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Speakers' Bios

Bill Allison Bill Allison is the editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation. A veteran investigative journalist and editor for nonprofit media, Bill worked for the Center for Public Integrity for nine years, where he co-authored "The Cheating of America" with Charles Lewis, was senior editor of "The Buying of the President 2000" and co-editor of the New York Times bestseller "The Buying of the President 2004." He edited projects on topics ranging from the role of international arms smugglers and private military companies in failing states around the world to the rise of section 527 organizations in American politics. Prior to joining the Center, Bill worked for eight years for The Philadelphia Inquirer -- the last two as researcher for Pulitzer Prize winning reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele.

Blair Barna has worked in the world of alt-weeklies for 20 years and is the advertising director of the Charleston City Paper in Charleston, S. C. He founded and co-owns the paper -- now in its sixteenth year -- with his two business partners, publisher Noel Mermer and editor Stephanie Barna. One of them is also his life partner -- he'll leave it up to you to guess which. Barna has two children, three cats, two dogs, and no time to himself. Prior to blazing trails in Chucktown, he worked for Creative Loafing in Savannah and Atlanta.

Tina Barnes Tina Barnes With over 20 years of experience in digital and mobile advertising, Tina Barnes has become one of Canada’s leading authorities in mobile products and services. She has worked with some of Canada’s leading media and communications companies including Rogers Communications, EastLink and Postmedia Network, as well as a number of mobile solution providers. Tina also has extensive experience working with small and medium businesses, and is eager to help companies of all shapes and sizes succeed continually evolving digital marketplace.

Jonathon Berlin Jonathon Berlin is the graphics editor of the Chicago Tribune and the president of the Society for News Design. He has worked at the San Jose Mercury News, Rocky Mountain News and The Times of Northwest Indiana, in addition to the Tribune. He's been a design director and designer, a graphics editor and artist. He's worked days and nights, sports, features and news. He's rolled out Web sites and redesigns. Invented new publications and fixed old ones. He lives in downtown Chicago with his wife, two boys and dog, and he tries to do one marathon a year.

Helen Berman Helen Berman is president of the Berman Media Sales Institute and a brilliant, one-of-a-kind, strategic thinker and problem-solver. With Helen, there’s no cookie-cutter, heard-it-all-before presentation. No jargon. No dull lectures. Instead, Helen Berman steps in and reframes your media sales issues in ways you never considered. With laser-beam precision, she penetrates to the heart of your biggest sales dilemmas, and you get solutions you can act on immediately.

Phillip Beswick has 30 years experience in media research, sales and sales management. His research experience includes a stint as TV research director for the largest TV broadcaster in Canada, Baton Broadcasting. Subsequently he took on responsibilities in national sales, serving some of Canada's largest ad agencies in Toronto. After three years managing sales for an Ottawa radio station he opened Birch Radio's Canadian operation. Eventually Phillip left Toronto for New York as senior VP group sales for Birch/Scarborough Research and helped build the company into a major radio ratings and qualitative research company. In 1993, he joined The Media Audit as EVP with local market and group sales responsibilities. Working with media from small local operators to the country's largest  media companies, Phillip helps the media substantially increase their revenues by matching their strengths to the market executive vice president of The Media Audit.

Jimmy Boegle Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent in Palm Springs, Calif. He's a former AAN diversity chair and currently serves on the editorial and membership committees. He is a veteran of the Tucson Weekly, Las Vegas CityLife, the Reno News & Review and The Associated Press. He decided to make the move to Palm Springs because the weather in Tucson and Las Vegas simply was not warm enough for him.

Grace Lee Boggs is an author, lifelong social activist and feminist. She is known for her years of political collaboration with C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya in the 1940s and 1950s. She eventually went off in her own political direction in the 1960s with her husband of some forty years, James Boggs, until his death in 1993. By 1998, she had written four books, including an autobiography. In 2011, still active at the age of 95, she wrote a fifth book, “The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century,” co-written by Scott Kurashige and published by the University of California Press.

