AAN West2008

Speakers' Bios

Mike Blinder
Mike Blinder is known internationally for his expertise in media, sales and marketing. Today over 250 media companies world-wide are clients of Mike's company: The Blinder Group, a Florida based firm that assists in maximizing sales for their clients, through effective sales training/ revenue generation programs. Hearst, Media General, CanWest, Quebecor, Media News Group, Scripps, The New York Times, Regional News Group, Hindu Times, Northcliffe Newspapers and Axel Springer are just a few of the companies that avail themselves of Mike and his team of "Street Fighting" multimedia specialists, who are experts at training traditional sales people on how to embrace new concepts in selling media.
Don Button
Don Button began his design career in 1986 as an intern at the Chico News & Review and worked for the company for 14 years as an art director of the Sacramento and Reno newspapers and company-wide creative director. In 2000, Don left to pursue other design ventures and teach. He returned to the SN&R in 2005 as a senior art director. In his years with the News & Review, he has won over two dozen individual and group design awards, and his work has been featured in Print and How magazines.

Don is now a full-time faculty professor at Sacramento City College teaching digital imaging, print and web design, and newspaper design. He serves as design advisor to the student newspaper, The Express, and as chair of the Graphic Communication Department. He continues to work with the News & Review in an advising and training role.

Don is an avid skateboarder and fan of loud, fast music. He has a wife who is much smarter, two boys who are much cuter, and a dog and cat who are much fuzzier. You can see some of Don's personal work at www.designbutton.com.
Brant Houston
Brant Houston is Knight Chair for Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, the former director of Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. and a Pulitzer Prize Winning reporter.
Donna Ladd
Donna Ladd is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Jackson Free Press, Mississippi's only alternative newspaper. She has written for many magazines, websites and alternative newspapers, including The Village Voice. She is the Diversity Chair for AAN's board of directors.
Doug Moore
Doug Moore has been the Vice President of Human Resources at Printing Industries of California since 1985. He assists the members of the Printing Industries Associations of Northern, Southern and San Diego, California. He grew up at the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California. He was the Personnel Manager there from 1973 to 1979. Doug graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Cal Poly Pomona in 1969. He currently teaches a Plant Management class in the Printing Technology Bachelor's program at Cal State Los Angeles. He assists over 2700 members in California in all aspects of Human Relations and labor laws and regulations, both Union and Non-Union companies.
Contact information: doug@piasc.org
323-728-9500, ext. 218 (Los Angeles)
800-479-7837  ext. 218 (San Francisco)
800-449-4898 (San Diego)
Michael Ninness
Michael Ninness grew up in the Redwoods of Arcata in Northern California. He moved to Seattle in 1989 to study for a Graphic Design BFA at the University of Washington and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He paid his way through design school by teaching designers and photographers how to use digital tools and techniques. Michael has over ten years experience as a product manager and user interface designer of software products for creative professionals.

Past positions include LiveMotion Group Product Manager and Senior User Interaction Designer for the Creative Suite at Adobe, and Program Manager for Expression Blend at Microsoft. Michael is a frequent and top-rated presenter at numerous industry events including Photoshop World, PhotoPlus Expo, PMA, Macworld, FlashForward, Flash on the Beach, Web Design World, The InDesign Conference, The Creative Suite Conference, the HOW Design Conference and Pacific New Media at the University of Hawaii. He is the author of the several Photoshop video training titles published by lynda.com.
Don Ray
Don Ray is a veteran, multimedia investigative reporter/producer, author and lecturer. He's the journalist who first broke the story of the police investigation into child molestation allegations against singer Michael Jackson in 1993. He's written for scores of publications including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, L.A. Weekly and the L.A. Times. He's produced segments for Dateline NBC, Inside Edition, The Crusaders and numerous local stations. He has trained thousands of journalists in the U.S., Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Poland, the Ukraine, Armenia, Nigeria and most recently, Nicaragua. He's written books on investigations, public records, writing for the ear, interviewing, background checks and privacy issues.
Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond is executive editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian and AAN first amendment chair.
Kathi Simonsen
Kathi Simonsen has spent 23 successful years in publishing and has increased sales for numerous publications during her many years as a trainer. She also conducts workshops for a variety of publishing conferences. Kathi was Publisher of California Design, Ad Director of Pasadena Weekly and received accolades for selling advertising at Chilton.
Adam Clay Thompson
Adam Clay Thompson is a former reporter for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and SF Weekly and is now a staff reporter at the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco. He is a winner of the George Polk Award, one of the top honors in journalism.
Katherine Topaz
Katherine Topaz started her own firm, Topaz Design, in 2000 specializing in creating, redesigning and consulting for publications. Recent projects have included the redesign of Rochester, New York's CITY and the launch design and production for regional and national magazines including BeerAdvocate, Ultimate Northwest and Mix, Food & Drink Magazine.  She's redesigned more than a dozen AAN papers including Boston's Weekly Dig and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Topaz teaches Typography and Design Strategies at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and is a nationally-recognized speaker on publication design and art direction
Charmaine Wagenseller serves as Continental Commercial Group's VP of Sales and Marketing for Northern California. Charmaine has been involved in the commercial credit and debt recovery industry most of her adult life. Charmaine has extensive experience in both the collection and marketing side of the commercial collection business. CCG has represented a large cross-section of the commercial credit community, and accordingly, Charmaine has a deep understanding of the various terms, conditions and traditions in various industries.  She has actively solicited and developed relationships with Fortune 500 Companies as well as medium size to smaller businesses.
Once a prospect becomes an active client of CCG, Charmaine is active along with the collection and administrative personnel in problem-solving and assisting with status issues and any other needs clients may have.
Contact information: cw@ccg2.com
Phone (510) 483-3433
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