Lindsey is a former hipster-turned-fashion-columnist who’s turned into, in the natural order of things, a regular grownup (with a lasting penchant for black). She holds a degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; she’s written for the Omaha World-Herald and a host of local alternative newsweeklies. She’s currently an editor for Hayneedle, as well as a coach for Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains, where her slam poetry students supply her with a fresh dose of hopefulness every week. Her first poetry chapbook, Fine Warm Pulse, was published by Chicago’s Dancing Girl Press in 2013; her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals, including Sweet: A Literary Confection, Two Serious Ladies, Sugar House Review, and Omaha’s own burntdistrict. Chances are, if she’s not reading poetry somewhere in town, she’s at La Buvette, eating cheese and checking out what people are wearing. Some habits never change.
Leo graduated from Holy Name High School and has lived in North Omaha most of his life. An avid reader and proficient writer from a very young age, he majored in journalism at UNO, writing a bit for The Gateway. “Right out of college, my most valuable training ground came as public relations director at the Joslyn Art Museum.” In 23 years, Leo has had well over a thousand articles published. “Despite contributing to dozens of newspapers and magazines, I’ve never worked on staff at one. I’ve always freelanced,” he said. Arts, entertainment, culture, history, and sports stories make up a good portion of his work. He also writes newsletters, web content, nonfiction books (mainly biographies), company histories, and documentaries. His work has been recognized by his peers at the local, state and national level.
Keith’s early years were spent skateboarding, playing in punk rock bands, and consuming as many comic books and films as he could. During his 20s he went to college for International Studies, Middle East and African History and Politics, and Religion. During that time he fell in love with climbing and adventure sports. He also had the opportunity to work on a few short films with friends and fell in love with photography. He decided against a life in academia or government work and opted to pursue a much more rewarding career as an adventure photographer. One day Keith hopes to put his photography skills and academics together by photographing conflicts throughout the world. Right now, though, he’s loving life climbing, shooting, and traveling with great people. Nothing really beats hanging from a rope off the side of a mountain and photographing amazing athletes doing amazing work.
Colin is an old soul, an unplugged see-er, a moment soaker-upper. He grew up in Omaha and constantly balances a touch of wanderlust with his deeply rooted sense of home. To him, that word “home” is also defined by his beautiful wife and daughter, and two dogs…with a whole lot of cooking and garden-tending thrown into the mix. Colin earned a degree in journalism from Creighton University with an emphasis on visual communications and photojournalism. Since then he has continually honed his skills through countless hours of shooting. He has taught at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Creighton. As a professional image-maker, he focuses on capturing people, places, and spaces in real moments, in real time.
Scott is a Nebraska native. His work embodies a genuine appreciation of storytelling, from inanimate objects to colorful personalities. He is a 20-year professional with a strict technical background that began at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. This training propelled him into the start of a storied career, working alongside some of the world’s most notable photographers all across the globe as an on-camera assistant and lighting gaffer. “I’m a seasoned photographer-independent filmmaker hailing from the Midwest,” Scott says. “I love stories from folks that are undeniably themselves.”
Anthony first fell in love with magazines in grade school when his carpenter father gave him a huge box of old Sports Illustrated magazines found on a job site. Later, Anthony also worked construction…and laid asphalt…and cut trees…for various family owned enterprises. Eventually, he decided on a career where he could avoid physical exertion and workplaces equipped only with a Porta-Potty. So he went to UNO to learn all about writin’ and stuff. He graduated with two degrees from there but remains at his alma mater as editor of the award-winning UNO Magazine. He’s also been a widely published freelance writer for 25 years, penning numerous articles for the Omaha Magazine family since the early 1990s. He also teaches classes at UNO on magazine editing and writing. Anthony enjoys spending time with his large family (37 nieces/nephews), playing racquetball, and digging into his Creole roots. He is married with four children.
Joshua Foo – Contributing Photographer
Joshua Foo loves food, and then he loves art. It is in that order that the Shenandoah, Iowa, native’s pastoral and ethereal food photography seems to permeate from his visual kitchen. Foo captures images with a chef’s palette and plates food with a photographer’s eye, backed by a degree in culinary arts and experience in television and film production.
The professional photographer has worked with celebrity chef Bobby Flay, and on marketing projects for Lipton Ice Tea and Bolthouse Farms. His photographs have appeared in Isa Moskowitz’s Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook, Cosmopolitan, Custom Vanner Magazine, and Thrillist. Foo is always hungry. His appetite for collectible dishes and kitchenware is equally insatiable.
