Board of Directors

Bev Lesnick

Bev Lesnick

Chairman of the Board

Bev Lesnick has been a resident of this island since September of 2012.  She came to the island from Tampa, FL where she worked for the Embassy Suites in Downtown Tampa since 2007. She fell in love with the coffee shop business and opened a coffee shop with her then mother-in-law, MJ, when she was married to MJ’s stepson who was in the Air Force.  Bev has always enjoyed helping others.  While being a military dependent she volunteered for the Officer’s Wives Club and did many things for the military community and the families of these communities.  She served on the Board in various positions and enjoyed her time helping others.  When MJ asked if she would like to open a coffee shop on Anna Maria Island back in 2010, she worked diligently through 2011 until she found the perfect spot for their coffee shop.  She immediately went to the Chamber of Commerce to join because she felt that would help her become a part of the community.  She and MJ started volunteering by helping the Chamber with Bayfest, prior to their opening Island Coffee Haus in Nov, 2012.  She continues to volunteer for the festivals as she enjoys the interaction with the members of the Chamber and the communities on the island. After becoming a resident of the island in 2012, Bev continues to enjoy all the permanent and transient residents on the island.  Her coffee shop has become a meeting place for people to come and enjoy.  She has found her paradise.
Mike Brinson

Mike Brinson

Treasurer

Mike is the owner of Egmont Key Adventures. A Florida native, Mike grew up in St Pete Beach, and received his B.S. Degree in Accounting from the University of South Florida.  He spent the first part of his career in public accounting, worked with the St Pete Beach Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Board of Directors for the Louise Graham Regeneration Center until 1995.  Mike became the Controller for Palmer Johnson Yachts in Savannah, Georgia in 1995, served as the Controller and CFO until 2002, then moved to Anna Maria Island to do consulting and software work for Galati Yachts.  He met Susan at the Sandbar Restaurant in 2004, and the couple purchased Anna Maria Island Accommodations in June of 2005.  The couple married in 2006 at the Beach House Restaurant, and continue to live on the island. Mike and Susan sold Anna Maria Island Accommodations, and in 2017 started Egmont Key Adventures, providing sightseeing, fishing and adventure boat charters. As a long term member of the Chamber seeing the business benefits, and a new member of the AMI Chamber Board of Directors in 2014, he looks forward to assisting in business growth and working to find a balance in business and community.

Amy M Tobin

Amy M Tobin

Secretary

Amy Tobin is a Realtor and a Business Writer. She earned her MA in Art History and English Literature from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and spent 20 years in sales and sales management. She has served as President of the National Organization of Women Business Owners NEPA Chapter and the President of the Milton Hershey Alumni Association and as a volunteer at the Community Center and Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce. Amy discovered Anna Maria Island back in 2005 and couldn’t stay away. After buying a vacation home here in 2008, one vacation she just couldn’t bear to leave the sunshine, and the turquoise water and white sand. She has dug deep roots in the island community and has been a Chamber member since coming here.

Eric Cairns

Eric Cairns

Past Chair

Eric came to Anna Maria from Ohio where he was a general contractor for 25 years and successfully operated his own business. He has been an Anna Maria Island businessman and manager of Cedar Cove Resort since 1999. Years ago, Cedar Cove Resort became one of the original founders of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce. Eric continued this tradition when he became a Founders Club Member. Eric has been an active member of the AMI Chamber of Commerce and presently serves on several of the Chamber’s committees. Special Interests: Cedar Cove Resort donates regularly to the MS Foundation and Breast Cancer Foundation. Eric is an army veteran and a helicopter pilot. Cedar Cove Resort has been voted the “Best Beach Resort and Hotel” on the Island for the last several years.
Karen Lapensee

Karen Lapensee

Karen LaPensee graduated from State College of Florida with a nursing degree. She spent 14 years working in emergency care, intensive care, surgery and as an Air Force Reserve Flight Nurse prior to starting LaPensee Plumbing with her husband Michael LaPensee in 1985. Karen became the President of LaPensee Plumbing • Pools • Air after Michael’s retirement in 2009. She continues to run and expand the business with her son, Greg LaPensee.  Karen has been a long-time active member of the Chamber of Commerce, serving as Treasurer, Secretary, and Chairman of the Board. With the help of a very capable staff LaPensee Plumbing • Pools • Air has been honored to receive the 2011 Manatee Chamber Small Business of The Year Award, the 2016 Anna Maria Island Chamber Small Business of The Year Award and the 2017 Longboat Key Chamber Small Business Person of the Year Award.

