Southwest Florida Business Briefs: Sept. 7, 2009


Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has named Luis Bernal as its new business development director for the county in a new step toward enhancing its presence in Collier County. Bernal is a consultant specialized in Hispanic marketing communications and business counseling.

Patricia Dickey has been named interim director of the Gulf Coast Humane Society, a nonprofit animal welfare organization. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Dickey has lived in Fort Myers for six years. She has vast experience working for nonprofit organizations including five years at the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce as director of special events.

Bank of Florida - Southwest expanded its treasury management division with the hiring of two veteran business banking professionals. Kathi Zanella has been named senior vice president, treasury management sales manager, and Kathleen Karpovich has joined the staff as vice president, treasury management division. Zanella has 17 years of experience in the financial industry. She will oversee the treasury management division. Karpovich serves as a business consultant specializing in homeowners’ and condominium associations. She has 22 years of experience in both commercial and retail banking.

Keller Williams Elite Realty in Bonita Springs announced the following new employees: Marie Ackerman and Rob Sowers. Ackerman has been a licensed real estate agent for five years. Prior to real estate she was in the retail support business. Sowers has been a licensed real estate agent for four years. Prior to real estate he was a professional artist.

Stroemer & Co., a business consulting and certified public accounting firm with offices in Fort Myers and Sanibel, announced the following appointments: Russ Panks has joined the firm. He has 14 years of experience in public accounting and holds a certificate as a construction financial professional. Michael Miller has been promoted to partner. He has 24 years experience in the accounting industry and 15 years experience running audit, accounting, and bookkeeping departments.

Susan Nesbet-Sikuta has joined Cohen & Grigsby, a business law firm, in the estates and trusts practice group in the firm’s Bonita Springs office. Nesbet-Sikuta works closely with clients to develop and execute the right strategies for long- and short-term estate plans with revocable trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts and irrevocable life insurance trusts, among other forms of estate planning.

Ann Watson has been named fashion director of Marissa Collections. She was most recently the fashion director at Henri Bendel and before that, women’s fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue. She will also be consulting and buying as well as forging new creative directions for Marissa Collections.


Theresa Knower, of Entrust Freedom, Self Directed IRAs and 1031s, has been promoted to chief operating officer. She will be responsible for day to day operations and strategic planning. Knower joined the company in 2004 as a senior consultant and rose to several supervisory and management positions in the company and recently the director of 1031 operations.

Dr. Kelley Johnson has been promoted to dental director for CHS Healthcare. CHS has four dental locations. Johnson began working for CHS and with its Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program in 2006, and will continue to work with kids on the Care Mobile. Johnson has recently been selected as a prestigious 40 Under 40 Award recipient for 2009.

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady announced that three of its Naples office attorneys have been recognized in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America: D. Fred Garner in trusts and estates, Kimberly Johnson in trusts and estates and Kevin Lottes in real estate law.

Dennis White of Dennis R. White, P.A. has been named a 2009 Florida Super Lawyer by Law & Politics magazine. White is a Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates attorney and a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He focuses his practice in estate and trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, estate planning, estate settlement, and, estate and trust administration.

Window Wear Design received the prestigious 2009 Design and Workroom Award for the “Top Treatment Category of Envision Design” by Window Fashion Vision magazine. The Window Fashion Vision Design and Workroom Competitions have been held annually for 23 years, and are open to window fashion designers and workrooms worldwide.


Rachael Loukonen of Grant, Fridkin, Pearson, Athan & Crown has been appointed to the board for the Collier County Bar Association trial lawyers section. Board members are dedicated to providing local trial lawyers with the resources and opportunities needed to become effective, competent, and ethical advocates. Loukonen joined the firm in 2003 and is a member of its litigation practice group.

The Naples Concert Band has announced its officers for the 2009-2010 concert season: Frank Burgeson (clarinet) president; Jim Castaldi (trumpet) vice-president; Tim Hains (alto saxophone) treasurer is; Shirley Mann (trumpet) secretary. The Naples Concert Band has been holding free concerts on Sunday afternoons in Cambier Park since 1972.


Samantha Scott, owner of Pushing the Envelope, a Bonita Springs-based mixed marketing communications firm, launched the company’s new Web site The company is now able to offer more complete company information online and additional exposure for clients. The new site includes the company portfolio, blog and Twitter posts as well as links to the company Facebook page, clients and pro-bono accounts.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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