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, a 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 is currently a member of the Kiwanis Club of Sanibel-Captiva and serves on the Board for the Sanibel Captiva Business Women’s Association. She also volunteers by participating in beach clean-ups and mangrove restoration projects organized by Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) when she is able.

Creating programming to educate people and bring communities together is what she feels passionate about, and why she is a great fit for the CCA and the CCA Foundation.

Administrative and Events Assistant

Kathy Kurtz Ferrari

Kathy grew up in a small town in northern Illinois and began visiting Captiva and Sanibel as a child. Her parents eventually settled in a condo at Punta Rassa where Kathy spent college breaks and holidays.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Boston College and worked in sports broadcasting as one of the first female reporters in the Boston market, before dedicating her full energy to raising her three children with her husband David in the Boston area.

She was thrilled to introduce the islands to her own family and she and her husband bought a condo on Captiva in 2013. They now split their time between Captiva and Milton, Massachusetts.

Kathy worked as a copy editor and staff reporter for the Milton Times newspaper for many years, as well as a freelance reporter for The Boston Globe.

In 2019, she began working as a reporter for the Island Sun newspaper on Sanibel, writing news pieces, feature stories, and columns including “What’s Cap-pening,” which covered events on Captiva.

With publication of the paper currently suspended due to hurricane damage to its offices, transitioning to working at the CCA made perfect sense for Kathy. She is thrilled to be able to help the organization and her island community, where she has made many cherished friends.