Winter Park Magazine Summer 2018

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April Showers Bring May Flowers Linda Apriletti












©Cucciaioni Photography 2018

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FEATURES 16 | 2017-18 WINTER PARK HALL OF FAMERS New inductees are as unique as the city that honors their memories. By the Editors, digital art by Chip Weston 28 | THE INFLUENTIALS Who makes a difference in Winter Park? Let’s welcome the Class of 2018. By the Editors, photography by Rafael Tongol 70 | MAKING A RACQUET Tucked into the vias on Lake Maitland, the venerable Winter Park Racquet Club is an ideal setting to showcase summer styles. Photography by Rafael Tongol, styling by Marianne Ilunga, makeup and hair by Elsie Knab 78 | EYE WITNESS Artist Sarah Peterson brings us face to face with Florida’s most endangered animals. By Michael McLeod, photography by Rafael Tongol

DEPARTMENTS DINING 84 | HOŞGELDINIZ! BIENVENIDOS! Either means “welcome” at a pair of authentically styled local restaurants, one Turkish, one Mexican. Both are fueled by passion and persistence. By Anne Mooney and Rona Gindin, photography by Rafael Tongol


6 WIN T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | SUMM ER 2018

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ne of my favorite movies is Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House (1948) with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. In it, hapless New Yorkers Jim and Muriel Blandings decide to have a custom home designed and built in rural Connecticut. The project, of course, quickly goes awry. Nothing is completed when promised. Everything costs more than anticipated. Naysayers taunt Jim and Muriel for their naiveté, while financial ruin looms and a variety of lawsuits are threatened. Did I mention that Mr. Blandings is a comedy? In social media circles, a handful of Winter Parkers seem to think that the city’s experience thus far with the soon-to-be-built library and events center — known heretofore as the Canopy — is worthy of a modern-day remake. Only this time, tax dollars, not Jim Blandings’ life savings, are at stake. Most of the complaints, however, have been from people who opposed the project in the first place. Some fringe theories even suggest vast conspiracies in which shadowy cabals of academic and commercial interests have somehow secretly joined forces to grab land and enrich developers. So it goes, sometimes, in Winter Park. After all, the original $30 million bond issue was approved by only the narrowest of margins — and has subsequently been challenged in court by dogged opponents who refuse to accept the result. The city, then, must work even more diligently to get it right — and to deliver essentially what was promised. Having said that, I’m more excited than ever about the state-of-the-art campus to be built in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Its centerpiece will be an aspirational, inspirational library for the 21st century. Yes, it appears likely that the library will be closer to 36,000 square feet than the 50,000 square feet originally touted (the events center will be a separate structure). That’s not an insignificant alteration. And the proposed parking structure appears to have vanished — or at least been put aside. But 36,000 smartly designed square feet will provide plenty of customer-friendly space to house robust print and digital book collections, a technology classroom, an audio recording room, tutoring and meeting rooms, a climate-controlled historical archive, expanded youth spaces and a “genius lab” (comparable to a maker space, complete with high-tech tools). Adding a stepped auditorium, an outdoor amphitheater, a porte-cochere and a rooftop venue to the events center will take another $6 million or $7 million, much of which must come from private fundraising. Yes, the city could have saved money by hiring a local architect —there are excellent ones — instead of Sir David Adjaye, the much-honored celebrity architect who designed the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. But with Adjaye, you get someone who not only has experience with libraries and high-profile public buildings. You also get one of the greatest architects in the world — a figure whose involvement ensures that the Canopy will instantly be regarded as an internationally important project. And it’ll be right here, where it belongs, in a small city known the world over for the unrivaled excellence of its educational and cultural amenities. A project of this significance and complexity will evolve during the design process. And it should, as new realities present themselves and are dealt with — or as great ideas emerge and are incorporated. I’m not relitigating the bond issue vote here; it’s a done deal. I’m saying that it’s time for everyone — friend and foe — to pull together and make certain that the Canopy will, in fact, be the community treasure that it ought to be. With this project comes an extraordinary opportunity that ought not to be hindered by erroneous assumptions, hurt feelings, sheer stubbornness or conspiracy theories. Ask questions? Sure. Demand explanations? Absolutely. Offer input? Of course. Community involvement is a key to success. At the conclusion of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, the crotchety Bill Cole (Melvyn Douglas) finally relents when he sees what Jim and Muriel have achieved: “When I look at what you two have got here,” he says, wistfully, “well, I don’t know. Maybe there are some things you should buy with your heart, not your head.” Let me be clear. By no means am I saying that decisions regarding civic projects should be made based upon emotion, not logic. For the Canopy, though, the logic is already firmly established and in place. It’s time to bring our hearts — and our ideas — to the table.

Randy Noles CEO/Editor/Publisher

8 WIN T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | SUM M ER 2018

CORRECTIONS There were several errors in the Spring 2018 edition of Winter Park Magazine.

Lawrence H. Lyman

Lawrence Lyman

In “Moral Capitalist,” written by Scot French, we confused two images of Lewis Lawrence. The lead image on page 23 was, in fact, an image of Lewis H. Lawrence, the son of the Lewis Lawrence about whom the article was written. The smaller image on page 64 is of the correct Lewis Lawrence. This was an error by Winter Park Magazine, not the author of the article, so our apologies to Scot French.

The Venetian Canal

In an image from “The British Invasion,” a cutline misidentified a canal as the Flamingo Canal. In fact, as all Winter Parkers know, it’s properly known as the Venetian Canal, which is spanned by a bridge sometimes called the “Flamingo Bridge.” Again, this was a Winter Park Magazine error.

Christy Knox and Liz Jones

In “Cute and Cozy” on page 46, we misidentified the previous employer of real estate agents Christy Knox and Liz Jones. It was not Fannie Hillman & Associates. We regret the error.




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RANDY NOLES | Editor and Publisher THERESA SWANSON | Group Publisher/Director of Sales PAM FLANAGAN | Director of Administration KATHY BYRD | Associate Publisher/Senior Account Executive HEATHER STARK | Associate Publisher/Account Executive

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CAROLYN EDMUNDS | Art Director RAFAEL TONGOL | Photographer CHIP WESTON | Digital Artist RONA GINDIN | Dining Editor MARIANNE ILUNGA | Fashion Editor MARIANNE POPKINS, NED POPKINS, HARRY WESSEL | Contributing Editors MICHAEL MCLEOD, ANNE MOONEY | Contributing Writers

WINTER PARK PUBLISHING COMPANY LLC RANDY NOLES | Chief Executive Officer ALLAN E. KEEN | Chairman, Board of Managers JIM DESIMONE | Vice Chairman, Board of Managers THERESA SWANSON | Vice Chairman, Board of Managers RICK WALSH | Member, Board of Managers MICHAEL OKATY, ESQ. | General Counsel, Foley & Lardner LLP

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; 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; Theresa Swanson, LLC; 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.

Copyright 2018 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.

FOR GENERAL INFORMATION, CALL: 407-647-0225 For advertising information, call: Kathy Byrd, 407-399-7111; Theresa Swanson, 407-448-8414; or Heather Stark, 407-616-3677

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Miami Springs-based artist Linda Apriletti prefers Florida settings, and says she enjoys hearing that her images evoke a sense of peace and tranquility.

and taxation, Apriletti pursued her lifelong love of painting while employed as an accountant. She also honed her skills — first in pastels and later in oils — by attending workshops during her vacations. It was at a workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park that she discovered her passion for plein air painting. She launched a full-time career as an artist in 2011 — and never looked back. “Painting outside is critical to helping me observe and understand patterns in nature,” she says. Much of Apriletti’s work focuses on Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Nature Preserve, where she has staged solo exhibitions. She was artist in residence at Big Cypress Nature Preserve in 2012. But she also paints in Maine and on Martha’s Vineyard. Apriletti particularly likes palm trees as subjects. Luckily for her, inspiration is always close at hand — she has more than 25 species growing in her yard. Visit to see more of her paintings. — Randy Noles

lein air artist Linda Apriletti’s primary goal through her work “is to communicate the uncommon beauty found in nature.” The Miami Springs-based artist prefers Florida settings, and says she enjoys hearing that her images evoke a sense of peace. Apriletti was recently in Central Florida for the 2018 Winter Park Paint Out, held by the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. “April Showers,” the painting that adorns the cover of Winter Park Magazine, is a scene from the museum’s grounds, which overlook Lake Osceola. “I was scheduled to paint on the Polasek grounds that Monday morning,” she says. “It was a very overcast day, with threatening gray clouds and a 90 percent chance of rain.” Apriletti figured she had a few hours of dry weather before things turned nasty. “I decided to go for it, and painted this cypress tree and the flower garden by the lake,” she adds. “The bright yellow of the flowers was a great complement to the gray sky that day.” Although her college degrees are in accounting


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2017-18 Winter Park Hall of Famers

EACH LEFT A LEGACY BEHIND New Inductees are as Unique as the City That Honors Their Memories.



or more than a century, Winter Park residents have made certain that their one-of-a-kind hometown has remained a welcoming oasis of art, beauty and enlightenment. Even as Central Florida’s growth exploded, the aptly named City of Culture and Heritage has remained — for the most part — true to the vision of its founders, who mapped out a “bright New England town on the Florida frontier” back in the 1880s. It hasn’t been easy to do. And there have been some epic feuds over how to best deal with the often-conflicting forces of development and preservation. Still, it’s no accident that Winter Park remains the region’s most desirable address. The people who call it home — and have called it home in generations past — get the credit. Consequently, in 2015 Winter Park Magazine put forth the idea of an official Winter Park Hall of Fame. The hall would salute people — some familiar, some less so — whose contributions to the city had been particularly significant. In consultation with local historians, the magazine’s editors selected an inaugural class of 15, ranging from the city’s earliest pioneers through some 20th-century icons. Only those who are no longer living were considered. Otherwise, the field was wide open. The resulting roster was an eclectic assortment of pioneers, philanthropists, educators and activists. Digital artist Chip Weston volunteered to transform old photographs of the selectees into stunning works of art, which were reproduced in the magazine and displayed in the J.K. and Sarah Galloway Foundation Community Gallery at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Our hope was that the project would be designated as official, with new members selected by an independent panel and inducted each year. Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. The Winter Park History Museum and the City of Winter Park are now stewards of the Winter Park Hall of Fame. For 2016-17, another four members were selected. And for 2017-18, five more important Winter Parkers were inducted, and their names announced at the Winter Park History Museum’s annual 2017 Peacock Ball. These five are showcased in the following profiles.

16 W I N T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | SUM M ER 2018

Hopefully, there’ll ultimately be a permanent exhibit at the Winter Park Public Library and Events Center — the Canopy — which is soon to be built in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, on the site of the current Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center. In the meantime, the display of portraits occupies the Chapman Room, on the second floor of Winter Park City Hall adjacent to the City Commission chambers. Appropriately, the room is named for Oliver Chapman, an original founder of Winter Park and an inaugural inductee into the Winter Park Hall of Fame. For the 2017-18 selection process, the museum again assembled a volunteer committee to submit nominations and settle on a maximum of five inductees. Committee members included Jack Lane, professor of history emeritus, Rollins College; Thaddeus Seymour, president emeritus, Rollins College; and Jack Rogers, retired architect who took over the practice of his father, James Gamble Rogers II, a 2015 Hall of Famer. Also participating was attorney Harold Ward of Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman. Ward is a fourth-generation Winter Parker whose family has been prominent in the city’s history since the 1880s. Rounding out the committee was Joyce Swain, retired city clerk; and the versatile Weston, a history aficionado as well as an artist and a musician. Clarissa Howard, director of communications, City of Winter Park; Randy Noles, editor and publisher, Winter Park Magazine; and Susan Skolfield, executive director, the Winter Park History Museum and the Winter Park Historical Association; served as ex-officio members. Two quirks this year: Rollins College President William Freemont Blackman (1855-1932), who was inducted in 2016, now shares his place of honor with his accomplished wife, Lucy Worthington Blackman (1860-1942). And a Native American leader, Billy Powell (Osceola) was included not because of his role in the creation of the city — there was no Winter Park when Osceola was alive, and it’s unclear if he ever actually lived in the region. Still, the isolated settlement that would become Winter Park was named for the legendary Seminole warrior.

WILLIAM FREEMONT BLACKMAN (1855-1932) President, Rollins College

Rollins College and Winter Park had rarely witnessed such a cultured, dynamic and engaging family as the Blackmans, who arrived in 1902 when William Freemont Blackman became the college’s fourth president. From 1902 to 1915, the Blackman home on Interlachen Avenue served as the city’s cultural hub. The scholarly William, who held a Ph.D. from Cornell University, kept the struggling school solvent while improving academics, establishing the college’s first permanent endowment, tripling the number of students and overseeing the construction of three buildings: Chase Hall, Carnegie Hall (then the library) and Knowles Hall II (which was demolished in 1983). After retiring from Rollins, exhausted by the pressures of fundraising, he thrived in new careers as a banker, a rancher, a historian, a conservationist and president of the Florida Audubon Society. Blackman authored several works, including The Making of Hawaii – a Study in Social Evolution (1899), and A History of Orange County (1927), as well as several monographs on conservation, ornithology, religion and education. Lucy Blackman was not only essential to her husband’s success as president, she was also a major force in the larger community. She was at the forefront of the clubwomen’s movement, helping to establish the Woman’s Club of Winter Park and serving as an active member of the League of Women Voters and the Business and Professional Women’s Club. She was president of the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs, and was education chair of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the national umbrella organization. She founded the college’s Domestic Science Department — teaching in the program for


LUCY WORTHINGTON BLACKMAN (1860-1942) Educator, Historian, Community Activist

two years — and in 1940 published a two-volume history called The Women of Florida. “It is high time that this were done,” Lucy wrote, noting many local and state histories “deal in the main with men only; their authors seem to have been oblivious to the fact that in all these years there have been women in Florida.” The Blackmans had three children: Berkley, Worthington (Win) and Marjorie. All would graduate from Rollins, and Berkley would become the college’s first Rhodes Scholar in 1908.

Honorary Inductee BILLY POWELL (OSCEOLA) 1804-1838, Native American Leader Billy Powell, later known as Osceola, was born to a mixed-race Creek mother and an English father in Alabama. After the Red Stick Creek were defeated by U.S. forces in 1814, Billy and his mother moved to Florida, where they joined the Seminole tribe. Billy was then given the name Osceola, an anglicized form of the Creek “Asi-yahola,” which combines asi, a ceremonial black drink, and yahola, which means “shout” or “shouter.” In 1821, after the U.S. acquired Florida from Spain, more settlers began encroaching on Seminole land. In 1823, following the Treaty of Moultrie Creek, Osceola moved deeper into Central Florida. In 1832, a few Seminole chiefs signed the Treaty of Payne’s Landing, agreeing to vacate Florida in exchange for land west of the Mississippi River. An enraged Osceola, who is said to have stabbed the treaty with his knife, later ambushed an Indian agent and six others outside Fort King near Ocala. That attack, and the near-simultaneous “Dade Massacre” near Tampa, marked the beginning of the Second Seminole War. Osceola led the resistance until he was captured — under a flag of truce — in 1837. He was imprisoned at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, and died a few months later at Fort Moultrie in Charleston. The area that would become Winter Park was named “Osceola” in 1870, when the first post office opened, and the young warrior is thought to have had a winter camp along the creek connecting Lakes Virginia and Osceola. True or not, in the early part of the 20th century, Winter Parkers celebrated “Osceola Day.”



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HAROLD A. “HARLEY” WARD (1878-1954) Businessperson, Civic Leader Harold A. Ward — usually known as “Harley” or “H.A.” — was a civic jack-of-all-trades. In addition to serving as alderman and mayor, he was an entrepreneur involved in businesses ranging from banking to insurance to agriculture. In 1904, Ward happened to be clerking in the Pioneer Store, a generalmerchandise emporium that also sold real estate, when Charles Hosmer Morse — a Chicago industrialist and a seasonal resident — strolled in and inquired about buying property owned by the estate of Francis Bangs Knowles. “Well, Mr. Morse came into the store and asked if I had the sale of the Knowles estate property,” recalled Ward of the most important transaction in the city’s history. “I said, ‘That’s correct. Would you like to buy a lot?’ And we talked a little, and he said, ‘What’ll they take for the whole shebang?’ It like to have knocked me down.” Morse said he’d buy the entire portfolio — about half the land in Winter Park, for the grand total of $10,000 — if Ward would go to work for him. Morse — along with his son, Charles H. Morse Jr., and Ward — became directors of the newly formed Winter Park Land Company, successor to the defunct Winter Park Company. Ward’s labor of love would last 50 years, continuing through the tenure of Morse’s grandchildren, Jeannette Genius McKean and Richard Genius. With professional golfer Dow George, Ward was instrumental in constructing the present-day Winter Park Golf Course. He also oversaw the dredging of canals to connect the Winter Park Chain of Lakes, and the planting of oak trees lining many of Winter Park’s streets.

EDYTH BASSLER BUSH (1887-1972) Philanthropist Edyth Bush, whose name would one day become synonymous with philanthropic giving in Central Florida, was a successful actress, ballet dancer and playwright until she gave up her stage career in 1919 to marry Archibald Granville “Archie” Bush, sales manager for the then-struggling Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing company. Archie was not then wealthy — but he later became the chairman and largest individual shareholder of the company known worldwide as 3M. The Bushes first visited Winter Park in 1949, buying a winter home and immersing themselves in civic life. Most notably, they donated to Rollins College and helped found Winter Park Memorial Hospital. After Archie’s death in 1966, Edyth settled in Winter Park permanently and focused her giving on education and the arts. In 1967, for example, she funded construction of Loch Haven Park’s Central Florida Civic Theater, which was renamed the Edyth Bush Theater following her death. The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, formed in 1973, just keeps on giving. Rollins has been a major beneficiary, receiving almost $15 million — including an $800,000 gift for construction of the original Archibald Granville Bush Science Center. (In 2013, the foundation gave another $1 million for renovation and expansion of the building.) Over its history, the foundation has distributed more than 3,000 grants totaling more than $100 million. In 2015, it won the Outstanding Foundation Award from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals. In collaboration with Rollins, it operates the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, which provides consulting services to some 3,000 nonprofit executives and board members from around the country every year.

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Herbert W. Holm 1 9 2 8 —2 0 1 8 WE WILL MI SS O UR

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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.


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EVE PROCTOR MORRILL (1898-1998) Businesswoman, Civic Leader Eve Proctor Morrill, a buyer for major department stores in Philadelphia, moved to Winter Park in 1948 and immediately saw the potential for sleepy Park Avenue, which was mostly closed during “the season,” to become a thriving retail and dining hub year round. So, Morrill bought the Phillips Building on the east side of Park Avenue, in which she opened a lingerie shop. Shortly thereafter, she bought property on the west side of Park Avenue — then the site of a lumberyard — and built Proctor Center. The complex housed the legendary Proctor Shops — offering women’s attire and sporting goods — along with an array of complementary businesses ranging from a florist to a beauty salon. In the 1960s, Morrill led a Park Avenue beautification campaign that saw façade upgrades and the addition by the city of sidewalk planters with shrubs and sago palms, helping to create the ambiance that today’s Park Avenue shoppers enjoy. The Proctor Shops were sold in 1972 and later became Jacobson’s, a popular department store. But Proctor stayed active for decades to come, buying and selling property and raising funds for her favorite causes, including the Florida Symphony Orchestra and PESO (Participation Enriches Science, Music and Art Organizations), an advocacy group that she helped form. In 1985, the city honored Morrill with an “Eve Proctor Morrill Day,’’ during which a garden and plaque in Central Park were unveiled. The plaque is inscribed with lines from a poem by Logan Morrill, her late husband: “Love quietly and greatly. Seek immortality in those around you where we live eternally. In each day’s striving justify the lives we might have lived.’’

