Birthdays for Monday, Aug. 31

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


Robert Ahrens is a freelance graphic artist based in Chicago, Ill. A 1987 graduate of Elgin Community College, Robert spent a year as a production artist at Elgin’s Joseph Spiess Company before joining the Northwest Herald of Crystal Lake, Ill. He spent two years there as an advertising artist and then three-and-a-half more as a news artist before moving to the Courier News of Bridgewater, N.J., in 1993 as a news artist. He became graphics editor of the Times of Munster, Ind., in 1996 and then moved again to the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., in 1999. He joined USA Today in 2001 and worked there for 12 years before going freelance in 2013. Find his personal web site here and his Twitter feed here. Robert turns 49 today.


Mark McTyre is sports editor of information and content experiences for Microsoft in Bellevue, Wash. A 1997 graduate of the University of Oregon, Mark worked at the Olympian and the Eastside Journal of Bellevue, Wash., before landing in 1998 as lead sports designer for the Fresno Bee. He became sports design editor of the Seattle Times in 2000 and was promoted to assistant sports editor for presentation in 2006. He left newspapers for the online side in February 2008, working as senior editor for and He moved to Microsoft in 2012. Find his old print portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Mark turns 42 today.


Jeff Patterson is lead sports designer for the Houston Chronicle. A 2005 graduate of the University of Kentucky, Jeff spent two years as a sports reporter for the Danville, Va., Register & Bee before joining the Daily Press of Newport News, Va., in 2007 as lead sports designer. He moved to the Louisville Courier-Journal in 2010 and slid over to the Gannett design studio there in 2011 as assistant sports team leader. He moved to Houston a year ago. Find Jeff’s portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. He turns 34 today.


Todd Stewart is head of interactive content for the Orlando Sentinel. A 1999 graduate of Kansas State University, Todd spent two years as news design editor of the State Journal-Register of Springfield, Ill., before becoming lead A1 designer for the San Antonio Express-News. He moved to the Sentinel as a page designer in 2005 and was named design editor for A1, graphics and multimedia in 2007. He took on his current duties in 2011. Find his Twitter feed here. Todd turns 39 today.

Jeff, Todd, Robert and Mark share a birthday with actors Richard Tiffany Gere and James Harrison Coburn Jr.; musicians Deborah Ann “Debbie” Gibson, George Ivan “Van” Morrison, Jerry Ivan Allison (of the Crickets), Regina Ann “Gina” Schock (of the Go-Go’s), Alan Jay Lerner and Itzhak Perlman; comedians Christopher “Chris” Tucker, Julie Ann Brown and Leonard Hacker (better known as Buddy Hackett); TV and radio host Arthur Morton Godfrey; sports greats Edwin Corley Moses (track and field), Isao Aoki, Pádraig Harrington, Charl Adriaan Schwartzel (all three golf), Frank Robinson, Matthew James “Matt” Adams (both baseball), Scott Niedermayer (hockey), William O. DeWitt, Jr. (baseball owner), Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr., Lance Andrew Moore (both football) and Thomas Richard “Tom” Coughlin (football coach); activist Leroy Eldridge Cleaver; prosecutor Marcia Rachel Clark; photographer Amy Stein and radio journalist Daniel Louis Schorr.

In addition, today is International Overdose Awareness Day and Love Litigating Lawyers Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday today, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Sunday, Aug. 30

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to nine brilliant visual journalists…


Meril Anand is principal visualizer for Hindustan Times in New Delhi, India. A 2005 graduate of SIGA Polytechnic College, Meril previously worked at the Deccan Chronicle in Chennai and the New Indian Express in New Delhi. Find his Twitter feed here.


Leslie J. Ansley is founder and director of an Imperfect Place, aimed at inspiring and strengthening black churches in the U.S. A 1983 graduate of Ohio State University, Leslie worked as a reporter, copy editor and editor at a number of papers, including the Dayton, Ohio, Journal Herald, the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, the Cincinnati Enquirer, USA Weekend, the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal and the Raleigh, N.C. News & Observer. She left newspapers in 2001. Find an Imperfect Place‘s Facebook page here and its Twitter feed here.


