Who Shapes Our Coverage

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Maggie Leung
Vice President of Content

Maggie spent more than 20 years in traditional news. That included midsize papers such as The Oregonian and The Seattle Times, as well as The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Immediately before joining NerdWallet, she was a senior editor at CNN, where she assigned stories and managed writers and editors in Atlanta, D.C., Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong and London. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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Gerry Spratt
Director of Content

Gerry previously was Metro editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. There, he led a staff of five editors, 24 reporters and two columnists to produce a comprehensive local and regional report. As a part of the newsroom leadership team, he participated in the planning and execution of several major initiatives, including a shift to a digital-first editorial philosophy. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from Gonzaga University.

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Don Kirkpatrick
Deputy Director of Content

Don worked in traditional news for more than two decades at newspapers such as The Seattle Times and The Arizona Republic, primarily as an editor. He also spent eight years at MSN, where he led a personal finance team that generated 1 billion page views in one year. Don managed NerdWallet’s banking team of 10 writers and editors before becoming a deputy director. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Western Washington University.

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Marcus Chan
Deputy Director of Content

Marcus was technology editor for Bloomberg.com. Before that, he was the San Francisco Chronicle’s business editor, technology editor and database editor, as well as the newsroom’s first multimedia editor. His accolades include two from the Society of Professional Journalists: first place for online explanatory journalism and the Unsung Hero Award. Marcus also won the Hearst Eagle Award, given to the newspaper’s top journalist. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from Whitworth University.

Investigative Journalism Team

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Drex Heikes
Head of Investigative Journalism

Drex joined NerdWallet from the Los Angeles Times, where he was projects and investigations editor. Previously, he led coverage at the Las Vegas Sun that won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2009. Before that, he did his first of two stints at the Los Angeles Times. During the first one, he was sent to New York immediately after the 9/11 attacks to supervise coverage by 33 reporters and photographers. He was later sent to the Times’ Washington, D.C., bureau to supervise foreign affairs coverage related to the attacks. He also was previously executive editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, which had a circulation of 1.4 million. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from the University of Oregon.

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Alex Richards
Investigative Data Reporter

Alex joined us from Investigative Reporters and Editors, where he was training director for about two years. At IRE and its National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, Alex trained journalists nationally and internationally on best practices in investigative journalism and data journalism. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 and won the Goldsmith and the Scripps Howard Farfel investigative reporting awards, among others, for the Las Vegas Sun series “Do No Harm,” with ProPublica’s Marshall Allen. He also shared IRE’s FOI medal for a series on Chicago’s truancy epidemic while reporting for the Chicago Tribune.

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Brad Wolverton
Investigative Reporter

Brad came to NerdWallet after a distinguished career at The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington D.C., where he most recently investigated college sports. Previously, he oversaw the Chronicle’s finance and federal policy coverage, supervising eight reporters and coordinating enterprise projects. His examination of Christian influences in Clemson University’s football program was included in the 2014 volume of “The Best American Sports Writing.” His investigations into online credit mills popularized by academically deficient athletes forced two colleges to suspend their online operations. Brad is a four-time winner of the Education Writers Association’s National Awards for Education Reporting, including first prizes for investigative reporting (2015) and data reporting (2016).

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Rich Read
Investigative Reporter

Rich is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who investigates consumer-finance dealings for NerdWallet. Rich became the Pacific Northwest’s first foreign correspondent in 1989 when he opened a Tokyo bureau for The Oregonian, Portland’s daily newspaper. He reported in 60 countries, covering economic opening in China, Russia and Vietnam, repression in North Korea, war in Afghanistan and tsunamis in Japan and the Indian Ocean. Rich won the 1999 Pulitzer for Explanatory Reporting for a series that dramatized Asia’s financial crisis by following french fries from a Northwest farm to a Singapore McDonald’s. He served on a team that investigated abuses by U.S. immigration officials, winning the 2001 Pulitzer for Public Service.

