Meet the 2024 IRMA Awards Jury

The International Regional Magazine Association Awards Committee is pleased to announce the Jury for the 2024 IRMA Awards. We are very grateful to all these talented industry leaders for giving us their time and expertise.

Awards for content produced by IRMA members between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023 will be evaluated in 43 categories, and announced at the 2024 IRMA Conference, in June 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

2024 IRMA Awards Jury

Hannah AgranExecutive Editor, Midwest Living

Hannah Agran is executive editor at Midwest Living, where she oversees travel, food, home, garden and culture content across all platforms. Previously, she was the magazine's senior food editor and assistant travel editor. In her off time, she loves to cook, putter in the garden and travel—a perfect trip involves hiking, art museums and pastries, in equal measure. More at Instagram: @midwestfooded, and

Ian AldrichSenior Features Editor, Yankee Magazine

Ian Aldrich is the Senior Features Editor at Yankee Magazine, where he has worked for more nearly two decades. As the magazine’s staff feature writer, he writes stories that delve deep into issues facing communities throughout New England. In 2019 he received gold in the reporting category at the annual City-Regional Magazine conference for his story on New England’s opioid crisis. Ian’s work has also appeared in numerous other publications and has been recognized by both the Best American Sports and Best American Travel Writing anthologies. He lives with his family in Dublin, New Hampshire.

Deborah BaldwinFreelance Writer and Editor

Deborah Baldwin is a longtime writer and editor who has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, AARP Bulletin, Medium and other publications and websites. She is a former staff editor at The Times, This Old House, Real Simple and Common Cause magazine.

Alan J. BartelsInformation and Education Coordinator, Lower Loup Natural Resources District

Alan J. Bartels is a writer, photographer, gardener, student of nature, father, chronic volunteer, and wanderer. The Greeley High School graduate has been knocked unconscious by an emu; bitten by snakes, snapping turtles and a sandhill crane; has come home smelling of skunk, and once had a wild black-footed ferret run up his leg. Alan's award-winning children's book, What's Going Down in Prairie Dog Town? was published in 2018 and includes a foreword by primatologist Jane Goodall. His photograph of a Blanding's turtle appeared in the March 2020 issue of National Geographic Magazine, and his work has appeared in the Smithsonian Institution’s Air & Space Magazine, USA Today, and dozens of other local, state, and national publications. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Bartels received the Rank of Admiral in the “Great Navy of the State of Nebraska” in 2016 and was previously named Conservation Educator of the Year by the Nebraska Wildlife Federation. In 2022, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts appointed Alan to the executive board of the Governor's Council to Keep Nebraska Beautiful. Alan is the former editor of Nebraska Life Magazine and is a six-time IRMA Award winner in the categories of Profiles, Historic Feature, Cover, and Writer of the Year. Alan's latest book, "100 Things To Do In The Nebraska Sandhills Before You Die," was published by Reedy Press in September 2023. When not exploring the Nebraska Sandhills, Alan seeks out craft beer breweries, and works a day job devoted to natural resources conservation.

Huck BeardCreative Director, Pittsburgh Magazine

Huck Beard is Creative Director at Pittsburgh Magazine, as well as an accomplished fine-art photographer and creative writer. He is represented by Selectric Artists.

Jocelyn BellEditor and Publisher, Broadview

As Editor and Publisher, Jocelyn Bell leads the team at Broadview. She started working with the magazine in 2006 as its managing editor, when the publication was called The United Church Observer. She became Editor and Publisher in 2018, and her proudest accomplishment to date has been relaunching the magazine as Broadview, in spring 2019. In 2020, Bell was awarded the Editor’s Grand Prix from the National Magazine Awards, and in both 2021 and 2022, the NMAs named Broadview the Best Special Interest Magazine in Canada.

Liann Bobechko

Liann Bobechko has been working in the magazine industry since 2000, most recently at Readers Digest Canada, and previous to that she spent nearly two decades at Cottage Life. In addition to developing print and digital stories, she has created numerous special interest publications, newsletters, and helped make the first season of the Cottage Life podcast. She has served on the board of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, and spoken at industry events at Centennial College and the Professional Writers Association of Canada. Liann is proud to have worked with some of Canada’s finest writers on many award-winning features, packages, and departments over the years.

