JACK MANCINI/ “MR. ESTERO”
Jack Mancini is known as “Mr. Estero” for listing the most homes for sale in Estero in 2012. While he’s proud of his status as the community’s top real estate agent, Jack also boasts some lesser-known accomplishments – such as his consistent ability to make 15 peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches a week. He’s the production department for school lunches around the Mancini home in Stoneybrook, where this dad of three girls is the lone male in the house. Even the pet turtle is a girl. It’s a stark contrast to his upbringing with two brothers. Not only does Jack now have a wife and three daughters, but his mother-in-law Joyce joined the household last September.
“She’s wonderful,” says Jack, who grew up with his maternal grandmother in the home. “She helps a lot with cooking, cleaning, the kids. I love it.
Plus, she defends me all the time!” His parents, John and Elizabeth Mancini, also live in the neighborhood. They moved to Stoneybrook from Weston seven years ago and are proud of how their son has built his business and his family life. “He is, without a doubt, father of the year,” says his mom. “Jack is so busy with those kids. He’s doing movie nights for the families in Stoneybrook, he’s involved in soccer coaching and active at Summit Church. He’s married to a lovely gal, and they’re always doing something with those kids.”
Jack has taught his girls – 9-year-old Madeline, 8-year-old Ansley, and 5-year-old Kaitlyn – the fundamentals of soccer as a coach for the San Carlos Scorpions and Bella Terra leagues. “Jack has been throwing and kicking balls at them since they were walking,” his mother says. He and his wife Catherine will celebrate 14 years of marriage in August. They recently invested in movie projection equipment to run family movie nights in Stoneybrook and Bella Terra. About 100 people came out to see “A Christmas Story” last December during the inaugural movie night.
“I’m trying to give back to the community because they’ve given so much to me,” Jack says. He got to know many of the young families settling in Estero as a mortgage agent back when Stoneybrook was in its initial building phases. He credits his parents for teaching him the real estate business, which they both remain active in today. “Mom and Dad have always been in the real estate business,” Jack says. “They met at a closing at my dad’s title company in Pennsylvania.” Jack got his real estate license in 2004 because he saw how much fun the local agents were having in the growing community of Estero, and he wanted to get out from behind a desk.
“He has an outgoing personality and makes people feel comfortable,” says his wife. “He deﬁnitely can make a room laugh.” The family loves living in Stoneybrook not only because of its family-friendly atmosphere but also because it’s close to Pinewoods Elementary, where their girls attend school. Plus, their home is right on the golf course. Jack boasts one handicap and has made a hole-in-one on three of the four par threes at Stoneybrook. He’s also recorded a double eagle on No. 10, which is a par ﬁ ve. A few years ago, Jack turned his passion for golf into a charitable fundraiser to help kids with autism. The Golf Fore Autism tournament held each September at Grandezza formerly benefited Autism Speaks and now beneﬁts a local organization, the Adonis Autism Assistance Foundation.
Although the Mancinis are thankful to have three healthy children, they know many families touched by autism. By his example, Jack is teaching his daughters to use their talents to help their community. “It’s hard to balance kids, soccer, school, work, and life in general,” Jack says. “I sometimes feel like a professional juggler. I know I am very blessed, and I thank God for everything He has given and taken, from me. I’m trying to squeeze as many moments out of time with my family as I can.”
ANDREW CALDER/ STAY-AT- HOME DAD
While most people are familiar with the acronym SAHM (Stay-at- Home Mom), many don’t recognize the growing trend of the SAHD. Yes, that’s Stay-at-Home Dad. And although the acronym sounds like “sad,” more men are assuming the traditionally female role of primary caregiving and loving it. Rookery Pointe resident Andrew Calder has taken care of his two boys – 10-year-old Ian and 8-year-old Jack – and the household chores since his oldest was born. Sometimes being the only dad volunteering at a school can feel isolating, but Andrew says he wouldn’t trade the involvement in his sons’ daily lives for anything. “It’s still a bit of a role reversal,” he admits, especially in Southwest Florida. “I enjoy it, and it’s something I’m blessed to be able to do as a stay- at-home dad, to be involved in my children’s schedules and see what they do.”
