Society of News Design

About SND


Sara Quinn

SaraQuinnOfficer Sara Quinn teaches visual journalism, social media, writing forms, leadership and multimedia at the Poynter Institute. She leads the institute’s eyetracking research of newspaper, online and tablet reading habits to help journalists determine the best forms for storytelling. She has directed Poynter’s College Fellowship since 2003.

Before joining the faculty in 2003, Sara spent nearly 20 years working in newspaper newsrooms, including the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida and her hometown newspaper, The Wichita Eagle in Kansas. For SND, Sara has served as a regional director; coordinated auctions for the Kansas City and Washington, D.C. workshops; served as a juror for the print, digital and World’s Best competitions; and spoken at numerous Quick Courses and national workshops.

Sara teaches in-house workshops for newsrooms and universities around the world. Sara has edited and designed magazines, websites, books and newspapers. She has a B.A. from Wichita State University and a master’s in illustration from Syracuse University. She received Ball State’s Anthony Majeri Award for Leadership and Innovation in 2013.

Douglas Okasaki
Vice President

douglasme The first time I set foot in a newsroom, I was a high schooler visiting the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper in my country. In this visit I thought to myself, ‘I want to work here,’ and a few years later my dream was realized; I was working in the design department of one of the most influential and competitive newspapers in Brazil. In that place I learned how to be competitive in a positive way.

What’s the positive way? Let your work speak for itself; be respected for your talent and nothing more.

In Brazil I worked in Editora Abril (Sao Paulo), O Globo (Rio de Janeiro), A Tarde (Salvador) and for seven years as Art Editor for the online news provider UOL as a webdesigner. Outside Brazil I worked in Tokyo (Japan) in the International Press newspaper and, thanks to the SND Job Board, at the Gulf News in Dubai (UAE) now. My work has been recognized by SND for more than eight consecutive years including awards for publications from Brazil, Japan and the first in UAE.

SND is essential in my career; I’ll never forget the first Award of Excellence in the 16th edition. It was a memorable time in my life. I couldn’t imagine that years later I would start as a director for Region 20 (Middle East and Africa.) Thanks to the collaboration of talented art directors, professionals and designers, SND 20 grows and flourishes as a promising region.
SND 20 worked in partnership with other professional organizations such as WAN-IFRA, IAJ (Institute for the Advancement of Journalism) in conferences in Egypt, Johannesburg, Jordan, New Delhi and Dubai. The workshop with Iraqi designers in Jordan, The Best of Middle East Competition, the SND Award Winners Exhibition and the regional conference are some of the high points in SND 20 region.

Tyson Evans

tyson_evans_bw SND has been my like my second family for a decade. Early in my career, the Society inspired me to become a better designer and recalibrate my career ambitions. It has introduced me to some of my closest friends and most respected colleagues. The organization plays an essential role, linking our profession’s past to its future and creating bonds between students, professionals and educators that transcend disciplines and geography.

Not many journalism organizations have remained relevant for more than 35 years. Now it’s time to pave a path ahead for the next few decades. Strengthening SND is a surefire way to bolster and elevate design’s role in this incredible and transformational moment in media.

Ultimately, we need to find ways to scale SND’s reach and utility to accommodate the dizzying pace of change and innovation reshaping our industry. It’s our only path toward fiscal stability and, more importantly, to remaining relevant to our membership.

Lee Steele
Immediate Past President

I have worked as a designer, graphic artist, copy editor, reporter, educator, cartoonist and illustrator for both newspapers and magazines. Having served in a variety of roles in the newsroom, I see the value of SND’s role in educating and promoting quality design. I have also been adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University, teaching News Design in their journalism program. In 2011, I was the recipient of the Connecticut SPJ’s first-place award for front-page design. For the past seven years, I have been design editor for the Hearst Connecticut Newspapers in Bridgeport, Conn., and I oversaw the redesign of four daily newspapers and seven weeklies in 2010. Today, we are undertaking yet another redesign.

I am a graduate of Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., and studied art and humanities at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. I live in Bridgeport, Conn., and promote area artists and galleries at I was named Region 1 director in 2009, and training director early this year. I also “live blogged” the World’s Best competition in Syracuse for the past two years.

I’ve been on the SND board now since 2009, joining at a time of great crisis for the organization. I have devoted my own resources to be fully engaged with this organization. But SND has paid me back more than I have ever given. I have learned to be a better designer and manager. My ability to mediate, communicate and connect with others, were sharpened as an SND leader.

Stephen Komives
Executive Director

Stephen has served the Society in various capacities since 2002: he’s judged the annual print competition, served as president of the Malofiej infographics competition jury, co-chaired SND’s diversity committee and directed and taught the design quick courses. He also helped organize two annual SND workshops — 2006 in Orlando and 2002 in Savannah, Ga.

He spent 20 years in newsrooms — most recently as design editor of the Orlando Sentinel, where he worked for five years.

He holds master’s degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and from Johns Hopkins University. His first day as SND executive director was Nov. 16,  2009.