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Feature Stories

I Do Windows!

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Sherri Medeiros has a knack for seeing things more clearly, especially when it comes to her business, See-Thru Window Cleaning, Pressure Washing, Scratch and Waterstain Removal Inc. For 15 years, See-Thru has offered professional cleaning and glass restoration services to homeowners and businesses on Marco Island and surrounding communities. “I especially enjoy providing superior service to a diverse and interesting clientele,” Sherri says. “I love when a client looks through the clean glass and is amazed at the difference we made. I employ a professional team of window cleaners and pressure washers, many of whom have worked for my company ... Read More »

Singing to the Beat of her Own Drum

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Performing is Sabrina Williams’ way of life. Her melange of Reggae, R&B, Jazz, dance and theatre has prompted music critics to call her “one of the most versatile live performers of the day.” Jamaican by birth, Williams has been in the music business for 35 years. She moved to the United States in 2009, and now resides on Marco Island, performing at the Marco Island Marriott, Naples Waldorf, Ritz Carlton and other familiar venues. “I look forward to relocating my company Reggae Woman International to the US, so we can continue to produce shows, develop and record artists, and continue ... Read More »

Relationships Heart of Blue Mangrove

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Christie Marcoplos is an entrepreneur at heart. It all started when she began working at the age of 15, and she owned her own florist and gift shop in New Hampshire for a time. When she moved to Southwest Florida, she tried to shake the business bug and worked a few years for Clyde Butcher at his Big Cypress Gallery in the Everglades. Alas, Marcoplos could not resist, answered the siren’s call of entrepreneurship once again. On Dec. 5, 2006, she opened Blue Mangrove Gallery, now located at 1089 N. Collier Blvd. in the Marco Town Center. “I felt compelled ... Read More »

A Passion for Shells

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Emily Savage and her shop Shells By Emily are testaments to how a simple idea or hobby can turn into a long-standing business. Savage started her business in 1985 in a 400-square-foot space at 651 S. Collier Boulevard and a cigar box as a cash register. It had $25 in it. “We started with two card tables that we bought for $1 a piece at a garage sale and folding chairs too,” remembers Emily. “I took a large 4×8 real estate sign, painted it and used it as a partition wall in the store between the public and private area.” ... Read More »

Marco Island Skin and Body Boutique

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Beautiful skin has always been a way of life for Pam Campbell — from her days as a professional model to today as the owner of Marco Island Skin and Body Boutique. She has been a medical esthetician and makeup artist for more than 30 years. “As a professional model, I always loved working with the makeup artists, and they always told me a beautiful face always starts with beautiful skin,” Campbell explains. “So, I went to school to learn just that!” Initially, she worked for large cosmetic companies, such as Yves St. Laurent, Givenchy and Lancome. At one point, ... Read More »

Jumping for Joy

Katie Schweighoefer, co-owner of Jump Hair & Nails, is no stranger to making her dreams come true. When she was a child, she knew she wanted to be a hair stylist. Ten years ago, she started her own tanning salon on Marco Island, and kept her dream alive with plans for one day adding hair and nails to the menu of services. Her dream came true when she teamed with her business partner, Peter Galluzzo. The two opened Jump Hair & Nails in April. A board-certified cosmetologist for 16 years, she attended Michigan State University, earning a degree in advertising. ... Read More »

Three generations of Women in Business

Sandy Franchino with mother Carmela Lanni
and daughter Samantha Scheeler.

