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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

2015 election results

Congratulations to the newly elected leadership of SPJ. More than 770 members voted, making this 11% voter turnout the highest since one member one vote began.

President-Elect: Lynn Walsh with 682 votes.

Secretary-Treasurer: Rebecca Baker with 508 votes. Jason Parsley had 215 votes.

Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs: Sue Kopen Katcef with 660 votes.

At Large Director: Bill McCloskey with 459 votes. Alex Veeneman had 260 votes.

Campus Adviser At Large: Rebecca Tallent with 638 votes.

Student Representatives: Kate Hiller with 545 votes and Monica Dattage with 336 votes. Dustin Ginsberg had 35 votes.

Region 2 Director: Andy Schotz with 103 votes.

Region 3 Director: Michael Koretzky with 61 votes.

Region 6 Director: Joe Radske with 32 votes.

Region 10 Director: Ethan Chung with 34 votes. Don Meyers had 28 votes.

Region 11 Director: Matt Hall with 82 votes.

Region 12 Director: Amanda Womac with 32 votes.

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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Choose one

Rebecca Baker

Current SPJ Office: Region 1 Director and RD Caucus Leader; member of SPJ's Awards Committee, Membership Representation Task Force, and The Deadline Club's Advisory Council; SDX Foundation board member

Current Employment: Managing Editor, New York Law Journal

Previous SPJ Experience: The Deadline Club: Executive Council Chairwoman (as immediate past president), President, First Vice President, Vice President of Events, Vice President of Awards, Secretary. Connecticut Pro chapter: secretary, board member

Past Work Experience: Staff Writer, The Record/ (Bergen County, N.J.); The Journal News/ (White Plains, N.Y.); New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.); Tribune Chronicle (Warren, Ohio)

Education: M.S., Journalism, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut; B.A., Communication and Writing, Carlow University, Pittsburgh

Honors, Awards and Activities: Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Chapter Member 2010-2011; television appearances on American Greed, On the Case with Paula Zahn and Nancy Grace; frequent guest speaker on "Crime and Justice with Dan Schorr," a New York-based radio program and podcast.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I'd like to bring my 15 years of experience as an active member of SPJ to the next level, and help guide the organization as it seeks to improve services to its members.

Since joining SPJ in 2000, I’ve worked my way up to become regional director, holding nearly every position on the board of The Deadline Club, one of SPJ’s largest chapters. My achievements as chapter president were recognized in 2011 with the Howard S. Dubin Award, one of the highest recognitions that SPJ bestows on its members.

My accomplishments as a regional director include:
— Organizing two sold-out regional conferences.
— Launching a regional chapter grant program where professional and student chapters can receive up to $500 each quarter from the Region 1 Fund to underwrite events that promote increasing and retaining membership.
— Creating an e-newsletter to inform professional chapter leaders and student chapter advisors of happenings in SPJ and in the industry.
— Advising chapter leaders on ideas to boost membership and encouraging them to partner with diverse journalism groups to host events.
— Helping to revive student chapters and overseeing the start of new campus chapters
— Promoting SPJ membership at awards ceremonies and other chapter events.

As a member of the executive committee, I’d like to continue championing the values and vision of SPJ by working to increase overall membership by strengthening professional chapters, involving unaffiliated members into the larger organization, reviving campus chapters that have become dormant, and finding places where new chapters can take root.

As secretary/treasurer, I would work diligently to keep accurate minutes of national meetings and to ensure that SPJ meets its fiscal responsibilities.

My greatest wish is to do whatever I can to assist SPJ in its mission to defend free speech and promote a free press.

Jason Parsley

Current SPJ Office: Immediate Past President of SPJ Florida.

Current Employment: Executive Editor of South Florida Gay News.

Previous SPJ Experience: Served as President, Treasurer, and director of SPJ Florida.

Past Work Experience: Reporter.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree from Florida Atlantic University.

