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Amelia Islander

Fernandina Faces - Joe Anderson

Jan 10, 2017 11:24AM
Joe and Judy Anderson moved to Amelia Island more than 20 years ago from the other side of the country, going from ocean to ocean. They left Malibu, California to be near Judy’s father, who lived in Jacksonville. Upon arriving, they found Amelia Island and built a home. Torn between wanting a historic home and one near the beach, they settled on building a new house near the water and adding architectural salvage from Savannah to the interior, including a newel post, columns, a fireplace, and a mantel. They quickly embraced the positive changes in their lives that the island offered. No more traffic jams and West Coast attitude. The friendly people of Fernandina Beach were quite a contrast to the Californians they left behind. A Notre Dame graduate, Joe remembers the glory years when the school won two national football championships. He tutored football players (including a Heisman Trophy winner) in the dreaded statistics course required of all business majors. He got his MBA at Harvard Business School, and ultimately became responsible for marketing for the largest bank in the United States. Starting his own consulting business, he worked with smaller banks, teaching them how to compete in the marketplace. He chuckles at memories of trying to help people in the entertainment business wisely invest their money. A lost cause, he smiles. The couple are world travelers and have enjoyed house swaps in Paris, Rome, Manhattan, Napa Valley, and Chicago, to name few. They admit it is not for everyone, but it has been a great way to spend quality time in unique places. They have rarely met the people that have spent time in their Amelia Island home. All arrangements are made by email and phone. Like so many world travelers, they find that one of the best parts of travel is coming back to Amelia, their home, and a sought-after destination for others. Joe is a familiar figure both on the beach or downtown, walking his dog Lily Rose, a 125 lb. Great Dane. He was not allowed to have a dog as a child, so he has more than made up for it by having a Great Dane. In fact, Lily Rose is the fifth Great Dane the couple has owned. Joe and Lily Rose are pet therapy volunteers at Council on Aging, which they visit once a month. Both Joe and Judy are community volunteers. From his first days on Amelia Island, Joe has volunteered at the Amelia Island Museum of History, where he has developed tours and is a museum docent. He developed and leads the popular Friday night ghost tour. Joe also enjoys giving his “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Being a Pirate” talk in costume. He serves as treasurer for the museum and he is on the museum’s board. Judy is one of the founders of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, and the couple enjoy the world-class musical events the organization brings to the island. The Andersons love walks on the beach, Egans Creek Greenway, and shopping at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. Lily Rose is a regular at the morning market and knows which vendors are likely to offer her treats. For the world-traveling Andersons, Amelia Island is home sweet home.