The speakers for the SND Charlotte Unite & Rebel workshop represent a wide array of disciplines and platforms in media and non-media fields. The speakers will be divided into four unique tracks in the coming weeks. Please come back to this page for regular updates and new speaker announcements.

Tim Ball, Politico Europe


Creative Director  •  Politico Europe

Ball is Creative Director for Politico Europe, based in Brussels, Belgium. Prior to joining Politico, he led the photography and design staffs as Visuals Editor for the Bay Area News Group in California, traveled the country consulting for Digital First Media and worked as a designer and art director at The Washington Post. Over the course of a 19-year journalism career, he has held editing, reporting, design and management positions in 14 newsrooms spanning 10 states and three countries.

Fernando Baptista, National Geographic


Senior Graphics Editor  •  National Geographic

The Spanish-born artist developed and defined his graphic skills at El Correo in Spain. Upon moving to America, Baptista accepted a position at National Geographic as Senior Graphics Editor. This position gives Baptista a platform to freely experiment with a varying number of mediums and collaborators, including sculpture. The two-time, Emmy-nominated artist has also won the Peter Sullivan Award — sometimes referred to as “The Pulitzer Prize” for infographics — from Malofiej. Read the SND CLT interview with Baptista



Partner and graphic designer  •  Commercial Type

Barnes is a British graphic designer, specializing in the fields of typography and type design. With Christian Schwartz he is a partner in Commercial Type, an internationally renowned type foundry with offices in London and New York. He graduated from the Typography course at the University of Reading and worked at the studio of Roger Black, and later he became the art director of Spin magazine. Since 1995 he has worked independently and in collaboration on a wide range of design projects. The Guardian named him as one of the 50 best designers in Britain in 2007.



Alexa Evangelist  •  Amazon

Blankenburg spent the early part of his career in digital advertising, building websites for Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Ford Motor Company, among others. Following that, he also spent nine years at Microsoft, primarily as a technical evangelist for any new development technology he could get his hands on. Today, he works on the Amazon Alexa team as an evangelist teaching developers how to make Alexa even smarter.



Director  •  Type Network

Starting with LA in 1972, Black has been chief art director or design consultant for publications of all kinds, all over the world. Among them: Rolling Stone, Outside, New York, The New York Times, Newsweek, Esquire, Fast Company, Smart Money, Reader’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times,,, The Washington Post, Semana (Colombia), Panorama (Italy), The Straits Times (Singapore), Kompas (Indonesia), Tages Anzeiger (Switzerland), Placar (Brazil), Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), Nomad Editions, Scientific American, and Always On Network.


Software engineer  •  Niantic

Boghosian is a software engineer in San Francisco. If you’ve not heard of Niantic, you probably have heard of its marquee product — Pokemon Go. Boghosian was one of the lead engineers on the most downloaded app of 2016, and jokes that it’s his job to place Pokemon throughout the world for people to find, amongst numerous other back-end dev duties. Read the SND CLT interview with Boghosian


Pastry Chef  •  300 East and Heritage Food & Drink

Boyd is a Charlotte native who’s been working in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years, with a specialty in desserts. Boyd splits her time between 300 East and Heritage Food & Drink, where she’s been working alongside Chef Paul Verica for a little over a year now. Boyd’s background in fine arts is apparent to diners when they view her beautiful desserts. Read the SND CLT interview with Boyd



Director  •  Type Network

Berlow entered the type industry in 1978 as a letter designer for the respected Mergenthaler, Linotype, Stempel, and Haas typefoundries. He joined the newly formed digital type supplier, Bitstream, Inc. in 1982. After Berlow left Bitstream in 1989, he founded The Font Bureau, Inc. with Roger Black. Font Bureau has developed more than 300 new and revised type designs for the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Hewlett Packard and others, with OEM work for Apple Computer Inc. and Microsoft Corporation.

Tonia Cowan


Graphics Director  •  The Boston Globe

Cowan is 20-year infographic veteran that has been at The Globe for almost two years. She previously worked in graphics departments at The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Newsweek, Associated Press and Canadian Press. Read the SND CLT interview with Cowan

Adonis Durado


Chief Creative Officer  •  Times of Oman and Al Shabiba

Durado is the Chief Creative Officer of Muscat Media Group, publisher of two major dailies, Times of Oman and Al Shabiba. He also operates as an adjunct design consultant with several clients in Africa, Asia, and Europe. His personal work received honors from the Society for News Design, the Society of Publication Designers, the Type Directors Club, the Society of Illustrators, Malofiej Infographics Awards, the European Newspaper Awards, HOW magazine, Communication Arts magazine, Creative Quarterly Journal, and WAN-IFRA Media Awards.



