Birthdays for Monday, May 4

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to a pair of fabulous visual journalists…


Kevin Armstrong is special projects content editor for the Tulsa World. A 1982 graduate of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Kevin earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1984 before joining the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va.. He worked a number of positions over 24 years, the last being editor of the Clipper, the Pilot’s zoned edition for the city of Chesapeake. Kevin moved back to Tulsa in 2008 to teach news and feature writing and media law at Oral Roberts University and to direct the student newspaper and the yearbook. Kevin left ORU in a highly-publicized incident in 2013. He went on to found Oklahoma Journalists for Justice, a nonprofit group devoted to seeking out cases of wrongful conviction and imprisonment. In January 2014 he was hired by the World. Find his Twitter feed here. Kevin turns 53 today.


Juan Carlos Ramírez‬ is graphics editor of el Financiero of Mexico City. A 2005 graduate of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Xochimilco, Mexico, Juan Carlos spent a year-and-a-half as a designer for Grupo Reforma and then ten years at Notmusa before becoming deputy director of art and deisgn for la Razón in 2009. He left that paper last year, worked for el Universal and helped found Visual Sports before joining el Financiero in January.

Juan Carlos and Kevin share a birthday with actors William Emerson “Will” Arnett, Audrey Kathleen Ruston (better known as Audrey Hepburn), Pia Alfreda Schipani (better known as Pia Zadora) and Ana Kritina Gasteyer; musicians James Lance Bass, Randy Bruce Traywich (better known as Randy Travis), Michael Ryan Pritchard (better known as Mike Dirnt of Green Day) and Richard Anthony Monsour (better known as Dick Dale); novelist Robert Brian “Robin” Cook; deposed Egyptian leader Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak; sports greats Kenneth Raymond “Ken” Oberkfell (baseball), James Andrew Harrison Jr. (football), John Harold Force (auto racing), Rory McIlroy and Robert Raymond “Bob” Tway IV (both golf); sports journalists Charissa Thompson and Erin Jill Andrews and columnist George Frederick Will.

In addition to Intergalactic Star Wars Day — you know: “May the Fourth be With You” — today is Melanoma Monday, Petite and Proud Day, World Give Day, International Firefighters Day and International Respect for Chickens Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, you two! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Sunday, May 3

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


Julie Cahoon is a designer based in Utah. A 2007 graduate of Brigham Young University, Julie served as graphics editor of the student paper there, the Daily Universe. She spent six months as a print assistant for Amalphi Arts and then three years as a designer for Metalmart, a steel retailer in Lehi, Utah. She moved to Simple Products of Salt Lake City in 2012. Find her web site here.


Thad Ogburn is metro editor of the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer. A 1985 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Thad spent nearly five years at the Jacksonville, N.C., Daily News as a reporter and city editor before moving to Raleigh in 1990. Over the 23 years he’s been with the N&O, Thad has worked as a copy editor, assistant news editor, news editor and then, for five years, was general manager and editor of the North Raleigh News zoned edition. He spent time as education editor and features editor before becoming metro editor in 2008. Find his Twitter feed here. Thad turns 52 today.


Emmet Smith is creative director for National Geographic magazine. A 2003 graduate of Ball State University, Emmet interned at the Virginian-Pilot, the Indianapolis Star and the Detroit Free Press before moving to the Plain Dealer in 2004. In 2006, he became business design director of the San Jose Mercury News, but then returned to Cleveland in early 2007 as deputy design director for news. Emmet’s work has always been consistently among the best in the business. He moved to the word side in 2012 as a pop music critic but then moved back into visuals when he was named design and graphics editor seven months later. He moved to the Washington Post last winter as a senior designer and was promoted to lead senior designer last fall. He moved to National Geographic in April. Find his Twitter feed here. Emmet turns 35 today.


Emily Stott is the design team supervisor for the Swift Communications’ central desk in Carson City, Nev., that produces pages for eight newspapers. A 2009 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Emily served as print manager for the student paper there, the Nevada Sagebrush, and interned on the copy desk of the Reno Gazette-Journal. She started work for Swift in 2010 and was promoted to her current position in 2013. Find her web site here. Emily turns 28 today.

Emily, Emmet, Julie and Thad share a birthday with actors Karim Dulé Hill, Christina Rene Hendricks and Suzi Suzuki; musicians James Joseph Brown, Christopher Charles Geppert (better known as Christopher Cross), Francis Stephen Castelluccio (better known as Frankie Valli), Peter “Pete” Seeger, Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby, Kenneth Eric Church and Mary Hopkin; magician Douglas James “Doug” Henning; model Levi Keith Johnston; dancer Cheryl Stephanie Bautista Burke; YouTube comedian Toby Joe Turner; sports greats Walker Smith Jr. (better known as boxer Sugar Ray Robinson), Joseph Addai Jr., Lawrence James Henry Tynes (both football), Jeffrey John “Jeff” Hornacek (basketball) and Greg Gumbel (broadcaster); philosopher Niccolò di Bernardo die Machiavelli; Israeli leader Golda Mabovitch (better known as Golda Meir) and cartoonist Mell Lazarus.

