Women of Style 2015

The women on the following pages are the definition of style. Talented, multitasking and thriving in the workplace, they are women you see every day juggling jobs that take diligence, dexterity and business acumen. Whether in stilettos or scrubs, they are masters at what they do.

Ocala Style is proud to give these local women the recognition they deserve. Here, they share their expertise and offer insight related to their profession.

Let us introduce you to these extraordinary women…

Ashley Cauthen

MidState Skin Institute / 1630 se 18th St, building 400

(352) 512-0092 / Midstateskin.com

There’s no denying the skin is an important (and the largest) organ.

“It’s our armor,” says Dr. Ashley Cauthen, “and it has a huge impact on our self-esteem.”

As a dermatologist, she loves making a difference in her patient’s lives. Curing skin cancer, ridding a teen of acne or successfully treating an itchy rash are all part of Dr. Cauthen’s daily accomplishments.

She treasures the relationships she creates with her patients.

“We grow very close,” she says. “We laugh, cry, hug, joke and grow old together.”

MidState Skin offers everything from treatment of skin conditions to hair loss to cosmetic procedures. Her biggest advice for everyone, though, is to wear your sunscreen. Every day.

Fun fact: If left to her defenses on a deserted island, you’d find Dr. Cauthen perusing her family photo album with her Bible at her side. All the while wearing sunscreen, of course.

Rayna Spellman

Italian Tile Imports

2400 NW 10th St., Ocala

(352) 368-2838 / italiantileimports.com

Fun fact: If Rayna goes missing, don’t send a rescue party. She probably answered the invitation to audition for a design reality show for a certain home and garden TV network.

This year marks Italian Tile Imports’ 30th anniversary serving Ocala and surrounding areas, and there are many reasons why they’ve stuck around. One is the attention Rayna Spellman pays to new clients. After materials have been selected in the showroom, she does something unique for clients with new construction and renovation projects.

“I spend time alone at the project with my sketchbook getting to know each area,” she says. During the installation process, I spend even more time on the project with installers to ensure the design is coming together as planned.”

And customers will love their prices.

“We are a wholesale distributor to stores all over the Southeast.Because we import, there is no middleman, which makes our prices extremely competitive,” she explains.

Laura Nurmi

Studio 200 Salon / 8075 SW Hwy 200, Ocala

(352) 237-7020 / studio200salon.com

Who Does Your Hair?!

Studio 200 Salon’s Managing Partner, Laura Nurmi, has made customer satisfaction and providing an extraordinary salon experience her priority. Ocala’s most talked about salon offers a professional and positive place for their clients to enjoy.

“We pride ourselves on our consultations and educating our clients,” Laura says. “We take the time to listen and deliver what you want so we can exceed your expectations.”

Fun fact: Laura is a lead singer of The Band 4Play from Ocala.

Fanny Cruz

Tax Pros Group / 1023 NE 14th St., Ocala

(352) 433-0094 / facebook.com/taxprosgroup

After dabbling in the medical and cosmetology fields, Fanny Cruz has found her calling. As the founder and co-owner of Tax Pros Group, her biggest reward is being entrusted to help her clients, 1,000 strong and counting, prepare and execute their taxes.

“We offer personal and business returns, notary services, incorporations and bookkeeping translations,” Fanny says.

A member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, National Society of Tax Professionals and the Latinos Tax Professionals Association, some of the biggest filing errors Fanny sees include neglecting to include life-changing information on taxes like marriages or divorces and being in a rush to file. She offers this advice:

“Keep records of all deductions, and file on time.”

Fun fact: If trapped on a desert island, Fanny would want her shoes, plenty of pillows and a battery-operated laptop.

Ashley Yates, Realtor/gri

Ashley has custom built her real estate niche for the first-time homebuyer and the step-up, second-time buyer. The key to her success has been to build great relationships with lenders and step-by-step communication with her customers, allowing for a seamless transition from buyer to homeowner.

