Industry Involvement

At times it may be as entertaining as rounding up a pack of wild (or not so wild) horses, but being involved, volunteering, Learning More and giving back to the community is always important.

Office for the ADvancement of Free EnterPrise Education in Cooperation with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Economics for Opinion Leaders: Journalism Program

May 2017

Attended two-and-a-half-day economics training seminar for journalists.

Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma

Midwest Reporting Institute on Covering Gun Violence

February 10-11, 2017

Attended two-day training session taught by award-winning journalists, national public health and policy experts, researchers and clinicians, award-winning journalists and prevention advocates and survivors including:

  • Alex Kotlowitz, Author, There Are No Children Here and Co-Director of "The Interrupters"
  • Matthew Miller, ScD, MD, Professor of Epidemiology and Health Sciences at Northeastern University and Co-Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center
  • Ellis Cose, Contributing Writer, USAToday and Author, The Envy of the World and Color-blind
  • Peter Nickeas, Breaking News Reporter, Chicago Tribune
  • Howard Pollack, PhD, Helen Ross Professor at University of Chicago and Co-Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab
  • Joe Nocera, Reporter and Columnist, The New York Times
  • Cheryl W. Thompson, Investigative Reporter, The Washington Post
  • Frank Main, Crime Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Tanya L. Sharpe PhD, MSW, Associate professor at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work
  • Susan B. Sorenson, PhD, Professor of Social Policy and Health & Societies at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Evelyn Ortner Center on Family Violence
  • Jeffrey Swanson, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University
  • Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, Professor in Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health and Director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research

Investigative Reporters AND EDITORS, Society of Professional Journalists, and Google News Training Labs

Storytelling with Google Earth Tools


Attended in-person training seminar at DePaul University taught by IRE, SPJ and Google News Training Labs to learn more about MyMaps, Fusion Tables, Data Scraping and other tools. 

2016 ASJA Writers Conference at The Roosevelt hotel in New York

Moderator, May 2016

Balancing Act: How to Pursue Passion Projects and Big Payouts

Panel discussion coverED:

  • How to strike the right balance by treating your freelance writing career as a business while making time for writing that you truly enjoy
  • How to source different revenue streams including journalism, content marketing and public relations to have a successful career
  • How to evaluate projects and strike a balance from week to week
  • How to decide when to commit to a project and when to decline
  • What passion projects to take on and why
  • How to be a better negotiator

AMerican Society of JOURNALISTS and Authors

SIG (Special Interest Group) 

Leader of MONTH long Course

Topic: Writing for Trade Publications

April 2016

Participants learned how to target an industry or trade publication, discover new markets, trends and niches while developing a plan to increase their trade publication income in 2016. 

Investigative Reporters & Editors

Chicago Watchdog Workshop 

October 2015

Hosted by Columbia College Chicago Journalism Department

IRE offered several core sessions to find information on the Web quickly, point to critical documents and data for more depth in reporters' daily work and produce quick-hit enterprise stories. Workshop sessions also gave tips on investigating inequality in ones community, how to negotiate for records, get sources to open up and much more.

Also attended a solutions journalism workshop taught by New York Times’ Tina Rosenberg. 

Society of Professional Journalists

Narrative Writing Workshop

Tom Hallman, Jr. 

May 2009

Attended training session taught by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tom Hallman, Jr. of the The Oregonian



President, IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT and Board Member, 2007-10 

Served on the board (2007-08) and then supervised as president (2008-09) and as past president (2009-10) the largest Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) chapter in the country with more than 400 members and $134,000 in reserve.

  • Led a board of 24 members including Chicago Tribune managing editor, Associated Press news director and CNN’s Chicago bureau chief.
  • As president, my board and I led the Chicago Headline Club to the Society of Professional Journalists' Outstanding Large Professional Chapter Award, a national accolade for 2008-09 season.
  • Served as club spokesperson. Responded to media requests on industry trends and issues.
  • Orchestrated the annual Peter Lisagor Awards media awards banquet for 300 journalists Chicago which included:
    • Finding a new banquet location (Union League Club)
    • Coordinating more than 800 entries to be judged anonymously in four states
    • Crafting the first multimedia PowerPoint presentation for award recipients
    • Coordinating keynote speaker presentations
    • Writing the script for co-master of ceremonies
    • Giving a president’s “state of the journalism industry” address.
  • Ushered club into the digital age with new website and presence on social media.
  • Oversaw monthly programming including FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) events, “burger nights” at Chicago’s famed Billy Goat restaurant, and gave public assistance both monetary and via public indemnification to jailed journalist, Mike Anzaldi.
  • Wrote, on behalf of the Headline Club, and received a $15,000 grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation to assist investigative reporting projects. 




As president, my board and I led the Chicago Headline Club to a 2009 Circle of Excellence Award for First Amendment/Freedom of Information from the Society of Professional Journalists' national office in Indianapolis.

From SPJ headquarters:

The large chapter honoree for First Amendment and FOI activities is the Chicago Headline Club, which hosted its seventh annual First Amendment Forum in October. The topic of the event was “What do journalists want the next U.S. president and administration to do to insure a free news media?” and several panelists, including the Illinois First Amendment Center and local experts in FOI issues, attended. The chapter also assisted journalist Mike Anzaldi who was charged with resisting and obstructing a police officer. Thanks in part to the chapter’s efforts, Anzaldi was absolved of any wrong-doing.

Society of Professional Journalists
NORTH CENTRAL Florida Pro chapter

Founding BOARD MEMBER, 2005-07 

  • Part of founding board that created the North Central Florida Pro chapter to help the rural region that wasn't previously served by SPJ.
  • Creating local programming and helped to host and launch inaugural awards banquet.



Writing, REporting and Editing Seminar

October 2005

Attended a week long writing, reporting and editing seminar at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida.

  • Seminar was taught by Roy Peter Clark with guest speakers including Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tom French and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Maria Carrillo.

Society of Professional Journalists

Ted Scripps Leadership Institute 

June 2005 

Funded by the Scripps Howard Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists chapter leaders from around the U.S. were brought into Indianapolis for leadership training.  

Society of Professional Journalists
National Office

Founding co-chair, 2004-05 

  • Created and co-chaired the inaugural SPJ Freelance Committee.
  • Created online forum to assist freelance journalists on a national basis.
  • Organized and moderated three panels about freelancing at Society of Professional Journalists National Convention in New York.  
  • Alternated writing columns in Quill, SPJ's bimonthly magazine with co-chair.