Carolynn Zonia at the beach

My Story

Caring, Competent, Committed

After decades of working as an emergency physician in level 1 trauma centers in Chicago, I decided to become a full time resident of a world-renown community in Walton County. My story is similar to others who move here. After years of enjoying the beach and the forests as a visitor, now I was part of the community, and I felt a responsibility to care for the God-given beauty of these rare resources. 

It doesn’t take long after moving here before you notice that this beauty is not being protected. Developers routinely clear cut lots before they even have a work order. Rules meant to control contaminated runoff into watersheds are violated. Variances on density and setbacks are given with no accountability to the neighborhoods and neighbors. 

I ran for County Commissioner in Walton to tackle these problems, but now I realize that I can make a bigger impact by running for state office. I hope to help  my community and those around the state who are suffering the same destruction that I see on the Panhandle. That’s why I’m running. Help send me to Tallahassee to stand up for us.

Dr. Carolynn Zonia at work wearing PPE

Service during the Pandemic

It’s said that “in times of trouble, look for the helpers.” That’s what I’ve been all my life. 

As a community advocate, I  helped connect folks to resources and volunteered on the front lines of this Pandemic. My service been recognized this past year by the Walton County Department of Health, Rotary Clubs, and I was honored with the Humanitarian of the Year award.

Family History

My story is not unlike that of many Americans. My grandfather moved his young family to America in 1913, dreaming of freedom and a better life for his children. My dad was only 12 years old when his father died. As the only son, he had to leave school and defer his dreams in order to help support his mother and sisters.

My dad was in the army during World War II, stationed outside London, where he met my mom. She left her home to immigrate to America knowing no one but my dad, dreaming of freedom and raising a family to have a better life.

My parents were my role models and inspiration for me to pursue my dreams. My dad taught me responsibility, the value of hard work, and always keeping your promises. My mom taught me generosity, courage and to always follow my heart. If they were alive today, I know they would be very proud that I am caring for and serving my community.

Zonia Ellis Island Certificate