October 2022 Southwest Florida Business Today

Page 12


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


Salute to Entrepreneurs

Startups, solo practitioners and visionaries fuel the economy of Southwest Florida.


Right: Dane Eagle discusses Florida’s employment rate at SWFL Inc.’s State of the Region.

A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in

Jobs outlook optimistic for SWFL

Commercial Real Estate

The center section of the newspaper is the quarterly SWFL Commercial Real Estate market overview.

Dane Eagle spent almost eight years representing Southwest Florida in the state House. He returned to the region in August as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary and offered insight on Florida’s economic momentum at SWFL Inc.’s State of the Region event.

He also sat down with Southwest Florida Business Today to discuss how this area has done particularly well compared to the state as a whole.

“For Southwest Florida, job creation over the last 10 years is up almost 30%, which is incredible,” Eagle said.

“That’s twice the rate of the state as a whole. So Southwest Florida’s recovery improved dramatically compared to other areas when it comes to not only the Great Recession, but during the pandemic. We’re bouncing back. It’s been

wonderful. The opportunities here are great.”

He told the audience at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort that Florida’s unemployment rate has powered forward through the pandemic and as the national gross domestic product receded.

“We have added jobs for 27 consecutive months to the state of Florida,” he said. “In July alone, it will be at 70,000 jobs in the state of Florida. That’s only happened six times in history.”

He also felt encouraged about the low unemployment rate both in Florida and in this area. The DEO released new data on Sept. 16, a couple weeks after the SWFL Inc. event, that showed unemployment remaining at 2.7% in the state. That’s a full percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.7% unemployment.

In Southwest Florida in particular, the labor force

Woodberry unveils Cape Coral economic incentives

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

Cape Coral Economic and Business Development Officer, Sharon Woodberry, worked her way up the Economic Development department ladder for Youngstown, Ohio, starting as Development Officer in 1998 and capping her

Punta Gorda Airport celebrates air center opening

The Charlotte County Airport Authority hosted a ceremonial ribboncutting for the new PGD Air Center on Aug. 18.

The newly constructed 13,500square-foot PGD Air Center is located on the north side of Punta Gorda Airport on Challenger Boulevard, just east of the 600-series T-Hangars in the PGD AviEx development area.

The PGD Air Center houses FBO operations, aircraft fueling, meeting and event space, pilot lounge and amenities, office suites and aircraft parking on a 510,000-square-foot ramp.

Michael Baker International designed the Air Center and JohnsonLaux Construction built the facility. Ajax Paving Industries constructed the associated ramp, taxilanes and taxiways.

AIRPORT See page 14

career there as Economic Development Director.

So how does Woodberry plan to increase commercial development in Cape Coral?

“Let me just start by saying I learned very quickly that economic development is not just one person sitting behind a desk. We’re looking to promote the com-

munity, and economic development is all those things that contribute to the quality of life that you and all the residents of Cape Coral would be looking for. We also need to show that we’re here to support you and that your investment is valued.”



in to SWFL PBS and National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, WGCU radio at 90.1 FM, during Morning Edition and All Things Considered to hear SWFBT founder, owner and publisher Karen P. Moore share information and insights for and about our local business community. Listen to past segments at https://news.wgcu.org/karen-moore-1.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Taxation

To receive loan forgiveness so you will not be taxed on the loan, you must complete the simple application and receive approval. Contact your PPP lender ASAP for more info.

SWFBT News Updates

To get current business news throughout the business day, visit www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com.

Above: Jenna BuzzaccoFoerster moderates a SWFL Inc. panel with Lucienne Pears and John Meyer. Special to SWFBT Submitted by Jacob Ogles, Editor
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA’S B2B MARKETPLACE • 239-573-9732 Distributed in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs and Naples Vol. 15, No. 12 / OCTOBER 2022 www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com Celebrating 15 Years TAKE ONE FOLLOW SOUTHWEST FLORIDA BUSINESS TODAY ® ON: Health Insurance Health Insurance MD Policies - Claims - Consultant 239-271-7785 Do you want a clean office ... or a clean and HEALTHY office? CONTACT US TODAY Nikko Conn Nikko@imageoneusa.com Anthony Conn Anthony@imageoneusa.com It’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN! Are You Ready? (239) 789-2267 Our trained technicians not only disinfect but sanitize your office with an electrostatic spraying process www.imageoneusa.com/fort-myers ® INSIDE THIS ISSUE Get Southwest Florida’s business news and information delivered straight to your mailbox each month. Start your subscription to Southwest Florida Business Today.® Call (239) 573-9732. Hoffmann Family buys Hertz Arena, Everblades stash for hemp growers MARKETPLACEwww.swfloridabusinesstoday.com CLEANING SEASON, & VOUCHER MEMBERSHIPS announcesgrowth Fort Myers launches Diversity Committee Young entrepreneurs share ideas, earn awards FOUNDATION SHARK MARKETPLACE CLEANING Entrepreneurs developments Privacy Edison Business Advisors poised for growth South American businesses visit Fort Myers INTERNATIONAL SALUTE TO IN THE NEWS
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with “Moore About Business”! Tune
WOODBERRY See page 15
EAGLE See page 12


Renewal Claim Solutions announces Collier service area

Renewal Claim Solutions of Southwest Florida, a Naples-based specialist in the restoration of clothing, household fabric items, electronics and artwork that have been distressed by fi re, smoke, water and mold, has announced its inclusion of Collier County as a service territory.

The company focuses on disaster insurance claim management of damaged textiles for homeowners, disaster claim adjusters, restoration repair providers and insurance adjusters and carriers in the aftermath of storm events, fi re and smoke emergencies, water damage and mold discovery.

“We start with onsite disaster inspection leading to contact with insurance provider for paperwork preparation for the insurance claim, then onsite pack-outs and our eventual fulfi llment of the items to pre disaster condition,” said Chris Bamberg, partner at Renewal Claim Solutions of Southwest Florida.

“We also work with the customer

for immediate needs and post disaster delivery and storage off erings.”

Bamberg will focus on Operations, Production & Sales with 18

years of industry experience. Prior to Renewal, he was president for Certifi ed Restoration Dry Cleaning of NE Florida and Coastal Georgia.


For more business news, visit www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com

Originally locating to Southwest Florida in 1999, he founded Cache Dry Cleaners with locations in Naples and Marco Island.

He was then called upon to join as president for Deluxe Dry Cleaning in Jacksonville and St Augustine. He is also currently a partner at Platinum Dry Cleaners in Naples. Trade memberships include Southeastern Fabricare Association and Dry Cleaning Laundry Institute.

Renewal Claim Solutions of Southwest Florida is a member of Community Managers, Owners & Associates of Southwest Florida, Collier County Chapter.

The company is located on Commercial Blvd and can be reached at (888) 387-RNWL (7695), email at info@renewal-swfl .com, or online www.Renewal-SWFL.com.

Consigning with True Fashionistas helps the economy

The next time you open your closet, think first about what designer items you don’t want to wear, then consign them at True Fashionistas, Florida’s largest lifestyle consignment store.

The consignment process at True Fashionistas helps both buyer and seller and ultimately the economy itself by offering a chance to make money as well as purchase authenticated luxury designer goods at a

discount price.

“Unlike other stores that just consign your items or just purchase them outright,” said True Fashionistas owner Jennifer Johnson, “True Fashionistas offers consignors options in order to sell items quickly. We sell about 90% of what we bring in within the first 60 days.”

These options include selling items outright for

immediate cash payment, consignment, free shipping of items to the store for consignment and no appointment necessary to sell items in-store.

Call Johnson and True Fashionistas at (239) 5965044 or email Jennifer@truefashionistas.com. True Fashionistas is in the Galleria Shoppes at the corner of Vanderbilt Beach Road and Airport-Pulling Road in North Naples.


2256 First


Chris Bamberg is a partner at Renewal Claim Solutions of Southwest Florida.
Page 2 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® OCTOBER 2022 KNOWLEDGE. INTEGRITY. RESULTS. Mike Dal Lago, Esq. Christian Haman, Esq. Jennifer Duffy, Esq. Serving Naples, Ft. Myers, Sarasota & Tampa
Vanderbilt Beach Rd. Suite 200 Naples, FL 34108
Street Suite 181
Myers, Florida 33901 (239) 571-6877 www.dallagolaw.com BUSINESS LAW BUSINESS RESTRUCTURING BUSINESS BANKRUPTCY CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY • Business Formation • Corporate Governance • Fiduciary Duties • Insolvency Matters • Out-Of-Court Restructuring • Bankruptcy Reorganization • Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13 And Subchapter V Bankruptcy Cases • General Corporate Counseling Accolades include: “Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Thomson Reuters”

Biz Kids Expo to hear pitches in October

If a child has a business idea or dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur, now could be the time to nurture those dreams. Top Notch University - School of Entrepreneurship will hold its second Biz Kidz Expo Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Miromar Outlets in Estero from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Encouraging young people to be inventors and entrepreneurs is something that will serve them well no matter what direction their lives take them. I have seen some of these inventions and they are impressive,” said organizer and president of Top Notch Connections J.D. Ribali.

The event features children ages 7 to 17 who will have the opportunity to present business ideas, sell prod-

ucts and services to the public and pitch businesses to a panel of judges representing some of Southwest Florida companies, including My Shower Door, My Architectural Glass and Dr. Kool Air Conditioning. Every participant will receive coaching sessions from a local business mentor. $5,000 in prize money will also be handed out to those young people with the best inventions or services. These new ideas are purchased, developed or sold to a local or national company.

