Lee County/Horizon Council now accepting applications for the 25th annual Industry Appreciation Awards honoring local businesses

HC 25 Anniversary logoTo salute excellence in Lee County’s business community, the Lee County Economic Development Office and the Horizon Council are seeking submissions for the 25th annual Industry Appreciation Awards. The honorees will be recognized during the Industry Appreciation luncheon on Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Estero. Networking begins at 10:30 a.m. and the program is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Horizon Council will honor businesses in four categories:

  • the LocalLee Grown Business Award will be awarded to a company that was founded in Lee County and is distinguished by its operational excellence and commitment to the vibrance of Southwest Florida’s business climate;
  • the Business Citizenship Award honors a company whose financial, volunteer and active involvement in organizations and programs have helped create a better quality of life in Lee County;
  • the Emerging Business Leader Award will be awarded to a relative newcomer to Lee County that is experiencing marked growth while introducing inventive products, services or business practices;
  • the Bruce T. Gora Legacy Award has been added to honor the 25th anniversary of the Industry Appreciation Awards. It recognizes an individual who during the last 25 years has established a history of distinguished service and contributions to the betterment and growth of Lee County’s business community.

Applications for the 2016 Industry Appreciation Awards are now being accepted online at LeeCountyBusiness.com. The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 27.

The Horizon Council is a public-private board established in 1991 to advise the Lee County Board of Commissioners on economic development issues. The Council has over 70members representing six cities; chambers of commerce; economic development and trade organizations; community, business, and education organizations; along with various officers and at-large members.  TheLee County Economic Development Office works to attract new and diversified businesses to the area, and improve the overall business environment in Lee County. For more information, visit www.leecountybusiness.com or call 239-338-3161.

Scott Wells joins Stevens Construction Inc.

Scott WellsScott Wells has joined Stevens Construction as senior superintendent, announced Mark Stevens, company president.
Wells joins the company with more than 20 years of construction experience with a specialty in senior care construction.  Prior to joining Stevens Construction, Wells served as senior superintendent for construction management firm where he completed more than $400 million in commercial construction, including the 400,000-square-foot Terraces at Bonita Springs, a SantaFe Senior Living Community.

 

Wells will manage the onsite field supervision of commercial and health care projects, specifically handling inspections, safety meetings, daily job reports, cost reports and all tasks that are instrumental to the success of the project.

 

With offices in Fort Myers, Tampa and Orlando, Fla., Stevens Construction specializes in providing construction management, general contracting and consulting services to clients and design professionals. Other services include site and design team selection, budgeting, project scheduling, permitting, cost and quality control and warranty service. The company builds health care, commercial and hospitality facilities. For information, visit www.stevensconstructioninc.com or call 239-936-9006.

KOVA Partners appoints John Zizzo as property and association manager for KOVA Property Management

John ZizzoKOVA Partners, LLC is pleased to announce the hiring of John Zizzo, CAM, as a property and association manager for KOVA Property Management. In his position at KOVA Property Management, Zizzo will be responsible for managing a variety of areas within the division, including properties, vendors, tenants and associations.

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Zizzo holds a bachelor’s degree from National Louis University. Prior to joining KOVA Property Management, Zizzo obtained 15 years of experience as a real estate broker and property manager for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. Zizzo currently holds Florida Community Association Manager (CAM) and Florida Real Estate Sales Associate licenses and holds certifications in Broker Price Opinion Resource (BPOR) and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) from the National Association of Realtors. His wide range of expertise includes sales, property management, construction and real estate.

About KOVA Partners, LLC

KOVA Partners, LLC is a privately owned, full-service real estate firm and real estate investment fund manager engaged in the development, financing, investment, managing, insurance and leasing of a wide array of real estate investment products and services. With offices in Naples and Bonita Springs, as well as numerous strategic partnerships with third party affiliates, KOVA Partners is comprised of KOVA Commercial, KOVA Property Management and KOVA Insurance Group, and prides itself on its ability to enhance profitability for all of its clients through strategic partnerships and effective solutions. For additional information about KOVA Partners, LLC, please visit www.KOVAPartners.com or call 239-261-2627.

KOVA Partners expands portfolio, launches KOVA Insurance Group

KOVA - Daniel Bolduc David Bolduc Anthony EmmaKOVA Partners, LLC is pleased to announces the launch of its latest division of services, KOVA Insurance Group, LLC (KIG). Led by David P. Bolduc, CFA, ARM, ARe and Daniel G. Bolduc, CPCU, KOVA’s newest offering provides clients a comprehensive approach to the management of real estate assets by combining the expertise of a fully integrated, full-service commercial real estate firm with insurance principals who possess an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of risk management pertaining to commercial properties.

