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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.

Paul Fletcher
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Bio (click to expand) Paul Fletcher has been publisher and editor-in-chief at Virginia Lawyers Weekly in Richmond, Virginia, since 1989. He joined the newspaper the previous year as news editor, after practicing law in Southwest Virginia for three years.

A graduate of the Washington & Lee University law school, he earned his undergraduate degree at the College of William & Mary and an M.A. in English from Emory University.

Fletcher has been a member of SPJ since 1992 and serves on the SPJ Ethics Committee. He is the immediate past president of the Virginia Pro chapter.

He has won a number of state and national journalism awards, including honors for editorial, feature and column writing.

President's Blog
Lynn Walsh
Investigative Executive Producer
Bio (click to expand) 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, Ohio, Texas and Florida. Currently she leads the KNSD investigative team at the NBC TV station in San Diego, California, where she is the Investigative Executive Producer.

Most recently, she was working as data producer and investigative reporter for the E.W. Scripps National Desk producing stories for the 30+ Scripps news organizations across the country. Before moving to the national desk, she worked as the Investigative Producer at WPTV, NewsChannel 5, the Scripps owned TV station in West Palm Beach, Florida. She has won state and local awards as well as multiple Emmy’s for her stories. She loves holding the powerful accountable and spends more time than she would like fighting for access to public information.

Her passion lies in telling multimedia stories that deliver hard hitting facts across multiple platforms. She describes herself as a "data-viz nerd" who is obsessed with new online tools to share information on the web and mobile applications.

She is a contributor to the Radio Television Digital News Association blog and serves as Secretary-Treasurer for SPJ and is a member of SPJ’s FOI, Generation J and Ethics committees.

Lynn is always interested in new projects surrounding FOI, public information access, mobile reporting tools, social media and interactive journalism. She is a proud Bobcat Alumna and graduated from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Rebecca Baker
New York Law Journal
Bio (click to expand) Rebecca Baker is managing editor of the New York Law Journal, the largest-circulation legal daily newspaper in the country. She has been a reporter for The (Bergen) Record in New Jersey, The Journal News in Westchester County, New York, and the New Haven Register in Connecticut.

She is a member of SPJ's national board as Region 1 Director, overseeing all student and professional SPJ chapters in the Northeast. She is on the advisory council of The Deadline Club in New York City, where she also served as president, awards contest chairwoman and events chairwoman.
Immediate Past President
Dana Neuts
Freelance Journalist
P.O. Box 6231
Kent, Wash. 98064

Bio (click to expand) Dana Neuts is a freelance journalist, author, writer and editor as well as the publisher of, a hyperlocal blog focused on Kent, Washington. Her work has appeared in numerous local, regional and national publications including AARP Bulletin, The Seattle Times, Northwest Travel, 425 magazine and South Sound magazine. She is a member of the Western Washington Pro Chapter of SPJ, and is currently serving as SPJ president. To learn more about Neuts, visit

Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs
Sue Kopen Katcef
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland

Bio (click to expand) Sue Kopen Katcef is an award winning reporter who's currently the Broadcast Bureau Director for the Capital News Service operated by the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Sue has been a member of SPJ since 1974 (when it was still Sigma Delta Chi) while a student at the University of Maryland. She is a past president of the Maryland Pro Chapter and a former long-time board member of the Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter. She has previously served on the SPJ national board as a campus adviser at-large and is currently SPJ's National Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs. Sue has served on SPJ's Awards & Honors Committee for a number of years. As chair of the committee, Sue led the panel in what is now an on-going review of both the MOE and SDX awards to try and contemporize both contests. Sue has submitted MOE entries (on behalf of her students) as well as judged and coordinated (regionally) the Mark of Excellence contest and served as a judge for many years of the Sigma Delta Chi contest.
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.

