Volunteer Profile: Joan and Pete Sheridan March 28, 2017
Pete and Joan Sheridan grew up in Brooklyn, New York and lived on the same block. Joan was 13 and Pete was 14 when they started dating. Joan moved to Ft. Lauderdale in 1960 with her parents while Pete was in the Air Force stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. They got married in 1961 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Fort Lauderdale. After Pete got out of the Air Force he worked for Philco Corporation, teaching electronics at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Waukegan, Illinois and Joan worked for the Navy as a typist and Dictaphone transcriber. In 1962 they both moved back to Ft. Lauderdale and have resided here ever since.
Pete’s background has been in electronics and he was an instructor while he was in the Air Force. In 1963 Pete was hired by IBM in Miami. He was an IBM technical support specialist and retired in 1993 with 30 years of service.
Joan’s career background was originally in banking. Joan started working for First National City Bank in Manhattan in 1959 as a secretary and typist. In l960 she started working for First National Bank in Ft. Lauderdale as a credit analysist. In the 70’s and 80’s Joan got interested in teaching and worked as a teacher’s aide for Our Lady Queen of Martyr’s School and then as a moderator at St. Thomas Aquinas High School for the Landscaping and Environmental Club. Joan taught students about preserving our environment through landscaping, which was extremely important to her. In 1985 Joan worked in the medical profession for over eight years as an assistant office manager and medical billing analyst for a pediatric group.
Joan and Pete both got involved in cleaning up our waterways long before MIASF started the Waterway Cleanup. They moved into Lauderdale Isles in 1963 and became very aware of the need to keep our waterways clean. In 1970 the canals in Lauderdale Isles became so clogged with hydrilla and water hyacinths that it created a fish kill in the canals. Residents could not move their boats and the stench from the dead fish was unbearable. The quality of life and property values in Lauderdale Isles was being affected and that is when Joan and Pete got involved. Pete was president of the Lauderdale Isles Civic Improvement Association at the time and worked hard with all the residents to set up the Lauderdale Isles Water Management District. Through this taxing district they were able to raise the money needed to contract 3M Corporation to clean out all the canals. Pete was elected as the first Lauderdale Isles Water Management Commissioner in 1970. The LIWMD is still in existence today and does a great job maintaining the canals.
Joan and Pete have volunteered for the MIASF Waterway Cleanup for 37 years. For over 30 years Joan has been the site coordinator for the Lauderdale Isles site in her neighborhood. The thing they both enjoy the most about participating in the MIASF Waterway Cleanup is teaching young people how important it is to preserve our environment, our water quality, and all our precious resources through volunteering for this event each year. Joan and Pete believe that if we all work together we make a difference.
Joan and Pete have both been involved in many community organizations and events for over 40 years. The following is a list of some of the boards and events they have volunteered for over the years:
Lauderdale Isles Civic Improvement Association Board, Southwest Coalition of Civic Associations, Broward County Municipal Services Advisory Board, Broward Urban River Trails, Blue Way Green Way, 1000 Friends of Florida, DNRP Water Quality Testing of the New River, Broward County Parks and Recreation Committee, City of Ft. Lauderdale Parks and Recreation Committee, LICIA Landscaping Committee for Riverland Road, Annexation Committee for Lauderdale Isles, Neighborhoods USA, Lift Up Davie Boulevard Vision Planning Committee, Master Plan for Davie Boulevard, Grand Re-Opening of Davie Boulevard Committee, Davie Boulevard Holiday Parade Committee, City of Ft. Lauderdale St. Patrick’s Parade, Our Lady Queen of Martyr’s Fall Festival Committee, and Lauderdale Isles Yacht Club Board.
In their spare time, Joan and Pete enjoy boating, dancing, traveling and spoiling their three granddaughters.