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Black Belt Staff

Cheryl Angelheart

Title: Group Publisher

Cheryl Angelheart joined the Black Belt family in 2001 as advertising director. Active Interest Media promoted her to publisher in 2003, and in 2009, she became group publisher with the launch of Muscle & Performance magazine. With more than 14 years of publishing experience, Cheryl is responsible for strategic development for Black Belt and Muscle & Performance. This includes advertising sales, product development, marketing, staff management, digital development and event planning.

Before joining Black Belt, Cheryl worked in advertising and sales management with the Tribune Co., the Los Angeles Times and Parenting magazine. Cheryl resides in Los Angeles, and she is married and has two dogs.

Robert W. Young

Title: Executive Editor

Robert W. Young has been involved with the martial arts for more than 30 years. As Black Belt’s executive editor, he oversees the editorial content and vision for the magazine, its specialty titles, and related books and DVDs. In the 1980s and early 1990s, he wrote numerous freelance articles regarding the historical and technical aspects of Chinese, Korean and Thai martial arts for Black Belt, Karate/Kung Fu Illustrated and other publications. Those pieces were based on nearly six years of extensive field research in Asia.

During his martial arts career, Robert has studied with respected masters of several arts, including taekwondo, kuk sool, tae kyon, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, submission grappling, karate and kickboxing. He served in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 1985 and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Radford University. In 1993, Robert began his in-house association with Black Belt and rose to the rank of executive editor in 1997. Grappling, mountain climbing, camping, running and various outdoor adventures around the globe—as well as spending time with his wife and two children—occupy much of his time outside the office (when he gets to leave, that is).


Jeannine Santiago

Title: Copy Editor

Born in Baltimore, copy editor Jeannine Santiago possesses an unquenchable desire to take down spelling mistakes, strike poorly placed commas and wrestle with dangling modifiers. Before joining Black Belt in 2005, Jeannine worked for Newsday and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

While earning her bachelor’s degree in English from C.W. Post College in New York, Jeannine played Division II collegiate basketball. After graduating, she helped promote the sport she loved by coaching women’s basketball for five years at Southampton College.

Though she currently resides in the Santa Clarita Valley with her husband and three kids, Jeannine’s heart will always be in New York with her beloved Yankees, Knicks and Giants.


Raymond Horwitz

Title: Director of Digital Media

As Black Belt’s director of digital media, Raymond Horwitz coordinates production of the company’s ongoing instructional DVD library. After collaborating with the martial artists, he works with outside production houses to design the look, pacing and final presentation of the DVDs.

Raymond can often be found with high-def camera in hand, shooting behind-the-scenes footage at DVD shoots and cover- or feature-story shoots for the magazine. He then edits and posts the clips at our Martial Arts Videos page and Black Belt’s YouTube page at

During his 12 years with Black Belt, Raymond has served as book editor, head researcher/writer and production designer for Black Belt’s 2005 and 2006 Hall of Fame and Industry Awards banquets, managing editor for the magazines FightSport and Self Defense for Women, web editor for, and editor for the 2005 to 2009 incarnations of the annual Black Belt Buyer’s Guide.

Outside the office, Raymond has been a keyboardist/vocalist/accompanist/arranger in the Los Angeles pop/rock and choral community for 20 years. He is also rumored to eat and sleep… occasionally.


Donna Diamond

Title: Advertising Director

Donna Diamond is a seasoned advertising director with extensive expertise in advertising sales and sales management. She worked for the Los Angeles Times/Times Community News as advertising director and Dominion Enterprises/ Employment Guide Los Angeles as general sales manager.

Donna brings to the team a successful track record and knowledge of print and online niche advertising sales. Her working philosophy is based on the importance of top-notch customer service and response-driven advertising plans, customized to fit all advertising budgets.

Donna is a graduate of  the University of West Florida, where she received her bachelor’s degree in communications. A secret MMA enthusiast, Donna is a big fan of Frank Mir as well as Bruce Lee. She’s interested in taking tai chi class and a systema improvised-weapons class. When she retires from publishing, Donna plans on being a bodyguard. Donna is married and has four children.

Laura Flores

Title: Advertising Account Manager

Laura Flores is the advertising account manager for Black Belt. She handles advertising for the magazine, the new Web site and the monthly e-newsletter. She’s been with the company since December 2006—and in that time, we’ve discovered many scandalous things about her that cannot be relayed in print. However, she also enjoys spending time with her children, traveling, gardening, music and art.


Alex Norouzi

Title: Creative Director

Alex was born and raised in Germany. At age 20, Alex launched his first creative agency with an emphasis on event management, design and art direction. After graduating with a major in marketing and innovation, Alex fulfilled his childhood dreams by moving to the United States in 2004. Shortly after his arrival, he launched LA Nightly and Kobranto Creative Studio, where he serves as the creative director and senior designer. Throughout the years, he has worked with a variety of clients, including record companies, motion picture studios, TV networks and publishing houses.

In 2009, Alex helped launch Muscle & Performance magazine, an industry leading sports-nutrition publication where he is the creative director, senior designer, photo editor and photo director. With his experienced team of interactive artists, Alex infuses creative insight and true passion into products across multiple platforms. A series of documentaries for Black Belt are on top of his list.

John Bodine

Title: Special-Projects Art Director

John Bodine is the special-projects art director for Black Belt. A 10-year veteran at the magazine, John designs book interiors and covers, DVD covers, the Buyer’s Guide, ads and just about anything else that comes across his desk.

Depending on which hat he’s wearing at the time, John is also Black Belt’s maintenance man, computer technician and all around “Mr. Fix It.”

He enjoys spending time with his son, playing the guitar and camping at Jalama Beach in Santa Barbara, California. Though he doesn’t have a martial arts background, John has absorbed enough just by working here to defeat his opponents with his mighty designing skills and takedown capability.

Patrick Sternkopf

Title: Production Manager

Patrick Sternkopf, originally from Germany, moved to the U.S. in 2006 and immediately invaded Black Belt’s art department with his ninja design skills. He crops, chops and Photoshops images and artwork for Black Belt’s website and magazine. True to the martial artist within him, Patrick can defeat any programming issue with a swift strike of the mouse click—his weapon of choice. But aside from being a stealthy digital artist, Patrick enjoys playing soccer.