February 25, 2024

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Florida Icon: Lee Brian Schrager

I always worked in restaurants. When I was 10, 11 years old, I used to bag Chinese takeout food, Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights, in a local popular Chinese restaurant. I worked in snack bars and movie theaters. I worked at Swensen's ice cream parlor, (and was a) valet car parker at a fine-dining restaurant. There was always something about the hospitality industry. The people in it are very special. And you know, I've always enjoyed wine and food. Read more »
Published on 2/19/2024

Florida Icon: Annetta Wilson

President of Speak With Ease, a Florida company specializing in communication skills for executives; former prime time television anchor in Central Florida, Lake Mary; age 66. Read more »
Published on 1/11/2024

Florida Icon: Deby Cassill

At age 3 or 4, I'm out in the garden with my dolls and there are insects everywhere. Later, the dolls went away and I started collecting butterflies and beetles, but the thing that really intrigued me were the ants. I didn't collect them, but I could sit there and see them meeting each other, having a brief interaction, and then move on. I was fascinated. Read more »
Published on 12/11/2023

Florida Icon: Hugh D. Hayes

The goal of a judge should be to do both justice and law. If you are successful, they should be one and the same. My family was working class. They... Read more »
Published on 11/10/2023

Florida Icon: Willy Chirino

The small town where I grew up in western Cuba was surrounded by tobacco fields. When it rained, the smell of the earth mixed with the smell of the curing tobacco, and it was a beautiful smell. I can still remember it very clearly to this day, even though I have not experienced it since I left Cuba when I was 14. Read more »
Published on 10/11/2023

Icon: Rita Lowman

When I was 2, my parents divorced, and, (when I was) 5, they both remarried. So, for the first years of their marriages to my stepparents, I was living six months with one parent and six months with the other. When I was 9, I had the opportunity to go before a judge and he asked me what I wanted to happen. Since my parents only lived about five blocks apart, I said I wanted to live with my mom during the week and my dad on the weekends. The judge thought that was a great idea. For a judge to listen to me, a 9-year-old, that made a big impression on me. After that, I knew I would have the opportunity to have my voice heard. Read more »
Published on 9/11/2023

Icon: Phillip Frost

Why did I major in French literature? I had never left the country, and the idea of learning a foreign language was appealing to me. And so, it was an opportunity to major in a subject that would at the same time permit me to take enough science courses so that if I had decided to go to medical school, I had that option. Read more »
Published on 8/21/2023

Icon: Jeff Johnson

From a pretty early age, knowing I was adopted, I always felt like I needed to do something really big with my life. And so, when I went off to college, I really wanted to focus on studying the really big topics, so I studied religion and politics. Read more »
Published on 7/11/2023

Icon: Mike Boylan

Hurricane Charley in 2004, that storm was heading right toward us in Tampa Bay, and that's when I got addicted to forecast cones and tracks. Read more »
Published on 6/13/2023

Florida Icon: Vickie Smith

I can look out my bedroom windows on a full-moon night, and I can see the moon reflecting on the Weeki Wachee River. It’s heaven on Earth. When I graduated... Read more »
Published on 5/8/2023

Florida Icon: Peter Golenbock

Sports, in a way, is like joining a cult. It becomes very, very important in a wonderful way. I mean, where else can you sit in a stadium and scream your lungs out and not feel like a moron? Read more »
Published on 4/10/2023

Florida Icon: Jenson Van Emburgh

My injury happened during birth. I came out the wrong way. The doctor put too much pressure on my spinal cord and it severed. My parents were told that I had no sensation or motor function from my armpits down and that I would be in a wheelchair for life. Read more »
Published on 3/7/2023

