About the Staff

  • Doug Haddix

    , Executive Director

    Doug Haddix is executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He oversees training, conferences and services for 6,000 members worldwide, and for programs including the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR). Previously, Haddix worked as an IRE training director, an assistant vice president at Ohio State University and director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism. An IRE member since 1996, Haddix led investigations and computer-assisted reporting at The Columbus Dispatch for a decade. Before that, he worked as city editor of The Scranton Times in Pennsylvania; city editor of The Commercial-News in Danville, Illinois; and as a reporter for the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun and United Press International (Indianapolis). He earned a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.

    Phone: 573-882-1984  |   | 
  • Denise Malan

    , Deputy Executive Director

    Denise Malan is IRE’s deputy executive director, leading the team that conducts all training programs, event logistics, data services and the IRE Resource Center. She was a newspaper journalist for more than a decade, covering government, education, politics, the environment and more. After several years at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in Texas, she joined IRE in 2013 in a joint position with the Institute for Nonprofit News, helping newsrooms around the country use data in their reporting. She became a training director in 2016 and earned a master’s degree in data science from the University of Missouri in 2019.

    Phone: 479-442-2405  |   | 
  • Stephanie Klimstra

    , Director of Events

    Stephanie Klimstra serves as the director of events for IRE and NICAR. She handles site selection, hotel negotiations and speaker arrangements for national and regional conferences. She also handles on-the-road training logistics, maintains IRE’s events calendar, and other specialized training seminars. Before joining IRE, Klimstra worked for the University of Missouri’s School of Social Work, planning their special events and managing their office operations. She has been in the conference planning field for over 20 years.

    Phone: 407-246-9097  |   | 
  • Chris Vachon

    , Director of Partnerships

    Chris Vachon joined IRE in September 2017. As director of partnerships, she leads efforts involving fundraising, sponsorships, fellowships and scholarships, business partnerships and related new initiatives. For the past 13 years, Vachon worked at the national SPJ headquarters in Indianapolis, including the past 11 years as associate executive director. At SPJ, her work included grant management, fundraising, conference and event planning, conference sponsorships, business partnerships and scholarships. Previously, Vachon worked as a sales representative for Standard Register Co. and assistant dean of students at Purdue University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ball State University in Indiana and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

  • Patti DiVincenzo

    , Training Director

    Patti DiVincenzo has spent more than three decades working in TV stations across the country, starting in Topeka, Kansas, and eventually landing at WSB-TV in Atlanta, where she was an investigative producer and data specialist for 16 years. A long-time member of IRE, she joined the staff as a training director in February 2019. DiVincenzo earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

  • Madison Fleck Cook

    , Editorial Director

    Madison Fleck Cook joined IRE in March 2020. She previously worked at ABC 17 in Columbia, Missouri, as a producer and content editor. Cook earned a master’s degree in convergence journalism from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University. In addition to her work at IRE, she teaches a journalism class at the Missouri School of Journalism.

    Phone: 573-882-8969  |   | 
  • Lauren Grandestaff

    , Resource Center Director

    Lauren Grandestaff is the Eugene S. Pulliam research director for IRE. As such, she coordinates the collection, indexing and archiving of research materials within a center that now includes more than 25,000 investigative stories and over 5,000 reporter tipsheets. In her role, she assists members in research and backgrounding. Lauren also coordinates the processing of the entries in the two annual IRE awards programs. Before joining IRE, she worked at both the Missouri School of Journalism library and the Columbia Missourian library. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Missouri.

    Phone: 573-882-6668  |   | 
  • Heather Feldmann Henry

    , Financial Officer

    Heather Feldmann Henry manages IRE’s financial records, ensuring the organization’s compliance with the IRS as a nonprofit organization.

  • David Herzog

    , Academic Adviser to NICAR

    David Herzog is a veteran investigative reporter, data journalist and educator with more than 25 years of experience. He’s a Print and Digital News professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and serves as the academic adviser to the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting. Before joining the school and IRE in 2002, Herzog spent nearly 15 years as a newspaper reporter and editor. He’s worked for the Providence Journal, The Baltimore Sun and The (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call.

    Phone: 573-882-2127  |   | 
  • Sarah Hutchins

    , Training Director

    Sarah Hutchins is a training director for IRE & NICAR. She previously served as the organization’s editorial director, overseeing IRE’s publications and online platforms. Sarah has worked for daily newspapers in several states. Before joining IRE in 2014, she was a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University and a master’s degree in data science and analytics from the University of Missouri.

    Phone: 314-749-1336  |   | 
  • Amy Johnston

    , Membership & Registration Coordinator

    Amy Johnston handles membership services and registration for IRE. She has worked at IRE since 1999.

    Phone: 573-884-1444  | 
  • Charles Minshew

    , Director of Data Services

    Charles Minshew is the Director of Data Services for IRE and NICAR. He helps maintain the Database Library and helps members with custom data analysis needs. He most recently worked as a multimedia artist at the Orlando Sentinel, specializing in data visualization and analysis. He was also a member of the Denver Post staff that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the Aurora theater massacre. A 2013 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and Georgia Southern University, Charles is a native of Rochelle, Ga.

  • Francisco Vara-Orta

    , Training Director

    Francisco Vara-Orta brings 17 years of newsroom experience to his role as an IRE trainer, which he began in February 2019. He has worked for a variety of online and print publications, including Chalkbeat, Education Week, the San Antonio Express-News, Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He earned a master’s degree in investigative/data journalism at the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

  • Cody Winchester

    , Training Director

    Cody Winchester has been a reporter, data specialist and web developer for daily newspapers in South Dakota, Nebraska and Texas. Before joining IRE as a training director in April 2017, he was a news applications specialist at the Austin American-Statesman. Cody has a communications degree from Black Hills State University and a master’s degree in international journalism from Baylor University.

    Phone: 605-645-1561  |