And the officer candidates are …

Your candidates for SND officer positions in 2013 are (from top, left to right):

For the position of SND president:
Rob Schneider, The Dallas Morning News (@schneidersnd)

For the position of SND vice president:
David Kordalski, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (@kord)

For the position of SND secretary/treasurer:
Luis Chumpitaz Gonzales, Information G raphic Director, Al Bayan, Dubai, UAE (@luis_chumpitaz)
Adonis Durado, Designer, Times of Oman, Al Shabiba (@adonisdurado)
Lee Steele, Design Editor, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers (@leesteele)

There will be a write-in option for each office. Bios and mission statements from the candidates are below.

How the election will play out: voting will begin Thursday, Sept. 13, and will be conducted electronically (SND members will get an email). Voting is open to all members. Voting will end at midnight on Thursday, Oct. 11; results will be announced at the SND Annual Workshop and Exhibition in Cleveland, on Friday, Oct. 12.

Lapsed or non-members can renew or join before the ballot is issued in order to vote. Renew your membership here.

Questions? Contact Executive Director Stephen Komives at [email protected] The SND bylaws governing the election process is here.


Luis Chumpitaz Gonzales

Professional history: As an intrepid explorer of multi-lingual design and journalism, Luis Chumpitaz has worked for Spanish, English, Arabian, Indian and Chinese media brands over the past 15 years. His work has been recognized by numerous international awards and he has taught visual journalism at universities in the United States, Peru, United Arab Emirates and Spain. In 2007, Luis took up an assignment to promote visual journalism practices at Al Bayan and Emarat Al Youm, two of the most popular Arabic dailies in the United Arab Emirates. Teaching remains a passion of his and so it is no surprise that he is a regular lecturer for SND and IFRA.

SND involvement: Luis has been an active member of SND Middle East for more than five years and is passionate about promoting professional networks and the exchange of ideas with partners in the Middle East and beyond. He regularly holds lectures and master classes at SND conferences. Luis favors a collaborative approach and is dedicated to the highest ethical and creative standards in journalism.

Personal: Luis has discovered Dubai as a place to indulge his professional passion for visual journalism as well as his love of beach life: he practices Yoga and beach volleyball, and is a persevering participant of boot camps.

Priorities for SND: Considering SND’s track record of promoting the standards of news design throughout the world and the fact that its members are among the top figures in their fields, sharing knowledge and giving members the opportunity to develop their professional skills in doing so, is important for the industry as a whole. Furthermore, standards and practices need to evolve with the changing times, while still maintaining the same degree of craftsmanship and professional ethics as in the past.

Key goals:
– To promote SND standards for print and web media around the world, thus attracting more professionals to our organization.
– To deepen the collaboration between different SND branches in order to fully en gage SND’s worldwide network.
– To maintain the rigorous standards in the administration and use of organizational resources.
– To further develop channels of communication with other professional associations such as IFRA or AIGA.
– To encourage open dialogue amongst all members in order to improve the organization.
– Enhancing the quality of SND membership, highlighting the value of the resources available to our members.
– Continuing the improvement path of the SND website.
– To connect members from different regions with new job opportunities around the world.


Adonis Durado

Poet, illustrator and designer, Adonis Durado heads the creative team of Muscat Press and Publishing House (MPPH), publisher of two major dailies in Oman — Times of Oman and the Arabic newspaper, Al Shabiba. His leadership has been instrumental in bringing MPPH publications to global fame by reaping more than 100 international awards, making MPPH one of the most awarded and highly regarded media organizations in the Middle East.

Statement of candidacy:
It’s easy to make promises as any politician would. It’s even tempting to draft rosy, grandiose statements to appeal to SND members. But all I need to say is: I’m a very committed person. Truth is, I’ve never even been elected as a dogcatcher, but I am going to rise to the occasion. So given the opportunity to serve, I will work hard and give my best. I shall put my heart and mind in helping our organization remain relevant and true to its mission. I believe that running an organization is no different from running a creative department. I have a greater wish of bringing my team’s success into a larger arena – into the Society. I am a passionate teacher, a good friend, and a great enemy of mediocrity. If you believe that I can make a difference, please put this faith in your ballot.

