2024 Men and Women of Distinction Awards

The Gathering of Women, Inc. held the 2024 Men and Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 21, at the St. Petersburg Country Club. BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL | Staff Writer ST. PETERSBURG — The Gathering of Women, Inc. 2024 Men and Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony kicked off a fantastic afternoon on Sunday, […]

2024 Men and Women of Distinction Awards
The Gathering of Women, Inc. held the 2024 Men and Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 21, at the St. Petersburg Country Club.


ST. PETERSBURG — The Gathering of Women, Inc. 2024 Men and Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony kicked off a fantastic afternoon on Sunday, April 21. The St. Petersburg Country Club, located at 2000 Country Club Way S, was filled with family and friends who came out to support the achievements of this year’s honorees.

The Gathering of Women, under the leadership of President Samantha Richardson, is a beacon of community partnership. This small local non-profit organization is a cross-cultural alliance of women, actively catalyzing partnerships and spearheading community projects. Their aim is to foster sustained economic security and create opportunities for all community members.

Corey Givens Jr.

Each month, The Gathering of Women serves thousands through their food pantry at Wings Fellowship, 1801 34th St. S, on Thursdays and Fridays from 11-1 p.m. The ladies also deliver to seniors’ homes on Wednesdays through Fridays.

The organization has an array of projects and programs, such as the music program, where children receive free music lessons and instruments; Ms. Jo’s Garden, where youngsters learn to plant and cultivate vegetables and flowers, empowering them to eat healthily, essay writing workshops, prom dress distribution, a Christmas Wonderland for children, a youth summit for young men and the Flower Girls & Butterflies enrichment program for young ladies.

Their most popular program, the Distinction Awards, is a testament to the power of community service. These awards recognize individuals who have selflessly dedicated their time, talent, and expertise to benefit the community. These heroes embody a wide spectrum of activism, spanning health, culture, public service, and business.

Each year, the Distinction Awards undergo a rigorous selection process that begins in the previous year. Nominations are carefully evaluated by a selection committee, considering factors such as community involvement, leadership, commitment, concern for humanity, and the enduring and meaningful impact of the nominee’s work.

The 2024 awards saw Andrida Hosey, actress and educator, play the role of mistress of ceremony while Minister Corey Givens Jr. gave the keynote address.

This year’s Roger and Renee Ambrose Education Scholarships were given to Zion Gardner, Jordan Gardner, Kayla Pitts and Sam Sourn. These four youths are eager to make a difference in the community, and a scholarship is the organization’s way of giving them a head start.

Local historian, activist, and president of the African American Heritage Association, Gwendolyn Reese, was on hand to give the Gwen Reese Lifetime Achievement Award to Boyzell and Andrida Hosey for their selfless commitment to the community through the arts.

Local historian, activist, and president of the African American Heritage Association, Gwendolyn Reese, presented Boyzell and Andrida Hosey with the Gwen Reese Lifetime Achievement Award.

Killian O’Donnell

Killian O’Donnell is a retired information systems project manager and technical writer.  She received a Master of Science degree in Nursing Informatics from the University of Maryland and has called Pinellas County home for more than a decade.

Regardless of working in 24/7 jobs and putting in long hours throughout her career, O’Donnell always found time to volunteer, including supporting and volunteering through her church, the Lion’s Club, the American Red Cross, homeless shelters and food pantries in Montgomery County, Maryland, to name a few.

In Pinellas County, she primarily volunteers through her church, Heritage United Methodist Church, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, North Pinellas Woman’s Club.

Even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Donnell’s passion for volunteering remained undeterred. The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites recognized her expertise and dedication, appointing her as the Florida State Coordinator for their National Votes for Women Trail (NVWT) Project. This role was crucial, as it involved researching and documenting the women’s suffrage movement in Florida, a significant but often overlooked part of American history.

Without hesitation, she undertook the task, stating that women have done great things throughout history but are seldom included in American history books. O’Donnell has logged well over 1,500 volunteer hours uncovering the largely untold struggle of Floridians in the fight for political equality.

She has entered 110 Florida suffrage sites in the NVWT virtual database, including nearly a dozen sites within Pinellas County.

O’Donnell also secured 13 of the 14 NVWT historical markers that are now installed throughout Florida, including two in Pinellas County. One is located at the intersection of Central Avenue and Sixth Street North in St. Petersburg to commemorate hundreds of suffragists marching in the Kermess Parade to advocate for the vote, and the other is located at 51 Main St in Edgewater Park in Dunedin to honor Elizabeth Skinner’s suffrage work.

