The Friends of the Riverwalk, in collaboration with the Tampa Bay History Center, has created a panel of nine highly regarded local experts and historians to select both the historically significant persons and events that will be recognized and honored.

Doris Weatherford, Historian and Author
Fred Hearns, Historian
Jack Fernandez, Historian
Andrew Huse, Curator, University of South Florida
Gary Mormino, Professor of History, University of South Florida
Manny Leto, Outreach Director, Tampa Bay History Center
Rodney Kite-Powell, Curator, Tampa Bay History Center
Robert Kersteen, Historian, University of Tampa
E. J. Salcines, Appellate Judge, Retired

Doris L. Weatherford

Doris Weatherford is an expert and lauded author in the field of women’s history. A recipient of a 2013 award from the American Library Association, she currently sits on the Editorial Board of the Tampa Bay History Journal, and also sits on the “Advisory Board to the Center for Florida History” at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Ms. Weatherford is the author of “Women and American Politics” (2012) and Real Women of Tampa and Hillsborough County: from Prehistory to the Millennium (2004), among others. Ms. Weatherford has received the D.B. McKay Award from the Tampa Historical Society, and the Florida Commission on Human Relations Award. In 1994, she also received the National Order of Women Legislators Hall of Fame Award.

Ms. Weatherford has served on the Board of Trustees for the National Women’s History Museum, the Executive Board of the National Women’s History Project, the Board of Trustees for Hillsborough Community College, and the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. She has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida, teaching the course titled “Legacies: The Female Experience in America.” Ms. Weatherford is active in the Tampa community and currently works with young women by educating them on literary classics. Ms. Weatherford was educated at Arkansas Tech University and Brandeis University.

Charles Frederick “Fred” Hearns

Mr. Hearns worked for the city of Tampa’s Department of Community Affairs for 33 years and retired in 2007 as the director. He founded the “Tampa Bay History Tour” in 2003, and currently is employed as a bus tour guide for Destination Tampa Bay at the Port of Tampa. He is the author of “Getting it Done: Rebuilding Black America Brick by Brick” (2006). His professional affiliations include: the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Commission Florida Advisory Committee (member), National Association of Human Rights Workers (former trainer), Tampa Bay Chapter of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH – president), Robert W. Saunders Library Foundation, Inc. (founder and president), Ada T. Payne Friends of the Urban Libraries (founding president), and an active member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (winner of the 2008 Superior Service Award). He is a former trustee for the Tampa Bay History Center Board of Directors.

Born in the Bronx, New York, Mr. Hearns grew up in Tampa, Florida. He graduated from Middleton High School and received a Bachelor’s degree in English-Journalism from the University of South Florida in 1970. He then attended graduate school at Louisiana State University. He is the father of four adult children and five grandchildren. Mr. Hearns is the lead volunteer coordinator for Operation Hope – an after-school, tutoring program near Middleton High School, and is historian for the Middleton High Alumni Association.

Jack E. Fernandez

A Tampa native, Mr. Fernandez received the B.S., M.S., and Ph. D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Florida. After graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C. as an Operations Analyst. Upon discharge, he taught and performed research on cigarette smoke in Duke University for one year. In 1960, after three years in the Tennessee Eastman Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., he moved to the University of South Florida as one of the founding faculty members. Mr. Fernandez became full professor in 1972 and department chair in 1994, and has received five awards for teaching excellence. He retired in 1995 after publishing five textbooks, fifty research papers, and directing the research of eight Ph. D. students and numerous graduate students. He has been married to Sylvia Knapp since 1951. They have three sons, Jack, Jr., Albert, and Rudy, and six grandchildren, Marina, Jack J. (Moose), Abbey, Albert J. (AJ), Kerianne, and Kailey Rose. Mr. Fernandez wrote over a dozen short stories before he retired. In the past three years, he has published a trilogy that includes “Conquistador, Cafe Con Leche, and Viva Matilde!” Many of Jack’s writings are filled with the rich history of Tampa and Ybor City and are the result of years of historical research and study.

Andrew T. Huse

Andrew T. Huse is a well known author who writes about Tampa History among other things. His publications include “The Columbia Restaurant: Celebrating a Century of History, Culture, and Cuisine” (2009), “Bitter Strikes brought Deviled Crabs” (2005-2006), “Cuban Sandwich City” (2005-2005), and The University of South Florida: The First Fifty Years (2006). He has given numerous presentations on Tampa History, including “Tampa’s Delicious History” (2006) and “Food in Early Ybor City” (2003). He has been a lecturer at the Florida Humanities Council’s Roads Scholar Program and the Florida Humanities Council Center for Teachers, the Florida State Museum, and various other venues. Mr. Huse is a librarian for the University of South Florida Tampa Library Special Collections and Florida Studies Center, and previously worked as its senior archivist. He also works as an archivist, writer, and researcher for the Columbia Restaurant Group. Mr. Huse holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Florida in English and History, and a Master’s degree from the University of South Florida in both History and Library and Information Science.

