Writing

Cari Brokamp Barcas graduated from DePaul University’s honors program with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. Her first job as a reporter covering Berwyn, Cicero and Stickney for Suburban Life from 2006 to 2008 allowed her to break stories including the planned removal of the iconic “Spindle” public art in west suburban Berwyn, collaborate with the Better Government Association on investigative reports into local government in Berwyn and Stickney, and win several awards for her business, government and feature reporting. Eventually rising to assistant managing editor of news at Suburban Life and regional editor for Patch, she oversaw papers and websites throughout the western suburbs, managing staffs of as many as a dozen people and budgets ranging from bare bones to six figures.

Cari is available for freelance writing and editing assignments, as well as consulting and contract projects related to website development, content production, search-engine optimization and social media. For more information, visit her LinkedIn profile or get in touch with Cari to inquire about availability and rates.

Testimonials

 


I’ve known Cari since she was our intern at the DePaul Documentary Project at DePaul University. She is smart, effective, determined and very talented. And from the time she graduated until now, she has tackled serious jobs in journalism. And been promoted for it, rising from reporter to editor. She’s impressive.
Carol Marin
Political editor for NBC5 News and Political columnist / Chicago Sun-Times

Cari is an energetic manager who communicates clearly and effectively with her employees. She led our team at Patch through several difficult and potentially emotional changes while maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude that was contagious. She also was able to engage employees as people with personal, as well as professional, lives without weakening her leadership role. It’s a delicate balance with which some supervisors struggle, but Cari managed it with poise and grace.
Jillian Duchnowski
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

Cari demonstrates so many admirable attributes that I don’t even know where to begin. Cari has strong leadership skills, and she maintains a perfect balance of firmness and compassion. She pushed us past our comfort zones, but was right there to help out if we needed her. She is completely responsive and a great problem-solver, which was comforting working for an unpredictable start-up company. She never lost her cool, even when things got crazy, and she is just a genuine person—someone we could trust. Her work ethic is amazing, and she is a highly skilled writer, reporter and editor. She is a rare find, and I expect she is going to do some great things with her talents. It was an absolute pleasure working for her.
Karen Chadra
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

Cari is a remarkable force of positivity and grace. She guided our team through times of great adversity, steadying us through uncertainty and encouraging us to excel. She was an advocate for local editors yet knew when to push them to be better. She’s a nurturer who helps people refine their talents with a firm but kind hand. There’s no one else like her.
Lauren Williamson
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

Cari is a true professional who always put her heart, soul and passion into her work at Patch and shared that passion with her colleagues as well. She is incredibly approachable, friendly and an excellent communicator. From breaking news stories to marketing events, she always made herself available to offer her expertise. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Cari and learn from her. I highly recommend Cari professionally and personally.
Collin Czarnecki
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

Over the last three years I worked directly with Cari Barcas, most of that time she was my direct supervisor. I was always impressed with her professionalism, her ability to manage multiple tasks, direct reports and directives while maintaining a calm demeanor. I can say without hesitation that Cari is one of the most competent and effective supervisors I have ever had. No challenge is too great for Cari. She handles her job duties with grace and ease. I’d say she is a born leader and because she brings so much joy to her job, she encourages others to do their best work without hesitation. In addition, Cari keeps an open mind in regard to her work and her reports. She is fair, resourceful and a true leader. She sets an example that I, and others, have tried to live up to. She knows journalism, management and is capable of stepping into any job and being successful.
Mary Ann Lopez
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

I’ve never worked with a more capable, more friendly person who is so able to equip those around her to succeed, I’ve worked with a lot of managers, and been one myself, over the last 30 years. Cari has earned my highest respect and my highest recommendation.
Ted Schnell
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

