and other real estate professionals are more likely to seek out experts who possess the CCIM designation, as they know CCIM stands for trust, knowledge and reliability. When you use a CCIM, you choose experts with integrity.

MEASUREMENT Get a one year subscription for just $30. Call (239) 573-9732 or e-mail Publisher@swfloridabusinesstoday.com to order your subscription for Southwest Florida Business Today® now!

CARLOS ACOSTA, CCIM Lee, Charlotte, Collier & Sarasota Counties Managing Principal/Qualifying Broker. Specializing in acquisitions and disposition of retail, office, industrial, land and investment sales. 5-time CoStar Powerbroker.

CRES of SWFL 239-823-0115

cacosta@ccim.net www.cresswfl.com

• • • • •

RETAIL OFFICE INDUSTRIAL LAND INVESTMENT SALES & LEASING

Overall, CCIM’s global network enables members to close thousands of transactions annually, representing more than $200 billion in value. But closing transactions is only part of what CCIMs can do. In addition to holding dealmaking occupations in every property sector, CCIMs are also found in’ leasing, asset management, development, lending, financing, property management, site selection and corporate real estate positions. So, whatever assistance your real estate project requires, a CCIM can help you achieve a better result. In fact, only 6 percent of all commercial real estate practitioners hold the elite CCIM designation, which reflects not only the caliber of the program, but why it is one of the most respected designations in the industry. When you use a CCIM, you choose a professional who produces measurable results.

The CCIM designation is conferred by the Chicagobased CCIM Institute, a commercial real estate affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS. Learn more about the value of working with a CCIM.

• FINANCING OF COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

CHARLOTTE STATE BANK & TRUST

941-624-1916 mmize@csbtfl.com www.charlottestatebankandtrust.com

INTEGRITY Puzzled over how to keep up with changes in Southwest Florida’s Business Market?

• COMMERCIAL • OFFICE • INVESTMENT

ADAM PALMER, CCIM Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, Tampa & Orlando Principal & Managing Director LandQwest Commercial, President - Florida CCIM Chapter, 12-time CoStar Power Broker Award Winner

LANDQWEST COMMERCIAL

239-898-8686 adam@adampalmer.com www.adampalmer.com

• • • • •

OFFICE INVESTMENT LAND RETAIL INDUSTRIAL

We Care About SWFL Commercial Realtors With dedicated space for informa�on: • On our website with a Commercial Real Estate sec�on & directory • In our quarterly Commercial RE Market pullout in both the print & digital versions of SWFBT • With zoned and full-run inserts • With guest column opportuni�es • With digital marke�ng op�ons For more informa�on, call Karen at (239) 770-7527

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www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com


JANUARY 2021

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

Page 9

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in Southwest Florida

Choose the right commercial professional for you RON STRUTHERS, CCIM

THERESA BLAUCH-MITCHELL, CCIM

Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, North Port, Venice & North Fort Myers

Lee, Collier, Charlotte & Sarasota Counties

Specializes in all facets of commercial brokerage and leasing in Charlotte County area. 2019 CCIM Florida Chapter Southwest District President.

COLDWELL BANKER COMMERCIAL NRT 941-769-3316 rstruthers@ccim.net www.commercialrealtyfl.com

• • • • •

COMMERCIAL REAL 21st Annual Commercial Real ESTATE MARKET

INVESTMENT RETAIL OFFICE INDUSTRIAL LEASING

SAVE THE DATE May 2021

With dedicated space for informa�on: • On our website with a Commercial Real Estate sec�on & directory • In our quarterly Commercial RE Market pullout in both the print & digital versions of SWFBT • With zoned and full-run inserts • With guest column opportuni�es • With digital marke�ng op�ons For more informa�on, call Karen at (239) 770-7527 ®

www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com

JACK MARTIN, CCIM Lee, Collier, Charlotte & Hendry Counties

30 years of experience in Florida real estate with 20 years in Southwest Florida. Servicing in all facets of commercial real estate, both sales and leasing, and specializing in shopping plazas and strip centers.

CENTURY 21 COMMERCIAL • COMMERCIAL • MULTI-FAMILY SELLING PARADISE

• MEDICAL OFFICE • GENERAL OFFICE • VACANT LAND

RON WELEBNY, CCIM

Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry & DeSoto Counties

Qualifying Broker / Managing Director Licensed Real Estate Instructor Director Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association Director, CCIM-SWFL District Past President Commercial Investment Professionals of Southwest Florida Past President SWFL Commercial Alliance Vice-Chair Laguna Estates CDD

COMMERCIAL REALTY ASSOCIATES of SWFL 239-677-2381 Ron@CRA.us www.CRA.us

• • • •

• INVESTMENT • RETAIL • OFFICE • INDUSTRIAL

SPERRY COMMERCIAL GLOBAL AFFILIATES

A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in Southwest Florida 239-265-2628 Estate Outlook Conference

We Care About SWFL Commercial Realtors

239-707-9015 jackmartin@ccim.net www.jackmartincre.c21.com

SWFL CCIM Past President, Florida CCIM Membership Chair, CCIM International Committee. Hablo Español.

