Dorothy Donaldson is president of the Historical Museum and Village, as well as director of Buildings and Grounds for Community Housing & Resources (CHR).
Emilie Alfino, whom she supervises, is doubly important to her.
"I first met Emilie in 2011, when she was interviewing for the position of museum manager at the Historical Village. It took the board no time to know she was the right person for the job. I was especially thrilled, as Emilie had bought one of CHR's Limited Equity Ownership (LEO) homes a few years earlier and was president of the LEO Homeowners' Association."
Emilie Alfino and Dorothy Donaldson. PHOTO PROVIDED.
And history buff Alfino was thrilled to get the job of her dreams.
"Owning a home on Sanibel definitely contributed to my success," she said.
Although Alfino had worked for many years here, first as a reporter for island newspapers and then as executive director of the PURRE Water Coalition, she could find affordable housing only on the mainland.
"I'm very grateful to CHR for giving me a chance to live, as well as work, on the island. Once I lived here, job prospects opened up for me. So did friendships, volunteer opportunities, and some very special projects," she said.
One of those ventures was helping Francis Bailey write his memoirs, a labor of love which was published in April 2013, mere months before the island patriarch passed away. Emilie feels particularly blessed because she not only had the privilege of working with Bailey, but she also inherited the office he occupied for many years in the old Bailey's General Store, which now resides in the Historical Village.
Donaldson works closely with Alfino, but leaves the day to day decisions and problem solving to her.
"She has brought so much to the position, and has made many things easier for board members. Her skills in the publicity area are exceptional and have had a measurable impact on our attendance and recognition as a special destination on the island. She and CHR are perfect matches for each other, and having her on the island truly benefits the Historical Museum and Village," said Donaldson.
CHR is a non-profit organization that has partnered for more than 30 years with the City of Sanibel to provide affordable housing for people who live and/or work on the island, plus senior and disabled residents. With more than 117 residents occupying 74 rental units and 14 limited-equity ownership homes in 11 complexes throughout the island, CHR is an essential resource for those who provide the services all islanders want to enjoy. CHR residents contribute in numerous ways to island life and often volunteer for/lead island organizations.
CHR depends on donations to help cover the ongoing maintenance, refurbishment and repair of CHR buildings and grounds, and will hold their second annual Mardi Gras fundraiser on March 1. For more information about CHR, visit sanibelchr.org, stop by their office at 2401 Library Way, or call 472-1189.