2012-2013 Board Officers
Western Washington Chapter
Society of Professional Journalists
Breanne Coats — President
Breanne Coats is a native Washingtonian. She started her journalism career in Gig Harbor at Peninsula High School and developed her professional skills at Pacific Lutheran University. In 2008, Breanne graduated from PLU with a double major in communication and history and a double minor in literature and women’s and gender studies. While at PLU she was published in numerous local publications including The Olympian, The Gateway and the Puyallup Herald. She has also produced online videos for The News Tribune and worked at the NPR station, KPLU. Coats was president of PLU’s SPJ chapter for almost two years. During that time, the chapter was named Region 10 student chapter of the year twice and was named student chapter of the nation. Coats was named the SPJ 2007 Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award and the 2008 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism award winner. Upon graduation from PLU, Coats took off for Indianapolis for a Freedom of Information national internship with SPJ. She is currently an associate editor at the Business Examiner in Tacoma. Breanne has served on the board since 2009.
Clay Holtzman — Past President
For five years, Clay covered nonprofits, philanthropy, education and health research for the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle. A reporter and editor for about 10 years, Clay started his full-time professional career five years ago at the New Mexico Business Weekly in Albuquerque. Previously, he served as a reporter at the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff, and held positions that include news editor, managing editor and editor in chief at the student newspapers of the University of New Mexico and Northern Arizona University. Today Clay works as a freelance writer and as a part-time science writer for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Ethan Chung — Vice President
Ethan was the assistant editor at 425 and South Sound magazines since 2006. In April 2012, he was promoted to deputy editor. In his daily work for the magazines, he helps create editorial budgets, manages freelance writers and photographers, assigns features and photo shoots, maintains and builds social media communities (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and oversees all web content. He also writes features and shoots photography for both publications.
Katherine Luck — Treasurer
Katherine is a former co-editor of the Journal Newspapers, which cover neighborhoods and cities from the Seattle metro area to Everett. Prior to joining the Journal, she was a freelance writer for several publications, including Seattle Woman Magazine, Northwest Baby & Child and Crosscut.
Monica Guzman — Secretary
Mónica Guzmán is a digital life columnist for The Seattle Times and Northwest tech news site GeekWire and a community strategist for startups and media. After reporting for the Houston Chronicle and the Midland Daily News, she dove into digital in July 2007 as the first online-only reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where she developed the awarding-winning Big Blog with an eye toward social media and community collaboration. When the P-I shut down its print edition in 2009, she stayed on as the largest metro daily to go online-only made a groundbreaking transition. In June 2010, she jumped to startups, helping launch an innovative storytelling platform called Intersect. Guzmán has been named one of the Top 100 women in Seattle tech by Techflash and one of the 35 social media influencers by the Poynter Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. You can follow her on Twitter at @moniguzman.
Amy Duncan – Membership Chair
Amy Duncan is a Social Media Producer at KIRO 7 Eyewitness News. In the past, she published neighborhood news site mygreenlake.com and managed +BreakingNews on Google Plus.
Melissa Dahl — Board Member
Melissa is a health writer and editor for msnbc.com; since January of this year, I’ve started writing and editing health content for TODAY.com. I also manage the health team’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. My favorite aspect of my job is running The Body Odd blog, our hub for unusual health stories. I previously worked at newspapers in California, including The Sacramento Bee.
Evonne Benedict — Board Member
Evonne is a longtime broadcast journalist who recently switched to the digital side. I am currently the Social Media Manager for KING Broadcasting (incorporating KING TV and king5.com). I have extensive experience in TV and digital news gathering, writing, and producing. My current focus is on community engagement and the use of social media for newsgathering and dissemination.
Randal Beam — Board Member
Randy teaches journalism and mass communication at the University of Washington, where he also coordinates the journalism program in the Department of Communication. He currently holds the Dart Endowed Professorship in Journalism and Trauma. Previously, he worked for about 10 years at daily and weekly newspapers before becoming a journalism teacher.
