4-4-19 Songwriters at Sunset Concert and Beach BBQ

FORT MYERS BEACH-Friends of Lovers Key (FOLKS) has joined with the Americana Community Music Association (ACMA), to offer a series of monthly Free Acoustic concerts of all original music this upcoming season.

The concerts will take place in the large gazebo located right on the beach. Seating is available for he first 80 people.  Additional seating is also available on the sand. www.friendsofloverskey.org

This months concert will feature Ross Jordan, Bob Williams, and Bill Metts.

Ross has been writing songs since he picked up a guitar at age 10. He went on to study music and classical guitar at Rutgers University. His songs reflect the regional influences from all of the parts of the country that he has lived from New Jersey to the West Coast to the Mid-West and now Southwest Florida. His songs feature catchy tunes and lyrics and audience members can often be seen dancing and swaying and singing along while he performs.

Bob Williams original songs and the stories behind his songs always bring a smile. As a teenager, Bob began writing his own music. Pulling elements from Folk-Rock and Country-Rock, Bob created a sound all of his own. Bob’s songs are personal, irreverent, funny, sad, and most importantly, true to his heart. Bob performs regularly solo and with the Pearl Street Band. He just released his second album, “Ain’t Sorry Yet.”

Bill Metts started playing guitar when He was 19 during the country blues revival of the late 60s. He fell in love with the music of Taj Mahall, Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson and others of that ilk. Just about everything that he has done since then has been in that down home finger-picking style. Bill had the honor of being asked to perform at the annual Mississippi John Hurt Blues Festival in Avalon Ms. in 2011. All types of music move him but he prefers to play and sing traditional Americana roots music

Prior to the start of the concert, FOLKS will be hosting a Beach BBQ with hamburgers, hot dogs, soda, wine and beer for sale.  All proceeds from the Beach BBQ will go towards the future Visitors Center at Lovers Key State Park.

FOLKS (Friends of Lovers Key, Inc.) is a 501 ©(3) non-profit Citizen Support Organization established to protect, preserve and support Lovers Key State Park.

The ACMA is a Fort Myers based organization that promotes local artists who write and sing their own original songs. 

Come hear great original music and the stories behind the songs in an intimate Songwriters Showcase.  The show will finish with a fabulous Lovers Key Sunset.  www.americanacma.org

Come Early to enjoy the Beach BBQ, and give yourself time to take tram or walk to the beach!

For more information, visit our website at www.friendsofloverskey.org

FEES: Free with paid park entry fee.

Park entry fees are $8 for vehicles (2-8 people), $4 for single person in vehicle, $2 for pedestrian/bicyclist.

Beach BBQ starts 1 hour prior to the concert start time.

Lovers Key State Park

8700 Estero Blvd.

Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Lujic Joins Hodges University as AVP of Enrollment Management

Branislav Lujic has joined Hodges University as the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management.

In this position, he oversees the admissions, first impressions, and student experience teams.  He will also continue developing the university’s international student recruitment and outreach.

He brings over 10 years of expertise in student recruitment and admissions. Prior to joining Hodges University, he was the Director of Admissions and Marketing, Europe, for Schiller International University in Tampa, Fla. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in economics and international trade from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and his Master of Science degree in international management from the University of Phoenix, Tempe, AZ. He is fluent in Serbian and English.

Hodges University, a regionally accredited, private nonprofit institution founded in 1990, prepares students to leverage higher learning in their personal, professional, and civic endeavors. With over 10,000 graduates having a 93 percent rate of continued success in careers, Hodges is recognized for developing programs that are uniquely designed and delivered to serve a diverse adult learner population. With campuses in Naples and Fort Myers, Florida, Hodges provides flexible day, evening, and online classes taught by world-class faculty for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Hodges is also designated as a Hispanic serving institution, and is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). More information about Hodges University is available at Hodges.edu.

Vi at Bentley Village Announces New Care Center Administrator

Vi at Bentley Village is pleased to announce Martine Francois has been appointed to the position of Care Center Administrator for the Bentley Care Center. In her role, Francois oversees all operations of the care center – from dining service to nursing care.  She works closely with her team of nurses and support staff to develop a personalized approach for every care center resident.

Francois moved from Brooklyn New York to South Florida in 2004, residing on the East Coast until joining the team at Vi at Bentley Village. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field of social work and has worked with Vi since 2012. She has spent the past year at Vi at Bentley Village completing her administrator in training program through the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards and achieving her license as a nursing home administrator.

