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!

Birthdays for Wednesday, April 29

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


Sameh Abdallah is associate editor-in-chief of al-Ahram in Cairo, Egypt. He’s a 1984 graduate of Cairo University.


Brooke Cain is assistant features editor of the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. A 1992 graduate of N.C. State University, Brooke went to work right away for the N&O as a news researcher. She earned a Master’s degree in English from N.C. State in 1997. She was promoted to her current position in 2013. She is also part of a team that writes a TV blog for the N&O. Find the blog here and its Twitter feed here. Find her own Twitter feed here.


Karla Brown-Garcia is a news design team leader in the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa. A graduate of the University of Florida, Karla spent 11 years as a designer for the San Diego Union-Tribune and then another six-and-a-half years as design editor of the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif., before moving to Des Moines in 2012.


Norman Provencher is a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen in Ontario, Canada. He also plays lap steel guitar in a blues-rock band called Three Times Lucky. See them in action in this YouTube video. Give ‘em a listen here. Find Norm’s Twitter feed here.


Jeff Tarsha is a sports designer for the Detroit Free Press. He’s a graduate of Radford University in Virginia. Find his portfolio here. Jeff turns 45 today.


Kristin Wolfrum is a designer for Nadco Tapes and Labels of Sarasota, Fla. A 2003 graduate of Kent State University, Kristin spent time with the Lima (Ohio) News before working as a page designer at the Kalamazoo Gazette. She then spent a year in the editorial art department of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before moving to the St. Petersburg Times in 2006 as a sports designer. Kristin left the Times in 2011. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.

Kristin, Karla, Jeff, Brooke, Norman and Sameh share a birthday with actors Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis, Uma Karuna Thurman, Michelle Marie Pfeiffer, Jerome “Jerry” Seinfeld, Nora Eloise Dunn, Eve Aline Plumb, Katherine Kiernan Maria “Kate” Mulgrew and Walter Lane Smith III; musicians Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, Joanne Valda “Jo” O’Meara (of S Club 7), Thomasina Winifred Montgomery (better known as Tammi Terrell), Thomas Gregory Jackson (better known as Tommy James) and Carnie Wilson; sports greats Andre Kirk Agassi (tennis), Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr. (auto racing), John Lawrence “Johnny” Miller (golf), Jonathan Bryan Toews (hockey), Luis Ernesto Aparicio Montiel (baseball), Jay Christopher Cutler (football) and George Herbert Allen (football coach); poet Rod McKuen; convicted felon Bernard Lawrence “Bernie” Madoff; Japanese wartime emperor Hirohito and newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.

In addition, today is International Dance Day, International Guide Dogs Day, World Wish Day, Zipper Day and the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, y’all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Tuesday, April 28

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


Luis Rendon is a sports designer for the San Francisco Chronicle. A 2010 Cum Laude graduate of Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, Luis served as editor-in-chief of the school’s paper, the Lasso. He moved on to Syracuse University, where he was design editor for the Daily Orange, art director of Medley magazine, creative director of Barcode magazine and taught an undergraduate class in the Adobe Creative Suite while working towards a Master’s degree. He spent the summer of 2011 as an intern with the Milwaukee, Wis., Journal Sentinel before joining the Colorado Springs Gazette that fall. He moved to the Victoria (Texas) Advocate in 2012 and then to the Chronicle in 2013. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Luis turns 27 today.


Darci Rae is digital operations director for the Amarillo Globe-News and A graduate of West TExas A&M University, Darci has spent nearly a decade with the Globe-News. She also volunteers with the local United Way.

Darci and Luis share a birthday with actors Jessica Marie Alba, Penélope Cruz Sánchez, Jorge García, Ann Margret Olsson, Carolyn Sue Jones and Lionel Herbert Blythe (better known as Lionel Barrymore); musician Melvin Wayne Osmond; comedian James Douglas Muir “Jay” Leno; sports greats Bradley Wiggins (cycling), John Daly, Hal Evan Sutton (both golf), Barry Louis Larkin, David Richard Freese (both baseball), Daequan Cook (basketball) and Kenjon Barner (football); car designer Ferruccio Elio Arturo Lamborghini; author Nelle Harper Lee; Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan; President James Monroe; Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein And al-Majid al-Tikriti and German businessman and Holocaust hero Oskar Schindler.

In addition, today is Biological Clock Day, Workers Memorial Day and the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Seriously.

Best wishes, you two! Have a terrific birthday!