New move-in ready homes in two sought-after Lehigh Acres communities

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. (June 12, 2019) ­­­– Convenience and value can all be found at Town Lakes and Marblebrook, two premier Express Homes communities by D.R. Horton Southwest Florida in Lehigh Acres. Homebuyers can choose from an array of quick move-in homes in these two centrally located gated communities.

Town Lakes offers six distinctive floor plans featuring scenic preserve and lake views with prices starting in the high-$100s. Living spaces range from 1,478 to 2,432 square feet, and homes feature three to four bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage.

Several homes in Town Lakes are available for move-in including the 1,756-square-foot Eastham, featuring three bedrooms and two baths.  The owner’s suite includes a spacious walk-in closet, linen closet and a private bath with a double-sink vanity. An inviting great room and dining area overlook a sun-splashed lanai, perfect for family gatherings. A cozy breakfast nook sits adjacent to the kitchen with windows angled in three different directions to welcome the morning sunlight.

A short drive away from Town Lakes, Marblebrook boasts an alluring lineup of twin villas and single-family homes attractively priced starting from the mid-$100s.  A selection of 1,342-square-foot Paisley twin villas are complete and ready for move-in starting at $150,000.  The smartly designed Paisley twin villa features and open-concept design with tile flooring in the main living areas.  A variety of single-family homes are available for quick move-in starting from the high-$100s.

Marblebrook features a sparkling pool, fitness center, playground and covered gathering area. The community also includes six other floor plans.

Both picturesque communities are in the heart of Lehigh Acres near schools, parks, shopping, restaurants and the downtown area. Interstate 75 and the Southwest Florida International Airport are just a short drive away.

To see just how enticing these opportunities are, call 239-560-4461, or email SWFLonline@drhorton.com.

Founded in 1978 in Fort Worth, Texas, D.R. Horton has operations in 84 markets in 29 states in the East, Midwest, Southeast, South Central, Southwest and West regions of the United States. D.R. Horton has been the largest builder in the United States by volume since 2002. For 40 years, D.R. Horton has consistently delivered top-quality new homes to homebuyers across the nation. The livable floor plans, energy-efficient features, and robust new home warranty demonstrate our commitment to excellence in construction. D.R. Horton exhibits leadership in residential development through design innovation, superior craftsmanship, and responsiveness to the needs of its customers. The simple vision that began 40 years ago represents years of value and security when you choose America’s Builder to make your dreams come true. For more information, visit our website at www.drhorton.com/swfla. Home and community information including pricing, included features, terms, availability, and amenities are subject to change and prior sale at any time without notice or obligation. Square footage dimensions are approximate. D.R. Horton and Express Homes are equal housing opportunity builders. Florida Registered Building Contractor License # CBC1258802

Lee County Tax Collector wins Florida Sterling Council Award

Successful workforce initiative leads to statewide recognition

FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 12, 2019) – The Lee County Tax Collector’s Office is dedicated to innovation. Its creative approach to employee training and mentoring led the Florida Sterling Council to recognize Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart and his team with the Sterling Best Practice Award for Workforce Development and Retention. Hart accepted the award on May 31 during the 2019 Governor’s Sterling Award Banquet at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes.

“We have a staff of people who are second to none, and it’s my obligation to do right by them,” Hart said. “I’m thrilled to receive this honor, which serves as confirmation that we’re moving in the right direction.”

The Tax Collector’s Office’s increased its rate of retention for new hires who stayed past six months from 77.8% in fiscal year 2017 to 92% in fiscal year 2018. That caught the eye of the Sterling Council, which identifies high performing role-model organizations that demonstrate superior management approaches and results.

Hart and his team took a systematic approach to boosting its rate, establishing the “Inside Look” program, which gives applicants a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the job they’re seeking. It encompasses job shadowing, interaction between applicants and Tax Collector’s Office team members, and exposure to Tax Collector’s Office culture.

The organization also enhanced its onboarding program, developed a new training curriculum and established a new peer mentoring program. The training helped increase employee satisfaction from 91.2% in fiscal year 2015 to 96.76% in fiscal year 2019.

“We have the best and brightest working for us,” Hart said. “We want to make sure we keep them and keep adding to the ranks with more amazing talent. We’ll continue to find ways to accomplish that.”

