Battle Contestants

/Battle Contestants
Battle Contestants2018-11-28T09:52:25+00:00

Meet the “Lip Sync for Lungs Live Battle!” Contestants

  Gary White   | Bridgette Bello  |  Lee Bowers | Karen McGinnis

Gary White Headshot

Gary White

Associate Director | Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance (HCADA)

Gary White is the Associate Director of the Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance (HCADA), a non-profit, community based organization working to end substance abuse and addiction in Hillsborough County through education, collaboration and advocacy. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from the University of Tampa (UT) and his Master in Public Health – Public Health Practice from the University of South Florida (USF). Gary completed 21 years as a military healthcare nurse before eventually becoming Certified in Public Health, a Certified Worksite Wellness Program Manager and a Tobacco Treatment Specialist employed with HCADA. In addition to a career in public health, Gary regularly supports local groups including the Military Affairs Council and WUSF public radio. He currently resides in Lutz, FL with his wife and two children. He can be contacted at gwhite@hcada.com.

Bridget bello group photo

Bridgette Bello

Bridgette Bello, CEO and Publisher of Tampa Bay Business & Wealth, was the former president and publisher of the Tampa Bay Business Journal for nearly 11 years.  She is a longtime media professional with more than 25 years of experience and was the first woman publisher in the newspaper’s 40-year history. She has worked in almost every aspect of the media business from writing for a daily newspaper to buying advertising as a media buyer for ad agencies, and everything in between. Bridgette has run successful sales departments in both print and broadcast positions, as well as award-winning news teams across both platforms.  Bridgette is on the Executive Committee for the Tampa Hillsborough EDC, a Governor Appointed Trustee for St. Petersburg College, Board of Fellows – University of Tampa, Board of Directors emeritus for The Spring of Tampa Bay, past Chair of the American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk to stop diabetes, and a CEO’S Against Cancer, Florida Chapter Member.  She was the St. Petersburg Chamber “Business Woman of the Year” for 2011, and Best Mom’s of the Bay for 2012. She is mom to 3 beautiful 22-year-old children, all college seniors at Florida schools this year, and is proud to be a Florida Gator!  She is a breast cancer survivor turned non-smoker!

Jo-Lynn Brown, managing editor, was born and raised in St. Petersburg. She graduated USF St. Pete’s Journalism program in 2008 and has been in the publishing world since 2011. In her past life, she was a student of dance at the Academy of Ballet Arts, Gibbs High School and Boston Conservatory.

Jason Baker is the Vice President and Associate Publisher of Tampa Bay Business & Wealth. Baker has dedicated himself to the sales and marketing industry for over 25 years excelling in radio, tv, outdoor and print advertising sales and management. In addition, Baker owned and operated a successful advertising agency in Virginia for 10 years, executing creative campaigns in over 30 major markets across the country. In 2015, he seized the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Business Journal under the leadership of president and publisher Bridgette Bello, as the vice president of sales, managing all aspects of revenue. In 2018, he and Bello decided to partner on launching Tampa Bay Business & Wealth. Over his career he has collected numerous awards for performance. Included are 22 national and regional awards for creative execution, 5 awards for sales and sales management excellence, including the Entercom Presidents Club award, and the Navy League Scroll of Honor. Baker currently serves on the board of directors of Leadership Tampa Bay and Children’s Home Services. He is also a member of the University of Tampa Board of Fellows. He has served as the chairman of the Special Olympics Hillsborough County development committee, served on various Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD)committees and boards, and is directly responsible for raising over $500,000 for Navy families through his involvement in the Navy League.

Lee Bowers headshot

Lee Bowers

Chief Operating Officer | WellCare Health Plans of Florida

Lee Bowers is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Florida for WellCare Health Plans. Mr. Bowers provides leadership and oversight across the state on network management, health quality initiative contracting for providers, sales and marketing functions. Mr. Bowers has over 25 years of health insurance, healthcare consulting and provider experience.  Bowers served as a Naval Reservist and holds a Master of Health Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of North Florida. Mr. Bowers and his wonderful wife, Elizabeth, have a daughter who is a freshman at SMU, and they are proud to call Tampa their home for the past 10 years.

“I am glad to have the opportunity to support the American Lung Association through Lip Sync For Lungs because of the great impact they continue to make by building proactive healthcare, asthma and smoking cessation solutions for millions of people. They are truly a remarkably caring and effective organization with great leadership.”   said Bowers.

Karen McGinnis headshot

Karen McGinnis

Director of Admissions | HealthCare Connection of Tampa

Hello All… One thing I know for certain is this…. “Your Truth Will Set You Free”… so here goes! Never in a million years did I for see me living the life that I live today. I am a single, fully self-supporting, independent mother to 5 year old “Owen”. He is my everything and my little North Star. As a 3rd generation Tampa native to a wonderful and loving family, I endured some personal struggles for nearly 2 decades that allowed me to develop a sense of empathy for individuals battling substance abuse. These struggles that I turned into triumphs has given me the ability to now work in the substance abuse field guiding people into recovery, giving them not only HOPE, but a plethora of resources here in Hillsborough County (and statewide) to go on to live productive and meaningful lives. I work as the Director of Admissions/Marketing/and Outreach for HealthCare Connection of Tampa. HCC is a renowned treatment facility that has been helping impaired doctors, nurses, lawyers, and other impaired professionals recover from substance abuse and dual disorders for the last 30 years. It is my honor and privilege to use my own personal experience, strength, and hope not only in a professional setting, but also in our community at large in general.

I have an extensive background in corporate America, but my PASSION is helping others. I stay very busy in the community giving back and helping others wherever I am needed. I currently volunteer with the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance, Dress For Success, and the City of Tampa Narcotics Task Force.

I am so excited to be taking part in the American Lung Association’s Lip Sync For Lungs. Help us raise the necessary funds to support their mission of ending lung disease by voting for me. I am confident that I will ROCK THE STAGE and with your votes win the “LIVE BATTLE”!!!

Katie Phillips

I was born and raised in a small New England city called New London, CT.   Even as a child, I had a passion for helping others. I have spent the last 20 years working in numerous different specialties within the healthcare field.   Most of those years were spent working for the Department of Veterans Affairs caring for terminally ill Veterans.

My path to Tampa started in September 2016 after admitting to myself that I was battling substance abuse and alcoholism.  I completed inpatient treatment at River Oaks in Riverview and outpatient treatment at Clean Recovery in Tampa and decided to plant roots in Florida.

I am currently working as a medical assistant in a Primary Care Practice for GMS Florida West Coast in Carrollwood.  I am not married and have no children.  I spend a lot of my free time using my own experience to help others that are struggling with addiction.

The American Lung Association is an organization near and dear to my heart. My 19 year old nephew has been battling Ciliary Dyskinesia since birth. It is because of the work and research of organizations like the American Lung Association that he is still with us today.   My favorite quote: “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the most wonderful things that happen to us”.  Your votes allow me to continue to help others!!