Editors and Writers

Executive Editor: Dave Wheelan was born and raised in Winnetka, IL, Over the last thirty years, he has worked in the fields of communications, institutional development, and strategic planning with the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land, and the University of California, Berkeley. He also served as Vice President of Development and College Relations at Washington College under President Douglass Cater during the 1980s. He founded the Community Newspaper Project in 2009, which currently supports two e-newspapers on the Eastern Shore.

Art Director: Jean Dixon Sanders has been a painter and graphic designer for the past thirty years. A graduate of Washington College, where she majored in fine art, Jean started her work in design with the Literary House lecture program. The illustrations she contributes to the Spies are done with watercolor, colored pencil and ink.

Web Editor: Aaron Shier found his way to the eastern shore in 2009 to work at Colchester Farm CSA near Galena. A strong interest in food systems issues had led him to Colchester, and thereafter he worked on farms in Oregon, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. His Muck Boots are in storage for the time being and he now manages the flow, appearance, and integrity of the content for The Spy. He also works on farm and food policy and holds a bachelors degree from Colgate University in Political Science and a master’s degree in Agriculture and Food Policy from Tufts University.

Contributing Editor: James Dissette is the founder of monthly community newspapers in Oregon, Michigan and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  He is the 1971 winner of the Sophie Kerr Award for Creative Writing, and most recently published Fierce Blessings, a collection of poems in 2008. He is a partner at Chester River Press and recently designed their current publication, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey as translated by Alexander Pope and is currently working on his book, A Hungry Moon.

Contributing Editor: Kathy Bosin is a master gardener, hobby photographer, writer and food-lover, Kathy captures her observations about life in Talbot County on A Chesapeake Journal as well as the Spies. With a Masters Degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, Kathy’s career has ranged from psychiatric social work in the inner city – to pioneering urban gardens as a platform for community development, and creating large scale public art on display in cities across the country. She lives in Bozman with her husband, artist/master printer Kevin Garber.

Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland.  Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He  also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer.  In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in political science and journalism and a master of science  degree in strategic intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College. He lives in Easton with his wife, Liz, and a rescue dog named Sadie.

Columnist George Merrill is an Episcopal Church priest and pastoral psychotherapist.  A writer and photographer, he’s authored two books on spirituality: Reflections: Psychological and Spiritual Images of the Heart and The Bay of the Mother of God: A Yankee Discovers the Chesapeake Bay. He is a native New Yorker, previously directing counseling services in Hartford, Connecticut, and in Baltimore. George’s essays, some award winning, have appeared in regional magazines and are broadcast twice monthly on Delmarva Public Radio. He and his wife, Jo, live in St. Michaels.

Contributing Feature Editor Leslie Orndoff is a native of Virginia, but spent much of her childhood visiting and vacationing on the Eastern Shore. She has written articles for a number of local and regional publications and was the editor of the popular Eastern Shore Savvy online news magazine for two years. She enjoys video editing—particularly taking and editing videos of her three kids—as well as writing about her family life and her community.

Contributing Arts Editor: Mary McCoy is an artist and writer who has the good fortune to live beside an old steamboat wharf on the Chester River. She is a former art critic for the Washington Post and several art publications. She enjoys the kayaking the river and walking her family farm where she collects ideas and materials for the environmental art she creates, often in collaboration with her husband Howard. They have exhibited their work in the U.S., Ireland, Wales and New Zealand.

Technology Director: Derek Beck is a UI designer and front-end developer for user interface design and branding. He works  primarily Photoshop, Espresso, jQuery, WordPress, and Google Chrome.  He is the founder and owner of abovecreative.com.

Marketing Support Director: Mary Kramer. A resident of Easton Maryland, Mary Kramer enjoys networking and is a member of  Chesapeake Women Networking. Mary is a board member of Talbot Partnership and the chair of the Talbot Parent Coalition. She is the proud parent of four children and the wife of Talbot native Alexis Kramer. Mary is also the co-founder of Pet Pantries and enjoys her two dachshund and helping nonprofits with fundraising and social networking.