2015 panelists

Lisa Abeyta currently serves as Founder and CEO of APPCityLife, Inc., a civic tech corporation focused on connecting cities and people globally through a patented platform delivering mobile solutions for cities, non-profits and small businesses. Lisa is also cofounder of Hautepreneurs, LLC, the premier network for women entrepreneurs in New Mexico, as well as HauteHopes, a nonprofit focused on helping women become financially independent by providing access to mentoring, scholarships and training. She is a featured IconNext blogger for Huffington Post.

Abeyta serves on the Small Business Advisory Council for NM Congresswoman Michelle Grisham and the Albuquerque Women’s Entrepreneur and Business Council. She is the recipient of the 2014 Women In Technology Recognition award and was named a 2014 Woman of Influence. She has served as a judge for the Stevie Business Awards for Women in 2014 and 2013. She is a frequent participant and speaker in events and summits focused on smart cities, civic tech, STEM and women in tech.

Lisa’s previously ran a successful freelance writing business, where she earned multiple awards and had her byline published in a wide variety of publications including Writer’s Market and Writer’s Digest as well as a humor column in the Albuquerque Tribune.

Santiago Carlos Ayulo is assistant managing editor for presentation at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is responsible for the print look of the paper and editing quality across all platforms. He manages the print design and copy desk staffs. He also coordinates online visuals with graphic department.

He’s been at the Post-Dispatch for almost ten years where he started as the sports design director. During that time he and his staff have won numerous Society for News Design awards. He has served a judge for the SND annual contest and college annual contests.

Before arriving in St. Louis, Carlos worked for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as the lead sports designer. Prior to Atlanta, he got his professional break at The Albuquerque Journal. He started there as an intern, and through some lucky breaks, he was asked to stay on staff as a sports designer after only eight weeks.

He created some of that luck by working at the Daily Lobo from 1997-2001. During his tenure in ‘The Backshop’, he was a production assistant for the newsroom and advertising departments. A few semesters later he became the Design Director. He is responsible for designing the current New Mexico Daily Lobo flag with former design guru Ryan Wallace.

Robert Browman is the crime and breaking news producer and digital editor of the Albuquerque Journal.

Before coming to the Journal, he served as senior producer at the New York-based multimedia production company MediaStorm, where he produced stories and helped build all aspects of the online publication and production company from the ground up.

Prior to MediaStorm, Browman served as senior editor of news at Corbis in New York City, where he built a team of world-class multimedia journalists to serve industry-leading publications worldwide.

Before moving to New York, he was a multimedia producer at MSNBC.com in Seattle, first working on the fast-paced, 24-hour breaking news desk, and then on the special projects team telling long-form multimedia stories.

During the course of his career as a journalist, he has won an Emmy Award, has been nominated for another, and his work has been awarded three times by the Webby Awards, which the New York Times hails as the “Oscars of the Internet”.

In his two years at the Journal, his team has received both a national EPPY Award and an Inland Press Award for work on Albuquerque Police Department shootings, and two breaking news awards by the New Mexico Press Association.

Susan Boe became the executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government in January, 2014.
She is an attorney and was a partner at Faegre & Benson, a 500-lawyer firm headquartered in Minneapolis. She also has been general counsel for a large real estate company and an officer of an insurance company, where she was investor relations vice president and helped to take the company public.

Prior to her legal career, Susan was a journalist and worked for the Corpus Christi Caller Times and the San Antonio Express News. She also was a public information officer for the University of Texas and The Ohio State University.

For several years, Susan taught a graduate seminar in journalism ethics at Drake University and taught media law at the University of New Mexico School of Communication and Journalism.

Sam Donaldson is a native of New Mexico who was raised on a farm in Dona Ana County. He is a high school graduate of New Mexico Military Institute and received a BA from Texas Western College (now UTEP). He served two and a half years on active duty in the U. S. Army and achieved the rank of Captain in the USAR.

Donaldson was a news reporter based in Washington from February1961 to October 2013, and was employed by ABC News from 1967 to 2013. He has covered every presidential election beginning in 1964, with the campaign of Barry Goldwater.

Donaldson covered the war in Vietnam and the First Gulf War, he was ABC’s Watergate Correspondent, was twice chief White House correspondent covering presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton, co-anchored the ABC magazine program Prime Time Live with Diane Sawyer, co-anchored the Sunday program This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts and was the founding anchor of Politics Live, the first regularly scheduled Monday through Friday news program in the United States on the Internet.

Donaldson has ranching interests in New Mexico and now lives in Albuquerque.

Sandra Fish is a data journalist focused on money in politics for New Mexico In Depth. She’s reported on politics for Colorado Public Radio, the Washington Post’s She the People, I-News Network, Politics Daily and the Colorado Independent. Fish worked as an instructor at the University of Colorado’s journalism program for eight years, pioneering courses on entrepreneurial media and data journalism. She also worked at newspapers as an editor and reporter in Carroll, Iowa; Jacksonville, Fla.; Orlando; and Boulder, Colo., her current home base.

