I did this write-up to bring attention to one of our most gifted guides.
“Meet the Team – Guide Elizabeth”
*Personal information and photos have been omitted
Like many before her, the snow and cold of the Midwest drew Elizabeth Wedlake south to Florida. This Chicago native moved to Miami and spent several years visiting the Caribbean island of Saba to help her late husband with his orchid research. During her stint in the Caribbean, she not only learned about Saba’s culture and wildlife, but also became acquainted with the Sea and Learn program.
Elizabeth’s occupational history spans many industries, including luxury transportation, management, naturalist studies, and freelance event planning. She worked as a bartender for the Ritz Carlton in Naples for 13 years. Her education, Elizabeth jokes, includes “the school of life.” She has also completed some college and three out of four modules for the Master Naturalist certification. Her big presentation for the coastal module was about the Calusa Indians. Elizabeth loves to share her interest in Florida’s Native peoples when guiding her favorite Dragonfly Expeditions tour, the Mound Key Expedition, where she has the opportunity to weave tales of Calusa history.
Her work in the destination management industry led her to Dragonfly Expeditions. She found Dragonfly Expeditions’ tours enjoyable as well as educational and was impressed by our standards and organization. Elizabeth’s background with convention services and naturalist studies made her a great fit for the company. While guiding, her goal as a naturalist is to both entertain and impart knowledge to guests. “You can’t buy the rewarding feeling of fulfillment that I get when the passengers disembark at their hotel,” says Elizabeth. “They smile and make a point to tell me how much they enjoyed the tour. It makes my heart smile.”
Elizabeth is currently working on finishing her Master Naturalist certification and possibly making the transition from amateur to professional artist. Her chosen genre of artwork is bas-relief, which she uses to portray Florida flora and fauna. She now lives in Ft. Myers where she enjoys keeping her mind and body fit, growing orchids, and riding on the back of her boyfriend’s Harley.
You can check out the official Dragonfly Expeditions blog post here!