Molly grew up in Omaha’s Ponca Hills neighborhood and graduated from Marian High School. She attended Creighton University, majoring in both English and history, giving her an excuse to bury her nose in colonial American history, and the works of Austen and Hawthorne. She taught history and literature at Duchesne Academy before marrying fellow Creighton grad, Jim, and moving to California, where she served as director of education for the Fresno City and County Historical Society. The siren call of Midwestern living was too much for the Garriotts, and they returned to their native Nebraska to raise their family. Today, Molly lives, writes, and gardens in the Dundee home she shares with Jim; their three children, James, Mary Kate, and Emma; and their crazed Springer Spaniel, Guinness. In addition to being a freelance writer, she is an adjunct instructor with the UNO English Department’s Advanced Writing Program.
Django Greenblatt-Seay – Contributing Videographer
Django Greenblatt-Seay is an 11-year corporate communications veteran, currently managing video communications for a Fortune 150 company. He produced more than 100 live music video sessions from 2010-2012 through a collaborative project he founded called Love Drunk. He spends most of his vacation time in deserts and national parks shooting night sky photos and time lapses.
His work has been featured on ABC News, Gizmodo, Fast Company, Fstoppers, Road and Track, and Popular Mechanics.
Judy, who has written for Omaha Magazine since 1992, says that to be a good writer, you must be a good reader. Evidence of her zeal for reading are the 3,000 or so books in the home she shares with her husband, Jim, an artist-illustrator. Judy became the first woman manager at an Omaha television station as director of promotion and marketing for WOWT. She has served on the Omaha Press Club board and as president of three professional organizations: Broadcast Promotion and Marketing Executives in Los Angeles, American Women in Radio and TV/Omaha, and the Omaha Federation of Advertising. She has written books, articles, histories, audio-video scripts, speeches, and a humor column. As a home-based writer for various clients, she says, “I have the most fantastic job you can do while still in your pajamas.”
Jahd Khalil – Contributing Writer
Jahd Khalil is a journalist based in Cairo, Egypt. Although born in Norfolk, he considers himself to be from Omaha. He has reported on politics, culture, business, technology, and design from Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, and the U.S. for Esquire, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Fast Company, and others. He is GroundTruth’s 2016 Middle East Fellow. Previously, he was an editor of the English weekly Egypt Independent and a co-founder of the independent website Mada Masr. Visit jahdkhalil.com for more of his journalistic work.
Laurie and Charles Photographs
Laurie and Charles handle images for our popular Style Shot department. They crossed paths in a photo studio in 1996 and began a visual journey that has since found their work featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Fortune, Travel + Leisure, and Condé Nast Traveler. The couple have photographed celebrities and worked on many national and local campaigns. They are accomplished fine artists with gallery representation in NYC, Chicago, and Sun Valley, Idaho. Inspired to create compelling images of people, places, and things, they work tirelessly together. Other passions include food, travel, art, and culture. The couple live in Dundee with their children, Miles and Evie, along with two crazy rescued dogs.
Tom is a writer, musician, comedian, and grants manager for the Nebraska Arts Council. Years ago, he wrote for the mayor’s office and hosted a failed internet talk show for local ad agency Phenomblue. He’s published in various places, grew up along the federal poverty line, and played guitar for The Answer Team. Now, with photographer Sam Herron, he’s writing Street Life Fragments, a book on homelessness in Omaha. Watch his halting, absurdist, unapologetically P.C. comedy Monday nights at Farnam House. Buy him another sky-blue typewriter if you see one—his is sort of broken, unlike his pioneer spirit.
Robyn Murray was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, but somehow ended up in the frigid Midwest. Before she could quite figure out how that happened, she fell in love with Omaha and decided to adopt it as her new home base. But as anyone who’s visited South Africa can attest, the country’s draw is hard to shake, and her heart is still rooted in African soil. An avid public radio junkie, Robyn has reported from Omaha for NPR, WBUR, WNYC, and the BBC. In 2010, Murray joined Omaha’s classical music station, KVNO, to found KVNO News, a collaborative newsroom that partnered with NET Radio in Lincoln and the Omaha Reader. In 2013, Robyn headed to Chicago to earn a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. To complete her degree, she reported from South Africa for three months, writing from Johannesburg for Business Day and Public Radio International. She also covered Nelson Mandela’s funeral for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Carol Crissey Nigrelli
Carol grew up in Philadelphia where she started playing cello at age 9. She majored in Latin and Greek at a small women’s college in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, but didn’t see herself as a teacher. She got her first job at a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, radio station and continued in broadcasting for the next three decades as the main anchor at the CBS affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y. After marrying KMTV Action 3 News anchor Craig Nigrelli, Carol left “the biz” and let Craig do all the heavy lifting. The mother of two girls and a Red Sox fanatic, Carol takes lessons from Omaha Symphony cellist Mark Motycka and enjoys playing at St. John’s Church on the Creighton campus.
