Birthdays for Friday, Dec. 18

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


Bill Baker is the owner of Bakedmedia Inc., a 3D animation and multimedia studio based in Owings, Md. A 1977 graduate of the Pensacola School of Liberal Arts, Bill spent a couple of years as a jet mechanic in the U.S. Marines before joining the News Star World of Monroe, La. He worked for the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the Detroit News and then USA Today before moving to Knight-Ridder Tribune graphics in 1988. He eventually became animation director for KRT’s News-In-Motion unit, producing graphics for TV news. He founded Bakedmedia in 2002. Find his Twitter feed here. Bill turns 56 today.


Suzanne Behnke is a grad student at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a legislative clerk. A graduate of Wartburg College, Suzanne spent three years as a reporter and copy editor for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier before moving to the Des Moines Register in 2000. There, she coordinated special sections and managed the copy desk. Suzanne left the Register in 2009.


Don Morris is assistant art director for the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg, Fla. A 1986 graduate of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., Don joined the Times in 1988 and has worked there ever since, as a reporter, illustrator and art manager. In addition, he’s freelanced for such clients as Red Bull, Turner Broadcasting, Coca-Cola, Chick-Fil-A, Smithsonian magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Find samples of his work via his agent.


Neal Pattison is executive editor of the Everett, Wash., Daily Herald, in the northern suburbs of Seattle. A 1974 graduate of Ohio University, Neal spent four years as assistant city editor of the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Gazette before moving to the Spokesman Review as assistant managing editor. He spent ten years in Spokane before becoming managing editor of the Albuquerque Tribune in 1992 and then assistant managing editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1996. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 1997, spent two years as a journalist in residence at American University in D.C. and then moved to Everett in 2007. Find Neal’s Twitter feed here.


Diego Sorbara is a copy editor on the foreign copy desk of the New York Times. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Diego spent a year-and-a-half on the copy desk of the Rocky Mountain News before moving to the Times in 2008. Find his Twitter feed here.


Francie Williamson is regional news editor for the Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri, Francie spent two years as a designer for the Sun News of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and then two more years as a copy editor at the Press Herald in Portland, Maine. She moved to the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News in 2004 and then to the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa in 2007, where she was page one editor. She moved up the road to Cedar Rapids in 2010 as copy desk chief and took on her current duties in 2014. Find her Twitter feed here. Francie turns 36 today.

Francie, Suzanne, Diego, Neal, Bill and Don share a birthday with actors William Bradley “Brad” Pitt, Kate Noelle “Katie” Holmes, Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis, Raymond Allen “Ray” Liotta and Elizabeth Ruth “Betty” Grable; musicians Keith Richards, Shawn Randolph “Randy” Houser and Christina Maria Aguilera; wrassler Steve James Anderson (better known as Stone Cold Steve Austin); sports greats Don Lee Beebe (football), Charles Oakley (basketball) and Tyrus Raymond “Ty” Cobb (baseball); former Mythbusters co-host Kari Elizabeth Byron; painter Paul Klee; South African activist Stephen Biko; Russian leader Ioseb Besarionis dze Dzhugashvili (better known as Joseph Stalin); Austrian leader Franz Ferdinand; movie critic Leonard Maltin and director Steven Allan Spielberg.

In addition, today is International Migrants Day, Underdog Day, Arabic Language Day, Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day and National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Seriously.

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

Birthdays for Thursday, Dec. 17

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


Alejandro Banuet is chief creative officer for Publish88 in Monterrey, Mexico. A 1989 graduate of the University of Monterrey, Alejandro spent four years as a designer for el Norte in Monterrey and then three more years as design editor of Reforma in Mexico City. In 1999, he became design manager at el Sol, an afternoon tabloid in Monterrey and stayed there for nearly 12 years. He left newspapers in 2011. He also teaches infographics at his alma mater. Find Alejandro’s Twitter feed here.


