16:39 PM

Florida veteran wins the 2023 Voice of TPA contest

Temple Terrace resident Sean Baker, who flew helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps for 22 years, entered the drawing after reading about it in TPA’s On the Radar email newsletter.

This year’s Voice of TPA winner, Sean Baker, is no stranger to the world of aviation. 004_4

Baker is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and helicopter pilot who joined in the early 1990s. He was based out of Marine Corps Air Stations in Southern California, aboard U.S. Navy ships and MacDill Air Force Base during his 22-year career, before retiring in 2014 with the rank of Major.

Now a Temple Terrace resident, Baker doesn't really claim a hometown, because he has lived all over the country most of his life, but said the majority of his time was in North Florida. 

He more commonly goes by a colorful nickname, which served as his aviator call sign – “Moobs” – because of his height. 

“I’m almost 6-foot-5, a rather tall guy,” Baker mused. “At my height, most people are eye level with my chest." Because they were looking at Baker's chest and not his eyes, the nickname stuck; he's been using it ever since.

Baker has since earned a master’s in business administration from the University of South Florida, and often spends his days out on a boat, enjoying the peace and quiet of his Tampa suburb. He also likes biking, hunting, fishing and watching Bucs and Bulls football. And sunsets.

"They let you reflect on what you did that day and remind you that everything will be all right, because there will be another one tomorrow," he said.


As a subscriber to TPA’s weekly newsletter, On the Radar, he learned about the Voice of Tampa contest several weeks ago. He recalled last year’s winner, Coretta Youmans, and decided he should enter, purchasing 12 entries. The contest, now in its third year, is part of TPA’s annual efforts to raise funds for United Way Suncoast, to help families in need across the Tampa Bay area. 

As with last year, the random drawing for the winner of the Voice of TPA contest was promoted through a Facebook Live event, with Baker’s name selected from the over 400 individuals who entered. During the month of July, Baker will replace Mayor Jane Castor’s voice on the airport’s shuttles, welcoming thousands of travelers every day.

Baker will be at TPA later this month to record the famous greeting. If you’re traveling through TPA in July, be sure to listen for his voice on the shuttles as you make your way to your gate.