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Seeing with Fresh Eyes

Confirming that necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention

More than ever before, we’re seeing new paradigms spring up out of sheer necessity. The social and economic environments we find ourselves in have opened our eyes to new ways of doing things personally, professionally, entrepreneurially and expansively.

Here, we chat with Hometown Hero, Collier County MedFlight medic Jessica Ingalls, who also volunteers as medical coordinator for the Collier-Lee Honor Flight hub for veterans. She learned early in her career to be open to opportunities that may well enrich your life.

Ken Delaney completed the ultimate pivot by turning his tech-business incubator space into a never-seen-here gathering concept, complete with four independent food purveyors, a craft beer wall and more. Come August, it’ll be the innovative place to be in Bonita/North Naples.

As we assert our independence from homebound living, some of us experience levels of social anxiety ranging from disturbing to debilitating. Michelle Tafoya, founder of State of Emotions, explains the reasoning behind frustrating phobias to help us ride the emotional wave to a new normal.

Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Kiran Gill shares what’s new and what’s next for her ever-busy and expanding Naples practice.

Coastal Design contributor Diane Torrisi offers suggestions regarding how to select the interior designer who’s just right for you and that home improvement project you decided to innovate, and Tech Talk columnist Heather Hall shares how we can gain independence from those annoying cookies that invade our tech devices.

There’s one thing certain in these changing times, which is that Plato was right: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

 
 
 
 
 

FEATURE

In the Air and on the Ground

Jessica Ingalls serves the medically fragile as she honors U.S. veterans

by Kathy Grey

She was referred to us as a Hometown Hero by Stephen Wener, M.D. and Jason Dysarczyk, captain of South Trail Fire & Rescue in Fort Myers.

According to Dysarczyk, Jessica Ingalls, 46, “gives of herself tirelessly on and off duty” and is “one of the best medics I know.”

Dr. Wener says, “Jess is a patriotic Navy veteran who volunteers as medical coordinator for the Collier-Lee Honor Flight hub, a nonprofit national organization whose mission is to take veterans to Washington, D.C., for a day to view their monuments and memorials.”

So, who is Jessica Ingalls, and what does she say about such high praise? We asked the mother of three (Justin, 30; Jacob, 26; and Jaida, 24) about her life’s journey.

She’s a former naval construction battalion mechanic (Seabee) who comes from a military family reaching back to the Revolutionary War.

“Growing up, my maternal grandfather was a big influence on my life, and he retired from the Navy as a senior chief petty officer serving (in) WWII, Korea and Vietnam,” she says.

Her great-uncle, stepfather and three uncles also served in the military in various capacities.

“I had always dreamed of being in the Navy as a corpsman or doctor. I joined the Navy when women were just being allowed into construction battalions,” she says.

Having been a medical assistant in the civilian world, she didn’t envision herself as such, but her stepfather was a proud Seabee. In March 1994, she entered basic training for the Navy’s construction battalion.

“It was the best thing I could have ever done. Seabees are a special breed, and I gained a lifelong family from it,” she says. “I didn’t want to get out of the Navy. I would have loved to make a career out of it.”

Ultimately, due to family circumstances, she says, “I got out and went right back to medical care. Being an EMT or paramedic can be fast paced, on-the-spot-challenging, and I knew that I could do it, and that I could do it with care and a smile.”

Honor Flight

“My first flight was June 11, 2016, Mission 10 for Collier Lee Honor Flight, an all-female veteran flight.” Nicknamed The Perfect 10, she traveled with 68 females, ages 22-98 — current service members to WWII veterans — who served in all branches of the military.

“My first flight as a guardian was September 17, 2016, Mission 11, where many of the guardians were first responders in honor of 9/11,” she says. “That’s where I got to meet Bob Rice, an Air Force veteran and a combat medic who went on to be a Philadelphia police officer who retired after 25 years.”

Rice later sailed around the world a few times on cruise ships as a dance instructor. Ingalls and he became friends, attending veterans’ events together and watching soccer on TV.

“He passed in 2018,” Ingalls says. “It was like losing a family member.”

Jessica Ingalls

That year, she was asked to join Honor Flight in its medical capacity and became its veteran medical coordinator.

