Gene McDonald – Green Interior Artist Extraordinaire

Gene McDonald - Photo: Lisa Sibley

Gene McDonald - Photo: Lisa Sibley

PV: Why did you choose this business or line of work?
Gene: I love art and woodworking, especially fixing things.

PV: What is your primary role or duty in your company?
Gene: ALL phases, mainly project management and researching design trends.

PV:  What sets you apart from your competition?
Gene:  I personalize kitchens, baths and furniture. While many sell the most popular, I tend to attract those who want something which is not as popular. Recycled Glass, precious stone slab, and Paperstone; My own blend of Crystal top that customers can put whatever they want into the tops as well as backlight.

PV: What would you be doing now if it weren’t for your business, taking money out of the equation?
Gene: Helping people who need a chance in life, I don’t like to give hungry people fish too much; I’m one of those who would rather teach them how to fish.

PV: What do you do for fun?
Gene: WORK and Dance!

Gene McDonald - IslandPV:  Who or what is most important to you, personally or professionally?
Gene: Personally it is my mom who passed away too young of Leukemia. I can actually feel my heart swell up as if she says, Keep doing the next right thing. She always told me to be kind, but not a doormat and make as many friends as possible (she would have loved Facebook). Professionally I want to always be able to give back, many of my heroes in Tampa Bay give back. They welcomed me to help out even though I did not have much money, I was able to offer my hands, my smile, my countertop scraps, and my shop to help inspire the Children of CASA, Boys and Girls Clubs and countless others. It feels like my Mom swells up my heart when I am around these people…It’s my own personal awesomistic feeling. I love life like crazy!

Gene McDonald - IslandPV:  A little secret about you that would shock those who don’t know you!
Gene: I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t do Drugs, I don’t smoke Cigarettes and I love Hardcore Thrash Punk rock as well as Motown music. People always think I am on something because I enjoy wherever I am at. They spend big money on booze to act like me…LOL

PV: What are your personal and professional mottos?
Gene: Personal~ you cannot make a plant grow by pulling on it! Professional~ you cannot discover new oceans unless you have courage to lose sight of the shore.

PV: When you were five, what was your dream to be when you grew up?
Gene: Bruce Lee and a cartoonist

PV: Have you achieved all or most of your dreams thus far?
Gene: Yes, I am so glad I didn’t sign a contract because I achieved that dream 5 years ago. I am also grateful for all the friends and business I got. I feel that if my life doesn’t get any better than it is right now. I am ok with that. But I am Gene, Gene the dancing machine. Life is getting better by the minute…

About the President

Gene McDonald, President of Refresh Interiors Inc., is an active member of the Tampa Bay U.S. Green Building Council Chapter, the Florida Green Building Coalition, and the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA). As a countertop fabricator specializing in green products, McDonald has worked on many LEED-certified projects in the area. He has recently earned Master Fabricator status from Vetrazzo Recycled Glass Surfaces, a status reserved for fabricators who have fabricated 50 Vetrazzo jobs that have demonstrated superior craftsmanship. Since then McDonald has quadrupled that number! He also won the International Surface Design Expo’s Best Commercial Application Award in 2006 for his illuminated cobalt glass bar. In 2009, he won the Best Green Residential Kitchen award. He also won Best Green Small Application for his recycled paper toilet seat that glows in the dark. His top employee Hugh Simon won the Best Green Kitchen in 2010 and Best Design in Green Application in 2011. The newest edition of the Refresh Family, to lead the cabinet division is Chris Kessler. Master Cabinetmaker. Gene McDonald has spoken at The National Association of Home Builders and numerous Green Expos from Orlando to Las Vegas. Gene McDonald is proud to be what some call a Green Interior Artist. He shares his green projects with the world to smash the misconception that green design is bland and boring. His very own creation called Crystal Top was used in the upcoming film Step Up 4 from Touchstone Pictures.

Changing Lives… One Smile at a Time

Dr. Paul Duryea

Dr. Paul Duryea

Dr. Paul R. Duryea is not your typical Orthodontist, there is so much more to this gracious man that many don’t know. His smile lights up every room he walks into and just exudes friendliness and happiness, he’s someone you just want to get to know better!

His background is interesting and his life’s accomplishments even more so. Dr. Duryea had gone thru four years of Dental School at the University of Detroit at which he graduated as Valedictorian and with Summa Cum Laude distinction. He started his private practice in 1981 and was the 1st full time Orthodontist in Palm Harbor! He treats not only adolescent patients, but also has a very large adult practice.

The scope of his practice is from minor correction with appliances to the correction of severe dental and skeletal problems with the need for jaw surgery. He is a Preferred Provider of Invisalign and has been for 10 years.

