2022 IRMA Awards Judges

Tiffani Reding Amedeo

tiffani@myneworleans.com Tiffani Reding Amedeo is the creative director of New Orleans MagazineNew Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and New Orleans Bride. She has been with Renaissance Publishing since the start of the company in 2006.

Lisa Whittington-Hill

publisher@thismagazine.caLisa Whittington-Hill is the publisher of This Magazine, Canada's award-winning progressive magazine of politics, ideas and culture. She also works as a circulation, marketing and fundraising consultant for small magazines and is an instructor in the magazine publishing program at Centennial College in Toronto. Her writing has appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt and Longreads. She is currently writing a book for Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series on Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go’s. Girls, Interrupted, her collection of essays on how pop culture is failing women, will be published by Vehicule Press in 2023.

Wanda Garner Cash

wgcash@hcaf.comWanda Garner Cash is the event director for the Texas Arts & Crafts Fair. She retired in 2016 as associate director of the University of Texas School of Journalism, after 10 years as a clinical professor and the first Fellow to the S. Griffin Singer Professorship. A past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, Texas Press Association and Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, Cash devoted her career to mentoring young journalists and advocating for open government and public access. That work included her leadership of a media coalition in 2005 to push for a Texas shield law. She also served as the media member of the Texas Supreme Court’s Judicial Advisory Council's Committee on Public Access to Court Records. A community newspaper veteran with more than 25 years' experience, Cash previously was editor and publisher of The Baytown Sun, executive editor of The Brazosport (TX) Facts, assistant managing editor of The Galveston County Daily News and editor of the Kerrville (TX) Daily Times. Cash and her husband Richard also owned a weekly newspaper, The Ingram News, in rural Central Texas for eight years. In 2012, she was inducted into the Texas Intercollegiate Press Hall of Fame.

Patti Edgar

pedgar@mtroyal.caPatti Edgar’s writing can be found in newspapers, magazines and online. She teaches in Mount Royal University’s journalism program and mentors youth through the Alexandra Writers' Centre. Her middle grade novel, Anna Analyst, will be published by Yellow Dog/Great Plains Publications in the spring of 2021. An essay on her struggles to learn a second language was published in the anthology Waiting (University of Alberta Press). Ms. Edgar holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

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 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      

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.

Matthew DiMera

Matthew DiMera is an award-winning editor and journalist currently living in Toronto. He is the Founder of The Resolve, a new independent Canadian media outlet centering, elevating and celebrating Black, Indigenous and racialized voices and stories. The Resolve is reimagining the traditional narrative, and bringing more than just surface change to journalism. It will dive deeper, explain complex issues, and look to solutions. The Resolve aims to reflect the real-life experiences of Black, Indigenous and racialized communities — the highs and the lows, the challenges and the successes, the sorrows and the joys.
Most recently Matthew was the Managing Editor at Xtra where he drove new and innovative digital-only editorial and engagement strategies, and the Acting Editor-in-Chief at rabble.ca where he was leading strategy for an editorial refocusing and relaunch.
He is a long-time advocate for the importance and power of social justice and community reporting.

Jed Tallo

jedtallo@mail.comCreative and design director Jed Tallo started his career in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to settling in Toronto, Canada, Jed worked extensively in London, U.K., for magazines such as Condé Nast Traveller, ELLE UK, and Waitrose Food Illustrated. He was most recently the Art Director of ELLE Canada and currently the Design Director of the recently launched ELLE Gourmet magazine.

Nikki Simpson

nikki@internationalmagazinecentre.com Nikki is the founder and director of the International Magazine Centre, an international community of small businesses working in and around magazine publishing. Long term, the International Magazine Centre will be a physical building dedicated to all-things-magazine, with office and incubator space, events and exhibitions, magazine shop and cafe. We celebrate the magazine publishing industry - all kinds of titles, from all over the world, and with every business model imaginable.

Sara Samsoneditor and writer

sarasamson10@gmail.comSara is a Calgary-based, award-winning writer and editor with nearly a decade of publishing experience. She has worked on a variety of travel and lifestyle publications, most recently as the senior editor of WestJet Magazine. She also teaches journalism at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). During these strange days, you'll find her working from her kitchen table, reading old travel magazines in parks while dreaming up her next adventure, lingering on patios and binge watching old sitcoms.

Ian Doig

iandoigmedia@gmail.comIan Doig edits and contributes to GrainsWest magazine, the quarterly agricultural publication of the Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley. In 2020, he was awarded the Star Prize for Print by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists. The former editor of Fast Forward Weekly, Where Calgary and WestJet Magazine, he is a long-time judge for the B.C. & Yukon Community News Media Association Ma Murray Awards.

