SPJ Houston to have board election in September

The Houston chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will have an election for the chapter’s 2015-16 board of directors Sept. 21. The election is for the term beginning Oct. 1, 2015 and ending Sept. 30, 2016. The board serves as the decision-making body of the chapter. See the bylaws for a description of each board position.


President: Kassia Micek

Vice president:  Ray Ruiz, Curt Mrowiec

Secretary: Ray Ruiz

Treasurer: Jim Magill

Board members at large: Ken Fountain, Tom Marsh, Curt Mrowiec, Sarah Tucker, Katy Umana

Only Houston Pro chapter members in good standing are eligible to vote. Voting is by email and will begin at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 21, 2015 and close at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 22, 2015. Please send votes to houstonspj@hotmail.com. No special ballot is required; simply indicate your vote for each position, e.g. John Smith for President or President: John Smith.

Nominee bios

Ken Fountain:

Ken FountainFountain is a writer and freelance journalist in Houston. Among his interests are law and the courts, media and culture, urbanism, politics, science and environmental issues. Fountain began his communications career as a U.S. Navy public affairs representative/journalist aboard an aircraft carrier based in San Diego, working in both print and broadcasting. Later, he embarked on a long career in newspaper and online journalism at newspapers large and small in Southern California and Southeast Texas, serving as a reporter, copy editor and online producer. Fountain also was the first Texas correspondent for a national legal news service and covered Houston-area stories as a stringer for an international wire service. Fountain is  a member of the Houston chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Jim Magill:

Jim MagillJim Magill has been a professional journalist for the past 35 years, including a year and a half in Pennsylvania and the remainder in the Houston area. Most of his early experience was in newspapers, both dailies and weeklies, including a six-year stint with the Houston Chronicle, where he wrote and took photos for that paper’s community news and special sections department. For most of the past two decades, Magill has worked as a reporter and editor for Platts, covering the natural gas industry. Magill is married and the father of two adult children. He’sbeen involved with SPJ for more than 20 years and served as a Chapter board member and president. As an officer with the Houston Chapter, Magill hopes to increase chapter membership; offer a wide variety of meetings, including informative panel discussions and social networking get-togethers; and raise SPJ’s profile within the Houston community.

Tom Marsh:

Tom Marsh headshotTom Marsh has held a variety of reporting, editorial, publishing and management positions with IHS Petrodata and its predecessor companies since joining Offshore Data Services in 1987 as editor of the weekly oil industry publication Gulf of Mexico Newsletter. In November 2009, Tom was named Vice President in charge of the company’s Marine Asset, directing a team providing in-depth market data, commentary and analysis on the global ocean-going marine seismic and offshore supply vessel markets. With the acquisition of ODS-Petrodata by IHS in 2011, Tom was named Director IIO of IHS Petrodata Marine, the position he currently holds. In this capacity, Tom directs a global team of market experts covering the offshore supply vessel and marine seismic industries, and he oversees publication of IHS’s Offshore Marine Monthly newsletter, Seismic Quarterly Report, the daily subscription e-news service IHS Petrodaily Marine, and the biannual Global Supply Vessel Forecast. Tom is a graduate of Texas A&M University/Texas Maritime Academy.

Kassia Micek:

Kassia Micek headhsotKassia Micek is an associate editor at Platts covering electricity markets. She received a bachelor degree in Mass Communication – Print Journalism in May 2004from Texas State University-San Marcos, where she served as a reporter and later assistant news editor for The University Star and interned at the San Marcos Daily Record. After graduation, Micek worked as a web producer at News 9 San Antonio before going to Houston Community Newspapers, where she was a reporter, weekend editor and then assistant digital editor. Micek is a graduate of the SPJ Scripps Leadership Institute (February 2014) and Leadership Montgomery County Class of 2011. She has been an SPJ Houston board member since 2012 and has served on the chapter’s programs subcommittee and the joint Law & The Media Planning Committee. Micek plans to help get student journalists involved in the Houston chapter, increase membership and awareness among local journalists, and continue to serve on the programs subcommittee.

Curt Mrowiec:

Curt MrowiecCurt Mrowiec is spot market editor at Platts covering North American natural gas markets. He received a bachelors of science degree in economics from The Ohio State University in 2007. Before starting at Platts, Mrowiec worked for a number of energy companies including Direct Energy and World Energy Solutions. He looks forward to helping SPJ Houston in the upcoming year by serving on subcommittees, increasing member participation and volunteering his time to other SPJ efforts.

Ray Ruiz:

Ray RuizRaymond Ruiz is the president and founder of EGMN (El Gato Media Network), a 501(c)(3) a journalism education nonprofit. For the past six years, he has worked with students in the Houston area on journalism, online media, media production and mobile reporting. Ruiz has a master’s degree in gifted education from the University of Houston. As a board member of Houston SPJ, he has helped the chapter engage college students and organized the successful Jingle Bells with Journalists, a holiday mixer with AAJA, HAHMP, HABJ and Houston Press Club.

Sarah Tucker:

Sarah TuckerSarah Tucker is a community liaison for Neighborhood Centers. She began working in journalism as a reporter and then section editor for the University of Houston’s The Daily Cougar as an undergraduate. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a MA in Journalism in 2014 and has worked for publications and radio stations in Missouri, Kansas, North Dakota and Texas. Tucker was a reporter for Houston Community Newspapers’ Examiner publication and a copy editor for the Galveston County Daily News. In her spare time, she freelances for local publications and volunteers with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Tucker has been a SPJ Houston board member since 2013. For the upcoming year, she hopes to focus on improving membership and establishing a student SPJ chapter.

Katy Umana:

Katy UmanaAs a communications specialist, Katy Umaña contributes to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s internal communications and provides communication support to members across the university. Her responsibilities include creating content for UTHealth’s intranet, and supporting and executing strategic communications plans. Her background also includes photography, videography and social media marketing.  A graduate of the University of Houston, Umaña studied print journalism and media production. As a student, she dedicated her time to covering local and international sports in Houston and other parts of the U.S. Umaña is a former editor-in-chief of The Overtime Page, a sports journalism website. In her spare time, Umaña enjoys painting, attending live music events, photography and traveling.