Tyler Thomas is the Executive Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix. He currently lives in the Welling community in Cherokee County, but calls Stilwell, Oklahoma his hometown. After graduating Stilwell High School, Tyler attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2012. He also graduated from the American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota in 2011.
Tyler is a member of the Native American Journalists Association as well as the Society for News Design. He was also a member of Leadership Tahlequah Class XIX.
He is married to Madison Thomas. The couple has two daughters, Evan and Chandler.
Mark Dreadfulwater has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2006. He began as a graphic designer, a position that exposed him to all factions of the organization. Upon completing his journalism degree from Northeastern State University in 2009, he was promoted to media specialist, switching his main focus to videography and visual journalism while maintaining his design duties. In 2012, he was promoted to multimedia editor.
He is a member of Native American Journalists Association, Society of Professional Journalists and Society for News Design.
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2006, switching his focus from writing to story development, editing, design and other duties.
He is a member of NAJA, as well as the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors and Society for News Design.
Travis earned his journalism degree with a print emphasis in 1999 from Oklahoma City University. While at OCU, he served as editor, assistant editor and sports reporter for the school’s newspaper.
He is married to Lisa Snell. The couple has two children, Sadie and Swimmer.
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers.
For many years he has been advocate for Indian rights and has written numerous articles and editorials on Cherokee history.
He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, an organization made up of professional Native journalists from throughout North America and Canada. He is also board member for the Oklahoma Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association.
Growing up northeastern Oklahoma, Will learned the language, traditions and culture of the Cherokee people from his Cherokee mother and grandparents. He also appreciates his father’s culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M.
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987.
He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relations. Sean briefly held sports editor positions with the Tahlequah Daily Press and the then-McAlester News-Capital and Democrat before being hired to the sports desk at the Tulsa World in June 1993. He moved to the design desk at the end of 1996, where he remained until January 2009. He held a position within the NSU Office of Communications and Marketing before returning to the Tahlequah Daily Press as a news and political reporter in 2013. There, he accumulated a number of Associated Press and Oklahoma Press Association awards for news coverage, adding to awards won as a part-time reporter in his college days with the TDP, Cleveland American and as co-editor of The Northeastern.
Sean is perilously carnivorous and likes to grill meats of all sorts over different woods. He also enjoys pitching a tent in the outdoors for a few nights as his schedule allows.
Lindsey Bark grew up and resides in the Tagg Flats community in Delaware County. She graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, emphasizing in journalism.
She started working for the Cherokee Phoenix in 2016. Working for the Cherokee Phoenix, Lindsey hopes to gain as much knowledge as she can about the Cherokee culture and people. She is a full-blood Cherokee and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
She is a member of the Native American Journalists Association and has won three awards for the Giduwa Cherokee News and one award for the Cherokee Phoenix.
Chad Hunter has spent more than two decades in the newspaper industry as a reporter and editor in Arkansas, Oklahoma and his home state of Missouri. He began working for the Cherokee Phoenix in late 2018.
As a reporter, Chad earned awards from the Associated Press and state press associations in the categories of beat reporting, news, photography, columns, history and investigative reporting. As an editor, he was honored in layout/design categories and helped lead newsrooms to numerous General Excellence awards.
He and his wife currently reside near Stilwell with pets large and small.
Multimedia Specialist Josh Fourkiller currently lives in Tahlequah, Oklahoma but calls Stilwell his hometown. He began working at the Cherokee Phoenix in February of 2020. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Josh always knew he wanted to work for the Cherokee people. After graduating from Stilwell High School, Josh has gone on to attend Northeastern State University, working to obtain a degree in Media Studies, focusing on videography and editing. He also has taken many courses from sought after videographers and editors on his own time to better his craft. Josh has spent many hours behind the camera and computer, enjoying it so much you could hardly call it work. He is married to Tiara Fourkiller and the couple has three children, Creed, Lyric and Crossley.
Samantha Cochran joined the Cherokee Phoenix as an advertising representative in 2014 and has worked in advertising and marketing since graduating from Gore High School in 2005.
Being a Cherokee Nation citizen, she competed in Cherokee quiz bowls throughout high school and has taken Cherokee classes regarding culture, people and language. While working for the Cherokee Phoenix she has broadened her knowledge about the Cherokee people and culture.
Samantha is married to Chris Cochran and they have four children: Tucker, Alex, Ashlyn and Summer.
Terris Howard is from Welling, Okla. She graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern State University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in visual communication and a minor in business. While in college, she worked for Cherokee Nation Businesses. She started working for the Cherokee Phoenix as an advertising representative in 2018.
She is married to Jeremy Howard. They have two children, Lyllyann and Keigen.
BJ Frogg started working for the Cherokee Phoenix in July 2019. He is currently the distribution specialist and delivers the bi-monthly print edition as well as maintains subscriptions. He is from the Wauhilla community in Adair County, Oklahoma.