Interviews with area movers and shakers
9:10 PM EST, January 15, 2012
Gail Hunter is senior vice president of events and attractions for the National Basketball Association, which comes to town Feb. 23-26 for its All-Star Game and related events, including a fan-oriented Jam Session in the Orange County Convention Center. Hunter spoke with staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
5:48 PM EDT, October 23, 2011
Carlos Carbonell, 37, is CEO of Echo Interaction Group, a mobile app and interactive media development company based in Orlando. Echo developed the upcoming Buy Local Orlando app, as well as CourseMob, an app inspired by a UCF Business Incubation Program winner that sends study items to students on their cellphones throughout the day. He spoke recently with staff writer Walter Pacheco.
10:55 PM EDT, September 18, 2011
Dennis Welsh is general manager of local TV stations WOFL-Channel 35 and WRBW-Channel 65. He spoke recently with TV critic Hal Boedeker about the new television season, which officially begins today.
10:21 PM EDT, September 4, 2011
Ron Mathews, 44, vice president of Reed Exhibitions in Norwalk, Conn., is the event director for this week's Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The trade show is scheduled to take place Thursday to Saturday in the Orange County Convention Center. Mathews spoke recently with Orlando Sentinel staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
11:37 PM EDT, June 5, 2011
Craig E. Polejes, 48, is president of Junior Achievement of Central Florida Inc. He was chief executive officer of Florida Bank of Commerce until November, when he joined JA. He spoke recently with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
10:31 PM EST, March 6, 2011
Bill Kitchen, 62, is a ride inventor and founder of Windermere-based US ThrillRides. His design for a giant observation wheel, the SkyView, may find its way to International Drive as part of an entertainment complex announced last week. He spoke with staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
5:08 PM EST, February 27, 2011
Former president of CNL Retirement Properties, Stuart J. Beebe, 52, launched Orlando-based Sonata Senior Living in 2008. He spoke recently with Sentinel staff writer Mary Shanklin.
4:10 PM EST, February 13, 2011
Michael Colglazier, 44, is the Walt Disney World vice president in charge of Disney's Animal Kingdom, which last month unveiled "Wild Africa Trek," a limited-admission, hard-ticket wildlife-tour experience. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.
4:06 PM EST, February 6, 2011
Sterling Raphael, president of NFi Studios in Orlando, heads up a business that specializes in networking software for non-profits and member-based organizations. He spoke recently with staff writer Sarah Lundy.
5:41 PM EST, January 30, 2011
Kenneth P. Ksionek, Orlando Utilities Commission general manager and chief executive officer since 2004, looks to balance slower growth with looming environmental regulations. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Kevin Spear.
5:40 PM EST, December 26, 2010
Bradford Beemer, 48, is a partner at BKHM CPA, a Winter Park accounting firm that does tax compliance, planning and audits for businesses, not-for-profit organizations and charter schools. Beemer spoke with Sentinel staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
November 29, 2010
Pete Scott, 46, is the vice president of business development at Orlando-based IZEA, a firm that helps connect advertisers with people who are active on social networks, such as blogs and Twitter. Scott spoke to staff writer Sarah Lundy.
5:11 PM EST, November 14, 2010
Leslie Molony, 57, recently joined Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute as senior director of business development. With a background in drug discovery, Molony will establish new ventures at the Lake Nona campus. She spoke with Sentinel staff writer Linda Shrieves.
2:42 PM EST, November 7, 2010
Tom Coletta, 40, is a veteran Central Florida banker who left banking earlier this year to become president of Advocate Auto Claims LLC, an insurance-claims recovery firm in Winter Park. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
4:26 PM EDT, October 31, 2010
New Broad Street Cos. President David Pace, 51, is the new chairman and voluntary interim president of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, which is searching for a new chief executive officer. He spoke recently with Sentinel staff writer Mary Shanklin.
4:45 PM EDT, October 24, 2010
John Rivers, founder of 4 Rivers Smokehouse. The Winter Park eatery, which celebrates its year anniversary on Tuesday, has enjoyed phenomenal success. Another 4 Rivers is on the way, in Winter Garden. Rivers recently spoke with Orlando Sentinel reporter Sandra Pedicini.
5:36 PM EDT, October 17, 2010
British billionaire Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, was in Orlando last week to launch Virgin America flights from Orlando to the U.S. West Coast. He is also at work on a space-travel venture, Virgin Galactic. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
8:12 PM EDT, October 3, 2010
Stewart Clark is the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment vice president in charge of Discovery Cove, which is in the midst of a major expansion. Clark, 46, spoke with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.
11:22 PM EDT, September 26, 2010
Steve Ballou of Oviedo, director of the research hub for IBM's Institute for Business Value. It's part of IBM Global Business Services, which develops strategic insights for executives in specific industries. He spoke recently with technology reporter Sarah Lundy.
5:03 PM EDT, September 19, 2010
Michael McKenzie is president of the Greater Orlando Limousine Association, which represents about 145 companies employing roughly 800 chauffeurs. He spoke recently with staff writer Dan Tracy, who covers transportation issues.