She has shared her research with historical societies throughout Florida and has given presentations on the Florida woman suffrage movement to various organizations.

Killian O’Donnell was awarded Arts, Culture & Heritage Award.

Elodie Dorso

Elodie Dorso, a highly accomplished leader in the healthcare industry, currently holds the role of chief executive officer and president at Evara Health, formerly Community Health Centers of Pinellas. Evara Health, under her visionary leadership, has ascended to prominence as a nationally recognized Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that plays a vital role in providing healthcare access to the community.

The organization’s extensive reach spans over 15 facilities, including hospitals, mobile health centers, Telehealth services, remote patient monitoring programs and in-home care, collectively serving nearly 70,000 patients.

Dorso’s journey within Evara Health is a testament to her exceptional leadership acumen. Her appointment as CEO in January 2018, following a successful tenure as chief operating officer, marked a pivotal moment in the organization’s trajectory. With over two decades of dedicated service to Evara Health, she has overseen substantial growth, fostering innovation and excellence throughout the organization, leading it to consistently exceed industry standards for quality of care and fiscal responsibility.

Under her guidance, Evara Health has consistently exceeded industry standards for quality of care and fiscal responsibility, earning recognition as one of the top-performing FQHCs in the nation among more than 1,400 such centers. Elodie’s unwavering commitment to a patient-centered approach has resulted in remarkable health outcomes, while her visionary leadership has cultivated a culture of inclusivity and innovation.

Dorso is deeply engaged with various industry and community organizations. She serves on the boards of directors for The Wellness Connection, ACRES, Health Choice Care, Florida Community Health Centers, Dolphin Inc., and Health Choice Network Inc. Additionally, she holds the esteemed position of chair for Health Choice Network of Florida.

An alumna of the University of South Florida, where her passion for leadership and advocacy ignited, Dorso further honed her skills by obtaining a Master of Business Administration from Saint Leo University. Her dedication to excellence, commitment to the community’s well-being and exceptional leadership qualities have left an indelible mark on the community.

Elodie Dorso received the Women’s Health & Awareness Award.

Tamara Green

Tamara was born in St. Petersburg to Sharee Moultrie and Lemuel Green.

During elementary school, she attended University Academy Prep and Midtown Academy, where she first joined the Gathering of Women’s Flower Girls, participating in hands-on activities and modeling. She attended John Hopkins Middle School, where she joined Code Red Royals, a youth development organization that embraces student development through the performing arts.

She currently attends Lakewood High School and has earned honor roll throughout her high school career, often making straight As. Tamara participates in cheerleading and athletic training and has worked hands-on in the medical department. She also joined the AKA AKAdemy, a structured and holistic youth development program designed to assist youth and adolescents to enhance their vision and perspective of society while providing positive mentoring.

After high school, Tamara plans to attend Florida State University and major in nursing, becoming a traveling nurse.

Tamara attends Free Methodist Church and is on the junior usher board. She has also participated in children’s church and volunteers to teach the younger children.

Tamara Green received the Young Woman of Distinction Award.

Dean Rum

Dean Rum lives in St. Petersburg and attends Seminole Middle School. His favorite hobby is music, and his favorite instruments to play are the violin and viola. He has nearly three years of experience with the viola and one year on the violin, with his learned viola technique transferring to the violin.

Dean is currently a string player for both the Pinellas Youth Symphony program and the Seminole Middle School orchestra. He is a member of the Gathering of Women community, volunteering to teach music, which he has committed to for about a year. He also assists in the organization’s food pantry.

Last summer, Dean attended the Freedom School, founded by the St. Petersburg Branch of ASALH and held at the Woodson History Museum of Florida. Participating in the Gathering of Women has given Dean more experience with music as an activity and career and work experience he can use later in his career.

Dean Rum received the Young Man of Distinction Award.

Dawn Hunter, JD, MPH

Dawn Hunter, the director of Health Equity, is a seasoned state health department policymaker and legislative analyst. Her work, which spans research, analysis, implementation and capacity building, is dedicated to using law and policy to enhance health outcomes and promote racial equity, a mission that inspires and motivates.