BROKERS ANALYSTS ADVISORS CONSULTANTS

Did you know ...

that SWFBT highlights: • • • • •

Daily Updates Breaking Business News B2B Events Calendar Commercial Real Estate Directory Professionals who are “Going Places” ... and much more at

www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com

Industry experts will discuss the immediate and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the commercial real estate industry and how to navigate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. This dynamic conference benefits brokers, owners, investors, buyers, sellers, banking professionals, lawyers, insurance agencies, title insurance companies and many more. For open sponsorship opportunities, email Bev1314@aol.com, call (239) 281-1290 or visit www.flccim. com/districts/southwest-district/ About Southwest Florida CCIM District

The Southwest Florida CCIM District is a chapter of the CCIM Institute, Commercial Real Estate’s Global Standard for Professional Development. The CCIM Institute was established in 1954 to give practitioners of Commercial Real Estate the valuable opportunity to further their business practices through focused education and networking opportunities. Today, with the addition of advanced technology resources, CCIM is the Global leader in Commercial and Investment Real Estate education and services. The Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation is recognized as the hallmark of professional competency. Belonging to CCIM means being part of an ethical and knowledgeable network that fosters lasting relationships based on mutual respect.

What does having the CCIM designation mean to me?

theresa@ccim.net www.sperrycga.com

Puzzled over how to keep up with changes in Southwest Florida’s Business Market? The Missing Piece is in your hands...

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Get a one year subscription for just $30. Call (239) 573-9732 or e-mail Publisher@swfloridabusinesstoday.com to order your subscription for Southwest Florida Business Today® now!

CCIM If you are a CCIM-SWFL Chapter member, as a benefit, you are eligible to participate in this section. Contact 2021 CCIM-SWFL President Artem Nashman for details at anashman@midlandtrust.com 2019 CCIM-SWFL President Ron Struthers says: “This ad got me listings. It works!”

RANDY KRISE, CCIM Lee, Collier & Charlotte Counties

RANDY KRISE, Krise Commercial Group

As a long time CCIM Designee I have a longterm perspective on what the CCIM Designation does for the designee. I was a player who wanted to be an investor in real estate all my life. Prior to my CCIM training I purchased 14 properties. I made somewhere north of $5,000,000. Had I been a CCIM I would have purchased mostly income-producing properties. Land made me money but land only costs you until you sell. CCIM taught me how to evaluate an investment to guarantee success. Income- producing property pays for itself and increases your ability to build a portfolio. Now I think 15 properties and $10,000,000 with a CCIM education and certification—and so should you!

Broker/owner of Krise Commercial Group and 2016 Florida CCIM Regional Vice President and Institute Board Member.

KRISE COMMERCIAL GROUP 239-633-8672 randy@krisecg.com www.krisecg.com

COMMERCIAL VACANT LAND INVESTMENT RETAIL INDUSTRIAL

CONI DEAN, CCIM

MARYANN MIZE, Charlotte State Bank & Trust

Why does a banker have the CCIM designation? This is a question asked of me many times when I received the designation in the early 2000s. In reply, I shared that brokers and borrowers have many choices when looking for financing. Having the designation provides them with the confidence that I have the experience and knowledge to handle their transactions with no surprises. That answer remains the same all these years later. Thankfully, the CCIM designation has provided me with referrals that enabled my bank to provide financing, with no surprises, for millions of dollars of transactions in Southwest Florida.

• • • • •

Lee County Broker/Owner with 20+ years local experience. Specializing in investment portfolios, aquisition to disposition, residential, commercial and redevelopment

VENTURE REALTY & INVESTMENTS

239-980-5922 venturerealty@earthlink.net www.sellsfloridarealestate.com

• • • • • •

RETAIL INDUSTRIAL RETAIL SPECIALTY LAND RESIDENTIAL REDEVELOPMENT


Page 10

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

JANUARY 2021

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Digital revolution for commercial real estate accelerates The commercial real estate industry is experiencing a digital revolution like never before. The radical change brought about by the pandemic has shown us all the value of having a responsive digital marketing strategy in place. The heart of commercial real estate has always been centered on relationships and human interaction. However, in today’s world of social distancing, face to face transactions have been limited or halted altogether forcing us all to connect in different ways. Here are some of the ways commercial real estate professionals can stay connected and engaged to maintain and grow their relationships: ● Interactive websites - Give your clients the ability to “walk thru” available properties virtually. People buy based on what they can see, and a 3D rendering is much more immersive than a 2D blueprint or photo. Consider adding a “virtual tour” section to your website so people can view different properties. Make it as easy as possible for investors or buyers to make purchasing decisions without ever stepping foot on the property itself. ● Targeting social media audiences - Know what social media platforms your target audience uses and which platforms work best for your industry. Organic traffic to your social platforms is great, but with so much noise and competition flooding the inter-

ETHICS PAGE 1 The online nomination form and detailed submission guidelines are available at www.uncommonfriends. org. Finalists will be announced after the close of nominations and will be honored guests at the annual Florida Gulf Coast University Business Ethics Roundtable to be held on April 21.