Jonathan Brownstein , director of sales for Paperlit, was commercial director of Europe's biggest independent ISP, Tiscali, from 1999 to 2004 before entering into the media business. He joined Paperlit from the beginning in 2009 and has enjoyed the challenge of taking the company from a dominant position in the Italian market to an international player.  As of today, Paperlit is present in 15 countries, including the USA where Paperlit has an exclusive agreement with Aysling Digital Media Solutions. Jonathan grew up in Boston but has lived in Sardinia, Italy for the past 20 years with his wife and two boys.

Susie Cagle Susie Cagle has written and drawn for the Guardian, the Atlantic, Good, Alternet, Truthout, American Prospect, Campus Progress, the Awl, the Rumpus, McSweeney's, the Bay Citizen, SF Weekly, the SF Bay Guardian, East Bay Express and others. She is currently working on a book-length illustrated history of Occupy Oakland; she's been arrested twice there while reporting. Her work has been featured on BoingBoing, the Huffington Post, Jezebel and Feministing. Last year Susie was voted SF Weekly's Best Web Cartoonist. This year she was awarded the James Madison Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Susie is also the founder of the Graphic Journos collective of reportage illustrators. She began as a words-only reporter, and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter at @susie_c.

Ben Callahan Ben Callahan is president of Sparkbox and co-founder of the Build Responsively workshop series. Ben is a thought leader on front-end development sharing his ideas about the web on the Sparkbox Foundry and industry blogs like Smashing Magazine. His leadership at Sparkbox has driven the organization to be a leading provider of responsive web design and he continues to push for better user and content experiences outside the context of specific devices.

Neil Chase Neil Chase is senior vice president for editorial at Federated Media, where he works with more than 100 of the best independent publishers on the web and oversees custom publishing projects for major clients. He has worked as an editor and page designer at a number of news organizations, including stints as managing editor at CBS MarketWatch and continuous news editor at The New York Times, and for five years he was an assistant professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Neil has also been a consultant for dozens of companies and publications.

Dante Chinni Dante Chinni has been a journalist for some two decades now with stints at Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor and the Project for Excellence in Journalism. He has also lived the freelance life with pieces appearing in outlets ranging from the Washington Post Magazine to The Economist to The New Republic. Although a card-carrying member of the East Coast Media Industrial Complex (bouncing between DC and New York), Dante’s roots are still firmly planted in the Industrial Midwest. He grew up outside Detroit and went to college at Michigan State University, where he studied journalism and history. Dante's work now centers on exploring the country through the lens of the 12 community types of Patchwork Nation. The project is the focus of "Our Patchwork Nation," available now from Gotham Books. Patchwork Nation is part of the Jefferson Institute, an independent research and education institution, inspired by Thomas Jefferson's challenge to pursue truth, wherever it may lead. Dante lives in DC with his wife, Christina Ianzito, and their two children. Feel free to ask any and all questions you might have --  except those concerning the Detroit Tigers 2009 collapse. He won't answer those.

Peter Conti Peter Conti is executive vice president at Borrell and Associates. Peter received the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 2010 Service Excellence Award for his dedication and leadership in helping educate local marketers and ad agencies in 2009. He has been engaged in traditional and online business start-ups for more than 20 years. After selling a retail business in late 1996, he began work in Richmond, Va., on one of the first e-commerce marketplaces for a 1,000+ member local merchants association. Peter joined Landmark Communications Inc. in 1998 to develop and manage the highly successful Web site. He has also served as director of interactive media for Media General’s Publishing division with shared responsibility for the online convergence effort of publishing and broadcast sites.Peter has been an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business teaching Global Internet Marketing. He attended the International Studies program at the University of Lund, Sweden, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Radio, TV & Film from the University of Maryland.