She is particularly interested in the development of racial equity action plans and implementation strategies at the state and local levels. She leads an ongoing assessment of declarations of racism as a public health crisis and related efforts to address health inequities.

Over the past year, Hunter has been an active collaborator with partners in the Collaborative for Anti-Racism and Equity, demonstrating her commitment to shared goals. Her focus on strategies to improve health outcomes through civic engagement is a testament to her belief in the power of collective action. Hunter served as the lead author of the Health & Democracy Index and conducts training on equity in public health messaging through the Becoming Better Messengers initiative, further showcasing her collaborative spirit.

Before joining the network, Hunter served in several roles focused on public health, policy and health equity. She also served as deputy state health official at the New Mexico Department of Health, where some of her core responsibilities included managing the department’s legislative agenda and policy activities, strategic planning, performance management and public health accreditation.

She started her career in child protective services in Hillsborough County. Hunter later transitioned into research and development as a microbiologist at the University of South Florida, Center for Biological Defense, focusing on rapid detection methods for food and waterborne pathogens.

Hunter is certified in public health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. She received her A.B. in English Literature from Princeton University, her B.S. in Microbiology, her M.P.H. in Global Communicable Disease from the University of South Florida and her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law.

Hunter’s exceptional contributions to the field of public health have been recognized with prestigious awards. In 2021, she was honored with the APHA Law Section Jennifer Robbins Award for the Practice of Public Health Law, a testament to her impactful work. In 2023, she received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of South Florida, College of Public Health, further highlighting her significant achievements.

Dawn Hunter received the Humanitarian Award.

Renee Edwards-Perry

Renee Edwards-Perry is the creator of the Saturday Shoppes and Skin Kandii and the CEO of Tampa Bay Launderers. With the invaluable support of BBIC, One Community and the Chamber of Commerce, Edwards-Perry achieved the distinguished honor of becoming the first African-American manufacturer whose products were made available at the St. Pete Store in the city center.

She is president at First-Class Adventures Shuttle and KB Dollhouse, which her daughter owns and manages. Additionally, Edwards-Perry serves as president of Jordan & Jordan Watersports, a business owned by her brother.

Edwards-Perry’s commitment to community service is unparalleled. She is actively involved in a myriad of initiatives, including the St. Pete Chamber, the St. Pete Business League, One Community and her tireless efforts to support the homeless in Pinellas. Her dedication serves as a beacon of inspiration for all.

In August 2022, Edwards-Perry was appointed as a Skyway Marina District board member to fill a mid-term vacancy. Furthermore, the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce nominated her for the 2023 Most Valuable Burger Award.

Renee Edwards-Perry received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Caprice Edmond

Elected to the Pinellas County School Board in 2020, Caprice Edmond is a lifelong resident of St. Petersburg, proudly graduating from Gibbs High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Master of Elementary Education with English for Speakers of Other Languages endorsement, Master of Educational Leadership and Certification in Infant Family Mental Health from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. She also served as a Guardian ad Litem for 10 years.

Edmond is active in the community and serves in leadership roles on numerous committees and organizations. She has a significant and consistent history of advocacy for children and families on local, state and national levels through her work with unions and Parent-Teacher Associations.

Since being elected to the school board, Edmond has earned Certified School Board Member status through the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) and currently serves as an officer on FSBA’s board of directors and as the vice chair of FSBA’s Equity Committee.

Caprice Edmond received the Community Building and Public Service Award.

Napoleon J. Green

Napoleon Green is a lifelong resident of St. Petersburg. He served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard and four in the Special Forces Marine Corps.

Green is a diligent, certified, licensed pest control technician bonded by the State of Florida with 20 years of experience. His work with Oregon Marshall’s Pest Control company involved staying current on the pest control industry’s latest developments, trends, and regulations. He also worked as an area manager for Drive By Exterminators, allowing him to work in many different environments.

Green worked with the City of St. Petersburg for five years and has since retired. He and his wife of 30 years are proud parents of six children and seven grandchildren.

Napoleon Green received the Volunteer Advocacy & Community Leadership Award.

Jonathan Rintels

Jonathan Rintels has been a professional writer for over 40 years. He has written nine produced movies; an episode of “Law & Order,” a novel entitled “Lifemobile” and many more wonderful yet somehow un-filmed stories.

