Courtney Crowder is the first female Iowa Columnist for the Des Moines Register. She focuses on telling human stories with an investigative eye and a narrative touch. A graduate of New York University, Crowder is a gummy bear aficionado and a parallel parking master acquainting herself with gravel roads. As a coach with the Storytellers Project, she helps to curate and emcee some of our storytelling events.
Brian Smith is the Register's audience growth strategist. He works with journalists across the newsroom to understand our audiences and how to attract new readers. He's a native Iowan and joined the Register in 2012 after graduating from Iowa State University. He leads the behind the scenes efforts of the Storytellers Project to ensure our storytellers and guests have a memorable night.
Rekha Basu is a Des Moines Register opinion columnist whose commentaries are distributed internationally. Born in India and raised globally, Rekha writes about politics, culture, human rights, social justice and all issues that concern women. She’s a frequent public speaker and has appeared on the “Today” show, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” PBS and National Public Radio. She also works as a coach for the Storytellers Project.
A West Des Moines native, Linh Ta is a proud Valley High Tiger and University of Northern Iowa Panther. When she’s not reporting on the breaking news desk, she covers Ankeny news for the Des Moines Register, she likes to spend time with friends and family. On most Saturday nights, you can find Ta bicycling around downtown or chowing down on sushi. And on Sunday mornings, she’s probably curled up with The New York Times and her cat, Artemis. She serves as a coach and emcee for the Storytellers Project.
Lee Rood has been a reporter and editor at the Register for 20 years. In January 2013, she created The Reader's Watchdog to help Iowans find answers and seek accountability from government, business and nonprofits. Before becoming a columnist, she was the Register's investigative editor, producing and writing several award-winning projects that spurred new state and national legislation, led to criminal investigations and produced wide-ranging results for everyday Iowans. She also serves as a coach and emcee for the Storytellers Project
Kim Norvell covers growth and development in downtown Des Moines and across the metro. A native of Omaha, Neb., Norvell graduated from Iowa State University and claims both great states as her home. Before joining The Register, Norvell spent five years as a reporter in St. Joseph, Mo. She serves as a coach and emcee for the Storytellers Project