member Spotlight

Spotlight on Neighbor  - John and Kathy Dent

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John and Kathy Dent and Maggie

John and Kathy Dent who live in Marina View (660) were key in the development of the GGP streetscape. 

John is a lawyer with offices in Sarasota.   In the early 2000’s, John and a handful of neighbors began thinking about how GGP could be made more attractive with features like underground utilities and a street with a more welcoming appearance. He invited Brent Parker, an architect who was just in the process of building the Phoenix (136) to a Board Meeting of the newly formed GGPA.     They had the vision to see what GGP could become.

John worked on all of the legal aspects of developing GGP as a special taxing district and new streetscape.   John incorporated the Golden Gate Point Association (the formation papers and bylaws John prepared are found on www.goldengatepoint.net in the member section).  John then worked with Sarasota’s city attorney on legislation to create the GGP special taxing district.  That legislation required the approval of voters on Golden Gate Point.

Kathy served for 16 years as the Supervisor of Elections of Sarasota County until her retirement last January.   Kathy recalls the GGP election on December 13, 2005, as one of the most unusual in her career.    On that day three people on Kathy’s election staff set up a polling place in the lobby of the Phoenix.    Most GGP voters came to the Phoenix to vote while others voted by mail ballot.  Voters overwhelmingly approved the special taxing district and bond “paving” the way for the streetscape development.   

John grew up in the Chevy Chase, D.C., until his family moved to Florida when John was a high school student.  John then attended the University of Florida where he was on the football team-- he remains a loyal Gator fan.

John received his law degree from Florida as well, and shortly afterward opened his Sarasota law office.  John’s practice includes commercial litigation, corporate law, estate and probate matters, and he also represents many property tax assessors.   John is celebrating 50 years of practicing law in Sarasota this year.

John and Kathy’s daughter, Jennifer McClain, also lives in Marina View (660).   Jennifer joined John’s law practice in 1999 and their firm is named Dent & McClain.  Jennifer’s practice focuses on marital and family law, business and civil litigation and estate planning.    She has been involved with the Guardian Ad Litem program in an effort to give voice to abused, abandoned and neglected children.    

John enjoyed flying and became a pilot.   In the l980’s John would fly back and forth to what was then a remote part of the Abacos, a Bahamian out island, where John and Kathy had a vacation home.  

Kathy grew up in western Pennsylvania, lived for 10 years in the Florida Keys, and moved to Sarasota in the 1980’s.   Kathy approached her position of Supervisor of Election as a true professional, and gained certification and recognition for her work nationally and at the state level.   

Kathy is now taking a well earned rest after many years as county Supervisor of Elections.   She is enjoying traveling, reading, exercising, and spending time with their family.   In addition to Jennifer, John and Kathy enjoy four other children and 9 grandchildren, and the family includes two poodles.  On any day, you may see Max or Maggie walking the Dents around GGP or Gulfstream.

 

Spotlight on Neighbor  - Al Keyser

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Al Keyer and Banditt with Tom Dowdy and Duke

 

Al and his constant friend, Bandit, are frequently seen on GGP especially toward the end of the day on the swings outside of Vista Bay  (128).

Al and his wife Vickki live at the Phoenix (136) and are longtime GGPA members.  

Al and Vickie have lived on GGP for 18 years.   Before that they lived on Long Boat Key for about 25 years.   Al was in the construction business, and his company built most of the sewer system on Long Boat Key in the 1970’s.

Al also has a background in oil exploration.   Al drilled more oil wells in Kentucky than anyone else.  He also drilled deep wells in Texas.   Over the years, Al and Vickie have had homes in Kentucky, Tennessee as well as Texas.   They sold those properties and GGP is their only home now.

Despite an impressive background in the oil and construction industry, Al becomes most enthusiastic when talking about Bandit.    A dog groomer Al knew told him she had a litter of shit-zu puppies and invited Al to hold them when the puppies became 3 weeks old.   Al took her up on the offer, held Bandit in the palm of his hand, and became smitten.   He never told Vickie, but he returned every day for the next five weeks to visit and hold this puppy.   He took Bandit home at 8 weeks old, and they have been pretty much inseparable since them.

Al and Bandit are a welcoming presence on GGP, and you will frequently see them talking with other GGP residents and their dogs by the streetscape swings outside 128.

You will see him in the photo above with Tom Dowdy.  Tom and Maria have recently moved into Vista Bay, and we welcome them too!

Spotlight on Neighbor - Cindy Taliaferro

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Many on GGP know Cindy as an active real estate agent in Sarasota with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.    You may have seen her on GGP hosting open houses at One88 or met her at the last Meet & Greet at Toscano, where she prepared some spectacular home cooked dishes for GGPA members to enjoy.You may not know that Cindy has an impressive background in working on environmental issues relating to the Sarasota watershed.    Cindy’s interest in our Florida natural environment and waterways is longstanding.

She serves on the The Natural Assets and Watershed Committee of Palmer Ranch.  This organization consists of PhDs and other experts and consultants in environmental water resources and community members.    Its mission is to provide information and education to associations and communities about how our individual actions and the actions of our Sarasota communities can impact the health of our waterways and Sarasota bay.

Cindy describes our storm sewers and waterway system as being “much like the veins of a body” which is “only as good as what flows through our veins”.    In short, we all have an interest in caring for our waterways.

Cindy uses her background as a realtor to help homeowners understand that their property values relate to the health of the waterways nearby.   A property in a community with a creek or pond with algae bloom or an eroded bank will not reach its full value.   Cindy speaks to communities on behalf of Natural Assets to explain to homeowners how an investment in caring for ponds, creeks, waterways and the bay ultimately helps keep property values secure and saves restoration expense later.    Cindy has also volunteered for eight years the Sea Turtle Nesting Patrol of Mote Marine on Casey Key, and is certified to work in Mote’s Animal Hospital.   