“Our mission is simple. To encourage and nurture future entrepreneurs and help them create a successful business,” Ribali said. The cost for kids to register is $35.

Learn more at to Biz-Kids-Expo.com. Contact Ribali at (239) 675-1235 or jd@biz-Kids-Expo.com.


Bakery offers tasty vegan alternatives

Nagen Vegan Bakery was started by junior high school students in 2019. It all started as a class project at Lorenzo Walker Technical High School.

We observed a scarcity of vegan-baked products as 17-year-olds and decided to remedy that. I and Franko Cardozo now share ownership. We are based in Naples and our website, www.NagenVeganBakery.com, sells to customers all around the country.

We sought to create vegan choices that are healthy and appetizing. The bakery provides a large selection of cookies from which to choose. If you’re seeking the vest vegan chocolate cookie recipe, Naples Vegan Bakery is the place to go. The best part about this recipe is that it will taste better than your grandma’s cookies, and you will not suspect it’s vegan.

Everyone who has tried these cookies has said they are the best vegan cookies they have ever tasted. We started with our Chocolate Chip Coogen: now we have more than five different flavors.

We have been able to not only sell online and at local farmers’ markets in just two years, but we are also on our way to expanding even further: we are now selling our cookies in local cafes.

At Nagen Vegan Bakery, we want everyone to be able to experience delicious vegan alternatives without sacrificing taste.

Carl Veus is part-owner of Nagen Vegan Bakery.. Visit www.naplesveganbakery.com. Contact (239) 3212374 or nagenfla@gmail.com.

Pendergrass, Republican Lee County J.D. Ribali celebrates with some young inventors at the first Biz Kids Expo earlier this year in Naples. Franko Cardozo and Carl Veus share ownership of Nagen Vegan Bakery.
Commission, District 2. www.VotePendergrass.com


Estero has gone organic with new USDA juice bar

Estero residents now have a go-to spot to boost their immune system, cleanse and eat and drink purely natural products. Clean Juice, a USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise, opened its newest location on Highland Oaks Drive.

The Estero fast-casual juice bar is owned and operated by health and wellness advocate Mark Heinold. He and his wife have been involved in the health and wellness sphere for years. The pair wanted a healthy food option for members of the community. Heinold did research, found Clean Juice, and opened a first location in Naples in 2021. After much success and a realization more healthy options are needed in the area, the couple decided to open a second location in Estero.

“Clean Juice is 100% organic, which separates us from our competitors,” Heinold said. “We care about providing our community access to a healthy option and want to continue to grow in the area.”

Clean Juice sources high-quality, premium ingredients for its cold-pressed juices, smoothies, açaí and greenoa bowls, toasts and wraps. Clean Juice aims to provide the perfect nutrition that comes only from organic food. Clean Juice has 10 heavily dense nutrient cold-pressed juices made fresh daily, non-pasteurized and without heat, resulting in no enzymes being damaged.

Clean Juice co-founders Landon and Kat Eckles created their own store in Charlotte, N.C. that ultimately led to franchising. Since June 2016, the company has sold over 140 franchises in 23 states.

Visit cleanjuice.com or call (239) 676-1139.



Karen P. Moore


Jacob Ogles


Jennifer Ogles


Scott Toner


Jennifer Ogles


Michelle L. Hudson


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How do you mix friendship and business?

Recently, I have had a rough go at making this work. It comes down to trust, doesn’t it? In January, I left a career of more than a quarter century to fulfill a dream of owning my own business. I partnered with a friend and trusted confidant to provide branding, marketing and advertising services to clients. What do you do when you start a new business? You talk to the people you know. I am starting to think that may not have been the best idea.

This is a more general statement. Every situation is unique but this is a big deal for a lot of small business owners. It takes a special breed to open yourself up to the kind of failure inherent to owning a business. Pile on top of that those who should be helping and supporting whenever possible will blatantly go to a competitor or buy from Amazon. It hurts your feelings as a small business owner. It shouldn’t, but it does.

As a sales manager, I always thought to be successful, you must be a relationship builder. Humans crave connections. It is innate to our species, and while building a sales relationship, it is only natural some of these relationships will become friendships. I believe that is the pinnacle of the sales journey. But why is it so hard to maintain the business/friendship balance once you are there? We come back to trust.

I trust my clients will make the best decision. They can about their businesses. I happen to think their best decision will be working with my team. I desperately want to find ways to work with them and sometimes that leads to giving more than I should. What happens when your good deeds and hard work are taken advantage of by a client who is a friend? Whether it is ghosting you over an unpaid invoice or sharing confidential

information with a competitor, the real question I guess is how do you come back from that and maintain the friendship...or should you?

I want to believe these people are going through something rough and are just embarrassed. Surely they are not purposely hurting our businesses. The honest truth is, they may but how you react is the most important part of success. Take the friendship factor out of the equation and do what you must for your business. Be kind and willing to work with them until it becomes clear they don’t deserve your help. Go find more clients that are worthy of your talent. This may be a costly lesson but that is what attorneys are for.

Gather details and give them every chance you can to make things right before you move on. They may not have been the friend you thought they were. You deserve great friends who build you up. Your business will be healthier in the long run because of the type of clientele you choose to make friends..

Tim Hennessy is a 25-year broadcast television sales management veteran and now Partner at Rivet Brands, a full-service branding and advertising agency with offices in Florida and Michigan. Learn more at rivetingbrands.com.at HF scientific, a global manufacturer for water quality measurement instruments. Visit HFscientific.com and contact (888) 203-7248.


FGCU graduate holds corporations accountable

Tatiana Devia has made being a voice for the voiceless and an advocate for the underserved her life’s work. It’s also the reason she was selected as a Soaring Eagle.

She is a staff attorney for the Corporate Accountability Lab, a Chicagobased nonprofit that’s dedicated to fighting corporate abuse of human rights and the environment. There, she leads a program seeking justice and accountability for human rights victims in her native Colombia.

Devia said her experience with the Forensic Studies Department and working closely with the Justice Studies program’s chair, Heather Walsh-Haney, helped her to become “a more well-developed attorney.”

While in Southwest Florida, she worked as an investigator for the Fair Food Program, founded by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, which ensures humane wages and working conditions for farmworkers.

Her next career move saw her employing her forensic studies knowledge as an international human rights investigator. Devia, who has a bachelor’s in anthropology from the University of Central Florida, graduated from the American University Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C., in 2018, with a specialty in international human rights.

“It really took me back to my FGCU experience and my forensics work and that entire journey,” Devia said about being named a Soaring Eagle. “Every single thing that I’ve done, it all started with my forensics work at FGCU. It was very special to get, not just an award, but to get it from FGCU.”

Page 4 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® OCTOBER 2022
...is what keeps you and your business ahead of the game. Anticipating what’s next... Here’s what is ahead for 2022 for Southwest Florida Business Today®. Due to recent expansion, we are now hiring for part-time newspaper delivery drivers in Naples and Bonita Springs. Please call (239) 770-7527 for details. Nov. 18 Oct. 21 Nov. 9 MONTH EDITORIAL FOCUS PUB. DATE (FRIDAY) DEADLINE (WED., 5 pm) • Anniversary Edition • Looking Back, Looking Ahead • CRE/Construction & Development DECEMBER NOVEMBER Call to reserve your advertising spot today: (239) 770-7527 Keep up with the latest business news, events and more! www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com ® H I G H E S T C R E D E N T I A L E D & M O S T A W A R D E D w w w E d i s o n B A c o m Y o u H a v e O N E O p p o r t u n i t y t o S E L L Y O U R B U S I N E S S Y o u H a v e O N E O p p o r t u n i t y t o S E L L Y O U R B U S I N E S S w w w E d i s o n B A c o m 8 6 6 2 0 5 2 3 1 0 I n f o @ E d i s o n B A . c o m B u s i n e s s B r o k e r a g e F i r m i n S W F l o r i d a S i n c e 2 0 1 4 M O S T A W A R D E D & H I G H E S T C R E D E N T I A L E D T r u s t t h e Oct. 12

Building a business foundation with Goodwill MicroEnterprise

Did you know: MicroEnterprises represent 90% of all businesses in the Southwest Florida? There are more than 26 million microenterprises in our country? One out of every six private sector employees in our country works for a microenterprise?

Goodwill’s MicroEnterprise has helped nearly 1,000 local small businesses start or strengthen. If you are looking to launch your small business, this type of program is the key to success! It assists aspiring Lee, Collier, Hendry and Glades County entrepreneurs who typically fall in the low to moderate income bracket or are disadvantaged in some way

including unemployed or underemployed.

During the MicroEnterprise classes, participants will learn how to develop a solid plan to guide a start-up or new sector of a business with the assistance of an experienced business owner who also serves as coach. A strong business plan focuses on cash flow first—the most critical step in creating a business plan that will help not only to run a busi-

ness, but also help when applying for financial assistance. After completion of the class and based on the ability to repay, participants may be eligible to apply for a small loan through the Kiva Zip program with Goodwill MicroEnterprise providing some matching funds. Participants hear from subject matter experts in areas of accounting, legal, marketing, insurance and funding and are given a workbook designed to assist them in transforming their vision into a business plan for a successful business launch.

For more information and to register go to www.goodwillswfl.org/microenterprise or call (239) 995-2106, ext. 2215.

How the Singing Chef started his successful pasta sauce business SALUTE TO ENTREPRENEURS

Family has always been a big influence for Andy LoRusso, also known as The Singing Chef.

