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2013 Best of Pine Island winners recognized

May 15, 2013
By Sherri Coner ( , Pine Island Eagle

For the eighth year in a row, The Eagle has organized an event called Best of Pine Island. It's an annual public pat on the back for island business owners and service providers, determined by island residents casting votes in various categories.

As advertising and sales executive for the Pine Island Eagle, Charlene Russ recently greeted winners in 50 categories as they gathered for appetizers, awards and some downtime too, at Sandy Hook restaurant in Matlacha.

This evening of recognition makes winners feel appreciated, Russ said.

"It's like a big thank you to be chosen,l" she said. "And this event has always been well received by the community."

"As strong supporters of the local business community, it gives us great pleasure to sponsor the 'Best of Pine Island' recognitions each year," said Scott Blonde, publisher of The Eagle. " Not only does it allow us the opportunity to invite the public to recognize those businesses that are very good at what they do, it gives us an opportunity to say thank you to both long-time and new establishments that have earned a reputation for excellence. We thank the community for its input, and we congratulate those who have culled this year's ' Best of' awards. Pine Island is well served by the businesses that call it home."

As a first-time winner, Tiger Baker, owner of A/C Medic 911, was all smiles as Russ called his name to receive a plaque. A long-time resident of the island, Baker operated a family business for a few years until 2009, when he sold the family business and launched this one.

Fact Box

Food & Entertainment

Bar - Bert's Bar & Grill

Chef - Matt Marud, Red's Fresh Seafood House

& Tavern

Deli - Little Lily's Island Deli

Hamburger - Bert's Bar & Grill

Fish sandwich - The Lazy Flamingo

Happy Hour - Miceli's Restaurant

Ice Cream - Great Lick's Ice Cream Shop

Local bands - Deb & The Dynamics and

Soapbox (tie)

Seafood - Red's Fresh Seafood House & Tavern

Pizza - Pizza Bella

Waiter/Waitress - Marisol Berna, Red's Fresh

Seafood House & Tavern

Breakfast - Perfect Cup

Lunch - Little Lily's Island Deli

Dinner - Red's Fresh Seafood House & Tavern

Waterfront Dining - Tarpon Lodge


Art Gallery - WildChild Art Gallery

Gift Shop - Pine Bay Gallery & Gifts

Bait & Tackle - D&D Bait & Tackle

Boat Dealer - York Rd. Marine

Boat Repairs - Four Winds Marina

Seafood Market - Andy's Seafood Co.

Service/Medical/Real Estate

Accountant - Pine Island Tax & Accounting

Air Conditioning & Heating - A/C Medic 991,


Appliance Repair - Pine Island Home Care

Attorney - Tim Bruehl

Automotive Repair - St. James Automotive

Bank - Sun Trust

Cabinets - Tropical Kitchens

Computer Services - Anole Computer Services,


Chiropractor - Dr. Mark Jeter, DC

Day Spa - Center of Attention

Dentist - Riverdale Dental Associates

Electrician - Bob Sangelo

Financial Service - Sprynal & Associates, Inc.

Fishing Guide - Ken Honc

Flooring - Island Floors & Interiors

Hair Stylist - Heidi Talbot

Hair Salon/Barber Shop - Angles of Matlacha

Housewatch Service - Pine Island Housewatch

Insurance Agency - Safety Harbour Insurance


Motel/Inn - Knoll's Court Motel

Lawn/Landscaping - Mike Jendrusiak Lawn


Marina - Pineland Marina

Marine Construction - Donkersloot Marine

Massage Therapist - Vonnie Bixby

Painting Contractor - Island Breeze Home


Plumber - Joel's Plumbing

Real Estate Agent - Leroy Lippman

Real Estate Agency - Pine Island Realty

Service Organization/Club - Matlacha Hookers

Being recognized in his profession means a lot, Baker said. But he quickly points out that the award isn't only about him.

"I have some great people who work for me, too,"he said."They relate well to my customers and they are island people, also."

For the winters of 2002 and 2003, George and Cindy Spyrnal fled snowy Illinois in favor of the slowed, sunny pace of island life. They fell so much in love with the island that snowbird status was no longer enough.

In 2004, the Spyrnals took a leap of faith and made Pine Island the forever home for their family and their business, Spyrnal & Assoc. Inc.

"When my wife and I first opened our business here, we had only two employees and no clients,"George Spyrnal said."Now we have six employees and 400 clients."

Living and working on the island is definitely one of those rare win-win situations.

"There's such a family feeling here,"Spyrnal said."Everybody takes care of each other. We just love the sunshine, the weather and the friendly atmosphere."

Though Heidi Talbot and her husband, Keith Talbott, have won Best of Pine Island every consecutive year since it was launched, it's still not"old hat"to them.

"It's absolutely an honor to win the award,"Heidi Talbott said.

Customers keep Angles, their Matlacha hair salon and barbershop, busy all the time. But they are never so busy that they lose sight of the ways to stay in the forefront of their industry, Talbott said.

For example, one sure way to offer great customer service is to simply stay in the know. Talbott commits to continuing education opportunities. Knowing about style changes, new hair color products and fashion trends helps her to keep client needs met.

Heidi Talbott describes her profession as"a mom and pop shop."

"And it's so nice to be given this award. It's nice to be thought of so wonderfully by people."



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