net, paid boost or ads may work best to get your message directly in front of your specific audience. The commercial real estate industry is heavily invested in LinkedIn, so consider investing in targeted ads for your high-value content on this platform. ● Ditch the sales pitch - No one likes to be bombarded with pushy sales advertisements, email blasts and social posts. Instead, we suggest talking about BY CONNIE RAMOS-WILLIAMS market trends that position you as an expert in your field, highGuest Columnist light key properties to show off what our region has to offer, tell your company’s compelling story or share your community outreach and impact. Your philanthropic efforts do more than help our community in need, it inspires others to give, and builds trust. So go ahead and promote your good deeds! While you’re at it, give a shoutout to your company’s team members to show them and your clients how much they mean to you and your business. ● Put out Dynamic Content - Content is king! It comes in all forms and can be distributed on a vari-

This is jointly hosted by FGCU’s Lutgert School of Business and the Uncommon Friends Foundation. The recipient of the Business Ethics Award will be announced at an Uncommon Breakfast Gala to be held on May 14 at the new Luminary Hotel in downtown Fort Myers. Led by Rachel and Cole Peacock, the event will be in collaboration with Lee County Economic Development Industry Appreciation week.

ety of multimedia platforms. It can be fun, informative or inspirational and be written or recorded as audio or video. The question to ask yourself is this. What platforms are your target audiences spending time on, and what form of content captures their attention best? To optimize content, we suggest writing an article using keywords and pairing it with a high resolution photo, image or video. We also suggest distributing the content on your website and then sharing it in eblasts, social media, blogs and with traditional media, which all link back to your website to increase its visibility and traffic. ● Get creative - The positive thing about adjusting to life during and after a pandemic is the opportunity it gives us to try new things as we refresh the way we do business! Perhaps you can host a virtual client or team happy hour using Zoom, or livestream a charity event or football game at one of your featured properties. Maybe you can experiment and try out a new feature on a social media platform such as Facebook and Instagram Stories to share how your commercial real estate brand is helping the community at large. The time to shake things up is now! CONRIC pr + marketing was founded by Connie Ramos-Williams in 2007. For more information, call 239-690-9840 or visit conricpr.com.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

FORT MYERS sale opportunities GATOR LANES and TER-TINI'S

$2,800,000 | 7050 Crystal Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33907

The Caves Development Group is now accepting reservations for The Caves II — a luxury auto condo community of over 40 units.

Caves Development launches phase two of auto condos Established bowling alley and event center business has been owned and operated by current owner for 41 years. This is a very profitable business. Owner may consider a sale/lease-back for 3 years maximum if buyer would consider redevelopment of the 2.25± acre parcel.

PROMINENT COMMERCIAL SITE

$2,187,000 | Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. & Plantation Dr., Fort Myers, FL

2± acres at the hard corner of Six Mile Cypress Pkwy. and Plantation Dr. near the Minnesota Twins Spring Training stadium. It is adjacent to the new Hope Preserve, a 46-acre commercial developdevelopment with an assisted living center that is open and operational. Ingress will be from both roads.

Randy Krise, CCIM

Commercial Real Estate Broker Cell: 239.633.8672 Email: Randy@KriseCG.com www.KriseCG.com w w w

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The Caves Development Group is now accepting reservations for The Caves II — a luxury auto condo community of over 40 units, each with the ability to be completely customized to fit the recreational style of car collectors, bikers and man cave enthusiasts alike. It will be adjacent to The Caves I, which is located off of Cape Coral Parkway and Skyline Boulevard in Southwest Cape Coral. The Caves II will offer sizes from small caves to huge caverns, ranging from 450 to 1,650 square feet, with preconstruction prices between $99,000 and $329,000. To accommodate the most accomplished collector, phase two will include a limited number of ‘Castles,’ ranging in size from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. With 19-foot ceilings, these condos will accommodate motorcycles, sports and vintage cars, car lifts, boats and luxury RVs. The community will be fully gated and secured, providing a perfect location for hosting card night, billiards, darts, sporting events, entertaining multi-sized parties and a wide variety of other hobbies and interests.

All units will be equipped with oversized garage doors, a bathroom hookup, air-conditioning, 200-AMP service, WiFi and cable. Buyers who are looking to maximize their space can add a loft, which will be built to accommodate a large wet bar, an entertainment room, pool and poker tables and a full-size refrigerator. Additional upgrade options include security and home automation packages, a wide spiral staircase, designer lighting, large ceiling fans, hardwood floors and floor coatings and complete customization packages. “This luxury auto community cannot be found anywhere else in Cape Coral,” said John Ringland, developer of and partner in The Caves Development Group. “The Caves II will offer a secure, convenient and functional space to house and admire your most prized possessions as well as a sanctuary for like-minded individuals who enjoy talking cars, playing cards and just having a good time.” Additionally, The Caves II community will include an owner’s lounge for networking and gathering purposes as well as a vehicle wash bay.