Jeri Curry is Internews' senior vice-president for global communications and private development. Jeri is responsible for providing strategic vision for all communications, both internal and external, to ensure that traditional and new media outreach efforts directly support Internews’ myriad field programs as well as the organization’s private development, fundraising and policy goals. Jeri brings extensive marketing and communications experience from a wide-array of organizations. She has roots in the media and communications industry, having worked with the Washington Post, Discovery Communications and MCI Communications. She has also worked with the federal government, having worked with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications and within academia where she was the marketing and licensing manager for Vanderbilt University. Jeri joined Internews in late 2009, and was quickly immersed in the outreach efforts for Internews’ pioneering humanitarian media efforts following Haiti’s devastating earthquake. She supports numerous other Internews projects as wide-ranging as environmental reporting in Southeast Asia, community radio projects in Africa and innovative reporting and news delivery in Central Asia. In addition to her communications duties, Curry is responsible for forging new partnerships with philanthropic foundations, socially responsible companies and private donors. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and currently resides in Washington, DC. She spends her free time training for marathons and enjoys travelling for both business and pleasure.

Rachael Daigle is the editor at Boise Weekly. She is a member of AAN's Diversity and Editorial committees, loves to yak about the value of multimedia in the alt weekly world, and is often spotted near the bar at AAN conventions. Follow her on Twitter at @rachaeldaigle.

Don Eggert Don Eggert is creative director and associate publisher of Seven Days. Although he spends most of his time designing and project-managing web projects and marketing initiatives, Don still finds some time to oversee five designers and manage the office IT. When he's not working, he likes to build things and watch Bravo with his partner and pet dachshunds, Edna & Trixie.

Rick Epps Rick Epps is the presentation director at the Detroit News, where he is responsible for the day-to-day look of the paper and supervises 15 page designers and artists. He also does free-lance print and web design work (check out He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Kelly Ferguson Kelly Ferguson is the social and digital media director at The Arkansas Times. Her department currently manages the social media accounts of the newspaper and its affiliated publications. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with minors in both Speech Communication and Theatre Arts from Texas A&M University. She has worked as a reporter and as an editor for more than 15 years in daily newspapers. In 2008, she took on the role of web content coordinator in the marketing department at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, and created the school’s first social media campaigns. In January 2011, The Arkansas Times recruited Kelly via Twitter to come to Little Rock and build the department there.

Herschel Fink is a senior partner at the Detroit law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. His background includes ten years' experience as a daily newspaper reporter and editor. As an attorney, he has specialized in representing news organizations, media and entertainment companies in a broad range of issues, including libel, privacy and intellectual property. He has represented the Detroit Free Press, Michigan's largest daily newspaper for more than 25 years, as well as local television and radio stations, and national networks. For many years, he taught media law at Wayne State University in Detroit. He received his B.A. from Wayne State, where he was editor of the daily student newspaper, and went on to receive his law degree from Michigan State University. He is a frequent panelist and speaker at national media law conferences, and speaks regularly on media law topics to gatherings of judges and lawyers. He has been listed in every edition of America's Best Lawyers under First Amendment law. He is the co­author of the Michigan Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Act guidebooks published by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In 2005, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Michigan Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the only time a lawyer has been so honored, and the Society also awarded him its national 2010 First Amendment Award. Michigan Lamers Weekly recognized him as one of its 25 “Leaders in the Law” in 2009, and Crain’s Detroit Business named him a "Power Lawyer" in 2008. He has been recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lagers for Business every year since 2007, calling him "a highly-regarded First Amendment litigator with superlative knowledge of free speech issues."

Andre Gaulin Andre Gaulin is a Toronto-based technologist with a focus on emerging technology. Currently, he is the director of agility solutions at Agility Inc. Andre is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a specialist degree in Geography and Geographic Information Systems. Early in his career, Andre transitioned into the world of web development and has never looked back. He has had the pleasure of delivering award-winning solutions for some of Canada's biggest media and entertainment companies including MuchMusic, CTV,  Cineplex Entertainment, and the NHLPA to name a few. Andre's focus on usability, information architecture, the mobile web, and rich broadband media have allowed him to transform high level concepts into successful and engaging online properties.

