Birthdays for Friday, Nov. 27

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four extraordinary visual journalists…


Julie Frady is a designer at the GateHouse Media Center for News and Design in Austin, Texas. A 1986 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Julie spent 11 years as a features art director for the Chicago Tribune and then six-and-a-half years as a senior features designer for the New York Post. She left New York in 2011 to move to the West Coast. She spent a few months doing contract work for the features department of the Los Angeles Times, and then a year as a senior features designer for the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif. She also volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Julie moved to Austin earlier this year.


Jeremy Gustafson is sports team leader for the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa. A 2002 graduate of Iowa State University, Jeremy went to work right away for the Des Moines Register. He moved over to the studio when it staffed up in 2011. Find Jeremy’s portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Jeremy turns 37 today.


Michael Miller is director of news and community content for the United Way of Greater Cleveland. A 1996 graduate of the University of Toledo, Michael worked as news editor of the Daily Telegram of Adrian, Mich., before taking over in 2005 as editor in chief of the Toledo (Ohio) Free Press. After the Free Press shut down last fall, Michael moved to the United Way.


Bill Wambeke is Wisconsin team leader for the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa. A graduate of Valley City State University in Valley City, N.D., Bill sever as a reporter, copy editor and outdoors editor for the Aberdeen, S.D., American News and the Press of Sheridan, Wyo., before joining the Twin Falls, Idaho, Times-News in 2006 as a copy editor and page designer. He moved to the Journal Star of Lincoln, Neb., in 2010 and then again to the Forum of Fargo, N.D., in 2011 as presentation editor. He moved to Des Moines in 2013. Find his portfolio here. Bill turns 34 today.

Bill, Jeremy, Michael and Julie share a birthday with actors Sharlto Copley, Alison Courtney Pill, Brooke Langton, William Edward Fichtner, Samantha Bond, Jaleel Ahman White (the guy who played “Urkel” on Family Matters), Robin Simone Givens, and the late, great Lee Jun-fan (better known as Bruce Lee); musicians Edward Thomas “Eddie” Rabbitt and Johnny Allen “Jimi” Hendrix; directors Adam Michael Shankman and Kathryn Ann Bigelow; screenwriter James Rufus Agee; children’s TV show hosts Robert Emil Schmidt (better known as Buffalo Bob Smith) and William Sanford “Bill” Nye (“the Science Guy”); Dancing With the Stars co-host Samantha Harris; sports greats Larry Christopher Allen and Kenneth John O’Brien (both football), Iván Rodríguez, James Calvin “Jimmy” Rollins, Michael Lorri “Mike” Scioscia (all three baseball) and Francis Dayle “Chick” Hearn (basketball announcer); children’s book author Kevin Henkes; biographer Gail Sheehy, Filipino leader Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., politician Timothy James “Tim” Pawlenty and presidential daughter — and ambassador to Japan – Caroline Bouvier Kennedy.

In addition to Black Friday, today is National Native American Heritage Day, Flossing Day, Maize Day, the National Day of Listening and Sink Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday today, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Thursday, Nov. 26

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five wonderful visual journalists…


Christopher Foster is a page designer for Lee Enterprises in Madison, Wis. A 1995 graduate of Illinois State University, Chris spent a year-and-a-half as an ad artist for the News-Sun of Waukegan, Ill., before moving to the Beacon-News of Aurora, Ill. as a news and special sections designer. He moved to the News-Sun of Lake County in 2001 as a sports and features designer, was named lead designer and systems editor in 2004. He joined the GateHouse hub in Rockford, Ill., in 2012 and leaped to Lee in 2014. Chris turns 44 today.


Mike Jarboe is chief of the copy desk for the Times Union of Albany, N.Y. He also writes a horseracing and handicapping column for the paper. A product of Pennsylvania Military College, Mike spent a few years as a freelance reporter for the Courier Post and the Burlington County Times of Willingboro, N.J., before signing on at the Register-News of Bordentown, N.J., in 1977 as a cops and government reporter. In 1979, he moved to the Burlington Country Herald of Mount Holly, N.J., as a cops reporter and, eventually, editor. He moved in 1981 Syracuse to become metro editor of the Post-Standard. He became Op-Ed editor and then moved again in 1987 to a copy editing spot at the Milwaukee Sentinel. Mike has been with the Times Union coming up on 26 years. In his spare time, he plays the fiddle. Find his Twitter feed here.


Leila Merrill is a digital media producer for the Houston Chronicle. A 1995 graduate of Trinity University, Leila spent three years as a copy editor and page designer for the Beaumont Enterprise before moving to the Arlington Morning News. She moved up to night city editor in 2000 but then moved to the Dallas Morning News in 2001. Over her ten-and-a-half years there, she worked as a copy editor and then assistant iPad editor. She moved to the Chronicle in 2012. Find her Twitter feed here.


