How do you feel about being dubbed “Mr. Mount Dora”? I’m only one person in a group of really dedicated people who do their best to promote this area. It does make me feel odd to be singled out like that, but I guess I’m the most visible.
Why do you love this town? It has an organic charm you just can’t help but embrace, from the architecture to the people. It’s such a wonderful reprieve from a city or a densely populated area. And it reminds me of the little town I was born in, Clendenin, W.Va.
How many things in Mount Dora are you involved in? I try to be involved in everything in one way or another.
Out of everything you’ve put your hand in, what makes you most proud? The evolution of the entertainment in Mount Dora over the past couple of years. We’ve been able to bring in world-class entertainment and national touring acts to our 600-seat community theatre. In addition to the community theatre building, we’ve expanded into Elizabeth Evans Park with events and live music, which has been tremendously successful. The part that makes me the proudest is we’ve been able to use these national touring acts to leverage advertising for Mount Dora.
What has been the most challenging activity or project? The coordination of all the different groups in Mount Dora, to get them on the same page and help with advertising and promoting the community’s activities.
What’s your favorite event? The Mount Dora Craft Fair.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Mount Dora? For breakfast my favorite place is Cody’s on 4th and my favorite overall place to eat for dinner or lunch is the Copacabana Cuban Cafe.
What your personal hobby? Offshore fishing.
Favorite fish to catch? People know it as mahimahi, but the technical word is dolphin fish, but not Flipper.
What are your hopes for the future? I hope to see Mount Dora develop as a destination without losing the charm it has developed over the last hundred years, and I want to see all the businesses be tremendously successful.
Favorite quote: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson.
PHOTO: Fred Lopez