See what the team at the Tax Collector’s Office is doing to make taking care of business easier for everyone in Lee County at leetc.com.

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 seven service centers 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.

GrowFL Announces 9th Annual Florida Companies to Watch Finalists

ITVantage, Inc. Among Second-Stage Businesses

 Competing to Earn Prestigious Honor

(Fort Myers, FL) ITVantage was among the first round ofthe 2019 Florida Companies to Watch finalists recently announced by GrowFL.  The awards event – now in its ninth year – honors 50 select second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and broadening new industries throughout Florida. Chosen from 224 growing second-stage participants from throughout, Florida, this year’s applicants had a total revenue of $596 million and over 3,000 employees.

“Being in the Second-Stage for a Florida based technology company is a remarkable journey for ITVantage, and I believe we are just getting started,” said Jeremy Stakely, Founder and CEO, ITVantage. “This GrowFL acknowledgement is the result of our talented employees, and their commitment to long-term client success. We are very proud and honored to be selected amongst the list of enterprising co-finalist for the 2019 Florida Companies to Watch.”

The Florida Companies to Watch program consists of two rounds of selections.  Finalists now advance to the second round, where they will be further evaluated based on their performance in the marketplace, innovative products, services or processes, philanthropy and empowered employees. 

“We applaud these first-round finalists who have shown how they stand out in their regions as innovative business leaders, going to the next level to grow their companies.   They are true rock stars,” says Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL Executive Director.

The Finalists represent a unique group of scalable, high-growth enterprises that are already located within Florida. These high growth enterprises are an important segment of our economy and their numbers have been steadily increasing. According to the Kauffman Foundation, “entrepreneurship is not a monolithic phenomenon, and it includes many moving parts. Creating new businesses is a different economic activity from running small businesses, which in turn is different from growing businesses.”  Florida Companies to Watch recognizes the different approach needed to successfully grow and scale a business and celebrates those that are working to achieve this goal.

-MORE-

Developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, GrowFL’ s Florida Companies to Watch is a distinguished awards program specifically designed to seek out second-stage businesses from a wide range of industries representing all areas of the state, not just those in major metropolitan areas. In addition to evaluating past growth and projected success, applicant companies are judged according to their special strengths and impact in their markets, communities and within the state – thus deeming them “worth watching.”

The Honorees for this year’s award will be announced in July. The 9th Annual Florida Companies to Watch awards celebration will take place on November 14, 2019 at Hard Rock Live, Universal City Walk, Orlando, FL. Tickets go on sale June 19, 2019.

For more information visit https://www.growfl.com/flctw19/about-flctw.

About ITVantage

ITVantage, Inc. is one of the largest privately owned and Managed IT Service Providers based in Southwest Florida. ITVantage was founded by Owner & CEO, Jeremy Stakely in 2002. ITVantage provides proactive IT Consulting, Infrastructure and Networking, Security, Risk Management and Compliance, IT Project Management, Telco & Communications, and Public and Private Cloud Services. The advanced technology firm specializes in IT support for Healthcare, Banking & Finance, Senior Care Life Communities, Education, and professional industries. www.ITVantage.com

About GrowFL

GrowFL was created in 2009 as an economic development program focused on assisting second-stage growth companies prosper in the state of Florida. By providing strategies, resources and support to second-stage companies for next level growth through Strategic Research, Peer Learning and Leadership Development, GrowFL helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. GrowFL is an official partner of the Edward Lowe Foundation.  Learn more at www.GrowFL.com.

Koreshan State Park June Newsletter

2019-2020 Season Events*

6th Annual Family Halloween Festival, Saturday, Oct 12, 4 pm – 7 pm
Our annual Halloween Festival is great family event! Bring your kids out for our Trunk-or-Treat with local community businesses. We have a lot in store this year with a hay ride, kid’s games and story time with a librarian. The park will be decorated with our ghoulish decorations perfect for this Halloween event!

3rd Annual Old-Fashioned Holiday Bazaar, Dec 7 & 8, 8 am – 1 pm
A holiday flurry is coming! Last year we had over 80 vendors, kid’s games, Santa, story time with a Librarian, Florida “snow”, and more! The park will be decorated in classic/old-fashioned Holiday decorations.

28th Annual Antique Engine, Quilt & Craft Show, Mar 14 & 15, 8 am – 1 pm
Quilters & crafters unite while engines of the past impress us still today! Vendors and demonstrators will be on show with their antique and rare engines, crafts, and more.

