Ocala Magazine December 2019 digital edition

Page 1

Ocala’s City Magazine Since 1980 | $5.95


DEC 2019


from Around the World

2019 Better Than The Best

Ocala’s Premier Destination for Beauty and Wellness Revitalization Microchanelling New to Elecrolysis Onliryvaat N na la! The only permanent “The Botox Facial” Oca Mircochanellong is the word on everyone’s lips. What is it? It’s a “fine touch” micro channel system that painlessly delivers beauty treatments at the ideal depth beneath the skin, for maximum effect. Combined with a SkinLab treatment personalized for you, come get yours only at Nirvana Medical Spa.

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Clinical Esthetician, Hyperpigmentation specialist, medical electrologist, and the owner and founder of Nirvana Medical Spa


Services Dermal Infusion HydraFacial MD Electrolysis Viora Laser Services Candela Laser Services Injectable Wrinkle Relaxers and Fillers Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Glam Room

WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS MEMBERSHIPS AVAILABLE 352.671.1591 | www.NirvanaMedicalSpa.com 310 SE 29th Place Suite 200, Ocala, FL 34471 We Accept

Retire on your terms. Since 1894, Ameriprise Financial has worked for our clients’ futures, helping to redefine what retirement can be. At Ameriprise, we’re dedicated to an enduring, one-on-one approach that enables clients to achieve their true potential. When you take the right approach, life can be brilliant. John R Anastasia, APMA® Financial Advisor Managing Director Anastasia Financial A financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. 352.291.0040 3201 SW 34th Ave, Ste 105 Ocala, FL 34474 john.anastasia@ampf.com ameripriseadvisors.com/john.anastasia/

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2019 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. (09/19)

Lake Weir Lake Weir PROPERTY Shown By Appointment Only

Custom-Built Brick Home with Impressive Floor Plan and Luxury Upgrades • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

6,000 Square Feet Under Roof White Sandy Beach with 300-foot Beachfront 3 Bedroom/4 Bath Large Front Entry and Foyer Custom Eat-in Kitchen/Large Center Island/Large Pantry/and Butler’s Pantry Laundry Room off Kitchen area Formal Living and Dining Rooms Office and Library Room Family Room with Gas Fireplace Overlooking Lake/ French Doors leading to Back Deck Master Bedroom w/ Bay window overlooking lake Master Bath w/ Garden Tub & Huge Walk-in Closet Game Room Upstairs with Brunswick Pool Table and Walk-In Attic Access Large Back Deck with Cookhouse and 1/2 Bath Incline Car to Lake Large Outdoor Workshop and Storage 40x60 with Electric and Septic 1/2 Bath with Hookup for RV Majestic Oaks Lining Driveway Lush Landscaping Rustic Beach House with over 500 Foot Dock Large Screened-In Back Porch with Custom Built-In Gas Cooker which leads to Back Deck


Philip Glassman, CCIM 813-727-7657 A Licensed Real Estate Broker

Clay Albright (352) 804-7777 Justin Albright (352) 427-5301 Registered Real Estate Brokers and Agents

This information is from sources deemed to be reliable. We are not responsible for misstatements of facts, errors or omissions, prior sale, change of price, and/or terms or withdrawal from the market without notice. Buyer should verify all information with its own representatives as well as state and local agencies. Brokers please note that a variable rate commission may exist on this offering that might result in a lower commission cost to the Seller if a Buyer’s broker is not involved in the transaction. ©2019 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

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2019 Better Than The Best


We Are The World


The Gift of Music


That's SO 2019


Figures Under Fire


Leading By Example


Fashion Faves

Ocala Magazine's readers have chosen again!

Ocala's multicultural community celebrates the holidays A new creative collective is developing local artists Last year's best and worst trends Inflated gun statistics depicted Ocala as something that it’s not The most respected leaders in Ocala/Marion County Gurdeep and Jeanine Singh



Ocala’s City Magazine Since 1980 | $5.95

Helen Demilio

Photographer: Ralph Demilio


DEC 2019

Hair + Makeup: Face The Day Spa & Salon Wardrobe: Dillard's Ocala Traditions

from Around the World

2019 Better Than The Best



12 14

Publisher’s Letter From the Mayor

75 76 78 82 83

LIVE Everything Equine Charity Spotlight: NAMI State of the City State of the County

85 86 88

EAT On The Menu: Milano Ristorante Dining Out

93 PLAY 94 Experience Ocala 96 Local Music Scene: Carrabelle 98 Socially Speaking 110 FAFO 2019 Emerging Artist 113 114 116 118 122 128

ETCETERA Health Journal Prose and Cons TEDxOcala Highlights Kiwanis Korner Looking Back

Ocala Jockey Club The Ocala Jockey Club was developed in the 1980s as a family-oriented thoroughbred horse farm with the Ocala Jockey Clubhouse as the centerpiece. Ocala Jockey Club Farm is known for its stunning sunsets and tranquil views over the entire land and farm. Owners Pavla and Erik Nygaard are building on that same tradition and creating a world-class eventing center for international competitions, training, and teaching. Concept planning is underway for distinguished real estate development, a boutique, hotel, retail village and renewal and restoration of the clubhouse, of which will become a vibrant special events venue, spa, academy, restaurant, meeting center and a beautiful place for weddings.

A vision for an acclaimed international destination resort and club, especially for those having passionate souls for horses. 8720 West Highway 318 | Reddick, FL 32686 | 352-591-1212 www.ocalajc.com | Follow Us On Facebook

OM Volume 39, Issue 6


OCALA’S #1 MOST AWARD-WINNING CITY MAGAZINE Linda Marks | Founder & Advisor linda@ocalamagazine.com

Philip Glassman, CCIM | Publisher & Owner philip@ocalamagazine.com

Penny Miller | VP/Corporate Development/Principal penny@ocalamagazine.com

EDITORIAL Benjamin Baugh | Managing Editor ben@ocalamagazine.com

ART Jessi Miller | Creative Director jessi@ocalamagazine.com

Ronald W. Wetherington | Social Editor ron@ocalamagazine.com

Joshua Jacobs | Senior Graphic Designer joshua@ocalamagazine.com

Robin Fannon | Food/Lifestyle Editor Laura Wampler | Copy Editor Sharon Raye | Copy Editor


PHOTOGRAPHY Ralph Demilio | Chief Photographer Ashley Dobbs | Photographer The Creative Pretzel | Photographer Ross Anthony | Photographer


Kaitlyn Butler | Writer Ashley Dobbs/ City of Ocala | Writer Brandon Kaloo/Marion County | Writer Mayor Kent Guinn | Columnist Judge Steven G. Rogers | Writer Sarah Jacobs | Writer Jade Vista | Writer OPERATIONS Randy Woodruff, CPA | CFO randy@ocalamagazine.com Doug Hummel | Director of I.T. Laura Wampler | Production Assistant Ross Anthony | Director of Distribution


www.ocalamagazine.com OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER HOPS — Historic Ocala Preservation Society MEDIA PARTNER & PRESENTING SPONSOR of the Tailgating Competition at Live Oak International OFFICIAL MEDIA SPONSOR FOR 2019 International Women's Day EXCLUSIVE MEDIA SPONSOR FOR George Albright Annual Golf Tournament OFFICIAL MEDIA SPONSOR FOR FINE ARTS FOR OCALA


TEDxOcala · HITS · Equiventure


OFFICE 743 E. Fort King St. Ocala, FL 34471 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 4649, Ocala, FL 34478 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR by mail or email: editor@ocalamagazine.com SUBSCRIPTION One year - $49, Two years - $95, Single Issue - $5.95. COPYRIGHT ALL contents copyrighted © 2019 by Ocala Magazine Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertising content in any manner without written permission is strictly prohibited.



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from the publisher

To Live is a Big Adventure


Photo by Joshua Jacobs

WE MADE IT! 2019 HAS BEEN A WONDERFUL YEAR of learning and growth. We have grown our readership exponentially, spotlighted wonderful charities within our communities, celebrated our nurses, and now we are gearing up to release our limited-edition hardcover “Red Book” in January. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention our continued work in creating a second publication, Vitality Magazine is dedicated to unifying the Lake, Sumter, and Marion counties under one magazine. Indeed this has been a great year and I am extremely excited for what our future holds. However, as we head into December, I am reminded that even though this is a time for joy and giving, for some, it is the darkest time of the year. One out of every three people in our community suffers from mental illness and it is this reason that I have chosen NAMI as our charity spotlight this month. NAMI is dedicated to bringing advocacy and help to individuals and families struggling with mental illness within our community. Suicide due to mental illness is the 10th highest cause of death in adults and the second highest among the 13–34-year-old demographic. What Diana and the team at NAMI of Marion County are doing is near and dear to my heart. Most people do not realize, but I lost my sister to suicide when she was in her teens. Even though it was hard to recover from, this tragic event brought my family closer and more aware of the darkness that can hide behind the smiles of those dearest to us. So I urge you, in this season of joy and unity, check on your loved ones and simply be a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or an embrace to come home to. To all our readers, I wish you a happy and blessed holiday season.

Diana Williams and Philip Glassman



Debbie drove the distance when her breast cancer kept her from teaching. At UF Health, she found a problem-solver who made the trip worth it.

Dr. Lisa Spiguel and her multidisciplinary team create customized treatment plans for patients with breast cancer. For Debbie, that meant surgery and a round of radiation, avoiding the side effects of chemotherapy. That option made the 228-mile drive to see Dr. Spiguel well worth it. Now Debbie’s back to teaching, while Dr. Spiguel continues her unending search for answers that move medicine forward.

Learn more at ProblemSolvingCare.org.

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from the



he holiday season is synonymous with the spirit of giving. And that altruism and generosity are an inherent part of Ocala’s character. It’s a time of year brimming with enthusiasm and optimism that also places an emphasis on friends and family, capturing the true essence of what community is all about. The Ocala Christmas Parade is rich with tradition, and holds the distinction of being the longest running and largest night time parade in the State of Florida. It’s been part of our community for the past 65 years, and will take place on Dec. 14. More than 40,000 people are expected to attend, making the parade an experience that has been embraced annually, with the celebration adding to the city’s charm. One of the great traditions that we always talk about is everyone putting their chairs out on the boulevard the week before the Christmas Parade. Everyone puts their lawn chairs out and ropes their specific area off. One of the most amazing things is that no one ever steals anyone else’s lawn chair. They may engage in other types of inappropriate behavior, but you never steal someone’s lawn chair. Light up Ocala is an event that I eagerly anticipate every year. It showcases our downtown and the city at night. It’s a great community event. It’s one of the things that makes Ocala; Ocala. The Paddock Mall and Heathbrook will have people in the holiday spirit as they’ll be able to enjoy the festivities in what will resemble a winter wonderland. December also means the return of HITS. Equestrian sport and the equine industry are an integral part of our community. It’s a great time to be in Ocala.

Mayor Kent Guinn



Dorchester Estates

Gated Subdivision Brand new custom home on 1 Acre lot 2,500 sq. ft. living space


$329,999 Call for information 813-727-7657 | Philip Glassman, CCIM This information is from sources deemed to be reliable. We are not responsible for misstatements of facts, errors or omissions, prior sale, change of price, and/or terms or withdrawal from the market without notice. Buyer should verify all information with its own representatives as well as state and local agencies. Brokers please note that a variable rate commission may exist on this offering that might result in a lower commission cost to the Seller if a Buyer’s broker is not involved in the transaction. ©2019 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.


2019 Every year keeps getting BETTER. Ocala Magazine recognizes our community’s best businesses and service organizations, voted by our readers, with all new categories among time-tested favorites. The people have voted. Here are YOUR 2019 Better than the Best finalists! PHOTOGRAPHY BY RALPH DEMILIO




Beyond Skin OFMC Dermatology and Aesthetics Institute Third place: Nirvana Medical Spa First place:


Face The Day Salon & Spa Second place: Hello Gorgeous Third place: Envé @ Salon 209 First place:

Second place:


Big Al’s Second place: Roland’s Barbershop Third place: Parker Barbershop First place:


Azulene Day Spa Second place: Face The Day Salon and Spa Third place: Happy Nails Spa and Salon First place:


Face The Day Salon & Spa Second place: Azulene Day Spa Third place: Breeze Day Spa @ Agapanthus First place:




Light Up Ocala Symphony Gala (Reilly Art Center / Ocala Symphony Orchestra) Third place: Appleton Gala


Ocala Caverns Second place: Scott Springs Third place: Hitchhiker’s Cave First place:

First place:

Second place:



Symphony Under The Stars Second place: Fine Arts for Ocala Third place: Appleton Museum Family Day First place:

Left On Broadway Humans in Disguise Third place: Shine and the Shakers First place:

Second place:




H.I.T.S. — Horse Shows in the Sun Second place: Live Oak International Third place: Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association Horse of the Year Gala First place:



First place:

First place:

Pi on Broadway Second place: Bank Street Patio Bar & Grill Third place: O’Malley’s Alley

Lewis Stokes (K Country) Second place: Jen Ryan (Q.92) Third place: Larry & Robin (WOCA) BEST SOLO/DUET ACT

Jeff Jarrett Second place: Miranda Madison Third place: Caly & Megan Music First place:



First place:

First place:

Teddy Sykes Leslie Peoples Third place: Mark Emery

MCA — Brick City Center for the Arts Second place: Studio B Third place: CF Webber Center Gallery

Second place:


Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club Second place: Ocala Golf Club Third place: Ocala Country Club First place:


Reilly Arts Center Ocala Civic Theatre Third place: Marion Theatre First place:

Second place:


Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club Second place: Country Club of Ocala First place:


Rainbow Springs KP Hole Third place: Jervy Gant First place:

Second place:




DeLuca Toyota Jenkins Auto Third place: Ford of Ocala First place:


Patrice Perron (La Cuisine) Second place: Tony Deras (Katya Vinyards) Third place: Rick Alabaugh (Golden Ocala) First place:

Second place:


Don’s Garage Firestone Complete Auto Care Third place: Pep Boys First place:

Second place:


Mojo’s Grill and Catering Second place: Brooklyn’s Backyard Third place: Sonny’s BBQ First place:


Big Lee’s BBQ Curbside Cuisine Third place: Farmer In The Deli


First place:

First place:

Second place:

Soapy’s Car Wash Second place: Caliber Car Wash Third place: Danny’s Car Wash



Blue Highway Pi on Broadway Third place: Brooklyn’s Backyard

Ben Payne (Pi) Second place: Adam Volpe (Infinite Brewery) Third place: Lauren Marcucci (The Keep)

First place:


First place:

First place:

Big Lee’s BBQ Second place: Brick City Southern Kitchen and Whiskey Bar Third place: Sonny’s First place:

Second place:


La Cuisine Ipanema Third place: Katya Vineyards Second place:


Scrambles Second place: First Watch Third place: Darryl’s Diner First place:


The Mojo Grill & Catering Second place: 3’s Catering (Latinos y Mas, Ipanema, Craft Cuisine) Third place: Brick City Catering First place:




Betty Cakes Ocala’s Chocolates & Confections Third place: Twistee Treat

First place:

Second place:



First place:

First place:

Second place:

Second place:

Latinos y Mas Las Margaritas Third place: La Hacienda

Starbucks Symmetry Coffee & Crepes Third place: Chelsea Coffee Co. BEST PLACE TO ORDER A CAKE

Betty Cakes Second place: Sugar Rush Third place: Stella’s Modern Pantry First place:


Ivy on the Square Brick City Southern Kitchen and Whiskey Bar Third place: Cracker Barrel First place:

Second place:




Faithfully Guided Health Center Integrated Medicine Second place: Absolute Health Ocala Third place: Erica Olstein Better U Acupuncture First place:



Ocala Family Dentistry Second place: Chandra Smile Designs Third place: Dr. Quinn Family Dentistry First place:

AdventHealth Ocala Ocala Family Medical Center Third place: Ocala Regional Medical Center First place:

Second place:


The Zone Health and Fitness Second place: Planet Fitness Third place: YMCA First place:

Fakhoury Medical and Chiropractic Center Second place: Pitts Family Chiropractic Third place: Downtown Chiropractic and Wellness First place:





Andre Palmer of Zone Health and Fitness Second place: Mohamad Aysheh of Zone Health and Fitness Third place: Amber Toole Sanford of The Training Toole First place:


Strive Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Second place: Fakhoury Medical and Chiropractic Third place: Mid-Florida Physical Therapy First place:



First place:

First place:

Golden Ocala Wedding & Event Planning Second place: Party Time Rentals Third place: Marge Felix Events

Magnolia Animal Hospital Second place: Maricamp Animal Hospital Third place: UF Pet Emergency Treatment Services


Nick Navetta (Edward Jones) Second place: John Moody (Ocala Capital) Third place: Greg Ergle (Ergle Financial) First place:


Rotary Club Second place: Kiwanis Third place: Junior League First place:


Ocala Pediatrics Children’s Health of

Second place:


Third place:


Heart of Florida Medical


YMCA Second place: Discovery Center Third place: Appleton Museum of Art First place:


Van Akin (Foxfire Realty) Second place: Nolan Galloway III (Gus Galloway Realty) Third place: Philip Glassman (Birkshire Hathaway) First place:


Ocala Hilton Holiday Inn Express & Conference Center Third place: SpringHill Suites

First place:

Second place:


Roberts Real Estate Second place: Ocala Horse Properties Third place: Showcase Properties First place:


Doc Blanchard Cannon Law Firm Third place: Miriam, Adele, and Kirkland First place:

