2013 Minority Leadership Institutes

At ASNE Convention, June 23-24

Meet the fellows!


Melissa Clay
Senior Editor/Designer, Chicago Tribune 
Melissa Clay is senior editor and designer at the Chicago Tribune. She currently manages the features section designers and also helps develop ideas for new sections and products for Tribune Company. Previously, she worked as a designer and copy editor at Newsday. She has also edited and designed for the Stamford Advocate. She has a degree in political science and journalism from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fl.





John de Leon 
Assistant Metro Editor/ Criminal Justice, The Seattle Times

John de Leon, 56, has held a variety of editing positions in his 22 years at The Seattle Times. For the past eight years, he has overseen the newspaper’s criminal-justice coverage and was a member of the team that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. A 34-year newspaper veteran, he was previously an assistant metro editor for The Fresno (Calif.) Bee, a criminal-justice reporter for the Fremont (Neb.) Tribune and the San Bernardino (Calif.) County Sun and a general-assignment reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers in Southern California. He is a Los Angeles native and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.



Sharyn Flanagan 
Copy Editor, USA Today
Sharyn L. Flanagan is a multimedia editor with more than 20 years of experience. She works as a rim and slot editor at USA Today in the news department and also spent two years on the sports department’s copy desk. Flanagan was also news editor of The Philadelphia Tribune, business/education editor of the Bucks County Courier Times and city editor of the Tallahassee Democrat. She also worked as a copy editor at The Lansdale Reporter. Flanagan participates in and conducts editing workshops for the American Copy Editors Society, the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Newspaper Publishers Association.



Eric Goodwin
Senior Designer, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Senior Designer Eric Goodwin has worked at McClatchy-Tribune Information Services in Washington, D.C., since 1999. During his time at MCT, Eric has done a little bit of everything, from writing feature stories and editing MCT's "Plugged In" personal technology package to designing paginated pages and interactive graphics. Raised in Maryland, Eric was studying architecture at Virginia Tech when his freshman roommate talked him into joining the university's yearbook organization. He's been hooked on media ever since. Husband to a beautiful wife and father to two lovely daughters, Eric resides in Northern Virginia.



Irvin Harrell
Urban Editor, The Virginian-Pilot
Irvin Harrell has been the urban editor at The Virginian-Pilot since December. Irvin has 25 years of experience with several newspapers, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he worked as a night city editor, political editor, assistant business editor, and director of community outreach and newsroom recruitment. He was president of the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists for four years and served on the board of the Diversity Awareness Partnership for about four years. He is a national member of the National Association of Black Journalists and currently serves on the Virginia Press Association's Professional Development Committee. Irvin grew up in Miami and received his journalism degree from the University of Florida, where he serves on the journalism school advisory board.


Vonna Keomanyvong
Digital Managing Editor, Naples Daily News
Vonna Keomanyvong is the digital managing editor at the Naples Daily News. She joined the Naples Daily News in 2006 as an online evening editor. In 2013, she was named digital managing editor. Prior to the Naples Daily News, she worked at the Lawrence Journal-World as a web producer. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. As a student, she held reporting internships at the Kansas City Star and the Wausau Daily Herald. Vonna is of Laotian descent and was born in the Philippines but grew up in Kansas City, Kan. When she's not tinkering with HTML, she enjoys hanging out with her two dogs. 



Yvonne Leow
Video Editor, Digital First Media

Yvonne Leow leads the online video strategy at Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, where she works with product, sales, mobile and technology teams to streamline video production across 75 daily newspapers. Prior to Digital First Media, Yvonne was the west regional video producer at the Associated Press, where she coordinated enterprise and breaking news stories, such as the SB-1070 immigration debate in Phoenix and Congresswoman Gabby Giffords' shooting in Tucson. She is a national board member of the Asian American Journalists Association and is a proud graduate of UCLA. She lives in New York City. 



Thomas Ray Martinez
Managing Editor/Digital, Victoria Advocate
Thomas Ray Martinez leads the newsroom’s digital effort at the Victoria Advocate. His main goal is to transform the newsroom from a print-centric workflow to a digital-first production. He’s also on a team that is re-designing the Advocate’s two main news sites: victoriaadvocate.com and advosports.com. Thomas’ focus has always been on community journalism because writing and editing stories about people in the community are vital to its mission. He has been a reporter and editor at newspapers in Texas, Colorado and Oregon, among others. He is a Denver, Colo., native and a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado.



