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Kayleen Yates

Vice President, Corporate Communications

kyates@bankrate.com

(917) 368-8677

Editorial staff bios

  Katie Doyle, Managing Editor

Katie Doyle was promoted to her current role as Managing Editor in September 2011.

She joined Bankrate as a Copy Editor in May 2005. She quickly moved to Chief Copy Editor, where she was part of the team that earned a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award for breaking news for Federal Reserve coverage and she helped to establish Bankrate's presence on Facebook and Twitter.

In July 2010, she was promoted to the Director of Content, and then to her current role.

As Managing Editor, she handles editor, copy editor, freelance and other operational matters, as well as works with other departments to create the best editorial content for our readers.

Prior to arriving at Bankrate.com, she copy edited for a magazine and newsletter publisher in Palm Beach County, and worked as a sports reporter and clerk for The Palm Beach Post.

While attending undergrad, Katie held a regional reporter internship for Scripps-Howard News Service in Washington, D.C., was editor in chief of the university newspaper, and interned for the research and ratings department at NBC in New York City. She holds a bachelor's degree in communication and is currently working toward her Master's in Business Administration at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Katie lives in South Florida with her husband, daughter and Jack, their shih tzu.

  Holden Lewis -- Mortgages, Real Estate

Holden Lewis is a senior mortgage analyst, editor at Bankrate.com He joined the team as a reporter in May 1999 and wrote for a couple of years about online banking and other personal finance topics. He wrote one of the first articles about a then-obscure service called PayPal. He took over the beat covering mortgages, real estate and the Federal Reserve in September 2001 and won numerous awards for his articles and blog posts.

Lewis has been a board member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors for several years, and served as the organization's president in 2009.

In the fall of 2010, Lewis switched over to editing articles about mortgages, real estate and the Fed. He is an assistant managing editor.

Before working for Bankrate, Lewis spent nine years as a reporter, copy editor and the first web editor for The Blade, the daily newspaper in Toledo, Ohio. Prior to that, he was a reporter for the Associated Press in Dallas and Baltimore, before being named the AP's correspondent in El Paso, Texas. He was reporting on the scene in 1987 when Baby Jessica was pulled from a backyard well in Midland, Texas. Later, he was the AP's correspondent in Lubbock, Texas.

Lewis is a 1985 graduate of the University of North Texas.

  Barbara Whelehan -- Retirement, Taxes

Barbara Mlotek Whelehan is an assistant managing editor at Bankrate.com. She has been covering personal finance topics for 15-plus years. During her seven-year tenure as senior editor of Mutual Funds Magazine, she interviewed hundreds of portfolio managers as well as financial planners, analysts and top-level corporate management of major fund firms.

She wrote several cover stories, including two which garnered awards from the Florida Magazine Association in 1996 and 1997. Prior to joining Mutual Funds Magazine, she served as managing editor of Delta SKY Magazine.

Barbara Whelehan joined the editorial team in October 2003 and currently edits stories related to investing, college finance, retirement and taxes, as well as other personal finance topics. She contributes to Bankrate's Retirement blog and tweets on retirement issues.

Barbara earned a Master's Degree in journalism from the University of Illinois. More recently she received a Certificate of Specialization in Financial Planning from Nova Southeastern University's School of Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2011 she completed Morningstar's Stock Investor Training course.

  Stephen Pounds -- Senior Living, Auto

Stephen Pounds, a senior editor, joined Bankrate in 2009 from The Palm Beach Post, where he was a business writer, bureau chief and assistant metro editor for more than 20 years. While at The Post, he was a four-time winner in business writing in the Society of Professional Journalist's Sunshine State Awards for his coverage of the Tyco International scandal and identity-theft crisis, among other stories.

After working at three newspapers in the Midwest, Stephen was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship in Public Affairs Reporting at Ohio State University. He taught beginning journalism and received a master's degree in journalism.

He also has studied at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland, attending four programs since 2002 aimed at defining news coverage of prominent issues. Most recently, he took part in sessions examining the effects of the financial crisis. Stephen earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and photography at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

At Bankrate, he shepherded coverage of financial reform in 2010 and 2011 for which he and a team of writers were honored for excellence in business coverage in digital journalism. Steve edits the auto and banking beats.

