To bring our village together, we’d like you to get to know some of our business and community leaders of faith in a more personal way. That’s why we encourage the kind of conversations you might have with a friend at a casual backyard barbecue.
This month, Good News Wants to Know… What is a fun fact about you that others may be surprised to learn?
I’m sure this will make for some texts and emails: I was co-captain of the wrestling team in high school.
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott PA
I don’t like or trust animals that are incapable of smiling. I’m sure there are times when snakes, sharks, spiders are in a good mood. I just have no idea when that is, so I would rather stay away from them in the event they’re really mad about something.
Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting
I’ve flown over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter and then went rafting down the Colorado River inside the Grand Canyon the same day.
I once left Spain and crossed the Straits of Gibraltar in a ship and then drove four hours in the dessert to get to Fez, Morocco. Ended up being invited to a Moroccan wedding at a palace only to meet with the parents of the bride who also had a son attending Johns Hopkins University. I was living in Baltimore at the time. It is truly a small world.
Char Talmadge, Executive Director, Rescue Upstream
FUN FACT: I was not interested in politics as a young man, nor did I major in Political Science. I aspired to be a professional musician or an automotive designer. Now serving as a State Representative in Tallahassee, I have joined the SEMA Caucus for auto enthusiasts, and we have contemplated a Rock & Roll Caucus for music enthusiasts in the Florida House!
Chip LaMarca, State Representative, Florida House District 100
Two things come to mind: I have a World Series ring from when I was the chaplain for the Florida Marlins (2003) and I used to race a stock car at the old Hialeah Speedway back in the early 90’s.
Chris Lane, President, First Priority of South Florida
Despite being married for 23 years to an amazing Hispanic wife who absolutely adores it, I cannot, in any way, eat cilantro! Apparently, chefs love to sprinkle it on just about everything like its mama’s secret ingredient, but to me it tastes like soap! Don’t ask how I know what soap tastes like. Hehehehe… yuck.
Chris C. Simpson, President, CBMC International
I have helped four of my six kids set 12 Junior Angler World Records with the International Game Fish Association, and one of them, a Pacific Sierra Mackerel that was caught by my daughter Amanda in 1997 still stands. The others included Pacific Sailfish, Striped Marlin, Atlantic Snook, Barracuda, two Almaco Jacks, three Bonefish, Cubera Snapper, and Whaler (Lemon) Shark. The largest bonefish weighed 13 lbs., and the shark weighed 244 lbs.
H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.
One thing most people don’t know about me is that I was a US Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) teaching professional for over 12 years, serving in four States. In most clubs, I was the first female “head pro.” I found great satisfaction in introducing people of all ages to this wonderful, lifetime sport and helping them improve, plus I made great money that I used to travel the world.
Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
My mom kept me out of music class when I was a small girl, which made me very upset, to ride a bus to downtown Washington, D.C. to see who she called “a very special Pastor” speak. It turned out to be the “I have a dream” speech by one of her heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I wish I had been old enough to appreciate the amazing privilege I had been given that day, but my mom always reminded me of the value of that speech, the influence of Dr. King, our calling to love all people as God’s image bearers… and to have the courage to speak up for Godly justice.
Dolores King-St. George, President, King Communications and GraceNet Radio
I was born to missionary parents in Nigeria, and we were sent off to boarding school for first grade separated from our parents for eight months of the year. I believe it was harder on our parents than us kids as they left family, friends and comfort to serve the Lord only returning to Canada every five years.
Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service
When I graduated from Rancho High School in Las Vegas, I had a chance to try out for the Kansas City Royals baseball team. I was called back for further tryouts two times, and I really thought that I would end up playing major league baseball. Kansas City didn’t see it the same way. I was told that I was too small and didn’t have enough power. I am so, so glad that the Lord doesn’t judge the same way that the Royals did. Today, I may not have been chosen by a baseball team, but I thank my God daily that He chose me to be on His team. Thank you, Jesus.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man…” (1 Timothy 1:12).
Fidel Gomez, Assistant Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
Most people would not know that I am an instrument commercial-rated private pilot and once owned two airplanes.
My wife Liz and I attended a wheelchair ministry with Les Feldman (publisher of The Good News) and Hope Haven Ministry in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month and helped build and fit 17 physically challenged youths in wheelchairs. It was an amazing experience. Thank You Les!
Gregg Wallick, President & CEO, Best Roofing
In this busy, crazy world, I’m very organized and my days are planned. But my close friends know that I love to be spontaneous! It puts color and laughter in our lives! Simple and fun! God wants us to enjoy life!
Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty
One fun fact is I married my high school/college sweetheart. This year Amy and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage.
James Welch, Lead Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale
A fun fact about me is that with the right motivation, I’ll do things like climb tall mountains, go into the Amazon jungle unguided, or put together a Spanish-speaking television simulcast when I don’t speak the language in spite of my fear. I am a risk-taker with audacious faith.
Dr. Jessica Vera, President, Chief Executive Officer, Elite Foundation
That I’m a Cheesehead from Wisconsin since Lombardi and the first Green Bay Packers Super Bowl team 57 years ago! Also, I think I have 47 nieces and nephews now.
