Ocala Magazine July 2023

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UNDER 40 Announcing the 2023 Ocala Magazine 40 under 40, Weddings, Young Entrepreneurs, and more

One Magnificent Property ...

Set behind a private gate on 9+ acres sits this stunning family estate designed with style & elegance. Complete with two magnificent homes, a detached 3-car garage, and a guest home above.

The first residence has 3 en-suite bedrooms, 3 full and 2 partial baths with 8,295+/- SF living area. Upon entering, you will be welcomed by an impressive entrance with soaring groinvaulted ceilings & designer lighting. 30 X 70 oversized display room with center fireplace, built-ins, & recessed lighting to display your trophies or memorabilia. Adjoining room features builtins for displaying memorabilia. Spacious executive office has solid African Padauk doors, & a generous sitting area. Bonus room. Gourmet chef ’s kitchen.

Call today for additional information on various purchase options for this magnificent property.

Scullery area with cabinets, microwave, oven, dishwasher, & pantry perfect for additional storage, workspace, & prep area. Primary bedroom exudes warmth & luxury with a luxurious bathroom, dual vanities, jetted tub overlooking the beautiful grounds. The level of custom finishes throughout the estate set this property apart from the competition.

Swimming pool, Jacuzzi tub, plus an outdoor kitchen with a built-in BBQ ideally situated to enjoy the serene resort-style pool area. Private underground soundproof 50-foot firing range, barrel tile roof, and crown molding. Oversized 3 car garage. The upstairs guest house features a 2-bedroom 2 bath with an open kitchen-living.


Two Spectacular Homes!

Magnificent 2-story Mediterranean-style home with 6,402+/SF of living area. Upon entering the front doors, you enter a grand living room with a 26’ ceiling and custom fireplace. Owner’s suite is off the living room, with a sitting area & dual closets. Large office/den with custom cabinets is just off the master. On the opposite side of the house, you will find 2 oversized bedrooms, each with walk-in closets and a private bath. Kitchen highlights beautiful custom-made wood cabinets plus a spacious walk-in pantry with floor-to-ceiling shelves. Wet bar with a wine fridge and ice maker is just down the hall.

List with us today!

Wet bar with a wine fridge and ice maker is just down the hall. Nearby is the elegant dining room with a unique groin vault ceiling. A wall of French doors opens to another huge patio and drenches the family room with light. An enormous “bonus” room awaits upstairs. This room could efficiently serve as a theater, man cave, or extra private living space. Bar area with custom cabinets, an ice maker, and an impressive barstyle glass-door refrigerator. An inviting guest bedroom and full bath round out the upstairs.


Just Listed

Equestrian Enthusiasts! Consider this prestigious and unique 20+/- acre property in NW Ocala. The farm is located just 8.5 miles from the World Equestrian Center. Conveniently located close to additional amenities and I-75. Meticulously maintained 3 bedrooms, 2 bath home plus office. Open concept floor plan with spacious kitchen, breakfast nook, formal dining room, family room, and screen-enclosed lanai overlooking the lush green pastures. Owner’s suite with ensuite bath with dual vanities, garden tub, plus a walk-in shower. The equestrian will enjoy the 2 barns with a total of 22 stalls. The first barn is a center aisle 16-stall barn, and the second is an 8-stall back-to-back that would work perfectly for turning into foaling stalls. Two sheds, one at each barn, would work for tack and feed. Beautiful vistas from every view, lush green pastures, gently rolling land, 10 paddocks of various sizes, a round pen, and an area to set up for a jump field. $1,299,000


This is Horse Country

160.97 Acres — Outstanding views and excellent privacy! This is the peaceful country setting you have been looking for. Beautiful 160+/acres of gently rolling and hilly pastureland. Several great spots for homesites including overlooking the pond. Located just 20 miles from World Equestrian Center and 17 miles to HITS. $2,898.000

12+ Acres in NW Ocala. A highly desirable area in Marion County horse country. Prime horse farmland 5 miles from the World Equestrian Center. Surrounded by beautiful horse farms. Located on a paved road! Build your dream home or farm on this piece of land. Bring your boat, RV, cows, or horses - NO HOA! $1,200,000

Beautiful 20+/- acres between Ocala and Gainesville. This property is ready for you to layout your dream house and farm. Lots of trees and lush green pastures perfect for any discipline of equestrian. Property sits high and dry and partially fenced. $600,000

If you’re considering buying or selling, give us a call today!

Have the best of both settings - beautiful lakefront views in the front and horses in the back. This 2/2 lakefront home is set on a private 13.90 +/- acres on Lake Weir. Two-story home has 300’ feet of waterfront. Property is partially fenced with lush green grass and zoned for horses. $1,900,000

Cell: 352.266.9100 | Cell: 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos, and more choices. REALTOR® Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates, and land available that are not advertised.

low tuition, generous scholarships and instructors committed to your success.

There is no wait list, and you’ll get clinical experience starting the first semester.

Nurses trained at CF have the highest pass rates in the region and are in high demand with local health care providers. Get started now.

Ŋ CF.edu/Nursing Æ –an equal opportunity college–
At CF, the No. 1 nursing program in the state, you’ll find
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FEATURES 18 40 Under 40 for 2023 38 Davis-Fairbanks wedding 39 Conley-Stentiford wedding 40 Lovell-Stephens wedding 41 Whigham-Tripp wedding 44 Young Entrepreneurs DEPARTMENTS 10 Letter from the Publisher 12 Words of Wisdom 14 From the Mayor 53 EAT 54 Strawberry Refreshment 54 Dining Out 57 PLAY 58 GO52 list of events 60 Preview of August Couch Sessions 62 Society: Nurses honored 66 Society: Royal Dames museum event 67 Society: Plantation Starbucks ribbon cutting 68 Society: VFW event 69 Society: Couch Sessions episode 1 70 Society: Warren’s Power Washing ribbon cutting 72 Society: HCA celebration 77 EQUINE 78 A Triple Crown first from Ocala 83 ETC 84 Charity Spotlight: His Compassion Food Bank 86 Health Journal 88 State of the City: Celebrating our parks 89 Kiwanis Corner 90 State of the County: What’s in a sign? 91 Rotary Circle 96 Looking Back: The Brahma restaurant 22
Kalen Woodyard, 40 under 40
Photo by Ralph Demilio
Yohan Le
40 under 40 Photographer: Ralph Demilio


• Secure hurricane rated hangars

• Well Bilt Hydra-Eze swing type hydraulic door

• Slab concrete 3,500 PSI reinforced monolithic slab

• Private restrooms and customizable interiors

• “Superpave” taxi way and aprons

HANGAR LOCATION All dimensions are approximate. Hangar unit sizes are from center line or outside steel lines. Door widths and heights may vary due to the conditions with grade. Dimensions are not intended to mislead or confuse the buyer, rather to provide an outline to what is offered.  HANGAR 4225 SOLD SOLD AVAILABLE SOLD  HANGAR 3720 62’X60’ DOOR CLEAR: 61’ W X 17’ H AVAILABLE AVAILABLE 65’X65’ DOOR CLEAR: 61’ W X 18’ H SOLD SOLD 65’X65’ DOOR CLEAR: 61’ W X 18’ H SOLD


Little Black Mask Media

Jessi Miller | Creative Director jessi@ocalamagazine.com

Website StevensLabs


Ralph Demilio | Chief Photographer ralph@ocalamagazine.com


Mark Anderson/Marion County | Writer

Helen Demilio | Social Photographer

Ashley Dobbs/City of Ocala | Writer

Mayor Kent Guinn | Columnist

Liv Vitale | Graphic Designer

Brandi Wright | Social Photographer


Randy Woodruff, CPA | CFO randy@ocalamagazine.com

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 - $96.66, Single Issue - $8.95. COPYRIGHT ALL contents copyrighted © 2023 by Ocala Magazine Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertising content in any manner without written permission is strictly prohibited. Horse Capital of the World® is a registered trademark of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association. FOLLOW US ON EDITORIAL OR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES 352.622.2995
Reese | Contributing Writer + Editor carlton@ocalamagazine.com Brad Rogers | Contributing Writer + Editor brad@ocalamagazine.com Louisa Barton | Equine Editor Sharon Raye | Copy Editor THE OFFICIAL CITY MAGAZINE OF TEDxOcala · HITS · Equiventure OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER HOPS — Historic Ocala Preservation Society MEDIA PARTNER & PRESENTING SPONSOR of the Tailgating Competition at Live Oak International OFFICIAL MEDIA SPONSOR FOR 2022 International Women's Day Celebration EXCLUSIVE MEDIA SPONSOR FOR George Albright Annual Golf Tournament Philip Glassman, CCIM | Publisher philip@ocalamagazine.com Penny Miller | VP/Corporate Development penny@ocalamagazine.com CELEBRATING OUR 43RD YEAR! JULY 2023 Volume 43, Issue 1 OCALA’S #1 MOST AWARD-WINNING CITY MAGAZINE Ocala Magazine Wins Five 2022 Florida Magazine Association Awards!


Philip Glassman, CCIM Publisher

Philip has been at the helm of OM for nearly 5 years with 15 FMA awards. He is also an astute businessman, working primarily in the commercial real estate arena and joint venturing in business start-ups. Philip is a former actor, a creative thinker and father to two beautiful children.

Penny Miller VP/Corporate Development

Penny is with OM over 20 years and owner of an insurance company over 30. She has authored 5 books, owns a media company, founded/directed the Marion County Homeless Coalition, and an appointed Senate-confirmed Commissioner by 4 Governors. Penny served on the Advisory Board of the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation and President of College Park Kiwanis Club. Her best blessings are her 4 children and 5 grandchildren.

Jessi Miller Creative Director

Jessi's career is as old as Photoshop but she doesn't limit her art to the computer. Fine artist and awardwinning creative director, she is saving the world, one graphic design at a time at Little Black Mask Media. She is passionate about storytelling, community involvement, peacebuilding, family, and the arts.


Anderson State of the County Columnist

Mark Anderson is a Public Relations Specialist for Marion County, where he specializes in photography, writing and anything else that comes his way.

Louisa Barton Equine Editor

Louisa is the Equine Initiative Director at the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership, Showcase Properties of Central Florida Farm Realtor and host of the Horse Talk Show on the Sky 97.3, Audacy.com and Equus Television.

Ralph Demilio

Chief Photographer

Ralph is an award-winning photographer that handles OM's every need. From shooting the great people of Ocala, to food and horses, Ralph has an amazing understanding of art and lighting that brings everyone and everything into beautiful focus.

Jackie Prince

Creative Assistant

Jackie is the creative assistant at Little Black Mask Media. An indespensible team member who is usually hidden behind the scenes, she tolerates people with a smile — and prefers the company of her two great danes.

Sharon Raye Copy Editor | Distribution

Sharon is a native South Floridian who has called Ocala home for 10 years. She studied at The Acting School of South Florida conservatory. She was an active actress and model in FL, NY and abroad for 20 years. Her love for the arts dates back to childhood especially in writing and attention to detail. She is curious by nature, loves traveling, good food, learning about cultures and is an advocate for natural health. Sharon has a daughter who is her greatest joy and primary focus.

Carlton Reese

Contributing Editor

A freelance writer and editor, Carlton is a fourthgeneration Ocalan who has written for newspapers and magazines since he was a college freshman in 1985. A father of four daughters, Carlton used to play lots of golf, but is busy enjoying time with his family instead.


Dobbs State of the City Columnist

Ashley Dobbs is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the City of Ocala. She is responsible for internal and external communications, managing social media, brand standards, and working with collaborators providing outreach to citizens. The City's goal is to put citizens first and make Ocala a great place to live, play, and prosper.

Kent Guinn Mayor's Column

Kent's family came here in 1850, he is a fifth-generation Ocalan. After 12 years on the Ocala city council, he has served the last 11 as mayor and overseen unprecedented growth of the area during his tenure. Married for 43 years with two sons and a new granddaughter, Guinn loves to play the game of golf when he can.

Todd Carstenn | Writer

Todd was an English teacher at Lake Weir and Vanguard High Schools for 37 years. He has written numerous articles over those years about teaching and education for various publications. Though he retired in 2020, he still cares deeply about the state of education in Florida. Todd plays a lot of golf, a little pickle ball, and also teaches tennis. He and his wife Mary have four kids and four grand children.

Brad Rogers Contributing Editor

For more than a generation Brad has written about the people, places and issues that shape Ocala, first as a newspaper columnist and editor and now as a freelance writer. He is married and the father of two grown children and grandfather of one. In this month’s issue, he interviews Dr. Jim Henningsen, OM’s Person of the Year.

Brandi Wright Social Photographer

When Brandi isn't on the scene, capturing social events for OM's Society section, she might be baking for her Double Baked Bakery business or shooting for her BW Photography business. Make sure to smile for the camera if you see her while out and about.

Liv Vitale Graphic Designer

Liv is a free-lance graphic designer with a flair for fashion. She is currently the Creative Director at Strike Magazine Gainesville and works remotely for OM. She is passionate about all forms of design and is looking forward to a career in the arts.


It’s July and time to travel

THE MONTH OF JULY MEANS THE PEAK OF THE SUMMER BREAK, and while I no doubt trust this time is a break for the kids, for the parents perhaps not so much. You parents out there certainly know what I mean. With school out, so much is going on with the kids in terms of camps and activities, the job of the parents grows during this summer break.