Second place:


Mid State Electric Ciraco Electric Third place: Kuhn Electric First place:

Second place:


Perfect Paws Grooming Salon Second place: Prefurred Pet Wash and Grooming Third place: Doggy Bubbles Pet Grooming First place:


DJ Joe Ortiz Second place: DJ Jesse (Hi-Fi DJ Service) Third place: Just Joel First place:


Angie Lewis State Farm Ocala Insurance Agency Third place: The Nation Group First place:

Second place:






First place:

First place:

First place:

A Cut Above Lawn Care Second place: Marion Precision Lawn & Landscape Third place: Jason Schmidt Landscaping BEST PLACE TO NETWORK

Ocala Business Leaders CEP After Hours Third place: TEDxOcala First place:

Second place:


Fat Katz Second place: Crawling Panther Third place: Cobra Classic


Ivy On The Square Marly Mae Third place: Pink Hanger Second place:


Gause & Sons Jeweler Lady Jeweler Third place: Silver City

First place:

Second place:


White Elephant Second place: Two Sisters Third place: Diggers Antique Mall First place:



White Elephant Second place: The Mustard Seed Collection Third place: The Monkey Cage First place:


Powering A Strong Community




On Top of The World Second place: Del Webb Spruce Creek Third place: Oak Run First place:


Beth Cassi Olivia Ortiz Third place: Angie Lewis First place:

Second place:


Sholom Park Greenway Trail Third place: Tuscawilla Park


First place:

First place:

Second place:

Hawthorne Village Second place: The Bridge at Life Care Center Third place: Camelot Chateau Assisted Living Facility


Bank Street Patio Bar & Grill Second place: Big Hammock Brewery Third place: Rita’s Italian Ice First place:





OCALA FAMILY MEDICAL CENTER 2230 SW 19th Ave Rd Ocala, FL 34471

Office Direct: 352-237-4133

Carlos Rodriguez, MD Internal Medicine

Robert Panzer, DO Family Practice

Mark Monical, DO James London, MD, FACC Robert Williams, MD Family Practice Cardiology Family Practice

Adam Alpers, DO Family Practice

Brian Pecoraro, DO Family Practice

Mimi Balch, MD Family Practice



Allen Winston, DO Yasmin Amin, MD, FACC Todd Panzer, APRN-C Linda Bellows, APRN-C Stacey Graham, APRN-C Laurel Bryant, APRN-C Karen Larsen, APRN-C Brittani Lucin, APRN-C Family Practice Family Practice Family Practice Family Practice Family Practice Family Practice Family Practice Cardiology

Tyler Lindsey, PA-C Family Practice

Corey West, APRN-C Melissa Formella, APRN-C Alexis Nibe, PA-C Family Practice Family Practice Family Practice


Janea Thaler, APRN-C Holly Grisales, APRN-C Family Practice Family Practice

Family Practice Internal Medicine Cardiology Preventive Medicine Geriatrics Auto Accidents Full Service Lab Digital X-Ray Ultrasound 64 Slice CT 1.5 Open Bore MRI Stress Testing


MRMC Wound Center


Samantha Weston, PA-C Family Practice

2121 SW 22nd Place Ocala, FL 34471


Office Direct: 352-368-1350

BEST DERMATOLOGY Ben Treen, MD Dermatology Mohs’ Surgery

Amber Starling, APRN-C Dermatology

Deb Scott, LPN, LE Aesthetics



2135 SW 19th Ave Rd Ocala, FL 34471

Office Direct: 352-368-1360

Carly Carrion Olmeda, MD Endocrinology

Ana Sanchez Ferreras, MD Internal Medicine

Philip Johnson, MD Women’s Health

Evette Hearn, APRN Women’s Health


Office Direct: 352-368-1340 PHYSICAL THERAPY

www.ocalafmc.com Eduardo Cruz, MD Physical Medicine

Matt Ota, PA-C Nick Machupa, PT, OCS Deborah Main, DPT Physical Medicine Physical Therapy Physical Therapy

Joseph Javier, DPT Physical Therapy

Kamal Mody, DPT Claudia Guevara, PTA Physical Therapy Physical Therapy

*Ocala Family Medical Center, Inc. complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.*


O I T N A O R F B E N L U E R C S 9 E 1 S 02






are the heart of hospice... Any time, night or day, every day of the year, we are there for our patients... just a phone call away. In recognition of the 5th annual Celebration of Nurses, congratulations to our 222 dedicated nurses...all of you are winners!

www.hospiceofmarion.com | (352) 873-7400 | follow us on

Respond to the 2020 Census online. The 2020 Census marks the first time you can respond online—even on your mobile device. You can respond by phone or mail—they’re secure, too—but going online is a great option, because it is: Convenient You can respond from anywhere, at any time, using a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. You just need to be connected to the internet. Easy When you respond online, the website will guide you through each question on the 2020 Census and provide more information if you need it. The census form will be available in English and 12 additional languages. Videos and guides to the form will be available in 59 languages. Secure All responses submitted online are encrypted to protect personal privacy. Once responses are received, they are no longer online. How to respond online: as easy as 1-2-3 1.

In March 2020, your household will receive an invitation in the mail to respond online.

2. Visit 2020census.gov to access and complete the census questionnaire. 3. You’re done!

For more information, visit:



You were made to move.

Trust the Orthopedic Experts We’re meant to be active. So when I hurt my shoulder, I didn’t let pain change my plans. The orthopedic specialists at AdventHealth Ocala got me back where I belong: on the court, on the run, on top of the world again. They were there every step of the way — from helping me understand the source of my pain to guiding me through my surgery and recovery. Now I’m back to doing what I love and feeling whole.

FloridaOrthoExperts.com 352-507-0254

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We are the W rld


How Ocala’s culturally diverse community is celebrating this holiday season



cala truly represents every typical small town in America. A melting pot of cultures and traditions that create this gorgeous soup we call the United States. Diverse religious beliefs, customs and rituals, melded together with the American way of life, make us the beautiful community that we are. We gathered together some Ocala residents that made their way


here, that hail from faraway places, to share how their families celebrate the holidays, keeping their traditions from their homelands close to their hearts. Almost everyone said that they typically attend a Christmas Eve midnight church service, but one tradition that we all have in common is the food-centric nature of the holiday season, with ample drink (sweet treats being everyone’s most favorite).

Italy Dominick Ragosta comes from Naples and his wife, Lena, from Sicily, but they actually met as teenagers in New York at a relative’s wedding. She, a bridesmaid and he, the best man. Lena’s father was strict, so their courtship was done under strict supervision! They eventually married and had three children, Dennis, Anna and Nancy. Holidays in the Ragosta household are a family affair featuring lots of (you guessed it) pasta! Christmas Eve features the Italian tradition of La Vigilia (The Vigil) with a meal typically consisting of seven types of seafood dishes a.k.a “The Feast of the Seven Fishes.” Lena is famous for her blue-crab sauce, which is ladled over pasta. On Christmas day, gifts are exchanged as a big pot of red sauce simmers on the stove. The sauce (or gravy) is served over pasta and eaten family style. Italian cookies, ricotta cheesecake and pastiera (wheat pie) typically follow the meal.



France Elodie and Patrice Perron are well known in the community for their incredibly French and incredibly popular downtown restaurant “La Cuisine.” Christmas in France is a gastronomical feast of elegant meals, fine champagne, and delectable desserts. The festivities begin on Christmas Eve with a family gathering, which typically begins at 8pm. Dressed in their finest, they begin with an aperitif (Champagne…lots of Champagne) and amuse-bouche (a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres to us). Dinner is a sit-down affair with a variety of classic French appetizers: oysters, smoked salmon, foie gras, all served with the appropriate accompaniments and rustic country breads. Dinner features meat such as game or venison in a Burgundy sauce with potatoes. Now is when the amazing cheese course and salad come in. La grande finale is a traditional Buche de Noel followed by midnight church services. Gifts are exchanged on Christmas morning and once again cooking begins for the evening meal. This meal features much of the same food, but perhaps the entrée will be a fish dish with rice and petits fours. Oh yes, and encore du champagne!



Jamaica Coming soon to our bustling downtown is a new Jamaican restaurant called “Irie Eats.” I met up with owners and chefs Henri Williams, Pete McNeish, Gary Grey and Sophia Rowe while they were visiting their fellow restaurateur and expat Albert Barrett of Stella’s Modern Pantry. Their description of the holiday festivities on the island can be summed up in one wor—party! An all-night street party begins on Christmas Eve on famed Grand Market Street. Local shop owners stay open; everyone wears their finest clothing and heads outdoors to eat street food, drink, and dance to live music everywhere. Christmas morning is for gift exchanges, resting and then cooking and enjoying family dinner. The dinner features many of their indigenous dishes: jerk chicken, rice and peas, oxtail and curried goat. Most importantly, the dinner ends with the very rich and alcohol-laden rum cake that the island is famous for. The party continues the day after Christmas when Jamaicans celebrate Boxing Day.



Greece Chef Dmitri Pomakis comes from Thessaloniki, Greece, which is renowned for its rich cultural life, festivals, and events. Christmas in the Pomakis household is very similar to our own. A decorated Christmas tree, gifts, and midnight church services. Christmas day is centered on the meal: roast lamb and potatoes, spirits such as Retsina wine, Ouzo and Tsipouro. Desserts traditionally eaten are melomakarona (honey cookies), baklava and kataïfi (both of these are rich, delectable sweets made from phyllo dough). Traditional on New Year’s Day is St. Basil’s Cake in which a coin is hidden in the cake to bring good luck to the recipients. It is also customary to smash pomegranates on the first day of the year. It is Greek folklore that pomegranates symbolize strength, eternity, and good fortune. Dmitri and his family do in fact practice the custom of breaking plates, which is an expression of joy. This calls for a loud OPA!



Puerto Rico Martha and Miguel “Dr. Q” Quintana have busy lives, owning and operating Alpha Rehabilitation in Ocala and raising their two young boys Miguel, 14, and Malachi, 12. Their Christmas celebrations begin on Christmas Eve, with a traditional Noche Buena and culminate with Three Kings Day or Epiphany in January. Noche Buena’s meal consists of arroz con gandules (Puerto Rican rice with pigeon peas), lechon (roast pork) and of course the delicious and decadent flan. The Quintana’s have a deep-seated faith. Martha sums up one of their traditions: “When I think about a tradition in our family, the first thing that comes to mind is La Bendicion. La Bendicion is a major part of the Latino culture. Passed down from generations, it plays an important role among Latino families because it is how we greet and say goodbye to the matriarchs and patriarchs in our families. It is a way to show reverence for our older family members. La Bendicion is asked of a mother, father, aunt, uncle and grandparents. It is a blessing that grants you a good day, a positive outcome, and a word of protection. In English, la bendicion is translated to “the blessing.”






Sandra King came to the United States with her two children in 1993 (pictured here with her son Daniel) to join her late husband, who was an American veteran. They chose to live in Florida because the tropical climate resembled her homeland, the Philippines. Sandra is a devout Catholic, actively involved in two local churches. She serves as an acolyte (minister of Holy Communion) at both Blessed Trinity in Ocala and St. Theresa in Belleview. Every year from the 16th to the 24th of December, Sandra practices Simbang Gabi, which is a nine-day series of masses, typically held at dawn, that is a novena to the Blessed Mother. Active in the Filipino American community in Ocala, Sandra is an amazing cook and takes great pride in sharing her native dishes with her family and friends. Here she shares two of the dishes commonly served at celebrations; lumpia: a Filipino eggroll, and pancit, a noodle dish that represents long life and good health.

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How To Handle Market Volatility

Looking back at the past few weeks, the market has made some investors nervous. Market volatility can lead to some serious stress but what are the best ways to respond to this uneasy feeling? When dealing with market volatility, it's important to keep several things in mind to avoid making major mistakes.


It's frequently said that those who fail to plan are planning to fail. When investing, it's important to have a plan. If your plan is to put aside $1,000 or $5,000 a month stick to it. Slow and steady wins the race. Sticking with your plan will allow you to take advantage of the periods when the stock market is down.


Dividends and interest tend to keep coming whether the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 500 points or it's up 300 on a given day. It's true that there are situations that will lead some companies to cut or suspend their dividends. However, most companies will keep paying out dividends as long as possible because a cut is a sure-fire way to lose investors and see the price of your company's stock drop like a rock. Dividends from stocks and interest from bonds are two of the best ways to deal with volatility. You should keep reinvesting the capital your investments throw off. When the market is down, you'll be able to buy more shares, and this will add to your flow of dividends and interest. By reinvesting during periods of volatility, you'll be able to increase the power of compounding greatly.


Many financial professionals will tell you to avoid selling your investments at the worst possible time is a part of sticking with your plan. Often times, this is an ideal strategy. It can be tempting to sell when the market is down 10% so that you can avoid the next 20% loss. This is generally a bad idea. Time in the market will usually beat attempts to time the market. Although, one exception would be drawing down some money strategically during your golden years. You'll probably want to make quarterly or annual withdrawals regardless of what

the market is doing in that case so that you can fund your living expenses.


Another important step to take when the market is showing extreme volatility is remembering to rebalance your portfolio periodically. You may have a strategy of rebalancing quarterly, semiannually or yearly. If you have a target allocation of 75% of your portfolio in stocks and 25% in bonds, a major drop in stocks could leave you with 65% in stocks and 35% in bonds. In this instance, you'd sell a chunk of your bonds and move the money into stocks. If you're still in the accumulation phase, you could stop contributing to bonds and put all of your money in stocks until you reach your targeted balance. This will keep you from becoming too overweight in one area and allow you to maintain the proper level of diversification. One big piece of advice that's important to remember during market volatility is to stay the course. If you have a plan, stick to it. This includes making periodic investments as you would if the market were at record highs. Real money is made during market downturns. If your portfolio gets out of balance, it's a good idea to rebalance it in the event of a major market downturn to take advantage of the sale price on stocks. If you have cash sitting on the sidelines, volatility to the down side can be a great time to put that money to work. Planning your retirement means diversifying to reduce the risk to your overall retirement plan. We are here to help guide you to and through a successful retirement.



Our mission at Take Point is to simplify investing and provide throughtful, intelligent advice to clients searching for added peace of mind. We treat each client as an individual to provide a high level of personalized service. Erick Arnett, founder of Take Point, and the rest of the team work to help you pursue your financial goals and work toward financial freedom.


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What started as a Christmas record has now become a creative collective developing local artists.


ochitl Jacques-Smith and Robert “Big Bert” Smith have spent their careers developing musical artists. Xochitl is known around Ocala for being a supporter of the arts, working with the Marion Cultural Alliance and other nonprofits. She’s also an accomplished film professional, which blends well with her husband, “Big Bert,” whose talents lie in music production. Now they’re using those talents to launch the careers of Ocala artists. Together they developed “The Gift of Music,” a project that launches with a record of local musicians playing classic holiday songs.


| DEC 2019

The Smiths collaborated with Melody and Shaun Gaffney of the Music Factory to record the Christmas classics. Coupled with the record, a series of videos will be released that showcase each song and an interview of the artist performing. “I think there’s a lot of talent here locally,” Big Bert said. “It seems like everyone has the same issue—you perform on a local


scene but you don’t have an opportunity to create content that’s needed so you can actually build a brand. You have a local following of people that come see you in the ten restaurants you perform at—if you’re that lucky. But you never have an opportunity to sit down with a producer who understands the game and how to start you on the road to development and help you build something. I think I was born to do that.” Xochitl says the music is developed in the studio with Big Bert, and takes on new life outside of the studio where they create a brand for the artist. Years ago when they were working with artists in Miami and Los Angeles, it

Hannah Matos

Ben Adams

NP Beats (Nate Pipkens)

Caly and Megan





Avani Chitumalla

Miranda Madison



Tae Floyd, Debrielle Floyd, Gabrielle Piccola and Raphael Piccola

took a lot to launch an artist. Now, in an era where Shawn Mendes exploded overnight because of Vine, things are different. “Everything has changed, budgets have changed,” Xochitl said. “Now everyone can do a video and there are apps on your phone to do stuff, so there’s still opportunity but having that brand in mind is the key. That’s what we’re bringing on a local level.” This is the first time a lot of the local artists have recorded in a studio, like Caly Bryan and Megan Sparkman, of Caly and Megan Music. They say having the opportunity to record music has allowed them to hear themselves with a new perspective. The duo started playing together less than a year ago after discovering each other’s gifts at a work function. Since then they’ve gained popularity, recently playing the Fine Arts Festival of Ocala and are now booked two months out. “It’s an honor that people think we’re good enough to be included with this talented group of people,” Megan said. “We’re


so new and we don’t know that many vocal artists yet; we’re just starting to meet them.” One of those artists is Miranda Madison. Madison is an Ocala native whose professional music career is her life’s work. As a teenager she sang at Light Up Ocala for the first time in 1997 and hasn’t stopped performing since, now gigging three to four times a week. She said she loves seeing the community’s growing interest in musical arts and how it’s evolved over the years. “I love that the purpose of this project is to showcase the way each member of our local music community contributes to Ocala’s artistic culture in different ways,” Madison said. “It’s important for each artist, no matter their place on their creative path, to know their value and see themselves as an intrinsic part of their community’s environment. Rather than promote competition, this project highlights each musician’s unique gifts.” She said she’s done recordings prior to The Gift of Music, but wants to get back in



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MICHAEL JACKSON, BRITNEY SPEARS, JLO, LIL WAYNE, AND MORE. Robert “Big Bert” Smith and Xochitl Jacques-Smith

the studio with Big Bert because his creative vision is special. Madison has new original music she wants to record with him, and the way his creative juices flow makes her excited to hear what he’d do with a piece of music. That’s good news, because what started as a record has evolved into a creative collective. When the project launched, the short-term goal was to perform holiday songs at a community event, and now it’s a small piece of a much greater vision. The holiday songs will be available for download at 202mediagroup.com, and The Gift of Music will be a continuous artist development collective. “It’s still part of the experience but this moves far beyond that,” Big Bert said. “The focus is finding and developing local artists that we can help create some beautiful music


and stories. I think that’s what we’re missing locally, is that development aspect of developing into a recording artist.” According to Big Bert, Hannah Matos is an example of an artist who is primed for that kind of development. Matos is a 22-year-old singer-songwriter who started recording her original music and posting it to Instagram, which is how she connected with Xochitl and Big Bert. She said she wants to be a professional musician despite being a naturally shy person. “I am not good at talking,” Matos said. “I find it very hard to express myself with words, which is why I think I ran to music when I was younger. That’s how I speak.” And speak through music she does. Her new original song Dream Lover is reminiscent of young love laced with falsetto and


romance. It will be included in the record available December 2019 for digital download and performed at a listening party located at Brick City Center for the Arts on December 19 at 7 p.m. Performing alongside Matos are Caly and Megan Music, NP Beats, Miranda Madison, Avani Chitumalla, Ben Adams and a musical group comprised of Jontae and Debrielle Floyd with Gabrielle and Rafael Piccola. The listening party will be a celebration of the season and a launching pad for the collective. “The party will be the culmination of the songs and the beginning of it all,” Xochitl said. “We’re going to announce our vision. We have this opportunity to share, so we’re focusing on developing talent and cultivating that locally.”