Businesses and organizations that would like to sponsor, sell products, or provide activities at our events can click here for application forms.

Volunteers needed to help with all park events! If interested, please email us @ friendsofkoreshan@gmail.com

*Events are free and subject to change; state park entrance fee required per vehicle for all events. To keep up-to-date with all events, visit http://friendsofkoreshan.org/events-things-to-do-estero-fl/ and follow us on Facebook.

Friends of Koreshan State Park Receives Grant

Recently, the Estero Chapter of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) sponsored Friends of Koreshan State Park’s application for a matching grant from the National DAR to replace the interpretive signage in the historic Koreshan Unity Settlement. We are happy to announce that our grant request was APPROVED, and the park staff is now busy working with a graphic artist to design our new signs! BIG thanks to Sue Buntic, our grant writer!

Ongoing Events

Guided Historic Settlement Tours, Jan-Mar, Wed – Sun, 10am & 2pm; Apr–Dec, Sat & Sun, 10am. 

Farmers Market & Native Plant Sale, Sundays, Year-round, 8am-1pm 

Become a Friend!

Friends of Koreshan State Park enjoy free park admission, retail discounts, invitations to member-only special events and outings, their own newsletter, among other perks!  We have three levels of memberships you can explore here.

New Board Members signal renewed commitment to fundraising at Lovers Key

Friends of Lovers Key State Park (FOLKS) recently announced the appointment of several area business people to their Board of Directors. Richard Donnelly, president of FOLKS, announced that the new Board members were Tina Tyler of Fort Myers Beach, Louise Kowitch of Bonita Springs, Jim Remis of Estero, and Gary Mooney of Fort Myers. “ We welcome these fine  folks to the FOLKS Board”, said Donnelly, “where their business  experience and high energy level  will serve our efforts well as we see the new Welcome and Discovery Center Building begin to take shape at Lovers Key.” 

Hands-On Harley-Davidson™ Now Open at C’mon

New Traveling Exhibit Arrives for Summer

NAPLES, Fla. – The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’mon) has received the support of The Tourist Development Council (TDC) to host Hands-On Harley-Davidson™, a traveling exhibit open now through September 8th.

Created in Milwaukee by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in partnership with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Hands-On Harley-Davidson™ focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Standards-based learning opportunities for children of all ages and hands-on fun for everyone make it a great family experience.

This exhibit features two kid-sized Road King® inspired motorcycles with interchangeable parts, accessories and decals to customize your ride, realistic throttle action, working turn signals and sound effects that pair with first-person ride videos, and a “see yourself” selection. There is also an interactive world map that features some of the most beautiful and challenging motorcycle tours in the world, along with travel themed math challenges and graphics about motorcycle design and engineering.

Along with the dealership, the exhibit includes a big engineering lab experience with tracks, loops, jumps that mimic your favorite skate park, winding road, rollercoaster ride or half-pipe. Three unique launchers, motion tracking software, and room to build your own freestyle track makes the drop of a golf ball a different experience every time.

Hands-On Harley-Davidson™ was created by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Hands-On Harley-Davidson™ and Harley-Davidson® are trademarks of H-D and are used with permission. © 2019 H-D. All rights reserved. 

Click here for exhibit press photos.

About Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples

Founded in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization, the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is brain-building powerhouse fueled by STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities and experiences. The Museum is located in the North Collier Regional Park. C’mon is open six days a week, closed on Wednesdays.  Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Admission is free for members; free to children under 1; $12 for children; $10 for adults and seniors. C’mon is fully accessible to all children regardless of their physical or learning abilities.  For details, visit www.cmon.org or call 239-514-0084.

GATES Construction Completes St. John the Evangelist Pulte Family Life Center

Founded in 1988, Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church is located at 625 111th Avenue North in Naples. The addition of the Pulte Family Life Center has enabled the Church to expand its new concept for the Catholic Churches in the area, a facility dedicated to constant and persistent activities for all ages and walks of life.  At approximately 32,000 square feet, it includes a stage, meeting space, fitness rooms, a food service area, and other components including a full size gymnasium. Not only will the gymnasium provide basketball and volleyball, but many other opportunities for wellness activities, classes, plays, church services, and entertainment on the full stage area. Architectural design was provided by Studio+.

