2024 IRMA Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Hanna RaskinEditor and Publisher, The Food Section

Hanna Raskin is editor and publisher of The Food Section, a twice-weekly newsletter covering food and drink across the American South. Since its launch in 2021, The Food Section has been named one of the best newsletters in the country by the Online News Association, Local Independent Online News Publishers, International Association of Culinary Professionals, NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and the James Beard Foundation, which in 2023 awarded its Dining and Travel writing medal to the publication. Raskin previously served as food editor and chief critic for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, where her work earned the Beard Foundation’s inaugural Local Impact Journalism prize. She is the author of “Yelp Help: How to Write Great Online Restaurant Reviews,” a book honored by Les Dames Escoffier International with an M.F.K. Fisher Award. A past president of the Association of Food Journalists, Raskin is an active alumna of the Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She’s a frequent contributor to Garden & Gun and serves as columnist for Gravy, the Southern Foodways Alliance’s quarterly magazine.

John WilpersPrincipal, Katahdin Media Management

After 35 years as a writer, editor, and media executive, John Wilpers has consulted for the last 14 years with media companies around the world helping them transform from unprofitable, depressed, endangered print-centric operations into profitable, energized, multimedia, multi-platform, 24-7 content- and revenue-generation operations. John's recent projects include: a multi-title Norwegian B2B publisher, a pan-Asian consumer magazine group, two major American B2B media companies, two South African media groups, an Italian multi-newspaper group, an Indian multi-magazine publisher, a Czech multimedia publisher, two American consumer magazines, and the University of Virginia. From 2010-2021, John was the author of the annual "Innovations in Media World Report" published by the world association of magazines (FIPP). Outside of media, John runs a global jazz blog (GlobalRhythms.net). He also started and still runs a self-esteem-building soccer program for girls ages 2-6, graduating 5,000 girls since 1996 (hotshotssoccer.org ). He is a long-board surfer, gardener, and was "Mother Ginger" in “The Nutcracker" in Boston for 22 years.

Mike Rogge Editor/owner, Mountain Gazette

Mike Rogge has been a journalist for 20 years. In 2020, he resurrected the historic Mountain Gazette, returning the magazine to glory in a 160-page, oversized format. MountainGazette.com Instagram.com/mountaingazette

Ted WilliamsMedia Consultant. Former Charlotte Agenda and Axios Local guy

Ted Williams was the founder of Charlotte Agenda. It grew fast. He sold the local media company to Axios in late 2020 where he then became GM of Axios Local and scaled the concept to 30 cities across the United States. In 2022, Cox Enterprises purchased Axios. Ted recently left Axios and is now an Executive in Residence at Queens University of Charlotte as well as a consultant with UNC Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Previously, he held digital leadership roles at The Charlotte Observer and LendingTree.

IRMA Member Speakers

Sara D’Eugenio

Sara D'Eugenio is an art director in Austin, Texas. Past employers include Conde Nast, Seattle Met, and the Travel Channel. During her spare time, she curates @arteditdesign, goes to pop punk concerts, and reads mysteries with her two fluffy cats.

Steve GleyduraEditor-in-Chief,New Mexico Magazine

Steve Gleydura has served as editor-in-chief of New Mexico Magazine since March 2020. During his tenure, he has led the magazine’s yearlong celebration of its 100th anniversary, which included a commemorative cookbook, museum exhibition, and July 2023 special collector’s edition. The magazine was a finalist for IRMA Magazine of the Year in 2023. Steve previously spent 17 years as the editor of Cleveland Magazine and vice president of editorial for Great Lakes Publishing Co. He has also worked as a freelance writer and independent marking and communications consultant. A former president of the board for the Press Club of Cleveland, he was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame in 2018. He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children, Patrick, 26, Molly, 24, and Anne, 22.

Manu KeggenhoffCreative Director/Publisher

Manu Keggenhoff is an award-winning photographer and the creative-director/publisher at North of Ordinary Media in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). The media company publishes several magazines in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and beyond, covering northern lifestyle, business, and travel. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of graphic design and art direction, with an emphasis on magazine publishing since 2007. Manu's photographic work has appeared in numerous publications, such as the New York Times, Globe & Mail, Canadian Geographic, Photo Life, DigitalPhoto, and many more.

Errol LabordeExecutive Editor, New Orleans Magazine & Louisiana Life Magazine

Errol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the Editor in Chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as Editor/Associate Publisher of New Orleans Magazine and Editor/ Publisher of Louisiana Life Magazine. Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the New Orleans Press Club. Errol’s most recent books are “Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu” and “Marched the Day God,” a history of the Rex organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife Peggy to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. Errol is a two-term past president of IRMA, and his latest book is, “When Rex Met Zulu. Chronicles of the New Orleans Experience.”

Peggy Scott LabordeHost and Producer, WYES-TV

Peggy Scott Laborde is an Emmy Award-winning television producer and the host/producer of Steppin’ Out, New Orleans’ only weekly arts and entertainment discussion program, now in its 38H season on WYES-TV (New Orleans Public Television). She is also the co-author of four books and has produced over 30 documentaries focusing on the food, culture and history of New Orleans.

Edward GravesCEO/Publisher, New Mexico Magazine

Ed Graves has been CEO of New Mexico Magazine since January 2020. Before joining the New Mexico Tourism Departments' team, Ed was CEO and managing partner for News Connection USA, Lifestyles, after 50 senior publications in Florida. Ed has an extensive background in media publishing, having worked for Gatehouse Media, Gannett Company, and USA Weekend Magazine. He is from Louisville, Kentucky, and is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University. Ed has lived in seven US states and enjoys travel and art during his spare time.