Delano Massey
Metro Editor, Lexington Herald-Leader
Delano Massey is the metropolitan editor at the Lexington Herald-Leader, a Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper. He works closely with the paper's reporters to plan coverage, pursue breaking news and seek out enterprise stories. Delano has managed coverage of everything from ice storms and tornadoes to the Kentucky Derby and riotous behavior surrounding the University of Kentucky’s NCAA championship. As a reporter, Delano covered cops, courts and city issues, and he has authored several enterprise and feature stories. A graduate of the University of Akron in his home state of Ohio, Delano won numerous awards for breaking news, general news and investigative journalism.



Melinda Morales
Interim Executive Editor, Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register
Morales is the interim executive editor of the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register newspapers, publications of Gannett Co. She oversees local news coverage for the two daily newspapers. She began her career in journalism as a freelance writer at the Pacific Daily News in Guam. She has been with Gannett for 13 years. In 2008, she was named the Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year for her professional contributions to the Hispanic community, and in 2010 she was among four Latina journalists to be recognized for outstanding contributions in media.



Douglas Rojas-Sosa
Night News Editor, El Nuevo Herald

Douglas Rojas-Sosa was born in Venezuela. He came to the United States in 1994 when he was 19 years old to study at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in mass communication. His journalism experience includes working for The St. Cloud (Minn.) Times as nation/world editor from 2001 to 2004; The Miami Herald as copy editor and page designer from 2005 to 2012; and El Nuevo Herald as copy editor, page designer and senior web producer from 2009 to present. In May 2013, he was named night news editor for El Nuevo Herald where he oversees the front page and online and mobile news content. 
 
 

Cherie Speller
Associate Editor, The Daily Reflector 

Cherie Speller is associate editor for community news and readership at The Daily Reflector in Greenville, N.C. She has worked as a reporter, copy editor, features editor and promotions manager at The Daily Reflector and other North Carolina newspapers, including the Greensboro News & Record and The Fayetteville Observer. She was initially responsible for coordinating readership initiatives and reader-submitted news, but when she returned to the newsroom in 2006, her duties became more associated with those of a city editor for example managing budgets and supervising reporters. Cherie is a native of Greensboro, N.C., and is a journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Stephanie Stoughton 
Contracting Team Leader, Bloomberg News 
Stephanie Stoughton has been a team leader at Bloomberg News since 2010 and now manages a small yet busy team of reporters covering the more than $500 billion flowing to U.S. government contractors. Before working for Bloomberg, Stephanie was a news editor at the Associated Press in Washington and a business writer for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Virginian-Pilot.





Doris Truong 
Multiplatform Editor, The Washington Post

Doris Truong is a multiplatform editor at The Washington Post, where she has worked since 2003. She is the winner of the 2013 Robinson Prize from the American Copy Editors Society, which recognizes exceptional effectiveness in editing. She was part of The Post’s 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning team on the Jack Abramoff investigation. A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Doris was 2011-12 president of the Asian American Journalists Association and is currently vice president of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. Doris has been a guest faculty member at the Poynter Institute, has presented to multiple journalism groups and is a Smithsonian-exhibited photographer.



Ron Wade
News Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 

Ron Wade is news editor in charge of putting out the daily and Sunday papers. He joined the Post-Dispatch in 2006 as night metro zoning coordinator. Ron has been a copy editor, news editor, assistant managing editor, Sunday editor and deputy sports editor. He has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Louisville Times, Newsday, Buffalo Courier-Express, Washington Post, Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press and Philadelphia Inquirer. He has been a faculty member and director of the Editing Program for Minority Journalists and has served as an editor for several student-produced convention newspapers, including the first ASNE convention paper in 1990, the first NABJ student paper a year later and the first APSE student paper in 1993.


Kevin Yamamura

Assistant City Editor, The Sacramento Bee 
Kevin Yamamura is an assistant city editor for The Sacramento Bee. He previously worked in The Bee's Capitol Bureau for more than a decade, covering the state budget crisis, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and several legislative and gubernatorial campaigns. He also spent one year as a traveling beat writer covering the Oakland A's. He is a Sacramento native and Cornell University graduate.






At EIJ/NAHJ, Aug. 23-24

Meet the fellows!


Candace Begody
Editor, Navajo Times
In July 2012, Candace Begody became the first female and youngest editor of the Navajo Times newspaper, the largest Native American owned and operated newspaper in the world, which is based in Window Rock, Ariz. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona in Tucson in May 2010, with a minor in American Indian Studies. Begody also attended the American Indian Journalism Institute, an intensive workshop sponsored by the Freedom Forum at the University of South Dakota in June 2007 and is a Chips Quinn Scholar. She has worked at The Tombstone Epitaph as the chief copy editor and environmental reporter in Tucson, Ariz., the University of Arizona HealthCare Partnership as an editor associate, the Detroit News as a metro reporter, the Tucson Citizen and The Missoulian as an in Missoula, Mont.

