Alumni and Friends


October 2019

Liz Campanile, B.S. Advertising 1992 is the CEO of House of Gemini Industries in Pasadena, California. She recently launched a YouTube channel, Adora 2000, to support her accessorizing business and multimedia efforts.

Jamie Cotera, B.S. Journalism 2009 is the co-founder of Compass Legal Marketing in Miami, Florida. The business advises minority and female law firms on strategies to generate business and market their practices.

Bernadine Douglas, B.S. Public Relations 1994 has been appointed Vice President or Institutional Advancement at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida.

Julianne Embry, B.S. Public Relations 1994 and Lukana Justin, B.S. Advertising 1998 are the Senior Marketing Manager of Communications and the Senior Vice President of Marketing, respectively, for Now Optics, a leading eye health provider under the retail brands of My Eyelab and Stanton Optical, based in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Natalie Fisher, B.S. Advertising 2009 is Managing Partner of Blu Dove Designs located in Gainesville and Orlando. Blu Dove Designs recently partnered with Sportsone Apparel to develop a new rally towel, The Original Growl Towel, that is now officially licensed by the University of Florida.

Susan Spiegel Kehl, B.S. Public Relations 1989 and her husband Don have opened a franchise of The Malted Barley restaurant in Juno Beach, Florida. They were recently profiled in The Palm Beach Post.

September 2019

Melissa Gomez, B.S. Journalism 2018, is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She will be on the team covering the 2020 Presidential Election.

J. Michael “Mike” Neumeier, B.S. Public Relations 1993, is a 2019 inductee in the PRSA Georgia Order of the Phoenix and Georgia Public Relations Hall of Fame. Neumeier was honored for his many achievements and contributions to the public relations profession. He is currently, owner, CEO and CMO of the Arketi Group in Atlanta.

Carl Stein, B.S. Broadcasting 1973, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles. Stein retired in 2014 after a 34-year career as a photojournalist at KCBS-TV, the CBS network affiliate in Los Angeles.

July 2019

Jamie Dupree, B.S. Broadcasting 1985, is a journalist with WSB Radio in Atlanta, received the 2019 RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation for “Jamie Dupree 2.0.” Dupree, senior Washington correspondent for Cox Media Group’s Washington Bureau, lost his voice to a condition called protrusion dystonia. WSB worked with a software company in Scotland to recreate his voice electronically. The text-to-voice software allows him to type his reports and run them through “Jamie Dupree 2.0” to turn them into audio for broadcast.

Christine Van Blokland, B.S. Telecommunication 1995, is the host of “Curious Traveler,” an educational travel series broadcast on PBS television stations nationwide.

Patricia Vernon, APR, CPRA, B.S. Journalism 1988, recently earned professional certification in Public Relations and received the designation of Certified Public Relations Counselor from the Florida Public Relations Association. She is one of only 100 practitioners in Florida to achieve this certification. She is currently the director of marketing for Darr Schackow Insurance in Gainesville.

Tonyaa Weathersbee, B.S. Journalism 1981, M.A.M.C. 2016, is the metro columnist for The Commercial Appeal, Memphis’ daily newspaper and part of the USA Today network. She recently received a first-place award along with two colleagues from the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors for her work on stories about the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike.  She also presented a paper at the Latin American Studies Association Congress in Boston on cable news’ influence on rural voters’ attitudes toward their Latino neighbors.

June 2019

Robert “Bobby” Desmond, B.S. Telecommunication 2015, is an associate attorney at Walters Law Group in Longwood, Florida. He focuses his practice on First Amendment, Internet law, and intellectual property issues.

Steven Gallo, B.S. Telecommunication 2013, M.A.M.C. 2015, is the content marketing manager at Reputation Ink, a business-to-business content marketing and public relations agency based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Allison Johnson, B.S. Public Relations 1983 and Hall of Fame 2010, is the executive vice president and chief marketing officer of PayPal in San Jose, California.