Megan Ruyle is a graphic designer and production coordinator for the American Statistical Association in Alexandria, Va. A 2002 graduate of UNC-Wilmington, Megan worked as a copy editor and designer for the Wilmington Star-News before attending grad school at the University of Missouri. She then worked as a designer at the Lewiston, Maine, Sun Journal and then as a copy editor for Gannett’s Army Times Publishing company in Springfield, Va., just south of D.C. She moved to the Hill newspaper in D.C. in 2009 and then to her current position last winter. Find her portfolio here, her fitness and running blog here and her Twitter feed here. Megan turns 36 today.


Rinku Sharma is deputy news editor for design at the Hindustan Times in New Delhi, India. He turns 32 today.

Rinku, Megan, Leila, Christopher and Mike share a birthday with actors Kristin Neubauer (better known as Kristin Bauer van Straten) and Richard Caruthers “Rich” Little; musicians Robert Gerard Goulet, John Graham McVie (of Fleetwood Mac), Natasha Anne Bedingfield, Rita Sahatçiu Ora and Anna Mae Bullock (better known as Tina Turner); sports greats Arthur “Art” Shell, Harold Donald “Harry” Carson and Roger Wehrli (all three football), Dale Arnold Jarrett (auto racing), Vernon Louis “Lefty” Gomez, Matthew Martin “Matt” Carpenter (both baseball) and Shawn T. Kemp (basketball); sci-fi author Frederik George Pohl Jr.; TV journalist Arnold Eric Sevareid, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and cartoonist Charles Monroe Schulz.

In addition to Thanksgiving, today is the National Day of Mourning. Seriously.

Have a tremendous birthday today, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Wednesday, Nov. 25

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to ten top-notch visual journalists…


Dale Alison is managing editor of the Hawk Eye of Burlington, Iowa. A 1977 graduate of Kansas State University, Dale earned a master’s degree from that same institution in 1982. He spent three years as managing editor of Harris Electronic News before moving to the Hawk Eye in 1985. He has also taught at Iowa Wesleyan and Southeastern Community colleges. He’s a past president of the Iowa Associated Press Managing Editors. Find his Twitter feed here.


Jaqueline Bica is a freelance editorial designer in Santa Rosa, Brazil. A 2004 graduate of the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Jaqueline spent five years as a designer and artist for the Jornal do Comércio and Jornal Bem Estar in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Find her blog here and her Twitter feed here. Jaqueline turns 34 today.


Tom Brew is editor of Saturday Down South, which covers SEC football. He’s based in Longwood, Fla. A 1980 graduate of Indiana University, Tom was a sportswriter for the St. Petersburg Times and then spent five years as night sports editor for the Tampa Tribune. He moved to the Indianapolis Star in 2004 as chief of the copy desk but was laid off in June 2011. He then spent three years as an editor for the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Tom left that job earlier this year.


His novel — The Ties that Bind — was released in 2014. Find his Twitter feed here. Tom turns 57 today.


Alex Chihak is an editor for the Gannett Design Studio in Phoenix, Ariz. A 2005 graduate of the University of Arizona, Alex served as chief of the copy desk for the Arizona Daily Wildcat and a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship at the Denver Post before signing on as a copy editor and page designer for the News-Messenger/News Herald of Fremont, Ohio. In 2008, he moved to the Globe-News of Amarillo, Texas to work slot, design pages and produce web pages. He moved to the Austin American-Statesman in 2011 but was then folded into the Cox Media Group editing hub in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2012. He spent a year-and-a-half with the Associated Press before joining the Phoenix hub last month. Alex is also a huge fan of amusement park roller coasters. Find his hobby web site here and his photo blog here. Alex turns 33 today.


Jeff Eckhoff is communications manager for the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. A 1992 graduate of the University of Missouri, Jeff spent two years with the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune before moving to the Philadelphia Inquirer as a suburban reporter. He then worked with the Central Penn Business Journal before moving to the Des Moines Register in 1996 as a courts reporter. He also covered business and government in his 17 years with the Register. Gannett laid off in 2013. He freelanced a while before joining CIRAS last winter. Find Jeff’s Twitter feed here.


Mike Hixenbaugh is a military reporter for the Virginian-Pilot. A 2007 graduate of the University of Akron, Mike was news editor of the student paper there, the Buchtelite. He reported for the Courier-Journal of Ravenna, Ohio before signing on with the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram in 2007. He moved to the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer in 2010 and then to the Pilot in 2011. He switched from education to the military beat in 2012. Find Mike’s web site here and his Twitter feed here. Mike turns 31 today.


