Summit Speakers 2019

Becca Aaronson Davis

Becca Aaronson is the Director of Product at Chalkbeat, a non-profit, digital-first network of local newsrooms covering K-12 education in seven cities. At Chalkbeat, she oversees digital product development and visual storytelling. In 2018, Becca was selected for the Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. Becca began her career at The Texas Tribune, where she was their first-ever product manager. She was responsible for creating and managing the Tribune’s product roadmap and ensuring that technology products aligned with audience and brand strategy. During her eight year tenure at the Tribune, she also co-founded the Tribune’s data visuals team, where she designed, built, and managed several award-winning investigative projects. Becca has a bachelor’s degree in cultural theory from Scripps College in Claremont, Calif.

Jay Allred
Source Media Group

Jay Allred is the President of the Source Media Group, which includes Richland Source, Ashland Source, and Knox Pages. Together, these local news sites reach over a quarter million users a month across four counties in North Central Ohio. The Source newsroom has become known for their tightly focused local coverage, entrepreneurial culture, and national leadership in the practice of Solutions Journalism. Richland Source was one of only 17 local news organizations in the world to participate in the Facebook Local News Membership Accelerator in 2018.

Anika Anand
LION Publishers

Anika Anand is the programming director for the Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. She is the cofounder of The Evergrey, a daily Seattle newsletter, and was the storytelling and product director of WhereBy.Us, the parent company of The Evergrey. In 2018, she was selected to join the Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media and was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle by Seattle Met Magazine. She’s also worked for The Seattle Times Education Lab and for Chalkbeat. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

Maria Archangelo

Maria Archangelo, chief revenue officer, joined Chalkbeat after working as publisher and executive director of the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a 25-year-old nonprofit education news organization. Most of her 30-year career has been spent in traditional media. She worked as a reporter at the Baltimore Sun and an editor at the Sun’s community newspapers, and was editor of the daily newspaper in the capital of Vermont. Dismayed by the changes in the industry, Maria decided to devote herself to growing revenue for journalism and joined the business side. From 2006 to 2012 she served as publisher of the award-winning Stowe Reporter in Stowe, VT. She also helped lead an innovative international community magazine project and took a (brief) side trip into communications and marketing. She graduated from Temple University with bachelor of arts in journalism.

Jason Bade

Jason Bade is co-founder of Pico, a newsroom software company. He’s also a board member of the Edible Schoolyard Project and a Lecturer at Stanford Law School. He is co-author of the Sunday Times bestselling policy manifesto, More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First (2015). You can follow him on Twitter @jasonwbade.

Madeleine Bair
El Tímpano and Free Press

Madeleine Bair is an award-winning journalist and media developer. As the founder of El Tímpano, since 2017 she has partnered with residents and community organizations to develop a local reporting initiative designed to serve Oakland’s Latino immigrant community. Madeleine has taught radio production to young adults, worked on a morning show at Chicago Public Radio, produced multimedia for Human Rights Watch, and collaborated with media activists from around the world. At the organization, Free Press, she works to expand the local journalism program, News Voices, across the country.

Annette Batson

Annette Batson is the current and original Ad Sales Director of Baristanet, one of the first, most successful, and most studied online-only hyperlocals in the country. Founded in 2004 by Debbie Galant, Baristanet developed a strong following and an enviable roster of advertising clients through Annette’s leadership. Annette has been a special guest for sales workshops at the Center for Cooperate Media in Montclair NJ, and works closely with Broadstreet to lend her expertise in ad sales through monthly ad sales training webinars.

Steve Beatty

Steve Beatty handles communications for Newspack, a project of and its parent company, Automattic. Newspack aims to simplify operations for small and medium-sized publishers by making it easier to raise revenue, stay current and worry free with technology, and learn from a network of colleagues using a standardized platform. Prior to that, Beatty was with the Local Independent Online News Publishers organization in leadership roles. He got his start in online publishing by running The Lens for eight years, starting in 2010, serving as editor and publisher of New Orleans’ first nonprofit investigative newsroom.  He has more than 20 years of newspaper experience with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

Gavin Bechtold

Gavin Bechtold is a senior member of the Business Development team at Ezoic, with four and a half years of experience crafting solutions for thousands of online publishers’ needs. He is passionate about helping publishers reach their goals and grow their business. While raised in Connecticut, Gavin is now living and working in San Diego. When not working, you can find Gavin surfing, snowboarding, and generally enjoying the outdoors – or an IPA.