For 19 years, he served as a trustee of the Writers Guild of America health and pension plans. In 2002, he founded and was the CEO of the Center for Creative Voices in Media, a nonprofit advocating for the nation’s creative artists.

In 2022, Rintels moved to Gulfport from Virginia with his wife, Mary Kathryn Taylor. He is very proud of his two adult children and two amazing granddaughters.

Jonathan Rintels received the Volunteer Advocacy & Community Leadership Award.

Deborah Simard

Ohio-born and 40-year Tampa Bay resident Deborah Simard started her volunteer pursuits as a Red Cross candy striper teen. She graduated from Capital University with a dual math and French major, received her bachelor’s degree in education and was honored with the Phi Beta Prize.

Her teaching career, coupled with her 46-year real estate career, has enhanced her people skills and knowledge of the art of negotiation. This has been particularly beneficial with her plethora of volunteer activities.

Despite her demanding role as a new-home construction sales agent, Simard managed to find time for a diverse range of volunteer work. She served meals at Peace Cafe, delivered Meals on Wheels, painted homes renovated for needy homeowners by the Builder’s Association, and conducted free homebuyers’ seminars. This impressive array of activities showcases her commitment to community service and her ability to juggle multiple responsibilities.

With the scaling back of her real estate hours, Simard can devote most of her time and energy to serving the needs of various 501C3 partners throughout Pinellas County by representing GFWC North Pinellas Woman’s Club since July 2019. She works with numerous Pinellas County students, teachers and library events.

Simard works with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast, Invictus Academy, Inspired Equine, Autism Inspired, Hispanic Outreach, Gulf Coast Jewish Family Center Services, Enterprise Village and Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy. She volunteers weekly at the Empath Hospice Resale Store and helps with the various needs at Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center.

She is a serial volunteer, working with Wounded Warriors, Honor Flight, Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrations, Restored To Dream, March of Dimes, Free Dental Clinic, Clearwater Free Clinic, Bay Pines Cemetery, Oldsmar Veteran Memorial Services, Habitat For Humanity and so much more.

Since joining GFWC, she has served as chairperson for the Education & Libraries Community Service Program and the Community Impact Program for two years and received the Tomorrow’s Growth Begins Today Award. Additionally, Simard founded the Kuddles for Kindness Christmas program, in which she and club members pick up, tag, and deliver stuffed animals to Pinellas County Title I special needs schools.

A complete list of Simard’s volunteer services is too numerous to list, and that is why she received the Community Activist and Leadership Award.

Dawn Garcia

Dawn Garcia has been in dentistry for 33 years. Her career began as a student in the dental assisting program at Pinellas Technical College. She worked in the field for 20 years and when the instructor retired, she contacted Garica to take over the dental assisting program.

At the heart of Garcia’s work is a commitment to her students’ success and the betterment of their communities. Her program, in collaboration with local dentists, plays a crucial role in providing much-needed dental care at a significantly reduced rate for both the student population and the wider community, making a tangible difference in their lives.

Each year she plans and manages a carnival at Pinellas Technical College’s St. Petersburg campus to give back to the community. The carnival provides food, games and free services provided by the programs on campus. The carnival has grown to approximately 300 student and community attendees.

Garia also plans team-building events for Pinellas Technical College staff, is on the leadership team and is the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association representative and the National Technical Honor Society sponsor for the St. Petersburg campus.

Garcia is married with two sons and six grandchildren. She spends her free time riding her electric scooter and hanging out with her grandchildren.

Dawn received the Education, Training & Development Award.

Tonjua Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Tonjua Williams was named St. Petersburg College’s seventh president on July 3, 2017. Following a nationwide search, she was selected by a unanimous vote of the College’s Board of Trustees.

A dynamic leader and motivating speaker, Williams has advanced the college’s commitment to higher education opportunities, workforce training, student success, community partnerships and the college’s overall sustainability.

Williams has been named to the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence and was part of the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellows. She is a graduate of Leadership Tampa Bay, Leadership St. Pete, the Chancellor’s Leadership Program and the Executive Leadership Program at the University of Florida.

She holds a position on the American Association of Community Colleges’ Board of Directors. She also serves as a board member for the Southern Association of Colleges with Associate Degrees and the Florida Council of 100.

Williams believes a quality education should be easily accessible and available to everyone seeking better lives and a sustainable income for themselves and their families. She is nationally recognized as an expert in student development and strategic planning that transforms individuals, departments, and institutions.