Assigning Editors

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Amy Hubbard
Lead Assigning Editor, Banking

Amy was at the Los Angeles Times for 22 years. She spent her last several years there as SEO chief/editorial, and then senior editor/digital/Metro. She’s also been a copy chief, assistant copy chief and copy editor at the Times. During her tenure, she was named copy editor of the year and, as SEO chief, innovator of the year. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

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Zoran Basich
Assigning Editor, Banking

Zoran previously was venture capital editor for Dow Jones & Co. There, he led a team of editors and reporters in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Beijing covering the venture capital industry as part of the Dow Jones VentureWire. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from San Francisco State University.

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Des Toups
Lead Assigning Editor, Consumer Credit and Debt

Des was managing editor for two consumer insurance sites, Insurance.com and CarInsurance.com. He was managing editor for personal finance at MSN Money for a decade, and a copy editor and writer at The Seattle Times. He also worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Alaska, New Mexico, Colorado and Mississippi. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Kim Lowe
Assigning Editor, Consumer Credit and Debt

Kim spent the majority of her career at Microsoft, overseeing content and editorial strategy for multiple MSN.com sites, including Health & Fitness, Food & Drink and Travel. Her previous experience includes writing and editing for business journals in the supermarket, restaurant and mortgage industries. Kim has bachelor’s degrees in journalism and physical education from the University of Iowa and an MBA from the University of Washington.

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Kathy Hinson
Assistant Assigning Editor, Consumer Credit and Debt

Kathy spent 18 years at The Oregonian in Portland, in roles that ranged from copy editor to curator/digital producer to Design & Editing team leader. Previous experience includes copy editing and copy desk management at several L.A.-area newspapers, culminating in a stint on the Foreign Desk at the Los Angeles Times. She was an instructor at the USC School of Journalism and UCLA Extension, and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of Iowa.

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Paul Soucy
Assigning Editor, Credit Cards

Paul spent 15 years as an editor at The Des Moines Register and USA Today. He was editor of the USA Today Weekly International Edition and received the highest award from the American Copy Editors Society. After newspapers, he spent seven years as a freelance editor and as a writer specializing in credit scores and other personal finance topics. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Drake University and is working toward an MBA from the University of Iowa.

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Rick VanderKnyff
Senior Assigning Editor, Household Spending

Rick previously was in charge of training, community and events for Microsoft’s content publishing discipline. Previously at Microsoft, he was a senior producer, senior product manager and copy chief for various channels at MSN.com. Prior experience includes 12 years at the Los Angeles Times as a staff writer, researcher and copy editor, and five years as web manager at the University of California, San Diego. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in anthropology, both from from California State University, Fullerton.

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Kirsten VerHaar
Assistant Assigning Editor, Household Spending

Kirsten was a lead editor with eBay, where she managed a team of writers who produced coverage for the site’s global content team. She also has written for Yahoo. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado.

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Amy Danise
Lead Assigning Editor, Insurance

Amy has edited insurance content aimed at consumers since 1998. She previously ran QuinStreet’s insurance editorial operations, which included Insure.com, Insurance.com and CarInsurance.com. She has a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Wesleyan University.

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Brad Walters
Assigning Editor, Insurance

Brad was at The Washington Post for eight years in a variety of editing, writing and design roles. He joined NerdWallet as a copy editor and made strong contributions on multiple verticals before we promoted him to assistant assigning editor. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina.

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Jennifer Mulrean
Senior Assigning Editor, Investing

Jennifer spent 16 years at MSN in various editorial roles, from writer, editor and producer on MSN Money, to managing editor of several sites. Prior to that she covered the arts, business and real estate for a small daily newspaper in Aspen, Colo. She has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Washington.

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Robert Beaupre
Assigning Editor, Investing

Robert spent four years editing a variety of personal finance websites at QuinStreet, culminating in a role as senior editorial manager of the company’s insurance sites and managing editor of Insure.com. He then served as an online media manager for the University of Nevada, Reno, writing and optimizing web content for the school’s recruitment efforts. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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Chris Hutchison
Assistant Assigning Editor, Investing

Chris previously copy edited at the San Jose Mercury News and ESPN. We promoted him to assistant assigning editor after he spent two years proving himself at NerdWallet. He’s played an integral role in growing our content team and operations, and creating work processes and tools. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

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Chris Noble
Senior Assigning Editor, Mortgages

