Board Chair update: New board members, bylaw changes, and more

Dear LION Members,

Greetings from the Board of Directors! We have so much exciting news we would like to share with our members. Please read to the end because there are some important thank yous at the end.

Before I get started though with all the “board business,” I want to give a huge shout out to the LION staff, Chris Krewson, Anika Anand, Phayvanh Luekhamhan, and Kelsey Ryan. Can you believe the GOOD news coming from this crew? Every week is another huge milestone for LION thanks to their hard work.

LION Board of Directors is very proud to welcome two outstanding new leaders to our board. The board unanimously voted to welcome Cierra Hinton, Executive Director of Scalawag Magazine and Co-Director, Strategy and Operations of Press On and Jiquanda Johnson, Publisher of Flint Beat and Founder, Brown Impact Media to the board and we thank both of you for being willing to serve.

Leadership and Bylaw Changes:

  1. Alvaro Gurdian has graciously accepted the position of Treasurer for LION. Alvaro will sit on the executive committee as well as chair the finance committee.
  2. In August, your board voted to make a change to the bylaws. This includes chartering three committees: Board Recruitment Committee, Finance Committee and Governance Committee. Ad hoc committees will be created as needed. For example, we will soon form a strategic planning committee.
  3. The other noted change to the bylaws is that all chairs of chartered committees will sit on the executive committee, which I chair in my role as LION board chair. Joining me on this committee are Jay Allred, LION’s Vice Chair (and also chair of the governance committee); Alvaro; Rose Hoban, LION’s secretary; and Tracie Powell, who chairs the board development committee.
  4. The governance and board recruitment committees collaborated and developed a system for our members to request joining a committee. You can apply here and we hope you will! There is an immediate need for members to serve on the strategic planning committee, so if you are interested, we encourage you to apply quickly.

Giving Thanks

I know I’m burying the lead but I warned you in the beginning. There are still some big thank yous.

Please join me in thanking Scott Brodbeck of Local News Now, Glenn Burkins of Q City Metro, Teresa Wippel of My Edmonds News and Jan Schaffer of JLab for their service as board directors. They all contributed so much over the years and their leadership was especially helpful to me as we transitioned the last two years to a more strategic-focused board. Scott especially gets a shout out for eight years of service.

Every year in October, the LION Board of Directors rolls to the new executive leadership team. Jay Allred of Richland Source will be serving you as chair for the next year and I will be moving to Immediate Past Chair. Jay’s entrepreneurial leadership style is perfect for the fast transition LION continues to make and we appreciate his willingness to serve. That leads me to the biggest thank you of all.

Dylan Smith helped found LION Publishers, has served on the LION Executive Committee for eight years and in October he will be completing his role as Immediate Past Chair. It is a landmark moment in the growth and development of a nonprofit when the founding chair completes his time of caring and nurturing what would not have been built without him.

Thank you Dylan for your dedication, your endless hours of work, and your passion for the success of independent journalism. I know you are not leaving the board but as you roll off the executive committee — on behalf of all LION Publishers members past and present — I just wanted to say thank you from all of us.

We will be having a member meeting in association with the 2020 LION Publishers Awards virtual ceremony on Thurs., Oct. 22 and I hope you will join us then, welcome our new board members and cheer Jay Allred on as your new leader.

Onward LIONs!

Kelly Gilfillan, Chair
Publisher, Home Page Media
FW Publishing