Matt Grubs is a reporter with KRQE’s Special Assignment investigative team. Since joining the station, he has exposed serious problems with the Bernalillo County Treasurer’s investment strategy, revealed that the state’s Pipeline Bureau Chief was unqualified for the job and waded deep into the APD use of force quagmire.

Matt grew up in Minnesota, graduated from Colorado College and has worked at network affiliates in Dallas, Orlando, Minneapolis and Grand Junction, Colorado.

Bryant Furlow has used public records requests to report on lax state regulation of the insurance industry, the impact of hospital budget cuts on ambulance response times, and workplace safety violations prior to a deadly explosion at a N.M. oil refinery. His public records-based reporting on procurement irregularities and missing lab test results at Bernalillo’s town water treatment plant led to the halt of a $9 million construction project in 2010 and the state’s successful intervention to bring the town’s water quality into compliance with the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. Bryant has written for the Rio Grande SUN, New Mexico Independent, New Mexico Business Weekly, Veritas New Mexico, and numerous science magazines and medical journals. He has received awards for investigative journalism and journalism education.

Leota Harriman has spent most of her life in New Mexico, where she had the good fortune to trip one day and land in her dream job as a journalist. Since then, she went from working for a small community newspaper to owning it after an employee buyout agreement with its prior owner. Leota is now co-owner, editor and publisher of The Independent, based in Edgewood and covering the East Mountains and Estancia Valley. She is one of the few women at the head of a news organization in New Mexico.

Heath Haussamen is an award-winning journalist who ran the nationally recognized political news website NMPolitics.net for almost seven years before helping start New Mexico In Depth. He has also worked at the Las Cruces Sun-News, Santa Fe New Mexican and New Mexico Independent. He’s a native New Mexican who grew up in Santa Fe and now lives in Las Cruces, and is a 2003 graduate of New Mexico State University.

Heath loves to spend time with his family and in nature and has many interests, including religion, politics and philosophy. He’s a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy books, movies and TV shows. He loves to learn, explore and find common ground with others. You can follow him on Twitter @haussamen, find him on Facebook by clicking here, or e-mail him at heath@nmindepth.com. You can visit his homepage here.

During the last 30 years, Mark Holm worked at seven newspapers in five states, first as a staff photographer, then as a photo editor. Since the closing of the Albuquerque Tribune, in February of 2008 and then of the Rocky Mountain News exactly a year later, Holm has been freelancing. His assignments range from the Guadalupe County Communicator, in Santa Rosa, NM, to The New York Times. In addition to other editorial work, he also does other photography including weddings and other photos for various clients. Holm is married to former AP newsperson Joan Goessl, who teaches now high school English and journalism. They have three kids on the front end of their 20’s. Originally from the midwest, the couple has lived in Albuquerque for 27 years.

Megan Kamerick has been a journalist for 20 years. She worked at business weeklies in San Antonio, New Orleans and most recently at the New Mexico Business Weekly (now called Albuquerque Business First). She is now a producer and host at KNME/New Mexico PBS and also an independent radio producer at KUNM. She has done stories for NPR and Latino USA, and continues to do freelance writing as well. Megan is also the former president of the Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) and has a special interest in women and media, a topic she addressed in two TED talks.

Lillian J. Kelly is a multimedia storyteller who has worked as reporter, copy editor, graphic designer, editor, photographer, video journalist across media — print, radio and Web.

Having grown up in Aztec, N.M., she has strong ties to the Four Corners area and works to document its history, landscape and unique cultural mix. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from New Mexico State University and her master’s degree in photojournalism from The Missouri School of Journalism.

While once an Aggie, always an Aggie, she is proud to teach multimedia journalism — writing/editing, photography, audio and video — in UNM’s Department of Communication and Journalism, where she serves as full-time faculty. She encourages her students to think beyond today’s media landscape in order to innovate for tomorrow.

Melanie J. Majors has been an active member of the communication industry in New Mexico for nearly three decades. She started her career as a print reporter in Grants, N.M. where she earned an AP Citation and several NMPA awards for her news coverage. She moved to Albuquerque in 1984 and became a news producer at KOB-TV4, working in both news and promotions.. After moving into public relations, she has provided senior level counsel and strategic relations for some of New Mexico’s leading corporations, including Devon Energy, Mesa del Sol, St. Joseph Healthcare and the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.

She has worked for state and federal clients including the New Mexico State Engineer, the New Mexico State Fair, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Energy where she provided technical support to assist the DOE in the development and implementation of public information and public participation community relations program.

She has executed media relations programs; coordinated media interviews with project spokespersons; coached spokespersons; coordinated public events and developed briefing kits, fact sheets, brochures and displays. She was responsible for the strategic public relations plan and the launch of Advent Solar, which included planning news conferences, media briefings, and writing and distributing materials to the media.

She is the author of numerous publications, including articles published in local, national and international media.

