Staff Disclosure Statements

This post was last updated March 24, 2020.

The LION Publishers staff is committed to providing our members, our board of directors, and the public with transparent disclosures on the companies and businesses we’ve worked, or currently work with, in the course of our careers. Each LION staff member must sign a conflict of interest statement to prevent the institutional or personal interests of LION Publishers staff from interfering with the performance of their duties to LION Publishers, and to ensure that there is no personal, professional or political gain at the expense of LION Publishers.

This policy is not designed to eliminate relationships and activities that may create a duality of interest, but to require the disclosure of any conflicts of interest and the recusal of any interested party in a decision relating thereto.

A conflict of interest may exist when the interests or potential interests of any director, officer or staff member, or that person’s close relative, or any individual, group or organization to which the person associated with LION Publishers has allegiance, may be seen as competing with the interests of LION Publishers, or may impair such person’s independence or loyalty to LION Publishers.  A conflict of interest is defined as an interest that might affect, or might reasonably appear to affect, the judgment or conduct of any director, officer or staff member in a manner that is adverse to the interests of LION Publishers.  

Below are relevant disclosures from each of our staff members.

Chris Krewson is the Executive Director of LION Publishers. Prior to that role, he was the Vice President of Strategy for Spirited Media, which operated local sites in Denver, Colorado, as well as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before that, he was the founding editor of Billy Penn, Spirited’s Philly site. He’s also the former top digital editor at both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety; the former Executive Editor, Online at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and held a number of digital roles at The Morning Call of Allentown, PA. He began his career as a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, PA.

During Chris’s time at Spirited Media, he helped develop and manage a growing consulting business. As a result, Chris and Spirited worked with the following businesses and newsrooms, some of which intersect with his work at LION today:

  • Newspack, the CMS for small- and medium-sized newsrooms, funded by the Knight Foundation and the Google News Initiative
  • The News Revenue Hub, which powered membership across Spirited’s sites
  • WBEZ, the public media broadcaster in Chicago
  • The Graham Media Group, which operates television stations with digital arms in Detroit, Roanoke, Jacksonville, Orlando, San Antonio and Houston
  • Patch, which ran a programmatic ad network across Spirited’s sites.

LION Publishers is currently funded by the Knight Foundation and the Democracy Fund, and has a contract with the Google News Initiative to work on Project Oasis. The News Revenue Hub was a nonprofit partner for the 2018 LION Summit in Nashville, TN.

Anika Anand is LION’s programming director and was most recently the cofounder of The Evergrey, a daily newsletter for Seattleites, and was the storytelling and product director of WhereBy.Us, parent company of The Evergrey. WhereBy.Us and its existing member sites are currently LION members. Prior to WhereBy.Us, Anika was the engagement editor for The Seattle Times Education Lab, and in the last year, completed one consulting project for them–– running their Student Voices program, which she helped launch during her time there–– while they hired a new full-time engagement editor. Prior to Education Lab, Anika was the program and engagement director at Chalkbeat, which is also a LION member.

She has a bachelor’s in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill, which is a partner on the newly launched Project Oasis, though Anika was not a part of any initial conversations in which it was decided that UNC would be a partner on the project. She also has a master’s in business and economics reporting from the CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, and has been in touch with some of its faculty and staff regarding programming for LION members.

Anika occasionally writes a newsletter for Seattle’s journalism community, and was previously involved with the Seattle chapter of AAJA, helping run one of their regional scholarships for journalists of color. She also previously helped run ONA’s Seattle chapter.

Phayvanh Luekhamhan is LION’s Director of Revenue and Operations and was most recently the Director of Business Development, Finance and Administration for VTDigger, where she spent five years helping to build the nonprofit business into Vermont’s largest newsroom. While at VTDigger, she was a key member in their participation in the Facebook Membership Accelerator program, and managed grants from INN, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism, and the Knight Foundation. VTDigger, a LION member, is the sole project of The Vermont Journalism Trust, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. 

Currently, Phayvanh is the staff coordinator for the New England LION members, which include VTDigger.

Prior to working with VTDigger, Phayvanh was executive director for Montpelier Alive, a local downtown revitalization nonprofit, part of the National Main Streets Program. She studied nonprofit administration at Marlboro College Graduate Center and continues to support local nonprofit work in Vermont, which may include consulting on fundraising efforts, events, and organizational management. 

Kelsey Ryan is LION’s membership and communications manager. She’s also the founder/publisher of The Beacon, a nonprofit news organization in Kansas City, Missouri, focused on in-depth, regional public interest journalism. The Beacon is also a LION member.

While working to launch The Beacon, Kelsey worked full-time as the outreach manager for the National Freedom of Information Coalition, a nonprofit alliance of state coalitions promoting free press, litigation and legislative reforms to ensure transparency in state and local governments. 

Previously, Kelsey worked as a data and investigative reporter at The Kansas City Star, where her team was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and before that, a data journalist at The Wichita Eagle and an education reporter at The Joplin Globe. Kelsey is on the board of directors for the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), and part of the 2020 cohort of the Online News Association’s Women Leadership Accelerator. She frequently lectures at universities across Kansas and Missouri.