JANUARY 2021

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

Page 11

Long live the king! Cash, that is For many years, companies paid little attention to cash flow. The focus was on sales and profit. It was assumed that there was enough cash in the bank, or in the cash drawer, to pay the bills. “After all,” it was thought, “we’re profitable, so there must be plenty of money.” Businesses (and investors) began to realize that profit margin alone was not enough to ensure real financial success. Understanding where those profit dollars go, and how much is really left over (and when) is very important. You don’t need to be an accountant to understand this, but you should learn the basics of cash flow and how it effects your business. Whether it’s a lemonade stand or an automobile factory, to sell a product, you first spend money to buy supplies. Then you pay your workers to make the product. Finally, you sell the product and get paid by your customer. The cash you receive from those sales can buy more supplies and pay workers to keep the business operating. But, timing is everything… and is all the cash in hand always yours? Using the lemonade stand as a simple example, suppose you borrow $20 from Dad and buy a card table, chair and a pitcher at a yard sale for $13. You go to the store and pay $7 for lemons, sugar, bottled water, ice and cups. You make $15 selling all your lemonade that day. You have $15 in hand! Woo hoo! Wait a minute - you spent $20, which you owe Dad, and you only have $15. That’s negative cash flow of $5 for Day 1. OK, the next day you pay Dad $8, use $7 to buy more ingredients, make more lemonade, sell it, and earn another $15. You spent $15 and received $15 – zero cash flow for Day 2. Ugh. Well, that’s an improvement anyway. On Day 3 you pay Dad $8 again, and pay $7 for more ingredients, and sell the lemonade. Again, you have $15, but you spent $15 – zero cash flow again! On Day 4, you give Dad $4 to complete your loan repayment (fortunately, he doesn’t charge interest), buy the ingredients for $7 and sell out the lemonade. Now you have $15 again, but you only spent $11, so for the first time you have positive cash flow – wow! $4. That’s your money! Despite the fact that you were technically “profitable” every day, your cash flow wasn’t positive until Day 4. Hopefully you get the idea – paying attention to cash flow is important. This lag between the time you spend the cash and when you get it back is a big deal. If you give customers credit so they can pay you later, this time increases. Think of managing cash flow as getting the money you earned sooner, which gives you better financial flex-

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

ibility to buy supplies and invest in your business. Who doesn’t want their money sooner? What kinds of simple actions can you take to increase your cash flow? 1. Collect your money from your customers as soon as you can and put it to work for your business. I’m always surprised by how many businesses don’t cash checks for days, or even weeks BY GREG after receiving them. That’s crazy! STEINER Put it to work right away paying Guest Columnist debts, buying supplies, earning interest, or investing, or just saving for a rainy day (literally, for the lemonade stand). 2. Manage your supplies. If you buy a month’s worth of lemons, you might get a slightly better price, but all that money is gone, some of the lemons might go bad, and you may not have enough cash left to buy the rest of the ingredients. Maybe a few days or a week’s worth of lemons would be better? 3. Manage your “finished goods” inventory. Don’t make more than you can quickly sell. It’s great to be able to respond quickly to customer demand, but don’t have too much of your money tied up in completed products waiting to be sold. 4.Work with your suppliers to develop a plan to pay them as long after their delivery as possible. What if you bought your lemonade ingredients with a credit card? For most of the month, you would actually get paid by your customers BEFORE you have to pay for the ingredients. But, make sure you save enough of those profits to pay the credit card bill at the end of the month – in full! 5. If you can, raise your prices to increase your profit margin. This can be dangerous if you are in a highly competitive market. You might actually lose sales, so be careful. Monitoring and controlling your cash flow should be a high priority. It can be an indicator of your business’ financial health, and a critical tool for improving the way you can spend, invest, or save money. Cash is, indeed, king!

Halvorsen breaks ground on Publix-anchored center

Developer Halvorsen Holdings broke ground on its newest project, Fiddler’s Creek Plaza, a 60,000-square-foot shopping center in Collier County. This Publix-anchored center is scheduled to be completed by early summer 2021. The land was purchased in early 2020 by Halvorsen for $3,300,000. Located at the intersection of Tamiami Trail/ U.S. 41 and Sandpiper Drive, the neighborhood center sits at the future east entrance to the Fiddler’s Creek community which at buildout will contain about 6,000 homes. “The Naples Metro is ranked as the thirdfastest-growing area in the United States for 2020-2021 by U.S. News and Fiddler’s Creek Plaza is in the ideal location to serve the influx of new residents coming into the area,” said Tim Berg, president of Halvorsen Real Estate Corporation. “In addition to Publix, we are seeking service providers, restaurants and retailers that are eager to be a part of this neighborhood center.” The 48,000-square-foot Publix is one of the company’s newest prototype models, featuring a drive-thru pharmacy and an updated layout with a mezzanine level. There is 12,000 square feet of small shop space available including a 2,925-square-foot end-cap restaurant space with an outdoor patio. Three outparcels are available for sale or ground lease. Fiddler’s Creek Plaza is well-positioned to serve an affluent and growing community. The average household income within one mile of the site exceeds $102,000 and is expected to jump to $115,000 by 2025. The population of Collier County has increased by roughly 20 percent in the past decade, and in 2018, livability.com named Naples the best place to retire in the country for its great weather, prime shopping and ample activities. Fiddler’s Creek is just one of many new developments in the fast-growing Collier County area. With home prices ranging from $400,000 to $2 million, the master-planned community features resort-like amenities, including a pool, an award-winning 18-hole golf course, and private beach access.