  Doug Whiteman -- Insurance

Doug Whiteman came on board Bankrate in February 2012 as an associate editor after nearly 18 years with The Associated Press. During 11 years as a Washington-based consumer and business reporter for AP Radio, he interviewed everyone from scam victims to CEOs, covered numerous events at the Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies and reported live from the New York Stock Exchange on a particularly ugly day for the financial markets.

Later, Doug moved on to the AP’s Columbus, Ohio, bureau as an editor, writer and the audio and video specialist for Ohio. He wrote about a full array of subject matter, including crime, sports, the arts and business and consumer news. With a video camera, he captured a community in fear after the killings of three members of a household and the kidnapping of a fourth, and rolled as AP’s Cape Canaveral correspondent interviewed Ohio native John Glenn about his pioneering flight into space in 1962. Doug was named Ohio’s AP Staffer of the Year in 2007 and was recognized twice in a company-wide headline-writing contest.

Earlier in his career, he worked as an assignment editor for the NBC Radio Network, anchored news for NBC Radio’s The Source network and covered Congress for the Unistar Radio Networks.

Doug was born in Erie, Pa., earned a BA from Fordham University in the Bronx and likes to box as a hobby.

  Chris Kahn – Research and Statistics

Chris Kahn, Bankrate’s research and statistics editor, previously spent 13 years in daily news. He was a national energy writer at The Associated Press from 2008 to 2012. Before that, he covered a variety of subjects at AP, including state and federal courts, legislatures, immigration, sports, and arts and culture in Phoenix, Richmond, Va., and Roanoke, Va.

Chris covered the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre as a member of AP’s national breaking news team. He also worked as an education writer at The South Florida Sun-Sentinel from 2004 to 2006.

Chris has a master’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He also has undergraduate degrees in physics and anthropology from the University of Arizona. He lives in New York City.

  Mark Hamrick, Washington Bureau Chief

Mark Hamrick is Washington Bureau Chief for Bankrate.com, operating out of the National Press Building in the shadow of The White House and U.S. Treasury.   

He is a national award-winning business and financial news journalist, who came to Bankrate after leading business news for Broadcast at the Associated Press in Washington for nearly 20 years.

Mark is a past president of the National Press Club, where he raised the visibility of the Club’s historic Luncheon series, engaging speakers including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the heads of the FDIC and IRS as well as presidential candidates, celebrities and journalists. He was also a vocal advocate for press freedom around the world and transparency on the part of governments, hosting World Press Freedom Day, sponsored by The United Nations and the U.S. State Department.

A native of Kansas, Mark began his career in journalism as a high school student working in radio in his hometown of Coffeyville. He attended the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism. Mark lives in Potomac, Md., with his wife Jeanne. Their son Christopher is a student at Vanderbilt University.

  Jeanine Skowronski -- Credit Cards, Credit Scores

Jeanine Skowronski is Bankrate.com’s credit card analyst/reporter. Prior to joining Bankrate, she was the Deputy Editor of BankThink, American Banker’s blog about ideas, trends and other developments in financial services. She has also previously served as a consumer finance reporter for TheStreet, covering banks, card issuers and payments methods. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Banker, TheStreet, Newsweek, Business Insider, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, MSN, CNBC, Huffington Post and various online publications.

  Sheyna Steiner -- Investing

Sheyna Steiner is an investing analyst/writer for  Bankrate.com Before joining Bankrate, Sheyna Steiner worked as a customer service representative in a brokerage, an assistant in an actuarial office, a writer's assistant and as an inattentive receptionist on several separate occasions.

She joined Bankrate in April 2006 as an editorial assistant. After two years she was promoted to staff writer, working primarily on investing and retirement beats. In addition to writing articles, Sheyna blogs about investing and CDs.

Her favorite topics include socially responsible investing and anything about consumers being ripped off by the man -- and how they can fight back.

In her role as investing analyst/writer, Sheyna is known for making complicated investment and personal finance topics accessible for everyone. She has been interviewed by The Palm Beach Post, Fox Business and CNN.

In 2011, Sheyna was part of a team that won a prestigious journalism award -- a Best in Business award from the Society of the American Business Editors and Writers for coverage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. In 2007, she was part of a team that won the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for the coverage of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee's cut to short-term interest rates in September 2007 and the impact it had on consumers.