Jennifer Hunter, Realtor

Jennifer has excelled in the executive residential market. She incorporates the latest technology in all her marketing strategies but emphasizes that exceptional customer service is the key to her success. Because of her business practices, she’s been awarded the highest honors in the industry.

Pam Allen, Realtor

Pam is one of Ocala’s hottest equine farm experts. As an accomplished hunter/jumper trainer, breeder and farm owner, she understands the unique needs of equestrian customers. From the smallest farms to the largest training centers, Pam has an uncanny ability to match her customer with the perfect farm.

Jeanne Ritt Broker, Owner

Jeanne developed Southern Charm Realty with the mantra, “It’s about the quality of the experience.” The company is the fastest-growing, full-service boutique real estate agency in Ocala and features the latest marketing technology, a mentoring program and a quality leads service.

Southern Charm Realty of Central FL, LLC / 1008 NE 2nd St., Ocala

(352) 653-3330 / jeanneocala.com

Fun fact: You’ll never catch Jeanne without her favorite cup. “I’ve had it for 15 years, and it’s been with me on many travels—even to the Amazon jungle.”

Danielle Marciano

Zone Health & Fitness

524 South Pine Ave., Ocala / (352) 509-3133 / zonehealthandfitness.com

Danielle Marciano knows a thing or two about fitness. She and her husband opened Zone Health & Fitness as a way to help others achieve healthy lifestyles. And Danielle has plenty of encouragement for those new to the fitness arena.

“Pace yourself so you don’t burn out, and find a buddy to hold you accountable,” she says. “To be successful, you have to be diligent and faithful but also graceful on those days you blow your routine.”

At Zone, there’s something for everyone, from classes and weights to a sauna, whirlpool and hydromassage bed. There’s no getting bored.

Danielle’s greatest reward at the gym is hearing when someone is no longer a slave to medication after adopting a more active lifestyle.

Her best advice?

“Get with a trainer who will guide you through a routine specific for your body type and goals. This way, you learn proper form and equipment usage.”

Fun Fact: Danielle loves toast. “I could eat toast for the rest of my life because there are so many different types of delicious breads to toast. Toast could be eaten by itself or on a sandwich, chopped like a crouton on top of a salad or even crumbled to use as breading. It’s very versatile.”

Elodie Perron

La Cuisine French Restaurant / 48 SW 1st Ave., Ocala

(352) 433-2570 / lacuisineocala.com

Moving from France to Ocala in 2009 to open La Cuisine with her husband, Patrice, Elodie Perron loves being a restaurateur.

“I love sharing my culture with our patrons,” she says, “and believe it or not, I even enjoy working with my hubby.”

Offering a French-style bistro menu utilizing fresh-from-the-farm ingredients, La Cuisine offers a warm ambiance just off the downtown square. Her favorite job, however? Being a mom.

“I’ve learned so much. It’s sometimes hard to balance work and home life, but we have a great team and organization is key.”

funfact: The most adventurous thing the Perron family has ever done? “Selling everything we had in France and crossing the ocean with our children, Max and Roxane, and only eight suitcases to live the American dream.”

Elisha Lopez

Ocala Realty World / 2709 SW 27th Ave., Ste. 103, Ocala

(352) 789-6746 / ocalarealtyworld.com

Owner/Broker Elisha Lopez purchased her Ocala Realty World franchise in September 2014, and it has been the highlight of her career.

“Growing our business and offering a brokerage where agents can take their business to the next level is beyond gratifying,” she says. Their state-of-the-art facility offers plenty of buyer/seller incentives, too, including money off closing and commission waiving if your home doesn’t sell in 29 days*.

Elisha encourages buyers to realistically analyze their budget and get prequalified. For sellers? Price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers.

Elisha and her team make it a point to communicate effectively with all clients.

“I am here to facilitate the transaction, not sell a home,” she says. “The home sells itself.”

* Some restrictions apply

Fun fact: Elisha dreams of one day visiting the Sistine Chapel to personally view Michelangelo’s paintings.