It’s all good, though, and I am grateful that we seem to have our normal summers back now, following several that were tainted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ability to travel safely to places both far and near is not something I take for granted. As such, I will take advantage of the opportunity to travel with my family this July and I hope our readers do the same.

This year’s destination of choice is the northwest United States, virtually unmatched for its natural beauty. We will start in Seattle where we will visit one of America’s great cities before moving on to the great national parks that exist in the state of Washington. Just as I visited Mount Ranier with my family when I was a child, my kids are going to visit with me. On the docket is Olympia National Park, one of the true natural wonders of this country. The area encompasses 60 miles of rugged and sandy beach coastline as well as glaciated mountains and rainforests. The natural diversity of this park is something for my kids that will not only be beautiful to see, but also a great learning experience. Drink in these moments with your family and cherish them since, as the pandemic recently proved, these moments can be fleeting.

WITH FOOD PRICES AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH, spotlighting the work of His Compassion in this month’s issue seems to be quite relevant.

Years ago, a joke was circulating regarding the effect of inflation on people and to sum it up, it stated that in years past one would take a purse full of money into a grocery store and walk out with a bag full of food. But now, one walks in with a bag full of money and leaves with a purse full of food. That was the complaint about inflation over 30 years ago, but it is much more pronounced today.

We may be in a food crisis that is harming everyone and His Compassion certainly takes some of the edge off it. The group is responsible for giving away over 1.6 million pounds of food monthly. That is a staggering figure to ponder and one that also shows the great need there is in this community and how people are coming together to fill this need.

It is with great pride that Ocala Magazine has showcased His Compassion not just in this current issue but in past ones as well. Before any other need of a human being can be met, food and water come first. Not until one is fed can one worry about clothing and shelter. These are third world problems, yet here we are in the first world still dealing with them. Thanks to organizations like His Compassion, such problems can be met and dealt with in humane and dignified ways.

LETTER from the publisher
HIS Compassion photo by Ralph Demilio
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The millennials: Our fastest growing age group

An interesting thing happened on the way to the population boom in Ocala.

Yes, more retirees moved here. More horse people moved here, too. And more rooftops have sprung up across the county at an almost alarming rate. Of course, none of those growth measures come as a surprise to anyone.

What is surprising is the age group that is growing at the fastest rate in greater Ocala is millennials, that is, people born between 1981 and 1996. They are the all-important 25-44 age demographic.

No, our community is not in a backslide as a retirement haven. The over-65 crowd still is significant – and growing significantly. But for the past decade, millennials have been an ever-growing segment of the community, and as OM’s “40 Under 40” list in this issue shows, they are making Ocala not only bigger, but better.

The trend first drew attention after a study by Avalanche Consulting, an Austin, Texas-based economic development analytics firm, found that Ocala’s millennial population grew 15.7 percent between 2012-17, double the U.S. average and highest among the nation’s so-called “small metros.”

It wasn’t a blip, either. In the years since 2017, the 25-44 age group has had the highest in-migration rate of all age groups, according to state data.

“We talk about our retirees a lot, and understandably so,” said Kevin Sheilley, president/CEO of the Metro Ocala Chamber & Economic Partnership. “But I think what we miss is the significant growth of our younger population.”

If the millennial surge went unrecognized locally, it was not lost on national business community.

Earlier this year, for example, U-Haul named Ocala the No. 1 destination for people moving themselves in the United States.

“Florida has a number of top growth

cities (in the U-Haul analysis),” said Ed Hatcher, U-Haul area vice president for North Florida. “A lot of that has to do with the small town feel and everything being extremely close for people to get to.”

Sheilley said the U-Haul designation is telling because, “Seniors don’t move using a U-Haul. U-Haul tells us their target market is singles and young couples.”

The National Board of Realtors did a study on migration patterns and found Ocala to be No. 1 among people moving from one metro to another and No. 8 as a desired destination for families.

Yeah, the millennials are here … and more are coming.

Sheilley attributes the influx of millennials to Ocala’s climate, tax rates, affordabil-

• Since 1970, Marion County’s population has grown more than 400 percent, from 70,563 to about 400,000 today. In that same period, Florida overall grew about 217 percent.

• If it feels more crowded around town, consider this: Since 2010 the population density of the county has grown from 163 people per square mile to 247 people per square mile today.

• And it’s not slowing down. Sheilley said 12,000 people moved into Marion County last year. That’s 1,000 people a month.

ity and jobs. Especially jobs.

“At the end of the day, it’s always about a job,” he said of the twenty- and thirtysomethings moving here.

Ocala Main Street Executive Director Jessica Fieldhouse said a walk around downtown shows that more young people are moving to Ocala and engaging the community.

“We see a lot more of that under-40 crowd come out, much more so than just five years ago,” she said. “What we’re seeing is more families coming into the downtown.”

Fieldhouse noted that the center city is benefitting from millennials beyond wining and dining and attending entertainment events. There also are multiple apartment projects under way in the downtown, and she expects them to be filled mostly with younger individuals and families.

What the younger crowd is looking for is what Ocala offers, Fieldhouse said — “a sense of culture, a sense of place.”

“Our generation is looking to make it an experience,” she said.

12 | JUL 2023 | OCALAMAGAZINE.COM words of

Magical times for therapy horse

Last month we dedicated this space to the benefits of therapy dogs in court and highlighted the life of Rikki, the therapy dog who was a champion in this field after himself being rescued after Hurricane Katrina. For this month, we would like to keep the animals in the spotlight while recognizing Magic, the miniature therapy horse that has taken the country by storm.

Magic is the focus of a recent documentary that was an official selection of the Manhattan Film Festival this past June at the Cinema Village Theatre in New York City. There, Magic walked the red carpet while donning a tuxedo as a celebrity of the occasion.

Magic is part of the team at Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses in Ocala and the recent documentary highlights the impressive work done by this horse. All the travels and help brought by this horse inspired the documentary, “Hero Horse: A Magical True Story.”

As a therapy horse, Magic was there to comfort survivors and first responders of tragedies, including the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, the Emmanuel AME Church massacre in Charleston, S.C., the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, the Surfside condominium collapse in Miami, the tornadoes in Moore, Okla., and the wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

After Magic walked the red carpet in New York, it was on to accept another award in Palm Beach. This would be an honor from the Florida Bar Association, the Rikki Mitchell Animal Achievement Award. There, Magic would be the first horse ever allowed inside the famous Boca Raton Hotel.

The awards come stacked upon other recognitions already garnered: TIME Magazine once named Magic one of history’s 10 Most Courageous Animals and AARP named Magic the Most Heroic Pet in America. In 2014, Magic earned the E.T. York Distinguished Service Award and in 2015 was named to the United States Equestrian Federation/Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame. This only scratches the surface to the list of awards and achievements that led up to the heralded documentary.

What a wonderful organization and how Ocalan in nature Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is. These animals help ease the suffering of those affected by natural emergencies, tragedies and medical challenges. Everywhere these horses go, the people they meet suddenly get smiles on their faces, despite the challenges they are trying to overcome. And that is the point: Bringing happiness, even in small doses, to places where darkness and despair have taken over.

For a child battling cancer or for people who have lost loved ones to a horrible tragedy, the chance to smile and feel some unconditional love may be a medicine upon which one cannot place a price.

There is even a literacy program which brings the horses inside schools to inspire young readers and “bring books to life,” as the organization boasts on its website. Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is an organization everyone can get behind and there are many different ways to help. Supplies are needed such as gas cards, clipper blades, miniature horse halters and lead lines, blankets, hay and horse feed, among much more. There are many ways to contribute, but anyone interested should go to the organization’s website: gentlecarouseltherapyhorses.com.

from the Mayor COLUMN





Join us for a ribbon cutting at 5:45 p.m.

Festivities will be held 6 - 8 p.m.












Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs.


Ocala Electric Utility (OEU) was founded in 1898, when citizens and leaders of Ocala recognized the need for infrastructure to drive growth and development in the community.

OEU is committed to exceeding the expectations of our customers who are also our family members, neighbors and friends. This mission will be accomplished through our commitment to quality and outstanding service in a continually changing environment. OEU continues to be a hometown enterprise providing safe, reliable energy to our community.

OCALA ELECTRIC UTILITY CELEBRATING 125 YEARS POWERING A STRONG COMMUNITY FOR 125 YEARS Ocala Electric Utility (OEU) was founded in 1898, when citizens and leaders of Ocala recognized the need for infrastructure to drive growth and development in the community. OEU is committed to exceeding the expectations of our customers who are also our family members, neighbors and friends. This mission will be accomplished through our commitment to quality and outstanding service in a continually changing environment. OEU continues to be a hometown enterprise providing safe, reliable energy to our community. OUR MISSION The City of Ocala provides fiscally responsible services consistent with the community’s current and future expectations. EMPLOYEE STANDARDS Customer Focus Innovation Quality of Work Integrity Job Knowledge Teamwork Customer Service Office 201 SE Third St., Ocala, FL 34470 Lobby Hours: Mon. - Fri., 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (352) 629-2489 www.ocalaelectric.org “As your locally owned and operated utility, we have proudly served the City of Ocala and surrounding Marion County for 125 years. Our mission then, remains our mission now: to provide safe, reliable, and low-cost power to you and your family. We are deeply grateful to our current and former employees, customers, and community leaders for sharing in Ocala Electric Utility’s rich history since 1898 and through the next 125 years.” - Doug Peebles, Director of Ocala Electric Utility FROM THE DIRECTOR Left to Right: Chad Lynch, Deputy Director & Doug Peebles, Director Efficiency Safety SUCCESS THROUGH TIME OUR MISSION FROM THE DIRECTOR EMPLOYEE STANDARDS The City of Ocala provides fiscally responsible services consistent with the community’s current and future expectations. “As your locally owned and operated utility, we have proudly served the City of Ocala and surrounding Marion County for 125 years. Our mission then, remains our mission now: to provide safe, reliable, and low-cost power to you and your family. We are deeply grateful to our current and former employees, customers, and community leaders for sharing in Ocala Electric Utility’s rich history since 1898 and through the next 125 years.” - DOUG PEEBLES, DIRECTOR OF OCALA ELECTRIC UTILITY Customer Service Office 201 SE Third St., Ocala, FL 34470 • Lobby Hours: Mon. - Fri., 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (352) 629-2489 • www.ocalaelectric.org


40 UNDER 40


Andrew Grunther 29 34

Occupation: Vacation Rental Management at Book’d Airbnb Management Solutions

What I like most about living in Ocala: Potential. We live in a community with such history and culture, yet there is a clear path forward as well. Those amongst us who simultaneously see that path in ways that honor the past, all the while positioning Ocala as an example when it comes to economic development & tourism: These are the visionaries. One word that summarizes my philosophy of life:  Butter.  Community cause: The Historic Ocala Preservation Society (HOPS).

Alaina Wickham

Occupation: General Manager at GoldMark Farm

When not working, I: Spend time with my family and I like to ride my horse Nova whom I train with in dressage. One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Sonder. (Everyone has a story).

Personal achievement for which I am most proud: Giving birth to my son Henry.

Professional achievement for which I am most proud: Being one or possibly the only female in Marion County to run a farm that is as large as GoldMark Farm’s 2,000 acres which includes horses, cattle, hay production as well as day to day farm operations. If there is one thing I indulge too much in, that would be: Chocolate!

Top 3 things on my bucket list: Visit Antarctica, compete at the Grand Prix level in dressage, go on an

Yohan Le Bescond Tierra Scott 28 30

Occupation: Executive Pastry Chef at World Equestrian Center Ocala

Grand goal in life: Become an acclaimed chef and be recognized for my accomplishments by my peers and my community.

When not working, I: Go out to eat with my partner, Jeremy. We find interesting new places to eat or we stay home and enjoy our dogs. I am currently training my fourth dog, Tilly. If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Teleportation, so I can avoid the long flights to France.

Professional achievement for which I am most proud: Building the pastry program at WEC and establishing Emma’s Patisserie. Sharing my own voice in the culinary scene in Ocala.

Top 3 things on my bucket list: Become a US Citizen (two years to go!), Build my own brand as a chef, Keep making my family and friends proud of my accomplishments.

Occupation: Administrator & Owner of Miracle Hands (Home Health care)

Grand goal in life:To be the best mother, wife and leader I can be. When not working, I: Enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. What I like most about living in Ocala: I love it’s a smaller city and less than two hours away from bigger cities.

My greatest strength is: Empathy. If I could have a superhuman power: To travel through time.

Community cause nearest my heart: Habitat for Humanity.

A guilty pleasure: Traveling to eat. Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Mary Eliza Mahoney. I would like to know more about her experience going through nursing school while facing so many challenges and dealing with diversity.

there's more! Read their entire profiles on ocalamagazine.com OCALAMAGAZINE.COM | JUL 2023 | 19

Roland Micu 39 35

Erin Glock

Occupation: Director of Beverage, Master Sommelier

Workplace: World Equestrian Center - Ocala

Grand goal in life: To be a good father and husband.

My biggest pet peeve: When people use the term ‘literally’ when they mean ‘figuratively’.

One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Struggle.

If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Healing.

Community cause nearest my heart: Protecting our Bill of Rights.

A guilty pleasure: NFL Football / 49ers games/content.

Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Jesus Christ, for He

Occupation: Business Development Director at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Ocala

Grand goal in life:To lead a balanced and successful life. Be extremely successful within my career, at the same time being the best wife and mother my family could imagine. Ensuring to approach each day with the right mindset to enjoy my everyday life.

When not working, I: Am being the biggest cheerleader to my boys’ sports schedule.

If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Teleportation.

A guilty pleasure: Late-night snacks. People who know me say I am: Unique.

Top 3 things on my bucket list: Visiting every continent, attending a Papal Mass at the Vatican, skydiving.

Blake Spires Carlie DeLuca 33 21

Kids: No, but looking for that “if you’re a bird I’m a bird” type relationship.

Occupation: Business Owner at Brilliant Bins

Grand goal in life: Speak to a crowd of 1000+, more involvement at church, build another business, guide more owners to establish a remarkable brand and model, learn a third language, be one of those dads that coaches his kid’s little league team. My biggest pet peeve: Criticizing without suggestion.

My greatest strength is: Being well rounded. I believe I am on the path to being superbly versed in a few things, however, I allocate time to being open and sponging up other things also because it builds character.

If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: The ability to touch a book or source and absorb all the knowledge and information right into my brain.

Occupation: Wedding/Event Coordinator at Carlie DeLuca Events

Grand goal in life: Have a happy family and a career that is fulfilling and fun.

When not working, I: Practice yoga, go on walks, bake and pet my cats (or anyone’s cats).

My biggest pet peeve: Pretentious people. Also when people stop at the yellow light when we both could have made it.

If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: The power to heal.

Community cause nearest to my heart: Kimberly’s Center.

Any person I could have a dinner date with, and why:

Deceased: Amelia Earhart. She was adventurous and brave, and I’d like to hear her stories.

Living: Matthew McConaughey.

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Occupation: Artist/Fire Performer/ Chimney Sweep

Companies: Bewitched Butterfly Performance, Lustrous Entertainment and Affordable Chimney Sweep of Central Florida

Grand goal in life: To have my own farm and butterfly sanctuary. I love plants and animals and want to be surrounded by the things I love most. When not working, I: Raise Monarch butterflies. I’m always in my garden tending to my plants and the endangered species or spending time with my cats and dogs. When there are nice days out, I enjoy swimming in the springs or hiking new trails. My biggest pet peeve: Being underestimated. People see a small, fragile girl, but I am far from such. I like

"Lizzie" Steger 25 David John 33

Occupation: Senior Videographer at World Equestrian Center Ocala

Grand goal in life: To live fully in my purpose and to do the things God wants me to do.

When not working, I: Work on music.

When I’m not working on music, I’m working on being a better spouse, father, brother and son to my family.

Biggest pet peeve: People with excuses instead of solutions. Community cause nearest to my heart: Seeking Truth.

One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Gratitude.

My greatest strength is: Remaining optimistic and resilient in the face of adversity. Thinking for myself without following the crowd.

Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: My younger self so I could let him know how great our life is going to be and remind him to keep pushing no matter what.

Occupation: Patrol Sergeant at Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Grand goal in life: Retire on the water with my wife.

When not working, I: Like to hunt and fish with my wife and kids. What I like most about living in Ocala: The small town feel. My biggest pet peeve: Procrastination. One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Purpose. My greatest strength is: My relationship with the Lord. If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Flying.

Steve Billington

Colton Sullivan 37

Occupation: Realtor and content creator at The Billington Team powered by eXp Realty

When not working, I: Am playing music out or watching hockey with my family.

Community cause nearest my heart: Fine Arts for Ocala. FAFO plays a vital role in promoting and fostering the artistic expression and education within our community. I am inspired by the influence it has on our local arts scene. People who know me say I am: The ‘coolest,’ ‘funniest,’ or a ‘trip.’

Professional achievement for which I am most proud: My wife Lacey and I achieving ICON status through our brokerage multiple times and helping put Ocala on the map via our YouTube

Top 3 things on my bucket list: See the Seven Wonders of the World, play music in front of a sold out crowd, set a Guinness world record for best hair.

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Amy Hill 34 25

Caleb Spivey

Occupation: The Chapter Advocate for Foster Florida Ocala at Foster Florida Inc (Ocala Chapter)

Grand goal in life: I think this sums it up... “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. - Erma Bombeck

When not working, I: Love to entertain! On any given weekend, there’re a few dozen kids in the backyard and a home full of friends! If not, the kids and I are off on adventures which usually lead to the beach!

A guilty pleasure: Staying up late with reality TV and enjoying a snack that I don’t have to share with my children. People who know me say I am: You’d probably hear them joke about me being a chaos coordinator or the one with a half dozen kids. Really, just the friend who is passionate about what she believes in and always says yes when there’s a need.

Occupation: Detention Deputy at Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Grand goal in life: Exude compassion, love and understanding regardless of whatever circumstance I find myself in. One word that describes my philosophy in life: Perspective. Greatest strength: My ability to view a situation from all of its angles. If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: It would be really cool to manipulate the elements with my mind, just like in Avatar the Last Airbender. Community cause nearest to my heart: People. You’re always around them and you never know what a kind word or listening ear could do for someone.

Favorite part of my profession: I find peace in trying to be a light-source to people in a very dark place, who could be in one of the lowest points in their life. I love showing the unreachable that there is still a hand outstretched for them.

Kate Rengel Zachary Shaul 35 32

Occupation: Nonprofit Co-Founder at VOCAL (Voices of Change Animal League)

When not working, I: Love to spend time with my family; biking, hiking, and being outdoors. I am happiest when I am moving! I also love almost every genre of music and my family loves to have dance parties.

Biggest pet peeve: People who refuse to spay and neuter their pets.  Overpopulation of dogs and cats is a true problem in our community, and the resources are now available to assist pet owners.

One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: (Be) Present. If there is one thing I indulge too much in, that would be: True crime and paranormal podcasts.

Top 3 things on my bucket list: Visit every US National Park with my family, become a yogi, achieve VOCAL’s mission of solving the homeless pet problem.

Occupation: Photographer/Mental health field

Workplace: Zachary Shaul Adventures/

The Guest House of Ocala  When not working I: Go on adventures with my fiancé, read books, spend time with my giant tortoise, hike, kayak, scuba dive, and spend time with my family- Hi Mom & Dad!

Grand goal in life: To see as much of the world as possible and to live every day to its fullest.

If I could have one superhuman power, it would be: To breathe underwater.

A guilty please of mine:  Buying camera gear, or eating chicken wings. Personal achievement for which I am most proud:  Getting clean and staying sober for the last eight years. I get to work alongside the people who helped me heal from trauma as we help others who are wounded to find a better way of life.

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40 years HOSPICE of Marion County Since 1983 There when you need us... Hospice of Marion County... taking care of families since 1983 hospiceofmarion.com (352) 873-7400 Your Hometown HospiceTM

Occupation: Equestrian Content Specialist at World Equestrian Center – Ocala

Grand goal in life: Continue to love what I do and spread positivity to others. When I am not working I: Am riding horses or visiting my family in St. Petersburg, Florida.

My biggest pet peeve: I am not a fan when people do not use their turn signals when they’re driving. It’s not “Fast and Furious,” we need to know where you’re going.

Community cause nearest my The Peeps Foundation. This foundation is a sanctuary focused on rescuing dwarf horses and rehoming miniature ponies. The owner of the foundation, Josh Dolan, gave the little mini ponies a chance and now they can live a pain-free and happy life. People who know me say I am: A ray of sunshine. I also have a resting smile face and a contagious positive attitude.

Denaya Wilkerson

Occupation: CEO Business Owner, Arts & Wellness Professional; dance teacher, yoga teacher, fitness trainer, visual artist, activist Workplaces: DeNaya Wilkerson Arts & Wellness LLC and The Training Toole

Grand goal in life: My mission and the mission of my company is to inspire my community here in Ocala to live healthier and more mindful lives. We are a company that improves the quality of the environments and the communities we live and work in by encouraging unity.

My biggest pet peeve: Gossip – there is no need for it and is it harmful to others. One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Unity.

A guilty pleasure: Buying cowboy boots. Kids’ size 3. Favorite part of my profession: others get back to feeling good, and moving comfortably in their own unique body. Joy and healing is contagious.

Brianna Miller 26 32 Derek Miller Samantha Ingram 32 29

Occupation: Financial Planner at Miller & Associates with Ameriprise Financial Grand goal in life: To complete “the Great Loop.” This is a continuous waterway that you can take up the Eastern Seaboard, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River around the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys ending back along the Eastern Seaboard of Florida.

When not working, I: Co-lead a men’s group at Live Oak Church, mountain bike, kayak, practice yoga and explore the country with my wife, Haley, and our dog, Disco, in our camper van. Favorite part of my profession: Helping people establish where they stand, what their goals are and putting together a plan to move them towards those goals. I truly love solving people’s financial puzzles and helping people be financially successful. People who know me say I am: Adventurous.

Occupation: Student Services Manager at Marion County Public Schools

Grand goal in life: To glorify God in all that I do. It’s a daily struggle to die to oneself, I’m not perfect, but it is my goal. When not working, I: Am throwing clay in my pottery studio or traveling with my Boo.

What I like most about living in Ocala: How tight-knit our community is. I have watched this community show up time and time again for others when they needed it most. Also, how is it that everybody knows everybody? I’ve now traveled to other continents and when people find out where I’m from they respond, “Ocala! So-and-so lives there.” My greatest strength is: Determination. I will figure it out, just wait. If there is one thing I indulge too much in, that would be: Social media. I spend too much time on Instagram, connecting with other potters, searching for inspiration, recording or editing my videos or pictures.

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Extraordinary care. Infinite possibilities.

Timber Ridge™

Center for Rehabilitation and Healing

Desiree Holder has been named Executive Director at Timber Ridge Center for Rehabilitation and Healing in Infinite Care’s Florida Division.

Timber Ridge Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility welcomes Desiree Holder, who has been named Executive Director in Infinite Care’s Florida Division, effective March 2023.

In her new role, Holder will oversee the strategic direction, development and operation of Timber Ridge’s 180 bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility.

Currently, Holder serves as District 8 President of the Florida Health Care Association and has been a member for over a decade. She has dedicated the past 17 years of her career as both a nurse and administrator to senior care in the post-acute setting. Originally from Ocala, Holder earned her Health Care Administration degrees at the College of Central Florida.

“I have been called to serve seniors, bringing compassion, empathy and healing to those I encounter,” said Holder. “I’m grounded by my faith and I recognize the value of servant leadership. I am compelled to help each patient and resident, aiming to meet their needs on their healing journey—whether its physical, spiritual or emotional.”

With a network of locations across New York, New Jersey and Florida, Infinite Care is an established and leading chain of top-quality rehabilitation centers, such as Timber Ridge Center for Rehabilitation and Healing in Ocala.

Offering a comprehensive suite of clinical skilled nursing care; physical, occupational & speech therapies, Timber Ridge delivers extraordinary care & infinite possibilities.

9848 SW 110th St, Ocala, FL 34481 352-854-8200 www.timberridgerehab.com
Desiree Holder, Nurse, NHA, BAS-HCA

Sam Troche 36 28

Occupation: Cook at Famous Pronto Pizza Express

Kids: Yes, I just found out my first born will be here in January 2024!

Grand goal in life: To keep growing and evolving to better support my family. My biggest pet peeve: Bad drivers. My greatest strength is: Growing up in the restaurant industry I learned how to remain focused on the main goal during chaotic situations.  If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: To be able to fly. It would be such a great way to travel!  Community cause nearest my heart: Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection

Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: My Grandmother. We had a language barrier when I was young but before she passed I learned enough Spanish to understand how funny and witty she was. I would love to have the opportunity to get to know

Nicole Kopolivits

Occupation: Firefighter/Paramedic, Fire and EMS Instructor at Ocala Fire Rescue, Florida State Fire College

Grand goal in life: To leave my mark on the world.

When not working, I: Enjoy spending time with my wife, friends, family, and traveling.

Greatest strength: Work ethic. Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: My grandmother who lived through the holocaust and died of cancer before we could meet. I would love to hear her story and get to know the woman who raised my dad. Professional achievement for which

Lea Brayton Matthew Steadmon 30 39

Occupation: Media & Marketing Project Manager at World Equestrian Center – Ocala

When not working, I: Three-day event my mare, run competitively, road bike, walk my dogs with my husband, read, work on my horse farm – I love to be busy and working on projects.

What I like most about living in Ocala: It’s all about the equestrian community here: the legacy of farms and idyllic farmland, access to elite trainers, WEC. My biggest pet peeve: It’s a close tie between being out of coffee and those stick-figure window decals of families on the back of minivans.

Personal achievement for which I am most proud: Backpacking through the Carretera Austral, completing my first marathon, getting my Master’s degree, purchasing my dream farm in Ocala’s horse country – anything that makes me work toward a result and puts me outside my comfort zone makes me proud.

Occupation: Dermatologist at Ocala

Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center

Grand goal in life: To be a good husband to my wife, father to my children, and physician to my patients. When not working, I: Like to spend time on the golf course or traveling with my family. One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Kindness. A guilty pleasure: A big bag of chips or popcorn and a Coca Cola. Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Leonardo da Vinci. His knowledge across so many different subjects has always fascinated me.

Professional achievement for which I am most proud: I received teacher of the year from the Department of Dermatology at the University of Florida a few years back while I was still working with the dermatology residents.

