Leadership

    Brice Ferguson

    Title: Chairman
    Bio:

    Brice Ferguson is a  Mortgage Loan Originator with Caliber Home Loans and the current Chair for the Venice Area Young Professionals.  When not helping families establish financing for purchasing homes, Brice finds himself very involved with several different organizations in the greater Venice area.  These organizations include the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, the Venice Area Board of Realtors, Business Network International and many others.  Brice is also the father of two young children who take up the lion’s share of his free waking hours.  Brice is excited to see the continued growth and expansion of the Venice Area Young Professionals.

    Company: Caliber Home Loans

    Kevin O'Connor

    Title: Vice Chair
    Bio:

    Kevin O'Connor is a product of Venice. He was born at Venice Hospital. He went to Venice High School where he was a member of the 2000 State Champion football team, as well as a graduate of the Honors Academy. Kevin went through the whole scouting program with Venice-based Pack and Troop 77 where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. After graduating he attended the University of South Florida, earning a degree in Economics. While in college he held internships with a local US Congresswoman and the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County. After graduating he spent three years working as an English teacher in South Korea. Upon returning home he worked several jobs, while also working with Backwoods Barbecue on the side. He quickly learned he had a passion for cooking barbecue, and bought the business in 2015.

    Company: Backwoods Barbecue Catering

    Stephanie Accardi

    Title: Community Involvement Chair
    Bio:

    I am a busy, working mom, a Registered Nurse by day and fitness coach all the other hours in between. I decided to become and Independent Team Beachbody Coach to provide the same help that was provided to me. I know that when starting a fitness journey support is key! I joined Venice Area Young Professionals last year in hopes of spreading my support to others and encouraging others in their health and wellness. When I’m not changing and saving lives, I enjoy traveling with my husband and son, especially to Disney. I’m a sporting event guru and can easily navigate through most crowds and stadiums. I am excited to be the Community Involvement Chair this year in hopes of spreading more of my love for helping others here in our community.

    Company: Independent Team BeachBody Coach

    Nicholas Carter

    Title: Finance Chair
    Bio:

    Nicholas Carter is the Vice President and Co-Founder of CIA Carter Insurance Agency. Nicholas has been involved in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties through several organizations, The Venice Area Young Professionals ( Finance Chair), Charlotte Harbor Rotary Club (President Elect), BNI Referrals to Riches (Vice President) and Chairman of the Sarasota MS Walk as well as the Port Charlotte MS Walk.  Leadership and Professionalism is the standard way Nicholas and the Team at CIA Carter Insurance operate. Nicholas’ Friends, Family, Clients and Colleagues know him as honest, dedicated, and motivated.  CIA Carter Insurance is your Local Independent Insurance Agency and strives to treat all of their clients as their own family members and as an Independent Agent he has the ability to get you the coverage you and your family needs. 

    Company: CIA Carter Insurance Agency

    Michelle Erhart

    Title: Events Chair
    Bio:
    Michelle is a Florida native from the Orlando area who moved to Venice in 2008. She studied Psychology at Stetson University for two years and graduated from St. Petersburg College with a degree in Mortuary Science. She is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator, and a Certified Funeral Celebrant at Farley Funeral Homes & Crematory.  Michelle is also an active volunteer for Joey's Gift, a not for profit respite care organization.  When not working, Michelle enjoys hiking and traveling in her free time.  She is currently the Chair of the Events Committee and has been involved with Venice Area Young Professionals since 2012.
    Company: Farley Funeral Homes & Crematroy

    Kayla Hilton

    Title: Membership Chair
    Bio:
    Hello my name is Kayla Hilton. An original native of Pennsylvania; I have been living in the Venice Area for 4 years and a member of Venice Area Young Professionals for 3 years. I was the 2015-2016 co-chair for the events committee and have been serving as the Membership Chair the past 2 years. I am the new Assistant Catering Manager at Plantation Golf and Country Club. VAYP has given me the opportunity to meet so many great people and really branch out as a person. I really enjoy helping others so if anyone has any questions or needs any help please feel free to get in touch with me and I will be happy to help. I am looking forward to making this a great year!
    Company: Plantation Golf and Country Club

    Chad Jacob

    Title: Communications Co-Chair
    Bio:

    Born in St. Louis Missouri and moved to Venice Florida in 1983. My Father started the business in 1983 and  we are keeping the family tradition alive.  At Gulf Breeze Apparel we do custom apparel and promotionals for small to larger corporate business. We specialize in customer service and quick turn around. When we aren't clothing Venice one shirt at a time we are on the water paddleboarding  and enjoying the beautiful Florida cost.

    Company: Gulf Breeze Apparel

    Danielle Olson

    Title: Professional Development
    Bio:

    Danielle was born in Cincinnati, OH and moved to Venice when she was 5 years old. She graduated from Pine View School in 2005 and immediately began her insurance career with a local Nationwide agent. Danielle is the Agency Principal and Managing Partner of Silverlight Insurance Agency here in Venice. With a passion for sharing her knowledge of the insurance industry and markets, Danielle is committed to assisting every client on a personal basis with all their insurance needs. Danielle is married to Matthew Olson and enjoys reading, movies and as many hockey games as she can attend!

    Company: Silverlight Insurance

    Amber Winegard

    Title: Communications Co-Chair
    Bio:

    Amber Winegard, born in Sebring, FL, raised there and in Englewood, be careful not to get her too mad or you'll hear that country accent. Graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2006, with a Bachelors in Communications; Public Relations, and a number of minors not worth mentioning. Also a proud Zeta Tau Alpha alumni.  Sometime after graduation and the market collapse, she took a gamble & started her own marketing company, Amber Lynn Marketing; Representing a handful of companies in the area and providing freelance consulting. In the VAYP world you know her as the Marketing Director for Off The Wagon Bar & Grill, and some know her as Sales for Gulf Breeze Apparel, while constantly juggling multiple hats, the most important "hat" will always be, Momma of the most "diva-istic" 6 year old you'll ever meet. 

    Company: Off the Wagon Bar and Grill
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