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Stories of the Paradise Coast

November 17, 2018-November 18, 2018

Stories of the Paradise Coast

Unknown, overlooked, untold, or simply forgotten. Until now! Southwest Florida’s hidden treasure of local stories that reveal the depth of culture and breadth of diversity inherent in our community will glitter and shine for two days of family fun November 17 and 18 at the Collier Museum at Government Center. Stories of the Paradise Coast will feature local storytellers, authors, artists, and long-time community members sharing their stories from the main stage, then remaining available throughout the festival to continue the conversation one-on-one. Local artisans, food vendors, kids’ activities, and special event-only exhibits will round out this immersive and authentic two-day event.

November 17-18
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Free Admission

Stage Schedule


11:00 • Muffy Clark Gill, Naples Artist
11:45 • Joanie Griffin, Ochopee Restauranteur
12:30 • Betsy Perdichizzi, Marco Island Historian
1:15 • Paul Arsenault, Naples Artist
2:00 • Eddie Chesser, Swamp Buggy Driver
2:45 • Bob McConville, Master Naturalist, Dolphin Guide
3:30 • Willie Johns, Seminole Tribe of Florida
4:15 • Sam Colding, Former Collier County Tax Assessor


11:00 • Tara O’Neill, Naples Artist
11:45 • Jack Joyce, Marco Island Real Estate Broker
12:30 • Pedro Zepeda, Seminole Tribe of Florida
1:15 • Terri Rementeria, Ochopee Restauranteur
2:00 • Jim Rice, The Clay Place, Naples
2:45 • Lodge McKee, Southwest Heritage/REVs Institute
3:30 • Tim Martell, Master Naturalist, Manatee Guide
4:15 • Clint Raulerson, 4th Generation Immokalee Cattleman

Our Storytellers

Betsy Perdichizzi
Marco Island

Betsy Perdichizzi came to Marco Island with her husband Bill in 1989. Her long-lasting interest in history, acting and writing flourished on Marco Island as she helped establish the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS), serving two terms as President. She chaired the capital campaign along with her husband to raise the funds to build the Marco Island Historical Museum, valued at more than $9 million dollars, which opened in 2010.

She authored four historical books under her own publishing: “A Girl Called Tommie” 1999, “Island Voices, they came to Marco Island” 2006, “The Phony Hermit” 2010, and “Into the Wilderness” 2013.

She has written and performed portrayals of influential pioneer men and woman all over Southwest Florida, and helped to originate and still chairs today the (MIHS) Marco Island Re-enactors.

Betsy is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has been recognized throughout the years for her contributions to the community most notably : The Golden Quill in 2004, a journalism award given by the Florida Historical Society for excellence in writing about Florida's history, and the Naples Daily News Marco Island Citizen of the Year, 2009.

Please visit her website www.caxambaspublishing.com to learn more about her books and other historical information related to Marco Island and Southwest Florida. Her books may also be purchased at the Marco Island Historical Museum gift shop, Sunshine Booksellers, Barnes and Noble online, and Amazon.

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Jack Joyce
Marco Island
In early 1963, Jack Joyce joined what was to become the largest and most successful independent dealership for the off-site sales and marketing of Marco Island and the other nine Mackle-built communities throughout Florida. A fellow Boston College classmate knew of the Mackle’s reputation and suggested that Joyce apply for the sales manager position in Boston. Never having been to Florida or even in real-estate sales, reluctantly Jack applied and was hired. Over the 11 years that followed, the company grew to four offices, three sub-agencies and more than 65 sales associates throughout New England. Three times Jack was recognized as Deltona’s “General Manager of the Year” and several times received Deltona’s “Agency of the Year” award for sales performance.
Clint Raulerson
Immokalee Cattle Ranching

Clint Raulerson is a 5th generation rancher/cowboy and professional horse trainer who grew up on ranches in South Florida. He was a professional rodeo bullfighter for ten years and was a four time finalist at the PRCA Southeastern Circuit Finals. In 2016, Clint wrote and published Cowboy Legacy: A Lifetime in the Saddle, a book of short stories and cowboy poetry. He has written articles and poems for Florida Cattleman magazine and Gulf Coast Cattlemen magazine. His is married to Diane and together they have three daughters, Paige, Heather, and Gennifer and three grandchildren.

Paul Arsenault

A native of Montreal, Paul Arsenault grew up in Hingham, MA, where his love for the sea and travel emerged. Following his graduation from the Art Institute of Boston in 1973, he began a six-month stint as a deckhand on a research vessel. He signed off in Florida in 1974, and began his professional painting career. With Naples as his base, he has embarked on painting trips to the Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia, the South Pacific, Indonesia, Australia, Hawaii, Europe, and the Mid-East.

Paul’s early exposure to and knowledge of working ports and exotic harbors, combined with his talent for zeroing in immediately on the essence of a place, have made him a popular choice for commissions requiring extensive yet efficient travel. Paintings from these trips hang in public places and private and corporate collections around the world.

Annual fundraising shows have been a hallmark of his career, and since l983, these have benefited a variety of non-profit organizations devoted to health, environmental protection, and historic preservation.

Paul’s vibrant and widely collected paintings reflect a rhythm and pattern that distinguish his easily recognizable style. His lifelong pursuit to paint contemporary life in coastal communities is enhanced by his passion for history and his natural storytelling ability.