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The Road to Recovery Starts Here

Hawthorne Center for Rehabilitation and Healing specializes in sub-acute orthopedic, cardiac, pulmonary, and neurological rehabilitation.

Our team is committed to helping patients reach their full potential and return home safely.

The rehab gym is well equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that is instrumental in recovery including a Biodex Balance System, Arjo Gait Training System, NuStep Machines, Hur Fitness Equipment (Pneumatic Exercise Equipment), Parallel Bars, Digital Stair Training, and a full kitchen area to help our patients retrain in meal preparation and household tasks.

We have an exclusive rehab dining area, private and semi-private suites, electric hospital beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, flat screen tv’s, walk in showers, and individual heating/ cooling units.


Center for Rehabilitation and Healing of Ocala

Our admissions team is available 24/7


4100 SW 33rd Avenue , Ocala, FL 34474 352-237-7776

Center for Rehabilitation and Healing of Ocala


Erin Angelotti 34 30

Occupation: Preschool Director at Creative Beginnings Preschool

When not working, I: Spend time with my family who all live locally, enjoy time at home with my dogs, travel the state exploring the hidden gems of Florida on land and by paddle board. If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Talking to animals or granting wishes.

Favorite part of my profession: It may be a cliche that educators make a difference, but it’s true. Great educators make a difference in the lives in of all the students they have the privilege of teaching. We make a difference by caring about them as people, seeing and responding to them as individuals, and building safe, respectful places in our schools. Every day I walk into a classroom I get to see children enjoy learning through play as they gain academic knowledge, independence, social emotional and physical developmental milestones.

Carron Washington

Occupation: Business Owner at Rex’s Pressure Washing and Auto Spa Grand goal in life: To leave my conference with generational wealth and happiness.

When not working, I: Am coaching football or basketball or watching some sport and probably aggravating my wife.

My greatest strength is: The ability to adapt quickly but also to stick out from the crowd.

Community cause nearest my heart: Youth sports, keeping these babies off the streets and teaching them the game of life through sports that will help them succeed in life.

A guilty pleasure: Iced honey buns. Top 3 things on my bucket list: Travel to every state at least once, go to a professional game that one of my old players is playing, the #1 thing on my wife’s bucket list. I love you baby!

Fabian Gomez Raven Chase 37 24

Occupation: Mortgage Officer/broker at American Bancshares Mortgage Grand goal in life: To Live.

When not working, I: Am working my cattle, playing my trombone and piano.

What I like most about living in Ocala: The awesome trees we have, and the pastures and greenery.

Biggest pet peeve: Food that is too hot to eat.

One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Helper.

My greatest strength is: Work ethic. If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: I would definitely want to fly like Superman.

Community cause nearest my heart: Saving music in schools.

Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Jesus Christ. Not sure any one personality has made more impact than him.

Occupation:  Owner/Promoter, Marketing Assistant Coordinator, Sales Associate, Order Fulfillment Workplace: The BTS Project, The Ocala Oddities Market, Geek Fest, The Oddities Shoppe, Big Box Retailer  Grand goal in life: To make an impact in Ocala and greater Central Florida as a whole, bringing together bands and artists from different music scenes that are both local and national levels. I also aspire to create a loving, bonded community through the advocacy of removing the stigma of mental health and instead, binding us all in the rhythm of music.

My greatest strength is: Being driven. Since the age of sixteen, when I first brainstormed the idea of the BTS Project, I have shown myself how simply diligence can take an idea and turn it into an action.

Community cause nearest my heart: Feed The Scene, Upbeat GNV, To Write Love On Her Arms, The Hope Shot.  there's more! Read their entire profiles

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Matt Gray 38 40

Occupation: Owner/Operator, Entertainer/performer, Curator/event host

Businesses: DJ Matt Gray, The Ocala Oddities Market, The Oddities Shoppe

Grand goal in life: Live a life of legacy, a life people will remember, and my daughters will be proud of. Expose the masses to the strange, odd, unique and unusual and show them the beauty in it.

Biggest pet peeve: My biggest pet peeve is someone saying “It must be nice” as a reaction to something someone has or has accomplished. Everyone has the same 24 days in a day, it’s all about how you use them.

What I like most about living in Ocala: It’s the biggest small city in America. One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Obsessed.

Top 3 things on my bucket list: Tour the remains of Dracula’s castle in Romania,

Jokisha King

Occupation: Registered Nurse Business/workplace: HCA Ocala, Business- Sincere Cleaning Company & Rodan + Fields Skincare Consultant When not working, I: Enjoy going to comedy shows and spending time with my family.

One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Receptive.

Community cause nearest my heart: Black Nurses Rock, Ocala- this is an organization with a focus to foster a positive environment of professional growth and development. We provide support and mentorship to nurses in an effort to elevate our profession and improve our communities.

Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Michelle ObamaShe is beyond inspirational. She’s championed many important causes.

Jena Butler Rebecca Dallman


Occupation: Entrepreneur at Fundelivered

Grand goal in life: To have a life full of love, intention, and creativity. My biggest pet peeve: Entitlement. If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Talking to animals. Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Jeff Bezos. His story, determination, and the creation of something from nothing. I would love to pick the brain of someone I aspire to be.

Personal achievement for which I am most proud: I would not be the person and have the success I have today without my wife. The yin to my yang in all ways. I am most proud of finding her.   Favorite part of my profession: No day is ever the same when you own your own business. You are always learning and always searching for new ways to expand your business, and when you have an idea, the sky is the limit.

Occupation: Entrepreneur and business owner at Fundelivered

If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Time travel, so I could always be on time!

Personal achievement for which I am most proud: I have visted 27 states and 10 different countries so far, and it is my goal to see and experience as many cultures as possible.

Professional achievement for which I am most proud: Starting a business with my wife in our garage during the pandemic and growing it from the ground up, gaining national attention and having Jimmy Kimmel open one of our boxes on his late night show with guest star Orlando Bloom was certainly the affirmation every entrepreneur hopes for!

Favorite part of my profession: Having the flexibility to work hard when I feel energetic, create when I feel inspired, and to relax when my mind needs it most.

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Photo by Nita B Photography, LLC, courtesy of Jokisha King

Mark Anderson 37 32

Occupation: Public Relations Specialist/Photographer at Marion County, Florida Government

Grand goal in life: I’ll let you know when I figure it out! For now, I’m going wherever life takes me.

When not working, I: Play video games, watch nine hours of Netflix in one sitting, or make my incredibly patient wife wait in the car while I stop to photograph a dilapidated barn or motel sign on the side of the road (again).

Community cause nearest my heart: Education! Passing on knowledge to others is so important and I swear one of these days I’m going to join the Marion Literacy Council.

Professional achievement for which I am most proud: Probably the time I got to interview Jay Leno when I worked in The Villages. Currently, I’m proud any time I get to highlight the people who do a lot of the behind-thescenes government work.

Justin Alsedek 39

Occupation: Self Employed Artist at Gypsea Arts

Kids: One with another on the way!

Grand goal in life: Just to continue growing, loving life and completing all the side quests I have time for along the way. What I like most about living in Ocala: The friends I’ve made over the past several years.

My biggest pet peeve: Flaky people. One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Uncertainty. My greatest strength is: Ability to pivot and go with the flow.

If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Turning bullets into food. Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Andy Warhol, he has always intrigued me and hopefully after dinner I’d get to visit “The Factory.“

Personal achievement for which I am most proud: Supporting my family with my art.

Jonia McGill

Occupation: Gallery Assistant at Marion Cultural Alliance

Grand goal in life: Is to advocate for people who have a disability and/or a life threatening illness to have better and affordable health care as well as better social security disability benefits.

When not working, I: Am at Disney, a concert, or shopping online.

One word that summarizes my philosophy of life: Happiness.

Community cause nearest my heart: American Heart Association (Heart Walk). They have done so much for my family, myself, and all my Camp Boggy Creek friends by providing resources. Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Zendaya and her stylist Law Roach because I love their bold fashion choices, they are down to earth, funny and they seem like they would be great to have a conversation with. Personal achievement for which I am most proud: Overcoming everyday challenges with all my health conditions.

Occupation: Agent Licensed in Auto, Home, Health, Life, and Commerical Business at Angie Lewis State Farm and Owner of The Floridian Mobile Bar Co.

Grand goal in life: Being happy. Community cause nearest to my heart: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. For all those reading, I am a safe place; please know that I am here for you if you need someone to talk to.

Personal achievement for which I am most proud: Skydiving. Never thought I would ever jump out of a plane. A mentor once told me, “ Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear, just jump.” So I did!

Professional achievement, for which I am most proud: Being given the opportunity to join the team of Angie Lewis-State Farm. I am surrounded by like-minded individuals that strive to lift each other and their community. I am part of such an incredible culture, and am thankful for the lessons and support I have received.

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Katrina Neumann 32 29

Occupation: Internal Auditor at The Office of the Marion County Sheriff

When not working, I: Am the Treasurer of the Magnolia Art Xchange and co-chair of the Symphony Under The Stars for the Fine Arts For Ocala. My free time is best spent between these two wonderful organizations and is also contoured to family shenanigans.

My biggest pet peeve: Muddled documentation.

My greatest strength: My analytical skillset. I can easily evaluate scenarios and/or data to thus provide assessments of possible future enhancements.

A guilty pleasure: Buncha Crunch. Try it frozen, it’s the best.

Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: My husbands late grandmother. She helped to inspire

Kalen Woodyard 28

Occupation: CEO of Blackwood

The Label, lead stylist and designer, photographer, content creator

My greatest strength is: My Ability to persevere through any and everything in life and in business.

If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: Power Mimicry, giving me the ability to absorb and duplicate any person’s power and turn it into my own.

Community cause nearest my heart: Young black men in the community; I want them to see and understand there is more than one or two ways to be successful in life.

A guilty pleasure: Watching anime & gaming.

Professional achievement for which I am most proud: Opening my first retail online store in the Paddock Mall.

Personal achievement for which I am most proud: Being a real father.

Jordan Wagner

Occupation: Owner of Salon 209 and Hair Stylist

Grand goal in life: To provide the absolute best salon experience for both customers and staff while providing my family with every opportunity they could dream of.

My greatest strength is: Managing my time to spend time with my children and husband, while owning a salon and supporting my stylists.  Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Jacqueline Kennedy, because she was the definition of “Mom Boss”. She not only had multiple careers and interest in culture, but believed in putting her children first and supporting her husband.

People who know me say I am: A little intimidating on the outside but selfless

Occupation: Co-Founder of animal welfare non-profit, Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL)

What I like most about living in Ocala: The rural landscape and opportunity for outdoor activities. My biggest pet peeve: Loud chewing. My greatest strength is: Being calm in stressful, busy situations and being strangely good with navigational directions.

If I could have a superhuman power, it would be: The ability to clone myself.

Personal achievement for which I am most proud: Giving birth to and raising three healthy, happy boys. Any person in history I could have a dinner date with: Queen Elizabeth II. She experienced so many monumental moments in history and took on a role as a leader as a woman at such a young age and for so long.

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HIGHPOINT AT STONECREST has set the bar high for retirement living. This premier senior community, located just north of The Villages, features stunning rooftop views and includes chef-prepared dining with three daily meals, a resort-style saltwater pool, dog park, putting green, courtyard with firepit and so much more. Across all levels of care, from independent living to assisted living and memory care, residents can take part in engaging programming designed for a healthy mind, body and soul.

For senior living that rises above the rest, call 352-280-2533 or visit HighpointStonecrest.com to learn more.

17201 SE 109th Terrace Road | Summerfield, FL 34491 INDEPENDENT LIVING | ASSISTED LIVING | MEMORY CARE Enjoy the retirement you’ve imagined at Highpoint. L ife ELEVATED. AHCA License #13658

Corporate events are golden here.

Golden Ocala is the ideal location for corporate inspiration. From golf outings on a majestic, championship course to garden-view strategy sessions and ballroom-surrounded luncheons, we have the picture-perfect office getaway for groups of any size. With state-of-the-art amenities like a touch-screen podium, microphone integration, satellite radio streaming, dual projectors and theatre seats, you’ll be more than ready for team-building, brainstorming and anything else that lies ahead.

Weddings are golden here.

Weddings are golden here.

From the moment you arrive on our property and see the lavish clubhouse, smell the fragrant rose garden surrounding our grand stairway entrance, you can be assured your hopes, wishes and dreams are in good hands with our professional planner and staff. Let your special occasion become momentous and memorable in our breathtaking indoor and outdoor settings.

From the moment you arrive on our property and see the lavish clubhouse, smell the fragrant rose garden surrounding our grand stairway entrance, you can be assured your hopes, wishes and dreams are in good hands with our professional planner and staff. Let your special occasion become momentous and memorable in our breathtaking indoor and outdoor settings.