GGPA turned to Cindy for help in contacting the county employees who are involved in storm water management.   

GGPA has been fortunate to have Cindy tackle recent issues of flooding and storm drainage on GGPA;  she has worked diligently in an effort with the County to determine the cause of flooding and ways to alleviate it.

Cindy describes our storm sewers and waterway system as being “much like the veins of a body” which is “only as good as what flows through our veins”.    In short, we all have an interest in caring for our waterways.

  Genia Urbont

Genia Urbont

Spotlight on Neighbor - Genia and Al Urbont

Residents of Golden Gate Point have long enjoyed the diverse flowers and plants in front of Majestic Bay.  The garden was initially designed by Genia Urbont, a resident of Majestic Bay who moved to GGP in 2005.   Genia is an ASID designer who operated a thriving design company in Larchmont, New York, when it was less common for women to have their own companies.   She designed builders’ models for new homes and condos as well as other projects.   

The garden in front of Majestic Bay was Genia’s passion.   She selected the plant material, designed it, and tended to it personally for many years.

  Al Urbont in front of 288 GGP, Majestic Bay.    Majestic Bay won the Golden Gate Point Association   2016 Beautification Award   at the 2017 Members' Annual Meeting

Al Urbont in front of 288 GGP, Majestic Bay.

Majestic Bay won the Golden Gate Point Association 2016 Beautification Award at the 2017 Members' Annual Meeting

Genia’s son Al Urbont was an art director in New York and later sold printing products for many years until he moved to Florida to help take care of his mother.  Al is the GGPA Building Captain for Majestic Bay. Al designs flyers, signs and the cover of the annual GGPA directory for the Association and works with the landscaping committee.

As Genia’s ability to care for the garden diminished, Al took it over as a labor of love.   Genia’s health needs are such that she is now in assisted living and is not here everyday to appreciate her lovely garden.   We are thankful to Genia and Al for their contribution to the attractive appearance of GGP.

Update:   We were sadden to hear about Genia's passing.   We remember the beautiful garden she created at Majestic Bay.

 


  Charlotte Hedge

Charlotte Hedge

Spotlight on Neighbor - Charlotte Hedge

GGPA member Charlotte Hedge and her husband Tom bought a unit in Pier 550 in 1992.   Charlotte was one of the founding Board members of the Golden Gate Point Association when a community association on GGP was revitalized in 2001.  She has served as GGPA Vice President, and continues to volunteer to this day as building captain for Pier 550.

Charlotte’s husband Tom is the Golden Gate Point Association’s representative to Bayfront 20:20, and keeps the GGPA Board up to date with the Bayfront development progress.   Charlotte, Tom and their son Tom, Jr. are realtors in town, and have a long history of volunteering in many Sarasota community organizations.   In particular, they’ve been past Presidents of the Sarasota County Boys & Girls’ Club.   

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County provides afterschool and summer programs for children and teens from ages 6 to 18, at five locations in the county.  Two of those locations are in Sarasota: one at the Lee Wetherington Club, 3100 Fruitville Road, and another at Newtown Estates Park on Newtown Boulevard.

Charlotte is an accomplished craftsperson, and has been an avid knitter for many years.  Nine years ago Charlotte founded an afterschool program, a knitting club, in the Fruitville branch of the Boys & Girls Club.  The knitting club attracts about 15 girls and boys (yes, boys too) to get together each week, learn a craft and talk.   Charlotte, as well as a few dedicated volunteers, meet with the knitting club once a week.  Kids have made all kinds of knitted and other fabric crafts, such as blankets using fleece as well as yarn.   Part of the fun for the kids is sitting around and talking with others in the club as they work on their projects.  Charlotte welcomes any GGP craftspeople or others who may have time to volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club.   More information about their programs is available by Clicking Here.

Charlotte is an avid photographer as well as knitter.  She enjoys taking photographs locally and makes note cards with her photographs.  


  Cathy Antunes

Cathy Antunes

Spotlight on GGP Neighbor - Cathy Antunes

GGPA member Cathy Antunes has been a longtime political commentator in Sarasota.   She’s written monthly articles in SRQ daily, an online news site, since 2011, and writes her own blog at www.thedetail.net.   Cathy has now become a radio personality as well.  Her show,  “The Detail”, is on Fridays at 2 p.m. on WSRQ, 98.3 FM, 106.9 FM and 1220 AM.  She began her show last June and all of her interviews can be heard on podcasts accessible at www.sarasotatalkradio.com/the-detail.

Cathy’s interviews grapple with a range of issues of local and regional concern.  She’s explored subjects relating to property development and land use, traffic,  the Sarasota Charter,  moneyand influence in elections, ballot amendments and voting rights, lawsuits involving Sarasota, beach assets, and school board issues-- to name just a few.   Her guests are elected officials from Sarasota city and county, as well as other city, county and state representatives, along with business people and local activists.

Cathy is active in the GGPA, and presently serves as its Vice President .  She also keeps GGPA’s board up to date on activities of regional neighborhood associations.  These include CCNA (Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations), DSCA (Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association) and CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations).

Cathy and her husband Jose Antunes, an endocrinologist, live in the Renaissance (378 GGP).

Archived Members

• Cathy Antunes

• Charlotte Hedge

• Genia and Al Urbant 

•   Cindy Taliaferro

•   Al Keyser

•  John and Kathy Dent