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Lennie V. Omalza

Writer. Editor. Content Creator. Project Manager.

Location icon United States

Freelance professional with more than a decade of experience. Clients include Blackletter Group, The Courier-Journal, Granted Fundraising, Hawaii Home + Remodeling Magazine, HONOLULU Magazine, LEAD Marketing Agency, Roberts Hawaii, StyleBlueprint and The Voice-Tribune.

Portfolio

Recently Published

StyleBlueprint
How Delicious Louisville Pies Spread Kindness & Hope

Dawn Urrutia has been serving sweet potato pies, cookies, cupcakes, and other goodies to the Louisville community since 2016. But her business, Georgia's Sweet Potato Pie Company, is about more than just yummy desserts. Dawn began her baked goods venture with the goal of starting a nonprofit - and that dream is on its way to becoming a reality.

StyleBlueprint
Southern Artist Spotlight: Erin Donahue Tice

Erin Donahue Tice spent more than a decade working in PR, climbing her way up the corporate ladder at agencies in big cities around the country. "I got my start in Chicago," she explains. "I later moved to New York and was always in corporate communications, and loved my career."

The Courier-Journal
Trendy Vietnamese restaurant is serving up the best pho in town

I remember when the Vietnamese restaurant Pho Ba Luu opened in Sep- tember 2016. I’d been living in Louisville for three months, and it was exciting to discover a new eatery that served some of the same dishes I used to enjoy back home in Hawaii. Five years later, I caught up with owner Jessica Mach, who is cur- rently working 60-plus hour weeks to keep her business going.

The Courier-Journal
This 6-bed Norton Commons home, dubbed 'The Old Fashion,' featured on Homearama 2021 tour

The 'Old Fashion' home at 11308 Peppermint St. features columns, a brick exterior, and a wraparound porch. These elements offer a classic, traditional feel, even though the house was built just this year. The 2021 Homearama house, like all homes in Norton Commons, was carefully crafted to preserve the planned architectural standards of the community.

Restaurant Reviews

Home Stories

The Courier-Journal
This Jeffersontown home is full of Kentucky Derby love and memories

Marita and Bob Willis are both born-and-bred Kentuckians. "Bob and I grew up on the same porch in Park Hill," Marita explained. "We were friends (ever) since our mothers were friends." The two women - both single moms - became quick chums, and their children followed suit.

Lifestyle Articles

The Voice-Tribune
Lady-led, but catering to all

Most people wouldn't consider owning a catering business akin to leading a circus, but Deborah Lowery does.

The Voice-Tribune
Little Voices, Big Impacts

Growing up in the United States comes with privileges most American children take for granted.

Hiking Guides

Honolulu Magazine
Oʻahu Hike of the Month: Makiki Valley Loop Trail

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life without leaving Honolulu. Photos: Courtesy of Lennie Omalza TRAIL NAME: Makiki Valley Loop Trail DIFFICULTY: Moderate LENGTH: 2.5 miles roundtrip FEE: None WHERE: Hawaiʻi Nature Center, 2131 Maikiki Heights Drive Hiking can be dangerous, and not every trail is a good idea for every person.

Honolulu Magazine
Oʻahu Hike of the Month: Lanikai Pillbox Trail

A quick trek with a breathtaking view in Kailua. Photos: Lennie Omalza TRAIL NAME: Lanikai Pillbox Trail DIFFICULTY: Moderate LENGTH: 1 mile roundtrip FEE: None WHERE: Kaelepulu Drive, Kailua Hiking can be dangerous, and not every trail is a good idea for every person.

Honolulu Magazine
Oʻahu Hike of the Month: Moanalua Valley Trail

Also known as Kamananui Valley Road, this relaxing trail is great for the whole family. Editor's Note: We love hiking! Fortunately, O'ahu is full of great hikes. In this web series, we bring you our favorite O'ahu trails once a month.

Fashion & Beauty Web Stories

Lei Chic
Picture Perfect

Get ready for your next close-up with Cherbu's new spring line.