Greg Steiner is the founder of Sea Breeze Associates and co-founder of Atlantic Partners International. He now lives on Sanibel. Contact him at (203) 505-2605 or glsteiner57@gmail.com.

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Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

JANUARY 2021

Palmera on the River Apartments to be built on downtown property

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners approved a tax increment rebate of $9.535 million for Palmera on the River, a 221-unit apartment community. The two-acre vacant lot, located at the foot of northbound Edison Bridge, has been left undeveloped for several decades. Developer Soho Sight will build the seven-story concrete block multi-family community that will feature 221 apartments and a 334-space covered parking structure. This urban infill project will be the first residential tower to be constructed along East First Street since the Beau Rivage, Riviera, and St. Tropez high rises were completed a dozen years ago. Palmera on the River is a project in line with the Fort Myers Downtown Redevelopment Plan, which provides for “vastly improving the economic and social conditions of the community.” Findings of Necessity in Florida State Statute state: “It is further found that coastal resort and tourist areas or portions thereof which are deteriorating and economically distressed due to building density patterns, inadequate transportation and parking facilities, faulty lot layout, or inadequate street layout, could, through the means provided in this part, be revitalized and redeveloped in a manner that will vastly improve the economic and social conditions of the community.” Total cost of the project will be $56.6 million. When completed, the project is estimated add $36.6 million to the city of Fort Myers’ tax base.

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners approved a tax increment rebate of $9.535 million for Palmera on the River, a 221-unit apartment community. As part of the CRA TIF award, Soho Sight will make meaningful contributions to advance our redevelopment areas in the following ways: • 15% Minority Business Enterprise Commitment The Developer will commit to set aside 15% of the project construction cost to be awarded to MBE/DBE. They must be certified by the State of Florida and Developer will seek out and give a preference to companies located in Lee County. • 5% Non-Profit Community Organization Contribution: Developer will contribute 5% of the annual tax increment rebate payment to a non-profit organization serving a redevelopment area in Fort Myers whose mission is in alignment with the priorities established for

the redevelopment area. Soho Sight has selected both the River District Alliance (2.5%) and the Southwest Florida Affordable Housing Choice Foundation (2.5%). • Out of the Box Developer: Developer will make 3,000-square-foot riverfront club room available at least once a month to non-profits located in a redevelopment area at no charge. During the construction phase, this project will have an economic impact of $77,191,259 and support or create 644 jobs. The total economic impact of the project from inception through the end of year 7 of operations will be $96,180,804 with job support of 763 jobs. Proposed completion is December 31, 2023. Tax increment financing is a tool

available to cities and counties for redevelopment activities. It is used to leverage public funds to promote private sector activity in the targeted area. The dollar value of all real property in the Community Redevelopment Area is determined as of a fixed date, also known as the “frozen value.” Taxing authorities, which contribute to the tax increment, continue to receive property tax revenues based on the frozen value. These frozen value revenues are available for general government purposes. However, any tax revenues from increases in real property value, referred to as “increment,” are deposited into the Community Redevelopment Agency Trust Fund and dedicated to the redevelopment area. It is important to note that property tax revenue collected by the School Board and any special district are not affected under the tax increment financing process. Further, unlike in some states, Florida taxing entities write a check to the CRA trust fund, after monies are received from the tax collector. In California, the increment is sent to the CRAs directly out of collected county tax revenues, before they are distributed to each taxing entity. The tax increment revenues can be used immediately, saved for a particular project, or can be bonded to maximize the funds available. Any funds received from a tax increment financing area must be used for specific redevelopment purposes within the targeted area, and not for general government purposes.

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Twins extend affiliate invitations to four teams The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels have been invited by the Minnesota Twins to remain an affiliate of the club at the Low-A level. The Mussels franchise has been affiliated with the Twins since moving to Fort Myers in 1992, previously in the Advanced Class A Florida State League. “The Minnesota Twins are ecstatic about the prospect of continuing our long-standing partnership with the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels,” said Twins president and CEO Dave St. Peter. “We applaud Mighty Mussels owner Andy Kaufmann and the entire organization for their collaboration on player development and ongoing commitment to baseball fans across Lee County and Southwest Florida.” The Fort Myers franchise has won two Florida State League Championships with the Twins organization in 2014 and 2018 and has had numerous Twins players suit up for the club during their time in the Minor Leagues, including Torii Hunter, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Jose Berrios and Byron Buxton. “The Mussels organization is thrilled to be continuing the long-term partnership with the Minnesota Twins for many years and generations to come. We look forward to witnessing the development of future Twins players and Hall of Famers here at Hammond Stadium while continuing to bring affordable family fun and entertainment to the great citizens of Lee County. We would also like to thank Lee County for all of their support both historical and present,” said Mighty Mussels Managing Owner Andy Kaufmann. The Mussels have called Hammond Stadium home since 1992 and maintain a close partnership with Lee County. “Lee County is pleased to continue its partnership with the Mighty Mussels. Baseball has been part of Lee County’s history for more than a century, and we know residents and visitors alike enjoy America’s national pastime here,” said Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman, who serves as the liaison to the Tourist Development Council. Season ticket and group packages are on sale now. The Minnesota Twins also announced they have invited the St. Paul Saints (Triple-A), Wichita Wind Surge (Double-A) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (High-A) and their respective communities to become club minor league affiliates, beginning with the 2021 season. Should the partnerships come to fruition via Major League Baseball’s new player development structure, Twins prospects would gain renowned facilities in St. Paul, Minnesota and Wichita, Kansas; the organization would maintain longtime relationships with Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Fort Myers, including continued utilization of the CenturyLink Sports Complex toward the beginning of the player development journey. The club’s top three affiliates would be connected within a North-South radius of approximately 775 miles. A potential Twins-Saints association would create the closest geographic relationship between parent club and Triple-A affiliate in Major League Baseball, with Target Field and CHS Field separated by just 10.6 miles.