Chris spent 11 years as a correspondent at Reuters, mostly based in Paris, with stints in New York and Boston. He covered the launch of the euro, technology companies, economics, politics and the wine industry. After that, he was assistant managing editor for news at MarketWatch for nine years, based in San Francisco and overseeing an international news team. Just before joining NerdWallet, he spent 18 months managing faculty and staff communications for University of California President Janet Napolitano. Chris has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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Tim Manni
Assigning Editor, Mortgages

Tim spent the past eight years working for HSH.com, one of the nation’s leading publishers of mortgage information. He honed his craft by studying the markets and working alongside some of the most talented and knowledgeable people in the business. He eventually worked his way up to senior managing editor, and his work has been featured in publications from coast to coast. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and American studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

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Hanah Cho
Lead Assigning Editor, Small Business

Hanah most recently covered business and startups at The Dallas Morning News, and previously was a business writer for The Baltimore Sun. She’s also treasurer of the Texas Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

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Amanda Derengowski
Assistant Assigning Editor, Small Business

Amanda previously worked in corporate communications for a major real estate franchise company, where she managed content across various platforms and publications. Before that, she was a copy editor for the Contra Costa Times. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in journalism, both from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Mary Flory
Assistant Assigning Editor, Small Business

Mary joined NerdWallet after 12 years of managing newsrooms and editing, writing and packaging business content, most recently as the executive editor of the American Marketing Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in communication and in English from Saint Louis University, and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

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Alexandra Rice
Assigning Editor, Student Loans

Allie previously wrote and edited at The Chronicle of Higher Education and Education Week and with a B2B magazine group in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

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Samantha Allen
Assistant Assigning Editor, Autos

Samantha joined NerdWallet after five years of editing the work of financial planners for the publications Bank Investment Consultant, Financial Planning and On Wall Street. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Barnard College and completed Northwestern University’s certified financial planner program.

Engagement and Media Partnerships

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Chantal von Alvensleben
Head of Engagement and Media Partnerships

Chantal has spent 17 years in personal finance news. As a TV producer at CNN, she created programming that helped viewers navigate the financial issues affecting every life stage. In the online news space, she worked at Bankrate.com, building and managing syndicated content partnership relationships with many of the most trusted names in news. Later at QuinStreet, she built and ran the cross vertical editorial content partnership program, as well as media and public relations for QuinStreet’s 12 personal finance websites. She has a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism from The Ohio State University.

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Alice Luu
Senior Associate

Alice joins NerdWallet after eight years of content marketing and partnerships experience. Most recently, she was on BlackRock’s global digital marketing team, where she managed relationships with leading finance and business publications to build exposure for BlackRock’s market commentary and educational content. Before transitioning to financial services content, Alice worked in the publishing industry at Rodale Inc. She started her career as an AmeriCorps VISTA service member, helping nonprofit organizations create social media and digital presences.

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Sharon Yep
Senior Associate

Sharon joined NerdWallet in its earliest stages and has been dedicated to helping consumers find their way through the financial world. She previously worked as an editor at The Motley Fool, connecting investors to their goals and to each other. She also served as a copy editor at The Arizona Republic after being named one of the top 10 student journalists in the country by the Scripps Howard Foundation in 2006. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Chico.

Copy Desk Chief

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Amy Emmert

Previously a copy editor and page designer at The Orange County Register and adviser for 12 years to UCLA’s journalism program.

Copy Editors

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Carolyn Kimball
Senior Copy Editor

Previously a copy editor and copy chief at the Los Angeles Times and San Jose Mercury News.

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Sheri Gordon
Senior Copy Editor

Previously a copy editor at the Los Angeles Times.

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Alice Holbrook

Specialized in writing about insurance at NerdWallet before being promoted and receiving extensive training as a copy editor.

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Doreen Simon

Previously a copy editor at the San Jose Mercury News.

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Erica Harrington

Previously a copy editor at the Chicago Tribune and CNN.

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Jim McNett

Previously a copy editor at The Oregonian and the San Jose Mercury News.

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Kenley Young

Previously an editor at Yahoo.

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Mary Makarushka

Previously managing editor of Bloomberg Personal Finance.

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Nirmala Bhat

Previously a copy editor at The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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Tracey Spenser

Previously an editor at MSN and The Seattle Times.

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Wesley Schwengels

Previously an editor at Cisco Systems and the San Jose Mercury News.