Meet the Board of Directors


President – Claire ReganPresident – Claire Regan has been an active member of the club’s executive council for more than 20 years, most recently as vice president for special projects and scholarships chair. She is an assistant professor of journalism and faculty adviser to the student newspaper at Wagner College on Staten Island. She completed a year-long fellowship in journalism ethics and has been a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla. Her editing and design work for the Staten Island Advance has been honored by the Associated Press, the New York Press Club and the Society for News Design. Three Rubes she earned from the Deadline Club for spot news presentation are prominently displayed in her office. In 2014, Claire received the Charles O’Malley Award for Teaching Excellence from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. She is a board member and past president of the New York State Associated Press Association, a judging facilitator for the Society for News Design and a frequent presenter at conferences for journalism students.

jcVice President (Special Projects) – Janell Crispyn, of iHeartMedia, is a former club secretary, member of the professional council and scholarship chair.  She is a broadcast journalist  heard on Bloomberg Radio, 1010 WINS, Sirius Radio and other radio stations in the New York metropolitan area. She’s been news director for radio stations in New York and the Midwest, and has worked for Dow Jones Voice Information Services and Editor & Publisher Magazine. She has taught as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University and Long Island University, and does voice-over work for television and movies.  She  has a bachelor’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and recently received her master’s degree from Seton Hall University.

Melissa HeuleVice President (Communications) – Melissa Heule joined the board as secretary in January 2013 and vice president of communications in 2015. She continues to work on The Club’s newsletter, website and social media. She has previously freelanced at a number of small publications in New Jersey. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Theater from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Secretary – Joanna HernandezSecretary – Joanna Hernandez is director of Diversity Initiatives at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she’d been Career Services director. She’s a former multiplatform editor at The Washington Post; director of the Feature Production Center for The New York Times Regional Media Group; and copy editor at The Record, The Star-Ledger, the San Francisco Examiner and Newsday. Joanna’s a former president of Unity: Journalists of Color, former National Association of Hispanic Journalism board member and belongs to several journalism organizations, including the Online News Association and American Copy Editors Society. She has a master’s degree from Baruch College, a bachelor’s from NYU, is a graduate of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education at Northwestern and a certified producer with the Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

Assistant Secretary  – Gary Shapiro is a staff writer in the Office of Communications & Public Affairs at Columbia University. He has written for the Wall Street Journal. Shapiro was on staff at The Forward (national Jewish newspaper) and The New York Sun. He wrote a column about New York called “The Knickerbocker.” A former contributing editor for the quarterly journal, The American Scholar, Shapiro is also a certified tour guide in New York.

Daniel RobertsVice President (Awards Contest) – Daniel Roberts is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Before that, he spent more than five years at Fortune. He is the primary author of the book Zoom: Surprising Ways to Supercharge Your Career. He has also written for a wide range of other publications, in print and online, including Sports Illustrated, Salon and The Daily Beast. Before Fortune and Yahoo, he spent time reporting for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. He grew up in Massachusetts and is a graduate of Middlebury College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Vice President (Events) – Jessica Seigel joined the board as vice president of events in January 2013. She is an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University, with more than 20 years experience across media as a national correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, columnist for Glamour magazine, and the on-air “Countess of Culture” for NPR’s Day to Day. Her investigative work in science, health and culture has appeared in outlets including Marketplace public radio, The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler. She won the Front Page Award for a Lifetime exposé on the clothing industry and top honors from the American Society of Journalists and Authors for a Los Angeles Magazine diet scam investigation and Ms. Magazine science feature on ape and human politics. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she served as president of the SPJ student chapter.

Vice President (Membership) – Polly Whittell has been in her current position since January 2013, after serving as membership chair, assistant treasurer, and co-chair of the awards contest. She has most recently been working as a freelance writer and editor/copy editor for a variety of websites and magazines covering general, current-events, business, travel, sports, science and health news. Previously, she was a senior editor/feature writer at Hearst Magazines, where she wrote adventure, travel and lifestyle stories and did investigative pieces on drug smuggling as well as celebrity interviews/profiles. One of her articles won an environmental award and several were included in the anthology Against the Sea. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, she also attended Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and completed the Harvard-Radcliffe publishing program.