StyleBlueprint
Your New Summer Beauty Routine

A great beauty routine will keep you looking fabulous during all seasons, but everyone knows a bit of a transition is needed once summer rays start shining. Keep scrolling for the latest tips and tricks from industry experts, as well as new products that will ensure your summer beauty strategy has you looking your best while you soak up the sun.

Lei Chic
New Moon

A mystical clothing line inspired by folklore of the planets.

Advertorial Projects

HONOLULU Magazine
Women's Health

Since its opening in 2001, the Queen's Women's Health Center has offered a variety of services, including physical therapy geared specifically to women's health-related diagnoses.

Content Creation & Project Management

Blackletter Group
Luau & Learn

Blackletter Group created Luau and Learn, a fun and engaging family home activity. Luau and Learn launched online and included a downloadable activity book that taught kids about Hawaii’s diverse food and rich culture all the while reinforcing the authentic L&L Hawaiian Barbecue brand.

Blackletter Group
NEi

NEi Established in 1985, NEi is an employment and vocational rehabilitation non-profit that counsels, trains and matches clients with employers in Hawaii. The Challenge As a non-profit organization dependent on private and public funding, NEi struggled for years to remain relevant in the eyes of its stakeholders.

Dining Column Archive

The Courier-Journal
The hottest wings in Louisville? Take this hot wing challenge

Over the past year, I’ve touched base with restaurant owners, operators, and managers throughout the Louisville area. Aside from a select few, most of their stories have been similar: last year was exceptionally rough, they’re experiencing product shortages, and they can’t seem to hire enough staff. The team at Rootie’s Sports Bar & Grille tells a slightly different story. Though they have their own struggles, 2020 was good for business.

The Courier-Journal
Homestyle cafe is staying afloat amid product, labor issues

I pull up to the more than 100-year-old brick house on Main Street in Middletown. Its pale-yellow roof is offset by bright cyan doors and windows; matching picnic tables with umbrellas are set outside. A pink wooden flamingo stands to the left of the front door, greeting visitors. The little house, however, is not a home — it has been the site of Susan Stivers’ restaurant, Cottage Café, for nearly 30 years.

The Courier-Journal
Unique restaurant is changing the local food scene

There’s a wide variety of cuisine in Louisville, but Lou Lou Food + Drink in St. Matthews is the only restaurant I know of that blends three specific types of fare: “It’s Cajun/Italian with a Mediterranean twist,” explained owner Jared Matthews, who also owns Equus & Jack’s Lounge/Black Rabbit as well as Diamond Street Grub & Hops. He is also a partner at Diamond Pub & Billiards.

The Courier-Journal
Italian restaurant says local food scene is struggling

Caity DiFabio and her husband, Jon Riley, have been the restaurant’s owners and operators since 2012. “My parents actually opened our original location in Madisonville in 1995,” DiFabio told The Courier Journal. “I think it was 2018 when they closed that location. But in the interim, we opened this location in 2010."

The Courier-Journal
From knots to skølebröd, Smør Nordic Bakeri is serving treats like no other in Louisville

As someone with an affinity for both bakeries and unique eateries, Smør Nordic Bakeri on Poplar Level Road is right up my alley. It’s the first and only place I’ve found that offers Scandinavian desserts in Louisville; this is unsurprising since owner Liz Huot — who owns Grind Burger Kitchen, Oskar’s Slider Bar and Smør Nordic Bakeri with her husband, Jesse Huot — says Smør is probably the only place in the Bluegrass with similar menu offerings

The Courier-Journal
New bakery offers made-from-scratch breads and pastries

When I took over the Courier Jour- nal’s weekly restaurant column last year, my focus was on how restaura- teurs were managing to keep their busi- nesses afloat amid the coronavirus pan- demic. This week, I connected with Kimberly and Zechariah Maxey – the owners of Leaven Bakery, who opened up shop as a result of the pandemic.

The Courier-Journal
This Filipino food truck is exploding on Louisville's food scene

Most of my friends and family back home in Hawaii don’t understand Louisville’s appeal — and the questions about what the city does or doesn’t offer are endless. A recent text message from a friend read: “Can you even get Filipino food over there?” I did a quick Google search and came up with enough information for a response: “There’s a Filipino food market that opened, and supposedly there’s a food truck that sells lumpia.”

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