That’s so 2019! BY JADE VISTA

Not to be bougie, but here's a look at the year in trends... for the meme of it!


t’s officially December! Now that “Hot Girl Summer” is over, here comes “Hot Girl Winter.” Because it’s Florida and we only get roughly three days a year to wear our winter clothes. As the year winds down, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the most iconic trends of 2019. From remixing country with rap to the resurgence of ‘90s fashion to hard seltzers,


we saw a plethora of interesting trends, some of which should stay in this decade. Some of the ‘90s most iconic fashions collided with early 2000s pop culture this year. There was an explosion of scrunchies at a Jonas Brothers’ concert due to a fad coined “VSCO.” A spin-off from a photo-editing app with the same name, the fad features girls in scrunchies, oversized t-shirts,


Birkenstock sandals, name brand clothing such as Champion or Eddie Bauer, and the occasional puka shell necklaces. Teen magazines pushed out articles like crazy, capitalizing on brand associations. VSCO became a whole mood. A perfectly curated, laid-back one. The irony. This was the year of movie remakes and sequels. “The Lion King,” “Dumbo,” and

Fashion companies realized people would pay double for half a shirt.

“Aladdin” returned to theaters, allowing us to relive our childhood in live action. “Men In Black: International,” “The Addams Family,” “Toy Story 4,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Terminator: Dark Fate” hit theaters, reviving nostalgic franchises. This was also a big year for Marvel Studios with “Avengers: Endgame” completing the 11-year story arc that began with Marvel’s “Iron Man” in 2008. Thankfully, many of the actors continued their contracts so we should be seeing familiar faces on the Marvel screen in the future. Mark Anthony Brands took culture by storm when they released a new hard seltzer named White Claw. People went crazy over the seltzer and the memes erupted. “Claw is Law” became a signature calling card for Gen Z. It’s easy to see why the hard seltzer went viral. At only 100 calories and 2 grams of carbs per can, White Claw fits “keto,” a diet focused on the balance between low carbs and high fat. More than anything, White Claw represents a lifestyle. It signifies summer, partying, and music festivals, a complete way of life in the social media realm. Thankfully we are still in the age of the meme and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. “Old Town Road” and “The Git Up” was a wild country rap phenomenon

that had people from all walks of life dancing together. We saw dance challenges from different police and fire departments, news stations, and from within our own community. Keanu Reeves became a meme simply for existing. Tik Tok is just a knock-off Vine. While we still don’t know what happens inside Area 51, we know Americans are on the alien train. Stranger Things continues to generate interest in ‘80s fashion and music through its compelling supernatural alien plotline. Fashion companies realized people would pay double for half a shirt. Skinny jeans are still in. It’s almost as if we time traveled through three decades simultaneously, a never-ending story for sure. Believe it or not, farmhouse decor and sterile gray and white are out next season. Interior designers believe the year 2019 is the end of a major trend. While we love Magnolia and all the farmhouse decor Hobby Lobby could handle, it’s time to bid adieu to the age of shiplap. 2020 will bring more geometric shapes, clean lines, and mixes of coastal patterns with intricate texture. Many cities sought to ban plastic straws. Over 500 million plastic straws are used

every day in the United States. Although Florida currently has legislation prohibiting cities from banning plastic straws, there was a movement in the right direction this year. Throughout Florida, especially on the coasts, you will find several restaurants and bars choosing to have paper straws in lieu of plastic and the number of businesses participating is growing. There is a huge movement towards getting rid of single-use plastic and hopefully the United States can get closer to this goal in 2020. 2019 saw an increase of food ordering services and apps. Instacart, Walmart Pickup, Target Drive Up, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates, just to name a few, completely transformed the future of grocery shopping and takeout. In the name of intentionality and outsourcing, these tools have been booming here in Ocala. More millennials are adopting minimalist lifestyles and choosing to consume less. Surprisingly, there was a decline in the use of social media over the course of the year. Many users opted to put restrictions on their time spent on social media applications with some users taking extended breaks from social media apps altogether. Thanks to Apple, “Screen Time” enabled iPhone users to track and assess the amount of time they were spending on their phone and its applications. As we move into a new decade, we still lack answers to the most important questions in life, like why they butchered the ending of Game of Thrones and where the government is hiding the aliens inside Area 51. But not all trends can live past their fifteen minutes of fame. Some trends were funny, some surprising, and some brought unity to groups that have long been divided. Our hope for 2020 is that whatever trends come our way, they continue to bring us together. Adieu 2019. Thank you, next.



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n question, the accuracy of the numbers, which painted a less than flattering picture of the Brick City, where it was mentioned in the same breath as larger municipalities such as Detroit and St. Louis. An article in the Miami Herald suggested that the City of Ocala was the most gun violent municipality in the nation. But how did they arrive at those numbers? Apparently, the statistics were com-




piled by Gun Violence Archive data, where comparisons examined and evaluated incidents over a four year period, for the years 2014 through 2018. According to the study, there were 28.9 firearm-related incidents for every 10,000 people in Ocala. The figures were studied by researchers at Security.Org, according to the article in the Miami Herald. The City’s gun violence purportedly increased by a staggering 442% during the


time frame, suggesting Ocala was unsafe. However, a closer look at the statistics reveal they were looking at the county as a whole, rather than at the city itself, said Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn. Marion County’s population is 360,000, whereas the city’s populace is only 60,000. The numbers compiled from incidents in the county were applied to the city. “The numbers they were using were per 10,000 residents, so obviously the numbers

mean that there were actually shootings, it means, someone called and said, ‘I think I heard shots that were fired.’ We’re trying to clear all this up and get to the bottom of it. It wasn’t good for Ocala to have that written about it. The Miami Herald hasn’t heard from Security.Org yet, but when they do, they’re going to retract the article. There’s no way they can validate that. It’s incorrect information. We’ve asked them to retract it.” Ocala Magazine will be following up this story over the next several months.

SECURITY.ORG DEFINITION OF A GUN INCIDENT: Grey area indicates City of Ocala official borders

“When you’re ahead of Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore, something’s not right.” are exaggerated and it makes us look bad,” said Guinn.” Security.org, the company who studied the data, sells home security systems, identity theft protection, medical alert systems and surveillance cameras. “When you’re ahead of Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore, something’s not right, and that’s what everybody thought when they saw that,” said Guinn. “If I was the journalist who wrote that article, Mr. Cohen, I would’ve thought, ‘This just doesn’t sound right. Something’s not right here. I’m going to pick up the phone and call the Chief of Police in Ocala or the Public Information Officer. ‘I’m about to print this story, do you have any comment. It seems odd.’ But that never happened.” It’s a topic of great gravitas, with Ocala being singled out as the most gun violent city in

the nation, said Guinn. This particular depiction of the municipality is done in such a way that it can act as a deterrent, steering people away from the area, by promulgating statistics that are misrepresentative of the community. “Any incident that has to do with a gun counts against us,” said Guinn. “A convicted felon in possession of a firearm we arrest, that’s an incident; recovering a stolen firearm counts against us; a 911 call saying, ‘I think I heard shots fired.’ and it ended up being firecrackers, that counts against us.” However, statistics suggest a far different story regarding gun violence in Ocala over the past 35 months. “In 2017, we had five homicides in the city, in 2018 we had eight and in 2019 we had six,” said Guinn. “During that same time period, we had 106 shooting calls, that doesn’t

This is any instance where a victim is killed or injured by a shooting or is the victim of an armed robber or home invader. Incidents of a defensive gun use also qualify, such as homeowners stopping a home invasion, store clerks stopping a robbery, and individuals stopping an assault or rape. Source: Gun Violence Archive Data 2014-2018 For more information and methodology: https://www. security.org/resources/citycrimes-involving-guns/



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This information is from sources deemed to be reliable. We are not responsible for misstatements of facts, errors or omissions, prior sale, change of price, and/or terms or withdrawal from the market without notice. Buyer should verify all information with its own representatives as well as state and local agencies. Brokers please note that a variable rate commission may exist on this offering that might result in a lower commission cost to the Seller if a Buyer’s broker is not involved in the transaction. ©2019 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.



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Leading by Example BY BEN BAUGH


he most respected leaders in Ocala, Marion County often carry the greatest responsibility. Their commitment to serving others and their altruistic nature, character, and integrity have played a large role in their success but also in the operations that are under


their charge. These men and women have distinguished themselves in their respective fields and have drawn the admiration of their peers, but how well-known are they outside of the communities they represent? Ocala Magazine is providing a platform for the area’s local leaders to become better


known within the community. It’s an opportunity to get to know CEOs, presidents, and executive directors and their role in making Ocala, Marion County a great place to live and work. Here is a compilation of brief biographies and pictures of the area’s movers and shakers.

Marilyn Hewson

LOCKHEED MARTIN Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer Hewson had previously served in the capacity of president, COO, and as the executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Electronics Systems business area. She joined the company more than 35 years ago as an industrial engineer. The leadership positions she has held with the company include president of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, executive vice president of Global Sustainment for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and president and general manager of Kelly Aviation Center, L.P. In addition to her current responsibilities, Hewson serves on several boards, including as a director of Johnson & Johnson, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Board of Governors of the USO and the Catalyst Board of Directors. She had previously served on the boards of DuPont, DowDuPont and Carpenter Technology. Hewson’s influence is far reaching, having a global impact. In 2019, TIME magazine identified her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and Fortune magazine ranked her No. 1 on the list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. She was born in Junction City, Kansas. Hewson obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in business administration and her Master of Arts in economics from the University of Alabama and has completed executive development programs at Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School.

Lonny Powell

FLORIDA THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS' & OWNERS' ASSN Chief Executive Officer Powell literally grew up around Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. His father Taylor Powell was a jockey for more than a quarter of a century. Powell’s resume is impressive and all encompassing, owning the distinction of serving in a number of different capacities. The horseman and executive is synonymous with the horse and pari-mutuel industries, serving as a chief or senior executive at racetracks, as a racing regulator an industry academic an account wagering provider a corporate track owner and an executive director of the breeders’ and owners’ association. A registered lobbyist in several states, Powell’s advocacy for Thoroughbred racing and equestrian sport resonates globally. Powell’s knowledge and positive record of results make him a much sought after speaker and prospective board member. Powell understands all facets of the industry, having worked from the ground up, and is a pleasure and show horse owner. He has also been involved with a deep volume of charities. He was appointed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam to serve as chairman and as a director of the Florida Horse Park. Powell’s responsibilities also include serving as the director of the Florida Society of Association Executives, and he also sits on the board of the Ocala/ Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership.

Kevin T. Sheiley

OCALA/MARION COUNTY CHAMBER AND ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP President and Chief Executive Officer Sheilley has sat at the helm of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP) since December 2012, taking on that role when the Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce and the Ocala/Marion County Economic Development Corporation merged. He’s no stranger to leadership roles, with the CEP being the fourth start-up he’s been the head of, having worked at chamber and economic development organizations in Kentucky and Tennessee. Under Sheilley’s direction, the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership has expanded, through his defined approach and innovative strategy of aggressive and coordinated business efforts in business attraction and business retention coupled with a focus on education and workforce development. He is a native of Louisville, Kentucky and a graduate of Union University.



John Zobler City Manager

CITY OF OCALA John Zobler was appointed as city manager in November 2014. Zobler is responsible for over 1000 city employees and the city’s general fund budget of $118,658,794. Zobler served as Ocala’s deputy city manager from December 2010 until his retirement in December 2012. Zobler originally was hired by the city in February 1999 as sanitation manager and worked his way up to assistant city manager of community services, a position he accepted in October 2008. Zobler worked from 1984–1998 for Miami-Dade County before coming to Ocala. He is a member of the International City/County Management Association and the Florida City and County Management Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, a master’s degree from St. Thomas University and actively serves as a board member for the United Way of Marion County.

Joe Johnson

ADVENTHEALTH OCALA President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Johnson has been president and chief executive officer at AdventHealth Ocala since August 1, 2018. Joe’s career with AdventHealth began in 1985. Prior to coming to Ocala, Mr. Johnson was chief executive officer at AdventHealth Carrollwood where he led initiatives to grow the hospital’s capacity and modernize the facility. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Walla Walla College and master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. Joe has a passion for economic development and education. Since moving to Ocala, he has joined the boards of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) and the College of Central Florida Foundation.

Katrina Ploof

OCALA CIVIC THEATRE Executive Director Katrina has served as interim executive director since the death of long-time OCT Executive Director Mary Britt in April 2019. She has been involved with OCT as a director and choreographer for the past seven seasons, having previously directed Matilda, The Addams Family, Mamma Mia!, Shrek, Sister Act, My Fair Lady and Camelot. Since 1992, Katrina has directed more than 200 plays, musicals readings, and concerts. She spent 28 seasons as a director and choreographer at Theatre Winter Haven, where she directed the Amish Project in 2016. The play swept the awards at the Florida Theatre Conference and the Southeastern Theatre Conference, with Katrina receiving Best Director honors at both festivals. Born and raised in Maine, Katrina is the daughter of a music teacher and a vocalist. She spent 20 years touring the U.S. and Canada as an actor. Ploof decided to pursue her true passion: directing and teaching theatre to students and adults. She moved to Orlando in 1983 and was instrumental in the early years of Orlando’s Mad Cow Theatre. In 2013, Katrina returned to the stage in William Golden’s one-woman play Golda’s Balcony about the life of Golda Meir. She received Best Actress honors at the Florida Theatre Conference, Southeastern Theatre Conference, and the American Association of Community Theatre National Festival. As an acting coach and teacher, she works with private and public school students throughout central Florida. Ploof is also a playwright.



Jason Steuber

APPLETON MUSEUM OF ART Director Jason Steuber has served as the director of the College of Central Florida’s Appleton Museum of Art since September 2019. A native of St. Louis with over 25 years in museums, colleges, and universities, Jason comes to the Appleton from the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at University of Gainseville. An accomplished and award-winning scholar and author with more than 10 books and 30 journal entries published, Jason’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and ARTnews. He enjoys leading and working with the Appleton team to embrace the myriad of opportunities in Ocala and Marion County.


Ingram made the transition from being a professional water skier at SeaWorld, a position he held for more than five years, to a career in banking. He moved to Ocala in 1985 and assumed the role of president of South Trust Bank, which is now Wells Fargo. In March 2000, Ingram started Florida Bank, which is now TD Bank and was sold in 2005. His innovative leadership found him involved with another start-up, this time it was Gateway Bank of Central Florida, which was sold to Center State Bank in 2017. Ingram has been involved with a number of projects this past year, including several start-up businesses, in the real estate, restaurant and banking sectors. But the former professional water skier has left a strong imprint within the county with his presence and commitment to the area as a director on a number of nonprofit boards. Ingram is the current treasurer for the Humane Society, sits of the board of the Community Foundation is on the board of trustees for Ocala Health, and is the current chairman of the Michael E. Ingram Foundation. Among the past boards Ingram has sat on include the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation; is the former chairman of the YMCA; and is a former board member of the United Way; Rotary; Elk’s Club; Chamber of Commerce and Go Red for Women—American Heart Association.

Rick Bourne

HOSPICE OF MARION COUNTY Chief Executive Officer Rick Bourne took over the helm of CEO of Hospice of Marion County (HMC) in December 2018. His responsibilities include managing all aspects of the administration within the organization. In his role, he works closely with all assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, physicians and care providers at all levels to balance strategic goals with efficiency and cost effectiveness. Bourne has more than three decades of experience in healthcare, where he served multiple counties, oversaw hundreds of employees and managed large budgets. The Minnesota-native had served previously as president/ CEO of four health care organizations based in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Montana prior to accepting the position at HMC. Community-minded in his approach, Bourne has served or volunteered for more than 20 organizations. He received his Master of Science in management with High Honors, obtaining an emphasis in managerial leadership, external degree from the Minnesota School of Business. He received his Bachelor of Arts in secondary education from the University of Montana, with an emphasis in social sciences.



