6 to Watch in 2006

Beth McCall Randy Ewers Steven Rogers Carmen Maines Garry Karsner Robin McClea

Written & Compiled by Karin Fabry
Photos By Steve Floethe

A new year inevitably will bring about change in most of our lives. Whether it’s home, family, or work related, change is something we’ve come to accept, and often anticipate. Through the years, the city of Ocala has experienced its own brand of change, welcoming new friends and saying goodbye to others.

Long-time and beloved mayor Gerald Ergle, while still very much an active part of the community, has stepped down from Ocala’s high seat. Taking his place is Randy Ewers, a youthful businessman making his political debut. No doubt Randy will introduce fresh new ideas to the residents of Ocala.

We’re all aware of the controversy that has shrouded the Appleton Museum in recent years with regard to outside funding. Now, with funding securely in place, the Appleton staff continues to look toward the future and has named their permanent director. Robin McClea has big plans to lead the museum to “new levels of excellence.”

Through the following pages, we at Ocala Style would like to acknowledge several area executives (some new to the area, some native Floridians), each having made a remarkable change in their professional pursuits.

1. Beth McCall
Director, Munroe Regional Medical Center Foundation

How did you get to this point in your career?
I served as the director of Leadership/Ocala Marion for 4 years and as the executive director of the Public Education Foundation of Marion County for 5 years. I gained public relations and fundraising skills through these two jobs. My experience in those areas led me to my current job as director of the Munroe Regional Medical Center Foundation.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?
The Foundation is a necessity to Munroe. By having a very strong board and a strong committee structure, the Foundation will help meet the current and future capital needs of Munroe.

What’s one thing you’d like the people of Ocala to know about you?
I love my career but my family is my top priority. I have been able to learn to balance my personal and professional life.

What do you enjoy most about living in the Ocala area?
Ocala has been a fabulous place to raise a family. There is a diversity of activities, the people are friendly, the public school system afforded my children an excellent education that allowed them to pursue educational goals at the University of Florida, and we have the best medical care in the region.

What’s the last book you read? Would you recommend it to others?
I am currently working on my Masters Degree in management and leadership so most of my current reading is research and textbooks. However, in my studies two of the books that I have had the opportunity to read that have had an impact on my thinking are Nuts! – Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success by Kevin & Jackie Freiberg and Principle Centered Leadership by Stephen R. Covey

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
Attending Gator football or basketball or taking my daughters to Tampa to shop.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I plan on the Munroe Foundation running successfully. I will still be the Director or perhaps move into the consulting field where I can choose the days and times I want to work.

Where do you see Ocala in 10 years?
A metropolitan area with many cultural events, fine dining and shopping, a vibrant downtown and a community that continues to welcome newcomers.

2. Randy Ewers
Ocala Mayor

How did you get to this point in your career?
I have had a willingness to get involved. Also, by knowing that you have to continuously educate and improve yourself.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?
Make sure that our community is focused on economic vitality, through business and workforce development.

What’s one thing you’d like the people of Ocala to know about you?
I want to help to continue to make Ocala a great place to live.

What do you enjoy most about living in the Ocala area?
The beautiful landscape and the caring people of our community.

What’s the last book you read? Would you recommend it to others?
Learning to See. If you want to lean up a process, then yes.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
Spending time with my wife and children.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Continuing to contribute to the business community in Ocala.

Where do you see Ocala in 10 years?
I see our community continuing to grow. I see the downtown developing with professional services and having an urban feel. I see industrial development around the I-75 corridor towards the airport. I also see Ocala maintaining its beautiful landscape.

3. Carmen Maines
Director, Public Education Foundation of Marion County

How did you get to this point in your career?
I’ve spent 11 years serving on the Board of Directors of the Public Education Foundation, so I know the structure and the workings of the organization, which gave me an advantage when I applied for this position. Also, working as a speech pathologist for the past 25 years has given me the opportunity to interact a great deal with our schools in helping my patients obtain services. And as a parent of three children who all attended Marion County public schools, I’ve had a vested interest in making sure all of our children get the best education possible.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?
I’m hoping to make the Public Education Foundation a more visible and even more viable organization to both the school system and the public. We need to continue to increase our funding sources by developing more partnerships with businesses and other community groups. There is great synergy that comes from working with other groups to achieve our common goal of educating our children.

What’s one thing you’d like the people of Ocala to know about you?
I have been blessed with a wonderful life. I have a husband who is my best friend and three incredible children. My parents came from humble beginnings in Cuba, but they gave my siblings and me a rich and nurturing home environment where we were told we could become anything we wanted. Every child is entitled to that kind of beginning.

What do you enjoy most about living in the Ocala area?
The natural beauty of the area, feeling safe here, and its increasingly diverse population. It’s growing but still has the heart of a small town. We need to be very careful we don’t lose that feeling as we continue to grow.