John Grippe is a news page designer for the New York Times. A 2002 graduate of Gannon University, John spent nine years with the Times-News of Erie, Pa., before moving to the Times in 2012. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Amber Guffey is copy desk chief for the Globe-News of Amarillo, Texas. A 2006 graduate of the University of Central Florida, Amber spent two years as calendar editor for Orlando Weekly before joining the News Messenger of Marshall, Texas, as night editor in 2008. She moved to Amarillo in 2010 as a copy editor and page designer and was promoted to assistant copy desk chief in 2011. She was promoted to chief in 2013. Find her blog here and her Twitter feed here. Amber turns 32 today.


Adam Rogers is senior production editor for the Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla. A 2010 graduate of Youngstown State University in Ohio — where he worked on the student newspaper and radio station — Adam has worked at the Daily Sun for more than five years. Find his portfolio here. Adam turns 29 today.


Doug Strahler is an instructor at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. A 2005 graduate of that same institution, Doug earned a master’s degree from Syracuse in 2006 and a doctorate from Duquesne in 2014. He’s also taught classes at Syracuse and at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. He spent a year with VLN Partners of Pittsburgh, which sets up online lessons for school districts and then signed on with Slippery Rock in 2010. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. Doug turns 33 today.

Adam, Amber, Alejandro, John and Doug share a birthday with actors William James “Bill” Pullman, Milica Jovović (better known as Milla Jovovich), Sean Patrick Thomas, Ernest Lee “Ernie” Hudson, Eugene Levy, George Lindsey and Dave Madden; musicians Arthur Fiedler, Ryan Key (of Yellowcard), Neil Christopher Sanderson (of Three Days Grace) and Michael Edward Mills (of R.E.M.); sports greats Chase Cameron Utley (baseball), Bradley Ernest “Brad” Davis (basketball), Paula Jane Radcliffe (marathon runner), Emmanual Dapidran “Manny” Pacquiao (boxer-turned-politician ); religious leader Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now known as Pope Francis); novelist Erskine Preston Caldwell; TV chef Jeffrey Adam “Duff” Goldman; magazine publisher Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini (better known as Bob Guccione); accused WikiLeaks leaker Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley E. Manning); wrongfully accused Atlanta Olympic park security guard Richard A. Jewell; TV newsman Christopher John “Chris” Matthews and New York Times columnist William Lewis Safire.

In addition, today is Wright Brothers Day, Clean Air Day, National Re-Gifting Day and Free Shipping Day. Seriously.

Have a truly fabulous birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthday for Wednesday, Dec. 16

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


Monday, Nate Bloomquist started his new job as a news and sports designer and copy editor for the Chicago Tribune. A 2003 graduate of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., Nate spent a year with the Press-Gazette of Green Bay before joining the Northwest Herald of Crystal Lake, Ill., in 2005. He moved to the Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa in 2006 as a front-page designer. He also covered auto racing. From time to time, I’ve written about his alternative story form pages — like this one on the presidential inauguration or this one on a golf tournament or this one on the Beatles or these from earlier this year about the Super Bowl. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Réhann Coetzee is editor of @myFiets, a new digital Afrikaans-language biking magazine. A freelance journalist in Johannesburg, South Africa , Réhann  is also national director of AMiD — the Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors — and director of the Think Bike Safety awareness campaign. His wife, Tarina Coetzee, is a freelance designer and editor. Find his Twitter feed here.


Jody Collins is night editor for the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif. A 1998 graduate of Whittier College, Jody worked as a reporter or editor for the Napa Valley Register and the Long Beach Press-Telegram before moving to a page one design position for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group in 2009. She was named assistant editor of the Long Beach Register when that paper was launched in 2013 and moved to the OC Register in 2012.


Matthew Vann is a designer for the EO Media Group in Salem, Oregon. A 2008 graduate of New Mexico State University, Matthew also spent time at the American News of Aberdeen, S.D., the Sun-News of Las Cruces, N.M., and the Round Up, also of Las Cruces. He joined the Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho, in 2010 as a copy editor and designer. He was promoted to copy desk chief in July 2013 but left for Oregon a month later. Find his portfolio here. Matt turns 33 today.

