Birthdays for Thursday, May 28

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


Nick Feely is associate managing editor for sports at the Villages Daily Sun in central Florida. A 2007 graduate of the State University of New York college at Geneseo, Nick interned at Bleacher Report and at the Trentonian of Trenton, N.J., while earning a master’s degree from Syracuse University. He started work at the Villages in November 2010 as a copy editor, designer, and baseball and college hoops columnist. He was promoted to his current position in 2013. Find Nick’s Twitter feed here.


Joshua Gillin is a reporter for PolitiFact Florida and the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg, Fla. A 1998 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Josh spent a year as a copy editor at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and three-and-a-half years as a news planner and designer for the Savannah Morning News before moving to the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2002. He designed page one, served as editor of the Inky‘s Weekend magazine and was presentation editor of sports. In 2006, he moved to TBT — the youth-oriented tabloid of the then-St. Petersburg Times — as a columnist, designer, and web editor. He moved to his current position in 2013. Find his PolitiFact work here, his blogging work for the Poynter Institute here, his personal blog here and his Twitter feed here. Joshua turns 39 today.


Ian Lawson is lead sports designer for the World-Herald of Omaha, Neb. He spent three yeas as an editor and designer for the Ledger Independent of Maysville, Ky., before moving to the Gannett design studio in Louisville, Ky. in December 2011. He moved to Omaha in 2013. Find his portfolio here. Ian turns 35 today.

Ian, Joshua and Nick share a birthday with actors Jesse Bradford Watrouse (who normally goes only by his first two names), Cameron Boyce and Joseph Michael Cross; musicians John Cameron Fogerty, Kylie Ann Minogue, Gladys Maria Knight and Wendy Orlean Williams; TV host Elisabeth DelPadre Filarski (better known as Elisabeth Hasselbeck); sports greats Jacobus Franciscus “Jim” Thorpe, William Percival “Percy” Harvin III, Michael Jerome Oher (all three football), Jerry Alan West and Glen Anthony Rice (both basketball) and Ben Howland (basketball coach); funny doctor Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams; authors Walker Percy and Ian Lancaster Fleming; politicians Rudolph William Louis “Rudy” Giuliani, Marco Antonio Rubio and Marshall Clement “Mark” Sanford Jr. and cartoonist Lynn Johnston.

In addition, today is Sierra Club Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you three! Have a wonderful birthday!

Birthdays for Wednesday, May 27

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


John T. Garcia is an editor and writer currently seeking work in the Los Angeles area. A 1989 graduate of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif. — maybe five or six miles east of Camarillo — John spent nearly six years as assistant business editor and then two-and-a-half years as a designer and copy editor for the Ventura County Star in Camarillo, Calif. In 2006, he was named the Star‘s coordinator of niche publications. He left the star in October. Find his Twitter feed here. John turns 48 today.


Mauricio Gutierrez is design director for the Detroit Free Press. A 1993 graduate of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores in Monterrey, Mexico, Mauricio spent five years at Monterrey’s el Norte newspaper, three years at Roger Black Studios and then two years with the Orange Country Register before joining the Freep in 2000 as features design director. He was promoted to his current position in 2009.


Sam Twarek is associate art director for Cleveland magazine. A 2010 graduate of Kent State University, Sam worked as a photographer for the student paper there, the Daily Kent Stater, as well as for several on-campus magazines. He interned for Cleveland magazine in 2009 and briefly served as design editor for the Chautauquan Daily before moving to Gastonia, N.C. — just west of Charlotte — to become a designer and copy editor for the Gaston Gazette in September 2010. He moved downtown a year later to become a designer for McClatchy’s editing center in Charlotte. He moved again to Cleveland in 2012. Find his Twitter feed here.

Sam, Mauricio and John share a birthday with actors Christopher Paul Colfer, Vincent Leonard Price Jr., Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, Lee Ann Meriwether, Bruce Peter Weitz, Richard Schiff, Peri Kay Oldham (better known as Peri Gilpin), Joseph Alberic Iscariot Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes (better known as Joseph Fiennes), Vanessa Blue, Ash Hollywood, Todd Anthony Bridges and Louis Cameron Gossett Jr.; musicians André Lauren Benjamin (better known as André 3000), Lisa Nicole “Left Eye” Lopes, Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis Jr., Bruce Douglas Cockburn and Susan Janet Ballion (better known as Siouxie Sioux of Siouxie and the Banshees); sports greats Samuel Jackson Snead (golf), Jeffrey Robert Bagwell, Frank Edward Thomas Jr. (both baseball) and Jeremy Allen Mayfield (auto racing); TV and radio host Adam Carolla; politicians Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr., Christopher John “Chris” Dodd and Henry Alfred Kissinger; wild West legend James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, authors Herman Wouk, Samuel Dashiell Hammett and Harlan Jay Ellison and former British tabloid editor Rebekah Mary Wade Brooks.

