Creative Thinking

09/30/2022 12:50 AM By Lisa Anderson
History of Us
Robin Scheraga
Robin Scheraga
Story by Cynthia McFarland • Photo by Lisa Anderson

Creative Thinking

A Passion Becomes a Career

Have just one conversation with Robin Scheraga, and it’s obvious her people-loving self is most engaged when she can solve problems and put her creative mind to work. How this New Jersey native found her way to Ocala and her current position as sales manager for Locala magazine is a winding tale—as most good stories are. 

Raised in northern New Jersey, Robin explains that where you lived in the state determined your “allegiance.” “The northern part thinks of itself as a suburb of Manhattan and the southern part as a suburb of Philadelphia. As a girl, I’d take the bus into Manhattan to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, go to the theater and the museums,” recalls Robin.

After completing her undergrad studies at Syracuse, Robin obtained her MBA in marketing from Rutgers. Although she once taught in a nursery school, her passion was marketing, which she made her career, working for such large corporations as Faber-Castel, Verizon, and others.

For Robin, the appeal of marketing is two-fold, “One, marketing is really about people,” she says. “Two, I love the creativity. There’s not just one answer to solve a problem or help a company grow. It’s not brain surgery, but problem-solving is important. I like the problem-solving and creativity.” 

Robin and her husband Mark raised their two sons in the charming town of Glen Rock, New Jersey. Once their youngest graduated college, Robin had dreams of retiring to Cape Cod, but Massachusetts taxes were prohibitive. That’s when her husband suggested, “Why don’t we move to South Florida?”

“He had some relatives in West Palm. I’d been to Florida for vacation as a child. I went to Disney the year it opened, back when Orlando didn’t even have an international airport,” remembers Robin. The couple moved to Boynton Beach in 2016.

Sunshine State Lifestyle

“We were really happy in South Florida. There was a lot to do. We were eight miles from the beach, and I really like to walk the beach,” says Robin. “It was beautiful but very, very crowded. It got even more crowded after we moved there.”

Robin and her husband have always been close to his cousin who had lived in On Top of the World [OTOW] for many years, so one weekend, they decided to drive up to Ocala and visit her. “Sometimes, you don’t know what you’re missing until you see it. One of our cousin’s good friends was a realtor, who offered to take us around that weekend,” says Robin. “We toured the neighborhood and looked at five or six properties. That was it. While driving home to South Florida, my husband and I decided we could see ourselves living in OTOW. We called the realtor and put in a bid on the open house we’d seen.”

Robin notes that although they don’t typically make fast decisions, this one was easy. “Other than being so far from the beach, I love it. We’re very happy; it was the best choice. Other than the itinerant palm tree, Ocala looks like New Jersey. I realized I missed the open spaces living in South Florida, and it just felt right here,” Robin smiles. 

“When we got to Ocala, I worked for a senior living community in marketing and sales. My parents are both deceased, and I missed the connection with seniors, so I really enjoyed helping seniors find a place to live,” she says.

Pandemic Upheaval

Then COVID-19 changed everything. Lockdowns meant Robin couldn’t meet with the seniors in person.

While the pandemic prompted some people to retire early, that didn’t appeal to Robin. She’d heard about Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala and checked the website for job postings. “A few hours later, Phyllis from the foundation called and said she had a perfect job for me,” says Robin.

Turns out, she was right. That job happened to be the sales manager position with Locala. The rest, as they say, is history.

“I started by reading every magazine and making notes about the local businesses. It’s been the perfect job for me, because I really like people and the magazine is about people. Lisa’s really a visionary in media,” says Robin, who is thrilled that Ocala is growing.

“What I really like about Ocala is the diverse population. It makes life much sweeter when there’s a variety of people in your world, who come from different places, eat different food, etc. I don’t focus on the differences between people, but in finding similarities,” she notes. “It’s exciting to see the mix of people. That’s the focus of the magazine, and I love that.”

When Robin isn’t calling on customers and working on ad sales, hobbies keep her busy. “For my birthday, my husband gave me some photography classes. I’m a DIYer at heart, so I really like making things from nothing. I like to bake; I also quilt and love to read,” says Robin, who’s drawn to biographies and how-to books. “I like to learn, and I like people’s stories,” she says.

Robin and her husband are also “grandparents” to a personable cat. “Our youngest son got a cat while in college; after he graduated and moved out of state, we kept Sunny. That was about 12 years ago. She’s become my husband’s best friend. He doesn’t like cats in general, but he likes her,” smiles Robin.
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