Although our contributing staff consists of 40+ media professionals, here’s a little more about our starting lineup here at Central Florida Media Group. If you have a chance to stop by the office, based in sunny Winter Haven, Florida, then you’ll shake hands with at least one of these members of the CFMG team:
FOUNDER, Nelson Kirkland
The company’s founder, Nelson Kirkland, is no stranger to Central Florida or publishing. Nelson started Central Florida Media Group in March of 2010 after having spent 24 years with the New York Times Regional Media Group. Nelson was considered in the NYT co. Top 100 talent. He is the former publisher of the Winter Haven News Chief and the former director of advertising for The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). Nelson received his BA in Journalism from the University of Central Florida in 1985. He is a sixth-generation Floridian. For Nelson, social responsibility is what it’s all about. He has served as chairman of the board for the Red Cross of Polk and Highlands counties, as well as the past president of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on the Executive Board of Directors for Polk Vision and Board of Directors for the Auburndale Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the board of directors for the area’s Farm Bureau. Kirkland was also the Chairman of Leadership Polk Class Four, having graduated through the program as a member of Leadership Polk Class One. Nelson is a past recipient of the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Distinguished Leadership Alumni Award and is a ten-time recipient of the New York Times Chairman’s Award. He has served on numerous other community and professional associations, including the Newspaper Association of America and Florida Press Association.
MANAGING EDITOR, Celeste Jo Walls
Four months after Central Florida Media Group’s establishment, Celeste came on board and brought with her 10 years of writing and journalism experience, providing key expertise in niche publishing for the print and digital platform, as well as social media management. Before joining CFMG, she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Rollins College, and was the editorial director for a home improvement magazine in Central Florida. With a background in public speaking, Celeste will often provide seminars on social media management or magazine publishing to local organizations, higher education institutions, and other associations. She has been invited to present to business owners and executives at the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, the Haines City Chamber of Commerce, the Better Living for Seniors Polk Chapter, the Females Advancing Business Network, and most recently Keiser University to name a few. As a native Floridian and an active member of the community, she enjoys volunteering at various events, such as the annual Polk County Farm Bureau Agri-Fest for young fourth graders, and as an assistant nursery helper at her local church. In May 2013, Celeste was recognized with the Above and Beyond Award by Polk County Farm Bureau for her outstanding contributions to the organization and the local agriculture community. She and her family also regularly donate to the Mercy Closet and local food banks for those in need. She currently lives in Davenport with her husband and their four children.
ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, David Kiessling
David has been helping clients build effective print and digital marketing strategies for over 27 years. He has worked in digital operations for large diversified media companies including Journal Communications, Howard Publications, Morris Communications, PowerOne Media, and the New York Times Regional Media Group. David first began working with social media blogging and forum platforms in 1998. Today, David works with our clients to produce effective lead-generating marketing plans. Part of the targeted strategy includes niche advertising, next-generation content management websites designed to optimize search engine rankings, and maximizing results through other targeted strategies, such as social media management. As an active member in the community, David often volunteers at the non-profit thrift store called Regenerations on Central Avenue in downtown Winter Haven, which is operated through St. Matthew Catholic Church.
Web Development, Luis Betancourt
Luis is an exceptionally talented graphic designer, photographer, video editor and website developer with over 14 years experience. Before moving to central Florida Luis worked in the television industry as a production manager and content producer in San Juan, PR. Luis has produced cooking shows, websites, news segments, commercials, infomercials, and corporate videos for local, national and international audiences. When he is not busy producing content for Central Florida Media Group clients he enjoys spending time with his family and playing guitar.
Team photos by PEZZIMENTI PHOTOGRAPHY