About Our Team
Cooper Levey-Baker is the editor of The Florida Independent. With half his life spent living in Sarasota, Fla., Cooper was the editor of city’s Creative Loafing, an alternative weekly newspaper, for a year and half, previously serving as an events editor and reporter for the publication for five years. The Arts Council of Sarasota County recognized Cooper for fiction writing in 2006, awarding him a John Ringling Fund Individual Artist Fellowship. Cooper can be reached by email at cooper [at] floridaindependent [dot] com.
Virginia Chamlee is a graduate of the University of North Florida and is based in Jacksonville, Fla. After spending a summer in Northern Spain, where she took part in an intensive Spanish-language study, Virginia began writing for several of Northeast Florida’s regional publications, including Jacksonville and 904. She currently resides in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., with her rescued lab-shepherd mix, Chloe. Virginia can be reached by email at virginia [at] floridaindependent [dot] com.
Born in Colombia, Marcos Restrepo has lived in South Florida since 1994. He has been a reporter in both Spanish and English in Colombia and Florida for more than 15 years. Marcos previously worked for the Reuters Latin American Graphics Desk and as the communications coordinator for South Florida Jobs with Justice. He received his graduate degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University. Marcos, his wife and his three children live in Hollywood, Fla. Marcos can be reached by email at marcos [at] floridaindependent [dot] com.
Ashley Lopez is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is based in Miami. She studied both journalism and political science while at UNC, where she reported for both new media and public radio. In 2009, she was an intern for Talking Points Memo in New York and was a news intern for North Carolina Public Radio — a member station of NPR — in 2010. She won a Hearst Journalism Award as a multimedia and radio reporter for UNC’s radio show Carolina Connection. She now covers reproductive rights issues and can be reached at ashley [at] floridaindependent [dot] com.
Marcello Iaia is an editorial intern covering the 2012 state legislative session and will graduate from Florida State University this spring. He has written about university administration and student government for The FSView & Florida Flambeau, The Yeti magazine and WVFS Tallahassee. Originally from upstate New York, he has lived in Tallahassee for four years. He can be reached at marcello [dot] m [dot] iaia [at] gmail [dot] com or at 518-332-4955.