In a year filled with many setbacks and obstacles, the LGBTQ communities in Central Florida and Tampa Bay have met those challenges with amazing resilience and resisted all forms of discrimination.

The individuals selected as Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2017 come from many walks of life but all share one thing in common, they all were truly exceptional this year.

We did things a little different for our 2017 list. Watermark, with the input of our LGBTQ community members, selected the 17 individuals and couples who we saw stand out in a year filled with remarkable people. Then we asked prominent members of the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay to write the profiles of our Most Remarkables. These 17 authors are friends, work colleagues and community leaders of our Remarkables – many of who have been named Most Remarkable in previous years.

So without further ado, here are our 17 Most Remarkable People of 2017.


James Rode, Orlando Gay Chorus’ artistic director

Barry Miller, Orlando attorney and founder of The 49 Fund

Kellie Parkin, MBA Orlando’s Executive director

Pamela Schwartz, Orange County Regional History Center’s Chief Curator

Jennifer Foster, Owner of Foster Productions, Inc.

Robin Daily, Zebra Coalition Community Engagement Coordinator

Rebecca Storozuk, Orange County’s first transgender deputy

Marco Antonio Quiroga, Program Director at Our Fund Foundation


Darden Rice, St. Petersburg City Council Chair

Nicolas Cardello, Tampa Bay photographer and bay-area Santa Claus

Terri Lipsey-Scott, Chair of the Executive Board for the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum

Ed Gonzalez, Owner Enigma St. Pete

James Keane, Metro Wellness & Community Centers’ Director of LGBTQ Programs and Development

Nathan Bruemmer, ALSO Youth’s Executive Director and organizer for St. Pete Pride’s Trans March

Beth David and Esteban Bravo, Creators of animated short, ‘In A Heartbeat’

John and Nancy Desmond, Members of Tampa Pride and PFLAG Tampa

Sandi Hulon, Tampa Bay documentarian/filmmaker

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