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SPJ Headquarters
Director of Membership
Linda Hall
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, Ind. 46208
317/927-8000, ext. 203

Membership Committee Chair

Robyn Davis Sekula

Bio (click to expand)
Robyn Davis Sekula is President of the Louisville Pro Chapter of SPJ. She is a Twitter addict, iPhone-a-holic, writer, speaker and social media consultant. She has spoken frequently at regional SPJ conferences and in 2012 at the national Excellence in Journalism Conference. She spent most of her pre-freelance career as a newspaper reporter, working as a crime and courts reporter in North Carolina, a business editor in Missouri and as a reporter at Business First in Louisville, Ky. She primarily consults with organizations and business in public relations, communications plans and social media strategy. You can find her web site at, follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook, add her on Instagram, and, of course, add her on Yo (user name itsRobynwithay).

Membership Committee Members

Brandon Ballenger
Associate editor,
Coral Springs, Fla.
Bio (click to expand) picture Brandon Ballenger is associate editor for, a unique provider of personal finance news and financial services. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in communication and English. His money-related writing has been featured in The South Florida Business Journal, Money Talks News, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, on the homepages of MSN and Yahoo!, and more. He is president of South Florida Pro chapter of SPJ.

Jeff Cutler
Freelance journalist, social media trainer
Bio (click to expand) picture Jeff Cutler is a freelance journalist, photographer, social media trainer and content specialist who speaks regularly on content marketing, the use of social tools for journalists and businesses, and the best ways to brand your product, service or self. While he curates and writes for more than a dozen blogs, Jeff has written for NPR, The NY Post, Technology Review, Mobile Magazine, Tech Target, Gatehouse Media and more.

The most comprehensive way to see Jeff's world is by going to and looking at his events calendar and writing. You can connect to Jeff via social media channels using the links at the top of his website.

Holly Edgell Community Editor
Cincinnati, Ohio
Bio (click to expand) picture Holly Edgell has a long history of experience in journalism, beginning in her native country, Belize. She was a newscast producer at WFMJ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Youngstown, Ohio and then at WTAE-TV(ABC) in Pittsburgh. She also worked as a special projects producer in Cleveland at WOIO-TV (CBS) and later WDIV-TV (NBC) in Detroit. She also served as a member of the faculty of Florida A&M University and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She then moved to St. Louis, working as a regional editor for, leading a team of 13 journalists and supervising 12 community news and information websites. She became an independent journalist in the St. Louis area, and came to in 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State and a master’s degree from Kent State. She is involved in the Cincinnati Pro Chapter of SPJ.

Eric Francis
Managing Editor, Arkansas Money & Politics
Little Rock, Ark.
Bio (click to expand) Eric Francis became a journalist in 1990 and had been a freelancer for six years before accepting a full-time position in June 2014. He serves as managing editor of Arkansas Money & Politics magazine, a bimonthly statewide publication in (wait for it) Arkansas. He is president of Arkansas Pro Chapter of SPJ.

Maria Guadalupe Ortiz-Briones
Health Reporter, Vida en el Valle
Bio (click to expand) Maria Guadalupe Ortiz-Briones is the health reporter for Vida en el Valle, a bilingual McClatchy publication in Central California. She covers health issues impacting Latinos in the Central Valley. Ortiz-Briones has worked for more than a decade in daily journalism. She has worked as a reporter covering spot news, served as both features writer and editor and she was the editor of a Spanish publication for Lee Enterprises newspapers in California. She was also the features copy editor for three Gannett newspapers - the Visalia Times-Delta, Tulare Advance-Register and The Salinas Californian. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge. She has received numerous journalism fellowships, including the AHCJ 2013-2014 Regional Health Journalism Fellowship West; the 2013 SPJ Diversity Leadership Program Fellowship; the 2014 California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship and the 2014 Immigration in the Heartland Fellowship program. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalist (NAHJ), SPJ, and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Tony Hernandez
The Oregonian
Portland, Ore.
Bio (click to expand) picture Tony Hernandez covers city government for the Knoxville News Sentinel. He graduated from the University of Houston in December 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a minor in Latin American Studies.