Arthur “Art” Levy, B.S. Journalism 1984, is the associate editor of Florida Trend Magazine. His new book, “Made in Florida: Artists, Celebrities, Activists, Educators and Other Icons in the Sunshine State,” published by University Press of Florida, is a compilation of 90 “Florida Icon” interviews Levy produced for Florida Trend magazine between 2007 and 2018.

Chris Peralta, B.S. Telecommunication 2012, M.A.M.C. 2014, is the new executive producer for WSMV-TV News 4, the NBC television affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee.

May 2019

Andy Freedman, B.S. Public Relations 2001, is a five-time Emmy Award-winning director with more than 15 years of experience at CBS Sports. He also a lecturer at University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism.

Amanda Holt, B.S. Public Relations 2001, M.A.M.C 2003, is the Director of Communications for Jacksonville Jaguars. She is responsible for the corporate relations for the team and related entities. She is one of the team’s primary media relations contacts and coordinates communications campaigns related to fan engagement, ticketing, communication relations and all off-the- field Jaguars programs and activities.

Mindy Marqués, B.S. Journalism 1986 and 2012 Hall of Fame, is the 2019 Gran Caiman honoree at the UF Association of Hispanic Alumni’s (UF-AHA) Gator Guayabera Guateque. Marqués is the publisher of The Miami Herald.

Brittany Wallman, B.S. Journalism 1991, Susannah Bryan, B.S. Journalism 1987, Michael Stocker, B.S. Telecommunication 1986, Dana Banker, B.S. Journalism 1986; and Rosemary Goudreau O’Hara, B.S. Journalism 1976 and 2017 Hall of Fame, are part of the South Florida Sun Sentinel team whose series of stories and editorials on the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Florida, won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Chris Warren, B.S. Advertising 1993, is the new Chief Operating Officer of Hyrell. Located in North Wales, Pennsylvania, Hyrell specializes in providing applicant tracking systems to franchisors and franchisees for employee hiring.

February 2019

Laurence Bolotin, B.S. Public Relations 2001, has been named director of AJC Chicago. AJC is a global Jewish advocacy network that works to enhance the well-bring of the Jewish people and Israel.

Phoebe Fan, M.A.M.C. 1995, is the head of of Internal Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at General Motors China in Shanghai City. She is responsible for GM’s philanthropy strategy in China.

Maghan McDowell, B.S. Journalism 2007, is the new Innovation editor at Vogue Business. Located at the Condé Nast International headquarters in London, Vogue Business is a new digital-only business-to-business title offering analysis of fashion, beauty and luxury industries.

November 2018

Andres “Andy” Triay, B.S. Broadcasting 1985, is the coordinating producer for Justice and Homeland Security at CBS News in Washington D.C. Triay has worked at various positions at CBS News since 1985.

Cindy George, B.S. Journalism 1999, is the assistant editor for the Houston-based Texas Medical Center news publication TMC Pulse.

Yolanda Cash Jackson, B.S. Journalism 1980, J.D. 199,  is an attorney at the Florida-based Becker and Poliakoff law firm. She was also selected as one of Daily Business Review’s Most Effective Lawyers in 2018.

Lisa Thatcher-Kresl, B.S. Journalism 1985, is the publisher of Advocate Magazine in Dallas, Texas.

September 2018

C.L. Conroy, B.S. Public Relations 1980, was elected as 26th president of the Public Relations Global Network.

Morgan Ginn, B.S. Advertising 2018, was recently featured in the UF Alumni magazine for work on the Bicycle’s Against Poverty project in Northern Uganda.

Robert “Rob” Lasky, B.S. Public Relations 1989, is the Special Agent in Charge for the Federal Bureau of Investigation Miami Division.

Matt Sauer, B.S. Journalism 1989, M.A.M.C. 1989, is the new general manager of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sauer also serves as executive editor and will continue to oversee the Herald-Tribune’s newsroom but will now also work with the media company’s seasoned team of executives.