What’s the last book you read? Would you recommend it to others?
The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory and Freakanomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. They were very interesting books.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
I love to read and I’ve recently begun doing crossword puzzles, trying to keep Alzheimer’s at bay. I also love having my kids come home and spend the day with my husband and me.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still living here in Marion County, enjoying retirement, and traveling with my husband.

Where do you see Ocala in 10 years?
I wish I could say I see Ocala as a thriving community that is managing its growth well and retaining the beauty and unique character of the area, but based on what I see happening, I think we’re going to look more and more like south Florida. As a transplanted south Floridian, I can tell you that’s not a good thing. This community still has time to develop a plan for the future that includes growth and new business in a way that enhances our quality of life, but time is running out.

4. Garry Karsner
President & CEO, Ocala Regional Medical Center

How did you get to this point in your career?
I began my career in healthcare and was fortunate to progress from multi-facility finance to multi-facility management. I am fortunate to work in a company where there are great opportunities to learn, grow, and advance in a professional management setting.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?
To provide the leadership in healthcare management that will improve the health of our community.

What’s one thing you’d like the people of Ocala to know about you?
I’m a retired captain in the Supply Corps of the United States Naval Reserve after serving four years of active duty and 23 years in the Reserves.

What do you enjoy most about living in the Ocala area?
Although my wife, Flo, and I have been in Ocala only a short time, we’ve made many new friends and established new relationships. So for us, it’s about the people.

What’s the last book you read? Would you recommend it to others?
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. I would highly recommend it to others who are seeking to understand how technology is bringing the world community more interdependence.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
Fishing with my wife and two daughters on our boat, Cash Flo III.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
As a coach, teacher, and mentor in healthcare administration.

Where do you see Ocala in 10 years?
I see Ocala as a regional center that has successfully blended natural beauty, local culture, and international commerce into a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

5. Steven Rogers
County Judge, 5th Judicial Circuit
How did you get to this point in your career?
Through the faith, love, and support of my family and friends, especially my wife, Rebecca. The phone call from the Governor [Jeb Bush] informing me of my appointment was also pretty important.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?
To serve the citizens of Marion County as a fair and impartial judge and to always keep in mind that people are in court because something bad is going on in their life.

What’s one thing you’d like the people of Ocala to know about you?
Most people who know me can attest to the fact that I’m pretty light hearted. However, I do take my job and the responsibilities associated with this position very seriously, as I am aware that my decisions directly affect people’s lives.

What do you enjoy most about living in the Ocala area?
I enjoy the Ocala community and the fact that I regularly see people who I’ve known my entire life. I also believe Ocala is ideally located because we can easily get to so many places: Daytona Beach, Crystal River, Orlando, Gainesville, Tampa. But we don’t have to live there.

What’s the last book you read? Would you recommend it to others?
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. Reading it will surely change your life.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
Watching my Gators beat FSU 34-7. Otherwise, I enjoy just spending time with Rebecca and our kids — unless I’m being selfish and playing golf.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still here in Ocala being a judge — just with more gray hair and (hopefully) the same waist size.

Where do you see Ocala in 10 years?
It’s a given fact that Ocala will continue to grow in population. I believe we have a good group of elected officials in place to help manage this growth effectively. Personally, I would love for Ocala to secure a Major League Baseball team for spring training.

6. Robin McClea
Director, The Appleton Museum of Art

How did you get to this point in your career?
Persistence and passion for the arts. I strive for perfection, but realize it is not always within reach, so give the best I can and always look for opportunities to improve.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?
The Appleton Museum of Art is a gem in the Ocala community. It has been through some rough times, but the light shines brightly for its future. I hope to lead the museum and its staff to new levels of excellence as a collecting, exhibiting, and educational institution.

What’s one thing you’d like the people of Ocala to know about you?
I am very happy to be here!

What do you enjoy most about living in the Ocala area?
The people.

What’s the last book you read? Would you recommend it to others?
Life Is So Good: One Man’s Extraordinary Journey Through The 20th Century And How He Learned To Read At Age 98 by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman. I recommend it as a very inspirational and enlightening story.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
Painting or gardening.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Delighted with the progress and achievements through which I have been able to lead the Appleton Museum of Art.

Where do you see Ocala in 10 years?
As a beautiful community that’s preserved and cherished its natural and cultural resources.

Posted in Ocala Style Promotional Features

Share this post

[fbcomments]

What's New at Ocala Style

Life with Abbey

In 2007, our neighbors saw something they can never unsee:...

Seeing Beyond the Surface

A first-person examination of one local woman’s experiences and insights...

Doing Good – Fit to Provide Hope

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Dillard’s Market Street...

Core to Floor

Did you know you can reverse muscle loss, improve back...

Challengers to the Crisis

As the pandemic continues to threaten our community, we turn...

Waste Warriors

How the superheroes at Ocala Water Resources battle dastardly forces...