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Doing Good in Our Neighborhood Supporting the civic, cultural and educational efforts of organizations including the University Club and the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, the Winter Park Public Library and historic Rollins College, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation has been a leader in its hometown for more than 45 years. We believe in doing good in our neighborhood by supporting the people, places and organizations that are solving community problems. We Are Here For Good!
Community Pride in Hannibal Square, a mosaic mural created by more than 500 students, artists and volunteers, is located in Shady Park in the City of Winter Park.
WEâ€™RE HERE FOR GOOD | EdythBush.org Visit us on Facebook/EdythBushCharitableFoundation
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CONTENTS SUMMER 2019
FEATURES 14 | ’60S CHIC A legendary architect’s modernist masterpiece is just as groovy today as it was 54 years ago. By Karen Leblanc and Randy Noles, photography by Rafael Tongol 22 | MAKING AN IMPACT IN EATONVILLE The expanding Lee Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida offers confidence, support and lots of love. By Greg Dawson 41 | THE INFLUENTIALS Who makes a difference in Winter Park? Let’s welcome the Class of 2019. By the Editors, photography by Rafael Tongol 80 | A (VERY) MINI ISLAND GETAWAY This tiny speck of land on Lake Maitland is an ideal setting for sunny summer fashion. Photography by Rafael Tongol, styling by Marianne Ilunga, makeup and hair by Elsie Knab
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DEPARTMENT DINING 88 | A FRESH TAKE ON FRESH FOOD Forget what you think you know about vegetarian cuisine. Proper & Wild elevates the genre with “damn good food” that offers bold and unexpected flavors. By Rona Gindin, photography by Rafael Tongol
IN EVERY ISSUE 8 | FIRST WORD 12 | COVER ARTIST 98 | EVENTS 108 | OUR TOWN 112 | THE POEM
NIGHT | PINEL
409 GENIUS DRIVE | $3,095,000 | 2007
1450 Alabama Drive | $1,995,000 | 1994
240 N Lake Sybelia Drive | $2,095,000 | 2006
1721 Spring Lake Drive | $1,960,000 | 2004
1146 Keyes Avenue | $1,795,000 | 1999
2031 Venetian Way | $1,695,000 | 1969
1560 Bryan Avenue | $1,669,000 | 2019
1401 Green Cove Road | $1,549,000 | 2009
150 E Rockwood Way | $1,415,000 | 2008
1750 Walnut Avenue | $1,397,000 | 2019
2615 Via Tuscany | $1,089,000 | 2003
421 Park North Court | $749,000 | 1967
Mick Night | John Pinel Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation. Night-Pinel@PremierSIR.com | 407.629.4446 Night-Pinel.com Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including but not limited to county records and the multiple listing service, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.
THE FABIAN AND THE HAMMER BOY
During a 1954 interview on his 92nd birthday, John Martin noted that Winter Park had changed, “but not for the better!” The unconventional John Martin, a socialist lecturer, and his wife, Prestonia Mann Martin, a utopian reformer, were unlikely civic leaders in the 1920s and beyond.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROLLINS COLLEGE ARCHIVES
s Winter Park more open-minded today than it was 90 years ago? Consider the case of John and Prestonia Mann Martin. The British-born socialist and his unconventional wife were among the city’s most unlikely power couples from the 1920s through several decades thereafter. Naturally, the Martins were brought to town by Hamilton Holt, the ninth president of Rollins College, who delighted in collecting out-of-the-ordinary characters and testing the tolerance of conservative locals for exotic freethinkers. John, whom Holt listed as a conference leader or a visiting lecturer and consultant on foreign affairs, had been active in the London branch of the Fabian Society, an organization whose purpose was to advance the principles of socialism. He offered a lecture series on foreign affairs that became wildly popular in Winter Park. Prestonia, a writer and social reformer, operated Summer Brook, which was modeled on Brook Farm — a short-lived experiment in communal living started in 1841 by a ragtag band of transcendentalists. She had made national headlines with a pamphlet entitled “Prohibiting Poverty,” in which she advocated conscription of everyone between ages 18 and 26 to produce the necessities of life — including food and clothing — which would then be distributed free.
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Eleanor Roosevelt favorably referenced the program in a speech and even passed it along to her husband, who dismissed its premise as simplistic and impractical. In 1932, John was the victim of a brutal assault that left him in critical condition. Oliver Johnson Keyes, 23, a former protégé, hitchhiked from Manhattan to Winter Park, where he purchased a hammer and walked through a driving rainstorm to the Martin home. Keyes was recognized and welcomed by the Martins. Later, when the couple retired to separate rooms, he followed John upstairs and began beating him with the hammer until Prestonia, hearing the melee, rushed to her husband’s room and screamed. When the young man momentarily relented, Prestonia called the police, who upon their arrival arrested Keyes on charges of assault with intent to commit premeditated murder. John, barely clinging to life, was transported to the Florida Sanitarium, where he gradually recovered. Keyes, meanwhile, calmly admitted to his crime, giving no reason other than that the Martins had “lost interest” in him. “Hammer Boy,” as journalists called him, was adjudicated insane and committed to Bellevue Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Manhattan. By the mid-1930s, the John Martin Lecture Series encompassed 10 talks on consecutive Thursday mornings in late January and early March. As audiences grew, the on-campus theater gave way to the larger First Congregational Church of Winter Park. In 1944, John decided to retire — more or less. He delivered his final scheduled lecture before a full house at the church sanctuary and received a tearful standing ovation from prominent locals, likely none of whom were socialists or Fabians. Interviewed on his 90th birthday in 1954, he complained to the Orlando Morning Sentinel that “Winter Park has changed almost beyond recognition — and not for the better!” (Perhaps he was more mainstream than anyone realized.) Prestonia remained active in civic organizations, but fell ill and died at age 83 on Easter Sunday in 1945. She was eulogized in Winter Park Topics, a seasonal weekly, as “one of Winter Park’s best known and most beloved women.” This column makes no overarching point except this: There are thousands of stories in the City of Culture and Heritage, and its history is replete with fascinating characters. We’re here to tell as many stories and profile as many characters as we can. Thanks for reading and for letting us know that you enjoy what we do.
Randy Noles CEO/Editor/Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to an editor’s error, the professional football league in which Don Jonas, the first coach of the UCF Knights, played was misidentified in last issue’s story “First and Goal.” Jonas played for the Orlando Panthers in the Continental Football League.
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RANDY NOLES | Editor and Publisher THERESA SWANSON | Group Publisher/Director of Sales JODI HELLER | Director of Administration KATHY BYRD | Associate Publisher/Senior Account Executive DENA BUONICONTI | Associate Publisher/Account Executive CAROLYN EDMUNDS | Art Director MYRON CARDEN | Distribution Manager RAFAEL TONGOL | Photographer RONA GINDIN | Dining Editor MARIANNE ILUNGA | Fashion Editor HARRY WESSEL | Contributing Editor BILLY COLLINS, GREG DAWSON, KAREN LEBLANC, MICHAEL MCLEOD | Contributing Writers
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COMMUNITY PARTNERS Larry and Joanne Adams; The Albertson Company, Ltd.; Richard O. Baldwin Jr.; Jim and Diana Barnes; Brad Blum; Ken and Ruth Bradley; John and Dede Caron; Bruce Douglas; Steve Goldman; Hal George; Michael Gonick; Micky Grindstaff; Sharon and Marc Hagle; Larry and Jane Hames; Eric and Diane Holm; Garry and Isis Jones; Allan E. and Linda S. Keen; Knob Hill Group (Rick and Trish Walsh, Jim and Beth DeSimone, Chris Schmidt); FAN Fund; Kevin and Jacqueline Maddron; Drew and Paula Madsen; Kenneth J. Meister; Ann Hicks Murrah; Jack Myers; Michael P. O’Donnell; Nicole and Mike Okaty; Bill and Jody Orosz; Martin and Ellen Prague; Serge and Kerri Rivera; Jon C. and Theresa Swanson; Sam and Heather Stark; Randall B. Robertson; George Sprinkel; Philip Tiedtke; Roger K. Thompson; Ed Timberlake; Harold and Libby Ward; Warren “Chip” Weston; Tom and Penny Yochum; and Victor and Jackie A. Zollo.
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10 W I N T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
Copyright 2019 by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder. Winter Park Magazine is published four times yearly by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC, 201 West Canton Avenue, Suite 125B, Winter Park, Florida 32789.
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A PEEK AT MY SECRET GARDEN ARTIST CYNTHIA EDMONDS FINDS INSPIRATION IN HER OWN BACKYARD.
Cynthia Edmonds, who lives in the Winter Park house where she grew up, says that plein-air painting “inspires me in a profound way, and observing nature helps me to understand the shape, form and infinite colors of my subjects.”
ward-winning plein-air painter Cynthia Edmonds discovered her passion for art as a youngster taking classes at the Rollins College Summer Day Camp. Now she doesn’t have to go any further than her backyard to find inspirational settings. Edmonds, who lives in the circa-1950s house where she grew up on North Phelps Avenue near Lakemont Elementary School, has cultivated what she describes as a “secret garden” just outside her doorway. It showcases an array of native plants including sand live oaks, cabbage palms, saw palmettos, coral honeysuckles and such pollinators as coontie plants to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. There are screech owls, barred owls, cardinals, woodpeckers and catbirds among other feathered residents and passers-through. Edmonds’ garden, a certified wildlife habitat, is shown on the cover of this issue of Winter Park Magazine. But Edmonds, who has a bachelor’s degree in fashion illustration from Florida State Universi-
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ty, hasn’t always painted nature for a living. She worked for many years as an advertising illustrator for local retailers, including Ivey’s, Jordan Marsh and Hattie Frederick. She later earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Florida and moved to Washington, D.C., and later Seattle. There she worked as a photo art director and catalogue designer for Nordstrom while simultaneously discovering the wonder of oil painting. “Each day, painting en plein air was an exciting challenge to capture the ever-changing light and shadow,” she says. “Working on location inspires me in a profound way, and observing nature helps me to understand the shape, form and infinite colors of my subjects.” Edmonds, who returned to Florida in 2001 to devote her time to painting its colorful landscapes, is a signature member of the American Impressionist Society and Plein Air Florida and participates in plein-air exhibitions throughout the U.S. — including the annual Paint Out Winter
Park, sponsored by the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. The cover image, “The Artist’s Garden,” was painted during the Polasek’s most recent invitation-only event, when artists fanned out across the city looking for intriguing subjects. The 2019 Paint Out was held April 21 to 27. Edmonds’ paintings can be found in collections at the University of Central Florida and the Maitland Art Center. Her paintings are also included in the St. Joe Company’s Forgotten Coast Collection and the Shands Arts in Medicine Collection at the Venice (Florida) Regional Medical Center. Aficionados of Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival memorabilia will recall that Edmonds’ image of Greeneda Court on Park Avenue adorned the official festival poster back in 2007. Edmonds loves to paint in her certified wildlife habitat garden, but also finds inspiration in France, Italy and Maine. More of Edmonds’ work can be seen at cynthiaedmonds.com. — Randy Noles
’60s Chic A LEGENDARY ARCHITECT’S MODERNIST MASTERPIECE IS JUST AS GROOVY TODAY AS IT WAS 54 YEARS AGO. By Karen Leblanc and Randy Noles
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ohn Kaiser was a child of the 1960s. Today he’s an adult of the 1960s. That’s why he couldn’t be prouder of his home — a modernist masterpiece designed in 1965 by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Nils M. Schweizer. The home, located at 1670 Huron Trail in Maitland’s Dommerich Woods subdivision, was originally built for Siegmund I. “Sig” Goldman and his wife, Marilyn. The Goldmans are remembered today as patrons of the arts for whom the Orlando Shakespeare Theater named a venue. As of February, the Goldman name also appears on a plaque affixed to a pillar that flanks their erstwhile home’s driveway. The text announces that the property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Goldman House, perhaps the most pristine of the 60 to 80 Schweizer-designed homes still standing, is indeed an extraordinary example of no-holds-barred mid-century modern architecture. “I’m thrilled about it,” says Kaiser, who bought the 3,385-squarefoot suburban sanctuary from the Goldmans in 2002 for $305,000. (He figures it’s worth roughly twice that amount today.) “I want people to know it’s a special home. And I want it to be an architectural teaching tool.” Steve Goldman, son of Sig and Marilyn, lived in the home from age 13 to age 19, when he left for college. A philanthropist and retired tech entrepreneur, Goldman says he knew nothing about Kaiser’s plans until he was invited to a ceremony during which the plaque was unveiled. “When I showed up I was amazed,” says Goldman. “Walking through the house, it was like I had just stepped out of a time capsule. In fact, it looked better than I had ever seen it — right down to the smallest details.” Kaiser, who owns Designage — a graphic design, signage and themed interior company based in Maitland — says he and his ex-wife had previously planned to build a new custom home that reflected their modernist sensibilities. “The numbers just weren’t working,” he says. “So one morning I said, ‘Honey, we’re going out to find a house.’” The couple began scouting Central Florida neighborhoods and sending personal letters to the owners of homes that struck their fancy. Eventually, they found two homes that they particularly liked. One was in Palomar and owned by Abe and Tess Wise. Abe Wise was a contractor and the first president of the Home Builders Association of Mid-Florida (now the Greater Orlando Builders Association). The Wises weren’t interested in selling. But the timing was perfect for the Goldmans, who were planning to build a more lavish new home nearby and were preparing to list their current home with a real estate agent. “Within 30 minutes, I had agreed to buy the home for the appraised value,” says Kaiser. “Sig and Marilyn were happy that the home was going to someone who would appreciate it.” Kaiser, too, was happy that the artfully angular concrete-block structure turned out to be in near-perfect condition. “There are places in this house where I can’t even get a cell signal,” Kaiser says. “When there’s the possibility of a hurricane, everybody in the family comes over.” Some small items needed to be taken care of. Kaiser bolstered some doors, reinstalled terrazzo floors and updated the kitchen appliances.
PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL
John Kaiser says he and his ex-wife had previously planned to build a new custom home that reflected their modernist sensibilities. But they found the real deal in Sig and Marilyn Goldman’s pristine Maitland home, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Nils M. Schweizer.
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
A plaque (left) affixed to a pillar that flanks the home’s driveway announces that the property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home’s exterior (below) looks almost exactly as it did in 1964.
But no structural repairs were needed. Two years ago, Kaiser hired architectural historian Christine Madrid French — an advocate for mid-century modern buildings — to prepare an application for the National Register of Historic Places, a program established by the National Historical Preservation Act of 1966 and overseen by the National Park Service. Kaiser and French had met as members of the Central Florida Modernists — also known as the Nils M. Schweizer Fellows — an appreciation society for fans of the revered architect, who died in 1988 at age 63. “Anybody can fill out a national register nomination, but it can be daunting for someone who’s not a historian to complete the process,” says French,
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who now lives in Los Angeles. “You need special expertise to understand the historical context and the language that the National Park Service is looking for.” The Goldmans kept meticulous records, adds French, including blueprints, receipts and construction drawings: “The house is well documented so if it’s ever damaged, its original details will survive for future researchers.” French is practiced at dealing with government agencies on preservation issues. While living in Maitland, she facilitated the 2015 designation of the Maitland Art Center — originally known as the Research Studio — as a National Historic Landmark. National Historic Landmarks are the most significant sites in the country with just 2,600 buildings or districts listed, including such iconic places as the Empire State Building in New York and the Hoover Dam in Nevada. The campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland — where
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Kaiser furnished the home with period-appropriate furniture, tracking down authentic mid-century pieces where he could. Other features of modernism reflected in the architecture are geometric spaces; a flat, layered roof with cantilevered overhangs; and the seamless melding of indoor and outdoor spaces. The swimming pool was added in the 1980s.
Schweizer worked for Wright — is also a National Historic Landmark. The National Register of Historic Places encompasses 92,000 properties across the U.S. Yet, despite Schweizer’s prominence, the Goldman House is the first of his residences to be listed. That may be in part because mid-century homes haven’t traditionally been considered old enough to be historic. The Goldmans, who owned one of the largest heating and cooling contracting companies in the region, commissioned Schweizer to design their family home and carefully supervised its construction. Sig Goldman acted as his own contractor. “The Goldman House is one of the few designs in which Schweizer explored using stucco over the concrete blocks, which created a bright, high-contrast finish,” says French. “He also used organic materials such as copper and redwood.” Other features of modernism reflected in the Goldman House are geometric spaces and a flat, layered roof with cantilevered overhangs. Modernist designs are also noted for the seamless melding of indoor and outdoor spaces, which is a highlight of the Goldman House. Kaiser describes the design as “a warmer iteration” of the mid-century modern style, which is known for stark minimalism and can appear institutional without some degree of tasteful ornamentation.
Modernist architecture tends to eschew ornamentation. But Schweizer’s structures are characterized by dentils — small tooth-like blocks used as repeating elements in cornices. “As the sun rakes across the dentil, it creates little squares and that makes a pattern on the surface,” says French. “This home has very positive energy and I find a lot of inspiration and tranquility here,” Kaiser adds. “The design lets in so much light, and I love the simplicity of it.” The entry hall connects family spaces on the west side of the house with the kitchen, living room and dining room on the east side. The sunken den features a fireplace with a floating mantel shelf of cast concrete and a hand-ham-
mered copper wall covering above. “I remember me, my mom and my younger sister Julie banging on that piece of copper with a ballpeen hammer,” says Goldman, who as a youngster harbored ambitions of being an architect. A large corner window creates a connection to the backyard. The dining room connects the kitchen and living room and features multiple wall treatments, including mirrors, paneled lauan (faux mahogany) and floor-to-ceiling windows. The master bedroom and living room connect via a wide breezeway with a door to the backyard. An enclosed stairway near the living room leads to the upstairs hallway, which floats above the foyer overlooking the front doors below. Also upstairs are two bedrooms and a bathroom within a projected, flat-roofed pavilion that rises above the central area of the ground floor. A highlight of the bathroom is a stained-glass window that replicates the logo of Schweizer’s firm. Although the Goldmans had changed little about the house beyond adding a laundry room and a swimming pool in the 1980s, they had, understandably, updated the interior décor. So Kaiser has also decked out the rooms with mid-century furnishings, much of which is authentic. He’ll buy reproductions if they’re of exceptional quality, but keeps a close watch on eBay and routinely visits garage sales in search of genuine period pieces. Sig Goldman died in 2013. But Marilyn, still lively as ever, attended the plaque-unveiling ceremony. “My only wish is that my husband could have been there,” she says. “That home is where we spent 37 years and raised a family. It was a big thrill to see how beautifully it had been kept in the midcentury modern style.”
