Courtney Crowder is a features reporter at the Des Moines Register. A graduate of New York University, Crowder previously worked at the Chicago Tribune, ABC News, Fox News and AMNY. She is a gummy bear aficionado and avid TV watcher, who owns two DVRs to support her habit. As a coach with the Storytellers Project, she helps to curate and emcee some of our storytelling events.
Mackenzie Ryan is the statewide education reporter at The Des Moines Register. In 2013 she won a national education reporting award. Originally from Minnesota, Mackenzie’s collected stories during newspaper stints on both coasts, and her travels through 45 states. She coaches and emcees Storytellers nights.
Brian Smith is an engagement editor and has been with the Des Moines Register since 2012. He's a native Iowan and graduate of Iowa State University. Brian works with our journalists to help them connect with Iowans through social media, events and more. He make sure we think of everything behind the scenes 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.