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Business Briefs 5-7-21

By Staff | May 6, 2021

Greater Fort Myers Chamber hires Wood as director of sales

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce has hired Andy Wood as director of sales. In his new role, Wood will oversee all sales operations for the chamber, an organization that represents more than 750 businesses, professionals and individuals throughout Lee County.

Prior to joining the chamber staff, Wood worked with the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, a Minor League Baseball affiliate team of the Minnesota Twins, where he rose from sales manager to assistant general manager during his tenure. He previously held sales management positions for Minor League Baseball teams including the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Tri-City Dust Devils, affiliated with the San Diego Padres, and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wood had been an active member of the Chamber’s Ambassadors Committee and advancing professionals’ group, Leadership NEXT. Born in Ohio, he attended Kent State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sports administration.  

Serving Lee County and surrounding areas since 1989, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a business organization of professionals who support and promote a progressive, sustainable community. The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is located at 2310 Edwards Drive in downtown Fort Myers. For additional information regarding membership opportunities or events, call 239-332-2930 or visit www.fortmyers.org. For the latest news and updates, follow the Chamber on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gfmcc or Twitter at @FtMyersChamber.

Above Board Chamber announces return to in-person seminars

Recent trends show employers using the services of independent contractors and freelancers more frequently in today’s business world. While this choice offers many advantages, there are restrictions that could lead to IRS and legal entanglements for the employer if not properly followed. To help local businesses understand this issue and better protect themselves, the Above Board Chamber of Florida has assembled a group of expert panelists for this month’s luncheon seminar that will take place Thursday, May 13, in Fort Myers and online via Zoom.

By attending this seminar, “The Legal Differences and Tax Ramifications of Hiring an Employee vs. an Independent Contractor,” business leaders will learn guidelines to help determine whether hiring a new employee or using an independent contractor is best for their company’s needs. A panel of experts will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both, as well as the responsibilities of a business owner.

The panelists include Tracy Pyles, senior managing attorney at Lee Health; Kevin Ruane, Lee County Commissioner and president of Castleton Mortgage; Mindy LaCroix, president of Minette L. La Croix, CPA PA; and Suzanne M. Boy, Esq., founding member at Boy Agnew Potanovic, PLLC.

The event will be held May 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza Bell Tower, 13051 Bell Tower Drive.

Events can be attended in person or via Zoom. In-person registration for either seminar is $33 for members and $35 for non-members. Zoom registration for either seminar is $10 regardless of chamber membership. 

To register for the meetings, please go to: AboveBoardChamber.com.

For more information on the event or how to become a member of the chamber, call CEO Jeanne Sweeney at 239-910-7426 or visit AboveBoardChamber.com.

FPRA SWFL to host PR University 2021 May 21

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association is set to host the annual 2021 PR University focusing on the evolution and future of the PR industry.

The chapter invites business leaders and PR/marketing professionals to attend the in person event, “Tackling the challenges of our changing world,” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 21, at Florida Southwestern State College, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers. The program will take place in building AA, Room 177.

PR University will focus on the exploration of new approaches within the profession, all while staying true to the guiding principles of the PR industry. Attendees will gain insight on ways to adapt, evolve and educate themselves on emerging strategies and technologies.

To see the full speaker list and bio please go to PRU 2021 Bios (fpraswfl.org)

Registration for PR University is $55 for students, $75 for members and $99 for future members, and includes breakfast and lunch. APR PR professionals can earn 2 APR continuing education credits.

To register and see full schedule please go to www.fpraswfl.org/event-registration/fpra-events/pruniversity-next-approaches-tackling-the-challenges-of-our-changing-world/.

Netram appointed to Florida Bar committee

Lotus Solutions LLC has announced that company Founder and CEO Nirupa Netram was recently appointed to The Florida Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The committee’s mission is to increase diversity and inclusion in The Florida Bar so that the Bar will reflect the demographics of the state, to develop opportunities for community involvement, and to make leadership roles within the profession and The Florida Bar accessible to all attorneys, including those who are racially, ethnically and culturally diverse, women, members of the LGBTQ community and persons with disabilities.