Bert Dalmer is an investigator with the Iowa state Ombudsman’s office in Des Moines, Iowa. A 1994 graduate of the University of Illinois, Bert spent three years with the City News Bureau of Chicago before joining the Register Star of Rockford, Ill. In 2000, he moved to the Des Moines Register, where he worked for six years. Bert turns 44 today.


Randy Erwin is director of communications for Gaston Christian School in Gastonia, N.C. A  1993 graduate of Western Carolina University, Randy spent a year as a technician at a printing company before signing on at the Gaston Gazette of Gastonia. He started out as an ad designer, was promoted to manager and then assistant managing editor for design and graphics. He left there last summer after 19 years. Find his portfolio here. Randy turns 45 today.


Nikki Life is creative manager for marketing at the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg Florida. A 1994 graduate of Indiana University, Nikki has been at the times since 1997. She spent four years running the Times’ features design department and redesigning the Latitudes, Bay and Baylink sections. She was the Times’ design director before moving to marketing in 2011.


Tom Peyton is vice president of Kids Sea Camp family dive adventures of Columbia, S.C. A 1985 graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Tom spent two years as editorial cartoonist at the Danville (Va.) Commercial-News and a year as lead designer of the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. He spent six years as visual editor of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel before moving to The State newspaper of Columbia as managing editor of visuals. He and his family have operated Kids Sea Camp since 2010 but Tom left newspapers in 2013 to devote his attention to it full-time.


Nasser Othman Al Raisi is associate art director of the al Shabiba newspaper in Muscat, Oman.


Genevieve Ross is a free-lance photographer in Sacramento, Calif. A 1995 graduate of Cal State University, Sacramento, Genevieve spent nine years shooting for the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk. In addition, she owns MeatUp, a health food delivery service. Find its Twitter feed here. Find her online portfolio here and her photography Facebook page here. Find her Twitter feed here.


Dan Zedek is assistant managing editor of the Boston Globe. A graduate of Columbia College, Dan served as a design director for Parenting magazine, the Dallas Observer, Seattle Weekly and Natural Health magazine before joining the Globe in 1997. Find the Boston Globe visuals Tumblr here and the department’s Twitter feed here.

Meril, Leslie, Nikki, Nasser, Genevieve, Tom, Bert, Randy and Dan share a birthday with actors Cameron Michelle Diaz, Timothy James Bottoms, Michael Charles Chiklis, Marco Giuseppe Salussolia (better known as Mark Strong), Michael Michele Williams, Peggy Lipton, Frederick Martin “Fred” MacMurray and Marjory Ford (better known as Shirley Booth); musicians John Edward Andrew “Papa John” Phillips (of the Mamas and the Papas) and George Ryan Ross III (of Panic! At the Disco); comedians Lewis Niles Black and Frank Conniff; TV host Lisa Ling; sports greats Andrew Stephen “Andy” Roddick (tennis), Jean-Claude Killy (skiing), Robert Lee Parish (hoops), Shaun Edward Alexander (football), Clifton Phifer “Cliff” Lee, Adam Parrish Wainwright, Theodore Samuel “Ted” Williams and Frank Edwin “Tug” McGraw (all four baseball); zillionaire Warren Edward Buffett; retailer Roland Hussey Macy Sr.; novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; astronaut John Leonard “Jack” Swigert Jr.; physicist Ernest Rutherford; politician Huey Pierce Long; actor-turned-politician Ben Lewis Jones; columnist Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins and cartoonist Robert Dennis Crumb.

In addition, today is International Whale Shark Day, Pony Express Day, National Toasted Marshmallow Day, National Holistic Pet Day and National Grief Awareness Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday today, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Saturday, Aug. 29

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


Nancy Jones Francis is a freelance artist and editor based in Albuquerque, N.M. A 1987 graduate of Syracuse University, Nancy spent a year as a features editor for the Times of Munster, Ind., and then nearly a year at a design firm before landing at the Press of Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1989. She worked there for nearly 20 years. She now calls herself “a former journalist who is transitioning into the urban planning field.” You might know her better as (former) blogger Annie Oakley of Pecos. Find her old blog here and her Twitter feed here.


