Your choice: Presenting the 2017 SND officer candidates

We’re pleased to introduce you to this year’s candidates for the 2016 SND offices of secretary-treasurer, vice president and president. Voting is open to all SND members and will begin on Sept. 26.

There will be a write-in option for each office. Candidate bios are below.


How and who votes: The election is conducted electronically (SND members will get an email). Voting is open to all members. Election results are tallied by a third-party administrator, LLC, overseen by James Claiborne, Managing Partner.

Voting deadline: Voting will end at 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 7
The results: Results will be posted on on Tuesday, Nov. 8

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.


For the position of SND president:

Douglas Okasaki, The Gulf News (Dubai)

For the position of SND vice president:
Tyson Evans, The New York Times

For the position of SND secretary/treasurer:
Bonita Burton, VP & Executive Editor, The Villages (Fla.) Daily Sun
Paige Connor, Product Manager, at CQ Roll Call (Washington D.C.)



Bonita Burton

Position Statement:Membership in SND is the key to a very special door. Walk through, and you’ll be embraced by a community of tremendous talent and incredible generosity. You’ll get extraordinary access to the rich expertise of industry heavyweights and the kinetic energy of students. You’ll meet kindred spirits who think just like you, and you’ll be intellectually challenged by radicals who think nothing like you. SND membership is rocket fuel for creative growth.
Members are united across disciplines, across publishing platforms and across the globe by a bottomless passion for re-invention. I am a product of this creative colony and a long-time advocate for its ideals.
The SND network is so magnetic because it’s so communal. People you may never work with professionally will invest in your skill development and cheer your career advancement. Many will become personal friends for life.
One of the best benefits of belonging is global exposure. The biggest leadership challenge for SND is expanding its reach among an increasingly complex international constituency. It will require an unprecedentedly aggressive approach to both technology and groundwork to send the message that every member matters.
What an exciting opportunity. Thanks for considering me as someone to help find and open more of those doors.

Bio: Bonita Burton is VP and Executive Editor of The Villages Daily Sun, America’s fastest growing daily newspaper. Her 20-year association with SND has heavily influenced her career, and the journalists under her direction are known for defying the status quo.
Previously, Bonita was Deputy Managing Editor at the Orlando Sentinel where she led the design, editing and photo/video teams into the digital age. She drove several cross-market innovations and was named to Presstime’s 20 Under 40 list of young newsroom leaders “who are proven change agents within the industry.”
Before Orlando, Bonita worked in California newsrooms, joining the small core team that redesigned the San Jose Mercury News and earned SND’s “World’s Best Designed Newspaper” distinction. She has also been a guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and several universities.
Bonita served on SND’s board for nine years as a regional director, quick course trainer, competition judge and host of the annual workshop. She was elected vice president in 2009 and helped ensure successful workshops in China, Austria, Finland, Spain and Argentina. She also helmed the search for new headquarters, implemented financial controls that reversed years of deficit spending and co-authored SND’s first successful $25,000 grant proposal.
Work under Bonita’s direction has earned multiple SND awards, including four gold and three silver medals. But she says her best creations are her 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.



Paige Connor

Goals for SND: To ensure that Society for News Design serves its members and the global design community, our focus should be on the needs of our members–their growth, education and opportunities–as well as the constantly changing environment of our industry. While print design is still an important component of our industry, we need to continue to embrace digital and other new technologies, increase our knowledge and expertise in all areas of design and help our members lead the future of news design. This can only be accomplished with a commitment to our members and their futures, and our constant drive to be leaders in all areas of our industry. At the core of this should be the principles of design thinking, in both teaching–and in practice–within our organization. We should be open to ideas from all areas within our organization, giving voice to those just entering our industry as well as to those who have seen all of the changes in our industry. We should be collaborative and innovative, not afraid to create the path forward, but also not afraid to take informed risks. We should emerge as thought leaders in visual communication, focused on human-centered design no matter its medium. And we should support each other in helping to rise to the challenges within our industry.

