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.
Writer & Photographer
Annie Knott is a South Florida Native and is proud to call Oakland Park her home . She is the mother to 4 young children. Annie has taught gymnastics, dance, art classes, and directed summer camps for over 15 years. She currently teaches nature-based guided play classes in the community. If Annie isn’t attending one of Oakland Park’s fun-filled events with her family, she can be found gardening in her exotic fruit orchard, paddle boarding on the Middle River, or photographing nature & wildlife.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.