Honors, Awards and Activities: As President of SPJ Florida my chapter won Chapter of the Year. Many of the initiatives I spearheaded helped us achieve that goal, including my focus on diversity where we partnered with groups such as the SFBJA, NAHJ, AAJA, NAJA, and NLGJA on mixers and even a local convention. I also added a Spanish Language division to our annual awards contest in partnership with NAHJ. We also added an award for diversity and minority reporting. Over the years I’ve helped develop and nurture those relationships and we’ve been able to bring those groups on board for other programs.

Under my leadership I was able to stop the bleeding of our awards contest. I’ve increased revenues and entries, partly due to my intensive promotions via social media including Twitter, Facebook, e-blasts, emails etc. I also expanded the awards contest by opening it up to journalists from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, two areas that have no SPJ representation. Still being in charge of the contest I have further expansion plans and have other partnerships in mind.

The First Amendment was also important during my tenure. We launched a monthly First Amendment chat online with Florida’s First Amendment Foundation. We added a First Amendment award to our annual contest. We also partnered with Free Speech Week and sponsored several First Amendment Free Food Festivals.

Digital was also an important component of my term. We redesigned our website, added a new logo and appointed a social media manager. I also launched several online programs.

During my presidency I developed and nurtured relationships with our student chapters, which included adding a student from each one to our board.

Lastly I launched the “no journalist left behind” initiative expanding our territory to include all areas in Florida, not serviced by another chapter, in order to make sure that all journalists in the state had SPJ representation.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I can give you a laundry list of promises that sound good on paper, but instead I ask you to look at my activities. My motto is: I get shit done. And that’s why I’m seeking this office.

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Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs
Currently unopposed

Sue Kopen Katcef

Current SPJ Office: Vice President Campus Chapter Affairs ; Faculty Adviser, University of Maryland SPJ Chapter

Current Employment: Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland ; Broadcast Bureau Director, Capital News Service.

Previous SPJ Experience: SPJ National Campus Adviser At-Large ; Chair, SPJ National Awards & Honors Committee ; Corresponding Secretary, DC SPJ Pro Chapter ; President, MD Pro Chapter ; Co-chair SPJ National Convention, 1992 (Baltimore) ; Chair of several SPJ Region 2 conferences (including 1985, 1989, 2001) ; Member of SPJ (then SDX) since 1973 when I was a student at the University of Maryland .

Past Work Experience: ; Reporter/anchor WBAL Radio, Baltimore ; Reporter/Producer Maryland Public Television; Press Secretary for Congressman Ben Cardin ; Press Secretary for MD House Speaker Ben Cardin ; Reporter/anchor WCBM Radio, Baltimore ; Reporter WJZ Television, Baltimore.

Education: University of Maryland, B.S. Journalism.

Honors, Awards and Activities: Distinguished Service Award, DC SPJ Pro Chapter (2010) ; Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), National Leadership Honor Society (2007) ; SPJ National Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award (2003) ; SPJ National David Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser (2002) ; University of Maryland Panhellenic Association Outstanding Faculty; Member (2002) ; Numerous reporting awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association ; Numerous RTDNA (RTNDA) regional Murrow Awards for reporting ; MD Bar Association Gavel (1999, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1983, 1980) ; American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award (1981).

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I believe that these continue to be difficult and challenging times for those of us in the journalism profession. But, even so, this is also an exciting time as we learn to evolve and meet those challenges. SPJ, too, continues to face its own challenges and search for ways to better serve our members, journalism as a whole and the public. I believe that our student members and student chapters are critical to helping move SPJ—and the journalism profession itself—forward. I would very much like to continue, s the Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs, to help guide SPJ and certain that the programs we offer and the support we provide remain relevant to both veteran and up and coming journalists alike. [Back to Top]

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.

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

Monica Dattage

Current SPJ Position: Vice President, California State University, Sacramento Student Chapter.

Current Employment: Special Projects Coordinator, New Student Orientation-California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, California

Previous SPJ Experience: California State University, Sacramento Student Chapter, 2014-Present

Past Work Experience: Photographer/Reporter, The Telescope-Palomar College, San Marcos, Ca, 2014; Student Assistant, Counseling Dept.-Palomar College, San Marcos, Ca, 2012-2014.