Cindy Miller is a communications, management and training consultant via her firm, Cindy Miller Communications based in Marietta, Ga. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Cindy earned a master’s degree from Kennesaw State University and spent seven years as a features editor at the Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily News and then ten years as metro editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She works as a consultant by herself and also as a team with her husband, Edward. In addition, Cindy is director of marketing and strategy for WOW! transformations, a training firm. Find her blog here, her Twitter feed here and Edward’s page here.


Terry Plumb retired eight years ago after 20 years as editor of the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. A 1966 graduate of Notre Dame, Terry spent time working in U.S. Army Intelligence. He spent two years as editor of the Sun of Clearwater, Fla., and nine as editor of the Island Packet of Hilton Head, S.C. before moving to Rock Hill in 1987. He spent a year or so as a media relations specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau and still does some writing and editing on the side. Terry turns 70 today.


Elizabeth Sedrel is copy chief for Better Homes and Gardens magazine in Des Moines, Iowa. A graduate of Northwestern University, she spent several years at the Des Moines Register and then at Meredith/Kraft Integrated Marketing. She’s also an instructor at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping in Des Moines.


Warren Watson is the former executive editor of the Telegraph of Alton, Ill. A 1973 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Warren spent seven years as managing editor of the Portland (Maine) Press Herald and six years as a vice president at the American Press Institute in Reston, Va. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 2003 and then was Director of J-Ideas for Ball State University’s First Amendment Institute. He earned a master’s degree from Ball State in 2008 and spent five years as executive director of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in Phoenix, Ariz. He spent a year as a journalism consultant and trainer and moved to the Telegraph in April. He was informed two weeks ago that his position was being eliminated. Warren turns 65 today.

Mike, Alex, Dale, Jacquelina, Jeff, Elizabeth, Cindy, Tom, Warren and Terry share a birthday with actors Christina Applegate, Jillian Noel Hennessy, William Albert “Billy” Burke, John Barnard Larroquette, Henry Herman McKinnies (better known as Jeffrey Hunter), Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino (better known as just Ricardo Montalbán) and Noel Neill; musicians Percy Sledge and Amy Lee Grant; presidential children Jenna Welch Bush Hager, Barbara Pierce Bush and John Fitzgerald “John-John” Kennedy Jr.; sports greats Edward William “Eddie” Shore (hockey), Russell Earl O’Dey (better known as Bucky Dent), Joseph Paul DiMaggio, Nicholas Thompson “Nick” Swisher (all three baseball), Donovan Jamal McNabb, Cristopher D. “Cris” Carter, Bernard Joseph “Bernie” Kosar Jr. (all three football), Joe Jackson Gibbs and Charles “Chip” Kelly (football coaches); mystery author Charlaine Harris; steel magnate-turned-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie; automotive inventor Karl Benz; Chilean leader Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte; prohibition advocate Carrie Amelia Moore Nation, convicted Enron executive Jeffrey Keith “Jeff” Skilling and Nixon-speechwriter-turned-actor-turned TV pitchman Benjamin Jeremy “Ben” Stein.

In addition, today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, International Hat Day, Blasé Day and Tie One On Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday today, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Tuesday, Nov. 24

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six talented visual journalists…


Larry Buchanan is a graphics and multimedia editor for the New York Times. A 2011 graduate of Indiana University, Larry served as art director for the Indiana Daily Student newspaper and Inside magazine, interned for the Hartford (Conn.) Courant and the school’s office of creative services. In addition, he spent a couple of years as a visual columnist for McSweeney’s magazine. Larry joined the Times in 2013. Find his personal web site here, his McSweeney’s work here and his Twitter feed here. Larry turns 27 today.


Ricardo Cervera is a designer for Grupo La República in Lima, Peru. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Katie Davis is a nursing assistant in Decatur, Ill. A 2006 graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Katie spent a year at the News Democrat in Belleville, Ill, before moving to the State Journal Register of Springfield, Ill. She and her Springfield colleagues were laid off in 2012 when GateHouse moved all its editing and design functions to Rockford, Ill. Katie had also worked with adults with developmental disabilities, so it’s not surprising that she went into nursing. She still freelances for the News-Progress of Sullivan, Ill., and writes obits for the Herald & Review of Decatur. Find her portfolio here. Katie turns 33 today.


Alex Podlogar is content and social media manager for Pinehurst Resort in Sanford, N.C. A 1998 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Alex spent six years as sports editor of the Daily Courier of Forest City, N.C., before moving to the Sanford (N.C.) Herald in 2004. He spent two years as assistant sports information director at Fayetteville State University before moving to Pinehurst in 2012. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Alex turns 40 today.


