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Chester C. Wells: His Story

Our Mission
The Society of Professional Journalists is dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.

To ensure that the concept of self-government outlined by the U.S. Constitution remains a reality into future centuries, the American people must be well informed in order to make decisions regarding their lives, and their local and national communities.

It is the role of journalists to provide this information in an accurate, comprehensive, timely and understandable manner.

It is the mission of the Society of Professional Journalists:

— To promote this flow of information.
— To maintain constant vigilance in protection of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press.
— To stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.
— To foster excellence among journalists.
— To inspire successive generations of talented individuals to become dedicated journalists.
— To encourage diversity in journalism.
— To be the pre-eminent, broad-based membership organization for journalists.
— To encourage a climate in which journalism can be practiced freely.

Home > About SPJ > Board of Directors

About the Society
Board of Directors

For descriptions of SPJ Board positions, please consult SPJ's bylaws.

David Cuillier
Assistant Professor
Department of Journalism
University of Arizona
Marshall Building, Room 323
Tucson, Ariz. 85721-0158
Work: 520/626-9694
Fax: 520/621-7557
Bio (click to expand) David Cuillier, Ph.D., is director and associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he teaches computer-assisted reporting, public affairs reporting and access to public records. He was a government reporter and editor at daily newspapers for a dozen years in the Pacific Northwest, was the Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee chairman for four years, and has been an SPJ newsroom trainer since 2005. He and Charles Davis co-authored The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records” and the blog
President's Blog
Dana Neuts
Freelance Journalist
P.O. Box 6231
Kent, Wash. 98064

Bio (click to expand) After a career in financial services, Dana (Blozis) Neuts began freelancing in 2003. Based in Kent, Washington, Dana is a freelance writer and editor as well as the owner and publisher of and, hyperlocal blogs. Her work has appeared in many Seattle-area publications as well as national publications including GSN: Government Security News, HS Today and American Profile. She is past-president of the award-winning Western Washington Pro Chapter of SPJ, serves as the Region 10 Director of SPJ, is a member of the membership committee, and chairman of the freelance committee. She previously served on the SDX foundation board and has been a facilitator for Scripps. For more information, please visit Specialties: Business Writing and Editing, Features, Humor, Small Business, Nonprofits, Finance, Insurance, Travel, and Marketing Consulting and Implementation including Social Media.

Paul Fletcher
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Virginia Lawyers Weekly
Immediate Past President
Sonny Albarado
Projects Editor
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
121 E. Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, Ark. 72201
Bio (click to expand) Sonny Albarado is projects editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a statewide, family-owned daily newspaper based in Little Rock. As projects editor, he supervises a staff of two reporters and assists other editors and reporters in long-term investigative and explanatory journalism.

Albarado has worked as a journalist since 1970, when he became editor of his college newspaper. His first professional newspaper job began in December 1972 in Houma, La. Except for an 18-month period when he helped a couple of friends start a monthly trade magazine in New Orleans, he has worked in newspapers all of his professional life.

He doesn’t count the year he was a part-time disc jockey as work.

He has been an SPJ member since March 1979, joining in hopes of starting a chapter in the rural area he covered for the daily paper in Baton Rouge, La. Baton Rouge had an active press club but no SPJ chapter. He was president of the press club in 1988-89 and received the local PRSA chapter’s “Communicator of the Year” award in 1988.

After moving to Memphis in 1989, he joined the Mid-South Pro SPJ Chapter. He became chapter president in 1992 and remained president throughout most of the 1990s. He also served as secretary-treasurer and chairman of the chapter’s contest committee in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Albarado became SPJ Region 12 director at the 2006 convention. As regional director, he also became co-director with Region 3’s director of the annual Green Eyeshade Awards program, which recognizes excellence among journalists in 11 southeastern states.

Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs
Sue Kopen Katcef
Philip Merrill College of Journalism University of Maryland 301-405-7526 Twitter
Directors At-Large
Bill McCloskey
4709 Overbrook Road
Bethesda, Md. 20816
Bio (click to expand) Bill McCloskey, currently at large director of the Society of Professional Journalists is also a member of the Executive Committee, Bylaws Committee and the Finance Committee. He is the retired Washington, D.C.-based Director of Media Relations for AT&T, formerly BellSouth Corp.

In 2008 he was awarded the Wells Key, SPJ's highest honor for a volunteer.

Before joining BellSouth in 1987, Bill worked for 11 years with The Associated Press in Washington.