Brittanie Hart

Burnyzz Speed Shop / 1 Aspen Road, Ocala

(352) 307-1968 / burnyzz.com

When you want quality work and the feeling of family, Burnyzz Speed Shop, offering everything from regular car maintenance to full restoration, is the place to go. Brittanie Hart, co-owner/office manager, is a diamond in a rhinestone world: She’s a woman in the car shop.

“Most men won’t take a woman seriously in this line of work,” she says. “You have to have a lot of confidence and be willing to be criticized.”

To combat this, Brittanie has learned as much about cars and how they work as possible.

“I just hope to prove that women can be just as successful as men in any industry,” she says.

Brittanie also focuses a lot of her attention toward charity, including recently raising almost $5,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida. Her goal is to one day open a non-profit charity.

“Helping people that need it the most, there is no better feeling.”

Fun fact:  The No. 1 item on her bucket list is to travel to London. “I’ve always dreamed of visiting!”

Laurie Ann Truluck

Judy Trout & Jennifer Trail

Susan Beville

Robin Stickney

Maria Avendano

Sellstate Next Generation Realty

1720 SE 16th Ave., Bldg. 200, Ocala

(352) 387-2383


In just 18 short months Sellstate Next Generation Realty has 93 advisers in three offices. That’s success.

“Helping our advisers close transactions through organization and technology has resulted in dramatic growth for the brokerage,” says well-respected Broker Joe Vorwerk. “Our advisers are excellent at managing expectations. I believe we have the most professional women in the business. The care and professionalism they provide can be seen by the level of production and accolades they receive. There are many moving parts in a real estate transaction. By letting buyers and sellers know what to expect, it makes for a much smoother and enjoyable experience.”

Their best advice? When buying, prioritize your needs and wants and know what you can afford. When selling, learn the market value of your home and don’t neglect a thorough deep cleaning to attract buyers.

“Sellstate Next Generation Realty is a full-service brokerage offering all aspects of residential real estate services,” adds Joe. “We do it all, from property management, buying, selling, leasing and even some commercial real estate and project management.”

Fun fact: Regarding the Sellstate Women of Style: One is brand-new but protégé and daughter of a top 10 agent, one is part time but still a multi-million dollar producer and the remaining four sold over 340 homes last year for over $48 million in sales.

Hema Rupnarain

Hema Rupnarain, CPA, PA

1306 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala / (352) 351-9880

13940 N US Hwy 441, Ste. 206, The Villages / (352) 255-3795 / hemacpa.com

For Hema Rupnarain, being an entrepreneur has been a longtime goal—one that came to fruition when she opened her Ocala-based accounting firm in 2006.

“Growing up in a family that had their own business provided a roadmap to my dream,” she says.

And it’s a dream that has lead to a career that provides daily personal rewards.

“When a client is flustered and confused but in the end says I’ve made the process seamless and easy—that’s fulfilling,” says Hema, who opened a second office in The Villages in 2013. “Numbers are numbers, but when I can take those numbers and make them meaningful for the client, I know I have done my job.”

When she’s not in the office, Hema can be found fulfilling her duties with various professional organizations, teaching classes at the College of Central Florida or traveling both domestically and internationally. She also supports a variety of local non-profit organizations.

“Charity has always been an important part of my life. As human beings, we share one planet, and I feel it is our duty to help those around us.”

Fun fact: The most adventurous thing Hema’s ever done? “I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good plane, three times—twice from 18,000 feet and once from 15,000 feet.”

Dr. Poorti Riley

Florida Women’s Health, LLC / 4600 SW 46th Ct., Suite #150, Ocala

(352) 369-5999 / ocalaflwomenshealth.com

Dr. Riley has been serving Ocala and The Villages for 16 years. Her priority is reducing recovery times using minimally invasive robotic surgeries and in-office procedures.

“Being a female surgeon, it has been my goal to heal women quickly and get them back to being their best as soon as possible,” she says. Aside from doing in-office procedures, she holds privileges at all Ocala hospitals.

Fun fact: What is on Dr. Riley’s bucket list? Doing medical missions to treat the poor in underprivileged nations.

Posted in Ocala Style Features

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