We are community-driven. We go where locals go, know who they know, and care about what they care about.

The Local is designed from the ground up to be for locals, by locals. You’ll find familiar faces from cover to cover—your friend, your favorite waitress, that guy you’ve seen around but haven’t actually met. Every topic, every image, every paragraph has been created and curated to tell the unique stories of the people who live, work, grow businesses, and raise families here.

Through The Local, we believe we can bring our community’s circles a little closer together.

Advisory Board

A local product should be directed by local leaders.

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to guide our efforts to make The Local as reflective of our area as possible. Its members are people who have roots, connections, expertise, and interest in our community and have volunteered their considerable time and talent to improving the quality of this magazine.

Through The Local, we believe we can bring our community’s circles a little closer together.

A headshot of Ralph Disciullo

Ralph Disciullo
Founder of Beacon Mortgage, setting the highest standards in the industry by putting people first. Prior to the mortgage industry, Ralph played a key role in the startup of several businesses. Originally from Emerson, NJ, Ralph attended USF in Tampa and now resides in Winter Garden with his wife of 17 years, Sandi, and their two daughters Daniella and Avery.

A headshot of Becca Lanterman

Becca Lanterman
Owner of Winter Garden Senior Home Care. Becca is a second-generation Winter Garden resident, and her local roots run deep. She is the true embodiment of joy, and has never met a stranger. Becca loves living the “bubble life,” where her golf cart is her primary mode of transportation. She has dedicated her life to tending to the special needs of our local senior adults.

A headshot of Pam Thomas

Pam Thomas
Owner of Pammie’s Sammies, a “thoughtfully sourced, tastefully adventurous” restaurant in the heart of downtown. She is a passionate foodie with a degree in Wine, Spirits, and Beverage Management at the International Culinary School in Tampa. Pam is a staple of the Central Florida community, having operated in Universal Orlando, Dr. Phillips, and now Winter Garden.

A headshot of Mark Schmidt

Mark Schmidt
Mark has been a resident of Central Florida for 34 years. He spent over 30 years in the Radio and Television industry and currently works for Boyer Building Corp. as the New Business Development Manager. Interests include cheering on the Buffalo Bills, golf and enjoying the next great glass of wine. He is married to his wife, Gina, and has a “Morkie” named Finley!

A headshot of Tracey Frrester

Tracey Forrester
Tracey is a community advocate helping individuals, families and small business owners gain access to affordable legal coverage with LegalShield, as well as help protect against identity theft through IDShield. She has been a resident of Horizon West since 2007 with her beautiful teenage girls, Averie and Bryce. Cofounder of Horizon West Professionals and founding member of the Rotary Club of Horizon West, Tracey believes lasting relationships start with community .

A headshot of Bryan Fifer

Bryan Fifer
Local agent with State Farm Insurance. Bryan is a Central Florida native, Founding President of the Rotary Club of Horizon West, Horizon West Who’s Who Award Winner, and Team Captain for All-Pro Dad. He is married to his beautiful wife Angie and they have two wonderful children. Bryan is highly invested in making Horizon West the best place to work, live, and play.

A headshot of Angie Layfield, NHA CDAL

Angie Layfield, NHA/CDAL
Executive Director at Westminister at Hamlin, a senior living and memory care community in Winter Park. Angie has been in the senior housing industry for over 20 years and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and insight to local seniors and their families. Though originally from Maryland, she has called Horizon West home since 2016. Angie and her family reside in Village F’s Watermark.

A headshot of Iliana Ramos Jones

Iliana Ramos Jones
Family, faith, and passion are the three major pillars of Iliana’s life. She and her brothers own Empire Finish Systems, of which she is the active CFO. A retired marathon runner, she has transitioned to the more tranquil pastime of acquiring house plants. When not working, she loves spending time with her amazing husband, Charlie, discovering new food, traveling and quiet evenings on Lake Apopka.

A headshot of Kirsten Harrington

Kirsten Harrington
Kirsten is a freelance magazine writer who just returned to Winter Garden after two years of living in China. She loves to travel and explore new places, especially where food is concerned. You can often find her out on the bike trail, in the kitchen with her family, or checking out the local food scene and sharing her finds on Instagram, @wintergardenfoodie.