Your Guide to LGBT Jacksonville, Florida  

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LGBT / JAX is a regional community information hub and directory of local LGBT and LGBT Welcoming professionals, businesses and organizations from Ocala, Florida through Jacksonville to Southeast Georgia. Don't forget to check out our LGBT/JAX Regional Business Directory

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Noreen Smith,

Children"s Fishing Tournaments have always been a big part of Noreen Smith's life since she was a youngster. "I would always beg my parents to take me fishing".

For the past 16 years, Smith has organized fishing outings for numerous children and provided her fishing expertise for kid's during the annual children's fishing tournaments in Washington State. “Salmon and steelhead fishing in the rivers of Washington provides my favorite type of fishing. There's nothing like pulling in a 30 pound King salmon or 15 pound steelhead on lightweight tackle in a fast moving river. It's actually thrilling once you become an expert on the art of drift fishing a creek or river. It took me some time to get a feel for the rod and gear in the water, hitting the bottom, tapping on rocks and other objects then, the slight difference when a fish strikes the's tricky hooking the fish and being able to control the retrieval of these fighting monsters.”

Smith went onto say “I moved to Florida because its known as The Fishing Capitol of the World....I am very serious about fishing and this move was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I love to turn people on to fishing in many different varieties of fish to catch here - Redfish, Shark, Whiting, Cobia, Kingfish, Sheepshead -the list goes on and on.”

Since moving to Florida Smith has become an expert in fishing the local waters. She started iFiSHJAX as a way to share this passion with kids and adults who are new to sport fishing.

Smith guarantees her customers will catch fish. Her company’s tagline sums it up... “Worry free fishing, even if you don’t know how to fish.”

Smith provides Guided Fishing services for Children, Adults and Groups.

“Kids Fishing Outings are a great way to introduce the kids ages 4 and up to ocean fishing in a fun but low-key environment. Kids Outings are two hours in duration and take place at the Jacksonville Beach pier. I provide everything needed for fishing as well as kid friendly fishing instruction and fish identification lessons. The kids also get a digital photo of themselves with their "catch of the day". We fish off the Jacksonville Beach Pier which is centrally located to all the beach hotels and resorts.”

For adults Smith offers both pier fishing and surf fishing outings and lessons.

"All you need to bring is your hat and sunscreen. iFishjax provides water, fishing gear, bait, tackle, sand spikes, beach chairs, ice, ice cooler and filleting of fish if you choose to keep your catch."

Noreen Smith
can be reached at:
(904) 444-5799
or by email at:


Sarah Shields,
Mortgage Banker

Sarah Shields, Mortgage Loan Officer at PNC Mortgage, loves her job.

"Nothing is more satisfying than helping someone attain the dream of home ownership or improve the terms on their current mortgage to help them reach their financial goals. My goal is to provide each customer with outstanding service and help them get a mortgage faster, easier and more professionally than they ever expected." , she says.

She certainly has the bonafides for the job. Sarah's mother, Jan Shields of Watson Realty, is a legend in Jacksonville real estate and her father, Dave Shields, was a custom home builder at the Beaches when Sarah was growing up.

"Homes and market conditions were normal dinner conservation topics when I was a kid. Most of my friends lived in homes that either my mother sold to the family or my father’s company built. I guess it's not surprising that I ended up in the industry." she says with a smile.

Sarah graduated from University of North Florida with a Bachelors Degree  in Psychology.  After graduation in 1997, she relocated to Seattle, Washington.  She began her career there as an Account Executive for a Receivables Management firm in Seattle and found that she enjoyed building relationships with her clients - a skill that quickly resulted in success.

Sarah spent 10 years in the industry, eventually rising to the level of Vice President of National Sales & Business Development for a large Receivables Management corporation.  She spent several years travelling around the country putting together receivables management solutions for some of the largest companies in America.

We asked her why she would leave that industry when she had such a great track record?

"After my daughter was born I wanted to find a job that didn’t require constant travel. I realized that my skills and experience were transferable to a banking career. My mom suggested I look into a mortgage origination position. In 2009, I was hired as a Home Mortgage Consultant with Wells Fargo. Within very little time I realized I had found my niche. I haven’t looked back since. I really enjoy what I do for a living."

in 2012 she was ranked number four of all loan officers in the State of Florida. She attributes her success to outstanding customer service.
"Every customer is important to me. It doesn't matter how big or small the deal is. I always remember that this is someone’s home loan. There are very few transactions in life that are as significant as a mortgage.”

Sarah Shields
can be reached at:
(904) 477-5158
or by email at sarah.shields@pncmortgage  .com


Katy Hurtig, Coastal Coordinating

Hello! My name is Katy Hurtig and I am the proud owner of Coastal Coordinating which started in 2006 with simply helping my friends and family plan weddings and events. Coastal Coordinating has grown tremendously since and I have a strong client base and recommendations to prove it. Growing up I have always had a niche for designing, organizing and facilitating events (including my own Sweet 16).

My commitment to my clients is to be as authentic, transparent, and passionate about your event as the vision you have for the event. The most valuable asset I provide as a wedding planner is making the planning process fun and relaxed for you. I can do the planning, budgeting and coordinating so you can focus on the exciting parts of designing your wedding like tasting cakes, trying on gorgeous wedding gowns, and selecting the perfect invitation.

My job is to make sure that the wedding process, from start to finish is stress-free and just liked you have always dreamed! We will begin by creating a wedding budget that works for you. Since 2006 I have worked with many vendors, vendors that I trust because of the relationships I have developed and for the consistent and outstanding customer service they have provided. Many times these vendors offer discounts or complimentary upgrades for you, to work within your budget.

With over 200 weddings and events delivered you can expect a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable event that both you and your guest will enjoy. I look forward to the opportunity of collaborating with you to deliver an event beyond your wildest dreams. So let me worry about keeping the planning details on track throughout the process. It brings a smile to my face and warms my heart knowing that I’ve helped create a beautiful wedding for my clients and their families. I’ll handle the stress, so you can live and enjoy the moment!

Coastal Coordinating not only supports the LGBT community but applauds them for their hard work and determination during their quest toward equality and stands with them from the courthouse to the church house.

Love is something that cannot, and should not be subjective to biased beliefs or narrow minded thinkers. Love is a celebration of how one feels towards another and my role as a Wedding/Event Planner is to help couples of all walk of life to express their love.

Katy Hurtig
can be reached at:
(904) 463-0423
or by email at:
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