David Ellis joins Heatherwood Construction Company

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2019) – David Ellis has been named director of business development for Heatherwood Construction Company, the Bonita Springs-based commercial construction company.

            A 30-year veteran of the construction industry, Ellis served six years as executive vice president of the Collier Building Industry Association before relocating to the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association in 2005. Most recently, Ellis was director of business development for CORE Construction in Sarasota.

            A Certified Association Executive and graduate of Leadership Florida, Leadership Collier, and Leadership Jacksonville, Ellis was named Executive Officer of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders in 2003. Ellis has led efforts to address affordable housing and homelessness in the communities in which he has served.

            “It’s great to be back in Southwest Florida, working with Walter Crawford and the great team at Heatherwood Construction,” said Ellis.

            Heatherwood Construction Company is a full-service commercial general contractor serving Southwest Florida since 1980, with clients from Bradenton to Marco Island. Heatherwood provides complete construction services including site search and selection, feasibility analysis, site development, value engineering, vertical construction, LEED certification and more. For more information, visit www.HeatherwoodConstruction.com or call 239-949-6855.

– 30 –

Contact:  Tina Matte, Gravina Smith Matte & Arnold Marketing and Public Relations, tina@gsma.pro, 239-275-5758

Bonita Bay Club to Host Two Major Tennis Events Within Two Weeks

          Outstanding Collegiate Players and Area Pros to be Showcased

Bonita Springs, October 11, 2019 – From the speed and power of outstanding local and national college players to the more experienced skills and showmanship of area pros, the Bonita Bay Club will soon showcase an impressive variety of high-quality tennis via two major tournaments in a span of two weeks.

The nearby Florida Gulf Coast University men’s and women’s tennis teams, captained by C.J. Weber and Courtney Vernon, respectively, will take on counterparts from the universities of Memphis, Louisville, Minnesota and Connecticut plus Purdue University in the FineMark FGCU Collegiate Open from November 1 to 3. Then, more than 50 outstanding pros and other recreational players will compete in the 39th annual Naples-Fort Myers Challenge, one of the longest-running events of its kind, on November 16.

Paula Scheb, a USPTA Master Professional and director of sports at Bonita Bay Club, attests the events pose both specific and broad appeal. “The FGCU teams both have strong fan bases and members of the clubs where the pros work and teach are loyal and passionate followers of them. Further, this is a dream for all tennis fans to see such a variety of playing styles, the immense talents of all of the schools during three days and then the pros ‘practicing what they preach’.”

The format for the Collegiate Open will be round-robin play with eight singles and four doubles positions per team with results posing national ranking implications for the players.

Bonita Bay Club members have donated approximately $90,000 to scholarships for both of the FGCU teams over the years; an on-campus court is named for the club.

Launched in 1981 by Ted Norris, the first director of tennis at the Naples Bath and Tennis Club, the Challenge has fulfilled its original mission of connecting with Collier and Lee county players. The Bonita Bay Club is an ideal setting as it’s centrally located within the entire region for many pros and fans.

Further, with the club having 18 Har-Tru courts, 14 separate matches encompassing men’s and women’s singles and doubles from 35 to 60 age plus open categories will begin at 3:30 p.m. plus a delayed start for the men’s 45 doubles on the championship court that will pit Adam Lane, Bonita Bay Club assistant director of sports and captain of the Fort Myers team, and Mike Curran, director of tennis and fitness at Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club who has been part of many winning doubles teams in the Challenge series over the years, against the duo of Jerome Moenter, who has excelled in several world senior tournaments, and Bryan Twente. 

The winners of each match nets one point for their team. Since 2013, Naples, captained by Jose Pastrello, director of sports at Quail Creek Country Club, has a three to two edge in the series over Fort Myers.

“Some fans will focus on one match while others will stroll around and catch some or a little of all of them,” enthused Scheb. “It’s a concentrated extravaganza of high-quality play for fans and a resumption of friendly yet competitive rivalries for the pros who relish playing in it and pursuing ‘bragging rights’ for their team for the next year!”