Brian Slowik, B.S. Public Relations 1986, is the senior vice president for Wage & Corporate Disbursement’s for Green Dot Corporation and is the founder of rapid! PayCard.

Julie Talenfeld, B.S. Public Relations 1984, is the president and founder of BoardroomPR, a public relations and marketing agency that was recently ranked seventh on the South Florida Business Journal’s “Largest Public Relations Agencies” list. The agency has eight Gators on staff including three alums who serve in senior management along with Talenfeld: Executive Vice President Todd Templin, B.S. Public Relations 1984; Vice President Jennifer Clarin, B.S. Public Relations 2002; and Vice President Michelle Griffith, B.S. Public Relations 2006.

July/August 2018

Rose Herrera, B.S. Public Relations 1998, is the new associate director for Communications at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of the Associate Director for Science in Atlanta.

Rick Jervis, B.S. Journalism 1995, is a national correspondent for USA Today in Austin, Texas.

Randall Metting, B.S. Advertising 1996, is the Texas Brand Ambassador for Woody Creek Distillers.

Andrew Schoss, B.S. Advertising 1985, is an inside account executive for Apple Education, selling to k-12 school districts in Wisconsin and Illinois. He is based in Austin, Texas.

Brooke Shenkin, B.S. Public Relations 2005, is a senior voice president at Cohn & Wolfe, a global communications and public relations agency in Austin, Texas.

John Young, B.S. Journalism 1992, was named 2018 Top Real Estate Agent by the Washingtonian magazine.

June 2018

Erika Hodges Confeda, B.S. Journalism 1996 and M.A.M.C. 2002, is director of communications and marketing at the University of Central Florida College of Business.

Natalie Fisher, B.S. Advertising 2009, is managing partner and co-owner of Blu Dove Designs. The firm has offices in Gainesville and Orlando.

Steven Gibson, B.S. Public Relations 1981, is president of Dealer Risk Services, a provider of risk management services and insurance placements for the automotive, truck, equipment and marine industries, located in Indialantic, Fla.

Mary Beth Head, B.S. Broadcasting 1982, is production manager and producer for UF Health Office of Lifelong Learning in Gainesville, Fla.

Katie Reid, B.S. Journalism 2004, is a partner for accounting firm PwC in Sydney, Australia.

Martin “Marty” Stone, B.S. Broadcasting 1967, is the general manager for Egis Projects, Inc., a provider of toll management services in Central Florida.

May 2018

Andrew Cohen, M.A.M.C. 1998, is the Vice President for Technology Strategy and Operations for Hillel International in Washington, D.C.

Jessica Dinon, B.S. Public Relations 2008, is the director of Brand Communications at Darden, a family of national full-service restaurants headquartered in Orlando.

Peter Frey, B.S. Advertising 1993, is the vice president for Discovery Cove, an Orlando, Fla. adventure park featuring animal encounters and the chance to swim with dolphins.

David Lawrence, B.S. Journalism 1963, is the recipient of the 2018 Florida Blue Sapphire Award in the individual category for his efforts to improve the lives of children in Florida. Lawrence is the former publisher of the Miami Herald and the Detroit Free Press.

Dennis Mesina, B.S. Public Relations 1999, is  public affairs specialist at the Office of Communications and Outreach for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Rick Schneider, B.S. Telecommunication 1984 and 2013 Alumnus of Distinction is the new senior vice president for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit dedicated exclusively to families that give to them.

April 2018

Latria Graham-Leak, B.S. Telecommunication 2005, is president of Graham Leak Branding and GLB Promos based in Winter Park, Fla.

Candice McElyea, B.S. Telecommunication 1996 is owner and president of THREE SIX OH Public Relations, Inc. based in Sarasota, Fla.

J. Keith Moyer, B.S. Journalism 1977 and Alumnus of Distinctions 2003 is the new publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Jim Swan, B.S. Public Relations 1982 is sales manager for All Points Pioneer, a professional moving company for residents and businesses in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.