Ms. Majors is active in the communications community: she is a board member of the Foundation for Open Government; a past president of the New Mexico Chapter of Public Relations Society and a former member of the board of directors of the National Federation of Press Women. In 2008, the New Mexico chapter of the Public Relations Society of America awarded her the Vista Award. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico’s journalism school and is currently an adjunct professor in that department. She has held her accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America since 1995.

Ellen Marks, assistant business editor at the Albuquerque Journal, has been a journalist for nearly four decades.
Her career has included reporting and editing positions at newspapers in Boise, Idaho and Albuquerque and with the United Press International wire service in Boise and Seattle.
She has been with the Journal for 29 years, covering City Hall and local government and working as an editor on the Journal’s city, state and business desks.

Dan McKay has covered City Hall and local government for the Albuquerque Journal since 2000. Before that, he spent a year covering West Texas politics and other assignments for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. He’s also a former reporter and editor for the Daily Lobo, where he began a lifelong interest in the hyphenation of compound modifiers.

Nicole Perez covers crime and breaking news at the Albuquerque Journal. She is the day reporter on a team with two other journalists.

She started at the Journal in October 2013 as a night cops intern, and was hired in May 2014. During her time at the Journal she has been part of multiple team projects that earned awards: a second place award from the New Mexico Press Association award for digital breaking news, a second place award from the Inland Press Association 2014 Front Page Contest for creative use of multimedia, and a first place EPPY award from Editor and Publisher magazine for best news or event feature on a website.

Before joining the Journal, she interned at the Hartford Courant and was an editor at the Daily Lobo. She graduated from UNM with a multimedia journalism degree in May 2014.

V.B. Price is a poet, human rights and environmental columnist, editor, journalist, architectural critic and teacher. He is a member of the faculty at the University of New Mexico’s University Honors Program where he teaches seminars on Greek and Roman literature in translation, urban issues, the U.S. Constitution, and world poetry. He is the series editor of the Mary Burritt Christensen Poetry Series at the University of New Mexico Press. He is also an adjunct associate professor at UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Price is was a columnist for the now-defunct Albuquerque Tribune. He has written a weekly column for various publications since 1971. His most recent book, The Orphaned Land, recently won a Southwest Book of the Year 2012 award. In March 2013, he and Benito Aragon co-founded the New Mexico Mercury, where Price is the editor and Aragon is the publisher.

Jeff Proctor is a producer and reporter for KRQE-TV in Albuquerque. He focuses on accountability in city and county government and the local criminal justice system, among other topics. Previously, Jeff was the cops and justice system reporter for the Albuquerque Journal from 2003 through 2013.

Rachel Sams is editor-in-chief of Albuquerque Business First, where she manages newsroom strategy and has the privilege of helping amazing journalists do their best work online every day and in print once a week. She is also vice president of membership development for the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter.

Rachel previously served as managing editor and associate editor for special sections and publications at ABF. Before that, she was a reporter at the Baltimore Business Journal and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. While at the BBJ, her reporting on the disciplinary records of Maryland stockbrokers received a first-place investigative reporting award from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association. She fell irrevocably in love with journalism as an intern at her hometown paper, the Greenwood Commonwealth of Greenwood, Miss.

Kristelle Siarza is an online communications and marketing strategist and social media speaker. She founded Siarza Social Digital in 2014 after working in various marketing and communications departments and agencies for seven years.

Kristelle has consulted with several New Mexico companies on digital marketing, specializing in tech, tourism, hospitality and business-to-business. Her social media strategy and content generation has helped clients generate millions of impressions and win local and national recognition.

At Siarza Social Digital, she oversees creative concepts in the social/digital world for corporate clients and helps agency customers build integrated communications campaigns. She leads a team of New Mexico digital experts to execute campaigns with best social media, email marketing and website development practices.

Kristelle mentors young students as adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico, teaching strategic communications and social media. She is an active member in cultural and civic organizations around New Mexico.

Steve Terrell is a state government and politics reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He has worked at that newspaper since the summer of 1987 and has worked out of the state Capitol bureau since late 2000. Previously he covered City Hall, crime and courts for The New Mexican.

In addition to his reporting, Terrell writes two columns for the paper: Roundhouse Roundup , which runs every Sunday and Terrell’s Tune-up, which runs every other week in Pasatiempo, The New Mexican’s arts and entertainment magazine.
Before he was hired by The New Mexican, Terrell worked three years for the Albuquerque Journal North and more than three years for The Santa Fe Reporter, first as a freelancer, then as a news reporter and columnist.

Besides his work at the paper, Terrell produces two weekly music shows for KSFR, Santa Fe Public Radio and a monthly music podcast called The Big Enchilada for GaragePunk Pirate Radio.

He has two grown children and two grandsons. Terrell graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in education. He never took a single class in journalism.

Josh Zaffos is an independent writer based in Fort Collins, Colo. He is a contributing editor for High Country News, and his work has appeared in Slate, Scientific American, Pacific Standard, Yale Environment 360, Wired, and many other print and online outlets. He is also a professor at Colorado State University who teaches natural resources communications.


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