Nate, Matthew, Jody and Réhann share a birthday with actors Hallee Leah Hirsh, Benjamin Bratt, Harry Bernard “Ben” Cross, Krysten Alyce Ritter, Anna Katherine Popplewell and Liv Johanne Ullmann; musicians Tramar Dillard (better known as rapper Flo Rida), William Frederick “Billy” Gibbons of ZZ Top, Göran Bror “Benny” Andersson of Abba and Ludwig van Beethoven; sports greats William “the Refrigerator” Perry (football), William Oliver “Billy” Ripken (baseball), Trevor John Immelman (golf), John Berry “Jack” Hobbs (cricket) and Benjamin “Frank” Deford III (sportswriter); TV producer Steven Ronald Bochco; anthropologist Margaret Mead; TV journalist Lesley Rene Stahl and authors Noël Pierce Coward, Jane Austen, Philip Kindred Dick and Arthur Charles Clarke.

In addition, today is Barbie and Barnie Backlash Day and National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day. Seriously.

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

Birthdays for Tuesday, Dec. 15

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to eight top-notch visual journalists…


Joe Castle is a digital producer for the Citizen-Times of Ashville, N.C. A 1994 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Joe spent a year-and-a-half as a content producer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, three years as a copy editor and designer for the Sun News of Myrtle Beach and a year as a copy editor and wire editor for the Herald-Leader of Lexington, Ky., before moving back to Myrtle Beach in 2000 to serve as chief of the Sun News copy desk. He moved to the Tampa Tribune in 2002 as wire editor. He left newspapers in 2007 and worked as a freelance photographer in Huntington, Ky., via his company, Cardboard Sea Photography. He joined the Citizen Times in September. Joe turns 42 today.


John Crittenden is a copy editor for the Jersey Journal of Jersey City, N.J. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, John spent nearly 10 years as a movie critic for the Record of Hackensack. He moved to the Journal in 1981 and has worked there 34 years. He also operates a freelance photo service: Show Me Your Faces. Find his Twitter feed here.


Justin Hayworth is a photographer and videographer for Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. A 2001 graduate of Kansas State University, Justin spent five years shooting for the News Tribune of Duluth, Minn., before moving to the Des Moines Register in 2006. He left the newspaper industry in 2012. Justin turns 38 today.


Greg Kendall-Ball is an independent photo editor based in Washington, D.C. A native of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Greg graduated in 2001 from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., Greg earned a master’s degree from Abilene Christian University in Texas in 2006. He spent a couple of years at the Abilene Reporter-News before heading back to school at the University of Missouri. He earned another master’s degree in 2014 and spent a year working for the Washington Post’s foreign and national desks. Among his clients: National Geographic Traveler hired him to deal with its 2015 photo contest. Find Greg’s web site here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here.


Kimberley Kent is a freelance artist in Portsmouth, Va. A 1987 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College, Kim spent nearly 22 years as a librarian and photo researcher at the Virginian-Pilot. She left in 2009 and opened her own studio, Turtle Moon Pottery — where she makes pottery sold in the Courthouse Galleries in historic Olde Towne Portsmouth — and Transformation Arts Studio, where she makes collages and mixed-media paintings.


Seth Mates is night art director at Newsday in Melville, N.Y. A 2000 graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, he spent two years as a writer for World Wrestling Entertainment before joining the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin of Ontario, Calif., in 2003 as an assistant news editor. He moved to the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y. in 2004 and then to Newsday a year later. His wife, Jennifer Spugnardi, is the brains behind Clean Sweep Copy Editing services. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Chris Rickett is assistant metro editor of the Chicago Tribune. A 1997 graduate of Indiana University, Chris worked as a reporter or editor for the Evansville (Ind.) Press, the Roanoke (Va.) Times, the Times of Northwest Indiana and the Des Moines Register before becoming page one editor of the Indianapolis Star in 1998. In 2007, he became head of night content and production at the Baltimore Sun. He moved to the Tribune in 2010 and took on his current duties in 2013. Find his Twitter feed here.