Dr. Duryea got involved in Orthodontics in a very odd way. He had completed his Dental School clinical requirements by the end of his junior year.

“Because of that fact I was asked to find “something to do” for my senior year, I had decided I wanted to become an Oral surgeon initially, but was attracted to the Orthodontic department to finish up my senior year before applying to a surgery program. I became very interested in Orthodontics because of treating a wide range of patients and was very interested in Surgical Orthodontics. By the time I completed my fourth year of Dental school, I had completed the clinical requirements of the masters Program in Orthodontics. I never applied to the Orthodontic Program formally and was asked into the program by the Chairman of the Department. As an enticement, I was offered to run the Chairman’s private practice as a first year graduate student. I completed the program with not only a certificate in Orthodontics, but also a Master’s Degree in Orthodontics”.

Dr. Duryea’s primary focus is to offer the highest standard of Orthodontic treatment in a casual and intimate setting. His practice is different from many others in that he has a small but well trained staff of four, 2 as administrative assistants and 2 that are certified Orthodontic Assistants who take personal time with every patient.

There are no satellite offices, and he is in the same office all of their normal business hours. He sees to all emergencies himself, unless he is out of town golfing or lecturing. One of his goals is to stay on time. Since his patients arrange their day around their Orthodontic appointment, Dr. Duryea is respectful of all of his patient’s time and maintains their appointment on time!

His patients come from a very large geographic area, from Pinellas to Pasco. His associations and affiliations are too many to mention. Dr. Duryea continues to offer state of the art in Orthodontic treatments and anticipates bringing in an associate in the near future.

One of his most rewarding and memorable work related experiences involved a 17 year old young lady with not only a severe malocclusion (bad bite), but a severe skeletal problem that was a major contributing factor to her bite. During their initial consultation, Dr. Duryea knew her problem was very severe. She did not look at him and said nothing. Sadly, she was totally lacking self-confidence. But, after two years of Orthodontic treatment and corrective surgery was completed, her Mom took him aside and gave him a big hug filled with love and gratitude! Her daughter finally looked like the rest of the family. “The most amazing part was during her retention phase of treatment. She would come in all smiles and was amazed how her social life had improved. Her self-confidence soared! That’s what makes what I do so rewarding. To be able to profoundly change a person’s life by restoring their smile and facial appearance is unbelievable and gratifying”, states Dr. Duryea.

Dr. Duryea’s family life is another great accomplishment. Married to Nan, his best friend for 37 years, they have raised 2 great kids, Becky and Scott. Paul and Nan’s newest treasure is grandson Harrison.

Paul’s hobbies include Travel, Cooking, Golf, and of course Halloween! He is our very own, Walt Disney! For the past 19 years, he personally builds a display outside of his house call the “Mansion of the Macabre”. It takes a month to set up and take down and is open for only 2 nights a year. He does this as a fund raiser for Susan G. Komen, For the Cure and The Suncoast Hospice. There is no admission fee; they only accept donations to one of these charities every year. He’s been told by more than one visitor, it’s the “Disney of Palm Harbor” It truly is his labor of love!

Dr. Paul Duryea is so many things to so many of us. Caring and compassionate, loving, and always striving to be better and do what is best for others. He is a role model to all and someone we can all learn from. He changes lives.

Commitment, Pride & Experience – S.T. Anthony Contracting

Julia Anthony, Benjamin Anthony, and Stephen T. Anthony

Julia Anthony, Benjamin Anthony, and Stephen T. Anthony - Photo: Nicole Geller

Steven T. Anthony literally has business in his blood having grown up spending his summers working with his father who is a general contractor and his uncle, a custom home builder. In the summer of 1997, he decided to branch out by starting S.T. Anthony Contracting, Inc., a full service home improvement and building company based in the Tampa Bay Area.

He chose this business because of a fascination with the process of transforming something that is considered at the end of its usefulness into a thing of beauty and ready for people to enjoy. It was a natural fit for him to carry on the family business while helping people improve their homes through providing quality construction services. With the economy the way it is today, clients are happy with the affordability of their services.

The difference from other contractors and their competition is that Steven has a strong desire to provide his lifelong expertise with a high level of professionalism during the build/remodel process. They strive to make the customers home improvement project experience a pleasant one without the worries that may occur when beginning a renovation or improvement project. It is his priority to be present on every job site and to personally lead the project.

In five years, it is the hope that the company be recognized, respected and trusted in the South Tampa community as well as continually developing their reputation for high quality home improvements and superior service. They want to be the first one a client thinks of as a referral to a future customer. In the long run like any other successful business, being able to employ and serve more customers is a goal.