Bill's professional career started in 1961, when, as a high school junior, he took a summer newsroom job at Metromedia's WIP Radio in Philadelphia. He remained with Metromedia in Philadelphia until he was drafted into the Army upon graduation from Villanova University in 1966.

Ironically, the Army assigned him to the information office of the 1st Signal Brigade in Vietnam where he wrote press releases about the Army's telephone system.

Following his tour of duty, he was assigned by Metromedia to set up a news department for WASH FM in Washington. From 1968 until 1975, he worked as news director, network correspondent and TV news producer and writer for Metromedia in Washington.

He is past president of the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was the Society’s Region 2 director. He has been recognized three times with SPJ’s “President’s Award” for distinguished service to the Society.

Carl Corry
Online Local News Editor, Newsday
New York, N.Y.

Bio (click to expand) Carl Corry is the online editor for local news at Newsday and an at-large director of the Society of Professional Journalists.

At Newsday, where he started in 2010, Corry leads a smartphone-focused community news and special projects team.

Previously, he was executive producer of News 12 Interactive, running the Web and interactive TV operations of the seven News 12 cable stations. While there, he launched a hyperlocal initiative called News 12 My Town.

Prior to that, Corry was editor of Long Island Business News and an Internet reporter for He was also a community news and business reporter, and has freelanced for numerous publications, including the New York Post.

Corry was elected an SPJ at-large director in 2012. Previous SPJ roles have included SPJ Chapter Doctor, co-chair of the 2012 SPJ Region 1 Spring Conference, SPJ Region 1 Director (2006 Regional Director of the Year) and Press Club of Long Island president (2002-2005).

He is currently chairman of the Martin Buskin Committee for Campus Journalism at Stony Brook University and a member of the Energeia Partnership, a regional stewardship group.

Corry is a graduate of Stony Brook University.

Campus Representatives
Lindsey Cook
University of Georgia

Brett Hall
University of Maryland
Campus Advisers At-Large
Kym Fox
Texas State University
601 University Dr.
San Marcos, TX 78666
(512) 245-3484

Bio (click to expand) Kym Fox joined SPJ while an undergrad at Arizona State University in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. She has been president of the San Antonio Pro Chapter and is currently the co-adviser to the Texas State University student chapter. Fox spent the first 20 something years of her career as a reporter and editor, first at the Mesa Tribune, a 40,000 daily in a suburb of Phoenix, and then 18 years at the San Antonio Express-News. She was the deputy metro editor when she left the Express-News to take to the classroom at Texas State. Most of her career, she spent covering courts and legal affairs, thus her affinity for Freedom of Information projects. Over the years she has covered everything from high school sports to George H.W Bush signing NAFTA. She has interviewed the Queen of England and Michael Jackson, though not at the same time. Along with her B.S. in journalism, she earned an M.A. in communications from the University of the Incarnate Word while an editor at the Express-News. At Texas State she is a senior lecturer and coordinator of the journalism sequence. She teaches a variety of writing classes as well as multimedia journalism. Her take on the future of journalism: “Newspapers are NOT dying. They are evolving.” Find her on Twitter @kymfox.

Becky Tallent, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Journalism and Mass Media
University of Idaho
Bio (click to expand) Rebecca J. “Becky” Tallent is an award-winning journalist and public relations specialist with more than 12 years experience as an energy/environmental and financial journalist plus an additional 16 years experience as a public relations specialist and five years as an educator. She is currently an assistant professor of journalism and mass media at the University of Idaho.

Becky’s experience as a reporter and editor inside Oklahoma was with the Daily Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, Oklahoma Business News Co. (where she was reporter and editor of the Oklahoma Energy/Environment Report) and as editor of the Oklahoma Banker. She has also covered energy and environmental issues for McGraw-Hills News, Inc. of New York (Platt’s Oilgram News, Engineering Week and Green Markets); Reuter’s U.S. Financial, Inc. based in New York; and the Washington, D.C.-based Oil Daily.

As a public relations specialist, Becky has represented the University Hospitals, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board and Epworth Villa (a not-for profit retirement community). From 2002-2006, she was a public relations specialist with Evergreen Productions, Inc. of Oklahoma City where she represented the City of Lawton (OK), Tidal School Vineyards and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Her expertise in public relations is writing/publications, working with the news media and crisis communications.

Before Idaho, Becky taught journalism at Bishop McGuinness High School, Southwestern College, the University of Phoenix, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Some of Becky’s most recent awards include: 2003 Faculty Member of the Year, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; first place, 2001, American Marketer’s Association, Oklahoma City Chapter, Marketing Campaign for Epworth Villa; second place, 2001, Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma Chapter, not-for-profit publications (Epworth Villa); first place, 2000, Society of Professional Journalists, not-for-profit publications (The Oklahoma Banker); and the 1999 Award of Merit from the Oklahoma Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators for the Oklahoma Banker.

