Nominees for officer and director positions for 2022-23

From May 23-30, our chapter will hold an election to fill officer positions and seats on the board. Here are the nominees, who would take office beginning July 1:


PresidentDina Weinstein is a writer for Virginia Commonwealth University News and the Richmond Inno business news website. She’s the publisher of the Richmond on the Cheap website and a regular contributor to Richmond magazine. Dina is a co-host and co-producer of WRIR 97.3 FM’s public affairs radio show Open Source RVA. She has taught journalism to students at Virginia Union University and Richmond Young Writers. Before moving to Richmond, she advised the student newspaper at Miami Dade College while freelancing and winning numerous awards for her reporting. She is a graduate of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. This would be Dina’s second term serving as SPJ VA president.

Vice PresidentElliott Robinson has more than a decade in editing and newsroom managerial roles. He is currently news director at VPM. His current term as an SPJ director expires June 30.

SecretaryMechelle Hankerson started her career at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. covering communities on the outskirts of Raleigh and later became the Raleigh city hall reporter. After two years, she went to her hometown newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot where she covered her hometown, Virginia Beach. She took a chance in 2018 to join the nonprofit startup The Virginia Mercury to cover state government. She spent two years there and then moved to radio journalism at WHRO Public Media in Norfolk. She started as a reporter and quickly became news director, a position she currently holds.

Treasurer Fadel Allassan is an editor at Axios, a news outlet based in Arlington, Virginia. He was previously a political science student at Virginia Commonwealth University and has been an intern at Virginian Pilot and CNN. His current term as an SPJ director expires June 30.


Director 1, 1-year term (expiring 2023 succeeding Elliott Robinson, who would move to VP) — Frances Broaddus-Crutchfield has worked as a copy editor for the Virginia Press Association and as a staff writer and copy editor for the Richmond Free Press and has won awards for writing from Virginia Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalist Virginia Pro Chapter in June, 2010.

Director 5, 1-year term (expiring 2023 succeeding Frank Klimko, who is stepping down) — Brian Carlton is an independent media consultant and freelance reporter who works for “100 Days in Appalachia”, BBC News, BBC Travel and the Associated Press, among others. He spent a decade as a newspaper editor before shifting to his current role, helping news organizations and other groups build their digital infrastructure and strategy.

Director 6, 2-year term (expiring 2024 succeeding Fadel Allassan, who would move to treasurer) — Hawes Spencer is a Charlottesville, Virginia-based journalist who is a frequent contributor to the Richmond-based NPR affiliate VPM. He founded and operated two newsweeklies in Charlottesville and has contributed to numerous national outlets. He has taught journalism at James Madison University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Hawes wrote “Summer of Hate,” the definitive account of the 2017 violence in Charlottesville, published by the University of Virginia Press. He earned a degree in economics and urban studies at Trinity University.

Director 7, 3-year term (expiring 2025; succeeding Caroline Cardwell, whose term is expiring) — Deana Meredith is Communications Manager for the Virginia Press Association. She is a veteran news editor with a demonstrated history of working in the newspaper industry. Skilled in journalism, management, online news, page layout, photojournalism and multimedia. Award-winning writer and photographer.

Director 8, 3-year term (to 2025; succeeding Logan Bogert, whose term is expiring) — Chris Tyree is the executive director and co-founder of the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism, an independent, nonprofit news organization focused on statewide accountability journalism. His cameras and pen have carried him to report on stories on nearly every continent and his award-winning projects have been published in hundreds of the world’s leading periodicals and broadcast networks including. He earned a graduate degree in visual communication from Ohio University and BS in journalism from James Madison University.

Director 9, 3-year term (to 2025; succeeding John Hopkins, whose term is expiring) — Brett Hall has served as WAVY-TV’s main municipal government reporter, regularly covering the larger city council’s and county supervisors in Southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina, since 2018. Prior to making Hampton Roads home, Brett spent nearly 3 years as a reporter for WSTM-WTVH-WSTQ-TV and in Syracuse, NY. Prior to that, Brett served as a reporter, disc jockey and traffic anchor on radio stations in Washington D.C., Baltimore and Wilmington DE. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. He previously served as SPJVA secretary and before that as a director.

In accordance with our bylaws, the election will be held via an online ballot that we will send to all SPJVA members. (That means everyone who is current on their national and local SPJ dues. You can check your membership status at

If you do not receive an email with the ballot but you believe you are eligible to vote in the election, contact us at

The deadline to vote in the election will be 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 30.

Published by SPJ Virginia Pro

SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.

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