Kate CollinsReservationist, Gift Shop Assistant Manager
Kate Collins joined the Discover Sarasota Tours Reservations staff in February 2023. If you call the Trolley Cottage, chances are that Kate will be the voice you hear on the other end of the line.
David Ivey is a native of Southeast Texas. He relocated to Sarasota with his wife and daughters in 2003, finding a new home in Florida. He has a background in the hospitality industry, and says he came to Discover Sarasota Tours for a fun tour and stayed for the people!
Susan IngallsReservationist, Group Sales Manager
Susan Ingalls is a new Sarasota retiree with a long career in early childhood special education and care coordination. She and her husband are looking forward to meeting new people and finding time to catch up with family and friends in her native New Hampshire.
Penny SmithReservationist, Group Sales Associate
Penny and her husband moved to Sarasota seven years ago from Ohio and haven’t looked back! After their son graduated from college and joined the military they decided it was time to enjoy the sunshine. Penny recently retired after a 25-year career in the senior living industry as an executive director and marketing manager, and quickly realized that she was too young to retire — but fortunately she found Discover Sarasota Tours. Penny loves meeting new people and sharing all of the wonderful experiences Sarasota has to offer which is why this job is perfect for her!
Joan Travis joined DST as a Reservationist in March 2021. She comes from Kentucky and has a fun past work history in the film and travel industry.
CharlieHead of PR (Puppy Relations) and Trolley Cottage Mascot
As Head of PR (Puppy Relations) and Official Trolley Cottage Mascot, Charlie can be found charming all the tour guests when they enter or enjoying our many trolley tours!
Our Tour Guides
Pat Canavan comes to Sarasota from Dublin, Ireland, by way of Toronto and Boston. In Boston, several years as a Duck Boat tour guide honed his gift of gab. His varied experience and interests include Civil War reenacting (on the losing side), beekeeping (until he experienced anaphylaxis after a sting), and Special Olympics coaching. He is a certified Florida Master Naturalist and an active member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He loves his three big rescued dogs (and his wife, too).
Jerome Chesley, leader of DST Public Art Tours and the Art Crawl Gallery Tours, is a painter whose background in education includes teaching in both public school and college level. He continues to teach painting in Florida where he is currently the president of the Florida Watercolor Society, and a docent for the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota’s (FASS’s) iconic Florida artists’ collection in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. Summers find him teaching at the renowned Chautauqua Institution in New York State. BA & MA, SUNY College at Buffalo, and additional studies at the University of Art in Siena, Italy.
As an actress and former theater educator, Kathryn uses her love of theater, history and performance to bring the Leading Ladies of Sarasota to life. Dressed in the costume of the era, Kathryn portrays Sarasota’s founding mothers, including Bertha Palmer, Marie Selby, Mary Jane Whitaker, Mina Edison, Rose Wilson, suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt, and Mable Ringling. Along with her work as a guide with Discover Sarasota Tours, Kathryn also serves on the Board for the Historical Society of Sarasota.
Bob Collins’ love affair with the circus was nurtured when he first visited Sarasota as a child, beginning in 1950. Since then, he has enjoyed a 44-year career in entertainment marketing, working for such shows as Ice Capades, World Wrestling Entertainment, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. He also served on the board of the Circus Arts Conservatory, helping to preserve and promote the legacy of the circus in Sarasota. He enjoys showing people The Circus Side of Sarasota by conducting “Big Top” tours and giving lectures about our charming and historic “Circus City.”
Kendra Cross grew up in a Mennonite community, with great-grandparents who were Amish—an experience that planted in her seeds of understanding, appreciation, and the desire to continue that connection. Living just blocks from the Pinecraft community allows Kendra daily communication and exposure to the uniqueness and vitality of the Amish and Mennonite culture. She points out that Sarasota’s 90-year old community is the only one of its kind in the United States, and says it’s a joy to share it!
Kelley knows firsthand that taste adventures can open you up to whole new worlds of foods, flavors and discovery! Inspired by 20+ years of hands-on culinary experience in California & Florida, and with her own chef service, she leads tours for Sunset Food Tours, and recently joined DST as our Dine Along Trolley Tour Guide. Savoring the downtown gourmet food scene together promises a fun food-fueled adventure. Kelley is excited to have the opportunity to share her genuine passion for chef-crafted cuisine, blended with local history, art and culture.
Jon Mac has proudly lived in Sarasota since December 1972. He grew up in Western New York state near Lake Chautauqua, and played four varsity sports in high school. He played on the basketball team at Jamestown Community College, and then attended SUNY Brockport. After moving to Sarasota, with ties to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Jonny Mac worked at the iconic Sawmill Inn Restaurant for more than seven years as bartender/bar manager. He then spent 32 years in the wholesale liquor and wine industry, employed by National Distributing Company, followed by Southern Wine and Spirits. His passion for sports, entertainment, and the history of our beautiful Sarasota continues to grow.
Steve McAllister is an actor, author, poet, producer, songwriter, and revolutionary. He may be best known for his one-man shows, Will Rogers Revived and The Cowboy Cabaret, his historical epic, Money, Sex, Power & Faith, his portrayal of Sarasota’s first settler William Whitaker in the film No Real Than You Are, or his repertoire of original songs and covers. But some know him as the Sarasota native who attempted to live for a year without money, run for county commissioner, and thought up ABC Squared Economics as a way to celebrate our Artistry, Business, Citizenry, and Community. However you may know him, he has stories to tell. You can find his website at www.SteveMc.xyz and on social media as @SteveMcAlphabet.
