Executive Board to serve July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010:
Professional in Residence
Beth Konrad’s career in communication spans more than two decades covering a wide variety of positions in media, corporate, academic and civic affairs. She has been a reporter, anchor, news director, editorialist, business owner, corporate executive and an advocate for social causes and community development. She was the founder and president of Konrad & Moore, Inc., a communications consulting firm in Chicago and Detroit from 1995 to 2006. Konrad was also a senior vice president and director of public affairs for Bank One (now Chase Bank) from 1988 to 1995. Her broadcasting and reporting experiences include positions with ABC (Chicago and Detroit), NBC (San Francisco), PBS and Post Newsweek (Detroit). She served as news director of an all-news radio station in Detroit in the late 1970s and vice president of PBS in Detroit in the 1980s.
Konrad is the recipient of three Emmys, the National Headliner Award, the Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Service Award, numerous AP and UPI awards and several community leadership citations. She has a M.A. from Wayne State University and B.S from Indiana State University. In October 2005, Konrad was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana State University for her notable achievements in communication and journalism.
Konrad became a full-time faculty member at Loyola University Chicago in 2003 and is part of a leadership team developing and launching Loyola’s new School of Communication. She is the faculty advisor for Loyola’s SPJ campus chapter and a trained volunteer counselor for SPJ’s national Ethics AdviceLine. She is vice president/president-elect of the Chicago Headline Club and chair of the organization’s programs and journalism ethics committees. Konrad is also a member of the Broadcast Education Association and the Radio TV News Directors Association.
Vice president/FOI & president-elect
Susan S. Stevens
Susan S. Stevens, a veteran of 23 years with United Press International and 11 with the City News Bureau of Chicago, now works for community newspapers and freelances. She also has been a web producer and magazine writer. She has been a Chicago Headline Club officer or board member for 20-plus years. Currently serving as Headline Club Freedom of Information vice president, she was previously membership vice president for three-and-a-half years and secretary for more years than she can remember.
Kristen Schorsch is a general assignment reporter at the Chicago Tribune. Before joining the Tribune she was a reporter at the SouthtownStar, formerly the Daily Southtown, in south suburban Tinley Park, where she covered crime, courts and several communities. She started her journalism career at the University of Illinois, where she worked at the Daily Illini for three years before graduating with a print journalism degree in 2003. At the DI, she was a campus and metro reporter, mentor for reporters, editorial board member and campus editor. Her first job was at the Iowa City Press-Citizen, a daily newspaper in the Hawkeye state where she covered higher education, health care and the Iowa caucuses. Kristen lives in Chicago.
Hilary Fosdal is a new media editor at the Law Bulletin Publishing Company (LBPC). Prior to joining LBPC she worked for Barrington Broadcasting Group as the interactive content manager. She managed the day-to-day online news operations of the company’s 21 television stations based in 15 markets throughout the nation, from Columbia, South Carolina to the far reaches of Marquette, MI.
She also worked for Quincy Newspapers Inc., as an assignment editor at WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin and at WXOW in La Crosse, Wisconsin as an internet director and assignment editor. Beijing, China was called home for several years while she consulted for the People’s Daily & Market Daily newspapers.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Freelance Writer, Reporter and Editor
(312) 590-1921 cell
Dawn Reiss a versatile Chicago-based freelance writer and a former St. Petersburg Times and Dallas Morning News staff writer. Reiss is the current president of the Chicago Headline club, the largest chapter of Society of Professional Journalists in the country. Her work has appeared in 30+ outlets including: Travel + Leisure, CNN.com, MSN.com, American Way, Chicago magazine, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Crain’s Chicago Business, Associated Press, Milwaukee magazine, Cincinnati magazine, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, St. Louis magazine, The Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago, and Chicago Parent.
Reiss is best known for her quirky off-beat features and likes to joke that when it comes to her writing she is like a mutual fund: the more diversified the better. For stories, Reiss has scaled temples and eaten crickets in Cambodia, gone done sledding and ziplining in Alaska, and scuba diving on shipwrecks in Florida. She has written about everything from 70-year-old blind salsa dancers and cross-dressing Italian deli owners to vaginal rejuvenation. She co-wrote Chicago magazine’s February 2008 cover story “Nothing but Net: 171 Great Chicago Websites.” A former sports writer, Reiss covered Super Bowl XXXV, Barbaro’s famed run at the Kentucky Derby, several NCAA tournaments, a Pepsi 400, and many Texas High School football games. She has interviewed the likes of Maya Angelou, Wyland, Nate Berkus, Bob Costas, Magic Johnson, Pat Summerall, Dick Enberg, Dan Dierdorf, Steve Nash, and Jerry Springer.