Education: Currently pursuing Bachelor’s degree in journalism, minor in communication studies, California State University, Sacramento, Spring 2016; Associate’s degrees in University Studies: Media and Communication and General Studies: Arts and Humanities, Palomar College, 2014.

Honors, Awards and Activities: Dean’s List, spring and fall 2014; Journalism Association of Community Colleges Conference, 2014.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: As journalism evolves to keep up with the changing times, we as journalists have to be able to adapt and learn new skills. A cornerstone principle of SPJ is professional development, and with that SPJ brings together individuals of all backgrounds and expertise to share insight into the ever changing field of journalism. This is something that students need to take advantage of!

If elected I will serve as a liaison between students, professionals and the SPJ Board of Directors to get more students involved with SPJ and promote the ethics that SPJ stands for.

Kate Hiller

Current SPJ Office: Immediate Past President, Ohio University SPJ

Current Employment: Student at Ohio University

Previous SPJ Experience: Chapter Secretary, OU SPJ, April-Dec 2013; Chapter President, OU SPJ, May 2014-May 2015

Past Work Experience: Digital Media Intern, Cincinnati Magazine, June 2015-Present (will be through August); Multimedia Producer, Mephisto 97.6, May-June 2015; Digital Editor, The InterActivist Magazine, Jan 2015-Present; Staff Writer, The InterActivist Magazine, Sept 2014-Jan 2015; Intern, National Soccer Coaches Association of America, June 2014; Travel Blogger, The College Tourist, Feb 2014-Present; Video Production Intern, Sway the Crowd LLC, May 2014-Aug 2014; Staff Photographer, WOUB Public Media, April 2013-Dec 2013; Executive Producer/Co-Founder, Scripps Showcase, Feb 2013-Dec 2013; Local Staff Stringer, The Post (Ohio University), Jan 2013-Aug 2013; Page Designer, The Post (OU), Aug 2012-Dec 2012

Education: Ohio University class of 2016

Honors, Awards and Activities: OUSPJ Board member since 2013 — Attended the 2014 EIJ Conference at which OU SPJ received the National Campus Chapter of the Year award; Attended the 2014 Region 4 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute in Columbus, Ohio; planned and hosted the 2015 Region 4 Conference in Athens, Ohio

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: As a current college student with significant SPJ leadership experience, I think that I would be a strong candidate for student representative on the SPJ National Board. I have spent time with both SPJ professionals and students, which I believe will help me bring a well-rounded perspective to the National Board and help shape the future of the organization. If elected, I would like to work specifically to enhance communication between student chapters across the nation. SPJ has done so much for me over the last three years, and I am eager to continue to give back as much as I can as a student representative on the National Board.

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Region 2 Director
Currently unopposed

Andy Schotz
FacebookRegion 2 blog@spjregion2

Current Employment: A managing editor at The Gazette near Washington, D.C., until paper folded in mid-June.

Previous SPJ Experience: Multiple positions in D.C. Pro chapter, including three terms as president. Member of national Ethics Committee 2004-10, including three years as chairman. Currently Awards and Honors Committee chairman. Contest judge for several years.

Past Work Experience: Reporter, The Herald-Mail (daily), Hagerstown, Md., 2000-13; reporter/editor, The Altamont Enterprise (weekly), Albany County, N.Y., 1992-2000

Education: Bachelor's degree, University at Albany (N.Y.)

Honors, Awards and Activities: SPJ regional director of the year (2014); Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award (2013)

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: To continue working with local chapters and representing all Region 2 members on the national board.

I've helped organize the last two regional conferences. Plans for the 2016 conference have begun.

As a member of the national board, I've tried to stay informed and speak out about large and small issues — and keep the region apprised through links and reminders about meetings, then summaries afterward. I successfully fought for the current system that allows all SPJ members to vote.

My main focus, besides supporting existing Region 2 chapters, will be following up with those who want to revive or start chapters. I was discouraged a few years ago to see how many D.C.-area campus chapters had faded away. I'm excited that one has come back — at George Mason University.

