Scene & Heard: Power Women … Hot Model … Unwanted Gold
Kellie Burns' news and notes from around Southwest Florida
A slew of female supporters, each wearing a rose in her lapel, turned out in support of Rose Rundle at a Fort Myers City Council meeting in March. Rundle was abruptly fired last year as director of the city’s Harborside Event Center. She sued the city and a dozen or so of her powerful female friends showed up at the hearing to show solidarity. They included Pam Cronin, Melinda Isley, Stephanie Davis and even former Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall, recently released from prison for campaign fraud … It’s a jungle out there, but no bride ever expected her wedding day to look like that. Yet there was Nicole Laquis, a mother of four, posing with a giraffe and a rhinoceros. She believed the Ngala Preserve in Naples was the perfect place to marry her love, developer Mark Stevens of Stevens Construction, a father of three. With a merged family of nine, yes, maybe life can be a little like a zoo … Congratulations to this year’s Grande Dames, Sharlene Dozier, Jacke McCurdy and Melvin Morgan. These wise women were celebrated by Lee County’s PACE Center for Girls at a tea in March for their careers honoring the female spirit …
Wars are fought and won in the media.
Trey Radel is back. The congressman, nabbed buying cocaine in an undercover drug sting in Washington, D.C., in 2013, has opened a public relations firm for crisis management. On the Trey Radel Media Group website, prospective clients are told, “It’s not what you say but how they feel.” His savvy from years in the public arena surely plays into his pitch for business. There’s also talk about whether he’ll return to his former job as a conservative radio talk show host, but, so far, we have no confirmation of that happening.
… Rarely does an event leave its mark on you the way the Golden Apple awards ceremonies in April did at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers. It seems that the Harborside rental chairs for the VIPs had recently been spray-painted in gold and, as the evening wore on, the men and women began noticing a gold H imprinted on their gowns and tuxedos. This is one time they didn’t want to go home with the gold, but, at last report, local dry cleaners came to the rescue with their paint removal magic … “Do not take cellphones into an interview. And tell your parents how much you love and appreciate them. They are your biggest fans.” This was the advice FineMark National Bank & Trust CEO Joe Catti had for students from Junior Achievement when he and Elaine Hawkins, president of Private Client Insurance, were inducted into the 2015 Business Hall of Fame at the Hyatt Coconut Point Resort & Spa in April. Smart tips for getting started on a Hall of Fame career … AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams and his wife, Georgeanne, put their mansion in Gulf Harbor Yacht & Country Club on the market for $6.9 million. They bought the seven-bedroom riverfront, Spanish-style house from real estate developer Al Hoffman five years ago for $5 million. That’s a steal, considering at one point in the mid-1990s the house was listed for $17 million. Georgeanne says they are not leaving Fort Myers but that, now that their two children are grown, they are looking for something smaller nearby. Stay tuned … Prime your sweet tooth. Thanks to a Facebook campaign by two fans from Fort Myers, Krispy Kreme will be opening its first store in Southwest Florida by the end of the year. Jason Eduard and James Gallante launched a crusade to get a location here, calling the company’s doughnuts “hot rings of glory.” Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson joined in, saying “just the smell brings me back to my days growing up in North Carolina.” The store will be on the corner of Colonial and Six Mile Cypress. Gentlefolks, start your appetites …
MODEL AND WIFE
The newest model for Clive Daniel Home is none other than co-owner Dan Lubner’s wife, Cathy. Dan is the creative mind behind the company’s lauded advertising campaigns. In the past, he has used his staff, community leaders and children as models. Why his wife this time? His two words above explain his choice of this 40-something mother of three. We couldn’t agree more. She cuts a fine figure for the company and is a role model for all of us moms.
… Force of the islands: The people of Sanibel and Captiva made a big statement of support for the Golisano Children’s Hospital when they raised a whopping $4 million at the annual SanCap Cares event in March at South Seas Resort. This was the 15th anniversary of the islands’ celebration started by Sanibel moms to raise money for the hospital. The money puts them over the five-year, $10 million pledge to the hospital’s capital campaign. Never underestimate the power of a mother (or two) … And then there’s the case of some guys using their heads to raise funds for the Pediatric Cancer Center and Golisano Children’s Hospital. Former Major League pitcher-turned-real estate agent Chris Resop called in his buddies for a “Cut for a Cure” event in March at his wife’s Blow Dry Bar in Naples. More than 50 fellows, including a few ballplayers, shaved their heads with the help of some local children. Bald is beautiful, especially in this case.
A sampling of money raised for local charities
Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest
Cattle Barons Ball of Lee County
Gentle’men Against Domestic Violence Tailgate
Saks Fifth Avenue and Saint Ann Foundation Fashion Show
Opera Naples Gala