Cari was a phenomenal boss. She gave me enough space to grow as a professional, but knew exactly when to intervene to keep things on track. Her guidance and knowledge played a key role in strategically growing Bolingbrook Patch, as well as other nearby Patch sites in the Chicago-market, month-over-month. Cari is an excellent communicator. As a manager, she seemingly tailored her communication to the work habits of those reporting directly to her. There was never a moment where I didn’t know what Cari was expecting from me. Both professionally and personally, I would recommend Cari.
Brian Feldt
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

Cari’s organizational, editorial and leadership skills as a regional editor at Patch.com allowed our team to work efficiently to produce quality news content and build strong audiences in Chicago’s western suburbs. Cari made herself available to her team at all times, and was able to think quickly to provide guidance in the fast-paced news environment. Her positive attitude and professionalism, paired with her expert editorial skills and news judgement, is a rare find that will make her an effective and respected leader wherever she works.
Charlotte Eriksen
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

Cari was my manager for about six months at Patch, during which she was regularly responsive to any of my concerns and was both effusive with praise and effective at communicating ways to improve. She is a determined journalist and a great writer; I will never forget how she stepped up to write a fantastic breaking-news story about a fire that happened close to her home, going above and beyond her job description to help the team. One of Cari’s greatest strengths as a leader is to make people feel that their work is highly valued, and I always looked forward to our semi-monthly meetings. Cari would be a great addition to any work team.
Darren McRoy
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Patch

Working in journalism is often like treading water, and I don’t know where I’d be in the news business if Cari wasn’t my first editor out of school. She managed me and a handful of other reporters while we were at Suburban Life Publications, and despite workplace pressures, was always available to help out her team. A former reporter herself, she was always calm during crisis and empathetic to colleagues when things didn’t go according to plan, but strong enough to let employees know when they needed to step up their effort. She even gave me the idea to start a blog on suburban police reports, and that blog quickly became a popular destination on our website. I’ll never know how she juggled so many reporters (most of them recent grads), and their various quirks, but I’ll never forget the impact she had on me as a new reporter working a first job. Cari would be a great addition to any newsroom.
David Matthews
Journalist on Cari’s team / Suburban Life

As a reporter on her team, Cari not only assigned stories and edited my work, but she constructively worked with me time after time to better my writing and reporting skills in any way possible. Because of her expertise and excellent teaching skills, Cari was able to take me from entry-level reporter to experienced and established writer very quickly. She was always bringing new ideas to our newsroom which were implemented frequently and was one of our well-liked managing editors amongst all the reporting staff. She was more than an editor and boss, but also a friend and mentor. Cari Brokamp is an asset to any newsroom.
Eleni Demertzis
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Suburban Life

Cari has been the best editor I have worked with in my career thus far. Anyone would be lucky to have her as an editor as she’s easy to relate to, will work with you on stories and will definitely back you up when editorial support is needed. She’s one of the good ones left in the biz.
Hal Conick
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Suburban Life

Cari promoted a collaborative environment where reporters were encouraged to think outside the box and execute accurate, relevant and thorough reporting. She effectively managed our news team where all employees felt respected and were able to reach their full potential. As a result, we produced quality print each week.
Kristen Lepore
Journalist on Cari’s Team / Suburban Life

Out of the hundreds of resumes received at Suburban Life at her first newspaper job, Cari stood out far above the pack and continued to stand out after her hire. She was extremely eager to learn how to be the best reporter in the newsroom, how to edit copy and cover her beats effectively. Her work ethic and integrity are top notch, and she has consistently earned more responsibility and the respect of coworkers and managers. Cari will excel at any job.
Robert Carr
Cari’s Hiring Manager and Boss / Suburban Life and GlobeSt.com

Cari Brokamp is a highly accomplished young journalist with a very bright future. When Cari was an intern at the DePaul Documentary Project it was easy to see just how talented she is. She has continued to progress in her professional life and though I currently have limited professional contact with her, those who do and whose opinion I hold highly have nothing but high praise for her ability, compassion and leadership skills.
Don Moseley
News Producer / NBC5