Reiss co-founded SPJ’s national freelance committee in 2004 and is a former board member of the North Central Florida Chapter. Additionally, she is a member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, an organization that promotesexcellence and ethics in journalism.
A former collegiate rower and graduate of Indiana University’s School of Journalism, Reiss spent four months driving to every NFL city in the country with two other interns for The Sporting News’ “Ultimate NFL Road Trip” during the 2000 season. Reiss is a member of Alpha Beta, an honor society for collegiate athletes, and a former Herman B. Wells Scholar nominee, Association of Women in Sports Media Intern, and finalist for the Thomas Keating Feature Writing Competition. Her feature reporting at The St. Petersburg Times won Florida SPJ Awards of Excellence’s best light feature reporting title in 2006 for the 100,000 and up circulation category.
View her work at: www.mediabistro.com/dawnreiss.
Board members to serve from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011:
Former News Director WGN-Radio
Wes Bleed is a veteran broadcast journalist with more than 25 years experience in radio and television journalism. Whether behind the mic or in front of the camera, Wes has performed as reporter, anchor and talk show host.
Wes joined WGN Radio in December 1983 as Assignment Editor, Reporter and News Anchor. He was named Assistant News Director in September of 1994 and became News Director at the beginning of 2005. Wes can also be heard providing news reports and other stories for CLTV and WGN-TV. He has also been a contributing reporter for the ABC Radio Network.
For several years, Wes was the host of Dateline 720, a weekly news magazine dealing with current events and politics. He has interviewed hundreds of news makers, including Henry Kissinger, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, just to name a few.
Wes has earned multiple journalism awards for his work, including Best Newscast from the Radio and Television News Directors’ Association and Best Series from the Associate Press, Illinois. Under his leadership, the WGN News Team has garnered awards for breaking news coverage and investigative journalism.
Wes has taught Media Performance at Wheaton College as an adjunct faculty member. He also enjoys speaking to a variety of business audiences on such subjects as the media, change and motivation. In addition, Wes can be heard as a voice-over artist, narrating audio and video projects for businesses and organizations.
Wes is a 1980 graduate of Wheaton College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication.
Tran Ha is the editor of RedEye, a daily for young urban commuters. She also oversees TheMash, the Chicago Tribune’s new weekly newspaper for teens. Ha has held a variety of roles at the Tribune since 2003 when she joined RedEye as a copy editor shortly after the launch of the newspaper. She later moved on to editing roles in the Chicago Tribune’s features department before returning to RedEye to launch and edit the home-delivered weekend edition. Before joining the Tribune, Ha worked as a Web editor at the Detroit Free Press and was a Naughton Fellow at the Poynter Institute. A Chicago resident, Ha, 31, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.
Flynn McRoberts, Bloomberg Chicago bureau chief, formerly Chicago Tribune
Flynn McRoberts is the Chicago bureau chief of Bloomberg News. Before joining Bloomberg in March 2009, McRoberts worked for the Chicago Tribune for 20 years as an editor and reporter. Most recently he was the Tribune’s deputy projects editor, where he helped lead a team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for a series on hazardous children’s products. As a reporter, McRoberts won a George Polk Award for a series on the targeting of Muslim men for immigration violations after the 9/11 attacks. In 2003, he led a team of reporters that was a Pulitzer finalist for a series on the collapse of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm.
McRoberts is married to Monica Davey, the Chicago bureau chief of the New York Times. They have two children and live in Hyde Park.
Kristen McQueary is political columnist for the SouthtownStar, formerly the Dailly Southtown, which was named Newspaper of the Year in 2006 among the nation’s large circulation suburban dailies by Suburban Newspapers of America.
Prior to the Southtown, she worked at the Pantagraph in Bloomington-Normal, covered the Illinois legislature for Copley News Service, and worked at the Peoria Journal Star. She is a past president of the Chicago Headline Club.
She graduated from Illinois State University and the University of Illinois, Springfield, with a master’s degree in public affairs reporting. She won a first place award in 2007 for column writing from the Associated Press. She also won a first place award from the Illinois Press Association for news feature-writing and a Peter Lisagor Award for a series on the state’s flawed property tax system, in addition to awards from Suburban Newspapers of America. She is one of only four journalists inducted into the Illinois State University Daily Vidette Hall of Fame.
She is a frequent guest on Chicago radio and television shows for political commentary, including WTTW Channel 11 Chicago Tonight and Newsradio 780’s At Issue program.