Wende Webb

Wende Webb

Wende Webb is the owner of a small business, Gulf Coast Property Watch. Her company proactively inspects properties for absentee owners and addresses any issues before they become major problems. Previously, Wende served as the Marketing Manager for SERVPRO (a Disaster Restoration company) for over 10 years. She has worked and lived all over the world and landed in Florida via a sailboat she lived and sailed on for 2 years. Her eclectic background includes studying ballet in Russia; being the first female surveyor in Denver, Colo.; and working for the U.S. government performing water and asbestos analysis. She became a certified diver while working as the Contract Administrator for an international marine construction company. She designed and marketed the 1st ‘egg-crate’ foam mattress pad to the commercial market through Cannon Mills. After a long absence, she went back to school at UF, received a degree in Nutrition and was published in 2010 in Nutrition Concepts & Controversies, a college level text book. She has served on a number of committees for the chamber, including the 60th anniversary chamber luau and annual fashion show. She loves working with the chamber, promoting the island and telling everyone ‘annamariaisland.calm’ is the perfect destination for you!
Wayne Gunter

Wayne Gunter

When a mortgage discussion arises, many people in Manatee and Sarasota County can say that they had an extraordinary home financing experience with a true Mortgage Banking professional.  This professional that many speak of is Wayne Gunter, Mortgage Loan Officer/Banking Officer for BB&T Home Mortgage in Bradenton, FL. Wayne’s commitment to superior client service along with his attention to detail has helped position him as a “Top Performer” within BB&T.  Wayne graduated from the College of Business at the University of Florida in 1995 and has been originating mortgage loans over the past sixteen years.  His high level of expertise, strong commitment to his community and dedication to his field are just a few things that set Wayne apart as a true professional as well as a highly sought after expert in his field.  Over the past 10 years, Wayne has focused his mortgage expertise on Anna Maria Island, where he has become well known in the real estate industry as the island’s local mortgage expert.  A native of Manatee County, Wayne and his wife Jenny are raising their two sons; Brycen and Brennen in the same neighborhood he grew up in.
Dan Alderson

Dan Alderson

Dan and wife Sandy became residents of Cortez in 1998, moving from Minnesota.  In 2008 their son, Rob, and his wife Laura, purchased Tyler’s Ice Cream, a 24 year old business needing TLC.  Since, they changed operations and recipes back to founders Larry and Gerri Tyler’s vision, ice cream made and served with love.  All of Tyler’s ice cream is made on site. Tyler’s was honored with the AMI Chamber Small Business of the year for 2013.  Dan enjoys small business and continues to help with the growth of Tyler’s in Cortez, Bradenton and Longboat Key
David Berube

David Berube

David is the owner of CG&B Publishing, LLC of Bradenton. David moved to Bradenton with his wife, Cindy & son, Matthew in 1990 from Westbrook, Maine, where he worked in the printing, paper and publishing industries. In Florida, he continued in the printing industry, in sales, for Coastal Printing of Sarasota. He also owned his own company, Book Binders of Florida, Inc., a hard cover book binding firm. In 1996, he opened Book Binders Printing & Publishing, Inc. and in 2008 he opened CG&B Publishing, LLC of Bradenton. CG&P is the official Publisher of the Visitor’s Guidebook for the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, the 2011 Bayfest Booklet and the Manatee County Chamber’s monthly “Current” Magazine. David is very active in AMI Chamber events and volunteers at the AMI Chamber office.

Janet Mixon

Janet Mixon

Janet Mixon and her husband, Dean Mixon are owners of Mixon Fruit Farms, an over 78 year old family owned business. Mixon’s is one of the top gift fruit shippers in Florida. Mixon’s also squeeze and bottle their juice for the community. Janet and Dean have diversified the business and Mixon’s has become one of the top Gulf Coast Destinations according to the Travel Channel. The Mixon Groveside Market is a wonderful experience. They have also added a tram tour through the grove where their customers learn about the history of citrus and the Mixon family and enjoy a visit to the wildlife rescue with crocodiles, alligators, raccoon, hawks, owls and much more. Injured animals that can’t be released into the wild that would normally be euthanized are provided sanctuary by the Mixon’s. During the year the Mixon’s host many non-profit organizations for fundraisers, sponsor a cooking competition for the local high school culinary arts programs, and also sponsor art events with students and local artists.
Erin Heckler

Erin Heckler

Erin Joy Heckler has a background in international marketing and a degree from Wake Forest University in Communications and Spanish.  Before moving to Florida she lived all over the country.  Her experience includes work at an international chamber of commerce in Washington DC, helping Fortune 500 companies collaborate with international partners.  As an Anna Maria Island resident, she loves life on the island and is thrilled to be able to work and play everyday in paradise! With twenty years of marketing experience and nearly ten years on the island, she brings a breadth of knowledge to her work at Island Real Estate. After years of leading the Real Estate Marketing and Sales Team Administration, she transitioned to become a full time Real Estate agent.  With her technical and marketing background, and her involvement at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, and the Anna Maria Elementary School, she enjoys developing her personal and professional passion for the community.

