I was fortunate enough to spend the last couple of years as a full-time staff member of the Tampa Bay Times, formerly the St. Petersburg Times. I was the Chief Editorial Assistant for the Tampa office and spent a good portion of my time reporting and writing as well. The experience I gained at one of the country's finest news organizations was invaluable, and I will always be grateful to my superiors and colleagues there for making me a better writer and a better person. I worked alongside some of journalism's most well-respected veterans and learned more than I could have anywhere else.
Unfortunately in 2018, the new tariffs resulted in the price of newsprint rising 30%, translating to a sudden $3 million the Times had to find in the budget. My position, along with many others, was eliminated and I left in April. I continue to actively freelance for the Times under the direction of my editor Ernest Hooper, my mentor and dear friend.
Before joining the staff of the Times, I worked at various other roles involving writing, editing, journalism, social media marketing, email marketing, customer relationship management, blogging and more.
Writing is one of my passions; the other is wild orcas. I have been fascinated with them my entire life. When I was ten, my parents took me on an incredible trip to Vancouver Island to see my beloved whales in the flesh, and from that point on I dreamed of being a whale-watching captain, in charge of a vessel that would introduce visitors from around the world to the magnificent marine mammals I loved so deeply. But it was always just a pipe dream, something I never believed I could actually accomplish. I settled for being a naturalist, a tour guide on whale watch boats that entertained and educated guests during their 3-hour tours. I did that for seven summers in a row, in both Washington state and southeast Alaska. Keeping demanding tourists entertained in often-challenging outdoor conditions has given me the skills to master any communications scenario.
Once I realized I had enough experience at sea to qualify to sit for the captain's exam, I changed my mind and decided to go for it. After a year of intense studying, I passed the exam on the first try and was awarded my Merchant Mariner Credential in 2018 by the United States Coast Guard. My dream came true!
Article, Interview, Blog Post
University of South Florida, Bachelor of Arts