“I love it. I have been on a total of eight flights,” she says. “I have so many stories and memories … the laughs, the tears, the smiles, the hugs, the kisses, the surprise on their faces. I get to work with some of the most giving people … who want to give our veterans the best day … to show them how much they are loved, appreciated and respected.”

Ground and Air

She started her career with Collier County EMS in March 2005 and became a lead paramedic. In 2009, she was thrown into the back of an ambulance during a call and fractured her spine. (The baby they were transporting survived, she’s happy to report.)

After a year of recovery, she returned to paramedic service and became a field training officer in 2012. In 2017, she joined the team of 12 flight paramedics at Collier County MedFlight, an elite group of trauma-trained paramedics who rotate every other month on the helicopter and in the ambulance. It’s something that allows these professionals to keep their skill sets at the highest levels, she says.

It’s little wonder South Trail’s Capt. Dysarczyk says she’s “one of the best medics I know.”

She does all of this as she continues to serve Honor Flight as its veteran medical coordinator, receiving applications, placing veterans not only by their service era, but by their specific medical needs.

“We also have a program that we do here at Collier-Lee Honor Flight called ‘Honor at Home,’ where we bring medically complicated veterans to the airport the day of the flight,” she says, so they can have a virtual Honor Flight experience. 

Her partner in life, Alexander Esteva, is a lieutenant paramedic for Collier County EMS and a Collier-Lee Honor Flight ambassador. Ingalls says she got him hooked.

“It’s hard work,” she says. “It takes a lot of time, and I can’t think of a better way to use it.”

HEALTHY MIND

Ten Tips to Managing Anxiety During
the Re-Entry Phase

by Michelle Tafoya, Founder and CLO of State of Emotions

Although the gates have been opened and people are clamoring to get back to “normal,” most businesses, organizations and individuals are finding it’s not that easy to jump back into what most consider “back to normal.”

For some, the idea of re-entry has been much anticipated. For others, it has only intensified stress levels. According to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association, 49% of Americans feel anxious about how they’ll adjust to in-person interactions. 

We can see all around us that the pandemic is challenging every bit of who we are. The COVID-19 crisis brought us to our knees. From losing loved ones, businesses and jobs to trying to emotionally and mentally keep it together for our families, it has affected us all. Regardless of where you fall in the spectrum, you’re being forced to prioritize what’s important in life. 

As a crisis and change manager for 30 years, I have come to understand that it’s through the uncertainty that we will find certainty, and through the anxiety, we will eventually find peace. Why? Because humans are survivors and courageous. 

  

We will all experience a COVID-19 aftermath residue for some time to come. Only now, we will have to balance these high levels of emotions and anxieties within proximity to others. If not handled properly, it could be a toxic mix for disaster. 

When I speak to individuals within various business sectors, every person has a different perspective on what they have dealt with and are currently dealing with. Some never stopped working. Others lost their jobs altogether. Some enjoy working from home.

Others can’t wait to get back to the office. Some are busier than ever. Others are just trying to rebuild. 

Regardless, we are all experiencing a high level of emotions during this transition phase. So, what can we do to facilitate a smooth transition?

 

10 Steps to Help You Through the Re-entry Transition


1. Practice self-awareness.

Our greatest superpower is within us. But tapping into that power takes time and practice to understand and support the conscious knowledge of one’s character, feelings, motives and desires. Although self-awareness is a word that many are using, very few take the time to slow down and implement it in their lives. Why is it so important? Well, it’s the engine behind everything we do and everything we are. It is a way to see ourselves clearly and trust 100% in where we are and our decisions.

2. Define your boundaries
Since COVID-19, many of us have tried to find a balance while working from home. We’ve been attempting to balance multiple Zoom calls and homeschooling our children, all while creating a safe space for our families. Learning to set boundaries is not always easy. It’s even more complex when work and personal life are integrated.

As hard as it might be, this is the time to pause and reassess what has been working for you and what needs to change. Find the confidence to use your voice and honor what is important to you. If you don’t, the long-term consequences can have a lasting effect well into the future.

3. Acknowledge your emotions
While many people’s lives were shaken to the core, others found a silver lining: the break from a life that wasn’t working for them. Regardless of where you fell on the spectrum, there is no denying that emotions were all over the place.

