David Tortorano, owner of Tortorano Commissioned Publications of Gulf Breeze, Fla., has 40 years of newspaper experience. In the Gulf Coast he's worked for UPI, the Pensacola News Journal, Northwest Florida Daily News, Mobile Press-Register and Biloxi Sun Herald, where he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service in 2006. Individual awards include a 1992 first-place for in-depth reporting from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. He lives in Gulf Breeze.


Connie Baggett has more than 20 years in the field as a reporter with the Mobile Press-Register and nearly a decade as a political strategist and public relations coordinator. She is a 1989 graduate of the University of South Alabama in Mobile, former workforce training coach and currently serves as director of program management for the city of Brewton, Ala. The mother of three, she's also a singer/songwriter and lives in Brewton.

Timothy Boone has more than 20 years of experience working for newspapers and business magazines in Louisiana and Mississippi. He has covered beats ranging from casinos to real estate. He's worked for the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, the Daily Iberian, Mississippi Press, the Sun Herald of Biloxi-Gulfport, the Advocate and Baton Rouge Business Report. He lives in Baton Rouge, La.

Robert Buchanan has more than 30 years in newspaper experience, mostly with the Mobile Press-Register. He held multiple positions at the newspaper including sports writer, copy editor, news editor, special sections editor, public editor, columnist and page designer. He won first place for Newswriting Without a Deadline from the Alabama Associated Press Association in 1991 and served as the group's president in 1993. He earned degrees from Spring Hill College and the University of Alabama. He lives in Mobile, Ala.

Charlotte Crane for 26 years was business editor for the Pensacola News Journal and subsequently served for 10 years as a correspondent for Florida Trend magazine, covering 20 counties in Northwest Florida. Awards in recognition of her news reporting have come from organizations including Florida Farm Bureau and U.S. Small Business Administration. She has written poetry and prose which has been published in magazines including West Florida Literary Federation's Emerald Coast Review; she also has written a history of Pensacola Habitat for Humanity and one for United Way of Escambia County. She lives in Pensacola, Fla.

Duwayne Escobedo, a freelance journalist, has worked nearly two dozen years as an editor, investigative reporter and columnist. His experience includes covering Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and a range of news, business and feature stories in Northwest Florida. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Associated Press, Bloomberg and Time magazine. He won the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors award for investigative reporting in 1997. He lives in Pensacola, Fla.

Matt Irvin, former assistant metro editor at the Mobile Press-Register, is a freelance writer, researcher and editor. Through a newspaper career that spanned more than 30 years, he worked as a reporter, page designer, copy editor and news editor. He's a native of the Gulf Coast region and lives in Mobile, Ala.

Tom McLaughlin 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.

Lisa Monti, former business editor of the Sun Herald in Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss., is a writer, editor and photographer with 40 years experience in publishing, private industry and government. She's worked as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers, lifestyle magazines, business journals and other publication. She lives in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

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.

Melissa Scallan is a former reporter and editor with 25 years of newspaper experience. She previously worked for the Alexandria Daily Town Talk in Alexandria, La., the Monroe News Star in Monroe, La., and the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. Currently she manages the public affairs office of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources in Biloxi. She lives in Gulfport, Miss.

Martha Simmons has worked as a writer, photographer and editor for the Mobile Press-Register, Pensacola News Journal and The News Herald of Panama City, Fla. She served as chief communications officer for the Alabama two-year college system and two district attorney offices, and most recently worked as a congressional staffer. Simmons has freelanced for national and international publications, and worked in corporate communications for the Coca-Cola Co. She lives in Stockton, Ala.

Cindy West, who has a bachelors degree in communications arts, worked 14 years as a reporter for the Pensacola News Journal, and then another five years freelancing for Reuters News Service, the Mobile Press-Register, Newsday, and other publications before being hired by the Pensacola Police Department. She has been the media relations coordinator for the department since 1995. During her career in journalism she won local, state and national awards. She lives in Pensacola, Fla.


Bruce Graner has more than 40 years of experience as a newspaper photographer. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Florida in 1974 and began his newspaper career with the Times Enterprise in Thomasville, Ga. He has contributed photographs to local, state and national publications such as Newsweek and People magazines and has received numerous awards in photography. Bruce retired from the Pensacola News-Journal on Oct. 31, 2015 and is now a freelance photographer. He lives in Pensacola, Fla.

Michelle R. Thomas worked at the Mobile Press-Register for 17 years, culminating in a position as photography manager. Later she became an insurance broker and also opened her own business, MRT Images. She has won multiple awards for her photography, including a national award for photography that appeared in Alabama Living magazine. She lives in Daphne, Ala.


Thom Dudgeon has worked more than 31 years in newsrooms, including the AP and APA award-winning Mobile Register as graphics editor and for various advertising agencies, winning Addy and Communication Arts awards. He currently works as a self-employed infographic, layout and copywriting specialist. He received his BFA from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He lives in Bay Minette, Ala.

Rudy Nowak has worked 23 years in newsrooms, most recently at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. An infographics specialist, he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service in 2006. Throughout his career, he has 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.

Ron Stallcup has worked more than 27 years in newsrooms, most at the Pensacola News Journal. An infographics specialist, he won first, second and third place from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors in 2014. He currently works at Studer Community Institute, producing stories, graphics, videos and photos and oversees design of Studer Institute reports. He lives in Pensacola, Fla.


Pamela Baker
Judith Rojeski
Gloria Tortorano

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