The Society of Professional Journalists is a national organization dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty. Meet our leaders.
President: Christiana Lilly
email@example.com | @christianalilly
The web editor for Boca magazine, Lilly also freelances and has been published in outlets like the Miami Herald’s Indulge magazine, Fort Lauderdale magazine, South Florida Gay News, Fox News, and Fusion. Previously, she worked at Newsmax, HuffPost Miami, and Forum Publishing Group, where she covered the Sunrise and Plantation city beat. A proud Gator, Lilly graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism and a minor in anthropology. Although she was born in Florida, Lilly moved around in Asia for 14 years before moving back stateside for college. She served two years as executive vice president of SPJ Florida. She previously served as secretary for the chapter.
Executive Vice President: Abigail Perry
firstname.lastname@example.org | @aschorr
Perry is a digital producer for Citrix Systems, Inc. Formerly, she was the assistant editor for Society Scene as well as a writer and web content developer for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. While working for Forum Publishing Group, Perry served as web director, calendar editor and columnist. Her columns were published in Jewish Journal. Perry’s additional writings and editorial work were published in South Florida Parenting, Teenlink and Jewish Journal. Perry holds a Master of Science degree in Communication and Media from Lynn University (2013) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Studies (concentration in Journalism) from Radford University (2008). She served two years as secretary of SPJ Florida.
Vice President of Membership: Ryan Dailey
email@example.com | @rt_dailey
State since 2001.
Vice President of Programming: Emily Bloch
firstname.lastname@example.org | @emdrums
Bloch is a multimedia journalist covering Southwest Broward County for Forum Publishing Group. She’s been featured in publications including Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Broward New Times, Debt.com and Teen Vogue. She previously served as SPJ Florida’s student representative. Bloch graduated from Florida Atlantic University, where she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She’s helped organize and run SPJ-sponsored events including Zombie Stories and Muslimedia.
Secretary: Brendon Lies
Lies is currently the art director at South Florida Gay News, where he also writes as a columnist. He attended Minnesota State University Moorhead before transferring to Florida Atlantic University, where his career as a designer earned him the title of creative director at the University Press, the FAU school newspaper. He never sits still in his spare time, and uses his intense interest in social justice and ethics as inspiration for his exploration of the arts. Lies previously served as a director for SPJ Florida.
Treasurer: Christopher Persaud
Chris Persaud is a freelance journalist and programmer. He has done data journalism for the Palm Beach Post and Bankrate.com. He owns and runs DataJournalismJobs.com, an online jobs board for data journalism jobs. He also owns and runs RichBlocksPoorBlocks.com, a subscription website that maps rent and income data for every neighborhood in America.
Immediate Past President: Dori Zinn
email@example.com | @dorizinn
Zinn is a writer for Student Loan Hero. She’s also the president of Blossomers Media, and has bylines in Huffington Post, Quartz, The Week, and Fort Lauderdale magazine. Zinn served as president of SPJ Florida for two years, helping win the national recognition of “Chapter of the Year” for both of her terms. She previously served as Executive Vice President, VP of Membership and VP of Programs for the chapter.
Board of Directors
firstname.lastname@example.org | @btballenger
Ballenger is the associate editor for Debt.com, a unique provider of personal finance news and financial services. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in communication and English. His money-related writing has been featured in The South Florida Business Journal, Money Talks News, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, on the homepages of MSN and Yahoo!, and more.
email@example.com | @mboyet
Boyet is the digital marketing manager for The Breakers Palm Beach, where she manages the resort’s social media, email marketing, and overall digital strategy. A past president of SPJ Florida, Boyet currently serves as the co-chair of SPJ National’s communications committee and formerly worked as an associate homepage producer at the Sun Sentinel. She is the co-founder of the First Amendment Free Food Festival and received the Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment award from SPJ National in 2010.
firstname.lastname@example.org | @AuroraMiami
Dominguez is an adjunct professor in media and communications at Miami-Dade College and Broward College and teaches English and has taught media at Boca Raton Community High School. She previously taught at Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. She has worked as senior web editor for the Bauer Xcel Media Group (publisher of J-14, M Magazine and Twist Magazine), managing editor for Where South Florida, and online producer and editor for The Miami Herald. Dominguez holds a master’s degree in mass communications and journalism from FIU.
email@example.com | @bferrendi
Ferrendi is the digital content director for South Florida Gay News and the director of the Kunkel Awards for SPJ. She also freelances for SFGN and Debt.com. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University, where she served as features editor for the student newspaper, the University Press. Previously, Ferrendi worked at NewBeauty Magazine as a web editorial intern.
Gaspar is a full Professor of Mass Communication at Hillsborough Community College and has taught for 20+ years. He has been recognized as a site level, county level, and state level teacher of the year. He serves as a judge for national publications contests, awards and as a critique adviser for student publications. He has attended numerous state, national and international journalism and communication conferences. He is also a CMA Distinguished Two-Year Magazine Adviser, CMA Distinguished Two-Year Newspaper Adviser, and SPJ Dori Maynard Diversity Fellow.
firstname.lastname@example.org | @luluramadan
Lulu Ramadan is a reporter at The Palm Beach Post, where she covers government, community news, crime and politics in southern Palm Beach County. She joined The Post in 2015 after graduating Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree from the School of Communication. At Florida Atlantic, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the student publication, the University Press, for a year.
Student Board Member
email@example.com | @kerri_marie23
Covington is the editor-in-chief of the Florida Atlantic University school newspaper, the University Press. She previously served as its managing editor and copy desk chief. While pursuing an English degree at FAU, she also works as an intern at financial advice website Debt.com and as a copy editor for South Florida Gay News. She’d normally include a clever quip about what she does in her free time, but she doesn’t have any.