Volunteer Spotlight: Anna Marie Olivieri

 Anna Marie Olivieri
Rookie Volunteer of the Year
By Renee Hurley

Anna Marie Olivieri has been a member of the Sea Turtle Preservation Society since 2016.  Her love for turtles was born on July 18, 2016 when she heard a Women of the Wild (WOW) Turtle Walk for membership at Brevard Zoo.  She has been hooked on turtles ever since!   A turtle “addict” if you will.

Anna Marie has accomplished all the training available to her through STPS.  She volunteers to help with Turtle Walks and she represents STPS at events at the Brevard Zoo.   

When Anna Marie is asked what her favorite part of being involved with STPS is, she finds it difficult to choose just one.  However, she says that interaction with the guests would have to be at the top of the list!  She gets so much joy seeing their discovery of the amazing sea turtles.  She loves to share conversation and education with people to help them understand these magnificent animals.  Anna Marie also contributes to the Sea Turtle Hospital.

Aside from her volunteer work with the STPS.  Anna is a certified travel counselor.  She has attained the highest professional commitment with her certification as a travel counselor.  She has been in the travel industry since 1966 (51 years and counting) and, since 1989, is the owner of her own travel agency, called Please Go Away. She jokes that she believes she is the world’s oldest travel agent.  She started in the industry with United Airlines.

Anna Marie hails from New York and is proud to be from the Bronx.  However, she calls Florida home now since she moved to Palm Bay from New Jersey after 9/11.

Anna Marie also belongs to the Third Order of Saint Francis.  She explains that Saint Francis is the Patron Saint of animals and all creation.  In her own words, “we must be in service to all of creation."

In concluding my brief time with Anna Marie, I asked what she would say to someone that she came across on our beautiful beaches in reference to sea turtles. “WE NEED YOUR HELP TO PROTECT THEM” and she explains that this normally ends up starting an educational conversation with the beach goer.