Scot Quintel

UNITED WAY OF MARION COUNTY President and Chief Executive Officer Scot Quintel has been working with nonprofits for the past 29 years to improve communities. He was raised in Michigan and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. Under Quintel’s direction, the United Way of Marion County has undergone a complete transformation of its philosophy and how it addresses the local community. Quintel currently serves as the board chairman of the Central Florida Community Action Agency. He also serves as the vice chair of the Continuum of Care Board of Governors and sits on the boards of the Housing Finance Authority and Marion County Children’s Alliance. He places an emphasis on partnerships and how organizations can work collectively to create lasting change. An example of a project that has come to fruition while under Quintel’s direction is the Community Partnership School that’s in its development stages.

Mounir Bouyounes

MARION COUNTY County Administrator County administrator Mounir Bouyounes began his career with Marion County Government in 1993, as a traffic engineering technician with the Office of the County Engineer. He was promoted through the ranks to the role of county engineer in 2003, and then in 2011, he assumed the role of county engineer and public works assistant county administrator. He was appointed by the Board of County Commissioners as the County Administrator in 2015. Bouyounes has held the designation of Professional Engineer since 1997. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Toledo in 1985 and a Master of Science in civil engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1992. Bouyounes is currently a member of the Florida Association of County Engineers and Road Superintendents and the Florida Association of County Managers. He is a member of the local chapter of the Florida Engineering Society and enjoyed serving on the board of directors for two years. Bouyounes is also a proud member of Leadership Ocala Marion County XXVI and served on the Board of Regents for three years. Bouyounes enjoys spending time with his wife Latife and their three children, Paul, Elias, and Sarah; Sarah attends Trinity Catholic High School. Paul and Elias have both graduated from the University of Florida, with Paul obtaining a degree in electrical engineering and Elias in biology.

Chad Christianson

OCALA HEALTH Chief Executive Officer Chad Christianson has been the CEO of Ocala Health since June 2016, which encompasses Ocala Regional Medical Center; West Marion Community Hospital; Family Care Specialists; Advanced Imaging Centers; Summerfield ER; Maricamp ER and Trailwinds Village ER, opening soon, as well as several specialty practices. He had previously served as the chief operating officer of HCA’s CWJ Medical Center in Richmond, Va. Prior to working at CJW Medical Center, Chad was the chief operating officer of West Houston Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Chad serves on the Marion County Fire Rescue Advisory Board, the executive committees of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and the Marion County Heart Walk. Christianson earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He is a native of the Daytona Beach area, and he and his wife Ansley have three sons Caden, Chance, and Cannon.



Dr. James Henningsen

PRESIDENT College of Central Florida Dr. James Henningsen has served as the president of College of Central Florida since 2012. The learning institution has been recognized nationally while Henningsen has been at the helm, earning plaudits from the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence four times for being named among the top 15% of colleges nationwide. He had previously served at Seminole State College and has nearly three decades of experience in higher education. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership and the United Way of Marion County. Henningsen’s influence is also felt nationwide as he serves on the board for the American Association of Community Colleges. Dr. Henningsen and the College of Central Florida team are fully focused on student success and preparing individuals for work and life.

Jared Konstanty

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Signature Brands Jared Konstanty is a proven, inspirational business leader with a key focus on driving breakthrough results. He has over 20 years of experience in the packaged goods industry in dozens of countries around the world. He currently serves as CEO of Signature Brands, a CPG company leading the industry with the following brands: Betty Crocker, Cake Mate, Pumpkin Masters, PAAS, and Gift Pop. Prior to this role, Jared served as President of Nice-Pak. Nice-Pak is the world’s leading manufacturer of wet wipes with strong presence in the U.S. and Europe. Konstanty had also served as CEO of Popcorn, Indiana, and while in this role it was through his leadership that there was a complete restructure and transformation in just over two years. His deep and impressive resume includes positions as senior vice president and general manager of the snacks business for Pepperidge Farm, division of Campbell Soup Co., leading growth on such iconic snack brands as Goldfish Crackers and Milano Cookies. Konstanty enjoyed a long career with Ocean Spray Cranberries prior to transitioning to Pepperidge Farm, he was the vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Caribbean for Ocean Spray driving transformational growth. He previously led marketing for USBeverage and had a number of positions in marketing and sales over his career with Ocean Spray. Konstanty is a graduate of Cornell University—majoring in Food Industry Management and Marketing—where he earned the designation of Food Fellow. Jared resides in Westport, Connecticut with his wife Kelly and their two sons, Andrew and Colin.

Kenneth Ford

IHMC Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ford is the founder and CEO of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, a nonprofit research institute based in Pensacola, with a branch in Ocala. IHMC has evolved one of the nation’s premier research organizations with world-class scientists and engineers investigating a broad range of topics related to building technological systems aimed at amplifying and extending human cognition, perception, locomotion, and resilience. In 2004, Florida Trend Magazine named Ford one of Florida’s four most influential citizens working in academia. Ford is the author of hundreds of scientific papers and six books. His research interests include artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-centered computing, and entrepreneurship in government and academia. In 2017, Ford was inducted into the Florida Inventor’s Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. Ford was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve in the National Service Board in 2002, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003. Ford has served as the chairman of the NASA Advisory Council and in 2018 he was appointed to the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.



HOPS Purchase David Cook’s book,

The Way It Was: A Trek Through Marion County’s Past for $25. Available at Shannon Roth Collection downtown and Your Heart’s Desire in Ocala.

Thank you to Infinite Ale Works for a great evening!


Set amid the ambience of the city’s oldest historic district and through the generosity of the homeowners, H.O.P.S. is pleased to showcase some of Ocala’s distinctive architecture, history, and culture. Since 1992, these home tours have provided a rare opportunity for guests to go inside some of our community’s most beautiful private residences.

2019 Historic Ocala Preservation Society Board Members Pamela Stafford — President Richard Perry — Vice President Dennis Phillips — Treasurer Brian Stoothoff — Secretary Linda Anker Ryan Batchelor Leon Geller Jarl Hagood Peg Harding R.J. Jenkins Lela Kerley Caryl Lucas Penny Miller Suzanne Thomas Rhoda Walkup Diana Williams Link Wilson

712 S.E. Fort King St. Ocala, FL 34471 | (352) 351-1861 | www.HistoricOcala.org

50,000 sq. ft. Facility Thrive Group Training Gold’s Studio Gold’s Cycle GGX Group Activity Room Boxing & Kickboxing Classes Dry Sauna Lap Pool Extensive Plate Loaded Equipment Over 75 Pieces of Cardio Equipment with 21” Personal Screens Recovery Room • HydroMassage Chairs • Training Rooms • Hyper-Ice Massage Devices • Red Light Therapy

Huge Children’s Playroom Smoothie Bar Separate Core Area Circuit Area Personal Training Luxury Locker Rooms

4421 NW Blitchton Road, Ocala, Florida 34482

(352) 414-4848 Goldsocala.com

HOLIDAYS C a t e r i n g • P a rt i e s • U n i q u e G i f t s • g i f t c a r d s It's the most wonderful time of the year! A perfect time to celebrate with your family and friends. We love this time of the year and have decorated our restaurant and boutique so you can enjoy the beauty of the season while you shop and dine. We offer many services to help make your holidays easier. Catering is one of our specialties. We can serve at your event or you can preorder and pick up. We also have a private dining area for your holiday parties and our brand new event venue "Brick 9 Social", is now open. Call today and one of our event coordinators will be happy to explain all we have to offer and nd what ts your needs best. Don't forget we also have a wonderful boutique full of unique gifts for everyone.

Now until December 24th B u y $100 Wor t h I V OS G if t Cards & R e c ieve a Fre e $20 G if t Card

Ocala 352-622-5550 | Williston 352-528-5410


fashionable faves Whether it’s handed-down, vintage, custom-designed, or new off-the-rack—we ask Ocala to dig into their closets and show us the pieces that make them truly unique. PHOTOGRAPHER: Ralph Demilio MODELS:

Jeanine and Gurdeep Singh JEANINE

OCCUPATION: Model, actress, and videographer.

SIGNED WITH: Modern Muse Models and Level Talent Group HAPPILY MARRIED: To Gurdeep Singh, 4 years. ON LOVE & FASHION: I think fashion was our first attraction to each other. We met after I came back from studying abroad in London. On our first date, I wore a peach shawl, leather gloves, a wool hat, jeans, and stunning heels. Deep had on army pants, a fitted long-sleeved shirt, black boots, and a necklace. Our fashion sense showed our confidence and desire to be uniquely us. ON LIFE & FASHION: Fashion isn't everything. I would never judge anyone by the way that they dress. However, when I directly magnify fashion on my life, I see it as a role. Who do I want to be today? Do I want to be classy professional, nerdy, cultural, hip or younger, or am I going on a hot date with hubby? Each role is an art for me. I never keep up with trends because I don't want to have what everyone else has. If it's not casual, there has to be some type of artistic architectural structure to it. I could spend hours shopping and walk away with one piece or nothing at all because every purchase has to have the wow factor. Every purchase has to have the potential to be a classic that I can pull out years later and wear differently, kind of like a puzzle. Fashion is the beginning of the story that I want to tell. IG: JeanineLSingh




OCCUPATION: Mixologist and server at Stella's Modern Pantry. EDUCATION: Food production, hospitality,

travel and aviation management HAPPILY MARRIED TO: To Jeanine Singh, 4 years. ON FASHION: Fashion to me is to have a sense of what

looks best on your body. Never follow trends to fit in, learn your body type so that you can rock fashion for yourself, and always look good. IG: ClassicSingh91




THIS PAGE: I love pairing cool comfortable t-shirts and joggers with my leather boots; it always makes me feel like a fashion freak. Sunglasses and aviators are always the perfect fit for me. Ray Bans make the classic look just right.

I love my ripped jeans paired with a nice shirt for casual days. Designed by Fastrack, this heavy metal watch is my go-to. One of my friends surprised me with it after his stay in Dubai, and I absolutely love it!


RIGHT: You probably haven't seen much of it, but I like to rock sweater t-shirts during Florida winters. Honestly, I love the cool weather and this t-shirt is all of the warmth that I need. Burgundy is one of my favorite colors, and I love to mix it into my fashion. My joggers and loafers are designed by Guess. Sometimes I wear different necklaces. This one is handmade from Spain, representing the culture through beautiful colors. I like to stay sharp and fresh with fashion knowledge to mix my wardrobe up.




LEFT: Casual Days. When it's time to sit back and just relax with friends and family, I love

fashionable comfort. This color combination with plaid on plaid mixes so well. When combined with shredded jeans and chunky boot heels, the complete ensemble has an edgy vibe. I love, love, love my fur! A dear friend of mine gifted me with it a couple of years ago and I wear it every chance that I get. I pretty much take it on every photoshoot, just in case I need it. I can't remember where I purchased this top from but it is actually a high-low blouse that catches wind with every step. I love that I've never seen this color combination and pattern before. I call this combo "Uniquely Fabulous!"


THIS PAGE: Oh, the things that I could say about my red fur fringe and I. The moment that I laid eyes on this statement piece, I immediately knew that it was meant for me. Fur is a must as a Connecticut native and the combination of red and fringe screams "Boho Fabulous!"




Contact Eric Shaw, Local Rep 352-497-9707


Gracious Central Florida Living Photo by Jessi Miller

Everything Equine p76 | Charity: NAMI p78 | State of the City p82 | State of the County p83




everything equine


Bit of Luck

A Cup of the Good Stuff


cala and Marion County are renowned for its karst topography, the Floridan Aquifer, and the ample benefits derived from its vast natural resources. The minerals found in the soil play a large role in helping young horses’ bones grow strong. However, the area is also well-known for its deep volume of talented horse trainers, and their ability to achieve optimal results, with the preponderance of the fields for major stakes races, including the Kentucky Derby and other added money contests being composed of horses who received their early training in Ocala. The culmination of each racing year takes place in mid-Autumn during the


Breeders’ Cup Championships, a showcase of Thoroughbred racing’s best talent, featuring horses from around the globe competing over a two-day period composing the richest weekend in terms of purse money for the sport awarded in the United States. The most prominent race and finale at the Breeders’ Cup Championships is the Breeders’ Cup Classic. One horse made an indelible imprint, and like many others received his start in Ocala. Vino Rosso, literally meaning red wine, was a 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase for $410,000 by co-owners Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable. The horse was purchased on the advice of a prominent locally-based Thoroughbred



trainer, James “J.J.” Crupi, who sadly passed away this past May. The 4-year-old colt was bred in Kentucky by John and Tanya Gunther, who also bred the 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. Interestingly, there would be a unique bond between Justify and Vino Rosso, the two horses were from the same foal crop and uniquely were in the same pen at the start of their lives. A Triple Crown winner and a Breeders’ Cup Winner were side by side for the early part of their lives, with greater things for both on the horizon. Vino Rosso started his training at Crupi’s New Castle Farm and demonstrated his precocity as a 2-year-old. A horse with a strong pedigree, his bloodlines suggested stamina and

Photo Courtesy of Louisa Barton

At the moment Vino Rosso crossed the finish line first in the Classic, I was honoring the memory of an Ocala legend and believe I felt the same joy as many others who knew and loved James Crupi. would be perfect at the Classic distances. His sire Curlin was a two-time Horse of the Year, who finished third in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, won the Preakness and placed second in the Belmont Stakes. However, Curlin would also go onto win the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic, and did it in authoritative fashion, winning by a 4-length margin. Crupi, who enjoyed success on the racetrack, winning four training titles at Monmouth Park and another at The Meadowlands, established his training center in Fellowship in 1995. The 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming was a graduate of the Crupi’s New Castle Farm program. Uncle Mo, a multiple Grade One winner and Eclipse Award champion, was also selected at the sales by Crupi, graduating from the horseman’s program before going onto stardom, and in doing so put Mike Repole’s stable back on the map. No stranger to success, Crupi’s New Castle Farm graduates have been consistently found on the Triple Crown trail. Audible, Liam’s Map, Macho Again, Made from Lucky, Little Mike, Palace, Stay Thirsty, Stopchargingmaria and Untrapped are among the many talented horses who’ve come through Crupi’s program. Leigh Emerson McKathan, a co-host of mine on the Horse Talk Show and the wife of the late prominent horseman J.B. McKathan, and I were in Maryland for the Preakness, and decided to make a stop at J.B.’s favorite area restaurant. We made a U-turn and good fortune smiled upon us, there were plenty of open seats, but the waitress guided us straight to a table that was right beside Monique Delk and J.J. Crupi of Crupi’s New Castle Farm. We were delighted and pleased to see them both. Crupi generously insisted we have the remainder of his bottle of red wine, as he wasn’t feeling well that evening, and he and Monique were about to leave the restaurant. Leigh and I thanked him, but I declined a glass, explaining that red wine has always given me a headache. Crupi told me, "that I had just never had a really good one,

and that this was the good stuff." He told me this wine would not give me a headache. I took his word for it because Crupi was always right about horses and wine. J.J. or Jimmy, as many called him, wasn’t in good health at the time. He was in Maryland for the Fasig-Tipton Sale, doing what he loved best. He was carrying oxygen with him to the barns to be near the horses, which is where he loved to be. Regardless of his health or pain, he always attended to the horses. He started with less than nothing and ended up as one of the best in the business, and doing it the right way. Jimmy’s slogan was always, “There’s no hassle at the Castle.” And that was because Jimmy dealt straightforwardly and honestly with people. An amazing horseman, Crupi was a caring individual with an altruistic nature, helping any number of people, those who were down on their luck; others who needed a job or confidence boost or just a kind word, and often helping those struggling to find clients. He would help anyone. Even in more recent times, when he had to resort to using oxygen most of the time, he would go out of his way to make someone feel appreciated. When Vino Rosso triumphantly crossed the wire in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, this past November, my mind slipped back to the Italian restaurant in Maryland, the place where I was with Leigh McKathan and had seen Crupi and Monique Delk. I could see the bottle of red wine Crupi gave to us the last time we saw him, just a few days before he passed away. I remembered that last hug and that big smile that Crupi

always had for everyone. Vino Rosso proved to be the good stuff too. Vino Rosso outran and outperformed older horses who were amongst the best racehorses in the world. He even passed the Bob Baffert-trained favorite McKinzie and won the big race. The owners of Vino Rosso, Vinnie Viola and Mike Repole, spoke passionately about the important role Crupi played in the colt’s Breeders’ Cup Classic victory. “Jimmy Crupi really understood this horse,” said Viola. “He was like a blue chip high school prospect that had a really great college career that had to learn how to be

a great pro. I think Todd [Pletcher, Vino Rosso’s trainer] and Mike [Repole] would agree the person who oversees the breaking and initial training of a horse is probably as critical as any part of the team. And Jimmy, wherever you are, I know you’re in heaven, we love you very much and this one really; really was because of and for you.” At the moment Vino Rosso crossed the finish line first in the Classic, I was honoring the memory of an Ocala legend and believe I felt the same joy as many others who knew and loved James Crupi. The end of the year in racing culminated in the memory of one bottle of red wine and a horse called Vino Rosso, and a great horseman James “J.J.” Crupi of Crupi’s New Castle Farm. For all that he did for horses, for so many people and for all of us who loved him. James “J.J.” Crupi was one of a kind. He will never be forgotten. In loving memory of James “J.J.” Crupi, may he rest in peace.





