Trainers & Speakers


Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

Experience Denver: Denver Press Club

Kathy Walker

Kathy Walker is the Treasurer of RTDNF and Regional News Director, Rocky Mountain Region, for iHeartMedia. She’s been on the air at Denver’s KOA Newsradio for more than 30 years. When she’s not talking, she’s hiking and traveling.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 7-8 a.m.

Find Your Zen: Morning Yoga

Brian Ford

Brian Ford is a certified yoga instructor who, during his non-early morning hours, oversees corporate strategic planning, executive operations and board governance as chief of staff of a national nonprofit. He previously served as director of development for a local nonprofit in Greensboro, N.C., where he led efforts in developing and implementing the organization’s first comprehensive strategic plan. Prior to that, he served as project manager and strategy consultant at Credo, LLC, in the areas of strategic planning, presidential coaching, leadership retreat facilitation, board development and education, and fundraising strategies for their partner institutions. Ford has additional experience with training and development for students, faculty and staff; presenting at local, state and national conferences; and planning large scale events. Ford graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an M.Ed. from Clemson University. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, practicing and teaching yoga, and spending as much time as possible with his fur children, Wilson and Lily.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 8:30-10 a.m.

Opening Keynote & Membership Meeting

Tramaine El-Amin

A mental health equity advocate, Tramaine EL-Amin currently serves as the Client Experience Officer (CXO) for Mental Health First Aid USA® at the National Council for Behavioral Health in Washington, D.C. In this role, she provides oversight of corporate and community engagement and leads strategic initiatives. As a certified master trainer and national instructor, EL-Amin has contributed to more than 2 million individuals being equipped to recognize signs and symptoms related to mental health, substance use and suicide across the country. Prior to her tenure at the National Council, EL-Amin oversaw health equity initiatives at the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) —a publicly held behavioral health managed care organization. Her efforts focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, community engagement and a strategic approach to addressing public mental health and substance use disparities in service delivery for more than 1.5 million youth and adults throughout Philadelphia.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-Noon

Which Words: Covering with Caution

Scott Libin

Scott Libin is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He specializes in broadcast and digital journalism, leadership skills and ethical decision-making.

He is the author of “Revisiting the requirements of Hutchins: context and coverage in the post-George Floyd world,” a chapter in the newly published Routledge Companion to Journalism Ethics.

Before joining the university faculty, he served as vice president of news and content at Internet Broadcasting; as news director at WCCO-TV and at KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities, and at WGHP-TV, in the Greensboro, N.C., market; and as a resident faculty member at The Poynter Institute, where he also was managing editor of Poynter Online. Scott leads training for reporters, producers, editors, anchors and managers. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for dozens of news organizations and has taught internationally from South Africa to China.

Scott has served as chairman of RTDNA and RTDNF. As chairman of the Ethics Committee, he was the principal writer of the association’s Code of Ethics. Scott is the past co-chair of the Hubbard School of Journalism's Diversity Committee.

Terence Shepherd

Terence Shepherd has been news director since 2013 at WLRN, South Florida’s NPR station, and is chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation. WLRN covers with care hurricanes, the Surfside building collapse, the continuing aftermath of the Parkland school mass shooting, and the always compelling lives and intersections of long-time Floridans, transplants, and the diasporas of Latin America and the Caribbean. The station has earned Best Overall in the large market radio category every year since 2013 in the regional Edward R. Murrow awards competition.

Before switching to radio, he was a business editor at the Miami Herald and held various editing positions at the Boca Raton News. He is past chairman of RTDNA, was Region 13 chair, and led its ethics committee. Terence, a native of Louisville, Ky., also is a past president of the South Florida Black Journalists Association. He has degrees from the University of Virginia and Florida Atlantic University.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-Noon and Friday, 10 a.m.-Noon

Mental Health First Aid at Work

Tramaine El-Amin

A mental health equity advocate, Tramaine EL-Amin currently serves as the Client Experience Officer (CXO) for Mental Health First Aid USA® at the National Council for Behavioral Health in Washington, D.C. In this role, she provides oversight of corporate and community engagement and leads strategic initiatives. As a certified master trainer and national instructor, EL-Amin has contributed to more than 2 million individuals being equipped to recognize signs and symptoms related to mental health, substance use and suicide across the country. Prior to her tenure at the National Council, EL-Amin oversaw health equity initiatives at the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) —a publicly held behavioral health managed care organization. Her efforts focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, community engagement and a strategic approach to addressing public mental health and substance use disparities in service delivery for more than 1.5 million youth and adults throughout Philadelphia.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-Noon

Inclusive Hiring: How to Get It Right From the Start

Leonor Alaya Polley

Leonor is at the forefront of building a culture of inclusion and belonging in the newsroom. She is an experienced and passionate DEI executive recently leading the development and implementation of NBC's flagship learning and development programs centered on newsroom diversity -on-air and off-air. Leonor brings years of news and field experience to help build and inform the strategy around recruitment, leadership development, employee engagement, workplace culture, and retention programs. She also helps guide and inform the data collection and analysis around the diversity strategy to create measurable goals and outcomes.

