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An Evening with Denis Phillips

An Evening with Denis Phillips

Straz Center
1010 N. Macinnes Place
Tampa, Florida

Date: May 12, 2023

Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m. VIP meet-and-greet
8-9:30 p.m. Program at Ferguson Hall at the Straz

Tickets: $25-$45 General admission
Includes access to the featured presentation with Denis Phillips

$75 add-on for the VIP meet-and-greet
Includes access to a VIP meet-and-greet reception with Denis Phillips featuring hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and networking with local journalists and media executives

You’re invited to join Poynter at The Straz on Friday, May 12, for a special evening with the weatherman who keeps Tampa Bay cool: ABC Action News Chief Meteorologist Denis Phillips.

For decades, Tampa Bay residents have relied on his guidance during severe weather. Phillips is a household name, thanks to his calm demeanor, accuracy and nature to tell it like it is with his famous Rule No. 7: “Stop freaking out… until I tell you to. We’re fine.” 

Now’s your chance to get to know this local icon and say thanks for keeping Tampa Bay informed, calm and safe through wild weather events. During this one-night-only program, Phillips will:

  • Share behind-the-science stories from Florida’s most historic weather events
  • Break down the complexities of the climate crisis and its effect on Floridians
  • Give his predictions for the upcoming 2023 hurricane season and tips to prepare your safety kits 

Together, we’ll also learn who inspired Phillips to become a meteorologist, what he can do with Christmas lights, and how suspenders became his signature look.

VIP guests will have the chance to celebrate Phillips’ career during an exclusive meet-and-greet cocktail reception. 


Do you have a story about a time when Phillips’ reporting helped you or your family stay safe? We want to hear from you! Please send your story to marketing@poynter.org for a chance to be highlighted on social media or during the program.

Guest of Honor

Denis Phillips has been covering Florida’s weather as ABC Action News’ chief meteorologist for nearly three decades. A graduate of Penn State University, Phillips landed his first on-air position in Salisbury, Maryland. He worked for stations in Gainesville; Providence, Rhode Island; and Los Angeles before settling in Tampa. Phillips says Tampa Bay offers all the weather challenges he could ever hope for.



About Poynter at The Straz

Poynter at The Straz brings journalism’s critical role in democracy to the center stage with smart conversations featuring local and national journalists, business executives, subject matter experts and community leaders. 

The speaker series explores topics important to the quality of life in the Tampa Bay region and beyond — from our rising tides and how sports unite us to the U.S. elections and the war in Ukraine. Each interactive event in the series will be rich with context, compelling visual elements and engaging conversation with plenty of room for audience participation. We hope that you will leave feeling challenged, energized and better informed. 



The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to improve journalism in service to democracy. Proceeds from this fundraising event will power Poynter’s efforts to stoke civil connection and thoughtful expression between journalists and the communities they serve.

Interested in sponsoring Poynter at The Straz? Contact Chief Development Officer Deborah Read at 805-400-8543 for more information. Learn how your support can help make an impact at poynter.org/support

Unable to join us but want to support journalism? Please make a donation in lieu of attendance today at poynter.org/give.


We’d love to hear from you. Please send your inquiries to marketing@poynter.org.


  • Kelly McBride
    Senior Vice President and Chair of Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership
    Kelly McBride is a journalist, consultant and one of the country’s leading voices on media ethics and democracy. She is senior vice president and chair...
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Special guests

  • Douglas Clifford
    Photojournalist, Tampa Bay Times
    Douglas Clifford is a staff photojournalist with the Tampa Bay Times, responsible for coordinating and documenting day-to-day visuals, including still photography for daily and project...
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  • Nancy Dominguez
    Managing director of FAPIA
    Nancy Dominguez served on the FAPIA Board of Directors from 2007 to 2011, when she became President Elect of the Association. She was asked by...
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  • Don Germaise
    Award-winning television journalist
    Don Germaise was an award-winning television journalist in Tampa for nearly 20 years. He was the first reporter ever hired by ABC Action News when...
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  • Dr. Jo Huxster
    Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College
    Dr. Jo Huxster is a tenured Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. She grew up in Pennsylvania and earned...
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Thank you to our partner

Thank you to our event sponsor

Thank you to our VIP Reception sponsor

Thank you to our media partners


The Poynter Institute
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Straz Center
1010 N Macinnes Pl
Tampa, FL 33602 United States
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