Laurie Hirschfeld ZellerPUBLISHER
A lifelong news addict, Laurie has held management positions with the National Civic League, the Bell Policy Center, and the bi-partisan statewide ballot campaign, Yes on Referenda C and D. She has served as executive director of two Denver-based nonprofits as well as vice president for community initiatives and investment for the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Most recently a consultant for nonprofits and foundations, she built a national education initiative for Rocky Mountain PBS. In joining The Independent, Laurie decided to stop complaining about the state of the news industry and start building it instead.
A recovering newspaper journalist, Susan reported for papers in California and Nevada before her 13 years as a political reporter, national reporter and metro columnist at The Denver Post. “Trashing the Truth,” a series she reported with Miles Moffeit, helped exonerate five men, prompted reforms on evidence preservation and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative journalism. Her 2012 project, “The Gray Box,” exposed the effects of long-term solitary confinement. The ACLU honored her in 2017 for her years of civil rights coverage, and the Society of Professional Journalists honored her in April with its First Amendment Award. Susan and her two boys live with a puppy named Hymie whom they’re pretty sure is the messiah.
Tina GriegoMANAGING EDITOR
Tina was a city columnist for the late great Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post. She left Denver for Richmond, Virginia in 2012 and learned the joys of news editing at the city’s alternative newspaper, Style Weekly, and its premiere city mag, Richmond Magazine. She was also a staff writer for the Washington Post and its Storyline public policy/narrative journalism project. Tina is now living in Fort Collins with her husband and two kids. She’s a native New Mexican and prefers red over green.
Mike says that before you start counting, he’s been doing this for a while. He’s written news columns, sports columns, features columns, op-ed columns — everything but home-and-gardening columns — for The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun. His first job was covering the Virginia Squires and Dr. J in the late, great American Basketball Association. Since then, he has covered much else of what there is to cover, including one Tour de France, two NBA all-star games, three vice-presidential debates, four presidential inaugurations, five Olympic Games, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow. He and his one wife have one daughter who teaches law at the University of Texas, not that you should hold it against her.
Corey Hutchins is a journalist for The Colorado Independent and a correspondent for Columbia Journalism Review’s United States Project. He recently worked on The State Integrity Investigation at the Center for Public Integrity and has written for Slate, The Nation, and The Washington Post, among others.
Alex cut his teeth as the Boulder Daily Camera‘s city hall reporter and, prior to that, as an education reporter at the Loveland Reporter-Herald. He’s interested in city issues, governance and homelessness, and he once spent two months investigating the suspicious death of a backyard rooster. Alex is a Maryland native who’s lived in Illinois, Chile and now Denver.
Jacqueline St. JoanNEWS POETRY EDITOR
For Jackie, journalism was the road not taken. Instead, she chose law. She worked in Denver as a lawyer, judge, law professor and child advocate for thirty-five years. She has a Masters in creative writing and has won writing awards including a poetry prize from the Denver Press Club. William Carlos Williams wrote: “It is difficult to get news from poems yet men (sic) die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” Poets, she says, can fill in some of the blanks of what isn’t found in the news, but that you know is there, anyway.
John HerrickFREELANCE REPORTER
John covered the 2018 legislative session for The Colorado Independent. Previously, he wrote for another nonprofit online news organization, VTDigger.org, covering the energy and environment beat. Between reporting stints, he likes to be outside. He’s been variously employed as a trail builder, tree feller, stoat trapper and photographer.
Mark A. CastilloDIGITAL AND ENGAGEMENT EDITOR
Mark got his start as a website development and sales entrepreneur before graduating college. Forging his own path into the world of digital marketing, he has helped a long list of clients with creative direction, conversion/growth strategy, online presence, and digital client-relationship development. He has a wife, 3 kids, 2 guinea pigs, a Russian hamster and a cat. Mark is not a journalist or a writer by profession. But, man, people sure do love his Facebook posts.
Mike Keefe, a longtime staffer with The Denver Post, was the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Among other honors, he has won the National Headliner’s Award, the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Medal, The Best of the West Journalism Contest and the Fischetti Cartoon Competition. Nationally syndicated, his cartoons have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Business Week, US News and World Report, The New York Times, The Washington Post and hundreds of newspapers and digital news outlets across the country. Keefe served as president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University. He is the author of three books and co-creator of two nationally-distributed comic strips. A former U.S. Marine and a doctoral student in mathematics, Keefe plays guitar regularly with local oldies cover bands. He is married with two grown children.