Boyd Huppert

Keynote Speaker


KARE, Minneapolis, MN

During his 35-year career in television news, Boyd Huppert has become widely known for his work as a video storyteller and teacher.


In his primary role, Boyd works as a reporter at KARE TV in Minneapolis where he produces and hosts the station's weekly "Land of 10,000 Stories" segment.


Boyd has also presented more than 200 visual storytelling workshops across North America and in Norway, Denmark and New Zealand. In addition, Boyd has served for two decades as a faculty member at the Advanced Storytelling Workshop, sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association and held each spring at Texas State University.


Boyd's work as a reporter has earned some of journalism's highest honors, including 16 national Edward R. Murrow Awards. Boyd is also the recipient of a national Emmy for feature reporting, more than 100 regional Emmys, the Scripps Howard Award and multiple National Headliner, Sigma Delta Chi, and Gabriel Awards. Boyd is a 2016 recipient of the Sprague Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National Press Photographers Association. Also in 2016, Boyd was inducted into the Emmy Silver Circle, recognizing career contributions to the television industry.


Prior to his arrival at KARE in 1996, Boyd worked at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KETV in Omaha and WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin.


Boyd grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and graduated with a journalism degree from UW-River Falls, where he was named the university's 2013 distinguished alumnus.

Oren Liebermann

Jerusalem Correspondent

CNN, Jerusalem

A journalist with a wealth of experience, OREN Liebermann is responsible for covering major news stories across Israel, the Palestinian territories and the wider region. His time with CNN has also taken him to Moscow, Amman, Paris, and London.


Liebermann joined CNN in 2015. one of his first assignments was to report on the Israeli elections. In April of the same year, Liebermann covered the earthquake that struck Nepal. Liebermann has also interviewed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former President of Israel Shimon Peres.


Prior to joining CNN, Liebermann served as a General Assignment Reporter in Philadelphia for CBS 3. HE COVERED major stories across Pennsylvania including Hurricane Sandy and the Penn State sex abuse scandal.


Throughout his career, Liebermann has won a number of accolades for his reporting including two Emmys and three Associated Press awards.


Liebermann has a degree in Business from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and is a keen traveler and pilot. Liebermann has Type 1 Diabetes and is a passionate advocate for others with the condition.

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Peter Rosen

Solo Journalist

KSL, Salt Lake City, UT

Peter ROSEN works in the Special Projects Unit of KSL-TV in Salt Lake City where, as a solo journalist, he produces feature stories.  Prior to KSL, he worked as a reporter at KUTV in Salt Lake City, WTVR in Richmond, and KRDO in Colorado Springs. He'S won Rocky Mountain Emmy awards and Utah SPJ awards, AND in 2008, he won the NPPA’s Award for Reporting.  He’s also been a runner-up for the NPPA’s Editor of the Year.


He began his professional career in junior high school writing for 25 cents a column inch, at a time when his keyboard was a manual typewriter, his employer set type with hot lead and dinosaurs still roamed the earth. He has two loud, adorable children who, when they were younger, liked his Emmys because they were pointy and could be used as weapons. After someone at another TV station in the Salt Lake market reportedly used a Peter-inspired adjective, “Rosen-esque,” his wife began calling him that. As in, “Rosen-esque, throw out the garbage.”

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Kathleen Cairns

Freelance Reporter

Baltimore, MD/Washington, D.C.

For nearly 30 years Kathleen Cairns covered Baltimore as a General Assignment reporter for WBFF-TV Fox 45. Her work has earned her more than 30 regional Emmy awards, including "Outstanding Reporter" in both 2015 and 2016. She’s also a member of the NATAS Silver Circle, a two-time finalist for the NPPA’s National Reporter of the Year award, a former Chesapeake AP 'Best Reporter' award winner, and was named Baltimore Magazine's "Best TV Reporter" in 2016. 