Below are previously inducted members of the Winter Park Hall of Fame. Their profiles were featured in previous issues of Winter Park Magazine.

DAVID MIZELL JR. (1808-1884) Homesteader

WILSON PHELPS (1821-Unknown) Grower, Promoter


(No image available)

LORING A. CHASE (1839-1906) Developer

CHARLES H. MORSE (1833-1921) Industrialist, Philanthropist

WILLIAM C. COMSTOCK (1847-1924) Civic Leader

HUGH F. MCKEAN (1908-1995) Educator, Artist, Philanthropist

JEANNETTE GENIUS MCKEAN (1909-1989) Businesswoman, Artist, Philanthropist

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OLIVER CHAPMAN (1851-1936) Developer

GUS C. HENDERSON (1865-1917) Editor, Activist

JOHN M. TIEDTKE (1907-2004) Businessman, Philanthropist

EDWARD P. HOOKER (1834-1904) Clergyman; President, Rollins College

LUCY CROSS (1839-1927) Educator

HAMILTON HOLT (1872-1951) President, Rollins College

EDWIN OSGOOD GROVER (1870-1965) Professor, Civic Activist

FREDERICK W. LYMAN (1849-1931) Businessman, Rollins College Founder

IRVING BACHELLER (1859-1950) Author

ALONZO W. ROLLINS (1832-1887) Industrialist, Benefactor

JAMES GAMBLE ROGERS II (1900-1990) Architect

MARY LEE DEPUGH (1878-1949) Founder, Ideal Women’s Club






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Influentials By the Editors Photography by Rafael Tongol


HEN WINTER PARK MAGAZINE RAN ITS FIRST “MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOple” feature in 2015, we thought it would be a one-off. Now, in 2018, we’re on the fourth installment — with no end in sight. We didn’t anticipate how positive the response would be to the concept of saluting people who — sometimes quietly — make a difference through their professions, their volunteerism, their philanthropy, their talents or their community engagement. Plus, we didn’t anticipate the depth of the nominee pool. So, shame on us for that one. This magazine’s purpose is to celebrate Winter Park’s culture, heritage and people. We ought to have known that it would take many, many issues to salute everyone who was deserving. That fact became apparent after the second-year call for nominations. There were more than 200 names on that list — and we couldn’t think of a good reason not to feature them all. But the price of newsprint being what it is, we figured we needed to spread it out. Plus, new names crop up regularly. This year, there were about a dozen first-time nominees. Some were people about whom we had been somewhat familiar. Others were local legends who had long been on our radar. Speaking of which, one of 2017’s Influentials, Herb Holm, passed away in May. Holm, a financial mastermind whose savvy bolstered foundations bearing the names of Edyth Bush, Charles Hosmer Morse and Elizabeth Morse Genius, wasn’t a household name in Winter Park — but his impact will endure for generations. Just another reminder that bestowing kudos isn’t something that can necessarily wait until next year. As usual, this year’s Influentials are eclectic. Some of the selectees are well known, while others operate under the radar. 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. Past Influentials include (in alphabetical order): 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, the late Herb Holm, Jon and Betsy Hughes, Phil Kean, Allan Keen, Linda Keen and Randy Knight. Also: 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 and Becky Wilson. On behalf of the past Influentials — and the staff of Winter Park Magazine — congratulations and welcome to the Class of 2018. Let’s meet them on the following pages.

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Rick Baldwin at The Gardens at DePugh Skilled Nursing Center, Winter Park.

Richard O. “Rick” Baldwin

THE GRACIOUS GIVER CEO, Baldwin Brothers Cremation


HE FUNERAL BUSINESS HAS BEEN DUBBED “the dismal trade.” But nobody who knows Richard O. “Rick” Baldwin would describe him as dismal. To the contrary, Baldwin has for decades been one of Winter Park’s most respected businesspeople, in part because of his personal warmth and in part because he has done so much to improve the lives of people who haven’t yet needed his professional services — particularly children and senior citizens. Baldwin, 72, was raised in Winter Park, which he recalls as being “very Mayberryish.” (Longtime locals will remember Baldwin Hardware Store on Park Avenue, which was operated by his paternal grandparents from 1926 until 1970.) He earned a degree in mortuary science from Miami-Dade Community College and a degree in accountancy from UCF. Then, at age 27, he founded what later became Baldwin-Fairchild Cemeteries and Funeral Homes, which he sold in 1973 to New Orleans-based Stewart Enterprises, the secondlargest provider of funeral and cemetery services in the U.S. In 2012, after 29 years as a funeral industry executive and entrepreneur, he became CEO of Baldwin Brothers Cremations, with 14 offices in Central and Southwest Florida. All the while, he has been a high-profile presence on civic boards: past president of the Winter Park Fellowship of Churches and Synagogues; past president of the Christian Service Center of Orange County; past president of Hospice of Central Florida; past trustee of Winter Park Memorial Hospital; past trustee of the Mayflower Retirement Center; and past board member of both the Hamilton Holt School and Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College. Lately, he has turned his attention to two cherished Winter Park institutions, serving as president of both The Gardens at DePugh Skilled Nursing Center, founded in 1956, and the Welbourne Avenue Nursery and Kindergarten, founded in 1927. The two nonprofits — both of which are historically important — were started by community members who launched grass-roots campaigns to fill social-service voids. Baldwin is also a member of the dean’s advisory council at UCF’s College of Business and a member of the UCF Business Hall of Fame.


Rick is one of the most decent people in this town … I’ll match his community service with anybody’s … a brilliant business mind and a kind and compassionate person in general.


It has been said that ‘to whom much is given, much is required.’ I’ve been given much — and feel thankful to have the opportunity to serve in this beautiful city where I’ve spent my life. S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Sid Cash

THE BIG-LEAGUER Senior Vice President, Winter Park National Bank


SK SID CASH WHAT MAKES HIM INFLUENtial and he responds with a motto that has served him well as not only a Little League coach but also as a community banker. “Kids will forget what you said, kids will forget what you did, but kids will never forget how you made them feel,” Cash says in a Georgia twang that persists despite his living in Center Florida for 63 of his 68 years. As a coach for 32 years, Cash saw his influence on players in the Maitland Little League translate into off-field business with their parents. “Certainly if [parents] trust you with their kids, they’re going trust you with their money,” he says. It didn’t hurt to be a banker named Cash, either. Over his professional career, Cash helped open five local banks, including Winter Park National Bank in 2017. His day job is senior vice president, and his chummy demeanor makes him a good fit for a financial institution located in a city that’s a small town at heart. Cash’s coaching achievements include taking a Maitland team to the 2005 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and finishing second in the nation. But he says winning has never defined success for him. Success as a coach of 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds is measured by improvement, he says. The kid who drops fly balls in practice, then goes into a game and makes a clutch catch — that’s the stuff that still gives Cash goosebumps. Taking stock of his imprint on the community, Cash is proud of his banking career, his Little League leadership and, since 2010, his involvement with Winter Park Pop Warner football — the last six years as president. But he’s proudest of launching Winter Park Pride, a community group whose 2016 “Restore the Roar” campaign raised $250,000 toward renovation of city-owned Showalter Field, home of the Winter Park High School Wildcats. (Cash, a 1967 WPHS graduate, played baseball and football at the school.) He embarked on the fundraising effort, he says, for the kids who will play on the field for years to come — and will never forget how playing there made them feel.


Sid’s a local legend in banking and Little League … he connects with kids like nobody else … he’s just as genuine as he seems … highly respected because he has given back to the community for decades.


I’m just so blessed that my dad moved the family to Winter Park … I’m all about relationships … my dad taught me that you have to build relationships and give back to the community.

30 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUMM ER 2018

Sid Cash at Keller Field, Maitland Little League.

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Billy Collins THE LITERARY LION Author, Senior Distinguished Fellow, Winter Park Institute at Rollins College


ILLY COLLINS IS A POET, AND YOU LIKELY already know it. OK, so we tried to be clever and lead with a rhyming sentence — despite the fact that Collins’ poetry doesn’t rhyme. It’s just as well. His biggest fans aren’t poetry snobs — they’re everyday people who are enchanted by the humor and poignance in his comfortably hospitable verses. Collins is a rare poet whose collections scale the New York Times bestseller list, and whose readings attract packed houses. A two-term U.S. poet laureate (2001-03), Collins moved to Winter Park in 2008 when he accepted the post of senior distinguished fellow at the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. He is, without question, the most important writer of any genre ever to have a 32789 zip code. The genial Manhattan native, a youthful 77, has thus far published 13 volumes of poetry. He has appeared regularly on A Prairie Home Companion — the first time in 1998 — and on other NPR programs, including Fresh Air with Terry Gross. On the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he was asked to write a poem commemorating the victims and to read it before a joint session of Congress held in New York City. “The Names,” which alphabetically incorporated the surnames of those who had been killed, struck precisely the right tone with its quiet humanity. Still, Collins is more comfortable writing about everyday life — albeit with quirky twists and turns. For example, a TED Talk in which he recites two poems about the inner thoughts of dogs has garnered more than 1.6 million views. Accolades include the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry as well as fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1992, he was chosen by the New York Public Library as a Literary Lion. Last year, Collins was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an honor society of the country’s 250 leading architects, artists, composers and writers. His proudest achievements: The Poetry 180 program for high schools, in which he chose and published one poem for each day of the school year, and making a birdie on the 12th hole at Augusta National.


Billy is a national treasure … so down-to-earth and funny … don’t bet with him if you’re playing golf.


My Winter Park wish is to continue enjoying this oasis of leafy beauty, where the streets are paved with brick, and to work to hinder developers who threaten to spoil the charm and character of this unique city.

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Billy Collins at the Alfond Boathouse, Rollins College.

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Mary Demetree THE EMPIRE BUILDER Chairwoman, Demetree Global


ARY DEMETREE HAD DREAMS OF BECOMing an actress. But her hard-charging father, the late William C. Demetree Jr. — who famously sold Walt Disney the 12,500-acre hunting camp where the Magic Kingdom would be built — insisted that she join the family business instead. After graduating from the University of Alabama, the dutiful daughter did just that, learning the operation literally from the ground up. When you were the boss’s kid, you had to work that much harder to prove yourself. But Demetree, now 58, would go on to establish her own reputation as a major force in the male-dominated world of real estate development and property management. Today, Demetree Global holds an interest in nearly 500,000 square feet of space in Winter Park, including primo locations at the corners of U.S. Highway 17-92 and Orange Avenue. There, around the old Lombardi’s Seafood site, Demetree envisions someday developing a bustling mixed-use gateway for Winter Park — a project that would encompass residential, retail and dining components as well as a SunRail station. In addition, Demetree has been a venturecapital partner in an array of cellular networks as well as WonderWorks, a science-themed attraction on International Drive, and Handex Consulting & Remediation, a full-service environmental services firm. For 18 years, she was a partner in Park Plaza Gardens, one of Park Avenue’s most iconic restaurants. (The partners closed the restaurant in 2016 during a dispute with the building’s owners.) When she’s not dreaming up new business ventures, Demetree gives back through personal philanthropy or the William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation, which supports projects that benefit the emotionally, physically or mentally disadvantaged. She’s a large-gift donor to Orlando Health and the Florida Hospital Foundation, and was a capital donor for the UCF Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona. Reflecting her interest in helping children, Demetree recently started an office fundraising campaign to support an initiative that would feed 425 low-income students at Orange County’s Mollie Ray Elementary. Demetree, who serves on numerous business and civic boards, was named Small Business Owner of the Year in 2012 by the Orlando Business Journal.


Mary has made her own mark … she’s definitely her father’s daughter, from her business savvy to her willingness to give … she could potentially create something spectacular on the Fairbanks property.


I invest in people, not in projects. My dad would always say, ‘Bet on the jockey and not the horse.’

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Mary Demetree at Demetree Global, Winter Park.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce


Jesse Martinez and JoAnne McMahon



On their selection as Winter Park Magazine's



MARY DEMETREE Chairwoman and CEO at Demetree Global

to the 2018

INFLUENTIALS For Their Positive Contributions to Our Community.

Recognized as one of Winter Park Magazine’s “Most Influential” Congratulations From Your Demetree Global Family

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Carolyn Fennell T H E J E T- S E T T E R Senior Director of Public Affairs and Community Relations, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority


ITH MORE THAN 44 MILLION PASSENGERS annually, Orlando International Airport (OIA) is the second-busiest in the state and the 11th-busiest in the U.S. It’s also efficient and beautiful, boasting leading-edge architecture and an expansive art collection that immediately signals to visitors that they’ve arrived someplace special. OIA now has more than 21,000 employees and pumps at least $31 billion annually into the region’s economy. For 38 years, it has been Carolyn Fennell’s job to connect the community and the ever-expanding facility, which began in 1962 as the Orlando Jetport at McCoy — a partnership between the City of Orlando and McCoy Air Force Base. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), which operates OIA and Orlando Executive Airport, was formed after the base closed in 1975. Fennell, a Tallahassee native who earned a journalism degree from Florida A&M University, joined GOAA in 1980 following a twoyear stint as a publicist at Walt Disney World. Before that, she’d been a production assistant at ABC News in London. As GOAA’s senior director of public affairs and community relations, Fennell has come to be the friendly face and sonorous voice of the airport. Her community activities include service on the boards of the Orlando Museum of Art, the Valencia College Foundation and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. She’s also on the boards of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association and SKAL International — an association of travel industry executives. She was Orlando Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year in 2010, and was on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Jacksonville Branch from 2010 to 2016 — serving as chair twice. She was presented the Ted Bushelman Legacy Award for Creativity and Excellence by the Airports Council International in 2015, and the Dorian Boyland Community Service Award by the Central Florida Urban League in 2017. Also that year, Fennell was recognized as a Community Advocate by the Black Business Investment Fund during the organization’s “Salute to Local Leadership: Black Women Visionaries.” Other honors include induction into the Florida A&M University School of Journalism Hall of Fame and the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.


Carolyn and the airport have become synonymous over the years … she’s such a trailblazer and a role model … a leader in the local arts and cultural communities.


I have a passion for being a participant and not merely an observer in my professional and community involvement.

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Carolyn Fennell at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Winter Park.


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 2018 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.

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Meg Fitzgerald THE LONG HITTER

Property Manager and Community Relations Director, The Leary Group


OR SUCH A SOPHISTICATED TOWN, WINTER Park politics can get surprisingly nasty. “I didn’t realize how passionate people in Winter Park were about their views,” says Meg Fitzgerald, who found out quickly enough when she managed a winning city commission campaign for her boss, Steve Leary, in 2011. Leary beat attorney Scott Callahan 63 percent to 37 percent, then was unopposed for re-election two years later. Fitzgerald subsequently managed two winning mayoral campaigns for Leary, who in 2015 edged former Circuit Judge Cynthia Mackinnon 52 percent to 48 percent in a hotly contested race that laid bare the city’s ideological fissures over such issues as redevelopment and historic preservation. In 2017, Leary rolled over a low-key re-election challenge from retiree Jim Fitch, heightening talk of a future run by Leary for state Legislature or some other higher office. Still, her foray into local electioneering was an education for Fitzgerald, whose actual job is property manager and community relations director for The Leary Group, which offers full-service commercial property management and specializes in locations within historic districts and near the attractions. She’s also general manager of a Leary Group ancillary company, Flange Skillets, which designs and manufactures gasket installation tools — not cooking utensils — for the oil pipeline industry. Now she has emerged as a behind-the-scenes political force, serving as Leary’s aide de camp and offering advice and guidance to would-be candidates. “That’s happening more now,” Fitzgerald, 42, says. “After the first time, we got the formula and the messaging down.” A standout athlete in college, Fitzgerald likes the competitive aspect of politics. She was a volleyball player at the University of Florida, and as an outside hitter helped the Gators to four SEC titles and made the all-SEC team twice. She coached at Rollins College for a year before revitalizing the UCF women’s volleyball program, taking the team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2002 before quitting to spend more time with her triplets — now 13 years old — to whom she is a single mom. She coaches boys’ and girls’ Winter Park Volleyball Club teams and is a mentor in the Save Our Scholars (SOS) program, which helps underprivileged young women with academic potential succeed in college.


Meg isn’t an elected official, but she’s a major force in local politics … she’s a great coach to kids in both volleyball and life … she doesn’t like some aspects of politics, like character attacks, but she knows how to win.


My personal goals are to continue raising amazing, well-rounded children and continue developing our youth through the sport of volleyball. I think of myself as passionate, approachable and dedicated.

38 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUMM ER 2018

Meg Fitzgerald at The Leary Group, Winter Park.

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LAN GINSBURG IS AMONG THE REGION’S most respected and generous philanthropists. But if he hadn’t been a successful investor and developer, he might have enjoyed a lucrative career as a stand-up comedian. “I’m a ham at heart,” admits Ginsburg, 79. “When I open the refrigerator and the light comes on, I’m good for two or three minutes.” Many charity auction attendees have seen Ginsburg’s Vegas-ready schtick — roaming from table to table, microphone in hand, cracking jokes and cajoling attendees to pony up for good causes. Few, though, have ponied up as much as the Alan Ginsburg Family Foundation. In 2007, for example, Florida Hospital got $20 million — its largest-ever donation — to help build the 15-story, 440bed Ginsburg Tower. Other beneficiaries have included the Hamilton Holt School at Rollins College ($5 million), the UCF College of Medicine ($4.5 million), Central Florida Hillel at UCF ($3 million), Nemours Children’s Hospital ($1 million) and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts ($1 million). Particularly important to Ginsburg is the Holt School, an evening program that serves nontraditional students for whom a Rollins education might be otherwise out of reach. “I never miss a commencement,” says Ginsburg, a Rollins trustee and a Holt board member. “I get teary-eyed at the stories these students tell.” Ginsburg, who maintains business interests in such far-flung locales as Israel and Mongolia, is CEO of AHG Group, a holding company based in Winter Park. CED Construction, which Ginsburg founded in 1987, built more than 40,000 rental units for low-income families under a federal tax credit program. Almost 15,000 of those units — representing an investment of more than $1 billion — are in Central Florida. Ginsburg is a trustee for United Arts and a board member for the Orlando Museum of Art. He has also been active in the Greater Orlando Jewish Welfare Federation and the Orlando Chapter of the National Council for Community and Justice. The Michigan native, a Winter Parker since 1981, now spends about half his time on philanthropy. “I think giving away money is as hard as making it in the first place,” he says.


The definition of a selfless philanthropist … a bighearted man who has touched countless lives … I can only say, ‘Thanks, Mr. Ginsburg, for everything.’


Winter Park is a very special place. I’ve lived in four different houses here, all within three or four blocks of each another. It’s a small town with a big-time feel.