NILS M. SCHWEIZER (1925-1988)
Following active duty in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, Nils M. Schweizer studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright through a prestigious Taliesin Fellowship. As Wright’s Southeastern representative he helped design Florida Southern College in Lakeland. He later worked on Orlando International Airport, Epcot Center’s Mexican Pavilion and St. Luke Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Orlando. In 1964 he helped build the Loch Haven Art Center and in 1985 his firm designed the addition to the Orlando Public Library. A defender of the environment and a deeply spiritual man, Schweizer — often called the Dean of Orlando Architecture — helped to organize Kairos Inc., a national prison ministry group still based in Winter Park. The Nils M. Schweizer Fellows, founded in the architect’s honor, continues to promote preservation of Orlando’s modernist homes and commercial buildings. For more information, visit centralfloridamodern.com.
Schweizer and Frank Lloyd Wright at Florida Southern College.
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
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PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL
Gary Cain, chief executive office of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, recalls the clubs’ first presence in Eatonville. It was in a double-wide trailer that developed holes in the floor from overuse. Now the Joe R. Lee Branch, which opened in 2011, is in the midst of a major expansion.
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IMPACT in Eatonville The expanding Boys & Girls Club offers confidence, support and lots of love. By Greg Dawson
f you were tuned to cable news at 8:30 p.m. on April 17, you saw Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, angrily accuse Attorney General William Barr of putting a pro-Trump gloss on the Mueller Report to be released the following day. Standing with Nadler in the glare of the television lights were four committee members, including Democratic Representative Val Demings of Orlando. Nadler said the committee would review the report, then decide how to proceed. High drama indeed. But in a little more than 12 hours — about the time Barr would be holding a press conference in Washington to offer his take on the report — Demings was due in Central Florida to shovel dirt at the groundbreaking for a small-town Boys & Girls Club. Folks back home surely would understand if she cancelled and stayed in D.C. to scour a report that could presage a constitutional crisis. Not a chance. “She was always planning on attending the event — we didn’t consider cancelling,” says Daniel Gleick, communications director for Demings. After all, this was no ordinary groundbreaking because this was no ordinary place. This was historic Eatonville, where the Joe R. Lee Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida has for nearly a decade helped young people battle barriers. S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
IT STARTED WITH A DOUBLE-WIDE
of the major donors Cain has recruited. The vaulted canopy-like entrance of the Lee Branch In 1999, though, the cupboard was mostly bare ex— a faint echo of downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips cept for Weed and Seed cash. But it was enough to seed Center for the Performing Arts — and its airy atrium the double-wide, which became a welcome home away lobby belie the compactness of the space. from home for Eatonville kids often at loose ends. The Eatonville facility reached its capacity (100 “For what they had to work with, they did an exkids a day, often exceeded) soon after opening in cellent job,” says Eatonville Mayor Eddie Cole, 60. 2011. A $3 million expansion from 9,000 to 23,000 “Their presence spoke more than the facility itself. But square feet, with space for 250 kids, is the ribbonwhat did the kids like more — the building or the love cutting highlight of a busy 75th anniversary for the they were getting inside the building?” Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida (BGCCF). Inside were caring adults, people who would offer The Eatonville expansion isn’t even the biggest personal support and homework help. “Kids were runproject on the organization’s drawing board. This ning there,” Cole recalls. “Sometimes they were beatfall, the BGCCF breaks ground on a $7.5 million, ing the workers there. They never looked at it like, 31,000-square-foot club near Orange Center Elemen‘Man, we don’t have what the other Boys and Girls tary School on Orlando’s hardscrabble west side. Clubs have.’” The Jacqueline Bradley-Clarence Otis Family Branch Today the BGCCF has a $14-million annual budget will serve 350 kids daily with programs, facilities and Eatonville Mayor Eddie Cole was dubbed and operates 35 clubs across seven counties. There are amenities more closely resembling a mini-university. the “Willy Wonka of social work” by David 21 free-standing clubs and 14 after-school and summer Otis, former CEO of Darden Restaurants, and his wife, Odahowski, president and chief executive programs in middle schools serving 15,000 kids. Jacqueline, have donated $2 million and offered to officer of the Winter Park-based Edyth Bush None of the 35 programs are in Winter Park or Foundation. Cole’s Every Kid Outreach ministry match up to another $2 million in gifts. Maitland. That may sound startling but only if you fail But today the spotlight was on Eatonville — predated the arrival of the Boys & Girls Clubs, to consider the organization’s core mission. Marines but today the two organizations complement dubbed “the town that freedom built” — where the one another. run toward the sound of gunfire. The BGCCF goes BGCCF has been making an impact for 20 years. The where it’s most needed. neighborhood was bustling with dignitaries, news The typical kid a few miles away in Maitland — the crews and BGCCF supporters who knew something of historic importance same zip code, ironically — has two parents, middle-class mobility, access was happening here. to wide opportunities and layers of non-family support and connections. Speaking of history, the BGCCF dates to 1944 when Orlando recreation Eatonville children come into the world with little or no margin for error director Joe Stripp, a former major league pitcher, started the area’s first Boys in life and no safety net. One innocent slip, one episode of errant behavior, Club, for white boys only, in an armory in Parramore. (The organization one wrong-place-wrong-time moment can be catastrophic. became the Boys & Girls Club in 1990.) THE WILLY WONKA OF SOCIAL WORK “Jersey” Joe Stripp played for the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn DodgBGCCF statistics about its Lee Branch members depict what can only be ers, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Bees between 1928 and 1938. And called a head stop in life: 80 percent come from single-parent homes; 97 percent how’s this for trivia? Stripp was the last major leaguer to bat against a legally are eligible for free or reduced school lunch; 85 percent come from households thrown spitball in 1934. with an income of less than $30,000; 89 percent are African-American. But fate kept throwing curveballs at Eatonville kids until 1999 when the “The children who need us most are children of color,” says Cain, who town finally got its first Boys & Girls Club. It was housed in a double-wide grew up poor in Panama City and spent much of his time at a nearby Boys trailer obtained through a $40,000 grant from the federal “Weed and Seed” Club. “I want to help children who didn’t choose the circumstances they program designed to weed out crime in urban areas and seed them with were born into be able to see the possibilities — to help them get the skills social and economic programs. and mindsets and attitudes to succeed.” Why did the nation’s oldest incorporated African-American town, where It was the same challenge that Cole, the future mayor, faced when he the need was obvious, have to wait 55 years for a club? And why did that arrived in Eatonville in 1984 from his native Canton, Ohio, to start youth club, humble though it was, have to rely on federal money instead of phiprograms under the aegis of Young Life, a Colorado-based charity focused lanthropy? on social uplift through Christ. “It’s not unusual for Boys & Girls Clubs to start in very modest circumHe had his work cut out for him. There were few organized activities for stances,” says Gary Cain, 64, president and chief executive officer of the kids. The new Denton Johnson Community Center, opened that year and BGCCF. Cain served on the task force that secured the Weed and Seed grant. used today for Head Start and other programs, offered no activities for kids “Our business model is a tough system,” he adds. “Candidly, prior to and wasn’t open after school or on weekends. “An empty shell,” Cole called it. our arrival there had not been many major gifts to the organization. So we “When kids got out of school they just hung out on the streets,” says needed to do some foundational work.” Shadrick “Shaggy” Alexander, 39, now service director at the Lee Branch. Cain, hired as CEO in 1994, was effective in opening some of the deepest “Sometimes in the morning we could have a before-school breakfast. They pockets in Central Florida. Today, private gifts account for about 70 percent had some mentoring and talks on the importance of hygiene. But nothing of the BGCCF’s operating budget. The remainder comes from a combinageared toward education and career, the arts or character and leadership.” tion of grants and funding from Orange County. With charisma to burn, Cole refused to acquiesce to the stagnation. His Among the speakers at the Lee Branch groundbreaking were represenimagination and ingenuity led Winter Park-based Edyth Bush Charitable tatives of Darden Restaurants, Red Lobster (formerly a Darden brand), Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer David Odahowski to Tupperware and the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation — just a sampling
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Shadrick “Shaggy” Alexander (above left) is service director at the Lee Branch while Austin Long (above right) preceded Alexander in Eatonville before becoming service director at the East Altamonte Branch. Both have made the BGCCF their work and their mission and have mentored hundreds of young people.
refer to him as “the Willy Wonka of social work.” Cole was, indeed, a hot knife through butter, sparking the dormant community center to life with activities and programs based on his unshakable belief in a bright future for the kids. By 1991 he was city recreation director, gaining attention from influentials outside Eatonville for his good works and exuberant leadership. Cole and Odahowski became friends over the years, and Odahowski promised to drop by Eatonville someday for a look-see at Cole’s handiwork. He chose an afternoon in the summer of 1991 when he and fellow foundation board member Michael Cross, an investment advisor, were returning from a meeting. Exiting I-4 they decided to visit Cole unannounced. “We were driving a very large white Mercury Grand Marquis, and we were both wearing dark suits, white shirts, red ties and sunglasses,” recalls Odahowski. As might be expected, their presence aroused suspicion. “We pulled up to the Denton Center and rolled down the window because we weren’t sure where to go,” Odahowski continues. “I asked a guy, ‘Do you know Eddie Cole?’ He said, ‘Never heard of him.’ I was befuddled. Eddie had been nurturing youth for many years. We drove around and found another guy who said he didn’t know Eddie Cole. So we drove back to the office.” Later that afternoon, a concerned Alexander came to Cole’s office in the
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Denton Center and informed him that “two white guys came by here today dressed like the Blues Brothers, looking for you. They wanted to see what you’re doing.’” “I laughed so hard!” Cole says. “So [Odahowski and Cross] came back another day and looked in the room we had. Nothing but a big empty room with some partitions up. Over here you could show some movies, over there we had a ping-pong table. I know they had to be saying, ‘Don’t tell me there’s not a need in Eatonville.’” Not long after the Blues Brothers dropped by, the Bush Foundation gave Cole a $65,000 grant to establish Every Kid Outreach (EKO), a ministry to provide programs and mentors for Eatonville kids from kindergarten through high school. To date, the foundation has contributed nearly $260,000 to EKO in addition to $2.6 million to the BGCCF — including $250,000 for the Lee Branch expansion. EKO and the Boys and Girls Club don’t overlap, Cole says; they complement one another, meeting regularly to coordinate roles. “We try not to duplicate services,” he notes. “We want to be good stewards of the public’s money.” For example, the Lee Branch — like all BGCCF clubs — closes Friday nights. Since 1999, EKO has run “Fifth Quarter,” an open gym on Friday nights at the Life Center Church on Kennedy Boulevard. An EKO representative is available daily at Edgewater High and Lockhart and Maitland middle schools to help students with a variety of needs, from academic assistance to speaking with counselors. As mayor, Cole has transitioned to sort of an ambassador role at EKO. “It’s “like being set out to pasture,” he jokes. “Instead of speaking to kids, I now speak for kids.”
The Lee Branch’s success in countering toxic influences and nurturing fresh narratives is as jaw-dropping as the doomsday numbers on dysfunction: Last year 100 percent of Lee Branch high school seniors earned diplomas; 98 percent of all teens abstained from alcohol; and 96 percent refrained from tobacco and marijuana. DARDEN: LET’S BUILD A CLUB EATONVILLE Growing awareness of Eatonville’s challenges — coincidentally magnified by the popular Zora! Festival for the Arts and Humanities begun in 1990 — spurred long-deferred momentum for change. In 1998 the town won a $100,000 state grant to build its first ball fields for youth teams. The next year, the BGCCF moved into the double-wide. It took only a few years for the brand-new trailer to develop holes in the floors from sheer use. Recalls Cain: “We had about 50 kids a day and one staff member.” Around that time, Cain received a fortuitous call from Rick Walsh, then vice president of corporate affairs at Darden Restaurants. Joe Lee, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the largest casual dining restaurant company in the world, was ready to retire. The company, Walsh said, wanted to honor his service by giving the BGCCF a club in his name. Lee had already given the BGCCF a seven-figure gift and chaired a capital campaign that allowed the organization to tear down the old Pine Hills Boys & Girls Club and rebuild it as the Walt Disney World Clubhouse Boys & Girls Club. Funds from that drive were also used to build the Universal Orlando Foundation Branch Boys & Girls Club in Carver Shores. “So clearly Joe could have had his name on something,” says Cain. “But he always deferred. He’s a very humble, modest man and didn’t want his name on anything.” That didn’t stop the Darden board of directors from writing a $1.5 million check that jump-started fundraising and led to the 2011 opening of the 9,000-square-foot Lee Branch, which would feature an indoor gym, on Ruffel Street. One summer night, while the facility was still under construction, Cole happened to be passing through town and did a double-take when he saw a teenaged Alexis Prince shooting baskets outdoors. Prince, then a forward for the Edgewater High School team, would later start for Baylor University and is now with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. “It was dark, probably eight or nine o’clock,” says Cole. “I saw a light and I was like, ‘What’s that?’ I got closer and saw that a flashlight was sitting on a block. It was aimed at the clay court so she could see to shoot. And I was like, ‘Wow! If that girl could have that kind of drive with nothing, what’ll happen when we finish this building?’ Because that kind of drive is in every kid that lives here.” It certainly looks that way. On any given day, 125 to 130 young people flock to the Lee Branch after school. All of them stay for the free hot supper, Alexander says. But even more important, he adds, is feeding the mind and soul with a sense of ownership: “If children have a sense of belonging, a sense that this is mine, it opens the imagination, it opens the creativity in a way you’ve never seen. You hear them talk about my club.” Alexander was service director in Orlando and gave up the same position at the Tupperware Brands Branch Kissimmee — the largest club in Central Flori-
da — to take the job on Ruffel Street. Why take a step down the career ladder? “It’s home, it’s home,” replies Alexander. “I tell the kids, ‘I walked these same streets you’re walking.’ I knew the community prior to this building being here. I want them to understand that success does come from Eatonville.” Alexander’s great-great-great uncle Joseph E. Clark, an ex-slave from Georgia, was one of the town’s founding fathers along with Winter Park benefactors Lewis Lawrence, a New York industrialist, and Joshua C. Eaton, a retired naval officer from Maine. Both were seasonal residents. His great-grandmother, Catherine Clark Alexander, was Eatonville’s first postmistress. In 1979 she was abducted and murdered by a man named Linroy Bottoson after he stole 37 money orders from the post office. Bottoson was executed in 2002. Nicknamed by his sister Valencia, who had trouble saying Shadrick, “Shaggy” rarely left town except to go to school — Lake Sybelia Elementary School, Maitland Middle School and Edgewater High School. “We didn’t have transportation,” Alexander says. “The only time I was able to go outside the neighborhood was with my grandparents. On the weekend my grandfather would take us to the meat market and the mom-and-pop fruit and vegetable stands in Orlando. We used to call it ‘going to town.’” When the double-wide was installed, it was the first time Alexander, at age 19, had ever heard of the Boys & Girls Club. He was 22 when he first set foot outside Florida, accompanying a group of BGCCF members to North Carolina for a kids-against-tobacco conference. Isolation was the experience shared by kids growing up in Eatonville then. Cole recalls another trip to North Carolina, in 1987, to a Young Life camp. “We had two busloads of high school kids, laughing and playing,” Cole says. “We get to Sanford, they’re still laughing and playing. We get to Daytona, more laughing and playing. Around the time we get to Jacksonville the bus is quiet, and I’m like, ‘Why are they so quiet?’” Cole realized that some of the kids were frightened because they’d never been farther from home than Daytona. He asked the bus driver to stop so everyone could take pictures alongside welcome signs when they arrived in a new state. “When they got there, they enjoyed themselves,” Cole recalls. “They met kids from around the country. When they came back you could see the difference.” The Lee Branch’s success in countering toxic influences and nurturing fresh narratives is as jaw-dropping as the doomsday numbers on dysfunction: Last year 100 percent of Lee Branch high school seniors earned diplomas; 98 percent of all teens abstained from alcohol; and 96 percent refrained from tobacco and marijuana.
GATORS, SEMINOLES, KNIGHTS AND TARS In a community of stunted dreams, few kids believe they can go to college. Cole, though, had audaciously challenged a narrative that seemed fixed as the seasons. “I was the first one to take kids on college visits when nobody was doing it,” he said. “They were always saying, ‘Mr. Eddie Cole, we can’t S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Darden’s Joe Lee had already given the BGCCF a seven-figure gift and chaired a capital campaign that allowed the organization to tear down the old Pine Hills Boys & Girls Club and rebuild it as the Walt Disney World Clubhouse Boys & Girls Club. Funds from that drive were also used to build the Universal Orlando Foundation Branch Boys & Girls Club in Carver Shores.
go to college!’” In 1994, he loaded a group of kids into a pair of vans and took them to all-black colleges, including Morehouse, Spelman, Morris Brown and Clark Atlanta. “Everyone [at those colleges] looked like them,” Cole recalls. “Our kids, their eyes were coming out of their heads. I said, ‘No excuses! No excuses!’ A few of them ended up going to those colleges.” A generation following Cole’s initial road trip, Suzanne Dukes was given the tools by Cain to make the college dream possible for more than just a few. Dukes, 56, was an early supporter, spending time in both the BGCCF trailer and the Denton Center. Her daughter’s second grade teacher was part of a group that did volunteer work in Eatonville. “I used to go over to the community center and sit in the corner on the floor and read the kids books,” Dukes says. “My kids were read to every night and I thought, ‘Why doesn’t every child have this?’” After Dukes and her husband helped their two daughters get into good colleges, Dukes says she was uncertain what she wanted to do with her life — but she knew she wanted to help young people. And she pointed out an
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unmet need to Cain. She told him that the BGCCF did a wonderful job for kids ages 6 to 18, but they also needed help getting into college. Good point, said Cain, who made Dukes the BGCCF’s first college access consultant. Her job is to do for club members what middle-class suburban parents do for their college-bound children: Don’t let their GPA slide, make sure they study for the SAT, assist with college applications and essays, and guide them through the bewildering wilds of financial aid. Since 2013, when Dukes’ job was created, she has worked with some 200 Boys & Girls Club members across Central Florida. About 150 made it to college — a .750 batting average. Their destinations include the University of Florida, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, Valencia College, New York University, Duke University, Spelman College, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Rollins College — the most generous of all Florida schools in financial aid offered to Dukes’s aspirants. But Dukes is haunted by those who don’t make it. “Sometimes I think it’s so deep down,” she says. “Because of generational poverty, they believe they can’t do it. My husband describes it the perfect way. You peel back an onion and think you’ve solved the issue. Then you peel it back some more and you’re like, ‘Wait! There’s this other issue.’ It’s not an equal playing field. It’s just not.” The students with whom Dukes works not only don’t start the game on third base, like the privileged, or even at home plate. “Usually they’re behind home plate,” she says.