Growing up in an Italian American family was the anchor that gave him the inspiration not only to create a brand that is now in over 150 stores, but his career as a well-known author, entertainer and chef.

Grandmother Grace, who came from Sicily at a young age, wanted the American dream for her family. Al-

ways cooking for the family and friends in her home in New Jersey and using the freshest ingredients from her garden. She was a great mentor for his career in food.

Losing his partner of 25 years to a stroke and his house that was riddled with smoke and ash

from the fires in the area, LoRusso felt it was time for another chapter of his life.

His friends he met while doing a special event at the famed restaurant 21 Spices invited him to consider moving to Florida and soon he would make Naples his new home.

His VIP Dinner shows at the many casinos he was hired to perform at were a big success however the pandemic hit right after he arrived and he

had to pivot to create a living.

Gathering some of the recipes he remembered that his Nonna Grace used, he created his line of home style premium pasta sauces, Tomato Basil, Vodka Cream and his Grandmother’s, Sausage & Fennel. All can be found at Wynns Market here in Naples. They can also be ordered at singingchefsauces.com

Don’t forget to post your in-person and virtual events on our B2B events calendar at www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com/calendar Congratulations to the Goodwill MicroEnterprise Fort Myers Class 107 and 110 featured in the photo. First Row: Ava Collier (SoulPho Photography); Tiffany Mercurio (Lehigh Acres Community Center); Sielina Lewis (Lewsiel Candles), Eileen Fabian (The Quiet Porch), Islene Bruno (Salome Senior Living), Tiani Rosado (Rising Artist Experience). Second Row: Jadon Mercurio (Lehigh Acres Community Center), Jennifer Wingard (The Lunar Haven), Lauren Ramnath Daharry (Crafty Counseling), Xiomara Gomez (Crafty Kiki). Third Row: Kevin Jackson (All About Cleaning), Terence Hall (On Time Transport Service), Alexander Yepes (Alexander Quantum Healing Center), Victor Arana (Lili’s Ceviche). Graduates of Goodwill’s MicroEnterprise Program showcase their businesses and products. Mille grazie LoRusso
OCTOBER 2022 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® Page 5 Take your business to the next level Greg Steiner glsteiner57@gmail.com (239) 558 4786 Sea Breeze Associates, LLC Services include: •Business Strategy •Mergers & Acquisitions •Industrial Project Management 2018 2011 (239) 574-2028 www.TheLetterBoxInc.com The Letter Box, Inc. It Pays To Advertise! We appreciate your business SWFL Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association Member Benefits Employee Training Grants • Import / Export Training Cost Reduction and Efficiency • Marketing Assistance Process Improvement • Recruiting and Hiring • Roundtable Discussions Leadership Training • Tax Incentives • Network of Resources Visit srma.net or call Bill at (239) 258-1385. 1999 Helping you protect your Business or Association. Commercial Property Liability • Work Comp Auto • Contractors HOA / COA Call us today to discuss your coverages and options. Celebrating 29 years in business / Family Owned www.LciQuotes.com • 239-656-5551 390 Pondella Rd #1, N Ft Myers, FL 33903 IN BUSINESS SINCE 2007 Business Smarts Begins with SWFL Business Today. Start Your Subscription Today! 239.573.9732 ® 1994 1981

What are the basics of cryptocurrency?


by Katkin

At its most basic, “crypto” currency is a new form of digital money or currency, secured by a combination of math, code and the mechanics or design of the various parties involved to keep it running.

It’s important to start small when it comes to crypto in that the whole industry has evolved and people are talking about all kinds of technical things, and yet most individuals that I talk to you still don’t understand the very basics. It’s important to start at the basics with crypto as everything piles on top of it and without understanding the basics you get scenarios like what is currently dominating the news… Hacks, centralized companies going out of business, and in the markets.

Back in 2009, an anonymous figure name Satoshi Nakamoto released the code for what he called Bitcoin as well as the white paper (a document explaining the details of how the system would work). In both the white paper and the code, itself, he took a stand against the bankers and their policies that had just led to the collapse of the world economies (the 20062007 housing crisis).

Bitcoin is generally now considered on a technical level one of the simplest cryptocurrencies out there. At its core, it is a system of three major components:

• Miners - those in the background who run the network and in exchange for running the network they receive newly minted Bitcoin.

• Nodes - individuals who dedicate computing resources including storage to store a copy of all the transactions (all the transactions being summarily called the “blockchain.”)

• End Users - you have individuals who use the system who have been gifted or purchase Bitcoin over the years and use it to buy or sell or as a store of value.

This is an extremely simplified version of the whole system, and I highly recommend checking out the Bitcoin white paper as it was a truly revolutionary idea, solved several computer science problems, and is written plainly (even though it does go into the math that allows the above to happen).

More metaphorically, think of an old school bank — in particular, a bank vault — with safety deposit boxes. The Bitcoin network is all those boxes — and anyone can see what is in each box as the faces are clear (they can see into the box and see the number of coins they’re holding, but they don’t necessarily know what box is controlled by what person). This collection of boxes is the “blockchain” and the people that maintain the infrastructure (and receive a fee for doing so) are considered the miners.

Zach Katkin is a serial entrepreneur and seasoned marketing professional with a talent for driving results. He has been working in the blockchain arena for several years. Contact him at (239)273-4113 or zkatkin@gmail.com.



Sullivan State Farm Agencies support education with latest scholarship awards

The Sullivan State Farm Agencies continued its support of higher education recently by awarding a partial four-year college scholarship to 2022 East Lee County High School graduate, Mahkai Conway. The Sullivan’s recognize the importance of providing the tools and resources needed to support effective learning. Having branded their business as “the education agency,” Cape Coral agents Dawn and Mike Sullivan pay particular attention to removing obstructions young people face along their path to higher education and career success.

“Dawn and I truly believe that comprehensive schooling is critical for healthy and vibrant communities,” Mike said. “Education is key to growth and success for the individual and for the community, and every child deserves an education that will help them reach their greatest potential and realize their dreams.”

Conway was awarded the scholarship on June 1 to help make his college dreams a reality. “I am so grateful for Mike and Dawn,” Conway said. “I am continuing my education at Knox College and intend on getting a PhD in mechanical engineering. I will also be continuing my dream of playing football while attending. Go Prairie Fire!”

Dawn says Conway has been a part of the agency’s family since he was a young boy.

“We have watched him grow into a fine young man who has had a strong commitment to his studies , sports, community and his faith. He has overcome adversity and challenges throughout the years and has not always had the same opportunities as many students in our community, yet he has been a strong positive influence to his friends, teammates and his younger sister,” said Dawn. “Mahkai is a true example of what Sully’s House stands for. We know he will do great things and not only are we super proud of him and his mom, Danielle, we are extremely blessed to be a small part of his journey.”

At the center of the agency’s giving is Sully’s House, a nonprofit the Sullivans founded in 2016 and named after Mike’s late father. Sully’s House is a self-funded foundation focused on at-risk individuals and families in need of assistance, including providing full-ride and partial scholarships to deserving high school graduates across Southwest Florida. Sully’s House has granted local students full scholarships to college, summer art programs and other educational experiences.

This year, the Sullivans are also supporting Pelican Elementary School by helping to produce their brand new, custom-designed homework and communications folders for a full year. Students and families use these folders to transfer needed

paperwork between school and home and to communicate with teachers and other administration.

In addition to their business reputation in the insurance industry, the couple is recognized for generosity to the community, causes, children and clients, with a special focus on education. The couple sponsors local Pop Warner football, youth baseball and the Cape Junior Cudas, a swim team. They partner with Cape Christian for Cape Leads, a program that brings current and future leaders together for learning and collaboration. They back the Southwest Florida Wine and Food Fest, which benefits Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, the Lee County PACE Center for Girls, and Valerie’s House, which provides grief support for children and families. Everything the Sullivan State Farm Agencies do is about pushing other people forward. That applies to clients as well as the community, and it’s been that way ever since they opened their doors 15 years ago.

The Sullivan State Farm Agencies strongly believe in family and community, and whether you’re currently covered or looking to determine the best insurance options for your circumstances, the team is ready to help.

Call the Sullivan State Farm Agencies at (239) 541-3276 or visit the agents’ websites: mikesullivan1.com or dawnsullivan.net.

Mahkai Conway receives part of a four-year scholarship awarded by the Sullivan agencies to help fulfill his dreams of earning a PhD in engineering.
Page 6 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® OCTOBER 2022 1999 Audio/Video Cloud/Backup Phone SystemsNetworking (239) 437-4357 | www.nocoutnetworks.com Commercial IT/MSP/CSP Services 2016 Y our Exclusive Source for 239.325.9157 FREE Shipping | info@CarilohaNaples.com Phone and Email Orders Always Welcome Luxurious & Bath Goods. Mattresses, Bedding, Apparel Bamboo Cariloha Naples @ Mercato 9100 Strada Pl. Suite 2112 2011 Affordable Employee Care Solutions. PAYROLL-EMPLOYEE LEASING Need more help? Not sure how to grow? EMPLOYEE CARE CAN HELP! Contact MAIKEL DELGADO at (239) 945-9988 or email mdelgado@employeecare.us www.employeecare.us 2020 Helping small businesses stay out of trouble and in compliance • Employment Handbooks • Recruitment • HR Consulting Karen Shepherd, MSHR, SHRM-CP (239) 776-5919 Karen@HRbyKaren.com www.HRbyKaren.com CALL FOR YOUR FREE 1-HOUR CONSULT 2007 ® IN BUSINESS SINCE
is the first in a series of columns
about cryptocurrency

Flaherty & Collins breaks ground on The Cove at 47th

Flaherty & Collins Properties broke ground on The Cove at 47th, a $103-million mixed-use project in downtown Cape Coral, on Aug. 24. The groundbreaking event took place at the corner of Cape Coral Parkway East and SE 8th Court.

