Don Philpott - Vice President, President Elect
Don Philpott has over 40 years' experience as an award-winning writer, journalist, marketing consultant, public relations practitioner and passionate campaigner for conservation and the environment.
Born in Hull, England, he was educated at The Skinner's Company School for Boys and the University of Portsmouth where he obtained his BA Journalism. He was awarded the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) certificate from the Public Relations Society of America, the industry’s highest academic qualification.
For 20 years, he worked as a senior correspondent for the Press Association-Reuters, the international wire service, traveling the world covering major events and news. He also participated in expeditions as the sole media representative, and has backpacked, climbed, canoed, ridden and skied throughout Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, the Arctic, Australia and New Zealand.
In 1988 in London, he founded Mediawise Communications, a specialist writing and PR firm, with an international client list. Mediawise was the official media trainer for the UK Institute of Public Relations and instructed senior managers on how to perform to best advantage on radio and television. From 1994-2009 as President of Mediawise U.S. Mediawise had offices in London, Brussels, New York and Cape Town with its headquarters in Orlando where Don worked with many leading PR companies providing consulting services and creative and marketing resources.
He launched and several newspapers and magazines in the UK and U.S. In 1980, he co-founded and edited Footloose, the first UK environmental outdoors magazine. In 1996, he helped launch Financial Sentinel, a monthly newspaper with a U.S. circulation of over 200,000. From 2004-2010 he edited the Homeland Defense Journal and the International Homeland Defense Journal.
Don is now a full-time writer and volunteer with over 200 books published on subjects including camping, survival and the outdoors. He has over 5,000 articles published in newspapers and magazines. As a board member from 1997-2000 of the non-profit Mustard Seed he helped raise more than $1M for a new warehouse complex. In 2009, he wrote the Guide to The Wekiva Basin State Parks with all profits going to the park.
Don is a volunteer at Wekiwa Springs State Park and helps run the nature center and interpretive programs, within and outside the park. In 2005, he was awarded Florida State Parks’ Volunteer of the Year. He is currently President of the Wekiva Wilderness Trust, the park’s Citizen Support Organization, and a member of Friends of the Wekiva River, National Audubon Society and National Association for Interpretation. He served as President of Florida State Parks Foundation from 2014-2016. Because of his expedition experience he also teaches ‘Edible Florida’ and ‘Basic Survival’ courses throughout Florida. He is a Florida Master Naturalist (FMN) and an instructor with the University of Florida’s FMN program. He is a Florida Master Gardener and a Certified Interpretive Guide.