Al BonowitzEditor, Automobile Club of Southern California

Al Bonowitz edits the Northern New England regional section of  AAA Explorer, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s publication for members of clubs it owns throughout the United States. He manages an annual photo contest and edits the dining section in Westways, the 5-million circulation magazine for ACSC’s Southern California members. He also oversees digital travel content for AAA’s East Central region, which serves members in parts of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In his spare time, he enjoys baseball, reading nonfiction, dining, and playing the drums for blues and classic-rock bands.  

Melissa ChessherProfessor, Belo Foundation Endowed Distinguished Chair in Journalism, Southern Methodist University

Melissa Chessher possesses more than 20 years of experience in the magazine field as both a writer and an editor. She worked on the launch of Real Simple, the largest magazine launch in Time Inc. history, and Gusto, a healthy living magazine for Latin American women. She has written for more than a dozen national consumer publications, including Self, Health, Glamour, Allure, Marie Claire, Fitness, Men's Health and Parents magazines. Her writing covers a wide range of topics — from travel narratives to deeply reported health features, personal essays and culture articles on food, wine, art and architecture. A special report for Self magazine on the workplace challenges faced by women undergoing breast cancer treatment was part of a package that earned a National Magazine Award for personal service from the American Society of Magazine Editors. In 2016, Folio magazine named Chessher one of its Top Women in Media. In 2022 she joined Southern Methodist University as the Belo Foundation Endowed Distinguished Chair in Journalism, and before that, she served as a chair, professor and interim associate dean at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Adrian DoranFreelance Art Director

Adrian Doran is an award-winning art director with over 20 years of experience in art direction, design, prepress and printing. He has an extensive background in arts marketing and publication design. Awards include: Gold, 1999 National Magazine Awards, for Cottage Life; Merit Winner (Illustration Cover), SPD 57 (2022), for Quill and Quire; SPD Members Choice Gold Medal Cover of the Year Nominee, SPD 56 (2021), for Quill and Quire.

Michael Ganley

Michael is a writer and editor based in Edmonton, Alberta. He was the editor of Alberta Venture, a monthly business magazine, for six years. He now works in communications with Canada's largest construction company, PCL Construction.

Martin GeeIlustrator, animator, designer and art director, freelance

Martin Gee 朱威華 (they/them) is a multidisciplinary creative, senior art director, designer, illustrator, Emmy-winning animator, comic book cover artist, educator and public speaker based in New York. Their career / path of destruction includes University of the Arts, New York Magazine, TIME, HuffPost, The Boston Globe, The San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune and RedEye, House of Blues, and The Orange County Register. Gee's style, outlook and problem-solving are highly versatile, from business illustrations in The New York Times to Vulture's Baby Yoda coloring book to animated food and robots for the Los Angeles Times. They are constantly exploring and playing with their obsessive and boundless personal projects. Work = Life = Play. In addition to their 25% EGOT, Gee has won innumerable awards from acronyms (SOI, SPD, TDC, SND, 3x3, Print) and a fondue set for presentation karaoke / improv.

David HalloranCreative Director, Midwest Luxury Publishing

David Halloran has been a life-long fan of magazines, with Transworld Skateboarding and National Geographic inspiring him to pursue photojournalism, and later design. Currently, he is the creative director for Midwest Luxury Publishing, as well as doing freelance designer, photography and writing. Before working with Midwest, he was the photo editor for Ink Publishing, working on American Airline's three in-flight magazines, as well as occasionally writing and shooting for the publications. These opportunities led him to photograph moose in Maine, drive Maseratis in the snow outside of Aspen and direct photo shoots with celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith and Marshawn Lynch.

Laura HensleyJournalist and Editor

Laura Hensley is an award-winning journalist and editor based in Toronto. She is a senior content writer at a major bank and a journalism instructor at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her work has appeared in places like the National Post, Toronto Life, Chatelaine, The Walrus, Best Health Magazine, Hello! Canada, MTV, FASHION Magazine and Refinery29, and on-air at outlets including the BBC, AM640 and Citytv. Laura has worked for some of the largest media companies in Canada including St. Joseph Communications, Rogers Media, Corus Entertainment and Postmedia. Most recently, she was the digital director of Canadian Business magazine. She previously worked as a national lifestyle reporter for Global News and a staff entertainment writer for FLARE. She completed both my master of journalism and bachelor of design in fashion communication at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Chris HercikCEO and Founder, Hevé Studios

