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Meet the Candidates


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Election Central
Meet the Candidates

Skip to a position:
Vice President
Secretary-Treasurer
At-Large Director (two-year term)

Regional Coordinators:
2 - 3 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 10 - 11 - 12


Please note: Regional Coordinators no longer serve on SPJ's Board of Directors. For more information about this change, consult SPJ's bylaws.


Vice President
Choose one

Jump to candidate:
Emily Bloch
Nicolle Praino


Emily Bloch
Campaign WebsitePersonal WebsiteTwitterThreads

I’m a multimedia journalist specializing in youth and internet culture. I cover national trending news for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Previously, I covered education in Florida where I also specialized in my newspaper’s digital engagement and social media strategies. My work has been featured in publications from Teen Vogue to The Washington Post.

At an SPJ level, I've created or been on the founding teams behind national programs including the Fake News Game Show, and Race and Gender Hotline.

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Nicolle Praino
Campaign WebsiteTwitterInstagram

Nicolle Praino is a journalist in Nashville working for FW Publishing. Her work appears in The Nashville Post, The News, and other publications within the company like The Nashville Scene. Before moving to middle Tennessee, she was the editor for The News Courier in Athens, Ala. leading the paper to nine Alabama Press Association awards, including a first place recognition for overall improvement and first place for a news feature on two women affected by the war in Ukraine.

She is currently on her second term serving as president of the Georgia chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was vice president in the peach state prior to that. She oversees national journalism competitions such as the Sigma Delta Chi and Mark of Excellence awards as the SPJ awards & honors committee chair. She was the nominations committee chair for SPJ’s national elections in 2022 and served as a mentor for The SPJ News at MediaFest22 in Washington D.C.

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Secretary-Treasurer
Choose one

Jump to candidate:
Daniela Ibarra
Michael Koretzky


Daniela Ibarra
TwitterInstagram

Daniela Ibarra is a journalist at KSAT-TV in her hometown of San Antonio. She spent two years as a multimedia journalist at KTUL-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she shot, wrote, and edited her stories. Her reporting there led to changes in city government and state law. She started her career in Abilene, Texas as a reporter at KTXS-TV. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas. In March 2023, the Mayborn School of Journalism recognized her with a Rising Star award. She’s passionate about holding the powerful accountable and representation in the newsroom. Daniela has served as an At-Large Director for the Society of Professional Journalists since 2021. She’s a former student representative for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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Michael Koretzky
Campaign Website

Expelled from Boca Raton Academy (1981) and the University of Florida (1989). Fired from the South Florida Sun Sentinel (1997), Jazziz Magazine (2008), and Florida Atlantic University (2010). Started and sold two magazines, one to the Tribune Company (1991), the other to the one-armed heir to the Listerine fortune (1999). Copyedited and designed for the trashy supermarket tabloids Globe, Star, Examiner, and National Enquirer (2002-2009). Not exactly a distinguished journalism career, but I’ve come to terms with it.

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At-Large Director
(Two-year term)

Choose two

Jump to candidate:
Nicole DeCriscio
Joanna Hernandez
Chris R. Vaccaro
Wesley Wright


Nicole DeCriscio
Campaign WebsiteTwitterLinkedIn

Nicole is a founding board member and board president of The Owen News, a non-profit news start-up in rural Indiana. She has been an independent journalist since 2019. She previously worked for several daily newspapers throughout South-Central Indiana. Nicole currently serves as the Region 5 Coordinator and as a member of the membership committee. She also served as the national chair for the Generation J Community and as Region 5 Assistant Coordinator.

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Joanna Hernandez
TwitterFacebookInstagram

I started my journalism career as a local reporter for the Clinton Community Press in Hell's Kitchen, in Manhattan, New York City, where I was born and raised. My clips and high GPA from the Borough of Manhattan Community College helped me garner a full-ride scholarship to earn my bachelor’s in journalism at New York University. After a 20-plus year career in journalism, I went back to school to earn my master's degree in public administration at Baruch College.

My first daily job was as a reporter for the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, Connecticut. I’ve worked as a reporter and editor in a variety of daily publications, including Newsday in New York; The Star-Ledger and The Record in New Jersey; and the San Francisco Examiner. I was a Feature Production Director for the New York Times Regional Media Group. My last newsroom job before entering academia was as multiplatform editor for the Washington Post.

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Chris R. Vaccaro
Twitter

Chris R. Vaccaro is a media executive, professor, and author from Long Island. The Emmy Award and Murrow Award winner is working in an executive role with a sports media company after many years as Vice President of Digital News at Altice USA/News 12 Networks in New York. He is also the Director of Graduate Journalism at Hofstra University, where he has been an adjunct assistant journalism professor for 12 years. Before Altice, Vaccaro was the Editor-in-Chief of The Topps Company (yes, baseball cards!), where he helped build the team’s digital division and launched mobile products. He also worked as an editor at the New York Daily News and AOL. His journalistic work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, ESPN, Associated Press, The Athletic, and more. He is also the author of seven books.

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Wesley Wright
Campaign WebsiteTwitterInstagram

I am a college journalism adviser at Florida Atlantic University and the executive vice president of the SPJ Florida chapter. My professional reporting experience includes stints in Florida, Colorado, and Virginia I use that experience to help run the ReNews Project.