In addition, today is Lemonade Day, Lumpy Rug Day, Paranormal Day, Public Radio Day, World Laughter Day, Hug Your Cat Day and Bladder Cancer Awareness Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a terrific birthday!

Birthdays for Saturday, May 2

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to seven excellent visual journalists…


Gerri Berendzen is the Knight Visiting News Editor and visiting assistant professor at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. Gerri earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1986 and then spent eight years at the Suburban Journals in St. Louis before moving to the Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig. She spent eight years as a copy editor and wire editor and then 17 years as editorial production coordinator before leaving the Whig last summer. Gerri is also director of communications for the American Copy Editors Society. Find her Twitter feed here. Gerri turns 57 today.


Stephanie Hinderer is digital news editor for Newsmax Media Inc. of Seattle. A 2004 graduate of Shorter College in Rome, Ga., Stephanie served a year as managing editor of the school’s student paper and then two years as editor in chief. She spent two years as a copy editor for the Daily Times in Salisbury, Md., before moving to the Metro tabloids of New York, Boston and Philadelphia in 2007. She was promoted to national art director in 2011 and moved to Santa Fe in 2012 to become art director for Kolibri Languages guides. In addition, Stephanie runs a side business, a line of Christian-themed greeting cards via her firm, the Red Letter Paper Company. Find her Etsy storefront here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here. Find her personal Twitter feed here.


Amy Olding is a page designer for the Lee Enterprises design studio in Munster, Ind. A 2008 graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Amy spent that summer as a graphics intern at the Oregonian of Portland. She spent nearly a year as a designer for Ball State’s Institute for Digital Intermedia Art, creating flyers, posters, newsletters, web pages and an iPhone app. Amy caught on in at the News-Leader of Springfield, Mo., in early 2010. She moved to Munster in 2012. Find her portfolio here, her web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Brenda Schlicht is a graphic artist at the Fort Myers, Fla., News Press. She spent two years as an assistant for sculptor Frank Creech in Smithfield, N.C., and then 11 years as an ad artist for the News & Observer in Raleigh. She moved to Strategic Images in Pittsburgh in 1997, to the Globe and Rotovue in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2001 and Moore & Scarry Advertising in Fort Myers in 2003. She joined the News Press in 2005. She also works as a promoter for ViSalus Body By Vi, a weight-loss and health firm.


Ernie Smith is a social media journalist for McMurry/TMG in Washington, D.C., and creator of the late, great ShortFormBlog. A 2004 graduate of Michigan State, Ernie worked as a temporary designer with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before joining Bluffton Today near Hilton Head, S.C., in 2005. A year later, Ernie moved to Link, the Virginian-Pilot’s free youth tabloid. After that publication closed in December 2008, Ernie caught on with Express, a tabloid published by the Washington Post. Around that same time, Ernie created ShortFormBlog, his very successful experimental news site. He shut that down a while back and replaced it with his latest effort — an e-mail newsletter he calls Tedium. Ernie moved to TMG in 2013. Find samples of his print work here and his Twitter feed here. Ernie turns 34 today.


Michelle Steimle is a designer for the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, N.J.


Brooke Veigl is a sales development manager for Concentra in Addison, Texas. A 2003 graduate of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, Brooke spent two year as a copy editor for the Times Record News of Wichita Falls and then three more years as a features designer. She moved out of journalism in 2009, spent three years with an electronics maker and joined Concentra in 2012. Find Brooke’s web site here and her Twitter feed here.

Ernie, Stephanie, Amy, Michelle, Gerri, Brooke and Brenda share a birthday with actors Dwayne Douglas Johnson, Roscoe Lee Browne, Theodore Meir Bikel and Gerald David “Lorenzo” Music; musicians Lily Rose Beatrice Allen, Arnold George Dorsey (better known as Englebert Humperdinck), Laure Pester (better known as French singer Lorie), Larry Wayne Gatlin (of the Gatlin Brothers) and Leslie Sue Goldstein (better known as Leslie Gore); models Naomi Campbell and Bianca Pérez-Morra Macias (better known as Bianca Jagger); sports greats David Robert Joseph Beckham (soccer), Kyle Thomas Busch (auto racing), Sarah Elizabeth Hughes (figure skating), Russell Scott “Russ” Grimm (football) and Maurice Allen Rosenberg (better known as sportswriter Maury Allen); baby doctor Benjamin McLane Spock; World War I pilot Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (better known as the Red Baron), politician James Francis Byrnes; Russian leader Sophia Augusta Frederica (better known as Catherine II, or Catherine the Great) and journalists Elda Furry (better known as Hedda Hopper) and Abraham Michael “A.M.” Rosenthal.

