Welcome to Destination Tampa Bay. Destination Tampa Bay contributors offer the leading information to support Tampa Bay as the ideal destination for entertainment, sport, and other recreational activities. At Destination Tampa Bay, we aim to help all visitors and locals to the area get accurate information about the various events, sporting activities and tourist attractions that can be found in the area.
Destination Tampa Bay covers a broad range of information that can be helpful to you, whether you reside in the area or you are visiting it for the first time. We have some great people helping to bring this information to you! Here is a little information about the contributors to Destination Tampa Bay and Destination Publications:
Meet Chris Kuhn- Contributing Writer
Chris Kuhn is a freelance writer, editor and blogger who lives in the Tampa suburbs with her husband and a rambunctious Shih Tzu. She is a frequent contributor to area print and online publications and previously served as editor for a local women’s publication.
A graduate of Florida State University, Chris has been published nationally and written two books, her most recent, an anthology celebrating public art as a central focal point for storytelling across various Florida communities including Tampa. Chris loves exploring area museums, art galleries and parks and is on a mission to locate a good Thai restaurant in every corner of the Tampa Bay area.
Meet Travis Politakis Sports Writer:
Travis Politakis is a Sportswriter from Houston, Texas. He has spent the last four years at the University of Tampa, graduating in May 2022 with a journalism degree. He has held many positions at The Minaret Student Newspaper during his time as a student; covering sports, writing and editing articles, and directing meetings. His passion for sports and love for writing has led to over 25 articles published by both the Minaret Newspaper and KBTX News. Travis’ love for sports began as a child and has stuck ever since as he enjoys traveling and attending sporting events across the country.
Meet Riana Bailey Social Media Coordinator:
My name is Riana Bailey, and I am currently pursuing a degree in Advertising & Public Relations at the University of Tampa! I’m originally from Kailua, Hawai’i, but decided to move to Florida to get my degree and to get some new experiences. I have a deep passion for working in social media and content creation so I’m very excited to be working with Destination Tampa Bay!
Meet our Restaurant Contributor Pat Brooks (Pinellas)
Since her early childhood and through a career in television and radio, Pat has always loved to write. Her media career began as a producer/host at Tampa’s WEDU television station, followed by news reporting, anchoring and air personality with Q105’s legendary Q Morning Zoo with Scott Shannon and Cleveland Wheeler. Since 2002, she has worked from her own recording studio as a voice artist and is a voice for animal welfare whenever possible.
Published works include magazine and newspaper features on auto racing, travel, animals and poetry. She also has authored two children’s books, Miss Marble’s Backyard Critters and the upcoming Miss Marble’s Extreme Adventures. Pat Brooks was restaurant feature writer for Tampa Bay’s Best and Destination Tampa Bay magazines.
“It seems many of life’s best times take place around the table, savoring food, conversation and laughter, making even the simplest meal memorable,” our new writer says. “As Destination Tampa Bay’s online dining correspondent, experiencing a variety of restaurants and writing about them will be a labor of love.”
Wendy Keppley, a native of Florida, loves writing in many styles. At the University of Central Florida, her poetry appeared in the student newspaper. Her published work includes book reviews in the Tampa Tribune, short stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Reader’s Digest, Odet Literary Journal, and Florida Writer’s Association Collections Top Ten in 2017.
A school guidance counselor for troubled teens for 41 years, Wendy also taught college courses to high school honor students. When she’s not kayaking, reading, practicing yoga or exploring waterfalls, Wendy is seeking delicious dining experiences to share with others!
Meet our Restaurant Contributor Dr. David Mototoff (South Pinellas/St Pete)
Destination Tampa Bay welcomes the newest member of our team of restaurant aficionados. Dr. David Mokotoff will be visiting restaurants throughout the Tampa Bay area and telling our readers about them. A retired cardiologist with a passion for writing, Dr. Mokotoff’ other retirement hobby is cooking, so he will bring an appreciation for good food to his new role. He will be focusing primarily on the South Pinellas including St Pete!
He has authored many scientific as well as medical interest articles. His publications include “Remembering Earl” in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Why I’m Leaving Private Practice” in Physicians Practice Magazine, “Why I Brought Spirituality to My Medical Practice” in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, and “Never Too Late to Fall in Love” in Florida Sportsman. Dr. Mokotoff has been interviewed by local Tampa and St. Petersburg media. He has authored a memoir and most recently “Dark and Light: A Short Story Collection.”
Meet Jackie McCallum-Editorial Director
Meet Jackie McCallum, our Editorial Director. A retired high school journalism teacher, she has worked as a sports columnist and a marketing and public relations writer. Jackie brings a wealth of experience to the position. She served for five years as Editorial Director for Destination Publications, overseeing the far-reaching articles that appeared in the popular magazine that was a sister publication to this website.
A Florida resident for the last 28 years, our Editorial Director is a native of Illinois. When not putting together information regarding the many activities that make the Sunrise Side of Tampa Bay such a great destination location, she enjoys playing golf and bridge as well as reading and keeping in contact with her family.
Meet Shawn LaFata-Sports Writer
Shawn LaFata (Left) has been covering the Florida sports world for various outlets throughout his career. After graduating from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications, Shawn worked as a writer and editor for Sideline Sports Magazine, which was based in Jacksonville. After a stint as the sports editor of a community newspaper, Shawn returned to his alma mater where he eventually was appointed UNF’s Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations.
His sports experience in the area includes covering the Lightning and Buccaneers for DestinationTampaBay.com, writing for a local website that covers youth baseball, devising a media relations and social media plan for a state-wide, golf organization and providing stories to HorseRacingNation.com about events, horses and jockeys competing at Tampa Bay Downs. Outside of the sports world, Shawn is an award-winning graphic artist who provides clients with graphic design needs and social media management.
Meet Fred Wright Travel Writer
Fred. W. Wright Jr.(Middle) is a writer and editor based in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL metro market. He has published hundreds of articles, with travel representing about 85 percent of sales. Fred has traveled extensively in the U.K., Western Europe and various other points on the globe. He is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). He also teaches motion picture writing (his favorite genre) for a local college.
Meet Sheree Johnson Contributing Filmmaker for ‘Places To Visit’
Sheree Johnson is an award-winning filmmaker, cinematographer and editor who will be contributing videos about “Places to Visit” in the Destination Tampa Bay area. As a visual storyteller, Sherry has worked on every part of the filmmaking process. She is the founder and CEO of Image Masters International Inc.
Sheree volunteers as a Big Sister with the Big Brothers-Big Sisters program in Clearwater, and she has also volunteered for Susan G. Komen Florida Suncoast events and races as the media photographer. She is also a photographer for Destination Tampa Bay and media videographer/photographer for the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Although she resides in the Tampa Bay area, her projects have taken her around the world to capture stock footage and photography.
Sheree is an active member of the WIFT (Women in Film & Television) Tampa/St. Petersburg and received the organization’s 2019 WIFTY Rising Star Award in 2019. She currently is a member of the Film Tampa Bay Advisory Board, an organization whose mission is community involvement.
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