“We’re thrilled to get this incredible project started,” said Brian Prince, vice president of development for Flaherty & Collins Properties and lead project developer. “To get shovels in the ground on a project that’s going to have such an impact on Cape Coral by bringing an attractive housing option is really exciting. The city has been great as a project partner to help make this project a reality.”

The Cove at 47th will include 327 luxury apartments, 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail or office space, and a 585-space parking garage, with 125 spaces reserved for the public. The development will include a steakhouse and sushi concept, Blu Sushi, serving as the project’s anchor tenant featuring a rooftop bar. The project also includes a resident roof top Sky Deck, resort-style amenities, and will be the first infill residential project with a parking garage in Cape Coral.

“Both the City of Cape Coral and its Community Redevelopment Agency are thrilled to celebrate the groundbreaking of The Cove at 47th,” said

Rob Hernandez, Cape Coral city manager. “This dynamic, mixed-use development is exactly the type of transformative project that helps create a walkable downtown where people live, work, dine and are entertained. This impressive building will provide more public parking, expand dining options and welcome new neighbors to the South Cape. I am impressed with the architectural features of the building and am confident that it will help grow businesses and be our new downtown hub. We are pleased to be part of the investors in this development and enjoy our partnership with the Flaherty & Collins team.”

Amenities and features include an oversized, resort-style heated salt-

water pool with lap lanes and beach entry, co-working area with private offices and conference facilities, fitness center featuring a Yoga room, a rooftop Sky Lounge that will provide sunset views, pet spa, poolside grilling decks and fire pits, secured garage parking with available private EV charging spaces and Gig speed Wi-Fi property wide.

Apartments will feature modern designs and finishes, luxury wood tile vinyl, quartz countertops, LED lighting, in unit full size washer and dryer and private balconies. Three penthouse units include upgraded appliances, finishes, lighting packages and a built-in wine refrigerator.

Flaherty & Collins Properties offi-

cials said with a focus on studio, oneand two-bedroom luxury apartments, The Cove at 47th will see a higher percentage of young professionals and empty nesters.

“Between the amenities and the close proximity to shopping, dining and entertainment options around the area, it’s a perfect mix really,” Prince said. “There is so much growth occurring in the Southwest Florida market, and Cape Coral is leading the charge. We plan to plant some roots in Cape Coral and be a very active developer in the market long term.”

“Cape Coral is one of the fastestgrowing cities in the nation, with an abundance of economic development,” said Mayor John Gunter. “Among the top ten cities, Cape Coral ranks sixth as the most popular places to move to in the U.S. The Cove at 47th is a transformational project, and I’m proud we’re continuing to pave the way for new residents and businesses to call this City their home.”

Deangelis Diamond is the general contractor, with Baker Barrios serving as the architect of the project. Financing is provided by First Financial Bank and Huntington Bank.

The Cove at 47th expects to open first units to residents in about 16 months, with full project completion estimated for late summer 2024.

Symposium to discuss how SWFL is coping with rapid growth

Developers, investors, government officials and real estate experts will address the dynamics of population growth and real estate development at the 2022 Real Estate Symposium on Oct. 6. The annual half-day program is presented by the Real Estate Investment Society in partnership with the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Best Commercial Lot Values in Southwest Florida

Infrastructure will Keep Up” and “The Future of Rental Housing.”

FGCU President Michael Martin and REIS President Kent Poli will provide opening comments. Regional economic trends will be analyzed by Dr. Amir Neto, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute. A series of panel discussion will follow, addressing “Finding and Clearing the Path of Growth,” “How

Poli notes, “Southwest Florida is adapting to new market trends and economics and REIS is pleased to provide a forum with knowledge and ideas that will help our members and our community leaders succeed in this dynamic environment. The presenters are all leading experts who will share their expertise with property owners, government officials and real estate development professionals who attend.”

The Symposium will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at noon in the Cohen Center ballroom at Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.reis-swfl.org.


Railroad meets rear of

I-75 Interchange currently projected to cross eastern portion of property, high visibility once completed.

The Cove at 47th will include 327 luxury apartments, 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail or office space, and a 585-space parking garage, with 125 spaces reserved for the public.
OCTOBER 2022 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® Page 7 Randy Krise, CCIM Commercial Real Estate Broker Cell: 239.633.8672 Email: Randy@KriseCG.com www.KriseCG.com www .K rise CG. C om Studio, One and Two Bedroom Apartments Located between Central Avenue, Market Street and Fowler Street, ALDEA is one of the first planned communities for Midtown and is expected to transform the landscape of the surrounding area. MIDTOWN FORT MYERS’ INTIMATE URBAN LIFESTYLE EXPERIENCE Introducing ALDEA Groundbreaking: Summer 2023 Occupancy: Spring 2025 300+ units housed within two residential buildings looking inward to multi-functional courtyard spaces. A mix of studios, one and two bedrooms, several of which offer additional dens. A fitness center enables an active lifestyle and a parking garage provides a desired convenience. Best Commercial Lot Values in Southwest Florida 25335 Rampart Blvd Port Charlotte 33983 Price: $995,000 Size: 4.30 AC Description: Medical Office Space. Deep Creek has several ALF communities, private and public. Major Rehabilitation Center adjacent to this site. Two major hospitals within 10 minutes of site. East border of the property is a large Housing Complex with future zoning of commercial in front. Plans available for 7 buildings, each 5,000 sq. ft. 4214 Duncan Road (Hwy. 17) Punta Gorda 33982 Price: $795,000 Size: 6.84 AC Description: 2 lots, 1 - 5.3 Acre Parcel and 1 - 1.5 acre parcel, 6.8 Acres, environmentals done. Just East of I-75. Zoned Industrial, Retail, Commercial General, No Residential or Mixed Use, 6.84 Acres at Washington Loop. Over 150 sq. ft. Road Frontage on Duncan. Phase I reports available, survey also available. Future land use is Commercial Corridor. Marion Ave Punta Gorda 33950 Price: $399,000 Size: 2.70 AC Description: Zoned Low Intensity Industrial. 2 parcels, one approximately .25 Acres, the other 2.7. Perfect for Warehouse, Storage Facilities, Truck or Auto Terminal Hub, close to Hwy 17 and I-75 exit. Railroad meets rear of property. I-75 Interchange currently projected to cross eastern portion of property, high visibility once completed. Best Commercial Lot Values in Southwest Florida For more information contact: Jeanette Igoe Broker Igoe Realty P.A. ABR, CIPS, CPRES, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, GREEN, SFR, TRC jigoe5@aol.com 239-572-3269 www.facebook.com/IgoeRealty/ 25335 Rampart Blvd Port Charlotte 33983 Price: $995,000 Size: 4.30 AC Description: Medical Office Space. Deep Creek has several ALF communities, private and public. Major Rehabilitation Center adjacent to this site. Two major hospitals within 10 minutes of site. East border of the property is a large Housing Complex with future zoning of commercial in front. Plans available for 7 buildings, each 5,000 sq. ft. 4214 Duncan Road (Hwy. 17) Punta Gorda 33982 Price: $795,000 Size: 6.84 AC Description: 2 lots, 1 - 5.3 Acre Parcel and 1 - 1.5 acre parcel, 6.8 Acres, environmentals done. Just East of I-75. Zoned Industrial, Retail, Commercial General, No Residential or Mixed Use, 6.84 Acres at Washington Loop. Over 150 sq. ft. Road Frontage on Duncan. Phase I reports available, survey also available. Future land use is Commercial Corridor. Marion Ave Punta Gorda 33950 Price: $399,000 Size: 2.70 AC Description: Zoned Low Intensity Industrial. 2 parcels, one approximately .25 Acres, the other 2.7. Perfect for Warehouse, Storage Facilities, Truck or Auto
Hub, close to Hwy 17 and I-75 exit.
For more information contact: Jeanette Igoe Broker Igoe Realty P.A. ABR, CIPS, CPRES, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, GREEN, SFR, TRC jigoe5@aol.com 239-572-3269 www.JeanetteIgoe.com


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

Choose the right commercial professional for you

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.

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD - CPSWFL 239-675-3215 lboy@cpswfl.com www.cpswfl.com

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.


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.


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 ar-

About Southwest Florida CCIM District

eas 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.


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.


Overall, CCIM’s global network enables members

The Southwest Florida CCIM District is a chapter of the

Institute, Commercial Real Estate’s

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 at www.flccim.com/districts/southwest-district.

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



Institute was established in


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.


CCIM Past President,


Hablo Español.

