SPJ Houston 2015-16 board election underway

The Houston chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ election for the 2015-16 board of directors is currently underway. Only Houston Pro chapter members in good standing are eligible to vote. Voting is by email and ends 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.

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: Tom Marsh, Curt Mrowiec, Sarah Tucker, Katy Umana (*At-large positions are elected in increments of two.)


Nominee bios

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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

Position descriptions

President: The President shall be the chief executive officer and shall supervise and direct the business and affairs of the Chapter. The President shall see to it that the

Chapter conforms to the requirements of the national Society. The President shall have the power to delegate such functions to other officers as necessary. The President shall have the power to create committees of officers, directors, members, or any combination thereof, to further the business and affairs of the Chapter. The President shall perform other functions customarily associated with such a title.

Vice President: The Vice President shall exercise the functions of the President in the absence or inability of the President, either temporarily or for the duration of the President’s term.

Secretary: The Secretary shall record the minutes of meetings of the Chapter membership and the Board of Directors, be custodian of Chapter records, maintain Chapter membership rolls, and maintain contact with the national Society. The Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President or Board, and provide all notices required by these Bylaws.

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be the principal accounting and financial officer of the Chapter. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the financial books of account for the

Chapter, will have custody of all Chapter funds and securities, and will make disbursements of funds in accordance with Chapter policies and at the direction of the

Board of Directors. The Treasurer will perform all the duties incidental to the office.

Board of Directors: The Board of Directors is the decision making body of the Chapter. It shall meet at least quarterly to conduct the Chapter’s business. The Board shall be made up of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and *two, four, six or eight Directors who shall serve one-year terms.