Join the Club I

t’s something whose gravitas has touched the lives of every family. Mental health issues are far more commonplace than people think. One of every five adults is afflicted with a disorder, many which aren’t talked about. However, there are organizations people can turn to if they’re feeling overwhelmed. One of those resources can be found in Ocala, the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI Marion County, Inc. “Our local organization has been around since the mid’80s,” said Diana Williams, NAMI past president and board member. “We’ve continually provided support group meetings, for those caregivers and peers (those living with the mental illness), programs that NAMI developed. We also provide classes that we have as a series for the caregivers, and they learn how to manage their loved one in a respectful way. We have classes for peers as well.” NAMI Marion County has also helped local law enforcement with their crisis in-



tervention training, providing officers a different approach when they find themselves in an environment where they have encountered an individual with a severe mental illness, so they have knowledge to help de-escalate the situation. “The organization also works with partners throughout the community, and they work diligently to connect services,” said Williams. “There are several programs that have made a significant impact, services that have helped transform people’s lives,” said Williams. “One of the programs that we were instrumental in starting along with our partners was the mental health court diversion program, and they’ve since started a veterans’ court diversion program as well. This is designed to eliminate the revolving door, connecting the participants with the services they need, so they aren’t inclined to keep getting arrested and going back to jail,” said Williams. “The program has been extreme-


ly successful. Judge ( James) McCune was a driving force in getting that program started years ago. We’re extremely proud.” NAMI’s programs in the community have been impactful in helping many families within the area. Thankfully those same families, whose family members have been helped by the organization’s services, are giving back by volunteering, sharing their experiences with others who are going through similar circumstances, providing access to a wealth of information. “Often individuals get diagnosed in their teens and early 20s,” said Williams. “When there’s a crisis, you really don’t know where to turn. So, this organization has members that have lived the experience. They’re a great resource for people going through a crisis, and asking, ‘what do I do now? This wasn’t supposed to happen in my family.’ That lived experience is a knowledge base that’s extremely useful to help others.” “The organization continues to expand

Photos by Joshua Jacobs

Exposure and Awareness Removing Stigma

its presence and recently became involved with The Ora Clubhouse. The facility is located on NE 14th Street, and is a work recovery program,” said Williams. Clubhouse International is a nationwide mental health innovation network and we will implement their model. “We’re fortunate to start one in Marion County,” said Williams. “It’s a program that’s designed to assist people living with a severe mental illness to get to the point where they’re comfortable sustaining employment. The program is individually paced for members and includes a very welcoming environment. It’s based on critical values like respect, wellness, acceptance, kindness and purpose, and provides a safe place for them to gain work experience and grow.” Mental health is a major concern that’s plaguing our nation. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents, according to NAMI. Suicide has also become more prevalent among college students, and although universities are doing a better job, communication needs to improve between the university and those matriculated in the learning institution. And with students being away from home, “parents often aren’t aware of the situations and circumstances they’re experiencing,” said Williams. “They don’t know who to talk to, don’t know where to turn to for help,” said Williams. “It’s something that we’re all becoming aware of, particularly because a lot of veterans are coming back from service and

are experiencing PTSD, and they need help. NAMI encourages peers to be medicine compliant, visit their psychiatrist regularly, get counseling, and hopefully stay on the right path to recovery.” NAMI has 28 affiliates in Florida. The national organization plays a large role in helping to shape public policy for those coping with the challenges of mental illness. “There’s a NAMI state organization; NAMI Florida,” said Williams. “We have conferences, our state annual conference was in Orlando this year. It was extremely well-attended. We’ve really been advocating to eliminate the stigma that is often associated with mental illness.” People often talk about their physical maladies, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, respiratory issues, “but still have difficulty in addressing problems associated with mental illness,” said Williams. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the United States. “People may commit suicide because they don’t know who to talk to, and people don’t know what to say,” said Williams. “There are various programs around such as Mental Health First Aid, it’s not a NAMI initiated program but it’s a practical application of what you can do or say if someone mentions to you, they are contemplating suicide.” However, there are an increasing number of resources available to help people who are considering taking their own life and preclude them from committing suicide.

“People are finally becoming more comfortable to talk about it, and learn better how to react,” said Williams. “It’s coming to the forefront that this is such a common problem in the United States that needs to be addressed.” “Finding funding mechanisms for health issues, particularly when it pertains to mental health is challenging,” said Williams. “It’s very difficult to access a doctor and get an appointment quickly, if you’re experiencing a crisis,” said Williams. “Often times, you’re scheduled months out. This is really a mental health crisis that needs to be addressed.” Mental health symptoms can manifest themselves in the form of substance abuse, and those with illnesses often find themselves trying to self-medicate to alleviate their problems, said Williams. “People are drinking alcohol and taking drugs because it makes them feel better one way or another, so that makes it an even bigger problem,” said Williams. “That needs to be addressed as well, the co-occurring substance abuse.” Mental health disorders can be rather complex, and doctors have to be able to determine what is the best way to treat a person, what medicine they should prescribe as well as ascertaining and evaluating the most suitable approach in assisting them as they work toward improving their quality of life. “Often times, when they’re at their worst, is when they’re experiencing their biggest crisis,” said Williams. “Family has literally given up because they’ve gone through so much that they just don’t know where to turn. We need to be diagnosing illness early; like so many health issues early detection is critical, and that way they can be on the road to recovery without having the heartache of a crisis.” However, the stigma remains, and being diagnosed with a mental illness at a young age, can bring with it a series of complications that are often life-altering. “Many parents try to avoid having their child being labeled,” said Williams. “They need to be proactive and be aware of circumstances that should be addressed.” Parents are the advocate for the child. The earlier we start asking questions, the better. NAMI WILL CONTINUE to provide their programs in the community and welcomes volunteers. The contact information may be found at www.namiocala.org.




in our special



marketplace section

Coming January 2020



Limited space available for this great opportunity. For more information, please call 352-895-8074 or 352-622-2995 Extension 303

12/13 DROWNING POOL Tickets start at $20 18+ show



state of the city

An Unsung Hero For History BY ASHLEY DOBBS


ach year the Mary Sue Rich Diversity Awards highlights individuals who stay true to the values embraced by Council woman Rich, which includes creating a space for inclusion, diversity, and dedication within the City of Ocala. At this year’s UNITY Breakfast held in October, we were proud to honor one of our employees. This year’s recipient for the Unsung Hero award was presented to Keifer Calkins for his work at the Fort King National Historic Landmark. Calkins is a part of the city’s Recreation and Parks Department and when it came time to open Fort King as an additional park within the city, Calkins readily accepted the challenge of being the Outdoor and Historic Resource Program Coordinator. The task: create educational programming that will tell the story of the historic site and keep the interest of the public. Recognizing that history is riddled with pain on both sides of the battlefield and that no amount of rewriting history will change what happened at Fort King, Calkins has carefully crafted the messaging that guests experience when coming to an event at the fort. While the original fort was abandoned and later burned, a second Fort King was built in 1837 and served as the headquarters for the Second Seminole War, which played a significant role in the fight for Florida. What ensued was a bloody battle between the U.S. Army and the Seminole Indians, each wanting to stake claim on the land that was centered among the Florida landscape. In 1842, the U.S. Army declared an end to the Second Seminole War after seven years of fighting, and dwindling numbers on the Seminole tribe side. With each program or event that takes place at the newly established fort, Calkins asks visitors to come along for the journey


Mayor Kent Guinn and Keifer Calkins

and to recognize the past and learn from it. In the words of Kathy Crile, Recreation and Parks director, “He works tirelessly to build the relationships and cultivate the trust needed to ensure that all sides can be heard, and the story is balanced.” The annual Fort King Reenactment takes place the first weekend in December


each year. The vision of Calkins is a result of many hours of research that includes being sensitive to those who once battled on the grounds of the present-day fort. The fort has become increasingly popular for their events and the reenactment is the pinnacle of a year long list of opportunities for the citizens of Ocala, and Marion County, to see history come alive. His efforts to tell the story of Fort King and helps us understand that it came at a significant cost to the Seminole. Much like the present-day fort standing tall within the city limits, Keifer Calkins has made his presence known within the city for being dedicated to his work and the stories he shares with the public. We are proud to name him the Unsung Hero for this year’s award and know that the passion and commitment he applies to his job shines brightly for each visitor who takes the time to pass through the doors of the Fort King National Historic Landmark.


state of the county

Citizens Academy


ave you visited a wastewater treatment plant? Did you know the trash in the landfill helps produce energy? Have you seen HazMat equipment up close? Learn about these topics and more during the 2020 Marion County Citizens Academy. This free, half-day course covers the ins and outs of your local government. In addition to classroom presentations, attendees will enjoy interactive demonstrations and behind-the-scenes tours of county facilities. With 24 departments and offices, there’s so many intriguing things to learn. Guest speakers, with a wealth of knowledge, prepare educational material specific to their occupations. Residents have the opportunity to learn from primary resources and pose questions directly to county decision makers. “When you work for the county, you are exposed to the many working parts and see, first hand, how hard every employee is working to serve county residents,” explains Kelli Hart, Marion County’s Director of Public Relations and Communications. “Citizens Academy is revolutionary in that it invites residents to see their dollars at work and gain a better understanding and appreciation of what we do day in and out.” A post-course survey is provided to ev-

“Government is stronger when community members have a seat at the table.” BY BRANDON KALLOO

ery academy participant, and the feedback reflects citizens enjoy the experience and walk away with a greater understanding of their local government–the goal and mission of this outreach program. County staff say they also benefit from Citizens Academy as they are able to interface with the same citizens they serve. Hart goes on to explain, “Class sizes are limited to roughly 35 individuals and the slots fill up quickly.” Therefore, she encourages anyone interested to sign up as soon registration opens in January. Marion County first launched its Citizens Academy program in 2011 to encourage engagement with local government. Coursework has evolved over the years, but that original goal has remained consistent. Each participant gets a comprehensive handbook and county-branded polo which they will wear during their graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 2. Graduation is held at the Marion County Board of County Commissioner’s auditorium as part of an official board meeting. “We want our residents to feel included,” says Kathy Bryant, Marion County Board of County Commissioners Chairman. “Government is stronger when community members have a seat at the table. They can offer addi-

tional perspectives on how we’re doing as public servants. I hope to see our Citizens Academy grow over the next several years and look forward to meeting our 2020 participants.” Historically this course has run 10 weeks, but Marion County added an 11th week in 2020 to serve as a wrap-up to the program. During this final session, participants will get an in-depth look at how the budget works across the county. They will also have an opportunity for Q & A, as well as to provide insight on what they learned from the program. The program runs every Thursday from March 12 to May 21, from 8 a.m. to noon. Marion County residents 18 and older are eligible to attend. All participants must complete a registration form and be accepted prior to attending. Those applying need to commit to attending a minimum of 8 out of 11 sessions to be eligible for graduation. FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit MarionCountyFL.org/CitizensAcademy or call 352-438-2300.




Roasted Carrots — recipe on ocalamagazine.com Photo and recipe by RSVP Robin

On the Menu: Milano Ristorante p86 | Dining Out p88




on the menu

Eat, Drink, be Family



The Suleiman family has opened their first restaurant in Ocala. Bringing with them years of experience, they invite you to their table to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine that is sure to impress.


& W

hen it comes to the restaurant business, the Suleiman family is well versed in how to wow their customers. With over 15 years of experience in the industry and four locations in the Villages, the family has a wealth of knowledge on how to provide the perfect dining experience to anyone who visits one of their restaurants. Brothers David and George, along with David’s wife Sydney, were recently presented with the perfect opportunity to break into


the Ocala market with their newest venture — an authentic experience in Italian cuisine. “We have Italian roots and grew up making and eating Italian food with the family. For us, good food has always brought the family together,” Sydney Suleiman explained, mentioning that many of their favorite family recipes inspired the cuisine at Milano Ristorante. Once the Suleiman family met Gaetano Marino, they knew hiring him as a manager would be their recipe for success. Having spent much of his life around food

Photography by Joshua Jacobs

service, Marino understood exactly what it took to run a restaurant, especially in the Ocala area. This specialized knowledge and familiarity with the local Ocala market helped bring everything together. Now the hard work and collaboration between the Suleiman family and Marino has culminated into a truly ingenious eatery. Dining at Milano Ristorante is so much more than a meal. Care has been put into the most minute of details, and every piece comes together to deliver an immersive experience. You will feel as if you are dining “al fresco” in the heart of Italy rather than Ocala. Always keeping their main focus in mind—treating their customers like family—the Suleimans found a way to meet all of their customers’ dining needs. There is an open dining room to seat a large number of parties; however, if you are looking to have a more intimate meal, seven private coves with either tables or booths will provide a quieter space to enjoy the excellent cuisine. The waitstaff are expertly trained and ready to meet your every need. There is no question that everyone who works at Milano has a vested interest in making the customer’s experience an unforgettable one. Upon opening the menu, you will discover

a wealth of delectable options. The bread service provided is made from scratch and served at the perfect temperature with Italian spices and olive oil. Milano features a variety of Italian meals from pasta and pizza to meatballs and seafood, including several veal options that are sure to please. Every dish offered has been curated carefully, starting with the sauce. “I think our sauce is what separates us from the rest of the Italian restaurants,” David Suleiman declares proudly. In addition, pizza dough is crafted in-house daily, enhancing the experience from the moment you take a bite. If you have dietary needs, both a vegan cauliflower crust and a gluten-free pasta are available. The staff can help make any dish work for you. A full bar offers an array of beverages to accompany your meal, and the dessert menu is not to be missed. The cannoli perfectly complements a cappuccino, or you could try the limoncello, which is served in a glass that you can take home. Ensuring customers access to quality food in a quick, convenient way is of utmost importance to the family. So if you are unable to join them for a sit-down meal, Milano offers both pickup and delivery options to make sure everyone has a way to enjoy their delicious fare. Again, keeping their guests in mind, Milano makes it as easy as possible to take advantage of these services. There is a

separate entrance for anyone dropping by to grab carry-out. For those in need of delivery, the menu is available on Bite Squad's website, allowing customers to have authentic, mouth-watering Italian food in the comfort of their own home. George Suleiman points out, “Not a lot of people can get delivery [of ] homemade goods.” Whether you are dining in, taking out, or having it delivered, Milano Ristorante is eager to meet your needs. Pleasing their guests is the Suleimans’ top priority. “When we see people leaving happy, that is all that matters to us!” George says before emphasizing that he wants people to have an experience that will keep them returning for more. To the Suleiman family, running a restaurant is not just a business. It’s everything. “You have to dedicate your life to it. It is not a hobby. It is not a job. You really got to put your life into it,” David says. “If you put your heart into the food and getting to know the guests, stand behind the guests, more than what your product is, then your guests will tell you what they want.” Milano Ristorante is a place where you will be treated as family. Exceptional service will be delivered every time, and management will check in with you to make sure your needs are met. Go enjoy a meal at Milano or have one delivered to your front door. Bite Squad delivery available. Your taste buds will thank you!






West 82° Bar and Grill Enjoy an evening under the stars at the Plantation on Crystal River. A short drive to enjoy dinner overlooking Kings Bay and Crystal River featuring the finest natural local ingredients. Start your evening with a cocktail at our Tiki Bar and you might just see some special guests swim by (manatees) or just relax and watch the sunset. Come inside to West 82 and enjoy your dining with your friends and family.

Breakfast Daily 6am-10:30am | Lunch Mon –Sat: 11:30am-2:00pm Dinner Daily 5pm-9pm | Sunday Brunch 11:30am-2pm 9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429 352-795-4211 www.plantationoncrystalriver.com



Join us for Sunday Brunch with the traditional breakfast favorites and an impressive assortment of fresh salads, peel and eat shrimp and Chef’s specialty dinner selections. Every Sunday from 11:30am to 2:00pm

dining out


Tony’s Sushi Sushi Me! At Tony’s Sushi you can select your favorite sushi to include made-to-order specialty rolls by creating your own! Enjoy being entertained at the grill, watching your food being prepared while having some fun. For a more intimate setting, Tony’s offers private tables – perfect for special moments. Tony’s full bar includes sakes, imported draft beer & more. Like Tony’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TonySushiOcala

Ask about our daily, not on the menu items! We offer gift cards, catering and entertaining.

Mon-Thur 11a-10p, Fri & Sat 11a - 11p, Sun 12p - 10p 3405 SW College Rd. #103 Ocala, FL 34474 | 352-237-3151 www.tonyssushi.com

Ivy On The Square It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A perfect time to celebrate with your family and friends. We love this time of the year and have decorated our restaurant and boutique so you can enjoy the beauty of the season while you shop and dine. We offer many services to help make your holidays easier. Catering is one of our specialties. We can serve at your event or you can preorder and pick up. We also have a private dining area for your holiday parties and our brand new event venue “Brick 9 Social” is now open. Call today and one of our event coordinators will be happy to explain all we have to offer and find what fits your needs best. Don’t forget also we have a wonderful boutique full of unique gifts for everyone.

Taking Reservations Now. Stop by and enjoy cocktails on our beautiful patio or at the bar. Gift cards available.