Marilyn Geewax Marilyn Geewax is NPR's national economics correspondent and an editor of business news for the National Desk. In addition to assigning and editing business stories that are posted on, Marilyn is regularly heard discussing economic issues on Tell Me More and Talk of the Nation and Weekend Edition. Her work contributed to NPR's 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for Hard News for "The Foreclosure Nightmare." Marilyn worked with NPR reporter Chris Arnold on the foreclosure crisis was recognized with a 2009 Heywood Broun Award. Before to coming to NPR 2008, Marilyn was the national economics correspondent for Cox Newspapers' Washington Bureau for nearly a decade. Marilyn served for the Cox flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first as a business reporter and then as a columnist and editorial board member. She got her start as a reported for the Akron Beacon Journal. In 2010, she went to China with a group of journalists to study the economy. From 2001 to 2006, Marilyn taught a business journalism class as an adjunct professor at George Washington University. She was a 1995 Nieman Fellow and studied economics and international relations at Harvard. Marilyn earned a master's degree at Georgetown University, focusing on international economic affairs. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University.

Anton Gelman is the CEO of -- a market for entrepreneurial media and video journalism that connects freelancers with media companies, media companies to each other and allows them to buy, sell, and trade breaking news. Formerly of the National Geographic where he launched online communities and collaboration systems, Anton has over a decade of technology experience that he brings to bear to develop the first free market for the free press. Always up for a coffee or a drink to chat about the future of media.

Dan Gibson Dan Gibson is the editor of the Tucson Weekly. His work has appeared in the Phoenix New Times, in Phoenix Magazine, at, and elsewhere. He co-authored "Besides the Bible," a book currently available from Intervarsity Press. He also manages a currently-inactive amateur soccer team, Sparklemotion, and is the subject of a Facebook fan group with more than 40 members.

Josh Gross  is the new media czar at Boise Weekly, a job which involves wrangling multimedia reporting, managing social media accounts and coming up with your own job title. He enjoys basset hounds, ukuleles and drunkenly insisting that the robot apocalypse is bloody well nigh to any who will listen. Follow him online @TheJoshGross. In real life, please don’t follow him.

Mauricio Gutierrez Mauricio Gutierrez , the features design director at the Detroit Free Press, has in his 20-year career designed and consulted for newspapers in North America, Europe and Asia and lectured on innovation and features design at SND workshops and at conferences and universities in several countries. His work has been recognized by the Society numerous times.

Josh Harkinson Josh Harkinson is a reporter with Mother Jones. Born in Texas and based in San Francisco, Josh covers the economy, the national Occupy movement, and a wide range of political issues in California and the West. Follow Josh on Twitter.

Joshua Hatch Joshua Hatch is the online content manager of Sunlight Live, which combines real-time reporting, contextual data displays, live video feeds and reader interactivity. Josh comes to Sunlight from USA TODAY where he was the Interactives Director. Josh is also a board member of the Online News Association and lives in Arlington, Va., with his wife, daughter and two spoiled Labrador retrievers.

Darryl Holliday Darryl Holliday has written for the Chicago Sun-Times, GapersBlock, The Columbia Chronicle and currently works with the McCormick Foundation's journalism program. He's also writer/reporter of The Illustrated Press: Chicago, an upcoming collection of comics journalism short stories with illustrator Erik Nelson Rodriguez. In addition to his work with comics journalism, Darryl is interested in data journalism, including the use of GIS to illustrate stories, and the use of new media tools to broaden the reach of community reporting. Both Darryl and fellow panelist Erik Nelson Rodriguez can be found on Twitter @the_ill_press and on their website at

Rob Jiranek , chief operating officer, joined Southcomm in January 2012. Previously he served as vice president for EW Scripps Commercial Appeal where in 2008 he launched the niche publishing division. Before Scripps, Rob was partner and group publisher of Portico Publications in Charlottesville where he led the acquisition and/or startup of eight individual publishing lines. Rob and his wife, Pam, have three children and live in Charlottesville.