40 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUM M ER 2018

Alan Ginsburg at AHG Group, Winter Park.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Gwinn

THE BACH BOSS Executive Director, Bach Festival Society of Winter Park


USICAL DIRECTOR JOHN SINCLAIR IS THE public face of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. He and his multitude of vocalists and players bask in the applause following performances. But the high-profile maestro would be the first to tell you that Elizabeth “Betsy” Gwinn makes it possible for him to concentrate on giving ticket-buyers a year’s worth of musical magic. Gwinn, 51, is executive director of the second-oldest continuously performing Bach Festival in the world. Most importantly, she makes certain that the society — arguably the region’s most significant cultural organization — is well funded through a complex web of public, quasipublic and philanthropic sources. She also seeks collaborations and partnerships that further the society’s mandate “to inspire the human spirit through great classical music.” In short, Gwinn and her full-time staff of five handle behind-the-scenes responsibilities that don’t earn standing ovations, but do keep the organization humming — or singing — year after year. Gwinn, who was planning administrator at the Orlando Museum of Art prior to joining the society in 2006, says her work is rewarding because the arts “reveal to us what it means to be human, and the importance of creativity in our lives.” The California native, who has a B.A. in fine art from UCF, says her goal is for Winter Park to fully reach its potential as a cultural destination. “Other cities have spent millions trying to create what Winter Park has in its DNA,” she says. “This can’t be taken for granted, but needs to be carefully nurtured.” Gwinn is a familiar figure on the boards of arts advocacy organizations — including the city’s fledgling Arts and Culture Subcommittee — and, like many Influentials, is a graduate of Leadership Winter Park. She and her husband, Michael Galletta, have two teenaged sons. Gwinn says she’s inspired by expressions of appreciation from volunteers, patrons, partners and donors. “They push me to make the society the best it can be,” she says. But the accomplishment that makes her most proud she says, is balancing work and family. Adds Gwinn: “My time with my children is fleeting, and I know it.”


Betsy is delightful, upbeat, helpful and a great representative for the organization ... she’s obviously effective and respected … the Bach Festival Society is our most cherished organization; I’m glad it’s being well run.


I enjoy meeting people, learning about them, and understanding what they want for our shared community … I also believe my respect for the history of Winter Park and long tenure working in the community has been very helpful.

42 W I N T E R P A R K M A G A ZI N E | SUMM ER 2018

Betsy Gwinn at Rollins College.

Ralph V. “Terry” Hadley III T H E C O U R T LY A D V O C AT E Shareholder, Swann Hadley Stump Dietrich & Spears


ERRY HADLEY, WHO COMBINES A KEEN LEGAL mind with a folksy demeanor, has been a highly successful attorney whose firm, Swann Hadley Stump Dietrich & Spears, traces its roots to 1924 and handles everything from real estate and corporate transactions to timeshare and condominium law. Hadley, 75, still practices but stepped aside last year as managing partner after 22 years. Instead of his lengthy career, he prefers to discuss his favorite cause: the Florida School for the Deaf & the Blind in St. Augustine. Hadley is a trustee and endowment chairman for the state-funded facility, which was founded in 1885 and has about 600 students in preschool through 12th grade. FSDB makes a profound difference in the lives of children from across the state, Hadley notes. Making a difference for children has been Hadley’s motivation for decades. His commitment to guardian ad litem work earned him the Judge J.C. “Jake” Stone Distinguished Service Award in 1989 and the President’s Pro Bono Service Award from the Florida Bar Association in 1992. He become the legal community’s go-to specialist on Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare mental disorder in which a caretaker — most often a mother — harms her child in an effort to mimic legitimate illness. Hadley was raised in Winter Park and graduated from the University of Florida College of Law before a stint in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps from 1969 to 1972, during which he achieved the rank of lieutenant commander and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. A Democrat, Hadley ran for the State Legislature from District 40 in 1978, losing by less than a percentage point to future Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty. But he remained active in civic affairs, and in 1976 became founding director of Spouse Abuse (later Harbor House of Central Florida). He was a founding member — and currently secretary/treasurer — of the Seminole County Sheriff Foundation, which assists families of lawenforcement officers injured or killed in the line of duty. He’s also a past member of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and a current member of the University of Florida President’s Council. He and his wife, Carol, own a 72-acre blueberry farm near Cross Creek in Northeast Florida, where they have a second home.


Terry really believes in paying civic dues … a Southern gentleman who genuinely cares about people … Terry is like Matlock — a down-home guy that you don’t dare underestimate.


It’s my experience that the best way to have an impact on the community is to be involved in its civic activities — just give of yourself on a regular basis.

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Terry Hadley at Swann Hadley Stump Dietrich & Spears, Winter Park.

Garry I. Jones Isis Jones

THE FULL SAILERS President, Full Sail University Chief Information Officer, Director of Education, Full Sail University


HEN YOU THINK OF WINTER PARK AS BEING A COLLEGE town, you’re likely thinking of Rollins College and its historic ties to the city. But Full Sail University — a private institution that offers 39 undergraduate degrees and 13 graduate degrees related to entertainment, technology, media and the arts — also boasts a Winter Park address, with a 210-acre campus on University Drive that encompasses 880,000 square feet of classrooms, recording and production studios, a Hollywood-style back lot and a state-of-the-art entertainment venue dubbed Full Sail Live. Its 5,500-plus on-campus students (with 10,000 more taking online courses) get real-world training that will, for many, result in rewarding careers — and, for the best of the best, perhaps even glossy entertainment industry accolades. In 2018 alone, 50 Full Sail graduates were credited on 55 Grammy-nominated recordings (17 ended up working on Grammy winners). Full Sailers have also won multiple Emmys and Game Awards, while 1993 graduate Gary A. Rizzo has been nominated for five Oscars, winning two — including a 2018 nod for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing for Dunkirk. Overseeing this teeming talent factory — named one of the Best Music Programs in the U.S. by Rolling Stone and one of the Top Graduate and Undergraduate Schools for Game Design by The Princeton Review — is President Garry I. Jones, 64, a native Virginian who in the 1970s was a record producer and a touring musician. Jones, who earned a degree in psychology from Virginia Tech, joined Full Sail in 1980 and has led it through multiple expansions. In addition to the school and its students, his primary passions are nature and the protection of animal life. He’s chair-elect for the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. And, partnering with the organization, he created The Monarch Initiative, a program to educate the public about the importance of pollinators such as the monarch butterfly. Isis Jones, 55, is Full Sail’s chief information officer and executive director of education. The pair met in 1984 while Isis, a native of Havana, Cuba, was a mainframe systems programmer with book publisher Harcourt Brace & Jovanovich. She joined Full Sail in 1988, a year following her marriage to Garry, and by the mid-1990s had developed one of the first digital-media degree programs in the U.S. Today, she’s responsible for curriculum design and the development of proprietary educational software. Isis has earned numerous professional recognitions, and shares her husband’s commitment to the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. In addition, she supports such organizations as the ASPCA, Pet Rescue by Judy, the Foundation for Foster Children.


Garry and Isis are community treasures … they’re partners in business and life … enormously likeable and genuine people.


My best friend, Isis, and I often say to one another on the way out the door each morning, ‘let’s do some good out there,’ no matter how great or small, for our community and the world at large. Garry and Isis Jones at Full Sail University, Winter Park.


I feel that there’s nothing that can’t be accomplished if you go at it with the right spirit and respect others. S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Tom Klusman THE LUCKY ONE Head Basketball Coach, Rollins College


HEN TOM KLUSMAN, 63, TALKS ABOUT his basketball coaching career at Rollins College, he never mentions the seven Sunshine State Conference championships he has snared, and only divulges his overall won-loss record when asked. (It’s 693-407 in case you’re interested, highlighted by two NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances, in 2004 and 2017.) Having coached more than 1,000 games over 38 years at the same small college, Klusman lets the record book — he’s the 10th winningest coach in NCAA Division II history — and his longevity speak for themselves. What he prefers to talk about — and with the fervor of a coach giving a locker room pep talk — is his relationship with players past and present. He sees himself as not just a teacher of setting picks and managing the shot clock but also as an influencer of young men with careers and families ahead of them. “Everyone thinks win, win, win. Well, that’s not how life is,” says the Cincinnati native, who played point guard for the Tars from 1972-76, scoring more than 1,006 points and dishing out 352 assists. “I’m not afraid to lose to teach the kids what I think is important.” What’s important to Klusman is that his players experience Rollins as students first and athletes second — and he views his time with them as vital to their growth as adults. “Before practice every day I go to every kid and shake their hand and make small talk: How did they do on their tests? How are their parents, their girlfriends? I try to let them know that I care about them. I tell them I love them all the time.” Klusman, who has a daughter and twin sons with his wife, Jennifer, knows his approach made an impact when former players drop by to see him or call out of the blue. Recalls Klusman, who was tapped as head coach at age 26: “One of my former players called me the other night, and he was showing his son a tape of when he played. He tells me, ‘The things I’m telling my son are the things Coach taught me at Rollins.’ That’s the reason you do this.”


Tom had opportunities at larger schools, but stayed at Rollins … his record is more impressive when you consider the academic standards at Rollins versus other schools in their conference … a class act and a great representative for the school … an under-theradar sports legend.


A lot of my kids thank me, but I thank them for letting me be part of their lives. I’m the lucky one.

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Tom Klusman at Warden Arena, Rollins College.

Jack Lane

THE CURIOUS CHRONICLER Professor of American History Emeritus, Rollins College


F NOT FOR JACK LANE, THE HISTORY OF ROLlins College — and, by extension, a considerable swath of Winter Park history — would today be obscure or unknown. Lane, now Wendell Professor of American History Emeritus and College Historian, taught generations of students from 1963 through 1999. Upon his retirement, Lane was presented the William F. Blackman Medal for distinguished service — an honor named, appropriately, for his favorite past president, a hardworking scholar who kept the college afloat from 1902-15. In 2006, Lane was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the institution whose tribulations and triumphs he had chronicled. A native Texan, Lane, 76, was for a time a vibraphone player in a successful jazz quartet before earning a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia and beginning a storied career as a professor and a historian. Later in his career, he turned his scholarly attention to Florida. In 1991, Pineapple Press published The Florida Reader: Visions of Paradise from the Spanish to the Present, which he co-edited with Maurice “Socky” O’Sullivan, a Rollins English professor. It won that year’s Tebeau Award from the Florida Historical Society as the best book on Florida. He has continued to speak to community groups, serve as a guest lecturer at the college and sit on the boards of the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum and the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. In 2017, a lively manuscript that Lane wrote more than 30 years ago, Rollins College Centennial History: A Story of Perseverance, 1885-1985, was finally published, becoming the first comprehensive account of Rollins’ first 100 years. The book — combining a storyteller’s flair with a researcher’s rigor — is jampacked with eccentric characters, near-disasters, daring innovations and heady achievements. Lane lives with his wife, Janne, in a home that’s on the Winter Park Register of Historic Places. He says it’s important that the city understand its past to better prepare for its future. “As a student and professor of history, I know change is inevitable,” he says. “I’ve observed that a successful town is one that has intentionally managed change without losing its character and identity. My hope is that Winter Park citizens will comprehend the depth of meaning in this historical reality.”


It’s a priceless gift to Winter Park to have people like Jack, who have the skill and the interest to keep our city’s history alive … he’s probably the most knowledgeable person around about Rollins and Winter Park … his new book is a must-read.


I have tried to live my life with integrity and a commitment to service. I leave it to others to judge whether I succeeded.

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Jack Lane at the Rollins College Department of Archives and Special Collections.


Clifford P. Clark III, M.D. P L A S T I C


Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery American Society of Plastic Surgeons | American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons 701 West Morse Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32789 | 407.629.5555 |

Fairolyn Livingston

T H E CO M M U N I T Y C U R ATO R Chief Historian, Hannibal Square Heritage Center


AIROLYN LIVINGSTON IS THE INSTITUTIONAL memory of Winter Park’s west side. She has been associated with the Hannibal Square Heritage Center since it was opened by the Crealdé School of Art in 2007, becoming its chief historian in 2014. Livingston, 62, says that growing up on the west side proved the adage that “it takes a village” to rear children. “In the summer, there were no camps for us,” she recalls. “The women would each take a week off from work — local employers supported this — and take turns conducting Bible-study classes. That way, the whole community pitched in to help raise us kids.” But Livingston, who leads walking tours of Hannibal Square, worries that most locals are unaware of the west side’s history — and have never heard of the pioneering trio of African-American activists who rallied support for incorporation of the city in 1887. One, Gus Henderson, was editor of the Winter Park Advocate, one of the first black-owned newspapers in Florida. Two others, Walter B. Simpson and Frank R. Israel, were elected aldermen, becoming the first — and, so far, the only — African-Americans to hold local political office. In 1997, Livingston received a Rhea Marsh and Dorothy Lockhart Smith Research Grant, awarded annually by the Rollins College Olin Library and the Winter Park Public Library to support research related to local history. Livingston wrote A Window on Hannibal Square, which included biographies of Simpson and Israel. “The grant was a catalyst for change — not just for me, but for others who value history, truth and reconciliation,” says Livingston, who attended all-black Hampton Junior College in Ocala before earning a liberal arts degree from Rollins. Interest in Henderson, Simpson and Israel has been rekindled recently through the HIS (Henderson, Israel and Simpson) Project, a display on the center’s second floor. The center’s permanent exhibition, The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park, features photography by Crealdé Executive Director Peter Schreyer and oral histories recorded by Livingston, who interviewed 20 of the west side’s oldest residents — most of whom have since passed away.


Fairolyn is a walking encyclopedia for the west side … she’s not like most people, who take on a research project and then they’re done … Fairolyn carries the history with her.


My goal is for everyone in Winter Park to know about the African-American men who were early leaders in our community, and the role they played in the 1880s in getting the town incorporated.

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Fairolyn Livingston at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, Winter Park.

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. And a special congratulations to our very own General Manager, Jesse Martinez!

Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards: Ranked #1 in Florida Orlando Business Journal: Best Local Venue for Small Meetings


Travel & Leisure: Best 100 Hotels in the World Orlando Sentinel: Best Wedding Venue

Lawrence Lyman THE UP-AND-COMER Managing Partner and Vice President, Tactical Electronics Company


HERE’S BUZZ THAT LAWRENCE LYMAN MIGHT run for the Winter Park City Commission soon. After all, the city holds municipal elections every year — so it’s not as though he’d have to wait long to throw his hat into the ring. “I’ve heard that, and, sure, I think about it,” says Lyman, 39, managing partner and vice president for business development and government relations at Melbourne-based Tactical Electronics Corporation. “But here, you don’t have to be an elected official to make an impact.” That’s certainly been true for Lyman. He and his family — including wife, Kacy, and two young children — arrived here in 2011. Since then, the Montreal native has been active in an array of local organizations. But he’s especially keen on the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, serving on its board and as alumni council president of its Leadership Winter Park program. In fact, Lyman is a walking advertisement for the chamber, which earlier this year presented him the Debra Hendrickson Volunteer of the Year Award. “The chamber is a great on-ramp to the community,” he says. “It helps you get involved quickly.” Lyman, who has always been drawn to politics and leadership, was president of his fraternity at the University of Florida — where he earned a degree in family, youth and community services — and became a congressional aide to U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-Winter Park) upon graduation. “Congressman Mica had a huge influence on me,” says Lyman. “I looked on him as a civic role model.” In addition to his chamber activities, Lyman serves on the board of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, and is development chair of the board of trustees of the Winter Park Public Library. That’s going to be a monumental job in the coming year, as the new library and events center complex gets underway in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. He’s also on the board of Leadership Florida, founded by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and based in Tallahassee. “I’m a believer in getting a bunch of smart and passionate people together to focus on an issue,” Lyman says. “I like to identify goals and objectives, then go out and crush them together as a group.”


Winter Park needs Lawrence’s energy and passion … his future here is whatever he wants it to be ... a young leader on the way up.


My goal is for our city to keep its charm and grow the right way. I want us to continue to emphasize the importance of the arts. People want to come to Winter Park. I want to make sure that we continue to be the best place to live in Florida.

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Lawrence Lyman at the Alfond Inn, Winter Park.

making a

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.

Jesse Martinez THE GRACIOUS HOST General Manager, the Alfond Inn


HE ALFOND INN HAS BEEN OPEN FOR ONLY five years, but it’s hard to imagine ever having lived without it. Before the Alfond, where did we hold large functions or marry off our youngsters? Where did we stash out-of-town guests or business associates whom we wished to impress? Clearly, Winter Park needed a luxury hotel — but we didn’t get just any luxury hotel. We got a AAA Four Diamond award-winner that’s ranked among the best in the world. Nothing less would do for Winter Park — and the person responsible for upholding those lofty standards is General Manager Jesse Martinez, 49, a veteran of the hospitality industry and the U.S. Air Force, where he was a law-enforcement specialist. His command now includes the hotel, its award-winning Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant and its 10,000 square feet of post meeting and event space. The hotel was built by Rollins College, which uses net operating income to fund scholarships through the Harold Alfond Foundation. It also doubles as a museum, displaying works from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art — donated to the college by Ted and Barbara Lawrence Alfond (Class of 1968) — and extending the footprint of the college’s Cornell Fine Art Museum. The super-efficient Martinez, who has two daughters with his wife, Kim, sees his job as making the hotel successful and enhancing the community by making a good — even spectacular — first impression on visitors. He’s on the executive committee of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the executive board of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association. He’s also a board member of the Orange County Tourist Development Council and the Central Florida Sports Commission. “I see my role as one that can help bridge the visitor experience with the community,” says Martinez, who joined the hotel in 2014. “Both have to be positive and exceptional.” Martinez has built relationships throughout the community — and has earned kudos not only for his management savvy but also for his accessibility and “pay it forward” personal philosophy. “A culture built on relationships and transparency is positive,” he says. “Simply put, I treat people the way I want to be treated.”


Jesse’s commitment to perfection is obvious from the minute you step into the Alfond’s lobby … a kind man who really gets what Winter Park is all about.


My proudest accomplishments are quieter moments, behind the scenes, when I’ve mentored someone and can see their growth as they become successful in their own professional and personal life. That’s when you know it’s all worth it.

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Jesse Martinez at the Alfond Inn, Winter Park.




2:53 PM









Congratulations, Tars

Rollins College is proud to have so many of Winter Park’s Most Influential in our ranks. Your contributions to our community are a testament to Rollins’ mission of global citizenship and responsible leadership. Billy Collins, senior distinguished fellow, Winter Park Institute

Jack Lane, professor emeritus

Alan Ginsburg, trustee

Jesse Martinez, general manager, The Alfond Inn at Rollins

Betsy Gwinn, executive director, Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

Cynthia Wood, former vice president of institutional advancement

Tom Klusman, head men’s basketball coach



Genean Hawkins McKinnon THE EFFECTIVE INSIDER President, McKinnon Associates


ENEAN HAWKINS MCKINNON KNOWS plenty about influential women. Her mother was Paula Hawkins, the so-called “Maitland housewife” who in 1972 snared a seat on the Public Service Commission, becoming the first woman to hold statewide elective office in Florida. In 1980, voters sent the conservative Republican to the U.S. Senate, where she served only one term but paved the way for a new generation of politically active women. McKinnon, 69, prefers to wield power behind the scenes through McKinnon Associates, a consulting firm that represents clients whose businesses require interaction with local, state and federal governments. “I’m under the radar,” she says. “I don’t even have a website.” But clients manage to find McKinnon, including Chicago’s Pritzker family, owners of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, who in 2001 engaged her to help shepherd redevelopment of the 1,100-acre Orlando Naval Training Center into Baldwin Park. Even closer to home, McKinnon was a leader in the 2005 campaign that resulted in Winter Park dumping Florida Power — now Duke Energy Florida — and forming its own municipal utilities department. More recently, she has consulted with Winter Park Memorial Hospital as it secures approvals for its massive expansion program. McKinnon has also served on Winter Park’s Historic Preservation Board, where she opposed the easing of requirements to form historic districts, but advocated recognition of residential and commercial restoration projects through annual Awards for Excellence. (McKinnon and her husband, Joel, live in a 138-year-old home on Villa Bella called “Weatogue,” a Seminole Indian word meaning “place of hospitality.”) McKinnon, a Utah native who earned a degree in humanities from Brigham Young University, is on the boards of Mead Garden, the Hamilton Holt School at Rollins College, the Mennello Museum of American Art, Winter Park Memorial Hospital and the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. An active fundraiser for Republican candidates, she gets downright sentimental when she recalls attending Park Avenue Elementary, eating ice cream at the Yum Yum Shop, taking ballet lessons at the Royal School of Dance and enjoying Sunday afternoon family excursions along Genius Drive to watch the preening peacocks.