Professional history:

— Awarded fellowship from UP National Writers Workshop

— Received scholarship from Japan Multimedia Philippines
— Awarded fellowship from Likhaan Creative Writing Workshop
— Bagged first prize, Bathalad Poetry Writing Contest

— Awarded ‘Emmanuel Lacaba Prize’ for Cebuano poetry by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts
— Got married and became a father

— Finished college with thesis on local newspaper design

— Awarded ‘Outstanding Young Cebuano Writer’ by Faigao Foundation and Cebuano Studies Center
— Designed and launched Cebu! Magazine
— Worked in Saudi Arabia as art director of an ad agency

— Hired as creative director of an ad agency, Studio 7 Designs
— Won grand prize for Marcelo Fernan Press Center logo design
— Worked part-time as design consultant for Cebu Daily News and launched its major redesign
— Designed and launched a travel magazine SouthWall

— Hired as design editor of Al Nisr Media (UAE), publisher of Gulf News. Launched a free weekly tabloid XPRESS with Garcia Media. Also worked with Mario Garcia in redesigning other Al Nisr Media titles.

— Became SND member
— Helped in the launch of Mint, an Indian business paper designed by Garcia Media

— Hired as news presentation director of Emirates 24/7, a business paper launched by Innovations Media Consulting

— Hired as group creative director for American B2B magazines (Instore and Indesign) in Bangkok, Thailand
— Indesign won silver medal in FOLIO’s Eddie Awards
— Published first poetry collection Dili Tanang Matagak Mahagbong (Not All that Falls, Drops)

— Worked as part-time consultant with Peter Ong and Charles Apple for Media 24 publications in South Africa
— Won bronze medal in Tabbie Awards for feature design
— Published second poetry book Minugbo Alang Sa Mugbo og Kalipay (Shorts for the Shortjoyed)
— Designed and launched SPA+ magazine (US)

— Joined as design director of Muscat Press and Publishing House, publisher of Times of Oman and Al Shabiba, plus a dozen of other titles

— Times of Oman and Al Shabiba won 45 awards in SND 32 Creative Competitions, including Judges’ Special Recognition
— MPPH publications bagged two gold from Asian Media Awards and bronze from Malofiej Infographics Award
— Received ‘Award of Excellence’ from Society of Illustrator and from Communication Arts magazine
— Won the SND 32 Book Cover Contest
— Invited speaker to SND Annual Convention (St Louis, Missouri) and served as panelist to Middle East Best of News Design Exhibition (Sharjah, UAE)

— MPPH publications won 50 SND awards. Times of Oman became the first Middle Eastern newspaper to receive gold. Al Shabiba also got silver from Malofiej and gold from Asian Media Award.
— Invited speaker to SND-F Student Symposium (Syracuse, NY), WAN-IFRA First News Design Conference in South Asia (New Delhi, India), 64th World Newspaper Congress (Kiev, Ukraine), and First Middle East News Design Conference (Beirut, Lebanon)
— Served as judge in SND 33
— Designed and launched Business Benchmark magazine (UAE)
— Awarded ‘Writer of the Year’ by Bathalad literary group

Click here for Adonis’ website


Lee Steele

Why I’m running: Ever since I first joined a dozen years ago, SND has been my greatest source of education and inspiration, and a tremendous resource for someone who transitioned from news reporting to news design. I exited newspapers for a few years, working in magazines such as Folio and Golf Digest, but when I returned “home,” the first thing I did was go to and purchase giant binders of every SND publication published in the previous two years. I spent the weekend immersing myself in them. It was priceless. Then I went to every workshop and quick course a plane or car would take me to. I met people, very helpful people, who I would never have met otherwise. Where else would I have gone?

I want young editors and designers today to enjoy the same resources, the same advantages. Today, when newsrooms are cutting back, design departments are often the first area to suffer. Pages still have to be designed, but the people left with the job are often untrained. Again, another reason to feel strongly, even passionately, about SND.