Vice President (Awards Dinner) – Colin DeVries
Colin DeVries is Vice President of the Awards Dinner. He has previously served as Vice President of the Awards Contest, Vice President of Special Projects, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. He is also co-chair of the Student Relations Committee, responsible for outreach to local college and graduate journalism students. Additionally, he is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Membership Committee. He works as public relations manager at NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Previously, he was a digital editor at the New York Daily News, helping to manage and edit content for He was also managing editor of the News Corp-owned TimesLedger Newspapers group in Queens and has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in upstate New York. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in communication and media at Rutgers University. He has studied journalism at New York University and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University at Albany.

Michael Rizzo photo for SPJ Region 1 ConferenceTreasurer – Michael Rizzo is the director of the journalism program and an assistant professor at St. John’s University. He is the former general manager/executive director for news and sports at ABC News Radio and was a news writer, producer and manager at ABC-TV News. He was also a managing editor at Fios1 News and News12 and a senior producer at The Daily news app. He is also a freelance reporter for The Tablet newspaper. Michael became a Deadline Club member in 2014. He graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Communications and holds an M.B.A. from St. John’s University.


J. Alex Tarquinio served as chairman of the  executive council in 2014 and 2015, and as president in 2012 and 2013. During her term as president, The Deadline Club revived the New York Journalism Hall of Fame, an important tradition that had been dormant for 13 years, which she continues to chair. She is the national secretary-treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of the SDX Foundation’s board of directors. Tarquinio has two decades of experience as a writer and editor. She was the special issues editor of The Real Deal, where she was in charge of all editorial content for the Los Angeles and Miami editions of the magazine. She has also worked at Time Inc., Dow Jones, SmartMoney Magazine and, where she was the first investing editor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Reader’s Digest Magazine, Kiplinger’s, The San Francisco Chronicle, and many others. She received a German Marshall Fund fellowship for a reporting residency in Cyprus. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she received a U.C. President’s Undergraduate Fellowship, and from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She tweets from @alextarquinio.

John C. Long is a 46-year SPJ member; a former Louisville, Kentucky, chapter president; and currently also a member of the Columbus-based Central Ohio Pro chapter, for which he hosts an annual First Amendment program. He was a writer, editor and executive at The Courier-Journal in Louisville for 30 years and an editor at The Wall Street Journal for 10, sharing in a staff Pulitzer at each paper. He teaches journalism at St. John’s and Hofstra universities; is a founder and the director of the Main Street Free Press Museum, a First Amendment center in Fredericktown, Ohio; and in 1961-66 served on the founding staff of the Peace Corps.

Steve Dunlop serves on the advisory council and the awards committee, and served as president in 1992. He was morning news editor and writer for WOR Radio in the late 1970’s, a street reporter and anchor for New York’s Ten O’Clock News (WNYW-TV) in the 1980’s, as well as field correspondent for WNBC-TV’s Today in New York in the mid-1990’s. In 1999, following reporting stints at Fox and Reuters, Dunlop was named a correspondent for CBS News, where he was assigned to the network’s Bulletin Center. He was responsible for special reports as well as breaking news updates to the CBS Evening News. Currently, he is the president of Dunlop Media, Inc., a New York-based communications training firm.


Michael Arena, of The City College of New York, is chairman of the executive council and immediate past president of The Deadline Club. He has served as first vice president and vice president of the awards contest. In his role at the City University of New York, he served as senior university administrator and university director responsible for creating and deploying strategic communications, marketing and branding for the 24-campus system serving more than 500,000 students. He co-founded the University’s Graduate School of Journalism and served as an associate professor of investigative journalism.  Arena was an award-winning special writer for Newsday and New York Newsday.  He shared a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for deadline reporting and was previously nominated for a Pulitzer for  investigative reporting. He graduated from The City College New York.

Phil Corso is an editor, educator and journalist from Brooklyn, NY. He has worked with outlets including the New York Post, New York Daily News, amNY, MediaShift, Westchester Magazine and more. He’s also worked as a professor of journalism at Queens College and advised journalism students at Purchase College, his alma mater.

Tricia ImageTricia Couture returns to the Deadline Club and NYC after four years in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she produced articles for and The Charlotte Observer and served on the board of Charlotte SPJ. She’s a freelance writer/editor and is currently working on one of Random House’s daily online newsletters. Her past credits include,, (a division of NBC Universal, (a division of NBC Universal), and American Lawyer Media. She also produced the blog “Cheap Chick in the City” detailing free and cheap things to do in NYC, for more than four years.

