Conservancy of Southwest Florida partners to present Florida Fracking Summit Oct. 27 and 28


The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Natural Resource Defense Council, Earthjustice, Center for Biological Diversity, and Earthworks will present the 2015 Florida Fracking Summit to promote public awareness regarding extreme oil extraction in Florida. The Summit will be held on Oct. 27 and 28 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport-Town Center. For more information to register, visit Early registration is available now through Oct. 16 and cost is $30 for a one-day pass or $50 for the two-day conference.

Expert speakers will address the potential effects of extreme extraction techniques on air, land, water, and human health. The participants will also discuss current federal and state laws, local government actions around the nation, and the future of extreme extraction in Florida.

The oil and gas industry is now using extreme oil extraction techniques in Florida involving the injection of chemicals and large amounts of freshwater to fracture or dissolve oil bearing rock to increase production. These operations include hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and acid stimulation. The “fracking” boom in other parts of the country has led to documented cases of environmental degradation and a growing concern for public health.

Improved extraction and refining technologies have led to a renewed interest in Florida oil. Oil companies are now seeking to explore for oil over thousands of acres of public and private lands, including portions of the Everglades. Currently, extreme extraction techniques are unstudied in Florida, virtually unregulated, and often used in complete secrecy.

With oil exploration proposed for over 170,000 acres of the Everglades, it is important to understand the process of hydraulic fracturing and acid stimulation, current federal and state regulations, and what we can do to safeguard our environment and public health from oil drilling.


Norman Love Confections ranked among top 10 shops in the world for chocolate lovers

thumbnaiNorman Love Confections was recently listed as one of the 10 most amazing shops in the world for chocolate by U.K. media outlet Daily Telegraph. Norman Love Confections is one of only two U.S. chocolate salons featured on this list.


According to the Daily Telegraph article, “Norman Love has been satisfying connoisseurs of fine chocolates since 2001. At his shops in Fort Myers, Naples and Estero, you can gorge on chocolates till your heart’s content, as well as artisan gelato, waffles, crepes, coffees and pastries. Best of all is the $10 late night dessert menu available at the Naples Salon, which includes a gelato sundae, molten chocolate cake, vanilla bean crème brulee and Florida key lime pie, served with a creamy gelato or fruity sorbet of your choice.”

“We are honorethumbnaild to be recognized as one of the top shops in the world for chocolate lovers,” said Chef Norman Love, founder, owner and president of Norman Love Confections. “We enjoy offering our valued guests a wide array of delicious confections and we are very grateful to be so highly esteemed by our peers.”

In addition to its handcrafted artisanal chocolates, Norman Love Confections also offers a selection of house-made pastries, gourmet coffees, lattes and smoothies at its chocolate salons located in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples. For more information, visit or call 239-561-7215.




Attorneys Craig R. Hersch and Michael B. Hill host Florida Residency and Estate Planning Workshop Nov. 3 in Sanibel

thumbnailAttorneys Craig R. Hersch and Michael B. Hill, partners with Sheppard, Brett, Stewart, Hersch, Kinsey & Hill, P.A., will host a Residency and Estate Planning Workshop Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. at Sanibel Community House, located at 2173 Periwinkle way in Sanibel. Hersch and Hill will provide attendees with an overview of how estate law in Florida differs from other states and will describe the advantages of declaring residency and updating wills and trusts to Florida law.

Hersch and Hill encourage Florida residents to have their estate planning documents reviewed following recent law changes that could potentially impact estate plans. In addition to the workshop, the attorneys will offer attendees the opportunity to arrive a half-hour early with a copy of their current estate planning documents in order to receive a confidential, complimentary review and written athumbnanalysis following the presentation. All attendees will receive a complimentary Florida Estate Guide and DVD. For more information, or to register for the upcoming workshop, call 239-425-9379.

Hersch is a Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates attorney and CPA. He is the creator of The Family Estate and Legacy Program, a unique process designed to transform his clients’ legal, tax and financial concerns into a coordinated and understandable estate plan. Hersch has authored several articles appearing in a variety of professional journals. He pens a weekly estate planning column in a Sanibel and Captiva newspaper that can also be seen on the firm’s website, Hersch enjoys an AV Martindale Hubbell rating, the highest attainable by the independent national attorney rating service, has been selected as a Worth 100 Top Attorney and has been named to the 2015 Super Lawyers list, a highly-esteemed recognition given to no more than five percent of attorneys in Florida. Hersch is a frequent lecturer at legal and CPA continuing education workshops and is a multiple graduate of the University of Florida with accounting and law degrees.

