Detroit143 Team

With generous but limited funding from Knight and Kresge, Detroit143 is not yet able to afford full-time staffers. Listed below is a team that includes co-founders who have been working part-time on the project for several years as well as freelancers retained as recently as last month.

We share a common belief that strong storytelling can be a powerful agent in the economic and social revitalization of neighborhoods.

kirkKirk Cheyfitz, co-founder

[email protected] | Twitter: @kirkcheyfitz | @detroit143

Kirk is an award-winning journalist, author, editor, publisher and innovator in nontraditional marketing and custom-created content and a leading expert in the profitable use of content to extend brands, win customers, create loyalty and build sales. His career began in Detroit, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his investigative reporting at the Detroit Free Press and winner of the Society of Professional Journalists’ prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Bronze Medallion for investigative reporting, along with many other national and regional journalism honors. He also has broad experience in regional magazines, having been the editor and/or president of five major titles, including Chicago magazine. Kirk began work on Detroit143 in 2010 with co-founders Bill Mitchell and Shirley Stancato.

nmcheadshotNichole Christian, director

[email protected] | Twitter: @nicholewrites | @detroit143

Nichole Christian is a writer and Detroit native who began her career as a staff member for some of the nation’s top news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, the New York Times, and the Detroit Free Press. She is the co-author of Canvas Detroit, a new book from Wayne State University Press which profiles the resurgence of public art in the city. Her work also appears in the books Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood and Portraits 9/11/01: The Collected “Portraits of Grief” from the New York Times. She holds a BA in journalism from Wayne State University’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity and lives in suburban Detroit with her husband and daughter. Nichole has been an advisor to Detroit143 for years. You’ll find links to her Detroit143 articles here.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 3.33.27 PMBrian Davis, developer

[email protected] | Twitter: @500yearplan

Brian Davis is Co-founder of Bamboo Detroit, providing business services and shared work space for businesses in downtown. He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University and the University of St. Andrews. A real estate developer and entrepreneur, Brian is boldly in favor of innovative projects like Detroit 143, helping businesses and the city of Detroit move forward. Follow him at @500year plan or stop by Bamboo Detroit anytime. Brian started working with Detroit143 in March 2014.

angela155Angela Gallegos, calendar editor

[email protected] | Twitter: @Angeladunited

Angela Gallegos enjoys sharing positive energy. She loves laughing, dancing, Detroit Sports, travel and learning about the people/ world around her. She is a proud Southwest Detroiter and sister of Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority. Angela is one of the lead organizers of Sweat Detroit (Neighborhood Health & Fitness group) and co-host of the internet broadcast Slash Detroit which airs on Pish Posh.TV. Angela is the events and promotion coordinator for WDET and began working with Detroit143 in April 2014.

Rose HackmanRose Hackman, reporter

[email protected] | Twitter: @rosehackman

Rose Hackman is a British freelance journalist based in Detroit. Her work appears on both sides of the Atlantic in English, Italian and French. She keeps an account of her encounters with Detroit’s (mostly) charming residents on her blog. Rose is a contributor to The Guardian and began writing for Detroit143 in March 2014.

ellen_jacobEllen Jacob, design director

[email protected] | Twitter: @ellenjacob

Ellen Jacob picked up a Kodak Instamatic camera when she was 12 years old. She started her career as an art director for the advertising agencies BBDO and Grey and was a creative lead in children’s publishing and head of her own book design and packaging company. Ellen is the recipient of a Ford Foundation Grant and a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association. She holds a BFA with honors from Pratt. Her work has appeared in Slate, The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Harvard’s Nieman Report among others. Her photographs have been selected for exhibition by The Center for Fine Art Photography, F-Stop and the Soho Photo Gallery in New York. She has been advising Detroit143 for years and became its design director in April 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 4.26.30 PMScott Kloustin, developer

[email protected] | Twitter: @scottkloustin

Scott attended The University of Michigan Ross Business School. He graduated with emphases in marketing and business information technology. Scott worked at various startups and also co-founded his own startups: DegreeBucket and RoboTeleCop. Scott spends his spare time connecting founders and aspiring founders in the area via Grow Detroit where he now serves on the organizing team. Scott started working with Detroit143 in April 2014.

amanda mugAmanda Lewan, content marketer

[email protected] | Twitter: @amanda_jenn

Amanda Lewan is a writer and storyteller based in Detroit. She is the editor of Michipreneur, an online community for creatives and entrepreneurs. As a writer, her work has been featured in local and national publications including Crain’s Detroit, The Nation, Niche Literary Magazine, and more. As a storyteller, she helps businesses and communities tell their across digital mediums. Amanda holds a Bachelor’s in Professional Writing from Michigan State University and a Master’s in Creative Writing from Wayne State University. Detroit143 co-founders discovered Amanda via her strong social media presence, and she began working with the team in early 2014.

joshua155Joshua Lott, photographer

[email protected] | Twitter: @joshua_lott

Joshua Lott is a photojournalist based in Detroit. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Reuters, Getty Images and Bloomberg. His work has appeared in Time, Newsweek and People. He has a passion for documenting politics that dates back a decade, when he started covering news assignments in his hometown of Chicago. Leading up to the 2008 presidential election, he spent nine months in Iowa and later covered the campaigns in South Carolina, Florida and Wisconsin. During several years living in Phoenix, he covered Arizona’s immigration crack-down, the Mexican border, wildfires and the Tucson shooting. He began work for Detroit143 in April 2014.