Steven volunteered recently alongside other general contractors using donated construction materials to assist a homeowner who would not have been able to do necessary repairs. Giving back is a big part of their business. The company belongs to Tampa Bay Business Builders and the Better Business Bureau.

The success of the business is a direct result of the planning and dedication that their family puts into ensuring that each of their clients has a positive, memorable experience working with us. He is married to his childhood sweetheart and biggest fan, Julia, and is father to son, Benjamin. Also in the family are two ShihTzus, Max and Bailey.

Passionate About Food & People

Entrepreneurs - Patrick and Linda Baldwin

Patrick and Linda Baldwin

Founder and CEO of Intelligent Gourmet, a “clean” lifestyle food company, Linda Baldwin started in the business 15 years ago with Amore Catering. Since then, she has worn many hats as a Manager, Chef, and Managing Partner. In 2010, the company’s focus shifted to preparing prepackaged “clean” meals and “clean” food products under the brand name, Intelligent Gourmet.

She had the good fortune of growing up watching her mother, father, grandmother and aunt prepare weekend and holiday meals. The care and effort they put into their cooking ignited a spark in her. She says, “Sometimes I think this profession is just in your blood.” She began her culinary career managing fine dining restaurants in the North East training and working with some of the top Chefs from around the country.

Intelligent Gourmet’s, Linda’s brain child, uses food that is all-natural, low-sodium, low-fat, gluten-free, and low-glycemic-carbohydrate. Their “clean” food line includes snacks, salad dressings, sauces, and individually prepackaged gourmet quality meals and “clean living” meal plans. Traditionally, consumers wanting to eat healthy had to put up with low quality, small portion, and bland meals. Now everyone can eat healthier and make changes that will improve the quality of their lives. Liz Keiffer, Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor, describes it as “Solving a problem created by food with food.”

The biggest difference in Intelligent Gourmet’s food is not a weight loss specific diet; weight loss is merely a byproduct of eating “clean.” Eating “clean” is also not about fueling your body; it’s about satisfying your taste buds, it’s about learning to eat well, and most importantly it’s about an eating/dietary lifestyle change. The company changes the menu every week with a large variety of items that include wild caught and fresh fish, prime beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin, all natural chicken breast, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Nothing gets served or put on one of the menu unless it meets her expectations.

The restaurant is a fun upscale environment where one can always find an expert to talk about meals, allergies, and specific likes and dislikes so customers can build a custom meal plan. Everything is made onsite from scratch so it is easy to adapt a recipe as necessary for sensitivities to allergies with family and kid friendly meals under the Intelligent Gourmet and Amore Catering (Amore ToGo) brands.

Linda plans that within the next five years that the company will expand throughout Florida and regionally to satisfy the growing demand for high-quality healthy food products and prepackaged meals. She is actively seeking strategic investors who share the same vision. Her long term goal is to see Intelligent Gourmet products distributed nationally through retailers. For now, service is offered to Tampa, St. Petersburg, New Tampa and Lutz and they also can ship overnight anywhere in a 400 mile radius of their current store.

A member of the Culitvar Team, a group of chef’s hand selected to help support recipe development within the online community for Kraft Foods, Linda keeps busy. She is the community blogger in the neighborhood for WTSP and writes the dining out series for Panache Vue’, South Tampa. She holds a C.P.C.E designation from the National Catering Association and is a member of the American Association of Nutrition Consultants and is in the process of finalizing her C.N.C. designation. Amore’s Intelligent Gourmet was selected by Fit Kids Playground to provide the nutritional and educational component for the grant they received from WE CAN. Amore is recognized as a leader in the field of healthy cooking through Intelligent Gourmet and have written a curriculum that is used to educate pre-school and elementary children in Hillsborough County about the benefits of eating “clean” healthy.

In her personal life, Linda is a wife, mother and grandmother. She is blessed to be married to her best friend. Their shared love of the water gives them an escape to run around in the bay on their Boston Whaler whenever there is free time. Her children live in Gainesville and when she gets the opportunity to sneak out of town, she loves spending family time her children and grandchildren. She loves cooking in her kitchen for family and friends as well as at work.

She owes her success to God, her family and parents. Her Faith provided the confidence to pursue her passion. Her family never questions Linda’s dedication to them despite long work hours and her parents set the example for hard work. Her mentors, Dr. Joseph Guggino and His Son Joseph Guggino gave her the necessary “hand up.”

Being passionate about food and people, she owns a business that allows her to combine both. “Every day I get the satisfaction of helping customers to achieve their goal of taking a proactive approach to their own health by eating “clean” healthy meals!” says Linda with pride.

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