Kathleen was an original member of the team that launched Fox 45's News at 10 in 1991. From the outset, the newsroom's dedication to storytelling in daily news was a point of differentiation in the marketplace, and Kathleen used her moment-driven storytelling to cover papal visits, provide live coverage from BWI on September 11th, and the search for the beltway sniper. Much of her award-winning reporting occurred during the 2015 Baltimore uprising.


Kathleen is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany. She's part of a family of journalists. Her oldest son, Taylor Cairns, is a multimedia journalist at WGME-TV in Portland, Maine.  Her husband, Stan Heist, is co-Chair of the NPPA's News Video workshop in Norman, Oklahoma and is a news talent development professional. Their elementary school-aged daughter Grace specializes in drawing pictures of animals and chasing friends on the playground. Kathleen also has a Great Pyrenees named Ellie. On any given day, Kathleen is lucky enough to have dog hair on most of her clothing.   

Joseph Huerta


KING, Seattle, WA

Every day when JOSEPH HUERTA IS behind the lens, HIS goal is to open others up to new perspectives. Most importantlY, HE LIKES to get weird and break the “rules” wiTH HIS stories. JOSEPH IS uncomfortable telling stories the traditional way. HE ACTUALLY SEEKS out the non-visual stories such as press conferences and city council meetings and putS HIS own take on them. HE'S RECENTLY been trying a more cinematic take when it comes to storytelling in hopes of bringing Netflix to news. 

JOSEPH IS a photojournalist at KING5 IN SEATTLE and haS recently been selected as one of four finalists for the National Press Photographers Association's “Ernie Crisp Photographer of the Year” AWARD, The most prestigious in television photojournalism.

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Heidi Wigdahl

Solo Journalist

Kare, Minneapolis, MN

Heidi Wigdahl is a multimedia journalist at KARE 11 in Minneapolis. She started her career at KTTC in Rochester, Minnesota before heading south to work at WBIR in Knoxville, Tennessee. Heidi has always been a solo video journalist and enjoys every part of crafting a story. HEIDI has received two regional Emmys for Best Video Journalist. Her work has also been recognized by the Edward R. Murrow Awards, the National Press Photographers Association, the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association’s Eric Sevareid Awards and the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists. In 2015, the Tennessee Associated Press named her “Best TV Reporter.”


Heidi graduated from DePaul University where the College of Communication named her “Journalism Student of the Year.” She HAS coverED many noteworthy events, but reporting on Kitten Bowl V during the Minnesota Super Bowl remains a career highlight. Heidi lives in south Minneapolis with her husband Eliot and their two cats, Bunny Pancake and Backpack the Brave.

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Brenda Wood

Anchor, Retired

WXIA, Atlanta, GA

Brenda Wood is a veteran broadcast journalist whose career spans 40 years reporting and anchoring television news in the South. 


she has won numerous awards including 20 Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Southeast Region, 6 awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and 7 awards from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, among other professional honors.  In addition, several of her "Last Word" news commentaries have gone viral on social media around the world. 


Brenda was inducted into the Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame in 2014 and her trailblazing career is documented in the National Archives in Washington D, C. as an African American HistoryMaker. 


Brenda retired in February 2017 from the Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA TV 11 Alive, leaving the anchor desk as one of Atlanta's most prominent and trusted newscasters. 


She remains a steadfast supporter of many non-profit and civic organizations in Metro Atlanta including Habitat for Humanity, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the National Black Arts Festival and the Atlanta Alzheimer's Association. In fact, she danced in the association's Dancing Stars of Atlanta this year, helping to raise nearly a million dollars for Alzheimer's and winning Judges Choice Award with her Cha Cha! 


Brenda is the mother of two married daughters and the grandmother of the cutest 7 month old in the world! 

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Matthew Yates

AssT. Chief Photojournalist

WLOS, Asheville, NC

Tiffani Lupenski

Director of Content

WBBM, Chicago, IL

All Matthew YATES ever wanted to do WAS run around with a camera for a living. After stumbling into a career in news, he fell in love with storytelling. He considers himself lucky to be the Assistant Chief Photographer at WLOS in Asheville, NC and a small part of the talented team that was the 2018 Medium Market Station of the Year. 