Paul and his wife Eileen live in Naples, Florida. Arsenault Studio & Banyan Arts Gallery is located a stones-throw from their historic home and vintage cottages that are nestled under a grand banyan tree. The Banyan Arts Social and Pleasure Club, a publishing division of Arsenault Studios, was inspired by the artists, writers, musicians, and preservations who have stayed at their artful compound over its nearly one-hundred year history. 

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Tara O'Neill

Find award-winning artist Tara O’Neill in tiny, mitten-size Goodland, one of just a handful of working fishing villages remaining on Florida’s west coast; a place she describes as being filled with “history, mystery, and endless inspiration.” Born the ninth of ten children to an Irish immigrant father and grammatically-fussy mother, the household balance of runaway creativity and intellectual structure were paramount in the young artist’s development - and the tropical palette of her Florida childhood permeates her work. Although most noted for her vivid oil paintings, O‘Neill is truly a multi-disciplined artist. Her work is installed in private and corporate collections around the world.

Before earning baccalaureates in both Fine Arts (studio) and English (writing) from University of South Florida, O’Neill had formal studies in art at Brookes College at Oxford University, England; as well as museum workshops in Dublin, Ireland; Florence, Italy; and Naples, FL. She also studied art most informally in Central America, the Caribbean Islands, the U.S. western high dessert, and several places quite off the map. (The artist confidently recommends the Scottish Highlands for cobalt blues, apple greens, and exquisite whisky.)

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Muffy Clark Gill

Muffy Clark Gill is an award-winning artist who uses mixed media, photography, and the fabric and dye painting process known as batik to create images that convey feelings of dichotomy and combine her love of color with her life experiences. With a career spanning more than thirty years, Muffy Clark Gill’s work has been included in more than 80 regional, state and national juried and invitational exhibitions and festivals throughout Florida. She received her BFA, Graphic Design, from Boston University College of Fine Arts and furthered her independent studies at the DeCordova Museum School. Muffy Clark Gill currently maintains her residence and studio in Naples, Florida.

Tim Martell
Master Naturalist/ Nature Tour Guide

Tim Martell is a Florida Master Naturalist and Nature Tour Guide.  Tim has been in Florida for 15 years and has owned Manatee Guides, a kayak tour company for 8 of those years. When Tim moved here from Canada he was in the realty/television industry and kayaked to relax. A lifetime love of nature opened his eyes and passion to the unique and amazing wildlife Florida has to offer.  Tim has helped to influence changes in policy towards the cruelty of sharks in Florida and bears in South Carolina.  Locally he has helped the FWC in saving 10 manatees, 2 turtles and numerous birds.  He became most well known in 2013 when he saved 5 of the 10 manatees and became the recipient of the Manatee Hero Award from the Save the Manatee Club.  He wants everyone he comes in contact with (thousands per year) to not only be aware, but to learn about our Florida wildlife so that we will all treat it with the respect it deserves.

Bob McConville
Master Naturalist

Bob McConville is the owner of Stepping Stone Ecotours.  It is Bob’s goal to introduce the public to natural Florida by taking a walk in the western Everglades. He has earned the designation of Master Naturalist through the University of Florida and enjoys educating the public about our surroundings. He is also part of the dolphin survey team—The 10,000 Islands Dolphin Survey Project and has been with them for 6 years studying our local bottle nose dolphin population.


Willie Johns
Seminole Tribe of Florida

Willie Johns is a citizen of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and a member of the Wildcat Clan. Born in 1951 and raised on the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation, Johns grew up in a traditional camp. He is a fluent speaker of the Cow Creek language and a respected Tribal historian. He earned an associate degree in agriculture from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and a bachelor’s degree in history from Palm Beach Atlantic College.

A longtime advocate of education, Willie Johns served twice as the Education Director for the Tribe. From 2005, he worked as the Outreach Coordinator for the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, delivering lectures and workshops about Seminole Tribal culture and history to Tribal and non-Tribal audiences. In this position, Johns established an ongoing relationship with the THPO, becoming an informal cultural advisor. Since October 2013, he has served as Chief Justice of the Seminole Tribal Court.

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Lodge McKee
Southwest Heritage, Inc

Lodge McKee has been an annual winter visitor to Naples since 1948 and moved here permanently in 1970. During the last 47 years, he has served on boards and assisted various history-related organizations including: The Old Naples Association as founder and first president; Naples Planning Advisory Board for 6 years, 3 years as Chairman; Collier County Historical Society for 16 years, 4 years as President; Collier County Historical Commission; Collier Automotive Museum Advisory Board, CAM and REVS Institute, Volunteer Organizations 29 years Director and Chairman; Friends of the Collier County Museum as founder and director for 10 years; and Director and President of Southwest Heritage, Inc, the non-profit corporation which acquired and preserved the Naples Depot Museum. Lodge McKee is an active Broker-Associate with Premier Sothebys, Old Naples Office, where he draws on over 43 years of experience in the Naples real estate market.


November 17, 2018
November 18, 2018
Event Category:


Collier Museum at Government Center
3331 Tamiami Trail E
Naples, FL 34112 United States
+ Google Map
(239) 252-8476