By: Sharon Aron Baron
It seems like only yesterday that Joy Carter was running for city commission, and now just two short years later, she’s gearing up once again for her reelection campaign.
In 2014, in a three-way race for an open seat, Carter successfully won with 57 percent of the votes. If she wins this November she will serve for four more years.
As a 31-year resident of Coral Springs, Carter has had numerous leadership roles on top of many years in community service and said that being a city commissioner is a great platform for her to help her neighbors.
“It’s emotionally challenging to make decisions that affect people’s pocketbooks,” said Carter who just stepped out of a Slice of the Springs meeting. “You want to do right by them, but you want to be a visionary in the process. The city is built out. We don’t have the development base so we have to revitalize.”
Former City Commissioner Claudette Bruck who gave a speech in support of Carter at her Kick-off Event at last Thursday said that she endorsed her for many reasons, but two of the most important things are her honesty and her integrity.
“Honesty, integrity, and someone who has been a business person for years who understands a budget and understands how important it is to live within a budget,” said Bruck. “Lastly, I would say someone who is willing to and interested in listening.”
Born in Boise, Idaho, Carter’s mother was a homemaker and her father was an entrepreneur and salesman whose passion was airplanes. She said that the military wouldn’t accept him because not only was he color blind, he was almost legally blind. That wouldn’t stop his determination to fly airplanes. An aircraft company, Beechcraft, had been unsuccessful in training pilots to become salespeople, so they had the idea to hire salespeople and train them to become pilots. Her father found a way to make what was suggested as impossible possible and became a pilot.
“From both of my parents I learned not only dedication but a relentless effort to produce positive results,” she said.
Because of her father’s career, her family spent a lot of time abroad. The majority of Carter’s younger life was spent in airplanes, traveling with the family, or at lakes waterskiing or tow-gliding.
“Since we spent so much time traveling, leaving the United States in the late 1960s was just another trip. Little did I know, that I would spend the 6th grade in Jakarta or high school in Singapore. This worldly upbringing gave me very early respect and admiration for the diversity of culture that comprises our South Florida region.”
She returned to the US to graduate high school in California, eventually moving to Las Vegas where she spent the next six years in marketing in the airline industry doing occasional modeling work as well.
She settled in Coral Springs in 1985, where at the time, there were only 63,000 residents. A position with a developer at Coral Ridge Properties became available and she immediately jumped at the opportunity.
“I have great memories of my mentor and difficult taskmaster Richard K. Stevens who gave me the opportunity to prove myself capable of helping Coral Springs grow into the wonderful community it has become,” she said.
Carter said that at first Stevens didn’t want to give her the job because he felt that she was too young and did not know anything about Coral Springs, let alone, how to “sell dirt”. But he must have seen how determined and focused she was because he gave her the opportunity and hired her.
She said the invaluable experience she acquired by selling new construction for Coral Ridge Properties for 11 years, provided her with the confidence to start her own business in real estate, where she and her brother Jeff Booker have enjoyed a successful real estate partnership for over 19 years.
Carter is also heavily involved in the community and with the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce whose primary goal is to support small businesses.
“I would have never dreamed that I would not only have the opportunity to lead every committee the Chamber had but also to earn the privilege of serving as Chair of the organization.”
Now a single mom, to grown daughter’s Tara and Mallory, she shares a home with her mother and enjoys working and serving the Coral Springs residents as a city commissioner.