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Two young people with whom Suzanne Dukes (right) worked are now attending Rollins College, the most generous donor of scholarships to local BGCCF aspirants. Both Ja’Keevious Mack (left) and Brianna Joyner (center) had the talent and drive to make it but had to overcome obstacles along the way.
Two who stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park are Ja’Keevious Mack and Brianna Joyner. Both made the journey of a million miles from Eatonville to Rollins. Both had the talent and drive to make it — but needed someone to catch them when they teetered and began to fall. That someone for Ja’Keevious and Brianna was Austin Long, service director prior to Alexander at the Lee Branch. Long, 47, was a Boys Club member growing up in Ocala and has made the club’s mission his life’s work. At times, it’s not unlike being a first responder. Ja’Keevious — Keevie to his friends — was a Lee Branch member from age 6. It helped him overcome his shyness and “planted those traits in me that allowed me to become more expressive, to go out and meet new people, make connections.” His innate gifts blossomed and Keevie was on his way, eyes on a prize future. Then two days after Christmas 2016 his world crashed. His older
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brother, Je’Vonte, whom he idolized, was found dead by the roadside in Altamonte Springs, an apparent victim of gang violence. He was 24. “I was lost,” Keevie says. “I gave up, you might say.” Long, who had a close relationship with Je’vonte and was grieving, too, determined that he wasn’t going to lose another kid to the streets. “After Je’Vonte passed, Keevie kind of let his academics slide and stayed away from the club,” Long says. “After about two or three weeks when he wasn’t at the club, I had to go looking for him. I didn’t find him, but word got out. One day he came to the club and I grabbed him. I told him it was going to be OK. I was not going to let this disaster change his life.” Instead, Keevie began working with Dukes, who kept his nose to the grindstone and ushered him through the college application process. In 2018 Keevie was named Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year and began his freshman year at Rollins. On a mild Sunday afternoon in April he sat in a green wicker rocking chair on the front terrace of Olin Library and looked back. “My first year has gone amazing,” Keevie says. “Everything that comes with it — from what I’m learning in class, to meeting staff and faculty and other students — has been nothing but amazing. Finals are coming up soon. My grades so far have been good.”
The Eatonville Boys & Girls Club has come a long way. Its current expansion program will double its capacity and enable the club to add a variety of new programs.
THE LEE BRANCH IN BRIEF The $3 million expansion of the Joe R. Lee Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida will more than double its size, from 9,000 to more than 20,000 square feet. Here’s what the new space will allow, and the additional programs on the way: ■ Separate programming areas for youth (ages 6 to 12) and teens (ages 13 to 18). ■ A game room with two pool tables, foosball, ping-pong and bumper pool. (There’ll be gaming board tables throughout the space). ■ A college and career room for research and assistance with the application process as well as with testing prep. ■ A computer lab for on-site homework that will also offer use of digital arts and robotics technology. ■ A digital sound studio for recording individuals and groups who want to perfect song and stage preparation.
■ A teen lounge and their outdoor patio area with electronic gaming and a wall-mounted 65-inch TV. ■ A dual-purpose health and life skills area where daily hot meals and snacks will be served, as well as appliances for culinary programming. ■ A multipurpose room with an indoor serving area during snack and meal times, with separate access and space for youth and teens. ■ A covered outdoor patio area with ceiling fans that abuts a grass activity field behind the building. ■ A dance studio with a performance stage to be used for performing arts programming.
In addition, the existing building will be extensively remodeled with new flooring, a larger art room, new restrooms and a youth lounge area. Younger members will have a separate learning area, computer lab, art room and game room. The lobby area will also be remodeled — with a second set of controlled-access glass walls and doors to the activity area — and the gym enlarged to encompass one full-sized basketball court and two half-court areas. S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
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The groundbreaking for the Joe R. Lee Branch was attended by an array of dignitaries and boosters. Among them (top to bottom) were U.S. Representative Val Demings; Edyth Bush Foundation president and chief executive officer David Odahowski; and retired Darden Restaurants senior vice president Rick Walsh, who is now chairman and CEO of the Knob Hill Group, an investment and strategic consulting company.
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He’s taking 12 credit hours and commutes from the home in Eatonville where he grew up and still lives with his mom, sister, grandmother and niece. He works 17 to 20 hours a week as a program assistant at the East Altamonte Boys & Girls Club. His boss is none other than Austin Long, now the service director at that branch. “I like to keep an eye on him,” Long says. Keevie, now 19, makes the 12-mile round trip to East Altamonte in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. It’s his introduction to the way things work for those born into the world of favors, connections and soft landings. One of the members of the Lee Branch board gave him the car. “He wanted to give the car to someone who could use it for a great purpose,” Keevie says. “A board member contacted [Long] about the car and he contacted me. He said, ‘If you get a license, I’ve got a car waiting for you.’” Brianna, 21, was a regular at the double-wide from age 6. Her loving family struggled — her father suffered from sickle-cell anemia and her mother was the family’s sole provider — and couldn’t fully nurture her talent and ambitions. When things got tough, the double-wide was there. “I don’t remember getting read to,” she says. “Maybe when I was small. I struggled with reading for a while. Even now I’m not the best reader because I didn’t have that practice.” Her naturally studious nature and intellect enabled Brianna to do well in grade school, where she had an encouraging third-grade teacher at Lake Sybelia Elementary School who motivated her to shoot for a college degree and told her “you can be the mayor of Eatonville.” That teacher, as it happened, was Karen Castor Dentel, who was later elected to the Florida House of Representatives and is now a member of the Orange County School Board. Dentel remembers Brianna approaching her on the school’s playground to talk about an upcoming student election. “I think there were three boys running, and she wanted to know if I thought she should run,” recalls Dentel. “I told her, ‘Brianna, you’re smart, you listen to people and you don’t think you have all the answers. Yes — you should go for it.” Brianna won the election by a single vote. “All the boys were mad because all the girls voted for me,” she recalls. Emboldened, Brianna continued to achieve throughout elementary school, middle school and high school. She was active in high school clubs and got good grades. Even so, Long was always there to help in case she began to wobble. “There were times when I stayed away from the Boys & Girls Club,” she said. “I started babysitting more. If I was ever gone too long [Long] would come to my house and be like, ‘Where are you?’” Thanks to her own grit, Long’s mother-hen vigilance and Dukes’ help, Brianna is at Rollins on scholarship, heading into her senior year with a 3.9 GPA as an elementary education major. Like Keevie, she’s the first in her family to go to college. Mission accomplished, but Cole’s mayoral seat is safe — for now. Brianna’s fresh mission is to pay it forward to kids like herself with low incomes but sky-high hopes. Inspired by her mentors, Brianna wants to someday work in a Title I school, where at least 40 percent of students come from lowincome households. Keevie and Brianna and dozens of their counterparts across the higher education landscape are the jewels in the crown of the BGCCF college access
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program. But Dukes’ personal legacy runs much deeper and can be seen even among those who don’t get featured in magazine stories. “I think back to this group of boys, my children’s age,” she says. “They were a special group to me, and I still keep in touch with them. I first met them in the double-wide, and later I went to Maitland Middle School once a week to have lunch with them. They actually left the club and didn’t go to college, but they’re productive members of society. They’re working, they have families, they love their children — and they read to them.”
NOW EVERYONE’S WATCHING The opening of the double-wide club in 1999 rated one buried paragraph in the Orlando Sentinel. The ceremonial groundbreaking — construction was already well underway — for expansion of the Lee Branch 20 years later featured a classy coffee-and-sweets reception in the atrium and attracted several TV news teams. “As you know, there’s nothing going on in Washington, D.C., now, so it was easy for me to come home,” Demings quipped. She praised the club for giving every boy and girl the opportunity to live up to their potential — like her husband, Jerry, a former sheriff and now the Orange County Mayor. “My husband is an alumnus of the Boys and Girls Club and he’s doing all right. Thank you, Boys and Girls Club!” (Jerry Demings was a member of the old Carver Shores Branch.) After Demings’ remarks and the ritual tossing of dirt with gold-colored shovels by businesssuited adults and kids in Boys & Girls T-shirts, Demings donned a hard hat for a tour of the expansion in its embryonic stage: a sea of unfinished concrete floors and walls, scaffolding, yellow tape stretched across rooms-to-be and plastic sheeting waving in the breeze. “This will be the teen lounge where they can plug in,” said tour guide Gary Reinneck, BGCCF director of facilities. And he was just getting started. Imagine over here a sound studio. And a computer lab. And rooms for personal tutoring, including a quiet place for students with Asperger’s acutely sensitive to sound. And a career room devoted to preparing for college. Wending his way through the construction dust, Reinneck motioned toward the space for a dance studio with ballet barres on three sides. A health and life skills area with a stove for learning culinary arts. A full-size gym like those in high schools. An outdoor patio with plug-ins and ceiling fans. On the way out, a clearly dazzled Demings turned to Reinneck with a smile. “Can we afford this?” Illness kept Joe Lee from attending the event. Had he been there walking alongside Demings, it’s easy to imagine Lee’s answer: “Congresswoman, we can’t afford not to.”
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ALISON MOSL EY 4 07. 30 4.6 458 | F RA NK M OS LEY 4 07.4 8 9.9 5 0 8 J O HNNY WALKER 407.848.016 8 | NATH AL I E BAT ES 4 07.5 0 9.6 8 2 0 E R IN F REEMAN 9 54.84 9.79 93 | SARA CAM B RON 3 2 1 . 27 7.8 4 4 4 Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.
410 Lakewood Drive, Winter Park, Florida 32789 Winter Park Chain of Lakes, Lake Osceola
INFLUENTIALS By the Editors Photography by Rafael Tongol
ELCOME TO THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF WINTER PARK’S MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE, A PROGRAM launched by Winter Park Magazine in 2015 to recognize those who — sometimes quietly — make a difference through their professions, their volunteerism, their philanthropy, their talents or their community engagement. As usual, this year’s honorees were nominated by previous honorees. Other names were suggested through Winter Park Magazine’s social media. To be clear, our definition of “influential” is a broad one: We want to recognize people who are influential in the traditional sense, of course, as well as people who operate under the radar and make a difference without making headlines. There were more than 100 names submitted this year — which is remarkable considering the program is in its fifth year and there are still plenty of people deserving recognition. This year we catch up with some people you likely know and obvious choices. But we also introduce you to some people you likely don’t know — but should. As usual, this year’s Influentials are eclectic. What they have in common, however, is a love for Winter Park — and a desire to make it an even more special place in which to live, work and play. So, let’s meet Winter Park’s Most Influential People, Class of 2019.
Here, in alphabetical order, are the Most Influential People from 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018: Jim Barnes Dan Bellows Rita Bornstein Jill Hamilton Buss Jeffrey Blydenburgh Daniel Butts Grant and Peg Cornwell Linda Costa Julian Chambliss Patrick Chapin Carolyn Cooper Mary Daniels Betsy Gardner Eckbert Jeff Eisenbarth Andrea Massey-Farrell Sue Foreman
Scot French and Christine Madrid French Shawn Garvey Hal George John Gill Steve Goldman Sarah Grafton Jane Hames Ena Heller Debra Hendrickson Catherine Hinman Herb Holm (deceased) Jon and Betsy Hughes Phil Kean Allan Keen Linda Keen Randy Knight
Debbie Komanski Linda Kulmann Cindy Bowman LaFronz Steve Leary Lambrine Macejewski Brandon McGlammery Micki Meyer Johnny Miller Anne Mooney Ronnie Moore Patty Maddox David Odahowski Betsy Rogers Owens Jana Ricci John Rife Randall B. Robertson Peter Schreyer
Polly Seymour Thaddeus Seymour Shawn Shaffer Sarah Sprinkel Susan Skolfield Sam Stark Chuck Steinmetz and Margery Pabst Steinmetz Dori Stone John and Gail Sinclair Fr. Richard Walsh Jennifer Wandersleben Harold Ward Bill Weir Chip Weston Pete Weldon Becky Wilson
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Roy Alan and Heather Alexander Artistic Director, Winter Park Playhouse (Roy Alan) Executive Director, Winter Park Playhouse (Heather Alexander)
THE ESSENTIAL EMPRESARIOS
T’S BEEN 17 YEARS SINCE THE SONG-AND-DANCE TEAM OF ROY Alan and Heather Alexander brought some show-biz sizzle to Winter Park. And patrons of their Winter Park Playhouse are grateful for the unapologetic escapism provided by the musical productions staged in the unassuming Orange Avenue venue, which is the only professional theater in Florida that specializes in musicals and cabarets. “You can see how they’re transformed from when they come in and when they go out,” says Alan, 63, the artistic director. A native of Texas, Alan has been tap-dancing for 60 years. After high school, he lived in Manhattan for 13 years, finding work in such Broadway hits as Pirates of Penzance and Nine. Alan and Alexander, now 52, met in Jacksonville in 1991 when both were performing in a dinner-theater production of Singin’ in the Rain. Alexander adored theater but her father insisted that she study something more practical. She earned a business degree from the University of North Florida — which proved to be a smart move. Alexander manages the theater while Alan coordinates the productions. After marrying, they relocated to New York City for a year — but it was a difficult place to raise children (they have four). They were lured to Winter Park by its beauty, culture, schools and proximity to theme-park jobs. In 2000, they founded the Master Class Academy to provide instruction in dancing, acting and singing. Two years later, Alan and Alexander sold the school and leased a small space from the new owners to establish the nonprofit Winter Park Playhouse. By 2003, when their production of the off-Broadway musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, packed the house, they knew they’d found a winning formula with musicals. In 2009 the theater moved next door, increasing the number of seats from 73 to 123, and expanded again in 2014, doubling in size to 10,000 square feet with a new lobby, bathrooms and dressing rooms. Now the couple is putting the theater on the national map with an annual Festival of New Musicals. More than 18,500 people annually attend performances at the venue, while another 11,500 — primarily underserved populations such as disadvantaged children and mobility-impaired seniors — are reached through classes or community performances. The Winter Park Playhouse budget in 2018 surpassed $1 million for the first time — with 55 percent raised through donations (mostly small) and grants. To paraphrase George Gershwin, thanks to Alan and Alexander, “Winter Park has music, Winter Park has rhythm. Who could ask for anything more?”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“We have proudly raised a family here and, out of love for this community, founded the Winter Park Playhouse to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors.”
W H AT OT H E R S S AY:
“Roy and Heather provide a priceless cultural asset … they deliver top-tier entertainment … very impressed with the theater’s community-service component … they make our lives better … a welcoming family atmosphere.”
42 W I N T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | SUMM ER 2019
Alexander and Alan at the Winter Park Playhouse.
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Anna Bond Co-founder, Chief Creative Officer, Rifle Paper Co.
THE PAPER PRINCESS
T SEEMS QUAINT, IN THIS ERA OF TWEETS, TEXTS and emails, to send a handwritten note on a sheet of fine stationary, or to offer salutations, congratulations and invitations via a whimsically illustrated card. But Anna Bond, 34, co-founder and chief creative officer of Rifle Paper Co., has found a big market for quaintness through her line of artisanal planners, calendars, stationary, greeting cards and other paper and lifestyle products that bear her cheerful cursive lettering and stylized floral paintings in gouache (a combination of watercolors and acrylics). Bond’s first card design was for her own wedding to husband Nathan Bond, who was in an indie rock band for which she created show posters. She then began designing wedding cards for friends, and response was so positive that in 2009 the couple decided to make old-school paper products their business. Rifle Paper Co., originally operated out of the couple’s garage apartment, is today headquartered in Hannibal Square. The company has established an instantly recognizable international brand that sells not only cards and stationary but also accessories, home goods and art prints both online and through more than 6,000 retail stores that encompass independent boutiques as well as national chains such as Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble and Pottery Barn. Gross revenues topped $22 million last year, and the operation hums along with a staff of more than 180 — and growing. Bond’s designs now adorn wallpaper, fabrics, cosmetics packaging, temporary tattoos and even canvas shoes (with Keds). One of her designs appeared on a U.S. postage stamp in 2018: It featured the scripted word “Love” accompanied by roses in deep pink; peonies and dahlias in pink, coral and yellow; berries in pale blue; and fronds and leaves in gold and green. Creating a stamp was a dream come true for Bond, who inherited her great-grandfather’s stamp collection and was fascinated by the artwork. Bond, who earned a graphic design degree from Liberty University, started her career as a magazine art director with Orlando-based Relevant Media Group. She’s a social-media celebrity with a fervent Instagram following of about 500,000.
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“We’ve found Winter Park to be an incredibly supportive business community that has never held us back from growing into a successful international brand. In some ways. we attribute our unique location as being one of the keys to our success. We’ve been able to attract great local talent and grow the space we need as the business has grown.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Such a perfect kind of business for Winter Park … it gives the city international exposure … a great success story of talent meeting hard work.”
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Bond in her design studio.
GOOD JOB, CHARLENE HOTALING. AND THAT’S AN UNDERSTATEMENT. From all of us, hearty congrats to Seacoast Bank associate Charlene Hotaling, named one of Winter Park’s Most Influential People of 2019. Well done and well deserved, Charlene. We think our associates are the best around, and obviously we’re not alone. SeacoastBank.com | 800 706 9991
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Charles Clayton III President, Charles Clayton Construction
THE FAITH BUILDER
HARLES (CHARLIE) CLAYTON III, WHOSE father developed much of Maitland in the 1960s and Winter Park’s Sevilla subdivision in the 1970s, has continued the family tradition as a homebuilder. Only his job is bigger. Literally. The lavish custom homes that Clayton, 59, builds or remodels in Winter Park are the stuff of dreams — the sort people admire in slick magazine spreads. In 2018, one of his Winter Park projects won a Best in American Living Award from the National Association of Home Builders and three Aurora awards from the Southeast Building Conference. Clayton graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, in 1983 with a business administration degree, and has built homes since 1984. He has served in an array of leadership positions within his industry, including locally as president of the Greater Orlando Builders Association and is a founding member of the by-invitation-only Master Custom Builders Council. Both organizations have previously named him “Builder of the Year.” His big projects begin with the right team: an architect, an interior designer and a landscape architect chosen with the help of the homeowner. Clayton describes his homes as a “three-dimensional gift to the owner.” Like his dad, Clayton is a generous supporter of Valencia College and funds scholarships for skills training programs in construction-related fields. “There’s a big need in our industry for trades,” Clayton says. “And Valencia is really stepping up to fill that need.” Today, Clayton — a veteran of several major charitable building projects including House of Hope, a residential program for troubled teens — is part of a new team of all-stars assembled for a project of lesser scale but perhaps wider community impact. He’s working in tandem with architect Jack Rogers on a project for their home church, All Saints Episcopal Church, in Winter Park. They’re restoring and refurbishing the circa-1925 Glennon House, previously the Fortnightly Inn, which houses the church’s Healing Ministry where Clayton and his wife, Lisa, are prayer ministers. In fact, Clayton’s life verse is Psalms 127:1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”
W H AT H E S AYS :
“Winter Park is where I have been blessed to live, blessed to work and blessed to have friends and family.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Charlie is just a class act personally and in business... always willing to lend his talents to a good cause... his new homes are beautiful, but he has a feel for historic preservation.”