SPERRY COMMERCIAL GLOBAL AFFILIATES 239-265-2628 theresa@ccim.net www.sperrycga.com

as a
LANE BOY, CCIM Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades & Desoto Counties Local expertise backed by Cushman & Wakefield’s national/global reach. Specializes in land sales and acquisitions in the SWFL area. JACK MARTIN, CCIM Lee, Collier, Charlotte & Hendry Counties MICHAEL J. FRYE, CCIM Lee, Collier & Charlotte Counties
Page 8 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® OCTOBER 2022 OCTOBER 2022 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® Page 9 COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in Southwest Florida COMME CIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in Southwest Florida COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET A look at commercial real estate trends & topics in Southwest Florida 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 . BROKERS ASSO CIATES of SWFL · ANALvsTs '=I� C 239-671-6574 • ADVISORS rn �........SSO<J,m • CONSULTANTS "'"°' ,;="11...t:. Ron@CRA.us www.CRA.us ICommercial Investment Profe�';"� , I
If you are a CCIM-SWFL Chapter member,
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participate in this section. Contact 2022 CCIM SWFL President William Wilson for details at william@ffcfc.com 2019 CCIM-SWFL President Ron Struthers said: “This ad got me listings. It works!” CARLOS ACOSTA, CCIM Lee, Charlotte, Collier & Sarasota Counties CRES of SWFL 239-823-0115 cacosta@ccim.net www.cresswfl.com Managing Principal/Qualifying Broker. Specializing in acquisitions and disposition of retail, office, industrial, land and investment sales. 5-time CoStar Powerbroker. • RETAIL OFFICE INDUSTRIAL • LAND INVESTMENT • SALES & LEASING
Puzzled over how to keep up with changes in Southwest Florida’s Business Market? We’reAllBusiness 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! The Missing Piece is in your hands... ® Did you know ... • Daily Updates • Breaking Business News •B2B Events Calendar •Commercial Real Estate Directory •Professionals who are “Going Places” ... and much more at www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com that SWFBT highlights: LAHAINA REALTY 239-281-1290 bev1314@aol.com • COMMERCIAL • INVESTMENT • RETAIL OFFICE • LAND- ACREAGE • DEVELOPMENT 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. ENN LUTHRINGER, CCIM Lee, Collier & Charlotte Counties CRE CONSULTANTS 239-994-3703 enn.luthringer@creconsultants.com www.creconsultants.com COMMERCIAL • OFFICE • INVESTMENT A partner with CRE Consultants and 15-year commercial real estate veteran, he specializes in the medical and professional office market.
KRISE COMMERCIAL GROUP 239-633-8672 randy@krisecg.com www.krisecg.com • COMMERCIAL • VACANT LAND INVESTMENT • RETAIL • INDUSTRIAL Broker/owner of Krise Commercial Group and 2016 Florida CCIM Regional Vice President and Institute Board Member. Lee, Collier & Charlotte Counties We Care About SWFL 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 Commercial Realtors www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com For more informa�on, call Karen at (239) 770-7527 ® LSI COMPANIES 239-633-1963 wrollins@lsicompanies.com www.lsicompanies.com AGRICULTURAL • RESIDENTIAL • COMMERCIAL WILLIAM H. ROLLINS, JR., CCIM, ALC Lee, Collier, Charlotte, DeSoto & Hendry Counties Senior broker; Licensed in FL, GA & AL. Recipient of the Apex award top 20 National Producer by Realtors Land Institute for 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020 THERESA BLAUCH-MITCHELL, CCIM Lee, Collier, Charlotte & Sarasota Counties SWFL
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Tesla opens new facility in Fort Myers

Gary Tasman, CEO and Principal Broker, and Shawn Stoneburner, senior director of Cushman and Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida have just leased 44,800 square feet of industrial space at the Gulfcoast Industrial Campus to Tesla for a new regional repair facility. Tesla signed a 10-year lease with SFG ISF Fort Myers Lee, owners of the campus, located on Lee Road in Fort Myers.

This is big news for Southwest Florida considering Florida is in second place for Tesla ownership in the country.

In 2021, statistics reflected 107,000 plug-in electric vehicles in the state, with 54% of that total as Tesla vehicle models, echoing the need for a facility of this type in this market. The new facility’s location off Interstate-75, about 15 minutes from the Tesla dealership on the corner of Colonial Boulevard and Colonial Center Drive, is situated conveniently

to service Tesla customers from Charlotte and Collier counties, joining Tampa and Sarasota as the only official Tesla service centers on Florida’s west coast.

Tesla joins noteworthy tenants setting roots along the Alico Road corridor, following corporate giant Amazon earlier this year. Gulfcoast Industrial Campus has a variety of highlights providing a location for the well-known brand, being professionally managed and maintained by Cushman and Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida and offering 107 paved parking spaces in the fenced in concrete paved yard, offering security and plenty of parking.

The onsite logistical accommodations aligned with Tesla’s mission to drive the transition to motor sustainability and energy-efficiency and helps to solidify the electric vehicle ecosystem to Southwest Florida.

Transformative Care for Seniors comes to Fort Myers

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin B. Anderson praised the compassion and care promised by Dedicated Senior Medical Center, a senior-focused primary care provider, during a grand opening celebration of its first medical practice in Lee County. The opening signals continued rapid expansion by ChenMed throughout Southwest Florida. The new Dedicated center on Cleveland Avenue is the first of two opening quickly to provide affordable VIP care that delivers better health to thousands of aging Fort Myers residents.

“Our commitment to underserved communities has never been stronger,” said Dr. Ernesto ManzanoMaciera, ChenMed Regional Chief Medical Officer, Miami-Dade and Lee Counties. “Today is a banner day for thousands of at-risk seniors throughout Fort Myers. They now can join legions of greater Tampa Bay seniors enjoying substantially better health because of their outstanding relationships with Dedicated doctors.”

“I’m glad that there’s a facility like this in town that seems highly knowledgeable, highly professional, with a great-looking facility and to have access to

your doctor 24/7 with a cell phone shows a level of dedication of the staff at this facility, and that the care and treatment of seniors is number one” said Mayor Kevin B. Anderson. “Another great part of this story is that this is a piece of commercial property that has been vacant for years. Now, it’s been turned into something that’s very productive for the community and that’s always good when we see economic development.”

Dedicated centers are universally located in underserved neighborhoods, where lack of access to high quality primary care and other social determinants of health, have negatively impacted longevity for many years. These barriers have shortened average life spans by as much as 20 years when compared to older adults living in nearby more affluent ZIP codes. The innovative medical practice is working to address what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. heralded more than 50 years ago: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.”

Joining Anderson was Councilmember Fred Burson at the grand opening celebration, which featured

tours of the new facility by more than 100 local seniors and community leaders.

Dedicated doctors fulfill their purpose by being accountable for helping their patients achieve better health, including responding quickly to patient calls or texts to their cell phones and honoring same-day telehealth or in-person appointments, when needed. Dedicated centers offer services that help reduce barriers to healthy living, from transportation assistance to on-site medications, to helping with social services.

“Our doctors and care teams do whatever it takes to help vulnerable seniors stay healthy and happy,” said Dr. Mary Lilko, medical director for Dedicated’s new “Boardwalk” center in Fort Myers. “We deliver affordable VIP care that includes patients getting more frequent visits with their primary physician, while also enjoying the convenience of one-stop visits where lab work and pharmacy needs are handled on-site, without the need to wait, make another appointment or go elsewhere.”

The second Dedicated Senior Medical Center in Fort Myers will open in the coming weeks.

Ken Dusseau Tesla signed a 10-year lease with SFG ISF Fort Myers Lee, owners of the campus, located on Lee Road in Fort Myers for a new regional repair facility.
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Five hot marketing trends to jump on now

Did you know Millennials represent the largest group of consumers? Baby boomers may have the largest buying power, but Gen Z’s spending power is on the rise and businesses need to meet consum ers where they’re at – online. Social media is a key focus in any comprehensive marketing plan and at the center of current marketing trends. Businesses must work harder than ever to build trust and brand loyalty online. Even if you think you’re behind, it doesn’t take a lot of time to establish an online pres ence and gain followers. Here’s what you need to know about Gen Z, the generation influencing so cial marketing trends you need to jump on now.

Short form video is dominating the Internet. TikTok and Reels remain kings of the social land scape in 2022. TikTok surpassed 1 billion users last September and continues to grow. Most everyone is using Instagram and Facebook, so if you mas ter TikTok you can gain a large following rather quickly. This can be a great way to get ahead, es pecially if you’re feeling a little behind. People like to consume content in bite-sized bits and they love humorous takes on video content. Many companies have taken advantage of this rise in short-person ality-driven videos to humanize their brands. The major draw of TikTok is that once a product goes viral on the platform, typically it sells out.

Consumers appreciate honesty and trans parency. More and more, the consumer is asking brands to be authentic and transparent in how they operate, valuing honesty and inclusivity. Humanize your brand by being open and sharing information about anything from the day-to-day life of your em

ployees to your stance on social issues. Gen Z is more likely to support brands that also chal lenge social issues.

User-generated content is highly trusted. A great way to stand out from the competition is through user-generated con tent. By highlighting how your community and fanbase uses your product, you can sell your product or service without be ing pushy or cliche. Establishing your name as a trusted resource will have people turning to you when they are looking for prod ucts or services that you sell or recommend.

distribution. Want to grow on Instagram? Use reels and stories with their engagement stickers. Want to get more out of LinkedIn? Use carousel photos in your advertising and also consider publishing your blog/digital newsletter to their platform.

Building relationships with customers, fellow businesspeople and the community in general have always been the key to successful business, and the internet and social media have made connecting easier than ever.

Fort Myers-based MY Shower Door does an ex cellent job of remaining present and relevant online. Owner Bill Daubmann started a group on Facebook in addition to his company page. The group has brought glass industry installers, suppliers and shop owners together and provided a social network they can turn to for advice, job listings and just about anything to do with glass.

Stand out by using new features on established social platforms. Using the latest and greatest tools on social platforms can give a boost to your organic


Building trust, one happy family at a time

Stuart Kaye, president, CEO and founder of Kaye Lifestyle Homes, has been involved in every aspect of the Naples real estate market since the early 1980s.

