Meet the Ones to Watch

Our annual “hot list” of local movers and shakers you may want to keep an eye on

Sarah Henry. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Child Protector: Sarah Henry

During college, Sarah Henry lived in a safe house helping young girls who were survivors of sex trafficking. It was part of an internship she took on while studying for a degree in social work at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Although the work was challenging, it was also rewarding—and it was then that Henry knew combating human trafficking was her calling. “I was determined to help prevent trafficking of children through education and awareness,” says Henry, 30, who is now community development director for Catch the Wave of Hope, a Stuart-based nonprofit dedicated to this mission. “We are a local grassroots organization focusing on education, offering mental health advisors, and working with legislature to recognize and fight horrific human trafficking,” she explains. The Jensen Beach resident is also a board member of the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee and previously worked as a foster family support specialist and supervisor.

Shot on location outside the House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island in Stuart

Kerri Paizzi. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Small-Biz Whiz: Kerri Paizzi

Stuart resident Kerri Paizzi, 39, has had a lifelong love affair with food. She spent years in the restaurant business and is also the owner of Monarch Marketing and Design, an influential digital marketing and social media agency specializing in small businesses on the Treasure Coast. Last October, she decided to take a leap and indulge her fondness for food, purchasing the famed Flavor Palm Beach franchise—a monthlong food fest highlighting Palm Beach County restaurants that takes place every September. “It brings joy to my heart to see these small businesses grow as more people are able to sample their food,” she says. Paizzi is excited to reveal that she is now bringing the concept north, launching Flavor Martin County in October. The event will focus on the cuisine from around 50 restaurants between Hobe Sound and Jensen Beach, bringing much-deserved attention to these small businesses. “I can’t wait to start this concept in Martin County,” she says. In addition to Monarch Marketing and Design and the two Flavor fests, Paizzi also owns Monarch Music, a booking agency that aims to showcase the wealth of musical talent in South Florida. “There are so many fine musicians here, so I took a hobby and turned it into a business by hiring bands for venues from Melbourne to West Palm Beach,” she says. Paizzi attributes her ability to straddle multiple businesses to being organized, eager, and true to her word. “I don’t take on more than I can handle, I build relationships, and I do what I say I’m going to do,” she says. “I am structured, passionate, and I can work from anywhere. I love it all!”

Shot on location at Hudson’s on the River in Stuart

Jeronda Hill. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Jason Nuttle
Photo by Jason Nuttle

The Character Builder: Jeronda Hill

In May, when a racially charged social media post by a group of local middle school students went viral,  fully recognized the uproar and aftermath that was in store. “There is so much hatred around this, but these kids are middle schoolers, and their minds can be changed,” says Hill, 39, who is the area director and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County. “Hate is a learned behavior. My reaction was to have compassion for these young people because I believe they were crying out for help. It is time to educate them and others on how to respond to this.” The Port St. Lucie resident has devoted 17 years of her career to nurturing teens and younger kids through her work with Boys & Girls Clubs around the country, and she knows better than most that there is a great deal of work to be done in today’s polarized society. “I’ve learned through my work with Boys & Girls Clubs that by teaching things like civic responsibility, character development, leadership skills, and financial literacy, I can really impact today’s youth. My heart is with teens.” Since she began working with Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County in 2019, Hill has implemented a variety of programs aimed at promoting inclusion and acceptance among both kids and staff. Programs include topics like leadership lessons, diversity acceptance, love and kindness, and courageous conversations. “I love my job,” says Hill, who is also passionate about music and is currently learning how to DJ. “I want to help people become leaders. I like to be close to the mission and train people of all ages and generations to accept the differences in others.”

