Cape Coral News & Notes (May 3, 2017)'s picture
Share this

Every Wednesday, brings our readers information, upcoming events, recent hires, promotions, and more from area businesses, clubs, and organizations.

If you would like to provide the latest happenings at your place of business or organization, email your press release to



Elmquist Eye Group celebrates 25 years in business

Elmquist Eye Group is proud to celebrate 25 years in business this May. First founded by Dr. Trevor Elmquist with a Fort Myers office in 1992, Elmquist Eye Group was established with a single promise – to provide patients within the local community with the highest quality eye care. For 25 years, and after caring for thousands of patients, this focus has remained the group’s primary goal.

With Dr. Elmquist – who has routinely been named one of the nation’s top ophthalmologists by fellow physicians – at the helm, the group has expanded to include a team of highly skilled associates. Dr. Kate Wagner was first to join Dr. Elmquist in 2006, and in 2007 she became Elmquist Eye Group’s managing partner. Next, Dr. Nina Burt joined the practice in 2009, and Dr. Sarah Eccles-Brown joined the team most recently in 2016. Associates provide patients with a range of medical and surgical eye care services, including cataract evaluations, refractive cataract surgery, comprehensive eye exams, glaucoma treatment, diabetic eye exams, dry eye treatment, eyelid treatments and surgeries, macular degeneration evaluation, contact lens fittings, LASIK, emergency care, and optical boutiques in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. In addition to providing the Southwest Florida community with quality eye care, Drs. Elmquist, Wagner, and Eccles-Brown have also served the country as past military service members.

“We are truly honored to have served the Southwest Florida community for the last 25 years,” said Dr. Trevor Elmquist. “Our dedicated team of associates and our caring staff have all made it possible for Elmquist Eye Group to continually provide our thousands of patients with the highest level of quality eye care throughout our time in business. It has given us all great pleasure to help our local community, and we look forward to doing so for many years to come.”

Over the years, Dr. Elmquist has lead the group with steadfast passion. As a result, the Elmquist Eye Group has consistently delivered excellent care in a comfortable setting and always with the best interests of patients at heart. It’s no coincidence that this caring approach has also resulted in steady growth. In 2009, a second office was opened in Cape Coral within the Shops at Surfside. Since 2006, Elmquist Eye Group also serves residents at the Arbor Medical Clinic, inside the Shell Retirement Community. Each location offers state of the art facilities, highly specialized equipment and an Electronic Medical Record System that enables Elmquist Eye Group to provide patients with the accuracy and high-quality care they deserve.

About Elmquist Eye Group

E. Trevor Elmquist, D.O. founded Elmquist Eye Group in Fort Myers in 1992. Elmquist and his skilled associates Dr. Kate Wagner, Dr. Nina Burt, and Dr. Sarah Eccles-Brown continue to provide a complete range of medical and surgical eye care to the residents of Lee County. Services include routine eye exams, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, and other eye conditions. A full-service optical boutique is located within the Fort Myers and Cape Coral offices, with a wide range of frames and lens options. The Fort Myers office is located at 12670 New Brittany Blvd., Suite 102 and the Cape Coral office is located at 2336 Surfside Blvd., Suite 121. For more information and appointments call (239) 936-2020 or go to


Gulf Coast Village and Volunteers of America announce ordination, commission new minister

Gulf Coast Village, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Cape Coral, and its sponsoring organization, Volunteers of America, have announced Bob Inkenbrandt, associate pastor, has successfully completed his ordination and welcomed Cheryl Leftwich, director of the Gulf Coast Village Foundation, to her additional role as associate pastor for the organizations.

“Throughout the years, both Inkenbrandt and Leftwich have made a significant impact on the residents and employees of Gulf Coast Village,” said Kevin Ahmadi, executive director of Gulf Coast Village. “We are very fortunate to have such caring and dedicated ministers on our team, and we are looking forward to seeing how their continued roles will positively affect our community.”

Inkenbrandt joined Gulf Coast Village as music minister in 2012, became associate pastor in 2014, commissioned in 2015 and completed his ordination this year. Inkenbrandt is currently serving as lead pastor while senior pastor, Rev. Tom Hafer takes a six-month spiritual well-being journey along the Appalachian Trail. Inkenbrandt has continued to direct the music for Gulf Coast Village’s Sunday worship services and special memorial and holiday services. Inkenbrandt has been a professional musician for more than four decades, performing in secular settings in addition to his experience as music minister for Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and other non-denominational churches. He has former military experience and served in the Army during the Vietnam War. His connection to the military has been passed along to his children, with a son and two daughters who have served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Leftwich began her journey with Gulf Coast Village as a social worker in 1998, and has held a variety of positions including director of resident services and community services director. In addition to her current responsibilities as director of the Gulf Coast Village Foundation, as associate pastor, she will assist the lead pastor with weekly services, provide comfort care visitations and facilitate pastoral and end of life counseling. She is a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Fort Myers where she serves as a deaconess and chair of the teen ministry, past president of the Rotary Club of Cape Coral where she serves as chair of the holiday auction, current president of the New Jersey Peeps and Friends and past president of Theta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Leftwich earned her degree in psychology from the College of New Jersey.

Founded more than 25 years ago, Gulf Coast Village is the premier Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Cape Coral, Florida. Residents enjoy active independent living in an unparalleled lifestyle of comfort and convenience with a rich array of services and amenities that are focused on living well. The community also offers the security of knowing there is the full continuum of care when needed encompassing:  independent living, assisted living, specialized memory support, skilled nursing, outpatient services and home health care.

Gulf Coast Village is sponsored by Volunteers of America, a national non-profit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Founded in 1896, Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of quality, affordable housing for seniors and a major provider of professional long-term care, including assisted living, home health care, and nursing home care. Their work touches the mind, body, heart – and ultimately the spirit – of those they serve, integrating a deep compassion with highly effective programs and services.


The “Third Draft” is creating a new entrepreneur

A Lee County resident is dusting off the book-bags and going back to school.

Local entrepreneur, Jim Griffiths stated, “As a society, we’ve been taught to put a round peg in a round hole for decades. Jobs come with instructions while entrepreneurism requires creative thinking. Business classes are available for kids and adults, but few offer thinking skills. If younger people don’t learn to think like an entrepreneur, starting a business or even maintaining a career in our new high-speed society will be challenging.” Jim is volunteering to work with staff from local schools and colleges, not to rewrite curriculum, but to add skills to it. Skills that would include leadership, creative thinking, trouble shooting, overcoming setbacks, character branding, brainstorming ideas, and personal presentation into an existing state-approved entrepreneur’s business class. Jim adds, “The goal is to offer education that will enable students to grow into adults that can think of a way to hit any pitch that life throws their way, business or personal.” 

Local, writer, speaker, and publisher of SW Florida’s Nautical Mile Magazine, Jim Griffiths, commented “Barely acquiring a minimal passing grade and being permitted to move on to the next level does not offer acceptable long-term odds to our youth. We’re setting out to bridge that gap with something that has the power to alter the educational system as we know it. And yes, an adult night class version is being created.”

Jim adds, “I’ve heard that kids want the summit but are not willing to make the climb. I don’t believe that. I think they’re smart enough to know that if they make the climb using the economic system we’ve created, they’ll most likely never reach the summit of their dreams. Our youth has worthy goals. They want to change a world that needs changing, they’re willing to stand their ground, and I support them.”

The long-term goal is to incorporate life-skills into Florida’s school system. What Jim thought may take a lifetime to set a foundation for has only taken months, thanks to the local educational system’s interest in helping students prepare for real world experiences.