Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to ten excellent visual journalists…
Garrett Evans is a designer for the Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C. A 2012 graduate of the University of Missouri, Garrett worked for the Columbia Missourian. He joined the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2013 and then moved to D.C. in 2014. Find his web site here and his NewsPageDesigner portfolio here. Garrett turns 26 today.
Jon Fisch is social media director for Q Nightclub in Seattle. A 2000 graduate of the University of North Dakota, Jon spent four years on the sports desk of the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald before joining the Charlotte Observer in 2001. He spent two years at the State in Columbia, S.C., and then four years at the Post-Dispatch of St. Louis before joining the Seattle Times in 2007. He was promoted to assistant sports editor in 2008 but was then laid off in 2012. He caught on quickly with MSN and was promoted to West Coast news editor later that fall. Jon started work for Q in 2013. He turns 39 today.
Jen McCaffery is associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly magazine. A 1994 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., Jen earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1999. She spent six years as a staff reporter covering courts, heath and families for the Roanoke (Va.) Times before moving to a similar beat at sister paper the Virginian-Pilot in 2006. She moved back north in 2010 and worked as an editor for AOL’s Patch in East Providence, R.I. She joined Rhode Island Monthly in 2011. Find her Twitter feed here.
Nina Mehta is a designer for Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, Calif. A 2007 graduate of Indiana University, Nina interned for Amnesty International, Macrovision, the Indianapolis Star, software company RockMelt, Inc. and served as a Poynter Fellow. She returned to the Star upon graduation but was laid off a year later. She then returned to Indiana for grad school and to serve as assistant editor of Majority Report, a publication of that institution’s Office of Women’s Affairs. She spent her 2010 Christmas break traveling with a colleague in Botswana, observing how folks in emerging countries use computers and software. On her way home, she dropped by an old friend who was consulting in Johannesburg.
Nina earned her master’s degree in May 2011, spent time that summer working in Mountain View, Calif., Tokyo and San Francisco and started at Twilio later that year. She moved to her current position in 2013. Find Nina’s web site here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here. Nina turns the big three-oh today.
Josh Moore is a grad student at the American University College of Law in Washington, D.C. A 2011 graduate of Western Kentucky University, Josh served as editor-in-chief of the College Heights Herald. He spent three years as copy desk chief of the Messenger-Inquirer of Owensboro, Ky., before quitting in 2014 to return to school. He hopes to graduate in 2017.
Mandi Keown Peebles is a public relations specialist for Kruhu Branding, Design and Creative Agency in Augusta, Ga. A 2002 graduate of the College of Charleston, S.C., Mandi spent two years as a budget analyst for the S.C. House of Representatives before becoming an account executive for Ocozzio business consulting of Augusta. She also spent three years as director of communications and advocacy development for the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce. She joined Kruhu in 2011. She’s one of the few communications professionals I’ve ever run into from my tiny home town of McCormick, S.C. In fact, her stepfather is my own former stepfather (in South Carolina, if you’re not related, we’ll find a way to make you related). Find Mandi’s (really funny) blog here.
Jay Small is president of Informed Interactive — which creates content for a chain TV stations and newspapers around the country — and based in St. Paul, Minn. A 1984 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Jay started out as a copy editor and designer for the Sun and Daily Herald of Biloxi, Miss., and then the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., where he became design director. In 1988, he moved to the Rocky Mountain News, eventually becoming art director. In 1991, he was hired as art director of the Indianapolis Star and, four years later, became that paper’s general manager of online services. He worked for a Minneapolis-based consulting firm for a couple of years an then rejoined news media with Belo Interactive in 2001. In 2005, he became managing director of content operations for newspapers for E.W. Scripps Co. of Knoxville, Tenn., where he oversaw editing design and interactive for the entire chain. In 2009 he earned an MBA in business administration from Kennesaw State University. He spent two years as president of Cordillera Interactive — which owns Informed Interactive — and then moved to Informed in 2012. Jay also runs his own consultancy on the side. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.
Jana Thompson is an English teacher at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill. A graduate of Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Jana worked for the Northwest Herald in that same city before returning to NIU in 2011 as an English teacher. Jana turns 39 today.
Bill Walsh is a copy editor for the Washington Post. A 1984 graduate of the University of Arizona, Bill worked as a reporter and editor for the Phoenix Gazette before moving to the Washington Times in 1989. He left in 1997 as chief of the Times’ copy desk and leaped to the Post — where he’s worked for nearly 19 years since.
However, you might know Bill better as the author of books about grammar:
Find Bill’s web site here and his Twitter feed here.
Suzanne Yada is a web and social media strategist via her consultancy, YadaCreative, based in Berkeley, Calif. A 2004 graduate of the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., Suzanne spent four years as a copy editor for the Visalia Times-Delta before heading to San Jose State for a degree in journalism. She served as social media director for the Public Press of San Francisco, managing editor of the Global Media Initiative — in London and Paris — and as a reporter for the Spartan Daily. She graduated in 2010 and interned at the San Jose Business Journal before joining the Center for Investigative Reporting as a senior web producer. She produced two projects that were judged to be finalists for a Pulitzer prize, but was laid off in 2014. Find her company’s Twitter feed here.
Suzanne also writes and records music. Find samples and buy her CD here. Or, better yet, go here to pledge to support her efforts to record her work and to create more.
Find her personal web site here and her personal Twitter feed here.
Garrett, Nina, Mandi, Suzanne, Bill, Jana, Jen, Josh, Jon and Jay share a birthday with actors Jonah Hill Feldstein (better known as Jonah Hill), Michael Badalucco, Nicole de Boer, John Benedict Hillerman and Charlie Callas; musicians Christopher Mark Robinson (of the Black Crowes), David Roland Cook, Joanna Noëlle Blagden Levesque (better known as JoJo), Stephen William “Billy” Bragg, Alan Parsons and George Peter John Criscuola (better known as Peter Criss of Kiss); director George Roy Hill; TV producer Richard Anthony “Dick” Wolf; models Lara Catherina Stone and Jillian Grace; sports greats Richard Joseph “Rich” Gannon, Jack Leroy Christiansen (both football), Aubrey Lewis Huff III, Cecil Celester Cooper and David Wright (all three baseball); tire dealer Harvey Samuel Firestone; alleged spoon-bender Uri Geller and politicians Harry Flood Byrd Jr. and George Ervin “Sonny” Purdue III.
In addition, today is Mudd Day, Games Day, National Sangria Day, Poet Laureate Day, National Human Solidarity Day and the World Day for Prayer and Action for Children. Seriously.
Have a terrific birthday, all! Best wishes!