Jonathan Joseph is the vice president of strategy and development at Ebyline -- a virtual newsroom platform for managing and discovering freelance journalists. He has 14+ years of corporate strategy, change management and growth experience in media, specializing in print to digital transformation, organization design and digital strategy. In 2012, his team won the Business Strategy award at the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF) Awards -- for helping E.W. Scripps reinvent its newspaper operating model to ensure long-term sustainability, financial viability and profitability while transforming itself into an expanded media business that provides all its markets with multiplatform media solutions.

Sarah Kotlova Sarah Kotlova is an account director at Digitaria and a specialist in interactive marketing. She seeks to create a user-centric culture for her agency and clients, bringing the voice of the customer in impactful ways into each marketing and advertising initiative. Sarah's experience includes building brands and business online for clients such as BumbleBee Foods, WD-40, Webster Bank, Intel Classmate PC, Covad, OAG (Official Airline Guide), and Philosophy. Prior to joining Digitaria, Sarah was the Vice-President of Strategy and Account Services for Geary Interactive, and Account Director for Whittmanhart in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, where her clients included Anheuser-Busch, Kellogg’s Special K, Johnson & Johnson (REMICADE (infliximab) and K-Y), Epson, Avery, Guidant and Kashi. When she can drag herself away from the computer, she also enjoys travel.

Wayne Kramer Wayne Kramer is a songwriter whose reputation writing music for film and television now risks supplanting his legend as one of the world’s stellar guitarists. Rolling Stone lists him as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.
As teenaged leader of Detroit’s ultimate incendiary rock band The MC5, in the 1960s, Wayne formed the White Panther Party in solidarity with other organizations working for racial and economic equality during the Vietnam War. Wayne and manager John Sinclair’s resulting dubious position at the center of the target for the FBI's counter-intelligence (or "COINTELPRO") program between 1968 and 1971 is well documented.

Following the break-up of The MC5, Wayne suffered from drug addiction, a problem that culminated in a bust and consequential federal prison sentence at Lexington Federal Correctional Institution. Following release, Wayne returned to his musical career and to even greater acclaim. He has subsequently released 10 solo albums and is considered a pioneer of both punk rock and heavy metal. Wayne's involvement in and commitment to social justice initiatives never wavered.

Now a respected film and television composer, Wayne scored the comedy feature Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; the controversial HBO documentary Hacking Democracy (about the 2004 presidential voting machine scandal) and the PBS film The Narcotic Farm (about Lexington and America’s decades-long failed drug war), as well as all three seasons of the HBO series East Bound & Down.

Wayne has lived a life of music and activism. His friendship with revolutionary British songwriter Billy Bragg inspired the two men to create Jail Guitar Doors USA, a Los Angeles based 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to help rehabilitate prison inmates. The musicians run charity provides musical instruments to inmates with which they are taught non-violent communication skills.

Wayne recently joined forces with Tom Morello for the Axis of Justice music and activism tours and made a special appearance at an anti-war protest concert for 10,000 fans during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado with Rage Against the Machine.

Wayne regularly writes with, and produces, upstart rock 'n' roll bands.

Jeff Larson Jeff Larson was the online director at The Nation where he coordinated the magazine's editorial and business activities on the web during the 2009 political season. Previously, he worked at W.W. Norton and as a film and video editor at an Emmy award-winning production company.

Jeff Lawrence is the founder and owner of the award-winning Weekly Dig, The Best Little Paper in Boston.

Joe MacLeod used to be a shoe clerk. He has enjoyed working at City Paper in Baltimore for 22 years, the last million of which he has served as art director. His favorite font is Wedgie. Buy Joe a drink and he will tell you all the Missile Launch Codes.

