The Conversation

The Conversation: Matt Colaciello Williams

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The Conversation: Matt Colaciello Williams

Matthew Colaciello was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1986. He grew up in a culturally rich, artistic household of modest means. His mother taught acting and performed, and his father was a music teacher and musician. They moved to Florida when Matthew was seven. Some of his favorite childhood memories involve the tradition his parents created by opening their home every few months to host a house concert. New and exciting musicians, poets, and visual artists were invited to perform and display works to audiences of fifty to sixty people.

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The Conversation: Alexandra Ni

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The Conversation: Alexandra Ni

Alexandra Ni was born in 1984 in the south of Soviet Kazakhstan to a Siberian-Korean family. She was raised in a creative environment by her mother and aunt, who were dressmakers, from whom she learned sharp precision in cutting and sewing, and the art of delicate care for fabrics. The label Alexandra Ni was launched in Berlin in 2012, emphasizing the art couture approach.

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The Conversation: George Scribner

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The Conversation: George Scribner

George Scribner • Artist / Filmmaker • The Walt Disney Company

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The Conversation: Jacob Danner

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The Conversation: Jacob Danner

Jacob Danner is a modern Renaissance man. His path to opening Anazao Galleries in Avondale has taken him through careers as a furniture designer and builder; residential homebuilder and renovator; priest, bishop, and missionary; carpenter; contractor; and art, artifact, and rare book collector, seller, and curator.

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The Conversation: Mark Patterson

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The Conversation: Mark Patterson

Mark Patterson started his Naturally Smart frozen dessert business to fill a hole in the market: his creamy concoction is not only simple and natural, but higher in protein than ice cream so it appeals greatly to the health foodies and exercise set. In just over two years, he has gone from toting pints around in his Mini Cooper to seeing it on the shelves of Whole Foods and thirty-five other locations to now shipping thousands of pints to Bahrain in the Middle East. Somehow, we were able to slow him down for a minute to answer some questions …

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The Conversation: Julie Watkins

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The Conversation: Julie Watkins

Julie Watkins is a plant-based powerhouse. While locals may initially recognize her from her on-screen days as a meteorologist with the CBS and FOX affiliate in Jacksonville, the list of her current projects makes it easy to see where she’s funneling her passion these days: Girls Gone Green, No Meat March, Northeast Florida Veg Fest, and VegJax.com all exist thanks to Watkins.

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The Conversation: Florence Haridan

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The Conversation: Florence Haridan

At heart, Florence Haridan is a creative marketer. She has worked in branding, design, marketing, e-commerce, and team management throughout her career, for companies large and small. Her current post as Executive Director of Character Counts! in Jacksonville is “her life’s work,” she says on the organization’s website.

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The Conversation: Kristin Keen

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The Conversation: Kristin Keen

Four years ago, Kristin Keen started the local faith-based nonprofit Rethreaded. With Rethreaded, Keen was seeking to fight back against the effects of the sex trade industry – prostitution, human trafficking, strip clubs and pornography – on a business-to-business level by creating an organization that provides jobs for women in our area who are seeking to break the cycle and forge ahead in a new chapter of their lives.

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The Conversation: Alyssa Key

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The Conversation: Alyssa Key

Alyssa Key launched her fashion label Love Brigade in NYC in 2007, and after much success — including three Brooklyn, NY, retail stores, tons of media attention, and participation in multiple NY Fashion Weeks, Key has set her sights on Jacksonville, “the South’s best kept secret,” as she calls it.

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