Proposed slate for 2018 SPJ Georgia Board

By Board member Jay Suber

Report of the Nominating Committee:

Executive Officers:

President Haisten Willis: To be elected to a one-year term ending 12/31/18. Haisten is a freelance writer; former editor at France Media, Inc., and lives in Marietta. Haisten has been an active member of the Board of Directors in 2017, and served on the Freelance Committee.
Vice President / President-Elect Mark Woolsey: To be elected to a one-year term ending 12/31/18. Mark is an anchor/reporter at iHeart Radio in Atlanta and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Fort Worth, Texas, chapter of the Society of
Professional Journalists. He has also helped to organize a regional convention.

Treasurer Danielle Douez: To be elected to a two-year term ending 12/31/19. Danielle is a politics editor for the nonprofit online news startup The Conversation. Previously, she was a communications specialist for the Southern Regional Education Board. She has written for the Miami Herald, The Alexandria Times, and other publications. She holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Emory University, where she was a 2013 Community Building and Social Change Fellow. Danielle has been a member of SPJ since 2013.

At Large Board Member: David Armstrong: To be elected to a two-year term ending 12/31/19. David is the director of The Georgia News Lab, an award-winning investigative reporting collaborative. The News Lab is a partnership between several of the top college journalism programs in Georgia, along with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV. Armstrong was formerly the director of The News Enterprise, an investigative reporting project at Emory University. Armstrong is a veteran investigative reporter and editor. He served as bureau chief of the National Security News Service in Washington, D.C. and earlier as editor of the Texas Observer. Betsy is Editor in Chief, Publisher and Owner at Boom Athens magazine. She is 1973 University of Georgia graduate, with more than 35 years of experience in newspapers, radio, public relations and marketing, including Co-Owner of Small Cities Publishing in Brunswick.

Student Representative: Toni Stauffer: To be elected to a two-year term ending 12/31/19. Toni is managing editor of “The Saber,” the student-run newspaper at Columbus State University, where she is studying journalism. A mom who returned to
college for a career change, Toni is currently a senior at CSU expected to graduate in May 2018. You may find samples of Stauffer’s work in her portfolio.

Continuing on the Board for 2018, and not up for election, will be:
– Lou Phelps, Secretary; her term ends Dec. 31, 2018.
– Jay Suber, At Large Board Member; his term ends Dec. 31, 2018.
– Ellen Eldridge, Past President; her term ends Dec. 31. 2018.
All paid members in good standing as of Dec. 1, 2017 will be eligible to vote.
Membership status can be checked by going to

If any member in good standing would like to propose an opposing Officer or Board Member for the five positions up for this election, nominations must be received by Julius “Jay” Suber no later than midnight Nov. 16, 2017, which is 10 days after the Slate is proposed, per our Chapter’s Bylaws. His email is

To our professional journalists in the Peach State, soon it will be your turn to personally help further shape the direction of the Society of Professional Journalists Georgia Pro Chapter.  Every member of this young, dynamic organization matters, so it follows then, YOUR vote counts if you are a paid member by Dec. 3, 2017.

There’s plenty of time to join and support the work of the Society of Professional Journalists! We’re here to support you, connect you with other journalists and freelance jobs opportunities and provide advice if needed.

The responsibilities of each position is outlined in our Bylaws which can be read online here.

***Please note there will be a vote on the ballot to amend terms in the Bylaws to run from January to December each year.***

Jay Suber

Lou Phelps

SPJ Georgia Board of Director member Julius “Jay” Suber was selected Chairman of the Nominating Committee and Louise “Lou” Phelps was also elected to serve on the Nominating Committee.

Phelps is also Secretary of the SPJ Georgia Board of Directors. Both Suber’s and Phelps’ terms do not expire until December 2018 (they are not part of this year’s election process.)

The Nominating Committee is working systematically to ensure the word gets out, while we develop a process to capture one hundred percent voter participation rate. NOW is the time to submit YOUR name if you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors.

SIX important things our professional membership should know: 

  1. The election WILL be held for a three-day period, from Mon. December 4 – 6, 2017 at midnight EST.   Any journalist who is a paid Georgia Chapter member as of Dec. 3, 2017, can vote.
  2. Members will be voting on open board positions, a new President, a new Vice President/President-Elect and a new Treasurer.
  3. The Board positions are for a two-year term.  The President and Vice President is for a one-year term each.
  4. All nominations will be announced on Friday, Nov. 3 by the Nominating Committee.
  5. Any paid member who would like to be a candidate for the Board of Directors OR to nominate someone by Nov. 13.
  6. Nominations should EMAILED to Jay Suber at by Nov. 13.

Questions?  Please do not hesitate to call Jay Suber at 404-876-0133 or Lou Phelps at 912-220-2759.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s