Michael Meyer Naval nuclear engineer, pilot, historian, design artisan, business strategist, storyteller, and educator -- Michael Meyer, partner with Essential in San Francisco, leads executives and their organizations through the complex and challenging conversations of discovery that are critical to success during times of massive change. He draws on his frontline leadership experience to integrate and evolve a unique understanding that marries the business imperative with design awareness. Michael comes to Essential from Adaptive Path where he served as CEO and from frog design, where he led the company’s California studio as general manager, overseeing the firm’s physical and digital product design offering. Previously, he started and led the product strategy practice at IDEO’s Boston office. Michael’s led a wide range of projects: planning a new line of home electrical devices, crafting the vision and expressing the value proposition for a major pharmaceutical company’s internet presence, developing a next-generation electronic payment token, and leading the cockpit and cabin design of a new jet aircraft. His project teams have won two gold and two silver IDEA awards for their work. Meyer has a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley; an MBA from Harvard Business School, appointed as a Fellow of the Batten Institute, Darden GSBA, University of Virginia, where he has taught early-stage innovation and product development. He currently instructs at the Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego.

Doug Mitchell Doug Mitchell is a nationally recognized media trainer, project strategist and career coach. His former students who are now working professionals send him wedding invitations (he shows up) and birth announcements. Doug is a former Knight International Press Fellow and William S. Fulbright Scholar to Chile and spent 21.5 years as a producer and director at NPR, where he still consults on diversity related projects. While at NPR he created and managed a professional development program called "next generation radio" and built NPR's "Intern Edition." Currently, he's co-director of a startup camp funded by the Ford Foundation to develop journalists of color as tomorrow's media CEOs and a consultant and project manager for NPR. He likes to create substantive, progressive media projects from scratch.

Clinton O'Brien is vice president of business development for Care2. With nearly 20 million members and 16 million unique monthly visitors, Care2 is the largest community of people taking action every day for human rights, the environment, animal welfare and other causes. Founded in 1998 and based in Redwood City, Calif., Care2 (a certified B Corporation) helps leading nonprofits to recruit donors and win advocacy victories. Many socially responsible for-profit companies advertise on Care2 as well. The campaigns that Care2 conducts for its clients also reach tens of millions of additional people via partnerships with 200 media partners and blogs, including Mother Jones, The Nation, AlterNet, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Wonkette, Grist, TreeHugger,, LeftAction, Free Speech TV, Link TV, Woman’s Health, Ms. Magazine, MTV, Jack and Jill Politics and many others. Previously Clinton led business development for PBS, forging alliances with AOL, NPR and other strategic partners, and for three years led the PBS Adult Learning Service, supplying online courseware to 1,000+ colleges. He earlier worked as business manager for new media at Bantam Doubleday Dell (now Random House). Clinton worked for seven years as news reporter, first in Washington, D.C. and later as Moscow correspondent for AP and Newsweek, covering the Kremlin coup and USSR breakup from 1991-93. He won the 1989 National Press Club Washington Correspondence Award for investigative reporting on toxic polluters in the Midwest. He blogs about online marketing on Care2's "" blog for nonprofit professionals and has contributed chapters to two books. He holds an MBA in Marketing from Wharton and a degree in History from Brown, and lives in Washington, D.C.

Dan Oshinsky Dan Oshinsky is the founder of where he currently leads a team of reporters based in Springfield, Mo. Dan was a 2011-12 Donald W. Reynolds Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. He is also a builder of many things, including BooksAround, a social literacy experiment; JStart, a wiki of resources for entrepreneurial journalists; and Very Quotatious, a site for inspiration, thought and other wisdom suitable for quotation. Dan is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. Find Dan at @danoshinsky or email him at

Hanaa Rifaey Hanaa Rifaey is the founder of Press Forward, a boutique consulting shop specializing in nonprofit management, strategic planning, fundraising, and marketing. Previously, Hanaa served as the President and Publisher of The American Independent News Network. She has managed campaigns and programs in a variety of issue areas including civil rights, health care, and climate change. Hanaa received her undergraduate degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., and her master's degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She lives in D.C. with her husband and their dog, two cats, and tiny human.

Robby Robbins Robby Robbins is the multimedia sales manager at the Santa Barbara Independent. With nearly 25 years in the newspaper industry, he brings his straightforward, no-nonsense, ever-changing approach to staff and product management. With time spent in the daily world and now at his second Independent, he has pretty much tried it all and kept what works. Robby served on the AAN board of directors from 2002 to 2009.

