Leslie @ Lunch

With guest Diane Egner

Story and Photography by Leslie Joy Ickowitz

It was a rare, gray, nasty, rainy day…and yet it was about 83 Degrees—Diane Egner, publisher, of 83 Degrees specifically. 

We met at Piquant in Hyde Park Village where Diane, who is a tea enthusiast, ordered a cup of Earl Grey with lavender. There, on the Lucite chairs, we chatted over Gruyére grilled cheese sandwiches (hers with tomato on multigrain and mine on challah), which I later learned were kid’s menu selections, which explains why they were super small…but they were also super scrumptious.

83 Degrees lands in subscribers’ inboxes every Tuesday and delivers a view of what’s new in the areas of economics, entrepreneurship, diversity, innovation, sustainability, technology and more in Tampa Bay. Features like the recent one on Dad Bloggers and the publication’s “Not Your Average Speakers" series with topics like “Finding Meaning in Tampa Bay’s Curious Quest to be Cool” are a breath of fresh air.

Diane credits 83 Degrees’ parent company, Issue Media Group (based in Detroit, Michigan), with “changing the narrative about cities.”

“They were kind of out there ahead of the curve about how popular urban living would become,” she suggests. “The discussion about cities competing in the global marketplace for the best and the brightest—that’s really what we’re all about.”

She’s passionate about our area’s rich diversity.

“Our community is hugely reflective of the diversity of the world.”

Diane believes that the emissaries we send back, “to places where they may not have a full appreciation of who we are as a country,” makes much of the impact.

The Nth Degree

Greatest joy with 83 Degrees

Connecting people 

Most exquisite place where Diane has enjoyed tea

Victoria Island, British Columbia 


Creative Loafing’s Visual Art Critic, Megan Voeller is Diane’s daughter.

Favorite Movie

North by Northwest 

Topping her list of places to go

Australia and New Zealand

Favorite thing about VERTICAL

The imagery

Going places

Here at home, she basks in the warm glow of community support for 83 Degrees.

“I’m still here and I love what I do. I’ve poured a lot of my heart and energy into it to make it successful."

This is something I can relate to. In addition to paralleling one another as publishers, Diane and I share a love of traveling. Where my sights are set on discovering and exploring destinations broadly, Diane and her boyfriend, Sandy, tend toward special interests and events.

“We like to do fun things that are spur of the moment,” Diane says. “We’re going to California because Sandy saw a short story in The New York Times about a stained glass window exhibit coming to the The Getty. It’s Elizabethan-era stained glass and we’re going out just to see it.”  Editor’s Note: At the mention of this I noticed my picture-taking finger began to twitch.

The couple, both wine lovers, also plan to visit New Zealand where Sauvignon Blanc flows as freely as the country’s natural beauty. They also attend The Master’s every year.

Get VERTICAL…In Your Inbox!