Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to seven excellent visual journalists…
Katie Benzel is publications coordinator for HDR Inc. of Colorado Springs, an architectural and engineering firm. A 2006 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Katie served as copy desk chief of the student paper there, the Daily Tar Heel. She spent three years as a copy editor and page designer for the Colorado Springs Gazette before leaving newspapers in 2009. Find her Twitter feed here.
Bradley J. Fikes is a biotechnology reporter for U-T San Diego. A graduate of San Diego State University, he’s covered that industry for a quarter century. He previously worked at the North County Times of Escondido. Find Bradley’s story archive here and his Twitter feed here.
Kris Goodfellow is senior vice-president of operations for Voyager, a company that ties “spatial data” to a web-style search. She’s based in Los Angeles. A 1992 graduate of Northwestern University, Kris spent three years as a graphics reporter for the Chicago Tribune before moving to the New York Times as a graphics editor in 1995. She also taught a class in graphics reporting and editing at Columbia University. In 1999, she became director of graphics for the Associated Press and, two years later, moved to ESRI to become information design manager and product manager and playing a key role in the development of what became MapStudio. She spent time as a freelance graphics editor for National Geographic and then served as vice president of product management for Cyberhomes.com before joining the Realtors Property Resource of Los Angeles in 2009 as vice president of product management. She moved to Voyager in 2013. Find her Twitter feed here.
Brian Immel is a web developer for BigDoor Media in Seattle, Wash. A 2007 graduate of Washington State University, Brian created the College Front Page web site and worked as a freelance photographer and then as a multimedia producer for the Spokesman-Review of Spokane. He spent two years working at Signature Genomics Laboratories. He joined BigDoor in 2010. Brian also formed his own multimedia development firm, White Nimbus, six years ago. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.
Richard Johnson is senior graphics editor of the Washington Post. A 1989 graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland, Richard was an artist at the Detroit Free Press. He was named graphics editor of the Globe and Mail of Toronto in 2005. He moved to the same position at the Toronto National Post in 2007 and then left newspapers for nearly two years as an Information Management Officer at the United Nations. He returned to the National Post in 2010 and then to the Washington Post in October 2013.
In addition, Richard has embedded with military units a number of times around the world as a battlefield artist. Twenty of Richard’s sketches now reside in the Smithsonian. The Detroit Free Press still sells a collection from his first trip to Iraq in 2007.
Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.
David Sheets is public relations and communications manager for Perficient, a technology and management consulting firm. A 1987 graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, David worked as a reporter in Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Pensacola, Bradenton, Tallahassee and Sarasota in Florida before moving to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1998 as a gaming editor and a technology columnist. He was promoted to sports content editor in 2005. David left the paper in 2012. Since then, he’s freelanced, taught as an adjunct and served as a regional director for the Society of Professional Journalists. He served as editor-in-chief of Insight Into Diversity, a monthly magazine that focuses on improving diversity in the workforce. He started work for Perficient earlier this month. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here.
Hunter Thompson is a user interface designer for Razorfish and for the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corp. of Colorado. He started out as a staff photographer for the student paper at Colorado State University, the Rocky Mountain Collegian. He moved up to chief photographer, and then photo editor and, finally, visual managing editor. He graduated last year. He served an internship with Rally Software of Boulder and also worked as a sound engineer for the university arts center. Even as a high schooler, Hunter professionally shot portraits and weddings. Find his web site here and his blog here. Hunter turns 23 today.
Hunter, Brian, Katie, Bradley, David, Kris and Richard share a birthday with actors Christian Charles Philip Bale, Adam Mirarovich, Brett Anderson (better known as Brett Butler), Wilmer Eduardo Valderrama, Charles Stanley Dutton, Vanessa Redgrave and Eugene Allen “Gene” Hackman; musicians Philip David Charles “Phil” Collins, Martyn Jerel Buchwald (better known as Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane), Steve Bartek (of Oingo Boingo) and Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi (better known as Kid Cudi); comedian Thomas Richard “Dick” Martin; politicians Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney; sports greats William Payne Stewart (golf), David Allen “Davey” Johnson (baseball manager) and Tom Izzo (basketball coach); chess champion Boris Vasilievich Spassky and TV business journalist Louis Richard Rukeyser.
In addition, today is National Preschool Fitness Day, Fun at Work Day and Inane Answering Message Day. Seriously.
Have a terrific birthday, folks! Best wishes!