Local Folks

Local Folks: Bryan Arnold

Local Folks: Bryan Arnold

Bryan Arnold’s family tree has wide roots in Jacksonville, specifically the Ortega area. He is a Jacksonville native, and his father practiced law in the city for 54 years. “All my dad’s family grew up here,” he said. “If you run across any Arnold, I’m probably related to them.” A self-proclaimed “simple guy,” Arnold has […]

Local Folks: Josh Gellers

Local Folks: Josh Gellers

While Josh Gellers might claim his move to Jacksonville was just luck and timing, it took two years of applying to more than 78 jobs to finally beat out nearly 150 applicants for a job as an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of North Florida (UNF). “I’m very grateful, Gellers […]

Local Folks: Dr. Azi Yavari

Local Folks: Dr. Azi Yavari

Azi Yavari is the doctor behind the healthy teeth and happy smiles at Hendricks Dental Studio, a practice she bought from a retiring dentist in 2016. “I love my job!” she said, and she’s been at it for nearly 20 years. An immigrant from Iran, Yavari came to Jacksonville at age eight and stayed until […]

Local Folks: Monique Worthen

Local Folks: Monique Worthen

Jacksonville native Monique Worthen has been an educator for 19 years and has a passion for helping others. For the past seven years, she has been the principal at Venetia Elementary School, and in that role, she serves as the face of the school. Recently, her passion for the position landed her as Principal of […]

Local Folks: Laura Phillips Edgecombe

Local Folks: Laura Phillips Edgecombe

October 13 is a special day for Laura Phillips Edgecombe. It’s the day that, 14 years ago, she and her husband went on their first date. It’s also the day that, 11 years ago, they wed in Fletcher Park. Edgecombe is a third-generation Jaxson who grew up in Mandarin, husband Adam, a first-generation from the […]

Local Folks: Erica Lovelace

Local Folks: Erica Lovelace

Jacksonville native Erica Lovelace is a chef extraordinaire and a culinary influencer who is simmering on the edge of success in Avondale. Born and raised in Mandarin, Lovelace had left for Tallahassee to study marketing and design at Florida State University, where she met Joshua Pekera. Together, they headed west and spent a decade in […]

Local Folks: Craig Hamilton

Local Folks: Craig Hamilton

A Man of Many Minerals At his core, Craig Hamilton is a collector. Over the years, he has collected coins, stamps, seashells and history, but what he loves collecting most is gems and minerals. He first started digging for rocks more than 65 years ago. When he was in sixth grade at North Shore Elementary […]

Local Folks: Laura Lothman Lambert

Local Folks: Laura Lothman Lambert

“I love, love, love being back in Jacksonville!” said Laura Lothman Lambert. And this time, she’s here to stay. “Jacksonville is a very special place to me, having grown up here,” she said. Lambert first arrived in Florida at seven years old when her family moved to the San Jose area of Jacksonville from Atlanta, […]