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 2016-17 board of directors Sept. 1. The election is for the term beginning Oct. 1, 2016 and ending Sept. 30, 2017. The board serves as the decision-making body of the chapter. See the bylaws for a description of each board position.



  • Ruth Nasrullah
  • Sara Samora

Vice President

  • Curt Mrowiec
  • Jim Magill


  • Jim Magill


  • Jim Magill
  • Sara Samora


  • Tom Marsh
  • Ruth Nasrulla
  • Sara Samora
  • Ken Fountain


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. 1, 2016 and close at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 2, 2016. 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 FountainKen Fountain is a freelance journalist based in Houston. Among his coverage 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. After leaving the Navy, 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. He 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 current board member of the Houston chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors.  Previously, he has been a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.


Jim MagillJim Magill has about 38 years of experience as a professional journalist, and for more than 20 of those years has been working for Gas Daily, first as a reporter and currently as senior associate, for Platts. In his current position, Magill covers news that impacts the North American natural gas market from the gas fields of western Wyoming and Colorado to the Louisiana, Alabama and Texas Gulf coasts. In addition, he has written extensively on criminal and civil legal cases impacting the gas industry, including those surrounding the fall of Enron and the scandal in the early years of this decade involving gas traders who reported false pricing information to Platts and other index publishers. Magill is married and has two adult children.


Tom MarshTom Marsh is a freelance journalist who previously held a variety of reporting, editorial, publishing and management positions with IHS, ODS-Petrodata and Offshore Data Services, covering the offshore oil and gas industry. In addition to being an incumbent member of the Houston Chapter SPJ board, he is a founding board member of the Houston Chapter SPJ Susanne M. Pagano Scholarship Fund. Tom is a firm believer in and strong supporter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ goals, particularly the society’s efforts to inspire and educate student journalists. If re-elected to the Houston Chapter board, his focus in the coming year will be to strengthen the financial position of the Pagano Scholarship Fund.


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, Curt has worked for a number of energy companies. He looks forward to helping the SPJ in the upcoming year by serving on subcommittees, increasing member participation and volunteering his time to other SPJ efforts. Curt served as vice president of the SPJ Houston chapter last year and was involved in organizing many successful events and programs.


Ruth NasrullahRuth Nasrullah is a freelance journalist specializing in religion, civil rights and politics. She has written for the Houston Chronicle, Religion News Service, Islamic Horizons, Azizah, Toastmaster and MuslimMatters. She is authoring a book on the experience of being religious in America. Nasrullah has a masters degree in journalism from Emerson College and a master of fine arts degree in creative nonfiction from Goucher College. She serves on a part-time basis as Communications Coordinator for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She has served as both vice president and president of Houston SPJ and chaired the 2014 regional conference committee and currently serves on the chapter’s scholarship committee. Nasrullah looks forward to the opportunity to once again serve her Houston-area colleagues with a position on the Houston SPJ board, helping develop educational programming, cultural and social activities and networking opportunities.


Sara SamoraSara Samora is a Marine Corps veteran who recently graduated from the University of Houston this year with a dual degree of English literature and print journalism. Currently, she is a freelancer and a staff writer for El Gato Media Network (EGMN). Samora wants to serve on the SPJ board due to her love of journalism. Moreover, she wants to help build a connection between SPJ and student journalists in local colleges and universities. She believes it is important to build a network amongst journalists, to mentor as well as continue training to keep up with the ever-changing craft of telling a story. In 2014, she helped established the UH chapter of the Student Veterans of America, and served as the public relations chair for three semesters. The goal she feels in any organization, is to take care and help members reached their goals.