Chris Hercik is the CEO and Founder of HEVĒ Agency and Studio, a branded content studio and a content marketing agency built on the belief that emotional connections drive engagement. Chris is an innovative, ultra-creative executive with over 25+ years in creative, marketing, and business strategy. He has led integrated creative/marketing organizations that fuel growth for clients across platforms by combining predictive analytics, brand creative, and tactical distribution. He is a two-time EMMY award winner and three-time Webby award winner, and previous to HEVĒ he founded and built The Foundry @ Meredith (formerly Time Inc.) which served as the marketing, custom content and creative heartbeat of Meredith, harnessing the power of publishing and the authenticity of editorial storytelling. In just over two years, The Foundry's revenue grew 50% YOY to a nine figure, end-to-end marketing, creative and content studio that is widely recognized as an industry leader in the content marketing category. LinkedIn

Alison Karlene HodginsFreelance writer and Managing Editor, Explore Magazine.

Alison Karlene Hodgins is an award-winning writer and editor based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has travelled to over 35 different countries and has a Writing and Publishing diploma, a Bachelor of Journalism degree and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. She is the Managing Editor of Explore Magazine, an outdoor adventure publication based in Canada. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post, CBC, Insider, Fodor’s and more. When she’s not planning her next trip, you can find her ensconced in a quirky café working on a freelance pitch or reading a good book in the sunshine. Alison is currently penning her debut memoir about breaking her back while snowboarding in the French Alps. Follow her adventures on Instagram @alisonkarlenehodgins and on her travel blog

Tina Anson MineSenior Copywriter, Blue Ant Media

Tina Anson Mine is the senior copywriter at Blue Ant Media. She was an editor for 15 years at Canadian Living before launching a freelance career as a cookbook editor, copy editor, writer and content agency jack-of-all-trades. She loves a well-placed semicolon and is learning to tolerate the Oxford comma.

Julia KnetzerArt Director, Garden & Gun

Julia Knetzer is an award-winning art director and designer with more than 15 years of experience creating print and digital editorial media. She currently lives and works in Charleston, SC, where she is the art director of Garden & Gun magazine. Julia previously worked in the art departments of Fast Company, Popular Mechanics and Outside's Go.

Andrea MaibaumProduction Manager, South Dakota Magazine

Andrea Maibaum earned a degree in Graphic Design from South Dakota State University in 2003. She joined the South Dakota Magazine team in 2004 as an advertising designer for their bi-monthly publication. Over time, her role has expanded to include all design processes, from creating billing inserts to designing magazine pages. When Andrea is not in front of her computer, she can often be found by the pool watching her daughter swim for the Yankton Swim Team.

John MontgomeryArt Director, Reader's Digest Canada

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.

Robert NewmanCreative Media Director, Newmanology

Robert Newman is the former design director of New York, Details, Fortune, The Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, and Vibe, and the former creative director of Real Simple, Reader's Digest, and This Old House magazines. As a consulting creative director he helped shaped the visual direction of print and digital projects for AARP, Cottage Living, Fast Company, Inc., AAA, TV Guide, and numerous other brands. He was also the editor of The Rocket, a music and culture magazine based in Seattle.

Mauve PagéSenior Lecturer, Publishing Department, Simon Fraser University

Before being a lecturer at Simon Fraser University, Mauve worked as an in-house and freelance designer for large commercial publishers and small local presses. She has designed for university presses, journals and magazines. Her work has been recognized by the Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, PubWest Book Design Awards, and Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. As a design instructor, Mauve hopes to inspire students to find creative solutions through conceptual thinking and get them excited about the unlimited potential to communicate ideas aesthetically. Mauve holds a Master of Publishing degree from SFU, a Bachelor in Communication Design from NSCAD University in Halifax, and a Bachelor in Women’s Studies from Queen’s University.

Robert ParsonsPrincipal + Creative Director, Seven Elm

Parsons majored in English at the University of New Hampshire, intending to become a journalist. But his first job found him less interested in writing copy (which, it turned out, he was never very good at) than in designing space for it. He has since worked in the art departments of the Atlantic Monthly and the music magazine Lollipop, and served as assistant art director at Cook’s Illustrated and associate art director at Natural Health before joining Boston magazine as art director in 2001. He spent eight years at the helm of Boston and its sister publications: New England Travel, Boston Home, and Boston Weddings. In 2008, he joined RMS Media as creative director of its two magazines—Northshore and Ocean Home—and its custom publishing division. He launched Seven Elm—a full-service creative agency specializing in brand strategy, design and editorial direction, and technology and development—in 2013. His work has been recognized by the Society of Publication Designers, the City and Regional Magazine Association, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Association Media & Publishing, Communication Arts, I.D., How Magazine, Photo District News, Print, the Society of Illustrators, American Photography, and American Illustration.