Hill concentrates his practice in estate and wealth preservation and business succession planning. He has extensive tax, legal and technology skills, enabling him to create unique plans to meet his clients’ individual and family needs. Hill is a double graduate of the University of Florida, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1998, and his Juris Doctor, with honors, in 2001. He is a member of the Florida Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Lee County Bar Association. Hill has also received recognition on the 2015 Super Lawyers list, an honor awarded to Florida’s top five percent of attorneys.

Salon Zen Aveda opens at Bell Tower Shops


Bell Tower Shops announces the opening of Salon Zen Aveda, a 3,000-square-foot salon and spa at the premier shopping destination. Guests are invited to experience the uniquely holistic approach of connecting beauty, wellness and the environment at the Salon Zen Aveda’s new Bell Tower Shops location.

Salon Zen Aveda artistry is dedicated to professional excellence in haircut, color and style, as well as elevating the guest experience. Salon Zen Aveda offers high-performance products used by professionals around the world, formulated by combining modern botanical science with inspiration from the ancient healing art of Ayurveda. The salon and spa also offers a variety of customizable hair treatments including Botanical Therapy, the signature salon service that treats hair and scalp imbalances, creating the foundation for beautiful hair. Aveda artists are committed to a level of service that leaves guests not only looking beautiful, but feeling beautiful.

In addition to high-performance hair services, Aveda offers stress-relieving spa offerings with the Stress-Fix™ Body Massage, featuring Stress-Fix™ products proven to reduce feelings of stress. At Salon Zen Aveda, guests are invited to experience Aveda’s signature Rituals of Renewal, which are designed to relax and rejuvenate, and may include: the Comforting Tea Ritual, a cup of comforting tea upon arrival; the Stress-Relieving Hand Ritual, which allows guests to experience the calming effects of Aveda Stress-Fix™ products through a complimentary hand massage; the Stress-Relieving Neck and Shoulders Ritual, a 3-5 minute tension-taming massage of the neck and shoulders using Aveda Stress-Fix™ Body Lotion; and Aveda’s one-of-a-kind Aroma Sensory Journey.

“We look forward to bringing guests into balance at our new Aveda Salon in the Bell Tower Shops, with world-class cut, color and styling from our artists, along with Aveda’s nourishing signature Rituals of Renewal,” said Craig Allard, owner of Salon Zen Aveda.

For more information on Aveda, call 800-328-0849, visit the Aveda website at or call Salon Zen Aveda at Bell Tower Shops at 239-260-8300.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida receives $25,000 grant during Walmart “Day of Giving”

Walmart Grant Check Presentation

Funding to support STEM-based programs at the Conservancy

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida recently received a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support STEM-based Learning Adventures outreach and field trip programs at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The grant was presented to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida on Sept. 30 during a special Walmart “Day of Giving” event in Naples.

STEM-based Learning Adventures are a series of dynamic, environmental education programs. Outreach programs include an interactive classroom experience, presented by knowledgeable naturalists using ambassador animals. Children can also visit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center and the STEM Institute to learn about the environment on field trip programs. The STEM Institute offers programs targeting K-12 students and teachers, including field trips, high school research-focused programs and STEM teacher workshops.

“We are honored to receive such a generous grant from the Walmart Foundation to benefit the STEM programs that are instrumental in educating local students about the Southwest Florida environment,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “Our team is extremely grateful for Walmart’s dedication to preserving the beauty of Southwest Florida for generations to come.”

For more information about STEM-based initiatives at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, call 239-262-0304 or visit

Dr. Alexander Eaton earns American Academy of Ophthalmology’s 2015 Achievement Award

2015 - Dr. Eaton

Dr. Alexander Eaton, director of Retina Health Center, has been honored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) with the 2015 Achievement Award.  The AAO’s annual achievement awards honor ophthalmologists in multiple stages of practice and for a range of activities, from humanitarian service and significant contributions to the profession, to mentorship and faithful volunteer service. The awards will be presented during AAO’s annual meeting, Nov. 14-17 in Las Vegas.

Dr. Eaton is the founder and director of Retina Health Center and has practiced ophthalmology in Southwest Florida since 1993. He is board certified in Ophthalmology and is an authority on the treatment of macular degeneration, diabetes, and other macular problems, and he has been the principle investigator in numerous research studies on these conditions.

He is widely published and is the author of See Again! Reversing and Preventing Macular Degeneration. Dr. Eaton has invented a number of surgical tools and instruments to make surgery safer and more efficient. His inventions have been featured in the New York Times, and he has a faculty appointment at Duke University.

