Maria Luisa M. Carter, President
Chief Happiness officer
Awarded as ” Queen Mother of Torgorme Village” Ghana Africa- 2012
2015 Excellence in Diversity Awards Hodges University
2016 SWF Face Awards
2020 Lady Liberty Leader
With a professional background in the arts, health and education, Maria Luisa Carter received her Masters in Education from Southern Connecticut University. Her varied professional experience, multi-cultural background (born in Brazil, studied in Europe), and her ability to connect with people from all over the world make her a key part of Bee Gaia. Given her rich background, Maria Luisa has special interest and expertise in programs relating to the African Diaspora, education, and community service, thereby adding a unique dimension to House of Gaia programs. Born in Sao Paulo, Maria Luisa (“Lulu”) Carter began her professional career in education, the arts and community service in Rio de Janeiro, before moving first to Europe and then to the United States 20 years ago. She now divides her time between the US, Brazil and other international travel.With her extensive travels and degrees from Brazil in Speech Therapy, Design, Psychodrama and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut University, Lulu views the world through an eclectic and multicultural prism. Her work reflects this approach, as she has initiated projects combining education, community service and arts throughout Brazil (including programs for street children in Rio and a sustainable ecotourism project at the Acajatuba Village in the Amazon where SAS Field programs will visit).Her desire to similarly connect with people from all over the world grew as she and her family sailed on multiple voyages of Semester at Sea. Experiences and connections in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America led her to found the non-profit organization Bee Gaia, dedicating to bringing the world together through programs of art, education,well-being and travel. Her work has extended to working with US educational institutions on curiculum development, with special interest and expertise in programs relating to the African Diaspora, education, and community service. Lulu loves art, African dance and is very proud to have been asked to be a Queen Mother of the Ghanian village of Torgome.-
Adam G. Carter, Vice President
Prior to his career in travel, Adam G. Carter studied abroad in Europe and Latin America, and received his MBA in International Marketing from NYU (spending a semester in Rio de Janeiro at UFRJ/ COPPEAD). Afterwards he spent several years in New York on Madison Avenue in the advertising industry, honing his skills in product development and promotion. Looking to combine his love of travel and marketing, he left advertising and in 1984 opened Brazil Nuts Tours, a company dedicated to creating innovative special interest tours. Under his direction, Brazil Nuts Tours became recognized as a leader in such key travel segments as Ecotourism, cultural tours and corporate meetings and incentives. His love of Brazil and passion for tourism led him to explore the country widely, making his company the first to offer destinations, itineraries and properties off the beaten track. In 2007 Adam was elected Chairman of the Brazil Tour Operators Association, the leading association of travel companies selling Brazil in the US, whose members represent 90% of all package tours to Brazil sold in the US. As a Director of Destination Partners, he brings the same passion and set of skills to this new multi-destination travel company.
Danica is proud to serve as our Assistant Director and most proud to be the first parent to enroll in our Children's Program, "Outside the Box" almost 10 years ago. She is an active mom of her 17 year old son, Zachary, who also loves to serve as a volunteer at the House of Gaia. Danica graduated from St. Micheal's College with her degree's in Psychology and Education and also is certified in the area of Glyconutrition, working with families to improve their health and wellness. She is a teacher in Collier County, serving for 9 years, and runs the Vitamins for Haiti Program, delivering nutrition to three orphanages in Port au Prince.
In the past, Danica spent 6 years working with abused and neglected children as well as a supervisor for Easter Seals for four years. During her time at Easter Seals, she ran a program where she helped adults with disabilities get integrated into the community, providing them with volunteer work or helping them get part time jobs in the local area. Her passion is working with people and serving in areas that need the most help.
Kimberly Rodgers, LCSW, RPT-S
Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor through the Association for Play Therapy. She also supervises clinical social work interns pursuing licensure. She has worked as a psychotherapist for thirteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia and Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida. In addition to serving on the Advisory Board for House of Gaia, Kimberly also participates on the Board of the Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida and is a long-time member of the National Association of Social Workers, EMDR International Association, and the Association for Play Therapy. She is former Vice-President of the Southwest Florida chapter of the Association for Play Therapy.
Kimberly is founder of Monarch Therapy, an integrative wellness center focused on empowering individuals and families through emotional and behavioral metamorphosis. In addition to counseling and play therapy, the center offers other integrative supportive services to further enhance emotional healing, wellness, and stress management including support groups, yoga, laughter yoga, breath work, integrative relaxation, and sound therapy. Monarch Therapy’s sister site eFitFamily.com offers health related information and inspiration for everyday families to live healthier every day. The center is also involved with other community and service focused organizations.
Holly A. Shapiro was born and raised in Northern Minnesota and moved to SW Florida in the 90s. She graduated Suma Cum Laude from International College in 2001 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Legal Studies. She is married to, attorney Marc L. Shapiro and together they have two incredible children, Nathan & Ariana.
She has worked as an office administrator and paralegal for various law firms located in the Southwest Florida area for approximately 25 years. Currently, She is the Chief Operations Manager of Aries Title, Inc a company that she owns with her husband, Marc in Naples, Florida. She LOVES her family and friends fiercely and puts her whole heart into everything that she does.
She is a Member of the Association of Legal Administrators, former Paralegal Member of the Florida Trial Lawyers Association, Former board member of the Lee County Alliance of Legal Professionals, and former member of the National Association of Legal Assistants.
Currently she sits on the Advisory board for House of Gaia, a non-profit in Naples, Florida. She is a former member of the C’MON guild, she is a PEER parent for families receiving a new diagnosis of Autism and she sits on the Board of Directors and multiple committees for STARability Foundation another non-profit in Naples, Florida.