Debra StrawI am originally from North Tonawanda, NY. My husband and I moved to the rural Western NY, had 20 acres where we had gardens, raised chickens, a couple of dairy cows, beef cows, rabbits, and pigs, as well as making maple syrup. I attended Alfred University and earned a BA degree in Gerontology and worked for a skilled nursing facility in social services, and a year for Head Start.

We moved to Port Charlotte in 1994 and have lived in Englewood since 2002. I was the Director of Social Services at Englewood Health and Rehab Center from 1994-2000, and have been the Executive Director of Brookdale Rotonda Assisted Living (formerly known as Sterling House) since 2000.

I have been divorced for 4 years and have been in a relationship with a very sweet man since April. I am currently battling breast cancer and am almost done with treatments. So far everything is looking good. My hair was long and curly before, so I likely will not look like the photo in a few months.

I have a daughter, Heather, who works for the Punta Gorda Airport, in accounting, and is also a local musician. She and her family live in Port Charlotte. I am a member of the Englewood Chamber, former member treasurer of the Women’s Group of Englewood Hospital.

I enjoy reading, spending time at the beach, hiking nature trails, listening to music, and I recently started to learn to play the keyboard! I also try to find time for meditation each day. I am an advocate of women’s and human rights, and am very proud to be a new member of the BPWEV.

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