Dan Christensen, Editor
Dan founded Florida Bulldog in 2009 using the name Broward Bulldog. He is an award-winning former investigative reporter for The Miami Herald and Daily Business Review, and one of South Florida’s most experienced reporters. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science from the University of Miami.
Dan’s stories about Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne’s private business dealings sparked a federal corruption investigation that landed Jenne in prison in 2007. His stories about hidden and falsified court records in Broward, Miami-Dade and elsewhere in Florida for The Miami Herald in 2006 led to a pair of unanimous Florida Supreme Court decisions in 2007 and 2010 outlawing those practices.
Similar stories for the Daily Business Review in 2003-2004 exposed excessive secrecy in the federal courts. The executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press later called Dan “the nation’s leading journalist on an issue of tremendous First Amendment importance: the increasing trend toward secrecy in our nation’s courts.”
In 2000-2001, Dan’s reporting about a deadly gun-planting conspiracy and cover-up by Miami police resulted in the indictment of more than a dozen officers and significant governmental reform, including the establishment of Miami’s long sought civilian review panel.
Mel Frishman, Assistant Editor
Mel Frishman retired in 2007 as Broward news editor of The Miami Herald after a 48-year newspaper career. He began working for The Miami News as a senior at Miami High, and served in several key positions there before the paper’s demise in December 1988. At The News, he was news editor, copy chief, assistant city editor, reporter and copy editor – and at age 24 had been executive sports editor (the first year of the Miami Dolphins). For a year Frishman was a copy editor and reporter at Newsday on Long Island. He worked at The Miami Herald for 18 years, where he also had been assistant Dade news editor.
Frishman, a huge baseball fan, graduated from the University of Miami, where he was the first sophomore editor of the college newspaper, and belonged to several honor societies. He later was an adjunct writing and editing instructor at Miami-Dade College and the UM. His favorite word: lollipop.
Mel and Wynne, both native South Floridians, have been married for 28 years and live in Pembroke Pines. Each has three children. Together they have 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Kitty Barran, Director of Development
Kitty works behind the scenes promoting the organization through events, marketing and fundraising. She has more than 20 years’ experience in communications and marketing for international companies and small nonprofits.
Kitty spent much of her career fielding questions from inquiring reporters as the head of the media relations departments at Farmers Insurance Group in Los Angeles and Zurich Financial Services in London. Tired of the corporate rat race, she started Moms on a Mission, a Fort Lauderdale volunteer group that raised money for local children’s charities.
A self-professed alternative news junkie, Kitty understands and supports the nonprofit journalism revolution now underway. Although she vowed to never talk to a reporter again as long as she lived, she now thinks it’s okay to chat with them as long as they don’t quote her.
She was appointed to serve as a member of Broward Bulldog’s board of directors in February 2012.
Francisco Alvarado, Reporter
Francisco is a South Florida-raised journalist. During an 11-year run as a staff writer for the alternative weekly newspaper Miami New Times won multiple state journalism awards.
During his career, he has profiled a wide array of seedy characters including a crack head snitch, a cocaine trafficking murderer, gay meth dealers, marijuana growers, and shady politicians. His series about North Bay Village activist Fane Lozman led to the arrest, conviction, and removal from office of the city’s mayor and three commissioners in 2004.
His 2008 and 2009 series about Miami’s underground backyard fights served as the inspiration for an ESPN mini-documentary and the upcoming full length feature film, “Dawg Fight,” by the makers of “Cocaine Cowboys” and “The U” documentaries. In 2011, an expose about Miami-Dade College’s police academy prompted the school to terminate the contract of the academy’s director Richard Moss.
Francisco began his journalism career at Miami Today and the Daily Business Review. A Nicaraguan-born Miamian, Francisco has an undergraduate degree in English from Barry University.
Daniel Ducassi, Reporter
Daniel is a freelance journalist based in South Florida and a native of the Sunshine State. He is a former reporter for POLITICO Florida, where he wrote about state politics and government, including education, courts and procurement. His work has also appeared in the Miami Herald, WLRN Public Media and The New Tropic.
Joel Engelhardt, Reporter
Joel Engelhardt is an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor based in Palm Beach Gardens. He spent more than 40 years in the newspaper business, including 28 years as a reporter and editor at The Palm Beach Post before departing in December 2020. His website, focused on news of Palm Beach Gardens and northern Palm Beach County, can be found at OnGardens.org.