Michelle KellyEditor and VP Content, Cottage Life magazine/Blue Ant Media

Michelle Kelly started her career in publishing in 1998, as the office manager at Cottage Life. Since then, she has held various positions in the editorial department at the magazine until she was named Editor in July 2015 and Vice President, Content, for Blue ant Media in September 2019. She sits on the Professional Advisory Committee for Centennial College in Toronto and is a board member for the International Regional Magazines Association. She is also the recipient of several Canadian National Magazine Awards, including Editor Grand Prix in 2021.

Andrea LinPublisher, Texas Highways

Andrea joined Texas Highways, owned by the Texas Department of Transportation, in the summer of 2015 as the Marketing and Circulation Manager, becoming Publisher / Section Director of Travel Publications in December 2017. She oversees operations and management for all projects and products in the section, including the magazine, digital channels, the annual Texas State Travel Guide and Map, the quarterly Texas Highways Events Calendar, and more. In her previous life, Andrea was a Media Director at GSD&M, a full-service advertising agency in Austin.

Mark MahorskyCreative Director, Texas Highways

My 25 + year publishing career started with Rodale Press working on titles such as Men’s Health, Prevention, and Bicycling magazines. In 1998, I left the northeast and headed south to Austin, Texas, where I accepted a position as Art Director for Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. While in Austin, my contract clients included Austin Monthly magazine, D custom content publishers and Texas Monthly Custom publishing group. In 2005 I packed my bags and headed north to Dallas to pursue a new position as creative director for Patience Publishing and later, D custom content publishers. My clients included: Associa, AT&T Performing Arts Center, D magazine, EDS, First Command Financial Services, Hewlett-Packard, Lennox Industries, Nestlé Purina, Omni Hotels, Rexel, Sally Beauty, SMU, Texas A&M University, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, and Texas Tech University. After 8 years in the big D, I longed to be back in the Texas Hill Country. I left the city and accepted a creative director position at Texas Highways magazine. In the past ten years I have been designing and experimenting with Texas Highways branded content. On a personal note, both my son and daughter attend the University of Texas, Austin, and I couldn’t be more proud, Hook ‘em.

John McCauley Art and Photography Director, New Mexico Magazine

After living and working in Boston for a number of years, John McCauley moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico for an Art Director job at Outside Magazine. He has since made the Southwest his home and is currently the Art and Photography Director at New Mexico Magazine. His design work has won numerous awards from Society of Publication Designers and the International Regional Magazine Association. When he isn’t designing, he enjoys hitting the road with the family in their Airstream “Hank.”

Lauren McKenneyAssociate Publisher, Advocate Media

Lauren McKenney (she/her) is a forward-thinking publishing professional, print and media nerd, and dedicated Swiftie who crunches numbers as Advocate Media's Associate Publisher (Saltscapes and Maine Home+Design magazines). With a skillset spanning digital and print, a background in marketing research and an interest in paid content strategy, she's passionate about tackling publishing challenges with innovative solutions. Her passion lies in delivering exceptional publications by understanding readers' unique experiences. After work hours, find her with her dog, getting lost in a good book, or thrift store surfing. Lauren grew up in St. John's, Newfoundland but has lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia for nearly 8 years, with a brief stint in Vancouver to study her Master of Publishing at SFU. If you're ever on Canada's East Coast, feel free to reach out and say hello!

Kelly MeroPublisher, Arizona Highways magazine

Kelly Mero is the seventh Publisher for Arizona Highways Magazine, and CEO of Grand Canyon State Logo Signs. Kelly’s professional career has been in publishing and information technology. Currently Kelly is active in many charitable and community organizations and currently serves on the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors and the Walter Cronkite Board of endowment. Kelly and his wife Cindy have two children, daughters, Quin and Carson.

Robert StieveEditor, Arizona Highways magazine

Robert Stieve is the editor of Arizona Highways magazine. He’s been serving in that role since April 2007. Prior to his arrival at Arizona Highways, he served as editor of PHOENIX magazine for eight years, and another three years as managing editor. He’s worked for several newspapers and radio stations around the country, and was a speechwriter at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work at Arizona Highways, he’s an adjunct professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, and he serves as a board member of the Cronkite School. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Cronkite School and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marshall University.

Annie StoltieEditor-in-Chief, Adirondack Life

Annie Stoltie is Co-Publisher/Executive editor of Adirondack Life magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, and Newsweek. She’s also co-author of The Explorers Guide Adirondacks (W. W. Norton).

Emily StoneEditor-in-Chief, Texas Highways

Emily Roberts Stone is the editor in chief of Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas. Since she joined the magazine in 2016, Texas Highways has been nominated for three National Magazine Awards and was included in the 2022 edition of the Best American Magazine Writing anthology. She currently serves as a judge for the National Magazine Awards. Previously, she worked at Community Impact Newspaper, where she launched and managed 10 editions in the Houston Metro area as managing editor. She is a native of Orange County, California, where she started her publishing career as the founder and editor in chief of North Orange County Magazine and Fullerton Magazine.

Alysha VandertogtSenior Editor, Cottage Life

Alysha Vandertogt started her career in publishing as an intern at Cottage Life in 2016 and is now one of the magazine’s senior editors. She's a graduate of Queen's University and Centennial College's Book, Magazine & Electronic Publishing program. She has received awards from the Canadian National Magazine Awards, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, and the International Regional Magazine Association. Alysha also sits on Blue Ant Media’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council. She lives in Toronto.