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Editorial Bios


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Alice Koehler is a longtime Lakeland resident, graduate of Florida Southern College, returned Peace Corps Volunteer, mother, and lifelong learner. She holds a certificate in nonprofit management as well as a B.S. in sociology and education. In 2013, she graduated from Leadership Lakeland Class 30 and began her journey as an MBA student. In her free time, she enjoys adventure seeking, memory making, joy giving, bargain hunting, community building, mind bending, knowledge acquiring, and soul filling. Alice is currently the Senior Representative of Community Engagement for the American Cancer Society in Polk County where she gets to see more birthdays celebrated every year by supporting and implementing efforts that help our neighbors get well and stay well, find cures, and fight back.



tina (1)A Charleston native, Tina Sargeant came to Lakeland in 1998 to study English and Intercultural Studies at Southeastern University. An English degree led to a career in education, which led to journalism, which as  life would have it, inevitably led to a career in photography. She met and married a lifelong Lakelander and quickly  discovered that this city has a way of growing roots into a person. After a few moves and some time abroad, Tina now finds herself, quite happily, nestled  back into the wonderful community of Lakeland where she has been professionally capturing the moments, events, and people of our region for the last seven years. You have probably seen Tina creating chalk drawings and watching the afternoon storms roll through  from her front porch with her two vibrant toddlers. If you catch them in action, just don’t forget to wave as you stroll by!
Tina’s Website: Tina Sargeant Photography


Tara Campbell is a long-time Lakelander with a passion for serving others. A graduate of Florida Southern College, she is currently the team and outreach director for Access Church. In the past she has worked as the teen development director for the YMCA of Central Florida, the outreach teacher at the Polk Museum of Art, and a classroom leader at Parker Street Ministries. Believing firmly that only boring people get bored, Tara spends her free time mentoring middle-school girls in the Parker Street Neighborhood, teaching art lessons, and serving the community through several civic organizations, as well as enjoying all of the friends and culture that Lakeland has to offer.



_MG_2370 (1)From a young age, Abdiel Gonzalez was inspired by design and art, and influenced by the colorful culture of his native Hawaii. After moving to Florida in his teens, Abdiel formed an award-winning dance company, No Confusion, received national recognition for his work, and had the opportunity to work with seven national recording artists. His love of fashion developed while earning a bachelor’s in business administration at Florida Southern College. Since then, he has managed multimillion-dollar retail establishments, designed stage costumes, and styled high-profile photo shoots. Currently, Abdiel runs Style Instinct by Abdiel, a styling and image consulting business. As a long-time Lakeland resident, Abdiel gives back by volunteering his talent to local production companies and teaches weekly dance classes at studios here in Lakeland.
Abdiel’s Blog: Style Instinct by Abdiel


_MG_2228copy (1)For as long as she can remember, Courtney has been doodling girls in dresses on any available paper, pad, or napkin. Born and raised in Lakeland, she attended FSU, where she received a degree in sociology and then earned a degree in fashion design and marketing from the Academy of Design in Tampa. After many years helping friends and family prepare for big events, she decided to turn her knack for fashion into a business. She created Style by Courtney, where she works as a stylist for personal clients, groups, photo shoots, and runway shows. Eventually, she wants to design her own prints to be used in her own apparel line. Until then, she plans on spending time with her husband, Bryce, and daughter, Sydney, while sharing her fashion philosophy that “You don’t need a million bucks to look like a million bucks” with her clients and readers.
Courtney’s Blog: Style By Courtney


rachel-1 (1)Rachel Plating is a Florida girl through and through. Growing up she split her weekends fishing in the many lakes of Central Florida and playing bluegrass with her family on the lawn of her grandparents’ house in Eustis. When the time came to go to college, Florida Southern swept her off her feet with its ancient oaks draped in Spanish moss and the sleepy brick roads leading to and from the lakes around town. She and her husband met at FSC, and though called away from Lakeland for a time, they just couldn’t stay away forever. Three years later saw them moving back to this special town and making a home to raise their children among the community they love so much. When she’s not writing for The Lakelander, you can usually find her spending time with her family, making delicious meals, having art time with her kids and playing music at church. When she is writing for The Lakelander, she can usually be found at Mitchell’s.


DSC_9929 (1)Logan Crumpton has been employed with the United States Postal Service for the last twelve years. Although he has lived nearly his entire life in the Lakeland area, he seeks out a world of food culture with the mindset of sharing it on a local level. Like many who have developed a love of food, he honed his skills in his grandmother’s kitchen, learning traditional Cuban and Italian classics. Pursuing more of a life in food has afforded him the opportunity of co-creating the food blog Eataduck, guest writing for online publications, as well as trying his hand as a caterer and private chef.
Logan’s Blog: Eat a Duck



Abby Jarvis is a writing buff with a deep appreciation for the history behind modern cultures and habits. She attended Florida Southern College and, while enrolled there, fell in love with Lakeland’s ability to blend its history with its contemporary identity. Today, Abby works in marketing and outreach at Qgiv, a Lakeland tech company, and spends her spare time writing fairy tales and poetry, which can be found strewn haphazardly through her apartment.




untitled102035 (1)Adam Spafford came to Lakeland in 1999 to attend Florida Southern College and, except for a twenty-month graduate school stint in Massachusetts, has been here since. When he’s not writing page-turners for The Lakelander, he trades stock and index options.