Ed Simays moved to Sarasota from Haymarket, Virginia in 2000. He retired from the FAA after serving as an Enroute Air Traffic Controller/Supervisor for more than 25 years in the Northern Virginia Area. He chose Sarasota for retirement due to the beauty, arts, culture, beaches and rich circus and local history of the community. As a resident, he and his wife take full advantage of all the area has to offer. He served as a Docent/Tour Guide at the Ringling Museum for over 15 years and enjoyed giving hundreds of tours in all venues during that time. Ed’s hobbies include golf, reading, walking and continuing adult education. He loves being able to share the beauty and history of Sarasota as a tour guide.
Our Cast Members
Michael DeMocko is an actor, director and educator who has been performing locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 25 years. He is the Drama teacher at the William Monroe Rowlett Academy for Arts and Communications. He has a really awesome family. Enjoy the tour!
Sarah Haun is a local actor, singer, dancer, and educator born and raised in Florida. She is a strong advocate for arts in education, and loves incorporating visual and performing arts into her teaching. She appeared as Lita Encore in Ruthless! here in Sarasota, and originated the role of WitchyPOO on The BooMobile tour, and appears as a singer on the Christmas Carol Trolley. Sarah is excited to perform again after taking some time off to focus on teaching.
Kaylene McCawArtistic Director, Cast Member
Kaylene McCaw (Haunted Guide/Ghost Hostess, Christmas Carol Writer/Director/Lead Guide, Psychic Sundays Sound Healing) is an award-winning actress, playwright and author of The Human Experience Quick-Start Guide, written during her time as artist-in-residence at The Hermitage Artists Retreat. Kaylene spent 13 years at The Players Theatre, performing lead roles both musical and dramatic. She also managed the theater’s costume department and coordinated the Backstage at The Players black box theater project. Kaylene is the writer/director In addition to her theatrical work, she practices Sound Healing and hosts an Airbnb retreat in her home.
Daniel “Dee” Pelissier
Daniel “Dee” Pelissier has been learning the actor’s craft entirely in the field since 2011. Over the years they have lent their talents to local theatre productions with the Sarasota Players and Manatee Performing Arts Center, as well as Ringling College student films and various independent projects. The skills they have developed over the years also include singing, fencing, wrestling, and stilt-walking. Among the various roles they have enjoyed playing, Daniel feels most at home playing fantastic, melodramatic, over-the-top characters. They received their first rave review as the evil Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, originated the role of Dionysus in Goat Song Revel, and recently established their place in the local drag scene, performing original song parodies as Lady Laquelle. Daniel appears in our Haunted Sarasota and Murder Mystery tours.
Alexa Vetter Torres
Alexa Vetter Torres is a theatre professional from Austin, TX. The artist’s journey has led her from the Lone Star State to Myrtle Beach, New York, across the country on four National Tours, and lastly, Sarasota, FL. This is not Alexa’s first time performing on a moving vehicle, but it IS her first time singing on a trolley! She joined our cast in Spring 2023, and will take on a variety of roles on our Murder Mystery Trolley, Haunted Sarasota Tour, The BooMobile, and Christmas Carol Trolley.
Debbi has been making music since the age of 5. She has coached children and teens in music and singing for more than 20 years. Debbi is a featured soloist at several churches in Sarasota, and makes regular appearances onstage at The Players Centre for Performing Arts. Favorite stage credits include Pamela in Head Over Heels and BJ in The Marvelous Wonderettes. She joined Discover Sarasota Tours in the fall 2022, starting as one of our singers on the Christmas Carol Trolley, and taking on various roles on the Murder Mystery Trolley.
Dori Fava moved to Sarasota from Illinois in 2019, and joined Discover Sarasota Tours’ staff of drivers in 2021. She loves to make our guests feel welcome on Dolly The Trolley!
Gretchen Martin joined Discover Sarasota Tours as a driver in October 2021, and enjoys driving for our Amish, Circus Secrets, City Sightseeing, and other daytime (and some evening) tours.
T. J. Milewski
T. J. Milewski has been a driver for Discover Sarasota Tours since mid-2021. He enjoys being a part of the Sarasota experience for visitors and residents alike!
John Piquette joined Discover Sarasota Tours as a driver in 2022. John retired to North Venice after 31 years as an NYC bus driver. He, his wife, and two kids are enjoying the Gulf side of the sunshine state.
Bob Purser came on board as a driver for Discover Sarasota Tours in May 2023.
Mike Tellone joined Discover Sarasota Tours in February 2023. Born in New York City, he lived there 15 years, then moved to Seminole, Florida. Mike worked with Publix Supermarkets as a Meat cutter and Meat Department Manager from 1974 to 2002. Then he worked with Sarasota County Schools as School Bus Driver and Route Supervisor from 2003 to 2022 and retired. Mike and his wife live in Englewood and have been married 41 years. He loves working with people, walking, fishing, cooking, bird watching and enjoys driving fun tours.
James Ward joined our staff of drivers at Discover Sarasota Tours in 2022. James used to drive ambulances at his job as a 911 paramedic, fire trucks while serving as a volunteer firefighter in two Florida counties, a drill rig in New Mexico, and Monorails at Disney World. While fire trucks and ambulances sometimes required him to drive fast, James enjoys driving slowly by the wonderful sights of Sarasota for our tour guests.
Colleen AutmanChillMobile Driver
Colleen Autman joined Discover Sarasota Tours as our ChillMobile driver in February 2022, and has driven our trusty vintage ice cream truck all over Sarasota, making ice cream dreams come true for people of all ages!
Carmela PediciniChillMobile Driver
Carmela Pedicini came on board at Discover Sarasota Tours as one of our ChillMobile drivers in February 2023. She enjoys bringing sweet treats to Sarasota residents!