It was Christmas 1986 and my family decided to celebrate the holidays in Fort Myers, Florida. I remember all the beautiful vacation photos . . . heard all the stories about how great the fishing and crabbing was . . . and what a wonderful place it was to live. I remember Christmas day floating around in the heated swimming pool on Fort Myers Beach with my Mom and chatting about how fortunate we were to be in this tropical Southwest Florida paradise.

It wasn’t long before we decided to make the move and in the winter of 1990, we packed the cars and the U-Haul and left Delaware for our next adventure. I immediately fell in love with the fiery-red sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico and the sugar-white sands of the Southwest Florida beaches. My goal at that time was to live and work at the beach and much to my excitement, I found a job on Captiva Island at South Seas Plantation. I was truly living my island dream and soon transferred to the Sundial Beach Resort on Sanibel Island where I truly began my career in hospitality, tourism, marketing and sales.

Now looking back at all the wonderful people I have met, the experience gained and the lessons learned . . . I can honestly say that I would do it all over again.