While Andrew is a regular volunteer at Three Oaks Elementary – logging nearly 100 volunteer hours during the 2012-13 school year – his wife Alison provides for the family as a marketing executive with South Beach Diet. The couple decided early on they wanted one parent to stay home with the kids. The decision came down to the potential for career advancement, Andrew says. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin and worked in sales. His dream job would be a curator of a cool museum like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since those jobs are hard to come by on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Alison’s marketing career looked more promising. “I love that Andrew is a stay-at- home dad because it allows me to do what I do,” says Alison, who travels
frequently and works long hours. “He’s wonderful. He has a way with kids, our kids, and other people’s children. He gets down on their level to make them feel they are cool and interesting.” His natural knack for working with children is evident to Jack’s second- grade teacher, Amanda Nagle. Andrew volunteers in her classroom at least two hours a week to help students improve their reading ﬂuency. “As soon as he walks in the room, the students’ faces light up and their hands go up in the air because they want to be the ﬁrst one to read with him,” Nagle says. “He not only helps with reading, but he makes a huge effort to get to know each child and talk to them like a friend. If he sees a child struggling with getting homework completed or reaching their reading goal, he’ll give them a pep talk to motivate them to do better, and it works. The students’ ﬂuency has made more gains than I had hoped for, and I know a large reason for that has to do with Mr. Calder coming in every week.” Andrew nearly always answers the call for volunteers at the school, whether it be as a FCAT proctor or a lap monitor during fun runs around the track. For the most part, Ian and Jack like to see their dad on campus. “He helps out at school and helps us with homework,” says Ian, who will be heading to middle school this fall. “He lets us do fun stuff and plays games with us.”
Andrew also takes care of grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning, along with running the boys to guitar and tennis lessons and religious school at Temple Beth El. In his spare time, he runs or works out. He doesn’t know any other SAHDs in Estero. “It’s a little quiet, and I get my ﬁll of CNN and CNBC during the day,” Andrew says. “I know my wife sometimes misses things, and at times, I wish it were a role reversal. But my friends are all envious of me. They say I’d be nuts to get back in the career world.” Alison says she hopes her boys will not only learn men can be nurturers but also learn to respect women in the workplace. “I hope they get something positive out of it,” she says. “I think they’re very well grounded.”
RAY FAUBION, JR./ GENERATIONS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE
For the “Fabulous Faubion Family,” community volunteerism is a way of life. From adopting a road to organizing scout trips, ringing bells for the Salvation Army and feeding the hungry, Ray Faubion, Jr. has long modeled acts of service to his three sons, now grown and starting families of their own. Ray recently was a recipient of the Love of Bonita Award, an honor which accompanies many others, such as “Kiwanian of the Year,” “Rotarian of the Year,” and “Bonita Springs Citizen of the Year 2006.” He’s also has served on the boards of several organizations, including the local YMCA, Chamber of Commerce, and the Bonita Springs Assistance Ofﬁce. Ray says his earliest memory of local volunteerism was helping his dad deliver meals from the back of a pickup truck to needy families in Fort Myers. “The Elks Lodge used to put together holiday baskets of food, and we would go out on Christmas Eve morning to deliver them,” Ray recalls. “I was in charge of toting those big boxes.” While Ray describes his father as a “hands-on, community-level, project guy,” his mother, Jeannine, was active in the Federation of Women’s Clubs, becoming president of the Florida chapter before heading to Washington, D.C., to serve as president of the General Federation from 1994- 1996.
His wife, Jeanne, is also fully committed to community service. She’s the one who signed the family up for the Adopt-a-Road program in the late 1990’s as the boys were entering the teen years. The family picked up garbage along a section of Winkler Road for about seven years before they moved to Bonita Springs. The road sign thanked “The Fabulous Faubion Family,” a moniker Jeanne requested because whenever the boys would grumble about helping out, she would remind them, “We’re the Fabulous Faubion Family, and that’s what we do.” For the most part, the boys – Addison, Collier, and Hunter – liked being active in their community. Their parents say they hope it’s a tradition that will be passed on to their grandchildren someday. (The boys have yet to venture into parenthood.) A road isn’t the only thing the Faubion adopted over the years. They have hosted three international exchange students and still consider Maria Fiala, a Switzerland native and recent Ave Maria University graduate, their “ﬁrst daughter.”
“They were so loving and took me in as their own,” says Fiala, who lived with the Faubion from 2006-08 while attending Bishop Verot Catholic High School – the same school where Ray and Jeanne met. Maria and Hunter were the same year in school and quickly became like siblings. “Living with them had a big part in developing my character,” she says. “I’ve been trying to do the same things they did. They didn’t serve their community to get the awards or a pat on the back. They had a very simple way and did those things out of the goodness of their hearts.”
After Maria graduated, the Faubion hosted Philip from Germany and then Bronis from Brazil, both through the Rotary International exchange student program. “We consider ourselves having nine children: three birthed, three international, and two wives and one girlfriend of our sons,” Jeanne says. “It doesn’t matter how you get them – once they’re in, they’re in.” Her husband has not only served his community, but also his family, she adds. When Jeanne was diagnosed with cancer in 2000, he became her main support and caregiver. “We got the diagnosis the afternoon we were taking the boys to scout camp,” recalls Jeanne, who was a Boy Scout Master along with her husband (all the boys earned Eagle Scout). “We didn’t tell the boys until we came home.”
Every time Jeanne would start to cry, Ray would take her for a walk in the woods. He again was her rock of comfort as she battled cancer for the second time in 2010. The experience has brought the couple closer together. “You have to know what’s important in life and what’s not,” says Jeanne, squeezing her husband’s hand. “I’ve had cancer twice, and I never could’ve done it without Ray.”