Please call 352.629.6229 to schedule a tour of our gorgeous facility | GoldenOcala.com

Please call 352.629.6229 to schedule a tour of our gorgeous facility | GoldenOcala.com



Kyle and Caycee Fairbanks

Bride hometown: Ocala, FL

Groom hometown: Anthony, FL

Parents of Groom: Gordon & Elizabeth Fairbanks

Parents of Bride: Ken & Caren Davis

Photography: Hampton Photoworks & Maudie Lucas Photography

Design: Making It Matthews

Ring: The Lady Jeweler (in downtown Ocala)

Floral: The Graceful Gardener

Venue: Protea Wedding & Events

How we met: Well, it's a funny story actually. We both had followed each other on instagram a few weeks prior to us having a conversation. We had some mutual friends, but we didn't know each other. One day, I (Caycee) was scrolling on my instagram and saw he (Kyle) had shared a George Straight song "Stars On The Water" on his page and he put a caption on the post he made stating, "Here's a toe tapper for ya'll". It made me laugh. I clicked past his story and looked at some things other people had posted, and then went back to his post and commented on it saying that it made me laugh and questioned what a toe tapper was. The rest is history. We went on a date a week later, and before the first date was over, he asked me out on a second date for the next night!

Engaged: We got engaged on Valentine's day of 2022. We were at our home, and had just made a nice dinner to celebrate Valentines. We had planned not to get each other any little gifts because we were going on vacation the next week and that was plenty! After dinner, he told me that he actually did get me something for Valentine's day. He came around the corner with a big smile on his face, walked over to where I was at, and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes... and then cried from excitement and happiness.

Honeymoon: Our honeymoon was magical. We went back and forth with where we wanted to go, and ultimately decided on our dream trip! We went to Europe! We spent 4 days in London, England where we toured Westminster Abbey. Next, we flew over to Mykonos, Greece and spent 5 days there relaxing on the coast of the Aegean Sea. We ended our 12 day honeymoon in Athens, Greece exploring the Parthenon.

Unusual Touches: We wanted our wedding to be naturally simplistic but with personalized touches. We had a neon sign with our name on it hanging behind our sweetheart table, and napkins with a gold crest with our initials in it at the place settings. For my something blue, I used my grandma's garter (which was pale blue) and I used my moms garter for my something old. I also had a little green and gold butterfly pin in my bouquet that was my memaw's who passed away 6 months before the wedding. Kyle wore his dads cufflinks that were worn on his parents wedding day. The morning of the wedding, Kyle and I had written each other letters, and we had one of my bridesmaids exchange the letters between us so we wouldn't see each other (Kyle didn't want to see me until I walked down the aisle). Once the reception was over, all our guests lined the outside walkway with sparklers, while we stayed inside the barn and had a last dance with just the two of us. We had a 1960's Rolls Royce as our getaway car!


Paul Stentiford and Jenny Conley

Ocala Backyard Wedding

Hometown: Both bride and groom have lived and grown up in Ocala.

Paul's parents: The late Robert Stentiford, Sr, the late Barbara Votano

Jenny's parents: Ken and Josephine Sizemore

Photographer: K.T. Lopez Photography

Design: Carlie Deluca Events

Ring: Lugano Diamonds

Floral: Heritage Flowers

Venue: The Stentiford Residence

Caterer: Flying Boat Tap Room. The reception had a large grazing table and numerous food stations located throughout the hardscape and gardens.

Make-up and Hair: CP Fredricks HD & The Apothecary

How did you meet: Mutual friends thought they would be perfect for each other, so they had their first lunch date.

Engaged: Paul proposed to Jenny in their future home surrounded by their children December 23, 2021

Honeymoon: Venice and the Dolomites, Italy

Paul and Jenny have 5 children between them: Miles, Ashton, Tyler, Devon and Ava

We thank God every day. It's never too late for a Happily Ever After!


Dawn Lovell and Sean Stephens

Date of wedding: 5/27/2023

Bride hometown: Miami, FL

Groom hometown: Bargersville, IN

Parents of Groom: Mr. James Stephens & Mrs.  Francie Stephens

Parents of Bride: Mr. Jeffrey Lovell & Mrs. Clover Lovell

Photography: Eighteenth Hour Photography

Coordination: Planning and coordination by Missy with Blessed Magnolia

Ring: Kay’s Jeweler

Floral: Floral Architecture

Venue: Private Residence

How we met: Sean works at Heart of Florida Youth Ranch with children in foster care, specializing in trauma. Dawn works as a licensed mental health counselor and certified clinical trauma professional for the homeless at Interfaith Emergency Services. Our paths crossed due to the similarity of our fields and shared networks of peers. Both Sean and I are believers and share the Christian faith. After many years of preparation and prayer, we called out to God, He heard us individually, and led us to one another. Nothing short of a miracle that He brought both of our dreams of love into reality. For our first date, we went to Yamato Sushi restaurant. Upon arrival, Sean presented a bag of candy to me (We are both huge candy lovers and much of our first conversation “bonded” us on this). I had also brought a candy to give to him.  As I opened the bag, it was the very exact same candy (Starmix gummies) as I brought for him. This only “gummified” what was within our hearts.

Engagement story: Knowing I am a bit on the private side, Sean proposed to me privately at my home after making us the most delicious dinner, wearing his chef jacket.

Special touches in the wedding day:  ’67 Corvette Stingray entrance in honor of bride’s father, driven by uncle (dad’s brother- Tracy Lovell). My father was my hero and it was exceptionally important to have him honored on this special day. On top of this amazing entrance, my photographer stopped to show me shots she had taken that had these beautiful orbs of light shining down through the trees. I have absolutely no doubt that my father was right there beside me on this blessed day. We had a beautiful array of TROPICAL flowers to represent the Miami Mermaid ;) Also, having my beautiful mother Clover there and my 95-year old grandmother, Mertha!

Unusual happenings in planning or during wedding: Two days before the wedding, we had several days of downpour rain, which resulted in flooding of our tent and delay for vendors to setup. The 24 hours before the wedding included a special team to lay flooring, and a brief period for vendors to complete setup. The weather was perfect. The ground dried up and allowed for the most important part of the wedding- including my dad as I entered on his car driven by my uncle.

Additional vendors: Bar - The Floridian Mobile Bar, CatererLaCasella Catering, Florals - Floral Architecture, Palms/Live plants - Foliage Design, Large Scale Rentals - EventWorks Orlando (Tent/ lighting/draping/staging/tables/chairs), TableScapes - Atlas Event Rentals (Linens/chargers/goblets/flatware/plates/napkins), Small Scale Rentals: Making it Matthews (uplighting/welcome wall/ selfie station/ ceremony doors & arch/basket lighting/alternative seating), Signage: AM&Co, Cake: R&M Customs, Video: Steven Jim Films, Harpist/Band/DJ: Bay Kings Band, Cold Sparklers/Cloud:Paper & Vapor FX, Potty Trailer: Jones Luxury Restrooms, Hair/makeup: Ali by Truluck Salon


Destiny and Christian Tripp

Date of wedding: February 25, 2023

Bride hometown: Ocala

Groom hometown: Interlachen/Hawthorn

Parents of Groom: Belinda Tripp and Jerry Cooper

Parents of Bride: Angela Grimes and James Whigham

Photography: Alisha Antis

Design: the bride, Destiny

Ring: rose gold rings bought at Value Pawn

Venue: Family farm in Summerfield

How we met: We met in High School, I was a senior and he was a sophomore.

Engaged: We got engaged February of last year (2022)

Honeymoon: We went to Tampa for a few days and just did things around town like visit historic sights and zoos. The highlight was dining at Floridas oldest restaurant The Columbia. We bought a bottle from their family collection called Rusty that we plan to drink on our one year anniversary.

Special touches: We have been together since 2017. We've been best friends since 2016. We bonded over a competitive classroom game called Kahoot.

Unusual happenings: At the wedding, we had a viking-style pyre that we lit with homemade torches. Definitely the best part of the wedding besides riding a horse down the aisle.


A Water Lover’s Paradise - Enjoy an authentic Florida experience at our beautiful, relaxing, eco-friendly 232 acre resort surrounded by the natural springs of King’s Bay. The resort offers 196 hotel rooms, over 12,000 sq ft reception rooms, 18 hole Championship golf course, Restaurants, Tiki Bar, Swim with the manatee experience, kayaking, fishing charters, boat rentals, full service spa and much more!

Our picturesque grounds give you many opportunities to keep your memories forever of your Wedding at the Plantation on Crystal River

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Unspoiled. Unmatched. Unforgettable. Southern hospitality on the Nature Coast WEDDING SALES DEPARTMENT Kristine Denzer | Direct: 352-651-5722 kdenzer@plantationoncrystalriver.com www.plantationoncrystalriver.com 9301 W Fort Island Trail Crystal River Main Hotel: 352-795-4211

u ng

Yo Ent repre neurs

hit the downtown market

On April 30th, Ocala’s downtown market gave the young entrepreneurs of our community a chance to showcase all their wonderful businesses. The Young Entrepreneurs Market hosted more than 30 businesses selling products created by youths using their own inspiration and imagination. Ages 7 to 18, these business owners/entrepreneurs showed Ocala they can bring it!

As I was strolling the market, music filled the air by a young singer, Kendall Dean, 13. When not serenading the crowd, she was selling hair bows for children and pets. Anna Romano, 18, who has been creating art pieces for as long as she could remember, had a gallery of art available. Her painting of a butterfly/moth was an eye-catcher. She first caught my attention because of how sweet and delightful she was, along with having her own business and so many aspirations. Anna was a senior attending Belleview High School with lots on her plate, including being enrolled in ROTC, wanting to go into the Navy and eventually becoming an art teacher after earning a degree in art.

This market allowed many of these entrepreneurs to sell for the first time, giving their businesses the boom and exposure they needed. These young entrepreneurs of Ocala have a passion for what they do and what they sell. According to Julie Bartoli, 18, “To other future entrepreneurs, I would say to you, have a passion for what you do and be sure to have people in your corner to help guide you along the way.”

Thirteen-year-old Charli Forsyth started her business selling self-defense resin in 2020 during the pandemic and loves how when making resin art, everything is always unique and different. Charli started her business just doing something small and now three years later her business is still going strong. Charli’s advice to other young entrepreneurs: “Just do it, and do not

Layla Wellhoner GiaOrtiz

have nothing to lose if you start small.”

Our market had lots of diversity in products and services. Joey Alvarado was giving live haircuts in the market. Layla Wellhoner was selling natural pet treats for rabbits, cats and dogs. Allison Rainey sold custom images on almost anything, including tile, license plates, mugs, and water bottles. Rainey mentioned how her business gave her and her father a chance to bond as they created their products.

A pair of siblings, Elaina and Chris Cummings, were selling some beautiful earrings,

trates his own comic books. Leila Copeland, 14, grabbed my attention with how she presented herself while selling some beautiful paintings. She had so much creativity and even her makeup was artistic with her Mario and Luigi eyes. Our community was thrilled to see the turnout and see how many youngsters are becoming great entrepreneurs. Ocala has many markets, but it was extremely heartwarming to see how the community got together to support our young thriving entrepreneurs. Keep your eyes peeled for more fantastic markets going on at the Ocala Downtown Market.

Abigail Prince (seen at right, interviewing an entrepreneur) is a sophomore attending Forest High School and loved that she got an opportunity to contribute a piece to Ocala Magazine. She hopes to someday own a small business and travel all around the world. Anna Romano Molly EastynMurphyy, MaggieYancey,Murphy and Lowin Yancey Joey Alvarado cutting Emmett Lesshafft's hair Robert Swanson BryceDisimile Robbie Welch and Kara Turnipseed

The Place to Stay and Play The Place to Stay and Play Scallop Scallop On The Nature Coast On The Nature Coast

Find nature's adventure just outside your door at Crystal River with access to the Gulf of Mexico. Only 40 minutes west of Ocala you can find a pristine getaway from all the hustle of life to create family-friendly memories.

Plantation Resort on Crystal River features rare natural treats on the beautiful Nature Coast, making for a perfect day trip!

You Catch We Cook! Bring your catch to West 82 Bar and Grill

Snorkel for scallops July 1st through September 24th

Fine resort accommodations and golf villas

27 holes of golf, Florida style

Golf and social memberships

Become a seasoned pro with lessons from our pro staff

Home to the original golf school

World-class inshore, offshore, and freshwater fishing

49 different birds including bald eagles

Kayak the pristine waters of Crystal River

Dive and swim with the gentle manatees

Tie your boat up outside your lodging or rent a boat on-site

Pamper yourself at our premium spa

4 restaurants on the grounds, for drinks, dining, and fun

12,000 sq. ft. of function space for weddings or meetings

Visit our website for savings on special themed packages and adventures or call us at 9301 W. Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429 www.PlantationResortOnCrystalRiver.com (800)632-6262
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At the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, we’re fighting for a different future. For families facing the disease today. For more time. For treatments.

We’re closer than ever to stopping Alzheimer’s. But to get there, we need you. Join us for the world’s largest fundraiser to fight the disease. Register today at alz.org/OcalaWalk.


2023 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Ocala

World Equestrian Center

Oct. 14 |

Registration 8 a.m. |

Ceremony + Walk 9 a.m.

Stay happy and hydrated out there in the summer heat . Sweet Strawberry Refreshment p54 | Dining Out p54-55 eat OCALAMAGAZINE.COM | JUL 2023 | 53

Sipping on Summertime Sweets


When it’s summertime and you crave something cold and fruity, try using your favorite frozen fruit for a refreshing drink. For example, strawberries with frozen pink lemonade concentrate combine to make a spritzer recipe worth sharing. This fizzy Strawberry Spritzer can delight your taste buds and keep you quenched while enjoying the summer sun.

Strawberry Spritzer

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home


» 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries, sweetened and thawed

» 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled

» 1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed


• In blender, process strawberries until blended thoroughly.

