Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
March 27--The Fort Myers-based Building Industry Association (BIA) was awarded a $2,500 check by the National Association of Home Builders.
BIA received the check after winning the fall 2013 "Member Madness" membership drive in the 200 to 349 members category, according to the national organization's Director of Development Dane Eagle.
"We are extremely happy to have grown our membership by more than 13 percent and being recognized for our grassroots efforts in strengthening our roster of members," Eagle said in a statement. "And coming out on top over 86 other home builder associations across the country is humbling and exciting."
The competition was one of seven in the national competition among all homebuilder associations. The check was presented to the BIA at the International Builders Showcase in Las Vegas in February.
Michael Dannenhauer president of Five County Insurance Agency Inc. and Joe Sealey, president of United Home Builders of S.W. FL. Inc., led the drive for new members. The BIA added 76 members to the association, which represent industries including homebuilders, subcontractors, insurance, legal and mortgage businesses.
The $2,500 will be reinvested in technology upgrades to serve members with continuing education programs of instructional seminars and contractor licensing classes, BIA officials said.
Frantz offers new VERION Image Guided System
Dr. Jonathan Frantz said his office is taking cataract surgery to a new level with the VERION Image Guided System.
Frantz said the technology is a part of the area's only full cataract refractive suite.
"Cataract surgery has come a long way. From the use of hand-held blades a decade ago to the use of bladeless laser technology, and now to the very recent advancements in the type of operating machines and software, cataract surgery has become safer, more accurate and precise," Frantz said in a statement. "Adding the VERION allows me to offer my patients the most advanced fully computer-guided technology possible for their cataract surgery.
"There is no use of a blade and no loss of blood, which means the risk of infection is significantly lower and recovery is much faster."
Frantz EyeCare has office locations in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres and Naples.
Famous cigar maker visits Naples-area store
Carlos "Carlito" Fuente Jr., the creator of one of the world's most-sought cigars, Fuente Fuente OpusX, was in Naples recently to visit Freedom Fine Cigars & Lounge on U.S. 41 East.
Freedom owner Randall Denman said the two became friends when Denman managed the Grand Havana Room in New York City.
Fuente Jr. of the Arturo Fuente Cigar Co. and his father, Carlos Fuente Sr., of Cuban heritage, is considered one of the most successful Cigar Makers in the industry.
The company was started in 1912 in Tampa by grandfather Arturo Fuente.
Carlos Fuente Jr. created in the mid-90s a 100 percent Dominican cigar, the Opus X.
"He is a passionate man and positively affects by example the entire premium cigar industry with his continued innovative ideas and quality control," Denman said in a statement.
Freedom Fine Cigars & Lounge is at 2260 U.S. 41 East in Naples.
People on the move
-- -Chris Campbell has joined Wright Construction Group Inc. as director of project development for developing new construction opportunities throughout Southwest Florida.
-- -Dan Grahl has joined Encore Bank as vice president of wholesale lending. Grahl will oversee the wholesale lending program for all Encore locations, while working out of the Bonita Springs branch.
-- -Patrick Simmons is the new restaurant manager of the Waldorf Astoria Naples. Simmons, a Florida native, completed his bachelor's degree in business management from Florida Southern College in 2009.
-- -Justin Hornyak has been named chef of HB's on the Gulf, the beachfront restaurant at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Southwest Florida. Hornyak will oversee the restaurant's cuisine, kitchen staff and food preparation.
Return to naplesnews.com throughout the day for the latest local business news.
(c)2014 the Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.)
Visit the Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.) at www.naplesnews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services