Extremely well-connected and savvy … passionate about Winter Park … a good person to have on your team if you want to get something done.


I am so grateful to call Winter Park home. Each year I ask, is it even possible for the city to get better? And the answer is — yes!

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Genean McKinnon at Weatogue, her home in Winter Park.

Joanne McMahon

Joanne McMahon at 310 Park South, Winter Park.

THE UNSTOPPABLE ENTREPRENEUR Owner, Operator and CEO, 310 Restaurants, blue on the avenue, the Partridge Tree Gift Shop


N ENERGETIC OUT-OF-TOWNER VISITS WINter Park and falls in love with the place. She decides to make it her home, and launches an assortment of vibrant small businesses — each of which provides jobs, boosts the economy and enhances the already-eclectic collection of family-friendly shopping and dining options. Every city dreams of attracting such terrific transplants — but Winter Park often succeeds in doing so. A case in point is Joanne McMahon, owner, operator and CEO of 310 Restaurants, blue on the avenue (the lower-case letters are intentional), the Partridge Tree Gift Shop and a soon-to-be-opened — and yet-to-be-named — steakhouse at an iconic Park Avenue location. McMahon, a native of Buffalo, New York, was a sales rep for Revlon before relocating and opening the charming Partridge Tree Gift Shop in 1986. “But I thought for a while that Park Avenue really needed a kid-friendly place for lunch,” recalls McMahon, 64. So, ever the entrepreneur, she opened 310 Park South in 1999, quickly gaining a following with the lively eatery’s friendly service and New American Cuisine (there are now 310 outposts in downtown Orlando and Lake Nona). In 2013, McMahon opened blu on the avenue, which offers fresh seafood, prime steaks and classic cocktails, right next door. And sometime in the fall, she’ll debut a traditional steakhouse — the working title is Bovines — in the space vacated by Park Plaza Gardens. “You’ve got to have a passion for what you do,” says McMahon, who makes the desserts for all her restaurants and is a hands-on boss in all her ventures, which cumulatively employ about 300 people. “There’s a lot of competition, especially in restaurants, so you can’t slack off.” McMahon — who earned a degree in business and psychology from the University of Buffalo — doesn’t slack off. In addition to running her businesses, she’s on the board of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and president of the Park Avenue Merchant’s Association.


Joanne is one of the smartest and hardest-working businesspeople in Winter Park … she’s the epitome of the entrepreneurial spirit and becoming successful by finding niches, taking calculated risks and providing quality.


I’m very thankful for the people around me. I love to help my employees in achieving their goals, making them better people and watching them grow. S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


James Petrakis Julie Petrakis T H E C U L I N A RY C R E ATO R S Chef-Owners, JP Restaurants


EALLY, WE COULD HAVE OPENED THE DOOR AND HAD NObody show up,” Julie Petrakis says of The Ravenous Pig, arguably the restaurant that defines Winter Park’s dining scene. “We literally had no idea what we were doing.” Since Julie and her husband, James, are the unofficial Queen and King of Winter Park’s trend-forward restaurant movement, it’s hard to think of them as tenuous twentysomethings opening what is generally considered to be the region’s first honest-to-goodness gastropub. The pair met as students at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and married in 2005. Two years later, they took a gamble and opened The Ravenous Pig on Orange Avenue (it’s now on Fairbanks Avenue). Despite significant obstacles, including an ill-timed national economic crash, the Petrakises and a loyal band of passionate foodies continued to expand. In addition to The Ravenous Pig, they opened Cask & Larder just blocks away. In 2016, they relocated Cask & Larder to Orlando International Airport, where it has wowed visitors with its Southern “farm to terminal” cuisine. (The Ravenous Pig, along with the Cask & Larder Brewery, subsequently moved into the vacated Fairbanks Avenue space.) The Petrakis empire includes Swine & Sons, a gourmet takeout operation in Winter Park, and The Polite Pig, a down-home barbeque restaurant at Disney Springs. The two have been semifinalists six times for regional James Beard Foundation Awards, and their ventures have been featured in Saveur, Food & Wine, The New York Times and many other national publications. Winter Park is home base, so the Petrakises direct most of their philanthropy to local causes that help children. Their sons attend preschool at First Congregational Church of Winter Park, so they helped fund an interactive white board, a new playground and security upgrades for the facility. Along with other local chefs, they participate in the annual “Appetite for the Arches” event, which benefits Ronald McDonald House. (James’ father, John Petrakis, is a McDonald’s franchisee and a board member of the charity’s Central Florida chapter.) For five years, the Petrakises have sponsored a section of the PurpleStride walk for pancreatic cancer. Three years ago, the couple bought the property around The Ravenous Pig with plans to “rescale the corner and make it a cool spot.” Oh, and that loyal band of passionate foodies who were there at the beginning? They’re all still on board in one capacity or another. No wonder even the non-kin are referred to as family.


The Ravenous Pig pioneered a restaurant genre in Winter Park … Jim and Julie are always ready to give back to the community … there’s more competition now, but the Petrakises know how to keep their restaurants leading-edge while remaining true to their roots.

W H AT H E A N D S H E S AY: We believe the restaurant scene in Orlando and Winter Park deserve to be on a par with Atlanta, and we try to give that to people.

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Julie and James Petrakis at The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park.

Laurence J. “Larry” Ruggiero THE LEGACY KEEPER Director, Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art


INTER PARK ICONS HUGH AND JEANNETTE McKean wanted their priceless collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany creations — as well as their eclectic assortment of paintings, prints and art objects — to be displayed in a way that was accessible and welcoming to everyone. Jeannette died in 1989, and by 1992 Hugh surely realized that he was unlikely to be on hand when the magnificent Charles Hosmer Museum of American Art — named for Jeannette’s grandfather — opened its new facility on North Park Avenue. To Hugh’s credit — and Winter Park’s good fortune — the erstwhile artist and former president of Rollins College selected Laurence J. “Larry” Ruggiero, previously director of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, as his heir apparent. Ruggiero, who holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania, admittedly knew little about Tiffany, whose elaborate decorative creations — mostly in stained glass — weren’t regarded seriously by most academic art historians. McKean, however, saw in Ruggiero a quirky kindred spirit who possessed the sensibility and the acumen to implement — and later to build upon — his expansive vision. As director, Ruggiero shepherded the museum’s 1995 move to its current location — completed just months following McKean’s death — and oversaw the 1999 addition of the Tiffany Chapel and the 2011 completion of a new wing re-creating portions of Tiffany’s fabled Long Island mansion, Laurelton Hall. Today, the museum is Winter Park’s best-known, most-visited cultural attraction. Ruggiero — a Patterson, New Jersey, native married for 48 years to the former Virginia Fornaci — remains humbled that McKean entrusted him to care for a collection that held such profound personal significance: “Jeannette and Hugh wanted to create a museum that would work unceasingly to make art an important and cherished part of the life of every member of their community — just as it was in theirs.”


Larry is low key and quick to give credit to others, but the Morse would not be what it is today without him … what a huge responsibility to be entrusted with the McKean legacy … he’s the perfect combination of an academic and an everyman, which is probably what Hugh realized and appreciated.


My personal style is to keep my head down. My proudest accomplishment? When asked a similar question, the famous Russian author and a man whose ideas I’ve always admired, Anton Chekov, responded to the effect that one had to be a God to distinguish one’s successes from one’s failures.

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Larry Ruggiero at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park.

Greg Seidel

Greg Seidel at The Balmoral Group, Winter Park.

THE NEEDED NERD Vice President and Chief Engineer, The Balmoral Group Winter Park City Commissioner, Seat 1


IVIL ENGINEER GREG SEIDEL, 53, WAS FIRST elected to the Winter Park City Commission in 2015 — when then-commissioner Steve Leary resigned his seat to run for mayor — and was handily re-elected in 2017 after running a self-deprecating campaign as “the nerd Winter Park needs.” Seidel is vice president and chief engineer at The Balmoral Group, which is co-owned by his wife, Val, who’s president of the company. He believes that Winter Park’s infamous “factions” can, for the most part, agree that he’s an independent thinker who encourages respectful discourse and takes an analytical approach to decision making. He spent six years on the city’s Utilities Advisory Board, and advocates acceleration of undergrounding the city’s power lines and installation of “smart signaling” to mitigate worsening traffic problems. “I think everybody matters, and I want to hear everybody out,” he says. “I always ask what’s the right thing to do. I don’t hide behind the rules.” For example, in 2016 he joined commissioners Sarah Sprinkel and Carolyn Cooper in a 3-2 vote approving a request from longtime resident Martha Bryant Hall to have her home, which she shared with her husband, the late Rev. Jerry Hall, placed on the Winter Park Register of Historic Places. The city’s staff and its Historic Preservation Board had recommended against approving the request, saying that the circa-1950s home failed to meet criteria for inclusion. “It wasn’t so much about the historic value of the home itself,” says Seidel, who spoke with uncharacteristic emotion at the commission meeting during which the vote was taken. “It was about Reverend Hall and the way he conducted himself during the Civil Rights era. We needed to honor that.” Seidel also serves on advisory committees for Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High School — he has daughters in the 9th and 11th grades — and has co-chaired the Tyler Rush Memorial Fund, which is the beneficiary of Winter Park High School’s annual “Night on Broadway” extravaganza. The Lehigh University graduate supports the Children’s Home Society and Panua Partners In Hope, which provides food, housing, education and vocational training for orphans in Kenya.


Agree or disagree with him, you know Greg makes informed decisions … a really warm and funny man in addition to being brilliant … he’s a citizen first and a politician second. Actually, he’s not a politician at all, which is good.


I have in-depth knowledge of infrastructure and development. That, combined with my requirement for fairness, allows me to understand both pro and con arguments. My proudest accomplishment is setting a good example for others to follow by following the golden rule. S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Debbie Watson THE WELLBEING WARRIOR Executive Vice President, Winter Park Health Foundation


HEN DEBBIE WATSON TALKS ABOUT THE importance of health and wellbeing, they aren’t hypothetical concepts. Watson, executive vice president of the Winter Park Health Foundation, was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2014, and thyroid cancer in early 2015. She has withstood five surgeries, multiple infections, and months of chemotherapy and radiation. “Now,” she says, “thanks to my faith and the love and support I received from my family, friends, coworkers and community, I’m stronger than ever.” Watson’s personal health crisis has deepened her connection — and her commitment — to the soon-to-open Center for Health & Wellbeing, an 80,000-square-foot, stateof-the-art facility developed by the nonprofit foundation in partnership with Winter Park Memorial Hospital. The center — the most comprehensive of its kind in the region — will bring wellness, fitness and medicine together in one multimodal location. Watson, a Massachusetts native who double-majored in psychology and mass communications at Florida State University, joined the foundation in 1994. She has been active on numerous boards and committees related to health and wellness — particularly those focused on children. “I’ve always believed healthy kids make better students, and better students make healthier communities,” she says. Motivated by that belief, she has served on the executive committee of Florida Action for Healthy Kids, the state affiliate of a national organization that works to improve wellness programs in schools, and chaired the Orange County Public Schools Health and Wellness Advisory Committee. In 2014, she was named inaugural president of Living Healthy in Florida, a statewide initiative that operates under the auspices of the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Watson and her husband, Lee, have been married for 35 years and ran their own public relations company in the 1980s. In addition to their own two children, the couple raised a young man with whom Lee was paired through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida.


Debbie is an integral part of a wellness revolution in Winter Park … she’s effective because she really believes in what she’s doing … a great builder of partnerships because she’s as genuine as she is smart … a strong advocate for kids’ health.


I’ve always strived to be a calm and assertive leader. I’m passionate and determined, but also believe it’s important to have fun while working hard. I believe in success through collaboration.

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Debbie Watson at the underconstruction Center for Health & Wellbeing, Winter Park.

Florida Hospital would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners for making a profound difference in our community. By selflessly sharing your talents, you have helped those in need, provided lasting, civic leadership and built a better tomorrow for us all.


Cynthia Wood THE PRICELESS PARTNER President/Owner, Cynthia Wood Philanthropy Partner


T’S A PERSISTENT MYTH THAT WOMEN DON’T give large donations to good causes, or that they must ask men — presumably their husbands —before they’re allowed to write checks for charities. “Women control 51 percent of the wealth in this country,” says Cynthia Wood, president and owner of Cynthia Wood Philanthropy Partner, founded in 2009. “They generally outlive their husbands, and more are now single, either by choice or circumstance. And even when husbands are involved, wives are the primary influencers on philanthropic decisions.” Wood — who consults with individuals, families and organizations regarding their philanthropic strategies — has particular expertise in teaching nonprofits how to engage the inherent generosity of female donors. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native — who spent 19 years at Rollins College, the last five as vice president for institutional advancement — knows that women are less interested in hoopla and more interested in seeing the ways in which their philanthropy will help individual beneficiaries. “Also, women are more collaborative in decision making,” adds Wood, who holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in speech audiology from Auburn University. “And they’re concerned with making social change.” Wood’s local clients have included Mead Botanical Garden, Winter Park Memorial Hospital, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park and the Art & History Museums – Maitland. Wood is, herself, a giver: she chairs the Center for Women’s Philanthropy, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Central Florida, and is a board member and development chair for Grace Medical Home, a faith-based facility serving the low-income working uninsured. She also chairs the Jeremiah Project Committee, which oversees an outreach program of the First Congregational Church of Winter Park that provides arts programming for at-risk middle school students. Her husband of 34 years, Phil, serves on the Winter Park Historic Preservation Board.


Cynthia is as savvy as they come regarding the successful operation of nonprofits … the most important arts, cultural and social service organizations in the region seek her advice … love that Alabama accent.


I’d like for Winter Park to continue to be recognized for its cultural and educational treasures, to preserve its beauty and to be a community that values civility and respect. I’m proud of the growth and success of staff, clients and individuals I’ve led, mentored and coached. I’m also pleased to have helped raise awareness of the important role women play in philanthropy.

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Cynthia Wood at Rollins College.

Richard O. Baldwin, Jr.

CEO Baldwin Brothers Funeral and Cremation Society

Congratulations! One of Winter Park’s “Most Influential” People

Winter Park National Bank



On his selection as Winter Park Magazine’s














©Cucciaioni Photography 2018

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ABOUT THE LOCATION: The Winter Park Racquet Club, located at 211 Via Tuscany Drive, was formed in 1953. Its original charter, which still endures after 65 years, states that its purpose is to bring together “those interested in healthful and social pastimes, the development and advancement of all legitimate athletic sports and social activities, and the establishment and maintenance of suitable and convenient places of resort for the members, their families and their guests.” Visit or call 407-644-5515 for membership information.

Harper wears a white swimsuit with pompoms ($60) by Stella Cove and pink goggles with eyelashes ($28) by Bling2O, both from Tugboat & the Bird in Winter Park. Nicholas wears a light pink linen long-sleeve shirt ($145) and aqua blue swimming trunks with a dragonfly print ($85), both by Peter Millar and both from John Craig in Winter Park. Michelle wears a blue and white striped rash guard ($78) and a pink bikini bottom ($48), both by Mott50 and both from The Grove in Winter Park. Her monogrammed tennis bag, ($128) by Ame & Lulu, lime green and light blue tassel earrings ($45) by Oliphant, and light blue fringe detail straw hat ($295) by Glamourpuss are also all from The Grove in Winter Park. S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Michelle wears a blue maxi dress ($214) by Adrift from Arabella in Winter Park, and an orange striped straw hat ($245) by Glamourpuss from The Grove in Winter Park. Her beaded earrings with multicolored fringes ($84) by Deepa Gurnani, blue print scarf with orange fringes ($68) and woven beach tote ($108), both by Hat Attack, are all from Arabella in Winter Park. The platform wedges are the model’s own. Nicholas wears a blue linen polo shirt ($178) and khaki pants ($145), both by Peter Millar and both from John Craig in Winter Park. The white sneakers are the model’s own.

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Nicholas wears white linen pants ($198) by Jack Victor, a white and a blue striped long-sleeve shirt ($265) by Stenstroms, a light pink linen jacket ($650) by Culturata and a paisley print silk pocket square handkerchief ($75) by Edward Armah, all from John Craig in Winter Park. The navy blue suede loafers are the model’s own. Harper wears a white straw hat with blue bow ($21) by Carole Amper, from Bebe’s and Liz’s in Winter Park. Her blue and white seersucker dress ($106) by Lindsey Berns is from Tugboat & the Bird in Winter Park. The white ballet flat shoes are the model’s own.



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Harper wears a white eyelet romper ($38) by Mud Pie from Bebe’s and Liz’s in Winter Park. Her bead bracelet ($20) by Juniorbeads and rabbit ballerina purse ($29) by Lity & Momo are both from Tugboat & the Bird in Winter Park. The metallic sandals are the model’s own. Michelle wears white jeans ($178) by DL, a bright yellow stretch linen tunic ($168) by CK Bradley and a pair of oversized sunglasses ($55) by Quay, all from The Grove in Winter Park. Her yellow tassel earrings ($38) by Liza Kim and navy blue print espadrilles ($128) by Haus of Assembly are both from Arabella in Winter Park.

Nicholas wears a blue linen polo ($178) and plaid shorts ($98), both by Peter Millar and both from John Craig. Sandals are the model’s own. Harper wears a graphic T-shirt ($26) by Tea, pink shorts ($35) by Joules and a beaded necklace ($27) by Juniorbeads, all from Tugboat & the Bird in Winter Park. Michelle wears a smocked off-the-shoulder top and skirt set ($68) by The Impeccable Pig, and pink and orange beaded disc earrings ($198) by Oliphant, both from The Grove in Winter Park. S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W IN T ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


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EYE WITNESS Artist Sarah Peterson brings us face to face with Florida’s most endangered animals. By Michael McLeod Photography by Rafael Tongol

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Sarah Peterson was trained to paint portraits of people. Lately, though, she has become fascinated with animals — particularly their eyes, which gaze from oversized canvases, S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E



ne of the best-known essays of the 20th century revolves around an encounter of a few seconds with a creature barely bigger than an ear of corn. You’ll find it in Teaching a Stone to Talk, a 1982 collection of the Thoreau-like ruminations of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and devoted naturalist Annie Dillard. In the essay, called “Living Like Weasels,” she challenges readers to live their lives with a wild, singular passion — a message she unspools from a moment spent face-to-face with one of those small, predatory mammals. The encounter takes place as Dillard sits on the trunk of a fallen tree on the bank of a pond in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, near the small community of Tinker Creek. She’s enjoying the ebbing warmth of a setting sun when the weasel emerges from beneath a wild rose bush just a few feet away.

Peterson was something of an artistic prodigy, taking community-college drawing courses when she was 8 years old. She was fond of drawing Kermit the Frog, presaging her adult interest in animal images.