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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

Joseph Radske

Current SPJ Office: Region 6 director

Current Employment: News Manager, WISC-TV, Madison, WI

Previous SPJ Experience: Region 6 Director (2013-2015), Executive Board Member (2014-2015), Membership Committee Member (2014-2015), Vice President Madison-Pro Chapter (2010-2013)

Past Work Experience: News Director (WKOW-TV, Madison), News Director (KPTM-TV, Omaha), News Director (WVTV-TV, Milwaukee), Executive Producer (KPTM-TV, Minneapolis)

Education: BA-Mass Communications (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Honors, Awards and Activities: I’ve won both regional, state and local awards for my work alongside broadcast teams in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska. I was also President of the Midwest Broadcast Journalism Association from 2014-2015.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I’m just getting started. The last two years have been a tremendous learning experience. I am proud to work with both Pro and College chapters in Region 6 that continually exceed expectations. Going forward we will all work together to not only build and grow our Chapters, we will also make sure those who do not have Chapter representation will be included in SPJ business and decisions.

As a member of the National SPJ Executive Committee I’ve been able to represent all SPJ Regional Directors. It has given me the chance to take the questions and concerns of those who work closest with Chapters to our National Board of Directors.

I am humbled by your vote to represent all of you in Region 6 and I will continue to work hard with you if you give me the honor of Region 6 Director.

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Region 10 Director
Choose one

Ethan Chung

Current SPJ Office: N/A

Current Employment: Associate Editor for Custom Media, SagaCity Media

Previous SPJ Experience: Past President, Western Washington Pro (2014); President, Western Washington Pro (2013), President Elect/VP (2012), Western Washington Pro; Executive Board Member (2011-2012), Western Washington Pro

Past Work Experience: Deputy Editor (2012-2015), Premier Media Group (425 and South Sound magazines); Assistant Editor (2006-2012), Premier Media Group (425 and South Sound magazines)

Education: University of Puget Sound (2004, BA, English (Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture)

Honors, Awards and Activities: Scripps Leadership Institute graduate; Northwest Excellence in Journalism award winner

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I am seeking the Region 10 Regional Director position to help bolster the already strong journalism communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. I intend to provide strong communication, engaging programming, and any necessary guidance to chapters or potential chapters. I hope to foster strong relationships with chapter leaders and individual journalists and journalism advocates in Region 10.

Donald W. Meyers

Current SPJ Office: Board member, William O. Douglas Chapter

Current Employment: Reporter/Multimedia reporter with the Yakima (WA) Herald-Republic

Previous SPJ Experience: Region 9 Director 2010-2014, Utah Headliners Board member 1996-2013, Utah Headliners chapter president 2002-2004, Utah Headliners chapter vice president, 2000-2002. Graduate of 2012 Scripps Institute.

Past Work Experience: Site manager, 2012-2013; reporter, Salt Lake Tribune 2007-2013; Editorial Page Editor, Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) 1998-2007; Reporter, Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) 1993-1998; reporter, Greater Media Newspapers (New Jersey) 1988-1993

Education: Brookdale Community College, majored in journalism 1982-1985
Brigham Young University, majored in communications/print journalism 1985-1987

Honors, Awards and Activities:
— 2013: Third place in business reporting in the Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists’ annual contest.
— 2011: First place in spot news in the Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists’ annual contest.
— 2006: First place in editorial writing in the Utah Press Association’s annual contest. Received first and second place in editorial writing in the Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists’ annual contest.
— 2005: First place in editorial writing in the Utah Press Association’s annual contest. First place in editorial writing and second place in columns in the Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists annual contest.
— 2004: First place in editorial writing and personal columns in the Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists’ annual contest. Third place in best editorial and best editor’s column categories in the Utah Press Association’s annual contest.
— 2003: Third place for editorials in the Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists’ annual contest. Received honorable mention for personal columns in the same contest.
— 2002: Third place award for coverage of Tom Green polygamy trial from the Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists and the Utah Press Association’s annual contests. Third place Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists’ annual contest for editorial writing. First place for breaking news in the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association’s annual contest for breaking news.
— 2000: Third Place in the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association’s annual contest for opinion column writing.
— 1996: Environmental Excellence Award from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 for comprehensive coverage of air quality issues in Utah County. First place for best editor’s column in Utah Press Association’s annual contest. 1995: first place in the Utah Press Association’s annual contest for best editor’s column.