• Pour strawberries into large pitcher; stir in soda and pink lemonade.

• Serve immediately.

• Substitution: Ginger ale may be used in place of soda.

Find more drink recipes at Culinary.net.


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EAT dining out

Mark’s Prime Steakhouse Mark’s Prime Steakhouse

Mark’s Prime Steakhouse Mark’s Prime Steakhouse

Mark’s Prime Steakhouse is Ocala’s Premier Destination Restaurant.

Mark’s Prime Steakhouse is Ocala’s Premier Destination Restaurant.

Mark’s Prime prides itself on being a traditional fine dining steakhouse delivering a world-class guest experience. Our diverse menu features awardwinning wines and spirits, prime steaks, and fresh local seafood all prepared by our Certified Executive Chef Randal White and his outstanding team. We pride ourselves on delivering exemplary service to every guest, with attention to detail and intentional hospitality.

Mark’s Prime prides itself on being a traditional fine dining steakhouse delivering a world-class guest experience. Our diverse menu features awardwinning wines and spirits, prime steaks, and fresh local seafood all prepared by our Certified Executive Chef Randal White and his outstanding team. We pride ourselves on delivering exemplary service to every guest, with attention to detail and intentional hospitality.

30 S Magnolia Ave., Ocala | (352) 402-0097

Stop by our bar and enjoy our premium, specialty drinks! Gift certificates available.

Stop by our bar and enjoy our premium, specialty drinks! Gift certificates available.

Tues - Thurs 5pm - 9:30pm | Fri, Sat 5pm - 10pm https://marksprimesteakhouse.com

30 S Magnolia Ave., Ocala | (352) 402-0097

Tues - Thurs 5pm - 9:30pm | Fri, Sat 5pm - 10pm https://marksprimesteakhouse.com

West 82° Restaurant

West 82° Bar and Grill

From wild, locally caught seafood to regionally grown produce and beef sourced within Florida, West 82⁰ Bar & Grill brings delectable farm-to-table plates while guests overlook the beautiful Kings Bay and Crystal River. Bring your own catch of the day, and the restaurant will prepare it for you flawlessly.

It’s Back! The best brunch in Citrus County. Experience waterfront dining in a relaxed setting. Chose to “you catch, we cook” or order from a choice of fresh fish, seafood, or aged filet, paired nicely with wine from our well-appointed wine list.

Join us for Sunday Brunch featuring hot and cold stations, a carving station, an omelet station, and an assorted dessert display.

Join us every Sunday unless it is a holiday 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. Sunday Brunch $26.95/Adult, $19.95/Child. Reservations recommended.

Call for reservations and weekly specials at West 82° Bar & Grille. Breakfast, Daily: 6:00am-10:30am | Sunday Brunch: 11:30am - 2:00pm Lunch, Daily: 11:00am - 2:30pm | Dinner, Daily: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

Call for reservations and weekly specials. Breakfast, Daily: 6:00am-10:30am | Sunday Brunch: 11:30am - 2:00pm Lunch, Daily: 11:00am - 2:30pm | Dinner, Daily: 5:00pm - 9:00pm For reservations, call 1.800.632.6262

For reservations, call (352) 651-5746 9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429 | (352) 795-4211 www.plantationoncrystalriver.com

9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429 | (352) 795-4211 www.plantationoncrystalriver.com

Ivy On The Square

Whether gathering with friends or family for lunch or a night out, you’ll enjoy fresh salads, mouthwatering comfort food, late-night tapas and drinks. Specials include our Pecan Salmon, Southern Fried Lobster and famous baked Krispy Chicken. After dining enjoy a stroll in our boutique where we offer a variety of gifts, jewelry, home decor and clothing. Looking to host a special event or dinner? Call and talk to one of our staff members on the options we have available.

9301 West Fort Island Trail Crystal River, FL 34429 (352) 795-4211 plantationoncrystalriver.com

9301 West Fort Island Trail Crystal River, FL 34429 (352) 795-4211 plantationoncrystalriver.com

Stop by our new speakeasy bar and enjoy our specialty drinks! Gift certificates available.

Stop by our speakysy bar and enjoy our specialty drinks! Gift certificates available.

46 | SEP 2022 | OCALAMAGAZINE.COM EAT dining out
53 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala | (352) 622-5550 Closed Mon, Tues 11am-2pm, Wed 11am-9pm, Thurs 11am-9pm 106 NW Main St., Williston | (352) 528-5410 Sun-Wed 11am-2pm, Thurs-Sat 11am-8pm | ivyhousefl.com
53 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala (352) 622-5550 Closed Sun & Mon, Tues 11am-2pm, Wed 11am-9pm, Thurs 11am-9pm EAT dining out
VIEW OUR FULL SEASON SCHEDULE AT: www.ReillyArtsCenter.com 352.351.1606 • 500 NE 9th Street Ocala, FL 34470 SEASON SUPPORT: MEDIA SUPPORT: 352.351.1606 • 500 NE 9th Street Ocala, FL 34470 The Best in Live Entertainment Community Music Conservatory Music lessons for all ages Ocala Symphony An Unforgettable Experience Marion Theatre Movies, Music & More!
GOlist of Events p58 | Preview: Couch Sessions p60 | Society Pages p62 play OCALAMAGAZINE.COM | JUL 2023 | 57
Sky Noel Sadler, working on her award-winning mural inside the new Ocala Mall


After Dark in the Park Movie Series - Encanto

July 14, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Mary Sue Rich Community Center at ReedPlace

Join Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place for After Dark in the Park Movie Series. Family Fun Night for our After Dark in the Park Movie, Encanto. Light refreshments will be available for purchase.

July 22, 11:00 am | Brick City Center for the Arts

Back by popular demand, MCA will hold its annual Art in the Attic yART Sale from July 15 – 22, 2023, with a Pre-Sale ‘Sip & Shop’ event on Friday, July 14 from 5-7 pm. The sale runs for a full week during gallery hours #atTheBrick, with free admission and the best daily deals! Tickets: mcaocala.org

State of the County 2023

July 26, 11:00 am | Circle Square Cultural Center

Join Commission Chairman

Craig Curry and county staff as we highlight some of the recent achievements and future projects of Marion County!

Preservation on Main Street State Conference

July 18 - 22 | Downtown


We are so proud to be the host city for the 2023 Preservation on Main Street State Conference presented by Florida Main Street and Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. With a week filled with enticing speakers, curated events, networking and immersive culture opportunities – this is a conference you don’t want to miss!

Couch Sessions 2023

Season, Episode III

August 8, 2023, 6-8pm

Juniper General Store — 6998 US-27 S, Unit 112 INFO + TICKETS: www.couchsessionsocala.com

Didgeridoo Down Under

July 26, 2:00 pm | Marion County Public Library

The Outback is in the house!

Celebrate all things Australian with a spirited and interactive performance featuring didgeritonic funk at its best. Ages 5-12 with a caregiver.

3rd Annual Back To School Drive & Field Day

July 30, 12:30 pm | Ocala Downtown Market

Join us Sunday, July 30, 2023, at the Ocala Downtown Market for a funfilled family day. We will be hosting our 3rd annual community back-toschool drive. You can expect FREE backpacks filled with school supplies, games, inflatables, music, a selfie booth, live entertainment for the entire family & amazing food trucks.

Live On Stage: Peter Pan Jr.

July 28 - 30 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm | Ocala Civic Theatre

We’re off to Never Never Land!

Peter Pan, the legendary boy who refuses to grow up, visits the Darling children’s London nursery late one night. With a sprinkle of pixie dust from his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinker Bell, they take a magical journey across the stars to the land where dreams are born. The travelers meet a ticking crocodile, the Lost Boys, the Brave Girls, and the villainous Captain Hook and his pirate crew. Your heart will soar with this iconic musical! TICKETS ON SALE:

to you by GO52.events
are 52 weeks in each year. What are you doing this week? JUL 52
Visit GO52.events to find more events in Ocala/Marion County.
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Sip•Sit•Support part 3

The 2023 Couch Sessions Musician and Artist Series is held at four locations and has a different pairing of artist and musician for each date. Seating is limited at these intimate shows, so grab a ticket as quickly as possible. Here's a preview for "Episode III."

WHAT: Couch Sessions 2023 Season, Episode III

WHERE: Juniper General Store — 6998 US-27 S, Unit 112, Ocala

WHEN: August 8, 2023 6-8pm

NOTES: Cash bar, BYOF INFO + TICKETS: www.couchsessionsocala.com

Aug Element

Style / medium: I would describe my painting as Neo-Pop or some subgenre of Expressionism, with a lot of symbolism imbued into it. In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society?

I think the idea that an artist has to have a specific role in society is a very consumerist perspective. As in, I can't just paint something, I have to have a role? But I do believe the role of an artist in general is to bring out thoughts that have not yet been thought into the collective human consciousness. Admittedly, though my vocabulary is extensive, I'm honestly not sure exactly how I feel on this matter. Explain your art: All of my art is about stuff that bothers me. There's a line in At Eternity's Gate, the Willem DaFoe movie. whate he says, "No one sees what I see and I think I'm going insane." That line resonates with me and with my art. For example, I don't know why people don't see things certain ways. Painting is a vehicle to express what's going on for me, my thoughts, feelings, circumstances and what I'm going through. At the same time I don't tell anyone what my art actually means because I want them to have their own connection to it, to gain their own meaning from it. While I would like people to see what I see, I enjoy creating something and then hearing someone else's perspective about it. Especially if it's something that I didn't originally see. Where can we find you?

Instagram: @augelement

Glizzy Gillespie

Genre: Alternative Folk Punk

In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society?

The role of the artist is to reflect society, to be the mirror that is held up whether the people want to look at it or not.

Explain your music: We usually just describe it as "fun" because it's definitely a sound that needs to be heard to be understood. Imagine if Violent Femmes had a baby with Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, that's us, but probably easier to just listen to our EP to get it.

Where can we find you?

Instagram is the best way to stay in touch with us and our tour dates, and our EP "Metchup and Mustard" is available on Spotify, Apple Music, all that good stuff.

PLAY preview

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OM Celebration of Nurses

After years of COVID, Ocala Magazine and the Ocala community were thrilled to honor Marion County’s nurses with a giant celebration presented with HCA Ocala. Nurses were honored with awards, there were keynote speakers, refreshments, entertainment, dancing, raffles, giveaways, and festive comraderie. The winner of the $5,000 raffle prize was Christy Edwards Of Hawthorne And Timberridge. The Exquisite Diamond Earrings were from Inter national Diamond Center, an event sponsor. We also gave away gift cards to Mark’s and Ivy on the Square as well as free food from HIS Compassion to anyone who attended the event.

EVENTS society
Nicole Braun and Jordan Rivera Madison Glassman Mari Watson Sami Crandell and Dena Battle Vince Esposito and Axton Esposito Jason Warren, Tammy Hoff, Aggie Allbright and Philip Glassman Amanda Odom, Jeanette Murillo, Christy Edwards, Samantha Arquette, Beth King and Jennifer Hackney Kaitlyn Wilson-Butler and Jessi Miller Mary Clark
Juliet Fenn Brad Fenn Traci Mason and Peggy Recanzone Diane Mayne and Sherry Bowen Rebecca Davila, Jeff Davila, Tracy Force and Margie Czech Sabrina Braun Philip Glassman Summer Martin and Kylee Force Erica Olstein giving acupuncture treatments Britany Stein, Rebecca Larios and Andrea Roger Annemarie Delmastro, Makayla Doherty and Margaret Renaud Melissa Obeso and Chris Santacruz

PRO Closet & Cabinetry has been providing premier closet storage solutions for the North Central Florida area since 2008. We are locally owned, and family operated. Recently we expanded to include custom residential and commercial cabinetry, summer

kitchens and millwork. Our team of experienced designers and engineers will work closely with you to identify the best solutions for your space, provide a free estimate and coordinate the complete installation of the finished product.

PCC would love the opportunity to review any current or future projects, offer a detailed 3-D plan with a reasonable bid and assist you in completing your projects at above industry standards. Call today and make an appointment to get started.

Excellence is not a skill but an attitude. Visit our website@ www.proclosetdesigns.com or call our office at 352.694.9900

Goldmark Farm Kentucky Derby & Triple Crown Museum Tour

Paul Bulmahn and Janelle Mertins hosted a Kentucky Derby party and Museum tour of the Triple Crown museum at Goldmark farm for the Ocala Royal Dames, May 6. Fun, food and festivities were shared by all. A very special treat was provided by Mr. Bulmahn. MyLute, His 2013 entry in the Kentucky Derby that took third in a photo finish, was brought up for the ladies to enjoy and have a photo opportunity.

EVENTS society
Paul Bulmahn and Janelle Mertins with My Lute Paul Bulmahn, Cass Greene and Janelle Mertins My Lute with Carol Bilt, Marti Engel and Janelle Mertins Sally Crass, Bern Paraiso and Mari Jacinto Ginnie Gamble and Beth Gamble Kathy Dinkins and Jaelin Rayne

Manatee Coffee Company Grand Opening

Plantation on Crystal River is thrilled to announce that the Manatee Coffee Company opened its doors on June 16th. The grand opening ceremony included a ribbon cutting with Mayor of Crystal River Joe Meek and other guests. Stop by from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm and grab your favorite drink. Starbucks is proudly served and the staff is excited to make your favorite drink.

