CCA Staff

Executive Director

Emily Hess Ankerson

Ms. Ankerson has a Masters degree from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, and dedicated the first part of her career to education. She was a professional educator for many years, an elementary school team leader, and curriculum writer for both public and private school systems in Vermont. Upon relocating to Florida, Ms. Ankerson turned her professional attention to affecting change through the nonprofit sector. Prior to accepting the position as Executive Director of the CCA and CCA Foundation, Ms. Ankerson worked for a nonprofit in West Palm Beach in various administrative and leadership roles such as Arts Integration Curriculum Specialist, Curriculum Director, and Community Outreach Program Manager. She is also dedicated to helping improve the environment and preserving natural habitats. She volunteered at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno, Florida, to help inform people about the need for caring for our oceans and beaches and the creatures that live in those ecosystems.

Ms. Ankerson strives to find ways to connect with people and serve in the community. She is currently a member of, and serving on the board for, the Kiwanis Club of Sanibel-Captiva. She also volunteers by participating in beach clean-ups, live mollusk counts, and mangrove restoration projects organized by other island organizations when she is able.

In addition to being passionate about environmental stewardship, Ms. Ankerson believes in creating programming to educate people and bring communities together, and is why she loves working for the CCA and the CCA Foundation.

Administrative and Events Assistant

Phyllis Gibson

Phyllis, a Baltimorean, first visited Captiva in the 1980’s with her husband Ron.  They purchased a home on Captiva in 1991 and began to divide their time between here and Fenwick Island, Delaware.  They became full time residents in 1995.

Phyllis became a Fire Commissioner for the Captiva Fire Control District in 1999 and remained in that position for ten years.  She served on the Captiva Civic Association Board of Directors from 2001 to 2004 and was the Board Secretary for the Captiva Island Yacht Club from 2004 to 2008.

After a two year hiatus, spent in Blairsville, Georgia, she returned to the area and now resides in Ft. Myers, although her heart remains on Captiva.

Events Coordinator & Assistant to the Director

Kathryn Sisson

Kathryn is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications with a focus on public relations. She grew up in Rhode Island, but moved to Fort Myers halfway through her college years and has been enjoying the Sunshine State ever since, especially after years of visiting Sanibel and Captiva almost every summer. 

Kathryn was first introduced to the Captiva Civic Association in the summer of 2023 as an assistant, and was eager to return for her first post-graduation job.  With her prior experience in event planning as part of her college’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), she is excited to dedicate her time to putting together events to better the community of Captiva.