Dreams do come true, especially on Marco Island. When Sandy Franchino and her first husband drove south from New Jersey to check out a restaurant for sale, little did she know that 31 years later she would be the successful proprietor of Café de Marco. “When we came over the bridge (Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge), that was it! We fell in love with the island! We made a deal to buy what was then known as Delaney’s restaurant, and the rest is history,” Franchino says. “Marrying a chef was my main inspiration to work in the food industry. A desire ... Read More »

Family Motivates Classic Transportation

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Jennifer and Ron Doino were looking for a warmer climate and a good place to raise their two children, Noah and Amanda. The husband-and-wife team found that and a thriving business when they took over Classic Transportation in 2004. “Classic Transportation has been around for 20-plus years,” says Jennifer. “We wanted to take the business and give it a fresh start.” Immediately, they revamped Classic Transportation’s six original vehicles and enforced new guidelines for their drivers. To be sure, the Doino’s were no strangers to being self-employed business owners, and they understood what it would take to push the business ... Read More »

Donna Kittle’s Journey to Becoming a Top-Producing Realtor

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When you hear Donna Kittle’s story, you know immediately that she was born to be a business owner and to sell. In fact, the Marco Island Coldwell Bank real estate agent recently received a personal letter from Bruce Zipf, the president and CEO of NRT LLC, informing her that she earned the special distinction as an NRT Top 1,000 Sales Associate of 42,000-plus sales associates nationwide. She has been in Coldwell Banker’s Top 100 Realtors in the state of Florida for the past two years, and has been awarded several International Achievement Awards from Coldwell Banker including: the International Sterling ... Read More »

Gabby Abbeys – It’s all in the Name

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Gabby Abbey’s opened three years ago at the Shops of Olde Marco. Owner Denise Goldman had always been told she had an eye for putting things together as a child, particularly for a favorite aunt. Her aunt loved to take Denise shopping with her to her favorite boutiques. Now, years later, Denise has her own women’s clothing store, Gabby Abbey’s, named after a daughter and granddaughter. When you speak with Denise, you quickly learn she travels regularly to fashion shows and buys from a variety of fashion designers in an effort to offer her customers the latest in clothing, shoes ... Read More »

Marco Island Style

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Looking for the latest trends in home décor, hostess gifts, framed art and fun jewelry? Visit Your Island Home, owned by Vee Young and her husband Jim located in the Marco Town Center on North Collier Boulevard. The shop, purchased by the Youngs in 2008, operated for 20 years as Linens Plus. “After a career change for Jim, we were looking for a business for me to dive into as a Plan B. It turned out to be a business we could both pour our hearts and talents into without having to relocate,” Vee says, explaining that they have lived ... Read More »

The Jewel of Marco

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On Nov. 8, Golden Gate Jewelers of Marco will celebrate its grand opening on Marco Island. Owners, Annelie and Amir Kathein, have been working in their store in the Shops of Marco since June 3. Marco Island is the location of their second store. The husband-and-wife team founded Golden Gate Jewelers 34 years ago in Fort Lauderdale, but have had a house on Marco for the last eight years. Mother and daughter, Annelie and Avital, are now year-round Marco Island residents and will operate this location full time. Father and son, Amir and Ari, commute during the week to run ... Read More »

Dedication Builds Mango’s

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The story of Mango’s Dockside Bistro is one of family and mother-daughter relationships. It is a story that began in 2004, when Chef Annie and daughter Lauren combined their talents to open a small carryout restaurant here on Marco Island. Lauren had gone off to college the previous year, but after a few short months, decided that was not the direction for her. Upon returning home to Marco, her mother Annie suggested they open this business. With Chef Annie’s creativity in the kitchen and Lauren and Annie’s experience in the restaurant business — Lauren working as a hostess at the ... Read More »

Retail Dreams and Leaps of Faith

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Lee Ann Adams knows retail. She managed stores for Chico’s, and spent 15 years with Fresh Produce Sportswear working in a variety of roles from store manager to overseeing the Caribbean accounts and district manager. Then, she turned 50, and took a leap of faith. She opened her own store, Beach Daisy, in June 2011. The women’s island style boutique features many “made in the USA” labels, and her tag line is “effortless lifestyle clothing.” Some of her lines include Spirit football jerseys, Michael Stars, Sympli the Best, Tribal, Jude Connally, Slimsations, Johnny Was, XCVI, Jams World, Magdelana, Eileen Fisher, ... Read More »