It’s essential to acknowledge these emotions. Become the observer of them, feel them, allow them to come to the surface, and let them go. I call them contractions; they are painful for a period, but once expressed, with no harm to others, you find the strength to face whatever experience you are going through at that moment.

 

4. Open your perspective
According to online sources, perspective is “the way that one looks at something.” How we think and feel about a situation has everything to do with our past experiences, thoughts and feelings about a person or situation.

If you’re experiencing negative emotions about where you are during this time, try to stop and ask yourself: “Why am I feeling this way?” “What are some positive ways I can look at what’s happening to me?” “What can I learn?”

Just a slight shift in our thinking will free us to embrace where we are and enable us to grow from the situation.

5. Look for the positives
We’ve all experienced or heard stories about how the last few years have been a blessing in disguise. Regardless of what we have been through, I’m sure that if we look at all areas of our lives, both personally and professionally, we can find at least one that worked out better for us.

We don’t always see the positive in things when we go through them, but we most certainly find them once the dust settles and we have made it to the other side. While most people have gone from 0-100, we must transition and clarify what we learned and apply that to our lives moving forward.

6. Communicate truths to others
Although things are opening up and people are working, many people are unhappy with “business as usual.” After speaking with America’s workforce from various sectors, it is clear that many feel extremely burnt out and overworked. When I asked each of them if they had discussed this with the immediate supervisor, the response was, “No, why should I? They already know.”

Not speaking our truth does no one any good, especially yourself. If there was ever a time to tell your truth, it’s now. But make sure it’s thought out and delivered with love.

7. Balance Micro vs. Macro
Balancing the micro and the macro of our lives is a skill that many take for granted. When you balance both, you have a broader vision of how you want your life to turn out, professionally, personally, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You are willing to trust the steps and process to get you there. It’s difficult for so many because it’s the micro that requires an immense amount of trust and patience.

When being faced with the uncertainties of re-entry, trust the process. We are all trying to figure it out together. Know that you are exactly where you need to be and that even if it doesn’t look like it, you are always on the right path. 

8. Be honest with yourself
Being honest with ourselves is one of the most challenging self-realization skills we can learn. Because this is where we take responsibility for everything happening to us, we stop being a victim of our circumstances. I found freedom when I realized that everything I’m going through is part of a plan that I created, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Every person you meet is there to teach you something: your co-workers, bosses and even the management team. Take time to have that conversation with yourself about where you are and what is happening. When you’re honest with yourself, you will start to grow through the uncomfortable and prepare for each next level of life.
 

9. Ask for support
Most people will never ask for support due to shame, pride and the fear of disappointment. Out of these three, I’ve found it’s often the fear of disappointment that keeps people from reaching out for help. To make ourself vulnerable only to be turned away is a pinnacle of rejection. Some individuals in the workplace, like salespeople, have learned over time not to take things personally. However, finding it hard to ask and receive help is a complete setup for not feeling like we’re good enough to be helped. Remember, the flow of asking and receiving is part of the ecosystem of life. The support we are looking for may not always come from the direction we expect. But it most certainly comes from precisely the right place at the right time.
 

10. Practice patience
If we’re feeling anxious about returning to work and life as we knew it pre-pandemic, chances are that others around us are, too. So, we need to be respectful of what others are feeling. That starts with asking them how they’re doing and opening up the conversation. Some might be completely comfortable; others might be the opposite. Not judging ourselves for how we’re feeling goes hand-in-hand with not judging others. We also need to be mindful of frontline workers, who have risked working as normal throughout the entire pandemic, and how the sudden influx of re-entering co-workers might be causing them anxiety.

There will be an adjustment and learning curve to sharpening our social skills. The number one thing to remember is there’s no rule book on how to re-enter society and the workplace.


We are all learning. And yet, at the same time, we are all going through similar experiences to some degree or another. It’s the core of how we feel, the set of universal emotions in this experience we call life, that unites us all at the end of the day.  

