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 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!

Birthdays for Sunday, Dec. 13

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


Rachel Kugelman is a designer and illustrator for the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, N.J. A 2009 graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Rachel moved to the Asbury Park Press in 2011. Find her web site here. Rachel turns 30 today.


Sajeev Kumar T.K. is visual editor of Kaumudi, a 150,000-circulation Malayalam-language daily in Kerala, India. TKSajeev is probably better known, however, as the creator and proprietor of NewspaperDesign, a social networking site that specializes in newspaper design in India. He is also director of Region 19 of the Society for News Design. Find his Twitter feed here. Sajeev turns 49 today.

Rachel and Sajeev share a birthday with actors Steven Vincent “Steve” Buscemi, Eric Marlon Bishop (better known as Jamie Foxx), Johnny Whitaker, Arthur Christopher Orme (better known as Christopher Plummer) and Richard Wayne “Dick” Van Dyke; musicians Theodore Anthony “Ted” Nugent, Thomas Matthew DeLonge Jr. (of Blink-182), Samuel Stephen “Steve” Forbert, Amy Lynn Hartzler (better known as Amy Lee) and Taylor Alison Swift; music journalist Leslie Conway “Lester” Bangs; TV personality John Hamilton Davidson; sports greats Gary Wayne Zimmerman (football), Rex Ryan (football coach), Ferguson Arthur “Fergie” Jenkins (baseball), Rick Yutaka “Rickie” Fowler (golf) and Michael Todd Tirico (announcer); World War I hero Alvin Cullum York; First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and politicians George Pratt Shultz, Ben Shalom Bernanke, Thomas James “Tom” Vilsack and Herman Cain.

In addition, today is Pick a Pathologist Pal Day, World Choral Day and Worldwide Candle Lighting Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you two! Have a fabulous birthday today!

Birthdays for Saturday, Dec. 12

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


Monica Evanchik is a freelance online art director and project manager based in New York City. A 1986 graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Monica worked as an artist for Polo Ralph Laren and as an art director for Digital Image Design before signing on with ABC News’ web operation in 2000. She moved to the New York Times as a multimedia producer in 2003. She left the Times in 2009 and has worked with the American Society of Magazine Editors. She also teaches at Farmingdale State College. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Olya Kharitonova is a designer and user experience specialist for Strength in Members, an agency that focuses on web projects for nonprofits. Originally from Minsk, Belarus, Olya is a 2011 graduate of Ohio University. She served internships at Cleveland magazine, at a law office and as a marketing assistant in the lifelong and distance learning department at Ohio U. Olya moved to the University of Colorado and earned her master’s degree in 2013 after serving as a research assistant in Steve Outing’s Digital News Test Kitchen. She joined Strength in Numbers in 2014. Find Olya’s web site here. She turns 27 today.


Cindy Driver Loman is life and community news editor of the News & Record of Greensboro, N.C. A 1984 graduate of the University of Richmond, Cindy spent a year as a features writer for the Stuart (Fla.) News and three years as assistant features editor for the Fort Pierce News Tribune before moving to the News & Record copy desk in 1988. She moved to community news in 1998 and then to team development coordinator in 1999. She became community news editor in 2006.


Malenga Wa Mlima Meru is a sub-editor — a copy editor — for the Nation Media Group and the East African in Nairobi, Kenya. He’s worked there for eight years. He also writes poetry. Find Mwiti’s AuthorsDen page here and his Twitter feed here.

Olya, Cindy, Malenga and Monica share a birthday with actors Jennifer Connelly, Mayim Bialik, Mädchen Amick and Emanuel Goldenberg (better known as Edward G. Robinson); musicians Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra, Marie Dionne Warwick, Sheila Escovedo (better known as Sheila E.), Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero (better known as Connie Francis), Joseph Goreed (better known as Joe Williams), Shelton Hank Williams (better known as Hank Williams III) and Bob Dorough; artist Edvard Munch; supermodel Bridget Hall; TV host Robert William “Bob” Barker; sports greats Tracy Austin (tennis), Cathleen Roxanne “Cathy” Rigby (gymnastics), Johan Ramon “Ervin” Santana (baseball), Haywood Franklin Jeffires, Jose Rafael Septien (both football) and Emerson Fittipaldi (auto racing); former New York mayor Edward Irving “Ed” Koch; legendary law enforcement official Buford Hayse Pusser and comic book artist Daniel S. “Dan” DeCarlo.

In addition, today is Gingerbread House Day, International Shareware Day, National 12-Hour Fresh Breath Day, National Cocoa Day, Poinsettia Day and the Day of the Horse. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a wonderful birthday today!