You may have seen her dancing with the crown at GeckoFest, but when she’s not reigning Beach Boulevard as 2021’s Gecko Queen, Elizabeth Hendricks sits as the Vice President of the St. Petersburg Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Originally from Toronto, Hendricks moved to Gulfport from snowy Canada after a life of working in marketing. Once she landed by the shore, she never slowed down.
“I’ve been promoting Gulfport since the moment I got here,” Hendricks said. “I go to every event that I can…I like that it’s a smaller community; people help each other out here.”
In her time down south, Hendricks has volunteered at the Gulfport History Museum and the Gulfport Food Forest and can be spotted every weekend doing yoga on Gulfport Beach.
But before she was a local celebrity, she attended her first St. Petersburg Women’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon three years ago, after seeing the event listed in the Gabber.
Now a primary leader of the volunteer-recruiting group, she remembers feeling a sense of community after joining.
“The ladies were so welcoming. I wanted to get to know new people and learn new things and that’s what the chamber is all about,” Hendricks said.
It was only recently that Hendricks accepted her elected position as vice president with the intention of spreading volunteerism through St. Petersburg.
Her title of Gecko Queen, however, allows her to be a bit more creative, says Hendricks.
“I love dressing up in costumes. My submission to become Gecko Queen had like 18 pictures of me in costumes,” Hendricks said. “I think it makes people happy, gives them a reason to approach you and brings people together.”
Hendrick’s next grand appearance will be at Gecko Ball on October 23 at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom.
Her costume of choice?
“Something with wings,” Hendricks revealed. “I’ll stick to an ABBA theme…but I don’t want to ruin it.”