Meet The Nerds

Julia Smith, Acting Director

Julia Smith

Julia manages INN Labs, leading a team of news technologists to develop software that supports and advances the work of INN member organizations.

Julia regularly speaks at journalism-tech conferences across the globe, sharing insights on interactive storytelling, newsroom product management, and news application design. She comes to INN from the Center for Investigative Reporting where she was a 2015 Knight-Mozilla Fellow researching mobile data visualization.

Her editorial work has appeared in National Geographic, Reveal, The Chicago Reporter, and The Omaha World-Herald. Her data reporting projects have been recognized with an IRE Philip Meyer Award and a NATAS Emmy Award for New Approaches in Current News Coverage.

Julia is earning her M.S. in Information Design & Strategy from Northwestern University with a specialization in Data Science & Analytics. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from Creighton University.

Early in her career, she worked as a corporate software developer and user experience designer before an enthusiastic return to the news industry.

RC Lations, Lead Developer

RC LationsRC comes to INN most recently from a marketing firm in Portland, Maine, where he's held roles as a developer, project manager, and product manager, focusing primarily on data-driven marketing programs and website performance metrics.

He holds a degree in Music Business from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and has been an active contributor to the WordPress community including as an organizer of WordCamp Maine.

At INN, he's the lead developer on our Largo WordPress platform and also helps out our members and clients with individual projects to further our mission of building open source tools to serve independent and nonprofit publishers.

Kay Lima, Support and Community Lead

Kay LimaKay comes to INN most recently from a marketing firm in New York City where she has supported clients and users through her roles as a client-facing project manager and digital marketing manager. She has worked on various WordPress, Drupal, and custom technology projects. She also holds a degree in Music from Salem State University, is certified in Inbound Marketing and Google Analytics, and is a graduate of a renowned full-stack coding bootcamp.

At INN, Kay will be leading front-line support for our member organizations and consulting clients and will also be responsible for creating documentation, training and other resources to assist publishers in the adoption and use of our Largo WordPress platform and the other tools we build and support.

Ben Keith, News Applications Developer

ben keithBen Keith is INN's only news applications developer with a degree in agricultural communications. He graduated in May 2014 from The Ohio State University, spent the summer working on Largo, moved to Idaho for four months to write for Progressive Dairyman, and returned to INN in December 2014.

Ben's interest in web development began with messing around in the browser in high school, and then helping a national park set up a WordPress website during a summer internship. He ventured into journalism as a result of an agricultural communications course requirement, and liked it so much that he became the student webmaster of The Lantern, Ohio State's student-run paper.

Gabriel Hongsdusit, Design Apprentice

gabriel hongsdusitBefore joining INN as a summer apprentice, Gabe worked as a graphic designer for Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. HIs design sensibilities come from a background in print and he's excited about learning to translate those skills to online platforms.

Gabe recently graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in Linguistics and Mandarin Chinese (go liberal arts!) During his time there, he was involved with OutWrite Newsmagazine, America's first collegiate LGBT/Queer periodical, and led as Editor-in-Chief from 2014-2015. Through OutWrite, he fell in love with journalism, editorial illustration, and community engagement.

He's excited to combine his love of journalism, illustration, and design, as well has hone his skills as a developer. In his free time, he tries out new Chinese restaurants and is currently catching up on 30 Rock.

Nerds Emeriti