Hi, I’m Hetal Gandhi located in Tampa, FL.
My Interestssocial media social marketing marketing writing reporting journalism event planning fundraising
MY PASSION There is nothing more powerful and captivating than the human spirit and over the past decade, it has been my honor and privilege to capture that spirit through the art of storytelling.
MY BACKGROUND My own personal story began in Africa. I was born in Lusaka, Zambia and lived there until I was 5 years old. Unfortunately, our house was destroyed in a fire, so my parents decided to make a fresh start in America.
I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida but my rich Indian culture and heritage still played a vital role in my life. In fact, it was the driving force behind my desire to pursue the truth and fight for justice. My great ancestor Mahatma Gandhi once said that a journalist has one of the most important obligations to the people – providing a voice for the voiceless. It is through that virtue that I continue to serve my community each and every day.
HOW IT ALL STARTED I was so proud to attend Stanton College Preparatory School, which was ranked the #1 public high school in the nation at the time! I went onto Boston University where I majored in broadcast journalism. After graduation, I began working behind the scenes as a producer and assignment desk editor at WPBF in West Palm Beach. In addition to managing news crews, I wrote and produced a series called “Taking the Lead” and served as a Spanish translator as needed. I also field produced several high profile stories including the 2000 Palm Beach County election and was granted an exclusive interview with the Lake Worth Middle school student who shot and killed his teacher.
GETTING ON AIR I then moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas for my first on-air reporting job. Among my endeavors, I covered the Oklahoma bridge collapse, the Presidential visit to Arkansas and interviewed the wife of a suspected Al-Queda member shortly after September 11th,. Soon, I was back in my hometown of Jacksonville, reporting for our top rated Morning Show. Returning to Florida brought challenging stories my way including a busy Hurricane season in 2004, the city’s first Super Bowl and the local impact of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami.
MOVING TO TOP TWENTY MARKETS Soon I was back in South Florida, experiencing the cultural Mecca that is Miami. It was there that I was once again able to use the Spanish skills I picked up while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. As a reporter in South Florida, I covered a wide variety of stories from the future of Fidel Castro to the Anna Nicole Smith saga. I also developed a broad network of reliable sources in the community that allowed me to break stories and get exclusive interviews on a weekly basis. I also received hands on training on some of the most state-of-the-art equipment in television news.
My final move to WTSP in Tampa almost completes my tour of the Sunshine state. The focus on web content and viewer connection helped me develop another essential tool in reporting during the internet age. Whether it was blogging from a McCain rally or helping a viewer who e-mailed us figure out how to evict a squatter, my experiences taught me how to use technology to help make our community a better place to live. I believe my ability to be an aggressive yet compassionate reporter is yet another reason I am able to fulfill that goal.
PRODUCING DOCUMENTARIES In 2008, returned back to my hometown, where I joined a team of former news professionals at Video Law Services. For more than 26 years, the company has produced Settlement Documentaries and Day in the Life videos which capture the pain and suffering that families must go through when a loved one is injured. My job was to produce those videos which are used by the attorney in mediation to try and settle the case out of court. I felt like Erin Brokovich when I came to work everyday.
In 2010, I also helped launch a subsidiary company called VidBridge Productions. We produced commercials, training and website videos for companies and small businesses. In addition to providing sales and marketing for both companies, I also managed our social media pages.
SPECIAL PROJECTS My current position as a special projects producer at Fox 13 in Tampa allows me to pursue my passion of in-depth reporting and feature storytelling. My job is to interview, write and oversee the editing process for stories which our anchors showcase in our nightly newscasts.
OFF THE CLOCK In my free time, I enjoy volunteering and playing an active role in my community. I also love salsa dancing, traveling around the world and spoiling my dog Raja. I have been blessed with a life and career that has taken me around the world and I’m only getting started! Thank you for taking the time to visit my website and please check out some of my work in the video section.