Meet the LION Publishers Team
(In alphabetical order)
Anika Anand oversees LION’s day to day operations, including programming, communications and membership. Since joining LION in 2019, she launched the Startups Boot Camp, Skills Series, Expert Network, LION Lessons, and has shepherded the Oasis database, GNI Startups Playbook, and the Tiny News Collective. Previously she was the cofounder of The Evergrey, and the storytelling and product director of WhereBy.Us, parent company of The Evergrey. She’s also worked in product and engagement roles for The Seattle Times Education Lab and Chalkbeat. Anika is based in Seattle, Washington.
Membership Programming Manager
Cassandra (Cassie) Balfour is the primary liaison between LION and its existing and prospective members. She was most recently a program director with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), and prior to that worked with the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. She spent her college years reporting and editing for the Michigan Daily and working on local organizing projects. With half of her roots in Michigan and half in Puerto Rico, she lives between the two in Washington, D.C.
Ben DeJarnette is the lead editor of our GNI Startups Playbook and co-author of the book Reimagining Journalism in a Post-Truth World, and he has previously worked with WhereBy.Us, GroundSource, the Agora Journalism Center and MediaShift. Ben is based in Portland, Oregon.
Director of Teaching and Learning
Lisa Heyamoto oversees our GNI Startups Lab, which helps news businesses work toward sustainability. She was previously a reporter at The Seattle Times and The Sacramento Bee, and has been a longtime journalism educator at the University of Oregon. She also co-founded The 32 Percent Project, which explores what drives and disrupts trust in the news media. Lisa is based in Eugene, Oregon.
News Revenue Coach
Penda Howell is a coach in our News Revenue Fellowship program, which helps train people in news revenue roles. He was previously the chief revenue officer and head of advertising, sales and partnerships at the New York Amsterdam News. He has served as a board member for the National Newspaper Publishers Association, recently took part in the Local Media Association’s Branded Content Project and is a fellow in the 2021 Media Transformation (MTC) Program. He is based in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
Director of Finance and Operations
Lisa oversees LION’s financial management, financial planning, and organizational operations. Earlier in her career, Lisa led learning and evaluation teams at youth service organizations, and consulted to nonprofits on performance management and data systems. She then earned her MBA and pivoted to finance roles, most recently serving as Finance Director at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. Lisa is based in San Francisco.
Data & Product Manager
Chloe applies her background in startup operations to strengthen LION’s offerings by managing relevant membership and industry data, the systems and technology we and our members use, and internal processes to help LION’s team execute on their work. Most recently she lead the development of the Project Oasis database and research report for UNC-Chapel Hill. Chloe is based in Durham, North Carolina.
Chris Krewson was named Executive Director in May 2019 and hired LION’s first Director-level staff. He works with the Board of Directors to implement LION’s strategy, and works closely with LION’s funders: The Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the Google News Initiative and the Facebook Journalism Project, as well as with other digital journalism industry leaders. He’s a former VP of strategy for Spirited Media, former top editor at Philadelphia’s Billy Penn, and the former top digital editor for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. He is based in Havertown, just outside Philadelphia.
LION also works with consultant Stacey Peters on site development.
LION's website was designed and developed by The Code Co.
LION's branding was designed by TashVock Design Collective.
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. Here are our staff disclosure statements.
LION Resident Experts
LION 2021 Advisory Council
Zack Baddorf, Founder and Executive Director, Military Veterans in Journalism
Rebecca Landsberry, Executive Director, Native American Journalists Association
Carla Murphy, Journalist and Consultant who recently led The Leavers Survey
Janine Warner, Executive Director, SembraMedia
Sisi Wei, Co-Executive Director, OpenNews