VTDigger.org welcomes three new staffers

VTDigger.org is proud to announce the hire of three new staff members since September: Alan Panebaker, our first full-time reporter; Michael Knight, our full-time sponsorship director; and Paul Berlejung, our part-time business manager. VTDigger.org now has a total of five staffers, including editor Anne Galloway and Josh Larkin, the director of technology and design. We also rely on professional freelance reporters, most notably Andrew Nemethy, Greg Guma, Jon Margolis, Hamilton Davis, Terry Allen and Carl Etnier.

We are grateful to our faithful member donors, our generous sponsors and grantors, and our parent organization, the nonprofit Vermont Journalism Trust, for helping to make this investment in the people behind VTDigger.org possible. Without the support of the many readers like you who believed in our fledgling effort, VTDigger.org wouldn’t have been able to shift from an all-volunteer effort to a viable news outlet in less than a year. In the past year we have published more than 1,000 in-depth news reports. Now that we have a solid team in place, we look forward to publishing even more stories in 2012.

We hope that you’ll continue to help us bring you the news by making a member donation of $30, $60, $120 or $240 via Paypal, or by sending a check to the Vermont Journalism Trust, c/o VTDigger.org, 64 Main St., Suite 27, Montpelier, VT 05602. Your contribution is tax deductible.

By way of introduction here are the bios of our three new staffers:

Alan Panebaker

Alan Panebaker

Alan Panebaker is a staff writer for VTDigger.org. He covers health care and energy issues. Alan graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2005 and cut his teeth reporting for the Ashland Daily Tidings and Mail Tribune newspapers in Southern Oregon where he covered education and the environment. A dedicated whitewater kayaker and backcountry skier, he later wrote a weekly outdoors column for the Anchorage Press in Anchorage, Alaska, and continues to publish freelance work for Canoe & Kayak magazine. Alan took a three-year hiatus from journalism to attend Vermont Law School. After passing the bar, he decided to return to his journalism roots and start chasing stories again. He lives in Montpelier. If you have an energy or health care related tip, you can reach Alan at [email protected] or 802-222-6085.

Michael Knight

Michael Knight

Michael Knight is the sponsorship director for VTDigger.org. He has more than 10 years experience in developing multi-media marketing strategies for a wide variety of clients. Michael graduated from Johnson State College with a degree in Business and Marketing. He is a member of the Barre Rotary club where he served as club president 2005-06, currently holds a director position on the club’s board and is a member of the International Chess Fellowship of Rotarians. He is also serving on the Green Mountain United Way board and is part of their marketing committee. Michael and his wife, Melinda, have twin daughters and live in Barre Town. If you’d like to sponsor VTDigger.org, please contact Michael at [email protected] or 802-272-7302.

Paul Berlejung

Paul Berlejung

Paul Berlejung, our business/office manager, comes to VTDigger.org after a 35-year legal career, the last 24 as a civilian attorney for the U.S. Army. From activities as mundane as answering the phone, to filing required paper work with the State of Vermont, he’s responsible for making the office run smoothly. Self- described as big city kids, Berlejung (from Louisville, Ky.) and his wife, Mary, (from Brooklyn, N.Y.) moved from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., to their off-grid property in Groton in 2006. Since then he’s been involved in multiple community activities including establishing the Groton senior/community meal site, and successful grant writing that has brought more than $150,000 to the town and other local entities. Paul can be reached at [email protected] or 802-225-6224.

Anne Galloway

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