Best of Orlando 2018 - People & Media

There are treasures to be found all over Central Florida—and here’s your exclusive map to some great finds. Our annual Best of ORL list is based entirely on reader picks in dozens of categories. Plus check out our snapshot profiles of selected winners.



Derrick Williams

Roberto Gonzalez

Food and Drink | Home & Shopping | People & Media | Fun & Leisure | Health & Beauty | Kids & Pets

A Faithful Shepherd

Derrick Williams had a long and successful engineering career at Lockheed Martin. But in 2005, he felt led to take on a second career: helping to shepherd the 500-member flock of Parramore’s Shiloh Baptist Church. In 2012, he took over as senior pastor while continuing his career, retiring from Lockheed in 2017. “My primary mission is to lead and feed the congregation and the community,” Williams says. “To live by example becomes a must in ministry to God’s people.” The husband and father of two says he encourages his congregants to use their gifts to make a difference in the lives of others. He also hopes to bridge generational gaps so many can come to know God. “If it’s God’s will, my legacy would be, ‘He pastored at a place where God allowed peace at a time where all generations were able to come and hear and learn of Him,’” Williams says. “We’re living in a time when people are hurting others and hurting themselves. I believe it traces to a lack of a relationship with God.” — C.H.

PASTOR

1 Derrick Williams
Pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church of Orlando
sbcorlando.org

2 David Uth
Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Orlando
firstorlando.com

3 Byron Bledsoe
Senior Pastor at C3 Church, Avalon Park
c3church.cc

TELEVISION SPORTSCASTER

1 Pat Clarke
WESH-Channel 2
wesh.com

2 Jamie Seh
WKMG-Local 6
clickorlando.com

3 Adam Shadoff​
Fox 35
fox35orlando.com

MUSIC RADIO STATION

1 XL 106.7 FM
xl1067.com

2 Z88.3 FM
zradio.org

3 K92.3 FM
k923orlando.com

LOCAL RADIO SHOW

1 Johnny’s House
XL 106.7 FM
xl1067.iheart.com

2 The Philips Phile​
Real Radio 104.1 FM
realradio.iheart.com

3 Obie & Ashley in the Morning
K92.3 FM
k923orlando.com

TV WEATHER FORECASTER

1 Tom Terry
WFTV-Channel 9
wftv.com

2 Amy Sweezey
WESH-Channel 2
wesh.com

3 Tony Mainolfi
WESH-Channel 2
wesh.com



Nicole Equerme (MARIAH WILD)

Music to Live By

In 2017, musician and longtime Mount Dora resident Nicole Equerme received an email asking if she would like to perform a solo show at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. “I literally just hid beneath the covers” after reading it, she recalls. “It was too much.” She took the stage in November, three years after releasing her first album, “I,” and just two years after pursuing music full-time. Compared vocally to Norah Jones, the singer/brass and string player/audio-video technician draws upon a variety of instrumental influences including Chris Thile, Imogen Heap and Zoe Keating. And she’s getting noticed. “This year I’ve been gigging about six days a week on average,” she says. You can often see her performing at Disney Springs with the “bluegrassish” band Mighty Swell or as a solo act around Central Florida. “I have enough material to record 2 1/2 albums,” Equerme says. “But I’ve been so busy since I made music my profession. I’m hoping this year will be my year [to record again].” – C.H.


LOCAL BAND OR SINGER

1 Nicole Equerme
nicoleequerme.com

2 Paulo Clayton
pauloclayton.com

3 Casey Conroy
iamcaseyconroy.com

INSTAGRAMMER

1 Lemonhearted
@lemonhearted

2 Orlando Is Sleeping
@orlandoissleeping

3 Raul Araujo Jr., Stylist
@raularaujohair

BLOGGER

Brendan O’Connor
Bungalower
bungalower.com

Christina Thomas
Go Epicurista
goepicurista.com

3 Tim & Jenn Tracker
The Tim Tracker
facebook.com/thetimtracker

ATHLETE

1 Shaquem Griffin
UCF Football/Seattle Seahawks
seahawks.com

2 Aaron Gordon
Orlando Magic
orlandomagic.com

3 JoJo Marasco​
Pro Lacrosse Player
Windermere Prep Boys Lacrosse Coach
wpsathletics.com

PHOTOGRAPHER

1 Jessie D
Photographer/Makeup Artist
Orlando
jessiedee.net

Patrick Buckley Images
Ocoee
patrickbuckleyimages.com

Kimberly Santana Photography
Orlando
kimberlysantana-photography.com

ART GALLERY

CityArts Factory
Downtown Orlando
orlandoslice.com

Snap! Space/Snap! Downtown
East Colonial Drive
East Church Street
snaporlando.com

Rogers Kiene Building (formerly Gallery at Avalon Island)
South Magnolia Avenue
facebook.com/rogerskienebuilding

TELEVISION   NEWS TEAM

Jim Payne & Meredith McDonough
WESH-Channel 2
wesh.com

Greg Warmoth & Martha Sugalski
WFTV-Channel 9
wftv.com

3 Amy Kaufeldt & Bob FrierFox 35
myfoxorlando.com

COMMUNITY LEADER

1 Buddy Dyer
Orlando Mayor
cityoforlando.net

Joshua Vickery​
Executive Director, Central Florida Community Arts

cfcarts.com

3 Teresa Jacobs
Orange County Mayor
orangecountyfl.net

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