EVENTS society

VFW Post 4493 & Auxiliary Installation Ceremony

On Thursday, May 25th the Silver Springs Shores/Candler VFW

Post 4493 began serving a light meal with patriotic desserts, to all attending the 2023 Installation Ceremony for all incoming Post & Auxiliary Offices.

Mac Bevans, current Post Commander since 2020, discussed many points of interest to conclude goals and objectives for the end of the current year’s term. His wife and current Auxiliary President since 2018, Lisa Bevans, also shared words of comradery to address department guests officiating the ceremony.

Department Sr. Vice President and District Treasurer, Department Auxiliary President for ensuing year, Teresa Bachand officiated the Auxiliary Installment Ceremony and her husband, Benny Bachand, who worked at the National VFW Headquarters for 25 years, previous State Adjutant/Quartermaster for Florida and Previous National Council Member for the State of Florida, officiated the Post Installment, for offices in the ensuing year’s term.

Scott C. Earhardt, the VFW District Surgeon & Sr. Vice Commander was officially installed for the Post 4493 Commander Office and Amy M. DiMauro, a VFW Auxiliary Member, who conducted a Thank You Veteran’s, To All That Have Served Seminar last November, was also installed for Auxiliary President Office.

Many respectful and honorable parting gifts of endearment were presented with heart felt announcements to past office holders with a special acknowledgement to Marline Elliott, Patriotic Instructor since 2003, who was awarded and pinned with her 35 year membership pin.

VFW looks forward to many patriotic holidays, events and ways to serve, volunteer and support local veterans in the ensuing year’s term. New members are always welcome as this is the VFW Post to stay tuned

for, on Face Book with Calendars and upcoming Auxiliary lunches, Bingo, Fish Fry’s, Queen of Hearts , Nascar special and so much more!

EVENTS society
Loretta Brenton and Amy Dimauso Loretta Brenton, Amy Dimauso, Lisa Bevans, Teresa Bachand, Marilyn Smith and Betty Rood Marline Elliot and Amy Dimauso Walter and Dianna Barch, Sandy and David Ingraham Benny Bachand and Kelly Saines Benny Bachand and Mac Bevans

Couch Sessions Ocala Season 6, Episode 1

Couch Sessions Ocala kicked off it's sixth season with episode one held at the new Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Each month host Olivia Ortiz and her team pair a musician with a visual artist at a new location. This episode's musicians were Heather Lynn and Chris Ryals. The visual artist was Brandon Wade, who was drawing Amanda Lyon. After the show, which features in-depth questions and answers between the attendees and the artists, Arthur Murray Dance Studio opened up for a dance party. There will be three more Couch Sessions this year, watch for them at www. couchsessionsocala.com

Arthur Murray Dance Studio Bartenders Ryan Newmann and Teddy Sykes Looking through the 3-D viewerr Brandon Wade and Olivia Ortiz Brandon Wade Amanda Lyon Olivia Ortiz, Heather Lynn and Chris Ryals

Warren’s Power Washing Ribbon Cutting

At Warren's Power Washing, Jason is excited to celebrate 15 years in business! Warren s Power Washing has been helping the surrounding Central Florida area for years. Jason and his team are here to help you with everything from soft washing your roof to ensuring your pool looks pristine for your summer backyard BBQ. Jason and his team diligently serve over 3,000+ clients in the surrounding areas. His team provides various services to help spruce up any commercial or residential property in the area.


Jason works with each client to personalize their pressure washing experience to their needs and goals. So when you call on Jason, you can expect professionalism, timely response, affordable services, and an astonishing final result. Clients share their testimonies daily of how pleased they are with their walkway cleaning, house pressure washing, pool enclosures, or even their soft roof washing.

Celebrate Jason and his team by visiting WarrensPowerWashing.com or call 352-489-3339 and schedule your FREE estimate.

"Thank you to all of our clients over the past 15+ years. You have helped me reach my dreams while caring for our community!"

EVENTS society
CEP Ambassadors Tammy Hoff, Karla Greenway and Jason Warren Tammy Hoff, Jason Warren and Brooklyn Simon Tate Perada, Daniel Grey and Joel Hickman Austin Hendrix and Olivia fuller

HCA Tree of Hope Planting

HCA Florida West Marion Hospital held this event in honor of National Cancer Survivor Month. Cancer patients in Marion County were honored through a special tree planting ceremony. After planting the tree together, the cancer survivors were invited to sign and write a message on colorful stones, which will be laid at the base of the tree.

EVENTS society
Kaitlyn Wilson-Butler and Alan Reesee Kelly and Denis Ryan Planting of Tree of Hope Bill and Joanna Lumm, Bob and Karen Mikulski Signed Rocks Dr. George Rossidis Dr. Rossidis, Kelly Ryan, Alan Reesee and Sue Deleon Dawn Buss and Mary Jo Barnett Eddie Glave and Lisa Mcguire

Hawthorne Center Open House

Hawthorne Center for Rehabilitation and Healing hosted an open house in April to showcase their leading-edge rehab gym. The event was well attended by community members including physicians and medical professionals. Live demonstrations of the rehab equipment were provided by the Director of Therapy, Megan Greer. Hawthorne’s expansive gym includes a Biodex Balance System, Arjo Gait Training System, NuStep Machines, Hur Fitness Equipment (Pneumatic Exercise Equipment), Parallel Bars, Digital Stair Training and a full kitchen area making it a top choice for those recovering from illness, injury or surgery following a hospital stay.

EVENTS society
Chris Bauer, Billy Koppenhafer, and Kerry Eck Megan Greer, Rachelle Lombardi, and Cherylanne Hall Linda Doerflein and Christy Edwards Chris Merritt, Rachelle Lombardi, and Lynn Penland Dr. Bhavani Ketheeswaran and Christy Edwards Jennifer Harris, Angie Jones, Leigh Blair, and Carissa Meadows Christy Edwards and Dr. Srinivasa Murthy


24/7 emergency care, close to home


G racious Living in the Horse Capital of the World®

Everything Equine p78


Making a Seat at the Table

The Triple Crown series of races is always an exciting time of the year. Those who never follow racing suddenly take an interest because the excitement of the Kentucky Derby rains down on everyone. People who never ask me opinions on who might win a race inundate my phone with texts and messages asking for tips on the big race. I rarely ever give great advice, because I pick the horses I have met or had an opportunity to touch, or one of the Ocala connections or a horse whose personality I just really like or one that is an underdog with a great story! This is not usually the best in handicapping, but it reflects my love of the horses and of the horse community we live in. Historically, the Kentucky Derby has always been an exciting race for people from all walks of life. The second leg of the Triple Crown is the Preakness, the shortest race of the three, but only two weeks after the Derby and in another state. Mage’s win in the Kentucky Derby was tremendous, but when he didn’t win the Preakness, the hope of a Triple Crown victory this year vanished from sight.

Then three weeks later, it was on to the

Belmont. The Belmont Stakes in New York is the longest of the three Triple Crown races and the toughest as far as the distance and the deep sandy track. It is known as the ’Test of Champions.’ Quite a few weeks prior to Belmont week, I had begun to look at the posts of a Facebook friend of mine by the name of Jena Antonucci. Years back, I had worked for quite some time at a local tack store here in Ocala and Jena was a regular customer. She was always very pleasant, but also particular and I never find fault in a customer that expects excellence. She wanted the items she ordered done right and done her way and I respected that. She also knew what was best for her horses and she wanted to give that to them. I greatly respect that, and I was always happy to help her. She fed great quality feed and hay and was a diehard fan of dac Vitamins and Minerals of Florida. I was very familiar with them through my television and radio show and they had been a long time sponsor. Antonucci knew that she was using the best products for her horses. She trained horses down in South Florida and had a farm in Ocala. She was a lifelong horse person and was riding as

young as three years of age. I am not sure she ever really planned to train racehorses, but that is where life led her.

In later years, my parents had some racehorses and I suggested one of those racehorses go to Antonucci for training. When I went to visit Antonucci’s barn in South Florida, I noticed the extra care and kindness she extended to each horse. She commented on the horses’ personalities and knew each one well. I was impressed by this, and I noticed again how particular she was about every detail. I am sure my parents’ horse was probably not the best pedigree she had in her barn and probably not the highest dollar horse either, but it didn’t matter to Jena. Each horse got the same care and attention.

Again, for the Belmont Stakes, but not as much as the Kentucky Derby, the texts and messages started pouring in asking my opinion for bets. I told each one the same thing, I really liked Forte, Tapit Trice and National Treasure, all Ocala farm graduates, but my money for the win was on Arcangelo. The trainer was none other than my Facebook friend, my tack store client and the trainer for my parents’ horse also, Jena Antonucci. I am not a regular gambler, but I usually try to bet on the Derby, the Belmont and the Breeders Cup, due to the numerous Ocala connections in these top races. For the Belmont Stakes, I bet on Arcangelo to win!

When Javier Castellano, the jockey aboard Arcangelo made his move and passed the other horses, I knew it was going to happen. I screamed and yelled at the television screen and hollered at the top of my lungs, as though it might make him run faster. As he

78 | JUL 2023 | OCALAMAGAZINE.COM everything equine EQUINE

crossed the finish line, a great roar surrounded me, as what were seemingly uninterested people earlier, suddenly had eyes glued to the finish line.

The 2023 Belmont Stakes marked the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s record-breaking race. On this 50th anniversary, Jena Antonucci also made history. This was the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes, and a female trainer had never won it before. Nor had a female trainer ever won a Triple Crown race. Only a handful or so of females have ever tried. I am not a big fan of the feminist groups, as I think often what we call ‘inclusion’ becomes more like exclusion. I also believe that for the most part now, women have a fair shot at most professions and that there are now a lot of opportunities for women. I think the one place we do not see this as much is in the thoroughbred horse racing world. The well-known Hall of Fame trainers are all male and they tend to be the ‘go to’ for most people who own a top stakes horse. It has historically been a world where women have not been able to excel as much, and some feel they have had difficulty being accepted. I have great respect for these male trainers, and they have achieved great things, but it did seem like it was about time for a woman to step up!

As Arcangelo, son of the late and great Arrogate, developed and matured and started winning, all eyes were on him. Antonucci’s phone rang off the hook with offers to buy him, or to buy shares in him and his owner even received calls suggesting he move Arcangelo into the training barn of the more seasoned and well-known male trainers. However, Arcangelo’s owner Jon Ebbert, whose Blue Rose Farm purchased Arcangelo for a relatively modest $35,000 as a yearling, had worked with Antonucci for two years and he had thoroughly enjoyed the association. He was sticking with Antonucci. Arcangelo trusted her and so did Ebbert. He said Antonucci made him feel like he had a say and that she made communicating with him about the horse a top priority. He had not had such a good experience at other training barns.

While still very emotional from the win, Jena was approached by the television crew and asked how she felt and what she would say to inspire others. Antonucci was taken a

little off guard, still gathering her emotions, but as always, the ultimate professional, she gathered her thoughts and responded. She said that those aspiring to be in her position should not give up, that it’s a hard road, but worth it. Her advice was to keep working hard and if there is no seat at the table for you, then make your own table. The man holding the microphone commented that Jena Antonucci had now made her seat at the head of this table! Exactly fifty years after Secretariat ran his record-breaking Belmont, Jena Antonucci had her record making moment. Secretariat broke track records and galloped into the history books, winning the Belmont by an awe inspiring 31 lengths. Jena Antonucci made her own table in the history books and sat at the head of it, encouraging every one of us to just keep working hard and doing things the right way, and we too can have our ultimate victory.

Equine 101

Did you know that horses cannot burp or vomit?

Horses have a strong lower esophageal sphincter, a very strong muscle ring, at the entrance to their stomachs. This structure makes sure any food that enters the stomach cannot exit. Vomiting is a protection system; it rids the stomach of possible food-related intolerances, like poisons, bacteria, and viral infections. So then why do horses have this inability to vomit?

If the sphincter valve opened under pressure, horses could vomit when they run. In the wild, where horses are prey, if the horse vomited, it would be far easier for a predator to catch its prey. My conclusion is escaping predators was more important than food related intolerances.

Mark your calendars!

July 22nd 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Florida mounted Extravaganza

Southeastern Livestock Pavilion- All Breed Parade, Demos, Vendors, Kids Crafts, Food Trucks and More.

October 21st 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Hobby Horse Equestrian Games and Horse Capital Parade – at the Florida Horse Park. Learn Equestrian Sports from the Safety of a Stick Horse, Compete and Win Ribbons, plus an AllBreed Horse Parade, Meet Horses Up Close, Take a Hayride, Vendors, Food Trucks and More!

Louisa Barton is the Equine Initiative Director at the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership, Showcase Properties of Central Florida Farm Realtor and host of the Horse Talk Show on the Sky 97.3, Audacy.com and Equus Television.

Ocala Magazine Horse Tip of the Month
© 2023 Cox Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. NPA108703-0006 coxbusiness.com No one crushes crunch time like you You have what it takes to multitask like a boss. And we have the right IT solutions to help you manage it all. From high-speed Internet to managed cloud options, we have IT solutions for every aspect of your business. Because we know what IT takes.

Start Planning For Your Future Today!

Living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is a positive step to confidence, independence and security. It is regulated by the Office of Insurance Regulation and provides you with the assurance that long-term healthcare is available to you in the future. Investing in yourself with today’s dollars will realize significant savings if you or your spouse ever need assisted living or skilled nursing - all included in a CCRC.