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His face is “fierce, small and pointed as a lizard’s; he Searching for a new artistic direction, she visited a would have made a good arrowhead,” Dillard writes. Both friend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, last summer and made the weasel and the writer are “shocked into stillness” for a trip to the National Museum of Wildlife Art, which is just a few elongated seconds. perched on a bluff overlooking the National Elk Refuge. “Our eyes locked, and someone threw away the key,” There were two exhibitions. One was a series of 10 brightDillard continues. “Our look was as if two lovers, or ly colored screen prints of endangered animals around the deadly enemies, met unexpectedly on an overgrown world, which was created in the early ’80s by Andy Warhol path when each had been thinking of something else: a in his trademark style. The other was a series of photographs clearing blow to the gut. It felled the forest, moved the made by Joel Sartore, an author, teacher, environmental crufields, and drained the pond; the world dismantled and sader and National Geographic photographer. tumbled into that black hole of eyes.” Sartore — who visited Winter Park in 2016 as part of the Winter Park is a long way from Tinker Creek. But all The Florida leafwing butterfly, like all of Winter Park Institute at Rollins College Speaker Series — is it took to bring to mind this cosmic staring match was a Peterson’s creatures, is on the Florida Fish perhaps best known for creating the “Photo Ark,” a photoand Wildlife Conservation Commission’s trip to Sarah Peterson’s studio. graphic catalog consisting of more than 25,000 photos of Endangered and Threatened Species List. Until recently, Peterson, 43, had spent her career as a 7,521 animal species. classically trained family-portrait painter. That changed His Jackson Hole exhibit featured many images of anifollowing an experience she had last summer — one that led her to begin mals confined in zoos and aquariums. “Because the animals were in captivity, focusing on endangered animals that are indigenous to Florida. he was able to use studio lighting. That brought out their eyes,” says Peterson. Peterson — who, like Dillard, became captivated by the eyes of animals — “That’s what struck me — the eyes being the window of the soul.” creates startling, oversized images that she believes peer into the very souls of Most people have heard that phrase — and instinctively know it to be true the threatened creatures she paints. — but its origins are murky. Shakespeare, to whom the exact quote is often Peterson has lived in Winter Park since 2006, when she moved here from attributed, never used those precise words in his sonnets or plays. Atlanta with her husband, a commercial real estate broker. (They have since In the Book of Matthew, it’s written that “the eye is the lamp of the body. divorced.) She grew up in the small town of Dyer, Tennessee, about 100 miles If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your northwest of Memphis, where she began painting at the tender age of 8. eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.” For that early start she has, ironically, an animal to thank — albeit an Whatever. Peterson saw something profound in the eyes of animals — and imaginary one: Kermit the Frog. Well, Kermit and an observant and rather decided to try and paint it. nervy parent. In some of Sartore’s photographs, Peterson noticed, you could see reflecImpressed by the deftness of her daughter’s drawing of the Muppet maintions of bars and wires. “You could tell the animals were captives,” she adds. stay, Peterson’s mother, an English teacher, marched her talented offspring “I thought: ‘What if I could do paintings like that?’ It could start a conversato Dyersburg State Community College and persuaded its art instructor tion.” to allow the youngster to attend a class with students fully a decade older. A particular kind of conversation, that is: one that Peterson envisions tak“I was a shy child. I walked into that classroom with my head down,” recalls ing place between the subjects of her portraits and the people who view them. Peterson. “But looking around at all those college students around me gave “I realized,” she says, “that I could use my painting to make a difference.” me confidence. I thought, ‘If I’m sitting here, I must be something special.’” When she returned to Winter Park, she began tracking down animal She was, apparently, right about that. photographs she could use as inspiration, focusing primarily on the state’s Peterson went on to graduate from Dyersburg High School, after which endangered species. she moved to Nashville and earned a fine arts degree at Lipscomb UniverShe mounted a big-screen television on her studio wall, which made it sity. “I had this degree but no job, and decided I wanted to teach,” Peterson possible to magnify the photographs and get a closer view of feather and fur, says. “Plus, I really wanted to get to New York.” scale and skin, as well as the eyes themselves. She was intrigued not only by She relocated to Manhattan and enrolled at the Parsons School of Design, their eyes, but by their textures. where she worked toward certification as an art teacher. That meant attendPaintings in the series so far include two butterflies — a Florida leafwing ing classes while instructing teens at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High, a visual and a ceraunus blue — as well as an alligator, a panther, a sandhill crane, a blue and performing arts school that inspired the 1980 film Fame. whale and a burrowing owl. In the panther’s eyes, you can see the reflection of In addition, Peterson studied advanced oil portraiture at the Art Students a chain-link fence; in the owl’s, a housing development in the near distance. League, where she was tutored by such nationally recognized masters of the Using a smart phone and a selfie stick, Peterson records herself from the form as Ronald Sherr, Daniel Greene and Everett Raymond Kindler. first brushstroke on a blank canvas through completion of a work, then After finishing her studies, she worked full time as an elementary and posts hypnotic time-lapse videos on her Facebook page. “I’m a photo-realismiddle school art teacher in Brooklyn before getting married and moving to tic painter,” she says. “I wanted to make sure that people knew I wasn’t just Atlanta, where her husband attended Emery University. From Atlanta, her painting over pictures.” husband’s work brought the couple to Winter Park in 2001. The images are all for sale, though a friend has already purchased the one At first, Peterson put aside painting to raise two children. Following her of an owl. It was still on the wall in Peterson’s studio not too long ago — and divorce, however, she began to paint full time, concentrating on portraits she didn’t appear all that excited about letting it go. of families. Several clients, though, asked her to paint their dogs. Recalls “That part of the animal just speaks to you,” she mused. She turned toward Peterson: “I thought, ‘Animals? Wow. That’s something different.’” the painting with a distracted air and stood there, returning the owl’s gaze for a Portraiture might still be her specialty had the market for it not ebbed. (It’s moment — looking for all the world like someone lost in conversation. a lost art,” she mourns.) Two paintings at the bottom of her staircase, across Check out her work on Facebook at Sarah Peterson Fine Art. And contact from her sunlit studio, testify to a meticulous style and a gift for evoking her regarding commissions at Because so personalities. The paintings are of her children: son Bradley, now 12, and many professors have used it in their writing classes, you can find “Living daughter Frances, now 9. Like Weasels,” which is only four pages long, if you spend a little time pokThey’ve grown. So has she. ing around online for it. S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


In the eves of the burrowing owl (above), you can see a housing development reflected. In the panther’s (below), there’s a chain-link fence. Peterson was inspired by haunting images of animals in captivity by Joel Sartore, author, teacher, environmental crusader and National Geographic photographer.

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The American alligator (above) and the sandhill crane (below) can be found in Central Florida. Peterson, who paints from photographs, mounts a big-screen television on her studio wall, which makes it possible to magnify images and get a closer view of feather and fur, scale and skin, as well as the eyes themselves.




Winter Park’s restaurant scene is more international than ever. Take, for example, Bosphorous and Hunger Street Tacos, which celebrate the cultures and cuisines of Turkey and Mexico, respectively. The owners of Bosphorous are (above left, left to right) Chris Southern, Tammy Sexter and Doved Sexter. The owners of Hunger Street Tacos are (above right, left to right) Seydi, David and Joseph Creech. Seydi and Joseph are married; David is Joseph’s brother.

HOŞGELDINIZ! BIENVENIDOS! Either means ‘welcome’ at a pair of authentically styled local restaurants, one Turkish, one Mexican. Both are fueled by passion and persistence. BY ANNE MOONEY AND RONA GINDIN PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAFAEL TONGOL

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oşgeldiniz! That’s “welcome,” for our readers whose Turkish is a bit rusty. You’ll hear the word (pronounced hozh-gel-din-iz, with a hard “g”) when you walk into Bosphorous, the popular Turkish eatery on Park Avenue. The owners are American. But they’ve steeped themselves in the vibrant culture of Turkey — and their passion for the country shows in the restaurant’s fresh, authentic and delicious fare. Bosphorous — which now has additional locations in Lake Nona and Dr. Phillips, with a soon-to-debut outpost in the Hamlin community near Winter Garden — opened right after the 2004 hurricanes under the ownership of a New York couple who offered a menu of authentic dishes from their native Turkey. In 2009, the restaurant was bought by Tammy and Doved Sexter, both veterans of Darden. So they knew plenty about the operational side of the restaurant business. However, they knew very little about Turkey. Then they traveled to the country — and fell in love with it. “Everywhere we went, people greeted us with ‘hoşgeldiniz,’” says Tammy. “And the food was so wonderful.” The Sexters recall that locals were initially skeptical about trying Turkish cuisine. Tammy was still teaching, so Doved (pronounced Do-veed), worked the restaurant, standing

Tender cabbage leaves stuffed with freshly ground lamb and topped with tomato sauce and seasoned yogurt are a favorite at Bosphorous. Americans are often surprised at the creative use of yogurt in Turkish dishes.




You can’t get much more Turkish than these two dishes: succulent lamb shanks (above left) and shepherd’s salad (above right). Lamb is, of course, the main source of animal protein in Turkish cuisine, which also features an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. No wonder the Turks have one of the healthiest diets in the world.

on the sidewalk with a plate of chicken Adana, handing out samples and talking up the unfamiliar dish to passersby. It worked, and it continues to work. That’s why you can still find Doved standing outside the restaurant, plate in hand. Only these days, his sales job isn’t quite as difficult. The Sexters — along with their partner Chris Southern — haven’t tinkered much with the menu, adding just a few dishes here and refining a few others there. “At its heart,” says Doved “it’s basically a kebab house — and we’re happy to keep it that way.” (Kebab is spelled in the more authentically Turkish way, “kebap,” on the menu.) Turks have one of the healthiest diets in the world. Along the coastline, the fare is heavily dependent upon olive oil and fresh fish. Further inland, in Central and Eastern Anatolia, lamb and beef replace fish as staple proteins. Chicken also appears on Turkish tables, but never pork. If you visit Turkey, the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables make it appear as though you’ve stumbled upon the Garden of Eden — the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates are, after all, in

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Turkey — and the Turks do things with yogurt that turn even the pickiest eater into a glutton. Cacik (pronounced juh-jik) is a savory concoction of yogurt, garlic, chopped cucumber and mint served with lamb, beef and chicken. Haydari is a thick creamy yogurt with walnuts, dill and mint. Both are available on the Bosphorous menu and are as good as any you’ll find this side of Istanbul. Turkish food culture is ancient. The term Turkiye (land of the Turks or Turkmen) has only been in use since the 11th century, and the Turkish Republic did not come into being until 1923. Today’s Turks refer to the land east of the Bosphorous — a narrow strait separating European and Asian Turkey and joining the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara — as Anatolia. The name dates at least as far back as the cuneiform tablets written by the Hittites more than 4,000 years ago. And what were those Hittites writing about? Among other things, food. The Hittites are believed to have been the first to cultivate almonds, olives and apricots. They also may have been the first wine makers — although humans have found ways to become inebriated

since they began walking upright, so who knows? Almonds and pistachios, both of which figure prominently in Turkish cuisine, are the only two tree nuts to be mentioned in the ancient religious texts accepted by Islam, Judaism and Christianity as, respectively, the Tevrat, the Torah and the Old Testament. The Sexters love the antiquity, the flavors, the scents and the colors that embrace any visitor to Turkey — and they’ve brought back as much as they could. As they continue to travel, the Turkish character of the Bosphorous restaurants deepens. Doved notes that the first commercial copper mine was in central Anatolia, and that copper is frequently used in the manufacture of Turkish tableware. Consequently, the Sexters installed copper-covered tabletops at Bosphorous. Like stainless steel, copper is naturally antimicrobial. “The health inspectors like it,” says Tammy. “It’s beautiful. It’s different — something you don’t see everywhere.” That’s just one example of the ways in which, counterintuitively, the American owners have made Bosphorous even more Turkish than its

Handmade dolmas (above left) pair well with a fine Turkish wine (above right) sold exclusively to Bosphorous. The restaurant’s owners are American, but they’ve steeped themselves in all things Turkish. Their immersive approach has resulted in delicious fare that’s as authentic as anything you’ll find this side of Istanbul.

prior Turkish owners had. So is the lavish hospitality, which starts with a hearty “hoşgeldiniz” and continues throughout your visit. Says Doved: “Ironically, the Turkish couple who opened the restaurant had the concept and the menu, but they wanted to be more American-style restaurant owners.” Tammy has designed an elaborate training and evaluation system, with attention to detail that would put even the most obsessive among us to shame. While procedures are precisely designed and strictly observed, the hosts and servers are empowered to do what’s necessary to make a customer’s Bosphorous dining experience a memorable one. Food production is centralized in a Winter Park commissary. Fresh-cut vegetables and salads are produced in the restaurants, but the breads, desserts and most of the entrees are produced in the commissary and distributed daily to the restaurants. “We make everything fresh,” says Doved. “We don’t freeze anything. We want the food to be of consistent quality. Having a central kitchen also enables us to circumvent a type of behavior among chefs who, when sharing a recipe, might omit an

ingredient or alter a technique to ensure that no one else can make the dish as well as they do.” The meat at Bosphorous is Halal certified, and lamb is purchased through a Costco wholesale distribution center. Costco, as the largest purchaser of lamb in the world, can provide Halalcertified meat on a consistent basis. Lamb is, of course, the main source of animal protein in the Turkish diet. Lamb is cubed for shish kabob, minced for skewered lamb Adana and meatball-like köfte, and roasted for the döner kebob that cooks on a rotating vertical skewer. (The word “döner,” translated literally, means “to turn.”) There are several steps in the Halal-certification process. The animals must be grass-fed, antibiotic-free and killed humanely by someone certified to do it. A religious ceremony is performed and the carcass is thoroughly cleaned. Tammy notes that animals under stress release cortisone, which can make the meat tough. If the animal is calm, no cortisone is released into the animal’s muscle tissue and, therefore, none is ingested by the person who consumes it. Each week, Bosphorous butchers go through at

least 1,500 pounds of lamb and 1,400 pounds of chicken, which is also Halal certified. During the winter holiday season and the Spring and Fall sidewalk art festivals, consumption is likely to double. Doved says that even though the Dr. Phillips and Lake Nona restaurants are newer and larger, the Winter Park location will always be their flagship. “If you have to own a restaurant, in my opinion, this is the best kind to own,” says Tammy. “The thing I never get tired of hearing is how the locals love to bring their out-of-town guests.” — Anne Mooney BOSPHOROUS, WINTER PARK 108 South Park Avenue 407-644-8609 BOSPHOROUS, LAKE NONA 6900 Tavistock Lakes Boulevard, Orlando 407-313-2506 BOSPHOROUS, DR. PHILLIPS 7600 Dr. Phillips Boulevard, Orlando 407-352-6766 S U MME R 2 0 1 8 W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E



It’s located in a small building, but you can’t miss Hunger Street Tacos. The bold murals are both eye catching and politically meaningful. The restaurant’s name was inspired by Avenida Toluca, a Mexico City neighborhood nicknamed La Calle del Hambre (“The Street of Hunger”). It’s teeming with taquerias — taco stands — on every block.

ESTABLISHING STREET CRED Talk about a wing and a prayer. When the Creech family’s dream restaurant location suddenly became available, they had to either take a pass or take the space before they were ready. At the time, all they had was an idea, three recipes and a catering tent. The Creeches — after plenty of praying — decided to open Hunger Street Tacos on the sassy corner lot they coveted at Fairbanks and Formosa avenues. The building is familiar for its blissfully bold visibility and infuriatingly lousy parking. You’ll remember it as home of the original 4 Rivers Smokehouse, then the now-defunct B&B Junction. Now, a year and a half after its debut, the restaurant is thriving, with a menu offering a gourmet spin on the kind of south-of-the-border street fare you’d find in Mexico City, says Joseph Creech, who owns the eatery with his wife, Seydi, and his younger brother, David.

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Street food, by definition, can be picked up and eaten sans utensils. So Hunger Street’s offerings include, of course, tacos, as well as quesadillas, huaraches, tlayudas, tlacoyos, tamales and tostadas. Burritos, adds Creech, are Tex-Mex and therefore verboten. The attention-getting name was inspired by Avenida Toluca, a Mexico City neighborhood nicknamed La Calle del Hambre (“The Street of Hunger”). It’s teeming with taquerias — taco stands — on every block. “When Seydi was a young woman, she and her friends would go out dancing, then say, ‘Let’s go to Hunger Street’ to have a late-night snack,” Creech says. “The name just made sense.” Seeking to visually distinguish their restaurant, the Creeches commissioned bold — and meaningful — murals for the building’s exterior. The image facing the street, for example, is of Bety Cariño, an advocate for the rights of indigenous populations in Mexico who was shot and killed in a 2010 paramilitary attack. The family’s social consciousness comes naturally. Joseph Creech was born in Guadalajara to

Presbyterian missionaries, but spent much of his childhood in Acapulco. David was born in the U.S., but also lived in Acapulco and Oaxaca before the family settled in Central Florida. Still, as young men the brothers returned to Mexico as often as possible, absorbing the culture and savoring the cuisine — especially the kind of scratch-made street fare sold by marketplace hawkers. They later lived and worked for a time in Mexico City, where Joseph met Seydi, an environmental attorney. After his return to the U.S., the couple maintained a long-distance relationship for several years before tying the proverbial knot in 2005. By 2013, all three were living in Lake Mary, going about their workaday lives. Seydi, feeling nostalgic, asked Joseph, the family cook, to prepare tacos de suadero — said to be the only type of taco that originated in Mexico City. He watched YouTube videos to learn the basics, then started experimenting. “Literally on the second batch we were like, ‘Wow, this is really good,’” Creech recalls. Enthused, they invited about 20 guests over to share

The Hunger Street menu features gourmet spins on humble south-of- the-border street fare. The chickpea tlacoyo, for example, is not only flavorful, it’s also vegan. Try it with a refreshing jar of white wine sangria, made with chardonnay, strawberry, lime and hot pequin chili pepper.




