Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, Fla. (Sept. 10, 2018) - Tracing a family tree may lead to a fallen branch or if you are lucky, it inspires an adventure. For Heidi Choiniere, Gift Shop Manager at Babcock Ranch Eco Tours in Punta Gorda, Fla., a leaf hint revealed her great-grandfather, an immigrant from Poland, spent time in prison. Upon more research, the Punta Gorda resident learned about her bootlegging great-grandfather and decided to ditch her life in the corporate world to work in the wilds of Florida. 

Heidi’s adventurous story is featured in Ancestry’s marketing campaign which is centered on inspiring, illuminating stories from Ancestry customers who all shared how the discovery of their past inspired them to take action in their lives. Ancestry is the largest online genealogy company. 

For much of Ms. Choiniere’s adult life, she sat at a desk, working on a computer, doing accounts receivable for medical offices. Today, she works where she occasionally needs to stop her car and wait for an alligator to cross the road and creates experiences for people enjoying vacations in Florida’s natural environment. 

“I have always had this adventure in my blood,” Ms. Choiniere said, while describing herself as the “oddball” in her family because everyone else “seems reserved.” 

“I would hope that my great-grandfather, if he could see my life, would know that making that long trip from Poland to the United States, and the choice that he made to take that big adventure, has definitely inspired me to make every single day of my life an adventure.” 

These authentic stories featured in the marketing campaign helped tell the story of how the past has the power to re-shape the way we see ourselves in the present and to influence the actions we take today and tomorrow. Ancestry routinely reaches out to the community for inspiring stories or discoveries they are willing to share – and the customers featured in the campaign all shared their personal Ancestry experience uncovered through their DNA and/or family tree. 

“At Ancestry, we are continually looking for ways and stories to unlock our past to inspire our future. Heidi’s journey through her Ancestry family tree has allowed her to embrace a new lifestyle while staying true to her family roots. We hope Heidi’s story inspires others on their own path to discovery,” said an Ancestry spokesperson. 

Learn more about Heidi’s story at www.ancestry.com/cs/heidi and view the two commercials featuring her story at youtu.be/zXFS-0O9GOU and youtu.be/e00co7twyEw.  

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Images of Heidi Choiniere: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xc9b6aa0q0lrnmx/AAAjNFnZDSWeCNgNuFd3xmsfa?dl=0 

Heidi is available for interviews. 

ABOUT PUNTA GORDA / ENGLEWOOD BEACH
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast, Punta Gorda /Englewood Beach is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty. In 2014, Port Charlotte was named the top “U.S. Best Value Destination” by Trivago (the world’s largest online hotel search site), and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach has been named one of SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com. The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). For more information on visiting Punta Gorda / Englewood Beach visit http://PureFlorida.com or call1-800-652-6090.

CONTACTS:
Jennifer Huber, Tourism Public Relations Manager
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau     
(941) 743-1900                                                        
Jennifer.Huber@CharlotteCountyFL.gov 

Melissa Cederquist
Aqua Marketing & Communications, Inc.
(239) 398-3019
melissa@welcometoaqua.com