Chuck Todd is a freelance illustrator and graphic artist via his firm, Chuck Todd Illustration, based in San Francisco. A 1989 graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield, Chuck spent seven years as an artist for the News-Leader of Springfield, Mo., before moving to San Francisco to attend grad school at the Academy of Art. He earned a master’s degree in 1999 and then taught there four years while working as an artist and then graphics chief of the Contra Costa Times. He was promoted to presentation editor of the Bay Area News Group in Walnut Creek, Calif. in 2005 and then to deputy graphics director in 2011. Chuck left newspapers for the world of academia in 2014 and spent a years as an infographics designer for the office of the president of the University of California and the university’s UCPath project. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here.


René Vollgraaff is a reporter for the Sunday Times of Johannesburg, South Africa. A graduate of Stellenbosch University, René previously worked for Sake24, a business news report also based in Johannesburg. René turns 34 today.

Larry, Richard, Katie, René, Alex and Todd share a birthday with actors Sarah Jane Hyland, Katherine Marie Heigl, William “Billy” Connolly Jr., Denise Michelle Crosby, William Dwight Schultz and Colin Lewes Hanks; musicians Donald “Duck” Dunn, Beverly “Bev” Bevan (of ELO), Pete Best (not of the Beatles) and Scott Joplin; sports greats Daniel Leonard Orzechowski (better known as baseball manager Danny Ozark), Stephen Wayne “Steve” Yeager (baseball), Carmelita Jeter (track and field), David “Dave” Bing, Oscar Palmer Robertson (both basketball), Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick, Jimmy Graham (both football) and Paul John Tagliabue (NFL commissioner); self-improvement guru Dale Breckenridge Carnegie; sci-fi writers Spider Robinson and Forrest James Ackerman; wild-west figure-turned-sports editor William Barclay “Bat” Masterson; president Zachary Taylor; whistle-blower Linda Rose Carotenuto (better known as Linda Tripp); convicted mobster Salvatore Charles “Lucky” Luciano; serial killer Theodore Robert Cowell (better known as Ted Bundy); physicist Simon van deer Meer; commentator William Frank Buckley Jr. and Flight 93 hero Todd Morgan Beamer.

In addition, today is Brownielocks Day, D.B. Cooper Day and Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day. Seriously.

Have a great birthday today, y’all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Monday, Nov. 23

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four wonderful visual journalists…


Meredith Cash is a senior copy editor and page designer for the Advocate of Victoria, Texas. Her husband, Curtiss, is a fishing guide.


Gary Metzker is a professor of media design and mass communications at California State University, Long Beach and adviser to the school’s student newspaper, the Daily 49er and for Dig magazine. A 1976 graduate of the University of Missouri, Gary worked as assistant sports editor, sports designer, assistant sports editor, and sports news editor for the Clearwater (Fla.) Sun, the Florida Times Union of Jacksonville, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and the Long Beach Press Telegram before joining the Los Angeles Times in 1984. He spent nearly 24 years with the Times, as sports news editor, metro news editor, senior design editor and then senior editor for news and technology. He served as lead designer for five Pulitzer-winning projects, including the Rodney King riots, the Northridge earthquake and the Southern California wildfires. The Times laid Gary off in 2008, but he caught on at Cal State Long Beach, earned a master’s degree from Cal State Fullerton and — in addition to Cal State Long Beach — he also teaches at Chapman University and advises that school’s student paper, the Panther. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Dan Swenson is graphics editor of the Advocate of New Orleans, La. A 1995 graduate of Ball State University, Dan interned for the Herald-Leader of Lexington, Ky., and spent a year at the Chicago Tribune before joining the New Orleans Times-Picayune in 1997. He was promoted to graphics editor in 2009 but laid off earlier this year. He was picked up quickly by the Advocate. Find samples of Dan’s work here and his online portfolio here. Find his Twitter feed here.


Lee Warnick is a communications professor at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg. A 1980 graduate of Brigham Young in Provo, Lee earned a master’s degree in media management from Utah State in 1991 and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Nebraska in 2001. He’s worked at BYU-Idaho for 27 years and is chairman of the design committee for the College Media Advisers. Find his Twitter feed here.

Dan, Meredith, Gary and Lee share a birthday with actors William Henry Pratt (better known as Boris Karloff), Arthur Adolph “Harpo” Marx, David Stephen Rappaport and Steve Landesberg; musicians Destiny Hope “Miley” Cyrus, Bruce Randall Hornsby, Johnny Mandel; TV personality Nicole Elizabeth “Snooki” Polizzi; TV writer Bruce Vilanch; movie writer József A. “Joe” Eszterhas; outlaw Henry McCarty (better known as Billy the Kid); baseball great Luis Clemente Tiant Vega; president Franklin Pierce; radio talk show host Thomas “Tom” Joyner and Good Morning America host Robin René Roberts.

In addition, today is Doctor Who Day, the International Day to End Impunity, International Image Consultant Day and National Expresso Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday today, folks! Best wishes!