• Life Care

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Charity Spotlight: HIS Compassion p84 Health Journal p86 | State of the City p88 | State of the County p89 | Kiwanis Korner p90 Rotary Circle p91 | OM Marketplace p92 | Looking Back p96 etc
Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters playing at the Reilly Arts Center
Photo by Jessi Miller

12 million meals

His Compassion Food Bank feeds

those who are in need


ORGANIZATION NAME: His Compassion Food Bank


Board of Directors


2000 NE 78th St., Ocala 34479


To feed all those in need at no cost to them.


Provide healthy choice foods to all in need.


Volunteer any day. His Compassion begins work at 2:30 a.m. unloading semi-trailers. Volunteers then load His Compassion’s trucks for deliveries and to pick up products throughout Florida. The organization needs help in offices with bookkeeping, clerical, filing, answering phones and order processing; and help is also needed in the warehouse, loading trucks, drivers and remote delivery personnel. As His Compassion is completely reliant upon the community they serve, they need funds to keep the trucks on the road and the refrigeration performing at its optimum.

WEBSITE: hiscompassionflorida.org


His Compassion distributed 2.2 million pounds of food in May 2023. The organization averages giving away 1.8 million pounds each month to the community. It also makes more than 58 deliveries per month to area events. The organization also provides food and drinks to 156 local agencies. The result is His Compassion provides products to more than 70,000 persons every year. In 2022, His Compassion provided more than 12 million meals to the people of the Marion County area.

84 | JUL 2023 | OCALAMAGAZINE.COM ETC charity spotlight

Inspiring leadership

for over 40 years

Since 1982 The Cornerstone School has offered a dynamic academic experience, centered on teaching and engaging the whole child. Our enriched programs, such as Project Lead the Way and Cambridge Assessment International Education, offer an individualized and project-based approach to learning.

Serving students ages three through 8th Grade, Cornerstone’s curriculum is designed to encourage students’ academic, socialemotional, and creative potential. Our graduates are confident, goal-oriented innovators with a passion for learning.

2313 S.E. Lake Weir Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471 (352) 351-8840 | www.thecornerstoneschool.org


5 Natural Wound Care Solutions

relax muscles and relieve pain in the shoulders, neck and back. It can also be applied to sunburns or dissolved in the bath to help relieve sore muscles or detox.

Aloe Vera - Few things soothe sunburn like aloe vera. With analgesic, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that ease the healing process, aloe vera gel contains phytochemicals that help reduce pain and inflammation. Also helpful in the healing process of cuts and scrapes, the CURAD Naturals line of adhesive bandages are infused with aloe vera in the wound pad and surface of the bandage, which is enriched with the antioxidant vitamin E to help soothe and moisturize skin.

Hydrogen Peroxide - A mild antiseptic that can be used to prevent infection of minor cuts, scrapes and burns, hydrogen peroxide is often used for the initial cleaning of wounds. Simply apply a small amount on the affected area - alternating with water to avoid killing good bacteria - to help release oxygen, which causes foaming that aids in cleaning and the removal of dead skin.

Baking Soda - Bicarbonate of soda, commonly known as baking soda, can be used for more than baking. From removing stains to cleaning teeth and more, it can also be used to help treat a variety of wounds. In addition to being an odor absorber, it can be applied to insect stings and bites, such as those from bees or mosquitoes.


Many people look for natural products with “clean” ingredients, especially in the food, beverage, skin care and beauty categories. In fact, the market for clean label ingredients is projected to reach $64.1 billion by 2026, according to Allied Market Research.

For many common ailments or minor injuries, there’s a natural treatment that can be used in place of hard-to-pronounce ingredients and preservatives.

“This same kind of clean ingredient demand is migrating to the first-aid space with many of these natural alternatives being used to treat anything from scrapes and bug bites to wound odor and pulled or sore muscles,”

said Dr. Billy Goldberg, a “New York Times” best-selling authorand emergency room physician. “In fact, some companies are beginning to incorporate these kinds of natural and efficacious ingredients right into their products.”

Goldberg and the first-aid experts at CURAD, which have made adhesive bandages since 1951, offer these suggestions for natural ingredients you can use at home to treat common ailments:

Epsom Salt - Named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, Epsom salt is not actually salt but a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium sulfate. Long known as a natural remedy for several ailments, Epsom salt can be used to

Whether making a paste using baking soda and water then applying to the bite or using an option like CURAD Naturals adhesive bandages featuring baking soda, the chemical compound can help soothe the skin. In addition to absorbing wound odor, the bandages provide skin-friendly comfort and stretch with a four-sided seal to keep dirt and germs out.

Manuka Honey - A honey native to New Zealand, manuka honey contains methylglyoxal as an active ingredient and has unique antibacterial properties that speed healing and help prevent and fight infections when applied as a topical wound treatment. It may also help soothe coughs and sore throats, prevent tooth decay and improve digestive issues.

Learn more about natural first-aid products at CURAD.com.

health journal ETC
Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Where Community Grows

As cities become more populated, it is important to recognize the vital role that community parks play. Ocala is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years and as we welcome new residents to the area it is important to provide recreational areas, events, and activities that promote a fun and active lifestyle that Florida residents expect.

While many people see parks as greenspace filled with walking trails and playground equipment, there is so much more than what meets the eye. Our parks provide a refuge to some people, a place to unwind, decompress, feel healthy, or gather with loved ones. Stepping into a park can be transformative, like stepping away from the noise of the day and reconnecting with nature. Parks are often at the heart of a city and where the community grows.

Recreational areas in a city not only provide community engagement, but environmental benefits as well. Trees help reduce air toxins and filter water. Greenspaces help cool our cities by reducing urban heat islands which are formed when stagnant heat is trapped in city centers where pavements and concrete buildings are prevalent. In addition, homes purchased near parks have higher property values than those located in surrounding communities. Parks also help to close the health divide. Many times, people can’t afford a gym membership, but a public park provides a level of fitness for everyone. Visitors can walk, ride a bike, play a pickup game of basketball, or join friends at the playground; parks give people an opportunity to explore.

Since 1985, July has been celebrated as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. Created by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Park and Recreation Month specifically highlights the essential and powerful role local park and recreation professionals — such as our staff at Ocala Recreation and Parks — play in building stronger, more vibrant, and more resilient communities across the country. This July, we will celebrate the vital role park

and recreation professionals play in bringing people together.

The City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department provides opportunities for people of all ages, abilities, and interests to achieve healthier lifestyles, promote and understand nature and environmental resilience, as well as bring the community closer through a variety of programs and services. Throughout the year, the staff is constantly creating camps, sports classes, educational classes, and craft activities for children, young adults, and our senior population. The recreation and parks team is here

to serve the community in every capacity, whether it’s indoor or outdoor activities.

During the month of July, the Ocala Recreation and Parks staff encourages residents and guests to explore one of the 43 parks located in the city, enroll their child in a camp, or try out one of the many classes offered at our community centers. After all, this department showcases the heart and soul of how a community grows when we all come together.

Ashley Dobbs is marketing and communication manager for the City of Ocala.

state of the city
Photos Courtesy of the City of Ocala

2023 Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction

2023 Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction

August 24th, 2023 | 6-9:30pm

Palm Grove Club at Oak Run

Benefitting Marion County’s Children

Benefitting Marion County’s Children

Casual Dress | BBQ Dinner | Full Bar

Casual Dress | BBQ Dinner | Full Bar

Live and Silent Auctions of Hunting and Fishing Gear

Plus items for the Ladies, Door Prizes and Raffle items, too!

Live and Silent Auctions of Hunting and Fishing Gear

$500 - Table of 8 (save $100) or $75 Per Person

Plus items for the Ladies, Door Prizes and Raffle items, too!

$500 - Table of 8 (save $100) or $75 Per Person

Visit www.ocalakiwanis.org for tickets or sponsorships

Visit www.ocalakiwanis.org for tickets or sponsorships


facebook.com/KiwanisClubOfOcala kiwanisclubocalafl

What’s in a sign?

We see them every day along roads and right-of-ways throughout the county but who is responsible for them? How often are they changed, and what sort of work does that involve? Well, the Marion County Office of the County Engineer is here to help.

The Office of the County Engineer, or OCE, has a dedicated sign crew whose responsibility is replacing and maintaining the county’s more-than-92,000 sign supports around Marion County, NOT including the interstate or municipalities like Ocala, Belleview and others who have their own crews.

Marion County sign crews work every single day to replace signs around the county or do survey work to determine where new signs are needed or older, outdated signs need to be removed. Each crew typically replaces around 15 signs per day on average.

The reflective material on signs usually has a lifespan of around 10 years, depending on the location of the sign and whether it receives direct sunlight. Signs are made from aluminum and support posts are made of galvanized steel, and both are recycled whenever a sign or support is replaced.

Notice a sign needs to be replaced that’s not in city limits? OCE wants to know! Call 352-671-8686 to report any sign issues.

Check out a few photos of a sign crew in action replacing a sign in downtown Dunnellon!


• Marion County OCE maintains more than 92,000 supports around the county, many of which hold more than one sign.

• OCE crews work every day and replace about 15 signs per day on average.

• Reflective material on signs has a lifespan of around 10 years, depending on location.

• Signs and support posts are recycled after use.

Mark Andersonis a public relations specialist for Marion County.
state of the

Rotary’s 2 official mottoes are:

• Service Above Self

• He Profits Most Who Serves Best

Rotary International serves to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services and to advance goodwill and peace not only in their own communities, but around the world. There are over 35,000 member clubs worldwide and over 1.2 million individuals known as Rotarians.

The Rotary Clubs of Marion County:

Giving Back Through Service

The Rotary Clubs of Marion County Support Many Charitable Causes. Some of those include:

• Interfaith Emergency Services

• Discovery Science Center

• Annual Rotary Discover Fest Fundraiser

• Boys & Girls Club of Marion County

• Wear Gloves

• Kimberly's Center

• Marion County Literacy Council

• Domestic Violence Center of Marion County

• Honey Packs, Inc.

• Pace Center For Girls

To learn more about joining Rotary, please visit: www.RotaryInternational.com

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The Brahma: Ocala’s restaurant tradition

There are still people who drive down Silver Springs Boulevard who picture in their minds the metal horse standing in front of Peter Dinkel’s Restaurant. It seems the giant oil lamp today touting Lorito’s Pizza is one of those images on that same street that screams to everyone they are in Ocala.

For many years beginning in the 1950s and into the 1970s there was also a sign of iconic proportions that is long since gone, but still burns in the memory of long-time locals. The sign marked the spot of what was then Ocala’s finest dining experience -- The Brahma Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge. Today, the sign and even the building itself have been replaced, leaving no trace of their existence as a gas station and convenience store occupies the space.

Located on the southwest corner of South Pine Avenue and 17th Street, The Brahma sported a large sign with a giant bull. The sign was meant to invite guests to the restaurant, but also seemed to invite young vandals to paint tasteless and raunchy parts to the bull. Eventually the bull was placed atop the restaurant so vandalism would not come so easy.

Known for its great steaks, The Brahma was a popular eatery not just for locals, but for out-of-town guests who knew of the restaurant’s reputation. When U.S. 441 was the main thoroughfare, The Brahma was a main stopover for fans traveling home from Gainesville to watch the Florida Gators play. Even high school football teams traveling in from afar were known to visit The Brahma.

Owner and manager Candler Reese started The Brahma after owning Reese’s Snack Bar and Restaurant in downtown Ocala and The Little Chef on North Magnolia. He moved to Ocala from Georgia with his brother and little money. He worked as a soda-jerk, in charge of the fountain and grill

before branching out on his own. Forays into the smaller grills and snack shops, such as The Little Chef on north Magnolia and Reese’s Snack Bar and Restaurant on east Ocklawaha Avenue, provided the experience he needed to take the big step of opening The Brahma, which became a huge success.

Signifying its success was its nomination among 79 restaurants in 1967 for Florida Trend Magazine’s first Golden Spoon Award. Reese even boasted of the endorsement of renowned food critic Duncan Hines.

In addition to fine dining, there was the Hump Room, which hosted banquets, private parties, business meetings and wedding receptions.

In 1962, a little controversy struck as the restaurant was taken to court by a French manufacturer regarding the cheese being served at The Brahma. On the menu was Roquefort cheese, produced from the milk of ewes and aged in caverns near the community of Roquefort, France. Apparently, when some patrons ordered the cheese

by name, they were served blue cheese, produced from the milk of cows and certainly not aged in any French caverns.

Restaurant management admitted the allegations and agreed that whenever a customer ordered Roquefort cheese, that is exactly what would be served. No monetary damages were part of the judgment.

When the 1970s rolled around, The Brahma was clearly the top restaurant for fine dining as well as a popular spot for its cocktail lounge. Then, in 1972 Reese passed away at the age of 63. The “Mad Men” era during which The Brahma was in its prime slowly faded and The Brahma would not make it to the 1980s.

The building which housed The Brahma would later be converted into a dinner theater owned by the late actor Burt Reynolds, named “The Encore.” The dinner theater was patterned after Reynolds’ original “Burt Reynold’s Dinner Theatre” in Jupiter, Fla. and was short-lived. The building was later bulldozed and a Marathon gas station stands in its place today.

HOPS looking back


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