March 2018

Carrie Ferenac, B.S. Telecommunication 1993, is president and co-founder of  CNTV, a video marketing company located in Orlando.

Alex Harris, B.S. Journalism 2015, is the first climate change beat reporter for The Miami Herald.

Lisa Kiefer, B.S. Public Relations 2007, is the new vice president of Wakefield Research in Washington, D.C.

Vicky Mixson, B.S. Public Relations 1978, is the chief communication officer for Wycliffe, a non-profit Bible translation service located in Orlando.

Laurie Shader Smith, B.S. Advertising 1985, is vice president of Personal Mini Storage.

Kirk Wingerson, B.S. Telecommunication 1994 and B.S. Public Relations 1996, is the marketing division manager for Orlando Venues.

Trish Wingerson, B.S. Telecommunication 1994, is the director of corporate communications for the Orlando Magic.

November 2017

Bruce Demps, B.S. Broadcasting 1978, is the owner of Demps Media Consulting LLC in Atlanta, Ga. He is also currently serving as radio development consultant for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Anne Freedman-Fischer, B.S. Journalism 1971, is the CEO of Speakout Inc. based in Tallahassee, Fla. The company provides leadership communication and public speaking training services.

Debra Leithauser, B.S. Journalism 1992, former president and publisher of the Idaho Statesman is the new communications director for Idaho Power.

Jay Morgan-Schleuning, APR, CPRA, B.S. Telecommunication 1994, is the principal, strategic business communication strategist for Authentic Reputations, LLC in Tallahassee, Fla.

Caitlin Switalski, B.S. Journalism 2017, is a reporter/producer for WLRN News.

Francine Walker, B.S. Journalism – Public Relations 1981, is the director of public information at The Florida Bar in Tallahassee, Fla.

August 2017

Lauren Crawford, B.S. Telecommunication 2015, is a reporter/writer at in New York City.

Jennifer Fusco, B.S. Telecommunication 1992, is the major giving advisor for Greater Public in Minneapolis.

Alicia Gonzalez, B.S. Telecommunication 1992, is principal/public involvement manager at Media Relations Group, LLC in Palmetto Bay, Fla.

Bonnie Mott, B.S. Telecommunication 2015, is a sports multimedia journalist/managing editor for Bucs Wire at USA Today Sport Media Group in Tampa.

Mark Segel, B.S. Telecommunication 1988, is the senior vice president/chief administrative officer for Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation in Tampa.

Charles D. Tobin, B.S. Journalism 1984, joined the Washington D.C. law firm Ballard Spahr.

May 2017

Alex Cornelio, B.S. Advertising 1991, is president and CEO of EchoPartners in Miami, Fla.

Michael Higdon, B.S. Telecommunication 2014, is the new anchor/reporter at WCSC-TV Live 5 News in Columbia, S.C.

JaSheika James, B.S. Telecommunication 2003, is the executive story editor at Twentieth Century Fox in Los Angeles.

Stuart “Stu” Moore, B.S. Public Relations 1992, is the business continuity manager at JM Family Enterprises in Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Annelie Schmittel, Ph.D. Mass Communication 2015, is celebrating her one-year anniversary with Oakland Raiders Player Engagement.

Kenn Tomasch, B.S. Telecommunication 1987, is southwest region internal communications manager for Cox Communications in Phoenix, Ariz.

April 2017

Albert “Al” Diaz, B.S. Journalism 1983, is a photojournalist for The Miami Herald.

Ronald “Ron” Pecora, B.S. Journalism 1968, is the chief marketing officer for Waste Pro USA.

Michael Petros, B.S. Advertising 1986, is the senior vice president, associate branch manager for private wealth management for Robert. W. Baird & Co.

Brian Siemienas, B.S. Telecommunication 1994, MAMC 1995, is the senior director marketing development for Hilton Grand Vacations.

Heather Traynham, B.S. Telecommunication 1996, is the CEO of LightbulbPR.

