Q&A with community activist David Lowden
David Lowden is an easy going fellow who seems to always be calm, cool and collected. On any given day outside of work he can found enjoying the great outdoors with family. Lowden enjoys teaching his children to be active and helpful in the community.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio on the east side of Cleveland. I then went to both Colorado College in Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado in Boulder.
What brought you to Sanibel?
My 1980 Subaru loaded with all of my windsurfing gear, a Wolf hybrid, other most prized possessions and two tanks of gas brought me to Sanibel. My family had a home on Angel Wing Drive back then so I decided to
come live closer to the sea for a while.
What do you enjoy most about Sanibel?
I enjoy the beach, the birds, the bike paths and the way the community blends with the unique Sanibel environment. Groups like “DING” Darling, SCCF and CROW really make the Island a dynamic place to live.
We hear you work for Bank of America on Sanibel. What do you do? What is your most rewarding experience as a banker?
I have been a banker on the Island since the early 90s. I have been a Senior Personal Banker with Bankofamerica since 1996. My main focus is opening new accounts, doing loans and Mortgages and helping small businesses. The most rewarding experience I have had is forming many great friendships with people here on the Island over the years. As a Banker you really get to know people and their families.
Any predictions or forecast for the challenged economy?
I think we will start to see a slow, gradual recovery with a few more bumps in the road. I think “the times they are a changin” perhaps more so today than ever before. Change will create new opportunities and help drive the evolution of new sectors of the economy but at the same time we will continue to see a lot of hardship for many people. As a society we will be pressured out of necessity to look after each other.
What do you
recommend residents do with their money during these times?
Bank conservatively. Invest in money markets, short term CDs and position yourself to take advantage of better rates as rates do begin to go back up. Stay away from the Bernie Madoffs of the world.
Aside from your career we hear you have another –
passion – the environment. Can you share what you do to help the environment?
I recycle as much as possible and try to limit what goes to the landfills, I have been involved in Coastal Cleanup for quite a few years and I am on the Board of Directors at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).
I have felt a strong connection to the environment since I was a kid camping in Ohio and Maine and visiting our family property in the Adirondacks. I also first visited Sanibel as a child and remember how wild the Island felt back then.
What other activities are you involved with?
I also love to ride bikes, sea kayak, windsurf and canoe rivers. Here in Florida I have paddled the Estero, the Imperial River, The Caloosahatchee, The Black River, The Myakka River, South Creek,Telegraph Creek, Fisheating Creek, The Silver River, The Itchetuknee , The Gordon River, Clam Bayou and a few others. There are many rivers in North Florida I am planning to explore over the next few years. I built a 17 foot mahogany sea kayak and re-furbished a 15 foot cedar strip canoe which is perfect for going “up-river”.
What is your family life like?
I am blessed with an amazing family! My parents live close by, I have twin daughters who just turned 11, an eight-year-old son and a beautiful wife named Kelly. My three children all attend Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School right behind the Edison Home in the old section of Fort Myers.
Word has it that you are a big softy when it comes to dogs. What kind of dogs have you had? What four-legged friends do you have now?
I have had many dogs my whole life: Springer Spaniels, Labs, German Shephard, Vizsla, Golden Retrievers and a Samoyed Wolf Shephard. Today I have two Samoyed mix dogs who we rescued with the help of friends from shelters last spring. We have one named Gus who looks like an arctic fox who came from the SPCA in Mobile Alabama and another named Clover who looks like a miniature white Wolf who we rescued from the Clover Run Rescue in Atlanta, Ga.
Both have butterscotch accents and are about 40 pounds so they are a bit smaller than our other dogs. They are amazing! We lost two 14-year-old golden retrievers this year as well.
As someone who stays active in the community, what do you think is important to teach our kids?
Stay connected to your friends, family and the environment. In the end these are the things that matter.
What is something people would be
surprised to learn about you?
I am actually much younger than I look.
What are your long/short term goals?
I have many goals but mainly to be a good father. I have to prepare to be raise three teenagers at once! We had 16 kids 10 and under spend the night last Saturday night for the twins birthday celebration.
You seem to be pretty easy going and relaxed. What advice would you give for enjoying life?
Appreciate your loved ones! Take things one step at a time. Spend time outdoors and always find time to stop and “smell the roses”.