Board members serving SPJ at the national level
Click on the headshots for more information.
Deadline Club Board of Governors for 2022
Prepared by the Nominations Committee: Claire Regan (chair), John C. Long and Peter Szekely
Presented and approved by Deadline Club board on November 9, 2021
Approved by members with amended nominations December 8, 2021
Jessica Seigel, vice president (events), 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.
Polly Whittell, vice president (membership), 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.
Emma Cillekens, vice president (special projects) is an award-winning multimedia storyteller and strategist who is focused on where the media is going—not where it has been. Change has been the story of her career from her start in performing arts, to a move into journalism—first at a daily newspaper in regional Australia and later, hosting radio shows for the public broadcaster (ABC). After a decade reporting in Australia, Cillekens was offered a scholarship to a prestigious NYU master’s program and since then has worked across many facets of storytelling in New York, from podcasting and video, to investigative journalism, audience development and strategy. She has worked with WNYC, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, ProPublica and MIT Technology Review. Notably, Cillekens worked on ProPublica’s Peabody, Polk and Goldsmith award-winning Maternal Mortality project, which was also a finalist in the Pulitzers, she helped create the NY Emmy-winning short documentary series Finding Sanctuary, and she worked on the multi award-winning podcast, WSJ’S The Future of Everything. Cillekens co-created a podcast on artificial intelligence called In Machines We Trust with MIT Technology Review, which recently won the Newswomen’s Club of New York award for audio investigative reporting. Cillekens also consults on effective and authentic storytelling.
Dan Axelrod, vice president (communications), holds a mass communications Ph.D. from the University of Florida, where he was a graduate school fellow. He has 14 years of professional newspaper reporting experience (including nine full-time) and two-plus years of PR experience. He’s taught 56 credits of college journalism and communications courses, including at the University of Florida, Marist and in the SUNY system. Dan has won 15 awards for investigative reporting and feature writing from press associations in New York, New England and Pennsylvania, three national fellowships and grants for media studies and a scholarly legal writing prize. He currently teaches communications courses part-time for SUNY Orange and works full-time in public relations as a senior account executive for Shea Communications in Midtown Manhattan. In his spare time he studies how newspaper closures affect communities (he’s writing a book on the subject) and teaches yoga. He lives in New Rochelle.
James Martinez, vice president (awards dinner/program), is breaking news investigations editor at The Associated Press, responsible for quick-hit investigations off major news. He has worked at AP for more than 30 years, including a decade as a reporter in Florida, and stints as a regional editor, deputy national editor and New York state editor. Along the way, he has led investigations into deaths at Rikers Island jail, business conflicts of President Trump, sexual misconduct in the FBI and the plight of nursing home residents in the coronavirus pandemic. He also teaches as a Ferris visiting professor of journalism at Princeton University.
Kimberly Chin, vice president (awards contest), is a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York. She also serves on the finance committee of the Society of Professional Journalists and recently helped develop a long-term plan for SPJ’s Strategic Task Force. She is a member of the alumni board at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where she graduated with a master’s degree. During grad school, she interned on the markets teams at Thomson Reuters and Business Insider. Prior to that, she worked as a staff writer at Institutional Investor’s newsletters focused on pension funds, foundations and endowments. Her bylines can be found in Financial Planning, The Street, and the Village Voice. She is a recipient of the New York Financial Writers’ Association scholarship for young and aspiring financial journalists. She loves to cook, run, practice yoga, dance tango and salsa, and travel. She occasionally produces shows at a nonprofit theater in New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Hofstra University.
Frank Posillico, secretary, is a New York City–based Emmy and Murrow award-winning producer, cinematographer, and editor. Currently he works as a senior producer at Cheddar News working on documentary video series. He was previously at Spectrum News and the New York Daily News, where he helped re-launch the newspaper’s video unit. He is a graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism and serves on the alumni board.
Cesar Bustamante Jr. (pronounced Ses-zar), assistant secretary, is a Filipino from Queens and currently working as a media monitoring manager at South West News Service’s 72Point Inc. Prior to that he was at the New York Daily News for three years, moving up the ranks of part-time producer to digital content editor. CUNY J-School alum, comic book nerd and journalism proponent, he was once told that he “exude(s) geeky competence” and has been adding that in his bios ever since.