46 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
Clayton at the Glennon House.
Saluting Robynn Demar The staff and Board of Directors of Welbourne Nurser y and Preschool salute our Executive Director – on the occasion of her designation as one of Winter Park’s Most Influential!
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Deborah Crown Dean, Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business
THE DYNAMO DEAN
OU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE DEBORAH Crown, dean of the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, when she tells you that the program she has led since 2016 is the best in the state and one of the best in the country. Rankings in such publications as Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek back her up. “I’m so proud of continuing our mission to develop global, responsible and innovative leaders who directly impact their organizations and communities,” says Crown, who had previously been dean of the business school at Hawaii Pacific University. Prior to that were stints at San Jose State, Ohio University and the University of Alabama. So, what brought her to Rollins? One factor was the Crummer School’s variety of powerhouse programs — including a Professional MBA, an Executive MBA and the state’s first Executive Doctorate in Business Administration. An innovative Early Advantage MBA program is designed for recent graduates who don’t yet have lengthy resumés. Another factor was the Crummer School’s dynamic growth plans. On the drawing board are new facilities for both the Crummer School and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at the redeveloped Samuel B. Lawrence Center, a city block bounded by Lyman, Knowles, Interlachen and New England avenues. Together with the expanding Alfond Inn, the trio of projects has been dubbed the Innovation Triangle. Crown, a Dallas native who has a 15-year-old daughter (“my pride and joy,” she says), is a dynamo in the classroom, too, and boasts a shelf-full of honors for outstanding teaching. She has also been consulted for her expertise by such national media outlets as Fortune, Entrepreneur, The Wall St. Journal, The New York Times and USA Today as well as CNN and ABC News. Like any good business professor, though, Crown advocates collaboration and is quick to spread kudos among the Crummer School’s faculty, staff and alumni. “To be an effective leader, you need a passion for your organization’s mission,” she says. “You need the ability to work as part of a team to move that mission forward in a way that honors, engages and respects other people’s opinions and goals.”
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“I’m so privileged to be a Winter Park resident who also works in our beautiful city.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Deborah is really a world-class professional … as good a teacher as she is an administrator, which isn’t always the case … a great fit for Rollins.”
48 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
Crown in the boardroom of the Cummer School.
C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S , C H A R L E N E !
Charlene Hotaling and Mead Botanical Garden — A Natural Fit! The Mead Botanical Garden Board of Trustees and staff congratulate Charlene Hotaling, MBG Inc. Board Chair, for being selected one of Winter Park’s Most Influential.
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Jere F. Daniels Jr. Shareholder, Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman
THE LEGACY KEEPER
ERE DANIELS JR. DOESN’T SIT ON THE SIDElines. More than 20 years after returning to his hometown to join the venerable law firm Winderweedle, Haines, Ward and Woodman, he’s a respected community leader in the mold of his late father, who practiced law in Winter Park for 55 years and modeled effective stewardship. Daniels, 52, is a trustee emeritus and past president of the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens; past chairman of the Winter Park YMCA; and one of three trustees — the others are banker Robert C. Klettner and CPA Russell D. Baldwin — of the Joe and Sarah Galloway Foundation. The YMCA and the Galloway Foundation were also causes championed by Daniels’ father, who with lawyer Nathaniel Turnbull was the foundation’s first trustee. Joe and Sarah Galloway established the Winter Park Telephone Company, which served Maitland and Winter Park and was sold in 1979. Fully funded since the death of Sarah Galloway in 2004, the foundation each year distributes more than $1 million to dozens of charitable organizations that enrich the lives of local children and families. “The opportunity to experience what they do and the passion that their volunteers and staff have, that’s all the compensation I need,” Daniels says. The Capen House at the Polasek Museum, the swimming pool at Winter Park High School and Showalter Field are among the most visible signs of the foundation’s generosity in recent years. A 1993 graduate of the University of Florida College of Law, Daniels worked in Atlanta for five years as the in-house counsel for an environmental contractor. Upon the birth of his first child — two more were to come — he decided it was time to be closer to family. Employed by Winderweedle in 1998, he has practiced in the real estate department with ever-increasing administrative responsibilities for the firm, which was founded in 1931. Daniels next year will become Winderweedle’s first new president in 12 years. Daniels is grateful for mentors at the firm who encouraged the service values he learned at home. “I’m honored that I can pass on the legacy that they passed on to me,” he says.
W H AT H E S AYS :
“We’re all just blessed to be in Winter Park. And it’s our responsibility to carry on the hard work of those who came before us, and made the great gifts of this community possible.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Jere is part of the future generation of leadership for Winter Park.… strong and focused … exudes leadership in a quiet way.”
50 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
Daniels at Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman.
Winter Parkâ€™s Real Estate Experts FOR OVER 38 YEARS
Fannie Hillman + Associates was established in 1981 in Winter Park by single mother, entrepreneur and real estate visionary Fannie Hillman. Over the years, Fannie Hillman + Associates has evolved into the largest independent real estate company in the Orlando area, a true leader in the community. They are still located in their original building and are proud of their history. Fannie Hillman + Associates takes great pride in their values and they deeply believe in the importance of giving back to the community where they live, work and play. Each year they partner with many nonprofit organizations to provide financial and volunteer support. Fannie Hillman + Associates is a trusted neighbor, and their mission is to provide the highest level of support and service to their customers and to play an active role in improving the communities they serve.
205 W. Fairbanks Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789
Robynn Demar Executive Director, Welbourne Avenue Nursery and Kindergarten
THE CHILDREN’S CHAMPION
N 2017, THE WELBOURNE AVENUE NURSERY AND Kindergarten celebrated its 90th anniversary. If Executive Director Robynn Demar has her way, this historically significant community institution will celebrate at least 90 more years of providing top-quality childcare for a racially and culturally diverse population of working families. Demar, 45, sent her own children — now ages 10 and 20 — to Welbourne back when she was working as an accountant. She was heartened by the loving care her kids received and later became a volunteer. “We’re now serving the third generation of some families,” says Demar, who came on board as executive director in 2012. “When kids leave here they have a foundation to be successful.” Since its establishment, Welbourne has quietly served more than 10,000 families. Its graduates have gone on to high school and college and, in many cases, enjoyed successful careers in the military, business and government. It’s a story begging to be told — and Demar is eager to tell it. That’s why she believes enrolling in Leadership Winter Park, a program sponsored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, was “the best decision I ever made” as executive director. In 2013, she persuaded the group to adopt the facility as its project, which led to a Kentucky Derby-themed fundraiser that netted more than $16,000. The money was great, of course, but the event also served to elevate awareness among the city’s up-and-coming influencers. More recently Welbourne — which serves about 65 kids aged 6 weeks to 5 years — has been awarded a perfect-readiness score for its Voluntary PreKindergarten program, which prepares 4-year-olds for early education. It has also implemented a vegetable gardening program and launched nutrition partnerships with Nemours and the Winter Park Health Foundation. “Educating Children for a Better Tomorrow” clearly isn’t just a slogan at Welbourne; it’s a mission and a passion. Demar, a Tallahassee native, says her main goal is to keep spreading the word. A higher profile, she says, will result in more philanthropic support. Notes Demar: “When people realize what we do, they get behind us.”
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“I’m a very committed and compassionate person, and meet people where they are. I believe in the work I’m doing, and have confidence in my potential to inspire others.”
W H AT OT H E R S S AY:
“Welbourne is an institution the city should cherish … Robynn’s passion for it is obvious … a terrific spokesperson who knows how to communicate the organization’s mission.”
52 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUMM ER 2019
Demar at the Welbourne Avenue Nursery and Kindergarten.
feel whole feel the power of whole-person health care in Winter Park
AdventHealth in Winter Park now connects you to a new brand of expanded services to keep your family feeling their best. We offer advanced surgical and emergency services, as well as trusted primary and urgent care — conveniently located in your neighborhood. Plus, we’re home to a team of highly skilled specialists in cardiology, obstetrics, gynecology, urology, orthopedics and gastroenterology. It’s quality care designed to help you feel connected, feel healthy, feel whole.
200 North Lakemont Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32792
Eric and Diane Holm Philanthropists CEO of Metro Corral, Holm Donuts, Holm Hotels, Holm Subs, Colt’s Pig Stand (Eric Holm)
THE THANKS GIVERS
LADDENINGLIGHT, THE WINTER PARK nonprofit that explores the connection between art and spirituality, is illuminating more and more corners HESE ERIC AND HOLMfounding SEEM TO HAVE EVERYof the DAYS, city, guided by itsDIANE imaginative thing. But because they what it’swith likethe to have very little, the director, Randall B. Robertson. Lastremember fall, in partnership couple cherishes opportunities those need. “I can remember Bach Festival Society, it presented Voicestoofhelp Light, in in which whenDreyer’s we didn’tcelebrated have two silent nickelsfilm to rub Carl Theodor Thetogether,” Passion ofsays Diane, 63. “Our family has been blessed.” That’s especially true of Eric, also 63, who as a teenager Joan of Arc was accompanied by a haunting Richard Einhorn bussed tables and washed dishes at the original Sonny’s BBQ location in Gainesoratorio, performed by members of the Bach Festival Choir ville, where his mother was a server. It was difficult for a single mom raising five chiland Orchestra and conducted by its artistic director, John dren to make ends meet, and the Holms received several Thanksgiving Day meals V. Sinclair. performances at Rollins sold through theBoth Salvation Army. That’s why forCollege the past 26 out. years Eric and his wife, Then, in January, GladdeningLight hosted the biggest annual Diane, have been paying it forward with “Helpings from the Heart,” a local tradisymposium since turkey its 2011dinners launch.and About 700 people tion during which all the fixings arecame servedtoto more than 20,000 All Saints Episcopal Church forgymnasium a weekendon of Colonial discussion, art, “Nobody should be people at the Salvation Army’s Drive. hungry on inspiration Thanksgiving Day,” says Eric, a and member the Salvation Army’s namusic and anchored by lecturer authorofFather tional advisory board. He was humbled in 2014 when he received the faith-based Richard Rohr. “GladdeningLight is a brand that people are organization’s Booth aAward, such previous honorees as the now trusting,” Evangeline says Robertson, formerjoining sports-marketing Rev. Billy Graham. Then in to March of thistoyear entrepreneur. “We’re going continue strivethe toSalvation do thingsArmy Orlando Area Command inaugurated the Eric and Diane Holm Award, which will be presented that nobody else is doing.” Expect more collaboration with annually to others who help the needy. Few, though, do more than the Holms, other Winter Park institutions, Robertson says, starting with a whose companies include 33 Golden Corral restaurants in Florida and Georgia as move of the annual symposium to Rollins, which will provide well as four Krispy Kreme stores in Jacksonville and a Fairfield Inn & Suites in Celspace in exchange for free admission to those withaasub Rollins ebration. They’re branching out with Jersey Mike’s, shop franchise, and Eric ID. “All Saints was a lovely partner, but we’ve outgrown them,” has developed his own concept, Colt’s Pig Stand (formerly Daytona Pig Stand), a he says. Robertson, has aingift for bringing fast-casual barbecue62, eatery Daytona Beach.together Eric is onartists the board of directors of andCatholic thinkers Foundation who create of theCentral kind ofFlorida, sharedwhile experiences that are members of the the both Holms AdventHealth Winter Family Board. hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care are transformative for Park individuals. Voices The of Light audience Unit — where grandson, Eric,moving” was bornand — is“spellbinding” named the “Holm Dreamery” in members usedtheir words like “deeply recognition their support. Earlier this year thejust Holms sponsored the Wishmaker’s to describe of their experience. Robertson, who completed Ball, whichyear benefited the Make-a-Wish For the his 12th of leading discussions Foundation. about character andpast five years Diane has chaired the Annual Heart of Fashion Show — sponsored philosophy with inmates at Tomoka State Prison in Daytona by Nemours Children’s Hospital — which benefits Camp Boggy Creek in Lake County. Diane is on Beach, says he wants GladdeningLight programs to help the Camp Boggy Creek board of directors and was recently presented the Cathopeople reach their highest potential. “The power of this lic Foundation of Central Florida’s Outstanding Philanthropist Award. material goes to your heart and your mind.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Supporting organizations that are so deeply committed to helping those in need in our community has truly been our privilege.”
W H AT OT H E R S S AY:
“Eric and Diane have a deep passion for helping others … thoroughly friendly and down-to-earth people … that Thanksgiving project is maybe the region’s most heartwarming event.”
54 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUMM ER 2019
The Holms at their residence.
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Charlene Hotaling Vice President and Business Manager, Seacoast Bank
T H E N AT U R A L L E A D E R
F YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A CIVIC SPARKPLUG, get the indefatigable Charlene Hotaling to serve on your board or committee. Hotaling, 43, vice president and business manager at Seacoast Bank, doesn’t get involved just to see her name in magazines or to enhance her resumé. Friends say she genuinely cares about the community and believes that everyone who lives or does business in Winter Park has an obligation to give back. Of course, Winter Park is fortunate to have many like-minded boosters. But Hotaling is front and center because she’s currently the volunteer leader of two consequential but quite different community institutions: She chairs the board of trustees for both the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and Mead Botanical Garden Inc. The chamber has enjoyed a renaissance over the past couple of years under the leadership of president and CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert, who has broadened the organization’s focus beyond events to include such areas as entrepreneurship and international tourism. Hotaling, like many past Influentials, is a product of the chamber’s top-notch Leadership Winter Park program (Class of 2013) and was named the organization’s Chairman of the Year in 2016 for her effective committee work. “Charlene has the vision and capacity to make every board she serves better than she found it,” says Eckbert. Mead Botanical Garden Inc. is the volunteer organization that manages “Winter Park’s Natural Place,” the 47.6-acre expanse of gardens, trails, wetland and wildlife habitats — along with two amphitheaters — that has been rescued from neglect largely through the advocacy of nature-loving locals, who have donated funds and labor to revive a true urban oasis. “Mead Garden is vital to the lifestyle we enjoy in Winter Park,” adds Hotaling, who with her husband John has two offspring, ages 18 and 21. Her formula for leadership success is simple: “I ask a lot of questions and I do my best to seek out advice from others. We have a city full of very smart, insightful people. It’s important to me that I consider the opinions and thoughts of others while considering my own feelings before making decisions that could impact others.”
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“Our community focus has helped John and I raise well-rounded adults that care about people, the community and our environment. I’m so very proud of the people they have become and would definitely say they are my proudest accomplishment.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Charlene is friendly and collaborative and absolutely no one is going to outwork her … her sincerity shows … a leader by example.”
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Hotaling at Mead Botanical Garden.
CHARLIE CLAYTON PRESIDENT OF CHARLES CLAYTON CONSTRUCTION CUSTOM HOMES
One of Winter Park’s “Most Influential” People
EXPERIENCE Leadership CONGRATULATIONS DEAN CROWN ON YOUR SELECTION AS WINTER PARK MAGAZINE’S MOST INFLUENTIAL
Whether you are an emerging leader or experienced executive, Florida’s premier business school has the right education opportunity for you. Featuring three MBA programs, as well as the state’s first AACSBaccredited Executive Doctorate in Business Administration, the Crummer Graduate School of Business just outside Orlando offers a top-ranked education experience in one of the most beautiful places in the country.
#1 MBA in Florida, Top 50 in the U.S. - Forbes Magazine S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Susan Johnson Founder and President, Support Our Scholars
USAN JOHNSON’S SON, JAKE ALLEN, WAS born hearing and visually impaired. But Johnson, then 27, was determined that Jake would have the best life — and the best education — possible. She founded the Jake Allen Center, a one-of-a-kind school that provided an alternative education for Jake and others like him for whom traditional public schools were ill equipped. The school eventually grew to 50 employees and a $1 million annual operating budget. Sadly, Jake died in 2011 at age 34. Although still an advocate for special-needs children, Johnson then shifted her focus to helping young women who are academic superstars but are hindered by financial reasons from attending college. In 2006 she founded Support Our Scholars (SOS), through which underprivileged high-schoolers are mentored as they select and apply to colleges and then supported — financially and emotionally — throughout their higher-education journeys. “We provide our scholars with everything they need to begin their freshman year,” says Johnson. “We know that underprivileged first-generation students need the support of mentors and stipends to accomplish their goals.” In addition to receiving $10,000 per semester and dorm-room provisions, each scholar is assigned an individual mentor and has access to a support team of accomplished businesswomen who offer advice and encouragement. SOS now boasts 46 young women in such colleges as Harvard University, Rice University and Carnegie Mellon University plus seven attending graduate school. The SOS motto: “Changing Women’s Lives One Degree at a Time.” Johnson, an Ohio native, has received an array of recognitions including the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Woman of Influence Award, the Walt Disney Community Service Award (twice) and the Sertoman of the Year Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions “in the spirit of service to mankind.” She also holds an honorary doctorate of humanities (L.H.D.) from Western Maryland College and has served on the boards of the Helen Keller National Center, the AdventHealth Community Health Impact Council and Lighthouse of Central Florida — which provides vision-specific rehabilitation and other services for the sight-impaired. Sports fans will know Johnson’s husband, Major League Baseball player and manager Davey Johnson. Together, the couple has six children.
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“I know that happiness comes from lifting up others. I would hope my life would reflect how many joys and blessings have been given to me.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Nobody who has a heart wouldn’t want to support Susan’s work … you’ll tear up listening to SOS kids tell success stories … she makes the world a better place.”
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Johnson at the Hidden Garden Courtyard on Park Avenue.
Thank You for Making a Difference. What makes our city so distinctive? Is it the beautiful lakes, lush parks, welcoming neighborhoods, vibrant businesses and world-class cultural attractions? Of course. But it’s more than that. It’s also the people who make this gem of a community unlike any other. Caring people. Talented people. Involved people. People who want the very best for the community in which they live and raise their families. To Winter Park’s Most Influential People, we say thank you for all you do. Winter Park wouldn’t be the same without you.