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, and it’s those qualities that I offer today as a candidate for secretary/treasurer.

SND’s strength is its international reach and the diverse mix its membership represents. As someone who comes from small- and medium-sized newsrooms, I am particularly conscious of how important SND is to, say, a young copy editor who wants to be a better page designer. I am also aware of how broadening it is for that young professional to be exposed to designers from larger and more sophisticated news operations. And from newsrooms that are based everywhere from the Middle East to South America. That connection is a gift best offered by SND, and an aspect of the organization that I am committed to preserving.


David Kordalski

Professional history: A visual journalist since the early 1980s, David is currently the AME/Visuals for The Plain Dealer in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to that, he worked at large- (Detroit News), midsize- (Dayton Daily News, South Bend Tribune) and small-circulation dailies (Wooster Daily Record), as well as a weekly or two.

During his tenure, The Plain Dealer visuals team has been recognized by the Society for News Design and other professional organizations in nearly every design, photography, illustration and graphics category.

SND involvement: David has been SND’s Region 4 director and served as the organization’s first Education Committee chair. As a member of the competition committee, he’s often been a facilitator at the annual competition. He was selected as a judge for the 26th edition. He’s an occasional contributor to Design magazine, has spoken at the SND annual workshops in Houston and Orlando and a number of Quick Courses in the U.S. and Canada, and he’s a regular speaker for other professional and student groups. He’s served as host for several Quick Courses. The Plain Dealer is hosting SND’s annual conference in 2012. In 2005, David was proud to have received an SND President’s Award for volunteerism.

Personal: David lives in suburban Cleveland with his wife, Susan, a dog, Beck, two cats, Q and Splinter, and several nameless fish. The Kordalskis have two adult sons, Andy and Kevin. In his spare time David plays indoor softball, builds Arts & Crafts furniture and cultivates Bonsai trees.

Priorities for SND

• Keep moving toward fiscal health. The path has been set; it’s imperative that SND continue the positive steps it has already taken.
• Re-engage old members and fire up new ones, certainly in new or emerging parts of the world, but also in areas where numbers have plummeted. Remind them of the value of networking, of the bond that shared problem-solving and common experience brings.
• Ensure that the value of membership is obvious by following through on what is promised.
• Develop greater partnerships with other professional organizations, not just for financial efficiency, but as a way of breathing new life into SND.
• Redouble efforts toward a more diverse membership.
• Build SND’s rather prodigious volume of material into an academic resource.
• Continue improving the website.
• Bring journalism fully back into the discussion, and continue to offer ways for people to cope in an ever-changing environment.
• Open a dialogue with membership to find out what ideas they have to improve the organization.
• Present old standards like the contest book using 21st century tools.
• Continue refining the workshop model.

Why SND is important, and why all members should vote for SND leadership: SND is not only an investment in our own careers; it’s also an investment in the careers of those who follow, and a repayment for the kindnesses of those who preceded us. A professional society is only as strong as its membership. A high voting percentage is one of the lynchpins of a healthy organization, because it signifies those members are active, engaged and informed. Simply put, you have a stake in the direction of SND when you select leadership. That’s why I’m not asking you to vote for me. But I am asking you to vote.

Remember, only active members can vote, so if you’ve let your membership lapse, go here to renew.


Rob Schneider

WHAT HE’S DONE: As secretary/treasurer and vice president the past two years, Rob has focused on refining and improving SND’s financial model so that it is stable and workable well into the future. And while SND leadership and especially Stephen Komives should be commended for their hard work in this area, there is still a great deal more work to do, especially in coming up with a viable membership model for the long haul. Rob also revised and improved SND’s sponsorship model for the annual workshop, an initiative that is paying immediate dividends and will serve SND well into the future.

In 2013, Rob wants to continue improving SND’s financial model but also:

HELP DEFINE SND’S FUTURE: As our industry continues to make radical changes, the Society also needs to continue to adjust its course. Our revenue from membership is greatly diminished than it was just a few years ago (as publications no longer have the money to support their employees’ memberships, we are now counting on more and more members to pay for themselves to be a member, attend a workshop, enter a competition, etc.) so that has forced us to radically rethink our previous financial model. But at the same time we need to also think about what SND’s mission should be going forward. With the help of the SND leadership and the board, we will do just that and adjust accordingly.