Adrienne Michelle Tafoya is Founder and CLO of State of Emotions, whose mission is to support the emotional well-being and success of Americans working hard to support America. With more than 30 years of experience, her range of expertise includes leadership alignment, change management, culture transformation and restructuring, diversity, inclusion and belonging, employee engagement, executive coaching and internal communications, among other things. Visit www.stateofemotions.com to learn more.

CULINARY ARTS INNOVATION

Introducing The Causeway

New concept in food, drink and entertainment opens soon in Bonita Springs

by Kathy Grey

The Causeway — a new Bonita Springs gathering establishment featuring international foods from four separate vendors, drinks and entertainment — is set to open in Bonita Springs in August. This innovative concept, launched by founder Ken Delaney, is unlike anything in the area.

Originally known as The Industry of Bonita, The Causeway, with its 6,200-square-foot building and 2,200-square-foot breezeway will be home to four independent eateries with food truck roots: El Local (Mexican); Jewban’s Deli Dàle (Jewish/Cuban); Aged (beef); and Rolls (sushi). The Causeway will also feature a beer wall, a couple of bars, indoor and outdoor seating and entertainment.

Delaney says a series of pandemic pivots birthed The Causeway’s unique food/beverage/entertainment social space located at 28280 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs.

 

èB: The Causeway started as “The Industry,” slated for business occupancy. And then the pandemic hit. Tell us about that.

KD: “The Industry” was to be a technology hub: a place where my team and I could focus on building our software startup, Jada, a real estate transaction management tool. The plan was to share the space with other tech startups … an “incubator,” per se.

 

èB: How did you arrive at the food/beverage/
entertainment concept and the name change?

KD: When COVID sent people home to work remotely, it threw a huge wrench into the coworking space and forced me to think about a better use for all the square footage I had.

I started researching how to do a multi-concept food hall with a bar and found that this idea seems to be taking off in other places. I visited Armature Works in Tampa, The Joinery in Lakeland and read about others in Milwaukee and Austin. I decided that the Bonita Springs/North Naples area needs its very own food hall and pub.

The Causeway's craft beer wall

We have a new name that has historic value: The Causeway. The building where the restaurant is located was refurbished from the old Causeway Lumber yard. The owner of the plaza named it Causeway Commerce Park, so we’ve decided on The Causeway, since we anchor the plaza.

 

èB: How did you select the four food purveyors?

KD: We put out a social media post saying the coworking space was closing and that we were going to reopen as a multi-concept restaurant and bar. Someone who was following us shared the post with Julie Dana of the famous Jewban’s Deli Dàle food truck. She reached out, asking about space in the new place. We hit it off with Jewban’s immediately, and with their help, selected the other purveyors through their ties in the food truck community. 

 

èB: Tell us about the space and entertainment.

KD: We will have roughly 112 seats under air, with four-top tables and a bar with counter seating. Our outdoor area will have roughly 50-60 seats between tables and bar seating.

The space itself is like a marketplace for our food concepts, which are individual businesses. Additionally, we are planning to offer local artists or farmers space on the patio for pop-up markets during season — a place to show/sell their goods while patrons have a drink and a snack.

We’re also talking to some local breweries about collaborating on a custom beer for our beer wall.

We plan to have live music year-round, inside and out. We’ll have daytime music on the weekends out on the patio during non-rainy months. We’re heavily into music, so we’re confident the patrons will enjoy the groups we have in. 

èB: How do you think this new concept will impact the Bonita/North Naples community?

KD: Our aim is to give the community something they have never experienced before: food prepared by local chefs who are masters at their craft, a self-serve beer wall with local craft beers, live entertainment and even a place to connect to free Wi-Fi and hang out to get some work done during the day. 

Ken Delaney

If You Go

Slated to open in August, The Causeway is located at 28280 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs. To learn more, visit www.TheCauseway
Bonita.com
or follow them on Facebook.

COASTAL DESIGN

Calling in the Expert

Selecting an interior designer means committing to an enduring relationship  

by Diane Torrisi

Interior designers have never been busier, thanks, in part, to the events of the past year. (I guess there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud.)

This time period forced us all to really live in our home spaces and re-evaluate our design esthetic. For some, that meant calling on the expertise of an interior designer for the first time.