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John and Rita Lowndes Philanthropists Founding Shareholder, Lowndes, Drosdick , Doster, Kantor & Reed (John Lowndes)
THE SHAKES PAIR
OW FAR THAT LITTLE CANDLE THROWS HIS BEAMS!” WROTE William Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice. “So shines a good deed in a weary world!” The Bard’s observation is certainly applicable to John and Rita Lowndes. The big-hearted beam-throwers for whom the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center is named have undoubtedly made our world less weary — and more shiny — through their countless good deeds. Powerhouse land-use attorney John, 88, is the founding shareholder of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed — which marks its 50th anniversary this year — and was an early partner with builders Lester Zimmerman, Lester Mandell and Jack Lazar in a development company that was sold in 2005 to nationally traded Meritage Homes. While building one of the most consequential law firms in the region, he found time to chair the boards of the Orlando Museum of Art, Winter Park Memorial Hospital (now AdventHealth Winter Park), the Winter Park Health Foundation, the Friends of the Mennello Museum, the UCF College of Business Administration and the UCF Foundation. Rita, 70, is a nonpracticing attorney who has chaired the boards of the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, Trinity Preparatory School and the UCF Town & Gown Council. She has also served on the boards of the Winter Park Public Library, United Arts of Central Florida, the Central Florida Foundation, the Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Council, the UCF College of Arts & Humanities Dean’s Advisory Council and the UCF Foundation (on which she and John are now members emerita and emeritus). Ah, but what about Shakespeare? Longtime locals will remember that the Orlando Shakespeare Festival — rebranded in 2018 as Orlando Shakes — debuted in 1989 and staged productions at Lake Eola’s Walt Disney Amphitheater. The outdoor setting could be charming — but only if the weather was right, the pigeons behaved themselves and the noise of downtown traffic wasn’t too intrusive. In 2000, John and Rita donated $750,000 as seed money toward a $3.5 million transformation of the old Orlando Science Center into a state-of-theart, four-theater complex. (Two like-minded couples, Ken and Trisha Margeson and Sig and Marilyn Goldman, added $500,000 and $300,000, respectively.) Orlando Shakes — celebrating its 30th anniversary this year – presents seven shows in Mainstage Series and three shows in its Children’s Series while the busy venue, located in Loch Haven Cultural Park, also hosts the Fringe Festival and other events.
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“We must say to one another multiple times every week, ‘Isn’t Winter Park a great place to live?’ We would love to see Winter Park continue to deepen its commitment to arts and culture and to preserve the natural beauty around us.”
W H AT OT H E R S S AY:
“John and Rita give their hearts as well as their money … old-school examples of people who really believe in giving back … John is a legend in this town and Rita is the most dynamic person I know.”
60 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUMM ER 2019
The Lowndes at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center.
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Paula Madsen Volunteer/Activist
THE KIDS’ CRUSADER
FTER PAULA MADSEN EARNED HER MBA from Northwestern University’s J.W. Kellogg School of Management, she went straight to work in the corporate world, with stints in the marketing and branding operations for such goliaths as Tonka Toys and General Mills. She had a chance to pursue her true calling after she and husband, Drew, the now-retired chief operating officer of Darden Restaurants, moved to Winter Park in 1999. She began to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida (BGCCF) Eatonville Branch, which was then headquartered in a ramshackle double-wide bought through the federal “Weed and Seed” program. From 2000 to 2007 Madsen, 61, worked for BGCCF, which has 35 branches in seven counties. But she couldn’t get her mind off Eatonville, where the need was so great and the facility so forlorn. So, in 2005 she made it a mission to recruit a high-powered board of directors — which she led for the first six years — that would focus its efforts exclusively on the BGCCF’s efforts in Eatonville. She was thrilled when in 2011 Darden Restaurants decided to honor retiring chairman of the board Joe R. Lee by donating $1.5 million toward building a 9,000-square-foot facility to replace that aging double-wide. “The Lee Branch is located between two very affluent cities, Maitland and Winter Park,” notes Madsen. “There’s very strong community spirit in Eatonville. But a lot of kids there from single-family households where the parents works two or three jobs. There needed to be a safety net.” One of the initiatives championed by Madsen on behalf of the Lee Branch was the annual “Faces of the Future” breakfast, through which nearly $400,000 was raised last year. The Lee Branch has become a major success story and is now undergoing an expansion that will double its size. “When I’m passionate about a cause, like the BGCCF, I go into high-powered sales mode,” says Madsen. “I want everyone to understand, appreciate and then share my enthusiasm. Working tirelessly to help even the playing field for at-risk youth is something we should all be 100 percent behind.”
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“I think Winter Park is the best thing about Central Florida.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Paula has major-league corporate experience that she applies to nonprofits … someone you definitely want on your team … underprivileged children have a powerful advocate.”
62 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
Madsen at the Lee Branch lobby of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
TO WINTER PARK’S MOST INFLUENTIAL:
Congratulations & Thank You! Since 1989, The Mayflower has been woven into the very fabric of Winter Park, with a synergy that has flourished through strategic partnerships, civic involvement and philanthropy. Our staff and residents actively support worthwhile causes that preserve the city’s history, character, environment and business climate. Simply put, we are part of Winter Park . . . and it is part of us. So it is with great pride that we salute Winter Park Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential People. With vision, creativity, dedication and hard work, you continue to enrich and advance our hometown – bringing new ideas and perspectives that build on a legacy of success. Your leadership makes a difference – not only for the community at large, but for each of us as individuals. Whether we live here, work here, or just visit here, we’re all better . . . because of you.
Proud Co-sponsor of Winter Park Magazine’s Reception Saluting Winter Park’s Most Influential People at The Alfond Inn
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Elizabeth Tiedtke Mukherjee Managing Director, Enzian
T H E C I N E M A S TA LWA RT
IKE DOROTHY ON HER JOURNEY TO OZ, Elizabeth Mukherjee, scion of the Winter Park’s legendary Tiedtke family, couldn’t have imagined what lay beyond the rainbow. But here she is, years after flirting with theater and culinary careers in New York City, managing director of the Maitland art-movie house that was her childhood playground. Mukherjee, 33, is the daughter of Philip and Sigrid Tiedtke, under whose leadership Enzian became a beloved local institution and launched the Oscar-qualifying Florida Film Festival. The nonprofit theater was founded in 1985 by Tina Tiedkte, Philip’s sister, with funding from her father, John Tiedtke. Mukherjee’s paternal grandfather was an arts enthusiast who shaped the town’s very character with his philanthropy. After high school, Mukherjee went to New York University to study theater. But she changed her mind. “I like numbers and problem-solving and analysis far too much to just major in art,” she says. She transferred to Rollins College, where she graduated in three years with a major in economics. Then, thinking she might open a restaurant or even become a chef, it was back to the Big Apple for nine months at the French Culinary Institute. Upon finishing in 2009, her parents invited her into the kitchen of Enzian’s restaurant, Eden Bar, to test her skills. Within a year, she was the operation’s business manager. It was terrifying. “I had a piece of my family legacy and a local treasure at stake,” she says. By 2015, she was spearheading a $6 million expansion, which was suddenly last summer called off due to parking issues. It was a disappointment, she says, adding that “we would rather Enzian be what it is than risk losing it.” Mukherjee has reorganized with new staff to lead operations and development, and the board is contemplating strategic enhancements to the theater complex. Mukherjee, who works for free, says she would like to make herself “irrelevant.” She and her husband, cyber security attorney Gourav Mukherjee, have two sons, ages 3 and 1. For the young woman who loves numbers, food and making people happy, it turns out there’s no place like home.
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“We’re fortunate to receive the support of a culturally diverse and open-minded community, and are able to give back by offering people a place to truly connect with one another and experience a deeply diverse, highly democratic and broadly accessible art form.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Enzian is one-of-a-kind in Central Florida … comforting that it’s in the hands of a family member … Liz is her parents’ daughter: talented and brilliant.”
64 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
Mukherjee at Enzian.
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S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Stephanie Murphy U.S. Representative, District 7
THE SENSIBLE CENTRIST
URING AN ERA IN WHICH THE EXTREME right and the extreme left have come to dominate national politics, U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-Winter Park) has staked out a position in the sensible middle, co-chairing the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 27 pragmatic Democrats focused on fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense, and chairing Future Forum, a group of 50 younger House Democrats (Murphy is 41) that advocates for issues important to millennials such as college affordability and gun violence prevention. Murphy, now in her second term, is known for her independent streak, which allows her to support both a balanced budget amendment — long a goal of conservatives — and such traditionally liberal causes as abortion rights and LBGTQ protections. Now in her second term representing District 7 — which encompasses Winter Park — Murphy cruised to reelection in 2018 after barely edging longtime incumbent Republican John Mica in 2016. And she gets things done: Quorum Analytics, a software company that tracks and aggregates legislative data, named Murphy the most effective member of the 2016 freshman class in the House. In 2019 she was appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee, the chief economic policy committee in Congress. Murphy’s personal story is certainly compelling. She was 6 months old in 1979 when her family fled Vietnam by boat. They were rescued at sea by the U.S. Navy and brought to the U.S., where Murphy — with the help of Pell Grants and student loans — eventually earned dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and international relations from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. She served as a national security specialist at the Pentagon and was a strategy consultant at Deloitte Consulting before jumping into politics and becoming the first VietnameseAmerican woman elected to Congress. A Winter Park resident, Murphy is married to Sean Murphy, CEO of Maitland-based sporting goods maker 3N2. They have two children, Maya and Liem. The accomplishment of which she is most proud, however, was becoming an American citizen as a teenager.
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“On the whole, I think members of Congress spend too much time trying to score political points on TV and obstructing their opponents and not enough time putting people over their own politics. I’m working to stop that.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Stephanie isn’t a showboater … cares more about getting things done than scoring political points … we could certainly use more like her, whether there’s an R or a D next to their names.”
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Murphy at Kraft Azalea Garden.
STATEMENT At Hill Gray Seven LLC, we’re making a statement about Winter Park by building Park Hill, the most beautiful and luxurious townhome project ever seen in Central Florida – right in the heart of downtown. But making a statement doesn’t have to involve bricks and mortar. It doesn’t have to involve anything that you can touch and feel. It can be advocating for a cause. Running for an office. Serving on a board. Offering a helping hand. It can be any activity that makes Winter Park an ever better place to live, work and play. That’s why we’re proud to congratulate Winter Park’s Most Influential People. Through your efforts, Winter Park is a one-of-a-kind community. We’re proud to be part of it. And we’re proud of you.
For information about Park Hill or Penn Place, our Winter Park townhomes, please call Drew Hill at 407-588-2122.
Tony and Sonja Nicholson Philanthropists Real Estate Developer (Tony Nicholson) Real Estate Broker (Sonja Nicholson)
THE KNIGHT MOVERS
N 1979, THE FLEDGLING FOOTBALL TEAM AT UCF HAD NO LOCKER room, players were required to bring their own cleats and all the equipment was donated. Head coach Don Jonas, erstwhile quarterback of the Continental Football League’s Orlando Panthers, worked gratis the first season. Home games were played in the rickety Tangerine Bowl (today Camping World Stadium) in downtown Orlando. But by 2017 the Knights — who since 2007 have played home games on campus in bouncy Spectrum Stadium — were declaring themselves national champions after going 11-0 and earning a Peach Bowl victory over Auburn, the only team to beat the squads who played for the official national championship: Alabama and Georgia. Tony and Sonja Nicholson have for years been among the burgeoning program’s MVPs. Tony, 80, is a real estate developer who has also backed Broadway shows and published magazines. Sonja, 67, is a real estate broker who owns Rose Properties in Winter Park. In 2004, the Nicholsons donated $2 million for construction of the Nicholson Fieldhouse — the state’s first indoor practice facility for a college football team — and more recently another $2 million for upgrades to the fieldhouse and the surrounding area. But the Nicholsons aren’t interested exclusively in sports. In 1996, for example, the university named its School of Communication and Media in their honor following a $2 million pledge. “UCF is one of the community’s most significant institutions,” says Tony Nicholson. “We’re delighted to be able to contribute in a meaningful way.” The Nicholsons have also contributed in meaningful ways to Winter Park. Just drive by AdventHealth Winter Park, where the $85 million Nicholson Patient Pavilion is nearing completion. The addition will include 140 all-private rooms and an expanded same-day surgery center along with a surgical waiting room and a new main lobby for the hospital. Floors two through five will encompass an intensive care unit, surgical care beds and an inpatient rehab facility. Previously the couple had donated $5 million toward construction of AdventHealth Celebration’s Nicholson Center, a $35 million facility where thousands of surgeons have trained in robotic surgery. Tony Nicholson serves as a member of the board of directors for the UCF Foundation and the UCF Athletics Association, while Tony and Sonja serve on the boards of the Nicholson School and the BethuneCookman University Foundation. The couple co-chair the AdventHealth Foundation Family Board and support an array of charitable organizations.
W H AT H E S AYS :
“My style is a caring manner. I’ve been able to do endowments for the charities close to my heart and to give of my time, bringing my business expertise and knowledge to share and help them all.”
W H AT S H E S AYS :
“Coming from Alabama and growing up in a close-knit family, I feel I have a special ability to connect with others. I genuinely care about the issues that I get involved in, and I do like to champion winning outcomes.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“You could write a book about Tony’s business career … Sonja is a savvy businesswoman who loves the community … the Nicholsons have probably touched your life whether you know it or not and deserve every accolade you can think of.”
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The Nicholsons at their residence.
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E
John Rivers Founder and Chief Executive Officer, 4R Restaurant Group
THE BARBECUE BENEFACTOR
OST GIVERS BUILD SUCCESSFUL BUSInesses first and support good causes later. John Rivers, 59, has flipped that narrative. Founder and CEO of the 4R Restaurant Group — parent to the 4 Rivers Smokehouse chain plus The Coop, The Sweet Shop and 4R Specialty Cakes — started giving and built a food-service empire as a result. In 2004 Rivers was a retired pharmaceutical executive who, with his wife, Monica, had begun a “barbecue ministry” to help others. By the time the first 4 Rivers Smokehouse opened five years later — in a run-down building on Fairbanks Avenue — the couple had decided to use a percentage of the restaurant’s revenue for philanthropy. In 2015, with business booming, they established the 4R Foundation, which now aids more than 650 local causes and organizations. Since 2012 the 4R Foundation has run the annual “Cabs ‘n Cows” event to benefit local nonprofits. In addition, each Rivers-owned restaurant awards an annual scholarship to an employee and maintains a distress fund for other employees who may face personal hardships. Says Rivers: “My job as CEO is to make sure every single person working for us has the chance to impact a life in a positive way.” The company also provides personalized birthday cakes to children in foster care. “That’s their special day, and children need to feel valued and special in life,” adds Rivers. Coming up is the 4Roots Farm & Agriculture Center, which will encompass a 40-acre farm and a 30,000-square-foot distribution facility in Orlando’s burgeoning Packing District. The center will use traditional methods and state-of-the-art hydroponics to grow fruits and vegetables that will be bought by Rivers’ restaurants as well as AdventHealth and Orange County Public Schools. Profits, he says, “will go right back into the community.” The distribution facility will also handle the approximately 972 million pounds of produce that the State of Florida buys and then fails to sell. “That food now gets burned or goes into a landfill while one in five children in the state goes hungry,” notes Rivers. 4Roots has already committed to build or expand farms at three Orange County high schools.
W H AT H E S AYS :
“Our culture is predicated on love and on truly caring and making a difference in other people’s lives. That’s how we do what we do. It’s a corporate mandate. You feed people who need food.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“A man of faith who walks the walk … an example of how all businesses can give back … I want his brisket recipe.”
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Rivers at The Coop.
Elizabeth Mukherjee MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ENZIAN THEATER .........................................
Voted One Of Winter Park Magazine’s Most Influential People
Congratulations from your Enzian, Eden Bar, and Florida Film Festival Family! 1300 S. ORLANDO AVE MAITLAND, FL 32751 | ENZIAN.ORG | 407-629-1088
Winter Park Magazine would like to thank the sponsors of this year’s MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE RECEPTION. H O S T E D B Y:
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S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Bronce Stephenson Director of Planning and Community Development, City of Winter Park
T TAKES VISION, TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND considerable people skills to effectively oversee planning, economic development, code enforcement and historic preservation in Winter Park — where any aspect of the job is apt to create controversy. Bronce Stephenson, a relentlessly cheerful extravert, may well possess the right combination of smarts and savvy to steer the city through complex and potentially fraught issues such as, for example, creating an overlay district that would reshape the jumbled Orange Avenue corridor into a more suitable entryway for the city. Stephenson, 35, came to Winter Park from a similar position in Owasso, Oklahoma — about the same size as Winter Park — where he oversaw a rebirth of the city’s nondescript downtown into the hip and happening Redbud District. Such a metamorphosis is what he hopes to see occur along Orange Avenue, but he wants Winter Parkers — not city hall — to guide the process. That’s why he assembled an Orange Avenue steering committee — public hearings were underway at press time — and is personally meeting with community stakeholders to gather feedback. After earning a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University (geography and history) in 2007, Stephenson got a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. He began his career in Del Mar, California, as an intern before eventually taking over as assistant planner. Two years later he was planner for Stillwater, Oklahoma, followed by a seven-year stint as community development director in Owasso. Back in the Sooner State, Stephenson was an active Boy Scout leader — he and wife Robby have four sons and two daughters ranging in age from 2 to 16 — and coached baseball and soccer. He also participated in a variety of civic organizations. “My goals are to provide solutions to the numerous complicated issues that Winter Park faces,” he says. “I want to enhance community and create place with each decision I play a part in. Our desirability and geographic location puts great pressure on Winter Park — so our solutions will need to involve critical thinking and honest, transparent dialogue.”
W H AT H E S AYS :
“I love helping people aim for higher standards and helping them realize that they can make a difference by just showing up and using their voices.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“I’m impressed by Bronce’s commitment to outreach … if you want to know what’s happening just call him … very committed to partnerships.”
72 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
Stephenson at his City Hall office.