Since becoming president, she has concentrated and succeeded in making St. Petersburg College a special place where opportunities are endless, hope is never deferred and dreams come true.

Under her leadership, St. Petersburg College has attained national acclaim. The “Chronicle of Higher Education” named the college a top-producing institution in the Fulbright Scholarship Program, one of only 26 associate and baccalaureate institutions in the country to receive that recognition. In addition, the most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings list St. Petersburg College among the top in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs Overall, Best Online Bachelor’s Program for Business and Best Online Program for Veterans. The college received Best of the Best awards from the Tampa Bay Times for Best Local College and Best Nursing College.

Williams has received numerous honors and awards throughout her 38 years in community college education. Among the most recent are the Phi Theta Kappa Paragon Award for outstanding presidential leadership, the Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year Award and the Pinellas Opportunity Council’s inaugural President’s Award for Community Leadership.

Williams’ academic journey is a testament to her commitment to learning. She holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Barry University, a master’s degree in counselor education from the University of South Florida and bachelor’s degrees in business administration and humanities from Clearwater Christian College.

Dr. Tonjua Williams received the Higher Education Leadership & Achievement Award.

Deveron Gibbons

For more than 25 years, Deveron Gibbons has served as a strategic and tactical business leader and an advisor and counselor to governors, legislators, and members of Congress. He has also established himself as a creative force helping to shape the next generation of leaders, serving on the boards of trustees of two institutions of higher learning in his native Florida.

As executive director of the Revenue Based Finance Coalition, Gibbons leads the day-to-day operations of an organization whose members fund well over $100 billion dollars per year to help meet the needs of American entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized businesses. The coalition works nationwide to educate policy leaders on issues related to revenue-based finance. This innovative finance option helps small businesses secure access to capital, quickly providing financing to address immediate needs.

Before assuming his leadership position with the coalition, Gibbons served as senior vice president of public affairs and business development at a large consumer financial entity that served more than three million customers each month. In that position, he served as a resource to policymakers and helped strengthen laws and regulations governing the financial services industry.

A native of St. Petersburg, Gibbons earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1995 and his master’s in public administration from the University of South Florida in 2006. He then earned his Juris Doctor from the Florida A&M University College of Law in 2016 and a master’s in business administration from Florida A&M University in 2018.

Gibbons was appointed by Florida’s governor in 2006 to serve on the St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees and was reappointed by two subsequent governors. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Bethune-Cookman University.

Deveron Gibbons received the Dedication to Corporate & Higher Education Award.

Pastor Jason Nicholas

Pastor Jason Nicholas is the lead pastor of WINGS Fellowship Church. At age 8, he emigrated to the United States from the island of Trinidad and Tobago.

From a young age, Nicholas knew God had a call on his life and began serving his local church’s outreach ministry. He was one of the founding members of WINGS Fellowship Church and humbly served as a van driver and media specialist.

As his passion for ministry grew, he became the youth minister for WINGS Fellowship Church, where he served with dedication and excellence. Under the teaching of the founding pastor, John H. Chance, Nicholas transitioned into the role of an ordained minister.

On April 2, 2016, he was ordained as the lead pastor of WINGS Fellowship Church. Since then, he has been instrumental in leading the church’s growth and community outreach programs. He graciously tends the flock that God provided, ensuring that he makes true disciples who are equipped to give the Word in every season. He is passionate about ensuring that the next generation has the foundation needed to continue God’s work.

Nicholas is a devoted husband to Maxine Nicholas, and together, they are the proud parents of four amazing children. As a family, they all work together to serve God’s people and positively impact their community. His heart for ministry and commitment to serving others make him a valuable leader in the WINGS Fellowship Church community.

Pastor Jason Nicholas received the Outstanding Spiritual Leadership Award.

Andrida McCall Hosey

Andrida McCall Hosey is a Tampa Bay Area arts educator, actress, and choreographer. She is the former lead theater instructor of the fine arts program at John Hopkins Middle School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Marquette University and was the first African-American female to graduate from that program.

In addition to starting several Bay area liturgical dance programs, she is the founder and director of the liturgical movement ministry for Bethel Community Baptist Church, a position she has held for 25 years.

