About Us

From a six-page newsletter in 1945 to a monthly publication that spans the globe, PN continues to be an invaluable resource for people with spinal-cord injuries, family members and caregivers alike.

Originally, PN was known as Paraplegia News, and during an era where spinal-cord injuries were considered a life-altering tragedy, our mission was clear.

Since that time we have seen great strides in technology, public awareness and the general perceptions concerning people with disabilities and wanted to recognize that Paraplegia News meant more than paraplegia.

It embodies the “power” of the spirit, the “professional” contributions to society, the “personal” story within each person, the “practical” resolve to carry on and even the “playful” nature of the soul.

In short – we are PN, and we welcome you to better wheelchair living.

(click on any name to learn more about them.)

Tom Fjerstad - Editor

Tom Fjerstad
Editor
Since 2017

Mr. Fjerstad has a long history with Paralyzed Veterans of America. The Minnesota native incurred a spinal-cord injury in 1989 while on active duty in the U.S. Navy. He worked as an aviation electronics technician and flew aboard the Lockheed P-3 Orion. Fjerstad was one of a group of veterans that formed the Minnesota PVA chapter in 1993, and served as the chapter’s first president. He served continuously on PVA’s national board of directors for more than 20 years, including four years as a national vice president and two years as national senior vice president.

Parliamentary Law became a passion while he served as a PVA vice president leading to his accreditation as a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Mr. Fjerstad came to the publication in 2014 to fill the role of deputy editor and has spent the past three years learning about publishing. He was confirmed as editor May 2017.

In his free time, Mr. Fjerstad enjoys handcycling, bowling and trapshooting.

Andy Nemann - Assistant Editor

Andy Nemann
Since 2011

Andy Nemann came to PVA Publications after more than four years as an editor with the Gannett Magazine Group where he helped manage two national magazines and a trio of Florida travel publications. Nemann has more than 20 years of journalism experience, including writing for a national newswire and managing custom publishing projects for clients such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the University of Arizona.

During his spare time the Cincinnati native enjoys hiking, golf, Ohio State football and spending time with friends.

Sherri Shea - Marketing and Circulation Director

Sherri Shea
Marketing and Circulation Director
Since 1978

Sherri has been a pivotal part of PN Magazine for more than 30 years. She has literally worked in every department, starting at the front desk, and then accounting and on to the production layout department.

She has penned articles for both publications and has become the advertising and marketing guru for the publication while employing her keen sense of experience with the daily operations. Sherri received her BS degree in business from Clarion State University in Pennsylvania.

John Groth - Editorial Coordinator / S'NS

John Groth
Editorial Coordinator / S'NS
Since 2013

John Groth has a zest for telling people's stories. The Indianapolis native joined PVA Publications after nine years in the newspaper industry as a sports reporter/editor throughout the Midwest. He's taken home honors wherever he's worked, including a 2007 Hoosier State Press Association first-place Best Sports Event coverage award.

In his spare time, John enjoys watching sports – especially Notre Dame football —and trying out new, local restaurants. He's also fascinated with misters. Yes, the cooling devices typically seen putting forth a refreshing fog of mist to us desert dwellers.

Groth received his Bachelor's of Arts degree in Communications from DePauw University in 2004.

Brittany Martin - Editorial Coordinator / PN

Brittany Martin
Editorial Coordinator / PN
Since 2015

Brittany Martin is pleased to bring her talents, passion and enthusiasm to the PVA Publications team. She honed her journalistic skills over the past 10 years in the newspaper industry, working as a copy editor, page designer, Web content editor and social media manager. During her tenure with 1013 Communications, the website under her guidance earned first place in the Arizona Newspapers Association’s Better Newspapers Contest for three consecutive years.

In her spare time, Brittany loves competing in skeet and sporting clays tournaments, working out, knitting, cooking, listening to music and spending time with her amazing husband.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2005, where she graduated summa cum laude with honors from the Barrett Honors College

Ann Garvey - Graphic Art Director

Ann Garvey
Graphic Art Director
Since 1987

Garvey, as she is best known, brings a unique blend of humor and professionalism to our little family. Like so many in the office, Garvey started working the front desk 24 years ago helping to orchestrate the many tasks of deadline, circulation, and customer service and in the process has honed an exceptional flare for her job. The Utah native moved to Ariz. in 1959 and recalls wondering why there weren't horses tied to posts around town.

Garvey attended Brigham Young University, where she earned her BS in speech pathology.

Kerry Randolph - Production and Graphics

Kerry Randolph
Production and Graphics
Since 2015

Kerry joined the PN team in 2015 and brings more than 15 years of graphic design experience and fresh ideas to the production team. The New Mexico native served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Harpers Ferry LSD-49 before earning his BA in graphic design from Collins College.

In his free time Kerry enjoys basketball, photography and spending time with his wife and kids.

Suzi Hubbard - Circulation and Subscription Coordinator

Suzi Hubbard
Circulation and Subscription Coordinator
Since 1997

Suzi came aboard PVA Publications more than 16 years ago and has become a trusted member of our family, especially to all our customers and subscribers. She is the voice you hear for subscription questions or when ordering a shopping cart item.

The native Arizonian is a graduate of Glendale Community College where she earned her AA. Suzi's devotion and genuine love of people is a treasured trait in and out of the office.

Christopher Di Virgilio - Web Content Manager / Staff Writer / Photojournalist

Christopher DiVirgilio
Web Content Manager / Staff Writer
Since 2009

Christopher works his magic on keeping the web sites current with the content you crave.

The Chicago native has called Phoenix home for more than 20 years. Prior to coming to PN he wrote for a variety of Arizona valley publications.

Christopher proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 12 years working in communications as a radio operator.

He volunteers as a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), helping socialize young puppies who will one day be placed with people needing a service animal.

Christopher keeps active hiking the trails of Arizona, playing the drums and most recently, becoming a more skilled drone pilot.

Courtney Verrill - Web Content Coordinator / Staff Writer / Photojournalist

Courtney Verrill
Web Content Coordinator / Staff Writer
Since 2017

Courtney’s biggest passion in life has always been photography and journalism. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Visual Journalism from Brooks Institute in 2015. Shortly after graduation, she packed up her bags and moved from California to New York to pursue an internship with Business Insider where she reported on lifestyle, sports, international news, and military and defense.

Courtney joins the PVA Publications team eager to meet and connect with the talented athletes and audience. In her spare time, she enjoys playing volleyball, going to sports games, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying new restaurants with her fiancé, Nate.

Diane Doyle - Office Assistant

Diane Doyle
Office Assistant
Since 2007

Diane's felicitous flare and personable style has earned her the reputation of "go-to-girl" when there is a task at hand or research project that needs immediate attention. The Minnesota native has been contributing her talents to the PVA Publication family for more than seven years in the form of customer service, media relations and shipping and receiving, just to name a few.

Outside the office she enjoys the partnership of her husband and spoiling her little dog Princess. Chances are Diane will be the first voice you hear when you call our offices.