Kathy Fernandez, Sunny Isles Beach Media Manager.

The People of Pelican Community Park: Kathy Fernandez

How One Employee is Blazing Trails in Sunny Isles Beach

Kathy was first introduced to Pelican Community Park as a volunteer in early 2010. At just 16 years old, Fernandez donated her time assisting with special events and camps, slowly receiving more and more responsibility. When she was 18, and old enough to apply for a job with the City, Kathy was hired as both an office assistant and an event worker.

Kathy started blazing trails in the City of Sunny Isles Beach when she won the first SIB College Scholarship. This award opened her eyes to the opportunities in and outside of the City, revealing the endless possibilities available.

As Kathy attended Florida International University on a full scholarship, she simultaneously transitioned into the events division becoming the City’s first full-time special events assistant. In this role, she helped plan large-scale concerts, showcases, and multi-faceted special events, all while overseeing more than 100 event workers and volunteers.

In her early years at PCP, Kathy sought the mentorship of the two women who built the facility from the ground up: Susan Simpson, Assistant City Manager, and Sylvia Flores, Cultural and Community Services Director. She has since been able to act as a role model for her own employees, advising and encouraging them just as she was.

“Summed up in a few sentences, Kathy has made a great impact on Sunny Isles Beach in an incredible way,” says Dayana Arzumanova, current special events assistant and Kathy’s first mentee. “Not only has she been a great friend, but she has also guided me since I started at PCP. Without her knowledge and generosity, PCP, and myself, would not be the same.”

In early 2018, only eight short years after submitting her volunteer application, Kathy became the first media manager for the City of Sunny Isles Beach, where she works to develop, grow, and cultivate the City’s communications, media, and branding. She gracefully leads a team of five employees managing an assortment of media outlets including print publications, the City’s website, social media platforms, television and radio stations, video production and much more.

As a Sunny Isles Beach resident of 13 years, Kathy is uniquely qualified for this position. She understands how the City functions, sees a vision for the future, and connects with the community.

“In my current role as Media Manager, I have the opportunity to connect our local government and its citizens… to make us one community,” says Kathy. “We are constantly finding unique ways to engage and interact with our residents.”

Her passion for the City knows no bounds and her drive to create positive change is unparalleled. Though her status as a manager is in the early stages, Kathy is already looking toward the future and developing longstanding media foundations, guidelines, and accomplishments. Kathy’s love for Pelican Community Park and Sunny Isles Beach is immediately apparent to all who interact with her.

“I’ve found that in order to be good at your job, you need to truly love what you do,” says Kathy. “And I cannot imagine working anywhere else.”

But Kathy found more than just her professional passion at Pelican Community Park; she found lifelong friends and made lasting memories.

“In just 10 years, our community has grown so much, our employees have developed into new roles, our programming has expanded, and the facility has greatly improved,” says Kathy. “But despite all of these changes, PCP continues to be a home for all of us, an extended family, a safe haven of familiar faces and unforgettable memories.”

To Kathy, PCP is more than just a workplace; it is a second home. A place to learn from your mistakes and discover who you are. A family of colleagues, friends, and mentors.

“Every day I am faced with new challenges, opportunities to grow, and ways to help improve the City,” Kathy says. “This is some place truly special.”

Read more behind-the-scenes stories and learn about Pelican Community Park’s 10th Anniversary.