Gloria Wood, treasurer, joined the board in January 2019. During the 1990s and 2000s she managed editorial content for two marketing industry subscription services accessed by thousands of media companies. She was one of three founders of a startup marketing newsletter called Sales-Fax (renamed AdNation News), where she was editorial director managing its team of writers for 7 years. Until 2014 she was SVP, Editorial Director/GM for Advertising Database—a marketing industry news resource and research firm. Previously she was an executive on the account management team at ad agency Scali, McCabe, Sloves primarily on the Volvo business for 13 years. Before to moving to NYC, she worked on automotive accounts at Detroit ad agencies including Y&R, Campbell-Ewald and McCann-Erickson. Currently as President of Wood Consulting, LLC, she is developing marketing and sales materials for several start-up businesses including an online sports marketing/management school.
Anna Medaris, assistant treasurer, is a senior health reporter at Insider. She covers breaking reproductive health news, writes features on topics ranging from medical racism to cold-water swimming, crafts impassioned analyses on beer and fitness, and narrates her own experiences trying skincare products and planning a wedding. Anna has also worked as a writer and editor for US News and World Report, the American Psychological Association, and the GW Medical Center. Her freelance stories have been published in the Washington Post, Women’s Health magazine, and Cosmopolitan. She’s appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox 5 New York, and many local TV and radio stations. Anna is a proud University of Michigan grad, and earned her master’s in interactive journalism from American University in 2014. She’s served as a board member for the American News Women’s Club, a co-chair of the National Press Club’s Young Member committee, and a co-chair of the Association of Healthcare Journalist’s DC chapter. She’s also a coach for the New York Writing Room. Anna lives in Brooklyn with her husband and basset hound.
Claire Regan, chair, immediate past president, has been an active member of the club’s executive council for more than 20 years, most recently as president. 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, Regan 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.
Robert Anthony, a past Deadline Club president, is a technology journalist, a travel writer and editor of Stadium Circle Features. He’s a former copy editor for the New York Daily News, former senior writer at PC Magazine and a former reporter for the Milwaukee Sentinel. Anthony served as Deadline Club president from 1996 to 1997, during which time he took the organization online for the first time, creating its first e-mail address and website, and managed an innovative SPJ Region One conference which featured events around the city instead of at a central venue. Anthony now writes technology, business and travel features for various print and online publications. He’s also one of the top 250 Pinterest users in the world, with more than 1.1 million followers.
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 master’s degree from Seton Hall University and a bachelor’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Ivette Davila-Richards, is a freelance national assignment editor at Fox News Channel, where she researches and approves stories of national interest from various social media, viewer tips, and headquarters’ affiliate stations nationwide. She fact-checks breaking news for accuracy on developing stories and monitors social media outlets such as Dataminr and Broadcastify for up-to-date information. Previously, she was an associate producer at CBS News. Davila-Richards is the current secretary-treasurer of the national Society of Professional Journalists, the second-ever Latina elected to this position. She is also the vice chair of SPJ’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, is a past SPJ Dori Maynard Diversity Fellow, and currently serves on the Deadline Club chapter’s Executive Council. Her passions include mentoring and producing networking opportunities for friends, colleagues and students, many of whom attend CUNY’s Baruch College, where she received her BA in corporate communications.
Alessandra Freitas, is a multiple-award winning multimedia journalist currently working as an Associate Producer at CNN. Alessandra has previously worked at Dow Jones, ProPublica and HuffPost. She started her career as a reporter in Brazil, and has since produced remarkable multimedia reporting, working in the intersectionality of journalism, innovation & technology and business. She is skilled in video & audio production, investigative reporting, data journalism, and has developed groundbreaking projects with emerging platforms, such as the first news briefings for voice platforms for Barron’s and HuffPost. She has also published investigative pieces with CNN and ProPublica. Most notably, she co-reported on ProPublica’s Pulitzer finalist maternal mortality project, which won the George Polk Award and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. The investigation also sparked debates at government and high institution levels, fueling policy changes around the issue. Alessandra came to the U.S. in 2016 after being awarded a scholarship for the Studio 20 Master’s program program at NYU, where she studied innovation in journalism and multimedia storytelling. As a graduate student, she was the project manager and video lead for an interactive mini-documentary series that won a New York Emmy in 2018.
Pamela Hamilton, has turned to the executive council after being a member of the Professional Council since 2013 and a year on the executive council prior. As founder of PLH Media LLC, she serves as a producer, journalist and media consultant, shedding light on significant figures, events and issues in America. A seasoned television producer and on-air reporter, she earned her credentials at NBC News where she served on staff for nearly fifteen years and covered some of the world’s most notable news stories of the 21st Century, including 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, the war in Iraq, presidential elections, major natural disasters, and Hollywood Awards. She has produced stories on politics, the environment, health, women’s issues, and much more, and coordinated the entertainment unit of Weekend Today. As an on-air reporter, she has interviewed iconic figures in music, film, and business for NBC’s Today Show, Weekend, and WNBC’s Today in New York. Her film work includes producer of Grateful Dawg (Sony Classics), winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Newport International Film Festival, and The Empire State Building’s Return to Glory.
