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Season Preview 2018: People to Watch

An alert on those aiming to step things up in the year ahead

Dr. Jaclyn Faffer: We won’t hide it: We’ve been fans for some time of the Naples Senior Center founder. A recent Community Foundation of Collier County/Richard M. Shultze Family Foundation study projects that Collier’s 65-plus residents will jump from 26 percent of the population in 2010 to 34 percent in 2040. Can this senior advocate keep pace with the needs of a growing, aging population?

Michael Fly: No, we did not make this up. We’re hoping to see the Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team, the Eagles, soar under their new head coach. Fly is a longtime assistant coach, part of the Dunk City phenomenon, and we’re looking to him for another NCAA run.

The Hoffmann family: David Hoffman (pictured), the namesake of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, has been buying up buildings and businesses in downtown Naples, including community favorite the Naples Princess. We’re watching to see how this family of developers shapes the city’s downtown core.

Syd Kitson: We’re fascinated by developer Syd Kitson’s Babcock Ranch project on the Lee-Charlotte county line. Will this new community turn out to be the high-tech/environmentally friendly/socially engaged/physically fit kind of place he envisioned?

Greg Longenhagen and Jason Parrish: The ouster of Florida Repertory Theatre’s founder, Robert Cacioppo, last spring by the company’s board of directors sent the theater world reeling. The company is now in the hands of Artistic Director Greg Longenhagen (pictured), a veteran actor and director, and Jason Parrish, who’d held the troupe together as interim director and will now serve as associate artistic director. Will they continue Florida Rep’s legacy of theatrical excellence, even if things were a bit tumultuous behind the curtain?

Michael Savarese: To its credit, Collier County does not want to be caught off-guard when the waters start rising. Savarese, an ecology professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, is overseeing a
$1 million sea-level rise research grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that seeks to project how Collier County will be impacted by climate change.


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