Meet the LION Publishers Team

LION staff photos

LION Staff

(In alphabetical order)

Anika Anand

Anika Anand

Deputy Director
[email protected]
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.

Cassie Balfour

Cassandra Balfour

Membership Programming Manager
[email protected]
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

Ben DeJarnette

Communications Manager
[email protected]
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.


Lisa Heyamoto

Director of Teaching and Learning
[email protected]
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.


Penda Howell

News Revenue Coach
[email protected]
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.


Lisa Hunter

Director of Finance and Operations
[email protected]
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.

Chloe Kizer

Chloe Kizer

Data and Product Manager
[email protected]
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

Chris Krewson

Executive Director
[email protected]
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. 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.

Stephanie Snyder

Stephanie Snyder

Director of Membership
[email protected]
Stephanie Snyder oversees LION's membership strategy to ensure LION is consistently meeting its members' needs and providing the highest value possible to its community of practice. She most recently led consulting work at Hearken to help organizations better listen to, engage with and be in service of their stakeholders. She previously worked in audience development and community engagement for Denverite and Chalkbeat, as well as a reporter in California. Stephanie is based in Denver, Colorado. 

LION Staff Disclosures

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

Kim Fox, Vice President of Product Strategy, CalMatters
Candice Fortman, Executive Director, Outlier Media
Fiona Morgan, independent consultant
Phillip Smith, independent consultant and coach

Learn more about our 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

Learn more about our Advisory Council.

Interested in working with us? We post open roles here, and are always interested in hearing from prospective consultants or contractors with experience supporting independent news entrepreneurs.