2018 IRMA Awards Judges

John Andrews


John Andrews has been a staffer at South Dakota Magazine for 13 years, the last seven as managing editor. He has searched the gumbo hills of southwestern South Dakota for the rare Fairburn agate, lost his publisher’s money betting on horse races in Aberdeen (it was less than $100) and eaten lutefisk with Norwegians in Summit. In addition to producing a bimonthly magazine, he and the staff are currently combing the magazine archives to complete a book of essential South Dakota stories. Its release in late 2019 helps commemorate the 35th anniversary of South Dakota Magazine in 2020.


Melissa Newman

melissanewman36@gmail.comMelissa Newman has made her career specializing in print design and art direction and is currently working as a consumer direct designer at outdoor retailer, Orvis. She formerly served as Art Director for Yoga Journal and other niche national magazines. Melissa lives in New England with her goofball Golden Retriever, Harper, and partner, Zack. Travel is a passion, and she's currently on a quest to visit all of the major U.S. National Parks.

Natalie McLeod

natt.mcleod@gmail.comNatalie McLeod is a graphic designer living and working in Toronto. She currently works at Loblaw Digital as an Intermediate Graphic Designer. Her past jobs include Holt Renfrew, Toronto Life, and Flare Magazine. She stays busy by creating graphic material such as posters, invitations and small business collateral.

Deborah Baldwin

Deborah Baldwin is a New York writer and editor. She is a former staff editor at The New York Times, This Old House magazine, Real Simple and the International Herald Tribune, and was editor of Common Cause magazine in its heyday. Her freelance pieces have appeared in The Times, The Washington Post, Medium, PassBlue and other publications, including two anthologies devoted to Paris.

David Leach

dleach@uvic.caDavid Leach is the former City Life editor of Monday Magazine and former Managing Editor of explore: Canada’s Outdoor Magazine. He has written features and columns for dozens of Canadian, U.S. and international publications and is the author of two books, Fatal Tide: When the Race of a Lifetime Goes Wrong and Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Writing and Director of the Professional Writing Minor in Journalism & Publishing at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

Ingrid Randoja

ingridrandoja@gmail.com Ingrid Randoja began her movie-reviewing career in 1990 working as a freelance writer for Toronto’s NOW Magazine. From 1995 to 2001 she served as NOW’s film editor, and since 2003 she’s held the position of deputy editor at Cineplex Magazine, Canada’s most read entertainment magazine.

Brett MartinFreelance Illustrator


Brett Martin is an internationally exhibiting artist and illustrator.

Brett specializes in detailed line work, character design and hand lettering. He is an avid consumer of fantasy, sci-fi, the occasional crime drama and nature programs. One can usually find him filling sketchbooks, travelling, expanding his personal library, petting cats or waiting tables.

Contact Brett [for contract work and commissions]: hello@bybrett.ca

This summer Brett will be featured on a Collective Arts beer can label as part of Series 13 and appear in a group exhibition (Mergeculture Gallery, Tampa, FL) to celebrate the new release!

Website: https://www.bybrett.ca/

Collective Arts: https://collectiveartsbrewing.com/art-submission/animated-armour/

Mergeculture Gallery: https://mergeculture.com/2019/07/15/art-and-beer-exhibit-collective-arts-brewing-tampa/

Honorarium:I had no hesitation in taking my honorarium on a spree at one of Toronto's best independent shops for comics and books, The Beguiling!

DeAnne Bedier

info@deannebedier.com DeAnne Bedier is an award-winning designer, an alumni of the Alberta College of Art & Design and has 16 years experience specializing in branding and print design. DeAnne is currently the Creative Director / Designer at her own studio, DeAnne Bedier Design. She has been the creative lead on numerous projects and publications and has won local, national and international awards for her work.

Giovanni Leonne

giovannicorradoleone@gmail.com My name is Giovanni and I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in Graphic Design. I landed my first job in Boulder at Backpacker Magazine. In my spare time I enjoy numerous extreme outdoor activities; mountain biking, snowboarding, and cliff diving. I have a love for craft food, beer, and cocktails that I have forged into a very exciting hobby.

James Reid james@jamesreid.ca

In his role at Rogers Publishing, James Reid was a key member of the team that launched Maclean’s tablet edition – the first Canadian publication available on the tablet. He went on to build and lead the team responsible for launching and supporting 25 different titles on tablet and smartphone, including Chatelaine, Today’s Parent and Sportsnet Magazine. James currently oversees the content operations for all of Rogers Publishing properties across all mediums – app, web and print.

Lauren McKeon

lauren@walrusmagazine.comLauren McKeon is an award-winning journalist, digital editor at the Walrus, and author of F-Bomb: Dispatches from the War on Feminism.