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Region 2 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Stephenie Overman
LinkedIn

I’m a long-time freelance journalist who specializes in covering labor and workplace issues. I write regularly for Virginia Business magazine, Virginia Mercury, New Energy World and Smart Cities Dive. I’ve been published in the Los Angeles Business Journal, Washington Post Express, Fortune.com, Forbes.com, Salon and MarketWatch. I’m author of the book “Next-Generation Wellness at Work.”

I have a B.S. in Journalism/Political Science from Ball State University and a M.S. in Labor Studies from the University of the District of Columbia.

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Region 3 Coordinator
Choose one

Jump to candidate:
Michael Koretzky
Sal Morales
Rafael Olmeda


Michael Koretzky
Campaign Website

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), Life Magazine Group editor in chief (2012-2013), Debt.com editor in chief (2013-present).

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Sal Morales

Driven, award-winning journalist with over 30 years of combined experience as a producer, reporter, anchor, weathercaster, and booker. Successful in working in a fast-paced environment and paying attention to details. Able to communicate complex ideas to the public and collaborate effectively with teams. Results-oriented with a proven record of communicating original and innovative content.

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Rafael Olmeda
Twitter

I have spent more than 20 years as an advocate for professionalism and diversity in journalism. As a board member for NAHJ, I organized two regional conferences and contributed to the success of multiple national efforts as well. I spearheaded the first (and to date only) diversity study of the nation's three largest newsmagazines. I served as president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and UNITY: Journalists of Color. In the past year I have been involved in the planning of the IRE conference in Orlando and the NAHJ conference in Miami, where I was a featured speaker.

I've been a working journalist for 30 years, first at New York Newsday, then the New York Daily News and currently at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where I was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for our coverage of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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Region 6 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Joe Radske

Milwaukee is my home. Although every broadcaster knows that home is wherever your newsroom is located. I've made my home as a producer in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Indianapolis and Minneapolis. Milwaukee, Omaha, Madison, Fargo and now Eau Claire have given me the chance to lead a newsroom as News Director. The past five years I've been blessed with an opportunity to teach at both North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University - Moorhead. Throughout my career in the newsroom, in the classroom and as a journalist I work to make a difference every day.

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Region 7 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Loretta McGraw
LinkedIn

My name is Loretta McGraw and I am the current Region 7 Coordinator. I obtained my Bachelor degree from Iowa State University for journalism and mass communications. I am an ESOL educator, freelance journalist, producer and music promoter in the Des Moines Metropolitan area.

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Region 8 Coordinator
Choose one

Jump to candidate:
Melissa Enaje
Laura Garcia


Melissa Enaje
TwitterFacebook

Melissa Enaje has served in journalism for 10+ years. She spent nearly six years covering Brooklyn and Queens at a weekly newspaper in NYC before making her way back to her hometown of Houston. Melissa studied journalism at St. John's University and Medill - Northwestern University.

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Laura Garcia

Laura Garcia is the afternoon/evening news editor at The Texas Tribune. She previously reported on health care at the San Antonio Express-News and has bylines at the Victoria Advocate, The Roanoke Times, Corpus Christi Caller-Times and the Longview News-Journal. She graduated with journalism degrees from Texas State University-San Marcos and San Antonio College.

She was appointed SPJ’s Region 8 Coordinator in January and has a long history with SPJ from being an intern on what was called “The Working Press” to being chosen as a Dori Maynard Diversity Leadership Fellow and to leading campus chapters.

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Region 10 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Donald W. Meyers
TwitterInstagramFacebook

Donald W. Meyers is a multimedia journalist at the Yakima Herald-Republic covering crime and courts. He is also the writer behind “It Happened Here,” a weekly history column. Before coming to Yakima, Meyers covered a wide variety of beats at The Salt Lake Tribune, Daily Herald, and daily and weekly newspapers across New Jersey. He is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, serving as a regional officer in the organization as well as on the national Freedom of Information Committee.

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Region 11 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Ankita M. Kumar
Twitter

I am a journalist, content strategist and product manager with almost a decade of experience in journalism. I have covered several high-profile investigative stories on the COVID-19 pandemic in India and I have also launched a mobile app for POLITICO. I have written articles for several Bay area publications and I am now a member of the SPJ Awards and Honors committee. I have a Masters degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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Region 12 Coordinator
Currently unopposed


Jennifer Ellis
TwitterInstagramFacebookLinkedIn

I am a proven leader dedicated to the highest standards of journalism, a champion for the Freedom of Information Act and First Amendment rights, and a lover of SPJ and all things journalism.

For almost 10 years, I’ve been with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state’s largest newspaper. I first joined the company’s promotions department as a special sections designer/writer. After a couple of years in that role, I was promoted to zoned editions editor. Four years later, after many changes and restructuring in the department, I absorbed management of special sections in my current role as creative services managing editor.

In addition to my work with SPJ, I serve on Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act Coalition. As much as I am a fierce proponent of investigative journalism, freedom of information and work that shines a light on the dark spots in our democracy, my daily work highlights bright spots featuring people and community — the stories that bring people together, help us understand one another and motivate us to do better.

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