Tony Noce has worked as a journalist for more that 35-years. Noce started his career as an on air radio reporter at several small Illinois stations and began working as a news writer at WGN Radio for Wally Phillips in 1973. In 1980, Noce was promoted to Executive producer of the WGN-TV 9 O’Clock news. He left WGN as TV news Managing Editor after taking the Tribune Company buyout. He now freelances and lives with his wife, Susan, an eighth-grade math teacher in Schaumburg. They have two married children and one grandson.
Abdon M. Pallasch covers politics for the Chicago Sun-Times. He has followed the presidential candidates around the country this year. Earlier as legal affairs reporter for the Sun-Times and Chicago Lawyer magazine, he has written about Barack Obama’s legal career. Pallasch has also written for The Chicago Tribune, The Tampa Tribune, United Press International — where he covered the 1990 Nicaraguan elections; and the City News Bureau of Chicago, where he covered the death of Mayor Harold Washington. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Board members to fill unexpired vacancies through June 30, 2010:
Ken Davis’ interest in Chicago journalism has never waned in his more than 30-year career. He has become increasingly alarmed as Chicago’s newspapers decline, its TV stations decrease their commitment to news-gathering and commercial radio has, for all practical purposes, quit the news business altogether. For those reasons, he and his wife Linda convened the recent Chicago Journalism Town Hall to begin a very public conversation about the issues. He believes it was successful in that it started a lot of people talking about future models for local journalism. He hopes to be a part of that ongoing conversation, and recently wrote a commentary on the situation, which can be found at www.chijournalismtownhall.com.
His career started in the 1970s, when he held a variety of jobs at WLS-AM, mostly as producer of their overnight talk/discussion show, Point/Counterpoint. Davis was also on staff at Northeastern Illinois University where he co-founded the university’s student radio station, WZRD.
In 1979, Davis became the first news director at WBEZ, which was just coming into its own as the Chicago affiliate of National Public Radio. During his three years as news director, the station hired a staff of reporters and producers, acquired broadcast equipment and facilities, and generally created the local news department that, while greatly expanded and improved, exists to this day. In 1981, he became program director and helped lead the station in more of a news/information direction, initiating a number of live, local discussion and entertainment programs. In addition, for about six years, Davis was host of a daily, live news magazine called “Studio A,” on which he interviewed newsmakers, politicians, civic and cultural leaders, often on-location.
Davis left WBEZ in the early 1990s to join the City of Chicago, as lead spokesperson for the just-created Department of Environment. In 1997, he moved to the Mayor’s Press Office, where he assumed responsibility for the city’s cable television operations. As director of municipal television, Davis reorganized the staffing and operational aspects of the department, creating a 24-hour service of city-related information across two TV channels. In 2006, he was press secretary for Forrest Claypool’s campaign for president of the Cook County Board.
For the past several years Davis, a Chicago resident, has been a freelancer at WBEZ, producing occasional news stories.
Stephen Franklin, longtime journalism, teacher and author, now is ethnic news project director at the Community Media Workshop.
He already had a 20-year career in daily newspapers when he joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune in 1986.
From then to 2008, he was national correspondent based in Detroit; foreign correspondent-Middle East bureau chief covering Israel and the Arab world; specialist reporter on overseas and domestic projects and specialist reporter covering labor and the economy. Besides coverage spanning the two Palestinian uprisings, beginning in the late 1980s and 2001, Franklin reported on the Iran-Iraq war (1988), the two Gulf wars, and the fighting in Afghanistan, where I arrived soon after the Sept. 11 tragedies and spent time with the Northern Alliance, the resistance to the Taliban.
He returned to the U.S. in 1991, but repeatedly was assigned to the Middle East to fill in for other Tribune correspondents, and to help with reporting in crises. Franklin helped plan a more than yearlong series for the Tribune on the “Struggle for the Soul of Islam,” a global examination of the direction of Islam today. He also designed and led in the reporting on a project on the feminization of migration, called “Women Crossing Borders,” which appeared in December 2005 (at Chicagotribune.com/borders)
He has a master’s degree in political science from American University, Washington, D.C., and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
Franklin was a journalism fellow in 1984 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., for studies in Arabic language classes and the Middle East politics and society and social change, focusing on how individuals cope with massive social upheavals.
He wrote “Three Strikes: Labor’s Heartland Losses and What They Mean for Working Americans, A study of the clash between global corporations and unions” for Guilford Press, 2001, and a chapter on Chicago’s human rights legacy for “Global Chicago,” edited by Charles Madigan, University of Illinois Press, 2004.
He is skilled in six languages. He and his wife live in Chicago.