Creative Director  •  Toronto Star

Ducassi is the Creative Director of the Toronto Star, even though she is based in Florida, about 1,500 miles away from the newsroom. During design career that spans more than two decades, she has worked in newsrooms at the Sun-Sentinel, Montreal Gazette San Jose Mercury News, Hartford Courant and Miami Herald. Read the SND CLT interview with Ducassi

Julie Elman, professor, Ohio University


Associate Professor  •  Ohio University

Elman is an Associate Professor at the Ohio University School of Visual Communications where she has taught for over a decade. Prior to her time in Athens, Elman was design and picture editor at the Virginian Pilot. She is an acclaimed illustrator and founder of “The Fear Project,” which is a visual exploration of the fears people experience in their daily lives. She recently published Fear Illustrated: Transforming What Scares Us.



Associate Editor  •  The New York Times

Ericson’s responsibilities expanded last year to be the newsroom’s primary point person with the design, product, data and tech group that is responsible for everything from the NYT’s publishing tools to the appearance and functionality of its sites and apps. In his previous position as deputy graphics director at The Times, Ericson helped oversee a department of journalists, artists and programmers who produced interactive information graphics for, as well as all graphics for the print newspaper.

Antonio Farach


Infographics Editor  •  Times of Oman and Al Shabiba

For two decades, the Honduran visual journalist has been telling stories through graphics. He started at a local daily, Diario Tiempo, without knowing that he’d end up a career as an infographic designer. He took up civil engineering in his undergrad work and later abandoned his studies when he discovered the power of Adobe Illustrator. After spending a decade at Tiempo, he started doing freelance work from American and European publications. In 2010, Adonis Durado recruited him to lead the graphic section of Times of Oman and Al Shabiba.

Suzie Ford, owner, NoDa Brewing Company


President and Co-owner  •  NoDa Brewing Company

Ford is president and co-owner of Charlotte-based NoDa Brewing Company. The most liked woman in the ownership group, Suzie is a details-oriented free spirit. She is a proud mom, Diet Coke lover and general fan of Top 40 music. She once worked in motorsports marketing and is a Vanilla Ice fan. She is originally from California, and plays Lady Gaga entirely too loud. Suzie once turned left without using her indicator. But it never happened again. Read the SND CLT interview with Ford

Tobias Frere-Jones


Type Designer  •  Frere-Jones type foundry

For more than two decades, Frere-Jones has been one of the world’s premier type designers, creating numerous typefaces that news designers use every day, including Interstate, Poynter Oldstyle, Whitney, Gotham and Retina, across mobile, tablet, desktop and print news products. Read the SND CLT interview with Frere-Jones


Creative Director  •  Washington Business Journal

Fry has been Creative Director at the Washington Business Journal for five years. Prior to that he was art director at CQ Roll Call, Boeing and the Chicago Sun-Times. Fry led the redesign of the WBJ three years ago and his work has been honored in SND’s annual Best of News Design design competition each of the last three years. Read the SND CLT interview with Fry



Product Director  •  Quartz

Ganapati manages partnerships and product development for Quartz, an Atlantic-media backed digital news startup. She focuses on distribution strategy, creating and managing partnerships with platforms, advertising products, website growth and optimization, and hacking subscriber growth for the Daily Brief newsletter. Previously, she was the product manager/director for The Wall Street Journal’s mobile apps on iOS, Android, and other platforms. She also managed the Barron’s iOS app.

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, The Washington Post


Managing Editor/Digital  •  The Washington Post

Garcia-Ruiz is constantly thinking about ways to combine emerging technology with the Post’s world-class journalism. His current fascinations include digital video, drones and virtual reality. Garcia-Ruiz oversees digital initiatives and operations, photo, graphics and design, a multi-platform editing desk, and a 40-person video team. Garcia-Ruiz has worked at The Post in multiple roles since 2001, including Sports Editor, Local Editor and Editor for Strategic Projects.

Darcy Greene, teacher at Michigan State


Associate Professor  •  Michigan State University

Greene and fellow Lifetime Achievement Award winner Cheryl Pell have been teaching together at Michigan State University for nearly 30 years and are known as a duo among their students and colleagues. The two advised the Michigan State student SND chapter from its founding. The two have brought students to countless SND events, served on the SND board and hosted SND quick courses at Michigan State. Read the SND CLT interview with Greene and Pell



Director of Corporate Initiatives  •  American City Business Journals

Before joining ACBJ, Howard was editor-in-chief of the Sporting News, coming to the organization in 2010 from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. When he joined the Journal in 1994, he became one of the first African Americans in charge of a major newspaper’s sports section. Howard was president of the Associated Press Sports Editors, and previously worked at the Trenton Times, the New Brunswick Home News, the Times-Union, the St. Petersburg Independent, the St. Petersburg Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.