Becky has been a member of SPJ since 1972 when she joined the University of Central Oklahoma student chapter. She joined the Oklahoma Professional Chapter in 1977 and became a member of the Snake River Chapter in 2006. She has served on numerous local and national committees for SPJ. Becky’s dedication to the Society lies in her belief that service in SPJ is a way to contribute something back to the profession.

Becky earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (1975) and her Master of Education in Journalism (1977) from the University of Central Oklahoma. She earned her Doctorate of Education in Classroom Teaching/Mass Communications from Oklahoma State University in 1995.

Region 1 Director
Rebecca Baker
New York Law Journal
Region 2 Director
Andy Schotz
Assistant managing editor
The Gazette newspapers
Gaithersburg, Md.

Region 2 Blog
Region 2 Facebook page

Region 3 Director
Michael Koretzky
Region 4 Director
Patricia Gallagher Newberry
Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Special Events and Internships
Journalism Program
Miami University

Region 5 Director
Susan S. Stevens
Freelance Journalist
Region 6 Director
Joseph Radske
News Director

Region 7 Director
David Sheets
Editor-in-chief, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine

Bio (click to expand) David Sheets is a former newspaper journalist in St. Louis with more than 25 years' worth of experience at daily publications in Missouri, Illinois, Florida and Nevada. He is immediate past-president and board member of the St. Louis Pro Chapter.
Region 8 Director
Eddye Gallagher
Director Student Publications
Assistant Professor
Tarrant County College
828 Harwood Road
Hurst, Texas 76054

Bio (click to expand) Eddye is a member of the Fort Worth Pro Chapter, where she has served in various offices including two terms as president. She co-chaired the 2012 Region 8 conference and does everything from planning programs and arranging speakers to putting up directional signs and cleaning tables. She is also a member of the national programming committee.

Her full-time job is director of student publications, assistant professor of journalism and adviser of The Collegian, a weekly newspaper serving the five campuses of Tarrant County College. She serves as a contributing editor for Teaching English in the Two-Year College as well as doing occasional freelance editing for other publications and writers. She worked in public relations at Texas Christian University before attending graduate school. Never intending to teach, she fell into the job as a one-year temporary position and discovered she loved helping students develop into better writers and has been doing so for more than 40 years. (She claims she was 5 when she started.) She has received several teaching awards, such as being named one of’s 2012 Top 50 Journalism Professors in the nation, but considers her students’ achievements, including several Mark of Excellence awards, her greatest honors. Her former students are in various fields using their journalistic skills.

She holds a bachelor of arts in English from Texas Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of North Texas.

Region 9 Director
Donald Meyers
Salt Lake Tribune
90 S 400 W # 700
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
(801) 448-6106

Bio (click to expand) Donald W. Meyers has been at a reporter at The Salt Lake Tribune since July 2007. Prior to that, he was the editorial page editor of the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah for more than eight years, as well as having been a reporter at daily and weekly newspapers in Utah and New Jersey. He majored in Communications:Print Journalism at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey and Brigham Young University. He was elected as Region 9 director in 2010. He is a past-president of the Utah Headliners Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists and is a member of the Utah Foundation for Open Government. He has won numerous awards from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association, the Utah Headliners Chapter of SPJ and the Utah Press Association. He is also the recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional Environmental Excellence Award for his coverage of air-quality issues.
Region 10 Director
Pia Hallenberg
Staff writer
The Spokesman-Review

Region 11 Director
Matthew T. Hall
Public engagement director
U-T San Diego

Bio (click to expand) Matthew T. Hall is the public engagement director at U-T San Diego, where he's worked since 2001. He manages the newsroom's social media and compiles a daily blog called "The Conversation," curating the best of social media and the Internet with help from readers. He has covered San Diego neighborhoods and politics, the Chargers' stadium search and the Padres' TV fiasco, east and north San Diego County. Most recently, he was a metro columnist who reported and wrote four columns a week. He has been named blogger, feature writer and critic of the year by the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and columnist of the year, twice, by the San Diego Press Club. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire and previously worked at newspapers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and California. He is married to a fellow writer, and they have two young daughters. He is also a runner, a Red Sox fan and president of the San Diego chapter of SPJ.
Region 12 Director
Tony Hernandez
Knoxville News Sentinel
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Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789

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