Why not be adventurous and try something new on each visit to this creative Mexican eatery? You can’t go wrong with (clockwise, from top center) a squash blossom quesadilla; a combo plate that includes grilled cheese and brisket tacos; a chicken Tinga tostada; or a hibiscus and guacamole taco paired with a fried avocado taco. The savory brisket taco is the dish that inspired the Creeches to go into the restaurant business.

another batch of the savory, pressure-cooked brisket, which was stuffed into corn tortillas with traditional toppings of cilantro, onion, salsa and lime. Friends encouraged the Creeches to make cooking their profession — and they were sorely tempted to do so, despite already having good jobs. Joseph worked in finance, David was a trainer for Chick-Fil-A and Seydi worked for a nonprofit organization translating Christian curriculum videos into Spanish. Ultimately, they bought a $100 Gander Mountain tent and two cast-iron camping grills that heated to 800 degrees, then started a catering company. Among their first gigs was running the concession operation for the Maitland Little League. Along the way, they perfected that fateful brisket taco and added a brisket quesadilla and a mushroom quesadilla to their repertoire. To prepare for private parties, they rented time slots in the commissary kitchen at Orlando’s East End Market. “East End’s kitchen is a huge incubator for a lot of people, and we owe the people we met there for

90 W I N T E R P A R K M A GAZI N E | SUMM ER 2018

their ideas and feedback,” Creech says. The trio also pitched their tent at the Audubon Park Community Market every other Monday evening. “We weren’t worrying about making a profit at that time,” says Creech. “All we cared about was brand recognition — about building a fan base that would finance our first operation.” Their goal: to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant five years after opening the catering business. Inside of two years, however, 4 Rivers Smokehouse founder John Rivers, who had mentored the Creeches, told them that the location at which he had started his first restaurant, at Fairbanks and Formosa, had become available. Uh-oh. Acting quickly, the Creeches presented their business plan to about 30 potential investors with the goal of raising $275,000. They didn’t reach the magic number right away, but were heartened enough by the response that they took a leap of faith and signed a six-year lease. The rest is history — albeit fairly recent history. Today, the brisket taco for which Seydi had

yearned is the No. 1 seller at Hunger Street. The less-authentic breaded and flash-fried avocado taco is popular, too, among both carnivores and vegans. Another frequently ordered dish is more exotic: a bone marrow and mushroom sope — basically a cornmeal cake spread with cooked bone marrow then topped with beans and veggies. Chicharrón de queso, ubiquitous in Mexico City, draws raves for its appearance and its flavor. It’s an oversized roll of crispy gouda cheese that’s melted on a flattop grill. The cheese hardens when removed from the heat. Hibiscus tacos — yes, they’re made with dried hibiscus flowers — are trendy in Mexico City these days, so they’ve been added to the menu as well. Says Creech: “This dish isn’t for everybody, but a lot of our customers really, really love it.” Although the restaurant is busier by the day, Hunger Street Tacos continues to offer catering services. The Creeches and their employees will happily tote that original catering tent to private homes and prepare brisket tacos, or perhaps

Enjoy specialty stores, delicious restaurants, luxurious salons, the latest movies, convenient grocery store, lifestyle apartment homes, or sit by a sparkling fountain and watch the world go by. It’s a one-of-a-kind destination.

shop, dine, unwind & live in style! 407.571.2700

DINING Huger Street visitors order at the counter, then have dishes — including beer and sangria — delivered to outdoor tables. No one ever goes away feeling, well, hungry (or thirsty).

wood-fired whole snapper like Creech grew up eating at the Acapulco beach. “We cook to order and provide food stations as requested,” Creech says. “We create menus that people will talk about for years after the party.” The Creeches are also beginning to eye expansion opportunities — perhaps opening another restaurant that specializes in a different kind of Mexican cuisine. For now, though, they’re living like the entrepreneurial restaurateurs they dreamed of becoming. One minute, they’re battling with a trash company that missed a dumpster pickup after a busy Cinco de Mayo weekend celebration. The next, they’re brainstorming ideas for new recipes and new ventures. It’s all done on a wing, a prayer and a passion. You can taste it. — Rona Gindin HUNGER STREET TACOS 2103 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park 321-444-6270 •

WHAT’S SELLING IN WINTER PARK 140 EAST MORSE BOULEVARD, #D, WINTER PARK 32789 $1,390,000 2,450 square feet 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms LISTING AGENT: Michael Gonick, Premier Sotheby’s Winter Park SELLING AGENTS: Mick Night and John Pinel, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate WHY WE LOVE IT: The demand for luxurious “Walk to Park Avenue” residences appears to be stronger than ever. This sale at The Landmark in downtown Winter Park yielded $567 per square foot — the highest of any condominium transaction during the past year. There’s no lake view, community pool or workout room. But those things are far less important than the unsurpassed location. Newly built out and never lived in, this second-floor flat boasts five oversized windows with views of Winter Park’s historic shopping and dining district. The big draw at The Landmark, of course, is the highly desirable urban lifestyle — which is comparable to that found in the chicest cosmopolitan destinations around the world. OUR TAKEAWAY: High-end buyers continue to be attracted by extraordinary building specifications, privacy and parking. (The Landmark, for example, has gated access and an underground garage.) In addition, walkable proximity to world-class shopping and restaurants commands a premium. The dynamics have changed, as have the amenities most desired by affluent buyers of residential real estate in downtown Winter Park.

Michael Gonick

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

92 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2018


O P E N DA I LY 7 A M - 1 0 P M | T H EG L A S SK N I F E . C O M | 4 0 7 . 5 0 0 . C A K E




Through the Looking Glass


WELCOME Museums & Cultural TO

Health & Beauty 23 9 12 6

Advanced Park Dental 407-628-0200 Clean Beauty Bar 407-960-3783 Eyes & Optics 407-644-5156 Kendall & Kendall, Hair Color Studio 407-629-2299 17 One Aesthetics 407-720-4242 15 See Eyewear 407-599-5455

Hotels The Alfond Inn Park Plaza Hotel

California Closets Ethan Allen Monark Premium Appliance The Shade Store

800-633-0213 407-622-1987 407-636-9725 321-422-1010

Jewelry Alex and Ani Be On Park International Diamond Center Jewelers on the Park Orlando Watch Company Reynolds & Co. Jewelers

8 11 3

321-422-0841 407-644-1106 407-629-5531 407-622-0222 407-975-9137 407-645-2278

Bicycle Parking

Shoes 25 Rieker Shoes 17 Shoooz On Park Avenue

407-539-0425 407-647-0110

Specialty Shops 2 5 14 7 15 13 3 13 20 18 19 6

Fig and Julep 321-972-1899 The Ancient Olive 321-972-1899 Brandywine Books 407-644-1711 Christian Science Reading Room 407-647-1559 Frank 407-629-8818 Maureen H. Hall Stationery & Invitations 407-629-6999 New General 321-972-2819 Partridge Tree Gift Shop 407-645-4788 Rifle Paper Co. 407-622-7679 The Spice and Tea Exchange 407-647-7423 Ten Thousand Villages 407-644-8464 Writer’s Block Bookstore 407-592-1498



FREE 4 Hr Parking 4th & 5th levels




Park 23 Place


5 23



407-740-6003 321-274-6618



300 N

7 16 20 15 18 17 12 21



8 3 1 5 4 6 2 9


Post Office

Central Park

200 N



4 Hour Public Parking

Weddings • = Not on Map

400 N


Travel Services

The Collection Bridal Winter Park Wedding Co


Park Place Garage

1 Ben and Jerry’s 407-325-5163 1 Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream 407-622-6292 14 Peterbrooke Chocolatier 407-644-3200

1 3

N 500 N



10 Luxury Trips 407-622-8747 18 Winter Park Welcome Center 407-644-8281

3 5


West Meadow


P FREE 4 Hour Parking LOT A



11 5 2 15 16 3

10 9 11 5

407-998-8090 407-647-1072

Interior Design 3 11 10 9


FREE 3-HOUR Street Public Parking

Beyond Commercial 407-641-2221 Brandywine Square 407-657-5555 Fannie Hillman + Associates 407-644-1234 Great American Land Management, Inc. 407-645-4131 Keewin Real Property Company 407-645-4400 Kelly Price & Company 407-645-4321 Leading Edge Title 407-636-9866 Olde Town Brokers 407-622-7878 Premier Sotheby’s International Realty 407-644-3295 Re/Max Town Centre 407-367-2000 Winter Park Land Company 407-644-2900 Winter Park Magazine 407-647-0225

5 10


2 1 6

Rose Garden

100 N


13 14 15




2 14 4 1 15 13


6 7 5

Veteran’s Fountain


8 9

FREE Public Parking

12 11

4 8 2 7 3 1

8 10 9 17 100 S


WELBOURNE AVENUE 6 P 3-hour Public Parking on ground level

Bank of America Parking Garage

200 S 12



Financial Services

Real Estate Services 7 5 9


FREE 4-hour Public Parking


Bank of America 407-646-3600 F4 Wealth Advisors 407-960-4769 Florida Community Bank 407-622-5000 The Kozlowski CPA Firm LLC 407-381-4432 Moss, Krusick and Associates 407-644-5811

Parking Key


5 21 28 5 8

407-647-7277 407-629-0042 407-636-7366 407-960-3778 407-644-8609 407-790-7997 585-766-9886 407-671-4424 407-599-4111 407-335-4548 407-647-7520 321-972-2819 407-645-3939 407-629-7270 407-335-4914 407-381-4432 407-645-3616 407-262-0050 407-951-8039 407-960-3993 407-696-9463

Winter Park, Florida


5 Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens 407-647-6294 2 Bach Festival Society of Winter Park 407-646-2182 407-628-8200 2 Casa Feliz 3 Cornell Fine Arts Museum 407-646-2526 1 Morse Museum of American Art 407-645-5311 3 Scenic Boat Tour 407-644-4056 • The Winter Park Playhouse 407-645-0145 10 Winter Park History Museum 407-647-2330


310 Park South Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen BoiBrazil Churrascaria blu on the avenue Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine Cocina 214 Garp and Fuss Laurel Latin Cuisine Luma on Park Maestro Cucina Napoletana mon petit cheri cafe New General Panera Bread Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant Park Avenue Smoothie Cafe The Parkview Power House Cafe Prato Rome’s Flavours UMI Japanese Restaurant The Wine Room on Park Ave




1 1 19 2 2 3 3 6 1 5 4 12 4 2 1 6 7 2 4 7 3

Small Business Counsel



Law Firms



14 Arabella 407-636-8343 12 Bebe’s/Liz’s Fashion Experience 407-628-1680 2 Charyli 407-455-1983 9 Cottonways 321-203-4733 407-628-1087 6 Current 1 Evelyn and Arthur 407-740-0030 13 Forema Boutique 407-790-4987 15 The Impeccable Pig 407-636-4043 2 J. McLaughlin 407-960-3965 407-629-7944 7 John Craig Clothier 6 Lilly Pulitzer 407-539-2324 407-628-1222 19 Lucky Brand Jeans 5 Maestro Cucina Napoletana 407-335-4548 4 Max and Marley 407-636-6204 16 Siegel’s Winter Park 407-645-3100 407-647-7241 4 Synergy 321-209-1096 • TADofstyle 12 The Grove 407-740-0022 20 tugboat and the bird 407-647-5437 407-628-1609 17 Tuni




 C 14 Arabella

(407) 636-8343

 C 11 Be On Park

(407) 644-1106

 B 18 Belicoso Cigars & Cafe

 D 11 Bebe’s & Liz’s

(407) 628-1680

 E 11 International Diamond Center

(407) 629-5531

 B 20 Christian Science Reading Room (407) 647-1559

 D 19 Peterbrooke Chocolatier


(407) 455-1983

 C 12 Jewelers on the Park

(407) 622-0222


Follett Bookstore at Rollins College

(407) 646-2133


Maureen H. Hall Stationery & Invitations

(407) 629-6999

Travel Services


(321) 972-3985

 B 14 Evelyn and Arthur

(407) 740-0030

 B 22 Forema Boutique

(407) 790-4987

 B 15 J. McLaughlin

(407) 960-3965

 C 10 John Craig Clothier

(407) 629-7944


(407) 539-2324

Museums & Culture

 D 29 New General

(321) 972-2819

 D 21 Partridge Tree Gift Shop

(407) 645-4788


Rifle Paper Co.

(407) 622-7679


Ten Thousand Villages

(407) 644-8464

 E 12 Albin Polasek Museum

 B 11 The Ancient Olive

(321) 972-1899


(407) 647-7423

(407) 647-6294


Axiom Fine Art Consulting

(407) 543-2550


(321) 972-1232


Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

(407) 646-2182


Morse Museum of American Art

(407) 645-5311

(407) 740-0022

 B 21 The Impeccable Pig

(407) 636-4043

 B 12 Tugboat and The Bird

(407) 647-5437


(407) 628-1609


 D 14 Ocean Blue Galleries

(321) 295-7317

 C 21 Scenic Boat Tour

(407) 644-4056


The Winter Park Playhouse

(407) 645-0145


Winter Park History Museum

(407) 647-2330

Business Services

Real Estate

 D 16 Bank of America

(407) 646-3600

 D 15 Beyond Commercial

(407) 641-2221


Merrill Lynch

(407) 839-2617


Brandywine Square

(407) 467-5397


Moss, Krusick and Associates, LLC

(407) 644-5811


Fannie Hillman + Associates

(407) 644-1234


PNC Bank

(407) 628-0118


Great American Land Management, Inc.

(407) 645-4131

 D 15 Small Business Counsel

(407) 621-4200


Keller Williams Winter Park

(407) 545-6430


(407) 381-4432


Kelly Price & Company

(407) 645-4321


Leading Edge Title

(407) 636-9866

 D 25 Olde Town Brokers

(407) 622-7878

The Kozlowski CPA Firm, LLC

Dining  D 20 310 Park South

(407) 647-7277


(407) 629-0042

Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen

 D 22 blu on the avenue

(407) 960-3778


(407) 644-8609

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine

 C 16 Cocina 214

(407) 790-7997


(585) 766-9886

Garp and Fuss

 B 23 Laurel Latin Cuisine

(407) 671-4424

 D 18 Luma on Park

(407) 599-4111

 D 13 mon petit cheri cafe

(407) 647-7520


(407) 645-3939

Panera Bread Park Ave.

 D 26 Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant

(407) 629-7270

 E 10 Park Avenue Smoothie Cafe

(407) 335-4914

 D 27 Power House Cafe

(407) 645-3616


(407) 262-0050


D4 B1 C8

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

(407) 644-3295

The Keewin Real Property Company

(407) 645-4400

The Winter Park Land Company (407) 644-2900

(407) 539-0425


(407) 647-0110

Shoooz On Park Avenue


Atomic Barber Co

(407) 636-7685

 B 13 Eyes & Optics

(407) 644-5156


The Lash Lounge

(321) 617-5274

 C 20 Park District Hair

(407) 571-9725

 C 18 Park Smiles Dentistry

(407) 645-4645

 D 24 See, Inc.

(407) 599-5455


Cole Ave.





Canton Ave.


9 18 10 19 11 20 12 21 13 22

Garfield Ave.

300 N



Main Stage

Post Office





16 17


2 3 4 5

100 N

6 7 12 8 9 10 13 11 15


3-Hour Parking Lot B



4-Hr Street Parking

Interior Design

Public Parking


California Closets

(800) 633-0213


Ethan Allen

(407) 622-1987



Monark Premium Appliance Co. (407) 636-9725


Piante Design

Bicycle Parking Chamber



18 3-Hour Public Parking on Ground Level

28 14 25 15 26 16 17 18


200 S 29 30


19 20 21 22 23 24 27


300 S

Lyman Ave. 4-Hour Parking


(407) 998-8090


Welbourne Ave.

Rose Garden

9 10 11 12


100 S

E. New England Ave. 3


 D 31 The Alfond Inn at Rollins


17 19 20

W. New England Ave. 2



Morse Blvd.

Veteran’s Fountain

4 5 6

200 N

Lincoln Ave.

Lyman Ave.

3-Hr Street Parking

(321) 422-1010

A 400 N

4 2 5 3 6 7 8

FREE 4-Hour Parking 4th & 5th levels


(407) 647-1072

(321) 316-4086

500 N


Welbourne Ave.

 D 10 Park Plaza Hotel

 B 16 The Shade Store


FREE 4-Hour Parking Lot A

Pennsylvania Ave.

(407) 628-0200

—— = Not On Map


Health & Beauty Advanced Park Dental

(407) 539-1538


(407) 960-3993


(407) 740-6003

Winter Park Photography

Morse Blvd.



Comstock Ave.


400 S

7 8

3-Hour Public Parking Saturday & Sunday

Comstock Ave. 2



5 6 3

UMI Japanese Restaurant

The Collection Bridal


4-Hour Public Parking

 D 17 The Wine Room on Park Avenue (407) 696-9463 E5


 C 22 Winter Park Wedding Company (321) 274-6618

(407) 335-4192

Shoes  B 24 Rieker Shoes

(407) 628-8200 (407) 218-5955

Center St.

 C 15 The Grove

 D 28 Writer’s Block Bookstore

Friends of Casa Feliz, Inc.

 D 30 Penthouse 450

Park Ave.

(407) 647-7241


W. Park Ave.

(407) 645-3100

 D 14 Synergy

(407) 622-8747


 C 19 Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming (407) 790-7480

New York Ave.

 D 23 Siegel’s Winter Park

 C 17 Luxury Trips

(407) 628-5900

New York Ave.

Sara Campbell

The Spice and Tea Exchange

 C 13 Williams-Sonoma


& Sculpture Gardens

(407) 628-0033

P A R K ,

(407) 628-1222

 B 17 lululemon


 D 12 Lucky Brand Jeans


Lilly Pulitzer

Through the Looking Glass

(407) 644-3200

Knwoles Ave.

(407) 975-9137

(407) 628-1087

Center St.

 B 19 Orlando Watch Company


Casa Feliz

(321) 203-4733


Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream (407) 622-6292

Park Ave.

 B 10 Cottonways

Virginia Ave.



(407) 960-1899

Interlachen Ave.



Fairbanks Ave.

1 2


500 S 11







Checking in to a Bygone Era More than century ago, during the winter months, wealthy Northerners ensconced themselves at luxury resort hotels in fledgling Winter Park. Many visitors ended up investing in the community and ultimately moving here. By the 1930s and 1940s, middle-class families were flocking to more modest accommodations — including tourist cottages — along U.S. Highway 17-92 (Orlando Avenue). And by the 1950s, Winter Park boasted a now-legendary resort hotel where the Empire Room supper club epitomized Rat Pack culture. The Winter Park History Museum, consequently, is saluting the golden age of local hotels and motels in a new exhibition, Wish You Were Here: The Hotels & Motels of Winter Park. A grand opening event was held June 7 for the exhibition, which runs through March of 2020 at the cozy facility, located in the Farmer’s Market building at 200 West New England Avenue. The 94-year-old red-brick structure once served as the Atlantic Coast Line’s freight depot. Wish You Were Here celebrates the role of hotels in accommodating visitors, and hosting casual gatherings and civic events for locals. Inside the small space, the luxurious circa-1930s hotel lobby has been re-created. Also on display is the swank and swinging Langford Resort Hotel’s original piano, around which generations of Winter Parkers sipped highballs and tipsily requested “Moon River.” There are also photographs and descriptions of small but architecturally intriguing

The Langford Resort Hotel’s swimming pool was a place to swim, of course, but also to see and be seen. The hotel was the city’s swankiest, where visitors — and many locals — attended meetings, dined in the Bamboo Room or enjoyed Vegas-style revues in the Empire Room.

96 W I N T E R P A R K M A G AZI N E | SUM M ER 2018

working-class motels and tourist cottages, along with a re-imagined Victorian-era children’s playroom of the sort that guests of the posh Seminole Hotel or Alabama Hotel might have stashed their youngsters. “Our town is built on the foundation of luxury hotels,” says Susan Skolfield, executive director of the Winter Park Historical Association, which operates the museum. “In the 1880s, Winter Park founders assigned lush lakefront sites for beautiful hotels. These accommodations were the draw for well-heeled tourists to become investors in a planned community and, ideally, Winter Park citizens. This is how our town was settled.” The Winter Park History Museum ought to be known as “the little museum that could.” Skolfield and a cadre of volunteers never fail to shoehorn more creativity per square foot than seems humanly possible, with past exhibitions focusing on turpentine, railroading, peacocks, schools, businesses and the home front during World War II. Wish You Were Here, like all History Museum exhibitions, is free and open to the public — although donations are gladly accepted. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit for more information. — Randy Noles


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. Running through August 19 is a major exhibition, Arabesque: Contemporary Conversations, in partnership with Islamic Artists of Orlando. Traditional Islamic artwork often incorporates arabesque elements, which are decorative intertwined lines, foliage or tendrils. From August 28 through December 2 is Soul of Graffiti: Jan Kaláb, featuring the abstract studio art of one of the earliest graffiti “writers” to emerge from the former Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Iron Curtain in the early 1990s. The museum offers tours of Polasek’s home Tuesdays through Saturdays. It also offers tours of the restored Capen-Showalter House three times weekly: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. That historic home, built in 1885, was saved from demolition several years ago and floated across Lake Osceola to its current location on the Polasek’s grounds. Regular admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students and free for children. 633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park. 407-6476294. 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 August 26 is the exhibition Enchanted Florida: Picturing Contemporary Landscape, a series of paintings, photographs and videos by Florida artists whose search for pristine settings often leads to landscapes blighted by development. Featured artists include Lilian Garcia-Roig, Bruce Marsh, Alexander Diaz and Corey George. Also underway through March 2019, in a field between the center and Lake Sybelia, is Indigo Waves, an interactive, public-art project that incorporates the growth of plants on the site. Artists Tory Tepp, Jill Altamore and Kim Reighter started by planting various seeds and building sustainable irrigation and electrical systems; as the plants mature, they’re harvested and processed to make dyes, inks, pigments and fibers that are combined with recycled denim to create tapestries and lattices. As the natural-fiber creations break down from exposure to the elements, they’re composted back into the soil and replaced with new patches of “fresh art.” Admission to the 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.