The opportunity to expand KOVA Partners current repertoire of services was led by Anthony Emma, CEO and managing member of KOVA Partners, who invested as a partner with Lely Insurance to form KIG. Currently managing three million square feet of property, KOVA Partners presents a versatile portfolio of services, offering clients a tailored approach to the commercial insurance industry, and this acquisition will allow the company to continue to broaden its span of internal services available to clients. Specializing in the commercial real estate industry, KIG will have the distinctive ability to identify which insurance companies and coverages best fit each client based on their individual location, construction, age and square footage risk profile, and can evaluate clients’ insurance programs for coverage gaps and need for additional coverage to enhance their overall insurance programs.

“Following our motto of investing in people, our goal is to work on behalf of our clients to reduce operating expenses while providing the key services they need to promote growth. Incorporating insurance services into the mix allows KOVA to go above and beyond our call to provide a one-stop shop experience dedicated to the protection and management of our clients’ real estate assets,” Emma said. “Through KIG, we now have the ability to sit down with our clients and reassess risk and current premiums in order to pinpoint the areas within their coverage that need to be improved upon. This new division extends our range of service to prospective clients, and paves the way for current clients to enjoy yet another service available through KOVA Partners that will promote long-term benefits within their businesses.”

David Bolduc began his career as an underwriter with American International Group (AIG) where he was responsible for underwriting commercial insurance programs for several Fortune 500 corporations in New England and eastern Canada. He later joined Strategic Risk Solutions as a risk analyst where he performed a number of captive insurance feasibility studies, and also assisted in the management of a Bermuda-based reinsurance company focused on hurricane and earthquake catastrophe-prone commercial property insurance programs. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from Brown University, and holds the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) designations from the Insurance Institute, and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) investment designation from the CFA Institute.

Daniel Bolduc’s past experience includes ownership of a successful insurance firm in Maine, where he successfully transformed a small agency into a flourishing business. He has earned the prestigious Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, a premier designation in the property and casualty insurance industry that is held by just over two percent of all those employed in the insurance industry in the United States. Achieving the designation requires completion of courses covering topics such as insurance law, history, contracts, property insurance, liability insurance, operations, rate making and risk management. Before entering the insurance industry, Daniel Bolduc served as a professional hockey player, represented the United States at two World Championships and is a former member of the 1976 USA Olympic Hockey Team and 1976 USA Canada Cup Team. He played college hockey at Harvard University, reaching two NCAA Frozen Fours, and winning two Beanpot Championships.

About KOVA Partners, LLC

KOVA Partners, LLC is a privately owned, full-service real estate firm and real estate investment fund manager engaged in the development, financing, investment, managing, insurance and leasing of a wide array of real estate investment products and services. With offices in Naples and Bonita Springs, as well as numerous strategic partnerships with third party affiliates, KOVA Partners is comprised of KOVA Commercial, KOVA Property Management and KOVA Insurance Group, and prides itself on its ability to enhance profitability for all of its clients through strategic partnerships and effective solutions. For additional information about KOVA Partners, LLC, please visit www.KOVAPartners.com or call 239-261-2627.

Tickets, sponsorships still available for May 3 Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida’s 2016 Business Hall of Fame, Lee County

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida has announced that tickets and sponsorships are still available for the upcoming 2016 Business Hall of Fame, Lee County, to be held on Tuesday, May 3 with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs.

Junior AchievemeGary Aubuchonnt 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 Gary Aubuchon, president of Aubuchon Team of Companies, and Steve Marino, president and CEO of Home-Tech Consolidated, Inc., into its Business Hall of Fame, Lee County. Aubuchon and Marino will join a distinguished group of individuals who have been inducted into the Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida Business Hall of Fame since it was founded in 1999.

Business sponsorships are still available and include entrance to the event with premium diamond sponsorships at $10,000, platinum level sponsorships for $8,000 and gold level sponsorships for $5,500. These levels include eight seats, with an additional two seats reserved for students. Additional sponsorships available are silver sponsor level for $2,000, which includes eigh Steve Marinot seats with two additional seats for students, and bronze sponsor level for $1,000, which includes four seats at a reserved table. 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 respectively. To reserve tables, individual tickets or to become a sponsor, call the Junior Achievement office at 239-225-2590 or visit www.JASWFL.org. Proceeds benefit local Junior Achievement programs.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA):

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA of Southwest Florida programs are delivered to students in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.6 million students per year in 113 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations in 118 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit www.JA.org for more information. For more information about JA of Southwest Florida visit www.JASWFL.org, call 239-225-2590 or info@jaswfl.org.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida says farewell to resident loggerhead sea turtle, Betsy

Photo 8_1The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has said a final farewell to Betsy, the organization’s beloved female loggerhead, releasing the sea turtle near the Ten Thousand Islands on March 29. Betsy has served as an ambassador for the loggerhead species within the Dalton Discovery Center for two years, providing visitors a unique opportunity to learn about native sea turtle conservation.