Sheryl Huggins Salomon, is a veteran journalist and former editorial leader of digital news outlets such as The Root, AOL Black Voices, NewsOne.com and FSB.com (Fortune Small Business). She is the chief communications officer for the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, and a contributor to Everyday Health and Livestrong.com. As well, she is on the organizing committee of the Online News Association – New York City Chapter.
Christopher Maag, is a columnist for USA Today and The Record newspaper in New Jersey. His stories combine investigative reporting, narrative writing, and characters who leap off the page. A graduate of Grinnell College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Maag’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, Fortune, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, Mother Jones. He has worked as a staff writer at monthly magazines, daily newspapers and alternative news weeklies. A 2019 fellow in literary journalism at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, he is the 2021 Pulliam Foundation Editorial Fellow.
Daniel Roberts, is the Editor-in-Chief of Decrypt Media. Before that he spent five years at Yahoo Finance and five years at Fortune. He’s been on the Deadline Club board since 2013. He’s also written for Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, New York Post, Vice, TIME, Salon, Deadspin, The Paris Review, The Daily Beast, and more. He is the author of the 2013 business book “Zoom: Surprising Ways to Supercharge Your Career.”
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 1979. 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.
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 a past president and current board member of Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and a past president and current board member of the New York State Associated Press Association. Bodarky is an award-winning journalist who trains undergraduate and graduate students at Fordham University in multiplatform journalism. He is also an adjunct professor at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, 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.
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 CNN.com and CNNMoney.com. 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.
Keith Kelly, The New York Post
Rubina Madan Fillion, is the director of audience engagement at The Intercept, where she focuses on social media, analytics, newsletters, comments, events, SEO, and the membership program. Previously, she spent seven years at the Wall Street Journal as a social media editor and graphics editor. She has also worked at the New York Times as a freelance graphics editor. She has written for Reuters, HuffPost, the New York Post, SPIN, and the Associated Press. Rubina has taught graduate-level digital journalism courses at Columbia University and New York University. In addition to the Deadline Club, she serves on the board of the Online News Association and is one of the organizers of its New York chapter.
Katina Paron, MJE, works at the intersection of teens and journalism. For 25+ years she’s helped create byline opportunities for young reporters and training to journalism teachers. She is the manager of Teach for Chicago Journalism at Medill (Northwestern University); editor of Newmark Graduate School of Journalism’s Dateline: CUNY and Ms. magazine’s The Future is Ms. teen-written column; and an adjunct associate professor at Hunter College. She was the senior project editor on The Trace’s award-winning national youth media gun violence reporting project, “Since Parkland” and founding editor of Teen Voices, a global girl news site at Women’s eNews. As the 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 ESPN.com, 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 comic book-style high school textbook, “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism” (McFarland). You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.
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.
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.
Suzanne Woolley, is a reporter on the Personal Finance team at Bloomberg News in New York. She joined Bloomberg in the company’s 2009 acquisition of BusinessWeek magazine, where she headed up the Personal Finance section. Before joining Bloomberg’s Personal Finance team, she covered the world of ultra-high net worth investors and family offices for the company. Previous roles at Bloomberg include leading personal finance coverage for Bloomberg’s digital team, where she managed a team of reporters and freelancers and oversaw editorial projects that ran across online, print, video and other Bloomberg News media platforms. In that role, she relaunched the company’s personal finance online channel and was on the team behind Bloomberg’s first facebook group, Money Talks. Prior to Bloomberg, she spent much of her career writing about all aspects of finance at BusinessWeek. She left her role as the magazine’s Markets & Investments editor in 1998 to be part of a relaunch of Money magazine, where she was a senior writer and editor. She re-joined BusinessWeek in 2005 as deputy editor in the Corporate Strategies Dept. She graduated from Dickinson College and is a former board member of the Deadline Club and the Financial Women’s Association.
Advisory Council (Past presidents)
Steve Dunlop serves on the advisory council 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.
John C. Long is a 49-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.
Peter Szekely is a longtime Reuters correspondent and past president of the Newspaper Guild of New York. He served as president of the Deadline Club from 2014 to 2015. He became vice president in 2013 after joining the board as assistant treasurer in 2009 and serving the next three years as treasurer. In 2015, he became president of the Newspaper Guild of New York, which represented 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.