Columbia College Chicago
Suzanne McBride is Associate Chair of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago, where she teaches investigative reporting and community news to undergraduate and graduate students. She’s co-founder and co-publisher of ChicagoTalks.org, a local news site that covers the neighborhoods of the nation’s third-largest city. An investigative series published just two months after the site launched won the top student award from Investigative Reporters and Editors in 2008. Before joining Columbia’s faculty in 2005, Suzanne was an award-winning reporter and editor at The Indianapolis Star and the now-defunct Indianapolis News for 13 years. Her positions at Indiana’s largest newspaper included leading the local news and business departments, as well as working with the paper’s convergence partner, NBC-affiliate WTHR (Channel 13). McBride also worked as an editor at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Tribune-Star, as a business reporter for The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne (Ind.) and as a legislative aide on Capital Hill for an Ohio congressman. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Iowa and earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University.
Brian Pitts is assistant director of public relations at Mayer Brown, an international law firm with 1,800 lawyers in 21 offices worldwide. In his role at Mayer Brown, Brian overseas U.S. PR for the transactional practices as well as the Supreme Court & Appellate practice.
Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Brian was public relations manager for another top-tier international law firm in Chicago for nearly five years. His PR experience also includes 10 years of working for PR agencies and a stint in sports PR for the Chicago Wolves and University of Illinois at Chicago.
In addition to working in the communications field, Brian has had a concurrent career as a freelance sports writer. For the past 16 years, Brian has been a sports correspondent for the Daily Herald where he has written about high school sports and has had numerous other assignments, including covering the Chicago Marathon for past five years. Brian’s sports writing has also appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Associated Press, Houston Chronicle, Long Beach Press-Telegram and numerous specialty sports magazines.
Brian is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Chicago Headline Club, Public Relations Socieity of America, Legal Marketing Association and Legal PR Chicago.
A native of Brookfield, Brian has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Brian and his wife Carla have two sons, Connor and Jack, and they reside in the near west suburbs.
Board members whose terms are not expiring & who will serve until June 30, 2010:
Fuzz Hogan, Director of Communications for Advance Illinois
Jon Seidel is the Post-Tribune’s city reporter in Gary, Ind. On a daily basis, he tells the story of a people trying to overcome high rates of poverty and crime with hopes of one day restoring the city to its prosperous past. Gary is also the stronghold of one of the most powerful political machines in Indiana. Seidel joined the Post-Tribune, a member of the Sun-Times Media Group in Chicago, in 2004. Prior to that he worked as an intern at the Kenosha News (Wis.), News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C) and the Florida Times Union (Jacksonville). He graduated from Ball State University with a degree in journalism in 2004.
CHC Shameless Gossip Monthly E-Column
Bonnie McGrath attorney/freelance
1206 S. State St.
Chicago, IL 60605
Bonnie McGrath is an award-winning journalist as well as a Chicago attorney. She teaches legal journalism at Columbia College. She is currently a columnist at the Chicago Journal and a contributing editor at Shore magazine. She is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Chicago Bar Association. In the past, McGrath has been a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a contributing writer for the Chicago Reader. In addition to the Chicago Headline Club board, she is currently on the boards of the John Howard Association, South Loop Neighbors, Dearborn Park Advisory Council and the Chicago Homes of Dearborn Park. She spent nine years as the treasurer of the Association for Women Journalists. She is also a docent at the Glessner House and the Clarke House–two house museums on the near south side.
Board member to fill Kristen Schorsch’s term until June 30, 2010:
Steve Edwards is currently the acting program director of WBEZ Chicago Public Radio.
From 1999-2007, he served as host of Chicago Public Radio’s award-winning weekday morning newsmagazine, “Eight Forty-Eight,” where he covered everything from politics to pop culture. During his tenure, “Eight-Forty-Eight” was named Best Public Affairs Program by Chicago magazine, Best Morning Radio Program by Newcity Chicago, and Best Weekly Program by the Public Radio News Directors, Inc.
As a journalist, Edwards’ reports and interviews have been honored by the RTNDA, the Chicago Headline Club, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Associated Press, UPI, and the Public Radio News Directors, Inc (PRNDI). Edwards is also the recipient of the Grand Award in the radio category from the National Headliner Club and a 2007-2008 Knight-Wallace fellowship for mid-career journalists at the University of Michigan.
Prior to arriving at Chicago Public Radio, Edwards was the assistant news director and host of the nightly news magazine “Final Edition” at the suburban public radio station WDCB-FM. Under Steve’s direction, “Final Edition” received the 1998 Public Radio News Directors Inc. award for the Best Daily News Magazine Program in the nation. He also has been a reporter and producer for Bloomberg News in New York, a news anchor at WTTT in Amherst, Mass., and a summer intern for NPR’s “All Things Considered” in Washington, DC.
Steve has a B.A. in political science from Amherst College and lives in Chicago with his wife and their two sons.