Following Betsy’s release, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida will welcome a new juvenile loggerhead to its facilities on March 30. Conservancy of Southwest Florida visitors can help name the new loggerhead by submitting their ideas in person at the Conservancy Nature Center from March 30 through April 10. A committee of staff, interns and volunteers will review the submissions and select a name, which will be announced during the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Earth Day Festival on April 16.

Betsy hatched on July 31, 2013; her nest was originally found in Boca Raton, Florida. She was part of a gender study with Florida Atlantic University where which linked nest temperature to the gender of hatchlings. Her gender was determined while she was still in her egg, and was monitored in her egg before hatching. She was transferred tPhoto 6_2o the Conservancy of Southwest Florida until she was large enough to be released into the wild.

Betsy came to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in March 2014, weighing 1.07 pounds (486 grams) and measuring 14.1 centimeters in length. To be eligible for release into the wild, captive loggerhead sea turtles must have a carapace length of at least 45 centimeters. Recent measurements confirmed Betsy’s carapace length to be 45 centimeters, and she weighed 29.5 pounds. Conservancy biologists placed a flipper tag and a PIT tag on Betsy prior to her release. With these devices in place, biologists will be able to determine her origin and release location, should Betsy be found following release.

Betsy the loggerhead was named after the late Betsy Sandstrom, a long-time sea turtle advocate and volunteer for the Bonita Springs/Fort Myers Beach organization Turtle Time. Betsy passed away from cancer two years ago. Following the sea turtle’s arrival in 2014, the Conservancy launched a social media cont est to help give the loggerhead a name. Upon learning of the contest, one of Sandstrom’s friends suggested naming the turtle inPhoto 4_3 her honor. Before she passed away in 2014, Sandstrom had the opportunity to meet her namesake during an emotional introduction, surrounded by friends and family. Members of Sandstrom’s family returned to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for Betsy’s release to say a final farewell to the sea turtle.

“We are experiencing many emotions with Betsy’s release because this sea turtle’s story is one of great legacy. Named after such an inspiring individual, Betsy has gone on to accomplish great things at the Conservancy, helping us share her story and spread awareness about the loggerhead species,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “While sad to see her leave us, we are ecstatic to release her into the wild where she will continue to flourish. It has been a joy to watch Betsy progress over the past two years, and we look forward to welcoming a new baby loggerhead to our facilities.”

Loggerheads have a very low survival rate in the wild.  Only 1 in 1,000 sea turtles survives to adulthood. True to its mission of protecting Southwest Florida’s water, land and wildlife, the Conservancy began the Florida Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program in 1982 on Keewaydin Island. Now, in its 34th year, the program has saved more than 265,000 loggerheads. For more information, visit www.conservancy.org/our-work/science/wildlife/loggerheads.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:

The Conservancy of SouthwePhoto 2_2st Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 50 year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Fla., 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.

Sponsors named for Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida’s 2016 Business Hall of Fame, Lee County

2014 logo - JA of Southwest Florida Green Gold copy

Gary Aubuchon

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida is proud to announce the sponsors of the 2016 Business Hall of Fame, Lee County, to be held on Tuesday, May 3 with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs. This year’s event title sponsors are BB&T Bank and BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company. Gold event sponsors include Aubuchon Team of Companies, Chico’s FAS Inc., Comcast and Home-Tech Consolidated, Inc. During the event, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida will induct Gary Aubuchon, president of Aubuchon Team of Companies, and Steve Marino, president and CEO of Home-Tech Consolidated, Inc., into its Business Hall of Fame, Lee County.

Steve Marino

The prestigious award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who serve as role models for youth through their professional accomplishments and commitment to the community. Aubuchon and Marino will join a distinguished group of individuals who have been inducted into the Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida Business Hall of Fame since it was founded in 1999. For more information about the event, including table and individual ticket sales, visit www.JASWFL.org.