An expert in high performance home building and energy efficiencies while addressing indoor air quality and hurricane resilient homebuilding, his company has constructed more than 4,000 quality homes in its 35-year history in Southwest Florida and is one of the largest and most recognized familyowned homebuilders.

Originally from Atlanta and raised on the East Coast of Florida, the Vanderbilt University gradu ate moved to Naples as a young professional. Armed with postgraduate degrees in real estate and finance from the University of Florida, Kaye began his ca reer as a licensed real estate broker, concentrating his practice on market research, feasibility studies and consulting. Today, his company has constructed more than 4,000 quality homes in its 35-year his tory in Southwest Florida and is one of the largest and most recognized family-owned homebuilders in Naples.

With his deep understanding of Southwest Flor ida real estate trends, Kaye embarked on a 1986 re search project that naturally evolved into condomin ium development projects. From there, he developed

several multifamily communities including Emerald Woods, Emerald Greens, Hickory Bay West, Avalon at Pelican Bay and Sterling Oaks.

He is also recognized with initiating the revital ization of downtown Naples, beginning with renova tion of the former United Telephone Building, now known as the Merrill Lynch Building on 5th Avenue South.

In 1991, Kaye Homes was created. The initial business concentrated on entry level homes and first time move up markets with a small home including a one-acre homesites beginning at $59,900. A cus tom homes division was launched in 2004, crafting homes valued over $1 million and two years later, Custom Homes by Kaye entered the home renova tions market.

Stuart Kaye was named Builder of the Year in 2000 by the Florida Homebuilders Association and Kaye Homes was named Southwest Florida’s Choice “Best Builder” in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2008, Builder Magazine presented Stuart with its presti gious Pacesetter Award. He is a past president of the Collier Building Industry Association and a Life Di rector for the Florida Homebuilders Association.

Learn more at kayelifestylehomes.com or call (239) 434-5293.

We Care About SWFL

Commercial Realtors

Live streaming is making a comeback. While short-form video is king, live-streaming has been given new life thanks to the pandemic and the need for brands to connect with their audience from a distance. Think QVC for the Internet. More brands are now setting up live stream appointments with their audience and selling products directly to con sumers. While it may not garner as many views as a TikTok video, you can leverage lives to boost your profile’s engagement and grow your fanbase know ing that the people watching are likely the direct consumer looking for your product or service.

No matter what industry you own a business in or work for, it’s imperative to get your name out in front of people by meeting them where they are – online! Don’t let fear of the unknown scare you away from trying something that could bring more success to your brand. If you need help getting start ed in the digital space, check us out.

Connie Ramos-Williams is the president and chief marketing officer at CONRIC pr + marketing, a leading creative agency with offices in Fort My ers and Naples that specializes in branding, digi tal marketing, public relations, graphic design and website development. For more information, visit conricpr.com, email info@conricpr.com or call (239) 690-9840.

Innovation center opens at Immokalee High School

The opening ceremony of the Immokalee Innova tion Center at Immokalee High School was held on Sept. 1.

The new center has 39,305 square feet of air-condi tioned space. Approximately 500 of the school’s 2,062 students will have a class in the Innovation Center.

On the first floor the following academies have specialized rooms: Criminal Justice; Aviation; Fi nance; Health Sciences; Information Technology; and Engineering. The second floor has 20 traditional class rooms.

There are two teacher planning rooms and the courtyard expands lunch seating and collaboration spaces for group projects.

Attendees for the ceremony included superinten dent of Collier Public Schools Dr. Kamala Patton and School Board members Jen Mitchel, Stephanie Lucarelli, Roy Terry and Jory Westbury. Also pres ent was Principal Clara Calderon. Representatives for state Rep. Bob Rommel attended.

Calderon said extra classroom space was needed at Immokalee High because enrollment continues to grow.

“Our graduation rate was 86% now we’re at 90% and we’re continuing to work very hard to make sure our students are prepared to continue a post-secondary education,” she said.


For more local business news and a calendar of local business events, please visit our website
OCTOBER 2022 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® Page 11
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
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(239) 770-7527 ® Follow us on:

Florida Home Builders Association honors Collier leaders

Three leading members of the Collier Building Industry Association — Matt Sellick, Ryan Benson and Robyn Bonaquist — were honored by the Florida Home Builders Association during its premier trade event, Summer Conference/Southeast Building Conference 2022, held recently in Kissimmee.

Matt Sellick, president of Stock Development and current Collier Building Industry Association president, was recognized by FHBA with the Paul Joyal Pinnacle Builder Award.

The Paul Joyal Pinnacle Builder of the Year Award is presented annually to a FHBA member for doing a high percentage of business with FHBA members. The recipient is selected by FHBA’s Associate Members/ Trades Council, announced during SEBC and presented during FHBA’s Fall Leadership Conference.

According to CBIA executive officer Amelia Vasquez, Sellick and his colleagues provide exceptional volunteerism on behalf of the home building industry and community and continually champion CBIA member collaboration for construction projects in Collier County.

Sellick was chosen because Stock Development works with many CBIA members to build homes in Southwest Florida. With an average of 325 completed residences on an annual basis, clients will always find numerous CBIA members working together on Stock Development Homes, from surveyors and excavators to architects and mechanical engineers during the ini-

tial phase and sub-contractor partners including masonry, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, drywall, carpentry and painting on the structural aspects to interior designers and landscape architects in the final phase.

Benson, principal at A. Vernon Allen Builders, was nominated to serve as secretary of the FHBA Board of Directors. Benson has served as chair of the CBIA Government Affairs Council, vice-chair of the CBIA City of Naples Government Affairs Council, CBIA Executive Committee, CBIA Finance Committee, and CBIA President in 2018 and 2019. On the state level, Benson has served as Area VI Vice President for FHBA and chair of the FHBA Government Affairs Committee. He will be installed at the FHBA October fall conference in Orlando.

“Ryan Benson is that one-in-a-million leader,” Vasquez said. “Through his visionary approach to leadership, Ryan has demonstrated stamina and focus, and

developed a culture of synergy among our leadership team at CBIA. It will be an honor to have him represented on the leadership team at FHBA.”

Bonaquist, president and CEO of B-Squared Advertising, was selected to become the Area VI associate vice president for a two-year term representing Charlotte, Collier, Lee and Sarasota–Manatee builder associations at the state level.

An associate member of CBIA since 2006, Bonaquist has provided continual leadership on the executive committee and board of directors at CBIA, chair of its sales and marketing council, and chair and committee member of its CBIA Sand Dollar Awards annual event.

Bonaquist provides numerous volunteer hours assisting CBIA’s branding and marketing efforts; she currently serves on the CBIA board of directors. Bonaquist has received recognition at FHBA as the Florida “Associate of the Year” and “Woman of Distinction” for her continued leadership at the state level.

According to Vasquez, “Robyn Bonaquist has been an associate member of CBIA involved in all aspects of our mission over the past 16 years. She has stepped up when asked as a leader and team player based on CBIA needs, always willing to share her professional expertise, support, and time. She will represent the southwest builder association members with the same exceptional expertise and enthusiasm she has done for CBIA.”

Tech Startup Challenge coming to Babcock Ranch

Budding entrepreneurs will be competing this November at Babcock Ranch to see whose tech startup idea merits investment to get their product to the market.

TechXpedition will bring together 60 innovators to pitch ideas and then form teams to further develop the ideas the competitors themselves determine have the greatest potential. With guidance from an impressive team of volunteer mentors and the opportunity to iterate their concepts in Babcock High School’s state-of-the-art Make Tank, the teams will create product prototypes and develop comprehensive business plans under a tight deadline.

“Babcock Ranch’s focus on sustainability, combined with an innovation mindset, creates a ‘living laboratory’ environment for piloting exciting new technologies,” said Lucienne Pears, vice president of business and economic development for Babcock Ranch. “When we were approached with the idea of creating a tech startup challenge to foster innovation at its earliest stages, we realized this type

of event was a perfect fit for our community.”

The 54-hour event is being organized and presented by MoAloo Ventures, a venture capital firm led by Babcock Resident Priya Ahluwalia.

“My husband and I have participated as mentors in numerous startup challenge weekends all over the country and have seen how effective they are in helping entrepreneurs take their startup up ideas from concept to the marketplace in a very short period of time,” Ahluwalia said. “The startup challenge weekend is really just the beginning for us. We’re already looking toward creating an incubator so that new businesses that come to life here at Babcock Ranch stay here and help grow our community.”

The TechXpedition Babcock Ranch Startup Challenge kicks off on Friday, Nov. 4, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 6. After the initial 60 ideas are winnowed down, participants will form teams around the top ideas to develop and test prototypes and build business plans. The startup challenge

culminates with five-minute presentations to the judges who will award $10,000 worth of investments in a preseed round to help launch the winning idea into a successful business.

Applications will be accepted until Sept. 30. There’s no charge to apply, and the competition is open to Innovators of all ages who have ideas for launching a new business that leverages technology to deliver products and services in new ways. Examples of businesses based on a tech idea: Discord (Social Media Tech); Tempus (Health-Tech); Stripe (Fin-Tech); AEye (Artificial Intelligence); Duolingo (Ed-Tech).

Once the application period closes the 60 applicants invited to advance to the competition will receive a link to confirm their participation and pay a registration fee of $75 (discount rate of $25 for student competitors), which will help pay for meals that will be provided throughout the weekend.

The application is available online at www.babcockranchforbusiness. com/TechXpedition.

increased by 21,945 jobs in August. Both the Fort Myers area and Naples area saw a 5% increase in private sector unemployment. In Lee County, the unemployment rate sits even with the state average of 2.7%, while the rate for Collier County is a hair higher at 2.8%.