Michelle Collins is a designer for the Dallas Morning News. A 2003 graduate of Oklahoma State University, Michelle spent four years as a designer and artist for Freedom Communications papers in Havelock and Kinston, N.C., before moving to the News-Press of Fort Myers, Fla. in 2007, where she illustrated features pages and art directed the weekly food section and a weekly magazine, Coastal Life. She migrated to Nashville in 2012 as part of Gannett’s production consolidation efforts. She moved to Dallas a year ago. Find Michelle’s portfolio here.


Gert K. Nielsen is an independent multimedia graphic producer based in in Copenhagen, Denmark, via his company, Emotion. A 1992 graduate of the Graphic Arts Institute of Denmark, Gert spent 14 years as a page designer and graphics editor for Ekstra Bladet before jumping to 24timer in 2006. He started up GraficGert, which seems to have evolved into Emotion. Find his portfolio here. His web site, Visual Journalism, covers topics of interest to news designers and graphic artists. Find his Twitter feed here. Gert turns 48 today.

Michelle, Nancy and Gert share a birthday with actors Lea Michele Sarfati, Rebecca J. Pearch (better known as Rebecca De Mornay), Elliott Goldstein (better known as Elliott Gould), Lanny Barby, Ingrid Bergman and Eloise Gwendolyn “Isabel” Sanford; musicians Michael Joseph Jackson, Liam James Payne (of One Direction), Michelle Lynn Johnson (better known as Meshell Ndegeocello) and Charles “Bird” Parker; directors Richard Samuel Attenborough, Joel T. Schumacher and William Friedkin; TV hosts Adam Donovan Sessler and Robin Douglas Leach; philosopher John Locke; sports greats Carl E. Banks, Christopher David “Chris” Simms (both football), Robert “Bob” Beamon, Wyomia Tyus (both track and field), Roy Edward Oswalt (baseball), Gary Gabelich and James Simon Wallace Hunt (both auto racing); White House press secretary-turned-gun control activist James Scott “Jim” Brady; inventor Charles Franklin Kettering; Canadian astronaut Chris Austin Hadfield, mathematician Stephen Wolfram and politician John Sidney McCain III.

In addition, today is Individual Rights Day, the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, More Herbs Less Salt Day and Franchise Appreciation Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday today, you three! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Friday, Aug. 28

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


Hemant Bais is deputy design chief at Dainik Bhaskar in Indore, India. Find his Twitter feed here.


Randy Evans retired last December after 40 years at the Des Moines Register. A 1972 graduate of the University of Iowa, Randy served as a reporter, metro and state editor, news editor and assistant managing editor. He spent his last three years there as editorial page editor. Find his Twitter feed here.


Mikhail Hathey is a student at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, South Africa, and an employee his dad’s photography studio. Mikhail is studying IT and wishes to be a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur one day. Find his Twitter feed here.


Suzette Moyer is a senior designer for the Washington Post. A 1986 graduate of Ohio State University, Suzette spent eight years as an art director for the Hartford Courant before moving to the St. Petersburg Times in 2006. Suzette also served as print publications director for the Society for News Design, editing and designing Design magazine for the Society for News Design. She moved to the Post in February. Find her Twitter feed here. Suzette turns 51 today.


Paul Nisely is senior photo editor for the Sporting News in Charlotte, N.C. Before joining TSN in 1995, Paul worked as sports photo editor for the Associated Press in New York and Chicago and as a staff photographer for the Meriden Record-Journal and the Torrington Register-Citizen, both in Connecticut. Find his portfolio here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Paul turns 48 today.


Ji Ong Jihad Rokhadi is a designer for for Radar Jogja, part of the JPNN Jawa Pos News Network in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He’s a 1996 graduate of Advy Yogyakarta and a 2008 graduate of the Adobe Authorized Training Centre. Find his blog here.

