Staff

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John Sotomayor

Publisher / Executive Editor / Sales Director 

Sotomayor is the president and CEO of Sotomayor Media Creations LLC, the parent company of  Elevate, formerly Ocala Christian Advocate magazine, of which he serves as publisher and executive editor. Sotomayor has an extensive career in media, honed as president of Sotomayor Media Creations, LLC. Clients include several Florida publications, such as: Florida Trend, Florida Travel & Life, Gainesville Today, Ocala Star Banner, and North Central Florida Business Report, and national corporations, such as Best Version Media, which he served as content coordinator for four publications: Country Club Living, Southeast Neighbors, Downtown Neighbors and Innovation Ocala. Sotomayor and his business have won numerous media awards, including Minority Business of the Year, Journalist of the Year, and the Mary Sue Rich Diversity Award by the City of Ocala. Sotomayor was a staff writer for five publications of Akers Media Group: Lake & Sumter Style, The Villages Edition Style, Healthy Living, Lake Business Magazine and Welcome to Lake. Previously, Sotomayor worked at Ocala Magazine as executive editor, which he began as associate editor. He produced/hosted a radio talk show called: Ocala Magazine Radio with John Sotomayor on WOCA 1370 AM/96.3 FM. His work won numerous awarded by the Florida Magazine Association, Florida Press Cub and Society of Professional Journalists. Sotomayor served on numerous boards/councils and led the Hispanic Business Council for two consecutive terms.

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Joe DeLeon

Creative Director

Joe DeLeon is a Christ-follower, father, husband, athlete and plant eater, with a wealth of more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning designer. For nine years he served as Art Director of Charisma, the flagship magazine of Charisma Media in Lake Mary, FL, and supervised the art direction of three additional publications in digital and traditional print formats.

His portfolio of work includes providing creative vision and artistic leadership for magazines such as Parenting, Cruising World, Sailing World, and Flying. His logo work and overall graphic design abilities have touched everything from the competitive Chicago sports scene and the world of investment banking all the way to the artistic support of the compassionate voices of internationally impactful ministries such as Awana and Pioneers. His talents are a real asset for Elevate and Elevar magazines.

As his creative influence continues to evolve, this Chicago-born and Miami-educated artist gives thanks for his success to the source of all inspiration, faith, and consistently looks to motivational authors, the wonders of nature and the timeless sound of smooth Jazz for renewed perspective to guide his work.  Bold colors that dance off of the page united with cleverly crafted typography are his signature style, declaring his thought-out vision, loud and clear.

Conan Segrest

Conan Segrest

Chief Photographer 

Conan Segrest and his wife Yaisa have been the owners of Full Line Photography Studio, located on SR 200 in Ocala, for the last 6 years. They been in the Ocala area since graduating in 1998 and married since 2001. His wife got him his first camera that same year and he hasn’t put it down since, now providing timeless wedding photography and family portraits to his clients to cherish a lifetime. Their extended family consists of 5 dogs, a cat and one squirrel, and when not working they enjoy getting into home projects and spending time outdoors.

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Trisha Hiatt

Contributing Writer 

Trisha Hiatt is a third-generation Ocalan who is a Christ follower, wife, and mom. Trisha was a Kindergarten teacher at Redeemer Christian School for seven years and at Victory Academy for three. She loved teaching, but the Lord opened the doors for her to write from home which ended up being ideal as she is able to stay home with her two-year-old son, Sutton. She thoroughly enjoys writing and has been honing her craft for four years working with Best Version Media as the Content Coordinator for three Citrus County neighborhood publications. As this has been such a joy for her, she is even more excited to have the opportunity to share her faith and beliefs while writing for Elevate. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing with her son, painting, laughing, dancing, playing the piano, and theater. She gives God all the glory for the blessings in her life.

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Bill Dodd

Wellness Columnist and Contributing Writer

Bill Dodd has served in numerous executive positions overseeing administration, governmental and public relations, marketing and publications for major public and private entities. Over the years, he attained national recognition for public service and tourism efforts.

For over fifteen years, Bill planned and managed AAA Public and Government Relations programs in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Over these years at AAA, he was the Executive Editor and Publisher for Car & Travel  and AAA World magazines.

Bill also served as a lobbyist for AAA and published a book about dream Interpretation entitled Dream On. After his years at AAA, Bill served as Executive Director of Florida Community Foundations, Youth Reach and Case Manager at The Centers.

Bill Dodd was the Senior Minister at Unity of Ocala from 2003 to 2009 and presently is the Senior Minister of a non-denominational church focused on meditation called Trinity of Light in Ocala.

Bill’s community involvement included serving for years as a Commissioner on the Florida Tourism Commission, the Florida Economic Development Commission, the Florida Tourism Association and on the Board of Directors of the Florida Audubon Society.

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