Editor’s note: Leadership Marco, involves a three-month commitment attending sessions every other week to learn about all aspects of the Island. Participants will be featured in a three-part series. This is the final installment.
Coastal Breeze News, feature editor and owner of In the Light Art Gallery
Jeane Brennan was born and raised in San Diego and went to San Diego State College. She has lived on Marco Island for 30 years.
She has three sons she raised on Marco: Jack, 41, has his own law firm in Tallahassee, and is married to Elenita, also a lawyer. They have two children, Joseph and Juliana. Doug, 39, is an athletic director, coach and teacher who is married to Andrea, who is also a teacher, and they have four children, Austen, Caitlin, Alissa and Brien. They live in North Carolina. Michael, 33, is corporate executive chef of North America for SMG Company and he and Jessica are expecting a boy in October. They live in Puerto Rico.
While her children were in school, she owned a plant rental and maintenance business in Naples and Marco Island so she could have the freedom to participate in their lives. Once they became independent, she was offered her dream job: writing and working for newspapers for the past 12 years. She was a freelance writer for Marco Eagle and then for the Marco Island Sun Times. While at the Sun Times, Brennan also worked in marketing and advertising. For the past four years, Brennen has had her own art gallery and is now part owner of the Coastal Breeze News, a Marco Island and East Collier County community newspaper.
She was on a tennis league for many years but her primary sport is swimming. Her hobbies include working in her yard and landscaping. Brennen also likes to travel and “experience adventure.”
She feels “privileged to participate in Leadership Marco. This is a great experience to meet others in the various aspects of business and community life on Marco Island. It is also a magnificent opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes in the workings of a community,” she says. “I expect to gain an awareness and a better understanding for those who make decisions in the health and safety of our city. I expect to become better acquainted with fellow participants of Leadership Marco and to appreciate their lives and experiences. I am very appreciative of this opportunity.”
She hopes that for the future of the Island, “there will be a balance in regard to the progress of growth and density and modernization and in retaining the feeling of paradise, health for the environment and its people, and in remembering the history, early pioneers and others who have made a difference.”
Melissa C. Felice
Unit executive director, the American Cancer Society
Melissa Felice holds a bachelor’s degree in human services and a master’s degree in social work. She is a doctoral candidate in nonprofit management and leadership.
She moved in 1996 to Marco Island. Prior to her employment with the Cancer Society, she lived in Amman, Jordan, with her family for nine months traveling throughout the Middle East and Europe.
Felice has a 6-year-old son, Chess.
Her hobbies include traveling, reading and spending time with friends and family.
She decided to attend Leadership Marco “to learn more about the community and how I can be a better advocate for the community I love.”
For the future of Marco, she sees “a community that is well rounded and culturally diverse.”
General manager, Marco Island Sun Times
Prior to joining the News-Press Media Group as Marco Island Sun Times general manager, she was managing partner/publisher for an educational newspaper and companion website for elementary-age children, parents and teachers in the Central Florida market. The paper’s distribution was 178,000 copies a month distributed in five counties. She was employed for 26 years with Orlando Sentinel Communications and served on management teams in progressively responsible positions in marketing, sales, business development, business management and online sales/development.
Lewis attended Southeastern Community College and has been married to her husband, Sam, for 34 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.
She hails originally from North Carolina, moving in 1977 to Florida. “(I) got a little sand in my shoes and have been here every since,” she says.
Her hobbies include water-related activities such as fishing, boating and shelling ona daily basis when time permits, and “giving away Marco’s little treasures to guests I meet on the beach.”
Lewis wanted to attend Leadership Marco because it “is an opportunity expand my knowledge and understanding of Marco Island and its resources; to understand more fully the opportunities and challenges in leadership to the community and grow relationships with others facing similar challenges, especially in today’s economy,” she says.
Hope Goldberg, the final member of Leadership Marco, was unavailable for interview as of press time, due to a family emergency.