Peter Szekely is a past president.  He became vice president in 2013 after joining the board as assistant treasurer in 2009 and serving the next three years as treasurer. In 2007, he became secretary-treasurer of the Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents more than 2800 journalists and other employees at 19 New York area-based news organizations and other companies, including Consumer Reports, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, The New York Times, Standard & Poor’s, Thomson Reuters and Time Inc. Szekely primarily oversaw the union’s finances, contract enforcement and communications. He later served in the number one seat in the union. Before becoming a full-time Guild officer, Szekely spent more than 25 years as a correspondent with Reuters, mostly in its Washington bureau, where he covered the U.S. economy, labor, securities regulation, energy and general news. A graduate of Northeastern University, Szekely briefly worked for two daily newspapers in Massachusetts before joining Reuters.

Suzanne W.Suzanne Woolley is a personal finance writer and editor for, where she collaborates across many of Bloomberg’s media platforms, including digital video and radio. She previously worked at BusinessWeek, where she covered a wide variety of financial beats before heading up the Markets & Investments section and, later, the Personal Finance section. She has also been a senior writer and senior editor at Money magazine. Suzanne joined Bloomberg in 2009 as part of the company’s acquisition of BusinesssWeek. She re-launched Bloomberg’s personal finance web site, created a personal finance blog and weekly personal finance newsletter and oversaw special reports on retirement, risk and behavioral finance. She is a graduate of Dickinson College, and has served as a board member for the Financial Women’s Association. She tweets as @wealthwatch.

Lauren YoungLauren Young is the Money editor at Reuters, where she is developing personal finance, wealth management and investing coverage for professional and consumer audiences. She previously worked at BusinessWeek, covering all aspects of personal finance. Before joining BusinessWeek, Young had a similar beat as a senior writer at SmartMoney. She also covered mutual funds and capital markets for Dow Jones News, where she a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal. Young, who once appeared on all three major network morning talk shows during the same week, hosts an online video series for called “Money Clip.” She is a frequent guest on media outlets such as NPR, BBC, CNN, MSNBC and YahooFinance.Young is a recipient of the Investment Company Institute’s Award for Excellence in Personal Finance Journalism. She is an honors graduate of Penn State University and received her masters in journalism from Northwestern University. Although she served as the president of the Medill Club of New York City and was awarded the Northwestern University Alumni Association Service Award, she is a die-hard Nittany Lions fan. Young serves on the boards of Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College, Penn State Hillel as well as the Deadline Club of New York City.

George Bodarky is the news and public affairs director at WFUV FM, an NPR affiliate station, based on the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University in the Bronx. Bodarky is second vice president of the New York State Associated Press Association and a past president and current board member of Public Radio News Directors Inc. He is an award-winning journalist who trains undergraduate and graduate students at Fordham in multi-platform journalism. Bodarky also teaches at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism and has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is widely known for his vocal coaching and journalism training. Over the years, his students have won countless awards and have secured employment as anchors, reporters, writers and producers in commercial and public television and radio outlets across the nation. Prior to working at WFUV, Bodarky spent many years as an anchor, reporter and news manager in commercial radio and television.

Katina Paron is a journalism educator with 25 years of youth media experience. She directs the NYC High School Journalism Collaborative at Baruch College and is the editor of Dateline: CUNY. As the founding editor of Teen Voices, a global girl news site at Women’s eNews, and former managing director of the youth news agency, Children’s PressLine, she has worked with thousands of teens to develop professional quality media that has been published in the Daily News, Newsday, Metro, Ebony, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and, among other places. She’s written about youth journalism for The New York Times, The Daily News, WNYC SchoolBook  and more. She is the author of the forthcoming comic book-style high school textbook, “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism.”

Sheryl Huggins Salomon, The Root

Ivette Davila-Richards, CBS News


Betsy Ashton served as President in both 1994 and 2000, and was co-chair of the SPJ National Convention that The Deadline Club hosted in New York City in 2004. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Washington, D.C. chapter of SPJ in 1989. She also served as vice chairwoman of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, and won the 2007 Wells Memorial Key for outstanding service to the national society. Betsy was a radio and television news reporter and anchorwoman in Washington, D.C., for ten years before coming to New York as consumer reporter for WCBS-TV and the CBS Morning News in 1982. Betsy Ashton’s Guide to Living On Your Own, was published by Little, Brown in 1988. She has written for numerous publications but now works full time as a portrait artist, and serves on the board of directors of the Friends of Thirteen/WNET-TV, New York’s Public Television station. She is also a professional and highly successful portrait artist.