Francois holds a doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She also has a master’s degree in social work from Yeshiva University in New York City. In addition, she holds certifications as: an assisted living administrator; an assisted living facility Alzheimer’s disease and related disorder training provider; and a dementia practitioner.

“Martine brings extensive clinical experience and strong leadership skills to this integral position,” said Penny Smith Executive Director of Vi at Bentley Village. “Her in-depth understanding of social work and resident services combined with her familiarity of Bentley Village, make her an excellent choice to lead the Bentley Care Center. We are excited to have her join our leadership team.”

Located in Naples, Fla., Vi at Bentley Village has been providing luxury retirement living for more than 30 years. The community is situated on 156 lush acres, provides more than 12 miles of walking trails, an 18-hole par-3 golf course, a pro shop, and much more.

To find out more about Vi at Bentley Village, visit naples.viliving.com.

Lighthouse of SWFL Selected as a Grant Recipient of SWFL Children’s Charities

Lighthouse of SWFL was selected as a recipient of a $22,000 grant from Southwest Florida Children’s Charities Inc. at the recently held 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest.  Staff and children participants of the Blind Babies & Children’s Programs proudly volunteered at the event. These generous funds will provide innovative toys and equipment for a creative play space area and after school sports program, which will significantly aid in developing skills for independence for babies and children with major vision loss.

The Blind Babies and Children’s Programs offered at Lighthouse of SWFL provide vital services and resources to children and their families to develop independent living skills, prevent developmental delays, and improve cognitive, social, and emotional skills, to name a few.  

Lighthouse of SWFL is a United Way partner agency serving individuals with blindness and vision impairment in Lee, Glades, and Hendry counties. The mission of the Lighthouse of SWFL is to enable people of all ages living with a visual impairment or blindness to remain independent, active and productive in society. Lighthouse of SWFL, a nationally accredited agency,  is funded by the Division of Blind Services, United Way, Lee County Government, and other private donors. For more information, visit www.lighthouseswfl.org, or call (239) 997-7797.

Henderson Franklin to Host 27th Annual HR Law & Solutions

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. will host the 27th Annual HR Law & Solutions on Friday, March 29, 2019 at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa. Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Expert Robert Shearman will moderate this annual seminar designed to update and educate business owners, managers, human resource professionals and in-house counsel on legal issues impacting the workplace. Topics and speakers include:

  • Love is in the Air: Best Practices for Handling the Consequences of Romance in the Workplace. Attorneys David Roos, Russell Whittle, and Scott Atwood will discuss multiple scenarios in which a workplace romance could potentially lead to legal claims, as well as the employer’s obligation to keep the workplace safe.
  • Some Baggage Included: An Employer’s Guide to Hiring. Recruiting and maintaining a strong workforce is crucial to an organization’s success. Attendees will learn day-to-day hiring practices to safeguard an organization from potential risk, strategies to mitigate the volume and severity of claims, as well as learn of potential pitfalls for failing to apply best practices.
  • Employment Law and Legislation Update. Attorneys Richard Akin and Kyle Dudek will provide an interactive update on notable court decisions, including cases addressing contentious employment policies and contract provisions, discrimination against protected classes of workers, as well as other noteworthy employee claims.
  • Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter. Lee County Sheriff Staff Officer Scott Griffith will provide active shooter training. He will also explain what happens mentally and physically in these types of situations and how to use them to your advantage.
  • HR Leadership Lessons from Hollywood. Guest Speaker Andy Masters creatively uses the magical imagery of Hollywood to help HR leaders develop and empower their organizations in this challenging era of having to “Do More With Less”.

Continuing education credit is available from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Registration is $50 per person and includes a continental breakfast, plated lunch, and valet parking. For more information on the seminar or to register, visit http://www.henlaw.com/news-events/eventspage/hr-law-solutions-seminar/.

The conference is presented with the support of Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Lykes Insurance, Advance Medical of Naples and Health Evolution, Commute with Enterprise, Charlotte County SHRM, SHRM SWFL, and HR Collier.

Henderson Franklin is celebrating 95th anniversary of serving the legal needs and communities of Southwest Florida. The firm is the largest, locally-based law firm between Tampa and Miami with 55 attorneys dedicated to providing a wide range of legal services in the areas of business and tax planning, estate planning, family law, business and civil litigation, eminent domain, intellectual property, workers’ compensation, employment law, real estate, and land use and environmental law. Henderson Franklin operates offices in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, and Naples. For more information on Henderson Franklin, please visit www.henlaw.com or contact Gail Lamarche, Director of Marketing and Business Development at gail.lamarche@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1100.