“You want to strive to have the lowest unemployment possible. People are working and the good news about our low unemployment right now is there’s more people working or more jobs in the economy,” Eagle said.

“So while our unemployment rate is the same as it was pre-pandemic, we’re actually healthier because there are more jobs and there are more people working. That’s a great thing. But that is not going to be a contributing factor to inflation. That’s going to help people find a stable market wage rate. It’s the money that’s infused in the economy that isn’t tied to job creation, and typical free market principles that are going to cause inflation.”


Benson BonaquistSellick
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D3 Glass finalist for GrowFL Companies to Watch

D3 Glass has been named among the first round of the 12th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Finalists. The award honors impressive second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida.

“What an honor to be recognized as a GrowFL finalist,” said Bill Daubmann, president and founder of Fort Myers-based MY Shower Door/D3 Glass. “We have seen continuous growth even during challenging times and I believe it is due to our commitment to our customers and our community, our dedicated team, and our ability to adjust and innovate. We started as a shower door show room and have grown into custom glass manufacturing and installation services across the country. I couldn’t be prouder of our team and their dedication to our clients and the community. Glass magazine just ranked us at #38 of the Top 50 Glaziers in the USA and we are number 1 in the shower door niche. D3 Glass is our primary glass supplier.”

The company started in 2003 as a small showroom and assembly operation in Naples, later delving into manufacturing by founding D3 Glass in 2013.

D3 Glass continues its growth in glass fabrication and tempering, allowing the company to manufacture its own glass and expand the company brand over the past several years. The company now makes and installs frameless shower doors for nine Florida MY Shower Door locations as well as other glass shops in Florida, other products include bulletproof glass, decorative glass, wine closets, glass staircases, office partitions and other glass products.

Together, the 12th Annual GrowFL Florida Com-

panies to Watch finalists represent nearly 2,000 jobs and generate over $430 million in revenue. These companies anticipate a growth of 40% in revenue and 18% in employment by the end of 2022.

The finalists were selected from close to 300 nominations across the state and are now in the running to be named a GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honoree. If selected as an Honoree, these second-stage companies will join the 550 second-stage companies across the state recognized since 2011. In 2013, MY Shower Door was an honoree for this same award.

“This group of business owners represents the remarkable second-stage businesses operating across the state of Florida,” said Jennifer Taylor, president and CEO of GrowFL. “They demonstrate the agility, perseverance and innovation needed to take their business to the next level. GrowFL is proud to support Florida’s second-stage entrepreneurs and help to play a part in recognizing their success. We look forward to celebrating these innovative companies as they continue to grow and have a significant impact on Florida’s economy.”

To qualify for the award, companies must have between six and 150 employees and revenue between $750,000 and $100 million in 2021. Companies to Watch was developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation as a way to recognize and honor secondstage companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace with innovative strategies and processes.

Honorees for this year’s award will be announced in October. The 12th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch awards celebration will take place on Feb. 23 at Hard Rock Live, Universal City Walk, Orlando.


Biggest entrepreneurial struggle is hiring

As an entrepreneur in the human resource arena, hiring has been the biggest struggle for my clients. There are three top landmines for negligent hiring:

1. Reactive vs. Proactive Hiring: Too often, we wait until there is a current need or a problem arises and hire to fill a seat versus developing a strategic plan to secure top talent and be proactive. How you ask? One tip is to network with peers in your industry and build those relationships, so when you are ready to hire, you have a pool of top talent.

2. Untrained Managers Interviewing: Most managers are not trained in how to interview, especially in asking “compliant” questions. For example, it is not ok to ask a candidate if they are married, have children or how old they are… Discrimination with a capital “D!” In addition, it is important to remember the interview is a two-way street. Be respectful of the candidate’s time and give undivided attention. If they are not shown you care before they are hired, the candidates will exit quick.

3. Poorly Defined Job Descriptions: A job posting versus a job description are two different objectives. A job posting is to pique the candidate’s attention, an overview of the position’s basic job duties, qualifications and salary/benefits. A job de-

scription is to set the foundation, which defines the role’s expectations, measuring performance. Big difference.

Outsourcing HR for Hiring will not only reduce administrative time for the busy entrepreneur, allowing them to focus on what they do best, but will help keep the entrepreneur in compliance with employment laws and out of trouble. Do you have hiring issues? Call HR by Karen today for hiring solutions.

Karen Shepherd, MSHR, SHRMCP is the Owner of HR by Karen and President of HR Collier. If you are seeking tailored HR Solutions based on your company’s strategic goals and objectives, Shepherd offers a unique quality experience by providing expert onsite, remote and interim Human Resource Services, Employment Handbooks, Recruitment, Training and Presentations. Contact (239) 776-5919 or Karen@HRbyKaren. com. Learn more at www.hrbykaren.com.

Patents on tomatoes, baggage scans issued

Inventors and innovative companies in Southwest Florida continue to craft new ideas, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a number of patents to applicants in the region.

Estero inventor William Glass, more than six years after first applying, secured a patent on Aug. 23 for an energy recovery system for heated water. The freestanding system as conceived by Glass enables sanitary recovery of thermal energy with a heat transfer from hot waste effluent to incoming water. The source of the effluent may be conventional commercial warewashing, clothes washing equipment, pasteurization and other industrial processes.

Arthrex, meanwhile, grew its number of patents to 551 with a new one for a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy plate. The medical device is configured to accommodate flexible strands or loops attached to tissue to be attached to bone. The TPLO plate has one or more suture eyelets, to allow a surgeon to pass a flexible strand through the eyelets and attach or reattach tissue to the plate at the anatomical location, and to improve the rotational stability of the joint or bone. James Dunlop of Cape Coral is recognized as first inventor on the patent application.

Tersus Life Sciences in Bonita Springs won a patent for compositions and methods comprising C16:1N7-palmitoleate. The new product, according to an abstract, can “safely and effectively prevent or mitigate manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease and the accumulation of cholesterol or lipid deposits in the blood vessels of a subject.”

Fort Myers inventor James Peter Morrissette also received a patent on a creation method of a dietary supplement, including creating a composition of kava and GPC that can be created in liquid or solid form. Jeffrey Green is listed as the inventor.

On the botanical front, James Franz of Cape Coral was issued a patent for a tomato line, FDR9Q14-0279, for Seminis Vegetable Seeds. The invention patent is for the methods for producing the tomato by crossing other plants, and relates as well to seeds, plant parts and tissue cultures.

Lucida in Naples now holds a patent on an adjustable belt loop fastening device, which will allow a wearer to minimize the force applied by a belt to the abdominal region. The patent abstract said that could be especially useful to those with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome or colitis. The first inventor is listed as Joshua Wexelbaum of Naples.

And Mark Fry of Marco Island was issued a patent assigned to the Department of Homeland Security for his system for a robotic system with scanning alarms. The system includes a transport bin configured to carry baggage item with spatial reference frame marking detectable by electromagnetic scan and by machine vision. The system includes a robotic arm apparatus at an inspection area, and includes a switched path baggage conveyor that is responsive to electromagnetic scan detection of an object-of-interest within the baggage item, and which then conveys the transport bin to the inspection area.

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Lee business climate thrives with help from Horizon Foundation

Support from Lee County’s private sector ensures a thriving business climate for Lee County. With all the work the Horizon Foundation and our investors do to support economic growth in Lee County, it is important for us to have a way to gauge the current business climate to better understand what local business executives’ needs are and how the Horizon Foundation’s work can support that.

Our partners at the Horizon Council and Florida Gulf Coast University have been tracking the Executive Business Climate Index for Lee County since 2012.The index takes on a value between 0 and 100, with 0 meaning the economy is substantially worse and 100 indicating the economy is substantially better.

The climate index comes from information gathered by The Regional Economic Research Institute’s Lee County Executive Business Climate Survey Report. This is a quarterly survey with the goal of capturing the assessment of and expectations for the local economy, the workforce and industry of business owners in Lee County. The survey also features a set of special topic questions that change each month. The goal of these questions is to learn more about business owner perspectives on more current events. Special topic questions in the latest survey focused on the effects of rising prices on businesses.

The most recent report for the second quarter of 2022 has just been released, and 58% of the surveyed executives indicated economic conditions in Lee County were better compared to a year ago. The index did slip in the second quarter of 2022, down just 3.6 points to 64.0.

One concern comes from business owners’ inability to find a qualified workforce. Lee County Economic Development recently announced that through Ameri-

can Rescue Plan Funds Lee County is partnering with local institutions to fund programs that address the gap in qualified candidates.

For more business news, visit www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com

tiatives addressing the housing cost concerns for the local workforce, including DevelopLee, an Attainable Housing Study. This was another point of concern in the business climate survey and is an issue the foundation is committed to researching and helping to find solutions for.

Both FGCU and Florida Southwestern State College are already

seeing a great response from interested candidates. Additionally, many of our investors are offering microcredentialing or digital badge courses and guaranteeing interviews upon completion, thereby closing the gap on skilled workers and employment opportunities in our region.

While hiring is a major concern, inflation remains the No. 1 challenge for business owners, which is affecting all aspects of their operating costs. The Council for Community and Economic Research released the quarter over quarter price changes for Lee County, which showed that in categories such as services, consumer goods and produce prices have seen an average increase of 7.2% from Quarter 1 to Quarter 2 of 2022.