Deirdra Funcheon, Reporter
Deirdra is a freelance journalist based in Miami. Previously, she worked on the investigative team at Fusion and as managing editor for the New Times.
William Gjebre, Reporter
Bill worked as a reporter for newspapers in Schenectady, N.Y., Paterson, N.J., and Queens N.Y., before coming to South Florida to join the Miami Beach Sun.
He later reported for The Miami News, where he worked for 20 years, handling a variety of assignments, including police, labor and governmental affairs, including reporting on City of Miami government and politics. When The News shutdown in 1988, he worked for Miami Dade County Public Schools, providing information on the district’s construction program and for the past 14 years he worked for the Office of Labor Relations.
Ann Henson Feltgen, Reporter
Ann worked as a reporter in the Florida Keys, where for 10 years she covered county and state government for two newspapers and worked as a stringer for the Boston Globe.
Before moving to Florida, this Minnesota native worked for two decades as a freelance writer and public relations consultant.
Jasmine Kripalani, Reporter
Jasmine Kripalani was born and raised in Miami Beach. She began writing for the Miami Herald at the age of 20 and her first assignment was to obtain reaction from South Floridians regarding Clinton’s impeachment after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
During her career, she shared in the Herald’s Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of the Elian Gonzalez story. While at the Miami Herald, she authored thousands of stories that included homicides, hurricanes and local governments. She moved to Paris, France in 2002 where she reported on major events including the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
In 2008, she joined CBS4 News and worked with their investigative and web teams covering controversial stories including the state of Florida’s practice of warehousing critically ill children in nursing homes. For this story, she was among numerous staffers nominated for a regional Emmy award. From 2009 to 2015, she covered the Miami-Dade criminal courthouse for CBS4, where she wrote stories about various notorious offenders including the so-called Facebook killer.
Kripalani now works as a freelance writer based in Bangkok. She has an undergraduate journalism degree from Florida International University.
Joseph A. Mann Jr., Reporter
Joe is a freelance journalist and public relations consultant based in Fort Lauderdale.
A veteran reporter, editor and analyst of economic and political affairs in Latin America, he lived and worked in Venezuela for over two decades. While there, he was the Caracas correspondent for the Financial Times of London and Oil & Gas Journal, and contributed for many years to The New York Times. He also co-founded and co-managed an influential bi-lingual publication in Venezuela — VenEconomy — which reached domestic and international subscribers between 1982-2016.
Joe was a business reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel from 2000-2007 and worked in Florida Power & Light’s public relations department between 2007-2008. He has written about business for the Miami Herald as a contractor since November 2008, and has authored articles for The Real Deal, Latin Trade magazine/Latin Business Chronicle, the South Florida Business Journal and other publications. He also has carried out public relations assignments for several companies.
Noreen Marcus, Reporter
Noreen is a freelance writer and editor based in Miami whose stories have appeared in U.S. News & World Report, American Lawyer’s Law.com and other publications. A Chicago native, she moved to South Florida in 1979 and has worked for the Miami Herald, the Miami News and the Sun Sentinel. During 11 years with the Daily Business Review, where she was the law editor, the Florida Bar cited an annual special section on the Florida Supreme Court that she wrote for and edited. Noreen has covered Florida courts for more than 30 years. She has a journalism degree from Northwestern University and a law degree from the University of Miami. She has never been a member of the Florida Bar but was a licensed attorney in Illinois from 1986 to 2000.
Buddy Nevins, Reporter
Buddy is a New York City native who has been a South Florida journalist for over 40 years. He operates the political web site, Browardbeat.com
Nevins started his career at 16, writing feature stories and a byline column for national teen magazines.
While in college, Nevins wrote about politics. He covered the 1972 national political conventions for the Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News Syndicate and wrote for political magazines such as Ramparts.
He covered Florida politics since the early 1970s for The Fort Lauderdale Newsand then for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, writing a column which offered a peek behind closed doors.
Other than politics, Nevins is the winner of numerous state and national prizes for his investigations into cruise ship safety, airport construction, the brokerage industry, boiler room fraud and other subjects.
In 2007, Nevins didn’t need a crystal ball to see the grim future of newspapers. He took a buyout from the Tribune Company, owners of the Sun-Sentinel.
Even if you read his column for years, you may not know: Nevins is a University of Miami graduate, an education he helped finance by writing for supermarket tabloids.
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