Jill Luke, general manager at Patriot Self Storage in North Port, Fla., has been honored by city officials as 2012 Citizen of the Year. Luke has been with Patriot since 2009 and was recognized largely for her extensive work with many community causes and activities.
"It's very humbling," Luke said. "Man, do I feel humble."
When Luke began at Patriot, she was touched by the number of tenants who were renting units due to home foreclosures. Compelled to help those in the community, she began volunteering with the Salvation Army during a food drive, and then worked to organize a coalition to assist the homeless, with the goal of establishing an overnight shelter.
In all, Luke said she is involved with about 15 organizations, including fundraising for cancer research with Relay For Life; serving on the board of the Boys & Girls Club; and volunteering with Kiwanis, women's clubs, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, People For Trees and Toys For Tots. She also helps with the booster club at North Port High School and has assisted with events benefitting Friends of the North Port Library.
"I've fallen in love with the people here," she said. "The people of North Port are just incredible."
Patriot Self Storage operates both of its locations in North Port and was voted Best Small Business of the Year in 2010 by the North Port Chamber of Commerce.