Joe Vitkus, Senior Rabbi, Temple Aron HaKodesh
When I’m editing photos or stuck doing something that doesn’t require intense concentration, I love listening to podcasts about people who have had encounters with Sasquatch.
Justus Martin, Staff Photographer, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
I used to be employed by a security company that had a contract with the Marlins. My last three years with them, I was deployed on the field and in the dugout before and after the games. Stood next to some of baseball’s greatest players.
Larry Lacy, Pastor, The Answer Church
I wanted to be a concert pianist until I walked the halls of FSU’s piano practice halls. I stepped into one room and asked the student how long he had been playing the piano, and he said, “six months.” I knew then I didn’t have the talent or discipline. I decided then to go into fashion and planned to have a string of department stores. God has a sense of humor!
Lisa May, Executive Director, Live the Life South Florida
I taught microwave cooking classes several times a week for 14 years in the 70’s and 80’s. I was also on the radio and had a newspaper column that talked about how to use your microwave to cook delicious recipes.
People may not know that I have an identical twin sister. I am the original; she is the copy. When we were younger, we used to change classes and even boyfriends. We would always fool them too.
Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College
Most people would be surprised to know that I once performed in a production of the opera Pagliacci. Though possessed of a very melodic baritone, my “performance” was actually that of an extra needed for a crowd scene. Beyond shouting, “Viva Pagliacci!” my operatic career consisted of a whole three minutes on stage. But it still makes for some good trivia!
Mike McDermott, PA, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, The Keyes Company
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Grew up in a Jewish community, which was almost orthodox. As promised by my father to his parents, I was Bar-Mitvah’d in Jerusalem at the wall.
Who knew that a few years later, I would encounter and acknowledge Jesus as Messiah?
Dr. Mike Rozenblum, Genesis Physical Medicine & Chiropractic
Not only have I lived in the four corners of the United States as well as Alaska and Ohio, but I have also performed and directed in all of these locations.
Oksana Horton, Artistic Director, Torch and Trumpet Theatre Company
The fun fact about me that others may be surprised to learn is that I love helping my 3 1/2-year-old granddaughter play with her toys. I get a chance to do this about two times per week when my wife and I babysit our granddaughter. She also loves for me to read children’s books to her.
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
I played violin for over 30 years (starting at 8 years of age) and was part of a background orchestra group to play for a recording done by Chuck Mangione.
Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida
One “fun fact” that is always fun for me to share, is that I have 10 brothers and sisters. I come from a family of 11 children, (all biological) seven boys and four girls. I was #10.
I know for sure it is Jesus and my Family that have instilled in me so many values of who I am today. I always knew the love of my parents and my older brothers and sisters, and I pray I am giving back to children today what has been given to me… UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.☝️
Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder and President, SAINTS Homeschool P.E. and SAINTS International Sports Ministry
My fun fact is that I played collegiate football and tennis in the same year at Rutgers.
Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers Morris & Ziegler LLP
I played college Basketball at FAMU, and I have a unique collection of African American porcelain dolls.
Rosalind Osgood, State Senator, District 32
I am the only New Testament scholar to have ever appeared as an act on Nickelodeon. I have escaped from a straight-jacket while hanging upside down over an alligator pit. I have performed on the same stage as Houdini (not the same night).
Samuel Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary
A fun fact that some may be surprised to learn about me is that I have an identical twin brother. We are about 35 minutes apart but look almost exactly alike. He is the one who brought me to the church that I serve in many years ago, and we have the opportunity to serve together now at church. We have always had a great relationship, yet there are times it gets me in trouble when people confuse us for one another, and he doesn’t say hi to them. God has carried on the legacy by allowing me to have twins that are a double blessing.
Steve Daigle, Campus Pastor, Calvary Chapel Parkland
Even though I sound and have the traits of a New Yorker, I was blessed that my Mom was from the Upper Peninsula Michigan, and I spent every summer there as a kid… so under it all I’m a Midwesterner at heart!
Steve Solomon, Area Director, CBMC South Florida
I have had countless people ask me where my name came from. Interestingly, I am not quite sure. My dad says he named me after a woman he met while working as a store manager. My mom says she put two names together and came up with Tewannah. My middle name is Leticia. My mom named me after Letitia Baldridge, Jacqueline Kennedy’s social secretary and chief of staff. So, I give them both the credit. They were pretty creative if you ask me!!
Tewannah Aman, Executive Director, Broward County Right to Life
I was born on September 10th, 1957, in Havana, Cuba. My mother, Elena Guardiola, was pregnant with me when her water broke and her older sister, Bertha Godoy, was with her. They called my mom’s OBGYN and could not get a hold of him. He was at a baseball game. They raced off to the hospital, but lo and behold, it was my Aunt Bertha who delivered me… The doctor arrived after I arrived. Extra innings…
For the next 45 years in Puerto Rico, my Aunt Bertha worked as a mid-wife, delivering countless babies while teaching dozens of ladies how to deliver babies, including abortion-minded ladies who were fighting with themselves to deliver or to abort. Thank you mom and Tia Bertha for the “Gift of Life,” which I protect at all costs and at all times with every fiber in my body. Protect the Unborn!!
Willy Guardiola, Christian on a Mission
Read last month’s GNWTK at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/gnwtk-favorite-quote/