Sheyna is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y.

  Crissinda Ponder, Mortgage analyst/reporter

Crissinda Ponder graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a minor in communication studies. While in Athens, Georgia, she was a staff writer and copy editor for the award-winning independent student newspaper, The Red and Black. She also served as news editor for UGA's multicultural magazine, Infusion, contributed to several other on-campus publications, and studied travel writing in Cambodia.

Just weeks after graduating from UGA, Crissinda arrived at Bankrate as an editorial intern where she copy edited and wrote her way into the world of personal finance. In August 2012, Crissinda became a full-time copy editor for Bankrate; in September 2013, Bankrate's insurance analyst/reporter; and in June 2015, Bankrate's mortgage analyst/reporter. She's an amateur CrossFitter who can't live without coffee and enjoys binge-watching "Criminal Minds" reruns.

  Libby Wells, Copy Desk Chief

Libby Wells is a native of Ashland, Ky., and a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism.

She went to college on the GI Bill after serving three years in a M.A.S.H. unit in the U.S. Army.

A longtime desire to live near the sea drew her to South Florida in the 1980s. Her first journalism job was as a copy editor at the Palm Beach Daily News in Palm Beach, where she ensured the correct spelling of many a wealthy socialite's name. She also worked as a reporter there. Eventually, she was promoted to managing editor and won the parent company Cox Newspapers' top award for community journalism.

She also worked about 15 years at the Daily News' sister paper, The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, where she held positions as a copy editor and reporter.

In addition, Libby was a copy editor and assistant city editor at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and was a reporter for Bankrate.com from 1999 to 2000.

In 2001, she fulfilled her dream of buying a home on the water. Libby lives in Palm Beach County and tries to spend as much time as she can at the beach, lounging in a cabana with something good to read.

  Lance Davis, Copy editor

Lance Davis is a copy editor for Bankrate.com. He is a native of Alabama and graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

While in college, Lance worked as a sports reporter for the school newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman. He was one of nine journalism students, nationwide, awarded a Dow Jones News Fund sports copy editing internship. As an intern, he worked as a copy editor on the sports desk with Cox Media Group in West Palm Beach, Fla. In college, he was a contributing sports writer for 247Sports, SB Nation and Rivals.com.

  Laura Dunn, Copy editor

Since November 2013, Laura Dunn has been a copy editor and regular podcast presence at Bankrate.com. Proudly from Illinois, Laura's first-ever published story was also the cover story at her college newspaper, The Wheaton Record.

Laura graduated from Wheaton College (Illinois) in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in communications. For almost two years, she was a reporter and assistant news editor at The Record. In 2006, Laura spent three weeks in the Empire State Building, studying under notable journalists and authors like Nicholas Kristof (New York Times and two-time Pulitzer Prize award winner), John McCandlish Phillips Jr. (New York Times) and Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker).

Shortly after graduation, Laura moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she became an intern at Southern Boating Magazine, then was hired full time as assistant editor. In 2012, Laura was promoted to copy editor at SB and earned her master's degree (with honors) from Full Sail University in journalism.

Though she's from Chicago, Laura is a proud Miami Heat fan (with or without LeBron James). She also likes the Chicago Blackhawks and Cubs. She loves quoting "Arrested Development" and journaling in bookstores or cafes.

  Janet Stauble, Social Media Community Manager

Janet Stauble attended the University of Kentucky and earned a degree in Spanish with a minor in business. While in college, she interned as a contributing writer and editor at Chevy Chaser and Southsider, two lifestyle publications in the Lexington, Ky., area. After graduating, Janet worked in various business development and recruiting positions, but she longed to return to her interests in writing, marketing and advertising.

Janet found a job as a copywriter at an interactive advertising agency in Boynton Beach, Fla., where she learned the ins and outs of search engine optimization and social media strategies for businesses. Before joining Bankrate in September 2010, Janet was working as a copywriter and social media coordinator for DentalPlans.com.

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Financial experts

  Ask Dr. Don
Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, CFP

Dr. Don Taylor has been in the business of finance for more than 20 years. In 2014, Don launched a financial planning practice focusing on providing second opinions for individuals on financial plans and portfolios. Don has written the "Ask Dr. Don" column for Bankrate since 1999. As an adjunct faculty member at Arcadia University, he teaches International Finance in its MBA program. Over the past 10 years, Don was in the “train the adviser role,” teaching finance and financial services coursework at Penn State Brandywine and The American College of Financial Services. He co-edited the first three editions of the textbook, "Financial Planning: Process and Environment."

