Meet the Team

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Brendon Leslie

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Brendon grew up on Long Island. Early in his career, he worked for a small local tv news station Blue Ridge News 11 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from 2016-2018. He worked for WINK News in Fort Myers shortly after and quit one year into his 3 year contract to start Florida’s Voice. His mission was simple: create a media outlet to cover Florida news honestly and factually without the corporate strings attached.

He received two Bachelors of Science degrees: Broadcast Journalism and Audio Radio Production at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

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Karoline Tyrrell

Chief Executive Officer

Karoline was raised in Southwest Florida. During her first year of college, she began interning for Florida’s Voice. Soon after, she began her role as the executive manager of Florida’s Voice. Karoline became the CEO of Florida’s Voice in November 2021. Her goal is to continue growing Florida’s Voice by pursuing the mission of honest reporting and bringing factual news to Florida.

She graduated in 2022 from Florida Gulf Coast University’s Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in political science. Karoline attends Ave Maria School of Law, where she is pursuing her Juris Doctor degree.

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Lydia Nusbaum

Senior Reporter

Lydia Nusbaum is a reporter at Florida’s Voice after working for five years as a television news reporter. She previously worked at NBC2 in Fort Myers and worked as the Alabama statewide political reporter for five television stations. Lydia started her career working at KOMU in Missouri. She has extensively covered legislative sessions and has conducted several one-on-one interviews with Alabama’s governor.

Lydia received a 2021 Alabama Broadcasters Association Award for pandemic coverage, a 2019 Missouri Press Association award for her team’s news and feature series, and a Hearst Journalism award for her investigative story.

She graduated in 2018 from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in Convergence Television Reporting with a minor in political science.

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Eric Daugherty

Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Eric was born in Virginia and raised in Maryland, moving to Southwest Florida in 2018. He began his work in news media in 2021 as an intern reporter for Florida's Voice. Later that year, he became the executive producer for Florida's Voice to help serve the mission of establishing and growing an honest Florida media outlet. Eric is studying at Florida Gulf Coast University in the Honors College to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in philosophy.

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Amber Cooper

Reporter

Amber Jo Cooper, an award-winning producer, joined Florida’s Voice as a reporter after working at FOX21 News in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Amber covered notable events including the 2020 Election, the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and live coverage of the protests in Colorado. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Marketing from Concordia University in Irvine, California. She started her career as the Evening News Editor and worked her way up to becoming a Reporter and Producer at FOX21. She has won several Pollie Awards as a producer at Arsenal Media.

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Leah Leonard

Executive Assistant

Leah was raised in Southwest Florida. During her second year of college, she began interning for Florida’s Voice. Leah became the Executive Assistant of Florida’s Voice in June 2022. She attends Florida Gulf Coast University and plans to obtain with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health.

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Zach Planes-Whittington

Production Manager

For the first ten years of Zach's life, he lived in North Carolina before moving to Southwest Florida. Zach joined the Florida's Voice team as the production manager in January of 2022 and enjoys being able to use his creativity daily to help make the best possible content for the audience. On his free time, he enjoys scuba diving, golfing, photography, and making music.