His extensive eye care expertise has been recognized by former Governor Jeb Bush, who appointed him to the Diabetes Advisory Council for the State of Florida, for which he served as chair.  He earned his medical degree and completed his retinal training at Duke University, where he also served as chief resident.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 20 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration, and has invented numerous medical devices for use by patients and physicians that are used worldwide. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit

Conservancy of Southwest Florida announces 2015 camps

thumbnaiSpecial fall camp to be held over Collier County public schools’ Thanksgiving break

With registration othumbnpen Oct. 5, young environmental enthusiasts can now sign up for fall and winter 2015 camps at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. The organization is introducing its new “Cool Coastlines” fall camp, to take place Nov. 23-24 when Collier County public schools are out for the Thanksgiving holiday. The long-time favorite, “Wondrous Wildlife” annual winter camp, is scheduled for Dec. 29-30. The two-day camps are designed for second- through fifth-grade children, and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each day will offer a different field trip adventure into Southwest Florida ecosystems. Pricing for the camps are $60 per day for Conservancy members and $80 per day for non-members.

The special “Cool Coastlines” fall camp will allow children to join the Conservancy for an aquatic adventure exploring the cool coastlines of Southwest Florida. The camp will feature field trips to wet and wild places, where children will discover unique creatures that live in these salty thumbnailhabitats. The “Wondrous Wildlife” winter camp will take children outside to explore the wondrous wildlife of Southwest Florida. Campers will take field trips to different ecosystems, and discover how plants and animals keep warm during the winter.

“Our annual winter camp has been a hit within our community and we are excited to launch the new fall camp here at the Conservancy,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “We know children will enjoy being a part of these adventures, and we look forward to seeing how these nature explorations will play a role in creating more knowledgeable and environmentally-aware leaders
for the future.”

Space is limited forthumbna the upcoming camps and is anticipated to fill quickly. Registration can be completed online at For more information about the fall or winter camps, call Cheryl Latif 239-262-0304, extension 266.


Tickets, sponsorships still available for Oct. 29 Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida’s 2015 Business Hall of Fame, Collier County

2014 logo - JA of Southwest Florida Green Gold copy

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida has announced that tickets and sponsorships are still available for the upcoming 2015 Business Hall of Fame, Collier County, to be held Thursday, Oct. 29 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Naples.

Junior Acthumbnail5LNVPSJHhievement of Southwest Florida’s Business Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who serve as role models for youth through their professional accomplishments and commitment to the community. During the event, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida will induct Reinhold Schmieding of Arthrthumbnailex, Inc. and Brian Stock of Stock Development into the 2015 Business of Hall of Fame, Collier County.

Business sponsorships are still available and include entrance to the event with premium diamond sponsorships at $10,000, platinum level sponsorships for $7,500 and gold level sponsorships for $5,000. These levels include eight seats, with an additional two seats reserved for students. Additional sponsorships available are silver sponsor level for $1,800 (eight seats with two additional seats for students) and bronze sponsor level for $900 which includes tables of four plus a reserved seat for one student. Individual seats are also available for $250 each.

Sponsors also are needed to support student admission, which is $125 per ticket. Junior Achievement students attending the event will have an opportunity to practice their etiquette skills while interacting with local professionals. Additionally, full-page and half-page advertisements are available in the event program book for $1,000 and $500. To reserve tables, individual tickets or to become a sponsor, call the Junior Achievement office at 239-225-2590 or visit Proceeds benefit local Junior Achievement programs.

Norman Love Confections unveils new chocolates into Signature Collection

Norman Love 2015

Norman Love Confections introduces 11 new hand-crafted chocolates into the award-winning chocolatier’s Signature Collection, the brand’s core product line. The 36-flavor Signature Collection features 11 new flavors including: Lemon Hazelnut, Butterscotch Truffle, Sea Salt Caramel Truffle, Vanilla Marshmallow, Almond Praline, German Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Cheesecake, 91% Nocturne, Peanut Butter Cup, Passion Orange and Carrot Cake. In addition, Norman Love Confections has updated the aesthetics of two existing flavors: Bananas Foster and Caramel Macchiato.

The Signature Collection includes white, milk and dark chocolate confections and truffles with 36 different fillings, or flavors. Each flavor also has a distinctive appearance, shape and color so it can be identified via the flavor map included in each box of chocolates. The gourmet chocolates are made fresh daily with premium ingredients and contain no preservatives. They are packed and delivered with the utmost care to ensure they arrive fresh and in excellent condition.

The chocolates in the Signature Collection, including the 11 new flavors, can be ordered individually online and in stores. Each Signature Gift Box by Norman Love Confections contains an assortment of flavors from this collection.

