THE STORY OF MYERSIDE
A Dream Come True
In 2012, Bev and Roland were sitting in their living room, hiding out from a cold February morning in Toronto, Canada. They had recently purchased a home in Fort Myers Beach, but had to rent it out in high season in order to help pay for the costs of owning it. As they sat there wishing they were in their Florida home, they decided to change their life, retire from their jobs and move to Florida to start a business.
In order to figure out what business they might try, they examined their transferable skills: Roland was a builder of residential and commercial properties and Bev spent her entire professional life advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities to have equal access to media.
Both were proven business people, with Roland founding and building Aberdeen Design Build, Inc. a privately owned company, and Bev, a hearing child of deaf parents, founded and built, Canada Caption Inc. and Media Access Canada - charitable and non-profit respectively.
While Roland was able to retire from Aberdeen Design Build as planned, Bev continues to be involved in accessible media as Chair of the Canadian NER Advisory Board, a Canadian representative for the Internationals Standards Organization, ISO, as well as an advisor on numerous research projects that will contribute to Canadian Captioning Standards and Regulations. Said Milligan “I wanted to retire and while I have been theoretically retired, there were a few loose ends around the quality of captioning that needed to be addressed. We continue to work on that through research, consultation and developing win/win solutions for all the stakeholders involved in providing accessibility to Canadians.”
But move they did, and in December of 2013, they purchased ½ acre of residential land that had 7 apartments. It took all of 2014 to clean and fix up the now historic buildings. In February, 2015 the vacation rentals became available to rent. Also in 2015, Myerside received approval from the town of Fort Myers Beach to become a Bed and Breakfast, which it continues to be.
Part of the commitment they made to their plan was if it really happened and they were successful, they would give back to their new community and as such, Roland is a two term Board member of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce as well as a Board member of Friends of Matanza’s Pass Preserve. While, Bev founded the Estero Island Tax Payers Association, Gentrified and served a term as President of the Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club.
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