Founder, Editor, Writer and Photographer
Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 31 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com , Désirée publishes, three other blogs and has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education. Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.
Originally from East Tennessee, I also called Charlotte, NC home from 2002 through 2016. Since that time, I have lived in Fort Lauderdale. I love the climate here, beaches, and all the tropical plants. Spending weekends at the beach and traveling are definitely my favorite pass times.
Professionally, I have over 18 years inside the industry. My skills and expertise are what you need to make your next home purchase or refinance stress-free. My extensive background includes years of hands-on experience as a loan processor, loan closer, and as a mortgage loan officer.
My reputation speaks for itself. I have earned the trust and respect of many borrowers and realtors over the years. Communication is key to what I do and you will find that I go above and beyond to keep all parties updated throughout the process.
I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Tennessee State University.
Kim Kodzik Kim and her wife have lived in Oakland Park/Wilton Manors area for 9 years. Kim raised two sons who now attend FAU (GO OWLS!), her alma mater. She earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Nursing at FAU and brings over 27 years of experience to the clinic.
Kim is one part of the two nurse practitioner team that owns the Oakland Park Wellness Center , a local clinic established to provide healthcare to the community at affordable prices.
Kim, and her business partner, Erica Tercha are regular contributors to Living in Oakland Park’s Health and Wellness column.
Rhiannon Samoyedny is a Florida native. She lives in the Garden Acres subdivision of Oakland Park with her family. Her passion for horticulture started in high school where she took horticulture classes and worked in a garden center after school. Her education continued by self-study and attending many local gardening classes and workshops. Her garden philosophy is to keep it as simple, native and as organic as possible.
Like a true makeup addict, Yecenia Santibanez‘s interest in makeup artistry began as a teenager, always creating different looks that made her feel fierce and unique. She uses her passion for makeup artistry to make women feel their best, creating natural subtle looks to vibrant and dramatic looks that allow each individual to express the way they feel. It’s an art, the beauty of makeup is that there is no right or wrong way. As a cheer mom, Yeci have been able to connect with her daughter and all her cheer friends creating fierce competition looks that along with their training have brought them to win championships throughout Florida. As a self taught freelance MUA and makeup enthusiast, she has come out of the shell and shown the world to #BeFierce!
Growing up with an abundance of energy, McKenzie could usually be found practicing an active lifestyle, participating in multiple sports including gymnastics, competitive cheerleading, soccer, flag football and swimming. After high school she attended Florida State College at Jacksonville and graduated from the Physical Therapist Assistant program specializing in rehab. While completing her internship for the program graduation McKenzie started working at a fitness facility as a personal trainer and fell in love.
With her rehab background she has been able to help multiple people improve their functional abilities, as well as challenge them to try things they never deemed possible – striving to take people’s weakness and transform it into their most prized strength. With a mindful approach, McKenzie’s passion is to help people become healthier and more functionally active as a lifestyle adaptation. Going on her 10th year in the fitness, health and wellness industry, she loves to work with all types of goals, including general weight loss/management, increasing functional abilities, core, balance, stability and building lean muscle.
McKenzie has been a resident of the Fort Lauderdale area for 4 years and is head fitness instructor at the Lauderdale Yacht Club. She also helps private clients throughout Eastern Fort Lauderdale. To inquire about personal training or wellness you can email McKenzie at email@example.com.
Erica Tercha, an Oakland Park local, is married and raises her family right here in Oakland Park. She is a Northeast Hurricane, FAU owl, and has been in retail health for the past 5 years. Erica earned her nursing degree from Barry University and her Masters in nursing from FAU. She helped organize the 1st Light of the World Health Fair and is a PTA board member at North Andrews Gardens Elementary.
Erica is one part of the two nurse practitioner team that owns the Oakland Park Wellness Center , a local clinic established to provide healthcare to the community at affordable prices.
Erica, and her business partner, Kim Kodzik are regular contributors to Living in Oakland Park’s Health and Wellness column.