I was featured on a 2012 episode of BizKid$, a nationally syndicated and Emmy-nominated PBS show aimed to teach kids and teens about business smarts. I was chosen to share my experience with social media, networking and turning my internships into jobs.
When I was a kid, my daycare was running around the radio station my dad owned and our family dinners were hot dogs on the third baseline at Clinton LumberKings games. My first on-air experience was at the local fair in Comanche, Iowa when I was four, sitting by my dad’s side as he broadcasted the day’s events.
Apple doesn’t fall far, huh?
In fact, I filmed, reported and edited news shows since I got my first editing equipment when I was 13. Here’s a shortened, edited-down clip of my first “on-air” action when I was in middle school interviewing my neighbor, Sammy:
My life has revolved around sports and media for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been lucky enough to continue that passion.
I’ve since moved from the Midwest League ball games down to Florida Gulf Coast University, where I covered the last two seasons of the Division I program for the locally-broadcasted television show The FGCU Sports Report where I highlighted the accomplishments of the teams in tandem with the athletics department.
My next endeavor? I graduated in December 2011 with a BA in Communication and Journalism at FGCU, I’m still in the market to follow my passions of the media industry – specifically in public relations – anywhere in the United States. I’ve developed a love for PR and having a “home team.”
Media has evolved since my days sneakily playing with switch boards at the radio station when my dad wasn’t looking, and I’ve learned to adapt to the broadening world of the industry. Social media, multimedia, digital media, new media – whatever you call it, I know the ins and outs.
Take a look around my portfolio and see what I’ve accomplished in my career.
While you’re at it – follow me on Twitter!
Grassroots social media campaign forms to protest NHL & NHLPA on Sept. 15th
When the last National Hockey League lockout began September 16, 2004, Twitter didn’t exist. Mark Zuckerberg was still enrolled at Harvard nursing an infant six-month-old Facebook while Tom Anderson ruled the budding social media industry as everyone’s first MySpace friend.
Eight years later, hockey fans once again anxiously await the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations battle to resolve before the September 15 deadline, fearing the second lockout in less than a decade.
However this time around, two fans have constructed digital picket signs to wave in front of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, team owners and the NHL Player’s Association as they argue over percentages.
The founders of @UnfollowNHLSept live hundreds of miles away but met on Twitter through a mutual love of hockey. Kerri, who tweets as @gardenfaithfull, is a Rangers fan in Long Island and Alexa, known as @QueenCrash, is a Blackhawks fan living in Chicago.
“It’s really hard for us to feel sympathetic to the players or owners just because they’re fighting over what seems like nickel and dimes,” Kerri explained. “They’re looking for more cash when the rest of us can barely afford playoff tickets. It’s hard for us to even be able to get to games and they’re fighting over all this money.”
On Saturday, they created a Twitter account, Facebook page and Tumblr all with one message: protest the possible lockout by unfollowing both sides of the CBA negotiation on Twitter and unliking their pages on Facebook – players, owners, the league and NHLPA. As this article is being written, their Unfollow NHL Twitter account has amassed 630 followers, Facebook tallied 80 likes and Tumblr account generated 11 notes.
The NHL’s official Twitter account has 1.3 million followers and 2.5 million Facebook likes while the the NHLPA has over 90,000 Twitter followers and 33,000 Facebook likes.
That’s a lot of likes to unlike.
Does Kerri think their grassroots campaign will cause the league and the NHLPA to trudge out from behind their respective bunkers and call it even? Well, no.
“They know that we’re unhappy,” she says. “But I think if we are able to make a strong statement together – not that we’re never going to watch hockey ever again – just that we are extremely dissatisfied with the way the NHL has handled their CBA negotiations.”
But not all fans fully agree with Kerri and Alexa.
Erin Cheeks posted on Facebook: “I don’t consider the players to be the NHL. They are employees, and the way I see it, they’ve done nothing wrong. I won’t unfollow my boys on Twitter. I’ll follow them more obsessively, actually. The owners though… they can shove it where the sun don’t [sic] shine.”