Business sponsorships are still available and include entrance to the event with premium diamond sponsorships at $10,000, platinum level sponsorships for $8,000 and gold level sponsorships for $5,500. These levels include eight seats, with an additional two seats reserved for students. Additional sponsorships available are silver sponsor level for $2,000, which includes eight seats with two additional seats for students, and bronze sponsor level for $1,000, which includes four seats at a reserved table. 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 respectively. To reserve tables, individual tickets or to become a sponsor, call the Junior Achievement office at 239-225-2590 or visit www.JASWFL.org. Proceeds benefit local Junior Achievement programs.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA):

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA of Southwest Florida programs are delivered to students in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.6 million students per year in 113 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations in 118 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit www.JA.org for more information. For more information about JA of Southwest Florida visit www.JASWFL.org, call 239-225-2590 or info@jaswfl.org.

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida to induct Gary Aubuchon and Steve Marino into 2016 Business Hall of Fame, Lee County

Gary AubuchonJunior Achievement of Southwest Florida will induct Gary Aubuchon, president of Aubuchon Team of Companies, and Steve Marino, president and CEO of Home-Tech Consolidated, Inc., into the 2016 Business Hall of Fame, Lee County, during an awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 3 with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs.

The prestigious award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who serve as role models for youth through their professional accomplishments and commitment to the community. Aubuchon and Marino will join a distinguished group of individuals who have been inducted into the Business Hall of Fame since it was founded in 1999. For more information including sponsorship opportunities and individual tickets, visit www.JASWFL.org.

As a community, business and legislative trailblazer, Aubuchon’s exceptional leadership skills have distinguished him in the Southwest Florida community where he has resided for over three decades. A successful entrepreneur, Aubuchon is the founding partner and president of the Aubuchon Team of Companies, an industry leader in semi-custom and custom homebuilding. Doing business in Southwest Florida since 1992, Team Aubuchon consists of Aubuchon Homes, Miloff Aubuchon Realty Group, Sterling Collection and Evalutions by Aubuchon.

Through his positive leadership and relentless pursuit of excellence, his company has grown from a one-person, home-based real estate business into Southwest Florida’s leader in luxurious and innovative design, superior construction and widely diversified real estate solutions, with more than 150 employees. His leadership has earned his company hundreds of industry awards, along with recognition for professional excellence and community involvement.

Aubuchon has served his community with distinction through involvement in many nonprofit boards and support of charitable organizations and their causes, including Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, Cape Coral Bike-Ped, Cape Coral Community Foundation, American Red Cross of Lee County, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lee BIA Builders Care, The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools and American Cancer Society. His dedication to improving the lives of those in the community has earned him such honors as Cape Coral Citizen of the Year from the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce in 2001 and Humanitarian of the Year from the Lee County Chapter of the American Red Cross in 2003.

For six years he served as a State Representative in the Florida House where he quickly ascended into key leadership positions, earning a reputation as a forward-thinkingSteve Marino legislator committed to good policy, with a knack for building consensus. During this time, Aubuchon also served two years as Chairman of the Rules and Calendar Committee, where he was known as fair, steadfast and measured in his management of floor procedures.

Aubuchon is a graduate of the University of Michigan, resides in Cape Coral with Andrea, his wife of 30 years, and is the proud father of three daughters, Julia, Jennifer and Madison.

Marino moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Southwest Florida in 1980 to pursue his dream of starting an in-home air-conditioning and appliance service business. Operating the business from a back bedroom in their San Carlos Park home, he was the technician and salesman, and his former wife, Sharon Marino, the dispatcher and bookkeeper. Because of their hard work, dedication, and entrepreneurship, Home-Tech continued to expand its customer base throughout Southwest Florida.

In 1996, Home-Tech became an employee-owned company which allowed its employees to share in the experience of true company ownership. Currently, Home-Tech is owned by 65 shareholders. In 2016, Home-Tech celebrates 35 years with a total of 130 employees, and serves customers in five counties from Marco Island to Manatee County. Home-Tech has two locations with appliance and air conditioning showrooms, one in Fort Myers and one in Bradenton. Home-Tech continues to thrive partly due to the extensive training program for technicians, an apprenticeship program to develop the skills of new technicians, and the dedication of the employee owners. Today, Marino continues to lead Home-Tech as president and CEO.

Marino is honored to be in a position to give back to his community which has given so much success to him and his family. With the leadership of his daughter Sonya Sawyer, Marino is proud to serve PACE Center for Girls, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Florida and Habitat for Humanity. Home-Tech is proud to have helped build 18 houses for Habitat for Humanity in Lee County over the past 10 years.