Keeping Health in the Family

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Sisters Jessica Holt and Sarah Asbell learned about the grocery business from the best — their late father, Steve Kaczynski. “My late father spent his entire career in the grocery business. He started as a bagger and retired as CEO,” Jessica remembers. “My fondest memory as a little girl was when my sister, Sarah, and I would ride our Big Wheels up and down the aisles of the grocery store after hours while our dad and mom did inventory. Today, the two women are carrying on his legacy as the owners of Summer Day Market & Cafe, Marco Island’s only ... Read More »

Cathy Rogers: Luxury Real Estate Specialist

John Toth, Cathy Rogers, Frank and Gingie Keefer at the Shanahan hosted soiree as a sneak preview to the American Cancer Society’s 2014 Imagination Ball held last February.

Cathy Rogers has spent the last 10 years honing her craft to become one of Marco Island’s top Luxury home sales specialists. For the last three years, she has been a top sales agent with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, and her 2014 home sales have reached $12 million so far in 2014. “I love this work,” Rogers explains. “I am a people pleaser. I love finding the right property for the right person. I love it when people are happy with their purchase or the sale of their property. I go above and beyond to make that happen.” Rogers grew ... Read More »

Speed Networking

Moderator Gina Sisbarro (third from left) answers questions after the speed networking event. PHOTO BY PAT NEWMAN

By Pat Newman There it is — networking in 60 seconds! Marco Island’s Chamber of Commerce recently challenged about 30 members and guests to promote themselves and their businesses during a “speed networking” tutorial led by Gina Sisbarro, local children’s theater director and guide of Marco Island Murder and Mayhem Ghost Tour. Participants sat in one of two lines of chairs, facing each other. Those seated on the left spoke first. Then it was the right-siders turn to give their introductions. After two minutes, Sisbarro gave the signal to switch and the right siders slipped into the next seat, while ... Read More »

Change Comes to Code Enforcement

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Since April, Marco Island’s Code Enforcement Department has been quietly undergoing reconstructive surgery. It started with the assignment of city Environmental Specialist Nancy Richie to the three-person department to carefully examine all means and methods used by enforcement officers. The process will continue through this year as City Manager Roger Hernstadt and the City Council make crucial decisions about hiring a magistrate and organizing a new City Code Advisory Committee. “Nancy was a good, impartial person to bring in there and examine how (the department) was handling its responsibilities in an unbiased way,” explains Hernstadt. ... Read More »

Lunch with MIPD Chief Al Schettino

New community service officer bicycle courtesy of the Marco Island Police Foundation. PHOTO BY NOELLE H. LOWERY

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It was a packed house for Marco Island Chief of Police Al Schettino’s first “Lunch with the Chief.” Sponsored by the Marco Island Police Foundation, the lunch was held at Hideaway Beach Club on Oct. 9. Schettino began with a state-of-the-department-type address, outlining all of the changes he has made to the department since taking over in July, which include the full staffing of MIPD, the department’s new community outreach programs and new community service officers, and the implementation of extensive skills training. Additionally, Schettino announced that MIPD will be working the Marco Island Fire-Rescue ... Read More »

Marco’s Newest Task Force

Local realtor Marv  Needles discusses the new task force with the Marco Island Planning Advisory Board. PHOTO BY PAT NEWMAN

By Pat Newman Marco Island’s newest task force on rental regulation already has one meeting under its belt and a second planned for Monday, Oct. 20 at the Board of Realtors on San Marco Road. Headed by Marco Island realtor and 45-year resident Marv Needles, the task force is seeking input from the general public and other organizations impacted by privately-owned properties rented as vacation properties. The first planning board meeting of the month held Oct. 3 was well-attended by homeowners negatively impacted by noise and trash generated by the occupants of short-term rental properties. Homeowner John DeFalco of Galleon ... Read More »