Learn some history and capabilities of the Hotspots staff!
Scott Holland, our associate publisher, came back to Hotspots after obtaining his Masters of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Not only did he graduate with honors but he was also the Vice President of the Graduate Business Student Association. Previously he had worked in the publishing field for over 7 years and in the nightclub/promotions industry for over 15 years in New York City and in South Florida. Scott was also the Co-Chair of Pride South Florida for 3 years and on the board for 4 years. His marketing expertise is only surpassed by his enthusiasm for the gay community in Florida.
Mike Kitchens, business/operations manager, our latest addition to the family at Hotspots, has spent the last 15 years in the gay publishing world working with magazines and newspapers in Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Washington DC and New York. He brings to us a wealth of knowledge in operations and business management. Prior to publishing, Mike managed restaurants and nightclubs and at one point owned the Pegasus Lounge, a gay club in Macon, Georgia. Mike admits he has a passion for being a part of such a community based magazine and company.
Mike Trottier, our Classifieds Manager, originally comes from Massachusetts. He attended a private high school in northern Rhode Island then went on to Suffolk University in Boston where he lived for 10 years. In college he was elected class representative and then treasurer in the student government. After college he worked for several major investment firms and then became a realtor in 2001. He relocated to South Florida in 2003 where he continued to work in real estate. He joined Hotspots in 2008 and currently lives in Oakland Park with his roommate and two Shih Tzus, Milo and Truman.
Frank Mendez, our Art Director, came to Hotspots with a strong background in graphics. He graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a BS in Media Communications Technology and minored in Communication Studies. He has worked in the printing and publishing business for the last 12 years.
Ed Garcia, our web master, has previously worked in many areas including graphic design, as a webmaster and as an art director. In 1998 he started work as a web designer and developer as he attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He is a graphic user interface (GUI) designer and programming-design logic project manager. In other words, he is a web/graphic designer that specializes as a user interface analyst. Since October 2009 he has been in charge of updates, development, social media and web marketing for all Hotspots Magazine and sister company websites.
Maria V. Espinal is originally from Nicaragua and is currently a Davie resident. She has been a part of the publishing industry since 1999 when she became the Spanish Editor at She Magazine, where she is currently co-publisher. In 2008, Maria became Latino Boys Magazine’s Creative Director, revamping the feel of the magazine and taking it a step further in 2010 into Genre Latino. In 2009, Maria joined our production staff at Hotspots Magazine.
Bobby Neal Furedi is a proud native of Florida. He always aspires to learn new things to better his personal and professional life and has happily worked for Hotspots since 2007 as a Graphic Designer and assists in web design as well. Also a cartoonist, he has brought to life The Circuit Boyz and Boi Factory into the community. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his two Deer Chihuahuas, Scarlett Belle and Samantha Lu. Despite his rugged demeanor, he’s a big geek when it comes to reading, photography and movies. He also enjoys running/training, yoga and theme parks.
Rich LoPrimo, joined Hotspots in April, 1995 and has been with us for almost 16 years. Rich has written two columns, Rich’s Corner and the Palm Beat, along with delivering the magazines and working in the graphics department. He has also worked in sales the entire time, which position he still holds.
Jim Albright was raised in Northeastern Ohio outside Akron. He earned a degree in Political Science from Kent State University. He was an elected official in his town for 8 years prior to moving to South Florida 13 years ago. Prior to becoming an Account Sales Executive, Jim was a retail store manager for major department stores. Jim has been in sales since 2001 and loves it. He covers Broward County for Hotspots Magazine.
Scott Spar is originally from New York, but grew up and went to college in Miami. He quickly found the social gene to be quite prevalent in his personality and chose to use it to the best of his ability and found himself working within the nightclub industry as a club promoter in South Beach and Atlanta. Having met some really great people and contacts along with a few famous faces, he chose to bow out of the nightclub scene and decided to take a more serious approach towards a career where he could use his college degree and entered the world of advertising. We were happy to hire Scott last November as our Advertising and Marketing Director of Central Florida and he has taken that area by storm and built that section to what it is today.
Anthony Verrico was born and raised in NYC. He managed several major retail corporations, which eventually relocated him to South Florida in 1990. He entered the world of advertising and brings over 14 years of experience in sales. Anthony is adventurous and keeps a busy schedule. When he has down time he spends it with his Chow/Lab dog, Colby.
Sheri Elfman is originally from Philadelphia, PA and moved to Fort Lauderdale for a fresh start six years ago. She has worked as a Realtor, editor, assistant, receptionist and a marketing director. She is a features writer at Hotspots Magazine and lives with her boyfriend John, their four cats and pet turtle.
Marc Paige has never been shy about giving his opinion on anything from safer sex (he is strongly in favor) to the Tea Party (sounds much nicer than “mob of racist homophobes”). He is grateful for the opportunity to sound off in Hot Topics, hoping to stimulate Hotspots readers “above the waist.”
Pompano Bill is sometimes referred to as “that pervert with a camera,” but to us he is part of the soul of Hotspots. He arrived in Norway, Michigan on January 12, 1926…so, that makes him 84.80 years old. Bill did his thing in the Navy, did his thing in college (GI Bill) and did his thing being employed by IBM for 36 years. Once retired he moved to Florida and has been doing his thing (snapping photos) every since.