February 2017

Paolo Delp, B.S. Public Relations 1991, is the president of Delp & Associates Inc., a healthcare consulting firm.

David Galloway, B.S. Public Relations 1974, is a family law and estate planning attorney in Plant City, Fla.

Steve Sherry, B.S. Advertising 1992, is the president of The Sherry Group LLC, a marketing and brand consulting company focusing mostly on business-to-business and technology.

January 2017

Thomas Armstrong, B.S. Advertising 1986, is the President/CEO of Premium Retail Solutions.

Charles “Charlie” Harris Jr
., B.S. Advertising 1978, is the CEO of Central Florida Community Action Agency.

Cindy Kanstoroom, B.S. Advertising 1989, Founder and Principal Managing Partner, NIH Research & Consulting. NIH is celebrating its 25th business anniversary.

Jose Navarro
, B.S. Telecommunication 1998, and Mathew Tainow, B.S. Telecommunication 1996, are the owners of Sidebar and Park Bar in Atlanta.

Judge Louis Schiff, B.S. Public Relations 1977, co-wrote Baseball and The Law: Cases and Materials.

Dalton Yancey (aka Frederick D. Yancey III), B.S. Advertising 1967, is the president of Friends of Carr Cabin, Inc. and serves on the board for Florida Hospital Waterman.

November 2016

Angela Rodriguez, B.S. Advertising 1999, is the vice president of strategic insights at Alma Advertising Agency.

Sandra Fine, B.S. Public Relations 2002, is senior vice president, director of results measurement for rbb Communications.

Patrick Fraser, B.S. Public Relations 1980, is an investigative reporter for WSVN. Fraser has worked on the “Help Me Howard” segment for over a decade. The segment offers options for viewers facing legal issues.

Lucy Reed, B.S. Journalism 1990, is editor emeritus of The Triton: Nautical News for Captains and Crews.

October 2016

Leslie Zlotnick, B.S. Advertising 2000, is the advertising manager for the Yamaha WaterCraft Group.

Mark Segel, B.S. Telecommunication 1988, is the vice president, market manager for NorthStar Bank.

Ronald Oldano, B.S. Public Relations 1984, is celebrating 21 years as a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Dana Kanfer, B.S. Public Relations 1991, is a law clerk at the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida in Tampa.

September 2016

Courtney Baker, B.S. Advertising 2000, is Anheuser-Busch’s Senior Brand Manager for the southeast region.

Cliff Courtney, B.S. Advertising 1980, is the Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at Zimmerman Advertising.

Jeff Darlington, B.S. Telecommunication 2004, has joined ESPN as a reporter for Sports Center and multiple ESPN platforms.

Kathryn (Stolarz) Deen, B.S. Journalism 2011, was promoted to Managing Editor of The Villages Magazine and The Villages Grandparents Magazine at The Villages Media Group.

Yudi Fernandez, B.S. Journalism 2008, was promoted to Vice President at Schwartz Media Strategies. Fernandez leads bilingual public relations, marketing and digital campaigns for the firm’s real estate, hospitality and financial clients.

Robert Imfeld, B.S. Journalism 2011, has written his first children’s book entitled A Guide to the Other SideIn his paranormal debut, Imfeld tells the story of a boy, Baylor Bosco, and his ghostly twin sister who work together to pass messages from the beyond. The book will be released on Oct. 4.

Ramon Looby, MAMC 2008, was named Senior Vice President, Public Policy at Bank of America.

Dr. Merrie Meyers, B.S. Public Relations 1978, MAJC 1979, is the grants development manager for the Office of Grants Development of Broward College. She also teaches as an adjunct at several South Florida institutions.

Tony Wickman, B.S. Public Relations 1996, is now the deputy commandant of the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Md. In this role, he assists the commandant in leading a team of 400 military, civilian and contractor professionals in training nearly 3,000 students a year in various public affairs and visual information disciplines from across the Department of Defense, as well as interagency and international partners.

