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SCORE Naples will host “Choose Your Counselor” from 9:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on May 4 at SCORE Naples.

The program offers free weekend mentoring. Attendees can select a counselor who best suits their needs and schedule a one-hour appointment with them online.

Counselors include:

  • Jeanine Cotter, a business owner with 34 years of experience;
  • Norm Stern, marketing and management instructor at the Lutgert College of Business;
  • Ron Wilson, adjunct professor in business and economics at Singapore Management University and mentor at the Institute for Entrepreneurship at Florida Gulf Coast University;
  • Gail Steckler, treasurer of a family-owned consulting business from startup to sale and founding board member of a community bank;
  • Jim Dallet, who has 45 years of experience in retail pharmacy management and ownership;
  • J.B. Brenner, who owned and operated a chain of 32 retail pet stores in three states over a 40-year period and one of the top 10 pet e-commerce businesses in the U.S.

For registration, go to scorenaples.org or call (239) 430 0081.



Dr. James W. Orr Jr. is medical director of Florida Gynecologic Oncology, an affiliate of Century Oncology. He has been selected by the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation as one of its 2019 Men of IMPACT.

Orr was honored for his leadership in elevating the status of women throughout his career, as well as community service efforts.

He has been in practice for over three decades and has treated tens of thousands of women. Orr has earned numerous awards and accolades over his career, including recognition on Castle Connolly’s “Top Doctors” list for more than 20 consecutive years. He has published or contributed to more than 200 books, manuals, published abstracts, and refereed articles.

Orr was one of eight Men of IMPACT honorees recognized at a dinner held Feb. 20 and hosted by the Bonita Bay Club. All proceeds assist Earn to Learn FL students achieve their goals through education.



Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart has partnered with Lee County Clerk of Court Linda Doggett to bring the clerk’s recording services to the Tax Collector’s Office on 25987 S. Tamiami Trail in Bonita Springs.

Residents can apply for passports and marriage licenses and get married at the Bonita Springs location Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition to tax collector services like driver’s license renewal, vehicle registration and hunting and fishing licensure, clerk of court functions like deeds, mortgages and other official records can be recorded at the Bonita Springs location. For more information, visit leetc.com



The 2019 Southwest Florida Women’s Business Summit is organized by the Lee County Economic Development Office. The event will begin with registration and networking at 8 a.m. on March 1 at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers.

A presentation delivered by keynote speaker Mary Van Praag, brand president of Soma Intimates, will take place at 9:15 a.m. The event is intended to educate and elevate women in their careers through hands-on and motivational workshop sessions.

To register and view the full schedule of events, visit www.LeeCoEDO.eventbrite.com.

To request an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a reasonable modification to participate in this meeting, contact Joan LaGuardia, (239) 533-2314, Florida Relay Service 711, or jlaguardia@leegov.com. Accommodation will be provided at no cost to the requestor. Requests should be made at least five business days in advance.



The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) will host its monthly luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 12 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center.

FPRA will have Carolyn Tieger, Ronald Reagan White House alumna, presenting about public affairs, lobbying and political communications.

Tieger is a Washington, D.C., communications professional, whose background includes leading a public relations firm in D.C.

Cost is $30 for FPRA members, $40 for future members and $25 for students. Register for the luncheon at www.fpraswfl.org.    



Touchstone Wealth Partners |UBS has promoted Stefan J. Contorno to Senior Vice President – Wealth Management. He is a Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager for the Florida office of Touchstone Wealth Partners.

Contorno has been in the financial services industry for more than 20 years. He is featured on “Money Mondays”, a weekly live segment on  WINK News (CBS) that addresses financial news and the economy.  He has been recognized as a “Gulf Coast Top Wealth Manager” in Gulfshore Life Magazine and by Research Magazine with its ETF Hall of Fame Award.

Contorno is also an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, teaching courses on “Successful Retirement Strategies.” He earned a B.B.A. in economics from Baruch College and continues his community involvement through Estero Rotary, Harry Chapin Food Bank, and the FGCU student mentor program.