Shot on location at the Bill & Barbara Whitman Boys & Girls Club in Indiantown

Heather Kashner. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Shawn Gillen
Photo by Shawn Gillen

The Grassroots Conservationist: Heather Kashner

With a lifelong interest in both saving the environment and fashion design, Heather Kashner merged her two passions to start The Moving Mirror, an organization devoted to raising awareness of critical issues. Currently, her main focus is to educate people about the increase in manatee deaths in the area due to water pollution. “I was in marketing for many years, but I have always had love for the outdoors and the environment,” says Kashner, 55, who resides in Stuart part-time. “When I heard about the plight of the manatees, I wanted to do something to help them and to give my life more meaning.” During the pandemic, Kashner began designing apparel like hoodies, tees, tanks, and tote bags featuring themes surrounding conservation and selling them on her website. A recent collection is devoted to helping the manatees: For every item sold from the collection, $10 is donated to Florida’s Save the Manatee Club, which aids manatees in distress and also helps spread awareness about the importance of conservation. “It is our responsibility to save the manatees,” says Kashner. “In the Indian River alone, water pollution has decimated more than 96 percent of their primary food source of seagrass. The tragic result is that manatees are starving to death.” Kashner, who spends part of the year in North Carolina, grew up in South Florida snorkeling, fishing, and enjoying nature. Today, she likes to visit the beach and kayak. “I had always wanted to be a marine biologist, and now I engage in community activities that benefit the environment, like preserving resources and improving the ocean,” she says. “I am so happy to finally be doing what I love.” 

Heather Ivins and John Ciambriello. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Dream Team: Heather Ivins and John Ciambriello

Heather Ivins and John Ciambriello understand what true partnership means. The married couple, who moved to Stuart from New York City in 2018, collaborate on brand design, illustration, and photo editing for a variety of projects, including recreating the identity of downtown Stuart’s popular Creek District of Arts & Entertainment. “We wanted to help them get organized visually,” says Ciambriello, 45, who honed his talents in the advertising business in New York and Los Angeles with an expertise in photography and post-production photo editing. “We helped expand their logo, redesigned marketing materials, and improved their branding, including a redo of the Art Walk map.” Most recently, the duo completed a big project for MartinArts, rebranding the organization from top to bottom. “We did layout, logo, colors, and patterns and created business cards,” says Ivins, 47, who was raised in Port St. Lucie during her teen years and later moved to Boston, where she worked as a graphic designer for Fast Company and Inc. magazines, then to New York City to work for the marketing department of AOL. Self-described freelance workaholics, they both love the challenge of elevating brands. “We help get businesses where they want to be visually,” says Ivins. “We set ourselves apart by having lots of face-to-face interaction and defining the client’s needs. We see the potential and help them bring that out.” Adds Ciambriello: “We love doing our work in Stuart. Everything about daily life is more pleasant here.” Both Ivins and Ciambriello, who have a 13-year-old son, Lee, regularly show their own painting and photography artwork around town.

Shot on location at the Stuart home of Ivins and Ciambriello

Lloyd Jones. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Jason Nuttle
Photo by Jason Nuttle

The Cultural Preservationist: Lloyd Jones

 grew up in the Gomez-Lundy section of Hobe Sound watching Alan Shepard and John Glenn light up the sky as they headed for outer space. He had a bird’s-eye view of the naval blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Since most of his education took place in Martin County schools that were racially segregated, he took great pride in his family’s marching for civil rights with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I love history, and my goal now is to preserve Black history, improve race relations, and help people understand our legacy,” says Jones, 68, a retired captain with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. In 2017, he cofounded the nonprofit Martin County Black History Initiatives to work toward those goals, and he is also involved with the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network. Jones leads several ongoing projects in the area, including a register-to-vote campaign, the M.O.S.E.S Project to restore and preserve the historic Gomez Pioneer Cemetery in Hobe Sound, the preservation of the original “One Room Colored Schoolhouse” in Port Salerno, and the establishment of a Black Heritage Trail to connect Martin County to the Florida Heritage Trail. Collaborating with Martin County tourism, he is actively searching for a centrally located site to create a Black Heritage Museum for cultural exhibits, lectures, art, and music. “This is a huge undertaking, but we want to tell our stories the way we want to tell them,” says Jones, who lives in Port St. Lucie. “I love people, but we can’t depend on others to maintain our legacy. Black people need to take accountability. We have to do it ourselves.”