TOWLES PAGE 3 Developer Towles Garden proposed a $28.7 million investment of 67 affordable and 73 attainable townhomes, to be priced at $200,005 and $210,123 respectively. Units will range in size from 900 to 1,250 square feet. It is estimated that when sold, these units will add $18.5 million (adjusting for $3.5 million in homestead exemptions) to the Fort Myers’ tax base. The developers will receive a $4.9 million dollar incentive of the estimated $7.6 million that will be generated by the project. Construction is expected to begin in February 2021 and be completed in August 2022.

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

Page 13

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Incentives valuable tool to grow your own in the Cape 2020 was a challenging year across the nation, but the City of Cape Coral continued to experience growth, development and expansion. Growing and retaining companies in Cape Coral is a key goal for the Economic Development Office. Through the use of strategic incentives, the EDO team assisted two companies who were able to grow and expand their workforce and helped relocate another local company to a new headquarters building in South Cape. “The City of Cape Coral will consider the use of financial incentives for developers and businesses drawing or expanding warehouse, technology, light industry and office related developments. If you have a proposal, we want to hear from you,” said EDO Manager Ricardo Noguera. Nita Whaley, business recruitNoguera ment and retention specialist for the City, dedicated a significant amount of her time over the course of this year to checking on existing businesses and serving as the ombudsperson for those seeking permits for expansion. Whaley stated, “The key to growing your economy is creating a business-friendly environment where local businesses can prosper. I take pride in helping our local businesses grow.” Below are three businesses that were able to stay and grow in the Cape thanks to the financial incentives provided: • Nor-Tech High Performance Boats. This boat manufacturer expanded from Fort Myers in late 2018 and constructed a new facility in the North Cape Industrial Park. As part of Cape Coral’s commitment to helping this company succeed in the Cape, the City awarded the company $130,000 in

CRE PAGE 5 customers are taking longer to commit to a space as they weigh the pros and cons of moving into a physical space and/or relocating. They are also opting for shorter term leases. Negotiations are cautious on both parties as end users, brokers and agents work to find a middle ground they are comfortable with. Each party is working to be realistic with their terms to prepare for a potentially ambiguous future. Multiple Factors Can Have an Influence on Commercial Real Estate Even in these uncertain times, it is important to take into context all relevant factors. Some major chains and small businesses are not suffering currently, and some necessary and essential service providers are thriving. In Florida, home sales are doing quite well in parts of the state, there are low mortgage rates, and many continue to migrate here. These elements will have an imYou Have ONE Opportunity to SELL YOUR BUSINESS

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For more business news, visit www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com Employee Incentives to be paid over a three-year period. To date, the company has hired 64 new employees. • Mercola. This supplement company moved their headquarters to Cape Coral from Chicago in 2015. In an effort to grow jobs locally, the City awarded Mercola with a $132,000 Employee Incentive Grant for the planned hiring of approximately 88 full time employees with an average annual salary of $67,000. • Insite Managed Solutions. This company was first established in the Cape in 2007 and was in jeopardy of leaving since there was very little office space available for them to expand locally. In Spring 2020, the company located an office building in South Cape and, with an assortment of financial incentives offered by the City and CRA, the company purchased the office building and is now renovating it with plans to open this coming Spring. The company also plans to double its workforce from 60 to over 120 employees. The average employee salary is $76,500. The City awarded Insite with an Economic Development Incentive Grant totaling $150,000 to help purchase the office building. The CRA provided a Business Incentive Grant relying on site specific tax increment financing totaling $200,000 and the City provided the company with an Employee Incentive Grant totaling $90,000 over the next three years. The EDO team stands ready to work with new and expanding business in 2021 and offers a host of financial incentives to help new technology, light industrial, office and other commercial developments and businesses in the Cape.

Don’t forget to post your in-person and virtual events on our B2B events calendar at www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com/calendar pact on the Southwest Florida economy and the possible rebound and strengthening of the commercial real estate market in 2021. These are just some of the significant developments that have surfaced over the course of 2020. The new year can bring forth new challenges, alleviate or exacerbate current commercial related- circumstances, and it can come with opportunities to thrive. We will all have to see what 2021 holds for tomorrow, as today is still a changing landscape. Stephanie Martinez is the marketing coordinator for Sunizo Superior Realty Management, a commercial property management company. Sunizo is an industry expert in commercial real estate in the Southwest Florida community. Contact her at (239)694-6878 or stephanie@sunizo.com.

