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Vassallo Interviews: Amelia Camurati Takes Helm of HottyToddy.com

Amelia Camurati recently moved back to Oxford to work at HottyToddy.com.
Amelia Camurati recently moved back to Oxford to work at HottyToddy.com.

HottyToddy.com’s new editor-in-chief is a young woman who fully understands where she’s been and knows exactly where she wants to go. It’s refreshing to meet someone this young who has such a grasp on her destiny. Her comments are quite interesting and most enlightening as to what makes her tick.
HottyToddy.com: Amelia, as the new editor-in-chief for HottyToddy.com, please share with our readership how you ascended into this position.
Amelia Camurati: In August, I was hired to be the managing editor for HottyToddy.com, and shortly thereafter began preparing for the transition into my current position when I learned that our then editor-in-chief was intending to pursue other interests. I had previously worked in McComb for the Enterprise-Journal as a general assignment reporter.
Camurati and HottyToddy.com contributor Chuck Barnes on the sidelines at Tiger Stadium.

HottyToddy.com: Tell us about your childhood and teen years.
Amelia Camurati: I grew up in Memphis where I attended private Catholic schools. After graduating from St. Agnes Academy, I attended Ole Miss and graduated in 2011. My family for the most part had either attended Ole Miss or Alabama and I followed suit. At age 16 my family moved to Olive Branch paving the way for my life as a Rebel.
HottyToddy.com: Those who know you are impressed (and somewhat surprised) regarding your knowledge of sports. Has this interest always been there?
Amelia Camurati: I was an athlete most of my student life being involved in basketball, volleyball and swimming. I have always loved football and college basketball as a fan of the Memphis Tigers and of course, Ole Miss.
HottyToddy.com: HottyToddy.com has been quite successful (the monthly readership has now reached 362,000). What are your goals for 2015?
Amelia Camurati: I want to expand the website and cover different areas than we’re even doing now. I would like to broaden our coverage of Arts & Entertainment as the bars here have nonstop musicians. The food industry in Oxford continues to grow and expand.
HottyToddy.com: What inspired you to enter the field of Journalism?
From left, Donica Phifer, Caroline Lee, Alex McDaniel, Camurati and Bracey Harris, all former DM staffers who have moved on to further their journalistic career.

Amelia Camurati: I was a Political Science major during my freshman year which was not my ideal fit. My mom (Gerri) told me that I was a very good writer and encouraged me to pursue this interest which I did. I responded to an ad with The Daily Mississippian and ultimately became its Opinion Editor and editor-in-chief.
HottyToddy.com: What can you share with today’s students about entering your professional field?
Amelia Camurati: Acquire experience in what you’re going to do. Get published and talk with many people. Accept either paid or free internships. I actually accepted an internship one summer with the 11th largest newspaper in the country which is based in Long Island, New York.
HottyToddy.com: Shifting gears, what do you like most about Oxford?
Amelia Camurati: Definitely the arts scene! I enjoy the theatre, concerts, dance shows and of course the sports. There is such a good mix of entertainment.
Photo from parents’ visit to Newsday on Long Island.

HottyToddy.com: Being a female, do you feel it is more difficult to “rise to the top” professionally or are those days “gone forever?”
Amelia Camurati: Those days are definitely changing. The stigma is still there, however. Diane Sawyer helped pave the way for aspiring journalists like me.
HottyToddy.com: This led right into the next question regarding any role models who may have inspired you.
Amelia Camurati: Diane Sawyer was always willing to accept difficult assignments by interviewing controversial personalities. Barbara Walters and Katie Couric are two other highly successful journalists who are role models to me.
HottyToddy.com: What truly motivates you?
Amelia Camurati: My future.
HottyToddy.com: In addition to covering Ole Miss and Oxford primarily, are our readers looking beyond for additional news coverage?
Amelia Camurati: We have a large following who cannot live in Oxford for various reasons. We will be exploring covering more of the state. An example, our coverage of the Delta is definitely expanding.
HottyToddy.com: Describe the “perfect day” for you.
Amelia Camurati: When my alarm goes off and I get up immediately after the first time. There would be no major Internet malfunctions, no drama and writing a story that I think is really good. Writing is my passion with editing second.
HottyToddy.com: You have reached a lofty plateau of success at a relatively young age.
This should serve as motivation to other young people. Your thoughts?
Amelia’s parents, Gerri and Mike Camurati, at an old train display in McComb.

Amelia Camurati: As I’m only 26, I would encourage others to do the things that they don’t want to do relating to their job. Avoid having a negative attitude about everything. Whatever the necessary hours are to satisfactorily complete tasks, prepare for weeks which extend beyond 40 hours even if you have to miss out on fun things with friends and family.
HottyToddy.com: Comparing my generation (growing up in the 60’s) to yours, what are the pros and cons of each?
Amelia Camurati: The pros of my generation would include being technology minded, open to new ideas and willingness to relocate. Some of the negatives are being spoiled by parents which contributed to difficulties in growing up and being buried in our phones. As to your generation, hard working, prepared to build from the ground up and taking risks are all admirable qualities. The negatives would include being too closed minded (my dad learned things at age 20 that are still fact), cold and distant and not as flexible.
HottyToddy.com: Should schools and civic clubs be interested in inviting you to speak, would this be appealing to you?
Amelia Camurati: Yes. I would enjoy talking about anything journalism related.
HottyToddy.com: What are your hobbies?
Amelia Camurati: I truly love the theatre, going to movies and sporting events. I am a huge fan of the LA Clippers even cheering for them versus Memphis!
HottyToddy.com: Forecast the remainder of the Ole Miss football season.
Amelia Camurati: A 10-2 finish with a marginal win (tougher than anticipated) versus Arkansas and a home field advantage victory versus State. The blue jerseys will prevail as they have all season.
HottyToddy.com: Lastly, where do you want to be five years from today?
Amelia Camurati: Working in a large US city for a major publisher preferably in the northeast or west.
Reflecting back to when I was 26, I was still trying to figure out which end was up. This young lady with Italian roots has a solid foundation and is willing to make the personal sacrifices necessary to do what it takes to expand her horizons. And those of my generation will applaud her efforts as they witness a success story being written!

Steve-Vassallo-Photo-Oct-20131-150x150Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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