Meet our Staff

Hello! We are very happy to “meet” you. Our profiles will give you a better idea of who we are and what led us to Beach Walks of SWFL. We hope to see you soon on one of our walks or out in the Fort Myers Beach community.

Michelle Stiger, Co-Founder and CEO

After completing my B.S. in Accounting from Point Park University, I pursued a career as a tax and accounting consultant. In addition to consulting for 20+ years, I’ve played semi-pro women’s football, had two daughters, and moved to SWFL in 2016. Bonita Beach is my happy place, where I always keep an eye out for the Lettered Olive shell (my favorite!). 

Colleen Donnelly, Co-Founder and COO

Hello. I am originally from Massachusetts, and have amazing memories of New England beaches and coastlines. From spending summer vacations in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire to living on the island of Nahant, I have always found comfort and great happiness at the beach. When I moved to Florida in 2019, I learned a great deal about shells, mollusks, birds, and other local wildlife that call our beaches home. I now have a greater appreciation of local ecosystems and realize how lucky I am to live here. I want to share this with you, whether you are a local resident or just visiting the area. I have a BS in Business Administration from St. Joseph’s College of Maine and an MBA from Northeastern University. Prior to coming to Florida, I worked for ten years at Boston Children’s Museum, most recently as the Head of Programs and Visitor Experience. At Boston Children’s Museum, I gained an appreciation for informal education, the importance of play, and creating 5-star experiences for both staff and visitors. Outside of work, I enjoy design, decorating, thrift shopping, exploring new places, and watching my favorite sports teams.

Leigh Gay, Director of Education and Lead Naturalist

Hey y’all! My name is Leigh and I am so happy to be doing what I love in my position at Beach Walks of SWFL. I have a BS in Zoology from NC State University (Wolfpack!), and have been a resident of SWFL since 2015. I have shared my passion for the natural world with children and adults alike throughout my career with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Audubon Society, Planet Bee Foundation, and several natural history museums across the country. I am an avid birdwatcher, reptile-lover, sheller, and nature enthusiast and spend my free time adding birds to my life list, kayaking, and exploring SWFL’s wild places.

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