Bob Rose is deputy managing editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he oversees digital news content. A 1983 graduate of the University of Missouri, Bob spent three years as assistant sports editor of the Knoxville (Tenn.) Journal and then two years as sports editor of the Gannett papers in Westchester and Rockland, N.Y. before joining the Post-Dispatch in 1988 as assistant sports editor. He became assistant editor for entertainment in 1994, news editor in 1995, design director in 1997 and assistant managing editor in 2002. Find his Twitter feed here. Bob turns 55 today.

Seth, Justin, John, Joe, Greg, Chris, Kimberley and Bob share a birthday with actors Donnie Wayne “Don” Johnson, Thomas Daniel “Tim” Conway, Michael Garrett Shanks, Garrett Richard Wang, Helen Rachel Slater, Melanie Chartoff and Adam Jared Brody; musicians David “Dave” Clark and Nicholas Beggs (of Kajagoogoo); radio personality Albert James “Alan” Freed; sports greats Nicholas Anthony “Nick” Buoniconti, William Lewis “Billy” Shaw, Rodney Scott Harrison (all three football), Maurice Samuel “Mo” Vaughn (baseball) and James Richard “Jim” Leyland (baseball manager); industrialist Jean Paul Getty; engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel; World War II general Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel; Roman emperor Nero; physicists Freeman John Dyson and Antoine Henri Becquerel and comic book creators John Marc DeMatteis (writer) and Kurt Schaffenberger (artist).

In addition, today is Bill of Rights Day and Cat Herders Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Monday, Dec. 14

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


Will Alford is senior director of content and audience for Cox Media Group and based in Atlanta, Ga. A 1995 graduate of the University of Florida, Will spent a year as a copy editor and designer for the Fort Pierce/Port St. Lucie (Fla.) Tribune and then two years as a page designer and night editor for the Scottsdale Progress/Mesa (Ariz.) Tribune. He moved to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1998 and served as the paper’s product design chief until Cox consolidated its production work into hubs in 2012. That August, Will was named Cox’s manager of new product and business development. He was promoted to his current position in 2014. Find Will’s Twitter feed here.


Jerry Allegood is a freelance writer based in Greenville, N.C. A 1972 graduate of Francis Marion College in Florence, S.C., Jerry spent 35 years as the eastern North Carolina correspondent for the News & Observer of Raleigh. He retired in 2008. Jerry turns 66 today.


Toni Guagenti is a communications, social media and crisis management manager and consultant via her company, the Guagenti Group. A 1990 graduate of the University of Maryland, Toni spent four years as a state house reporter and a senior editor for the Carroll County (Md.) Times before joining the Virginian-Pilot in 1997. She worked as a community news reporter, teen editor, editor of the Pilot’s weekly TechTalk section and coordinator of the Pilot‘s work with local TV channel 13, WVEC. After the Pilot laid her off in 2009, Toni worked as a proposal writer for ICI Services Corp. of Norfolk, Va. She took on communications duties for the office of Virginia Beach mayor Will Sessoms‘ office in 2011 and social media management for Norfolk mayor Paul Fraim in 2013. Toni turns 48 today.


Ian McLean is a teacher-librarian for an elementary school in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia. A 1988 graduate of the University of Sydney, Ian earned a master’s degree from the University of Technology — also in Sydney — and has worked as a teacher or teacher-librarian, off-and-on, for the past 30 years. He spent four years as editor of the NSW Department of Education and Training’s professional journal, Scan. His professional learning blog, Booked Inn, was nominated for an award in 2011. Ian also blogs about Star Trek and science fiction.


