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Business Briefs

December 6, 2011
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Larkee gets WSI Advanced Internet Marketing certification

Joann Larkee, owner of Sound WSI Marketing, has been recertified for the second consecutive year as an Advanced Internet Marketing Consultant through WSI, a global leader in Internet marketing, operating in more than 80 countries worldwide. Because of the rapidly changing nature of Internet marketing, WSI consultants undergo rigorous advanced training programs annually on Internet marketing techniques and best practices to help customers keep pace with industry changes and outperform their competition.

As a WSI AIM Certified Consultant for Lee, Collier and Monroe counties, Larkee helps businesses plan and implement strategic Internet marketing programs in such areas as social media marketing, search engine optimization, landing page optimization and effective email marketing strategies.

For more information, visit or call 239-567-0090.

Karen L. Benson Interior Design opens Inspire Transitions

Karen L. Benson & Associates Interior Design opened new division called Inspire Transitions to help seniors downsize, move and settle into smaller residences. The firm hosted a grand opening open house Dec. 1, from 3-7 p.m., at its offices located at 2037 West First St., in downtown Fort Myers. The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce conducted a formal ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m.

Inspire Transitions offers a wide array of turnkey services to seniors whose family members may not be able to assist them in their move. Services include help with locating the right new residence, staging an existing home for sale, planning what to take and where to place it, sorting through, packing, moving, and unpacking belongings, installing equipment, selecting, arranging, and installing furnishings.

Karen L. Benson Interior Design has been designing residential and commercial spaces throughout south Florida and the east coast since 1996. To learn more, call 239-334-4111 or visit

Special Equestrians elects new board of directors

Special Equestrians Inc. recently announced its new board of directors for 2011-12. The nonprofit organization helps children and adults with disabilities by providing a structured therapeutic horseback riding program and equine-assisted activities.

The new leadership board, elected at the annual meeting, includes president Christi Pritchett Sarlo, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company, P.A.; first vice president Allison Leone, Visually Impaired Persons of Southwest Florida; second vice president April Tennesen, Lee County Public Schools; secretary Kathleen Berlick, volunteer; treasurer Freda Jones, Raymond Building Supply Corp.; and executive director Jan Fifer, volunteer.

The mission of Special Equestrians is to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals with disabilities through the equine experience whom are referred by doctors, therapists and teachers.

The organization, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt local charity, is supported solely by individual donations and service fees donated by riders.

For additional information, contact 239-226-1221 or visit

Ted Todd Insurance Agency acquires FJC Insurance Agency in Sarasota and relocates offices

Ted Todd has announced that he has acquired FJC Insurance Group Inc. in Sarasota and that the office has relocated to a new, expanded facility at 5265 University Parkway, Suite 107 in Sarasota. Former owner Felicia Cox joins the agency as its vice president, corporate relations/agencymanager and brings over 20 years of retail, management and insurance experience, with a well-established local reputation for extraordinary service and integrity.

Ted Todd formed The Ted Todd Insurance Agency over 25 years ago and it is now the largest Allstate agency in the country. The agency has a total of seven locations and nearly 40 licensed insurance professionals located throughout Lee, Collier, Brevard, Palm Beach, and Sarasota Counties.

The Ted Todd Insurance Agency provides home, auto, business, commercial, retirement, and life insurance products to more than 30,000 customers in Boca Raton, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Naples, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach, Melbourne, Viera and Palm Bay. For more information, visit or call 239-561-1100.

Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners will present a complimentary workshop "Blueprint for a Successful Retirement" Thursday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. with an encore Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. The one-hour workshop will examine the new risks faced by retirees, methods for determining what retirees can afford to spend, strategies for minimizing taxes, Social Security issues and reliable sources of objective, independent advice for retirement planning.

The workshops will be held at the Uhler & Vertich offices at 1510 Royal Palm Square Blvd., Suite 103, one block south of Colonial Boulevard, in Fort Myers. Attendance is limited to allow for questions, and reservations are required. Please call 424-9197 to reserve a place.

Parson Masonry wins 17th annual Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award

Parson Masonry, a 25-year-old company whose owner started as an unskilled laborer and overcame health problems, poor reading skills and racial discrimination, won the 17th annual Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award.

Jay Parson, owner of Parson Masonry, and his wife, Gloria, accepted the award on behalf of the Fort Myers-based company. The program, coordinated and sponsored by BB&T-Oswald Trippe and Company and BB&T Bank, recognized small business owners who have triumphed over adversity and shared their stories so other entrepreneurs can learn from their experiences.

Joan Brock - who lost her vision and then her husband, ending up as a blind, single parent - appeared as this year's keynote speaker for the award program held at Harborside Event Center.



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