11:02 PM EDT, September 12, 2010
Patrick Cohn is president of the Orlando-based Peak Performance Sports, which markets books, DVDs and online programs to help athletes improve their game. He spoke with Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smith.
3:49 PM EDT, August 22, 2010
Mel Martinez, 63, is JPMorgan Chase's chairman for Florida and Latin America. The former U.S. senator, who stepped down last fall and then served as an adviser to a Tampa law firm, took the job last month. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
August 9, 2010
John Frost is founder of The Disney Blog, a widely read blog devoted to Disney and theme parks that has had more than 5 million visitors since its inception. He is now writing a book about Disneyland. Frost, 40, spoke with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.
August 1, 2010
Melanie Edwards, 30, is an Orlando blogger and author of ModernMami.com, a parenting blog, and 40weeks.modernmami.com, a pregnancy blog. She's about to launch a business site to connect brands with Latina bloggers. Edwards spoke to the Sentinel's Sarah Lundy.
12:11 AM EDT, July 19, 2010
Capt. William "Roto" Reuter, 49, is the newly appointed commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, the Navy's largest simulation-training development agency, based in east Orange County. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
June 13, 2010
Pete Werner is founder of Dreams Unlimited Travel Inc., an Orlando online travel agency specializing in Disney vacation packages, and The Dis, an online message board and weekly podcast with nearly 40,000 listeners. Werner, 45, spoke with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.
June 6, 2010
Steve O'Donnell, who was named NASCAR's senior vice president of racing operations in June 2006. O'Donnell, 41, oversees competition administration, at-track operations and strategic planning. He spoke recently with Sentinel Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smith.
May 30, 2010
Joseph A. Melbourne Jr., 69, is president of Lake Mary-based Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, recent recipient of a top safety/soundness rating from Bauer Financial. Melbourne, CFE's president since 1996, spoke with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
May 23, 2010
Andrew Gross, president and chief executive officer of Sunshine Restaurant Corp. The company runs Central Florida Buffalo Wild Wings franchises and this year plans to bring Smashburger to the area. Gross spoke recently with Sentinel staff writer Sandra Pedicini.
May 17, 2010
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue, 71, is scheduled to be in Orlando this week to give the keynote address at the U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow convention. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
May 9, 2010
Michelle DeLora, 40, is chairman of the Orlando chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and an architect with Burke Hogue Mills Inc. The firm's building in Lake Mary has been certified gold by the USGBC. DeLora spoke last week with Sentinel staff writer Mary Shanklin.
8:38 PM EDT, April 30, 2010
Jackie Ogden is vice president of animal programs and environmental initiatives for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, from Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park to Castaway Cay, Disney's private Bahamian island. Ogden, 49, spoke with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.
April 25, 2010
Marie Alvarez, 40, is executive director for Samaritan Care Hospice of Florida, a rapidly-growing provider of hospice and palliative care serving Orange and Osceola counties. Alvarez spoke with Sentinel staff writer Fernando Quintero about her goals for the for-profit organization and end-of-life care.
9:18 PM EDT, April 16, 2010
Bob Opsahl is an Orlando institution. He joined WFTV-Channel 9 in 1978 and has been an anchor at the ABC affiliate since the mid-1980s. Because of his longevity, a lot of industry speculation exists about how long he'll continue in his job — and what his departure could mean to the local ratings race.
April 4, 2010
R. Van Bogan, 64, is chairman-elect of the Florida Bankers Association and CEO of Florida Bank of Commerce in Orlando. Van Bogan, who assumes the chairmanship of the state bankers' group in June, spoke last week with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
March 28, 2010
Tom Galvin, who has spent 30 years in restaurant design focusing on kitchens in projects around the country. His work can be seen everywhere from Darden Restaurants chains to independents. Galvin of Winter Garden recently spoke with Orlando Sentinel reporter Sandra Pedicini.
March 21, 2010
Jennifer Waller, vice president of Central Florida operations for the Continental Group, property managers, was awarded a key to the city of Ocoee for helping families displaced by a January fire at the Bordeaux Condominiums. Waller, 40, spoke with Sentinel staff writer Mary Shanklin.
March 14, 2010
Chad Emerson is the author of a new book, Project Future, that documents the origins of Walt Disney World and the lengths to which Walt Disney Co. went to keep its development plans and land purchases secret. Emerson, 37, spoke with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.
March 7, 2010
Gary Kelly is the top executive at Southwest Airlines, the busiest carrier at Orlando International Airport. Kelly visited Orlando recently for the company's annual "Message to the Field." He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
February 21, 2010
Tom Baptiste, 58, is the new executive director of the National Center for Simulation, a Central Florida advocacy group for the high-tech training industry. The retired Air Force general took the job in January. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
3:33 PM EST, February 13, 2010
John Galloway, who recently became vice president and chief marketing officer for Orlando-based Hard Rock International. He previously worked with PepsiCo, most recently as vice president of marketing for Gatorade. Galloway spoke with Sentinel reporter Sandra Pedicini.