About Touchstone Wealth Partners

Touchstone Wealth Partners provides tailored, holistic wealth management to successful multigenerational families, corporate CEOs and accomplished entrepreneurs. The team has offices in Ohio, New York, and Florida. To learn more about their services, visit ubs.com/touchstone.

Promenade Adds Baby and Kids Boutique to Array of Unique Shopping Destinations


Promenade at Bonita Bay is now home to Eden’s Closet — a baby and kids boutique located in Suite 134 of 26811 South Bay Drive in Bonita Springs. With clothing, accessories, shoes, room décor and blankets for newborns to tweens, the first-of-its-kind shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Eden’s Closet is inspired by the owner’s daughter — who spends most days trying on various outfits — and produces collections internally, as well as via a manufacturer in Montreal.

These include exclusive designs and prints, unique colors and detail-grabbers. For example, the ready-to-wear collection features glitter-filled tulle dresses with delicate bows and floral embroidery for girls and eccentric jackets and elegant shirts for boys, along with trendy shoes for both genders.

With comfort, functionality and fashion in mind, the majority of fabrics utilized by Eden’s Closet are cotton. All collections are designed to mix and match with an everyday wardrobe, as well as special-occasion styles. These include holidays and celebrations like a baby’s homecoming.

Now, the business owner’s goal is to develop collections of matching ‘mom and me’ and ‘dad and me’ outfits, in collaboration with her fashion designer mother’s brand, Lace — another store in the Promenade.

“When I was a little girl, my mother designed and coordinated matching outfits for us. I would like to continue that tradition, as it is so adorable and fun,” said Owner Netta Perez.

“Regardless of the collection, though, everything is original and made with the greatest care. Not only does Eden’s Closet set out to provide children’s outfits that you cannot find elsewhere, it places great emphasis on the experience of gift giving — from in-store selection to unboxing a most treasured item.”

To further capitalize on memorable gift giving, Eden’s Closet will soon launch an online store — ShopEdensCloset.com — featuring all collections and multiple gifting options. Visitors will be able to customize a gift box, from wrapping to curated boxes.

Long-term plans also include opening a second location in Los Angeles.

For more information, call (239) 288-2298.

About Promenade at Bonita Bay

Located in Bonita Springs, the Promenade is home to some of the finest retail stores, unique boutiques, a high-end salon, popular restaurants and entertainment hubs in Southwest Florida. Promenade at Bonita Bay is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Call (239) 949-1573. Online at PromenadeShops.com.



Preschool and kindergarten teachers in Southwest Florida are invited to Child Care of Southwest Florida’s free Focus on Four Conference, held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Florida Gulf Coast University. Lunch will be included.

Led by early childhood education specialist Lisa Murphy, the day-long conference will include presentations and discussions that focus on creating child-centered learning environments in which all children can thrive academically and socially. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be provided by the Lee Chapter of Florida Association for the Education of Young Children.

Registration is limited to 225 individuals. To secure a spot, click here or call 239-278-1002.



The Women in Business committee of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its 2019 Apex Awards.

Nominations can be submitted through March 1 at fortmyers.org/events/apex-awards.

Presented by Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, the annual Apex Awards event is an evening gala recognizing local women, who are also chamber members, with outstanding reputations for professionalism, philanthropy, and leadership. 

The 14th annual Apex Awards dinner will be held Aug. 17 at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village in Cape Coral. Five finalists will be recognized during the event, and one will be named the recipient of this year’s Apex Award.



Fort Myers based Rib City is celebrating 30 years of operation in 2019.

Founded in Fort Myers in 1989, Rib City is a family-owned national barbecue chain. There are currently 14 corporate restaurants in Florida with 10 locations in Southwest Florida, and 12 franchise restaurants across the country including Washington, Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, and Virginia.

Craig Peden, company president, and his father, Paul Peden, have been restaurateurs in Southwest Florida for more than 40 years, having owned and operated a number of restaurants including the Veranda in downtown Fort Myers. 

The concept of Rib City started out with a small, family-style operation on U.S. 41 in Fort Myers. It began offering franchises in 2004.

Going forward, the Pedens plan to expand their franchise business with additional locations nationwide.