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Nominations Committee Chair

Sonny Albarado
Projects Editor
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
121 E. Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, Ark. 72201
Bio (click to expand) As projects editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, Sonny Albarado supervises reporters on investigative and explanatory journalism assignments. He holds a bachelor’s degree and an honorary doctor of letters from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, La.

His journalism career of more than 40 years includes lengthy sojourns in Baton Rouge, La., and Memphis, Tenn. He has been a reporter, an assistant city editor, a business editor (twice), a projects editor (twice), a news editor and a city editor. He also briefly edited a trade magazine dedicated to the coin-operated amusement industry.

He has been involved in the defense of the First Amendment and the free flow of information since his days as editor of his college’s student newspaper. A member of SPJ since 1979, he is a past president of SPJ and a current member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

All awards he’s received have been the result of good editors when he was a reporter and excellent reporters since he’s been an editor.

Home > SPJ Election Central > Meet the Candidates

Call for Candidates

Run for office | Participate as a voting SPJ member | Meet the candidates

Election Central
Meet the Candidates

Skip to a position:
Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs
At-Large Director
Campus Adviser At-Large
Student Representative

Regional Directors: 2 | 3 | 6 | 10 | 11 | 12

Currently unopposed

Lynn Walsh

Current SPJ Office: Secretary/Treasurer, Member of Ethics, FOIA and Generation J committees

Current Employment: Investigative Executive Producer, NBC San Diego

Previous SPJ Experience: Secretary/Treasurer, Florida Chapter Board Member, Generation J Committee Chair

Past Work Experience: Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been working in investigative journalism at the national level as well as locally in California (KNSD), Ohio (E.W. Scripps Company), Texas (Texas Watchdog) and Florida (WPTV).

Education: Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism

Honors, Awards and Activities: She has won state and local awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award and multiple Emmy’s for her stories.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I am running for President-elect and I want to continue my work on the National Board to bring more national attention to SPJ while helping journalists in their everyday lives.

Working in journalism is tough but it is also really fun and rewarding. A lot of people ask me why I stick with a profession that seems to be “dying.” I tell them I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. Journalism is changing but it’s not dying. People are consuming news and content more than ever. Now, we just need to reach them where they are.

If elected I want to continue to push SPJ ahead in this digital world, while taking the lead for journalism and all journalists. SPJ stands for ethics and fights for transparency. I want to continue that fight and bring attention to what we do every day so the public is aware of the important role we can play and the important work we do.

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Currently unopposed

Candidate bios coming soon.

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Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs
Currently unopposed

Candidate bios coming soon.

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At-Large Director
Choose one

Bill McCloskey

Current SPJ Office: At-large director

Current Employment: Mostly retired, but part time copy editor for Warren Communications News, Washington, D.C.

Previous SPJ Experience: President D.C. Pro Chapter. Chapter board member approximately 35 years. Former Bylaws Committee chair and parliamentarian for national convention; SDX Board member, SPJ Executive Committee member three years. SPJ and SDX Finance Committee member.

Past Work Experience: News Director WASH-FM, Washington, D.C.; Assistant Managing Editor APRadio Network; Telecom Reporter AP Washington; Director Media Relations BellSouth Corp.

Education: BA Villanova University

Honors, Awards and Activities: Wells Key. Three SPJ President's Awards. two time SPJ President's Award winner

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: It is important for someone to take the time to closely monitor the finances and internal workings of SPJ and SDX. I have accomplished this with attention to detail without micromanaging the headquarters staff. As a 28-year member of SPJ and second longest serving member of the board, I bring institutional knowledge to the board.

Alex Veeneman

Current SPJ Office: Community Coordinator, December 2014-present; contributing SPJ Digital blogger (January 2015-present)

Current Employment: Deputy Editor, Media Editor and Contributing Writer, Kettle Magazine; Contributing Writer, The News Hub

Previous SPJ Experience: Chair, SPJ Digital, July 2014-March 2015

Past Work Experience: Editor at The Flyer student newspaper; Blogger at Uloop News; Contributing writer at The Student Journals and Union Jack News; Editor, A Cuppa Social blog, ChicagoNow

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Print Journalism and Multimedia Journalism, Lewis University (2014)

Honors, Awards and Activities: Member, UK Student Publication Association

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: Journalism is changing right before our eyes. We must adapt with this industry, and support those who not only seek to enter the profession, but also who have been in the profession and look to the future.

At the helm is education, a principle that I founded SPJ Digital on, the new community that replaced the defunct Digital Media Committee. I also have worked with the national board to help oversee the next step in SPJ’s support of journalists—its network of communities, allowing education to remain the core in the digital age.

The SPJ is known for the preservation of quality journalism for the next generation, and in an era of industry wide change, every journalist deserves as much support as possible, with training, education and resources to ensure success. As At-Large Director, I will continue that mission and maintain SPJ’s crucial role of education, and ensure that every journalist, be it student or professional, can reach their utmost potential.

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Campus Adviser At-Large
Choose one

Rebecca Tallent

Current SPJ Office: Campus Adviser at Large

Current Employment: University of Idaho since 2006. Assistant Professor of Journalism, 2006-2012; Associate Professor of Journalism, 2012-present.

Previous SPJ Experience: President, University of Central Oklahoma student chapter (1974); President, Oklahoma Pro Chapter (1980); treasurer, Snake River Pro Chapter (2009). Member National Journalism Education Committee (2007-present, chair 2011-14) and national Diversity Committee (2007-present). Attended Scripps Leadership Conference 1999 and was a Diversity Fellow in 2007.

