Meet the Team

palermo-tTOM PALERMO, PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER: Tom has over 32 years experience in the media and  fitness industries. During his career in both corporate and small business entrepreneurial environments, Tom has founded several local, state and regional publications. He has been a successful publisher, editor, health club owner, fitness equipment designer and fabricator, and business consultant. Tom has written hundreds of articles and columns for daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, trade publications and web sites; and hosted a weekly radio talk show for seven years. In 2005, Tom founded Maverick Multimedia, Inc, which specializes in niche, multimedia publishing and special events; and devising comprehensive strategic business and marketing plans.

Dr. Palermo touched the lives of countless Brevardians during his 20 year practice of general, vascular and  non-cardiac thoracic surgery.  In 2002, after a 30 year career in clinical medicine in which his impact was on an individual patient level, he accepted a position as full-time chief quality officer and vice president of quality management of a local healthcare system. Since that time, Dr. Palermo has become the system’s first chief medical officer. Dr. Palermo made this career transformation based on his certainty and conviction that he could personally have a greater impact on improving the quality of healthcare on the Space Coast by more globally addressing quality and patient safety issues as a physician healthcare executive. An accomplished author and sought-after expert in the healthcare industry, Dr. Palermo has written extensively on quality healthcare and medical topics. Dr. Palermo is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, did his surgical residency in the U.S. Army at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgery, and also attained a Masters Degree in healthcare management at the University of Texas at Dallas.

malone-gGILES MALONE, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: As President of the Cocoa Beach Pier and the Cocoa Expo Center, Giles is one of the most active entertainment and sports industry professionals on the Space Coast. Over two million people annually attend events produced by his companies. A native of Bristol, England, Giles has been a Brevard resident since becoming an exchange student at Cocoa Beach High School in 1981. He attended the University of Louisiana on a soccer scholarship and then earned his MBA at Florida Tech. During that time, he assisted head soccer coach Rick Stottler as the Panthers won two NCAA National Championships in 1988 and 1991. Giles has served as president of the Board of Directors for the Space Coast Sports Commission, and is currently the chariman of the Space Coast Tourism Development Council.

McLAUGHLIN-GGABRIELLE McLAUGHLIN, SALES & MARKETING: Gabrielle is a graduate of High Point University in North Carolina, where she earned her degree in Communications and Marketing.  While attending High Point, she was a member of the women’s Division I soccer team, playing in the midfield position.  Gabrielle, a native of West Virginia, made frequent visits to Brevard County while growing up, and has made it her home following graduation. She is excited about working in the community to share what is so very important to her: Living a healthy life.

CYNDI BYARS, SALES & MARKETING: Originally from North Carolina, Cyndi began her career with the Howard, Merrell & Partners Advertising Agency in Raleigh after graduating from North Carolina State University.  She managed market research for Florida Today, and has over 10 years experience in marketing , media planning and copywriting.  Cyndi lives with her husband and three children in Indialantic, Florida.

Harwood-cCATHERINE HARWOOD, WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER: Catherine has been a journalist for more than 25 years, having worked as a reporter in West Palm Beach, Orlando, Houston and Gainesville. She covered the shuttle Challenger disaster for Orlando’s ABC television affiliate WFTV. Harwood taught journalism at her alma mater, the University of Florida. She now writes extensively about health care issues and lives in Merritt Island with her husband and their children.

Yvette-GioiaYVETTE GIOIA, PHOTOGRAPHER: Yvette earned her degree in Communications in 1988 from the University of South Florida. Before and after graduation, she worked with the ABC affiliate WTSP-TV in St.Petersburg, Florida in their investigative reporting division, event planning and promotion department. Later she pursued her love of the arts and her fascination with people by obtaining  further education in photography and digital arts. She currently is the lead photographer for Gioia Photography, a Merritt Island portrait studio. There she enjoys working every day with interesting people, capturing memories in art for her clients.

Straub_anneANNE STRAUB, WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER: Anne launched her journalism career after graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has been writing for newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years. She served as business editor of Florida Today newspaper in Brevard County before turning to freelance work. She covers a variety of subjects, including health and medical issues. Anne lives in Palm Bay with her husband and three children.

sonnenberg-mMARIA SONNENBERG, WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER: Maria is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. Interviewing peripatetic physicians Larry Bishop and Chris Vonderheide were “mini-vacations” for Maria, who found “enough material in their adventures for a couple of books each.” She enjoys a spot of wanderlust, but nowhere near the degree of her subjects. A former editor for a string of weekly newspapers in and around the Pennsylvania Dutch country, Maria now writes for several local publications. In addition, her work has appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, Florida Monthly, Progressive Engineer, BMW Journal and other regional and national magazines.