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. On display through July 8 is the largest known painting by American landscape artist Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), The Domes of the Yosemite. The 1867 oil painting, which measures almost 10 by 15 feet, was recently refurbished by conservation experts in Miami and, courtesy of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum in Vermont, is making its first appearance since 1873 outside what was, not coincidentally, Charles Hosmer Morse’s hometown. Ongoing is 19th-Century American Landscapes, which illustrates the affinity between artists from the French Barbizon School and American painters of the late 1800s, including Otto Heinigke, William Louis Sonntag and George Inness — work from whom is in the museum’s permanent collection. And as a continuation of the museum’s 2017 diamond anniversary celebration, the museum continues to showcase the breadth of its eclectic collection with Celebrating 75 Years — Pathways of American Art at the Morse Museum, which includes portraits, landscape paintings, pottery and works on paper assembled by founders Hugh and Jeannette McKean. That exhibition continues through September 23. Admission to the museum is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students, and free for children younger than age 12. In June and July, the museum is offering two free family programs designed for children in kindergarten through fifth grade: Tuesday Family Tours, which last 40 minutes and include a take-home activity; and Friday Family Films, which last 90 minutes and include the film, gallery tour and art activity. Registrations require $5 refundable deposits. The museum is also free to the public all day on the Fourth of July. 445 North Park Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-5311. Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Located on the campus of Rollins College, the museum houses one of the oldest and most eclectic collections of fine art in Florida. Free tours take place at 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the oncampus 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 August 26 are a trio of exhibitions that opened in May: Margaret Bourke-White’s Different World, which examines the trailblazing photographer’s overseas work, including selected images from the museum’s collection of photographs she took in Russia; My Myopia, a series of decorated windows by Trong Gia Nguyen, who earned art degrees at the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida after his family fled South Vietnam during the fall of Saigon; and The Myers Legacy: Dutch and Flemish

Paintings from the Collection, which features a small selection of the Old Masters paintings donated to the museum by the family of John C. Myers (1878-1952), an Ohio industrialist. Another May opening that continues through December 12 is Forging Modern American Identities: Recent Acquisitions, a first look at recent gifts of early 20th century photographs and abstract art from Rollins alumni Barbara and Theodore Alfond. Debuting September 8 are two exhibitions: Jamilah Sabur: Ibine Ela Acu/Water Sun Moon, which focuses on the tropics as places of conflict, from colonialism to environmental threats; and Dangerous Women, a series of more than 20 works from Sarasota’s John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art that collectively explore artistic responses to women of the Bible. Both exhibitions run through December 12. A new, long-term exhibition from which works periodically rotate — 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. It replaced the museum’s longrunning Conversations exhibit, and continues through December 31, 2020. Admission to the museum is free, courtesy of PNC Financial Services Group. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2526. Crealdé School of Art. Established in 1975, this nonprofit 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, though there are fees for art classes. Continuing through July 28 is the exhibit Symbiotic Dance: Marianna Hamilton Ross, a Florida artist who specializes in silk painting and the fusion of humans and nature. Her work is in many corporate and public collections nationally, including the AAA National Headquarters in Lake Mary, the City of Orlando, and Walt Disney World. The 37th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, which continues through September 1, features some of the previous school year’s best work by Crealdé students in various media, including paintings, drawings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures, jewelry and fiber pieces. And opening on September 14 is Vibrant Vision: African Diaspora and African American Artists, which features works from the Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman stretching from the late 1930s to present day, from throughout the Caribbean and the United States. 600 Saint Andrews Boulevard, Winter Park. 407-671-1886. 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 African-American west side with archival photographs, original artwork and oral histories from longtime residents that are together known as the Heritage Collection. Admission is free. Continuing through December 31 is the exhibition HIS – Henderson, Israel & Simpson Project, a look at three key African-American leaders in Winter Park during the late 19th century: Gus C. Henderson, who started one of the first black-owned newspapers in Florida; and Frank R. Israel and Walter B. Simpson, who were the first — and thus far the only S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W INT ER PARK MAGAZ IN E


Voctave (above left), a wildly popular 11-member a cappella group with four albums and millions of YouTube followers to its credit, will mark its orchestral debut during 2019’s annual Bach Festival. John V. Sinclair (above right) has served as artistic director for 29 of the festival’s 84 years.

BACH: A SEASON TO SING ABOUT The Bach Festival Society of Winter Park hosts guest artists from all over the world. But Artistic Director John V. Sinclair had only to walk upstairs from his office in Keene Hall on the Rollins College campus to book a headliner for 2019. Jamey Ray, assistant professor of music, theory and technology, may be best known beyond the campus as founder of Voctave, a wildly popular 11-member a cappella group with four albums and millions of YouTube followers to its credit. Voctave will perform in February, marking its orchestral debut during the annual Bach Festival. But there’s a lot more going on during the society’s 2018-19 season, which includes a year-round schedule of events featuring choral and orchestral performances — several of them highlighted by world-renowned guest artists. Here’s a look at this season’s programs, most on the Rollins campus. You can also visit for more information. CHORAL MASTERWORK SERIES n Mendelssohn and Mahler, November 17-18: Featuring the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra. n A Classic Christmas, December 15-16: Featuring the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra. n Power of Romanticism and Resurrection, April 27-28, 2019: Featuring the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra.


n Spiritual Spaces: Musical Meditations, February 10, 2019: Gentle music to soothe the soul, featuring members of the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra and guest musicians. n Paul Jacobs, February 15, 2019: Jacobs, the first organist to receive a Grammy Award, is chair of the Juilliard School’s organ department. n Voctave: Orchestral Debut, February 16-17, 2019: The internationally popular a cappella group performs in multiple styles, from gospel to barbershop to pop. n Concertos by Candlelight: Four Seasons Around the World, February 22-23, 2019: Features members of the Bach Festival Society Choir and Orchestra, with performances followed by workshops and discussions. n Itamar Zorman, February 24, 2019: The Israeli violinist who won the 2011

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Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition and the 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant. n Mozart: Great Mass and Symphony No. 40, March 2, 2019. Features the Bach Festival Society Choir and Orchestra. n J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion, March 3, 2019. Features the Bach Festival Society Choir and Orchestra. INSIGHTS & SOUNDS n Flute, Harp and Strings, September 20. Features members of the Bach Festival Society Choir and Orchestra. n Joe and Mike: The Haydn Brothers, November 8: Music written by Franz Joseph and Johann Michael Haydn. n Judith Triumphant, January 24, 2019: Vivaldi’s oratorio based on the biblical story of a Jewish widow who saves her people from an invading army. VISITING ARTISTS In addition to Zorman and Voctave, whose appearances are part of the annual Bach Festival, the society will present these guest performers. n Eroica Trio, October 28: The award-winning combo of pianist Erika Nickrenz, violinist Sara Parkins and cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio. n Berlin Philharmonic Principal Players: Scharoun Ensemble, March 16, 2019: The German chamber-music ensemble has a repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary compositions. n Richard Goode, April 14, 2019: The New York native is the first American pianist to record all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. SPECIAL EVENTS n Olde Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration, July 4: Enjoy patriotic music, children’s activities and food on Independence Day in Central Park. n Carmina Burana, October 12-14: The extravaganza, which combines choral and orchestral music with dance, is performed with the Orlando Ballet at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. n Christmas in the Park, December 6: Traditional Christmas music and stunning lighted Tiffany panels combine for a magical evening in Central Park.

EVENTS — black elected officials in the city. Also ongoing is the Hannibal Square Timeline, which documents significant local and national events in African-American history since the Emancipation Proclamation. The center also offers a walking tour of Hannibal Square called 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 a person, or $5 for those with a student ID. Historic sites include Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Welbourne Day Care and Nursery (founded in 1927) and the Masonic Lodge (constructed in 1927). 642 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-5392680.

Orange Avenue, Suite C, Winter Park. 407-645-0145. South Asian Film Festival. The 24th annual edition of this “Beyond Bollywood” festival takes place at Enzian in Maitland from September 29 through October 1. It showcases a diverse lineup of acclaimed independent films about the Indian subcontinent, its culture and heritage. The three-day festival is co-presented with the Asian Cultural Association. Individual tickets cost $11; a series pass (with priority seating for all five programs) is $50. 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088

(theater offices).


Enzian. This cozy, nonprofit alternative cinema offers a plethora of film series. Tickets are usually $11 for regular admission; $9 for matinees, students, seniors and military (with ID); and $8.50 for Enzian Film Society members —though children under age 12 are admitted free to Peanut Butter Matinee Family Films, shown on the fourth Sunday of each month at noon. Saturday Matinee Classics are shown the second Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. Cult Classics are shown the


Annie Russell Theatre. “The Annie,” in continuous operation since 1932, returns from summer break to kick off its 2018-19 season on September 28 with Twelve Angry Jurors — originally called Twelve Angry Men — about deliberations that follow the trial of a young man accused of fatally stabbing his father. It seems like an open-and-shut case — until one juror refuses to agree to a “guilty” verdict. The show, which runs for eight performances through October 6, may be seen at 8 p.m. or at 2 p.m. with 4 p.m. matinees. Season tickets start at $60. The Second Stage Series, which features student-produced and student-directed plays, presents its 2018-19 season in Pioneer Hall, 203 East Lyman Avenue next to the SunTrust parking garage. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. Winter Park Playhouse. Winter Park’s only professional, not-for-profit theater opens its 2018-19 mainstage season with Gigolo: A Cole Porter Revue, which runs July 27 through August 19. An audience favorite from last year’s 1st Annual Florida Festival of New Musicals, Gigolo uses more than two-dozen Cole Porter songs to tell the tale of a handsome playboy and his relationships with four beautiful women. Up next, from September 21 through October 14, is I Love a Piano, a revue that celebrates the music of Irving Berlin. Featuring five dozen of the iconic tunesmith’s most beloved songs, the show follows the journey of a piano from its first days in Tin Pan Alley at the dawn of the 20th century through the 1950s. Both musicals run Thursdays through Sundays, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $15 for students to $42 for evening performances. 711 Orange Avenue, Winter Park. 407-645-0145.


Florida Festival of New Musicals. For the second year, Winter Park Playhouse hosts a festival dedicated to new musicals, with the goal of fostering the development of up-and-coming writers and composers. The four-day event, from August 23 through 26, showcases six never-before-produced musicals; the first act of each is fully read and sung, concert-style, without staging, by professional actors and musicians. General admission is charged for each performance. 711 North






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ince the 1920s, Rollins College has brought preeminent scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, entertainers, writers and activists to campus — not only for lectures and performances, but to engage in direct and meaningful ways with students, faculty and the community. For the past decade, the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College has continued that role as a nucleus of creativity, critical thinking and intellectual engagement through its popular Speaker Series. WPI’s 11th anniversary roster has just been announced, and as usual it’s an eclectic bunch. There’s a young activist who built a shelter and a school for women and children in Nepal, a renowned philosopher of moral and political theory who discusses fear as a threat to democracy, and an awardwinning director whose gritty but inspiring film about childhood in the shadow of the Magic Kingdom has earned critical kudos. There’s also a media-friendly scientist known for his work on conservation and animal preservation. And, as usual, there’ll be an intimate reading by Billy Collins, a former two-term U.S. poet laureate who holds the post as WPI’s senior distinguished fellow. “I always look forward to these Winter Park presentations,” says Collins. “It’s wonderful to appear before a hometown audience, and to see so many friends and neighbors.” Collins — arguably the most popular living poet in the U.S. and a Winter Park resident — is likely the most widely known personality among this year’s speakers. Gail Sinclair, WPI’s executive director, says the focus of the series is shifting, relying less on marquee names and more on thought leaders who are making a difference outside the limelight. “Each of the speakers in this year’s lineup commands the realm to which his or her passion is focused, and they’re all fascinating in unique and highly engaging ways,” she says. Plus, Sinclair says, the speakers have been selected because they align with the college’s mission of educating students for global citizenship and responsible leadership. “We eagerly anticipate what they will be sharing with us,” she adds. Following are the scheduled speakers. Venues are on the Rollins campus, and ticket prices vary by speaker. Go to for more information, or call the box office at 407-646-2145.


Wednesday, September 26, 7:30 p.m. Tiedtke Concert Hall The BlinkNow Foundation Doyne, a 31-year-old American activist, founded the BlinkNow Foundation in 2007 to promote a quality education and a safe environment for children and women in Nepal. Overwhelmed by the poverty she encountered while backpacking through the Kopila Valley during her gap year between high school and college, Doyne used her life savings — $5,000 earned from babysitting — and raised additional money to buy land and build a home that cares for more than 50 orphans as well as a women’s center, a girls’ safe house and a school that educates more than 350 children. Doyne, who was named CNN’s Hero of the Year in 2015, says that “in the blink of eye, we can all make a difference.”


Monday, October 22, 6 p.m. Bush Auditorium Fear, Anger and Hope: Democracy in Peril Nussbaum, a philosopher, author and professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, is recognized around the world for her work on moral and political theory, emotions, human rights, social equality, education, feminism, and Greek and Roman philosophy. She delivered the 2017 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the highest honor conferred by the U.S. government for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities, and is the recipient of the 2016 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy, widely considered the most prestigious award in fields not represented in the Nobel Prizes. Her most recent book is The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis (Simon & Schuster).


Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7:30 p.m. Venue TBD Sean Baker: A Conversation with an American Filmmaker Baker is director of The Florida Project, a critically




acclaimed independent film whose title comes from the name given to the clandestine effort that Walt Disney undertook in the late 1960s to assemble the multiple contiguous tracts of land on which Walt Disney World and Epcot Center would be built. The film, which enjoyed an extended run at Enzian in Maitland earlier this year, follows a precocious 6-year-old as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in a seedy motel in the shadow of the Magic Kingdom. The film — which starred Willem Dafoe and a cast of unknowns and first-timers — premiered at the 2017 Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards (Best Feature and Best Director) and a Gotham Award (Best Feature). Baker won Best Director of the Year from the New York Film Critics Circle. Rollins offered a full scholarship to 10-year-old Christopher Rivera, one of the novice actors who was living with his mother in the Paradise Motel along U.S. 192 when he was cast.


Sunday, February 17, 2019, 2 p.m. Tiedtke Concert Hall What Poets Talk About When They Talk About Love Collins, a former two-term U.S. poet laureate, is a rare poet whose work is esteemed in academic circles and adored by most everyone else — even people who don’t otherwise like poetry. That’s why his books are perennial New York Times bestsellers. His work is often praised for its combination of poignance, depth and wry humor that rarely fails to surprise and delight. He relocated to Winter Park in 2008, when he accepted the post of senior distinguished fellow at WPI. In addition to his appointments as poet laureate in 2001 and 2003, he has received the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry — he was the inaugu-

ral recipient — as well as fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1992, Collins was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as “Literary Lion.” And on the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, he was asked to write a poem commemorating the victims, and to read it before a joint session of Congress held in New York City. “The Names” remains as powerful and haunting today as when it was composed. Last year, Collins was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an honor society of the country’s 250 leading architects, artists, composers and writers. His work continues to engage sellout audiences, and each new collection of poetry inevitably wins new fans. His most recent collection, The Rain in Portugal (Random House), was described by Booklist as “disarmingly playful and wistfully candid.”


Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 7:30 p.m. Bush Auditorium Stories from the Natural World Sanjayan, CEO at Conservation International, a not-for-profit environmental advocacy group, is an ecologist, speaker, author and Emmy-nominated television commentator who has hosted conservation-related documentaries for PBS, BBC, Showtime and the Discovery Channel. He’s also a frequent contributor to CBS News, and most recently hosted the University of California and Vox Media’s Climate Lab series.​He helped launch “Nature is Speaking,” an awardwinning public-awareness campaign that featured Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson and Penélope Cruz, among others. The Sri Lankan-born scientist holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his peer-reviewed scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature and Conservation Biology. He’s a visiting researcher at UCLA and distinguished professor of practice at Arizona State University. He’s a Disneynature Ambassador, a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a member of National Geographic Society’s Explorers Council. He posts frequently from his expeditions at @msan​​jayan.



EVENTS second and last Tuesday of each month at 9:30 p.m. Upcoming films include The Rocketeer (July 8), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (July 31), Good Burger (August 14), Across the Universe (August 28), The People vs. Larry Flynt (September 11) and Man on the Moon (September 25). FilmSlam, which spotlights Florida-made short films, takes place most months on the first or second Sunday at 1 p.m. The next scheduled dates are July 8, August 12 and September 9. Music Mondays present new and classic concert-music documentaries and music-focused films, usually on the third Monday of the month at 9:30 p.m. Midnight Movies are an occasional series of envelope-pushing classic and cutting-edge films that start at 11:59 p.m. Other upcoming special showings include: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Ballet on the Big Screen, July 21, 11 a.m.), Macbeth (Opera on the Big Screen, August 18, 11 a.m.) and Swan Lake (Ballet on the Big Screen, September 15, 11 a.m.). 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland. 407-629-0054 (information line), 407-629-1088 (theater offices). 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 usually on the second Thursday of each month, and start whenever it gets dark — figure 8 p.m. this time of year. Upcoming films include Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (July 12), Finding Nemo (August 9) and Iron Man (September 13). Bring a snack plus a blanket or chairs. 407-629-1088.


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 on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. (see “Music”). 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407628-8200. Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. The center is dedicated to combating anti-Semitism, 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. Continuing through August 31 is Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, which follows the international eugenics movement of the early 20th century to the Nazi regime’s “science of race” and its campaign to “cleanse” German society of people viewed as biological threats to the nation’s health. The exhibition also challenges viewers to reflect on the present-day interest in genetic manipulation, which promotes the possibility of human perfection. The museum’s ongoing exhibition, Tribute to the Holocaust, is a presentation of artifacts, videos, text, photographs and other artwork. Admission is

free. 851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland. 407-6280555. 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. Admission is free. 200 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-2330. (See page 96 for more details.) 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; it also sponsors exhibitions featuring the works of African-American artists and is an integral part of the annual, weeklong Zora! Festival each January. Continuing through September is The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community: The Early Years, 1987-1997. The multimedia exhibition is based upon material from the organization’s archives. Admission to the museum is free, though group tours require a reservation and are charged a fee. 227 East Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville. 407-647-3188.,


Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration. Head

HOT WEATHER, COOL DEALS Sure, summers in Florida can be oppressively hot. But in Winter Park, perhaps some cool deals offered by Park Avenues bistros and boutiques will make venturing outdoors worth that extra swipe of antiperspirant. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, which is spearheading a new “35 Degrees” campaign, is banking on it. “Escape the Heat. It’s Cool Inside” reads the tag line for the 35 Degrees promotion, which started June 1 and runs through September 7. During that time, more than 25 participating merchants and restauranteurs will offer a variety of $35 specials and 35 percent discounts For example, there’ll be $35 prix fixe menus at Hamilton’s Kitchen, Cocina 214, Laurel Latin Cuisine, Mon Petit Cheri and others. You can use the $35 to upgrade to a King Balcony Suite overlooking Park Avenue at Park Plaza Hotel — an $85 value — or get 35 percent off selected items of clothing at Arabella, Charyli or Tugboat and the Bird. Others participating include 310 on Park, Ancient Olive, Blu on the Avenue, Eyes & Optics, Frank, Luluemon, Monarch Appliance Company, New General, Pannullo’s, Partridge Tree, Peterbrooke Chocolatier, See Eyewear, The Grove, Through the Looking Glass, Tuni, Umi, the Winter Park Golf Course, Writer’s Block Bookstore, the Lash Lounge and the Winter Park Wedding Chapel. “It’s a fun play on temperature conversion,” says Betsy Gardner Eckbert, chamber president and CEO. “Ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit translates to 35 degrees C. And doesn’t 35 degrees sound so much better?” Chamber officials hope the promotion heats up business during the languid summer months, which also happens to coincide with the time that the city gets the most international visitors — especially from the U.K. 35 Degrees is co-sponsored by the chamber and the Park Avenue Merchants Association. Visit degrees for more information.