Bonita Bay Club will also host the FineMark Women’s Pro Tennis Championships,  the only $100,000 Women’s U.S. Tennis Association Pro Circuit Tournament in Florida, from May 11 through 17, 2020, with rising stars also vying for ATP and WTA points with the winner receiving a wild card entry to the French Open.

Proceeds from the three events will benefit programs at the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Single-day tickets at $15 and a three-day ticket at $30 for the Collegiate Open are on sale at bbcfgcuopen.net and $15 tickets for the Challenge are on sale at nfmchallenge.com. Skybox tickets for $75 are also available. Tickets for the pro event are available at bbcusta.net. For more information on all tournaments, call the Bonita Bay Club tennis shop at 239-495-3573. 

Bonita Bay Club recently opened up a limited number of golf memberships for candidates residing outside of Bonita Bay. Members enjoy three Arthur Hills-designed courses within the 2,400-acre Bonita Bay community along with two Tom Fazio courses spanning more than 1,000 acres of preserved cypress wetlands and pine flats with no residential development at the nearby Bonita Bay Club Naples. The club’s newly designed Sports Center offers 18 Har-Tru tennis courts and one of the region’s most active tennis programs, five new pickleball courts, and a zero-entry resort-style pool. Nearby, the 60,000-square-foot Lifestyle Center features a state-of-the-art fitness center, spa and salon. Bonita Bay Club has been recognized with exclusive designations, including the Distinguished Club and Platinum Club, and has been named among America’s Healthiest Clubs. For more information, visit bonitabayclub.net or call the membership office at 239-949-5061.

Contact: Becky Salaun, Bonita Bay Club, 239-949-5023, BeckyS@BonitaBayClub.net

Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart honored as ENPY’s finalist

Recognized for work on local United Way board

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2019) – Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart’s tireless efforts on the board for the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties earned the Lee County Tax Collector distinction as a finalist for nonprofit board member of the year at the 3rd annual Nonprofit Performance Yearly Awards (ENPYs).

Hart was honored for his many years of service for the United Way, including twice serving as chair for the organization’s annual campaign, which now benefits 96 partner agencies each year. Under his leadership in 2006 and again as one of six co-chairs in 2016-17, the two campaigns generated over $16 million.

The ENPYs, presented by the Cape Coral Community Foundation, recognize the outstanding work of individuals and organizations in the nonprofit world dedicated to improving the quality of life in their various communities. Hart was recognized, along with 32 other individuals in 11 categories, at the ENPY Awards Luncheon Oct. 10 at Crowne Plaza Bell Tower in Fort Myers.

As a board member, Hart continues to be a strong voice for the agency, which reaches thousands each year through its many service programs in each of the Southwest Florida counties.

“I am proud to be part of an organization which continues to benefit communities and those in need in remarkable and extraordinary ways,” Hart said. “There is no greater reward than helping others – and it is something I have been committed to my entire life.”

Earlier this year, the Lee County Tax Collector’s office was honored by United Way of Florida with the 2018-19 Public Sector Giving Award for leading local contributions for the recent United Way campaign. The LCTC’s average per capita contributions was $160.70 to lead the state and was part of a record $10.4 million raised through the local campaign.

Hart was elected Lee County Tax Collector in 2012 after being appointed to the position by Gov. Rick Scott. He served as assistant tax collector for 11 years following a 22-year law enforcement career highlighted by Hart becoming the first African American police chief for the City of Fort Myers.

Visit leetc.com to see Hart’s full bio.

About Lee County Tax Collector

The Lee County Tax Collector (LCTC) exists to serve the citizens of Lee County. The office takes pride in organizational excellence and offering exemplary customer service and operates by the credo of “We’ve got your back.” The LCTC operates leetc.com, the official interactive website of the tax collector, which allows county residents to quickly and easily take care of motor vehicle and vessel registration, pay property taxes, make appointments for concealed weapon permits and more. The agency operates six service centers open daily throughout the county to provide efficient, convenient services. The LCTC works to provide innovative and quality service that supports the growth and sustainability of the community. For more information, visit leetc.com or follow Lee County Tax Collector on social media.