Don has professional experience as a treasurer, financial consultant and debt analyst. He holds a Ph.D. in Finance, is a CFA charter holder, a CFP certificant, a Chartered Financial Consultant and a Chartered Adviser in Senior Living. His professional affiliations include being a member of the CFA Institute, the Financial Planning Association and the Financial Management Association. He is on the editorial review board of the Journal of Financial Planning and the Journal of Financial Service Professionals.

  Bankruptcy Adviser
Justin Harelik

Justin Harelik has been working with English- and Spanish-speaking clients in the personal finance industry for close to a decade. He has worked as a bankruptcy attorney, credit manager, debt negotiator and student loan adviser. He has applied his financial and legal skills to managing the estates of high net-worth individuals, and to helping improve the financial well-being of hundreds of people living below the poverty line. Currently he is a practicing attorney in Los Angeles.

Harelik earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree from the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He spent a year studying in South America, and speaks fluent Spanish.

He is a native of Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife, Felicia. He is also a volunteer Big Brother for the Los Angeles Division of Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

  Debt Adviser
Steve R. Bucci

Steve Bucci is the author of Credit Management Kit for Dummies" and co-author of "Managing Your Money All-In-One for Dummies." He is the founder of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rhode Island, developed in the wake of the 1991 Rhode Island banking and credit union crisis. Steve also founded and was the former managing director of the University of Rhode Island Center for Personal Financial Education. The center is a joint venture with the University of Rhode Island to raise the level of financial literacy through innovative mass education programs and research. Steve was formerly president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England. Today, he works with InCharge, a nonprofit credit counseling organization.

Steve graduated from East Providence Senior High School and the University of Rhode Island at Kingston, where he received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He and his wife, Barbara, live in the seaside community of Narragansett, R.I.

  Real Estate Adviser
Steve McLinden

Steve McLinden has written on virtually all aspects of the real estate world for the past 15 years. His writings have appeared in newspapers around the country on the Scripps-Howard and Knight-Ridder business wire services. A resident of Arlington, Texas, McLinden spent seven years covering real estate for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, winning multiple writing awards. At present, he is a correspondent for National Real Estate Investor, Shopping Centers Today and REO magazine. He has also written for Urban Land and Tierra Grande, a quarterly published by the Texas A & M University Real Estate Center, plus covered real estate beats for business journals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

McLinden is a native of Peoria, Ill., and a graduate of Bergan High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Western Illinois University

  Taxes
Judy OConnor

Judy O'Connor has been a practicing CPA for over 25 years in the South Florida community and assists her diverse client base in all aspects of tax compliance at a local, state and federal level. Her clients consist of individuals, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and estates.

Prior to being in private practice, she worked for five years in the tax department of KPMG's Miami office. Her focus at KPMG was on resolving IRS matters for clients and assisting on Florida state tax issues on a firm-wide basis.

She began her tax career working for the Internal Revenue Service as a Revenue Agent in South Florida, where she worked in the Special Enforcement program.

She graduated from Florida State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in both accounting and finance. Upon graduation she worked for FSU in the controller's office as an accountant.

  Auto Adviser
Tara Baukus Mello

Tara Baukus Mello is a full-time automotive writer, who has been published regularly since 1987. With over 3,500 articles published, her work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Autoweek, Woman's Day, Parade, Automotive News, Woman's World and Westways, as well as on cNet.com and Edmunds.com. She is also the author of ten nonfiction chapter books for children, seven of which are on automotive topics.

A passion for automobiles brought her to Petersen Publishing (now part of SourceInterlink), where she was the editor of the special interest publications in the automotive performance group, producing a new magazine every three weeks. More recently, she was the former news anchor for Motor Trend Radio, writing and recording the show's twice-weekly broadcasts.

Originally from Cape Cod, Mass., Tara graduated cum laude from Harvard University. She and her family reside in the Los Angeles area, where she enjoys cruising year-round in the '32 Ford street-rod pickup that she built with her father in 1992.

 

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