Erik Nelson Rodriguez Erik Nelson Rodriguez is a graphic designer for The Columbia Chronicle and has directed the art in various city publications, including R_Wurd, a youth-journalism magazine based out of Columbia College Chicago. Erik has been drawing, literally, longer than he can remember. He's currently the illustrator for the The Illustrated Press: Chicago, an upcoming comics journalism book, with reporter Darryl Holliday. Both Darryl and Erik can be found on Twitter @the_ill_press and on their website at

Tim Ruder is the chief revenue officer and general manager of audience development services at Perfect Market, Inc., a leading provider of traffic and content optimization solutions for online publishers. He started his career with the Washington Post Co. in 1989, moving to the online division in 1995. During his 17 years with the Washington Post, Tim pioneered the development, management and growth of interactive business lines, serving in various marketing, sales, business development and operational roles, rising to the post of VP of marketing. Before achieving that title, he served as the local vice president, responsible for the company's regional market strategy, initiatives and operations. Under his leadership, achieved the highest reach of any local site in its market and claimed multiple industry awards for excellence. His efforts were instrumental to the successful launch, growth and dominant market position achieved by WPNI properties (, Slate,, and Sprig) in local, national and international markets. He oversaw the rise of Tim has consulted with businesses adapting to the changing media landscape, supporting the development of new competencies in search engine marketing and interactive advertising. As a consultant to the Los Angeles Times, Tim helped double its audience in less than 12 months. Tim holds a B.A. in political science from Purdue University and an MBA from George Mason University.

Jeremy Rue Jeremy Rue is a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He serves in a dual capacity for the school; as a multimedia instructor for the Knight Digital Media Center and as a co-instructor for a Carnegie-Knight funded program called News21. Before teaching, Jeremy previously worked as a multimedia journalist for the Oakland Tribune, where he helped produced Not Just a Number, an immersive interactive project that humanized the historically high 2006 homicide rate in Oakland. The project won Online News Association's Knight Award for Public Service in 2007. Jeremy has also worked as a photojournalist for a number of publications, including The Fresno Bee, The Modesto Bee and the Duluth News-Tribune in Minnesota. He also worked as a reporter for the Selma (Calif.) Enterprise, where he covered city government, courts and crime. Jeremy is the recipient of the 2007 Dorothea Lange Fellowship for his photo documentary work on migrant farm workers in the California Central Valley. He has experience with Adobe Flash/ActionScript, HTML/CSS, JavaScript/AJAX, Unix, PHP and a variety of other scripting languages.

Sondra Russell joined NPR in 2008, where she is a web metrics analyst. After working as a web developer for ten years in San Francisco, London, Paris, and Norman, Oklahoma, she got her Master of Business Administration at University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. She enjoys all aspects of web metrics analysis, from going "under the hood" to perfect collection methods, to writing customized dashboards using APIs, PHP, and MySQL, to writing a weekly newsletter for NPR staff analyzing recent trends in traffic across all of NPR's platforms. She is also a published short story writer.

Thomas Sugrue Thomas Sugrue -- A native of Detroit, Thomas J. Sugrue is David Boies Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches courses on race, civil rights, American cities, and twentieth-century American politics. His many books include "The Origins of the Urban Crisis," which won the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History and several other awards; "Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North," which was a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Award; and "Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race." His essays, op-eds, and reviews have appeared in The Nation, London Review of Books, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal; and in the Motor City’s Metro Times and Detroit Free Press. Sugrue is an award-winning teacher who has given hundreds of lectures worldwide.

