Page Banner Background

Board of Directors

 

Chetanya Robinson

President

Chetanya Robinson is a reporter and editor at the International Examiner newspaper in Seattle’s Chinatown International District, reporting on neighborhood and community issues including housing, activism, history, culture and small businesses. He is passionate about local, community journalism and its unique potential.

A graduate of University of Washington, he served on and helped revitalize the SPJ student chapter there. He has written for several Seattle-area publications and spent a summer interning for a newspaper in Sierra Leone. In his spare time he is an avid reader and enjoys photography, travel, and spending hours in museums.

 

 

 

 

Ashley Hiruko

Past President

Ashley Hiruko, a Western Washington University graduate, is a journalist at KUOW Public Radio. She’s the winner of multiple WNPA awards and enjoys exploring the intricacies of the systems in power and inequalities that exist within them.

Her involvement with SPJ started with her college chapter, where she planned events and helped bring speakers before other student journalists to cultivate a growing community of aspiring writers and photographers.

As a professional, she’s focused her reporting on the diverse communities within the western side of our state. As a woman of Mexican and Japanese descent, Ashley is an advocate for supporting people of color in the field.

 

 

 

 

Michael Whitney

Treasurer

Michael Whitney is the editor of the Snohomish County Tribune weekly newspaper in Snohomish. He has reported on Snohomish, Monroe and Everett issues with the Tribune since 2008, covering everything from city government to schools to food banks to regional economic growth. He lives in Monroe with Stephanie and a laundry list of animals, including a flock of backyard chickens.

The Tribune is a rare, independently owned newspaper; its office is in downtown Snohomish and it commenced publication more than 125 years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh Farley

Secretary

Josh Farley is the military affairs reporter at the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton. He created and anchors the Beat Blast, the Sun’s weekly news video, and the Story Walk, a monthly experience that takes readers to the people and places making the news. He also started the Bridging Bremerton festival, a daylong event that highlights history and culture in the city.

Farley previously covered city hall and criminal justice at the Sun, where he started in 2005. He’s a graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, the Collegian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peg Achterman

Board Member

Peg Achterman is an Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism at Seattle Pacific University where she also advises The Falcon – SPU’s Independent Student Newspaper. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Washington following a 20+ year career in broadcasting – much of it at KING Television in Seattle where she was a news photographer and editor. The highlights of her photojournalism career included regional National Press Photographer Association awards and service as a national judge for the NPPA POY and SOY competitions. Between her photojournalism career and her return to campus, she worked as a software instructor and developer for Grass Valley, traveling the Americas, Europe and the Middle East teaching newsroom employees the joys of non-linear editing and digital workflow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan Campbell

Board Member

Megan Campbell is a Seattle-based freelance journalist who has spent the last seven years building a career in the Evergreen State. She mostly recently worked as the health care and retail reporter for the Puget Sound Business Journal. Prior to her time there, she spent about four years working at Sound Publishing, most recently at the Daily Herald in Everett. Her beats as a freelance reporter include business, retail, restaurants, and climate change.

She graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s in new media communications and a minor in writing in 2014. While at OSU, she managed an award-winning news team at the student-run newspaper, The Daily Barometer.

After graduating, she was stationed at a daily print publication in Roseburg, Oregon, as a Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism intern before moving to Seattle that fall.

 

 

 

 

 

Meghan McLaughlin

Board Member

Meghan McLaughlin is a Seattle-based freelance journalist. She writes in business and education beats for Northshore News, a startup weekly serving northeast King and south Snohomish counties. She is the lead writer and editor of Northeast Seattle Living, a local monthly magazine in the neighborhood she grew up in. Meghan also contributes to Mill Creek Magazine and Seattle Refined. She likes to try her hand at a variety of topics but especially loves getting to know people through profile pieces. Meghan graduated from Santa Clara University with degrees in communication with an emphasis in journalism and political science. While studying in Paris for a quarter, Meghan was a correspondent for her study abroad program. She was editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper and contributed to Editor & Publisher magazine. In her spare time, Meghan volunteers for her former high school newspaper as a mentor. She’s an avid reader and an inconsistent runner but spends most of her time surrounded by good company.

 

 

 

 

Madison Miller

Board Member

Madison Miller is an assistant editor at 425, 425 Business, South Sound, and South Sound Business magazines.
Madison knew she wanted to be a journalist ever since she was assigned the editor position of her fourth grade class’s student newsletter. Her passion for storytelling led her to pursue internships at local Eastside newspapers, and eventually lead Northwest University’s online magazine.
Madison spent two years telling Eastside-oriented arts and education stories for seven Eastside newspapers, including the Kirkland Reporter, Bellevue Reporter, Issaquah Reporter, and Seattle Weekly. She also served as a co-adviser at her alma mater’s online magazine.
In her spare time, Madison can be found thrift shopping, perusing music stores, swing dancing at local ballrooms, and silently judging people who say “gesundheit” to a sneeze that did not occur in a German-speaking country.

 

 

 

Taylor Mirfendereski

Board Member

Taylor Mirfendereski is a special projects reporter at KING 5 in Seattle, focusing on digital storytelling. She uses video, photos, text, graphics, and emerging digital tools to produce multimedia stories that take a deep dive into complex issues – from the nationwide heroin crisis to the sex trafficking of American women and children.

Prior to moving to the West Coast, Mirfendereski was a digital reporter at WCPO in Cincinnati, where she covered public safety and justice. In 2014, she embedded with the U.S. military in Afghanistan to produce a special report about the military medical teams who treat the country’s most severely wounded soldiers.

Mirfendereski is a longtime SPJ member, who served two terms on the group’s National Board of Directors. She also led the SPJ Digital community and was the president of Ohio University’s SPJ chapter.

 

 

 

Olivia Vanni

Board Member

Olivia Vanni is a staff photographer at the Everett Herald where she covers assignments in and around Snohomish County. She is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism and was the Multimedia Editor of the student paper, the Montana Kaimin. Olivia previously worked as an intern at the Victoria Advocate and Naples Daily News, where she covered Hurricane Harvey and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Having grown up in Seattle, Olivia enjoys covering the Seahawks, Mariners, and Storm, and appreciates assignments that get her outside to explore new areas of the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time, you’ll more than likely find her eating her way through the food options at T-Mobile Park or enjoying live music.

 

 

 

 

Charter

;

The Western Washington Professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists received its charter on Nov. 14, 1947.

The charter was presented by John McClelland Jr., national secretary of Sigma Delta Chi and editor of the (Longview) Daily News, in a ceremony in the Communications Building at the University of Washington.

One professional and 14 student chapter members were initiated at the same event, according to a 1948 Quill magazine story.

The welcoming address was made by Sol Lewis, editor and publisher of the (Lynden) Tribune and a past national president of Sigma Delta Chi, later renamed the Society of Professional Journalists.

First Members

;
The account doesn’t give the number of chapter members at that time, but said a group of them met informally every morning at the Boeing Airplane Company. Carl Cleveland, another chapter member mentioned, was advertising manager there and was perhaps one of the earliest members in the area. He joined the national society in 1926.

The initial organization of the chapter actually began in the first decades of the century. In 1935, the national fraternity “approved” the chapter, and finally granted the charter 12 years later.

The chapter’s members come from all areas of journalism, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, wire services and on-line news. The roster includes reporters, editors, publishers, media owners, freelancers, educators, students and nearly every kind of journalist, as well as some who have moved to other fields and some associate members.