J. Alex Tarquinio
Senior Digital Editor
Time Inc.
Bio (click to expand) J. Alex Tarquinio is a Senior Digital Editor at Time Inc. She currently serves as an At-Large Director of the Society of Professional Journalists and as Chairwoman of The Deadline Club, SPJ’s New York City chapter. During her term as chapter president, the club revived the New York Journalism Hall of Fame, which had been dormant for 13 years, and won SPJ’s Chapter of the Year Award. She has previously served on the Membership and Project Watchdog national committees. Since joining the national board, she has been a #JournCamp trainer, organized a panel for the convention in Orlando, served on the Membership task force, and initiated the Strong Chapters task force. Her journalism career began as a cub reporter in the growing fields of California, where she worked as an agricultural reporter for a daily afternoon newspaper and appeared as a guest and host on the local radio station. After moving to New York to attend graduate school, she became the first Investing Editor at during the ebullient dot-com era of late 90s and early aughts. She received a journalism fellowship from the German Marshall Fund of the United States to finance a reporting residency in Cyprus. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, Barron’s, Forbes, Smart Money, and Reader’s Digest. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


Monica Dattage
California State University, Sacramento
Bio (click to expand) Monica Dattage is currently a senior at California State University, Sacramento, where she is the current vice president for the student chapter. She became interested in journalism only a few short years ago when a professor suggested she take photographs for The Telescope, a student-ran newspaper at Palomar Community College. Since then her passion has grown for not just taking photos, but writing as well. Throughout her academic career she has gained exposure to the various branches of journalism finding a true passion in broadcast writing and politics. Upon graduating from Sacramento State, Monica hopes to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and eventually obtain a dual master’s degree in journalism and political science. As a Student Representative Monica hopes to bridge the gap between students and working professionals; bringing students entering into journalism mentors and other resources to be successful in their careers.

Kate Hiller
Ohio University
Bio (click to expand) Kate Hiller is a senior studying journalism and Spanish at Ohio University, set to graduate in December 2015. She is currently working for the Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) at Ohio University as a Projects Coordinator. Her current project includes working with the IIJ and the Young African Leaders' Initiative (YALI) to plan and host "Connect Camps" in various regions of Africa. These camps are funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State. After graduation, Kate hopes to continue her studies in post-conflict media development at Ohio University or another accredited institution.
Campus Advisers

Mike Reilley
Director, Digital Production Bureau
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
Arizona State University

Becky Tallent, Ed.D.
Associate 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
Jane Primerano
Freelance writer and editor
Region 2 Director
Andy Schotz
City editor
The Frederick News-Post
Frederick, Md.
Region 2 Blog
Region 2 Facebook page
Bio (click to expand) Andy Schotz is a city editor for the Frederick News-Post in Frederick, Md.

He has been an SPJ member since 2002 and has held various positions on the Washington, D.C., Pro chapter board, including three consecutive one-year terms as president.

He served on the SPJ Ethics Committee from 2004 to 2011, including three years as chairman.

Schotz ran unsuccessfully for at-large director on the national SPJ board in 2012. The following year, he ran unopposed for Region 2 director.

He is a perennial SPJ contest judge (D.C. Pro Dateline Awards, SDX, Mark of Excellence, Green Eyeshade, high school essay) and has twice coordinated Region 2's Mark of Excellence contest.

He joined the SPJ Awards & Honors Committee in 2013 and helped work on a national survey seeking feedback about the MOE contest.

Before joining The Gazette in January 2013, Schotz worked for eight years as a reporter and editor at The Altamont Enterprise, a weekly paper in upstate New York, then for 13 years as a reporter for The Herald-Mail, a daily paper in Hagerstown, Md.

He is on the board of directors of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

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

Region 5 Director
Deborah Givens
Assistant professor, journalism
Eastern Kentucky University
Region 5 Blog
Region 6 Director
Joseph Radske
News Director

Region 6 Blog

Region 7 Director
Rob McLean
Digital managing editor
Hearst Television
Region 7 Blog
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
Tom Johnson
Mgr. Director
Institute for Analytic Journalism
Region 9 Blog
Region 10 Director
Ethan Chung
Associate Editor for Custom Media
SagaCity Media
Region 10 Blog

Bio (click to expand) Ethan Chung is the associate editor for custom media at SagaCity Media. He has been a writer and editor in the Pacific Northwest for more than 10 years and has won multiple awards for his work in magazine writing.

Ethan has been a member of SPJ since 2007, a chapter leader since 2010 (including president in 2013-2014), and a Ted Scripps Leadership Institute Graduate.

Born and raised in Hawaii, Ethan spends a good chunk of his time daydreaming about white sandy beaches and delicious Hawaiian food. He enjoys games of all kinds, playing tennis, watching basketball, writing, cooking, and eating (yes, that’s a hobby.) Ethan lives in Seattle with his lovely wife Lily and their fat cat, Momma.

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

Region 11 Blog
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
Amanda Womac
Freelance science writer
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