Time Flies

Nostalgia is in the air as we re-introduce you to a few Key Biscayne mothers we’ve profiled over the years to see what it was like raising their kids on the island now that they are all grown up.
Words by Kaya Baez | September 28, 2020 | People

All Grown Up

When her sons were little, Brigitte Nachtigall did everything in her power to make sure they grew up to be well-rounded, philanthropic men. “I’ve always tried to teach them that giving makes them much happier than receiving,” she says. “My children have taught me what true love really means.” Currently on his last year studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Miami, Alexander (22) says Key Biscayne has helped shape his life in many ways. “As a very little kid, the island was the entire world to me,” he says. “As I grew up and began to attend school off the island, I started to realize what a privilege it was to grow up here and it becomes more evident every single day.” He says networking is one of the most useful skills he’s developed because of his upbringing in Key Biscayne. “As a kid I would complain about going anywhere with my parents because they were always running into and saying hi to so many people,” he says. “At this point in my life, I’ve realized how important it is to be well-connected and have a vast network that can open the door for so many opportunities in the future.” Younger brother Nikolas (18), who is a freshman at the University of Miami studying Mechanical Engineering, says living in Key Bisayne is a blessing he never takes for granted. “Living on the island has opened my eyes to how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place,” he says. “It is a diverse, multi-cultural place and I have friends that I grew up with from all over the world.”

Sky’s The Limit

Amy Zambrano could not imagine raising her girls anywhere else in the world. “I love the feeling of being disconnected and almost ‘vacationing’ in our island paradise, while still being so easily connected to the ‘real world’ when we want to be,” she says. For The Zambranos, philanthropy is one of their strongest passions. “I’ve continued to expand my efforts to connect people all over the South Florida community with the opportunities to help others all over Miami,” she says, mentioning her e-mail network, Island Angels, as well as, which raises money to purchase iPads for deployed troops and those injured and recovering in military hospitals to help them communicate with their loved ones. “I realized long ago that people like to help in many different types of ways — some write checks, some attend galas, others like to volunteer or donate items they no longer need. The lists of types of opportunities are endless, and all of them are wonderful in that they each help in some way.” Sisters Delaney and Peri say that growing up in Key Biscayne has helped shape their perspective of the world. “Being raised in such a tight-knit neighborhood has provided me with the perfect illustration of what a real community should feel like and I’m going to strive to maintain this ambience anywhere that I live,” says Delaney. “The feeling of community is something that should not only appreciated, but cultivated.” Peri is equally enamored with Key Biscayne. “One thing I learned living on The Key is the value of lifelong friendship,” she says. “Growing up on the island I’ve met many friends that I know will be there for me no matter what. The sense of community and camaraderie that the island has provided me will last a lifetime!”

Island Living

When Inbal Horovitz came to the U.S. about 10 years ago from Israel, she immediately felt right at home. Her husband knew Key Biscayne from traveling for tennis tournaments since he was 11. “For him, it was a nostalgic place, and for us, it turned out that island life was a perfect match,” she says. “Living here holds all the advantages of a small village, but it’s only a bridge away from The Magic City, and the other major destinations that build The 305’s DNA!” Dana (17) is a high school senior and was elected President of her school’s Entrepreneur’s Club; Roy (13) is one of the top U.S. tennis players in his age group; and Mia (9) is blooming in the art of dance. “I’m a proud mom — tired, but proud!” The siblings all say they are very grateful to live on the island. “I realize not everyone is as lucky as we are living in such a beautiful place, and it makes me want to give back to the world,” says Roy. And give back they have. “We’ve geared our business activities to promote awareness of domestic violence and assist foundations devoted to aiding disadvantaged children,” says Inbal. “Through strong connections, mainly in the tennis industry, we’ve been able to have sponsored events for kids, and have promoted various foundations and causes throughout the years.”

Fantastic Four

Francoise, Anthony, Milana and Adriana Wynne encourage anyone considering living in Key Biscayne to take one drive on a beautiful day when the water is crystal clear and seafoam green all the way from the Rickenbacker Causeway to Crandon Park Marina. “Realizing that you can make that drive to and from home every day is truly a luxury,” they say. “Aside from the absolute beauty, the sense of community from living on an island like Key Biscayne is inspiring.” Mother Francoise remains a beacon of positivity in all her philanthropic and volunteer endeavors and activities around the island; daughter Adriana (23) is an artist in Brooklyn; and Milana (25) recently applied for a position at the American Embassy in Paris. After attending both American University in Washington, D.C. and Sorbonne University in Paris for his undergraduate studies, Anthony (26) served in the U.S. Army and is attending Oxford to earn a Master’s Diplomatic Studies. “Growing up in Key Biscayne had a tremendous impact on my outlook and cultural disposition,” he says. “Being able to mature through my teenage years in this safe and diverse community allowed me to embrace multi-national traditions from the Caribbean, Europe and the Americas. Key Biscayne will always be a home and special place to me. I’m confident that I will always return, just as the sea turtles do for their annual nesting along the island’s eastern stretch of beach.” Growing up in Key Biscayne has impacted so much of who the siblings are today. “It’s so important for other young islanders to get away and experience the world,” they say. “It’s the only way to truly appreciate how good we have it and how wonderful Key Biscayne is, and always will be.”

Blessed In Paradise

Saskia Galliano is proud to have raised her daughters in Key Biscayne. “We were blessed to raise our children surrounded in beauty with palm-lined streets and mesmerized by the most stunning, ever-changing and magnificent sunsets,” she says. “Key Biscayne is unique in that it is an island located a stone’s throw away to a major metropolitan area. You can be at the beach in a bikini one minute, and be at the office in a suit working the next — all in the same day!” Both girls decided to attend Georgetown University: Tarina (21) for International Affairs at the School of Foreign Service with a minor in English; and Lily (19) for Marketing & Finance at the School of Business. “Coming back to Key Biscayne during school breaks and after experiencing cold winters in the Northeast made us realize just how lucky and privileged we are to have grown up here, surrounded by water and endless sunshine,” they say. Saskia concludes: “Key Biscayne is real island living where you can enjoy the water, outdoors, tennis, boating, and the beach while living in close proximity to a major metropolitan area,” she says. “It’s a true village with a strong sense of community and spirit that showcases the best of both worlds!”

Happy Life

Silvana Giuffrida believes that life is short and should be lived to the fullest! It’s a big part of the reason the Brazilian native chose to raise her girls in the dream home she built and designed on Mashta Island in Key Biscayne. “Choosing a peaceful place to call home is fundamental for a stress-free life where you finish work, come home, find yourself in a nice place and forget about the rest of the world,” she says. “I’m so fortunate that my children are able to grow up in such a magical place that really values security, peace and serenity.” Both Mikella (14) and Sofia (11) attended Montessori, KBCS and are currently studying at one of the top Maritime & Science Technology schools in the nation, MAST Academy. Growing up, they learned English, Portuguese, Spanish and parts of other languages from the diverse community. They also played many sports and participated in endless activities on the island throughout the years including swimming, tennis, soccer, yoga, gymnastics, biking, waterskiing and paddle boarding. “I want my daughters to always remember how beautiful Key Biscayne is and how much fun they had growing up in paradise,” she says. “The island is indeed a very special place.”