July/August 2016

Tracy Belcher, B.S. Public Relations 2003, is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

Christi Bowen, B.S. Telecommunication 1992, is a voice actor for commercials, corporate narrations, e-learning and business training, phone/on-hold messaging and internet videos

David Bruce, B.S. Advertising 1985, is the Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations for Ryder.

Kristin L. Celano, B.S. Public Relations 2004, is Founder and CEO of JaneHudson, a retail lifestyle brand of luxury basics and womenswear clothing for game day and every day.

Rhonda Victor Sibilia, B.S. Broadcasting 1977, is the Communications Director for the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics & Public Trust.

Shane Santiago, B.S. Advertising 1999, is Vice President, Digital Director at St. John & Partners in Jacksonville, Fla.

May/June 2016

Kirsten Flanik, B.S. Advertising 1989
has been promoted to president of BBDO New York.

Amy Hammond, B.S. Public Relations 2002
is a St. Petersburg-based writer. Her five-book series encourages children to form a collegiate allegiance early in life. The series includes When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator and follows a young boy as he tours campus and learns what life will be like when he grows up to be a Florida Gator.

Robert McClure, B.S. Journalism 1982
won a Knight Science Journalism Program Fellowship at MIT. The premier global fellowship is for journalists covering science, technology, health and the environment. McClure was one of ten journalists chosen for the 34th class of fellows.

Everton Allen, B. S. Advertising 2011
was promoted to manager of Creative Services for the Miami Marlins.

Carolyn DeWitt, B.S. Public Relations 1980
is a partner at Coherent Counsel where she serves as a diversified business consultant of sales effectiveness, business leadership coaching, strategic planning, and crisis management.

Steve Burkowski, B.S. Telecommunication 1994
is on air talent for the Golf Channel.

April 2016

Don McLearn,  MAJC 1979
was inducted into the National Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter Hall of Fame. McLearn, who is now retired, served as the commissioner for public affairs at the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for 17 years before joining FleishmanHillard as a senior vice president in the Healthcare Practice.

Chad Robinson, B.S. Telecommunication 2005
is the Miami Marlins’ Public Address Announcer.

David Deliman, B.S. Telecommunication 1994
has recently been named Market Vice President for the Gulf Coast market for Cox Communications.

Mark Feinberg, B.S. Broadcasting 1985
is the owner and executive producer for Fine Productions which specializes in corporate video productions, broadcast television commercials and media video news releases.

C.L. Conroy, B.S. Public Relations 1980
is the founder of The Conroy Martinez Group based in Coral Gables, Fla. Celebrating their 25th anniversary, the organization is a full-service, bilingual and bicultural (English-Spanish) public relations, marketing and social media firm.

Robert “Bob” Rothman, B.S. Journalism 1974
was named Atlanta Lawyer of the Year for First Amendment Litigation by Best Lawyers in America. This is the second time he has been honored in the last three years.  (Profile)

March 2016

Robert “Bob” Bobber Jr., BS Journalism, 1971
is president of RJ Publishing Solutions where he handles small publications. Bobber retired after more than 30 years in newspaper circulation.

Bob Morris, BS Journalism, 1975
is president of Story Farm, a custom publishing company for restaurants, chefs, museums, resorts, and even the average travel noire. Story Farm also offers public relations and marketing. Morris has written five mystery novels set in the Caribbean and Florida.

Ron Rothberg, BS Advertising, 1985
is the digital media manager Mid-South Region for Comcast Spotlight, the Ad Sales Division of Comcast.

Bonnie Solloway, BS Advertising
is the executive producer for the First Coast News WTLV NBC12/WJXX ABC25 show “The Chat.”

Jackii Molsick, BS Advertising, 1979
is a signature member of the Florida Watercolorist Society. She teaches classes at her studio named Jackii Molsick Fine Art.

Marc Lubet, BS Journalism, 1969
is a judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Orange County. Previously he was a defense lawyer for 32 years.