CEO/Co-owner  •  KarBel Multimedia

Ivey is the Bel in KarBel Multimedia, a creative agency specializing in infographics and graphic design. A 12-year veteran of the newspaper industry, she has worked at four newspapers across the country, spending most of her career as a senior graphics reporter at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. In 2011, Ivey joined the University of Miami’s School of Communication as an adjunct lecturer, teaching infographics and multimedia design until 2015. She studies motion design at the Savannah College of Art and Design and is eager to graduate this June with her M.F.A. degree. Read the SND CLT interview with Ivey

Dheerja Kaur, Head of Product at the Skimm


Head of Product  •  theSkimm

Kaur is the Head of Product at theSkimm, a company that makes it easier to be smarter by delivering news and information into routines. Their email newsletter, the Daily Skimm, is a daily read for millions of female millennials, and they recently launched an app that integrates into your calendar. Read the SND CLT interview with Kaur

Lucie Lacava


Consultant  •  Lacava, Inc.

Lacava is a past president of SND (2001), as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award winner (2010). She has been a design consultant for more than 25 years and has won more than 100 awards from the Society in her career, including multiple World’s Best-Designed Newspaper honors. Read the SND CLT interview with Lacava



CEO  •  Listen, Inc.

Leto is co-founder of Texts From Last Night. Her latest project, Listen, is an app that helps users manage their texts and calls. In 2012 she wrote Judging a Book by its Lover, published by an imprint of HarperCollins. Read the SND CLT interview with Leto



Deputy Editor, Digital News Design  •  The New York Times

Louttit helps manage and edit a group of eight designers and front-end developers, in addition to designing and building narrative story presentations and interactive experiences using a variety of media. She also teaches a 15-week course on programming for journalists at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to the NYT, Louttit worked as a homepage producer at The Washington Post and graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.

Greg Manifold, Design Director at The Washington Post


Design Director  •  The Washington Post

Manifold leads a team responsible for the presentation of The Washington Post’s most ambitious stories across the print newspaper, digital and social platforms. The team prides itself on seeking out bold visual presentation while collaborating with reporters, editors, photographers and graphic artists. The Post was an SND World’s Best-Designed Newspaper finalist for 2014 and 2015. Read the SND CLT interview with Manifold

Joey Marburger, Head of Product, The Washington Post


Head of Product  •  The Washington Post

Marburger was labeled as The Post’s punk rock star by Digiday for the work he’s accomplished as Director of Product. Marburger has been at The Post for more than six years, moving from Mobile Design Director to Director of Digital Products and Design to his current role. He has also worked at Gannett and the Indianapolis Star. Read the SND CLT interview with Marburger



Graphics/Multimedia Editor  •  The New York Times

McKinley provides art direction, user experience and visual design, including some front end web development, for the editorial side of the New York Times. She also works closely with editors (Race/Related, T Magazine and more) to visually enhance content while applying her skills in content management and analytics. Prior to joining the NYT in 2011, she worked for Gannett and The Roanoke Times.


Editor  •  The Undefeated

Merida is a Senior Vice President at ESPN and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, a web site that explores the intersections of race, sports and culture. He is responsible for the site’s editorial direction, tone and policies, and provides oversight and strategy leadership for key initiatives undertaken by The Undefeated. Before joining ESPN, Merida worked at The Washington Post for more than 20 years in various roles, including Style writer, magazine columnist, associate editor, national editor and managing editor. During his tenure as M.E., The Post won three Pulitzer Prizes. Read the SND CLT interview with Merida

Portraits at the Society of News Design's annual conventions at The Sheraton Hotel in Denver Colorado September 25, 2010 Photo by Evan Semón


Associate Professor  •  University of North Carolina

Oliver is an award-winning motion graphics producer and associate professor who teaches motion graphics and design courses at UNC-Chapel Hill. He produces motion graphics for Complex Stories and is the owner of Elite Execution Design, LLC. Oliver has previously taught at Ohio University, Kent State University and the Poynter Institute. Before teaching, he held the assistant managing editor and art director posts at the Akron Beacon Journal and was an editorial artist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Read the SND CLT interview with Oliver

Cheryl Pell, teacher at Michigan State


Senior Faculty Specialist  •  Michigan State University

Pell and fellow Lifetime Achievement Award winner Darcy Greene have been teaching together at Michigan State University for nearly 30 years and are known as a duo among their students and colleagues. The two advised the Michigan State student SND chapter from its founding. The two have brought students to countless SND events, served on the SND board and hosted SND quick courses at Michigan State. Read the SND CLT interview with Pell and Greene



Professor  •  Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

Originally from Chile, Ramirez graduated from Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso in Chile. Self-taught in typography, he has been involved with type design since he was a kid ‘trying to invent his own letters.’ Rodrigo is a lecturer in the School of Design at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago. As a member of the TCL collective he publishes his non-commercial fonts (TCL IndoSans, TCL Escuelera) through

Mike Rohde


Author  •  The Sketchnote Handbook & The Sketchnote Workbook

Rohde is the author of two bestselling books: The Sketchnote Handbook (2012) and The Sketchnote Workbook (2014). He presents workshops around the world that encourage people to use visual thinking skills to generate, capture and share ideas more effectively. He has been commissioned to create live sketchnotes for conferences and events, including SXSW Interactive, An Event Apart, Summit Series, World Domination Summit, and The Storyline Conference. Rohde lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife and three children.



