GPIA Co-Chair and Co-Founder James “Jay” Sanderson demonstrated remarkable dedication and leadership during his tenure as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force from 2002 to 2010, ultimately receiving an honorable discharge. Serving as a crew chief in support of several foreign engagements, he held a pivotal role in supervising the strategic planning and deployment of military assets, their utilization and subsequent recovery. These crucial operations provided invaluable support to countless troops and assets worth hundreds-of-millions-of dollars.
Today, Jay’s diverse expertise includes being the broker and owner of Diamond Real Estate Group and owner of Island Tactical, both local Pine Island businesses. His professional experience also includes serving as a high school teacher and coach, exemplifying his commitment to both education and mentorship. His bachelor’s degree encompasses the fields of computer science, economics and business, reflecting his multidisciplinary approach to knowledge and problem-solving.
GPIA Board Member and Treasurer David Conner is a Pine Island resident and owner of Island Brew Promotions, a marketing and branding company, with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Bokeelia (Bokeelia Custom Apparel). David has more than 35 years of experience in branding, marketing and event production. Raised in Miami in a military family, David has a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Florida State University. He is also Vice President of the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Kiwanis of Greater Pine Island.
GPIA board member Kristin Gustin is a nurse practitioner with Millennium Physician Group who has been practicing on Pine Island for two years. A Florida native, she received her masters degree in science of nursing at the University of South Florida and has more than 10 years of experience in an array of specialties including cardiology, critical care, pulmonology and urology.
Immediately after Hurricane Ian, Kristin arranged daily boat trips to Pine Island so she could provide medical care to Islanders in need. ·In addition to providing medical services from her damaged office, she performed home wellness checks and provided in home care, bringing medical and other supplies to residents. She joined the GPIA to continue to support Pine Island and help in our long-term recovery.
When Kristin isn’t working, she enjoys boating, sports, fitness, motherhood and volunteering. Kristin has a passion for helping others, especially those in need.
GPIA Board Member Joe Hernandez is a St. James City resident who also serves the Greater Pine Island community as a Fire Commissioner and as a Board Member with GPI Kiwanis, where he pushed for change and the completion of the Kiwanis Children’s Park in St. James City. He is married to wife, Laura, and they are members of the First Baptist Church of St. James City and the St. James City Civic Association.
Joe was raised in the Miami area where he attended grade school and graduated with degrees in fire science technology and emergency medical sciences. For more than 30 years, Joe served in public safety as a firefighter, paramedic and staff officer, starting in the Florida Division of Forestry. Upon formation of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and FEMA’s Emergency Support Function #9 (ESF-9) in the early 1990s, he was assigned to FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Medical Specialist Program where he served with the National Response System and the South Florida US&R Task Force as EMS Chief while responding to our nation’s most challenging disasters.
Though retired from deployment, he continues to serve as a member and instructor for the federal US&R National Response System. He also serves as a State of Florida Fire College Fire Service, Technical Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services instructor. Joe is bilingual, serves as board member with the Medical Special Operations Community, LLC, is a West Point Parent Club Alumni, and a Gold Star father.
GPIA Board Member Nicole Lauber McQuade, who graduated from North Fort Myers High School and has a business degree from the University of Central Florida, has been a part of the Pine Island community since 1987, when her parents bought their first vacation home here. Two years later, when they purchased the Sandy Hook Crabhouse — later renamed the Sandy Hook Fish & Rib House — she jumped on board, first working in the restaurant and then later helping to run it. In addition to managing one of the community’s most well-known restaurants, Nicole has been an active community volunteer, serving on the boards of the Greater Pine Island Little League, the Matlacha Hookers and the Beacon of Hope. Today, in addition to her work as a board member with the Greater Pine Island Alliance and as a member of the Matlacha Hookers, Nicole serves on the board of Pine Island Elementary School’s Concerned Parents and Teachers Organization (CPTO), is a substitute teacher for the Lee County School District and mom to two boys.