SalusCare employee earns recognition
Lehigh Acres resident Wallace Neal, director of adult residential programs for SalusCare, has been honored as the "Clinician of the Year" for Florida's Suncoast Region by the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.
Neal received the award Aug. 7 at the statewide annual conference of the FADAA and the Florida Council for Community Mental Health in Orlando. He was selected for the honor by vote of his peers.
Neal is an 18-year veteran of the mental health and substance abuse field, since earning his Bachelor of Science in human services in 1996 and Master of Science in social work in 2001. He became a certified addiction professional in 2004.
Neal has worked in all areas of treatment, acting as case manager and intake assessor, then working his way through clinical roles and into supervisory positions. He began work at SalusCare as clinical director of adult residential programs and now serves as director.
During this time, he has taught at the Florida Addiction Institute, helping students obtain their educational hours toward substance abuse certification. He also serves on the advisory board for the Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida and works closely with the School of Social Work at Florida Gulf Coast University supervising several interns each year.
The Suncoast Region includes Lee County and 13 other counties.
Airport recognized for best commercial project
The Florida Department of Transportation honored Southwest Florida International Airport with the 2014 Commercial Service Airport Project for its Apron Expansion and Associated Taxiways project.
The award was presented to the Lee County Port Authority, AECOM and Manhattan Construction at the Florida Airports Council Annual Conference held in Jacksonville.
The Apron and Taxiway Expansion Project at Southwest Florida International Airport provided more space for aircraft taxiing between the runway and terminal gates, additional paved areas for overnight and diverted aircraft parking and a long-term, cross-field taxiway system linking the existing runway to the future parallel runway.
"Receiving this award is a tribute to the dedication of Port Authority staff and our project team," Robert M. Ball, executive director of the Lee County Port Authority, said. "The project enhances the safe movement of aircraft and was accomplished without interruption to our flight schedules or inconvenience to the traveling public."
The FDOT Aviation Office annually reviews aviation projects for the Airport Project of the Year Award. To be considered, the project must demonstrate exceptional professional skills and represent a significant contribution to airport development, sustainability, efficiency, capacity, and/or safety. The award is also given to the primary consultants and contractors who worked on the project.
This is the fourth time Southwest Florida International Airport has received the statewide accolade.
County EDO releases migration study report
The Lee County Economic Development Office released a migration study report analyzing the trends in population in the area.
Based on data collected by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service and Statistics of Income Division, the trend is positive for Lee County.
There are more people than ever moving to Lee County. The annual population growth for migration is 31,549 as reported in the 2011 findings.
Collier County loses an average of 3,426 residents a year to Lee County, while on average only 3,277 Lee County residents move to Collier County each year.
The report also investigated the migration of people moving to Lee County from other counties within Florida. The findings showed that Florida residents on the east coast show steady migration to Lee County year-over-year.
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties showed the highest concentrated migration of all east coast Florida counties.
The annual average move from east coast counties to Lee County:
- Miami-Dade County: 2,136
- Broward County: 1,175
- Palm Beach County: 513
"The results of this research are significant," Rick Michael, director of the Lee County Economic Development Office, said. "They confirm many of the key points we promote to businesses looking at relocation and prove that Lee County is a great place to live and do business."
To review the entire migration study, visit: leecountybusiness.com/images/Mreport.pdf
For information on the Lee County Economic Development Office, visit: www.leecountybusiness.com/.
Environmental funding award available
LCEC is accepting applications from organizations for an environmental funding award.
To apply, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an application.
The deadline for the 2014 application is Sept. 1.
Organizations must meet certain criteria to be considered for the award including being located within LCEC service territory, funding utilized for projects/programs related to the environment and the utility industry and having a demonstrated need for funds.
Horizon Foundation nears fundraising goal
The Horizon Foundation, which supports the efforts of the Horizon Council and Lee County Economic Development Office, is just shy of breaking its fundraising goal.
Having raised $387,545 to date, it has just $12,455 less than the goal set forth for the year and is asking for Lee County business and community support.
Last year, the foundation raised a record $385,000, which was $35,000 more than the goal. It set the goal for fundraising in 2014 even higher at $400,000.
The fundraising ends on Sept. 19 at the 23rd Annual Industry Appreciation Week luncheon, which will be held at the Harborside Event Center.
The majority of the fundraising goes directly to support the marketing and business assistance objectives of the Lee County Economic Development Office program.
To make a contribution, contact B. Pat O'Rourke at (239) 338-3161 or email@example.com.
For information about the Horizon Council, Horizon Foundation and Lee County Economic Development Office, visit: www.leecountybusiness.com/home/horizon-council.