Florida Icon: Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

Dancing was definitely a hallmark of my childhood. My sister and I danced at our local dance studio, and we started performing fairly young as part of a revue. These revues in the Black community usually had a comic MC, a flash act like the Nicholas Brothers, a tap dancer, an exotic dancer or a stripper, which was kind of like post-vaudeville burlesque. My sister and I, we were part of the kiddie act. I did that probably from age 7 or 8 until about 16 or 17. Read more »
Published on 2/8/2023

Florida Icon: Mallory Lykes Dimmitt

Both of my parents are native Floridians, which is unusual. When I was a kid, we spent a lot of time outdoors, visiting state parks and paddling along rivers. My family is part of a ranching family, and we'd go to the ranch on certain weekends. We tried to be outside as much as possible. That definitely helped to shape my career interests and shaped what I do today. Read more »
Published on 1/11/2023

Florida Icon: Craig Waters

When the internet came along, just as a personal hobby, I decided I was going to figure out how to create web pages. Later, I set up the first set of web pages for the Florida Supreme Court, and I continued to expand these web pages, which was very novel at the time. I knew I was innovating but didn't really understand the full extent of where it was going. A lot of the judges and attorneys at the time took a very dim view of the web, but Bush v. Gore was an event that started to change people's minds. Read more »
Published on 12/7/2022

Florida Icon: Jim Strickland

I'm 67 years old, and at age 7, I wanted to be what I am now. I always just wanted to be on a horse. Read more »
Published on 11/8/2022

Florida Icon: Penelope Bodry-Sanders

My mom and dad were living in Chicago when my mom saw an ad that included someone wearing a polka dot bathing suit, and she decided that she needed to move to Florida. Read more »
Published on 10/7/2022

Florida Icon: Rhonda Shear

You can find love after 40. You can start a new career after 40. It's never too late to start over. Read more »
Published on 9/6/2022

Florida Icon: Alicia Cervera

I have done 48 major projects in Brickell. My daughter Veronica says: ‘Mother, when I see the skyline of Miami, I see your name.' Sometimes when I drive on the causeway and I look over at the city, I feel so much joy to see that we've been able to contribute to Miami becoming a global city. Read more »
Published on 8/11/2022

Florida Icon: Ashbel ‘Ash' Williams

(Former executive director/chief investment officer, Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee; age 67) Read more »
Published on 7/8/2022

Florida Icon: Doretha Edgecomb

I grew up in Tampa in the Jim Crow era, so I lived in a very segregated world. Even as children, we understood that. Our schoolbooks were hand-me-downs from the white schools. Back then, you got a book and there was a page in the front where everybody who used that book would write their name. By the time we got them, there was no space to write your name. Read more »
Published on 6/7/2022

Florida Icon: Randy Wells

We're at 51 years now, studying the dolphins of Sarasota Bay. When you're looking at a long-lived animal — and we've measured so far that our dolphins can live up to 67 years — having the ability to maintain continuity and consistency in how the data are collected, and getting people invested in the lives of these animals, is key... Read more »
Published on 5/12/2022

Florida Icon: Clarence Anthony

I experienced racism at every point in my life, whether it was personal or professional. There were things that occurred that were traumatic, that would hurt your feelings, that would motivate you, as well, and that's how I tend to use those moments — to motivate me. Read more »
Published on 4/5/2022

Florida Icon: Rita Case

Before Rick passed away, it was more like he was 70% charity and 30% of the business. I was more 70% running the business and 30% doing charity. Read more »
Published on 3/8/2022

Florida Icon: Clarence Otis Jr.

We moved to California from Mississippi when I was a child, and from when I was in the second grade on, we lived in Watts. It was a unique neighborhood,... Read more »
Published on 2/9/2022

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Mobile food truck provides fresh, free fruits and vegetables in Progress Village
Mobile food truck provides fresh, free fruits and vegetables in Progress Village

Hillsborough County and Feeding Tampa Bay are partnering with a local organization to provide healthy and fresh food in Progress Village. The Grow My Giving Mobile Fresh Market truck will provide free fruits and vegetables twice a month through at least September.

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