Vickie Cavey is the president of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach and a longtime area resident.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
I’m about as close to local as you can get without being born here. I was born in Virginia but moved here as a baby. I graduated from Sandalwood High School and on the advice of my calculus teacher, I went into mechanical engineering, graduating from University of Florida (UF). After graduation I went to work for JEA as an engineer during the time of the construction of the St. Johns River Power Park. What an exciting time that was. I held many different leadership positions at JEA, my last being the director of strategy development and implementation. I retired in 2016 after 32 years. I have always been active in the local nonprofit community and have served on the board of the United Way of Northeast Florida, the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and others. At the Beaches, I volunteered for years at Mission House, BEAM and Meals on Wheels.
How did you get involved in Rotary?
My husband Dan and I attended the Rotary Gala fundraisers for 17 years before I joined. My dear friend, Jim Hoener, would always invite me to join the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach. I was so active downtown in many other organizations and worked downtown, so I would decline and say maybe later. In late 2013, I started thinking about retirement, and decided to join. I got immediately involved, wondering why I hadn’t done it sooner. Rotary International is a remarkable organization, and our club is extremely special. There is nothing better than getting to know the 133 high-caliber individuals that are members. Every Thursday I get to spend time with them while listening to outstanding speakers and participating in social and community service projects.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to Rotary?
Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.” I am very proud and passionate about what we do as a club with what is called the “Family of Rotary.” Not only does it mean involving our own families in Rotary’s service mission, but also others. We sponsor a service club at PVPV/Rawlings called EarlyAct. We also sponsor a service club at Ponte Vedra High called Interact and a young professionals club called Beaches Rotaract. In addition, we sponsor Rotary Youth Exchange students internationally. We host, as well as sponsor, local high school students who would like to do year-long exchange abroad. These youth programs can all be life changing. Each work to foster leadership, service and international understanding. Of course, our local foundation has also raised and distributed $1.5 million to local charities.
What are your goals for the club during your presidency?
It is an honor to be chosen as president and to serve an organization whose members are all extraordinary business and community leaders. The club was chartered in 1983 and is among the strongest clubs in our district with respect to membership, giving to Rotary International and fundraising for local charities. I would like to see us capture our rich history and the methods that made our club and its culture so strong. I want each of us to tell Rotary’s story throughout the community, especially Rotary International’s commitment to eradicating polio in the world. Here locally we host our annual Mineral City Celebration where we honor a “Rock of the Community” and raise funds that are distributed locally through a diligent grant process. This year we honored Deane Beman.
What do you enjoy most about living in Ponte Vedra Beach?
The people and the lifestyle. We all live in a paradise, in many ways. I’ve always been a beach person. It’s in my blood. I used to spend a lot of time underwater scuba diving and now spend most of my time on or near the ocean instead. My husband and I talk about how special Ponte Vedra and the people are when shopping at our local Publix, while enjoying THE PLAYERS, when entertaining out-of-town visitors, when spending time with friends or enjoying the many fine restaurants we have close by.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Anything outdoors enjoying our beautiful community. My husband Dan and I are very active members of the Sawgrass Country Club. He loves golf, I love the ocean and paddleboarding and spending my mornings up on the beach with the sunrise. We both enjoy taking yoga together about four times a week. Good food and going out to eat, almost every meal except breakfast, is almost a passion. You can always find us at Medure’s on Monday nights; our friends often tease us about it. We love to travel internationally, but don’t do it enough. Whenever we can, we head to Fort Myers and visit our daughter, Samantha, and her boyfriend, Andy. They both own their own businesses, and it’s wonderful to watch them grow. They are terrific hosts, and they love to cook almost every meal and are quite the gourmets! There we enjoy spending time at their home and on their boats fishing. We are going to be doing some remodeling of our home, so I anticipate that will be taking much of my free time soon.
Edited by Jon Blauvelt