Our initial goals as an organization should be:

• Better support our members with more opportunities to come together as a community. Provide an environment where they can network, communicate, share ideas and collaborate openly. Establish programs that connect younger members of our industry with more senior members so they can equally learn from and help each other grow. The connections, education and opportunities that SND provides should be essential to the careers of its members.
• Expand our reach to other areas of the global design community that may not be aware of SND. Create networking and event opportunities with other organizations related directly and indirectly to our industry. Continue to reach out to colleges and universities to create relationships with them and their students, who are the future of SND. Create an international community, seeking ideas and input from our international members, and more prominently recognize the innovative work from around the world.
• Develop a continual education cycle through events — not just focused within major cities. Our annual workshop should be the keystone event for our organization, where we look at our industry from a 50,000 foot view, focusing on where our industry has been and what it will be in the future. Establish affordable quarterly regional workshops that are more discipline-focused, hands-on and educational for members, where disciplines are determined each year based on the trends within our industry. Provide opportunities online for education, free to members but also available to non-members for a fee. Create new training focused on human-centered design, change management and how to better understand the needs of our audiences.
• Continue to develop relationships and partnerships with companies, services and sponsors. There is a cost to providing services via SND. Establishing partnerships with services to provide our members with the tools needed to be leaders in our industry. For example, long-term partnerships with companies that provide change-management services to our members at a discount rate. Rethink our approach to event funding through levels of sponsorship opportunities tied to the annual and quarterly workshops that will creating a pipeline for our organization so we can continue to meet the needs of our members. Host high-profile events to highlight the benefits of SND to our sponsors and help further develop our relationships with them. Further develop a business strategy designed to revamp our organizational structure and budget, focused on solutions that will sustain the organization and its member programs for years to come.

Bio: Paige Connor has been championing the craft of design — and the Society for News Design’s role in visually explaining the news — since college, when she joined Ball State University’s SND chapter as a student in 2000. She’s been active in SND ever since.
Paige currently serves on SND’s board as the Membership Director. She’s developing a multi-year strategy to increase awareness about what SND does and enabling those who benefit from SND events and outreach to see the value of membership and being part of SND’s global community.
Paige’s passion for helping members connect has put her on the front lines at the two most recent annual workshops, where she has been the overall volunteer coordinator. In both Washington and San Francisco, Paige worked to produce the best in breed design conferences that members expect from SND.
She continues that outreach, working with workshop co-chairs in Charlotte for next year’s annual event, pushing for a community of inclusion as the conference evolves and has greater emphasis on motivating teams and managing for success.
For her commitments and work at SNDDC and SNDSF, Paige received President’s Awards for excellence in volunteerism for both workshops. In addition to volunteer coordinating for SNDCLT, she is also working with various board members on sponsorship for the conference and SND as an organization.
Paige has earned SND honors for her portfolio, as well as other awards for her design work throughout her career, which includes stints on the cross-platform team at Bloomberg, design director for Politico, assistant sports editor for the Washington Times and art director for two magazines.

Website: Paige SND 2017
Twitter: @paigekconnor



Tyson Evans

Tyson Evans is an editor for newsroom strategy at The New York Times. Previously, he was a deputy editor of The Times’s interactive news team and a design editor at the Las Vegas Sun. He has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the at Stanford and his work has been recognized by SND, ONA, IRE, J-Lab and Editor & Publisher.

Tyson has served on the SND board since 2010. He co-chaired the Society’s 2008 Workshop in Las Vegas, overhauled SND’s digital presence, led a series of bootcamp and Quick Course training sessions and helped launch, facilitate and judge its annual Best of Digital News Design competition.

Beyond involvement with SND, Tyson served as the programming chair for the Online News Association’s annual conference in 2010 and is the president of the Bridget O’Brien Scholarship Foundation, which funds international student reporting projects. He is a graduate of UCLA’s Design Media Arts program.



Douglas Okasaki

Douglas Okasaki believes that everybody was born to be happy and to shine in their lives. To discover what your passion in life is the first step for it. “I am really blessed to find myself in my work I love. The incredible life experience though my profession is the reason I am volunteering for SND. I received a lot from SND in terms of experiences, good memories and they are very rewarding and I felt the need to give back – to provide my time and efforts, commitment and dedication as SND volunteer,” said Douglas.

Douglas started as infographic artist in Folha de S.Paulo, the biggest newspaper in Brazil. In the same country, Douglas worked in almost all well known Brazilian publishing companies – O Globo (Rio de Janeiro), Editora Abril, Jornal da Tarde (Sao Paulo) and A Tarde (Salvador).

In 1996 Douglas became one of the first designers in Brazil to work online, at Universo Online, that time was the start of the open internet in Brazil. “When they called me they said you will work for web. It is completely different. You click and things happen …”

In 2003 when Douglas accepted to work at the International Press, a publishing house in Tokyo (Japan) and then Gulf News in Dubai. In the United Arab Emirates, Douglas became the first SND regional director for region 20 Middle East and Africa. As a regional director, Douglas spoke about the importance of design at conferences in Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and South Africa.


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