About Us

About Central Florida Top 5

More than just a Top 5 list, Central Florida Top 5 is one of the region’s oldest, most trusted go to sources for everything Central Florida.  From original interviews to a calendar of curated must do events, CentralFloridaTop5.com is here to help locals and tourists alike discover all that Central Florida has to offer. Be sure not to miss anything happening locally by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. For some video highlights, click here!

If you would like your event to be considered for our very popular Top 5 calendar, be sure to submit it here!

We are PR friendly. Advertisers welcomed!


 Meet our team!


Brian oranges

Brian (Owner)

Brian is Central Florida Top 5‘s owner and community catalyst. A New Jersey native, he’s lived in many places including Portland, Des Moines and all over Central Florida! Brian loves many things Central Florida and even took over Top 5 from our founder, Bess! Like Bess and the rest of our team, Brian is inspired by community, sharing, small business and culture.  Share event information with us HERE! We also have a couple spots open showcase business and companies (Info: here)                                 



Jen (Managing Editor)

Jen started as our Media Contributor in 2012, and is a “Jill of all Trades.” When she’s not co-producing film and television programs, Hosting and Producing FilmSlam at Enzian Theater, sitting in on Film Florida Meetings, being EVERYWHERE (and top social media influencer!),  or volunteering for the American Cancer Society, she’s taking pretty pictures and managing web content for our team! She is also one of Central Florida’s top Google Glass Explorers and is helping create GOOD in our community via #Wearables4good. Follow her adventures with us on TwitterInstagram and Google+! Interested in Jen’s professional behind the camera credits? Check out her LinkedIn and IMDb pages. twitter button


Our Regular Contributors




David B BioDavid

David was born and raised in Orlando. His first memory as a child was choking on a blue gumball. Needless to say it has been all good since then. He’s married to a beautiful woman and they have an even more beautiful daughter. David has been a supporter of Orlando City Soccer Club since 2011. Orlando is forever his city. He’s also trying out Snapchat. We’ll see how that goes… @djxb1977

Jennifer LeeJennifer

Jennifer is a native Virginian, but after 20 years in Central Florida would never want to live anywhere else. Her passions include running while crying (thanks, Zombies, Run!), lifting heavy things, the cats and dogs that have taken over her house, writing, needlework, and napping.  You can often find Jen hanging out in Mount Dora, drinking wine at one of the many wine bars, or with a latte and her laptop at one of the many coffeehouses, working on yet another first novel.


Rich Bio

Rich Belsan has lived in Central Florida for most of his life.  When he’s not in a theater somewhere watching a movie he can probably be found writing.  He’s always looking for new creative projects to work on because, as he’s been told, he’s “too tall to not be busy.”  You can keep up with his new film projects and other shenanigans on Twitter at @RichBelsan.




Dennis is a Retired Chef loving life in his new home state of Florida. When he’s not blogging or livestreaming you can find him eating, cooking and traveling his way across the state. His motto is no food left behind! If you see a guy in your restaurant setting up a computer, camera and microphone it just might be him.


Joe ThomaJoe

Thirty-two years in publishing and business management, including 27 years covering business, culture and philanthropy in our wild & wacky Sunshine State. Founder/CEO of AwarenessCampaign.com: Online, Print, Video, Film, Outdoor, Events, Causes, Training, Philanthropy, Media Relations. linkedin.com/in/joethoma407 .


Jay DLS Bio


A native of Brooklyn, NY., Jay has been a Central Florida resident for over 20 years. He is the owner of Shishogan Productions and is a filmmaker, photographer and Pop/Nerd Culturist. You can usually find him hanging out at Enzian Theater in Maitland.

Kelly SharkeyKelly

Kelly Green, aka SeaWorld Mommy, is a past editor at a national magazine and regional newspaper. Lover of all things Florida, Kelly can be seen daily at theme parks, cultural events/concerts, hotels, and local eateries often in between homeschooling and charitable activities.


Our Guest Contributors

Nando Luis Torres BioNando

Nando Luis Torres is our international man of mystery. We really don’t know what he does, but most of us are convinced he works for MI6. He claims he is an actor, co-owner of Bad Kitty Films L.L.C and owner of Atomic Phoenix Photography, but we think those may all be covers. When he is not busy secretly saving the world, Nando can be seen regularly at film festivals or his second favorite place WWE Events.



Lisa Wilk


Lisa Wilk is the founder of Orlando Uncorked, a local group focused on demystifying wine. As a freelance food and wine writer, Lisa can be found blogging at TasteCookSip where she’s dining in and dining out, but always enjoying Central Florida’s fresh and local ingredients. Lisa does love to pair great food with a local craft beer, glass of wine or well-made cocktail; sip along on Twitter and Instagram.

mark sMark

As a native Orlandoan, Mark has been visiting malls since he can remember. He is the owner of OrlandoMallGuide.com, your “one-stop shop” for everything Orlando-area malls.




Photo credit: Emily Ellyn Productions


Chef and culinary educator Emily Ellyn is the Home Economics teacher you’ve always wanted!  She’s the mother of Retro Rad cooking and encourages everyone to dig through their mother’s recipe box, dust off their pressure cookers, and take the old and make it new.  She takes the retro, remixes it, and makes it RAD.




Bess Auer

Our Founder

Both Bess Auer and her husband Joe and grew up in Winter Park, Florida. In fact, her family’s Central Florida roots date back to the 1800s! Her grandmother was born in Central Florida, on the banks of Lake Howell. Although Bess knew a lot about the Central Florida area, starting Central Florida Top 5 allowed her and her family to discover even more about the place they love and call home.

What is she doing now?! She not only started and grew the team at Florida Swim Network, Bess founded Florida’s leading Blogger and Social Media Conference, FLBlogCon! In 2014, she unveiled GottaGetBlogging.com, an online learning portal for those interested in blogging (as a hobby or professionally). Follow Bess on Twitter at @Bess_Auer!



5 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Pingback: Orlando Live – The Blogger Episode! | The Central Florida Top 5

  2. Pingback: Knights Prevail: Gators Cursed in the Amway Yet Again | The Central Florida Top 5