My love for Southwest Florida goes back a long way. I currently live in Colorado Springs and although I have come to greatly enjoy the mountains and mile high scenery, I often yearn to be near the ocean as I was when growing up on Long Island.

Back in the 1970s my father visited Naples from New York and believed he had discovered paradise. During this time my Scottish-born grandparents had begun to grow weary of their current living arrangement in New York. Recognizing the need for them to enjoy and fully live out their remaining years, my father decided to buy a small condominium in Naples where they too could bask in its beauty.

As the years went by many of my family members from around the globe visited my grandparents in Naples and quite a few decided to make Southwest Florida their home. I often visited my grandparents from New York, then from Texas where I attended college, and eventually from Colorado where I settled down to raise my family. Other than enjoying time with my grandparents I found myself captivated by Naples’ history, stunning beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and fabulous seafood.

My grandmother, Catherine McLaughlin, thrived in Florida and lived in her small Naples condominium until the ripe old age of 102! She was fortunate to have family and friends help her out over the years and her wish to never enter a nursing home came to fruition. She was one of 14 children and outlived all of her siblings. As time went by her affection for her new home grew and she became a true admirer of Southwest Florida.

Naples, Florida was a wonderful place for my grandmother to spend her remaining years and my wish is to live there one day as well. The launch of Southwest Florida Careers will hopefully be my stepping stone to realizing this dream. My husband and I own a software company and since we love visiting the area I decided to start to offer an affordable online job board for local employers and job seekers to connect.

Whether or not we are able to make Southwest Florida our home is yet to be seen but we look forward to enjoying our visits with family and friends as often as we can!