That desire to run around with a camera has led Matthew to get his Remote Pilot’s License for Drone operations and never leaving for a shoot without a GoPro in his pocket.

Though her title since 2012 has been News Director, Tiffani Lupenski is still a storyteller at heart.  Tiffani started as a radio reporter in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas.  She transitioned to television in Lake Charles, Louisiana and then moved to Birmingham, Alabama - where in the late 90s, she attended a storytelling workshop hosted by Boyd Huppert and Jonathan Malat.  It's been her passion ever since.  


Tiffani went behind the scenes in 2000 at CNN Headline News and was an Executive Producer in Denver and Seattle before moving to the corner office.  She's been a News Director at KATU in Portland, Oregon, KGTV in San Diego, and KSDK in St. Louis. 

Matt King is the News Director at WCNC in Charlotte, NC.

Matt King

News Director

WCNC, Charlotte, NC

Brian Nemitz is a broadcast journalist with more than 20 years experience.  He worked in newsrooms in Wisconson, Michigan and Florida before coming to Asheville in 2014. 


Brian has done it all, from in front of the camera to behind the scenes.  He is now the News Director at WLOS after being promoted in June 2018.

Brian Nemitz

News Director

WLOS, Asheville, NC

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Sheryl Barnhouse

News Director

WTVR, Richmond, VA

Sheryl Barnhouse has worked in the news industry 25 years and as News Director at WTVR for the last 5 years. Sheryl began at CBS 6 in 1998 where her roles also included Assistant News Director and Senior Producer. She got her start in a newsroom in 1993 where she began as a Newscast Producer at WNCT in Greenville, North Carolina. She has double Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mass Communications and English from East Carolina University.


Under Sheryl’s leadership, WTVR-CBS 6 is the proud recipient of several Murrows and Emmy awards, including Overall Excellence in 2017. Additionally, NPPA recognized CBS 6 as a finalist several years in a row for the best photography station (mid-size market). Sheryl is dedicated to creating a positive newsroom culture which encourages innovative thinking and storytelling. She believes collaboration and listening is important and strives to empower everyone to be newsroom leaders.


Sheryl is a native of Virginia, growing up in the Northern part of the state. She is married to Geoff of 18 years and has two children, Caroline & Nicholas who keep her very busy with competitive dance and soccer.

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John Kirtley

Workshop Director and host

Sound Of Life Media

Asheville, NC

John Kirtley founded Sound Of Life Media in 2016 to spread his passion for the importance of high-quality visual storytelling in television news. 


John told stories in markets throughout the country, FINISHing his newsroom career as the Assistant Chief Photojournalist at WLOS-TV in Asheville, NC.


In his decade-long career as a storyteller, he won numerous awards, including 10 Emmy’s, 5 Edward R. Murrow awards and was named the NPPA’s Ernie Crisp Photojournalist of the Year - Runner-up, the industry's most prestigious award for photojournalism.


John has spoken at workshops throughout the country, was the co-director of the NPPA Southeast Storytelling Workshop and is the director of the annual sound of life storytelling workshop.


John also takes North Carolina barbecue way too seriously...

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Tracey Early

WOrkshop director and host

sound of life media

tampa, fl

Tracey Early joined Sound of Life Media to further her passion for shaping television news and visual storytelling in an ever-changing industry.


Tracey’s 16-year career in television news spanned across the Southeast, working as a producer, multimedia journalist, news and sports reporter, and primarily a news anchor. She finished her newsroom career as the morning anchor at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC.


In her career as a storyteller, Tracey covered everything from hurricanes and ice storms to state fairs and local government. Tracey’s work as a news anchor earned her a share of two Southeast Emmy Awards for the WSPA morning show and live special event coverage.


Tracey lives in Tampa, FL with her husband and young son. Just like John, she is also passionate about North Carolina barbecue, specifically Eastern NC-style, which is, of course, the best.