LION Board welcomes new leadership and board member

The board leadership oversees an organization that has tripled staff size and quadrupled organizational revenue in the last two years.

October 27, 2021 by Anika Anand

LION Board of Directors leadership photos

LION is pleased to welcome new executive committee leadership and a new board member for the 2022 year. 

“I’m so excited to work with this new leadership team on LION’s Board, which has transformed during my two and a half years as executive director,” said Chris Krewson, who joined LION in 2019 following a $1 million grant from the Knight Foundation. 

Tracie Powell, formerly vice chair of the board, is LION’s new board chair. Powell, who has been a LION board member since 2017, is the founder of The Pivot Fund, which seeks to support independent BIPOC community news. She is also a Fall 2021 Shorenstein Center Research Fellow

“What an incredible time to lead local independent online publishers! In the last two years, we’ve tripled LION’s staff size and quadrupled organizational revenue,” Powell said. “None of this would be possible without Chris Krewson, his tremendous leadership team and the strong, visionary leadership of my colleagues on the LION Board, especially Jay Allred.”

She added, “LION’s current board of directors will build upon a strong foundation laid by its founders. I am thrilled to lead the organization into the next phase of our growth. Serving our members will be our primary focus, from emerging entrepreneurs to digital pioneers looking to scale up.  At the same time, we’ll be looking to expand our reach and influence, inviting local and community publishers who are underrepresented or not represented at all in our current ranks.”

In July, LION’s board of directors unanimously approved an ambitious strategic plan, as well as new vision and mission statements for the association. The board also completed diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging training with The Press Forward, an industry-leading nonprofit working to advance culture in the news industry through training, research and education. LION’s programs and efforts are supported by the Knight Foundation; the Democracy Fund; the Facebook Journalism Project; and the Google News Initiative.

Rebekah Monson, a LION board member who joined the body in 2020, will be LION’s new vice chair. Monson is cofounder of Letterhead, a newsletter tool for publishers, and cofounder of WhereBy.Us, a LION member. “LION’s efforts to create a thriving community of news entrepreneurship, to strengthen equity and inclusion in journalism, and to support independent publishers are vital to our industry and to our democracy,” Monson said. “I am excited to serve our members and to work on our ambitious goals as vice chair.”

Jay Allred, LION’s current board chair, will become immediate past chair and will oversee the board development committee. Allred, who has been a LION board member since 2015, is the president of Source Media Properties, which includes three local news sites — all LION members — a full service digital marketing agency, and an artificial intelligence startup, Lede AI.  “It’s been so great to watch the LION staff add one unique opportunity after another for our members,” he said. “I’m looking forward to my final year on the board. It’s a privilege to work with such smart and passionate colleagues.”

LION’s board also welcomes Shannon Shaw Duty as its newest board member. Duty, a proud member of the Osage Nation, is the editor of the award-winning Osage News, the official independent media of the Osage Nation. “I am humbled by the nomination and look forward to serving on the board. My intent is to bring my unique experiences and education to the board and enrich its mission.” 

Alvaro Gurdian of La Noticia, a LION member who joined the Board in 2019, will remain as treasurer while Rosemary Hoban of North Carolina Health News, a LION member and board member since 2017, will remain as secretary.

Leaving the board is long-time member Kelly Gilfillan, most recently LION’s immediate past chair, and a board member since 2013. In September, Kelly announced her retirement from her role as publisher of Williamson Home Page at FW Publishing, after selling her member publication Home Page Media Group to them in 2018.

Founding LION board members Dylan Smith and Charlotte-Anne Lucas also rolled off the board, having both served since 2012; Smith was LION’s founding chair, and most recently chaired the governance committee. Lucas was the body’s long-time secretary, serving in that capacity until 2020. Smith will continue to serve on LION’s governance committee. We thank them for their years of service to LION.

Learn more about LION’s board and committees.

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