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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Reader Spotlight- Joan Marshall

Meet Fort Myers resident Joan Marshall 

Work: Retired. Previously spent more than 50 years in the theatre, initially as a Broadway singer-actor performing the lead in two Broadway musicals—Donnybrook (1961) and 110 in the Shade (1964), and then as the creative director of Contempo Communications, an award-winning business theatre production company founded in New York in 1963 by me and my director-producer husband, David Marshall. We started Contempo two months after the birth of our first child. When I gave birth to twins in 1966 I retired from the stage to devote all my energies to our young family and company.  

Proudest achievement:  I am proudest of my success in combining the roles of business executive and homemaker at a time when women were only beginning to rise to leadership roles in companies.  

Expectations for the future: When my husband died from Parkinson’s in 2007, I became a political activist. As I grew more aware of the escalating threats to the world from climate change, I devoted myself to this cause and established a Climate Action Team in 2015 at my place of worship, All Faiths Unitarian Congregation. My future is dedicated to addressing the rising existential challenge of climate change in any way I can. 

Favorite Websites: Subscriptions to the New York Times, the News-Press and numerous climate organizations.

Local or global causes supported: I helped foster and support local chapters of several climate organizations including the Pachamama Alliance, Citizens Climate Lobby and Climate Reality.  I support the work of Growing Climate Solutions: Path to Positive SWFL ( and the Sierra Club Florida Chapter ( and I am an advisor to the SWFL RESET Center ( board of directors.  

Favorite thing about Natural Awakenings: Focus on healthy lifestyles.

Where you pick up your copy of Natural Awakenings: Ada’s Natural Market, in Ft. Myers.

Most frequented healthy food restaurant: I live with my daughter, Nina, a gifted vegetarian cook. We rarely eat out.

How I support my community: Through my climate activism.

Favorite inspirational quote: “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.  We cannot change it without changing our thinking.”  Albert Einstein.

What I am doing to be the change I want to see in the world: I am using my performing and leadership skills to help inspire others to bring about the changes essential to protecting and preserving life on Earth.