The good news is that Southwest Florida has many designers to choose from. But how do you find the right one for you? Searching for a designer that fits your vision while respecting your budget may feel like a challenge.

Word-of-mouth referral is always great for a designer. It means that a previous client was so satisfied with the design and work ethic, they felt confident in further recommending the designer to others.

But just because your next-door neighbor had a great working relationship with a designer doesn’t necessarily mean you two will click in that same fashion. Recommendations are golden, but you must do your own due diligence before hiring that special person who will be in your home life, likely for months to come.

What would be the best choice for your design project? Design firm, studio boutique or at-home-designer? To gain clarity on this, ask yourself some questions: What will be the entire scope of my project? How much am I realistically ready to invest in my renovation? How much do I want to be involved in the design process?

Clients often fall for the HGTV fairytale, believing a total kitchen renovation can be done over a weekend for $10,000. TV shows give people inspiration and encouragement to take the plunge, but these TV personalities have teams of design professionals working behind the cameras.

Do larger projects call for a larger design firm? Yes and no. I personally know of designers — one-woman shows — who can take on the full scope of the construction process.

You might be inclined to believe that many years of experience equates to great taste and design, but that is not necessarily the case.

Your designer will learn a great deal about your family dynamic and the relationship you have with your significant other. So, as you interview them, know they are conducting an interview of you, “the client,” as well. This is a collaboration, and both parties need to trust and respect each other. Take time to get to know your future designer before you hire.

I can guarantee you, the road through your design project will be time consuming, possibly overwhelming at times, and you might even be tempted to throw in the towel more than once. However, if you have a trusted, talented hand guiding you — and a reassuring voice of reason about the design choices made — you’re sure to love the results. 

Diane Torrisi grew up in Europe and brings that European flair to her design projects. She opened her own design studio in historic Bonita Springs in 2020. She is active in her community and has her own podcast, always dreaming up new offerings for her clients, from “Designer for a Day” to the upcoming “Studio Sessions,” a hands-on design workshop. Visit www.DianeTorrisiDesigns.com to learn more.

TECH TALK

They’re Not Just for Baking

What are cookies, and should you accept them? 

by Heather Hall

“Cookies” is a term used for more than the tasty treats you love. 

In the computer world, cookies are small data files that store information onto your hard drive. It’s like a secret, unique recipe a website uses to verify your logon and activity. Cookies were designed to make your life easier, but have become very controversial and many agree they pose an invasion of privacy.

Corporations use cookies to track browser activity, allowing them to offer goods and services through ads. The claim is that this makes for a more enjoyable surfing experience for you, as sites learn more about your internet surfing habits and products you love.

But some companies also sell this information. This may be why you see ads as you scroll through Facebook that relate to your previous Google searches.

Yahoo experienced multiple data breaches from 2012 to 2016 — a hack that exposed the information of more than 3 billion users, possibly including names, email addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers, passwords and, in some cases, security questions and answers.

Since then, the European Union passed the General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR, a law which states that sites must inform users that they are collecting data and allow users to opt out of cookies.

This is the reason you have probably noticed a banner to accept cookies on almost every site out there. Accepting cookies will give you the best user experience on the website. Declining cookies potentially interferes with your use of the site.

For example, cookies enable the site to keep track of the items that you have placed in your cart while you continue to browse.

Before you decide to delete all your cookies, know that they also store login information, so logging into sites may be a little more difficult if you delete them all. 

I recommend that you install a browser cleaning program like cCleaner (https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/
download). This product will remove tracking files and browsing information to make your system more secure. You can also change a setting in your browser so that it blocks third-party cookies and site data. This can be found in the settings of Chrome, Mozilla and Edge.

If you cannot log into a specific site after making this change, you can add that site as an exception.

 

Incognito browsing is also recommended. This private browsing option works by allowing you to browse without saving passwords, cookies and browsing history. Incognito can be found in almost every browser through the menu found in the upper right corner. In Chrome, select New Incognito Window. In Mozilla, choose New Private Window. In Edge, select New Inprivate Window. The quickest way to do this on a PC is to drag your browser to the task bar (if it’s not already there) and right click to initiate a private browsing window.