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Page 14

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

JANUARY 2021

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

CCIM Chapter announces 2021 officers, board of directors The Florida CCIM Chapter Southwest District in December presented the 2021 Southwest District Officers & Board of Directors: Artem Nashman, Southwest District president; Stuart Tackett, Southwest District president-elect; William Wilson, Southwest District Treasurer; Ron Welebny, Southwest District secretary; and Janet Davis, Southwest District past president. CCIM Institute is commercial real estate’s most influential professional organization, with members

For more business news, visit www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com closing $200 billion annually in commercial real estate deals. For 50 years, the Institute has been building opportunities through its respected education program, led by established practitioners. CCIM Institute members are eligible to earn the CCIM designation, the industry’s most prestigious certification. The Florida CCIM Chapter Southwest District

is committed to providing the highest quality marketing and networking opportunities, services and education that will enhance our members‘ ability to conduct business successfully. The Southwest District serves the Charlotte, Glades, Lee, Hendry and Collier counties. For more information about the Florida CCIM Chapter Southwest District, visit www.flccim.com/ southwest or contact Janet Davis, CCIM at (256) 604-2973 or janetmariedavis1222@gmail.com.

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE Amenity center expands choices for River Hall Country Club

For residents at River Hall Country Club, a recreational hub will soon expand choices to indulge in both active and leisurely pursuits while fostering outdoor connections with friends and neighbors. Now under construction in the gated 1,500-acre village-style golf course community of River Hall, a lakeside amenity center, accessible exclusive to River Hall Country Club residents and members, will feature a 4,500-square-foot resort-style pool, complete with colorful poolside cabanas and an open-air tiki bar. A fullservice café will offer a casual menu and a variety of beverages, along with widescreen TVs to watch a favorite game. Pergolas encircling the deck will offer shade and enhance the center’s lush landscaping plan. The amenity center is scheduled to open Summer 2021. Lifestyle Director Valorie VanVliet said the vibrant amenity center will serve as the ideal meeting spot for River Hall Country Club residents, who also enjoy active member engagement programs that take place

all year long. Complementing the amenities at River Hall Country Club is a robust array of floor plan choices by Pulte Homes, including newly introduced 1,543-1,579-square-foot low-maintenance villa homes starting from $215,000. Pulte Homes also offers modern single-family homes featuring open concept floor plans with flexible living spaces to exceed the needs of today’s families. Offering 1,671 to over 4,000 square feet of living space, seven exclusive classic and estate home designs offer up to six bedrooms and five baths, along with opportunities for flex rooms, second floor lofts, and custom pools and spas. The two- and three-car garage single-family homes offer residents an upscale resort lifestyle, with golf memberships included at no up-front cost for the Davis Love III-designed course that weaves through the community.River Hall Country Club residents can also enjoy access to the 14,000-square foot Town Hall amenity center at River Hall.

COVID PAGE 1 Dalby pointed out that according to the Regional Economic Research Institute at FGCU, sales tax receipts are coming back, some higher than pre-COVID numbers. “Senior services have kept moving—as well as legal, financial and construction,” he said. “So we’re very bullish on the economy, of course. It’s still going to be warm here in February and a great place to be. We’re still going to see the transfer of northern wealth. That is Collier County’s economic driver. “The real estate market is pretty hot right now.” He quipped, “If that ever reversed—that would be

EXPO PAGE 1

online at SWFLinc.com or by calling (239) 992-2943, and only a limited number of displays are available. Businesses don’t need to be a member of SWFL Inc. to purchase a table, but they can sign up for membership for free at any time. This event is free to attend. Businesses with a table display reserved for the 2021 Community Expo include MY Shower Door, Naples Zoo, Everglades Wonder Gardens, Your

the story! As long as new permanent residents keep coming, we’ll be fine.” Some seasonal residents are becoming permanent, he shared: tax law changes four years ago started it— COVID-19 accelerated it. “We are focusing on attracting remote workers—targeting those with younger families.” So, for future economic sustainability, should we diversify the economy? Dalby: “Outsiders always say it’s a good idea but no one who lives here ever seems to be really motivated to do this.” He shared, “When I was new to the area a few years back, I was speaking with a Naples business leader about developing business ‘clusters’—like in manufacturing and a few other areas. This business leader responded by

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looking out my office window that fronts on Tamiami Trail and replying, ‘You know what? That’s a great conversation, but things look pretty good right now!’ “And you have to admit,” Dalby added, “our current economic drivers work very well for a lot of people. We are who we are—and that’s not a bad thing.” But, Dalby commented, “No matter what, the business community has to have a voice. Don’t cut the state Visitors & Convention Bureau marketing budget because that marketing budget is what tells the world we’re ok here in Florida, from the smallest to the largest business.” He added, “The goal is to keep this economy strong: that’s what we attempt to do at the Naples Chamber of Commerce every day.”