Kristal McCoy felt similarly: “You’re harming the players. The NHL isn’t even going to know this happened.”
Kerri defends her unfollowing of the players by saying it isn’t personal. “[It’s] not that we don’t still love them and love watching them play,” she explained. “But that we are really unhappy with the way they have handled the situation.”
Social media is an important aspect to Kerri’s hockey experience and creating the online campaign just made sense to her.
“Twitter is almost like, you watched the game together with all these people. When someone scores, Twitter explodes,” she says.
The founders say the Unfollow NHL campaign isn’t aimed to blacklist the league and create a band of NHL expatriates. Kerri just wants the scoreboard at Madison Square Garden to light up for another season.
“Hockey is the one thing we all go to, to get away from our problems, to get away from all the stuff we have in our lives,” she said. “When you get home from work and you’ve had a hard day, you know the game will be on at 7. When you take that away from us, it’s frustrating.”
As technology is filtering down to younger and younger generations (I have a friend who gave his three-year-old niece his iPhone when he upgraded to the 3G. No joke.) there is a rise in the concern of its effects on the developing brain.
Being born in the late-1980s, I’m the first generation to literally grow up in a digital world. Somewhere in the depths of a scrapbook, there’s baby picture of me poking away at an IBM computer the size of mini-fridge. When I was 10-years-old, my parents gave me my first desktop Gateway. I filmed and digitally edited my 13th birthday party, and the same year I got my first cell phone – a silver Motorola flip phone the size of a brick. I don’t have veins, I have wires.
Question is: is the digital world helping the Internet generation utilize our brains, or are we just distracting it with multitasking overload?
There are times, I’ll admit, my digital savvy has been more distracting than productive. I’ve fiddled away hours clicking through Facebook statuses or played mindless hours of Guitar Hero until my thumb nearly cracks off.
Last week, my honors reading class at Florida Gulf Coast University discussed of Don Tapscott’s “Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World.” Our class of seven (plus one journalism professor to keep us on track) seemed to all agree that the baby boomers’ implications that NetGen-ers lack concentration, productivity and retain less information aren’t all true.
Tapscott wrote about interactive technology, and how regularly playing an action video game can change how the brain processes information.
John, an outspoken, bearded philosophy major can vouch for video games, using Halo as an example. “You notice your radar, how much ammo you have, where your teammates are, how much life you have left all while you’re having a conversation with your team on a headset,” he says. “We are able to instantly compartmentalize every aspect of the game.”
I guess it’s no surprise teenage boys lock themselves into their bedrooms for hours at a time, committing virtual massacres inside their TV screen: there’s a hell of a lot to process simultaneously.
Audrey, a soft spoken 21-year-old from Malaysia, takes multitasking to an entirely new realm. She says in order to concentrate, she listens to Chinese music (one of four languages she speaks) as she reads her textbooks that are written in English, writes her blog in English all while switching back and forth from Facebook.
She does admit the the United States’ reliance on technology has made her a little lazy since moving to the states to attend college. “I grew up in Malaysia, and we had to memorize a lot,” she says. “Here, we copy and paste. I think it has to do with culture.”
But why memorize when we carry around Google on our iPhones?
As much as my generation is reliant on our BlackBerrys to help us find the nearest coffee shop, I think it has to be more with efficiency than laziness. The world moves faster than ever, and there’s an increasing urgency for productivity. If Merriam-Webster says “google” is a legitimate verb, then Google I will.
There’s a palpable shift in Patrick Burke’s tone when he speaks of his younger brother Brendan. The articulate, confident New England law student and Philadelphia Flyers scout becomes slightly subdued. Gentle, even.
But Burke, 30, is far from the business of gentle. He handpicks players for a National Hockey League team with a legacy of aggression — the Flyers were notoriously dubbed the Broad Street Bullies during their heyday in the early 1970s. He aspires to be the General Manager of an NHL team. His brusque and red-blooded father, Brian, was GM of three teams in his career. Burke knows first-hand the resilience and grit it takes to manage a professional sports team.