Celebrating 26 years, GATES Construction provides construction management, general contracting and design-build services.  Their diverse portfolio of commercial, healthcare, multi-family, club and hospitality, institutional and special projects showcases numerous landmarks successfully constructed over the past quarter of a century.  As Florida’s premier builder, GATES serves its clients from offices in Bonita Springs, Sarasota and Palm Beach Gardens, and operates throughout the Southeast United States and Latin America.  For more information on GATES, please call (239) 593-3777 or visit the website at www.GATESinc.com.

FSW Holds Instant Decision Days at All Locations, Waives Application Fees

FORT MYERS, FLA – All Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) locations will hold Instant Decision Days throughout June. Application fees will be waived for Instant Decision Days attendees.

Prospective students can attend and meet experts who will guide them in completing an admissions application; submitting transcripts, residency and financial aid documents; and scheduling testing and orientation dates. Prospective students can also meet with an advisor and learn more about enrollment steps, adaptive services, registration, financial aid options and completing the FAFSA.

Attendees should bring a photo ID, residency and supporting documents, official transcripts from high school and any prior college in a sealed envelope, and documents needed for a financial aid application if being completed during the event.

Instant Decision Days are scheduled at the following FSW campuses:

•          FSW Thomas Edison Campus – 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers

10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, and Thursday, June 27                                                                                                 

•          FSW Charlotte Campus, 26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda

10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12; Tuesday, June 18; and Wednesday, June 26                                                                                                                                                               

•          FSW Collier Campus, 7505 Grand Lely Drive, Naples

10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, June 14                                                                                                                                                                                      

•          FSW Hendry/Glades Curtis Center, 1092 E Cowboy Way, LaBelle

1-6 p.m. on Monday, June 24

Attendees are encouraged to register in advance. To register for an FSW Instant Decision Day, visit www.fsw.edu/admissions/events. For questions, call FSW’s Office of Admissions at 239-489-9054.

####

Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and most affordable institution of higher education. Annually serving nearly 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees and professional certifications, several with 100 percent licensure pass and job placements rates. Study and travel abroad opportunities are available for students through FSW’s Center for International Education. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW will debut its first Women’s Volleyball program in Fall 2019. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.

Sunshine Ace Hardware honored as one of Ace Hardware’s top YETI sellers

NAPLES, Fla., (June 3, 2019) – Sunshine Ace Hardware, which operates nine stores in Florida, recently was honored as one of Ace Hardware’s top sellers of YETI merchandise across the entire company.

Sunshine Ace carries a wide selection of YETI products, including coolers, tumblers, buckets, koozies, hats and T-shirts.

“YETI is the most respected name in the premium outdoor brand industry, and our associates do a great job helping customers find the product that best meets their needs,” said Sunshine Ace Hardware President Michael Wynn. “To be recognized as a leader in YETI sales is really quite amazing when you consider just how many local owners are part of the Ace family.”

Ace Hardware is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world with more than 5,200 locally owned and operated hardware stores in approximately 70 countries. Sunshine Ace has stores in Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Pinellas counties.

About Sunshine Ace Hardware

Family owned and operated since 1958, Sunshine Ace Hardware serves Florida with nine locations in Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Pinellas counties staffed by a long-term, friendly and knowledgeable team. Focused on customer service, Sunshine Ace employees are best known for building relationships and going above and beyond to help solve a home repair or maintenance issue or to simply guide customers to the right tool for the job. For in-home support, Sunshine Ace provides a range of professional services such as rod-tip repair, screen, glass and equipment repairs. Free delivery and assembly is also provided on items such as grills, power tools, mulch, soil and more. Sunshine Ace offers a wide variety of products including plumbing, hardware and electrical supplies, houseware, fishing gear, power equipment, paint, painting supplies and more. Sunshine Ace proudly carries quality brands including Benjamin Moore paints, Scotts lawn and garden products, Craftsman tools, STIHL power tools, Weber and Big Green Egg grills, as well as Penn and Shimano fishing gear. In addition to serving residential clients, Sunshine Ace services commercial accounts, with flexible options to support contractors in managing and growing their business. For locations and hours, visit www.SunshineAce.com.

– END –

Media Contacts:

Michael Wynn, Sunshine Ace Hardware, mwynn@sunshineace.com, 239-992-0454