Karen Riley-Love

Karen Riley-Love

Karen Riley-Love is the founder of Riley-Love Media and managing member of AMI Beach Weddings. Dedicated to supporting and building community-based programs, Karen is a founding member of Friends of the DeSoto National Memorial, where she also served as an officer. While on the board, Karen traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with Jonathan B. Jarvis, National Park Service Director, and worked on his initiative encouraging youth support for our national parks. Riley-Love served as Director of the Florida Maritime Museum, founded on the importance of Southwest Florida’s commercial fishing industry. As director, she curated historically significant materials relevant to the area’s maritime culture. Riley-Love is passionate about local schools, volunteering extensively over the years. She has received the Volunteer Award from the Anna Maria Island Rotary Club and committee chairperson for Anna Maria Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization. She currently chairs both the literacy and career committees for Rowlett Middle Academy. Karen holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Her written word appears in local blogs, newsletters and she is a contributor to The Islander newspaper on Anna Maria, where her photography is frequently featured. National parenting and home magazines and other local newspapers have also showcased her photographs. Riley-Love and her husband, Chris, lived on a sailboat and ventured on a multi-year sailing sabbatical along the U.S. East Coast and throughout the Bahamas. Finding no island community they loved as much as Anna Maria, the pair returned to raise a family and enjoy the island home that truly is their paradise.

Liza Kubik

Liza Kubik

Liza Kubik is a native Floridian and was born and raised just up the road in Tampa. A graduate of the University of South Florida with a BA in Communication, Liza currently works for Vandyk Group of Companies as the Director of Marketing & Events for the landmark Seafood Shack Marina, Bar & Grill in Cortez. Prior to “The Shack,” she was the Director of Public Relations at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. She has had an established, successful career with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, as well as the independent Colony Beach & Tennis Resort on Longboat Key. Prior to hospitality, she spent 10 years in retail management with Williams-Sonoma Inc. Liza has a solid understanding of the travel industry as well as hotel and food & beverage operations. Liza is also a member of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals Board of Directors and “unofficial” Cortez Merchants organization. When not at work, Liza enjoys cooking and experimenting with new recipes, especially with her husband Ken.

Mike Southwick

Mike Southwick

Mike attended AMI Elementary, played football at the youth center, recalls the private air strip where Holmes Beach City Hall resides and the lack of paved roads. Mike moved to Tallahassee as a child, but was drawn back to the island in 1996 due in part to a strong family presence (Mary Norman, co-owner of the Sterling Anvil, and Mike Norman Realty). Mike is currently co-owner of AAA Payroll Service, which was honored to be awarded the AMI Small Business of the Year Award for 2017. His professional background includes 10 years in the real estate industry followed by 20 years in the PEO industry. Mike supports local charities such as Wildlife, Inc., Manatee Children’s Services and the Navy Seal Foundation. Mike’s support of our military is due in part to his father, Captain C.E. Southwick who was a highly decorated Naval Aviator and former POW during the Vietnam War. Mike resides in Bradenton Beach with his wife Sheryl. They love boating, cooking, gardening, local and Alaska fishing trips.

 

 

Katy Demick

Katy Demick

Originally from England, Katy moved to Anna Maria in 2000, planning to stay and work here for a year. After that first year, she decided this was where she wanted to live. Eighteen years later and counting, she is still here. Katy is married to David, has 2 dogs and lives in Bradenton. Katy has worked for Anna Maria Island Resorts ( Tortuga Inn; Tradewinds; Seaside Inn and Tropic Isle Inn) since its inception in 2009 but has worked for David Teitelbaum since 2003. She is now Assistant General Manager and attributes her knowledge of business to the very supportive mentoring from David and the general manager, Barbara Baker. Katy has been a committee member with Symphony on the Sand since 2013 and also enjoys volunteering with Manatee County Animal Services.

 

 

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