While DNN represents the collected work of literally hundreds of volunteers, we'd like to recognize a handful of key people who have made themselves essential to our efforts: the Principals, who are the managing partners of Derby News Network LLC; the Core Staff, who bring unique, critical skills without which we couldn't do what we do; and the Heavy Lifters, who continue to give their time and talent to drive our coverage of multiple events throughout derby calendar.
Triple Threat / Editor in Chief | Full Bio
Lex Talionis / Alex Sassoon Coby
London Bureau Chief / Managing Editor
The Man Behind The Curtain / CTO | Full Bio
Herder of Cats / CEO | Full Bio
Not just another pretty voice, Val Capone has skated with the Windy City Rollers since their founding in 2004, giving her unrivaled insight into the experience from a skater's point of view. She took to the mic early when a minor injury temporarily sidelined her, steering her unexpectedly into the best job she never knew she’d have. DNN's 2009 Viewer's Choice for Best Sportscaster (and 2010 runner up), Val earned her audience-favorite status with clear, knowledgeable descriptions of the action, extensive knowledge of modern derby trivia and history, and always entertaining banter on the mic.
Curator of Bouts
One of modern roller derby's great unsung heroes, Grand Poobah does the bulk of data entry for Derbymatic, the homegrown database that drives DNN's bouts and scores listings. If you've ever submitted scores or upcoming bout information to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the Submit page, it's very likely that you've traded emails with Poobah. He also sends much of the @DNNscores Twitter output, which provides timely score reports for all WFTDA Sanctioned bouts, as well as other selected bouts of general interest.
Because that's not enough derby for Poobah, he also serves in a variety of roles for Roc City Roller Derby, and with WFTDA as a key Stats Committee volunteer helping to optimize the design of the WFTDA StatsBook bout data spreadsheet. Before moving to Rochester, he served as Head NSO for Las Vegas' Fabulous Sin City Rollergirls.
Lead Copy Wrangler and Tweeter-in-Chief
Beck Wise’s heroics covering the Great Southern Slam are without compare in modern roller derby, as are her herculean efforts to wrangle copy that comes in thick and fast from all corners of the globe.
Hailing from Australia and currently plying her trade in Austin, TX, Beck started her derby career as a founder of Sydney Roller Derby before transferring to Canberra Roller Derby and thence Texas Rollergirls. She's currently on a break from play as she works on Operation Ph.D. In her spare time, she likes to reminisce about how she used to have spare time.
Derbymatic Database Architect
Until Bone Crawford joined the team, DNN's bout results existed only as a hand-maintained text document -- ok when you're only keeping track of a dozen bouts per month, but a recipe for disaster if you're hoping to track hundreds, or thousands, or (soon enough) tens of thousands of results.
With extensive experience wrangling schema at Bloomberg, Bone brings order to the chaos of of modern roller derby bout results, which is pretty much the perfect model of incomplete and inconsistent data. After several years skating with the Gotham Girls and other area leagues, Bone has retired from skating, but she still bleeds derby.
Server Survival Specialist
DNN site traffic varies wildly from week to week, peaking during the WFTDA Tournament season and other major events. Server resources can be costly, so we run the site conservatively during normal traffic times, ramping up our memory, database, and web server processes only when necessary.
Fortunately for DNN, the skater who first introduced Hurt Reynolds to modern roller derby now serves as the Growth Manager at Twitter. When Lisa Lawless is not busy keeping the fail whale at bay, or skating with Grave Danger, she enjoys helping us tweak server settings to keep the streams alive.
Of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls skaters who participated in their 2006 dead-last finish in the first WFTDA Championship Tournament, Assaultin' Pepa is one of only three who remained on the roster straight through their victory in the 2010 WFTDA Championship Bout. The driving force behind fiveonfive magazine, Pepa also keeps DNN looking good by providing art and design support.
From textcasting, to videography, to feature content, previews and recaps, Busta wears whatever hat is needed. In derby since 2004, Busta served some of that time as Head Referee for the L.A. Derby Dolls, helping the league to adapt the WFTDA 2.1 ruleset to serve as the basis for the Derby Dolls' banked track rules.
Holly Wanna Crackya
Senior Textcaster/Chief Hula Officer
Carolina Rollergirls skater Holly Wanna Crackya is as fast on the keyboard as she is on the track, providing textcast coverage from many major events (including a heroic near-solo marathon effort during Franky Panky 2010).
Ivanna S. Pankin
It's likely that no other individual has contributed in so many essential ways to the establishment and growth of modern roller derby. Her accomplishments are so many and varied, they require bullet points. Ivanna S. Pankin:
- Was a key organizer and original board member of the WFTDA, serving at one time or another as a member of every single committee in the organization
- Created and moderated the roller_girls yahoo group, an instrumental forum for information sharing and networking in the early derby community
- Was instrumental in authoring version 1.0 and later versions of the WFTDA ruleset, as well as banked track evolutions of the same baseline
- Established the first skate shop tailored specifically to the needs of derby skaters, Sin City Skates
- Advocated aggressively with equipment manufacturers for products designed specifically for the unique needs of derby skaters
- Established and continues to mastermind the derby community's biggest gathering, RollerCon
- also skates
True to form, Ivanna's contributions to DNN have been meaningful and forward-looking. Sin City Skates was DNN's first sponsor. Throughout her frequent outings as a tireless textcaster, Ivanna has helped to develop many of the best practices that turned textcasting from a glorified liveblog into a truly viable method of live sports coverage for roller derby.
A true digital renaissance man, Porch Moon works in a wide variety of visual media. Notable among his contributions to derby are his regular 3-hour treks from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Chicago to provide streaming video from Windy City Rollers and Chicago Outfit bouts, occasionally at great personal sacrifice.
Como Derby Dames skater Roxy Horror joined the DNN family in 2010. She provides heavy textcasting support for major events throughout the year.
Tireless superfan and derby volunteer Slack Kerowhack launched regionally-focused Mid Atlantic Derby News in 2007 to provide focused commentary and score reporting. Since then, he's become a core member of the DNN textcast crew, providing coverage from major events as well as many individual bouts of note on the east coast.
Arch Rival Roller Girls skater Smarty McFly joined the DNN team in 2009, and has participated in and supervised textcast teams at several major events since then.