The Team

photo of Karen Corbin

Karen Corbin

Executive Director

As Executive Director Karen assures that we tell the story of how we engage people and promote civic pride to encourage partnerships with individuals, businesses, and cultural partners. These partnerships allow Realize Bradenton to do innovative projects, like Love this City Bradenton, the Start-Up Circle for entrepreneurs, books for children and families, and initiatives that engage youth and future leaders.

The Bradenton Riverwalk, and it’s only a short walk to Mattison Riverwalk Grille when you get thirsty!

A figure skater! I loved to skate.

Owned and operated a soft-serve ice cream truck for 10 years.

Tolland, Connecticut.

Photo of Andrea Knies

Andrea Knies

Director of Communications & Community Engagement

Andrea is responsible for sharing Realize Bradenton’s initiatives with the community, promoting Downtown Bradenton, as well as connecting a diversity of people to instill civic pride and community contributions.

History. Especially local history. I love to know who stood on the very ground that we are standing on now!

Was on an episode of “My First Home” on TLC.

The Historical Records Library (which is in the original Carnegie Library)!

The teeny, tiny, sweet town of Ireland, Indiana.

Photo of Cindy Winning

Cindy Winning

Office Manager

Cindy is responsible for keeping the team and the office organized.

I am the 11th of 14 children. 9 brothers. 4 sisters. I was Moms favorite :-), at least that’s what I tell myself.

my home. I love historical homes and was fortunate to find my first home in Florida in the Historic Wares Creek community.   Bringing it back to its glory days gives me much joy. 

to be a gemologist.

Photo of Jodi Carroll

Jodi Carroll

Director of Operations

Jodi is responsible for big picture operational initiatives. She takes the lead on grants, strategies, and planning.

I am teaching myself how to play guitar. I eat french fries with mayonnaise, not KETSUP (doesn’t everyone)? I completed the Chicago Triathlon. Only once, but I did it!

My favorite lunch spot is Kefi in downtown Bradenton. Love the colors, the vibe and the menu! My favorite dinner spot is The Waterfront Café on Anna Maria Island. My favorite spot in Manatee County is the beach at Bean Point.

My dream was to live in Florida or California. I guess it all worked out in the end…I live in Florida and my son lives in California so I get to visit there, too!

Kristie Kindstrom

Events Manager

Kristie is responsible for our special events and initiatives. She coordinates the Start-Up Circle and creates the magic of Winter Wonderland.

I was a synchronized swimmer and qualified for the Junior Olympics.

When I was little I loved my books! I wanted to be a librarian and I loved to write stories too!

Photo of Heather Empsall

Heather Empsall

Market Manager

Heather is responsible for the beloved weekly Market. Her role includes curating the vendors to ensure that we have an amazing mix (and that they all fit in the space!) and bringing the Market to life every Saturday.

I’m a huge tv fan. Some of my favorites include: The Wire, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Friday Night Lights.

swimming every afternoon in my best friend’s pool. She had the best pool to ever exist and lived across the street.

to be a lawyer. Instead, I work in the nonprofit world of farmers markets and events, and I’m pretty happy doing so.