About Us

Michael Shields

March 3, 1973 – September 12, 1996

Mike was born and raised by his parents Steve and Sooky and spent much of his childhood fishing on the St. Lucie River. Mike stood out as a young student and athlete, excelling in football, baseball and soccer, while still maintaining his place on the Honor Roll.

In 1990, Mike was elected co-captain of the Martin County High School Football team by his teammates and led the Tigers to a 9 and 1 record. The team’s recognition of Mike’s leadership was a testament to his strong work ethic and his attitude of getting respect by giving respect. Sports showed Mike’s character and nature to the Community but it did not define him.

Mike was an excellent student and after High School was accepted to Columbia, but decided to return to the warmer climate of Gainesville and the University of Florida. Mike joined Alpha Tau Omega as well as numerous Honor Societies and Professional Organizations.

Mike’s passion for the outdoors continued in Gainesville, and he was known for grabbing a friend or Fraternity Brother and running over to Cedar Key to fish or to the East Coast to surf. He was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1995. Despite undergoing extensive chemotherapy he stayed in school and obtained a Masters in Accounting graduating with honors.

Mike died tragically on September 12, 1996 at the age of 23, after a 14 month battle with bone cancer. The disease didn’t define him even when it slowed him down. He was still fishing and going to the Keys and comforting his friends as much as they comforted him.

Mike recognized that he had lived a wonderful life even if it was cut short and that he had been given many gifts and opportunities that other people don’t have.

Shannon Andersen

Shannon Andersen

2016 Chairman

Shannon grew up in Stuart, worked for a real estate attorney for 10 years, but recently has become one of the most well known (and well liked) realtors in town! With Shannon’s great personality and genuine, caring spirit, it’s no wonder why he was voted as Realtor of the Year for Martin County in 2015! Shannon joined the Michael Shields committee in 2013, thanks to his lovely wife Sarah (Franklin) Andersen! Shannon is a huge advocate and supporter of Project LIFT, and he appreciates all the organization does for this community. We are so happy to have him serving as this year’s chairman!
Sarah Andersen

Sarah Andersen

2016 Co- Chairman

Born and raised in Stuart, Sarah has been giving back to our community since a very young age. As a graduate of the University of Central Florida, with a degree in Communications and Marketing, Sarah has worked for major corporations all over the country including Comcast and NBC. Recently married, Sarah now works in real estate alongside her husband and 2016 MSM Chairman, Shannon Andersen. Sarah is very committed to helping her community and is a proud supporter of Project LIFT. Sarah has been a great asset to the Michael Shields Tournament as an Executive Committee member since the beginning in 2009!

Shaun Plymale

Shaun Plymale

2015 & 2014 Co-chair & 2013 Past Chair

Shaun grew up in Stuart, was close friends with Mike Shields, and has been on the Executive Committee and a Sponsor since the Tournament was founded. Anytime Shaun is not busy representing injured clients as a Managing Member of Chapman & Plymale Law, he can be found on the water enjoying time with his wife, Stacey and their children, Jillian and Matthew.

“Ever since Mike passed away a group of us had been looking for an event to ‘relive the memories’ and it is without a doubt that we found the perfect mix of fishing and friends to celebrate our friend.

Jade Smith

Jade Smith

2012 Chair

Born and Raised in Stuart, FL Jade started her first business at the young age of 21 that eventually grew into her true passion and the road that led her to a much larger project. At 23, Jade started Island Party Rentals. You usually can find her on the weekends at some of our local venues setting up for weddings and special events or spending time with her family on the boat. Jade has been married to her husband Robert for 6years also a Stuart Florida native and they have a son Chase.

Tournament Founders

R.J. Ferraro has been a Partner at the Ferraro Law Group since 2003, practicing both criminal and family law. Born and raised in Stuart, Florida, R.J. has been fishing the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon for as long as he can remember. Although he is usually skunked, his passion for fishing is insatiable (and every now and then R.J. actually manages to land a fish…allegedly). After graduating from The Florida State University and Stetson University College of Law, R.J. returned to Martin County, with his wife Nina, where they raise their son Joey and daughter, Sarah.

R.J. originally thought up the idea of this fishing tournament as a way for his friends to finally determine which one of them really is the best fisherman. Growing up, R.J. knew Michael Shields as sort of a big brother and role model who watched out for the kids in and around the Snug Harbor neighborhood. It seemed a natural fit to name the tournament in honor of Michael, as he no doubt would have been on the forefront, watching out for Martin County’s children in need.

Bob Zaccheo has been working with At-Risk youth for over 12 years. He is a psychotherapist in Martin County and provides group, individual, family, and substance abuse treatment and prevention. His personal mission is to inspire people with support that encourages them to explore, to challenge themselves physically and mentally, and to interact with positive people.
After graduating from Widener University in Pennsylvania his desire to help others ignited at The Dignity Project, a non-for-profit outreach for troubled youth in Gainesville, Fl. He later returned to his hometown and further advanced his education and experience with a Masters degree at Florida Atlantic University.He found serving others to be a perfect fit for his life calling.
His journey of hard work and dedication has been accompanied with his wife Katie and their three children. He is highly devoted to raising his children to the best of their abilities. He focuses on growing their faith, building meaningful relationships, and holds academics as a top priority. He also has a long standing passion for sports in which he is the coach for his son’s football team. Bob and his wife spend time together running in competitive events and when possible going camping and traveling as a family.

Mike Weinberg

coming soon

Tournament Committee

Shannon Anderson, Melissa Burke, Juliet Ciaravino, Mat Churchey, Nina Ferraro, Wendy Hudson, Caryn Lones, Bob Mark, Shaun Plymale, Steven Shields, Sarah Franklin, , James Ferraro, Jade Smith, Karen Hester, Jared Gilman, Sally Hellyer, Sandie Zeigler, Jason Franklin, Dawn Greenless, Scott Sade, Sooky Shields, JD Lewis IV and Tim Poe.