“Many of the flavors in the current Signature Collection have been part of the collection from the beginning, but new ideas are what make us who we are,” said Chef Norman Love, Founder, Owner and President of Norman Love Confections. “When inspiration strikes, we develop new flavors, refining and perfecting until they are ready to be added to the collection.”

The following new flavors are now available at, at the chocolatier’s three Chocolate Salons in Southwest Florida, and through independent retail partners throughout the U.S.:

Lemon Hazelnut

White Chocolate

Sweet roasted hazelnut praline layered with a tart lemon ganache and enrobed in a white chocolate shell.

Butterscotch Truffle

Milk Chocolate

Beautifully nostalgic butterscotch resonates in this milk chocolate truffle with a buttery white chocolate and caramel center.

Sea Salt Caramel Truffle

Dark Chocolate

This perfectly balanced dark chocolate truffle is filled with sweet golden caramel and topped with red and pink sea salts.

Vanilla Marshmallow

Dark Chocolate

The classic and dreamy pairing of delicious dark chocolate with a vanilla marshmallow cream center.

Almond Praline

Dark Chocolate

Caramelized almonds add a delicious crunch to this creamy milk chocolate ganache, covered in a rich dark chocolate shell.

German Chocolate Cake

Milk Chocolate

Enjoy a bite of German Chocolate Cake in this confection featuring a delicious combination of milk chocolate, brown sugar and coconut.

Strawberry Cheesecake

White Chocolate

Rich New York style cheesecake topped with fresh vanilla infused strawberry jam and covered in white chocolate.

91% Nocturne

Dark Chocolate

A dark chocolate lover’s dream come true, we’ve covered silky deep 91% dark chocolate ganache in a dark chocolate shell.

Peanut Butter Cup

Dark Chocolate

A pure American favorite in all its glory, creamy peanut butter mixed with smooth milk chocolate and encased in a thin bittersweet shell.

Passion Orange

Dark Chocolate

The sweet flavors of tropical sunshine, tart passion fruit and fresh squeezed orange juice, with a touch of vanilla in a creamy white chocolate ganache.

Carrot Cake

Milk Chocolate

Layers of cream cheese icing and carrot cake spiced ganache is deliciously satisfying in a gourmet milk chocolate shell.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida offers fall Little Explorer programs for budding conservationists

Little Explorers - Eagle's Nest

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has announced that it will offer special Little Explorer Pre-K programs for children, beginning fall 2015. With the first program scheduled Oct. 8 at 10 a.m., the Conservancy will offer opportunities twice a month for children to explore nature and discover wildlife through multi-sensory, interactive activities, stories and animal themed crafts. Each program will present a unique theme that is related to nature and wildlife. No registration is required for these special programs. Admission is free for members, and is included in general admission price to the Nature Center for non-members.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida also offers a Little Explorer Play Zone, the newest exhibit at the Conservancy. It opened in February 2015 and is designed for children age 18 months to 5 years old.  Kids crawl through Gopher Tortoise burrow, a life size Bald Eagle’s nest and participate in special Little Explorer programs. The Little Explorer Play Zone offers free play during regular Nature Center hours, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The play zone is included with the admission price. Conservancy members get in free.

“The response has been extraordinary,” said Nicki Dardinger, education director at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “We realized how much families were really looking for a program like Little Explorers. We are thrilled to be their resource.”

“The Little Explorer Play Zone provides us with another great venue for reaching kids through environmental education,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “Environmental education is part of our core mission. Reaching these future leaders through programs such as our Little Explorers helps build life-long conservationists who will continue to protect our water, land and wildlife.”

The newly launched Little Explorer programs offered at 10 a.m. every other Thursday were so popular, the Conservancy added a full fall 2015 and 2016 schedule.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida – Little Explorer Programs

Every other Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center

Fall 2015-2016 Schedule

October 8, 2015: Over in the Ocean

October 22, 2015: Daylight Starlight Wildlife

November 5, 2015: The Magic Tree

November 19, 2015: Lizzie the Lizard

December 3, 2015: E is for Everglades

December 17, 2015: Commotion in the Ocean

January 14, 2016:  Little Cardinal and Friends

January 28, 2016:  Johnny Longlegs

February 11, 2016:  Be a Junior Veterinarian

February 25, 2016: The Magic Tree

March 10, 2016:  Stellaluna the Baby Fruit Bat

March 24, 2016: I am a Manatee

April 14, 2016:  “How my little hands can help the Earth”

April 28, 2016:  Over in the Ocean

May 12, 2016:  A Color of His Own

May 26, 2016:  Salty the Sea Turtle

All Conservancy Nature Center programs and events are online at Membership is available online at For information about the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, call 239-262-0304 or visit The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is located at 1495 Smith Preserve Way in Naples.