Gary R. Mormino

Mr. Mormino holds the Frank E. Duckwall Professorship in Florida history at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. He directs the Florida Studies Program. He has taught at the University of South Florida since 1977. His scholarship is wide ranging. Mr. Mormino authored “Immigrants on the Hill” (1986) and “The Immigrant World of Ybor City” (1998). He has received fellowships to study at the Roosevelt, Rockefeller, Huntington, and Newberry Libraries. In 1980-81, he taught as a “Fulbright” lecturer at the University of Rome. The Florida Humanities Council named him Humanist of the Year in 2003. His latest book, “Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams,” was published in 2005. “The Florida Dream,” an Emmy-winning PBS documentary based on the book, premiered in 2007. He is presently working on two projects, a study of Florida and World War II, and a book weaving a history of food and culture in Florida.

Emanuel A. Leto

Emanuel Leto is the contributing editor at Cigar City Magazine, and also the program outreach coordinator for the Tampa Bay History Center. Before joining the History Center, he served as managing editor of Cigar City Magazine, and prior to that he was the assistant director of the Ybor City Museum Society, where he was responsible for public and educational programming including Otras Voces: The Radical and Alternative Press in Ybor City; “Tampa y Cuba: The 500 Year Connection”; and “Urban Renewal in Ybor City,” among other exhibits. Mr. Leto is the author of “Hecho a Mano: Cigar Production in Ybor City 1886-1939” (2003) and “Fraternidad: The Mutual Aid Societies of Ybor City” (2004).

A Tampa native, Mr. Leto is a member of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the American Institute of Architects Cultural Heritage Committee, and the city of Tampa Enterprise Zone Agency Community Board. Emanuel is a Tampa native and graduate of Georgia State University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History.

Rodney H. Kite-Powell, II

Mr. Kite-Powell has worked with the Tampa Bay History Center for the past 16 years and currently serves as its curator. He is also currently a columnist for The Tampa Tribune’s History and Heritage page. He has been responsible for exhibitions at the Tampa Bay Museum including the Tampa Bay History Center’s New Permanent Gallery (2009- Present), Hillsborough County Goes to War: The Home Front and World War II (2001 -2002), and Social Clubs of Ybor City (2000 to Present). Mr. Kite-Powell is the author of “In Search of D.P. Davis: A Biographical Study of One of Florida’s Premier Real Estate Promoters” (2003) and co-authored the gallery guide for “Neighborhoods, Keepers of Cultures” which was produced for the Tampa History Center. He is a member of the Florida Historical Society, the Florida Association of Museums, and served as the vice chair of the city of Tampa Historic Preservation Commission (2004-2005). Mr. Kite Powell has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Florida and a Master’s Degree in History from the University of South Florida.

Dr. Robert Kerstein

Dr. Kerstein has served as the official Hillsborough County Historian since 2004. He is a professor in the University of Tampa’s Department of History and Sociology. He teaches undergraduate political science courses in urban politics, American politics, urban planning and development, and Tampa history and politics, among other things. He served as chair of his department from 2002-2007. Dr. Kerstein has focused his interests locally and has written extensively on political science and history issues in the Tampa Bay area. Dr. Kerstein’s published works include “Politics and Growth in the Twentieth-Century Tampa” (2001), “Two Decades of Political Conflict – 1900-1920 Tampa’s Politics in a League of its Own” (2000), “From Annexation to Urban Renewal: Urban Development in Tampa during the 1950s and 1960s” (1997), and “Suburban Growth Politics in Hillsborough County: Growth Management and Political Regimes” (1993), among many others. Dr. Kerstein received his Bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and both his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Washington University.

E. J. Salcines

A native of Tampa, E. J. Salcines was Judge, District Court of Appeals of Florida, second district. Hailed by Governor Lawton Chiles as the “People’s Lawyer,” he has had a long and productive career as an attorney, prosecutor, assistant U.S. attorney and judge. Judge Salcines holds degrees from Florida Southern College (B.A.) and the South Texas College of Law (JD). In 1946 he became the first Spanish-speaking assistant U.S. Attorney, rising to chief of the criminal division, then special Assistant U.S. District Attorney for Organized Crime in the Southern and Midwestern states. He was elected four times as the State Attorney for Florida’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, serving from 1968 to 1958. He is the author of Trial Manual on Predicate Questions, published by the National District Attorneys Association (a work derived from the summer lectures at the Northwestern University Law School). In 1979 JUdge Salcines was knighted by King Juan Carlos of Spain, who inducted him into the Royal Order of Queen Isabella. In 1993 the University of South Florida awarded him its President’s Distinguished Citizen Award. He also received the City of Tampa Hispanic Man of the Year in ’93. He has received numerous awards from civic groups and Bar Associations including five Awards of Merit from the Florida and American Bar Associations for outstanding community service in law oriented programs that he spearheaded. One of Judge Salcines’ many avocations is his study of Cuba’s revolutionary figure Jose Marti and the Spanish American War, subjects about which he has become a recognized authority.