By Kate Quesada

The Osprey Observer staff received an exciting honor from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) last month. The team, led by Managing Editor Marie Gilmore, was given a Commendation from the BOCC celebrating the publication’s 15th anniversary and recognizing its impact on the community.

At the April 5 BOCC meeting in downtown Tampa, members of the Osprey Observer staff were recognized by County Commissioner Stacy White and were presented with a plaque commemorating the commendation and congratulating the newspaper on its 15th anniversary. The plaque also recognized the publication for providing informative local news to the community.

During the BOCC’s regular meetings, commissioners often give out proclamations and commendations to recognize important dates and causes and to celebrate significant contributions of businesses, groups and individuals to the people of Hillsborough County.

“Commissioners are free to choose recognitions as they wish and commissioners choose to recognize individuals, groups and businesses for a variety of reasons,” said White, who explained during the meeting that he looks forward to receiving the Osprey Observer in his mailbox every month. “I decided to recognize the Osprey Observer for this milestone anniversary because it is a successful small business in the district that I represent and a popular news outlet that reports meaningful, positive news about our community.”

White also gave audience members a brief history of the Osprey Observer, stating that since 2002, the direct-mailed community newspaper has been committed to producing thought-provoking features and highlighting news and activities in Southeast Hillsborough County including FishHawk, Riverview, Valrico, Brandon and Apollo Beach.

“Through many hours of hard work and dedication and with the help of a dedicated team of 16 professionals, the Observer has transformed from a four-page hand-delivered newsletter to its current five monthly editions with more than 200 pages mailed into more than 70,000 mailboxes each month,” said White during the meeting. “I am thankful for the jobs that the Osprey Observer provides, for its support of our community and for keeping our community well informed.”

Gilmore received the plaque and spoke at the meeting on behalf of the team.

“We are honored and humbled to have been recommended for a Commendation by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners,” said Gilmore. “It was so nice to be acknowledged for the work that we do and for the positive news that we provide to our readers in Southeast Hillsborough County. This was a highlight of our 15 years of publishing community news.”

For more information on the Hillsborough County BOCC, visit or call 272-5660.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.