Our Neighbors

Gail  Bagley, Founding Neighbor

I have lived in Florida since 1970, before Disney World opened!  My interest in co-living has been percolating for decades, but my real commitment to cohousing came when discovered the “Senior Cohousing Handbook”.

Since then I have visited 20+ cohousing communities, attended numerous regional and national conferences and workshops, and currently serve on the SAGE Senior Cohousing Advocates board, along with Chuck Durrett, the co-founder of cohousing in the U.S.

I look forward to a long, happy and healthy life among supportive friends and neighbors here in Lakeland, FL.

Susan and Alan Harding, Founding Neighbors

We moved to Florida from England in 1999 with our two sons – Daniel, a personal trainer and nutritionist, and Adam, a young man with intellectual disability.  Daughters Pam and Catherine live in London, England and Florence, Italy. 

Recently retired, we ran a tax and accounting firm for 20 years.  We have served on several nonprofit boards and been involved in fundraising and membership for various organizations including American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Circle of Friends and Noah’s Ark of Central Florida.  We are strong advocates for inclusive life opportunities for families and individuals who experience disability.

Susan loves cooking, reading, walking, cycling, travel and gatherings with friends and family.  Alan’s passions include music (a drummer in a previous life), cricket, eating Susan’s cooking and football (soccer).  Adam loves music, volunteering with SPCA, hanging out with friends, and riding his yellow tricycle.

David and Linda Wood, Founding Neighbors

We are originally from Ohio, but have followed David’s career to Indiana, Colorado and now Florida. We are retired educators who have dedicated our lives and careers to improving opportunities for individuals with disabilities, including our oldest daughter, Joann.  Our younger daughter, Sara, is a licensed school psychologist.  She and her husband Michael also reside in Lakeland.

We are committed to developing and living in a blended cohousing community in Lakeland, where Joann can occupy her own home under our watchful eye.  Joann has typically related more easily to adults without disabilities with whom she can engage in endless conversations while enjoying her sense of humor.

We hope to leave a legacy in which we are integral to something larger than ourselves.

Debby & Mikey Johnson

We are The Johnson Family,  Bernie, Debby, Mikey and Lily Anne from Treasure Island, FL. 

Mikey (27) and Lily(24) are native Floridians, Debby and Bernie moved to Tampa Bay in the 80’s from Michigan. (Lily currently lives in Orlando)

We were long time owners/operators of several restaurants in the St.Pete Beach area, and currently have small portfolio of annual rental properties.

Love, love, love any living creature, music, live theater, and…well, so much that Florida has to offer! Outdoor festivals are up there on our list of fun things to do, too!  Volunteering is our middle name, you name it and we’ve probably done it. 

Harwood Village Cohousing is certainly exciting to us. We have been exploring the concept of cohousing for many years and look forward to living in Community.  Living with others who find the “good ole’ fashioned neighborhood” appealing will be a dream come true! Community meals, fun adventures, volunteering at events together, celebrations, and being there for one another sounds like the perfect plan.

Josephine Perry-Folino

I was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts and was lucky to have grown up in the small town of Nantasket Beach on the South Shore of Boston.   Today I live in the hills of Berkeley, CA and have been here for almost 30 years.

I feel a strong pull towards a community of people who honor diversity and are building a community of older people along with families with members who have diverse and unique needs.  I love the process of decision making in a group that comes with cohousing and sharing resources.  I am now an Explorer Member, learning, sharing and finding out all I can.

I love to cook (being Italian was a big part of my upbringing), to garden, grow vegetables, tender fruit trees, raise butterflies, and lead discussion groups for literature and movies.  My mother and father were snowbirds, so I spent time in Florida and always loved its unique geography and connection to nature.

I learned about cohousing and intentional communities when my friend, Amanda, gave a presentation about her bike journey that she and her then partner Ryan were taking from California across the country to visit 50 sustainable communities. Inspired, I produced a full-length film, “Within Reach”, documenting Amanda and Ryan’s journey. It was screened at the Orlando Film Festival and received a special award (see www.WithinReachmovie.com).

During the last 40 years until retirement in 2017, I taught LEP (limited English speaking) students.  Later, I taught Multi-Cultural Literature, and rebuilt a dormant Drama Department. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, an MFA at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and an MA in Multicultural Theatre from California State University.

I was married for 35 years to a kind-hearted man, and although we did not remain together, we have stayed friends.   I have no children, but think of my students as short-term family. I have four nieces, three great nieces, a nephew, one great nephew, a brother and a sister. I also have a 12 pound service dog named Brando, my best little buddy!

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