In addition, today is National Senior Health and Fitness Day, World Multiple Sclerosis Day and Cellophane Tape Day. Seriously.

Have a truly great birthday, you three! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Tuesday, May 26

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


Andy Bechtel is a professor at the University of North Carolina, where he teaches editing, writing and alternative story forms. A 1989 graduate of the University of South Carolina, Andy earned a master’s degree from UNC in 1993 and then spent five years as a copy editor with the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. He moved to Baton Rouge to teach journalism for three years at Louisiana State University but then returned to the N&O in 2001 to lead the paper’s wire desk. Andy became a full-time teacher in 2005. Find his blog — which focuses on editing for print and online — here and his Twitter feed here. Andy turns 48 today.


Doug Jessmer is a graphic designer for the Tampa Metro YMCA and for the YMCA of the Suncoast in Clearwater, Fla. A 1994 graduate of Marietta College, Doug spent four years with the Alliance (Ohio) Review and then another four at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review before moving to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 2005 as a page designer. He joined the Detroit (Mich.) News but then returned to Florida in 2007. Since then, he’s spent time with the Pinellas News — a weekly in St. Petersburg — the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg — and the Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla. He started at the Y a year ago. In addition, Doug is the national marketing and public affairs officer for the Civil Air Patrol, in which he’s a lieutenant colonel. Doug turns 43 today.


Olivier Bourgeois is managing editor of the Southwest European profit center of WAN-IFRA in Lyon, France. A 1990 graduate of the National Engineering School of Saint-Étienne, Oliver spent three years as IT and technical director of the Info Regie group of newspapers and then four years as project manager of Progress, another regional newspaper group. He joined WAN-IFRA in 2004. Find his Twitter feed here.

Bourgeois, Doug and Andy share a birthday with actors Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Wilton Cushing, Roy Dotrice, Philip Michael Thomas, Pamela Suzette “Pam” Grier, Harold J. Smith (better known as Jay Silverheels), James King Arness and Marion Robert Morrison (better known as John Wayne); musicians Randall Hank Williams (better known as Hank Williams Jr.), Stephanie Lynn “Stevie” Nicks, Miles Dewey Davis III, Leonard Albert “Lenny” Kravitz, Norma Deloris Egstrom (better known as Peggy Lee) and Asa Yoelson (better known as Al Jolson); comedian Robert Francis “Bobcat” Goldthwait; sports greats Zola Budd (track and field), Wesley Darcel Walker (football), Darrell Wayne Evans (baseball) and Brent Woody Musburger (announcer); astronaut Sally Kristen Ride; animator Matthew Richard “Matt” Stone; counter-spy Aldrich Hazen Ames and photographer Dorothea Lange.

In addition, today is World Lindy Hop Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you three! Have a terrific birthday!

Birthdays for Monday, May 25

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five terrific folks…


Damon Cain is managing editor for presentation and design at the Denver Post. A 1977 graduate of the University of Iowa, Damon worked as a reporter at the Charles City (Iowa) Press, an editor at the Cedar Valley Times in Vinton, Iowa, news editor for the Courier of Ottumwa, Iowa, and then assistant managing editor at the Herald & Review of Decatur, Ill. He spent nine years as director of news design for the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., before moving to Denver in 2002. He was the site chair for the Society of News Design’s 2010 annual workshop in Denver.


Brian French is a copy editor for the National Journal of Washington, D.C. A 2001 graduate of Norfolk’s Old Dominion University, Brian spent a year or so with Link, a youth tab published by the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. After the Pilot shut down that project, he spent a year-and-a-half as a senior writer and editor for the National White Collar Crime Center in Richmond, Va. He rejoined the Virginian-Pilot in 2012 as a copy editor, left after two-and-a-half years and started work in D.C. in February.


Frank Michael Russell is a grad student and an instructor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. A graduate of San Jose State University, Frank spent four years on the business desk of the Seattle Times before moving to the San Jose Mercury News in 2001. He worked as a reporter, designer, copy editor and assistant business editor before becoming online editor for breaking news. He earned a master’s degree from San Jose State in 2012. He left the Merc in 2013 to serve as Missouri’s Knight visiting editor and visiting assistant professor and to pursue a Ph.D. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here.


Scott Walker is director of strategic initiatives for Advance’s Alabama Media Group in Birmingham. A 1992 honors graduate of the University of Florida, Scott worked as a designer and assistant news editor for the Independent-Mail of Anderson, S.C., the Tribune of Fort Pierce, Fla., and the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Fla., before moving to the Birmingham News in 2001 as page one editor and designer. He was promoted to presentation editor in 2002, to assistant managing editor in 2004 and then to managing editor in 2010. When Advance hubbed its papers in 2012, Scott spent a year as statewide publications manager. He was named news director of enterprise and investigation in 2014 and took on his new duties in December. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


George Finley is a retired postmaster who splits time between homes in Texas and South Carolina. He’s a national representative for NAPUS, the National Association of Postmasters of the United States. Plus, he’s my stepdad.