travis mugTravis Marmon, reporter

[email protected] | Twitter: @travismarmon

Born and raised in Clarkston, Travis is a recent graduate of The College of Wooster in Ohio, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the student-run newspaper, The Wooster Voice. A lover of sports and music, Travis has also served as a Sports Intern at The Oakland Press and an A&E Writer at The Good Men Project. In his spare time, he writes album reviews at Travis started working for Detroit143 in May 2014, on the morning after his graduation from The College of Wooster.

mcgrawBill McGraw, reporter

[email protected] |

A native Detroiter, Bill worked at the Detroit Free Press for 32 years as a city-desk reporter, sports writer, Canada correspondent, editor and columnist. He has been the editor of three books: “Great Pages in Michigan History,” “The Quotations of Mayor Coleman A. Young” and The Detroit Almanac. His writing also has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, the Toronto Globe and Mail, Firehouse, History Workshop Journal, the Fifth Estate and Orbit. Bill started working with Detroit143 in April 2014. You’ll find links to Bill’s Detroit143 articles here.

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 9.08.29 AM

Beth Middelworth, designer

[email protected]

Beth is a designer, art director and illustrator who creates digital and print materials for projects that have included album covers and promotional pieces, book jackets and interiors, product catalogs and marketing materials and, most recently, book-apps. Her use of scanned objects, natural and man made, is especially striking. Beth has produced work for Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, Penguin Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Capitol Records, Sony, The Dave Matthews Band and many others. Her designs have won numerous honors, including the Graphis Awards, the American Advertising Federation’s ADDY Awards, PDN’s photographic awards and more. Beth began working with Detroit143 in March 2014.

bmitch 155 pxBill Mitchell, co-founder

As city-county bureau chief for the Detroit Free Press 1974-77, Bill Mitchell covered the first administration of Detroit’s first black mayor, Coleman Young. Mitchell’s subsequent assignments for the paper included Washington correspondent, European correspondent and city editor. He also served as Detroit bureau chief for TIME. After leaving Detroit in 1992, Mitchell led the creation of one of the first online newspapers (Silicon Valley’s Mercury Center) as well as the creation of Poynter Online, a global resource for journalists. He lives in Boston and blogs with his wife, Carol, at He began work on Detroit143 in 2010 with co-founders Kirk Cheyfitz and Shirley Stancato.

justin mugJustin Norman, designer

[email protected]

Justin Norman is a 25-year-old web and graphic designer, music producer and all around creative based in Detroit. He is co-founder of Siren Creative, co-owner of WillDo designs and a signed record producer for BMG Chrysalis. Starting his career in his teens, Justin has nine years of freelance and studio experience. He has worked for the Detroit Free Press and the Solomon-Friedman ad agency. His clients have included the Detroit Institute of Arts, Paxahau, and Universal Republic Records. He began working with the Detroit143 team in March 2014.

ZROSENHEADSHOTZak Rosen, multimedia producer

[email protected]

Zak Rosen is an American multimedia producer. His most recent series chronicles the first year of the new James and Grace Lee Boggs School, a K-4 charter on the east side of Detroit. His radio features have been heard on NPR, APM, PRI, the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Radio Helsinki. He was a staff producer on NPR/PRX’s State of the Re:Union. Prior to that, he was a founding producer of WDET’s Detroit Today (now the Craig Fahle Show). He has written for Yes!, The Huffington Post, Model D, and the Red Thread.

amy1Amy Sacka, photographer

[email protected]

Amy is a Detroit-based street photographer who spent a full year posting a daily photograph and reflection on her move to Detroit on her blog, Amy Sacka Photography ( The project was featured in both The Detroit News and Huffington Post Detroit, and select photos were part of the Women’s Caucus for Art exhibition “Eye on the D: Seeing Detroit with New Eyes” at the 555 Gallery. Sacka’s work has twice been selected by National Geographic online as Photo of the Day and countless times as National Geographic online Editor’s Picks, as well as “Photo of the Week” in Ron Howard’s Project Imagi8tion.

shirleyShirley Stancato, co-founder

[email protected]

Shirley Stancato is New Detroit’s longest serving president and CEO and is dedicated to its mission of improving race relations in Southeast Michigan. Before joining New Detroit, served as Senior Vice President at Chase Bank. Shirley’s awards include the Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Association of Community Leadership, Crain’s Detroit Business 100 Most Influential Women, Woman of Achievement by the Anti-Defamation League, and the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year. She appeared in Who’s Who in Black Detroit – the Inaugural Edition, 2006. A lifelong Detroiter, Stancato is a graduate of Cass Technical High School. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State University. Shirley collaborated with Kirk Cheyfitz and Bill Mitchell on a 2010 conference that led to the creation of Detroit143.

janel 155Janel Yamashiro, developer

[email protected]

Janel Yamashiro loves exploring and creating solutions to design challenges and specializes in building websites, user experience and instructional design. A proud Detroiter, she’s worked with media and community organizations doing website creation, curriculum design, content & learning management systems and media-making. Currently a UX/UI Designer for GM in vehicle apps, she graduated from Wayne State University with a Masters in Instructional Design. Her clients have included Issue Media Group, Inside Southwest, Allied Media Projects and Food Lab Detroit. She loves working with clients who think outside of the box and who appreciate efficient, beautiful systems and graphics that transform ideas into action. Janel set up in WordPress using the Sahifa theme.


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