Former educator Heather Hall never imagined she’d be making one career of two passions: teaching and computers. She is the owner of Virtual Computer Service, installing and implementing technology for residents and small businesses.

 

SPOTLIGHT

The Continuum of Beauty
Seeking what’s next, Dr. Kiran Gill looks toward the future
by Kathy Grey

Doctors Kiran Gill and Nadia Kazim of Aesthetics in Plastic Surgery by Kiran Gill, M.D.

Dr. Kiran Gill, a Naples board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, embraces the constant pursuit of integrity, precision and innovation in her practice, Aesthetics in Plastic Surgery by Kiran Gill, M.D. Working to deliver natural results that reflect the best outcomes for her patients and clients, her expertise stems from her specific fellowship training in aesthetic surgery of the face, breast and body.

Dr. Gill completed rigorous general surgery training at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, followed by plastic and reconstructive surgery training at Cleveland Clinic and an aesthetic surgery fellowship from the renowned Few Institute.

When she arrived in Southwest Florida seven years ago, she says, “We had a gap in breast reconstruction,” a discipline to which she devoted her surgical expertise.

Over the years, Aesthetics in Plastic Surgery by Kiran Gill, M.D. embraced additional modalities, including aesthetic surgery, nonsurgical options and a variety of noninvasive skin and spa treatments, all provided in a state-of-the-art environment.

As she settled into a place of contentment with her patients and clients, the passionate and energetic Dr. Gill looked to the future, envisioning a full-service practice that would meet all the needs of all her patients and clients.

Dr. Gill — the mother of children ages 10, 8 and 6 — was also seeking solutions that would give her greater work/life balance.

Earlier this year, she partnered with Dr. Nadia Kazim, the area’s only female board-certified ophthalmologist with a specialty fellowship in oculoplastic surgery — plastic surgery of the eye and eye area. It’s a specialization in great demand, particularly with Southwest Florida’s population. The innovative collaboration between the two doctors strengthens the practice’s services by offering a specialty in treatment of the eye area to enhance complete facial rejuvenation.

“Our personalities just gelled,” Dr. Gill says of Dr. Kazim. “In addition to surgery, Dr. Kazim is an expert injector and has a keen interest in skin rejuvenation.”

Dr. Kazim established her own practice in Bonita Springs in 2010, having performed more than 10,000 surgical and nonsurgical procedures. She specializes in both reconstructive and aesthetic procedures of the eye, which includes removing excess eyelid skin that may impair a person’s vision.

Aesthetics in Plastic Surgery also eagerly anticipates the addition of a new plastic surgeon, expected later this year.

“It’s a natural expansion,” Dr. Gill says.

 

Levels of Care

Aesthetics in Plastic Surgery focuses on a spectrum of treatments specific to the individual patient or client. From anti-aging education to noninvasive treatments such as injectables, fillers, lasers and skin care. The treatment depends on what is appropriate for the patient, with cosmetic recommendations always geared toward more lasting results that are seamless.

Restorative Product Solutions

Dr. Gill has developed a line of science-based, medical skin care products available to current and new patients. The line of five restorative and anti-aging produces fills the gap in the regional medical skin care market.

“Skin care has always been a passion of mine,” Dr. Gill says, adding, “I believe good skin care should affect change.” This is something she knows from her own experience. “After having children and moving to Florida, I saw changes in my skin, like hyperpigmentation, dullness and sunspots I had never seen before.”

The new line incorporates anti-aging antioxidants and retinols, natural skin brighteners and hydroquinone for those who need more aggressive treatment. A body scrub addresses overall aging skin and sun damage.

Growing Population, Growing Need

As the population expands in Southwest Florida, so does the demand for the services Dr. Gill and her all-female associates and staff (she also employs two medical aestheticians) provide.

Ultimately, the goal of Aesthetics in Plastic Surgery is to provide a range of services in one calming, aesthetically pleasing and state-of-the-art environment in which a female client can have all of her aesthetic needs addressed.

With her eye always on the future, Dr. Gill is building toward that goal.

Aesthetics in Plastic Surgery by Kiran Gill, M.D., is located at 6610 Willow Park Drive, Suite 104, Naples. To learn more, call 239-596-8000 or visit www.kirangillmd.com.

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