83 Degrees Media tells the stories of urban and emerging neighborhoods, community building, placemaking, entrepreneurship, creativity, arts and growing companies by featuring stories about talent, innovation, global diversity and environment in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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Publisher & Managing Editor: Diane Egner is an award-winning journalist with more than three decades of experience writing about the Tampa Bay region. She is a member of Leadership Florida and the Athena Society, and serves on the boards of Awesome Tampa Bay and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism, she won the top statewide award for editorial writing from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors while at The Tampa Tribune and received special recognition by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists for creative work as Content Director at WUSF Public Broadcasting. Past accomplishments and community service include leadership positions with Alpha House of Tampa Bay, Florida Kinship Center, AIA Tampa Bay, Powerstories and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. She lives in South Tampa, is the mother of two adult daughters and grandmother to two amazing grandchildren, travels whenever possible with laptop in tow and feels comfortable writing and editing from wi-fi cafes.
Managing Photographer: Julie Busch Branaman is a multimedia photojournalist based in the Tampa Bay region. Before joining 83 Degrees as managing photographer in 2009, she worked as a multimedia journalist with The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. Prior to arriving in Tampa, she freelanced in the Seattle area, working on national and international stories. She earned a BA in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University. When not on assignment, she's likely to be found hiking, kayaking or snorkeling her way around Florida and its unique waterways.
Innovation News Editor: A Florida native and longtime Tampa Bay resident, Megan Hendricks graduated from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in business administration. She worked at the USF College of Business and has extensive community experience including the Tampa Bay Partnership's Talent Dividend Advisory Board, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Emerge Tampa Bay, Ekhos and Bar Camp Tampa. She is a former board member and newsletter editor for Creative Tampa Bay. Megan enjoys telling the stories that make Tampa Bay a unique, diverse cultural experience.
Development News Editor: Kathy Steele is a freelance writer who lives in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa. She previously covered Tampa neighborhoods for more than 15 years as a reporter for The Tampa Tribune. She grew up in Georgia but headed north to earn a BA degree from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. She backpacked through Europe before attending the University of Iowa's Creative Writers' Workshop for two years. She has a journalism degree from Georgia College. She likes writing, history and movies.
Feature Writer: Janan Talafer enjoys writing for a diverse group of clients, including print and online publications, nonprofit organizations and public relations agencies. One of the highlights of her writing career was flying with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron out of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL., for a feature about this elite military team. A journalism graduate of Bowling Green State University (OH), Janan’s early career was in health care marketing and public relations for hospitals in Connecticut and Tampa Bay. She is an avid gardener, loves East Coast swing dance and enjoys touring around St. Petersburg on the back of her husband’s scooter.
Feature Writer: Justine Benstead is a writer and social media manager who lives in the sunny Hyde Park neighborhood of Tampa. She grew up in New Jersey and then Florida, graduating from the University of South Florida with a BA in English. She aspires to become a Jeopardy! champion and enjoys reading, kickboxing, taking her dog on long walks, and photography. Follow her on Twitter at @JustineinTampa. Justine enjoys telling stories and writing profiles about Tampa Bay's emerging technology and innovation news scene and entrepreneurs.
Feature Writer: Marianne Hayes is a writer, wife, mother and hopeless bookworm. After spending eight years getting lost in New York City and LA, she and her husband are now raising their two daughters in her hometown in the Tampa Bay region. She earned a BA in journalism and creative writing from the University of Central Florida, as well as a MA in special education. In addition to writing, Marianne spent several years as a special needs teacher in Brooklyn. Marianne’s writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, The Daily Beast, Babble, LearnVest, and more. She particularly loves writing about Florida life and her family. Learn more about her adventures on her blog.
Feature writer: Carter Gaddis is a freelance writer and graduate of the University of South Florida (BA, mass communications). He covered sports for the Tampa Tribune for 16 years, including four years on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and eight years on the Tampa Bay Rays beat. He publishes the parenting and social commentary blog, DadScribe, and is a contributing writer for the TODAY Show. He lives in Lutz with his wife and two sons. Carter can be found on Twitter @DadScribe.
Feature writer: Kendra Langlie is a freelance writer and communications
consultant for regional and global businesses. Though she has always been passionate about arts and culture, she spent many years in the tech and B2B corporate worlds both in the U.S. and abroad. With a degree in Economics and International Relations from The American University in Washington, DC, she considers politics her favorite sport and follows it avidly with as much humor as she can muster. Based in the Carrollwood neighborhood of Tampa, Kendra is a mother and wife, a news junkie and lover of all things creative.
Feature writer: Michelle Bearden is a multimedia journalist and public speaker with extensive experience in print and broadcast media. Her “Keeping the Faith” segment on WFLA-TV was the country’s longest-running segment on faith and values among local affiliates. She’s a graduate of Central Michigan University, which inducted her in the school’s Journalism Hall of Fame in 2008 for her pioneer work in media convergence and investigative religion reporting. Michelle has won multiple awards for her work, including first-place honors in 2014 for column writing from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and beat reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists. She is also a two-time winner of the Supple Religion Reporter of the Year from the national Religion Newswriters Association. Michelle’s home and yard in the Ballast Point neighborhood in south Tampa is legendary for big gatherings and dinner parties. She finally realized her dream of getting a horse, and now has two Rocky Mountain mares, which she trail rides and trains every chance she gets. And she is a die-hard Tampa Bay Rays fan.
Feature writer: Jared Leone is a journalist and freelance writer living in a sliver of Florida paradise in the Tampa Bay region. Leone has covered national, state and local news in this competitive media market for nearly a decade writing for the Associated Press, AOL, 83 Degrees and the Tampa Bay Times. His reporting also has appeared in Creative Loafing and the Miami New Times. His favorite stories are those that engage the community and initiate change. Follow him at @jared_leone on Twitter.
Media stories about 83 Degrees:
Entrepreneurial ecosystem keeps building but trick is to get it to a tipping point -- Tampa Bay Times
A 'thank you' to 20 people who made Tampa Bay a better business place -- Tampa Bay Times
83 Degrees is published by Issue Media Group
Operations and Media Contact: Paul Schutt
Web Site and E-Newsletter Technology: Matt Lehman and Mark Walz, Fluent Consulting
Web Site and E-Newsletter Design: Patrick Blasio
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