Charles Dickens wrote, “Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.” For as long as she can remember, Rennie Gibb knew one day she would return to Vero Beach and the John’s Island community where she grew up. She just didn’t know the when, why or circumstances. Her high school friends couldn’t wait to seek their futures and fortunes far afield, but not Rennie. She treasured everything about her hometown.
“I’ve always been in love with Vero Beach. Out of my Saint Edward’s graduating class, I was one of the only ones who said I’d come back,” enthuses Rennie, who, true to her word, did just that after receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in advertising from Southern Methodist University; studying abroad in Ahmedabad, India, both as an undergraduate and graduate student; and working for leading advertising agencies in Dallas, Texas, and Richmond, Virginia.
“As a result of being away and experiencing other communities and cultures, I realized the value of living here more than ever before. I doubly appreciate what we have here,” says Rennie, who was just 3 years old in 1989 when her parents, Bob and Wheatie Gibb, made a permanent move to John’s Island. Ten years later, her father, an investment banker who became a successful real estate broker, purchased the John’s Island Real Estate Company from Lollie Eccelstone, daughter of developer E. Llwyd Eccelstone.
From the beginning, it seemed that everyone in the private barrier-island community knew and looked out for the little tow-headed girl who skipped off every morning to Maitland Farm Preschool and then on to Saint Edward’s. “I grew up with 50 sets of parents who helped raise and care for me,” Rennie smiles, reflecting on the past as well as her dreams for the future.