Rohini Duvvuri

Rohini has spent over two decades as a Global HR Business leader leading teams and building culture. After many years as a Global HR Business Partner, she intentionally changed her path and started her journey as an Executive Coach and Facilitator. She's a firm believer in trying new things and new ways to honor continuous learning and fuel personal growth. For Rohini, coaching, advising, and engaging, with leaders and employees is a lot more fun with a little humor.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-Noon

Calling Bullshit: Declining Trust in News and What to Do About It

Jevin West

Jevin West is an Associate Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. He is the Director of the new Center for an Informed Public at UW aimed at resisting strategic misinformation, promoting an informed society and strengthening democratic discourse. He is also the co-founder of the DataLab at UW, a Data Science Fellow at the eScience Institute, and Affiliate Faculty for the Center for Statistics & Social Sciences. His research and teaching focus on the impact of technology on science and society, with a focus on slowing the spread of misinformation. He is also the co-author of the new book, Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World, which helps non-experts question numbers, data, and statistics without an advanced degree in data science.

Sally Lehrman

Sally Lehrman founded and leads The Trust Project, an international network of news organizations that uses the 8 Trust Indicators to affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion, and fairness so that the public can make informed news choices. Lehrman was named one of MediaShift's Top 20 Digital Innovators for this work. Previously a reporter and editor on medicine and science across multiple genres, her honors include a Peabody Award, duPont-Columbia and the John S. Knight Fellowship, with bylines in Scientific American, Nature, Health, and The DNA Files, a public radio documentary series distributed by NPR, among others. Her co-edited volume, “Reporting Inequality: Tools and Methods for Covering Race and Ethnicity,” was published in 2019; an earlier book, “News in a New America,” argues for an inclusive U.S. news media. She conducts trainings on building trust and integrity in the news, including through diversity, equity and inclusion.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 2-3 p.m.

A FOIA State of Mind

Nicole Vap

Nicole leads the 9Wants to Know team of award winning reporters and producers at 9NEWS in Denver, along with a team of investigative reporters at TEGNA stations around the country. Nicole and her team are the recipients of a 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Award; a 2011 Columbia DuPont Silver Baton; and multiple RTDNA Edward R. Murrow awards in the categories of Documentary production, News Series and Podcasting and Investigative Reporting.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 2-3 p.m.

Inclusive News with a Welcoming Lexicon and Imagery

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications, of the disability advancement nonprofit RespectAbility. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability — Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy — she works at the intersection of disability, employment, entertainment media and politics. From entertainment professionals to presidential campaigns, journalists to philanthropists, she conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible to ensure the full inclusion of the 61 million people in America with disabilities. Previously, she was a digital researcher with the NBC News political unit during the 2006 midterm and 2008 presidential election cycles.

Appelbaum partners with entertainment studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She serves on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory Council, Disney+ Content Advisory Council, MTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative.

She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab.

Appelbaum is a sought-after expert and has been quoted by many national publications including Associated Press, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, The New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, Variety and The Washington Post.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 2-3 p.m.

It’s Critical Mission: Self-Care

Travis Heath

Travis is a licensed psychologist and serves an Associate Professor at the University of Denver. He is the Co-Director of the International Disaster Psychology: Trauma and Global Mental Health graduate program as well as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Graduate School of Professional Psychology.

Past work he’s been involved with looked at shifting from a multicultural approach to counseling to one of cultural democracy that invites people to heal in mediums that are culturally near. His most recent work involves incorporating the work of Black abolitionist scholars into psychotherapy, community healing, and uprising. His writing has focused on the use of rap music in narrative therapy, working with persons entangled in the criminal injustice system in ways that maintain their dignity, narrative practice stories as pedagogy, a co-created questioning practice called reunion questions, and community healing strategies. He is currently co-authoring the first book on Contemporary Narrative Therapy with David Epston and Tom Carlson. He has been fortunate to run workshops and speak in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom, and United States.

Return to the schedule


Friday, 7-8 a.m.

Find Your High: Morning Run

Marshall Zelinger

Marshall Zelinger is a Political and Investigative Reporter at 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado.