Mikhail, Hemant, Ji, Paul, Suzette and Randy share a birthday with actors Thomas Jacob “Jack” Black, Armand Douglas “Armie” Hammer; Jason Bradford Priestley, Daniel Jacob Stern, David Richard Solberg (better known as David Soul), Amanda Tapping, Nancy Jane Kulp and Charles Boyer; musicians Margaret LeAnn Rimes, Eilleen Regina Edwards (better known as Shania Twain), Joshua Ryan “Jake” Owen, Florence Leontine Mary Welch (of Florence and the Machine), Daniel Peter “Danny” Seraphine (of Chicago) and Melvin Wayne Osmond (of the Osmonds); reality TV star Alana Thompson (better known as Honey Boo Boo); sports greats Scott Scovell Hamilton (figure skating), Janet Beth Evans (swimming), Lee McLeod Janzen (golf), Louis Victor “Lou” Piniella Carlos José Quentin and Ronald Ames “Ron” Guidry (all three baseball); photographer Mary Anna McCartney; Catholic school founder Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton; authors Vonda Neel McIntyre, Johann Wolfgang Xion Goethe and Lyev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy and legendary comic book creator Jacob Kurtzberg (better known as Jack Kirby).

In addition, today is Radio Commercials Day, World Daffodil Day, Crackers Over the Keyboard Day and Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day. Seriously.

Have an excellent birthday today, folks! Best wishes!

Birthday for Thursday, Aug. 27

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


Mia Bush is a writer and editor for Voice of America in Washington, D.C. A 1986 graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Mia spent 16 years as a copy editor, page designer and finally news editor of the Des Moines Register before moving to the Portland Oregonian in 2003. She started there as a copy editor, was promoted to wire news editor and then home page manager. She moved to VOA in 2014. Find Mia’s Twitter feed here.


Richard Hoang is a multimedia intern for the Victoria (Texas) Advocate. A 2015 graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Richard served as a photographer and photo editor for the student paper there, the Shorthorn. He started his internship in May — I was his supervisor for several weeks — and he’ll be there through the end of the year. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Ashley Sullivan is a web designer for Crate & Barrel in Chicago, Ill. A 2011 graduate of Bowling Green State University, Ashley spent two years on the staff of the Bowling Green News as a page designer. A visual communication and technology major, Ashley managed the college’s recreation and wellness web site and worked as a computer lab consultant, a student trainer and a supervisor for student employees who worked at the tech lab. She spent a year as a web designer for Coffee Communications of Walla Walla, Wash., before moving to Illinois in 2013. Find Ashley’s web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Keith Sharon is a reporter for the Orange County Register. A 1985 graduate of UC Fullerton, Keith worked at the Register for 20 years as an education reporter, a features writer, a web editor and sports web editor. He also spent time at the Torrance Daily Breeze and the Pasadena Star-News. He was named sports editor of the Portland Oregonian last summer but then returned to the Register this year. Find Keith’s Twitter feed here.


Burgetta Wheeler is associate editor for the editorial page of the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. A 1987 graduate of Marshall University, Burgetta served internships at the Register-Herald of Beckley, W.Va. and the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch before joining the N&O in 1987. She’s also served as copy desk chief and metro columnist. Find Burgetta’s Twitter feed here.

Richard, Ashley, Mia, Burgetta and Keith share a birthday with actors Aaron Paul Sturtevant (better known as just Aaron Paul), Blake Alexander Jenner, Paul Rubenfeld (better known as Paul Reubens, or Pee Wee Herman), Sarah Chalke, Chandra Danette Wilson, Alexa Ellesse Vega, Barbara Goldbach (better known as Barbara Bach), Susan Ker Weld (better known as Tuesday Weld) and Herbert Streicher (better known as Harry Reems); musicians Aleksandar Živojinović (better known as Alex Lifeson of Rush), Daryl Frank Dragon (“the Captain” of the Captain and Tennille) and Margy Reed (better known as Martha Raye); filmmaker Samuel Gelbfisz (better known as Samuel Goldwyn); industrialist Charles Stewart Rolls; one of the original MTV VJs, “Downtown” Julie Dorne Brown; dog trainer César Millán Favela; sports greats James Howard “Jim” Thome (baseball), Chris Armas (soccer), Darren McFadden (football), William Mack Brown and Francis William “Frank” Leahy (football coaches); artist Emmanuel Radnitzky (better known as Man Ray); White House press secretary Stephen Tyree Early and president Lyndon Baines Johnson.

In addition, today is the Duchess Who Wasn’t Day. Seriously.

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