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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Who’s a Natural Awakenings Reader?: Meet Dr. Gerry Segal

Dr. Gerry Segal

Life’s mission: Be healthy, happy and peaceful. Live in harmony with nature and help others to do the same.

Work: Founding associate professor of business at Florida Gulf Coast University, where I developed the entrepreneurship concentration in the Bachelor of Management degree program, as well as the Institute for Entrepreneurship and the courses in sustainable business management and permaculture.

Proudest achievements: I studied macrobiotics with Michio Kushi and then holistically raised my three wonderful sons. They were born at home with a midwife and were raised without vaccinations, allopathic medicine, meat, dairy and eggs. Whenever they were ill, which happened only rarely, I treated them with herbal or homeopathic remedies. To this day, none of them (ages 21 to 33) have ever been to a medical doctor for treatment.

I founded and ran natural food stores in Colorado and Oregon, each serving over 3,000 customers per week. Later, I earned a Ph.D. in business at age 49.

Expectations for the future: Continued involvement in home gardens, local agriculture, organic food, alternative medicine and holistic lifestyles. Also, increased interest in spirituality, as people seek stronger connection to themselves, other beings and nature.

Favorite app: Dashlane (remembers all my passwords).

Favorite websites:,,,,,

Local causes supported: ECHO, a Fort Myers nonprofit that seeks agricultural solutions for families growing food under difficult conditions. Through Florida Gulf Coast University, the late Frank Oakes and I taught an organic gardening course during the 2009 fall semester as volunteer instructors. I was able to get the university to agree that all proceeds would be donated to ECHO. In January 2010, Frank and I presented a check for $6,800 to ECHO.

Favorite thing about Natural Awakenings: I always read Natural Awakenings cover to cover. I especially rely upon it for updates about local people and activities focused on personal and planetary health.

Most frequented healthy food restaurant: Food & Thought

How you invest in your community: I founded a 10-member community garden, taught organic gardening and permaculture, and cofounded a community Kirtan group that currently has over 300 members.

Favorite quote: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”—Joseph Campbell

What are you doing to be the change you want to see in the world? In the spirit of Don Miguel Ruiz, I am always doing my best.

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