Netram founded Lotus Solutions LLC, a Florida certified woman and minority owned enterprise, to help businesses create diversity and inclusion to ensure a fair and just workplace, through consulting, training, and keynote speeches.

A 23-year attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and social entrepreneur, Netram has worked in government, corporate, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors in Southwest Florida.  Netram graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stetson University and with a juris doctorate from Stetson University College of Law.

For more information, visit www.LotusSolutions.biz.

DeCicco executive vice president at Sanibel Captiva Community Bank

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank has announced the promotion of Kyle DeCicco to executive vice president. DeCicco has been part of the executive management team since January 2020 and this promotion is further recognition of his exceptional leadership and strong commitment to the bank. He will continue to lead the bank’s lending programs, as well as focus on the bank’s strategic priorities.

As part of the leadership team, DeCicco leads the bank’s efforts in administering the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. Under his direction, the bank has successfully secured over 800 loans totaling nearly $100 million, helping to save thousands of Southwest Florida jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

DeCicco joined the bank in 2016 as vice president and commercial loan officer, focusing on commercial real estate lending and relationship development with local businesses and investors.

He is a recent graduate of the Florida Bankers Association – Florida School of Banking and also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida Atlantic University.

Founded in 2003, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank has two locations on Sanibel Island and six more locations throughout Lee County. To learn more about the bank, visit www.SanCapBank.com.

Gendreau joins Henderson Franklin

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.,has announced that Steven Gendreau has joined the firm as an associate in the Tort & Insurance Litigation Department. He will handle insurance defense claims involving premises liability, automobile and personal injury matters.

Gendreau was a member of Henderson Franklin’s 2020 Summer Associate Program. He received his B.A. from University of South Florida and his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law.

Gendreau is a Southwest Florida native and grew up in Port Charlotte. Gendreau will be based out of the firm’s Fort Myers office and may be reached at steven.gendreau@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1105.

Henderson Franklin is one of the largest, locally-based law firms between Tampa and Miami with over 60 attorneys dedicated to providing a wide range of legal services in the areas of business and tax planning, estate planning, family law, business and civil litigation, eminent domain, intellectual property, workers’ compensation, employment law, real estate, and land use and environmental law. Henderson Franklin operates offices in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, and Naples. For more information, please visit www.henlaw.com.

Goldbacher named catering manager for 12 Rib City locations

Rib City has named Anastasia “Frankie” Goldbacher as catering manager. In her new position, Goldbacher will be responsible for all private and corporate catering events for Rib City’s 12 Southwest Florida locations.

Originally from New Jersey, Goldbacher has more than six years of restaurant industry experience. She joined the Rib City team in 2016 and serves as an assistant manager.

Goldbacher can be reached at 239-209-0940.

Celebrating 32 years, Rib City was founded in 1989 and now operates 14 corporate restaurants in Florida with 13 locations in Southwest Florida, and 11 franchise restaurants across the country including Washington, Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri and Virginia. Rib City’s complete menu is available online at www.ribcity.com.

HF scientific partners with EPI to launch copper-silver monitoring technology

HF scientific, a Watts brand, has partnered with Enrich Products Ionization to release the copper-silver monitor designed to measure, monitor and report daily on the concentration of copper and silver in potable water ionization systems. CSM ensures ionization system adjustments are based on real-time data interpretation. This technology is exclusively available through EPI.

With HF scientific’s CSM, both copper and silver are measured every day with no involvement from the end-user. The CSM communicates directly with the EPI system, allowing the monitoring system to adjust quickly and correctly.

This new continuous monitoring model allows for timely data, immediate adjustment, and improved control and efficacy of the ionization system as a whole.

Since 1997, EPI has been providing healthcare and other communities with copper-silver ionization for the control of Legionella Pneumophila bacteria in potable water systems. EPI equipment is proudly manufactured in Pittsburgh and distributed throughout North America. For more, visit www.enrichproductsionization.com.

HF scientific, a Watts brand, manufactures a comprehensive line of instrumentation, test kits and chemical reagents used for monitoring water quality in a variety of applications. The company’s products are used for industrial and municipal water applications, while other uses include industrial process control systems and marine ballast water systems that help eliminate the harmful effects of invasive species in the environment. For more information, visit www.hfscientific.com