Tournées French Film Festival Comes to FSW Collier Campus

The Tournées French Film Festival will open at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, with a four-day schedule of films, in the Building B Auditorium at the Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) Collier Campus, 7505 Grand Lely Drive, Naples. A speakers’ panel and reception will follow the first film on opening night. The festival is free and open to the public.

Film Schedule:

Wednesday, March 27, 4-6 p.m. – “Faces, Places”

In “Faces, Places,” 89-year-old powerhouse Agnès Varda teams up with the world-famous young street artist JR to make a film as wide-ranging as it is personal, as fanciful as it is pointed. Take a road trip through France with a film-making legend and a provocative contemporary photographer.

A speakers’ panel and opening reception will follow.

Thursday, March 28, 4-5:45 p.m. – “Makala”

“Makala” is an extraordinarily revealing (and stunning) look at everyday life for a charcoal salesman in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A provocative film that brings attention to those living at the margins in the rural DRC while dealing with the wreckage of decades of war.

Thursday, March 28, 6:15-7:45 p.m. – “Francofonia”

“Francofonia” is the great Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov’s heroically ambitious meditation on European culture and history as seen through the story of the Louvre museum in Paris, with a particular focus on its fortunes during World War II.

Friday, March 29, 4-7:30 p.m. – “My Journey Through French Cinema”

Director Bertrand Tavernier, (best known in the U.S. for his brilliant 1986 feature “‘Round Midnight” starring the legendary Jazz great Dexter Gordon), takes us on a fascinating journey through the “history of a golden age of French cinema extending from 1941 to 1971—the period ranging from Tavernier’s birth to his debut as a powerhouse of French cinema in his own right.”

Saturday, March 30, 12:30-2:15 p.m. – “April and the Extraordinary World”

This one-of-a-kind animated adventure film ushers the viewer into an alternate reality in which the Bonapartes still rule France, electricity was never discovered, trees are a distant memory, and a steam-driven cable car connects Paris to Berlin. In this dystopic steampunk landscape, scientists have mysteriously disappeared for decades and April Franklin, the brilliant young descendant of a long line of chemists, is in danger of being next.

Saturday, March 30, 3-6 p.m. – “Marcel Proust’s Time Regained”

Raúl Ruiz’s opulent adaptation of Marcel Proust’s monumental “In Search of Lost Time.” Ruiz captures the essence of “Time Regained” and turn-of-the-century France in “a surprisingly profound yet accessible digest of Proust’s themes and leading characters… to create a self-standing, utterly captivating film that adds an original vision of cinema to Proust’s meditations on the passage of time, the construction of memory, and the evolution of relationships and society.”

Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC), the French American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment.

For more information, contact Myriam Mompoint, professor, Humanities, FSW, at (239) 732-3754.

Premier Commercial, Inc. Sales & Lease Report

Premier Commercial, Inc., recently closed the following transactions in Lee County:


Steil Holdings, LLC leased a 4,086 +/- SF office located at The Preserve at Bonita Springs, 26711 Dublin Woods Circle, 2nd Floor, Fort Myers, FL 33912 to U.S. Credit, Inc. (Matt Stepan, CCIM and Andrew DeSalvo, MBA of Premier Commercial, Inc. negotiated the transaction).

One Parker Center KLA, LLC leased a 1,164 +/- SF space located at One Parker Center, 9011 Daniels Pkwy, STE 102, Fort Myers, FL 33912 to Little Saigon Holdings, LLC. (Matt Stepan, CCIM and Andrew DeSalvo, MBA of Premier Commercial, Inc. represented the Landlord).

SCORE Naples Workshop – Starting a Tax Exempt Non-Profit

Date, Time and Location 

Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT

Naples Accelerator

3510 Kraft Road, #200

Naples, FL 34105


$30 when registering online


“Starting a Tax Exempt Non-Profit “

Is starting a Non-Profit business right for you?    


This SCORE workshop will help you make an informed decision whether you should start a Non-Profit business today or in the future.

This workshop will:

  • Provide an organized approach to assist you in your personal “soul searching”.
  • Identify the fundamental questions you need to contemplate and answer.
  • Set forth the basic business/regulatory requirements you need to be aware of and consider and evaluate in order to determine if starting a Non-Profit business is right for you or not.

Key Takeaways

At the end of this workshop you will understand:

  • The primary differences between Non-Profit and for-profit businesses
  • How to organize and set-up a Non-Profit entity
  • Critical success factors unique to Non-Profits
  • What to include in your business plan


Bill McKinney

Bill McKinney has over 40 years of experience in business strategy & planning, finance, human resources and accounting. Bill has hands-on experience working at several Non-Profit organizations as a President, Development Director and Board Member.