Evelyn Renold

Evelyn Renold started her career as the managing editor of a regional monthly, Coast, based in Los Angeles. Moving to New York, she held top staff positions at newspapers (Newsday, The New York Daily News) and national magazines (Lear’s, Good Housekeeping). She has taught journalism at Fordham University and NYU, and reviews fiction for Kirkus; her personal essays have  appeared in Dorothy Parker’s Ashes. As an editorial consultant, she works with writers at

Graham F. ScottSenior Content Designer, Shopify

Graham F. Scott is a senior product content designer at Shopify. He formerly served in editorial roles at Maclean's, Canadian Business, This Magazine, and other titles.

Kymberly TaylorEditor-in-Chief and Co-Founder, Annapolis Home Magazine and TH Media

Kymberly Taylor founded Annapolis Home Magazine thirteen years ago. In addition to editing the magazine she publishes a regular column in Annapolis Home called The High Heeled Gardener. Prior to founding Annapolis Home, she was the Home & Garden Editor for What's Up Annapolis Magazine, Regional Editor of Solutions at Home Magazine and Assistant Editor of Chesapeake Home Magazine. She has a journalism degree from Boston University and an MFA from Columbia University, and participates in many writing events and conferences. She recently edited the book Garden Like a Shaman by Oso Blanco. Her poems have appeared in journals that include New American Writing, Boston Review, Seneca Review, Hawaii Review and Notre Dame Review. Find her at, on Instagram @highheeledgardener and @annapolishomemagazine, and on Facebook.

Gina ValentinoManaging Editor, Gulfshore Life

Gina Valentino is the managing editor of Gulfshore Life magazine, a regional publication based in Southwest Florida. A multimedia journalist with more than a decade of experience, Gina specializes in luxury lifestyle content.

Bryan M. VanceDirector of Newsletter Strategy, City Cast

Bryan M. Vance is an award-winning multimedia journalist, with a specialty in digital platforms and newsletters. Originally from Ohio, Bryan has worked in public media, at newspapers, and for digital startups. In his current role, Bryan oversees all editorial newsletter and website efforts for City Cast, a U.S. network of daily podcasts and newsletters.

Paige WeirArt Director, Designer, Stylist

Originally from western Canada, Paige has lived in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and now resides in Timmins, Ontario with her husband, daughter and two large, extremely hairy dogs. Paige has multiple creative disciplines - from room set, product, cosmetics and wardrobe styling to event decorating, merchandising and display, graphic design and art direction. Paige loves, above all else, to be organized. Paige’s styling career saw her working for clients like Holt Renfrew, Loblaws, Rexall, HBC, Canadian Tire, Fashion Magazine, Chatelaine, Shopper’s Drug Mart, LCBO, and more. Experience with room set design and propping serves as the basis for her ability to organize, decorate, or stage any space to make it look incredible. Paige has 20 years experience in graphic design and has been art director on numerous publications including Avenue Edmonton and Alberta Oil magazine and has created new publications for clients like Canadian Blood Services and the University of Alberta among others. Her clients include Canada Nickel Company, Afexa Life Sciences, Sears Canada, Wind Mobile, and design projects include corporate publications, annual reports, websites, and marketing materials. She has won awards for art direction and honourable mentions as a contributor on numerous team projects. Paige is currently studying for her real estate license and is a location scout for the film industry in Northern Ontario. More at Instagram @paigeweir_creative, LinkedIn

Lisa Whittington-HillPublisher, This Magazine

Lisa Whittington-Hill is the publisher of This Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Longreads, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Hazlitt, Catapult, and more. She was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2022. She is the author of a book in Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 music series on Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go’s and Girls, Interrupted, her collection of essays on how pop culture is failing women, was published by Vehicule Press in 2023. She teaches in the publishing program at Centennial College in Toronto.

Kyle WyattEditor-in-Chief, Literary Review of Canada

Kyle Wyatt is the editor-in-chief and executive director of the Literary Review of Canada. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto. Literary Review of Canada