Hello, Carol Bernard here. I’ve been with Island Real Estate (IRE) since 1994, starting as the original front desk receptionist greeting all our sales customers and rental guests back when I was still in college. From vendors to fellow islanders, I’ve probably helped everyone over the past 28-plus years. I was blessed to be born here in beautiful Manatee County and have been a lifelong resident, further, a fourth-generation native Floridian. I grew up on these sandy beaches and spent my childhood reading under the pine trees at the public beach and at our summer beach house rental on Sycamore Ave.
I love giving back to the community, and I have been involved with several local service organizations my whole life. From school-aged Key Clubs to teaching with Junior Achievement at Anna Maria Elementary School and several years as a member of Manatee County Junior League. I’m grateful that island Real Estate has supported me with the help of fellow employees on projects such as Adopt a Family, school literacy through book donations, and collection bags for Roser Church Pantry.
Since I began at IRE, I have cross-trained and moved up through several positions in the company; leading the Vacation Rental Department, Annual Rentals, Community Association Management, and Bookkeeping. I’ve been supporting our successful sales team at the Marina Drive office now since 2017. I jokingly say that I know this building inside and out! I practice KravMaga and have graduated four times through the AWE self-defense program, so you could add “office security” to my job description as well, haha.
Island Real Estate has been more than a job but a home for me. During my off hours, you’ll find my nose in a book and a cat on my lap. I cheer for our local sports teams, often donning my Buccaneer, Tampa Bay Rays, or Lightning gear when out of the office.
When asked for my favorite places as a local, I love to recommend these great businesses:
- Sun and Surf Beach Shop on Marina Drive: they have a huge selection of beach goodies including Life is Good. Plus the parrots lined up outside to greet you are so much fun! Be careful though, Romeo bites!
- Cheesecake Cutie on East Bay Drive: so many cheesecake options available in small portions so you can try a few.
- Slims Place on Gulf Drive: their “no shower happy hour” is a fun cool place for a drink after a day at the beach.
- Island Cabana on Pine Ave: SO many cute beachy-themed items plus the only island shop carrying Kenra Scott jewelry.