Will Sullivan Will Sullivan is the director of mobile news for Lee Enterprises Inc. and was previously a 2010-2011 Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Fellow at the University of Missouri, where he studied mobile, tablet and emerging technologies. Before that, he was the interactive director of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he lead the organization's mobile, social and multimedia initiatives. Sullivan was recently selected by Editor and Publisher as one of 2012's "25 under 35" innovative young journalism leaders. Sullivan's work has won more than a dozen professional awards from organizations including the Online News Association, Society for News Design and National Press Photographer Association; projects he's worked on have twice been declared finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and twice been named to Editor and Publisher's annual list of "10 That Do It Right." His personal website,, was also recognized by Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab as one of the 10 best "future-of-journalism" blogs. He's the secretary of the Online News Association's board of directors as well as a board member for the Society for News Design foundation and co-creator and co-director of the NPPA's Multimedia Immersion. Will also frequently offers strategic and technical consulting in emerging technologies, as well as hands-on training at organizations, universities, workshops and conferences around the world including the Knight Digital Media Center, South by Southwest Interactive and The Poynter Institute. He can be contacted at will [at] or on Twitter @Journerdism.

Matt Thompson Matt Thompson is an editorial product manager at NPR, where he's helping to coordinate the development of 12 niche, local websites in conjunction with NPR member stations. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Poynter Institute, having completed a four-year term on the organization's National Advisory Board in 2010. He currently serves on the board of the Center for Public Integrity. Before coming to NPR, Matt served as an interim online community manager for the Knight Foundation. From 2008 to 2009, he was a Donald W. Reynolds Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute; his explorations in building context into news websites have been widely cited in discussions about online journalism's future. He came to RJI from his position as deputy web editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where he led the creation of the Edgie-award-winning, socially networked arts-and-entertainment website, as well as managing other technology and interactivity-related projects for Matt moved to the Star Tribune after serving as the first online reporter/producer for the Fresno Bee, winning first- and third-place Best of the West awards in 2004 for his multimedia projects. At the Bee, he led an internal advisory committee exploring the paper's strategies for acquiring new audiences. He worked at the Poynter Institute from 2003-04 as the Naughton Fellow for Online Reporting and Writing. While at Poynter, he and his colleague Robin Sloan produced the Flash movie EPIC 2014, a picture of the media past set 10 years in the future, which was written up in the New York Times, Financial Times, USA Today, the Guardian, on MSNBC, and elsewhere. Matt graduated with honors in English from Harvard College in 2002, after writing his senior thesis on the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Outside of work, he blogs at, has completed one Twin Cities Marathon, and is itching to get ready for another.

Baratunde Thurston Baratunde Thurston is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He co-founded the black political blog, Jack and Jill Politics and served as director of digital for The Onion. He has written for Vanity Fair, hosted Popular Science’s Future Of on Discovery Science and appears on cable news regularly to say smart things in funny ways. Then-candidate Barack Obama called him "someone I need to know." Baratunde travels the world speaking and advising and performs standup regularly in NYC. He resides in Brooklyn, lives on Twitter and has over 30 years experience being black. His first book, How To Be Black, is a New York Times best-seller. Read more about Baratunde here.

Kaitlin Yarnall Kaitlin Yarnall is the deputy creative director of National Geographic Magazine where she manages a diverse team of designers, graphic editors, artists, cartographers and interactive developers. She has been with National Geographic for seven years and has previously held the titles of senior research cartographic editor and deputy art director. Kaitlin is from Northern California and studied geography at Humboldt State University and George Washington University.

Fran Zankowski Fran Zankowski

Ethan Zuckerman Ethan Zuckerman is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and a principal research scientist at MIT's Media Lab. His research focuses on the distribution of attention in mainstream and new media, the use of technology for international development, and the use of new media technologies by activists.With Rebecca MacKinnon, Ethan co-founded international blogging community Global Voices. Global Voices showcases news and opinions from citizen media in over 150 nations and thirty languages, publishing editions in twenty languages. Through Global Voices and through the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, where he served as a researcher and fellow for eight years, Ethan is active in efforts to promote freedom of expression and fight censorship in online spaces. In 2000, Ethan founded Geekcorps, a technology volunteer corps that sends IT specialists to work on projects in developing nations, with a focus on West Africa. Previously Ethan helped found, one of the web's first "personal publishing" sites. He blogs at and lives in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, with his wife, son and a small, fluffy cat.

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