Amy DeMilo, author of Around Central Florida with Amy, has won many titles including Miss Heart of Florida FI 2010, Miss GaYbor 2010, Miss Gay Florida USofA 2010, Miss Florida FI 2000, Miss Ft. Lauderdale, Miss Lakeland, Miss Mardi Gras, and Miss Daytona amoung many others. She lives and works in the Tampa Bay area and you can catch Amy Tuesday nights at G.Bar, Wednesdays at Hamburger Mary’s, Fridays between Honeypot and Manilow’s, Saturdays at The Chelsea Club and Sundays at the Dive Bar and Grill.
Mark Melnick, Central Florida photographer, started photographing jewelry and became interested in advertising photography. Currently he shoots fashion, editorial, portraiture and nightlife. His award-winning work has been published in Hip Hop Weekly, TampaBay, BEAR, EDGE, Art Creations, JPEG and PDN. His upcoming book on drag, to be published 2011, is entitled, “Putting the ‘She in He.”
Mark Rutherford, who writes the column Question Mark? is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in South Florida since 1997. Mark received his Bachelor’s from Florida State University in 1990 in Communications and his Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University in Massachusetts in 1995. As a certified Imago Relationship Therapist, his practice concentrates on relationship issues and couples counseling as well as the spectrum of other related mental health concerns.
Bernie Lockwood, Central Florida photographer, was born and raised in NY and has a degree in management and production. He has been a videographer and photographer for 5 years. His work consists of modeling and commercial shoots.
Alan Phillips is the author of Cheaper Than Therapy, a bi-weekly column following the tales of a single thirty-something in gay Tampa. Alan is a self-proclaimed shameless, promiscuous, neurotic narcissist with no qualms about sharing his drunken escapades and tawdry affairs to incite laughter (and often judgment) from readers.
Mark Bias and Carrie West (Mark & Carrie) moved to Tampa in 1980 and almost immediately became GLBT activists. Soon afterwards they both graduated USF and in 1989 they opened MC Film Fest. Today MC Film is the oldest gay pride store in the southwest of Florida. They made GLBT history by flying the first rainbow flag on a main street Tampa. They made history again when they produced the very first openly gay TV commercial which aired on Time Warner Cable. They were the first store to sign on to the Suncoast Resort. Just two months after opening in Ybor City they started the GaYBOR District Coalition. In 1992 they started the column “The Shooting Star.” First in hard copy print, the column has today become the internet sensation “Dishing with Mark & Carrie.” Today their column is read by over 3,500 people every day across the world throught RSS feeds and media reprints. Excerpts of their column may be read weekly in their favorite magazine…Hotspots Magazine. Carrie is currently running an exciting campaign for Tampa City Council, District 5. Viva la GaYBOR!
Juan Saco Mironoff, a photographer for both Hotspots and Genre Latino, was born in Venezuela and is a graphic designer, web developer and photographer for many gay Clubs in Miami. In addition, he is the owner of MiamiGayBlog.com. Juan’s background is in tourism business administration and is a marketing specialist who has applied his knowledge to work with the Miami gay community supporting a lot of fundraisers and nonprofits in the Miami area.
Josue Santiago began working as Editor of the publication in September 2007. His experience stems from over a decade of dedicated work in customer service, media relations and internal communications at Florida Power and Light Company, a Fortune 250 company, where he currently serves as a communications advisor. Josue has been recognized for his work with GLBT youth which included serving as the Chairman of Pridelines Youth Services and working closely with a number of organizations throughout Miami-Dade County. He holds three technical degrees and is certified as a Six Sigma Quality Green Belt. He has decided to continue his education and is a proud Golden Panther at Florida International University.
Jorge Araujo (Vixen) is currently a web personality that hosts “Cafe con Leche” for Genre Latino (formerly Latino Boys Magazine). Vixen also writes the column Diarios de Noches Calientes, which features all of the hottest events on a monthly basis. He currently resides in Miami and has a shih tzu named Mike.
Dale Stine, cover photographer for Genre Latino, views the photographic lens through his creative, academic and professional experiences in the performing arts. A North Carolina native who obtained a Master’s Degree in Opera from the world-renowned Juilliard School (NY), Dale enjoyed a 16-year run in many off-Broadway productions. Never one to pass up an opportunity to flex various muscle groups, Dale simultaneously pursued a dual career in personal training and fitness instruction. Self-taught in the fine art of digital photography, Dale quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after photographers in Miami. Since 2001, his photographs and images have graced countless magazines, CD covers and websites, including Wire, Ocean Drive, Men’s Journal, Medesthetics, Home, DAYSPA and Genre. Internationally-acclaimed DJs, drag personas and his 18 year-old cat Reba are among his favorite clients.
(Danilo de la Torre) & Teddy Behr (David Rohn) are our culture columnists. Born in Havana, Cuba, Danilo was trained in classical ballet. He performed in musical theatre and cabaret since he was 17 years old. In 1985, he joined Le Ballet Theatre de la Seine in Paris, France, where he continued to work in contemporary and modern dance. After a visit to Miami in 1986, he relocated here and created his talented, outrageous and renowned alter-ego, Adora. David
was born and raised in New York City. From a young age, he has been exposed to the art collections of the city’s well-known museums and galleries. His taste for culture and art was further broadened with studies in architecture and extensive traveling to Italy and France. David arrived in Miami in 1992 and continued his work in various art forms. Since then, he has written about culture and art in various publications.
Victor Barreiro, our celebrity columnist, has always aspired to be in the spotlight and his television production career was born with a coveted internship at E! Entertainment Television in 1998. Network executives were so impressed with his work that he was offered a full-time position covering high-profile live events. Since then, he has worked extensively with a number of celebrities and is currently applying his talents at TV Guide and LATV. Victor is a native of Los Angeles and when he’s off the clock, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family and friends.