He contributes to Next with Kyle Clark covering breaking news, investigations, politics and anything that involves kindergarten-like show-and-tell.

Marshall joined 9NEWS in January 2017 after having worked for 7 years at Denver's KMGH, just down the street. Before that, he worked at KRDO in Colorado Springs from 2004 until 2010. His journalism career began in Chico, California in May 2003.

He is a local product of journalism, graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2002.

Never a humblebrag. If he was, he would tell you he was lucky to be part of a team honored with a George Foster Peabody Award for "Investigating The Fire," a 30-minute documentary into a deadly fire set by the Colorado State Forest Service in 2012. He would also tell you about his 14 Emmy Awards, including six for his demonstrative live reporting. Or his three national Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence for his political investigative reporting. He might even mention the two Colorado laws that changed because of his reporting.

Since he's not a humblebrag, Marshall fills his time running long distances, finding any city's best vanilla latte and entertaining his 17-year-old dachshund named Kosher.

Return to the schedule


Friday, 10 a.m.-Noon

It’s All in the Numbers: Math, Statistics and Data

Cody Winchester

Cody Winchester is senior training director at Investigative Reporters & Editors, overseeing the team that plans and executes dozens of newsroom training events and workshops each year, among other things. He was a watchdog reporter, data specialist and web developer for daily newspapers in South Dakota, Nebraska and Texas before joining IRE as a training director in 2017.

Return to the schedule


Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-Noon

The Boss and the Coach: Be Better with Both

Kevin Benz

Kevin is a veteran broadcast journalist and news director who started in broadcast news as a photographer in Austin, Houston and Raleigh, North Carolina. He and his teams have received national recognition from the Sigma Delta Chi awards, the National Edward R. Murrow awards, three National Walter Cronkite awards for excellence in Political Journalism and the DuPont-Columbia awards.

Kevin is former chairman of RTDNA and the Texas AP Broadcasters. He serves on the faculty of the Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism and as visiting faculty with the Poynter Institute. He is co-founder of the Southwest Broadcast Journalism conference. Today he coaches journalists in newsrooms around the country.

Return to the schedule


Friday, 10 a.m.-Noon

Safety Situations: In & Out of the Newsroom

Chris Post

Chris Post is an Emmy-nominated photojournalist, as well as a media safety educator and security advocate, with a background of over 20 years in the emergency services sector. Chris has worked in positions ranging from Captain of the fire department at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, to EMT at a regional level, to disaster emergency response with FEMA.


Chris transitioned to the field of journalism in 2009 picking up the camera he always loved since learning analog photography in the 1980’s. Chris is the 2020 recipient of the National Press Photographers Association’s second highest award for his work on advancing journalist safety and security initiatives. 
Chris’s recent work includes the creation and delivery of a Domestic Hostile Environment first aid course for journalists, guest lecturing at multiple universities on media safety, chairing a national committee on press safety & security and participating in panel discussions related to domestic newsgathering in the United States.


As a photojournalist Chris has covered large events including the last two inaugurations, multiple political convention cycles, and the Papal visit of 201, major disasters including earthquakes in Puerto Rico, hurricanes in the Gulf states, and the politically turbulent protests of 2020. 
Having a deep background in public safety and journalism allows Chris to assess, plan and manage risks for newsgathering assignments. Whether providing safety trainings ahead of events or being embedded as part of a team for high-risk assignments, Chris enhances safety, security and guidance for news organizations. Chris has worked as a safety adviser for major motion picture and television network projects.

Return to the schedule


Friday, Noon-1:15 p.m.

Next Gen Journalists Luncheon

Blake Scholl

Blake Scholl founded Boom Supersonic in September 2014 with the goal of making high-speed travel mainstream.

Prior to founding Boom, Blake held leadership roles at Amazon and Groupon and co-founded mobile technology startup Kima Labs, acquired by Groupon. He started his career as a software engineer at Amazon in 2001, where he developed software for personalized and automated merchandising and later owned a $300M P&L at age 24. Later, Blake was the first employee and director of product development at Kleiner-backed mobile startup Pelago. In 2010, he co-founded mobile technology startup Kima Labs, acquired by Groupon in 2012. At Groupon, Blake held multiple executive roles, culminating in responsibility for relevance, email, and search. Blake’s interest in aviation started in childhood—he grew up in suburban Cincinnati, where his parents often took him to the local airport to watch Cessnas take off and land. He started flying for fun in college, earning his private pilot license in 2008 and instrument rating in 2011.

Blake holds a BS in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in Denver and is a father of three.

