Ben Lando, a 4th generation Kalamazooan, became a journalist more than 20 years ago covering Kalamazoo city and county governments and other community stories for local radio stations and newspapers. Based in Washington, D.C., from ’06-’09, he was a reporter and editor for United Press International covering U.S. and global energy/political/security stories. He moved to Baghdad in ’09 as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time, and other news outlets. He founded www.iraqoilreport.com which remains the premier outlet covering economic, security, and political developments. He returned home in 2013, started a family, and launched NowKalamazoo in 2019.
Kristie May is Managing Editor of NowKalamazoo – deciding which stories to cover while guiding the organization’s editorial expansion. Most recently, Kristie was an executive producer at WWMT for nearly two years after being promoted from news producer. She departed in January 2022, leaving her mark by establishing the community series, “Black Voices,” which grew viewership among the most loyal demographic. Prior to working in Kalamazoo, Kristie worked as a senior producer at KTVL in Medford, Oregon leading the news team through record fire seasons. She is a graduate of University of Miami’s School of Communication and is happy to now call Kalamazoo home!
Ben Jones runs the tech side of things at NowKalamazoo while also compiling the daily newsletter. Jones worked in film production for several years before jumping into broadcast journalism. He claims that he has worked for every radio news department in Kalamazoo (there are more of them than you think). More recently he has delved into website development, working with everything from small, local nonprofits to large, multinational organizations.
Gabriel Giron’s photography experience spans journalism, portraits, and events. He is also a multi-award winning, national keynote speaker and poet who has dedicated the last 15 years to helping others heal themselves through the arts and mindfulness. Gabriel earned his BA from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI, with a double major in Film, Video, Media Studies and Creative Writing. He has a gift for assisting others to change their perspective – which is one of the many reasons he loves photography.
Raine Kuch, a freelance journalist from the greater Kalamazoo area, has also reported for WMUK News, Encore Magazine, and US News and World Report. She also worked over two years at the Public Media Network, where she created three separate journalism initiatives designed to get community members more involved with news media. Raine’s coverage includes housing and homelessness, criminal justice, community organizers, and mental health. She believes that it is important to center the voices of those directly impacted by local issues in her stories.
Linda S. Mah moved to Kalamazoo in 1989 and began her journalism career as an education reporter at the Kalamazoo Gazette. During her 27 years with the Gazette — and later MLive — she covered everything from courts to health to arts. She also wrote editorials and an award-winning column. Today, in addition to writing features on entrepreneurs and inspiring people for NowKalamazoo, Linda is a communications specialist for Kalamazoo Public Schools.
John McNeill’s media career dates back to being a co-founder of 89.1 WIDR-FM as a student at WMU. He’s been in TV, radio, and online media – initially in programming and management and then switching to journalism – for 52 years. John has won numerous Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Associated Press awards for a wide variety of local stories and issues. He has covered the government and the education beats in Kalamazoo for the last 40 years, gaining insight into how local institutions work and as a witness and a chronicler of the rest of the community’s vibrant and complicated history.
Chef Channon Mondoux, a native of Canada, has worked as a corporate and private chef, food writer, educator and food historian for over 25 years. Her 2007 book on Ottoman palace cuisine, “Celebration at the Sarayi,” earned a silver medal award by Living Now Books. Her previous writing and videography was featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette, Booth Publications, and MLive among others. Currently she researches and writes for several academic based organizations, shaped not only by the historical aspects of food but also her deep love of local terroir and her practical knowledge of the art of cooking.
Dave Person has been a professional journalist for more than 50 years. He was managing editor of the student newspaper at MSU, and was a reporter and copy editor at the Kalamazoo Gazette for nearly 40 years. Dave, originally from Allegan but is now a resident of Cooper Township in Kalamazoo County, officially retired in 2009 but has been a freelance journalist and editor ever since.
Andy Robins started his professional radio broadcasting career in 1974. He was a reporter for stations in Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor-Saint Joseph, and South Haven before joining the news staff of WMUK 102.1 FM, the NPR-affiliate public radio station in Kalamazoo in 1985. He became the station’s news director in 1998 and retired in 2021. He now is an independent journalist in southwest Michigan and co-produces the science fiction podcast RetroRockets.
Casey Spring has been a professional photographer and videographer for more than two decades. Born in Connecticut and transplanted to Michigan in 7th grade, he’s a graduate of Portage Northern High School and Western Michigan University with a BA in Art and an Emphasis in Photography. After a couple years in Chicago, Casey returned to Kalamazoo. In addition to news photography, Casey shoots for a number of corporate clients including in higher education, real estate, metal fabrication, and architecture and design. When he’s not handling cameras, he’s either drumming, cycling, walking his cat around downtown Kalamazoo, or playing golf poorly.