Since graduation, he has worked for the Rio Grande SUN in Espanola, N.M., the Southwest Times in Liberal, Kan., and the Northwest Arkansas Times in Fayetteville, Ark. He has covered education, city and county governments, crime, severe weather response and other breaking news. He has earned four awards in three years from the Arkansas Press Association during his time in Fayetteville. Hernandez is also a national board member for the Society of Professional Journalists where he serves as Region 12 director.

Wesley Juhl
Student, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nev.
Bio (click to expand) Wesley Juhl is a senior studying journalism at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. In the past, he has worked as a reporter for the LGBT news magazine Las Vegas Night Beat and as a breaking news reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He’s spending Fall 2014 working in Washington, D.C. with the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire. He has served as President of the UNLV SPJ chapter, but is still actively involved with the organization.

Dominick Miserandino
Editor and Publisher,
Long Island, N.Y.
Bio (click to expand) A one-time Wall Street employee who was moving rather quickly up the ladder, Dominick Miserandino decided to give it up and make the switch to his "night job" -, The online magazine publishes celebrity interviews, travel stories, movie reviews, CD reviews, book reviews, contests and trivia games. As founder and executive editor of the company, Miserandino has guided since 1995 to become the longest-running entertainment publication on the Internet, with a readership of 4.8 million per month. is the parent company to several other online publications including, where readers find the latest music and entertainment news plus reviews;, which provides up-to-date news on professional, college and other sports such as wrestling, track and field, and golf;, where visitors can find up-to-the-minute reports on news and politics and share their opinions; and TrekkerTí, one of the world's largest travel guides, featuring destinations from all over the world. Miserandino is also the author of two travel/humor books, "How to Survive Your First Year of Marriage by Traveling" and "Mother-inLaws, Shopping, and Baby Talk, Oh My!" He has also been published in more than 50 newspapers around the world. Miserandino has received Long Island Business News's 40 Under 40, and PCLI's Phil Spahn Awards. He serves as a board member of the Press Club of Long Island, a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He lives on Long Island.

Ernest Owens
Freelance writer, video producer
Philadelphia, Pa.
Bio (click to expand) picture Originally from Chicago, Ernest Owens is an award-winning multimedia journalist. A graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, he launched a career in media as a talk radio show host for WQHS Radio and as a video producer and op-ed columnist for The Daily Pennsylvanian. Ernest has interned at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, NBC Philadelphia, and Philadelphia City Council. He is currently a contributing writer for USA Today & The Huffington Post, where he covers a variety of social issues regarding society, race, and entertainment. His work has been featured on The Good Men Project, Al Jazeera English, The Root, The Oprah Winfrey Network and other media outlets. He is a member of the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, and the Online News Association. His writing and filmmaking has even been honored with the Gold Circle Award by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and a Finalist Award from the Tribeca Film Festival. When not blogging, he loves chatting with people on Twitter so toss a tweet to @MrErnestOwens and check out more of his multimedia at his personal website.

Susan Stevens
Freelance writer
Chicago, Ill.
Bio (click to expand) picture Susan S. Stevens, a veteran of 23 years with United Press International, 11 with the City News Bureau of Chicago, and more than several with community newspapers and magazines, now freelances.

She joined the Society of Professional Journalists in 1969, the year women were first admitted as members, and served on the national board as SPJ Region 5 director from mid-2012 to mid-2014. She has been a Chicago Headline Club officer or board member most of the time since 1988, including president from 2010-11. She has been Freedom of Information vice president, membership vice president and secretary. Also, she has served as an Ethics AdviceLine committee adviser for 11 years. She is currently Headline Club secretary, Headline Club Foundation secretary, and SPJ Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky) director from mid-2012 to mid-2014 and therefore on the national board.

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