Local Folks

Local Folks: Mike Kovacs

Local Folks: Mike Kovacs

Mike Kovacs and his wife, Chelsea Hamilton, moved to Avondale in November 2020 from New York City. They were ready for a change of pace, a change of weather and a change of taxes. Kovacs and Hamilton tend to be analytical people and embarked upon “Operation Sunshine State.” For quite some time, they researched a […]

Local Folks: Nancy Beecher

Local Folks: Nancy Beecher

Riverside resident Nancy Beecher has been a professional photographer for the past 35 years, impressively snapping shots for two Super Bowls, the Orlando Magic, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Lightning and our own Jacksonville Jaguars (since their first game in 1995). She’s covered local college games – football, baseball and basketball – for […]

Local Folks: Hiking the Florida Trail with George Lugeanbeal

Local Folks: Hiking the Florida Trail with George Lugeanbeal

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, how about stepping out for a 1,110-mile hike on the Florida Trail from Big Cypress National Preserve to Fort Pickens State Park in Pensacola Beach? Ortega resident George Lugeanbeal averaged 16 miles per day hiking the Trail, a journey of 70 days with a […]

Local Folks: Noah Ray

Local Folks: Noah Ray

Noah Ray, MPA, FAEM serves as the Emergency Preparedness Supervisor at Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. He has been with them since 2016. To unwind, the self-taught Ray plays bass guitar. During his high school days at Stanton College Prep, he played in the jazz band. These days, he jams with friends. “It’s how I […]

Local Folks: Bil Reed

Local Folks: Bil Reed

Bil Reed is a semi-retired construction worker and logistics expert. He’s been living on the edge of Ortega since 2005. He’s been living on the edge of adventure for a whole lot longer. He’s ridden a motorcycle to every state except Hawaii. Reed’s been riding for nearly six decades. He started in his early teens […]

Local Folks: Emily Johnson

Local Folks: Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson is a third-generation Jacksonville native who’s holding onto a dream and working hard to fulfill it. “My goal is to eventually live in Five Points,” she said. Johnson is a full-time occupational therapy assistant at HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital, formerly Orange Park Medical Center. She began working there last year after having […]

Local Folks: Numa Saisselin

Local Folks: Numa Saisselin

Since 2012, Mr. Numa Saisselin has been president of downtown’s historic Florida Theatre, a non-profit organization and one of the most attended theatres in the world. “Our business is better than it’s ever been,” he said. Numa and his wife, Laurie, moved from New Jersey to Avondale 10 years ago specifically for his position at […]

Local Folks: The Burnham Family

Local Folks: The Burnham Family

Jen and Brandi Burnham are the owners of Lush Leaves, a San Marco plant nursery. They opened their Hendricks Avenue doors in 2019. In addition to selling organically grown houseplants there, they offer workshops and classes, host discussions at local garden clubs, and plan vendor events that promote other businesses within the community. “Our outside […]