Meet Some of the Men Contributing to Cape Coral With Their Unique Talents and Love for the Community
ARTICLE STACIE B. DELACUESTA AND DANA L. SCIPPO | PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED
Looking for a Few Good Men? Look no further. Cape Coral is home to many. Although their backgrounds are diverse, the common thread of the men in the following pages is clear. They love our community.
We took a cross-section of several area men and featured them here, so our readers have the chance to be inspired and get to know who is helping to lead our community. This is just a brief insight into what they provide, and in a few words, we’ve given them the chance to say what Cape Coral means to them.
Their contributions go beyond themselves, and they give Cape Coral not only what it needs for today, but for the future. Whether they are teaching our children to become better citizens, promoting business and growth, providing opportunities for charities, serving in government, or defending our rights these individuals give back to our community in ways that cannot be measured.
Just like the old saying, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago,” (Warren Buffett), these men have planted the trees of growth for future Cape Coral. Their contributions today pave the way toward a better community for us all.
We’d like to recognize them and tell them how much they are appreciated. They are husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, uncles, coaches, bosses, businessmen, teachers, and leaders. And the really special part — they call Cape Coral home.
Gary Aubuchon- Aubuchon Team of Companies
With community involvement high on his list of priorities, Gary Aubuchon has experience at various levels, including state and local.
A resident of Lee County since 1984, Aubuchon served as State Representative from 2006-2012. Locally, he has been either president/chairman of organizations such as the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce, Cape Coral Construction Industry Associations, and the Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency. He is currently President of the Aubuchon Team of Companies.
Aubuchon believes staying connected at the state and local level has helped him better understand the needs of this community.
“Cape Coral has all the amenities of a larger city, yet feels like a small town,” says Aubuchon. “Giving back to this great community is one of the cornerstone values of our organization.”
His latest venture? Aubuchon is working with Habitat for Humanity on the City’s first “Blitz Build,” where Aubuchon Homes will work with volunteers and contractors to build a house in one week.
Originally from Michigan, Aubuchon and his wife are the parents of three daughters. He continues to support dozens of charities and leads a multi-enterprise organization.
Christopher Spiro- Spiro & Associates
Christopher Spiro has called Cape Coral home since 1970 making his family one of the city’s first 1,000 families to reside here. Spiro was Cape Coral’s Citizen of the Year in 2004. Chief Creative Officer of Spiro & Associates, a business born from his father’s Cape Coral based print shop, is one of his most notable professional accolades. Giving to the community through philanthropy and the love he shares with his family are his greatest accomplishments. Spiro & Associates competes nationally as a creative powerhouse by branding, marketing, and building businesses.
“Cape Coral is the perfect city to grow a family and a business. We are in our infancy, and it’s really interesting watching this city grow.”
Spiro enjoys mentoring millennial staff, working with Lee County Public Schools STEM Program, and supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida and the American Heart Association.
Continuing to serve his clients, enjoying his empty nest, traveling and giving back to the city that built him are all part of his plans.
Learn more about Christopher Spiro: SpiroAndAssociates.com
Eddie Carmean- Cape Coral Soccer Association
On a typical Saturday, 1,200 kids are off the couch and on his fields. He is never sure what each day will bring, but before long, it’s time for bed and he has completed a million tasks. Eddie Carmean is the multi-tasking, problem-solving director of the Cape Coral Soccer Association (CCSA).
In 1976 at six years old, Carmean began with the organization as a player only two years after CCSA’s inception. Carmean graduated from Cape Coral High School, played for the University of South Florida, but after nine professional seasons in Kansas City it was time to come home.
Sixteen years ago, he returned to the fields where it all started and has been the association’s director for the past ten years.
“Soccer is everything to me. I’m happy to see kids interacting and socializing with each other. They are learning how to lose, how to win, how to work together.”
While managing the recreational players, their families and volunteer coaches, Carmean facilitates the Cyclones, a competitive league.
“So much happens on these fields. There are so many life lessons that happen. Soccer has turned lives around here. I know that for a fact.”
Greg Smith- Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water comes steam. And steam can power a train. (212, The Extra Degree, Parker and Anderson)
That powerful message is one that Sergeant First Class (Retired) Greg Smith not only believes for himself, but also teaches to young adults. As the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Senior Army Instructor at Oasis High School, Smith leads about 240 high school students to live by these same principals, that one extra degree makes all the difference.
“If you give that one extra degree in everything you do, you’re going to be successful,” Smith says.
Smith says when he hears from former students, the 212 attitude is the common thread they all carry with them from JROTC classes. Smith says every year, at least two or three students obtain four-year ROTC college scholarships.
A native Chicagoan, Smith and his wife, Valeria, are parents of seven children.. Smith retired after 23 years in the Army where he was an MP. He joined Oasis High School as a JROTC instructor in 2010.
Jeff Miloff- Miloff Aubuchon Realty Group
When people truly love a community, it shows in their actions. One Cape Coral resident and businessman who makes his support and love for our City clear is Jeff Miloff.
A former member of the US Coast Guard, Miloff moved to the area with his wife, Jacque, 30 years ago. He met business partner Gary Aubuchon in 1999, and they formed Miloff Aubuchon Realty Group, which has evolved to the number one independent real estate firm in Cape Coral.
“My philosophy is, ‘Work hard, Play hard, and Give back,’” Miloff says. “There are so many needs here locally, it is important to give back.”
As past President of Ronald McDonald House SWFL, he developed a signature fund-raising event, the Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament. His company supports Make-A-Wish Foundation, Builders Care, Habitat for Humanity, and others. As past president of the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association, he led the merge of the Cape Coral and Ft Myers Associations, now with over 6000 members.
With 28 years of experience in real estate, Miloff’s passions are his family, work, and community.
Russ Winstead- Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University
Helping Cape Coral’s business community grow is something Russ Winstead is truly passionate about, and our local area is certain to thrive with his expertise.
Winstead is a business consultant and City director for the (SBDC) Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University. He specializes in advising businesses with strategic planning and conflict resolution. He also helps new businesses get established with market development and financial planning.
“ Growing businesses is cyclical in nature,” says Winstead. “Healthy businesses hire people, and those people are what helps support our community.”
Winstead comes from a varied background, including working for IBM. He and his wife, Debbie, moved to Cape Coral from the Washington DC area 1991. They have two sons, Callyn and Caden.
Within that diverse background, Winstead holds degrees from Jacksonville Theological Seminary and National Lewis University. He was one of the first pastors to serve at Cape Christian Fellowship which was established in 1987.
Whether he is helping small business get started or advising larger enterprises, Winstead’s commitment to the business community is clear, and Cape Coral will reap the benefits.