9:30 PM EST, February 5, 2010
David M. Cole, 43, is an Orlando certified public accountant and a tax partner with Cole & Associates LLC. Cole spoke recently about tax issues for small businesses with Sentinel staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
11:07 PM EST, January 29, 2010
Orlando lawyer Scott Shuker, 45, works primarily with bankruptcies and in creditors' rights. In a region where bankrupcty filings have increased fivefold in three years, his high-profile cases include Dynetech Corp. and the Vue condo tower. He spoke with staff writer Mary Shanklin.
December 20, 2009
Talking with ... Susan Godorov, of Centro Properties' mall and lifestyle division
Susan Godorov, vice president of marketing for Centro Properties' mall and lifestyle division. Godorov oversees marketing for Pointe Orlando, a collection of shops and upscale restaurants on International Drive. She recently spoke with Orlando Sentinel reporter Sandra Pedicini.
November 16, 2009
In his new job as an executive vice president of Cox Media Group, Bob Neil oversees WFTV-Channel 9, WRDQ-Channel 27 and The Palm Beach Post. As president of Cox Radio, he oversees 86 stations in 15 markets. Neil, 50, who works out of his Tampa home, spoke with TV critic Hal Boedeker.
November 2, 2009
Talking with ... Dr. Kenneth Aldridge, director of health services for Rosen Hotels & Resorts
Dr. Kenneth Aldridge, 34, is director of health services for Rosen Hotels & Resorts' on-site medical center, which has drawn the attention of political leaders for its innovative approach to employer-based health care. Aldridge spoke with Sentinel staff writer Fernando Quintero.
Roger Lear is co-founder and chief recruiting officer of Orlandojobs.com and Lear & Associates. He has been in the employment business since 1987, placing thousands of people into jobs. He spoke with Sentinel reporter Jim Stratton.
October 19, 2009
Talking with ... Russ Hauck, former executive director of the National Center for Simulation
Russ Hauck, 61, was executive director of the National Center for Simulation in Orlando for nearly 8 1/2 years. He stepped down Oct. 2 to become a business-development executive for the Lighthouse of Central Florida, a nonprofit organization. Hauck spoke with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
After 80 years of ownership by the Meloon family, Orlando-based Correct Craft, which makes Nautique ski boats, has Bill Yeargin at the helm. Earlier this year the company laid off nearly 100 workers but introduced a well-received boat model. Yeargin talked with Sentinel staff writer Linda Florea.
October 5, 2009
Talking with ... Edie Solomon, assistant property manager
Edie Solomon is assistant property manager at Winter Garden Village at Fowler Groves. The open-air center, built in 2007, is nearly full, with stores more typically found in malls. Solomon recently spoke with Sentinel reporter Sandra Pedicini.
Chris Hurn is chief executive officer of commercial lender Mercantile Capital Corp. in Altamonte Springs. Hurn spoke with Sentinel staff writer Sara K. Clarke.
September 21, 2009
Ty Pennington, star of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, recently visited Central Florida for the Orlando Home Show. The poster boy of the home-construction industry had some observations about the state of home building and renovations, as part of an interview with Sentinel staff writer Mary Shanklin.
September 14, 2009
Dan Cockerell, 40, is the vice president for Epcot at Walt Disney World, a post to which he was appointed in February. He spoke last week with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.
Mary Spio, 36, is president and co-founder of Gen2Media Corp., an Orlando digital media firm that helps companies produce and put video online. (Gen2Media does some work for the Tribune company, owner of the Orlando Sentinel.) She spoke with Sentinel reporter Etan Horowitz.
August 31, 2009
Britta K. Gross is a General Motors manager responsible for development of hydrogen and electrical technologies, including the upcoming, groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt. Gross lives in southwest Orange County but commutes often to Detroit. She spoke recently with the Sentinel's Steven Cole Smith.
August 24, 2009
Peter K. Murphy, 30, is the founder of Home Encounter LLC, a Tampa-based real estate brokerage and research firm, and the author of the monthly Home Encounter's Residential Real Estate Report. His firm sometimes analyzes the Orlando market. He spoke recently with Sentinel staff writer Mary Shanklin.
August 17, 2009
Charlie Fitzgerald, 48, is a financial planner and principal in Maitland-based Moisand, Fitzgerald & Tamayo. He recently received a distinguished service award from the national Financial Planning Association for his work with the Florida chapter. He talked recently with Sentinel staff writer Richard Burnett.
Monique Yeager is the director of corporate affairs and marketing at Maitland-based Sonny's Franchise Co., the parent company of Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q restaurants. Yeager spoke with Orlando Sentinel reporter Sandra Pedicini.
August 3, 2009
Alan Villaverde is executive vice president and general manager of the Peabody Orlando hotel and chairman of the International Drive Master Transit & Improvement District. He spoke last week with Sentinel staff writer Sara K. Clarke about I-Drive's public-safety programs, including paid, off-duty patrols and a new federal grant.