Miranda Mulligan is creative director of digital at National Geographic. A 2002 graduate of the University of Miami, Miranda interned for Ocean Drive magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer and taught a graphics class at Ball State University before earning her Master’s degree from that institution in 2006. She then interned at the Sun-Sentinel of Ft. Lauderdale before starting work at the Virginian-Pilot that fall. The Pilot promoted her to multimedia presentation editor in 2009. She moved to Boston in 2010 to become digital design director for the Boston Globe. The relaunch of the “responsive” — a project she oversaw in 2011 — was a tremendous success, making her a huge rock star in the digital news world. In 2012, she moved to the Knight Lab at Northwestern University as executive director. She moved to National Geographic earlier this year. Find Miranda’s Twitter feed here.


George Rorick is a longtime news artist, graphics editor and visual journalism instructor. A 1960 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, George spent 12 years as an artist, illustrator, photographer and ad sales rep for the News-Palladium and Herald-Press of Benton Harbor, Mich. In 1972, he moved to the Denver Post, where he was promoted from artist to art director. He became art director of the Lansing State Journal in 1974.

Around 1980, George became involved in the startup of USA Today, which launched in 1982. He assured himself a spot in visual journalism history by creating the original USA Today weather page. In 1985, he became graphics director of the St. Petersburg Times and, a year later, became assistant managing editor for graphics of the Detroit News. In 1988, he took over directorship of what was then known as the Knight-Ridder/Tribune Graphics Network, creating KRT’s groundbreaking News in Motion animated graphics studio.

Throughout many of these years, George taught graphics classes around the country and especially at the Poynter Institute in St. Pete. George left KRT in 1999, spent a year as a consultant at el Mundo in Madrid and then joined the Poynter faculty full-time in 2000. George retired in 2004 and was honored in 2005 with a lifetime achievement award from the Society for News Design.


Kiersten Schmidt is a Roy H. Park Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, worrying on a Master’s degree. A 2010 graduate of the University of Miami, Kiersten served as sports editor of the school’s yearbook, the Ibis, and worked an internship with the Cape Cod Times of Hyannis, Mass. She spent a year as a designer and copy editor with the Northwest Florida Daily News and the Panama City News Herald in Florida before moving to the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, N.J., in 2011 as a sports designer. She shifted over to the Newark, N.J., Star-Ledger in 2013 as lead sports designer. She left to go back to school this past fall. She hopes to graduate in 2017. Find her web site here, her NewsPageDesigner portfolio here and her Twitter feed here. Kiersten turns 27 today.


Anton Vermeulen is graphics editor for Huisgenoot, South Africa’s highest-circulation magazine (a close second is You, the English-language version of Huisgenoot) and based in Cape Town. A 1996 graduate of North West University, Anton spent 12 years as a graphic artist for Media24 newspapers in Johannesburg, most recently its large Sunday national papers, Rapport and City Press. He moved to Huisgenoot in 2010. Find his Deviant Art gallery here and his Twitter feed here. Anton turns the big four-oh today.

Kiersten, Anton, Miranda, Toni, Ian, George and Jerry share a birthday with actors Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Tammy Blanchard, Paul Finley Zaloom (better known as Beakman), Theodore “Ted” Raimi, Anna Marie “Patty” Duke, Lee Ann Remick, Moritz “Morey” Amsterdam and Frances Elizabeth Bavier; musicians Charles “Charlie” Rich and Lindley Armstrong “Spike” Jones; agent-turned-movie-producer Michael Ovitz; sports greats William Joseph “Bill” Buckner, Craig Alan Biggio (both baseball), Charles Louis “Charley” Trippi, Ernest “Ernie” Davis (both football), Stanley Roger “Stan” Smith, Patty Schnyder (both tennis), Joseph Brian Gay (golf) and Alan Dennis Kulwicki (auto racing); World War II hero James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle; astronomer Tycho Brahe; apothecary Michel de Nostredame (better known as Nostradamus) and TV news producer Donald Shepard Hewitt.

In addition, today is Green Monday and Monkey Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a terrific birthday today!