SO WHAT DOES ROB THINK SHOULD SND’S MISSION BE? “In my mind, our top priority should be outreach, especially to our membership but also to the international news design community as well. Our industry has seen so much chaos in the past few years, and we’ve lost any significant visual voices or forums to discuss those pressing matters. Absent of any real debate, we have largely turned inward in our approach to design and the way it is used. One of the results has been design that thrives on the concept of, “What can I do with this content?” instead of, “What’s the best way to present this content.”  SND needs to be the leading visual journalism voice in the world to help us understand what we are now doing and why we are doing it. In other words, SND needs to get back to the reason it was founded in the first place. SND is a volunteer-based organization and serving as an officer is an honor and a privilege. There is a great deal of sacrifice for the greater good, especially in a time where our jobs are harder and more taxing than ever. I know what SND has done for my career and for thousands of others. If SND can’t continue to serve its mission well into the future, then little else matters, especially who was president in 2013. We have an obligation to our membership, to our newsrooms and to the design community as a whole. I’m optimistic about SND’s future because I’ve seen the good that the Society can do. I promise SND will continue to be that voice for good in the future.”

Other priorities for 2013:

INCREASE DIGITAL OFFERINGS: SND needs to focus on building resources that can improve the quality and quantity of offerings on as well as creating more interactive digital products for SND (by seeking out grants or finding other cost-effective or cost-neutral methods). This will help the organization serve its membership even better and extend its reach to more visual journalists around the world. These items can not only better display the results of our annual print and digital competitions but also help tell the history of news design through our impressive archived content.

MEMBERSHIP: SND needs to continue working on retaining current members (by stressing the value of membership but also by making it more valuable) but also reaching out to past members to find out what can get them back. In addition, the organization needs to pursue all of the new avenues for members.

TRAINING: SND needs to refocus on providing low or no cost training to its members (again, to increase the value of membership) that emphasizes the journalism of our craft as well as the tools to get the job done.

CONFERENCE: The leadership of SND CLE is doing a wonderful job radically rethinking our workshop model, and we will continue to refine and refocus that model for SND Louisville in 2013 (based on what our membership tells us they want.)

COMPETITIONS: SND has done impressive work the past few years remaking the digital and print competitions and Rob wants to continue those improvements, especially in finding better and bolder ways to present the findings but also finding an even more authoritative way for the judges to speak about the contest results as a whole and what they mean for the previous year in print and digital design. In 2013, SND will have students produce a print and digital version of the Best of News Design annual.

WORKING ON A GLOBAL LEVEL: Rob thinks SND must continue to balance the training and membership needs of the international and U.S. contingents as well as all of SND’s collegiate affiliates. Rob wants SND to continue to be a resource for journalism education worldwide and constantly find ways to improve the organization’s membership experience in ways that educate as well as inform our global audience.

If you have any questions or ideas on how SND can improve, please email Rob at [email protected] Or please seek him out at our annual workshop in Cleveland.

ABOUT ROB: He is in charge of design, graphics and illustration for The Dallas Morning News. Rob has led successful redesigns of the DMN, The Providence Journal and various other print and digital products. Previously, he was an editor, designer, writer, photographer, copy editor and sports editor for newspapers in Missouri (St. Joseph News-Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and Nebraska (Omaha World-Herald.) His work has been awarded by The Society for News Design, Malofiej, Communication Arts, Illustrator’s Annual, PRINT magazine and other state and regional journalism competitions.

Rob has been faithful and passionate servant of the Society for News Design since 1997. He has been a regular volunteer and a judge at the creative competition in Syracuse and a speaker and volunteer at various annual workshops. Rob has organized and hosted several SND Quick Courses in Texas and has been a featured speaker for SND and other organizations at events around the country.

About Stephen Komives

Previously served as Executive Director of the Society for News Design, from 2009–2019.

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