Profile: Dencina Ihlanberg

■ BY SUE ERWIN Dencina Ihlanberg is an amazingly strong woman – emotionally, physically and spiritually. Over a few short years she was forced to deal with a great amount of tragedy. In 2003 she lost her father to cancer, and her older sister died from kidney failure. Her mother battled breast cancer in 2005 […]

Profile: Renee Maines

■ BY SUE ERWIN Renee Maines trusts her faith when it comes to making decisions about her next move in life. She has been a teller at Englewood Bank on the island since April, and she’s currently training to be a client services representative at the bank, replacing Renee Lindsey. Renee has 15 years of banking […]

Profile: Steve Rinaldi

■ BY SUE ERWIN Steve Rinaldi remembers when there was a campground at the north end of Gasparilla Island. As a kid, he would visit Boca Grande with his family every few weeks. He also recalls when the Innlet Marina was the Knight Brothers’ boatyard. “It was still operational when I was a kid, and they […]

Profile: Lisa Sims

■ BY SUE ERWIN Lisa Sims, manager at Gasparilla Adventures, has been associated with Boca Grande since 2008. The first time she came to the island was to help with the wedding of Sarah Blakely (founder of Spanx) and Jessie itzsler at The Gasparilla Inn. The large celebration was the talk of the town, as wedding […]

Profile: Mike Bower

■ BY SUE ERWIN If you’ve visited Hudson’s Grocery recently, you might have noticed a new face helping to run the store. Sporting a bright pink T-shirt, Mike Bower has been working hard at the store, learning how to run the business for the past several weeks. Working alongside his grandfather, John White, a long-time employee of […]

Profile: Mary Mazyck

■ BY SUE ERWIN Mary Mazyck spent almost four years in Ecuador serving with the Peace Corps before returning to her hometown of Tallahassee, where she spent a year riding horses for a living. “I wanted to experience a new adventure while doing something good in the world,” Mary said. While in Ecuador, she mostly taught […]

Profile: Carolyn Madden

■ BY SUE ERWIN Carolyn Madden has been coming to Boca Grande for 25 years. She’s always appreciated the unique shops and restaurants on the island, and she’s wanted to start her own business for years. Well, she finally found the opportunity in May. “I used to love the bookstore that was here many years ago, and I […]

Profile: Todd Hampton

■ BY SUE ERWIN Todd Hampton may have spent much of his life in Winter Haven, Florida, but he’s been coming to Boca Grande for almost than 30 years. Todd is the friendly face behind the bar inside Scarpa’s Coastal Restaurant on the island. He started prepping for the soft opening in April, and the restaurant […]

Profile: Christopher Robin

■ BY SUE ERWIN Capt. Christopher Robin is a former New Yorker who moved to Florida after finding a very special boat. Even though he had no nautical experience whatsoever, he knew the little abandoned tugboat was extraordinary. “Little Toot” is Christopher Robin’s private mission to pay it forward by teaching children about hope, faith and […]

Profile: Debbie Hagstrom

■ BY SUE ERWIN Debbie Hagstrom creates beautifully designed one of a kind silk scarves right in front of her customers. The artist visited Boca Grande in June. She was one of the vendors at the annual Boca Grande Invitational Art Festival that takes place in town each year. This was her second time visiting the […]