I'm a highly creative person with vision. My gifts of creativity and vision are put to good use not only in my 20 plus year old design business but also in my family, community and church.
I've always been creative and artistic. I was the kid that was building tree forts and go carts. As a young adult at age 20 I purchased my first home. I couldn't wait to tear it apart and rebuild it. I worked my way up and through the electrical industry here in Naples and eventually into the lighting showroom part of the industry. It was there that I became educated as a Lighting Consultant. I put 10 years into that profession which led me to open up Whitman Designs in 1993.
I am fortunate to have so many dedicated customers over the past 20 plus years. I live the dream of owning a fun, creative, design business.
But I don't believe it should all be about business. I believe you have to have time for your family, your community and your church. I believe God has blessed me with many gifts and that they should be used, enjoyed and shared.
My family is a gift to enjoy as well so, being an avid boater you will usually find me racing around the back waters of Wiggins Pass , wake-boarding, or rafting with kids on weekends all year. If I'm not boating I'm gardening. I love to grow bromeliads.
I love being active in the community. I've lived in Naples since 1979 and more specifically in Palm River for the past 13 years. I've helped this neighborhood grow and improve in many ways. Most recently organized a joint project with the association, land owner and the county to build a park along Immokolee Rd.
In 2010 I founded a not for profit organization called BASICS. Stands for brothers and sisters in common spirit. A large group of us go out into the community to find worthy people in need of some house repair. Usually consisting of painting and landscaping. It's very rewarding to show up at a home( sometimes unannounced) with 50-70 people to repaint the home and do some fresh landscaping. Part of the motivation for this organization happened after I was asked to help on The Extreme Makeover TV Show. I felt any community could do what they do in a more reasonable smaller way.
I'm also active in my business community. After moving the business here in 2007 I worked to give the community an identity. I shared the idea of calling it "The Home Design District" to the city staff and it stuck! In time it has been simplified to "The Design District".
Having this name has helped this district to blossom and draw more people here to walk our streets to explore what we have to offer. I've organized many Cityfest events in our district.
Last but certainly not least is church. I feel it's important to be active in church in some way. Over the years we have focused not only on my church to create/ donate special ornamental pieces we have also enjoyed helping to renovate an old church right here in our district. It's a historical Naples church The Macedonian Baptist Church.
Certainly there are so many things we can do in this life to enjoy it. I enjoy finding the places I can help out and make a difference. And of course have time for myself and my family. Faith Hope and Love. But without love there's nothing. Nothing at all.