Founder, Executive Director


Image by Observer Media Group

Samantha J. Gholar


Samantha was born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. A southern belle through and through, she has lived all over the Southeast since entering college but has resided in Florida since 2010.

She began her career as a news journalist after earning her bachelor's degree from her alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi, in 2008. After relocating from her beloved New Orleans, just over an hour from her hometown, she landed in St. Petersburg, FL in 2010 taking a job as a journalist at a local newspaper.

Samantha is an award-winning journalist whose passion for storytelling was recognized by Florida Press Association in July 2015.

In January 2017, after several years of working for people, she decided to work with people. It was then that Samantha launched Emerge Sarasota, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that connects and provides a platform for the area’s young minority professionals community.