The Northeast Journal Family



Jen MacMillen

Jen MacMillen began her “good news only” publishing business when she started an employee newsletter for Gannett Outdoor billboard advertising company in 1988. She had no idea where this would take her because she did it for the fun of it! Today, she publishes three print journals featuring the “good people, good places and good things happening” in two communities in Vermont and one right here in northeast St. Pete! Seeing the good in people and sharing their stories is what she does best. Her favorite thing on earth, besides her daughters, is sunshine!

Graphic Designer/Copy Editor

Julie Johnston

Julie Johnston, with us since 2006, lays out the design of the Northeast Journal, creates all the ads which are not supplied by the advertisers, and is our copy editor. She has also been a stagehand for 12 years and on the board since 2004 at Eight O’Clock Theatre, the resident theatre company of the Largo Cultural Center. Her volunteer interests are Horses for Handicapped, Special Olympics, the SPCA, and high school drama troupes in Florida and California. Julie is a freelance designer, so if you need any graphics, please email

Distribution Manager

Jamie Mayo

Business owner of Wife For Hire and Reconciled! (cleaning and bookkeeping, respectively); Home delivery and subscription manager for the Northeast Journal. “Frankly, it is an honor to be associated with the Journal. The Northeast Journal has been my only printed form of advertising and some of my best accounts, many of whom I now consider like family, have come from my advertisement in the Journal.”

I came to St. Petersburg in 1979 from Strongsville, Ohio (go Browns!), but have a heart for my hometown St. Petersburg and am grateful for the small ways I am able to serve.

Advertising Director

Susan Williams

Susan brings over 25 years of marketing and advertising expertise to the Northeast Journal. Her past experience has been from ad sales executive, to sales manager to owning her own business. After selling her business she joined the Northeast Journal in 2005 as advertising director. As a result of her experience with owning her own business she treats the publication like it is her own and takes pride in helping her clients. She enjoys helping local businesses expand and prosper. She has been part of the wonderful St. Pete community for over 10 years now and is so proud to be part of such a great place to live.

Communications Intern

Dewey MacMillen

Dewey MacMillen grew up in Norwich, VT before moving to Boston to attend Northeastern University, where she is currently a Senior. After having completed two “coops,” internships in Northeastern parlance, at EF Education First and NARS Cosmetics, Dewey self-developed a third with her mother, Jen! While she has no idea what she is looking to do after graduation (yet!) she knows that she has a love of fashion and sustainability and hopes to combine the two. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her sister, Maisie, hanging out with friends, and cooking. She has enjoyed the chance to observe her mother’s commitment to spreading positive news around the Upper Valley!

Content Contributors

Askia Acquil

Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil was Assistant Editor of the newspaper and editor of the yearbook at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg. For two summers he worked for the St. Petersburg Times as a summer intern. He is a member of the St. Petersburg Interfaith Association and served on the Board of Directors of the National Conference for Community and Justice (now Community Tampa Bay), and Congregations United for Community Action (CUCA). He is the former Executive Director of St. Petersburg NHS, Inc. and the former Deputy Director of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. His responsibilities as a leader in the Muslim faith have involved duties affecting the Tampa Bay area and six southern states. He believes in the power of the pen as an instrument for spreading good news and useful information.

 Rick Carson

After a career in Washington, D.C., in government service and political campaign operations, Rick Carson took a detour to New Jersey where he co-owned and was innkeeper of a Victorian bed-and-breakfast near the Delaware River. Upon retiring to Florida he became involved in numerous volunteer programs and projects including as editor of several newsletters and publications, including the newsletter of the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association (HONNA).

 Linda Dobbs

Linda Dobbs has lived in the Old Northeast section of St. Petersburg for 10 years. Before that she lived, worked, and had adventures in 10 states and 3 continents. She has been a journalist and editor for over 35 years in Florida, California, New Jersey, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Past president and board member of several local and international clubs throughout her life, she is currently a member of St. Petersburg’s International Relations Committee, a Guild member at the Dali Museum, a member of the Board at the Poynter Memorial Library at USF – St. Petersburg, and a Junior League Sustainer. Linda and her husband Bob, have 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren, both here and in Washington, D.C.

 John Gee

After moving here from New Mexico in 2000, he and his wife lived in the Old Northeast for 12 years before moving to the Signature Place in downtown St.Pete. He is a retired History teacher who now volunteers as a teacher of English as a Second Language and a sometime bartender for American Stage. He will always have a place in his heart for the old neighborhood and will now be our downtown correspondent.

 Mary Hampton

Mary Hampton is a retired educator who moved to Florida in 2007 from New York. Since arriving in Florida, she has been doing non-stop research into the topics of recycling and sustainability. She has been on a quest to meet people who are also interested and involved in these topics. Her present activities include research and writing involving these topics. In Vermont, she is a member of the Trash Force committee of the Sustainable Woodstock organization. In Florida, she is working closely with residents in the counties of Pinellas and Sumter to perform research. Articles she writes, are presently appearing in Florida and Vermont. To contact Mary, email her here.

 Rebekah Lazaridis

Rebekah owns and operates a small local boutique called Eugenia Woods. When not creating handmade items, Rebekah loves listening to old 1930’s Radio Shows, creating paintings from discarded scrap, devouring mint chip ice cream (the green kind only), traveling the world in search of life’s answers and above all loves her new husband, family and three demanding Siamese cats.

Will Michaels

Will Michaels has served as executive director and trustee of the St. Petersburg Museum of History, vice-president of the Carter G. Woodson Museum of African American History, president of St. Petersburg Preservation and co-chair of the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society, and is currently president of the Flight 2014 Planning Board, which is coordinating the celebrations for the centennial of the world’s first airline. He is the author of The Making of St. Petersburg, and frequently speaks to community groups about local history. Will is married to Kathy, has three adult children, and four grandchildren.

Livia Zien

I’m an electrical engineer by training, and after 20 or so years of designing circuits for space applications, I’ve been given a chance to use the other side of my brain, writing for the Northeast Journal. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always had too much to say … but now I love writing about what others in our community have to say. Aside from that, I love living in the Old Northeast, running, swimming, cooking, and just spending time with my wonderful husband, two mischievous kitties, and fantastic friends…