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Matthew Swope Director of Choral Activities, Chairman of the Department of Performing Arts Winter Park High School
THE CHOIR CHIEF
UT OF ALL THE HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS you can recall, how many were so inspirational that they truly changed your life? If you’re lucky, then you can name a handful. If you’re really lucky, then you — or your kids — were taught by Matthew Swope, director of Winter Park High School’s enormously popular choral program. Swope, 38, wrangles more than 200 teenage Wildcats in the school’s choir and in several award-winning a cappella ensembles, such as Naughty Scotty (men) and Take 7 (women). He also directs the school’s annual Night on Broadway — an over-the-top musical production that has staged crowd-pleasing extravaganzas such as Les Misérables, Ragtime, The Pirates of Penzance and last year’s Celebration in Song, which marked the event’s 20th anniversary. Of course, even the omnipresent Swope can’t individually teach 200 sophomores, juniors and seniors how to be great singers. But what he can do — and does do — is teach them life lessons about the importance of teamwork and professionalism. Swope, who earned a master’s degree in music from Penn State, also shepherds his young singers to civic and charitable functions and leads various ensembles in recording sessions and national competitions. Under Swope’s direction, songs by Winter Park High’s a cappella groups have twice been selected for the Best of High School A Cappella — a compilation album released by Chicago-based Varsity Vocals — and have notched several nominations from the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Society, which, in the a cappella world, is the equivalent of the Grammys. (By the way, if you want to shed a happy tear, check out the “Mr. Rogers Medley” by Naughty Scotty on YouTube.) Swope, winner of the Winter Park High School Excellence in Teaching award, says he’s proudest not of the singers he has produced but of the people he has produced: “So many of my former students are out in the community and the world beyond positively contributing to society. Hearing their accomplishments as doctors, teachers, engineers, pastors and entrepreneurs makes me proud to have been a part of their journey.”
W H AT H E S AYS :
“I hope Winter Park continues to treasure its historical landmarks and institutions and yet always finds a way to lead in artistic, educational, environmental and entrepreneurial endeavors. I hope that Winter Park continues to invest in the lives of young people, because they truly are the future of this beautiful city.”
W H AT OT H E R S S AY:
“A once-in-a-generation teacher for most kids … hard to imagine who else in this town impacts as many young lives … I hope he’s there long enough for my grandkids to join the choral program.”
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Swope at the Ann Derflinger Auditorium.
HONORING TWO OF W I N T E R PA R K M AG A Z I N E ’ S
MOST INFLUENTIAL “WORDS ARE EASY LIKE THE W I N D ; FA I T H F U L F R I E N D S A R E H A R D TO F I N D.” -WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
T H A N K YO U F O R YO U R D E C A D E S O F L E A D E R S H I P.
CONGRATULATIONS SUSAN JOHNSON on Being One of
WINTER PARK’S MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE The Board of Directors, Support our Scholars
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Dykes Everett and Bill Walker Founder and President, Dykes Everett & Company Retired attorney, Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman
T H E C I V I L S E RVA N TS
HEREVER YOU ARE ON THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM, YOU’LL surely concede that people seem generally nastier, less empathetic and more combative than they used to be. That’s certainly true in national politics, which has gotten so toxic that it has infected interactions between otherwise friendly neighbors in communities across the U.S. Last year retired attorney Bill Walker, 77, formerly of Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman, began convening small groups of people who hold opposing viewpoints and encouraging them to talk — and, more important, to listen — to one another while enjoying lunch. Walker’s former law partner Dykes Everett, 59, now president of Dykes Everett & Company, a consultancy that advises developers on issues related to conservation and natural resources, soon joined the effort. The result is the No-Name Civility Posse, an informal group — it has about a dozen members and no elected officers — that meets regularly at the Barker House, home of Rollins College President and First Lady Grant and Peg Cornwell. (Peg Cornwell is a member of the group.) Earlier this year the posse expanded its scope by hosting a larger confab at the college’s Rice Family Pavilion. What’s next? Hopefully, say Walker and Everett, plenty. The group is loosely modeled on the Tallahassee-based Village Square, a nonprofit organization that formed in 2006 following a local political brouhaha and now hosts seminars, forums and town halls attended by hundreds. “Our concept is simple, really,” says Everett. “We thought the best place to start is always with fellowship. Get people together, break bread together and you can restore relationships and then create a place to work on our differences.” Walker and Everett are both self-professed “country boys” — Walker’s from Palatka, Everett’s from Sebring — who believe that people can agreeably disagree. They share the goal of making Winter Park a more thoughtful and respectful place where citizens can intelligently discuss issues and even in divergence find common ground. Walker, who once took a leave of absence from lawyering to head the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, and Everett, who comes from a ranching family and has a passion for environmentalism, may be on to something. But they insist that everyone can make a difference, whether they’re posse members or not. To learn the philosophical underpinnings of the No-Name Civility Posse, they suggest reading Arthur Brooks’ Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from our Culture of Contempt (HarperCollins 2019).
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“To be effective I try to use patience, judgment, effective public speaking, unemotional thinking through controversial issues, a sense of humor and the ability to be vulnerable.” (Walker) “I tend to use my life experiences to inform the debate and try to engage folks with authenticity and a sincere interest in solutions.” (Everett)
W H AT OT H E R S S AY:
“Hopefully this concept catches on; we could use it in Winter Park … great to see two seasoned community leaders come out and say, ‘Let’s change the way we interact as a community.”’
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Everett and Walker at Central Park.
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Todd Weaver City Commissioner, Group 4 President, Weaver Engineer and TruGrit Traction
THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR
ODD WEAVER HELPED DESIGN THE OLD “Twister: Ride it Out” attraction at Universal Studios, so he should be well prepared for a stormy stint on the Winter Park City Commission. Weaver, a 63-year-old aerospace and mechanical engineer, earlier this year ousted incumbent Pete Weldon from Seat 4 after one term. The city was divided along the usual factional lines, but this time the primary issue inspiring opposition to Weldon — and support for Weaver — was The Canopy, the city’s yet-tobe-built $40.1 million library and events center complex. The project, located in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, will be paid for through a combination of $28.7 million in net proceeds from voter-approved bonds, $6 million in county tourist-development taxes and $5.4 million in philanthropic support. But Weaver thinks the city should “hit the pause button” on The Canopy, which he contends will cost too much and has strayed too far afield from its original concept. Nonetheless, city commissioners in May voted 3-1 to authorize designers to proceed with construction drawings and submit them — with a guaranteed maximum price — by October. Regardless, Weaver proved that he’s willing to speak up about issues that concern him — particularly growth management and the preservation of green space. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Weaver spent his childhood in South Carolina before moving to Central Florida with his family in 1972. He earned an engineering degree at UCF in 1983, then began his career at Universal Studios before moving into the aerospace and commercial aviation industries. In 2015 Weaver founded two Winter Park-based companies: Weaver Engineering, which offers consulting services, and TruGrit Traction, which manufactures a type of wheel — invented by Weaver — for underground piping inspection robots. Weaver has been active in numerous charitable and civic organizations, including a stint as chairman of the Winter Park Lakes and Waterways Advisory Board. He’s proudest, though, of leading the effort to save algae-clogged Lake Bell. He enlisted about a dozen neighbors and formed the Friends of Lake Bell, members of which installed about 30,000 shoreline plants to help restore the 35-acre body of water to health.
W H AT H E S AYS :
“I think what makes me effective is the ability to listen. I learned collaboration being the fifth of 10 children.”
W H AT T H E Y S AY:
“Todd has a passionate following for sure … a brilliant guy … obviously sincere whether you agree with him or not.”
78 W I N T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
Weaver at Mead Botanical Garden.
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Ari wears a gold pineapple-print coverup ($96) by Pool to Party, a leopard-print headband ($48) by Namjosh, 3D Bee cuffs ($76-$100) by Yochi and a vintage Gucci refurbished belt ($280) by Michelle Ma Belle. She also wears a cream bikini top ($100) and a high-waisted cream bikini bottom ($105) by Sauipe and a pair of statement gold cowrie-shell earrings ($80) by Lena, all from Tuni Winter Park. Her gold arm and cuff bracelets ($36 each) are also from Tuni Winter Park. The straw beach bag ($88) by The Winding Road is from Arabella in Winter Park. Sheâ€™s accompanied by Harlow.
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A (VERY) MINI
ISLAND GETAWAY THIS TINY SPECK OF LAND ON LAKE MAITLAND IS AN IDEAL SETTING FOR SUNNY SUMMER FASHION. What better place to spend a few hours during the dog days of summer than on Dog Island? The heavily wooded, two-acre speck of land on Lake Maitland delineates the border between Maitland and Winter Park. The island, with its small white-sand beach, has for generations been a popular picnicking stop for boaters traversing the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. Winter Park Magazine’s crew — along with a couple of furry friends — made the two-mile journey from Dinky Dock and enjoyed a mini (very mini) island getaway during our recent summer fashion shoot.
PHOTOGRAPHY: RAFAEL TONGOL STYLING: MARIANNE ILUNGA | MAKEUP AND HAIR: ELSIE KNAB MODEL: ARI (JOINED BY HARLOW AND BOWIE) FROM MODERNMUSE MODELS LOCATION: DOG ISLAND ON LAKE MAITLAND
S PRING 2 0 1 9 W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Ari wears a linen pink and orange stripe maxi dress ($208) by Lula Soul, a statement gold cuff with turquoise detail ($135) by Elyssa Bass and a set of beaded bracelets with tassels ($40) by Mary Square. She also wears a pair of multicolored fan earrings ($74) by Treasured Jewels, all from Arabella in Winter Park. The floral and stripe beach tote ($108) and matching clutch ($82) by A&B are from Dear Jane in Winter Park.
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Ari wears a mustard yellow bikini top ($84) by L Space and banana-leaf print beach pants ($136) by Shore, both from Charyli in Winter Park. Her straw hat ($198) by Tracy Watts is from Tuni in Winter Park, while her white frame sunglasses ($152) by Raven are from Dear Jane in Winter Park.
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Ari wears a floral swimsuit top ($70) and bottom ($68) by Maaji and a pair of woven seashell gold earrings ($20) by Charyli, all from Charyli in Winter Park. Her refurbished vintage Louis Vuitton fringed fanny pack ($858) is from Dear Jane in Winter Park, while her hot-pink sheer blouse ($240) by Amanda Uprichard is from Tuni in Winter Park.
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Ari wears a copper brown swimsuit top ($70) and a highwaisted floral swimsuit bottom ($70), both by Maaji. She also wears a neon-green tank top ($38) by Free People and a pair of multicolor pom-pom earrings ($20) by Charyli, all from Charyli in Winter Park. Her green and blue visor hat ($28) is by Jeanne Simmons and from Tuni in Winter Park. Her clear bucket tote ($88) by Stoney Clover Lane and yellow and white striped clutch ($54) are by Lucky Love, both from Dear Jane in Winter Park. Her green and lilac plastic wine glasses ($12) by The Beach Glass are from Arabella in Winter Park. Sheâ€™s accompanied by Bowie.
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All that glitters … Graduation u Anniversary Birthday u Holidays Engagement u Wedding
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1421 HOLTS GROVE CIRCLE
Kelly Price & Company is proud to present 1421 Holts Grove in Winter Parkâ€™s highly desirable Windsong community. This exquisite estate offers five bedrooms, 5 full baths, 2 half baths, and a detached casita. Completely remodeled and updated with sophisticated finishes throughout this home showcases beautiful hardwood floors, detailed trim work, an open floorplan, formal living, gourmet kitchen, luxurious master retreat, and an upstairs guest suit with private stairwell. FEATURED LISTINGS
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“We serve good food that’s made from real ingredients that are curated with care,” Proper & Wild co-owner Chelsie Savage says. “Our intention is to make food that’s so damn good that it doesn’t matter what lifestyle you follow. The bonus is that it’s also good for you.”
A FRESH TAKE ON FRESH FOOD Forget what you think you know about vegetarian cuisine. Proper & Wild elevates the genre with ‘damn good food’ that offers bold and unexpected flavors. BY RONA GINDIN PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL
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f you’re all about plant-based meals, stop reading now and briskly walk to Proper & Wild on East Morse Boulevard. This full-service restaurant offers meals with nary a sliver of animal flesh. You’ll be thrilled to find guilt-free foods that are ambitious, creative and tasty. If you’re an uncompromising carnivore, stay home and fire up the grill. Nothing you can order at Proper & Wild will sate you like a sizzling hunk of beef or chicken. Not a fennel tempè flatbread and not a “Proper Burger” — even one with robust toppings. Read on if, like the rest of us, you have one foot in each culinary camp. Proper & Wild is a vegetarian restaurant with a mostly vegan menu — eggs and cheese show up here and there. It’s mostly organic too, down to the spices and herbs. Yet it isn’t a woodsy, crunchy cliché where everything is made of wheat germ and other brown-hued ingredients. Proper & Wild is a light, bright, almost feminine plantfilled space that will appeal to anyone open to trying new flavors. The menu is devilishly daring with some conservative options — well, relatively conservative if you substitute vegan for dairy. If your lifestyle involves choosing veggies for one meal, animal proteins for another, give it a shot. Oh, and Proper & Wild has wine — several dozen choices — and low ABV (alcohol by volume) cocktails. The libations are the stuff of cold-pressed juices and infused sakés with port or vermouth to take the edge off, yet they taste like any other handcrafted spirited pre-dinner creation. Proper & Wild is as much a place to drop in for a date with your honey as it is for a smoothie after your Pilates class. But here’s how my review dinner played out: My forever tastetester stayed home. “Vegan? No thanks,” he said dismissively. Silly man. So, I hopped into the car with one vegetarian friend — really a pescatarian, as she eats fish — along with another pal who, like me, gets excited about food in general, whether its ingredients are grown in soil or once had eyes, mouths and mommies. We settled around a high-top table after requesting that festive wiry white seats — the kind that have backs — be dragged from the bar to the table, where the standard backless stools scared our sensitive spines. We settled in, giddy to begin this experiment. We all kind of liked the slogan: “Real Damn Good Food.” But it took some effort to read the names of the dishes because the menu is designed for younger eyes. It employs a playful (but hardto-read) cursive for the dish names and a tiny sans-serif font for the dish descriptions. We wished we had brought our reading glasses. A smartphone flashlight saved the day, and we were both intrigued and intimidated by what we read. We smiled at terms like “caramelized onion” (yum) then worried at “turmeric
Heartcakes, Savage’s name for pseudo crab cakes, “are an homage to crab cakes,” she says. “I don’t jive with imitation foods.” The round patties are shaped like crab cakes and seared to golden on the outside. The texture, though, is softer than crab cakes. Still, certain flavors are spot-on. That’s because Proper & Wild laces its heartcakes batter with Old Bay and two types of seaweed for a briny taste. The batter is made from hearts of palm.
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Proper & Wild has low ABV (alcohol by volume) cocktails, including the Heartbeat, which contains beets, rosè, lemon, aquafaba — the leftover liquid from cooked chickpeas — as well as yuki otoko saké, cocci rossa and high-antioxidant berries. You’ll also like the spicy bite of the Sunstorm.
cashew crema” (what the … ?), cheered for “candied hazelnut” (now you’re talking) and winced at “curry aioli” (well, maybe …). Before deciding, we ordered cocktails. The spicy bite of the Sunstorm and the cheerful berryness of the Heartbeat (containing beets, rosè, lemon, aquafaba — the leftover liquid from cooked chickpeas — yuki otoko saké, cocci rossa and high-antioxidant berries) diffused our tension. We planned our eating strategy while contentedly sipping our saké-based starters, oblivious to the healthful components such as carrot-mango shrub and micro-cilantro. Salads? We decided to ignore them, although they’re undoubtedly good. Proper & Wild is owned by Chelsie Savage and her husband, Jamie. Chelsie has already proven her green-goddess status at The Sanctum Café in Orlando’s Colonialtown North. At Proper & Wild, we went for the hot foods — which are new for the entrepreneurial Savages. “We have nowhere to cook at Sanctum,” says Chelsie, enthusiastically rattling off the components of the newer eatery’s kitchen. There’s a sauté station and a custom-built gas-and-wood-fired pizza oven — but, she proudly points out, no fryer.
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That’s because Proper & Wild is about ambiance, diversity and flavor — with a subtle emphasis on healthy eating. “We serve good food that’s made from real ingredients that are curated with care,” Chelsie says. “Our intention is to make food that’s so damn good that it doesn’t matter what lifestyle you follow. The bonus is that it’s also good for you.” Well, now you see where that damn slogan came from. But how about that food? We began with Brussels sprouts and artichoke dip. It sounds like a fatty, creamy fern-bar shareable — and it was designed to resemble one. Here, though, the dip is made of navy beans and raw cashews instead of sour cream and cream cheese. We didn’t know that at the time. We just found ourselves admiring a cast-iron pan of a hearty dip, laced with greens and topped with a dollop of chopped pepitas and a green olive-red pepper tapenade. We didn’t admire it for long, though. We grabbed the fingers of toasted bread and swiped the pan clean. As much as we enjoyed the dip, the flatbread was our favorite starter. We ordered the Stella,
which, like all the flatbreads, is made the old-fashioned way with a sourdough starter. “We culture and ferment our flatbread inhouse,” says Chelsie. “We’ve learned that people with gluten aversions can often eat it without getting a stomachache afterward. It’s easier for our bodies to digest.” None of us were gluten-averse, so we chose the flatbread for the shaved Brussels sprouts, Gouda cheese, truffle, garlic, lemon and red chili flakes on top. The bread was fluffy yet smoky, and the toppings complemented it — and one another — well. Success. We kept on eating. The chickpea fries aren’t really fries, which notably upset one of my dining companions. “They just shouldn’t be called fries,” she insisted. I disagree. Yes, the slender finger foods were baked, not fried, and therefore lacked the anticipated crispy exterior. But hey, they tasted great. The “fries” themselves were firm fingers made with garbanzos. They sat atop two sauces: a green cilantro pistou and a beige vindaloo curry almond aioli. Tons of flavor. I’d get it again. Proper & Wild’s dinner entrées change regularly,
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On the menu are three meat-free burgers — all made with a patty of beets, black rice and lentils (left). Proper & Wild cultures and ferments its flatbread in-house. The flatbread here is served with shaved Brussels sprouts, Gouda cheese, truffle, garlic, lemon and red chili flakes on top.
so we sampled two that are likely to stay around. One is heartcakes, Chelsie’s name for pseudo crab cakes. “These are an homage to crab cakes,” she says. “I don’t jive with imitation foods.” The round patties are shaped like crab cakes and seared to golden on the outside. The texture, though, is softer than crab cakes. Still, certain fla-
92 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2019
vors are spot-on. That’s because Proper & Wild laces its heartcakes batter with Old Bay and two types of seaweed for a briny taste. The batter is made from hearts of palm. Chelsie had won awards for her meat-free burgers before she ever had a restaurant kitchen in which to cook them. But unlike her wildly popu-
lar “Impossible Burger,” which was designed to taste like beef, the burgers at Proper & Wild aren’t meant to taste like something you’d order from Wendy’s. “It’s important for me not to create a meat imitation,” Chelsie explains. “I just tried to create something that’s good — and served between
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DINING Proper & Wild serves lovely desserts. The sampler platter included the aptly named “Chocolate Monster” — creamy because of its avocado base plus almond butter — and a dark chocolate truffle.
two pieces of bread — that provides the experience of eating a burger.” For now, Proper & Wild has three burgers on the menu — all made with a patty of beets, black rice and lentils. And, yeah, they don’t taste like beef. We thought of trying the Proper Burger, served with “tomato jam,” lettuce, onion, a Dijon-mayo blend and a pickle. We opted instead for the Wild Burger because I wanted to be distracted from the not-a-burger. The Wild Burger did the job aptly with intriguing toppings that included pickled fennel, eggplant-pepper chutney and an “aji schmear.” Good choice. The patty is good for a non-beef patty — but it’s the combination of flavors that made the Wild Burger stand out. “This was born out of the idea of, ‘Who doesn’t love jalapeño poppers?’” Chelsie says. (Poppers are jalapeño peppers stuffed with cream cheese.) “We started playing around with the chutney to get the sweet-and-spicy element,” she adds. “Then we were inspired by the cream cheese to create the jalapeño aji. We wanted to pull in the acids, the sweet and the spicy, and get all that interplay into a burger.” Whatever the intent, it worked. The combination is a lively, multidimensional sandwich. For those who want to get wilder, at press time the third burger was a curry-kimchi concoction, also available as a cheeseburger with Gouda or chèvre or as an almost-cheeseburger with a cashew-based, cheese-like product. Since Proper & Wild is, in a sense, an upscale restaurant, it serves pretty little desserts. They tend to be made with coconut oil, so they all have a mild coconut undertone, yet each has its own flavor profile. Our favorite was the pot de crème, with passionfruit and orange flavors laced in. The sampler platter also had an aptly named “Chocolate Monster” — creamy because of its avocado base plus almond butter, and a dark chocolate truffle. During the day, you can get “wellness shots,” pressed juices and other health-bar staples along with hummus, burgers, flatbreads and salads. Or a chilled glass of white to sip post-yoga. To some degree, Proper & Wild is what you make it — whether you’re feeling proper or wild. Proper & Wild 155 East Morse Boulevard, Winter Park 407-543-8425 • properandwildwp.com
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D 30 Writer’s Block Bookstore
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C 13 Williams-Sonoma
CHARLES HOSMER MORSE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART
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FREE 4-Hour Parking 4th & 5th levels
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4-Hour Public Parking
(407) 415-8053 (407) 647-9103 (407) 696-9463 (407) 960-3993
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3-Hour Public Parking Saturday & Sunday
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(407) 644-5156 (407) 960-4003 (407) 636-7539 (407) 622-1611 (407) 599-5455 (407) 644-1025 (321) 617-5274
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Hotels D 13 Park Plaza Hotel
C 17 Luxury Trips
Follett Bookstore at Rollins College
C 14 Frank.
