The Collective gives associations, organizations and collaboratives specialized tools that can increase their impact. Important public partnerships and initiatives often lack the luxury of in-house communications and design staffs. That's where we come in.
We are a collective of unique individuals whose talents complement and augment each other's. We come together in different combinations for each project based on our skills and interests. Many of us are also available for individual contracts in our specialty areas. Please feel free to contact any of us. We want to help.
Cindy Liberton Managing Member, Next Steps Collective, LLC
Prior to the Collective's inception, I served as a Communications Director at a University. Our multi-talented team used a broad spectrum of communications media to bring research findings to constituencies and partners across the nation.
Although my professional life has been dedicated to human services, conservation advocacy has been my passion. I have worked on many volunteer projects through the years, in the field, at events, on-line, and at the keyboard to support the work of the Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and lately, the Florida Native Plant Society. For many years I served as Communications Chair for the Society, assisting in development and design of information products. I am a very proud recipient of the Silver Palmetto award for service to the Society; in 2004, 2008 and once more in 2010. I also am a founding member and officer for the Hernando Chapter of FNPS.
As a well seasoned expert in planning, design and production of information products—print and electronic—I manage the projects and build the teams for the Collective.
Hall of Fame
Meet some of the fine individuals who have participated in the Collective since its inception.
Becky Clayton Outreach, Creative Business Solutions
My career has taken me down many roads over the years. It’s been an eclectic path but the common thread has always been a love of learning, nature and making a difference in my community.
First as a teacher, then as a planner, educator and non-profit manager, I’ve tried to do my part to make the world a better place. On my journey, I gained many skills such as planning, writing and teaching. I’ve developed programs, curriculum, educational materials, grants and exhibits. I even ran a small organization from top to bottom.
I’m active in my community through the Tampa Bay Conservancy where I’m on the board of directors, and the Community Advisory Board at WEDU, a PBS station. I also volunteer with Sunrise of Pasco, a domestic violence center.
I’ve found that my best experiences have been when I was a part of a dynamic team such as the Next Steps Collective. I currently enjoy such work as a Training Support Specialist at Florida Institute of Government at USF.
I bring passion to all that I do whether its gardening, yoga, my family, work or volunteering.
And I grow some of the best lettuce around.
Suzanne Blakeman Research and Editing
I am a learner, a teacher, a listener, a singer, a reader, a writer.
I seek the flow: rivers, narrative, harmonies, consciousness.
Spelling mistakes, syntax errors, punctuation faux pas: in nearly everything I read, they leap
It's a blessing and a curse.
I believe I should be the change I want to see in the world.
Shirley Denton, Ph.D. Ecosystem Management, Web Programming, Photography
My career has been centered on environmental and analytical work as Senior Ecologist and Vice President for Biological Research Associates. There I design long-range projects in environmental assessment, habitat management and mapping, GIS and survey of threatened and endangered species.
Training in forest ecology, biometrics, computer science, landscape ecology, plant ecology, endangered and threatened species, and land management form the basis of my expertise. I am also Past President of the Florida Native Plant Society, a member of the web team for the Society, and a photographer of Florida's natural heritage; see my work at http://www.shirleydenton.com/.
Rosalind Sorbello Rowe Writing, Illustration, Public Education
My skills: Writing. Designing layout. Editing. Drawing. Teaching. And all of these together! My employment experience has ranged from environmental education and research to software education. Give me your thoughts, ideas, wonderments, plans—and let me organize them into sentences, paragraphs, drawings, newsletters, brochures, courses, grant proposals … whatever you want. email@example.com
On the ground, I work for the conservation of indigenous biota. My specialty, other than writing, is botany. Philosophically, I’m for native plants and against war.
Marjorie Shropshire Visual Design and Artistry
I am a Native Floridian with a lifelong interest in Florida plants, animals, ecosystems, botany, and ecology. I grew up rambling the Everglades, Keys and the southern coasts.
It is no surprise that much of my art reflects critical issues affecting Florida's nature and natural systems. My goal is to create work that helps others learn how to value and respect the natural world and all its creatures.
I do high-end print design, web design, natural history and scientific illustration. I am a proud member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and am the current designer and editor of The Palmetto, journal of the Florida Native Plant Society. I have had the privilege of contributing work to the Environmental Learning Center, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, the Florida Wildflower Foundation and Audubon of Martin County. And the Collective, of course!
William Barry Tillis Digital Imagery, Social Media, Project Orchestration
I have had a highly-technical career with the likes of Microsoft, Tektronix, Nortel Networks & IBM. However, I found those workspaces to be a bit constricting. I'm now on a University webteam, and the creative pace is much more to my liking. My work and learning as part of Next Steps has helped me focus my talents as part of a team.
I find it interesting to do many things at once, so that is what I tend to do. I spend my time on photography & graphic design, computing support, and social media development. I also like to play the drums & sequence electronic music.
I also care deeply about cultural activities on the Nature Coast of Florida, and the natural environment in and around Aripeka & Chassahowitzka where I spent much of my childhood.
What would make this a better world? If we keep the welfare of our children in mind, seven generations down the line. My personal philosophy is “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
Jonathan Wilson Web Design, Photography, Video
After earning a degree in fine arts, photography, I added web design to my portfolio. Relocating to Seattle, then Atlanta, I applied these skills and picked up more tools for the trade. Landing back home in Tampa Florida, I did web design and content management in a Unversity based research setting until striking out on my own. Over the past few years, I have studied video, photography and design in Prague and Paris. I am currently active in the Tampa Graphic Design Meetup Group.
Paul Rebmann Web Programming, Photography
I am a photographer and web designer, with an emphasis on dynamic programming using databases.
I am active in the Florida Native Plant Society, including work on the fnps.org web team and as state representative for the local chapter. I’m also a member of the Halifax River Audubon Society and a regular participant in the three annual bird counts. I served as zone captain of the Volusia Washback (turtle) Watchers for two years. I believe that we all need to lessen the impact we have on the planet we live on, starting easily with reduce, reuse, & recycle. Samples of both my web design and photography can be seen at http://wildflphoto.com.
Mike Liberton Managing Member, Illustrator and Delivery Boy
I have retired from my job as a coordinator for the Guardian ad litem program in Hernando County, aka, Voice for Children. Now it is a matter of figuring out what to do more of!
Let's see, as a compulsive birder, I lead a mean Christmas Bird Count. I also serve on the Hernando County Sensitive Lands Committee, and have a long history of meddling in environmental action when the opportunity arises. When my wife, Cindy, decided to create Next Steps, I was very supportive. I hope this is a very successful endeavor so that I can be a full-time delivery boy and get a panel truck. Cindy says there's not much to deliver in this business, so that means I can spend more time sailing and looking for birds. I draw a bit, mainly birds and plants, but I worry that being an illustrator for Next Steps will interfere with my delivery boy duties.
Matthew Wozniak Web Design, Web Programming
After graduating with a degree in computer science from Stetson University, Matt, our founding designer and Mac fanboy, left for New York City!
We know he'll set the world on fire—his contributions to Next Steps' style, survival and success live on. So we'll keep his photo on our hall of fame until he makes us take it down!