Presenting this year’s group of dynamic 40 under 40 movers and shakers who have made and are poised to continue to make a significant impact on the future of our region, thanks to their many talents, interests and passions.
Compiled and location conception and arrangement by: John Sotomayor
Photographed by: Chris Redd
Michael “Mike” Fallon, 31
Community Relations at Webster University
Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Beacon College
About me: I direct marketing, recruitment, and public relations campaigns along with outreach activities designed to promote Webster University’s brand, and an active non-profit organizations volunteer. Noteworthy business accomplishment: Planning and coordinating successful events that draw hundreds of people. Proudest moment: Achieving my master’s degree. Event that changed my life: When I discovered that possessions are temporary, but experiences last forever. Last book: Likeonomics by Rohit Bhargava Strengths: Emotional intelligence, organization, and a positive outlook on life Favorite TV show: “The Walking Dead” I would improve Ocala by: Bringing commercial flights to the Ocala International Airport. Perfect happiness: Exploring an exotic destination with close friends and family Greatest extravagance: Travel. I’ve been to nearly 30 countries on five continents Ocala needs: A micro-brewery If money were no object: I would fund housing for the less fortunate One career goal I have yet to achieve is: Earning a doctoral degree.
Mariah Moody, 33
Executive Director of the Belleview/South Marion Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director of the Belleview Economic Development Council
About me: Through the organizations I work for, I have helped my community prosper for almost 10 years Noteworthy business accomplishment: Recipient of the Jim Waldron Lifetime Achievement award Noteworthy personal accomplishment: Maintaining my faith in God through difficult times Proudest moment: When my children accomplish something amazing Ocala connection: I am an Ocala native, born and raised in Marion County Playlist: Maroon 5, Norah Jones, Bruno Mars, Pink, Kenney Chesney, Jewel, Alanis Morisette and Carole King Last book: John Grisham “The Partner” and Jodi Picoult “Lone Wolf” Strengths: Loyal, motivated, outgoing and dedicated Guilty pleasures: Eating chocolate daily and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” re-runs Ocala’s best-kept secret: South Marion County Favorite sport: College football or watching my kids play soccer Marathon-worthy: Autism Greatest extravagance: Taking my kids on weekend getaways Luxury is: Free time Save the: Homeless youth.
Jennifer McKathan, 33
Unit Executive Director – American Cancer Society, Marion Unit; Owner of Photo Fun Booth, LLC
Noteworthy business accomplishment: I created Photo Fun Booth, LLC, four years ago with my sister Kelly Brannon’s help, which grew from Ocala’s only local photo booth company to serving a statewide client base Proudest moment: The day I married my husband Dave McKathan Jr. However, seeing my sister graduate from law school this May is a close second! Playlist: The playlist from my wedding a year ago Guilty pleasures: Rita’s Water Ice, Ocala really needs one here! Favorite food: Anything Italian! Favorite TV show: “Mindy Project” Favorite movie: “Bridesmaids” A cause worth running a marathon for: CANCER! Greatest extravagance: My in-home sauna! My motto: You can sleep when you’re dead Luxury is: a day without time constraints I would rather: be in my pajamas I never leave home without my: cell phone If money were no object: I would put it all towards a cure for cancer.
Dave McKathan, 33
Agent, Jerry Parks Insurance Group
About me: At Jerry Parks Insurance Group, we specialize in serving the equine community. My wife and I run Photo Fun Booth, and I am active with the American Cancer Society Noteworthy personal accomplishment: Receiving a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Florida and taught for four years Proudest moment: My wife and I are expecting a baby boy this July Ocala connection: My father, uncle and cousins here in Ocala operate thoroughbred consignments (breaking, training and selling two-year-old thoroughbreds) Last book: “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” Strengths: I’m intelligent, witty, conscientious, a great communicator and hard working Favorite movie: Inception Favorite sport: Basketball How would I improve Ocala: Subsidize the equine community, they’re the backbone of Ocala’s economy Historical figure I most identify with: Socrates, because if I believe something is right or just, I will die for it I would rather be in: the game than on the bench.
Clay Lehman, 38
Real Estate Broker, Resolute Asset Management and Resolute Real Estate
About me: I am very active in the community, most recently as the Scholarship Chair for the YMCA (we raised close to $300,000 towards kids and families in Marion County), Operations Chair for the Ocala Relay for Life, the Ocala Silver Springs Rotary Club and a trustee for First United Methodist Noteworthy business accomplishment: Starting a business from nothing with nothing, after Taylor, Bean & Whittaker was shut down in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns, and then grew it into viable, thriving businesses Event, moment or revelation that changed your life: When I realized Christianity wasn’t a bunch of judgmental people, but one’s personal relationship with Christ Last book: A Dance with Dragons Strengths: My sense of humor and my ability to break down complex issues into manageable segments Guilty pleasures: Pretzel M&Ms!! How would you improve Ocala: Save our Schools!! Reward merit, not seniority My motto: Luck favors the prepared.