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JANUARY 2021

Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

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COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Naples Entrepreneurs open co-working space Two Naples residents and long-time entrepreneurs, Thomas O’Riordan and Shayne Faerber, announced the opening of the Collier Capital Club. With a previous co-working space no longer suiting their needs, and after looking for possible individual office space, O’Riordan and Faerber decided to create their own membership-driven shared workspace combining multiple suites at Wilson Professional Center in Central Naples, across from Grey Oaks Country Club. The Founders at Collier Capital Club are familiar with operating businesses of all sizes and designed Collier Capital Club to fulfill the needs of its Members, whether a one-member startup or a larger office looking to downsize and rotate employees in a private office from days working out of their homes. O’Riordan founded and built a variety of companies in various trade sectors over the past 12 years. Shortly after O’Riordan graduated from Chapman University’s George Argyros School of Economics & Real Estate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship, he sold his second company to fund the expansion of his first company. His specialty is in startup companies and also helps others in VC fundraising when dreams need to become reality with backing and profit. Notably, O’Riordan co-founded a local boutique consulting firm, Process Research & Optimization, specializing in process optimization and customer journey mapping with modeling tools, best practices, and benchmarks that led to client business cases exceeding $100 million. He exited that company after growing it to over 60 personnel assigned to client projects across the US, Canada & Europe within three years.

Don’t forget to post your in-person and virtual events on our B2B events calendar at www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com/calendar Faerber also has an extensive background in startups and has run operations for many, in various fields, from Mobile Apps to Designer Clothing, Investment Colored Diamonds to Machine Learning Software. His most notable venture that opened the door to others was an iPhone App called Mall Maps. Launched in 2009, Mall Maps quickly rose to the No. 1 Reference App position after being featured in Apple’s Essential Apps for Black Friday and was showcased in over 80 local and national media publications. This notoriety led Shayne to be called upon by Tamiami Angel Fund’s Chairman Timothy Cartwright to be Venture Pitch SWFL’s first Keynote Speaker, interviewed by Master of Ceremonies Jeff Lytle, at their inaugural event in 2015. Located on Airport-Pulling Road between Pine Ridge Road and Golden Gate Parkway in Wilson Professional Center, Collier Capital Club offers a variety of memberships: virtual offices, coworking seating, dedicated desks, private offices, social memberships and day passes. All memberships are Limited. With many companies reevaluating their office space needs, Collier Capital Club offers solutions to compress operations into a smaller footprint while giving smaller, new businesses a professional environment to run and grow their operations. “With recent events and offices closing or downsizing, a comfortable and professional workspace is valued and sought after more than ever,” said Faerber. “Working from home was fun for a moment but many are starting to feel the

Lee Building Industry Association recognizes industry excellence The Lee Building Industry Association held its annual Industry Awards Dec. 10 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center to recognize members for industry excellence. Pinnacle and Summit Awards are the most prestigious and unique of local building industry honors awarded each year to members who have achieved an outstanding level of success and professionalism in residential and commercial sales and marketing, residential design and commercial building, planning and design. This year’s winners include: Wilfredo Emanuel Designs, Babcock Ranch, Beattie Development, PulteGroup, Norris Furniture & Interiors, D.R. Horton, Stock Development, Aubuchon Homes, Aniko

Design, Jinx McDonald Interior Designs, Marvin Development Corporation, Advance Solar & Energy, Miromar Development, Barraco & Associates Inc., MY Shower Door, Richard & Rice Construction, Vantage Construction Services LLC, Stevens Construction Inc., Envirostruct LLC, Lee Drywall Inc., Morris-Depew Associates Inc., Wegman Design Group Inc., GMA Architects & Planners LLC, B&I Contractors Inc. “We look forward to this event every year as it allows us to recognize the hard work of our members especially in years like this,” said Phillip Ford, executive vice president of the Lee BIA. “We worked hard to ensure this year’s event was safe for all of our attendees so we could continue to honor these great companies.”

strain of ‘always being at work’ and want to return their home to the relaxing escape at the end of the workday.” Collier Capital Club currently has seven private offices and 22 dedicated desks available, along with mixed co-working seating options. A soon-to-be-opened lounge and game room will offer additional co-working space where members can choose to release steam or work in a more relaxed atmosphere. Access to Wilson Professional Center’s Canteen Room and the lush outdoor courtyard allows members to enjoy their meals away from their desks or to take their work al fresco. “We wanted to create an atmosphere that maintains and promotes a fun environment with comfortable workspaces that are supported by topnotch amenities and technology,” said O’Riordan. “Where our members can feel as comfortable as they were at their homes or coffee shops but also be in a professional workspace with the business resources they need at hand.” Membership Amenities also include access to two private conference rooms with large TVs for remote screen mirroring, complimentary coffee and water, high-speed WiFi, a private mailbox with mail and package handling, production-class print station, option for assigned covered parking, attendance at networking events, and soonto-come lounge. “Along with providing a professional workspace, we are also providing a networking community composed of talented individuals where members can offer and share services within Collier Capital Club and perhaps even create new partnerships and companies to grow,” Thomas noted.

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Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ®

JANUARY 2021

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learn more about our customer services and convenient locations, please visit EdisonNationalBank.com or call 239.466.1800.

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