Athima Chansanchai — Board Member
Currently a technical writer for Office at Microsoft, Athima Chansanchai was most recently before that a daily contributor to msnbc.com‘s Tech-Sci blogs for nearly two years, writing about consumer tech and editing posts on all the section’s blogs and wire content. She did so as founder/President of Tima Media, after almost 10 years as a reporter at the Seattle P-I and The Baltimore Sun. (Follow her on Twitter: @TimaMedia.) She’s also been a columnist for msnbc.com: “DigiGirl.” She also worked at The Village Voice. She began her career in journalism more than 15 years ago at Florida Trend magazine, before receiving a master’s degree in Communications/Journalism at Stanford University. She served as National Secretary for the Asian American Journalists Association in 2011 (after serving nearly a decade as a national board member and chapter officer), and is also a member of the Online News Association.
Paul Balcerak — Board Member
Paul is the social media strategist for Curator PR. He previously worked at KIRO 7 Eyewitness News and Sound Publishing, where he helped develop those brands’ social media presences and trained employees in best social media practices. He is one of the founders of NewsNext, a monthly SPJ- and ONA-sponsored speaker series on the future of journalism, and occasionally appears as a speaker at various journalism-related events and meetings. Paul is active on Twitter, Facebook and is a regular blogger.
Non-Voting Chairs/Associate Members:
Oren Campbell — Education Chair
Oren Campbell retired as publisher/editorial adviser at The Daily of the University of Washington in 2005, after more than a half-century as a journalist. He has advised the University’s collegiate SPJ chapter for the past 13 years and is deputy director for campus chapter affairs for SPJ’s Region 10. Oren formerly owned a small Oregon weekly and was an editor at the Bremerton Sun, Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Idaho Free Press and The Register-Republic in Rockford, Ill. He was sports editor in Wichita and Rockford and a sports copy editor at the Chicago American.
Marcus Donner — Access Chair
Marcus Donner is a photojournalist and visual storyteller. As director of photography for eight years at a daily newspaper, he coached staff photographers and provided the visual direction of the paper. His other work includes staff photographer, cinematographer on independent films and picture editing for print and multimedia. Marcus has volunteered for the past decade with the Society of Professional Journalists – twice as chapter president. He is the Bench-Bar-Press chair and worked extensively on the improvements to the Cameras in the Courts rule for Washington state. He is currently the editor of the 2007 edition of the chapter’s “Access: A Guide to Open Government.”
Sharon Salyer — Scholarship Committee
Sharon Salyer is the health and social issues reporter for The Herald in Everett. She serves as the chapter’s scholarship chair. Her reporting on the national forest issues won the Washington Journalism Center’s national award for environmental reporting. Sharon also was selected for a John S. Knight national journalism fellowship at Stanford University, where her studies focused on health and science topics. Her reporting on the lack of health care access for the poor, seniors and the uninsured launched a $1 million drive to open a new nonprofit clinic in Everett to serve these patients. A yearlong series on childhood obesity led to an ongoing countywide effort, Get Movin’, that provides incentives for kids to be active during the summer. Before coming to The Herald, Sharon worked for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. She’s a graduate of Kent State University.
Dale Steinke — Webmaster
Dale Steinke is the interactive news and operations manager at KING5.com and NWCN.com in Seattle. He has a print journalism degree from the other UW: the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, where he was the SPJ student chapter president. He started out as a reporter at The Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, before moving to the Seattle area in 1993. Dale has been a beat reporter at the VDN/South County Journal and The Herald in Everett where he later worked on Heraldnet.com before coming to KING. As part of his SPJ board duties, he currently maintains the SPJWash.org website and is co-chair of the chapter’s monthly Seattle press club gatherings.
Stacey Walters — Law and Ethics Chair
Stacey is a media attorney with Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara in Seattle and a former television journalist. She practices in the area of media law emphasizing contracts, defamation, privacy, access, public records, prior restraint, reporters’ shield laws and intellectual property (trademark, copyright and rights clearance). She has represented newspapers, publishers, television networks and local stations in both state and federal court. She also represents television production companies. Stacey has nearly 20 years of experience in the television industry. Prior to law school, she worked as a reporter, producer and anchor for television stations in Washington and California. Stacey received her law degree from the University of Washington where she was elected to the Order of Barristers and Moot Court Honor Board.