The beauty of Danielle Wynkoop – and why she’s so cool – is her obvious love for Vero Beach and her natural desire to help those who live in the community. And her passion for pizza. We’ll get to that later.
If you’re on Facebook (chance says you are and that’s likely where you’re reading this feature), and you’re local to Vero Beach, you’ve come across the FB group “Vero Beach Neighborhood, Inc.” The woman who originated that page, and, along with assistance from a couple of other individuals who she trusts to assist her with monitoring content in the group, is Danielle.
She doesn’t consider it a career, but more of a passion. Something she finds joy in while living her best life, as she says, which is what Joe, her husband of nearly nine years, encourages her to do. She also runs the office for her husband’s business, True Quality Logistics – a concierge fleet maintenance company. Formerly, she worked for JPMorgan/Chase as a Global Compliance Officer – a career which, in a way, prepped her for dealing with some of the situations she deals with on a somewhat regular basis as administrator of Vero Beach Neighborhood, Inc. Danielle says she doesn’t get a ton of complaints, but there some rude comments and occasional ignorance, which she feels she handles with ease. As a Global Compliance Officer, she said “a small group of us handled all complaints for the brokerage accounts for the USA and globally.”
“Vero Beach is small and the page has a lot of members,” Wynkoop explained. “They’re all from different walks of life. I believe being kind and not cursing are both universally appreciated.”
Danielle’s Facebook group has 13,217 members. The City of Vero Beach, in 2017, had a population of 16,919, according to information from the United States Census Bureau.
Though complaints are few and far between, Wynkoop said she deals with a fair share of rudeness.
“We’re all human, and sometimes life can get the best of us which spills out into an online forum,” Wynkoop said. “But to recognize that and do better, be better, more neighborly – that’s the goal. I do try to be kind in my responses. I want to be representative of Christ. People disagree with me, with anyone, and that’s okay. I welcome the debate, as long as it’s respectful.”
Danielle cites Proverbs 15:1 to reference a Bible verse which she lives by: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
“I think we could all learn a lot about how to treat others, especially online, by that verse,” she said.
Wynkoop said she started the neighborhood group two years ago as a central location for current, prospective, and past residents to look for helpful information and bring about relevant discussion.
Some of the most popular questions include recommendations for various services, be it a mechanic, an attorney, physician, daycare, lawn care, and so forth. Other repetitive questions, often from newbies in the group, include “What is that yellow plane doing flying over my house?” and “Where can I get the best pizza in Vero Beach?”
The pizza question happened so much, and always had SO much input from group members, that Danielle decided to create the Vero Beach Neighborhood, Inc.: PIZZA group, which now has 650 members and is hosting a Vero Beach Pizza Crawl on October 5.
“I love the pizza page!” Wynkoop exclaimed. “It’s a fun and different addition to Vero. What better way to get to know someone then over their mutual love for pizza?” Which is true, and where this particular interview took place – at Cap’s Pizza and Pub.
Danielle is from the Northeast and has lived here in Vero Beach full-time for the last three years. Her family has been in the area for over 30 years and she has visited the area throughout her entire life. This is now her home and she has no plans to leave, she said.
The other pages that Wynkoop runs include: VBN Book Club, VBN Friends Meet Up, and VBN Photo Club. Vero Beach Neighborhood, Inc. also sponsors a local co-ed softball team. All of her pages reflect her positive nature, and her desire to be a major resource for the community, to help people in any ways she can or direct them to a resource where they can get help, no matter the situation, and as a way to support and promote local small businesses.
One of the reasons Wynkoop embraces Vero Beach with so much ingenuity and thoughtfulness is the small-town feel that so many residents in the area can relate to. She hopes her group contributes to that cozy “local” feel and that she can continue to facilitate a welcome and warm feeling.
“People genuinely care about each other here,” Danielle said. “It’s such a simple thing to do, but it’s still so rare – to just be kind and care. Vero really pulls together to help each other.” This was apparent most recently during preparation for Hurricane Dorian, where VBN, Inc. and its members helped community members prepare and offered support for one another.
Along with the unending support from her husband, she gets strength from her immediate family and friends, who she says support all her “crazy fun ideas.”
The biggest influence on her life and her motivation for wanting to help so many and be an image of light and love – is Jesus. “He has changed my life in a real and profound way,” Danielle admits.
Her interpretation of the word “cool” is that it’s subjective. And she thinks she is and always has been pretty cool, by her definition.
“I view it as people who are confident without being cruel to others,” she said. “To me, that’s what makes someone cool. I hope people see that in me.”
Aside from running the office work for True Quality Logistics, she enjoys to moderate and interact with the VBN group, plan community events, and enjoy pizza. And of course, she gets out to local events when she can, with her daughter and husband. The VBN Book Club meets once a month, and Wynkoop said she enjoys Bingo on Thursday nights. Living her best life, that she is. Her positive vibe reflects within the group and within the community, and is apparent when speaking with her.
“I have been so blessed, and I want to bless others in return,” Wynkoop said. The network that she has created, her positive outlook, and her commitment to paying it forward allows her the ability to do so. What she loves most about the group, she said, is “meeting people, helping others, making people laugh, promoting, and supporting small businesses.”
“It doesn’t get much better than this!” she said.
She hopes that the group continues to grow in the future, as the more people who join are more people who she, along with others in the community, can help. She does stress, however, that there are rules in place and the rules are there for a reason.
One of the many events coordinated by Wynkoop is the group’s annual Christmas giveaway. The third annual event will begin this year on Dec. 1 and is open to anyone who is a member of the page. The giveaway is sponsored by local businesses.
If you aren’t already a part of the group, you can find it on Facebook by searching “Vero Beach Neighborhood, Inc.” Danielle can be reached via Facebook or by e-mail at VBN.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I earned my bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Central Florida, and my bachelor's in nursing from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA. I certainly embrace my experience as a nurse (and have experience as a firefighter and EMT as well), however my passion has always been in the field of journalism. I thoroughly enjoy writing and making words come to life.
When I'm not behind a computer screen typing or in front of a canvas painting, you can usually find me somewhere near the water with my two kids and my husky, Skye (who also blogs and has her own YouTube).
I think small businesses that are locally-owned and operated are far under appreciated so I support and recommend them whenever I can.
Oh, and I am fueled by sunshine, coffee, and pixie dust.