For registration and to make payment: go to scorenaples.org, or call 239 430 0081.

Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Stories During Holocaust Memorial Week at FSW

Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) will observe the 23rd annual Dr. Talbot Spivak Holocaust Memorial Week, March 25-29, with a series of events that focus on the theme “The Holocaust: Unheeded Warnings” at the FSW Thomas Edison Campus, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers. Events are free and open to the public.

The mission of the Dr. Talbot Spivak Holocaust Memorial Week at FSW is to educate students and the community about the Holocaust, to honor its victims and survivors, to cultivate tolerance, and to promote awareness of modern-day genocide in support of the world’s promise of “Never Again.”

Throughout the week, local Holocaust survivors will speak about their experiences, the Gulfshore Playhouse will present the play “In Flight: The Story of Sabine Van Dam,” and FSW faculty will present on a variety of topics related to the Holocaust.

Additionally, The Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida will bring the Holocaust Boxcar to FSW. The Holocaust Boxcar will be on display and open for tours March 18 – April 1 in the Building N parking lot at the FSW Thomas Edison Campus.

The full event schedule is available at www.fsw.edu/holocaust.

FSW’s Dr. Talbot Spivak Holocaust Memorial Week is organized in partnership with the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida, the Kenneth and Mary Ruth Stegman Endowed Chair, and Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties.

For more information, call Cindy Campbell, FSW faculty librarian, at (239) 489-9367 or Rona Axelrod, FSW mathematics professor, at (239) 489-9437.

Harry Chapin Food Bank named Business of the Month by Collier County Commissioners, Greater Naples Chamber

Harry Chapin Food Bank has been honored with the March 2019 Business of the Month award by the Board of Collier County Commissioners and the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented Tuesday at the Collier County Commission meeting.

The award is presented each month to an organization that has enhanced the community through financial, volunteer and active involvement in organizations and programs that creates a better quality of life for all citizens in Collier County.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank’s mission is to lead our community in the fight to end hunger. In the last fiscal year, the food bank distributed 24 million pounds of food to our neighbors in need through a network of more than 150 nonprofit agencies in Collier, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

In Collier County, the food bank serves 35 partner agencies, ranging from Amigos Center in Immokalee to Grace Place for Children and Families in Naples to Everglades Community Church. We also serve the county through our mobile pantry program, called Fulfill, and our Care and Share: Senior Feeding Campaign.  The food bank has increased its food distribution in Collier County by about 76 percent over the last five years, from 2.9 million pounds in fiscal year 2013-14 to 5.1 million pounds in fiscal year 2017-18.

“We are honored by this award, which shows that our commitment to increasing our food distribution and community presence in Collier County is being recognized,” said Richard LeBer, food bank president and CEO. “We have been an important part of the Naples community for more than 20 years, and we are excited to grow our partnership with Collier government, community and business leaders.”

In fall 2017, the food bank opened a 13,500-square new Collier County Center at 3940 Prospect Ave., Naples. The new location provides more food, more volunteer opportunities, space to collaborate with other Naples nonprofits and expand services. It joins the 55,000-square-foot Fort Myers Distribution Center in serving our neighbors in need.

“Healthy food makes for healthy residents, and healthy residents make for a healthy economy,” LeBer said. “We thank the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Collier County Commissioners for naming us Business of the Month, and know they will join us in the fight to eliminate food insecurity in Collier County and across Southwest Florida.”

About the Harry Chapin Food Bank

The Harry Chapin Food Bank, an affiliate of Feeding America, is the leading hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida. The food bank solicits, collects and stores food for distribution to families and others in need through a network of more than 150 nonprofit agencies in Collier, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties, providing food to about 28,000 people a week.

For every dollar donated, the food bank can provide $8 in food value. In fiscal year 2017-18, The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 24 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 6.4 million pounds of fresh produce. The food, valued at $41.5 million, is the equivalent of 20 million meals for people in need. 

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is also recognized as a four-star organization by Charity Navigator, the national nonprofit watchdog organization. The food bank is also a United Way partner agency.  For more information or to make a donation, call (239) 334-7007 or visit harrychapinfoodbank.org.

About the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization of more than 1,200 active members that works to strengthen the local economy and promote the business community. The Chamber accomplishes this through public policy and business advocacy, leadership programs, executive business forums and sessions, and enhanced member benefits and services. The Chamber is dedicated to ensuring that Collier County stays the best place in America to live, work, and visit. For more information, call (239) 262-637 or visit www.napleschamber.org.