Meet the 2018 SPJ Georgia Pro board of directors

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Executive Officers


Haisten Willis mug
Haisten Willis

Haisten Willis is a freelance writer for magazines, newspapers and online publications. He also brings extensive editing experience to the table, working with writers and guest columnists across a variety of platforms and projects.

Since 2008, his byline has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Marietta Daily Journal, several sites in the SB Nation network, lifestyle magazines including Living Northside, Living Intown and West Georgia Living, and a number of trade publications. His writing has captured statewide awards on topics ranging from business to sports, religion and politics. Haisten holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgia Southern University and a master’s degree in mass communication and journalism from California State University,

Vice President

Mark Woolsey
Mark Woolsey

Mark Woolsey is a longtime radio news anchor/reporter/newsroom manager, freelance writer/editor and meteorologist.

A native of Illinois and a graduate of Southern Illinois University’s Mass Communications program, Mark has worked as a news director, assignment editor, field/in-house reporter and occasional talk show host for stations in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and finally, Georgia.

After graduating from the Mississippi State University Broadcast Meteorology Program, Marked worked for 12 years as a radio and television meteorologist for The Weather Channel. He was lauded for his reports that were part of spot news coverage awards presented to WIOD in Miami, KTRH in Houston and other notable radio news operations.

He’s also done a wide variety of freelance writing work for publications including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Atlanta Sunday Paper (defunct), Wichita Magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Most recently, he’s been an anchor/reporter for the Georgia News Network and NBC Newsradio, based in Atlanta. He’s also done a grab bag of other media-related stuff, from radio and mobile deejay work to commercial voice work to traffic reporting.

Through the years, Mark has been honored for his work by the Association of News Broadcasters of Kansas, The Associated Press, United Press International and the Dallas Press Club.


Danielle B Douez
Danielle Douez

Danielle Douez is a politics editor for the nonprofit online news startup The Conversation. Previously, she was a communications specialist for the Southern Regional Education Board. She has written for the Miami Herald, The Alexandria Times, and other publications. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Emory University, where she was a 2013 Community Building and Social Change Fellow.


Lou Phelps is the president/publisher and founder of Coastal Empire News (CEN), Savannah, Georgia, a community news company she founded in 1998. She is an active journalist and reporter, covering the top and toughest stories of her region.

Louise Phelps
Louise Phelps

CEN is the publisher of four daily niche news websites in Savannah, Brunswick and Dublin, Georgia, markets. The company’s Savannah Business Journal and Coastal Family Magazine were formerly weekly print news publications which Phelps transformed into pure digital platform publications in 2013, expanding to daily news coverage.


Board Members

Student Representative

Toni Stauffer 2
Toni Stauffer

Toni Stauffer is a non-traditional senior in professional writing at Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia. She will graduate in May 2018. In addition to being a full-time student, she is a single mom of four. For the past three years, Stauffer has worked at the award-winning student-run news publication The Saber where she is currently managing editor. Stauffer writes and publishes short stories mostly in the horror genre and has been a writing panelist at Atlanta’s multi-genre convention DragonCON four times. She also enjoys writing poetry, creative nonfiction and screenplays. You may find samples of Stauffer’s work in her portfolio.

Board Members At Large

Jay Julius Suber
Jay Suber

Jay Suber is an executive news media consultant and publisher of NewsJReview blog. His is former Senior Vice President of CNN News Features programming, co-creator CNN Newsroom student news, advisory committee member to the Aspen Institute on Television/Radio coverage of minorities in former Soviet Union, Duke University Terry Sanford School of Public Policy, advisory committee member on Internet policy development, consultant for Duke University’s emerging democracy and journalism project in Ethiopia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System and guest contributor to the Knight Foundation 50th Anniversary Annual Report publication. He holds a political science degree from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Suber resides in Atlanta with his wife, Valerie. His Twitter handle is @newsjreview

David Armstrong mug
David Armstrong

David Armstrong is the Director of The Georgia News Lab, an award-winning investigative reporting collaborative. The News Lab is a partnership between several of the top colleges journalism programs in Georgia, along with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Armstrong was formerly the director of The News Enterprise, an investigative reporting project at Emory University. Armstrong is a veteran investigative reporter and editor. He served as bureau chief of the National Security News Service in Washington, D.C. and earlier as editor of the Texas Observer.

He is the principal author of the book, “America and the Islamic Bomb: the deadly compromise,” an investigation of global nuclear trafficking networks.

Larry Johnson
Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson is the Editor and Publisher of the Cobb County Courier, an independent online news site. He is also about to complete his late-life journalism degree, after 50 year of on-again, off-again enrollment at Georgia State University. He lives in Mableton with his wife and cat.



 Past President

Ellen Eldridge
Ellen Eldridge

Ellen Eldridge is a reporter with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Kennesaw State University. Eldridge resides in Woodstock, Georgia. Find her on Twitter @EllenEldridge27