53 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala | 352-622-5550 Tues-Sat 11am-9pm | Dining | Thurs-Sat 9pm-Til... | Tapas & Cocktails 106 NW Main St., Williston | 352-528-5410 Sun-Wed 11am-2pm, Thurs-Sat 11am-8pm | ivyhousefl.com

Cafe Crisp Faith. Fitness. Food. Conveniently located in the Frank DeLuca YMCA, Cafe Crisp makes clean eating easy with fresh, healthy meals—to enjoy at the cafe or to take home—and they offer weekly meal prep packages that make it easy to stay on track with meals and snacks. Cafe Crisp also caters events large or small! Stop in for a smoothie before your workout and come back for delicious sandwiches, soups and salad bar.

Ask about our weekly meal prep specials!

Mon-Fri 7am–6pm 3200 SE 17th St (in the YMCA), Ocala, FL 34471 | 352-694-3100 www.facebook.com/cafecrispocala OCALAMAGAZINE.COM | VMCENTRALFLORIDA.COM | DEC 2019 |



dining out

Sky Fine Dining Sky Fine Dining is located on the 6th floor of the Holiday Inn Suites. The eclectic gourmet cuisine & steak house concept is inspired from current trends & classic dishes like fresh cut steaks, live Maine lobster, rack of lamb & fresh seafood such as sea bass, salmon & shrimp. Golden Spoon Award Winner 9 consecutive years - 2010 to 2018. Sky is the place to be for a unique fine dining experience.

Golden Spoon Award Winner 9 consecutive years! 2010 to 2018

Special menu Wednesday through Saturday.


Mon-Thurs 5pm-10pm, Fri & Sat 5p-11p 3600 SW 38th Ave., Ocala, fl 34474 | 352-291-0000 www.skyfinedining.com

Fine Dining

The Lodge Craft Pub & Eatery The Lodge Craft Pub and Eatery is Downtown’s new gastropub for cocktails, food and fun! Follow The Lodge Ocala on Facebook for announcements about menu items and specials. We have more than 200 craft brews, a large wine selection and specialty food menus. This casual pub and eatery is located just off the downtown square, so you can take advantage of free valet service. We’ll see you soon at The Lodge! Sun-Thurs 11:30a–11p, Fri-Sat 11:30a–2a 36 SE Magnolia, Ocala, FL 34471 www.facebook.com/thelodgeocala

Murphy’s Oyster & Seafood Murphy’s is so much more than an oyster bar! Stop in for daily lunch and dinner specials. Grab a happy hour drink and stay to watch the game. Sit back and enjoy live music or join in the fun with karaoke. Relax with friends on the outdoor Hookah Patio. At Murphy’s we pride ourselves on serving great food along with a great experience. Our fresh seafood is the best in town, and we also o er a full menu with your favorite appetizers, burgers, salads and steaks.

Mon - Sun 11a - 12a Happy Hour 11a - 7p 3821 Old Blitchton Rd, Ocala, FL 34482 | (352) 236-5656 www.murphysocala.com




PROOF Date: 15 Sep 2016 Customer PO: TBD Customer No.: 344 Order No: MM 344-01

Oyster • Seafood Bar and Grille


352.304.5414 | 609.408.8959 | email SamGrafx@comcast.net

miniMENUMAGIC | ©2016 SamGrafx Design | 5724 SW 40th Place | Ocala, FL 34474 | All Rights Reserved

dining out


Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse Join us for our Christmas Eve Dinner from 5pm to 9pm. Our New Years Eve experience will be from 5pm to 9pm $44.95, includes glass of champagne and chocolate fondue (no prime rib or pork rib). Our Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. includes the 50 item salad bar plus crepe, waffle, and omelet station. For $32.95 you’ll receive all of the above plus a free mimosa or bloody Mary and five different cuts of meat and our grilled pineapple.

Give our gift cards redeemable at our family of restaurants and get bonus cards to use at the location of your purchase. Our NEW 3’s Catering Company brought to you buy our family of restaurants Ipanema, Latinos Y Mas and Craft Cuisine. 3sCateringCompany.com

2023 S Pine Avenue, Ocala | (352) 622-1741 | ipanemaocala.com Lunch Friday 11a-2:30p › Brunch Sunday 11a-3p Dinner Tue-Thu 5p-9p › Fri-Sat 5p-10p › Sun 4p-8p

Craft Cuisine Craft Cuisine World-Inspired Culinary Creations invites you to join us for our weekly specials or book your in-house gatherings, private parties, weddings or off-premise catering today! •Mouthwatering Monday: Build your own 4-course menu, selections from $14-, 17, 20. •Tuesday Ladies Night: Complementary glass of well drink or glass of wine with any Tapa or dinner entree. $3 Margaritas and 2-4-1 Martinis •Wine Down Wednesday: From 4-7p order a charcuterie board paired with house wine for $10. Complementary glass of wine with any dinner entree. •Thursday: Half Chicken “Cog au vin.” •Friday: Prime Rib •Sangria Saturdays: $5 all-day brunch specials from 11a-3p endless mimosas $10. Veal Osso Bucco Happy Hour Monday to Thursday: 3-6pm $4 wine, 5 single well drinks, $6 Martinis and $5 tapas selection.

Open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Call Now to Reserve Your Christmas and Private Parties and Events For All Catering Needs: 3’s Catering Company and Craft Cuisine Is Your Event Venue. *We will close to the public for special parties and events. Golden Spoon Award Winner!

2237 SW 19th Avenue Rd., # 102, Ocala | (352) 237-7300 craftcuisineocala.com Lunch: Mon-Sat 11a-4p | Dinner: Mon-Thur 4-9p | Fri-Sat 4-10p

Latinos Y Mas The holiday season is fast approaching at Latinos Y Mas. Give the gifts of memories made around a table of great food. Our restaurant is the perfect atmosphere for business lunches, family lunches or romantic dinners. Since 1991, Latinos y Mas restaurant has been serving our valued customers in Ocala and surroundings. Mondays- Kids Eat Free with purchase of an adult entree. Taco Tuesdays- Margarita choice of chicken or beef tacos with a side of beans and rice Wednesday- 2 x 1 sangria and 1/2 price appetizer with a purchase of two dinner entrees. Thursday- Queso bites or Fish bites for $5 along with our NEW Peruvian Thursdays Friday- Ropa Vieja Lunch Special! $10.95 Saturday- Mofongo, Sancocho Happy hour 3 to 7pm Monday-Thursday 2 for 1 house margarita 2 for 1 house wine

Our NEW 3’s Catering Company brought to you buy our family of restaurants Ipanema, Latinos Y Mas and Craft Cuisine. 3sCateringCompany.com Give our gift cards redeemable at our family of restaurants and get bonus cards to use at the location of your purchase.

2030 South Pine Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471 | (352) 622-4777 www.latinosymas.com Mon-Thurs 11am - 9pm | Fri-Sat 11am-10pm | Sun closed OCALAMAGAZINE.COM | VMCENTRALFLORIDA.COM | DEC 2019 |



dining out

Milano Ristorante Italiano NOW OPEN! Featuring authentic cuisine. Dishes enjoyed for generations in villages throughout Italy inspire our menu. We strive to use the finest ingredients to create dishes in line with our family tradition. All of our food, including our pizza dough, will be made fresh daily. We offer 7 distinct seating areas that will take you to different cities in Italy. Passion for good food and wine runs deep in our family, and we are thrilled to bring our authentic Italian recipes to the Ocala area!

Suleiman Family Establishment NEW Italian Restaurant. Ingredients Made Fresh Daily. Authentic Italian Family Recipes. Express Takeout & Delivery

Open Daily 11am-9pm 5400 SW College Road Unit 106 Ocala, FL 34474 | (352) 304-8549 www.milanofamilyrestaurant.com

Legacy Restaurant At The Nancy Lopez Country Club Join us at The Villages Best Country Club for lunch and dinner. Serving steak and seafood with various wine selections. Weekly Specials: Monday-VIP Member Night (Call to purchase your VIP membership) Wednesday-Lobster Night Friday-Seafood 3 Course Sunday-Prime Rib Specials Daily-Fresh catch of the day and hand cut of the day Pool bar open every day 11-8pm. A Suleiman Family Restaurant

This holiday season, remember to purchase your gift cards, which can be used at our sister restaurant, the Havana Country Club. For every $100 in gift cards, get an extra $20! Join us for Happy Hour 11-5 daily

17135 Buena Vista Blvd | The Villages, FL 32162 | 352-753-1475 SuleimanLegacyInc@gmail.com | Follow us on Facebook www.legacyrestaurant.com Open Every Day 11 am-9pm

Havana Country Club We offer an extensive variety of cuisines — these include superior hand-cut steaks, freshly caught seafood, and authentic Italian fare. A Suleiman Family Restaurant Weekly specials: Monday- lobster night Tuesday - Italian night Wednesday - 3 course meal special Thursday - prime rib night Friday - seafood night Saturday - catch of the day Sunday - 3 course meal special 2484 Odell Circle | The Villages, FL 32162 | 352-430-3200 Suleimanrestaurants@gmail.com | Follow us on Facebook www.havanacc.com Open Every Day 11 am-9pm



Join us for Happy Hour 11-5 Daily This holiday season, remember to purchase your gift cards, which can be used at our sister restaurant, the Legacy Restaurant. For every $100 in gift cards, get an extra $20! Order online with DOORDASH


Necklace by Shannon Russell-Hinds Wearable silver art, infused with gemstones and sea glass. Organic, ocean-inspired jewelry. IG: shannonrusselljewelry | www.shannonrusselljewelry.com Experience Ocala p94 | Local Music Scene—Carrabelle p96 | Socially Speaking p98 | FAFO 2019 Emerging Artist p110



experience Ocala



December 6 | 7pm

Jenkins Open Air Theatre | 829 NE Sanchez Ave. Ocala, FL 34470



December 7 | 10am–4pm Fort King

National Historic Landmark | 3925 East Fort King St. Ocala, FL 34470 Reenactment and history festival. For additional information, please contact Keifer Caulkins at 352.789.7802.

December 6 | 5–6pm | Brick City Center for

SUNDAY BRUNCH December 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 | 11:30am–2pm At

Arthur's, An American Bistro located inside the Hilton Ocala, we have taken Sunday Brunch far beyond eggs and bacon, with new items every Sunday. By using fresh and locally sourced ingredients—including ones from our very own Chef's Garden—we take your favorite dishes and elevate them through a distinctive culinary approach. Join us this Sunday and celebrate Sunday Brunch! Sunday Brunch is available from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. Prices: $29.95 for Adults, $26.95 for Seniors, and $12.95 for Children (5-12yrs). Call 352-390-1515 for more information.


December 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19 | 6–8pm Ocala Downtown Square | 100 SE 1st Ave. Ocala, FL 34470 A favorite family holiday program which includes a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, music, and goodie bags every Tuesdays and Thursdays during the month of December. For additional information, please contact Bridgett Griffin of Ocala Recreation and Parks at 352.433.7626. OCALA EATS

December 5, 12, 19, 26 | 5–9pm Ocala Downtown Market | SE 3rd Ave. and SE 3rd St. Ocala, FL 34471 Who likes trying new foods, music, and evening weather? This is a weekly Thursday night event and the organizers want YOU to be a regular. Each week will have a different theme, more options, and would be an excellent meeting place for friends and even date night! This is a free event!


December 6–7 | 7–9pm and December 8 | 3–5pm College of Central Florida - Dassance Fine Arts Center | 3001 SW College Road Ocala, FL

The College of Central Florida Visual and Performing Arts Band and Vocal Departments present their signature Prism Concert. The concert will feature many of CF’s band and vocal ensembles in one powerful, fast-paced music production. Named for the prism that reveals the varied colors of light, the concert presents the many facets of musical experience in as pure a form as possible. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for non-students. CF students, faculty and staff are free with CF identification. For tickets and more information, call the CF Box Office at 352-873-5810 or visit www.tickets.cf.edu.



the Arts | 23 SW Broadway St. Ocala, FL 34471 Our December Exhibit features the art of local artist, Derek Grimsley. NIGHT SWIM plays with light and color when the sun has set. Different locals and how color and light movement bring electric life through the dark. From an evening dinner party at Mercer House and the bustle of New York to romantic fireworks over the Magic Kingdom, we experience illuminated beauty everywhere we go. Artists' Reception is Friday, December 6 from 5-6pm. Light refreshments will be served until 6pm. Free admission. Exhibit will be on view through December 28, 2019. Questions? Please contact Gallery Director at ashley.justiniano@ mcaocala.com or 352-369-1500.


December 7 | 10am–5pm 4333 E Silver

Springs Blvd Ocala, FL 34470 Revel in the magic of the holidays during this annual Family Day event, sponsored by the Urban family. Enjoy free admission to see decorated trees and holiday collections, take photos with Santa, and do holiday art projects in the Artspace. Big Lee’s BBQ food truck will be onsite until 2 p.m. From noon-3 p.m., enjoy carriage rides and light snacks.


December 6 | 6–9pm Ocala Downtown Square

First Friday Art Walk is a free event located within Ocala’s historic downtown. Event festivities include over 30 artist displays, monthly live entertainment, free family art activities provided by local arts organizations and extended shopping hours. The public is invited to enjoy an evening of art, live performances, and downtown shops and restaurants. Pick up your map on the square and take a self-guided tour of local artists displaying their works for sale in front of our downtown business. Stop to take in the performing artists stationed along the way. For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Cultural Arts Department at 352-629-8447 or artwalk@ocalafl.org; or visit www.ocalafl.org/artwalk.



Let’s Skate Ocala! Rink | 825 NE Watula Ave. Ocala Recreation and Parks is hosting After Dark in the Park Movie Series. Popcorn, hot dogs, and drinks available for a small fee. Remember to bring your lawn chairs and blankets! *Movie titles subject to change.

December 7 | 5:30–9pm

East Silver Springs Blvd Ocala, FL 34470


December 10–11 | 7:30pm

Reilly Arts Center | 500 NE 9th St., Ocala, FL

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas December 20 | 7:30pm

Reilly Arts Center 500 NE 9th St., Ocala, FL


December 11 | 5:30–7pm

Ocala Marion Theatre | 50 S Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL 34471 This holiday season The Edge Effect comes to Ocala for one night only at Ocala’s Marion Theatre! Benefiting The Cornerstone School’s Building Fund, The Edge Effect’s Holiday Concert features a contemporary take on holiday classics, new spins on traditional favorites, and interactive sing-a-longs. It’s a high energy evening of music for the whole family! Tickets on sale at The Cornerstone School, at the Marion Theatre (352-629-6300) or online. All seats $25, General Admission.

December 27 at 7pm | December 28 at 4pm and 7pm | December 29 at 3pm

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion | 2200 NE Jacksonville Rd, Ocala, FL 34470 A completely original experience appealing to all age groups, with exotic breeds of horses, aerial dancing, and heart-pounding acrobatic feats on galloping horseback. From daredevil Cossack riding to the beautiful Aerial chandelier, we invite you to take a step back in time and experience the enchanting world of Cirque Ma’Ceo! For more information, visit www. cirquemaceo.com.


Thursday, December 12 | 5–8pm

Appleton Museum of Art | 4333 E Silver Springs Blvd Ocala, FL Marina Tucker of Imperial String Quartet will present selections from the 1800s and other era-appropriate music in combination with the special exhibition “Across the Atlantic: American Impressionism Through the French Lens.” Admission is $5 for Appleton members; $15 for nonmembers. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com or by visiting AppletonMuseum.org. Seating for each event is limited to 250. Doors open at 5 p.m. and music begins at 5:30 p.m. Food service and cash bar ends at 7 p.m. For questions, contact AppletonMuseum@cf.edu.




music scene


Starting a band is no easy task, staying a band is even harder. I interviewed the indie-rock band Carrabelle as they took me through their early beginnings in separate bands to their upcoming album, due out Spring 2020.


No Time to Lay Low SO WHEN DID YOUR LOVE OF MUSIC MANIFEST? Max: I grew up around musicians so that love of music has always been there. I became obsessed with music, though, after the first time I listen to the album "Give Up" by The Postal Service. That album made me want to create music myself. Jared: My love for music developed when I was teenager. I remember getting introduced to bands like Circa Survive and a bunch of others and remembering, "I wanna learn


these songs" and "I wanna make music like that." Austin and I always played music together and listened to the same bands so we were always developing musically. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE STRUGGLES AND SUCCESSES THAT COME WITH BEING AN ORIGINAL BAND? The struggles for an original band versus a cover band is finding shows to play. The regular person wants to go out and sing-along to a Third Eye Blind song and not worry about

someone explaining to them the thought and insight that went into the new concept album you have just released. But honestly those struggles are so minuscule when compared to the feeling of releasing music that you created out of thin air.

