Although we all feel passionate about the potential of Daytona Beach, are interested in local politics and have a shockingly high tolerance for attending meetings, the founding members of C4RD have come to this effort from very different backgrounds. All of us have included a little bio, below, so you can get to know us better.
I grew up in Wisconsin but could not wait to move to the big city. After living in Boston for almost 35 years, I was ready to return to a smaller, friendlier community. Daytona Beach was perfect – pleasant people, a beautiful beach, affordable beachside real estate, and a great bus system. I started exploring Daytona Beach in 2011 and finally made it my home in 2013.
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a BA in history. Not wanting to teach, I went back to school and earned an Associate degree in fashion design from The Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York City. I worked in retail and the garment industry before becoming a stay-at-home mom with three boys. When I decided to return to work, I was fortunate to get a job at a large insurance company and have been employed there for the past 23 years. From 2006-2011, I also worked as a real estate agent; primarily as a buyer agent for first-time home buyers and investors.
My fervent hope is that the city of Daytona Beach begins to effectively honor and revitalize their older neighborhoods. I firmly believe that people want to live and work in vital urban areas and these cannot be re-created in suburban developments, the good intentions of the developer not withstanding.
I moved to Daytona Beach in 2014, drawn by the location (850 steps to the beach from my front door), the affordability and the sense of place. Unlike many Florida communities we visited, Daytona Beach is a real town with great potential, not a collection of strip malls and subdivisions.
My background is in planning and development. After graduating from Penn State, I spent 10 years as Executive Director of a bi-county anti-poverty agency in PA, where we operated emergency energy and weatherization programs, an emergency shelter, a transitional shelter, a drop-in center for the mentally ill and a Second Harvest regional food bank.
From there, I became Executive VP of a statewide community development corporation, where we loaned funds for affordable housing and small business development, packaged SBA and USDA loans, trained and supported local affordable housing developers and developed a few small affordable housing projects of our own. I became a certified Community Economic Development Professional.
For the past decade, I've been self-employed, consulting for national non-profits, state government, community-based organizations and individuals. I've done a variety of work as a contracted administrative professional, including grant- and report-writing, staff selection and 501c3 & c4 applications.
I'm a married mother of two young adults, both of whom I hope will eventually make a future in Daytona Beach, and I want our town to be the kind of place we can all find pleasant, interesting and attractive.
I was born and raised here in Daytona Beach. I married, became an RN and raised two daughters here. When they went off to school, they chose not to return, finding better opportunities elsewhere. I am tired of seeing our young folks leaving the area to make a living.
As I was growing up, the beachside in Daytona Beach was a vibrant community. My Dad had a book shop on Main Street from the early 60's until 1972, when he retired. He ran for commission twice and mayor once and helping with his campaigns sparked my interest in local government.
I would like to help my amazing hometown find its way back that sense of vibrant community. I'd like this town to welcome families and young people to make their homes here; to live, work, and play.
I grew up in a small town on Long Island, NY. I moved to Central Florida in the early 80's, and raised my family here. I was an artist specializing in hand-painted ceramic tiles and my first business location was an Orlando warehouse space that I renovated myself. I expanded my renovation skills with a series of studio renovations, followed by a complete update of a 1940s lakeside cabin.
In 2008, I purchased a dream - and another restoration project - my home in Daytona Beach. My partner Dave and I have done much of the work ourselves. This hard work gave us a vested interest in our new property, and soon that interest branched out into our neighborhood and city. We became involved with our community and started attended city meetings, connecting with other good people who want a better Daytona Beach.
Along with Amanda Moreno, I founded Daytona Beach University, an online community resource that folks can use to keep up with city meetings, and where we share our musings about what's really going on. I have also been a member of the city Beachside Redevelopment Board, representing the residents, and the Beachside Neighborhood Watch, where I took a leadership role for several years.
I like to ask questions, and even more so, to get answers. Talking about problems is one thing, but it is my hope that C4RD can bring a more targeted level of citizen involvement to Daytona Beach and that we can create the change we want to see through our own efforts.