Tara Spencer – Editor-at-Large
After slinging food and drinks for nearly two decades, Tara Spencer finally realized she would need to, well, write if she were to ever write the proverbial great American novel. For motivation and inspiration, she decided to try college again. She settled on the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she majored in journalism and strangely (yet timely?) decided to minor in Russian. Most of her free time is spent reading, writing, and watching any Marvel-based television series. And of course, snuggling with her “puppies,” Jesus (the rat terrier) and Sophie (the St. Bernard). Other hobbies include drinking on patios and arguing with anyone who is willing to do so without getting angry.
Otis Twelve has been a fixture in Omaha radio for 35 years. Currently he spins Vivaldi and Mozart discs on KVNO Classical 90.7 in the mornings. You can also find him with the other fixtures in aisle 18 at Menards. He’s won awards for his short stories and his novels, but none of these awards are the Nobel or the Pulitzer. His “real name” is Douglas Vincent Wesselmann and his forthcoming novel Tales of the Master: The Book of Stone will have that name on the cover.
Kara Schweiss is a Nebraska native and a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s School of Communication. She has 20-plus years’ experience in various facets of the communications field including copywriting/copyediting, advertising, marketing, and broadcast production for both nonprofit and corporate entities. Kara also has extensive experience working with both sides of the media as a media relations representative and as a freelance editor, journalist, and photographer. She first wrote for Omaha Magazine from 1998 through 2005, taking a hiatus from freelancing when she welcomed her first child. In addition to freelancing, Kara provides marketing support services for Vic Gutman & Associates, promoting events such as Summer Arts Festival, ARTsarben, and Holiday Lights Festival, plus several nonprofit clients. Kara is delighted to be raising two sons, Brock and Quinn, “my best creations ever.”
James Vnuk, as best as medical science can tell, is little more than a shambling mound of pop culture effluvia. Though he teaches composition, rhetoric, and English as a second language at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, lately it would seem his preferred genre is the brevity afforded by social media witticisms, endlessly searching for that perfect groaner. He spent a season or two behind the Great Firewall of China, but journeyed back to Nebraska to burden the prairies with his ruminations—of varying credulity—on media and culture. He loves low art, German opera, and his two guinea pigs.
James Walmsley came to Omaha by accident. The freelance writer arrived in 2010 on his faithful steed, “Old Major,” an ‘89 Volvo 740, seeking respite from an arduous cross-country road trip. He never left. Made in Detroit, a progeny of the town drunk, the would-be-fourth-generation plumber eventually abandoned his birthright to pursue journalism at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Walmsley interned with the Bellevue Leader in 2013 and has since contributed articles to Omaha Magazine, The Post Punk Kitchen, and Silicon Prairie News. In his former life, the freelancer was a touring guitarist and can still be found crafting songs every Wednesday night with the local ensemble, Explorers of the New World. When he isn’t writing, Walmsley scours the streets for good vegan food. He’s also a barista most weekends at Caffeine Dreams.
Sarah is a proud Omaha native and graduate of Creighton University, where she earned a degree in English and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. A born wordsmith and storyteller, she was always scribbling in the margins as a kid and has gone on to work in a variety of communications capacities, including journalism, creative writing, copywriting, and creative content management. Sarah is a former managing editor of The Reader, and has also written for Today’s Omaha Woman, Omaha Pulp, and Healthcare Traveler magazine, among other publications. Cheerleading and bolstering local culture is a major passion of hers. Sarah currently works as Creative Content Copywriter at Medical Solutions, a top travel nurse company. She loves a good laugh more than almost anything, as well as live music, cooking with her extensive collection of spices, going on adventures of all sizes, her amazing friends, captaining her sand volleyball team (The Tsunami Vipers), and stargazing. Sarah lives in Benson with her cat, Chutney; a formidable hot sauce collection; and an abundance of houseplants, which she studiously tries to keep alive.
Andy is the epitome of a guy trying to figure out “what he wants to be when he grows up” (his wife is convinced he never will!). Andy has been a sports writer, pastor, entrepreneur, marketing executive…and now he makes cartoons for a living (animated videos, actually) with Omaha marketing firm Napkin.tv. Andy has always loved unearthing and telling great stories that move people—that’s the constant thread running through it all. So fleshing out the tales of Omahans who mold our community fuels his storytelling passion. And it might just help him with his “growing up” dilemma.