Photography by Wolfe Elliot

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE TO DATE? We have opened for some awesome touring bands,some that we listened to growing up.But the most memorable shows for us have been ones in friends' houses and backyards. You always feel way more loose and present when you're playing for just your close friends and family. CAN YOU SPEAK ON THE STATE OF THE MUSIC SCENE IN OCALA? For years it’s been a “hardcore” scene, but it’s nice to see more alternative bands arise and give more diversity. It’s a good feeling to have

music that can appeal to a wider audience and then feel the response from it. CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH HOW YOU STARTED AS BAND? We actually merged two bands together. SPACECOAST and Actors That Play Us. We all ran around in the same crowds and realized we all had very similar tastes in music. After the first practice of this current lineup of Carrabelle, there was something that just clicked into place. YOU HAVE A NEW ALBUM COMING OUT. WOULD YOU CARE TO TALK ABOUT WHAT WE CAN EXPECT SONICALLY? Max: Our new album really breaks from our old sound. There is a new mellowness you can feel in these songs but without losing any of the power we love. Jared: From someone who loves adding tex-

ture and color to the music, hence my pedalboard, I really wanted to bring a balanced approach to the new music. Some songs are heavily effect-ridden, yet others are more straight forward. AS SONGWRITERS, WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM? Max: Personally, I feel inspiration comes from every part of life. There isn’t one thing that just sparks me to write. Like everything in life, there are ups and downs with songwriting. Both the good and the bad can influence what we create. Jared: Similarly, inspiration can come from anything. But I love hearing something in a song and wanting to replicate it but it comes out different. But that’s ok, that’s part of making it your own. TO LISTEN to their latest single "Lay Low" visit https://music.apple.com/us/ artist/carrabelle/1350132344




socially speaking





he eighth annual Kiwanis of Ocala Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction recently was held at the beautiful Palm Grove Center in Oak Run with over 250 in attendance. The event raised over $30,000. Hunting, fishing, and other sports items were available to participants. This annual event is the only Kiwanis fundraiser that benefits all their children's projects in addition to Camp Kiwanis. Immediate Past President Angie Negron states, “The event has a major impact on improving the lives of Marion County’s children.” The Kiwanis Club of Ocala was chartered in April 1924 and, for decades, has sent less fortunate children to Camp Kiwanis. Good citizenship for young people is a top priority and they support over 300 high school students who participate in leadership


Wes Wheeler, Scott Hackmyer, Heather and Tom James

development through Key Clubs. Over 8,500 books are being distributed to elementary schools. Children get to keep books since the club places a priority on reading. Camp Kiwanis is a 10-acre camp in Ocala National Forest with accommodations for 104 campers and appropriate staff. All year, young people look forward all to experiencing Camp Kiwanis. One-third of the funds raised at the Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction went toward Camp Kiwanis. The Ocala National Forest makes for a natural and picturesque setting for these young citizens-in-training at Camp Kiwanis. The Kiwanis Club of Ocala is an active and vibrant club in our community. Their meetings host speakers from the local area and beyond to share information about organizations, events, and other interesting topics. Newcomers and visitors are welcome at their meetings. Longstanding friendships make the meetings feel like a reunion of a large and extended family. Current leadership of the club includes Nick Navetta as president, Jeffrey Ruttenber as president elect and Andrew Spahn as secretary. Attendees of the eighth annual Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction had a lively evening with lots of fun. Emcee Tom James kept everyone entertained and on schedule. Early in the evening, there was a drawing for the highly desired Captain’s Table. Everyone was eligible to enter the drawing by putting $20.00 in an envelope. The table with the winning envelope moved from their original


Marty Lorick, Bill Browder and Dan Devillez Jeff Ruttenber and Nick Navetta

Sheriff Billy Woods, Greg Harrell and Ronald Wetherington

Jim and Diana Williams, Buddy and Lee Oswald, Renee and Gregg Dudley

Tyler and Elisha Lemieux and Karen Bird Erika and Caleb Inman, Paul Stentiford and Rob Windishmann

Terry Johnson and Marty Roberson

table to the Captain’s Table. Every seat at the Captain’s Table was loaded with sports goodies. But the main draw of the Captain’s Table is the food. The winners got served delicious surf and turf meals and they delighted in a premium dinner. The group of like-minded sportsmen and sportswomen had a wonderful time socializing as they surveyed the various offerings. Bucket raffle items included a 55” television and premium sporting goods. There were not only items with which to fish or hunt but also items to help you clean and cook your catch. The silent auction had over 60 items on which to bid. These included 18 holes of golf for four, as well as hunting and fishing equipment. In the spirit of something for everyone, there also was art, gift baskets, gift certificates from popular restaurants and entertainment

venues, massages, hair salon treatment, and a wide variety of jewelry, all of which were purchased at bargain prices. The highlight of the evening was Joe Switt conducting a live auction which included a week in a house in Cattail Creek in the North Carolina mountains. We are all in agreement that the young people of Marion County deserve the best education and opportunities that this region can afford them. Joining the Kiwanis Club of Ocala is one fantastic way to make the vision of happy and healthy young people a reality. Decide today not to sit on the sidelines but rather to take an active role in the future of young citizens. TO ATTEND A MEETING or to make a donation, please visit: www.OcalaKiwanis.org.



socially speaking



for H.O.P.S.


nfinite Ale Works hosted a fundraiser for the Historic Ocala Preservation Society this November.

H.O.P.S. board members plus Richard Schleicher and Jim Poston

R.J. Jenkins & Chris Bricker

Teddy Sykes & E.J. Nieves

Sam Betty, Matt Fischer, Justin MacDonald

Justin MacDonald

Jarl & John Hagood

Caly Bryan

Megan Sparkman & Caly Bryan



Tom McDonald, R.J. Jenkins, Kristin Nast, Margot Rodgers

Senator Baxley speaking


ELC Good Beginnings For Children Breakfast

he Early Learning Coalition of Marion County’s annual Good Beginnings for Children Breakfast was held on October 17, 2019 at the College of Central Florida. With more than 240 community leaders in attendance, the group celebrated the Coalition’s 20th anniversary and an inspiring message from Senator Dennis Baxley. Senator Baxley emphasized the importance of early learning and that every child deserves a chance for a good beginning. Brittany Mahaffey related how the School Readiness program was such a lifesaver for her family several years ago by providing financial assistance for childcare for her son as she worked full-time and attended school at night. Now a successful Real Estate Agent, Britany credits the Early Learning Coalition for helping to not only financially stabilize her family but give her young son a strong early foundation for his academic journey. The Early Learning Coalition of Marion County is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide children a high quality early learning environment and working, income-eligible parents with financial assistance for childcare. The Coalition programs include Childcare Resource & Referral, School Readiness, Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK), the Success By 6 parent education initiative in partnership with United Way of Marion County, Help Me Grow and Read Aloud 15 Minutes. For more information, visit www.elc-marion.org.

Louise Werner accepting her Children’s Champion Award with guests Wayne Livingston and Dr. Diana Elysee

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10 1

socially speaking


All About



he Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Eventing Horse Trials was held Nov. 14-17 at the Ocala Jockey Club in Flemington. The event itself served as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, and the competition featured many of the sport’s best, including multiple Olympic and Pan American Games gold medalists. The competition consisted of three phases, dressage, cross-country and stadium jumping. However, the event itself wasn’t just limited to equestrian sport as there were a deep volume of events and a vendor village that added to the atmosphere. However, the weekend was all about the horses, and the international competition helped to cement Ocala/Marion County’s place as the Horse Capital of the World. Exhibitors, staff, volunteers and VIPs had an opportunity to decompress after each day’s competition, with evening parties and events creating a spirited environment conducive to success. In the end, the competition’s participants and spectators enjoyed a weekend composed of opportunity and excitement.

Lynn Symansky, winner of team gold and the individual silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games, and RF Cool Play during the cross-country phase.

Paul Delbrook, Susan Gilliland and two-time Olympian Peter Gray.

USEF’s Jenni Autry, Thoroughbred trainer William Turner, Evie Dutton and the Ocala Jockey Club’s Erik Nygaard. Evie Dutton accepted the William Turner Award for her husband, two-time Olympic Gold medalist Phillip Dutton for his ride on Thoroughbred Sea of Clouds, from the Turner, who trained the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. Upper Level Eventer Lauren Lambert-Goldberg and her daughter Andie Goldberg

Ocala Jockey Club’s Erik Nygaard, Upper Level Eventer Sara Kozimpluk and United States Eventing President Association’s Max Corcoran


Jenny Byrnes and Cindy


Ray Di Maria and the Ocala Jockey Club’s Erik Nygaard

Upper Level Eventer Arden Wildasin and Il Vici won the Concours Complet International Three-Star, and they’re presented with division’s trophy OJC Event Organizer Shelley Page and USEA President Max Corcoran.

Candace Abel and Emilee Barnes

OJC’s Erik Nygaard, Raylyn Farm’s Marilyn Little, winner of the 2015 Pan American individual and team gold medals and USEF’s Jenni Autry.

OJC’s Erik Nygaard, 2004 Olympic individual Gold medalist Leslie Law, and the USEF’s managing Jenni Autry

Aline Briot, Cora Frisby, Upper Level Eventer Jennie Jarnstrom and Rachel Thompson


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Touch of Magic

Art Nussel III, Brittany Micheletti, Mimi Hale, Myra Hale, Lyla Huggins, Micala Brooks, Evelyn Hale Nussel, Ann Hale, Harley White

Art Nussel, Mimi Hale

Harley White, Mimi Hale, Art Nussel III




arjorie 'Mimi' Hale, founder of The Ivy House, hosted her 2019 Annual Christmas Open House in Williston on October 26th. Each room was a Christmas delight to behold. Each room was fully decorated with a touch of magic and a different theme with a beautiful array of colors, leaving all who attended a memory to last forever. Between the exquisite, specialty desserts, the southern comfort foods (and Mimi's special turkey and dressing recipe), her love and warm, welcoming hospitality for all that entered her doors was the main attraction of the day. You will never leave the Ivy House without feeling loved and a yearning for returning over and over again. Her daughters, granddaughters, and The Ivy House staff, have made the restaurants and Ivy Boutiques a thriving success over the years. Their family recipes along with the southern flair keep people coming back for more year after year. They have been honored with many awards and most recently being listed in The Top 500 Best Places To Eat in Florida.

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Little Piece of Heaven


ralonnis Bed and Breakfast with owners, Dr. Hersell and Mrs.Vicki Lindo, hosted an exquisite event on October 26th of their grand opening and celebration of the birthday of Tammy Sontag, a special friend of the founders, not to forget a key person in the developing of Bralonnis opening and marketing. The night included wonderful cuisine, drinks and desserts catered by Chef Bruce. Beautiful music was performed by Rudy Turner and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Located in Trenton, Bralonnis is truly one of Florida's hidden gems all need to experience. Driving through the beautifully designed gates and through the lined umbrella of the grand oaks above you is like a little piece of heaven that brings a feeling of warmth and welcome. The 28,000 square foot B&B is eclectic in that each room is designed and decorated for all tastes and themes, along with representation and named after various places or countries. This beautiful one-of-akind retreat sits on a stunning 194 acres, so privacy is a given. A true stress-free hide-away from all of the daily cares. TO LEARN MORE about reserving for a private tour, special event, or a much-needed vacation, please call at 352-463-0023. Visit us on Facebook and our website at www.bralonnisbnb.com. Bralonnis is located at 6359 SW County Road 307, Trenton FL 32693.

Roberts of Ocala with Josh Leverette, Bill Johnson, Karen Hummel, and Kyle Johnson and friends.

Tammy's daughters, Brandie and Crystal Culbertson with many friends



Dr and Mrs Lindo

Ray and Tammy Sontag

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10 7

MAX Artini



he Magnolia Art Xchange opened its doors officially on November 7th with a memorably artistic evening. Rotary Clubs of Marion County co-hosted the grand opening, in celebration of the rebirth of this historic space, the power of visual art, and how it influences and inspires mixology and the culinary arts. Five works of art were the inspiration for five mixologists' “Artinis” and were displayed at tasting stations where samples of the cocktails were served. The five original works of art were auctioned off to benefit MAX. Guests enjoyed live music by Left On Broadway, petite eats by La Casella Catering, and bidding on silent auction items. All spirits were generously provided by Van Gogh Vodka. To learn more about MAX, visit www.maxocala.org.



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Radiology Associates of Ocala | DeLuca Toyota Suydam & Conrad Wealth Management Group of Raymond James Infinite Ale Works | John Roberts | Signature Brands | PALS Ocala Auto Repair | Brick City Title Admiral Furniture | HDG Hotels | First Federal Bank of Ocala | Key Scales Ford | Silver Springs Bottled Water


Jewels of the Seas Jewelry artist Shannon Russell-Hinds wins Fine Arts for Ocala's first ever emerging artist award. BY BEN BAUGH


t was while walking along the beaches of the Great Lakes as a child that artist Shannon Russell-Hinds would find her inspiration. Water is life. And those words have played an integral role in the evolution of her art from its nascent stages to its current form. Russell-Hinds was recently recognized with the FAFO Emerging Artist Award at the Ocala Arts Festival. The emerging artists’ category featured five artists at the festival, but it was Russell-Hinds’ unique creations, her exquisite sea glass and silver jewelry that earned top honors in the division. “I’m absolutely inspired by the water,” said Russell-Hinds, whose studio is in her garage. “I have a small pond in my backyard. Oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, the waterfalls in California, it’s just soothing. But that’s why I say my jewelry is ocean inspired.” Two colors are predominant in Russell-Hinds’ artwork. The hand-crafted pieces themselves have an intrinsic tranquil and soothing quality, adding to their already pleasing aesthetic nature. The artist entered her 24th year as a high school English teacher this past fall. “The blue and green hues are so calming,” said Russell-Hinds. “Water is the basis for life. Dr. Wallace Nichols has a book


Shannon Russell-Hinds

called Blue Mind. He says, ‘Just being in, on or near the water has proven to improve your quality of life.’ The effects of the water, hearing it, looking at it, the colors are just as soothing as I want my jewelry to be.” Russell-Hinds’ pieces are a departure from the geometric shapes and hard angles that seem to routinely populate gift shops and art galleries. “A lot of it is whatever happens by dropping molten metal into water or into sand for some texture, or I’m hitting it with some of my hammers, my favorite piece is a meat tenderizer; whatever shape comes out of it,” said Russell-Hinds. “I kind of let the metal do its own thing. I get some really cool results when I let go of the control, just let it


happen and see what comes out of it.” The artist works primarily with sterling silver, but also creates 14-karat, 18-karat and 22-karat gold pieces, when making art. “You can get it soft or already hard,” said Russell-Hinds, who also uses torches when crafting her pieces. “If you want to soften it up, you can hit it with some heat, and if you need to harden something back up, you can tumble it or you can whack the hell out of it with some tools. Everything is handcrafted, even the pieces that are replicated, and there are certain lines or styles of jewelry; each one is going to be a little bit different, like a snowflake. There’s going to be something different to it.“ An environmentally conscious artist, Russell-Hinds uses reclaimed and recycled materials when creating her pieces. She refers to sea glass as the ultimate in reclaimed and recycled material because it’s garbage. Some pieces came from household items that years ago were routinely part of everyday life. “Sea glass is just bottles and jars,” said Russell-Hinds. “Old Noxzema jars. It used to be, before everything was plastic, it was glass, so when you found that cobalt blue sea glass, those smooth blue nuggets, those were probably a great part of those Noxzema jars.

Photos courtesy of Shannon Russell-Hinds

“I found one intact in the St. John’s River, no lid,” said Russell-Hinds. “If you find a piece of periwinkle sea glass, it was probably an old Milk of Magnesia jar. It’s amazing. You look at these pieces of glass. If you go up to the Great Lakes, back up to Michigan and New York, and if you find a really thick piece of brown glass, it could be from one of the old rum runner boats during the prohibition

period because they dump that stuff overboard. It’s cool because you have something people discarded.” However, it’s water and sea glass that provide Russell-Hinds with all of the motivation she needs to create art work that’s incredibly unique. The artist’s emphasis on recycling provides her with a deep understanding of the importance involved with making the most of the resources she uses. “You don’t give it a second thought,” said Russell-Hinds. “It came back kind of like a jewel. All the colors all have their own degree of rarity, and they all command different prices in the sea glass market, for those who know what they are. That’s the ultimate in reclaimed. All metals are recycled. I buy it recycled. I recycle my own metal. Nothing gets wasted. All the scraps get melted back down and made into something else, or I could send it back to a company that pays me for the scrap. So, it’s a cool art because nothing goes to waste.” Russell-Hinds has an altruistic side and understands the importance of service and giving back to the community. She has made pieces to benefit certain charities, but one organization has a special place in the

artist’s heart. “The Monterey Bay Sanctuary is beautiful and it’s a hidden gem on the central coast of California,” said Russell-Hinds. “This is a stretch of ocean where it’s all protected, and you have all these sea otters, sea lions and these critters and their mission is to protect them. I’m inspired by that too. I love all the sea life. Nothing gives me greater pleasure.” But it’s Russell-Hinds’ personal expression in her unequalled pieces and their unique quality that resonates with collectors, reaching a far broader audience who see the beauty in her handcrafted artwork. “I have this little line that I call abstract waves, some people call them boomerangs; I make it in a ring, a necklace and earrings,” said Russell-Hinds. “They’re all the same style, but each one is a little bit different because all of it is made by hand, nothing is mass produced. There’s room in the market for that too. I make one and that’s it. I get an idea for something and do a quick sketch because I’m not very good at drawing or painting. I’ll then sit down in my studio and start moving things around, the metal and sea glass. Sometimes it turns out a lot different than what I planned and is much better.”





A state-of-the-art edition showcasing our great city of Ocala and Marion County.



Scene Around Ocala Leighton Okus at Light Up Ocala Photo by Ralph Demilio

Health Journal p114 | Prose and Cons p116 | TEDxOcala 2019 p118 | Kiwanis Korner p122 | Looking Back p128


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health journal

Understanding Medical Sharps and Safe Disposal Options PROVIDED BY FAMILY FEATURES



HOW TO PROPERLY DISPOSE According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, sharps not disposed of properly may cause injury. Consider these three steps for safe and proper sharps disposal: 1. Place used sharps in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container or a strong plastic container such as an empty laundry detergent or bleach bottle. 2. Seal the container with duct tape and label it "do not recycle." 3. For most sharps users, place the sealed container in the household trash, never the recycling. A resource like SafeNeedleDisposal.org can be used to look up local disposal guidelines by ZIP code. For states that do not allow household disposal, the website provides ZIP code-specific information on convenient drop-off locations that will accept used sharps.

