' Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle' ... Social services, sports and biofuels are covered this week

Social services, sports and biofuels are covered on this week’s "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle’’ this morning at 10 on ABC7.

Vann Ellison of St. Matthew’s House explains why the homeless shelter needs to add an ex-car dealership on Airport-Puling Road in East Naples; Craig Brush of the Florida Everblades and Germain Arena is asked whether nearby FGCU would be a good new owner for both; and Paul Woods, founder and CEO of Algenol Biofuels, explains how the Bonita Springs firm is using a $100 million investment from Mumbai.

* Video highlights are available Monday at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.

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Vann Ellison

Lytle: Working and jobs, which would be provided by using the car dealership property to expand your catering business, are part of the rehabilitation of your clients, am I right?

Ellison: It really is. There’s a sacred value to working. I think that one of the reasons a program like St. Matthew’s House works is that when we take somebody who’s coming in, and they’re struggling and they’re broke, just giving them public assistance is great, but that only goes so far. In some ways people who are taking food stamps and those things, they feel debilitated. To give them training so that they have good job skills, give them a way to be productive and earn their way back into society, it builds their self-esteem through doing esteemable acts, they’re doing good quality things. And so, it’s all part of the recovery process.

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Craig Brush

Lytle: Let me ask you about Florida Gulf Coast University. They’re a big neighbor of Germain Arena, which is for sale, and FGCU has a basketball program that by all accounts is growing, and there is more excitement. Would that be a good fit?

Brush: I think it would be. But I don’t know whether the timing is exactly right for that. You know they’re growing the program right now. They haven’t played to capacity at the their own Alico Area on campus.

Lytle: Which seats 4,000. You seat 7,000.

Brush: Actually we could probably put 8,000 in there for basketball. So, but I think in the long term it would make great sense for the university, because if they are successful in building the program the way they want to, they’re going to need a facility of our size.

Paul Woods

Lytle: I once heard you say that the U.S. immigration laws preclude you from getting all the employees you need in your specialized field of work. Is that still the case?

Woods: Well, I’m one of those people. I’ve been working really, really hard to actually become a citizen of this country. I’m now under extended review, so I don’t really know what that means, Jeff. But it’s been a long, uphill battle for me even to be a citizen here, and I have American children, and I worked hard to be an outstanding member of the community.

But, it’s not just other people. I’m part of that.

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