During her early career in the 80s, Hosey found work in the Milwaukee and Chicago area with Hansberry-Sands Theatre Company, where she received rave reviews for the role of Cat in the play “Nights Alone” and Abbie Putnam in the play “Desire Under The Elms.” Later in that decade, she primarily worked in the Pittsburgh area where she was raised, with the University Of Pittsburgh’s Kuntu Repertory Theatre and The Three Rivers Shakespeare Company. She received rave reviews for portraying Millicent in Red Barn Theatre’s production of the South African play “Exclusive Circles.”

Recently, Hosey performed in American Stages’ production of “White Rabbit, Red Rabbit.” In 2022, she performed in the stage reading of the play “Brown Girl in the Ring” at American Stage. She is a perennial collaborator with the local story-telling organization Your Real Stories and was also an artistic contributor to the critically acclaimed “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement,” directed by September Penn.

Hosey was an original cast member of a local Christmas production of “Black Nativity” directed by Bob Devin Jones. She has directed over 20 musicals at John Hopkins Middle School, including “The Wiz” in 2011.

She has been recognized by several community organizations, including the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority award for “Arts and Letters Commission,” the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority “Footprint Service” award and the Gathering of Women “Art, Cultural & Heritage” award.

In 2022, Hosey received the Community Impact Award from American Stage. Along with her husband, Boyzell, she received the 2023 Studio Honors Impact Award for inspiring arts in the community. Last November, Hosey received the Brilliance Award from The Well for Life organization.

Currently, she is enjoying retirement by pursuing film, commercials and voice-over acting, in addition to stage production and custom-designing artistic curriculum and programming geared toward inspiring youth and adults alike.

Andrida McCall Hosey received the Gwen Reese Lifetime Achievement Award.

Boyzell Hosey

Boyzell Hosey moved to St. Petersburg with his family in 1998, where he began a long-term career as a staff photojournalist with the formerly named St. Petersburg Times. His role as a documentary photographer and photo editor opened countless opportunities for him to use his storytelling platform to help amplify the voices and concerns of people and causes in local communities.

In 2022, after serving 16 years as the Tampa Bay Times’ director of photography, Hosey left that post and accepted a role with the investigation news organization ProPublica, where he is now senior editor for visual storytelling. Under his leadership, his staff have been awarded numerous photojournalism awards and contributed to high-profile projects, including five that won Pulitzer Prizes between 2014-22.

This year, his visual editing staff at ProPublica was awarded the National Team Visual Editing Award from the Best of Photojournalism competition sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association.

Hosey’s journey in photography began as a high schooler from West Middlesex, Penn., where he discovered his passion for the craft and art of making photographs. After attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, he worked professionally as a studio photographer, freelanced, exhibited his photographic art and taught photography to Pittsburgh area high school students. His early passion for photography laid the foundation for his successful career in the field.

After meeting his future wife, Andrida, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication from Ohio University. From there, he launched his career in photojournalism and has worked in the news industry ever since. Hosey has covered and edited long-form projects, breaking news and major sporting events.

In 1997, while working for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., he photographed celebrity golfer Tiger Woods winning his first Masters tournament. That historic image was displayed on the front page of the newspaper.  Also, during that time, he was named runner-up South Carolina Photographer of the Year.  In 2005, he led his staff at the St. Petersburg Times through coverage documenting the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

In 2016, after formulating an increasingly popular pressure-cooked collard green recipe, Boyzell, along with Samantha Harris, co-founded the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization devoted to educating and inspiring our local communities to live healthier through the foods people love to grow and eat.

The first festival was held in 2017 with a humble but solid attendance of about 1,000 people. This year, the St. Petersburg community celebrated the eighth annual festival, which continues to witness increasing local impact while solidifying itself as one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. Over the last two years, attendance has been estimated to be upwards of 8,000 people.

Hosey’s commitment to community engagement and education is truly inspiring. He serves on the boards of the National Press Photographers Association, University of Florida Journalism Advisory Council and Pinellas County Schools Journeys in Journalism program.

He has served as a mentor for the Men in the Making program, and runs media for Bethel Community Baptist Church, where there is an emphasis on teaching multimedia to youth.  His dedication to fostering and promoting visual journalism talent and commitment to diversity efforts are widely recognized in the industry.

In 2023, Boyzell received the National Press Photographers Association Honors Leadership Award and was recognized along with his wife at the Studio@620 Honors Award for community impact.

Boyzell Hosey received the Gwen Reese Lifetime Achievement Award.

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