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Speakers Bureau

Bring the history of Southwest Florida to you with the Collier County Museums Speakers Bureau! The Collier County Museums are home to a passionate group of museum professionals who possess extensive knowledge on a variety of topics about our region’s history and culture. We look forward to sharing our love and knowledge of Collier County with you.

Collier County Museums Speakers Bureau lectures are perfect for your organization, community, club, or class. Lectures are typically 45 minutes to 1 hour in length. They are available for free, although donations via check made out to the Collier County Museums are gratefully accepted. A minimum of 1 month notice before your preferred lecture date is required. While we cannot guarantee that your preferred date can be accommodated, we are happy to work with you to find alternatives.

Learn about our speakers and the topics they offer below or by downloading the Collier County Museums Speakers Bureau catalog linked right.

Ready to book a speaker? Please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Amanda Townsend, Collier County Museums Director

Amanda Oswald Townsend has served her community in Collier County government for 21 years. She held various roles in the Public Services Department before becoming Director of Museums in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from New College of Florida and a Master of Arts in American Studies from the University of Alabama. Her professional and academic interests are in place studies and material culture, with a focus on Florida and the Twentieth Century.

  • And Then There Were Five: A History of the Collier County Museum System
  • From Oddity to Commodity: Representations of Florida in Postcards
  • Snowbirds!
  • Eleven Definitive Days in Collier County’s Cultural Identity
A woman in a navy dress and hat standing at the end of a silver traincar.
Woman in a black shirt and green patterned skirt with a brown case posed in front of a silver traincar.

Elaina Gyure, Curator of Education

Elaina Gyure has been with the Collier County Museum system since 2018 and currently serves as the Curator of Education, where she manages educational programming for all five museums. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Historic Preservation from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, a master’s in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, and a master’s in Nonprofit Management from the University of Central Florida. She has lived in southwest Florida since she was 4 years old and has a deep love for the region’s history and culture and sharing it with residents and visitors of all stripes.

  • Meet the Museums: A Survey Course in Collier County History
  • As Told by Artifacts: The History of Collier County in Historic Objects
  • If These Walls Could Talk: The Architectural History of Southwest Florida
  • Key Ingredients of Collier County

Thomas Lockyear, Museum of the Everglades Manager

Thomas Lockyear has been a museum professional for 17 years, having served as curator of the Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum and at Historic Pigeon Key, as well as Executive Director of the History of Diving Museum in Islamorada before accepting his current position as Manager of Museum of the Everglades in Everglades City. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison (BS Art), Mr. Lockyear also holds a master’s degree from Florida Gulf Coast University (MA Ed).

  • A Brief History of Everglades City
  • The Train, the Trail, and the Origins of Florida Tourism
  • Legends & Lore of the Everglades
  • Dredges, Dynamite, & Determination — The Building of the Tamiami Trail
Headshot of a man with a white beard, grey shirt, and tan pith helmet.
Headshot of a woman wearing a grey and white shirt in front of a large field

Helen Midney, Immokalee Pioneer Museum Manager

Helen Midney is the museum manager for the Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Maine. After working as an educator, college access counselor and environmental interpreter, she went on to earn her Master’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Education from Florida Gulf Coast University. Helen is a resident of Immokalee and loves sharing her community and its history with locals and visitors alike.  

  • A Brief History of Immokalee
  • Cattle Ranching and Florida
  • Gardening and Agriculture in Southwest Florida, from the Pioneer Days to the Present
  • Immokalee as a Model for Community Organizing and Social Justice

Lisa Marciano, Naples Depot Museum Manager

Lisa Marciano has grown up frequenting museums and historic sites throughout her adolescence. Her love of history and historic structures eventually transformed into a career and for the last 13 years she has worked with Collier County Museums in many capacities such as volunteer, Museum Assistant and Museum Manager. Lisa is currently the Museum Manager at the Naples Depot Museum. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Sociology/Anthropology and a master’s degree in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Lisa is also a long-term resident of Collier County and appreciates our local history.

  • Railroading’s Finest Hour: The History of the Naples Depot
  • Sites & Scenes: Collier County’s Historic Places
  • Rising Above the Rails: The African American Experience
  • Naples-on-the-Golf
Headshot of a woman with brown hair, glasses, black blazer, and black and white patterned blouse.
A woman standing in front of a white fence with greenery in the background

Rebecca Mazeroski, Marco Island Historical Museum Manager

Rebecca Mazeroski is the Museum Manager for the Marco Island Historical Museum since 2020. She has an MBA in Museum Exhibition Planning from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She has previously worked with the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Interpret Green Design Studio, The Clay Studio, and The Yager Museum.

  • Camera Girl: Saloma Olds’ Marco Island
  • Tommie Barfield: Queen of Marco