C 19 On The Strip Lash & Brow
Health & Beauty B 13 Eyes & Optics
B 20 Christian Science Reading Room (407) 647-1559
Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream (407) 622-6292
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E 13 Ben & Jerry’s
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B 23 Rieker Shoes
California Closets B 3 Ethan Allen B 24 Piante Design B 16 The Shade Store
P A R K ,
W I N T E R
Charyli Current Dear Jame Evelyn and Arthur Forema Boutique J. McLaughlin John Craig Clothier Lilly Pulitzer Lucky Brand Jeans lululemon Max + Marley Sara Campbell Siegel’s Winter Park Synergy The Grove The Impeccable Pig Tugboat and The Bird Tuni
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D 14 Bebe’s & Liz’s
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ROLLINS COLLEGE 3
EVENTS ART, HISTORY, ENTERTAINMENT AND MORE
The Enchantment of Iridescence
Aventurine Lava, blown glass, Tiffany Studios, circa 1910.
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Merriam-Webster defines “iridescence” as a “lustrous rainbowlike play of color caused by differential refraction of light waves (as from an oil slick, soap bubble or fish scales) that tends to change as the angle of view changes.” Lexicographers might want to add “glass” to the list after visiting Iridescence: A Celebration at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. You want to talk about bling? Glassmakers and potters in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century knew all about it, but probably didn’t have a similarly catchy slang word to describe their shimmery creations. They did, however, have the scientific and artistic skills required to reproduce the optical-light phenomenon seen in natural seashells, butterfly wings and peacock features. Enthusiasm for mimicking color-changing effects found in nature followed discoveries of antique glass that had become iridescent after centuries of burial in mineral-rich soils. Decorative-art studios developed chemical techniques to reproduce these iridescent rainbow colors. Iridescense is sometimes created by adding metallic materials to the primary ingredients of glass. The effect can also be achieved by spraying an object’s surface with stannous or lead chloride before heating it in an oxygen-deprived atmosphere. Check out the vintage bling at the museum’s current installation, which presents more than 50 dazzling objects from its collection. You’ll see dazzling works from various design firms, including Tiffany Studios in New York and the Loetz Witwe Company in Klostermühle, today part of the Czech Republic. Also on view are ceramics and enamels from Rookwood Pottery and S.A. Weller Pottery (both based in Ohio) as well as Robert Hanke (Austria) and Camille Fauré (France) among others. “Iridescence represents instantaneous metamorphosis — impermanence, fragility and magic,” says Laurence J. Ruggiero, the museum’s director. “Our momentary fascination with this visual phenomenon removes us from the humdrum of life and relieves us for just a moment from the burdens of the day.” A highlight of the show is a recent acquisition, a rare circa 1910 iridescent vase by Tiffany Studios that features the draping of Aventurine glass, a name that references green quartz with sparkling particles. The piece was in Tiffany’s personal collection. The exhibit runs through September of 2021. Our guess is, you’ll take a shine to Iridescence.
Blown glass, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, New York City, circa 1889 (top left); vase, Quezal Art Glass & Decorating Company, Maspeth, Queens, New York, circa 1902 (top right); vase, Glasfabrik Johann Loetz Witwe, Klostermühle, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), circa 1904 (bottom left); and vase, Tonwarenfabrik Robert Hanke, Ladowitz, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), circa 1895 (bottom left).
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Visiting Mr. Morse’s Inner Sanctum
A vignette of Charles Hosmer Morse’s study, from where he conducted his business in Winter Park’s Osceola Lodge, is missing only one thing: Morse himself. That’s him on the facing page, sitting at the same desk and surrounded by many of the same decorative items in the vignette, which is on display at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art,
SELECTED ORIGINAL IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ROLLINS COLLEGE ARCHIVES
What: Iridescence: A Celebration and Charles Hosmer Morse’s Study at Osceola Lodge and Crafts-style furniture. Charles Hosmer Morse was a very wealthy man. Morse’s study had a double-sided partners’ desk by Luckily for Winter Park, he was also a very enlightTobey Furniture Company in Chicago, ened and generous man. In 1904, the as well as chairs and needlework porChicago-based industrialist bought tieres from the workshop of Gustav nearly half the city’s acreage. He then Stickley in Binghamton, New York. The began developing his holdings with tycoon’s glass-and-metal student lamp, the goal of creating a sophisticated electrified from the ceiling in the early and vibrant community of well-to-do 1900s, is exhibited as well. kindred spirits. Accompanying the vignette is a In so doing, Morse, more than any panoramic 1915 photograph of the other individual, shaped modern Winter white-bearded tycoon at work in his Park. Although he grew even wealthier study along with descriptions of the in the process, Morse believed that enfurnishings and decorative items that hancing the community in which he had Charles H. Morse surrounded him. wintered since the 1880s was more im(1833-1921) Industrialist, Charles Hosmer Morse’s Study at portant than profiting from it. Philanthropist Osceola Lodge isn’t the most elaborate When he moved permanently to display the museum has ever staged. Winter Park from Chicago, Morse It’s a simple vignette but it offers a fascinating look settled into what had been his winter residence, at the relatively unrarefied environment in which perthe relatively modest Osceola Lodge named for haps the most important benefactor in the history of the tribal chief of the Seminoles at the corner of Winter Park handled his day-to-day affairs. Interlachen and Lincoln avenues. The exhibit runs through January 31, 2021. It’s the Over the next decade Morse, who died in 1921, next best thing to having an appointment to meet transformed the home, originally built in 1886, into with Mr. Morse himself. a modern residence filled with top-of-the-line Arts
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Where: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, 445 North Park Avenue Hours: Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 students, free for younger children About the Museum: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and art and architectural objects from Laurelton Hall, his Long Island country estate. The museum’s holdings also include American art pottery, late 19th- and early 20th-century American painting, graphics and decorative art. For More: 407-645-5311 • morsemuseum.org
The “hidden gem” of Winter Park, FL
art & nature in your own backyard.
| 633 Osceola Avenue
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E
EVENTS VISUAL ARTS
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. This lakeside museum, open since 1961, is dedicated to preserving the works of the famed Czech sculptor for whom it was both home and studio for more than a decade. Ongoing through August 25 is Precious Pollinators, a celebration of one of our most important natural resources — the bee — featuring watercolors of native flowers and plants. The museum offers tours of Polasek’s home Tuesdays through Saturdays. And it offers tours of the adjacent Capen-Showalter House three times weekly: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. The Capen-Showalter House, built in 1885, was saved from demolition several years ago and floated across Lake Osceola to its current location on the Polasek’s grounds. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. 407-647-6294. polasek.org. Art & History Museums — Maitland. The Maitland Art Center, one of five museums anchoring the city’s Cultural Corridor, was founded as an art colony in 1937 by visionary American artist and architect J. André Smith. The center, located at 231 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, is the Orlando area’s only National Historic Landmark and one of the few surviving examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the Southeast. Continuing through September 8 is Pressed Editions: Experimental Contemporary Prints, which showcases works by Central Florida printmakers. J. André Smith’s printing press and some of his etching plates will be also on view. Admission to the art center’s galleries is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students (ages 5 to 17) and free for children age 4 and under. Maitland residents receive a $1 discount. The Cultural Corridor also includes the Maitland Historical Museum and the Telephone Museum, both at 221 West Packwood Avenue, Maitland, and the Waterhouse Residence Museum and Carpentry Shop Museum, both built in the 1880s and located at 820 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. 407-539-2181. artandhistory.org.
and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Free tours take place at 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the on-campus facility, and at 1 p.m. on Sundays at the nearby Alfond Inn, which displays dozens of works from the museum’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Happy Hour tours of the Alfond Collection are also conducted on the first Wednesday of most months at 5:30 p.m. If you prefer historic works, Throwback Thursday tours are offered at the museum from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of most months. Continuing through September 8 is Mexican Modernity: 20th-Century Paintings from the Zapanta Collection, a study of Mexico’s cultural landscape. The earliest works reflect Mexico’s indigenous past and draw inspiration from tradition, while later pieces document the country’s evolution from agrarian to industrial with a focus on its global role. Also through September 8 is Mediated Reality: Cityscapes by Photorealists, a collection of works from the 1970s by 10 artists who rendered scenes of everyday life with heightened clarity. Ruptures and Remnants: Selections from the Permanent Collection offers material manifestations, from antiquity to the present day, of ruptures ranging from personal crises to nation-state upheavals. Works periodically rotate through this long-term exhibition, which continues through December 31, 2020. Admission is free, courtesy of PNC Financial Services Group. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2526. rollins.edu/cfam. Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this notfor-profit arts organization on Winter Park’s east side offers year-round visual-arts classes for all ages taught by more than 40 working artists. Admission to the school’s galleries is free, although there are fees for art classes. The 38th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, which continues through August 31, features some of the previous year’s best student work in various media, including paintings, drawings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures, jewelry and fiber pieces. 600 Saint Andrews Boulevard, Winter Park. 407-671-1886. crealde.org.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. With more than 19,000 square feet of gallery and public space, the Morse houses the world’s most important collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass and an entire chapel interior originally designed and built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Ongoing through September 2020 is a major exhibition, Earth into Art — The Flowering of American Art Pottery. The displayed objects, which date from the 1870s to the early 1900s, are drawn from the museum’s collection of American art pottery — one of the largest such collections in the U.S. Also featured is Iridescence — A Celebration, running through September 2021, which showcases art glass, enamels and pottery of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that replicate the fascinating optical light effect previously only found in nature. (For more on both exhibitions, see pages 98-101.) Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children younger than age 12. 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407645-5311. morsemuseum.org.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center. Established in 2007 by the Crealdé School of Art in partnership with residents of Hannibal Square and the City of Winter Park, the center celebrates the city’s historically AfricanAmerican west side with archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents that are together known as the Heritage Collection. Admission is free. An ongoing exhibition, the Hannibal Square Timeline, documents significant local and national events in African-American history since the Emancipation Proclamation. The center offers a walking tour of Hannibal Square, Now and Then, with Fairolyn Livingston, the center’s chief historian. The tour, offered the third Saturday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m., requires reservations; the cost is $10, or $5 for those with student IDs. Historic sites include the Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, the Welbourne Avenue Nursery & Kindergarten and the Masonic Lodge, all built in the 1920s. 642 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-5392680. hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the Cornell houses one of the oldest
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Annie Russell Theatre. “The Annie,” in continuous op-
eration since 1932, returns from summer break to kick off its 2019-20 season with The Humans (September 27-August 5). Winner of the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, The Humans is an eerie portrait of the modern American family that The New York Times described as “blisteringly funny, bruisingly sad and altogether wonderful.” The rest of the season includes Private Lies: Improvised Film Noir (November 15-23), The Good Person of Setzuan (February 14-22, 2020) and Mamma Mia! (April 17-25, 2020). Curtain time for the shows are 8 p.m., 4 p.m. or 2 p.m., depending upon the day of the week. Tickets are $20. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins. edu/annie-russell-theatre. Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater opens its 2019-20 mainstage season with How to Marry a Divorced Man, which runs August 2 through 25. An audience favorite from the Playhouse’s 2nd Annual Florida Festival of New Musicals, this frothy farce tells the story of a woman who follows her mother’s advice to find and settle down with a divorced man — to hilariously disastrous results. Up next, from September 20 through October 13, is Desperate Measures, a critically acclaimed caper set in the Wild West. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, the musical follows a dashing and dangerous cowboy who must team with a cast of colorful characters to escape the sheriff’s noose. The rest of the season includes You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (November 15-24 and December 5-15), Beehive: The 60’s Musical (January 24-February 22, 2020), The Andrews Brothers (March 13-April 11, 2020) and Pump Boys and Dinettes (May 8-17 and May 28-June 7, 2020). Performances are Thursdays through Sundays, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $20 for students to $45 for evening shows. 711 Orange Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-0145. winterparkplayhouse.org.
Enzian. This cozy, nonprofit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series. Tickets are usually $12 for regular admission; $10 for matinees, students, seniors and military (with ID); and $9.50 for Enzian Film Society members. But children under age 12 are admitted free to Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films, shown the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. Other series include Saturday Matinee Classics (the second Saturday of each month at noon), Cult Classics (the second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m.), FilmSlam, a showcase of Florida-made short films, Music Mondays, presenting music documentaries and filmed concerts, and Midnight Movies, which features envelope-pushing classics and cutting-edge new releases. A full schedule of titles and showtimes is available online. 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088 (theater offices). enzian. org. Popcorn Flicks in the Park. The City of Winter Park and Enzian collaborate to offer classic, family-friendly films free in Central Park on Park Avenue. These outdoor screenings are on the second Thursday of each month and start at 8 p.m. Upcoming films include The Little Mermaid (July 11), Harry Potter and the Goblet of
From Surviving to Thriving How Lifestyle Changes Can Help After Cancer Treatment. Nathalie Dauphin McKenzie, MD, MSPH AdventHealth Medical Group
he journey to overcome cancer takes so much of the human spirit. Harnessing every ounce of courage, strength, support and hope and transitioning from a cancer patient to a survivor marks the start of a new path. As a gynecologic cancer specialist and a cancer survivor, I have a unique perspective to share. Prevention Whenever Possible Lifestyle factors such as mental fitness (resilience), body weight, physical activity, diet, alcohol consumption and smoking could hold the key to improved health outcomes and quality of life. Take an Aggressive Approach I believe in being aggressive about treatment and survival. I want my patients to feel truly well and for their lives to be as abundant as possible. Research shows that new habits are essential in going beyond survival into a thriving next chapter. Prepare to Thrive Adopting these lifestyle changes is the cornerstone of your journey to thrive. â€˘ Stress: Learning to reduce stress and increase mental fitness sets the foundation from which all other lifestyle changes will take place. â€˘ Diet: Limit processed foods such as sugar and red meat; switch to a predominately plantbased diet with five to nine servings of vegetables and fruits. Incorporate good fats and eliminate vegetable oil. â€˘ Exercise: A moderate 30 minutes each day can make a huge difference. Know your personal limits and after being cleared by your doctor, start an activity that works for you. â€˘ Smoking: This seems obvious. Multiple studies have shown that smoking significantly increases the chances for cancer recurrence. â€˘ Consuming alcohol: There has also been research indicating that alcohol is linked to increased recurrence rates. Consider reducing intake and, for some, elimination may be crucial.
Nathalie Dauphin McKenzie, MD, MSPH, is an award winning GYN Oncologist for AdventHealth Medical Group and Director of the GYN oncology fellowship training program at AdventHealth Cancer Institute. Learn more at YourCentralFloridaDoctor. com/McKenzie or call 407-303-2422.
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EVENTS Fire (August 8) and Singin’ in the Rain (September 12). Bring a snack plus a blanket or chairs. 407-629-1088. enzian.org.
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum. This stunningly restored Spanish farmhouse-style home, designed by acclaimed architect James Gamble Rogers II, is now a community center and museum. Free open houses are hosted by docents on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, live music is featured in the large downstairs parlor most Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. (see “Music”). 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us. Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating antiSemitism, racism and prejudice, with the goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. It houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, archives and a research library. The museum’s ongoing exhibition, Tribute to the Holocaust, is a presentation of artifacts, videos, text, photographs and other works of art. Admission to the center is free. 851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland. 407-628-0555. holocaustedu.org. Winter Park History Museum. Ongoing displays include artifacts dating from the city’s beginnings as a New England-style resort in the 1880s. Its current exhibition is Wish You Were Here: The Hotels & Motels of Winter Park, which will run through June 6, 2020. Admission is free. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-2330. wphistory.org. Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Eatonville is strongly associated with Harlem Renaissance writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, who lived there as a girl and recorded her childhood memories in her classic autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. The museum that bears her name provides information about the historic city and sponsors exhibitions featuring the works of African-American artists and is an integral part of the annual, weeklong Zora! Festival each January. The current exhibition is Zora Neale Hurston’s “Native Village”: Historic Eatonville Remembered — Autobiography, Folklore, Literature. Admission is free, though group tours require a reservation and are charged a fee. 227 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville. 407-647-3188. preserveeatonville.org, zorafestival.org, hurstonmuseum.org.
