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It wasn't just the beach that brought—and kept—these three locals in the Sarasota area

Three Locals Who Moved to Sarasota

We interviewed three Sarasota area transplants about why they moved and what they love about this destination along the Florida's Gulf Coast

March 15, 2021

Tomas Hererra-Mishler

headshot of tomas hererra-mishler
Photo Courtesy Tomas Hererra-Mishler

HOMETOWN: Tomas has traveled and lived all over the country before settling in Sarasota, his most recent location was San Diego, Calif.

PROFESSION: Landscape Architect, and current CEO of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) who steward the beautiful Nathan Benderson Park.

MOVING DATE: August 2020

REASON: COVID-19 threatened Tomas’ business in San Diego, so he took it as an opportunity to move to one of his favorite destinations. Tomas worked on The Ringling master plan and the Asolo site plan in years past, and has always dreamt of returning.

CURRENT NEIGHBORHOOD: Magnolia Park

FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT SARASOTA LIFE: Tomas loves to garden and is constantly amazed by the types of plants that flourish in southwest Florida. While tending to his garden he enjoys the wildlife, which he calls “remarkable”.  He also loves our access to nature, namely Myakka River State Park with its fantastic walking and biking trails to take in all the local flora and fauna. And, of course, Tomas loves our award-winning beaches.

FAVORITE ATTRACTION: Nathan Benderson Park, naturally.

FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Tomas is a true foodie and can wax poetic about Sarasota cuisine for hours, but you can find him enjoying his favorite snack, cochinita pibil at Taco
Jalisco
in south Sarasota.

HOW HE MET NEW PEOPLE: “I’ve been very blessed with a great board of directors,” he says, explaining that they have introduced him to amazing, interesting and influential people in town. When asked about how he’s settling in, he replies “People have been so generous and welcoming to me”.

Jennifer Davidson

Photo Courtesy Jennifer Davidson

HOMETOWN: Baltimore, Md.

PROFESSION: Pharmaceuticals

MOVING DATE: June 2020

REASON: Jennifer’s husband, John Davidson, is contracted by the Baltimore Orioles, who host their spring training here in Sarasota County. John is a chiropractor specializing in soft tissue at his practice, Optimal Function Chiropractic in Lakewood Ranch.

CURRENT NEIGHBORHOOD: Lakewood Ranch

FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT SARASOTA LIFE: “There is so much culture here, I haven’t even been able to do everything I want to do,” Jennifer says about our burgeoning arts scene. “We can live here for the rest of our lives, and never run out of things to do.”

FAVORITE ATTRACTION: Jennifer’s family loves the beach, “nothing beats the white quartz sand,” she says. Her family loves to join her for a day in the sun.

HOW ARE THE KIDS: She explains that its always hard for kids to pack up, move and make new friends. But they are adjusting great. One child attends Pine View, the off-and-on number one school in Florida, and they have been very satisfied with the quality of education. She highlights the benefits of school choice, a program in Sarasota that does not limit a student to their districted school. She also speaks of the future and her excitement about the Bright Futures Scholarship, and Florida’s excellent university system.

FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Jennifer and her family love to explore Sarasota’s culinary scene. They love Shore, and its many tasty offerings.

Janet Geronimo

photo of janet geronimo
Photo Courtesy Janet Geronimo

HOMETOWN: Basking Ridge, N.J.

PROFESSION: Retired Speech Pathologist

MOVING DATE: 5 years ago

REASON: Janet moved here for a myriad of reasons. The primary attractor was our weather. She also sites taxes and then culture as other motivating factors for her relocation.

CURRENT NEIGHBORHOOD: Palmer Ranch

FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT SARASOTA LIFE: “I love living outdoors,” she says, and includes golfing, kayaking, and volunteering as some of her favorite activities. She also loves our central location so that she can take day trips to explore the rest of what Florida has to offer.

FAVORITE ATTRACTION: The Ringling. “The grounds are beautiful the Ca’ d’Zan is beautiful, and the whole thing is very special.” She also loves the rotating exhibits in the museum's Center for Asian Arts.

HOW SHE MET PEOPLE: Janet had a friend from New Jersey who lived in the area already, who helped her grow her friend circle. She also selected a new development in hopes that her neighbors would be looking for new friendships. Her intuition lucked out and has made many fantastic and dear new friends

HOW SHE STAYS BUSY: Janet truly takes advantage of everything Sarasota has to offer. She loves to play Mah Jong and Canasta with friends. She enjoys shows at the Van Van Wezel and Florida Studio Theatre. To stay active she attends yoga, walks the beach three times a week, and plays plenty of golf.

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