Shot on location at Port Salerno’s historic African-American schoolhouse, built circa 1930

Evan Neal. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Matt Swensen/New York Giants Football
Photo by Matt Swensen/New York Giants Football

The NFL Star: Evan Neal

At six-foot-seven, 390 pounds, and brimming with athletic talent, 22-year-old Evan Neal was made to play football. And this past April, he became the number seven overall pick in the NFL draft, snatched up by the New York Giants. The Okeechobee native signed a four-year, $24.6 million contract with the Giants, which includes a $15 million signing bonus. It’s a well-deserved achievement for the much-respected hometown boy known for his smooth footwork and explosiveness on the field. “South Florida consistently produces the cream of the crop when it comes to elite college football talent,” says veteran radio news personality and sports opinionist Bill Newgent. “Many of those players go on to have stellar NFL careers. Evan Neal has an opportunity to be one of the best NFL offensive linemen ever to come out of South Florida. He is the kind of player that stands for years as the cornerstone of an offensive line. He’s a stud.” After playing one year for Okeechobee High School and finishing at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Neal was immediately picked up by the University of Alabama, where he started as right guard in 2019 on his way to an SEC All-Freshman Team selection. According to his NFL player biography, the next year he played right tackle, leading the Crimson Tide’s offense to a national championship. In his final college season, Neal was voted team captain, started 15 games at left tackle, earned AP second-team All-American honors, and was recognized as a first-team All-SEC selection. But his success on the field—and soon-to-be on national television—hasn’t caused this humble young man to forget his roots. The night of the draft, he wore a jacket that read: “Lake Okeechobee.” And after he was drafted, he returned to Okeechobee to visit with young schoolchildren who look up to him as a role model. The New York Giants kick off the season September 11, when hopefully we’ll all get to see this local star take the field and do his thing.

Candice Callahan. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Champion of Main Street: Candace Callahan

With a wealth of experience in community improvement, helping small businesses, management, and nonprofit work, Candace Callahan is more than ready for her current challenges as executive director of Stuart Main Street. “I have an entrepreneurial spirit and am motivated,and driven,” says Callahan, 40, who lives in downtown Stuart. “I am intrigued by my position with Stuart Main Street because I get to use my background and also learn how things happen in the city, even things like where signage goes. I am excited about coming up with new ways to support small businesses and promote the downtown area.” After years spent working as corporate gifts officer for the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast and executive director of the Young Professionals of Martin County, Callahan took over Stuart Main Street in August 2020 at a time when it needed some solid restructuring. These days, she is involved with a slew of improvements to the Main Street area including: the renovation of the Flagler Center event space; the rebranding of the Stuart Green Market as Market on Main, with new programs that include a Kids Market; improving the design of the city with more infrastructure projects; and expanding the presence of art downtown and heightening the mosaic art program in the Creek District. “Everyone I work with here feels like family to me,” she says. “I value what we have downtown, and I thrive on chaos.” 

Shot on location at Stuart Coffee Company in downtown Stuart

Jim Moir. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Environmentalist: Jim Moir

The Indian River Lagoon has won the lottery with Jim Moir, who was recently named the new Indian Riverkeeper. He is determined to save the estuary from ecological ruin by educating the public on scientific principles in a way they can understand. “I am a nature boy who grew up on the water in Key Biscayne,” says 61-year-old Moir, who has lived in Stuart for 30 years and started his new volunteer job in June. “I want to educate the public on how some land use policies pollute the Indian River Lagoon. I am not a scientist, but I’m familiar with ocean science.” Moir plans to collaborate with various agencies on the 156-mile ecosystem and launch projects that will improve the area. He knows what needs to be done, having spent his life working in conservation. He is very involved in marine mammal research, specializing in bioacoustics—the science of animal sounds—and has been active with the Marine Resources Council for 18 years in various capacities. For the past 16 years, he has worked closely on the MRC’s 45-acre Jupiter Island Greenway Project, looking out for exotic invasive plants that need to be replaced with indigenous species. Now he is ready to lead the protection of the Indian River Lagoon as only the fifth “riverkeeper” since the organization was formed in 2002. (The Indian Riverkeeper is a local arm of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a national organization founded by environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.) “I am deeply passionate about this project,” says Moir. “It’s important that I inform the public as apolitically as possible on how to help save our lagoon.” The avid boater and paddleboarder wants to ensure our waterways are here for a long time for everyone to enjoy. “I will get the word out to NGOs and other agencies up and down the Indian River Lagoon for all of us to do our part in reversing the seagrass decline and improving the pollution problems,” he says. “I want the world to be a better place when I leave.”