24th Annual 4th of July Celebration. Head for downtown Winter Park on Independence Day to enjoy a bicycle parade, patriotic music by the Bach Festival Choir and Brass Ensemble, free hot dogs and watermelon, horse-drawn wagon rides, games and much more from 9 a.m. to noon. In a tradition dating from the mid-1990s, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art also provides free admission to its galleries from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Independence Day. In addition to the Bach Festival musicians, the main stage in Central Park
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will feature other entertainment throughout the day. If you want to start celebrating even earlier, enter the annual Watermelon 5K run, which begins at 7:30 a.m. on Park Avenue. The race is followed by a Watermelon Eating Contest at 8:30 a.m. and a Kids’ Run at 8:45 a.m. Military personnel and their family members receive a $10 discount on the 5K registration fee, plus a special race bib. 407-599-3463. For information about the race, visit trackshack.com. For information about other activities, visit cityofwinterpark.org.
University Club of Winter Park. Nestled among the oaks and palms at the north end of Park Avenue’s downtown shopping district — a block beyond Casa Feliz — is another historic James Gamble Rogers II building, this one home to the University Club of Winter Park. Members are dedicated to the enjoyment of intellectual activities and socializing with one another. The club’s various activities, including lectures, are open to the public, although nonmembers are asked to make a $5 donation each time they attend. (Some events include a buffet lunch for an added fee.) Check the club’s website for the next lecture or special event. 841 North Park Avenue. 407-644-6149. uclubwp.org.
Maitland Farmers’ Market. This year-round, open-air market — held each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — features fresh produce, seafood, breads and cheeses as well as plants, all-natural skin-care products and live music by Performing Arts of Maitland. The setting on Lake Lily boasts a boardwalk, jogging trails, a playground and picnic areas. 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland. itsmymaitland.com. Winter Park Farmers’ Market. The region’s busiest and arguably most popular farmers’ market is held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old railroad depot, which also houses the Winter Park History Museum. The openair market offers baked goods, produce, plants, honey, cheese, meat, flowers, crafts and other specialty items. After shopping, make a morning of it with a stroll along nearby Park Avenue. Dogs are welcome to bring their people. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. cityofwinterpark.org.
Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. This eclectic venue is part concert hall, part recording studio and part art gallery. It offers live performances most evenings, with an emphasis on jazz, classical and world music — although theater, dance and spoken-word presentations are sometimes on the schedule. Admission generally ranges from free to $25. Just a few of the upcoming performers are: pianist and composer Peter Kater (July 6, 8 p.m.), jazz guitarist Bobby Koelble (August 7, 8 p.m.) and pianist and vocalist Carol Stein (September 18, 8 p.m.). 1905 Kentucky Avenue, Winter Park. 407-636-9951. bluebambooartcenter.com. Central Florida Folk. This Winter Park-based not-forprofit is dedicated to promoting and preserving live folk
music, primarily through concerts usually held on the last Sunday of each month (unless a holiday intervenes). The group’s primary venue is the Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. Up next are singers and songwriters Rod MacDonald and Joe Virga (July 28). Performances start at 2 p.m. A donation of $15 for nonmembers is suggested. 407-6796426. cffolk.org. Music at the Casa. The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum presents free acoustic performances most Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. in the museum’s cozy main parlor. Past selections include opera, jazz guitar and flamenco dancers. 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. casafeliz.us. Opera on Park. The first official performances of Opera Orlando’s 2019-20 season are its three-part Opera on Park series, which begins August 25 with soprano Tess Altiveros and baritone Gabriel Preisser. Tenor Ben Gulley follows on September 1 and the series wraps up with mezzo-soprano Sarah Nordin and bass-baritone Tyler Putnam on September 8. Pianist Robin Stamper accompanies all artists. The 2 p.m. performances take place at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 North Park Avenue. Tickets are $30 each or $75 for all three recitals. 407-512-1900. operaorlando.org.
Florida Writers Association. The Orlando/Winter ParkArea Chapter meets the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for guest speakers and discussions organized by author Rik Feeney. Upcoming events are slated for July 3, August 7 and September 4 at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. Another chapter, the Maitland Writers Group, meets the second Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for speakers and discussions organized by author Nylda Dieppa-Aldarondo. Upcoming events are slated for July 11, August 8 and September 12 at the Maitland Public Library. 501 South Maitland Avenue, Maitland. floridawriters.net. Wednesday Open Words. One of the area’s longest-running open-mic poetry nights happens every Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Austin’s Coffee, 929 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park. The free readings are hosted by Curtis Meyer. 407-975-3364. austinscoffee.com. Work in Progress: A Group for Writers. This monthly discussion group is for writers in any genre who offer and receive feedback from their peers. Guest speakers are often invited to monthly meetings, which are held from September through May. Upcoming dates include July 6, August 3 and September 7, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Those planning to read their works aloud should register with organizer and host Mark Winton, an author and University of Central Florida lecturer by emailing dr.mwinton@gmail. com. Conference Room, Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. wppl.org. Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts. This group offers various free programs that attract writers of all stripes. Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour ... or
A MYSTICAL WEEKEND FROM GLADDENINGLIGHT
Barbara Brown Taylor
most recent book is Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others (HarperCollins 2019). Taylor, who recently appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, will moderate a Saturday panel discussion with Starr and Shapiro at the college’s Tiedtke Concert Hall. The arts play a prominent role in every GladdeningLight symposium, and 2020 will be no different. “The Beauty We Love,” a prayer-in-concert from cellist Eugene Friesen, will highlight the opening convocation on Friday. Irish a cappella singers Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin, always symposium favorites, will also perform. Shapiro, a provocative and entertaining speaker, has been called a “holy rascal” for challenging preconceived belief systems. Starr, an advocate for feminine wisdom, offers revolutionary new translations of Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life by St. Teresa of Avila and the “showings” (revelations) of Julian of Norwich. The cost to attend the entire weekend and all the scheduled events is $220. An opening reception Thursday evening at the home of Rollins College President Grant Cornwell is $30, while a Saturday luncheon in the campus’s newly renovated Rice Family Pavilion is $20. Visit gladdeninglight.org for more information.
PHOTO BY E. LANE GRESHAM (BARBARA BROWN TAYLOR)
Next year’s GladdeningLight symposium of the spiritual arts, staged annually in Winter Park, will feature an intriguing pair of keynote speakers: Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of more than 30 books on spirituality and recovery, and Mirabai Starr, interpreter of divine wisdom from mystics throughout the ages. The theme of the symposium, slated for February 6-9, 2020, is “Wild Surrender: Inter-Spirituality in a Time of Trial.” You’ll get the connection when you read the speakers’ most recent bestsellers: Starr’s Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics (Sounds True, 2019) and Shapiro’s Surrendered: The Sacred Art (Skylight Path Publishing, 2019). “The way of spirituality is forged by many voices of the holy,” says GladdeningLight founding director Randall B. Robertson. “Patriarchal paradigms are now being balanced by voices of the divine feminine, where wisdom pours forth amid the splendor of all faith traditions. Rabbi Rami and Mirabai exemplify this new dynamism of what might be called inter-spirituality.” Past GladdeningLight symposia have welcomed visitors from 33 states and all over the world. Two years ago, Robertson moved the event to the campus of Rollins College, where he and his wife, Pat, will host it in 2020. Also on the roster is Barbara Brown Taylor, whose
S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E
BACH IS BACK
Artistic Director John Sinclair has helmed the Bach Festival of Winter Park since 1990. The festival, which holds performances on the campus of Rollins College, was launched in 1935 to celebrate Bach's 250th birthday.
The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park stages the oldest continuously running Bach Festival in the nation. It began at Rollins College, on a Sunday in 1935, with a performance to commemorate the 250th birthday of the revered German master. From that auspicious beginning, the Bach Festival has grown to a three-week extravaganza of concerts, lectures and events offered annually in February and March. The society, which features a permanent orchestra and a 160-voice choir, also offers an eclectic, year-round schedule that includes choral and orchestral performances highlighted by world-renowned guest artists. The artistic director is John V. Sinclair, who is also chair of the department of music at Rollins. Visit bachfestivalflorida.org for more information.
2019–20 SEASON n Insights & Sounds: Handel’s Heroines and Heroes: Thursday, September 26, 7:30 p.m. n Sergei Babayan, piano: Sunday, October 20, 3 p.m. n Hayden’s The Creation: Saturday, October 26, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, October 27, 3 p.m. n Insights & Sounds: Bach’s Moravian Music Heritage: Thursday, November 14, 7:30 p.m. n Christmas in the Park: Thursday, December 5, 6:15 p.m. n A Classic Christmas: Saturday, December 14, 2 and 6 p.m.; Sunday, December 15, 2 and 6 p.m. n Insights & Sounds: The Greatest Composers (You’ve Never Heard Of): Thursday, January 23, 2020, 7:30 p.m. n Paul Galbraith, guitar: Sunday, January 26, 2020, 3 p.m.
85TH ANNUAL BACH FESTIVAL
AND MORE n Diaz Trio: Sunday, March 29, 2020, 3 p.m. n Mendelssohn’s Elijah: Saturday, April 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 26, 2020, 3 p.m.
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PHOTO BY RAFAEL TONGOL
n Stefan Kiessling, organ: Friday, February 7, 2020, 7:30 p.m. n Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and Dvorak’s Symphony from the New World: Friday, February 21, 2020, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3 p.m. n Concertos by Candlelight: All Beethoven: Friday, February 21, 2020, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 22, 2020, 7:30 p.m. n Spiritual Spaces: Reflect, Restore and Revive: Sunday, February 23, 2020, 4 and 6 p.m. n Quink Vocal Ensemble: Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m. n Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle: Saturday, February 29, 2020, 7:30 p.m. n J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor: Sunday, March 1, 2020, 3 p.m.
Thereabouts, a literary open-mic night, meets the second Wednesday of most months at 7 p.m. at Stardust Video & Coffee (1842 Winter Park Road, Winter Park). It’s for authors, poets, filmmakers, comedians, musicians, bloggers and others. Upcoming meet-ups include July 10, August 14 and September 11. Orlando WordLab, a new program that combines the old Writers Roundtable and So You Think You Can Funny?, meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Winter Park Public Library (460 East NW England Avenue, Winter Park) starting at 7 p.m.; upcoming dates include July 24, August 28 and September 25. stardustvideoandcoffee.wordpress.com, wppl.org, meetup.com/writers-of-central-florida-or-thereabouts.
Good Morning Winter Park. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these monthly gatherings attract business- and civic-minded locals who enjoy coffee and conversation about community issues. Scheduled for the second Friday of most months, upcoming dates include July 12, August 9 and September 13. Networking begins at 8 a.m. followed by a 45-minute program at 8:30 a.m. Admission, which includes a complimentary continental breakfast, is free. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org. Hot Seat Academy. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, this business-oriented series puts local executives in the spotlight as they offer advice and discuss entrepreneurism, leadership and salesand-marketing techniques. Upcoming gatherings are July 10 and August 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; check the chamber website for the featured speaker. Tickets are $15 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.
TIFFANY at the MORSE The Morse Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Public Hours: 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.,Tuesday–Saturday (open Fridays until 8 p.m., November–April); 1 p.m.–4 p.m., Sunday; closed Monday
morsemuseum.org follow us on
445 north park avenue winter park, florida 32789 (407) 645-5311 just a 5-minute walk from the sunrail station.
Winter Park Executive Women. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, these gatherings — held the first Monday of most months from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — feature guest speakers and provide networking opportunities for women business owners. Topics revolve around leadership development, business growth and local initiatives of special interest to women. Upcoming dates include August 5 and September 9. Tickets, which include lunch, are $25 for members and $50 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281. winterpark.org.
Keep Winter Park Beautiful. Volunteers who help the City of Winter Park collect litter around Lake Bell and Lake Wilderness on September 7 receive breakfast, a T-shirt, a snack and water. Litter grabbers, safety vests, gloves and garbage bags are also provided. Kayakers and paddle boarders are welcome to participate; everyone is asked to bring a reusable water bottle. The 8 a.m. assembly point is 1051 Lake Bell Drive, Winter Park. S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Junior philosophers paint a river to be used as an intellectual exercise. They make a choice, then line up on either side of the river and explain how and why they made that choice. They take a position, literally and figuratively, which is, of course, what philosophers do.
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OUR TOWN | BY MICHAEL MCLEOD
A PHILOSOPHY DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Plato (above left) and Aristotle (above right) have plenty to say to children, too. At Hume House, staffers have figured out how to channel those messages and make them meaningful to rambunctious 3- and 4-year-olds.
There’s a small, unassuming, black-and-white photograph of the late Fred Rogers on a hallway wall in Hume House, a preschool and child-development research center on the westernmost edge of the Rollins College campus. The 1990 photo was taken during a visit to the center by the beloved Rollins grad, whose revolutionary PBS show for young children, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, represented a one-man crusade to nurture their pilgrim hearts and minds — and to buffer both from the cacophony of the modern world. In the photograph, Mr. Rogers sits in a chair encircled by children. He wears one of his trademark cardigans and beams with that front-porch glow of attentive delight the presence of children always inspired in him. Something akin to that expression would surely cross his face if he could see what the old neighborhood is up to these days. Guided by a multidisciplinary research team, Rollins students have been introducing preschoolers to the wisdom of the ancients, using traditional early-
education activities to examine concepts that great philosophers sought to bring to early civilization: fairness, bravery, self-control, civility. It’s part of a multitasking enterprise meant to plant thoughtful seeds in both the younger and the older students. Five years ago, as part of an initiative to incorporate elbow grease into the liberal arts, Rollins philosophy professor Erik Kenyon was asked to add a community outreach component to his classes. Kenyon, a youngish 38-year-old with striking blue eyes and a preppy haircut, is more likely to be taken for a student rather than a philosophy professor as he rides his bike to and from classes. In truth he is an old soul by association, so thoroughly marinated in ancient and medieval philosophy that a student once described him to me as “Aristotle reincarnated.” Well, it’s one thing to channel Greek philosophers to a captive classroom audience. It’s another to trot your musty Hellenic homeboys around off campus. The notion seemed idealistic to Kenyon. Or as he put it: “I thought, ‘What am I supposed to do? Save the whales?’”
Then he remembered the work of colleagues elsewhere who developed the so-called “P4C” educational program. P4C stands for “philosophy for children” and consists of a series of lesson plans that can be used to introduce grade-school students to rudimentary philosophical concepts. In 2015, Kenyon began incorporating P4C ideas into classes that called for his students to develop child-oriented philosophy lessons as part of their studies — then take them on the road. Things went smoothly when they worked with students at nearby elementary schools. With preschoolers, not so much. Nothing in Augustine’s dialogues or Plato’s pedagogy addresses the existential realities of trying to engage a tribe of rambunctious 3- and 4-year-olds with lesson plans designed for elementary school students. “There was a lot of running away and hiding in corners,” says Kenyon, of his team’s first visit to Hume House. “It was a disaster.” He looked to the center’s director, Diane Terorde-Doyle, and Rollins psycholS U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E
Hume House director Diane Terorde-Doyle (left), philosophy professor Eric Kenyon (center) and psychologist Sharon Carnahan (right) devised a program for preschoolers based on P4C (philosophy for children) principles.
ogy professor and longtime Hume House crusader Sharon Carnahan for help. “Children at this age think with their bodies,” offered Terorde-Doyle. Yet, added Carnahan, they’re perfectly capable of grasping abstractions: “They’re stone experts on friendship.” So, hoping to connect with preschoolers on their own turf, the team began developing lesson plans rooted in physical activities; sharpened them to revolve around ethics, the branch of philosophy that addresses relationships and behavior; and focused on questions that addressed daily life from a preschool perspective — such as, “what makes a family?” An obvious ingredient volunteered by the children in discussions one day was “love.” Then a little girl added a wise-beyond-her-years distinction. “I agree that if there is a family, there is love,” she said. “But I disagree that if there is love, it has to be
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in a family.” The moment convinced Kenyon the project was on track. “That’s the kind of thing that a college logic course wouldn’t get to around to until week four,” he says. Overall, the effort prompted such a shift of perspective at Hume House that, this year, the three researchers published a book about their efforts, Ethics for the Very Young. The book includes outlines of lesson plans meant to encourage children to “listen, think, and respond” in order to navigate their way through questions such as: What is bravery? What is a friend? What makes something fair or unfair? How do I agree, or disagree, with dignity? All it takes is a quick visit to a couple of internet chat rooms to see that the culture at large could use a few lesson plans on that last one.
Michael McLeod is a contributing writer for Winter Park Magazine and an adjunct instructor in the English department at Rollins College.
A U T U M N A R T F E S T I V A L WINTER PARK
Central Park Saturday, Sunday,
VIP & PATRON PACKAGES
V I P 1 two-day pass to Winter Park Village Lounge Exclusive VIP lanyard pass Official festival poster Prime viewing of live entertainment Catered lunch and premium beverages
PATRON 2 passes for exclusive events 2 two-day passes to the Winter Park Village Lounge with unlimited food and drinks 2 exclusive patron lanyard passes 2 official festival t-shirts
1 official festival poster Recognition on website* Recognition on festival guide* Name on patron sign at festival* $250 in art dollars
*Must purchase ticket by August 9 for recognition
TO PURCHASE, GO TO AUTUMNARTFESTIVAL.ORG WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
Become a volunteer! Visit autumnartfestival.org
THANK YOU to the 2019
INFLUENTIALS For Their Positive Contributions to Our Community
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S U MME R 2 0 1 9 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E
THE POEM | BILLY COLLINS
usually draw a blank whenever anyone asks me where I get my inspiration. But here, I find myself on safe ground. This poem came directly from the “duck/rabbit” drawing by Wittgenstein, the one he used to illustrate for his philosophy students the nature of puns and conundrums, where only one of two aspects can be apprehended at a time. You can see the duck, or you can see the rabbit, but not both simultaneously. My riff on the drawing turned out to be a sonnet, but not the love kind. Quite the opposite.
PHOTO BY SUZANNAH GILMAN
Billy Collins is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. He served as U.S. Poet Laureate (2001–03) and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. “Duck/Rabbit” originally appeared in Picnic, Lightning by Billy Collins © 1998. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
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DUCK/RABBIT The lamb may lie down with the lion, But they will never be as close as this pair Who share the very lines Of their existence, whose overlapping is their raison d’être. How strange and symbolic the binds That make one disappear Whenever the other is spied. Throw the duck a stare, And the rabbit hops down his hole. Give the rabbit the eye, And the duck waddles off the folio. Say, these could be our mascots, you and I — I could look at you forever And never see the two of us together.
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