Brian, Frank, Scott, Damon and George share a birthday with actors Michael John “Mike” Myers, Ian Murray McKellen, Cillian Murphy, Anne Celeste Heche, Karen Valentine, Concetta Sellecchia (better known as Connie Sellecca), Leslie Uggams, Claude Marion Akins and Dixie Virginia Carter; musicians Lauryn Noelle Hill, Thomas “Tom T.” Hall, Paul Weller, Adam Wayne Gontier (of Three Days Grace) and Belle Miriam Silverman (better known as Beverly Sills); dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson; fashion consultant and TV host Stacy London; puppeteer Richard Frank Oznowicz (better known as Frank Oz); skateboarder Ryan Gallant; sports greats James Joseph “Gene” Tunney (boxing), Alexandra Rose “Aly” Raisman (gymnastics), Kendall Cedric Gill (basketball), Brian Keith Urlacher and Carlton Chester “Cookie” Gilchrist (both football); poet Ralph Waldo Emerson; authors Robert Ludlum and William Patrick Kinsella and cartoonist Stan Sakai.

In addition to Memorial Day, today is National Tap Dance Day, National Missing Children’s Day, Buddha Day, Towel Day and Geek Pride Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a wonderful birthday!

Birthdays for Sunday, May 24

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


Leah Betancourt is a content strategist for UPS. A graduate of Florida International University, Leah earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University in 2004. She spent two years as a web producer for the Palm Beach newspapers, four years as managing editor and project leader for internet broadcasting at KCCI-TV in Des Moines, and one year as digital community manager for the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. She moved to Raycom Media of Savannah, Ga., in 2010 and worked briefly for ScribbleLive before moving to UPS earlier this year. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Cynthia Greco is audience development manager for MediaOnePA in Hanover, Pa. A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Cynthia worked for the Evening Sun, MediaOne and the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce before joining Media News in 1987. Cynthia left Media News in 2007. She returned to MediaOne in 2012. Find her Twitter feed here.


Craig Gustafson is a senior communications specialist for the Barr Engineering Company of Duluth, Minn. A 1991 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Craig spent three years as sports editor of the Republican Eagle of Red Wing, Minn., before moving to the Duluth News Tribune in 1997. He worked there as a reporter, team leader for sports and sports editor before being promoted to news editor in 2005. He was named assistant managing editor in 2010. He left in 2012 to work for Barr. Find his Twitter feed here.


Bryce Miller is the former sports columnist for the Des Moines Register. A 1986 graduate of the University of Iowa, Bryce spent eight years at the Press-Citizen of Iowa City before moving to the Register in 2000 as assistant sports editor. He spent several years as executive sports editor before taking on the sports column in 2012. Bryce left the Register this winter. Find his column archive here and his Twitter feed here. Bryce turns 47 today.


Michelle Minkoff is an interactive producer for the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. A 2008 graduate of Brandeis University, Michelle served as a reporter for the student paper there, the Justice, and interned for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Boston Phoenix, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight and the Los Angeles Times. She earned a master’s degree in 2010 from Northwestern University, worked for the Medill News Service and PBS. She went to work for the AP in 2011. She also teaches as an adjunct at Northwestern’s D.C. campus. Find her web site here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here. Michelle turns 29 today.


Matt Maggio is a freelance photographer based in North Carolina. A 1985 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Matt has shot for the New York Post, the New York Daily News, the London Daily Mail, the London Telegraph and the UK Guardian. Find his web site here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here.


Meredith Williams is a features reporter for the Forum of Fargo, N.D. A 2005 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead, Meredith went to work right away for the Forum. You might remember her as Meredith Holt — she got married last summer. Find her Twitter feed here. She turns 32 today.

Leah, Michelle, Meredith, Cynthia, Craig, Matt and Bryce share a birthday with actors John Christopher Reilly, Eric Close, Alfred Molina, Gary Richard Burghoff, Priscilla Ann Wagner Presley and Thomas B. Kin “Tommy” Chong; musicians Robert Allen Zimmerman (better known as Bob Dylan), Patricia Louise Holte (better known as Patti LaBelle), Rosanne Cash, William Wendell “Billy” Gilman III and Thomas Alden “Tommy” Page; sports greats Joe Dumars III, Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. (both basketball), Kristopher Draper (hockey), James Newton “Jimmy” Demaret (golf), Joseph Thomas “Joey” Logano and Richard Allen “Ricky” Craven (auto racing); TV host Seán Dermot Fintan O’Leary Jr. (better known as Dermot O’Leary); poet Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky; English queen Alexandrina Victoria and gossip columnist Elsa Maxwell.

In addition, today is Brothers’ Day, Morse Code Day and International Tiara Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday today!