 

 Rodrigo Cervantes
Editor General,  Mundo Hispánico

Rodrigo Cervantes is the editor of Mundo Hispánico, Georgia’s oldest and largest Hispanic newspaper. He has worked as a reporter, special correspondent and special sections coordinator for Reforma, and he contributes as opinion writer for the paper and for other media, including CNN. He has won several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, and the Outstanding Alumni Medal from the School of Journalism and Communication of the ITESM. In 2010, he was appointed by Cox Media Group to become one of the first members of the CMG Diversity Advisory Group.



Theresa Cisneros
City/ Web Editor, Orange County Register
Theresa Cisneros is a city editor for the Orange County Register, where she oversees websites and weekly newspapers covering the cities of Tustin and Santa Ana, Calif. In her 14 years with the company, she has served in various capacities, including as a reporter, blogger and designer. For the past five years, she’s served on the Register's Diversity Committee, which aims to bring diversity to the newsroom and the paper's coverage of Orange County.





Mariel Garza 
Opinion Editor/Community Coordinator, Los Angeles News Group

Mariel Garza is opinion editor of the Los Angeles News Group, nine daily newspapers in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. She has more than 20 years as a working journalist, as a reporter and editor for newspapers, magazines and even a dot-com in the heady days of online startups. She has worked for MediaNews since 2001. She joined the editorial pages of the L.A. Daily News in 2003 as an editorial writer and columnist who focused on Los Angeles and state politics. Five years later, she became editorial page editor, and then editor for all the LANG opinion content in 2012. 





Maricar Estrella Hastings
Deputy Managing Editor/Community Engagement, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Maricar Estrella is the deputy managing editor for community engagement at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram where she leads the newsroom's strategic efforts on social networking. She's also an online editor for Star-Telegram.com and its network of web sites. In 2008, she helped launch the Star-Telegram’s parenting site, mom2momdfw.com, and is still an administrator/blogger for the site. She's been a newspaper journalist for more than 20 years. After graduating from Syracuse University, she took a soul-searching trip to her birthplace, the Philippines. Then, she focused on her career in exotic places such as Wilmington, Del., and Milwaukee, Wis. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband and two sons. 




Thomas Martinez
Editor for the university sections, The Orange County Register 
Orange County Register editor Thomas Martinez oversees the daily metro newspaper’s standalone university sections, which highlight the people, research, teaching, athletics and campus life of three prominent institutions of higher learning. In his 11 years at The Register, Martinez has held various writing, editing and technical roles, including helping newsroom staff learn best practices for online publishing and building the company’s digital presence. 






Jim Medina
Managing Editor, Ventura County Star

Jim Medina oversees the day-to-day operations of the Ventura County Star newsroom, a diverse group of veteran editors, seasoned multimedia journalists, award-winning photographers and young reporters. It's nearly an around-the-clock news outlet that is committed to a four-platform philosophy: mobile, tablet, web and print. As managing editor, he sets the tone and direction of news coverage. He has had previous fellowships at the Poynter Institute and University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.  



 

Robert Meeks
Video Director, Los Angeles News Group

Robert Meeks is a graduate of Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He started working at the Press-Telegram in 2006. Since then, he has produced award-winning news videos and interactive web content. He also launched the pop culture blog “Modern Mythology.”







Mariecar Mendoza
Features Digital Director, Los Angelas News Group
Mariecar Mendoza is a features digital director for Los Angeles News Group, which focuses on covering the music, food and festival scenes of Los Angeles County for the group’s nine publications. Mendoza took on the digital leadership role after less than a year as a general assignment multimedia reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News. Previously, Mendoza worked as a multimedia reporter for The Desert Sun, in Palm Springs, for nearly six years covering everything from city hall and courts to film and music festivals. She is an elected board member for the Asian American Journalist Association Los Angeles Chapter and is on the executive committee for the organization's V3 Digital Media Conference, which is scheduled for June 21.
 



Moana Ramirez
Executive Producer, Univision Television Group, KMEX-32
Moana Ramirez is the executive producer of Primera Edicion and Unimas. She has also worked at the assignment desk and served as assignment editor and producer. Ramirez’s prime accomplishments include playing a pivotal role in the historical coverage in Central America, which included interviewing the presidents of each country. She was also part of the team that was recognized for a National Emmy for the station’s A Su Lado campaign and has won several Emmys. 






Cindy Rodriguez
Editor for Latino Audiences, CNN Digital 
Cindy has been blazing a trail for herself in media ever since 2006. Her freelance career has included production work for NBC, public relations for the NFL, event coordination for MediaBistro.com, online production for American Express publishing and a contributor for LivinginPeru.com. One of her greatest successes was helping launch HuffPost's LatinoVoices in August 2011. Now, she is the editor for Latino audiences at CNN helping produce more content across the network for Hispanics in the U.S.