5 of Naples’ Most Notable Men

“I worry our children and grandchildren are losing their connection to animals and nature, so providing that opportunity at the zoo is both personal and very rewarding.” Photo credits: Vanessa Rogers

 Jack Mulvena

with Gailyn, Terrier Mix, 2 years old

The president and CEO of Naples Zoo heard the call of the wild at a young age, describing himself as “that kid who was always running around in the woods.” Mulvena moved to Naples four years ago after serving as director of the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. He grew up exploring the woods behind his childhood home in Delaware, and laments how few kids enjoy that same simple pleasure now. “What I love about the zoo is it gives children an opportunity to connect with animals and nature in a place parents feel is safe,” says Mulvena, who is currently focusing on the zoo’s $25 million capital campaign. This fall, the zoo will break ground on an animal hospital, followed by a new entrance experience complete with education centers, among other projects.

What few people know: I have a tattoo on my left shoulder blade; I go to horror movies alone because my wife hates them; and I can’t sleep at night with my arm and hand extended off the bed because I’m afraid someone or something is going to grab me. Furry family: A 14-year-old golden retriever named Buddy and a 2-and-a-half-year-old Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix named Jake, adopted from the Humane Society. Buddy’s a momma’s boy; Jake is a daddy’s boy—and all attitude. Aha moment: Several years ago, I forced myself to go on my normal early morning run even though I didn’t feel like it. On that run, I followed a young fox and saw a deer with a couple of fawns, two bluebirds, a bunch of goldfinches, and an American kestrel. Sometimes in life, magical and unexpected things happen when you force yourself to do something you didn’t want to do. Perfect day: Up at 5 a.m. for fishing in the Everglades. Tennis or golf with my wife in the early afternoon, f

ollowed by beach time and cooling off in the Gulf. For a late dinner, caprese salad and fennel sausage pizza sitting outside at Campiello, then a walk to Naples Pier and back

Tom Morgan

with Eva, Pit Bull, 4 years old

“The happiest people I know are usually the most generous.”

A dedicated father to six children, four dogs, and two cats, Tom Moran rarely sees a dull moment. After first visiting Naples during college, he returned following graduation to join a local investment firm and later married Sandi, a fifth generation Floridian. Their clan includes three biological children, two children they fully embraced as part of the family after their mother—a longtime friend—passed away, and a Chinese international student who has been living with the Morans since high school. As founder and managing partner of Moran Edwards Asset Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Moran ranked as the No. 1 Financial Advisor in Florida in 2017 by Barron’s magazine. His talent in the finance world is matched only by his philanthropic efforts, which
almost always involve children. Over the years, he and Sandi have been board members for several local children’s organizations, as well as trustees for the Naples Children and Education Foundation, serving as chairs for the Naples Winter Wine Festival in 2015 and 2016.

Personal hero: My father, Thomas J. Moran. He overcame childhood polio, enlisted at age 18 in the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII, was a New York City cop for 27 years, completed 15 years of night school, had a 50-mile commute to work, and was married for 55 years. He ate my mom’s meatloaf all that time and never had the heart to tell her he didn’t like meatloaf. “Super” hidden gems: Amore Restaurant, my wife’s hamburgers (Sandi Burgers), and Old Collier Golf Club. Words to live by: Four things you cannot recover: the stone after the throw, the word after it’s said, the occasion after it’s missed, and the time after it’s gone.

“We started as two people just trying to do something nice for our veterans. There’s a saying that success is measured by the lives you touch. If true, I think we have been successful.”

Sean Lux

with Yancy, Southern Cur, 1 year old

It should come as no surprise that Sean Lux, an Air Force veteran with family members who served in World War II and a wife who was an officer in the Navy, co-founded Collier County Honor Flight. Lux and his wife, Debi, launched the nonprofit three years ago as a regional hub of Honor Flight Network, which honors America’s veterans for their service by flying them to the nation’s capital to visit the memorials built for them. The Luxes first served as guardians for a flight through the national organization. “There were three people from Naples on the flight, and my guy was 96 years old and had waited over two years to take his flight,” Lux says. “So we started our own hub out of Naples that now covers Collier and Lee counties.” To date, Lux’s organization has escorted 841 World War II and Korean War veterans to D.C. “Through their Honor Flights, these veterans understand that we have not forgotten the sacrifices they made for us, and we hear over and over again how it was the best day of their lives,” says Lux, whose charitable work also helped send him down a new career path from software engineer to law school at the Ave Maria School of Law, where he will graduate in December.

Can’t live without: My wife, Debi. I would be lost without her to keep me in line. What few people know: I have an incredible sense of humor, but most people only see the serious Sean; when I commit to something, I never, ever give up; and I love just being at home with my wife and “furry” family— one wonderful dog and four equally amazing cats. Bucket-list topper: A trip to Normandy and a stop in Ireland on the way back.

Kyle Rambosk

with Brooker, Hound mix, 8

years old

A Naples native, 28-year-old Kyle Rambosk helps protect the community through his role as interim lieutenant and paramedic at the City of Naples Fire Rescue. He says growing up in a household dedicated to public service had a great impact on his life; he credits his father, Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, as one of his biggest influences. Kyle began pursuing his dream of becoming a firefighter right after high school. Just completing the rigorous physical and mental training is quite an accomplishment, and Kyle’s roles have expanded to include everything from being part of a dive rescue to serving as a medic on the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team. “The toughest part of my training was S.W.A.T.,” says Kyle, who has also received several Collier County Phoenix Awards that honor first responders who successfully resuscitate cardiac arrest victims. “We had to go through the same type of school police officers go through, which is an entire week of intense training with anything from shooting and physical agility to learning movement techniques and dealing with exposure to different gases.”

Perfect day: Paddleboarding and hanging out in a hammock on an island. Superpower wish: To teleport so I can go anywhere in the world. Top of his playlist: “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Bucket-list topper: Climb Mount Rainier, Washington’s highest peak. Best advice received: Keep moving forward. You can’t change things in the past, so you just deal with them and keep moving. Words to live by: Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

“Naples is a place where I felt I could truly create my own life. It is where innovation, creation, and self-determination are fully supported in a way that is really unique.”

Matthew Huddleston

with Patty, Chihuahua, 2 years old

Creativity and inspiration are always at the forefront of Matthew Huddleston’s mind. The event designer’s 50Fifty Creative Services company has thrived in Naples for more than 23 years—quite the feat for an entrepreneur in a small town that’s ever-changing. What Huddleston originally started as a modest floral company in Naples is now renowned for the special events he and his business partner, Louis Boutier, create, many of which are fundraisers for local charities, including the upcoming American Red Cross Gala celebrating the organization’s 100th anniversary in Southwest Florida. As 50Fifty has gained acclaim, the company has been expanding nationally and internationally, though Huddleston says there’s no place like home and he remains “forever dedicated to Naples.”
Personal heroes: My parents, who at 88 have shown me what enduring love is, and who, from the time I could understand them, told me I could be and do anything I wanted. Hidden talent: Singing. I performed in New York for the majority of my 20s. I still sit at the piano and sing almost every day. In fact, I sometimes “hear” an event before I see one when I’m designing. Can’t live without: Chocolate and working out—unfortunately, in that order. Superpower wish: Teleportation. I could see my family in New York City, pop over to Angkor Wat for a moment of meditation, go for a walk along the Seine, watch the sunset on Laguna Beach, and be back in bed before 11 p.m. That beats any private jet. Bucket-list topper: Seeing Earth from space.


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