"Our gem is currently the editor and publisher of the South Lake Tablet, which focuses on good news," Michelle Michnoff of the Gem committee told the breakfast meeting of the Chamber. "Our gem mentors several young reporters and writers who are aspiring journalists. The paper has grown and recently moved into a new, larger office at Hunt Industrial Park."
"Our gem was born and raised up North. He knew at an early age that he loved the camera and microphone. Our gem has been a traffic reporter in New York City and a disc jockey in New Jersey," Michnoff added.
"When our gem moved to Florida in 1968, our gem became the world's only licensed and bonded monkey catcher. To hear our gem tell it, the purchase of one pet monkey for their spouse in the 1960s started it all. Less than one month later, they were caring for 11 monkeys. When they reached 28, it was time to purchase land and so they established the Florida Monkey Sanctuary," Michnoff continued.
Corradino operated the Sanctuary while working in broadcasting and the newspaper business. Meanwhile, over the course of 20 years, our gem and his staff cared for over 600 monkeys from 67 different species with as many as 160 animals at one time."
In addition to being the country's first "official" monkey catcher in 1968, our gem also served as the official gorilla consultant for Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus.
"Our gem spearheaded research into breeding monkeys and infant survival and was recognized as one of the most successful breeders in the world with a 95% survival rate. Many zoos adopted those techniques. Our gem's papers have also been published in scientific journals," she went on.
Mike decided it was time to get out of the monkey business and with his wife Patty decided to settle down in South Lake County. They started the South Lake Tablet after a friend was injured and were trying to raise money for their friend's recovery.
"Mike has been the facilitator for the Chamber's First Friday Connection meetings. He is part of the South Lake Historical Society, South Lake Business Referral Group and the Clermont Downtown Partnership," she concluded.
Corradino was also recently honored with the Chamber's Ambassador's Choice Award. The award is presented from time to time to persons who are active in the community. He is also a regular speaker at schools throughout South Lake County.