The quarter-over-quarter price changes for Lee County also showed a 26.2% quarter-over-quarter increase for housing costs for the second quarter of 2022. The Horizon Foundation is committed to research ini-


AngeLink awards 16 local female changemakers

AngeLink, the world’s first crowdfunding platform powered by women and built for all, hosted the first annual ‘Angels Among Us’ award ceremony in Talis Park. At the event, AngeLink CEO and Founder Gerry Poirier honored 16 special guests by acknowledging each woman’s unique and powerful contribution to her community and presenting them with the ‘Angels Among Us’ award.

Gerry Poirier shared her vision for the night.

“AngeLink exists to connect, empower and amplify our voices as women,” Poirier said. “We’re hosting this event to take a moment to honor the hardworking women–unsung heroes, unsung angels–who are making a powerful difference in their communities. It is their commitment, initiatives and tireless effort that will transform our state and nation.”

Among the ‘Angels Among Us’ award recipients are:

• Darya Dominguez, representative from Against All Odds, an organization that empowers and equips teen parents to be independent, thriving members of society.

• Tabitha Correa, CEO of Females R Us, runs a women’s networking group with a mission to give back to

those in need.

• Tasheeika Perry, from Crowning Daughters for Success, an organization that inspires young girls and women with teachings about healthy self-esteem, character and faith.

This event comes at an exciting time for AngeLink, a free crowdfunding platform that now has thousands of users. The company’s mission is to Connect the World, Empower Women, and Amplify our Voices, which they primarily do through their charitable arm, the AngeLink Community Foundation. The crowdfunding platform was built by a 95% female tech team and has a continually expanding community following of more than 35,000 individuals.

Organizers say what sets AngeLink apart from other crowdfunding platforms is its security, female-focus, and in-app gamification. With events like this one, the company hopes to begin building the world’s largest community to support and empower women.

Learn more at angelink.com or follow @AngeLink_ Inc on Twitter and @AngeLinkOfficial on Instagram.

The Horizon Foundation helps fund initiatives that contribute to the long-term economic development and vitality of Lee County, like funding the marketing efforts of the Economic Development Office. The EDO helps existing businesses grow their brands, encourages entrepreneurship and attracts new businesses that diversify and strengthen our economy.

Though our current business index is not ideal, there are ways that the Horizon Foundation has and will continue to assist to raise that climate perception and we believe these efforts will have a positive impact for the next quarter. We will also continue to look for opportunities where the Foundation and our investors can provide further support. The Horizon Foundation is committed to continued economic growth for all businesses in Lee County.

John Talmage is the Director of Economic Development for Lee County. Call (239) 338-3161. Christopher Spiro is president at the Horizon Foundation, a charitable organization that provides a funding vehicle for businesses to invest in Lee County’s long-term economic development and vitality. Visit HorizonCouncilFoundation.com or call (239) 533-6800.


At the ribbon cutting, airport CEO James W. Parish welcomed and introduced guests, followed by remarks from the FDOT District One Secretary L.K. Nandam, with closing remarks from Airport Authority Chair Robert Hancik.

A Rosati’s Pizza franchise is slated to open at the new PGD Air Center in Spring 2023. In addition to Rosati’s national menu, the business is planning to offer breakfast, flight catering and event catering. The runway-front restaurant will be open to the public with outstanding aircraft views.

The following seven aviation-related business occupy the office suites at the PGD Air Center: Paragon Flight Training Co.; Jet Access Flight Training; Southwind Aviation Aircraft Sales & Brokerage; Southwest Aero Tech; Sarasota Helicopter Tours & Flight Training; Harborside Aviation; and LPC Aviation.

The PGD Air Center is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is available for pre-arranged after hours FBO services.

Visit www.PGDAirCenter.com or call (941) 639-4119.

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FutureMakers releases 2022 Workforce Employer Survey Report

FutureMakers Coalitions’ goal is to transform Southwest Florida’s workforce by increasing the percentage of working age adults (25- to 64-yearolds) that hold post-high school credentials to 55% by 2025.

FutureMakers Coalition conducts the Work force Employer Survey annually and uses the data to inform its Southwest Florida network, specifi cally education partners, about employer needs and opportunities to better work together to en sure the desired qualified workforce is available to the region’s employers.

A total of 110 organizations and businesses re sponded to the survey. Collier and Lee counties had the highest concentration (42% and 41%) of the responding businesses operating among the five Southwest Florida counties.

Respondents to the 2022 Survey represent a broader mix of industry segments compared to the 2021 survey. Increased representation was seen from the healthcare or social services/assis tance (23%), manufacturing (combined research and other, 9%), government (8%), and construc tion/the trades (7%) segments. About 19% of the responding organizations replied they are in edu cation, which includes regional universities and colleges, specialized academies and childcare/ early learning organizations. Organizations in the retail trade (2%) and accommodation/hospitality/ food services (4%) segments, which are among the largest employers in Southwest Florida, may still be underrepresented in the 2022 survey since distributing surveys to the many individual busi nesses in these segments is challenging.

The largest proportion of the responding orga nizations (24%) reported having more than 500 employees, which represents a significant shift

from the 2021 survey results. Last year, organi zations with fewer than five employees had the highest representation.

“This information gathered from the survey is shared directly with community leaders in hopes of identifying opportunities to inform priorities and work together to address workforce-related challenges employers face,” said Tessa LeSage, FutureMakers director, Collaboratory, which is serving as the backbone organization for Future Makers Coalition. “We are thrilled more diverse employers are taking the time to complete the survey and hope this trend will increase in the fu ture.”

Highlights of the report include:

• Among the 110 organizations that responded to the 2022 Workforce Employer Survey, approxi mately 57% were small employers (100 employ ees or less) and 42% were large employers (more than 100 employees).

• A combined 90% of the surveyed organiza tions (up from 79% in 2021) reported that it is “very likely” or “likely” that recruiting and hir ing new, qualified employees will be a priority in 2022.

• 48% of the organizations indicated they would pay a higher starting salary to potential em ployees who have a post-high school credential (degree, certificate, or industry-recognized certi fication). 37% percent stated the starting salary would depend on the specific job requirements and candidate, while only 15% of the organiza tions stated they would not pay a higher starting salary to potential employees who have a posthigh school credential.

• 93% of the organizations reported that, in ad dition to an employee’s salary, the organization

offers additional employee benefits. Among all organizations that offer employee benefits in addi tion to a salary, the most offered benefits included health benefits (97%), paid vacation (86%), and personal time off (81%). Compared to last year’s survey results, the proportion of organizations of fering housing cost assistance increased from 3% in 2021 to 22% in 2022 and remote working op tions increased from 27% in 2021 to 42% in 2022. Over half of the organizations (51%) indicated financial assistance for housing would be “very helpful” toward assisting their organizations in recruiting, hiring or retaining qualified employ ees. Childcare services, both from the public sec tor (34%) and the private sector (30%), were also ranked “very helpful” by about one-third of the organizations.

• 65% of the organizations reported they part ner or collaborate with one or more of Southwest Florida’s educational institutions to assist in find ing, recruiting and/or training qualified employ ees. A greater proportion of large organizations, 56%, reported partnerships or collaborations compared to 42% of small organizations. Among both large and small organizations, offering stu dent internships/preceptorships/co-ops (95%) and participating in recruiting activities (84%) were the most often reported partnerships or collabora tions.

“Working together through FutureMakers Co alition aligns all participants around common goals and interests,” said Michael Wukitsch, chief people officer with Lee Heath, a FutureMakers partner. “Employer and education partnerships are essential in ensuring that our community thrives.”

The full report is available at www.futuremak erscoalition.com/reports.

She noted, “The first incentive I’m going to talk about is our Arts Incentive Program.” This $250,000 grant sup ports a capital investment in the cultural arts and can be used towards purchasing inventory, equipment or re-financing debt.

The second incentive program is called Cape Collaborate.

Woodberry explained, “It’s our in vestment in the future. It’s for small businesses that we feel have some growth opportunities, that will provide some jobs, give that foundation for those businesses to grow.

“I’ve only been here for two months but I know, there’s a lot of need for small businesses here.”

Qualified businesses have five to 50 employees, including businesses such as professional positions, health care or light manufacturing - offering both long-term and good income potential.

The third incentive, for companies with 10 or less employees, for some

very specific types of industries, offers a 0-interest, 5-year forgivable loan for $5000 to $50,000.

The fourth pro gram incentivizes companies to provide infrastructure sup porting foundational development such as road improvements, water, sewer and telecommunications systems. The city supports this development by support ing the business itself, requiring a mini mum capital investment of $500,000. The grant is for $50,000-$250,000.

The final grant program, designed to attract larger-scale private investment for mixed-use development, encourages commercial development while creat ing walkable communities. A $10-mil lion minimum investment is required.

Details will follow in the next sev eral months. Woodberry noted, “These are just some of the tools we are looking at in the toolbox that we put together and that we are working on.”

Don’t forget to post your in-person and virtual events on our B2B events calendar at www.swfloridabusinesstoday.com/calendar

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When Edison National Bank opened its doors in 1997, we commemorated the occasion by planting a Royal Palm. Today, that tree is a testament to 25 years of service.

We’re standing strong and continue to plant the seeds of trust and loyalty. As the oldest locally owned and chartered community bank in Lee County, our roots go deep in the community, and we remain unwavering in our commitment to your banking needs.

Page 16 Southwest Florida BUSINESS TODAY ® OCTOBER 2022 Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC | Bank of the Islands is an office of Edison National Bank. To learn more about our customer services and convenient locations, please visit EdisonNationalBank.com or call 239.466.1800.
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