Return to the schedule


Friday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Sincerely, Leaders of Color: What We Really Need in the Newsroom

P. Kim Bui

​P. Kim Bui is the director of product and audience innovation at the Arizona Republic. A native Iowan, she’s focused her career on leading real-time news initiatives and creating new storytelling forms for digital, print and broadcast companies catering to local, national and global audiences. Prior, she was editor-at-large for NowThis News and deputy managing editor for reported.ly, a distributed social journalism startup. She was in the inaugural class of the Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership from City University of New York's Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. She’s spoken on journalism and leadership worldwide and written about empathy in journalism for a number of research outlets. She writes a newsletter for emerging leaders and managers, The Middles and collaborates on a column about creating a better workplace for journalists of color, "Sincerely, Leaders of Color."

Emma Carew Grovum

Emma Carew Grovum is the founder of Kimbap Media — a consultancy that solves problems at the intersection of storytelling, technology, and audience. Providing anti-racism interventions to bring change to newsrooms, Emma coaches journalists on leadership, product thinking, and membership. She held roles in editorial, leadership, and product, specializing in digital media and technology at The Daily Beast, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Star Tribune. Emma is also a recipient of the AAJA Executive Leadership Program award and the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Above the Fold award for alumni under 40.

Return to the schedule


Friday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Building Your Brand: Authentic Voice

Tracy Davidson

Tracy Davidson is an anchor for NBC10 News. You can watch Tracy’s live newscasts weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Tracy joined NBC10 in March 1996 and has served as both an anchor and consumer reporter. Over the last 20 years, she has represented the station at hundreds of community and charity events throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

Tracy has received 11 Emmy Awards, including the Best News Anchor Emmy for the Mid-Atlantic Region in 2008 and 2013. In 2013, Temple University honored Tracy with the Lew Klein Alumni in Media Award. She was recognized with Pennsylvania’s Most Powerful and Influential Women Award by the National and Pennsylvania Diversity Council. In 2014, she was inducted into Philadelphia’s Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame. In 2017, Tracy was awarded with the “Hero Award” from Montgomery Child Advocacy project.

Passionate about many causes, Tracy devotes much of her personal time to community service. As an advocate for victims of domestic violence, she has been honored by both the Laurel House in Norristown, Pennsylvania and Vera House in Syracuse, New York. She has served on the Board of Directors for Philabundance and as the Honorary Chair for the March of Dimes’ Walk America/March for Babies. Tracy also served as the Honorary Chair for Minding Your Mind’s annual gala.

Tracy enjoys motivational speaking and presents on a variety of topics, including resilience and digital distraction. She freely shares her breast cancer survival story with her message: “Don’t Wait.”

Return to the schedule


Friday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Dollar Driven: The $$$ Stories of 2020 (and 2021!)

Billy Hensley

Billy J. Hensley, Ph.D., is president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®). Since his appointment in 2018, Hensley has led NEFE through the development of its first strategic plan and focused on increasing transparency and effectiveness. From 2010-2018, he served as NEFE’s senior director of education overseeing grants, research, college and consumer education programs, and e-learning and web strategy. Hensley has a distinguished career in educational philanthropy and higher education administration focused on financial education, college access and teacher professional development.

Hensley serves on the board of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, the CNBC Financial Wellness Advisory Council, and the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning editorial board. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Union College. Hensley’s research has been presented at state, national and international conferences and published in numerous research journals.

Return to the schedule


Friday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Covered Carefully: Who, How & Why it Matters

Meredith Clark

Meredith D. Clark, PhD is an associate professor in the College of Art, Media & Design at Northeastern University, and founding director of the University’s Center for Communication, Media Innovation & Social Change. A former journalist, her research explores the relationships between Black communities and the news on social media. In 2015, she was named to The Root.com's "Root 100," a list of most influential African Americans. Her book, "We Tried to Tell Y'all: Black Twitter and the Rise of Digital Counternarratives," is under contract with Oxford University Press. She is the academic lead for Documenting the Now II, a faculty fellow with Data & Society, a faculty affiliate at the Center on Digital Culture and Society, and sits on the advisory boards for Project Information Literacy and the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies. Clark is an in-demand culture and media consultant. Connect with her on Twitter @MeredithDClark.

Return to the schedule


Featured Community Organization

The Delores Project provides shelter services to unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness with housing-focused case management and continued care support for the newly rehoused. The Delores Project also provides supportive housing services through The Delores Apartments for people who have experienced chronic homelessness.


Sponsored by

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors


Lounge Sponsors


Virtual Sponsors


Friend Sponsors


Questions? Send them here.