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: I have been a member of SPJ for 27 years. I have gotten more out of SPJ than the "bill and a Quill." I see serving in SPJ as a way to give back to both an organization that has helped me through my career, as well as investing in the future of my chosen profession.

I bring a rich experience of the challenges facing journalism in this disruptive era. I have worked at small weeklies, community dailies and a metro daily, and know the challenges the "digital first" world brings to our industry. I've also experienced what many of our member have in that I was laid off due to cost-cutting moves at my paper. I believe that has given me an empathy for those who have gone through it and can offer support. When I was out of work, it was my SPJ friends who offered assurances and job tips, and let me know that I would not have to abandon the profession I have known and loved.

Our region is facing some challenges, and I am willing to roll up my sleeves to help fix them. As both a former regional director and chapter president, I have the administrative experience to address some of the challenges. When I was Region 9 director, made the region’s financial records available to all chapters in order to promote transparency and fiscal accountability. I also have a good working relationship with the national headquarters staff that I believe will be helpful in addressing the region's needs. I will also keep in monthly contact, at least, with chapter leaders in the area to ensure that their issues are being addressed. I will also work on reaching out to the unaffiliated members in our region.

I thank you for your consideration, and ask for your support.

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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

Amanda Womac

Current SPJ Office: Interim Region 12 Director/Treasurer and Board Member, East TN Pro

Current Employment: Freelance science writer: QUEST, Nashville Ledger/The Ledger; Part-time development manager, The Bijou Theatre; Adjunct professor of public speaking, Lincoln Memorial University

Previous SPJ Experience: SPJ Region 12 Treasurer, 2013-14; President, East TN Pro, 2011-12; Member since 2008

Past Work Experience: Editor and Publisher, Hellbender Press, Knoxville, TN (2009-2011). In addition, I have worked as a freelance science writer since 2008.

Education: BA in English with a concentration in creative writing from UT, Chattanooga (2004); MS in Science Journalism from UT, Knoxville (2008).

Honors, Awards and Activities: East TN Pro Golden Press Cards Award of Merit (2015) “Significant Slumber”; East TN Pro Golden Press Cards Honorable Mention (2015) “Numbers Expert”; Co-organizer, SPJ Region 12 Spring Conference, Lake Charles, LA (2015); Co-organizer, SPJ Region 12 Spring Conference, Fayetteville, AK (2014); Co-organizer, SPJ Region 12 Spring Conference, Oxford, MS (2013); SPJ Scripps Leadership Alumnae (2010); Organizer, Writing Green Environmental Journalism Conference, Knoxville, TN (2010); Organizer, Region 12 Spring Conference, Knoxville, TN (2010); Attendee, SPJ National Convention/Excellence in Journalism (2008-2011 and 2013-14); Best Research Award, Master’s Student, College of Communications Research Symposium, UT, Knoxville (2008) “Frames of Mountaintop Removal in the Media”; Best Research Award, Master’s Student, College of Communications Research Symposium, UT, Knoxville (2007) “SLAPP Suits and First Amendment Rights”; Outstanding Graduate Student in Science Writing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2007); Outstanding Graduate Student in Science Writing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2006).

Why I’m seeking this SPJ office: My goal as Region 12 Director is to help the professional and student chapters in the region enhance their organizational structures, create succession plans and develop programs that are relevant to our members.

I have worked as a volunteer and/or paid employee for nonprofits for over a decade. In that time, I’ve learned a variety of ways for boards to plan for the future, including the dreaded “strategic plan” and planning for leadership shifts. I would also like to help professional and student chapters in Region 12 work together in hopes of creating a seamless shift from being student SPJ member to being a professional SPJ member.

Finally, I would like to communicate with local chapters about their programs and any successes/failures they experienced in order to share that info across Region 12. If elected, I plan to use as clearinghouse of sorts for program ideas in our region.

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