SPJ’s Volunteer of the Month for May is Carlos Restrepo, a freelance journalist and full-time communications specialist based in St. Louis, Mo.
He volunteers as organizer of the Society of Professional Journalists International Community and is vice-president of the St. Louis Pro Chapter of SPJ. A native of Medellin, Colombia, Restrepo has a bachelor’s degree in Global Journalism from Webster University.
Although Restrepo currently works in the non-profit communications field, he says his heart and soul yearn for journalists and the difficult job they do every day. Growing up in a war-torn country, Restrepo admires and respects the efforts of the many journalists who were threatened, repressed and murdered for speaking out against violence and corruption. His desire is to make even a small difference in the lives of journalists through his service at both the local and national level of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Carlos is modest. In his words: “I would like to pass on and dedicate this recognition to all of the SPJ members who have contributed to the SPJ International Community and the SPJ St. Louis Pro Chapter. I am nothing but a middle man and my colleagues, who are in the field day in and day out, deserve even more to be recognize for their commitment, hard work and passion to the beautiful and important profession of journalism.”
Carlos was nominated by SPJ President Dana Neuts. Here is what Dana says:
I’d like to nominate Carlos Restrepo of the St. Louis chapter for volunteer of the month. Last year Carlos came to me with an idea to revive the International Committee in Community format. He agreed to head the community and he has single-handedly created a vibrant, multi-faceted, talented community. Carlos went the extra mile in working with community members to define a vision and action plan for the community, and he continues to be active, writing blog posts, gathering information to help me make communications-related decisions, participating in community discussions, etc. Carlos is proactive and has a great attitude. He continues to go above and beyond the call of duty, despite his local chapter responsibilities, which continue to grow. Long-time SPJ members Dan Kubiske and Robert Buckman, who remember when the International Committee was very active, are grateful for its resurrection, and it is all because of Carlos.