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Class of 2018 would like to thank the Sponsors of this year’s MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE RECEPTION. HOST SPONSOR:





Participants in the first “Relaunch: Career Reentry for Professional Women” celebrate completion of the program. Shown are (left to right): Pam Massengale; Holly Allport; Betsy Gardner Eckbert, chamber president and CEO; Jana Ricci, chair, chamber executive committee; Susan Johnson, winner of the Woman of Influence Award; Dawn Jennemann; Marion Neijenhuis; Angela Katsur; and Kristina Mackinder.

GETTING BACK IN THE GAME An improving economy has spurred millions of women to reenter the labor force following prolonged absences. It isn’t as though they hadn’t been working. But it’s primarily women who put their ambitions on hold to raise young children, care for ailing parents or deal with other issues that prevent them from being as careerfocused as their male counterparts. That’s changing, of course. But employers sometimes view resumé gaps as drawbacks. That’s why women who’ve gone some time without being formally employed can benefit from enhanced training on how to overcome obstacles to resuming their old careers — or starting new ones. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, as usual, is out front on this issue with a new program called “Relaunch: Career Reentry for Professional Women.” The program just completed its inaugural year and is prepping for a second session this summer. The application deadline is August 17; the fee is $375, with tuition assistance available. “Last summer, we hatched the idea of a pilot program to give women the tools they need to successfully return to work,” said Chamber President and CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert, who spoke at the organization’s first Women of Influence luncheon. “Today, I can tell you — they are ready. And we hope you’ll help connect them to as many opportunities as possible.” The Relaunch curriculum helps women build their resumés and network among potential employers. It also covers such topics as how to maximize a LinkedIn profile and how to build a personal brand. Gardner Eckbert, who shared her personal story of relaunching her career after taking time off, added that the program was not intended to be a job-placement service.

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Instead, she said, it was designed to help participants “assess, understand and dispel the psychological and mechanical roadblocks that exist for them when pursuing a return to work.” The Women of Influence Luncheon honored the inspirational Susan Johnson, making her the chamber’s first Woman of Influence award winner. She’s the founder and president of Support our Scholars, an organization that provides mentoring to underprivileged but academically gifted young women who are attending college. Johnson told the attendees — which included the eight women who completed the first Relaunch class — to set goals and stick with them. That’s certainly something Johnson has done, and her commitment has lifted up countless children and their families. Her passion for advocacy, she said, began in 1976, when she gave birth to a sight- and hearing-impaired son, Jake, and began desperately seeking how to teach the youngster to communicate with others — and how his family could communicate with him. She turned to Lighthouse of Central Florida — then known as CITE — an organization whose multitude of services include one-on-one instruction in sign language. Although Jake eventually lost his sight entirely and died in 2011, Johnson has continued to support Lighthouse, chairing its board of directors and raising funds for the organization through a group she spearheads called Women with Vision. By the time you read this edition of Winter Park Magazine, a June 12 informational session for the second Relaunch program will likely already have taken place. But even if you missed it you can apply, with a deadline of August 28. Sessions begin in September and are held monthly on Tuesday evenings at the Chamber of Commerce. There’ll be a graduation luncheon in April of next year. For more information, email or call 407-644-8281.

SESSION 1 September 18, 5:30-7:45 p.m. Introduction: The Psychology of Career Reentry Speaker: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

SESSION 4 December 11, 5:30-7:45 p.m. Leveraging Your Brand on LinkedIn, Part 2 Speakers: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

SESSION 7 March 26, 5:30-7:45 p.m. Practicing for the Interview Speaker: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

SESSION 2 October 30, 5:30-7:45 p.m. Developing your Personal Brand and Making it Pop on LinkedIn Speaker: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

SESSION 5 January 29, 5:30-7:45 p.m. Your Elevator Pitch Speaker: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

SESSION 8 February 26, 5:30-7:45 p.m. Final Edits: Resumé and Bio, Headshots Speaker: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

SESSION 3 November 27, 5:30- 7:45 p.m. Leveraging Your Brand on LinkedIn, Part 1 Speaker: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

SESSION 6 February 26, 5:30-7:45 p.m. Professional Attire and Style Speaker: Betsy Gardner Eckbert

GRADUATION LUNCHEON April 30, 11:30 a.m.




M AY 8 - A U G U S T 1 9 An exhibit in partnership with the Islamic Artists of Orlando

633 Osceola Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 | S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E


EVENTS 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 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 For information about other activities, visit


Winter Park Institute at Rollins College. Each year the institute presents lectures, readings and seminars by thought leaders in an array of disciplines. The season kicks off on September 26 with Maggie Doyne, the 31-year-old founder of the BlinkNow Foundation, which cares for orphaned children and provides educational opportunities for young girls in Nepal. Doyne speaks at 7:30, although neither the venue nor the ticket price had been set at press time. 1000 Holt Avenue, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. (See page 98 for more details.)


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. 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 open-air 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.


Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. The society’s signature festival of concerts occurs every February and March, but it offers musical programs throughout the year, including a patriotic presentation at the City of Winter Park’s annual Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration in Central Park. On September 20, the society begins its Insights & Sounds Series, an intimate musical experience that’s part discussion, part concert.

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Stamper. 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.

Each program takes a close look at specific composers or themes, with commentary provided by Artistic Director and Conductor John Sinclair. The September program focuses on the flute, harp and strings, and features members of the Bach Festival Society Choir and Orchestra. All performances take place on select Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in Tiedtke Concert Hall on the campus of Rollins College, 1000 Holt Avenue. Parking is available a block away in the SunTrust Plaza garage. 407-646-2182.


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 also on the schedule. Admission ranges from free to $25 a person. Upcoming musical dates include Cafêzz a Puerto Rico-based Latin jazz fusion band (July 1, 8 p.m., $20), Blue Bamboo’s 2nd Anniversary party featuring the Orlando Jazz Orchestra (July 18, 8 p.m., $25), guitarist Peppino D’Agostino (August 8, 8 p.m., $20), and the Kelly/Scott Sextet featuring trombonist Dave Steinmeyer (September 22, 8 p.m., $20). 1905 Kentucky Avenue, Winter Park. 407-636-9951.

Murrah Civic Center Farewell. The City of Winter Park says goodbye after 32 years to the Rachel D. Murrah Civic Center on July 14 with what it hopes will be the biggest wedding-vow renewal ceremony in local history. Any couples who were married at, or had their reception in, the civic center have been invited to a “We Still Do” commemoration from 10 a.m. to noon; anyone else who ever attended a memorable event at the soon-to-be-demolished facility is also invited. The site will be home to the city’s new library and events center, collectively dubbed the Canopy. RSVP by email ( or phone 407623-3300. 1050 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park.

Central Florida Folk. This Winter Park-based nonprofit is dedicated to promoting and preserving live folk music, primarily through concerts on the last Sunday of each month. The group’s primary venue is the Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. The next two library concerts are: Wild Cotton and Remedy Tree (July 29); and Amanda Percy, plus Smithson & French (September 30). Shows start at 2 p.m. A donation of $15 for nonmembers is suggested. 407-679-6426. Dexter’s of Winter Park. This well-known restaurant in Winter Park’s Hannibal Square neighborhood occasionally has live musical acts, with no cover charge. Upcoming events include Soul Funktion (July 5, 8 to 11 p.m.). 558 West New England Avenue, Winter Park. 407-629-1150. Music at the Casa. The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum regularly presents free acoustic-instrument performances on Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. in the museum’s cozy main parlor. Upcoming performances include: flamenco guitarist Jorge Mendoza (July 1), Beautiful Music with Shannon Caine (July 8), Anthology Quartet (July 15), classical guitarist Brian Hayes (July 22), flamenco and classical guitarist Luis Garcia (July 29), harpist Catherine Way (August 12) and guitarist George Grosman (August 19). 656 North Park Avenue (adjacent to the Winter Park Golf Course), Winter Park. 407-628-8200. Opera on Park. The first official performances of Opera Orlando’s 2018-19 season are its three-part Opera on Park series, which begins July 29 with tenor Alex Mansoori, accompanied by Lynn Peghiny on piano. Soprano Laura León, with Robin Stamper on piano, follows on August 5. The series wraps up August 12 with soprano Suzanne Kantorski, also accompanied by

Park Avenue Sidewalk Sale. Enjoy savings up to 70 percent at participating stores along Park Avenue July 5 through 7. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Park Avenue Merchants Association. 407-6448281.


Florida Writers Association. The Orlando/Winter Park-Area 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 discussions include Heart to Heart: Verse Novels with Melody Dean Dimick (July 11), Illustrating & Marketing Children’s Books with Mark Wayne Adams (August 1), and a September 5 topic to be announced. 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 dates are July 12, August 9 and September 13. 501 South Maitland Avenue, Maitland. Wednesday Open Words. One of the area’s longest-running open-mic poetry nights takes place 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. Work in Progress: A Group for Writers. This monthly discussion group is for writers in any genre, who offer and receive feedback from their writing peers. Guest speakers are often invited. Upcoming dates include September 8 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Those planning to read their work should register with organizer and host Gerald Schiffhorst, a University of Central Florida professor emeritus of English, by emailing schiffhorst@ Conference Room, Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park. Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts. This group offers various free, open-mic programs that

attract writers of all stripes. Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour ... or Thereabouts, a literary openmic night, usually meets the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 7 p.m. It’s for authors, poets, filmmakers, comedians, musicians, bloggers and others. Upcoming meet-ups include July 11 and 25, August 8 and 22, and September 12 and 26. A new series sponsored by the group, Tim Rumsey’s Touch the Heart, aims for works that reach readers emotionally. Upcoming meet-ups include July 18, August 15 and September 19. Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 Winter Park Road, Winter Park., Florida Blogger & Social Media Conference. This annual, one-day gathering of bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, marketers and others — known informally as FLBlogCon — offers panels and workshops designed to help online entrepreneurs improve their blogs and make money through advertising and sponsorships. This year’s eighth annual conference, scheduled for September 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Full Sail University, offers two keynote presentations and nearly two-dozen breakout sessions. Tickets are $47 to $77. 3300 University Boulevard, Winter Park. 407-679-6333.


University Club of Winter Park. Members are dedicated to enjoying intellectual activities and socializing with fellow knowledge-seekers. The club’s activities, including lectures, are open to the public, although nonmembers are asked to donate a $5 activity fee each time they attend. 841 North Park Avenue. 407644-6149.

445 north park avenue winter park, florida 32789 (407) 645-5311 just a 5-minute walk from the sunrail station.

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 follow us on


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. Typically scheduled for the second Friday of each month, upcoming speakers include Mayor Steve Leary (July 13); Deborah Crown, dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College (August 10); and an as-yet unannounced speaker on September 14. 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. The Hot Seat. Hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, this quarterly business-oriented series puts local executives in the spotlight as they offer advice and discuss entrepreneurism, leadership and sales-and-marketing techniques. The next gathering features Malia Dreyer, owner of Lettermade LLC of Winter Springs, on August 29 from noon to 1:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-6448281. Winter Park Executive Women. Hosted by the S U MME R 2 0 1 8 | W INTER PARK MAGAZ IN E


EVENTS 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. The July and September speakers had not been scheduled at press time. Diane Diaz, “The Brand Teacher,” is slated for August 6. Tickets, which include lunch, are $25 for members, $50 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, Winter Park. 407-644-8281.


Authors Matthew Fox (above left) and IIia Delio (above right) will be the keynote presenters for the eighth annual GladdeningLight Symposiumn of the Spiritual Arts. This year’s theme: The Science of Love: Divine Imagination, Evolving Universe.

EXPLORING SCIENCE, SPIRITUALITY, LOVE GladdeningLight, a local nonprofit that holds an annual three-day symposium concerning the intersection of spirituality and the arts, has announced the keynote presenters for its 2019 event, slated February 1-3 at Rollins College. And it’s not too early to register, since some symposium activities usually sell out in advance. Featured will be Matthew Fox, an activist and theologian who ignited the revolutionary Creation Spirituality movement, and Ilia Delio, a Villanova University professor whose scholarship concerns the integration of science and religion. The theme of the eighth annual GladdeningLight Symposium of the Spiritual Arts is The Science of Love: Divine Imagination, Evolving Universe. “Leading-edge science supports a new understanding of love as the fundamental energy of evolution,” says Randall B. Robertson, the organization’s founding director. “We’re fortunate to host two beacons of the modern Creation Spirituality movement, in dialogue together for the first time.” Creation Spirituality integrates the wisdom of indigenous, Eastern and Western mysticism with the revelations of modern science to promote social, racial, gender and environmental justice. Past GladdeningLight symposia have welcomed visitors from 33 states and around the world. The 2018 symposium was the first hosted by Rollins. The arts play a prominent role in every GladdeningLight symposium, and next year is no different, showcasing the talents of Nóirín Ní Riain and Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin. The Ó Súilleabháins, troubadours in the ancient Irish a cappella tradition, delighted local audiences two years ago. In 2019, they’ll bring their unique brand of musical magic to Knowles Memorial Chapel, where they’ll commemorate the feast day of Irish patron St. Brigid. The February 1 performance will also include a candlelit processional. To help set the mood, GladdeningLight has engaged a guild of local iconographers to paint Celtic icons around the chapel. In addition to performing, the three singers will also offer lectures throughout the weekend. Delio, a Franciscan nun as well as a professor, has recently written a national bestseller, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being. Fox, a symposium keynoter in 2013, has written such perennial bestsellers as Original Blessing. He heads the Fox Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Cost to attend the entire weekend is $220, which allows access to all symposium events. There’ll be $25 single tickets available to hear Fox and Delio in dialogue on February 2. Rollins students, staffers and faculty members are granted free, all-access admission with pre-registration and valid ID. Call 407-647-3963 or visit for more information.

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Lake Osceola Watershed Cleanup. Volunteers who help the City of Winter Park collect litter around Lake Osceola on July 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 downtown by the stage at the north end of Central Park on Park Avenue; the cleanup ends at 11 a.m. 407-599-3364. Woman’s Club of Winter Park Annual Rummage Sale. This sale, once an annual Labor Day tradition, was revived by the club in 2014 as a fundraiser for area charities. It offers shoppers a wide variety of items donated by local residents, including jewelry, antiques, artwork, books, clothes, furnishings and household items. This year’s September 1 sale is at the club’s headquarters, 419 South Interlachen Avenue. It starts with a bake sale at 9 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m., with a lunch menu available from George’s Gourmet Cookies and Catering. 407-644-2237.


CoffeeTalk. These free gatherings, sponsored by the City of Winter Park, are usually held on the second Thursday of each month and offer residents an opportunity to discuss issues of concern with local officials. Coffee is supplied by Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen. Upcoming topics and guests include Mayor Steve Leary (July 13), Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel (August 23) and Commissioner Greg Seidel (September 13). The hour-long sessions start at 8 a.m. The mayor will appear at the Winter Park Welcome Center, 151 West Lyman Avenue, as part of the Chamber of Commerce’s Good Morning Winter Park program that day; the commissioners will appear at the Winter Park Country Club, 761 Old England Avenue. 407644-8281. Political Mingle. This August 1 event, hosted by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, gives residents, business owners and community leaders an opportunity to meet and greet candidates running for local, state or federal office in the August 28 primary election or the November 6 general election. The event, from 5 to 8 p.m., will take place at Fields BMW of Winter Park, 963 Wymore Road. Check the chamber website for ticket prices. 407-644-8281.

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hilip Deaver came from a small town. When he left, he took it with him, as good writers often do. He grew up in the 1950s and ’60s in Tuscola, Illinois, population 3,000. His mother had been a Navy nurse whose patients included Pearl Harbor survivors. His father, the town’s multitasking doctor, had delivered many of Phil’s classmates, then continued to treat them into adulthood. Occasionally, Phil would meet farmers who, having run afoul of their machinery, bore the spidery tracks of his father’s surgical handiwork. Phil was 18 when he came home one day and knew from the look on his younger sister’s face that something terrible had happened. He guessed, correctly, that his grandfather had died. But so, too, had his father, both men killed when a careless driver plowed into their car at an unmarked country intersection. Some people will tell you the town never really got over it. Others say neither did Phil. He’d always been fascinated with writing, and, after a few years as a businessman, began building a career crafting sinewy poems and earthy short stories inspired by the people and places of his Southern Illinois childhood. My favorite story of his is called “Arcola Girls” — Arcola being a real-life town near Tuscola, and the girls being more intriguing than those back home, at least in the eyes of the story’s young narrator, who lands a tenuous first date that involves recruiting a mobile-home clairvoyant to oversee a woodland séance. That tale, redolent of the fitful mysteries of small-town adolescence, won the annual O. Henry Award in 1986. Silent Retreats, the collection in which the story appeared, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Partly on the strength of those awards, Rollins hired Phil to teach fiction writing in its English Department. I say partly because in Phil, authenticity overshadowed acclaim. He took himself lightly and his trade seriously. He was a selfless champion of great writing, worshipping bestselling writers of his generation such as Ann Beattie — an admiration she returned — while equally and wholeheartedly celebrating his students’ successes. Over the years, he would marry a Rollins adjunct professor, Susan Lilley, now poet laureate

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of the City of Orlando and a teacher at Trinity Preparatory School. They became a literary power couple, attracting a community of Central Florida writers into their orbit. Then, just as he was on the brink of publishing an ambitious book of interlocking short stories, Phil began to change. He’d always been a faithful correspondent. Now friends and family stopped hearing from him. He’d always been enthusiastic and outgoing with colleagues and students. Now there was a certain vacancy in his greeting. And his classes, once inspiring, became listless and disorganized. Finally came a diagnosis: Phil suffered from a form of frontotemporal dementia — a fatal disease that disrupts the part of the brain that engenders language and social skills. It develops earlier in life and progresses much more rapidly than Alzheimer’s. By the time he died on April 29 at the age of 71, Phil could no longer speak. There were two mid-May memorial services. One was in Tuscola, where he was buried next to his parents. The other, at Knowles Memorial Chapel on the Rollins campus, was as unassumingly eloquent as the man it honored. Retired Rollins English Professor Lezlie Laws, an advocate for Phil on the search committee that hired him, spoke of becoming so enthused upon reading his stories for the first time that she threw the book aside and, much to her husband’s amazement,

started jumping up and down on the bed. Poet Billy Collins, senior distinguished fellow at the college’s Winter Park Institute, read a poem Phil had written called “Flying.” It describes a recurring childhood dream of magically soaring over his home, looking down at his town and his family on a Midwestern summer’s day. Phil’s son, Michael, a recruiting specialist with Orange County, described his father’s final days. He spoke of how he and his sister, Laura, a Rollins graduate with a degree in counseling, had sat on either side of their father’s bed, holding his hands, as the renowned wordsmith — wearing his favorite St. Louis Cardinals jersey — made a final, silent retreat. A few days before, father and son had sat quietly, face to face in a hospice facility, simply looking into each other’s eyes. Michael had said “I love you.” Long moments later came a last, miraculous reply: “I love you too, boy.” Michael McLeod is a contributing writer for Winter Park Magazine and an adjunct instructor in the English department at Rollins College.

Philip Deaver was a selfless champion of great writing, and wholeheartedly celebrated his students’ successes. Frontotemporal dementia robbed him of his unique voice and, ultimately, his life.


All renderings are of an artistic conceptual nature. Materials, specifications, and details are subject to change. The information provided above may be used for illustrative purposes only.




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