Director •  Type Network

Ross draw letters of all shapes and sizes for retail and custom typeface designs. He’s originally from Los Angeles but started making fonts during his time at Hampshire College in Western Massachusetts. Since 2007, he’s worked with The Font Bureau, a Boston-based type foundry. Ross lives with his partner, Emily, and their two dogs, Sophie and Lily.



Designer Advocate  •  Mozilla

At Mozilla, Simmons advocates for web standards and researches the coming revolution in graphic design on the web. She has spoken at industry events including SXSW, An Event Apart, Fluent, Generate, Future of Web Design and Respond. She is the host and executive producer of The Web Ahead, winner of the 2015 Net Award for Podcast of the Year. A web designer and front-end developer with two-decades of experience, she has worked on projects for CERN, the W3C, Google, Drupal, and more. She also has created many works for the stage and the screen.


Professor  •  Univ. of Miami

Stano is a 2017 SND Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and has taught at the University of Miami since 1995. Stano’s students have gone on to work at publications such as The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle. His students, past and present, describe him as a treasured mentor and key player in their career development. Stano was SND President in 1992, while working at the Miami Herald. The following year, the Herald won the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for their coverage of Hurricane Andrew, with Stano serving as director of editorial art and design. Read the SND CLT interview with Stano

Sanette Tanaka, product designer at Vox


Product Designer •  Vox Media

Tanaka works on Vox Media’s publishing platform and content management system, which empowers Vox’s editorial brands to do its best storytelling. Previously, she covered real estate for The Wall Street Journal, and continues to report on a freelance basis. She believes her journalism background has been instrumental in shaping her investigative, user-centered approach to design. Read the SND CLT interview with Tanaka.


Chef/Owner  •  Heritage Food & Drink

Verica was one of 20 chefs recently nominated for the Best Chef in the Southeast award by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. Heritage, which was ranked as the top restaurant in Charlotte last year, is nestled in a small town just outside the city limits, which Verica describes as “a classic, old-school Americana town with train tracks running through it.” It’s not uncommon to find Verica sketching his next dish on a notepad. As Verica will tell you, he needs to visualize the dish and its components before he picks up his knife and goes to work back in the kitchen. Read the SND CLT interview with Verica


Designer/Developer  •  Vox Media

Victor, who helped start, has traveled around the world teaching journalists how to design and code. As a Principle Designer and Developer for Vox Media, Victor has designed over 50 tools that help journalists tell stories visually. Before, he worked as the Director of Product Development at The Washington Post. Like so many in our changing industry, Victor once designed for print at the Times of Northwest Indiana. He has received two Presidents Awards from The Society for his contributions to the design field. Read the SND CLT interview with Victor

Paul Wallen, Advance Digital Inc.


Print Architect  •  Advance Digital Inc.

Wallen began his career as a U.S. Navy journalist and served aboard the USS America during the Persian Gulf War. Before starting at Advance Digital last spring, he was a Senior Designer at ESPN The Magazine. Over the years Wallen has lived and worked in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, California, Florida and Connecticut. He hopes to someday write a song about his travels, but is still trying to figure out what rhymes with Pennsylvania.



Senior Software Engineer  •  Quartz

Sam Williams is obsessed with rethinking journalism, working with data and making cool things at Quartz. He worked previously at Macmillan Publishers where he worked on various digital products, primarily focused on higher ed learning. He also has an unhealthy obsession with bitcoin and multi-color LED lightbulbs.



Graphics Editor  •  Wall Street Journal

Yeip graduated from Michigan State undergrad in 2000 and received a masters in journalism in 2002. He is now graphics editor for the national politics team at the Wall Street Journal, where he has worked for more than a decade. Yeip has the unique honor of working with all three of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winners and will host a panel discussion with them. Read the SND CLT interview with Yeip

Amanda Zamora


Chief Audience Officer  •  Texas Tribune

Zamora is Chief Audience Officer at the Texas Tribune where she works with the newsroom, design and engineering teams to foster digital engagement and audience understanding. Prior to joining the Tribune, Zamora served as Senior Engagement Editor at ProPublica and National Digital Editor at The Washington Post. Her Dad makes her favorite taco in Texas. Read the SND CLT interview with Zamora.