Past Work Experience: reporter for Daily Oklahoman, 1981-83; Oklahoma Business News, 1983-86; McGraw-Hill’s Platts Oilgram News, 1983-87; Reuter’s Financial U.S., 1983-87; Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, 1987-88; and editor, The Oklahoma Banker, 1998-2000. Public relations associate for Oklahoma Department of Transportation, 1978-81; Oklahoma Teaching Hospitals, 1988-1995; Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, 1995-97; Epworth Villa, Oklahoma City, 2000-2002; University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 2002-2006. Northwestern Oklahoma State University Assistant Professor of Journalism, 1997-98.

Education: BA — Journalism (1975) and M.Ed. — Journalism (1977), University of Central Oklahoma; Doctor of Education — Mass Communications (1995), Oklahoma State University.

Honors, Awards and Activities: Also a member of the Native American Journalists Association; recipient of University of Idaho Presidential Mid-Career Award for 2015-17; Spirit Award for working with UI student athletes; Faculty Member of the Year, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Oklahoma City Campus. 2002-03; Oklahoma Pro SPJ Awards first place non-profit newsletter (the Oklahoma Banker), 2000.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I originally joined SPJ as a student to give back to the profession. While I have worked hard during the past 40 years to give back, it was joining the Board in 2013 that I learned exactly how every aspect of SPJ impacts each sector of the organization. For the past two years I have measured everything I deal with on the board with the mantra: How will this impact student/campus members? As one of their representatives, I feel it is important to keep that foremost in mind.

After working with the J-Ed Committee in writing the book on the state of high school journalism during the past four years, I realize there is so much more to do. We need to conduct a lot more outreach to high school journalism programs while not letting support to colleges and universities slip. With all the changes in the field, there is confusion in the classroom about the future of our profession, and we need to keep providing quality information and assistance to insure we continue to have well trained professionals as well as actively recruit the best and brightest to our campus programs. It is a daunting task, but one we should carefully and thoughtfully engage in with our partners, including the Student Press law Center, the Journalism Education Association and others.

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Student Representative
Choose two

Candidate bios coming soon.

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Region 2 Director
Currently unopposed

Candidate bios coming soon.

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Region 3 Director
Currently unopposed

Michael Koretzky

Current SPJ Office: Region 3 director

Current Employment: editor

Previous SPJ Experience: South Florida board member (2005-2007), national at-large director (2008-2010), South Florida president (2011)

Previous Work Experience: Athens Daily News reporter (1989-1990), Sun Sentinel reporter (1990-1992), iCE Magazine editor and publisher (1992-1994), XS Magazine entertainment editor (1994-1997), Palm Beach Free Press editor (1998-2000), FAU University Press adviser (1998-2010), Jazziz Magazine associate editor and managing editor (2000-2008), Globe, Star, National Enquirer copyeditor (2002-2009), Money Talks News editor (2010-2012), Lifestyle Magazine Group editor (2012-2013)

Education: University of Florida (1983-1989), didn't graduate

Honors, Awards and Activities: A few years ago, outgoing SPJ president John Ensslin gave me an empty cigar box with one cigar scotch-taped to the top. He called it the "Thinking Outside the Box Award." But he never told me what happened to the other cigars.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I agree with my enemies. I want to destroy SPJ’s most cherished traditions. Change its name. Raze its membership rules. Alter its awards. Gut its delegates. Try big new things and fail spectacularly, then try again and fail better.

SPJ has dropped 2,000-plus members — more than 20 percent — since I was first elected to the board in 2008. The bleeding hasn’t stopped. Yet instead of plugging the wound, we’re combing our hair. “Stay the course” has been the death knell for many dying organizations. I wonder if it’ll be ours.

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Region 6 Director
Currently unopposed

Candidate bios coming soon.

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Region 10 Director
Currently unopposed

Candidate bios coming soon.

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Region 11 Director
Currently unopposed

Matthew T. Hall

Current SPJ Office: Region 11 director; president, San Diego Pro chapter

Current Employment: Public engagement director, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Previous SPJ Experience: former secretary and vice president, San Diego Pro chapter

Past Work Experience: former reporter at The Derry (N.H.) News, The Concord (N.H.) Monitor, The (San Diego) Daily Transcript and The San Diego Union-Tribune, where I was also city columnist and public engagement editor

Education: 1994 English/journalism degree, University of New Hampshire; 2005 Western Knight Center fellow at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Honors, Awards and Activities: Best blog, San Diego Press Club, 2014; Best blog, SPJ San Diego, 2014; Critic of the year, SPJ San Diego, 2013; Columnist of the year, San Diego Press Club, 2012, 2013; Best investigative/enterprise story, SPJ San Diego, 2012; Best feature story, SPJ San Diego, 2011; Best non-deadline new story, SPJ San Diego 2011; Union-Tribune Golden Shoe as the newsroom’s fastest male finisher in a company-sponsored 8k road race, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I love journalism and the West, and I want to keep building on SPJ's successes nationally and in our four states. In my first term, I improved regional communication by talking regularly with professional chapter leaders, strengthening college chapters, resurrecting a dormant blog, building new Twitter and Facebook communities and helping to plan a successful regional conference in San Francisco. We’re already planning next year’s in Phoenix. I’d be honored to continue celebrating, improving and protecting journalism with you.

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Region 12 Director
Currently unopposed

Candidate bios coming soon.

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