Burke calls Brendan his best friend. But his best friend is gone. Twenty-one-year-old Brendan passed away in a car accident on February 5, 2010.
Just three months before his death, Brendan came out to the world as gay in an intensely public way.
At the time, his dad was GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the most historic franchises in the NHL. Toronto is relentlessly scrutinized by media and followed with diehard passion by its fan base. But instead of hiding from the swarm and speculation that would inevitably follow his father’s high profile, Brendan bravely faced the world with his secret.
He put his story into the hands of ESPN hockey personality John Buccigross in December 2009, who wrote a first-person reflection of Brendan’s coming out to his family.
“Patrick approached me about it and I certainly [knew] the reach of ESPN would benefit Brendan’s message,” Buccigross remembered. “I knew it would be a big deal in Canada since Brian Burke was the GM of Toronto but the impact was a little bigger than I thought.”
Brendan’s coming out sent a jolt through the hyper-masculine hockey world, a sport where there are more gay slurs on the ice than natural front teeth. He’s often considered the first person with such close ties to the NHL to publicly identify as LGBT.
It was the public and fearless coming out that doubled the shock when a car accident on a snowy highway in Indiana stole Brendan’s brilliant light. The world was just beginning to get to know his vibrancy, zeal and passion for LGBT issues.
About a year later, Patrick Burke was working closely with GForce Hockey, a hockey team and advocacy organization comprised of gay male players.
“I had talked to the cofounders and said, look, I wanna do more,” Burke said. “I didn’t know a damn thing about the charity world… So I said to them, I have this idea… I have a motto, ‘If you can play, you can play’ and I think this thing has some legs.”
His motto proved to have more than legs. It had wheels.
A year later, Burke officially announced the You Can Play Project. The organization “seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.”
“After talking to different groups, seeing what was out there, three of us decided that the only way it was going to be done right was by doing it ourselves,” Burke said. “We didn’t want to give it to somebody else to half ass.” That’s a Burke man, for you — never one to mince words.
YCP just celebrated its first birthday and has already made a lasting impression in professional sports. In addition to youth outreach, the organization has created a series of video campaigns to fight homophobia that include endorsements from prominent players around the league. Most recently, the NHL and the NHL Player’s Association formally announced a partnership with YCP.
The NHL became the first major American professional sports league to officially partner with an LGBT advocacy group on such a large scale.
“Brendan’s willingness to speak out spurred the conversation in the hockey world. It wasn’t being talked about, not being considered,” Burke says. “You Can Play would’ve never come into existence if he hadn’t done it first.”
While Burke speaks so highly of his younger brother’s spark that highlighted the need for LGBT inclusion in sports, Patrick takes little acclaim for what he is due.
Buccigross, who is now on the YCP advisory board, speaks highly of Burke, his trademark steeliness and fierce work ethic.
“How [Brendan’s] brother Patrick has picked up the mantle is touching and powerful. Patrick is much like his father. Very aggressive and straight forward,” Buccigross said. “He can’t get enough credit.”
You Can Play is soon making local impact in partnering with the Miami Marlins, and SFGN, on Friday, June 14 for LGBT and Allies Youth Night. Prior to the first pitch at 7:10 p.m. vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, there will be a social mixer with Marlins players and a panel to discuss LGBT issues in sports. Seven youth-centered organizations will benefit directly from the event: The Pride Center, National Voices for Equality Education & Enlightenment (NVEEE), Pride South Florida, Safe Schools, Sun Serve, and You Pride Band of South Florida.
EXCERPT FROM BRENDAN’S COMING OUT ON ESPN.COM:
“Finally, you say it. Awkwardly. You basically stumble along trying not to make it a big deal before just blurting out, “And I love you guys and wanted to tell you that I’m gay.”
There is a brief silence.
Dad is surprised when you tell him that you are gay. He never suspected at all.
Your stepmom speaks first: “OK, Brendan, that’s OK.” And gives you a reassuring smile. Then your dad says, “Of course, we still love you. This won’t change a thing.”
