I'm continuing to introduce to you the experienced, talented journalists who are participating in creating our regional Business Quarterly, which publishes its first issue Jan. 5. Today I'll introduce you to one of the original members of the Gulf Coast Reporters League, and I'll also introduce a former boss of mine. The other talented journalist in this post has won a truck-load of awards, while the fourth one is a talented graphics designer.
Tom McLaughlin is a co-founder of the Gulf Coast Reporters' League, and helped put together our first aerospace annual book in 2011. He's been a regular contributor every year, and has also written stories for our bimonthly aerospace newsletter.
He covers courts and politics and is an investigative reporter for the Northwest Florida Daily News. He's an award-winning reporter with 30 years of newspaper experience in the Southeast. He won the national Best of Freedom Award and Florida's Gold Medal for Public Service award, along with three investigative reporting awards and awards for court reporting, beat reporting, explanatory writing, deadline reporting and column writing.
Not surprisingly, Tom is taking on multiple assignments for our first edition of the magazine. He wrote about the Triumph Fund, which will benefit Florida counties hardest-hit by the BP oil spill of 2010. He also contributed to a story about the downtown renaissance, and is contributing to the quarterly review for Northwest Florida.
"So much of the commerce in this region is interconnected, it makes perfect sense to highlight the businesses that make the Gulf Coast tick. I hope this is going to be an enlightening and educational experience for all of us,” he said.
I think it will, Tom.
Lisa Monti was once my boss. She's the former business editor of the Sun Herald in Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss. She's a writer, editor and photographer with 40 years experience in publishing, private industry and government.
She has worked as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers, lifestyle magazines, business journals and other publication. She lives in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
I would have been shocked had Lisa not opted to sign up for this project, Business is her cup of tea, and she didn't take any time at all to say yes.
"Getting the opportunity to contribute to the magazine, working along with former colleagues and others with familiar bylines, made perfect sense. Just consider how diverse the Gulf Coast business landscape is and how daily business coverage, once robust, has gone limp," she said.
In our first issue of the magazine Lisa wrote about the Katrina Cottages that were developed during a huge brainstorming forum in Biloxi just a few weeks after South Mississippi was pounded by the 2005 hurricane. I added my own two cents by getting in touch with Andres Duany, the internationally known architect who headed up the forum.
Jane Nicholes is a freelance writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience in daily newspapers, alternative newspapers and specialty publications in Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas and South Carolina. She is a former editorial writer for the Mobile Press-Register and former managing editor of The Times of Acadiana in Lafayette, La.
She has won more than 70 state and national awards for editorial writing, investigative reporting, freedom of information, beat reporting, breaking news, editing, columns, news writing and feature writing. A graduate of Northwestern University, she lives in Daphne, Ala.
"This region deserves authoritative, thorough business news. The medium doesn't matter, so long as the story is told well," she wrote.
Jane will be handling the quarterly review for South Alabama in the January issue of the magazine. Those reviews, which we'll have in every issue, will form the backbone of our coverage.
Rudy Nowak has worked 23 years in newsrooms, most recently at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., where I had the good fortune to work with him. An infographics specialist, he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service in 2006.
Throughout his career, he's received numerous awards for infographics and page design from the Mississippi and Missouri Press Associations. He currently works in health care marketing in Gulfport, Miss.
"I decided to participate in this Gulf Coast magazine because I don't see a lot of in-depth regional coverage of business topics in our local news outlets. Newspaper business sections seem to be a filled with a lot of AP stories and a few local briefs. Television only seems to produce business profiles, but not a lot of stories on trends, results, challenges and outcomes," he said.
"I like the idea of contributing to a magazine that has a mission to report on subjects in a thoughtful, more in-depth manner. I know many of the people who are putting this magazine together. I have had the good fortune of working with some of them. I know these are fine journalists - real professionals. That is the kind of opportunity you don't say 'no' to when asked to join."
Rudy came up with a map for the region that we'll use on a regular basis for many of our stories. But he'll be taking on other assignments in this first issue as well.
In my next posting, I'll introduce you to more of the associate members of our magazine. - David Tortorano, editor