Shot on location at the Indian River Lagoon near Sewall’s Point

Amanda Jones at Frying Scot Food Truck. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Jason Nuttle
Photo by Jason Nuttle

The Sizzling Scot: Amanda Jones

Growing up in Fife, Scotland, Amanda Jones was no stranger to the simple pleasure of fish and chips. Even though she spent more than 30 years in Scotland and then Los Angeles in the nursing business, she had always longed to be a chef. “I had dreams of food,” says Jones, 57, who now lives in Stuart. She eventually took culinary classes and started cooking for seniors in their homes. And then she bought a truck—and turned it into a food truck biz, The Frying Scot, that sells traditional Scottish fish and chips Jones prepares exactly the way she recalls the meal from her childhood. “My fish and chips is authentic, and I feel like I am bringing Scotland to Stuart!” she says. Her rolling kitchen was created from a vintage USPS truck that she renovated with help from local companies. You can find The Frying Scot parked at Tradition Square in Port St. Lucie (5-9 p.m.) on the first and third Friday of the month and at J.V. Reed Park in Hobe Sound (5-9 p.m.) on the second Friday of the month, serving up tacos with codfish and haddock and delicacies like deep-fried Scotch eggs rolled in crumbs, in addition to fish and chips. Says Jones: “I feel like I’m bringing joy to people because I can see that they love the food.”

Shot on location at Tradition Village in Port St. Lucie

Lucie McGuire. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch. Photo by Steven Martine
Photo by Steven Martine

The Networker: Lucie McGuire

Jensen Beach native Lucie McGuire grew up wanting to be a college professor or a company head until an unexpected stint in marketing changed the course of her life. “While I was studying at Indian River State College, I got into marketing for seven Papa John’s restaurants from Jupiter to St. Lucie West and learned a lot,” says McGuire, 27, who now lives in Port St. Lucie. After a four-month stay overseas (one month studying business in Hong Kong and Prague during college; the other three backpacking through Europe), she says she came home broke. But thanks to that marketing experience, she landed a job with Arrow Title Services in Stuart, where she worked up until last January. During that time, she started her own venture called The Traveling Youth, a nonprofit that helps underprivileged students travel abroad. In just two years, she has raised more than $20,000 to help students fund their dreams, mostly by hosting cultural and holiday events. She is also the new president of Young Professionals of Martin County, where she aims to help the community understand how important networking is for success. “I educate, connect, and service people in their twenties and thirties both personally and professionally,” she says. This year, she launched Get Real Social, a business focused on coaching clients on how to utilize social media to their advantage. McGuire says she strives for a work-life balance and spends her free time paddleboarding, hiking, and singing karaoke. “I don’t live to work, I work to live,” she says. “And I look forward to pursuing my passion for travel because I love people and want to learn more about other cultures.” 

Shot on location at Coffee Bar Blue Door in Stuart

Illuminated Being #6, a self-portrait light painting by Jason D. Page. Stuart Magazine's 2022 Ones to Watch
Illuminated Being #6, a self-portrait light painting by Jason D. Page

The Light Painter: Jason D. Page

A photographer for 28 years, Jason D. Page stumbled upon his unique craft of “light painting” in 2004 by chance. “I bumped my camera by accident on a full moon night, and I used that light to create designs in the sky,” says the 45-year-old Hobe Sound resident. It was an epiphany of sorts for Page, who took the experience and transformed it into an art form he calls light painting. “Since then, I started using my camera to record light,” he says. “It can be a challenge to work in total darkness, but the end results are quite rewarding.” When he’s shooting a portrait, both he and the subject are in total darkness except for flashes of light. He “paints with light” using a long-exposure technique—when the shutter closes, his camera compresses the light into one single frame. “It’s like watching a magic show and then the reveal,” describes Page, who is out creating light paintings two or three nights a week, often at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. When he’s not working on his art, he’s running his online side business selling a system of patented tools, including light-painting brushes that he designed to help others create similar images. “What’s important to me is to try and make the world a brighter place,” says Page. “I want to bring light to dark places.”

Facebook Comments