• Connection needles - needles that connect to a tube used to transfer fluids in and out of the body


f you're among the millions of people in the United States who suffer from a chronic illness, you may use "sharps" to manage your medical condition at home or on the go. For example, many people with diabetes self-inject at least two insulin shots every day, and conditions including allergies, arthritis, cancer, infertility, migraines and psoriasis, among others, may also require the use of a sharp to administer medication. A medical term for devices with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut skin, sharps may be used at home, at work and while traveling to manage medical conditions. Exam-

ples of sharps include: • Needles - fine, slender, hollow pieces of metal used to inject medication under the skin • Syringes - devices to which needles are attached in order to inject medication into or withdraw fluid from the body • Lancets, also called "fingersticks" - instruments with a short, two-edged blade used to get drops of blood for testing • Auto injectors, including epinephrine pens - syringes pre-filled with fluid medication designed to be self-injected into the body • Infusion sets - tubing system with a needle used to deliver drugs to the body

However, disposing of those medical sharps safely may be a concern. In fact, in interviews conducted by SafeNeedleDisposal.org with sharps users, people who use needles and lancets to manage their medical conditions believe it is their responsibility to dispose of sharps safely, but lack clear, factual information on how to do so. Existing information does not always personalize disposal guidelines for people in every state or locality. "SafeNeedleDisposal.org helps people in the United States make sense of safe sharps disposal options nearest to their home, work or wherever is convenient," said Larry Ellingson, vice president of the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council. "This resource is much needed for people who regularly use needles to manage health conditions like diabetes and want to do the right thing with their used sharps." FOR MORE INFORMATION on safe disposal of sharps, visit SafeNeedleDisposal.org.


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prose and cons


Photo by Ralph Demilio


Surely the judge would go along with the lawyers’ agreement not to pick a jury the day after Christmas.

t’s that time of year. The days are shorter. There’s a slight crispness in the air. Holiday decorations are increasing in frequency and amount in local stores. And the number of jury trials being conducted at the courthouse have decreased significantly. Despite the adversarial nature of most court proceedings, there is one thing most every party, lawyer, and prospective juror share in common … their reluctance to participate in a jury trial during the holidays. The rules of criminal and civil procedure contain slight accommodations for recognized court holidays. However, there are no such written provisions permitting delays due to the holiday season. This has created issues in previous cases when constitutional rights come in conflict with established court practices. In the case of Jones v. State, 707 So.2d 905 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1998), the defendant appealed the trial court’s denial of his request for discharge after his case was not brought to trial with the 175-day speedy trial period. The trial judge granted a prosecution motion filed December 12th, requesting a two-week extension of the speedy trial period. The reason for the requested extension was the routine practice of not conducting jury trials during a regularly scheduled holiday period. In their written opinion, the appellate court recognized the practice of not empaneling jurors during the last two weeks of December is common practice in most circuits, and occurs by custom and not legal prohibition. Although commenting they are not suggesting the custom of holiday jury hiatus be changed, the appellate court ultimately ruled in favor of the Defendant and held the prosecution’s failure to bring him to trial within the speedy trial period afforded the defendant the right to be discharged from

the criminal charges. Civil cases also are not subject to any set rule or statutory provision which permits the trials of such cases to be continued due to the holiday season. In my prior profession as a practicing attorney, I was defense counsel in a civil case which was ready to be set for trial. Upon receiving the judge’s order scheduling the case for jury selection and trial, I was surprised to see the date contained in the judge’s order. “Does she (the judge) really expect us to pick a jury on December 26th?” asked the plaintiff ’s attorney when he called me later that afternoon. The plaintiff ’s attorney and I agreed to send the judge a stipulated motion to continue the jury trial. Surely the judge would go along with the lawyers’ agreement not to pick a jury the day after Christmas. However, the judge had other plans and exercised her discretion in entering an order denying our stipulated motion to continue. The plaintiff ’s attorney called me and asked, “What do we do now?” I informed him that, as defense counsel on the case, if I had to pick a jury on December 26th, I was going to make certain all the potential jurors understood the plaintiff – who filed the lawsuit – was the reason they had to report for jury selection the day after Christmas. That comment lead to further settlement discussions, and the case was ultimately resolved well in advance of the December 26th jury selection date. There appears to be no risk to ending the established tradition of conducting very few jury trials during the holiday season. But, failing to honor a criminal defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial may ultimately prove to be too nice for someone who may have been naughty.

JUDGE ROGERS has been a member of the judiciary since 2005. In addition to being a judge, he is a husband, father, teacher, and lover of all things Gator.




Special OM 40th Anniversary Edition

The White Charity Register Join us in Celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2020 at our CHARITY REGISTER WHITE PARTY GRAND EVENT. Reserve Your Ad Placement Now — Space Is Limited. More Information On Our White Party Will Be Forthcoming.



newing inspiration

TEDxOcala's fifth year offered many ideas worth sharing, all in the theme of "Re." We offer summaries of the dynamic talks here, for full videos go to TEDxOcala.com. COMPILED BY MANAL FAKHOURY


n the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxOcala, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxOcala events, live speakers come together to spark deep discussion and connect. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. We are proud of hosting a first-class event and strive to make it better each and every year. We are celebrating our 5th annual TEDxOcala event.




Control—it’s a loaded word, isn’t it? Often we pursue control to avoid something bad from happening, either real or perceived. We may have experienced trauma in our past and rely on control to protect us from future pain. Unfortunately, when we avoid feeling pain, we also lessen our ability to feel pleasure. Ironically once we relinquish control, we often gain more of it, which is sometimes called the paradox of control. Release it to receive it. Usually, the minute we push others too hard, they dig in which causes us to lose control. None of us can control our future health, financial status or relationships. The only thing we can control is ourselves! Surrender your anxious thoughts, giving up your attempts to control others and learn to focus on the joys and realities of today. Deepen your connections and nurture your relationships. My challenge for you is to recognize the power and freedom in letting go of control.

Carey David


Photo provided by TEDxOcala

Chivalry is associated with opening doors and pulling out chairs but when you boil it down chivalry is nothing more than respect. Respect wrapped in courtesy and good manners. It’s not only about the actions of a man but the way that those actions are responded to. Reviving chivalry is a partnership that crosses gender and generational lines. It’s never too early, or too late to teach respect by showing respect. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. Whether you’re young or aging gracefully. If you offer the respect or receive it. And it can all start with a simple please and thank you. Chivalry is a combination of qualities expected of an ideal human being especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help those in need. Chivalry. It’s the way we show respect!

Rami Elghandour


There are more CEOs named David than there are female CEOs... and

David isn’t even the most popular name for a male CEO, that’s John! That statistic highlights the challenge with gender bias, namely that the gatekeepers tend to hire others that look like them and that a combination of unconscious bias and misinformation makes it difficult for women to achieve gender equity educationally and professionally. I’ve had the experience of building a company from about 30 to nearly 1000 people and I personally found diversity powered our success and our culture. Research supports my personal finding demonstrating that diversity makes teams and organizations better, makes us individually better, and in my view can make our society as a whole better. Striving for diversity therefore isn’t about hiring more women or more minorities, it’s about getting the best person for the job who’s often overlooked due to unintended or unconscious bias. So how can we overcome this bias? Education coupled with advocacy is a powerful way to close the gender gap. Understanding the sources of these biases and ensuring both men and women are aware of them can make a meaningful difference as research supports and my personal experience suggests. I’m also very passionate about inclusive leadership. Having had the privilege of serving in several positions of leadership I understand the importance and impact of prioritizing diversity and inclusiveness. And as I mentioned not only does that contribute to an incredible culture, it will absolutely result in improved performance.

when we do not connect with each other, we fail together and miserably.


In our shrinking global world it has never been more important for our children to become bilingual. Learning another language not only offers incredible benefits ranging from cognitive to social to health, it creates a deep connection to another culture—their thoughts, their ideas and their perspectives. As parents and educators we need to ensure that our future generations possess global dexterity, which is the ability to navigate the diverse communities of our planet through language and cultural competence.

Connie King

“I learn more about myself every time I talk to a stranger. Once the conversation is over we both realize that we have more in common than not.” A great disconnect has happened. It started when we stopped talking to each other. It is not politics, race, culture, creed or sexual orientation that divides us, but our decision to ignore each other. We are unplugged from each other. When something is unplugged that which was relying on the current stops dead. We have become dead to each other and so now we are grieving the loss of each other. History has modeled for us that

Natalia Levey

THE SURPRISING CONNECTION BETWEEN GUT AND HAPPINESS “The fastest way to the heart is through the stomach.” Does the stomach hold much more power than we realize? In her talk “The surprising connection between gut and happiness” nutritional chef and restaurateur Natalia Levey takes you into the kitchen and helps to explore the missing ingredient of the happiness recipe, showing the unique way we can support our emotional health.

Frank Perdomo #REREAD1984

The novel 1984 by George Orwell is as timely now as ever. Over the past two decades, Frank Perdomo and his students have rigorously scrutinized 1984’s two major thematic topics of privacy and propaganda. 1984 the actual year has passed, but the call to action remains: reading and writing critically are very important acts that reaffirm our fundamental rights. The beauty of 1984 is its devotion to literacy and the genre of dystopia.

Caryn Antonini



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With the wonderful invention of the light bulb and devices like smartphones, iPads, and of course Netflix, the lure of 24-hour-a-day fun or work (knowing somewhere, in some time zone, someone else is working while you indulge in sleep), the pull to neglect sleep has never been stronger. In the “ROI of Sleep,” sleep science coach and founder of Sleep Science Academy, Devin Burke, explores the return on investment of consistently getting great sleep. Sleep is the foundation of health and unfortunately, it’s also often the first thing we sacrifice and the last thing we should when we’re trying to get it all done. In his TEDx talk, Devin challenges us to rethink the value and importance of sleep by providing real-world examples of how getting quality sleep is positively compounded across our health, relationships, productivity, creativity, and performance. The ROI of sleep is worth the nightly investment and if you’re not sleeping, you’re sacrificing—in your health, in your relationships, in your business and career and in the possibility of who you could become.

Marc Cordon

THE POWER OF SELF TALK There is a stigma on selftalk as an outcome of mental distress, but the technique of “self-talk” when appropriately used shows empirically-studied rises in an ability to regulate emotions, to focus, to identify new opportunities, and to see the world as a welcoming place. Furthermore, self-talk is especially essential for people of color or women who have been raised in a predominantly white, male, financially stable, thin, heterosexual, and Christian mainstream. In his TEDx Talk, Positive Psychology Coach Marc Cordon, talks about the elements of self-talk...without having to change who you TRULY are.


Deborah is a hospice nurse practitioner. During


her 30-year career at the VA, she took care of more than 10,000 DYING veterans. They revealed a wound that lurked in their souls—a wound that was different than the PTSD that many of them had. Some veterans called it a “Soul Injury.” Soul Injury is defined as: a wound to our sense of self—our real self behind the facade. Soul Injury has also been extrapolated beyond moral injuries that veterans sometimes sustain. The broader Soul Injury category includes marginalized populations that are often made to feel “less than” because of their race, their gender, their religion, or their sexual orientation. It includes childhood wounds that often persist a lifetime if they were bullied or made to feel “not good enough.” Soul restoration includes learning how to mourn losses and forgive hurts caused by us and hurts caused to us, otherwise, we stay stuck in the past. Grieving and forgiving free us to enter fresh into the present moment without unmourned loss/hurt and unforgiven guilt/ shame weighing us down.

Tara Well

WHAT MIRROR MEDITATION CAN TEACH YOU Mirrors are often associated with either narcissism or self-criticism. What if you took a different approach to how you see yourself in the mirror? Dr. Tara Well explains how mirror meditation can awaken self-compassion, help us manage our emotions, and improve our face-to-face communication, which is vital for managing stress and staying emotional connected to ourselves and to others in the age of increasing reliance on digital technology.


Patricia Wagner

LIVING IN HEART-CENTERED GRATITUDE “We can create heaven on earth by living in heart-centered Gratitude” is the throughline of Patricia Wagner’s TEDxOcala talk. Science has proven that the heart is the most powerful electromagnetic field in the body. When we begin living in heart-centered Gratitude, we become walking, talking, breathing electromagnetic fields attracting into our lives more people to love, more reasons to be grateful, more situations that bring us joy. We can begin today to prove to ourselves the transformational qualities of this practice. When we do, we will cause a “Spiritual Climate Change” of good on our planet.

Jen Zoē Hall


What could you discover about yourself from a horse? What message could a 1200 pound animal that doesn’t talk give you? After living the life we are told by conventional wisdom that we should, do we end up fulfilled and truly happy? Does going to the right schools and getting that good job give us the everything we ever dreamed of? Jen Zoë tells her story about ’should-ing’ her way through life only to wake up one day and realize it was all a house of cards. The turn towards triumph came through the gifts of her horse. A horse who helped give her the courage to brave connection and discover the truth that was within her. She shares with us how the healing power of horses are being uncovered in unique and profound ways and even sometimes help us find our purpose, passions, and mission.

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Call for information 813-727-7657 | Philip Glassman, CCIM This information is from sources deemed to be reliable. We are not responsible for misstatements of facts, errors or omissions, prior sale, change of price, and/or terms or withdrawal from the market without notice. Buyer should verify all information with its own representatives as well as state and local agencies. Brokers please note that a variable rate commission may exist on this offering that might result in a lower commission cost to the Seller if a Buyer’s broker is not involved in the transaction. ©2019 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.






s. Hollis Mutch, the Museum Educator from Appleton Museum of Art, was the guest speaker at the Kiwanis of Ocala luncheon held at the Elks Lodge. She shared of the various arts programs offered by the Appleton, with the most compelling being of specific programs in which to help our at risk youth within our school systems in Marion County. They have proven to be so successful over the last few years so as to be life changing in not only the childrens’ lives but their families as a whole. To learn of more information about the Appleton and it’s various programs available, please contact Hollis at 352-491-4455 Ext. 1613.

2019 Annual Pancake Breakfast


he 2019 62nd Annual Pancake Breakfast will be held on December 14th at 7 am located at the 8th Street Elementary School. Hundreds of pancakes are served by the hour. Several Key Club members and many Kiwanis Volunteers help to make the event a huge success. The proceeds go to help the children and youth that are in need. For more information please visit: www.ocalakiwanis.org



Hollis Mutch and Louise Werner, Program Chair


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looking back

East Coast Glamour Ocala’s Marion Hotel has stood the test of time

t was at the suggestion of a silent screen star that one of the most prominent landmarks was built in Ocala. The Marion Hotel also holds the distinction of being one of the city’s structures that’s been designated for preservation by the National Registry of Historic Places. The building’s enduring presence has been part of the Ocala landscape since March 1927. Its structural integrity and its seven stories have become symbolic with the Brick City, adding to Ocala’s unique charm and storied history, one that saw its construction on the former site of the First Baptist Church. “It was quite a big part of society back then,” said Pamela Stafford, Historic Ocala Preservation Society president. “The chamber of commerce played a large role in supporting that. When they had their grand opening, they had a program with it. It was just the event to go to.” However the idea for the 92-year-old structure came about from an unlikely source, someone who was muted on screen but wasn’t shy about voicing his opinion off it. Actor Thomas Meighen, while making a film in Silver Springs, approached leaders within the community with the concept of building a luxury hotel in 1924, one


providing its clients with the best accommodations, making Ocala the “Hollywood of the East,” according to a narrative promoted by Sovereign Realty in their literature, and would later be shared with the Ocala Star-Banner. The building has been able to literally weather the storm, staving off bankruptcy during the Great Depression, transforming into the Sovereign Building, providing offices for individuals and businesses and eventually the Ocala National Bank. It’s stature among guests seemed to reach its zenith during the mid-1940s, when the hotel offered 100 rooms providing a variety of amenities, according to David Cook’s article in the Ocala Star-Banner. Steam heat was the most welcome of those amenities, said Stafford. “In more recent times, it was empty for a long time,” said Stafford. “HOPS had a ball there, a formal ball. We kind of brought that part of the history back, having a formal dance there, back in the late '80s and early '90s. The folks who owned it, lent the downstairs to us as a tax deduction. We used the entire downstairs. We had an orchestra and a meal. We had just kind of recreated some of what had been there once upon a time. We were having the balls there


before Ocala National (Bank) came in.” A number of other businesses have populated the Marion Hotel since the bank’s departure, including restaurants, with one of the building’s current tenants being a restaurant and coffee shop, said Stafford. “It’s never been able to be a really utilized building, utilizing all the floors and the rooms/offices,” said Stafford. “It’s unfortunate because it has so much history in the community. “ The very first manager of the Marion Hotel was Norton Baskin, according to Stafford. He was the husband of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of the renowned tome, The Yearling. “When we were doing our balls there, we went upstairs on the roof of the building, and they took publicity photographs for the newspaper, and at that time it was the tallest building in town,” said Stafford. “It was quite a sight to get up there and look down on things.” IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEND a hand to help H.O.P.S maintain this special part of our city’s history, please feel free to contact them at (352) 351-1861.

Photo courtesy of the Historic Ocala Preservation Society



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