Pete Nguyen

Pete.phi.nguyen@gmail.comPete Nguyen is an award-winning designer, illustrator and art director from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has over a decade working in magazines, with 4 of those years art directing at Avenue Magazine Edmonton. He is currently art directing with Berlin Communications, and navigating the world of craft beer as a partner of Sea Change Brewing Co. He stays busy off-the-clock with his band The Weekend Kids, and his two cats Bizzy and Boop. INSTAGRAM: Personal @pete.nguyen, Berlin Communications @berlin_comm, Sea Change Brewing Co @seachangebrewingco  

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.

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.

Kelly Hartman

Kelly Hartman, CGD
HARTMAN DESIGN STUDIO, Creative Director/Designer
Kelly is the Creative Director and Senior Designer at HARTMAN DESIGN STUDIO. A graphic design studio that is rooted in strategy, craft, strong attention to typography and a focus on user experience. Kelly has been designing books and magazines her entire career. While many other design projects occupy her time, editorial is her passion! With over 50 books and an equal amount of magazines under her belt, this is the area where she thrives. She has garnered 54 National / International awards for her editorial work including AIGA, Graphex, Applied Arts, and Ad Rodeo, and her work has been published in many books in Europe.
Kelly is Sessional Faculty at the Alberta University of Arts teaching Editorial and Typography classes to budding designers.
There really is no “outside of work” for Kelly but when she is not designing she’s attending yet another concert or diving the reefs in Cozumel. (Outside of pandemic lockdowns of course).

Anna Johnson

ajohnson@azgfd.govAn Arizona native, Anna Johnson is the associate editor of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine, an award-winning publication of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Following years of rewarding broadcasting, print and government public communication roles in Oregon and Arizona, Johnson is thrilled to venture outdoors to write about Sonoran pronghorn, bowhunting, Working Dogs for Conservation, and counting birds in the field at Christmas time — just to mention a few projects. In her free time, Johnson gives virtual talks and on-site presentations about Dia de los Muertos and other Mexican celebrations and traditions. Obeying every wish from her three small dogs and spending time with her beloved hubby of 31 years is especially what fills her days with happiness!

Al Bonowitz

Bonowitz.Al@aaa-calif.comAl Bonowitz is editor in chief of AAA member magazines for Hawai‘i and Northern New England (Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont) and assists with Westways, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s 4.65-million circulation magazine for its Southern California members. The best part of his job entails learning about his territories by visiting each one twice a year to meet with writers and publicists. In his spare time, he enjoys baseball, reading nonfiction, dining, and playing the drums.  

This Year’s Judges:

Writing Judges:

  • John Andrews, Managing Editor, South Dakota Magazine
  • Deborah Baldwin, Former Editor of This Old House, Real Simple, and Common Cause
  • Al Bonowitz, Editor in Chief, AAA Hawai‘i, Editor in Chief, Northern New England Journey
  • Sue Carter, Deputy Editor, Inuit Art Quarterly
  • Melissa Chessher, Professor & Chair, Syracuse University
  • Matthew DiMera, editor and Founder of The Resolve
  • Ian Doig, Editor, GrainsWest
  • Wanda Garner Cash, Event Director, Texas Arts and Crafts Fair
  • Valerie Howes, Editorial team of Today’s Parent
  • Anna Johnson, Associate Editor, Arizona Wildlife Views
  • Lisa Meipala Kennedy, Editor in Chief, SVP, Serendipity magazine
  • Joseph O’Donnell, Editor/Publisher, B-Metro and BHM Biz magazines
  • Ingrid Randoja, writer, editor, Now Magazine, Cineplex Magazine
  • Nikki Simpson, Director, International Magazine Centre
  • Sara Samson, Freelance Editor, Writer
  • Jennifer Tormo, Editor 225 magazine, Louisiana
  • Lisa Whittington-Hill, Publisher, This MagazineDesign Judges:
  • Maria Amador, Art Director, Reader’s Digest magazine
  • Venessa Brewer, Graphic Designer | Art Director
  • Kelly Hartman, CGD, HARTMAN DESIGN STUDIO, Creative Director/Designer
  • Julia Knetzer, Art Director, Garden and Gun
  • Lisl Liang, CEO/President, Editor In Chief and Creative Director, SRQ Media
  • Dave McKenna, Art Director, 5280
  • Sarah Nealon, Art Director, Red Bear design studio
  • Melissa Newman, Art Director, Yoga Journal
  • Pete Nguyen, Art Director, Creative Consultant
  • Colleen Nicholson, Art Director
  • Tiffani Reding Amedeo, Art Director, New Orleans Magazine
  • Jed Tallo, Art and creative directorDigital Judges:
  • Patti Edgar, Assistant Professor, Journalism and Digital Media, Faculty of Business and Communication Studies