If someone had told you before coming out that your dad, Brian Burke, would be attending a gay pride parade with you, you wouldn’t have believed it. You never suspected Dad would disown you or anything like that, but the way he has handled it and the way he talks about it now has, honestly, really moved you. He was a little awkward about it at first. Today, he doesn’t even think twice about it.
You want it known that he has been 100 percent supportive of you. It’s important to you that people know that even the president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who has a less than sunny public personality, has a gay son and is a firm supporter of gay rights.
IF YOU GO:
Who: The Miami Marlins and the You Can Play Project
What: You Can Play Night / LGBT and Allies Youth Night
Where: Marlins Park, 501 NW 16th Ave, Miami
When: Friday, June 17 at 7:10 p.m.
South Florida Gay News
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:01 Written by and Photos by Caity Kauffman
Just after midnight on Jan. 31, two explosions coming from the carport startled the couple, quickly igniting a fire. The flames burned through the main wall that connected the carport to the house and spread through the attic — including little Zoey’s room.
“She has stayed with us every weekend since she was three weeks old,” Feinstein said. “We’re lucky she wasn’t with us that night.”
Neither Feinstein, 64, nor Gilmore, 60, was injured during the fire.
“The house was filled with noxious, black, boiling smoke belching everywhere,” Gilmore explained. “The interior of the house incurred water and smoke damage immensely, and the firemen had to break holes in the ceiling of every room to fight the fire in the attic.”
So far, officials are perplexed at what triggered the blaze and the cause is still under investigation.
Despite the extensive damage, the couple is upbeat and taking the incident in stride.
“We lost nothing important, nothing heartfelt. We were able to rescue everything. It was just fire and smoke damage,” Gilmore said. “After [the fire department] covered the house in foam, we almost threw a foam party afterwards.”
The two credit the quick response of the police, as well as the Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors fire departments.
“The police and fire department could not have been any nicer or more cooperative,” Feinstein said. “We were so pleased.”
Thanks to a realtor neighbor, the couple has settled into a rental while they make repairs to their damaged home, and continue to stay positive as they deal with the aftermath.
“We have been together 34 years, wherever Barry and I are together is home,” Gilmore said. “That is just a house.”
August 18, 2012. Montreal, Que. – Jason White fought hard through a rough ride on the road course at the NAPA Autopro 100 on Saturday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve behind the wheel of his #21 Bowers & Wilkins at Futureshop Dodge.
White and his team kicked off the weekend with a smooth practice. #21 ran good laps before qualifying, overcoming a few minor issues that popped up along the way. They worked hard to prepare for qualifying, ended up earning the 16th starting position for the race.
As the main event kicked off, White felt he had a strong vehicle – but other cars around him posed a problem.
“Anybody that’s been in the series for a while is patient,” he said later. “But some of the drivers that only run a few races were impatient and it was ridiculous.”
Once the field settled in after a period of unnecessary bumping, White battled hard. He found himself matched up with #90, generating fun racing by going side-by-side for a handful of corners.
#21 fought for every inch of the 100-kilometer race, eventually coming in 13th, up three spots from his starting position.
“I’m really proud of the whole Bowers & Wilkins team and the DJK racing team, they did a great job this weekend,” White said after the race. “I like road racing but I’m looking forward to getting back to the ovals.”
After today’s race, Jason White is ranked #8 overall in the NASCAR Canadian Tire standings with 281 points.
Jason White and the #21 Dodge team will compete in the entire 2012 NCATS schedule that will take the team from coast to coast in Canada for the 12 events. Next on the schedule; teams head to Barrie Speedway near Barrie, ON September 8th. For the latest news about Jason White and the #21 Dodge team check out the team website at www.jasonwhiteracing.com and be sure to follow Jason on twitter for the latest updates @racinjasonwhite You can get more information about the NCATS series at www.hometracks.nascar.com
Attached Photo: Jason White qualifying the #21 Bowers & WilkIns at Futureshop Dodge in Montreal