Marino earned the distinction of All-Around winner as a celebrity dancer at the inaugural Red Cross StarStruck event in 2007, was instrumental in helping Home-Tech achieve recognition as the Horizon Council’s Industry Appreciation Award recipient in 2009 and was named Philanthropist of the Year by Gulfshore Life in 2010. Recently, Marino was honored as a nominee for the 2012 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award presented by the Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Marino has two daughters, Sonya Sawyer and Melanie Atkinson. He enjoys mentoring and spending time with his five grandchildren, and in his free time he enjoys being a pilot, ballroom dancing, hiking and snow skiing.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA):

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA of Southwest Florida programs are delivered to students in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.6 million students per year in 113 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations in 118 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit www.JA.org for more information. For more information about JA of Southwest Florida visit www.JASWFL.org, call 239-225-2590 or info@jaswfl.org.

GMA Architects & Planners completes Moe Auditorium and Film Center

GMA Architects & Planners (GMA) announces the completion of the Moe Auditorium and Film Center for the Center for the Arts of Bonita SMoe Auditorium and Film Center 1prings.

In 2013, the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs purchased an existing church campus including a secondary youth activity structure. GMA has developed a phased conversion of the sanctuary and classroom building into a Center for the Performing Arts to provide a venue for theatric or musical programs and offer studio and teaching space.

The recently completed Moe Auditorium and Film Center project converted the youth center into a small “black box” venue for performing arts rehearsal and education, smaller performances and comedy club type productions. Activities in “The Moe,” as it is fondly called, range from Films for Film Lovers Foreign Film Series, Youth Theater Performance and Improv, to instruction for all ages in dance, theater and music.

Renovations and features include a wide variety of areas that will meet the needs of patrons who wish to enjoy music, dance, film and theater in this beautifully transformed building. A welcoming outdoor pre-function seating area features artistic décor and tropical landscape. The eye-catching new facade announces that something excitingMoe Auditorium and Film Center 2 is happening here. Guests access the center through a new covered entryway leading to the entirely upgraded lobby. Interior improvements include new finishes in main auditorium, modern audio/visual systems operated from a new sound booth, and updated staging, wings and backstage areas. The second floor mezzanine houses dedicated studios for dance instruction.

The facility renovations and initial productions have received critical acclaim from a public eager for this style of niche venue.

Ramon Acevedo, AIA was the Sr. Project Architect and Bob Schuerman did the contract administration.

For the past 35 years, GMA Architects & Planners (GMA) has been Southwest Florida’s leading architectural design firm. Earning recognition from the Florida Southwest American Institute of Architects, the Florida Home Builders Association and the Lee County Building Industry Association, the firm has provided award-winning architectural and interior design services for a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including several leading area developers. For more information, call 239-275-0225 or visit www.gmaarchitect.com.

 

Retina Health Center invites public to free symposium Jan. 23 on macular degeneration

RHC Logo

Retina Health Center and the Foundation Fighting Blindness will host the 13th annual Southwest Florida Macular Degeneration Symposium on Saturday,  Jan. 23. The symposium will feature world-renowned experts providing the latest information on treatment options and new discoveries. Attendees will learn about groundbreaking new treatment options for both dry and wet macular degeneration.

This free, three-hour presentation will be given twice on Jan. 23, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, 5001 Coconut Rd. in Bonita Springs. To reserve a seat, attendees must register in advance by calling 800-586-6765.

Dr. Charles Johnson, Chief Medical Officer of Neurotech, will be this year’s guest speaker. Dr. Johnson is an accomplished physician and pharmaceutical executive with more than four decades of experience in clinical practice and the biotech sector. Dr. Johnson was most recently the Vice President of Global Medical Affairs at Vertex. Prior to this, he held leadership positions at Inspire Pharmaceuticals and APT Pharmaceuticals. Notably, during his 13 year tenure at Genentech, he was the Vice President and Head of the Immunology and Tissue Repair clinical group and had responsibility for the approvals of LUCENTIS® for wet age-related macular degeneration and RITUXAN® for rheumatoid arthritis. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Johnson spent 18 years practicing medicine. Dr. Johnson received his medical degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, attained Board Certification in Pediatrics at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and completed his Pediatric Pulmonology Fellowship at Washington University. He has presented clinical data at numerous medical conferences and published in several respected scientific journals.

In addition, Drs. Alexander Eaton and Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center will provide an overview of macular degeneration and discuss ongoing Retina Health Center studies that are helping patients at the local, national and international level.

Retina Health Center was established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident, who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties since 1993. Dr. Eaton and Dr. Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center are principal investigators for the Macular Degeneration Research Center, founded by Dr. Eaton, which has conducted numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. 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 www.RetinaHealthCenter.com.