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Meet the Staff

Beverly Mowery Cooper
Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer
Associate Publisher

Beverly Mowery Cooper has been with SIGNAL since 1984, serving in a variety of positions including assistant editor, managing editor, executive editor and senior director of publications. In her current role as vice president of AFCEA and associate publisher of SIGNAL Magazine and SIGNAL Connections, Cooper oversees the publications and knowledge-sharing efforts of AFCEA, including editorial, advertising,specialty publishing and Web 2.0 initiatives.

Cooper worked for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and PRC before coming to SIGNAL. She earned a B.S. degree in journalism from University of Maryland.
Email: Beverly Mowery Cooper

 

EDITORIAL

Robert K. Ackerman
Editor in Chief
Senior Director, SIGNAL Media
Robert K. Ackerman has been the editor in chief of SIGNAL Magazine for more than 15 years. A seasoned technology journalist, Ackerman also has served as a war correspondent covering the Iraq War embedded with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.

A journalist by training, Ackerman also minored in political science in university. His journalism career dates back more than three decades, beginning with stints as a radio reporter covering the Republican and Democratic parties’ political conventions during the 1976 elections. Following those conventions, he served as a media advisor or a press secretary for candidates in state and presidential campaigns.

Most of his journalism work over the years has been in print journalism. His writings have covered a range of issues involving technology, politics and international security.

Prior to becoming SIGNAL’s editor in chief, Ackerman served as the magazine’s senior editor. He has been with SIGNAL Magazine for more than 25 years, during which he has written hundreds of feature articles and authored more than 300 columns and commentaries. His areas of coverage have spanned topics such as military information systems, foreign affairs, intelligence, laboratory research and development, space technologies, international security, terrorism and information operations. He has won or shared in journalism awards from the Aviation Writers Association; APEX; the American Copy Editors Society; PRSA; the Society for Technical Communication; and the American Society of Association Executives.
Email: Robert K. Ackerman | Robert's Author Page

Sandra Jontz
Executive Editor and Director of Content Development

Sandra Jontz has been a journalist for more than two decades. She extensively covered the U.S. military, both from within the United States and nearly a decade overseas. Jontz was a war correspondent, covering multiple military combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is a graduate of George Mason University and holds numerous awards from the Virginia Press Association. In her roles as executive editor and director of content development, Jontz contributes magazine articles and is responsible for expanding original content on the SIGNAL's website.
Email: Sandra Jontz
 

Rita Boland
Senior News Editor
Rita Boland is SIGNAL Magazine’s senior news editor. Before coming to AFCEA, she worked at Booz Allen Hamilton as a communications consultant. Prior to consulting, Boland was a sports editor, online editor and reporter for various newspapers and Web sites. Her subject areas at SIGNAL cover a breadth of topics encompassing the realm of information valuable to the magazine’s readers and AFCEA members.

Boland earned her bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University-San Marcos).
Email: Rita Boland | Rita's Author Page
 

George I. Seffers
Technology Editor
Before joining SIGNAL Magazine as technology editor in June 2010, George I. Seffers was a media relations representative with Northrop Grumman and an internal communications specialist with Raytheon Technical Services Company. He has also been a reporter for Defense News and Federal Computer Week, where he covered a broad range of military and intelligence communications and electronics topics. At SIGNAL, he covers the full spectrum of technology issues.

Seffers earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.
Email: George I. Seffers | George's Author Page
 

PRODUCTION

Jim Sweeney
Director, Print Production
Managing Editor
Jim Sweeney has been with SIGNAL Magazine and SIGNAL Connections since May 2008. As managing editor, he supervises copy editors, edits stories and works with the editorial staff to coordinate production and editing. Prior to joining SIGNAL, he was chief copy editor for Government Computer News. Before that, he was chief of the proof desk at U.S. News & World Report, following a stint as a reporter for several newsletter companies, covering telecommunications, energy and environment.
Email: Jim Sweeney

 

 

Chris D'Elia
Art Director
Chris D'Elia has been the art director of SIGNAL for more than 15 years. During this time, he has been responsible for the look and feel of SIGNAL as well as the cover designs for most issues. He lays out each issue and also helps the association with special projects and ads. He also helps small business advertisers promote themselves by helping them with advertising design.
mail: Chris D'Elia

 
 
 
 
Cyndy Hogan
Associate Editor
As SIGNAL Magazine’s associate editor, Cyndy Hogan’s responsibilities include editing for SIGNAL and compiling Career Progressions, as well as producing special sections and occasional writing assignments. Hogan has a long background of working in association publications. She spent more than 12 years at the National League of Cities, serving as managing editor of its weekly newspaper and managing other print and online communications for the association. She also served as publications coordinator for the Association of University Programs in Health Administration and began her career as a reporter for The News & Advance, the daily newspaper in Lynchburg, Virginia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from James Madison University. Email Cyndy Hogan

Christina Yanette
Publications Assistant
Christina Yanette has been SIGNAL’s publications assistant since 2003. She supports the editor in chief, chief knowledge officer and advertising director with administrative, budget and production work. While processing bills and payments, she handles article research and magazine requests, manages the library and archives, and assists with e-newsletter production. Yanette is the contact for SIGNAL’s article reprint program. She supports the magazine’s bonus distribution program, makes corrections to articles and tracks advertising pages and commission figures for advertising representatives.

Yanette works with outside authors on copyright compliance procedures and payments, and she maintains the editorial calendar. She also prepares award package entries for consideration in editorial competitions. Additionally, she supports the AFCEA Intelligence Department with several annual symposiums. Previously, Yanette worked for EMC Corporation as a human resources assistant and at TRW as an administrative assistant. She earned an associates degree from what is now Southern Virginia University.
Email: Christina Yanette 

 

ONLINE

Rachel Lilly
Community Manager and Digital Media Editor
Rachel Lilly handles Chapter News and supports the editorial production process by preparing columns, proofreading, editing and loading e-newsletter content. Before joining AFCEA International, Lilly worked as a news producer for the NBC and FOX affiliates in Roanoke and as a reporter for Examiner.com and Bisnow Media. She graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech with a B.A. in Communication, specializing in electronic and print journalism, and a minor in English. She has an M.A. in Communication from Johns Hopkins University with a dual concentration in digital journalism and public/media relations.
Email: Rachel Lilly
 

 

SIGNAL MEDIA

Maryann Lawlor
Director of Communications
A graduate of Marquette University with a degree in journalism, Maryann Lawlor has worked in various positions at SIGNAL Magazine since 1992. In her current role at SIGNAL Media, Lawlor is the editor of SIGNAL Connections, writes AFCEA International's press releases, and produces the AFCEA Weekly Digest.
Email: Maryann Lawlor | Maryann's Author Page

 

 

ADVERTISING

Marsha Carpenter
Senior Director, Advertising

Marsha Carpenter works as a team with the account executives to prepare advertising programs that are customer centric to meet the marketing goals of SIGNAL’s advertisers. She along with the outside account executives sell advertising space for the print magazine, digital version, app, website, e-newsletter, webinars, and lead-generation programs. Marsha has been a member of the AFCEA International staff since 1985. She has held various positions within AFCEA including chapters and programs before moving into the advertising department.