Rebecca Baker is currently the National SPJ President and a member of the advisory council of past presidents. During her two-year term as the club’s president, she was honored as SPJ’s Outstanding Professional Member of 2010-11. She previously served as SPJ’s Region 1 Director, overseeing all student and professional chapters in the northeast. She is a contributing editor at NewsMavens and recently was an deputy editor at the New York Daily News and at the New York Law Journal. She is a graduate of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. and of Carlow University in Pittsburgh.

Allan Chernoff is CEO of Chernoff Communications, which provides writing, video production, media training and media strategy services. He is author of The Tailors of Tomaszow, a communal memoir and history of Holocaust survivors. For 11 years Allan Chernoff was a CNN senior  correspondent, reporting for all CNN networks as well as writing for and Previously, he was senior correspondent for CNBC where he reported for both CNBC and NBC News for a decade. Allan’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times. His honors include six Deadline Club Awards, two National Headliner Awards, three Peabody Awards, and a DuPont Award. Allan is a graduate of Brown University. He tweets from @allanchernoff.

Anastasia Economides joined the board as assistant secretary in January 2013. She currently works as an editor at MagnifyMoney, part of LendingTree. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, The Star Ledger and amNY. She is also a 2009 scholarship recipient of The National Judicial College’s Court and Media Reporting conference in Nevada. She is a graduate of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and Adelphi University. She aims to continue serving the city that raised her as an urban multimedia journalist.

Pamela Kawi

Pamela Hamilton has been a member of the professional council since 2013, and was on the executive council the prior year. A seasoned television producer, she serves as a media specialist to renowned experts, authors and publishers, and develops screen projects. Hamilton spent 13 years at NBC News where she was a producer and contributing reporter. She covered breaking news, politics, human-interest stories, health, and style; interviewed iconic figures; produced the Rockefeller Center Concert Series, and coordinated the entertainment unit of the Today Show, Weekend. She was a producer on the Sony Pictures Classics film “Grateful Dawg,” winner of the Newport International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary, and produced fundraising events featuring high profile personalities.

Rubina Madan Fillion is the director of audience engagement at The Intercept, where she focuses on social media, analytics, newsletters and search-engine optimization. She previously spent seven years at The Wall Street Journal as a social media editor and graphics editor. She was also a freelance graphics editor for The New York Times. She has written for Reuters, the Huffington Post, the New York Post, SPIN and the Associated Press. Rubina is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has also taught a course on digital journalism at New York University. She serves on the boards of the Deadline Club and the Online News Association’s New York group.

Abi WrightAbi Wright joined the executive council in January 2013. She is director of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards and the John Chancellor Award at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. Wright was a 2011 Punch Sulzberger Fellow at the School. She spent seven years working at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), most recently as communications director. She was responsible for CPJ’s overall communications strategy, publicizing issues, handling breaking news and producing the annual benefit dinner. Wright spent 2003 through 2005 reporting on press abuses throughout Asia as CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. That job involved tracking and documenting regional trends, including the jailing of journalists in China and criminal defamation charges against journalists in Indonesia. She is a graduate of Barnard College, and an experienced television producer. Wright has worked for NBC News, ABC News and Fox News. She also serves on the board of the Overseas Press Club.

Jacqueline LeoJacqueline Leo  joined the board as the vice president of the awards dinner in January 2012. She is editor-in-chief of The Fiscal Times, a digital news, opinion and media service devoted to comprehensive quality reporting on vital fiscal, budgetary, health care and international economic issues. She has worked in a variety of media, including various editorial and marketing positions. She was director of digital operations at the Meredith Corporation; editorial director of Women’s Magazines at The New York Times, and editorial director of ABC News’ “Good Morning America.” From 2001 through November 2007, Jacqueline was vice president and editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest. Prior to that, she was director of editorial operations at Consumer Reports. Her latest book, SEVEN The Number for Happiness, Love and Success, was published in December 2009 by a division of Hachette.  She is a former president of the American Society of Magazine Editors and served on the board of governors of the New York Academy of Sciences for ten years. Most recently, she was named to Media Industry Newsletter’s Editorial Hall of Fame in November 2009. The Fiscal Times editorial staff operates from offices in New York and the National Press Building in Washington, D.C.

Robert Greenman, journalism educator, writer

Ben Lesser, of Reuters, previously served as treasurer.

Keith Kelly, The New York Post