FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: AARP Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-434-2560
AARP BEEFS UP ITS ONLINE EDITORIAL TEAM WITH NEW ADDITIONS AND SIGNIFICANT EXPANSION
AARP Taps Ladies Home Journal, USNews.com, Washington Post vets to deliver more content on re-launched AARP.org
WASHINGTON (July 1, 2010) – On the heels of the re-launch of its website www.aarp.org, AARP today announced a significant increase to its editorial team with the addition of several new hires. Among those joining AARP’s team is the former deputy editor of Ladies Home Journal, Mary Hickey, who will serve as the editor of the Relationships and Personal Growth channels; Betsy Carpenter, formerly the founding health editor of USNews.com, who will head up the Health and Home & Garden channels; and many more.
“As we continue to deliver AARP members a better online experience at AARP.org, these new hires will be instrumental to our success,” said Bernard Ohanian, the newly appointed VP and editor of AARP’s Digital Strategy and Operations. “We are excited about the ideas and creativity that will come with the breadth of experience these new faces bring to the organization.”
Bernard Ohanian, who joined AARP in February 2006 as the editorial director of AARP Publications, takes on the role as vice president and editor of AARP’s digital properties. Before joining AARP, Ohanian was the deputy editor of National Geographic for three-and-a-half years, and prior to that, spent four years as the first-ever editorial director of National Geographic's international editions. He has had a wide-ranging editorial career and his award-winning feature writing has appeared in, among others, National Geographic; the Los Angeles Times Magazine; Parenting; Hippocrates; The Washington Post; and Columbia Journalism Review.
Andy Boltax joins the AARP.org staff as senior content manager and will work with various departments within AARP to develop online content. Boltax has worked with AARP as a consultant since 2008 and prior to joining AARP, he worked at the Washington Post for eight years, most recently as director of newsroom informational technology projects. In 2006, Boltax left the Washington Post to do newspaper technology consulting for clients that included the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Toronto Star and Toronto Globe & Mail.
Betsy Carpenter joins AARP as editor of the Health and Home & Garden channels. Most recently before joining AARP, Carpenter worked with Google, advising the company on its development of partnerships with non-profit organizations, particularly in the area of civil rights. Previously, Carpenter spent 17 years at U.S. News and World Report, where she last served as founding health editor of USNews.com. Following her time with USNews.com, Carpenter played a role in the development of the editorial plan for the New York Times’ online health coverage.
Virginia Cueto will be the executive producer of AARP.org en Español, the new Spanish-language web property specifically catering to the 50+ Latino audience which will debut in July 2010. Cueto joined AARP two years ago as the senior bilingual editor of Segunda Juventud recently renamed AARP VIVA. Previously, she was the editorial director of the Miami-based Spanish-language website tiemposdelmundo.com. Her distinguished career in journalism also includes three years as a founder and editor-in-chief of Hispanic Trends magazine. Fully bilingual, she also spent several years as a translator and editor at the Miami bureau of the Spanish news agency EFE.
Mike DeSenne is the new editor for the Money and Work channels at AARP.org. Notably, DeSenne spent nine years at SmartMoney.com, where his last position was executive editor. His background also includes HouseLogic.com, a consumer-facing site owned by the National Association of Realtors, where he served as managing editor. In that position, DeSenne gained valuable insights into the opportunities of publishing consumer-facing content within the structure of a large not-for-profit association.
Teo Furtado joins AARP’s web team as the executive producer of AARP.org. In this capacity, Furtado will work with Ohanian to determine and execute the editorial vision of the site. For the past two years, Furtado served as deputy editor of both the print and online versions of AARP’s news publication, AARP Bulletin and its daily news site AARP Bulletin Today. Prior to joining AARP, he was the managing editor at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, DC; the WebMD bureau chief in San Francisco; and the editor-in-chief of Hippocrates magazine.
Cathy Ginther is now handling content deals and large-scale editorial projects for AARP.org. She joins the team from AARP Bulletin, where she served as managing editor for the last two years. Before joining AARP in March 2008, Ginther was managing editor of two websites, Revolution Health and KidsHealth which won two Webby Awards and several other major honors.
Amy Greber is being promoted from her current position as community producer for AARP.org to the newly created position of social media editor. In her new role, Greber will be responsible for integrating social media into AARP.org to engage users and encourage participation. As community producer, she has played a key role in building groups within AARP’s very popular online community and ensuring close relationships between those groups and the editorial content of AARP.org. Greber has been with AARP since 2002. Prior to joining AARP, she was a content developer at Commerce One and the managing editor of MicroStrategy Magazine.
Carolyn Hall has been the managing editor for AARP.org as a consultant since 2008, and she now joins the staff officially as the director and managing editor for the site. Hall came to AARP from Revolution Health, where her various roles included content director, project manager, and managing editor. Before that, she spent nearly two decades managing complex reference projects in the scientific, technical and medical publishing field.
Mary Hickey joins AARP as the editor of the Relationships and Personal Growth channels at AARP.org. Hickey was previously deputy editor at Ladies’ Home Journal, and prior to that, was in the same position at Parents for eight years. At both Ladies’ Home Journal and Parents, Hickey worked on creating the magazines’ online content and helped to editorially bridge the print and digital operations. Her impressive career in journalism also includes four years as the articles editor of Glamour; two years as an associate producer at NBC News in Washington, DC, four years as a reporter at the Miami Herald and eight years as an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.
Kim Keister joins AARP.org from the editorial team of the AARP Bulletin where he has been the executive editor of both the print and online versions since 2008. In his new role, Keister will head up the Politics & Society and Giving Back channels on AARP.org. Before joining AARP, Keister worked with Preservation magazine for 15 years, the last six as senior editor. Until 2000, Keister was a co-owner of OmniStudio, a graphic design and prepress business.