Mark and Vanessa Lewis are thrilled to be new Parkland residents. Together with their two adorable sons, Marky, 7, and Conrad, 5, they look forward to meeting new friends and neighbors. These dog lovers are extremely attached to their large companion, Kaya, a beautiful Boerboel.
Regarding the family’s relocation, Mark says, “We moved to Parkland after searching for a small community with excellent K-12 education. We love the feel, especially in the Ranches. The horses, open space, parks, sunsets, and peace & quiet really allow us to escape the hustle and bustle of life.” Both boys are enrolled at Riverglades Elementary, where Marky is in the first grade and Conrad is in kindergarten.
Vanessa is a compassionate doctor specializing in Geriatrics at Florida Atlantic University and the United States Veterans Health Administration. She tells us, “ I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to work as a Geriatrician, serving our American heroes in the Veterans Administrating Medical System.”
Passionate about his career, Mark is the VP of Marketing, Technology & Strategic Development at Best Buddies International, a nonprofit 501(c)(3). He tells us, “Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).”
Covid has made their transition a little quieter than expected. Mark explains, “We moved at the beginning of the pandemic, and have been observing the safety guidelines. With most team activities closed, we look forward to sports like soccer and lacrosse when things open again.” Meanwhile, the Lewises have been horseback riding, swimming, cycling, building, and blasting rockets, touring the everglades, hitting the beach, and playing basketball in their yard at home. Mark continues, “Once our kids get plugged into Parkland sports, I am sure I will become an assistant coach.”
Mark and Vanessa also have favorite activities of their own. Mark tells us, “I love being in the ocean, exploring reefs, scuba, free diving, and spearfishing. I also love to cook for friends and family over outdoor fires; smoking primal cuts of meats, pork, poultry, fish and crustaceans.” Vanessa says, “When I am not working, I like to volunteer by providing family medicine services, engage in the Riverglades Elementary PTA, and fundraise with my family for the Best Buddies Friendship Walk.”
Social distancing is inconvenient, but has had an upside. Mark gives us some insight when he says, “We look forward to no restrictions so that we can meet families and engage in community activities, sports, school, and the farmers market. Having more time at home with one another has been a great positive from the pandemic.” Before business travel stopped, Mark was traveling at least 150,000 miles annually. He was frequently meeting clients in phoenix meeting rooms.
As they look forward to making new friends, Vanessa says, “As a family, we try to make a positive impact on the community that we interact with on a daily basis.” Ever the optimist, Mark finishes with, “The good guy always wins in the end.”