In addition, today is Free Comic Book Day, the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Join Hands Day, National Scrapbooking Day, Beer Pong Day, National Homebrew Day and World Naked Gardening Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Friday, May 1

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


Troy Becker is a graphic artist and illustrator for the Forum of Fargo, N.D. A 2000 graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., he joined the Forum in 2007. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Troy turns 37 today.


Jeri Michael is a freelance photographer in Greensboro, N.C. A graduate of West Virginia University, Jeri spent 17 years as a school teacher in Greensboro. In 1998, she began shooting for the Greensboro News & Record and worked there for four years, shooting news, sports and just about everything else. In 2002, she moved to a weekly paper. She’s been on her own since 2004.


Mwenda Wa Micheni is editor of the Africa Review in Nariobi, Kenya. A 2001 graduate of the University of Nairobi, Mwenda earned a master’s degree from the U.S. International University, also in Kenya, in 2013. Previously, he worked with the Standard Media Group.


Marco Santana is a tech reporter for the Orlando Sentinel. A 2008 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Marco served as a copy editor, entertainment editor, sports editor and editor in chief of the student paper there, the Daily Eastern News. He spent a few months as education reporter for the Register-Mail of Galesburg, Ill., before moving to the Daily Herald of Lisle, Ill as local government reporter in 2009. In 2011, he moved to business and technology at the Des Moines Register and then moved to Orlando last fall. Find Marco’s Twitter feed here.


Phill Spiker is a designer and artist for the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Minn. A 1995 graduate of Kansas State University, Phill spent a year as assistant sports editor of the Ardmore, Okla., Daily Ardmoreite and then nine years as sports design director of the Tulsa World. He moved to the Strib in 2005. Find his Twitter feed here. Phill turns 46 today.

Marco, Mwenda, Troy, Phill and Jeri share a birthday with actors Gwyllyn Samuel Newton “Glenn” Ford, Julie Benz and Joanna Lamond Lumley; musicians Samuel Timothy “Tim” McGraw, Timothy Joseph “Tim” Urban, D’arcy Elizabeth Wretzky (of Smashing Pumpkins), Rita Coolidge, Ray Erskine Parker Jr., Judith Marjorie “Judy” Collins, Kathryn Elizabeth “Kate” Smith and Glen Ballard; directors John Woo Yu-Sen and Wesley Wales “Wes” Anderson; reality TV star Paul John Teutul; sports greats Charles Philip “Chuck” Bednarik, Ollie Genoa Matson, Curtis James Martin Jr., Wesley Carter “Wes” Welker (all three football), Joseph Franklin Beard (golf) and Steve Cauthen (jockey); TV hosts Arthur Fleming Fazzin and Jack Harold Paar; astronaut Malcolm Scott Carpenter; authors Terry Southern and Joseph Heller and cartoonist Philip “Phil” Foglio.

In addition to May Day, today is Law Day, Amtrak Day, Batman Day, Executive Coaching Day, National Purebred Dog Day, International Space Day and No Pants Day. Seriously.

Have a great birthday, all! Best wishes!

Birthday for Thursday, April 30

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to Shana Gray, deputy night editor of the Daily Press of Newport News, Va.


Shana worked her way through UNC Pembroke as a news desk assistant for the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer. She graduated in 2003 and then spent three years as a copy editor and designer for the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. In 2007, she moved to the Banner-Herald of Athens, Ga., where she edited copy and designed features pages. She moved to the Herald-Journal in 2009. Shana was moved into an online position in 2011 after winning a first place award from the S.C. Press Association for her print page design portfolio. She moved to Virginia in 2012. Find her Twitter feed here.

Shana shares a birthday with actors Kirsten Caroline Dunst, John Mark “Johnny” Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Dianna Charlotte Agron, Richard Morea (better known as Burt Young), Albert Meister (better known as Al Lewis), Cloris Leachman, Jill Clayburgh and Eunice M. Quedens (better known as Eve Arden); musicians Harry Bauer Rodrigues (better known as Baauer, creator of the Harlem Shake), Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Willie Hugh Nelson; sports greats Isiah Lord Thomas III (basketball), Phil Mason Garner (baseball), Jonathan Callum Brownlee (triathlon) and Michael Curtis Waltrip (auto racing); leaders Stephen Joseph Harper (prime minister of Canada), Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus (king of Sweden), sci-fi author Laurence van Cott “Larry” Niven and mathematician Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss. (Ever heard of a gaussian blur? That’s the guy.)

In addition, today is Bugs Bunny Day, International Jazz Day, National Honesty Day, National Animal Advocacy Day, Adopt a Shelter Pet Day and Poem in Your Pocket Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, Shana! Have a terrific birthday today!