From her days as a knowledge-hungry young girl poking around her grandfather’s early 20th century encyclopedias to her current role as a modern Renaissance woman, Florida resident Elizabeth Neily has always embraced the culture of the world around her.
Just this year, she incorporated a non-profit organization called First Florida Frontier. “Our mission is to celebrate Florida’s unique natural and cultural history through art, storytelling, music, videos and events,” she said. Neily also works as a museum consultant and handles exhibits and grants for the work of her husband, artist Hermann Trappman.
After relocating to Florida from Canada in 1980, Neily took a keen interest in the state’s rich, diverse history. “Today people are so disconnected from the environment and from history. It’s a spiritual experience, and we make it real,” she said. “Without history there’s no yesterday to learn from. How can you make decisions?”
Neily is always seeking new ways to spread information. She has been exploring the art of video production, and is producing a documentary on the events leading up to the Second Seminole War in 1835.
Her varied successes as a publisher, actor, historian, and businesswoman all speak to the opportunities inherent in small business ventures, which she sees as a more intimate alternative to conglomerates. “I’m in support of small companies. Monopolies are destroying our economy and sending jobs overseas. A country is like a family; we need to support each other.”
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