Tracy Hyatt

tracy.hyatt@ama.ab.ca Tracy Hyatt is the associate managing editor of AMA Insider magazine, a member magazine for CAA members which provides inspirational, practical and adventure-filled content for travel and motor enthusiasts. Previously, Tracy was the managing editor at Alberta Venture magazine and a longtime board member of LitFest, Canada’s only non-fiction book festival. Most weekends, Tracy can be found roadtripping through Alberta’s backroads.

Suzanne Trudel

director@albertamagazines.comSuzanne Trudel has been promoting the province's periodical industry since 2011 as the executive director of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association  She’s a veteran of the media industry, with nearly three decades’ experience working with journalism students as a college media advisor, weekly newspaper publications manager and publisher. She volunteered as a judge for the Western Magazine Awards for numerous years, serves on SAIT’s Journalism Advisory Committee, chairs the Reflector Publications Society board at Mount Royal University and sits as a director for the Amber Webb Bowerman Memorial Foundation, a grassroots organization that has raised more than $100,000 in awards and scholarships for emerging artists and writers.

Melissa Chessher

mchesshe@syr.edu Melissa Chessher is a magazine professor and director of the Magazine, News & Digital Journalism Graduate Program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She possesses more than 20 years of experience in the magazine field as both a writer and editor. Her work has appeared in more than a dozen magazines, including Marie ClaireSelfHealthGlamour, ShapeFitnessMen’s Health, and Parents magazines, and her investigative feature for Self magazine on the challenges faced by women who work while undergoing treatment for breast cancer was part of a package that earned an Ellie Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors in the category of personal service. As an editor, she worked on the launch of Real Simple, the largest magazine launch in Time Inc. history. In 2016, she was named one of Folio magazine’s Top Women in Media Award and routinely serves as a judge for the ASME’s Ellie Awards.   Melissa Chessher | Professor & Chair Magazine, News & Digital Journalism (Undergraduate, Graduate) Director | Newhouse Graduate Newspaper Fellowship for Minorities Core Faculty | Renée Crown University Honors Program Co-Director | Fashion & Beauty Communications Milestone pronouns: she/her   S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications 315.443.4038 | mchesshe@syr.edu 215 University Place, Suite 318C, Syracuse, N.Y. 13244 Syracuse University      

Megan Hillman

http://meganhillman.comMegan Hillman is an award-winning designer, visual problem solver & hand-letterer residing in sunny Boulder, Colorado. She’s previously designed for Old House Journal, New Old House, Arts and Craft Homes, and Martha Stewart Weddings. When she’s not shortcutting in InDesign you can find her writing letters with the Colorado Correspondence Coalition.

John Montgomery

john@johnmontgomery.ca John Montgomery is the art director for Reader's Digest Canada. He's previously worked on Canadian Business, MoneySense, Toronto Life, Financial Post Magazine and Taddle Creek magazines. John has been nominated for several National Magazine Awards—including a silver win in 2016 for Cover of the Year—and won two Canadian Cover awards in 2012 and 2016.

Jeremy Leslie

jeremy.leslie@magculture.com Jeremy Leslie leads the magCulture studio, dividing his time between designing, consulting and writing. He’s a passionate advocate for editorial design, which he sees as an ever-changing discipline that has always adapted to new contexts. His has written several books about magazine design and the magCulture online Journal is a key source of news and opinion on the subject. He organises the annual ModMag conference in London and opened the magCulture shop in 2015, selling a unique selection of 450 magazines from across the world. The first ModMag NY Edition takes place on 30 May 2018.

Adrian Doran

adrian@adriandoran.comAdrian Doran is a versatile art director and designer with over twenty years of professional experience, specializing in editorial design. Adrian has held the position of Art Director at; Homemakers, a digest sized national womens' magazine with a circulation of 1.5 million readers; In House, a home decorating magazine; and Gloss, a Northern Irish-based custom-published fashion magazine. Also, Adrian has worked at Marketing Magazine, TV Guide, Canadian Business and Cottage Life. Recently, Adrian has art-directed and designed a series of custom-published magazines and recipe booklets for Transcontinental Publishing, including projects with Ocean Spray, Pillsbury, HighLiner, the Canadian Dental Association and Minute Rice.

Conan Tobias

editor@taddlecreekmag.com Conan Tobias is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Taddle Creek, an award-wanting general-interest arts magazine. Formerly, he was the managing editor of Canadian Business, and the senior editor of Quill & Quire. He writes and edits for a wide variety of publications and organizations, including consumer, trade, and custom publications.

Hal Niedzviecki

hal@brokenpencil.comHal Niedzviecki is a writer, speaker, culture commentator and editor whose work challenges preconceptions and confronts readers with the offenses of everyday life. He is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction and the publisher/founder of Broken Pencil: The magazine of zine culture and the independent arts. Links: Home page and blog: http://www.alongcametomorrow Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HalNiedzvieckiwriter Twitter: http://twitter.com/halpen Magazine: http://www.brokenpencil.com