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Our Story

It is so easy to fall into a pattern of apathy as we go through our lives. Our organization was born out of a commitment to stop passing over the real issues specific to our community, and deal with them head on.  Engaging and connecting through the arts and culture, conservation, beautification, and civic education, CAMI is here to help and we believe that change is possible when we put our hearts and minds to it.

About Us

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn It is incredible how one small idea can grow into something truly special. CAMI (Community Advocacy For Merritt Island) is rooted in the belief that we all have an inherent responsibility to make a meaningful difference in our community. CAMI is a non-partisan, volunteer organization committed to contributing to an environment where Merritt Island residents and businesses can live and achieve their best Island Life. 

 

Our dedicated team of experienced professionals are at the heart of what we do, utilizing their unique skills and passion to move the work of our Charitable Foundation forward. Without them, CAMI would not be where it is today. Meet some of our team members below.

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Kara Boyd

Kara grew up in the Philadelphia area, so when Disney Cruise Line brought both her Canadian husband, Tim and Kara to Merritt Island, they were thrilled to make paradise their home these past 23 years! This special island is where they raised their two daughters and where Kara embraced the community as an active parent and volunteer for Tropical Elementary, MIHS and Cocoa Village Playhouse.  Kara has enjoyed a 30-year career in the Cruise, Resort and Entertainment Industry.  She served as Chief Experience Officer for Brevard Zoo, where she shared her passion for the mission of wildlife and conservation. Kara is a proud founder and advocate for the New Aquarium in Port Canaveral and also serves as a committee member on the Veterans  Memorial Amphitheater Project. Currently, she is a Senior Leader and Travel Director for Gohagan Travel and Company and is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Space Coast as part of the HOME team.  She is honored  to be part of the CAMI Team  and looks forward to creating a better Merritt Island with all of you!

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Julia Deptula

Julia moved to Merritt Island with her husband and daughter 10 years ago. She immersed herself in the Divine Mercy school and congregation and was involved in Junior League. Her real estate experience gave her many opportunities to explore and examine how diverse groups of people combine their efforts to make their communities better for everyone. With an interest in advancing ideas for the betterment of Merritt island she approaches her work for CAMI with enthusiasm and a positive outlook for the future.

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Kristi Everingham

As one of the founding members of CAMI, creating a stronger Merritt Island is near and dear to Kristi’s heart. This Island is where Kristi has chosen to raise her family and provide them with a solid foundation of what it means to be a part of a community for the past 14 years. Most weekends, you can find Kristi and her five daughters taking advantage of all that Merritt Island and the surrounding community have to offer – the beach, golf course, parks, shopping and more. They are also long time members and volunteer of Georgianna Church here on Merritt Island. Kristi is currently Head of Customer Experience at SAP where she has been employed for the past 20+ years. 

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Leslie Sims

Leslie has lived in Merritt Island for over 24 years and has thoroughly enjoyed raising her 2 children on the island.  Being an active member of the community has deepened her awareness of important issues that affect this area.  She volunteered and participated in various projects, committees and club boards at local schools including, Tropical Elementary, Jefferson Middle and Merritt Island High, where her children attended.  Over the years, she has served along side her church Georgianna and enjoyed the privilege of helping with their Vacation Bible School program, Summer Youth Camp, and embarking on local and international missions.  Most recently, she became a Legacy founder of the New Aquarium in Port Canaveral for the Brevard Zoo.  Her nursing background, interests in finance, technology and conservation, have given her the opportunity to contribute and give back to her community.  Commitment, compassion and the continued desire to see the good is why she is a part CAMI.

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Cari Sisserson

Born and raised in Brevard County, Cari has deep roots within the community and many family memories throughout her life here.  Combined with her passion for development and desire to continue the tradition by raising her own son locally, Cari seeks to strengthen the beatification and conservation efforts that are at the heart of the CAMI mission.  She also loves being part of the group that launched this concept and will continue to serve alongside community advocates to help ensure the vibrancy of Merritt Island.  Professionally, Cari is an Organization and Leadership Development practitioner with over 25 years of experience designing strategic initiatives that enable cultural change.

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Cynthia Wall

Building a better community is a passion for Cynthia Wall and since moving to Merritt Island 14 years ago from Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two sons, she has served on the Board of the Salvation Army, been active in all three Merritt Island schools her sons attended, and helped to establish the Space Coast Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation resulting in a chapter that broke national records in just eight years.  Believing that volunteering with "boots on the ground" events is important, she worked with friends to create the non-profit, non-partisan group Community Advocacy for Merritt Island to play a larger role in connecting residents and organizations in the Merritt Island community and educate citizens on the bigger issues of the Island.  Cynthia owns an interior design business and is a Real Estate Advisor with ONE Sotheby's International Realty.

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Bonny Belle Weido

Bonny Belle grew up in South Florida and moved to Merritt Island with her husband and two daughters in 2013. She has found her village here along with an incredible sense of community on our beautiful Island.  She is excited to support the CAMI vision and mission of education, preservation, beautification, and the arts by giving her time to this effort to enhance our  beautiful community for generations to come. Over the past 10 years, she has volunteered hundreds of hours with her daughters’ schools, became a substitute teacher for several years, opened a small business in the area, and is now working from home as a communications specialist in the tech industry. The Weidos are members of Georgianna Church here in Merritt Island.  Together with the other talents and passions of the other CAMI board members, she believes we can launch Merritt Island to new heights.

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