The Search for a Star - Live Event
Live Event Judges
Neysa Wilkins is an award-winning journalist and has worked at WJHG-TV in Panama City Beach since 1993. She's married to retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Alex Semmler and together reside in Panama City Beach, Florida. She is a graduate of Troy University with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Music Performance. She is a board member of the Pregnancy Resource Center in Panama City, a member of Beta Sigma Phi service sorority, program chair for the Woman's Club of Panama City and President of Christian Women's Connection in Panama City. Neysa is a singer/speaker for many local events, including women's conferences, prison ministry, church services and civic events. She has released 4 CD's with incredible success. She is a former Miss Troy University, Miss Deep South Alabama, Miss Southeast Georgia and Miss Warner Robins. Neysa performed at Opryland USA in Nashville and shared the stage with the likes of Minnie Pearl and Roy Acuff. She's flown an F16 with the Air Force Thunderbirds, jumped with the Army's Golden Knights parachute team and carried the Olympic torch for the winter games in Utah. Neysa has received numerous awards, including the number one media personality, one of the ten most influential women in Bay County, the key to Panama City Beach, The Bay County Sheriff's Office Citizenship Award, and Panama City Religious Leader of the Year by the Jaycees. Also given several awards by the VFW for her support of the local military, awards by the Shriners for support of children and awards by the Optimist Club for support of children with cancer. (just a few of the awards) In 2019, Neysa came on board as a judge our first year and has been on the judge panel for the Live event ever since. We welcome Ms Neysa back for another great year of Southern Lights: The Search for a Star.
Dr Shane Collins
Dr Shane Collins was Born and Raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He currently resides in Panama City, Florida with his beautiful wife Jennifer, and two children Jordan and Lilly. Dr Shane is a great singer, musician, performer, and is best known for being the voice you start every day with on 92.5 WPAP. He started working in radio when he was a teenager. He’s worked in Birmingham, Charlotte, and for more than twenty years, Dr. Shane Collins has been the beating heart of the region surrounding Panama City, Florida. The 2019 CMA Small Market Radio Personality of the Year helped lead WPAP in 2020 to its second ACM nomination as Station of the Year, an award it won in 2006. He and WPAP have earned seven reader-voted Best of Bay awards from the Panama City News Herald, Hurricane Michael Voices of Hope award, and Dr. Shane was the first recipient of the Champion for Children award from the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, one of many accolades he has received from local charities and nonprofits for his tireless work in the community. He’s not just a radio personality, He’s very engaged in the community and during Hurricane Michael in 2018 was the calm voice during the worst storm the Gulf Coast had ever seen. He’s a member of the Country Music Association, Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He’s been part of the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink Party, American Cancer Society’s Making Strides, “Walking to Win” to raise awareness of better health in Panama City, Emcee’d the 2018 St Andrews Bay Center/Arc of the bay Fashion Show, and Sang and Hosted Panama City’s Shiners Gospel Fundraiser Dr Shane first appeared on Southern Lights: The Search for a Star in 2021 as one of our incredible team of judges at the live event. This year, Dr Shane is coming back to the stage in the 2022 edition of Southern Lights: The Search for a Star.
Aaron Thomas Moore
Aaron Thomas Moore is a singer, actor, choreographer and director who grew up right here in the panhandle of Florida. He is an alumnus of Chipola College theatre and show choir and went on to obtain his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Performance from Valdosta State University. Aaron has spent many years working not only in theatre, but also in nonprofit work with large churches and other organizations, creating programs and opportunity for the next generation to experience the arts in unique ways. He’s travelled the world teaching and training others in multiple areas of performing arts and public outreach. While growing up, Aaron always had a passion for the stage and performance. He was raised in a musical family where he learned to sing at a very young age and taught himself many skills such a ventriloquism and puppetry, which he has used many times later in his professional career. This passion drove him to pursue training and education in the field of performing arts, where he continues to further his education as he is now working towards his Masters in Theatre. Aaron has had an exciting career in theatre performance work, choreography, directing and, most recently, working as a Principal Vocalist for Norwegian Cruise Lines for the past four years. He’s thrilled to now be back in the Panhandle at Chipola College on staff in the Fine and Performing Arts department. He is looking forward to pouring back into the community that poured into him many years ago.
The Search for a Star - Host
Charlie Dykes is a musician, singer, songwriter, performer, and public speaker. Charlie currently lives in Bonifay Florida where he grew up. Charlie works in the healthcare community working with hospitals and other acute care facilities across the southeast. When he's not working in healthcare, he's enjoying his cattle farm and horses and time with family. Charlie started playing the drums in church at age 6 and soon after started the piano. He has played in churches, community functions, fundraiser events, and various stages across South Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. As a singer/songwriter and musician, he has inspired people of various genre and ages to take up music and/or expand on their curent abilities. As a public speaker, he has held the podium as a motiviational speaker, minister, healthcare professional, and educator/trainer. In 2019, Charlie, along with several other community leaders in the Bonifay Florida area got together and formed Southern Lights which became the non-profit, Southern Lights Productions Inc which we know today. Still to this day the organization still has the same mission and vision, "To give people with a family friendly talent a platform to be able to take their talent to the next level." Charlie has guest hosted Southern Lights' All About the Artist podcast series and continues to direct the podcast series into Season 2. He has been the host of Southern Lights: The Search for a Star since the even launched in 2019 and will once again host the 2022 edition of Southern Lights: The Search for a Star