Ned Berke
Brooklyn Eagle

Ned Berke is the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle and an audience development consultant for the Center for Cooperative Media. He has consulted with more than 200 local, regional, niche and investigative news publishers across the nation since 2017, and also worked for the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. Previously, he was publisher of Sheepshead Bites in Brooklyn, and is a founding board member of LION Publishers.

Manolia Charlotin
Press On

In her roles as multimedia journalist, curator, strategist, and educator, Manolia Charlotin tells stories that feed spirit and amplifies voices that seek liberation. She is the co-founder of Press On, a Southern collective that advances movement journalism by providing support for reporting and trainings that reshape newsrooms to better serve communities.

Over the last 15 years she has helped lead several media organizations and campaigns, including the Boston Haitian Reporter, The Haitian Times, and Feet in 2 Worlds. Most recently, she was the Associate Director at The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent news media, where she advanced the sector’s racial equity strategy, development of emerging local media networks, coverage of social justice movements, and editorial management for a landmark scientific study on the impact of collaborative storytelling. Currently, as a strategic consultant to movement-building organizations and independent media platforms, Manolia helps change agents channel their resources to center the capacity of communities of color to build institutions in their image. She also serves on the board of directors for Bitch Media and YES Media.

Alex Clark

Alex Clark is the founder of PressPatron, a media monetization platform that specializes in turning readers into paying supporters. PressPatron is used across a growing global community of more than 70 publications, who generate revenue via memberships, donations, subscriptions and crowdfunding. Alex is a former editor, journalist and media researcher. His MA thesis evaluated a range of new business models for journalism. PressPatron launched in New Zealand and Australia in 2017, expanding into the US and UK in 2018.

Jim Cumbee
Tennessee Valley Group

Jim Cumbee is one of the most trusted and sought-after business transition advisors in Tennessee. Over the past thirty-five years he has managed transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars from Main Street to Wall Street. A successful entrepreneur in his own right, Jim bought a business out of bankruptcy that he turned around and later sold to a publicly traded company. With an MBA from Harvard Business School, Jim mentors his business owner clients with astute and comprehensive counsel about exit strategies and transition planning through his Nashville-based company, Tennessee Valley Group. Jim has held executive positions with Trammell Crow Company, Disney Development Company (a division of the Walt Disney Company), Salem Communications, and Reach Satellite Network, and is a former assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri. Jim is married and has three adult children and three grandchildren. He recently published his first book, Home Run, A Pro’s Guide to Selling Your Business, and his weekly blog, Entrepreneurs Say the Darnedest Things, is regularly read by thousands.

Dana Coffield
The Colorado Sun

Dana Coffield is a founding editor at The Colorado Sun, an online-only publication focused on delivering high-quality news content to people throughout Colorado. She jumped into the start-up adventure after nearly 15 years at The Denver Post, where she had been features editor, business editor, and finally, senior editor for news. A Colorado native, she earned a MSJ from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She is a beekeeper who frequently applies the self-calming skills learned managing hives to difficult situations in the journalism world.

Dave Cohn
Advance Digital’s Alpha Group

Dave Cohn is the senior director at Advance Digital’s Alpha Group, which does in-house incubation for the media organization. This comes on the heels of his time as an executive producer at AJ Plus, part of Al Jazeera’s research and development team, leading efforts to turn a broadcast organization into a digital operation. Before that he was the Chief Content Officer of Circa, a startup redefining how news is consumed on the mobile phone and one of the first organizations to experiment with atomized news structures or “object oriented journalism.” He's also written for Wired, Seed, Columbia Journalism Review and The New York Times among other publications.

Bob Conrad

Bob Conrad, PhD, is an entrepreneurial journalist based in Reno, Nevada. He manages, Reno's online news and events source, which he co-founded in 2009. He earned his doctorate of Educational Leadership in 2011 from the University of Nevada where he researched media coverage of higher education institutions during times of crisis and controversy. Dr. Conrad was selected in 2015 to participate in an entrepreneurial journalism training program at the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. He also works part-time for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (Mineral County) supporting risk management and tribal outreach programs.

Jessica Dalle Nogare

Operating at the crossroads of newsrooms and technology, Jessica Dalle Nogare leads a team at LaterPay that helps publishers leverage advanced solutions to overcome the challenges traditional media faces in the digital age. A media professional, she held roles at the New York Times, the Global Editors Network and Google. Jessica studied at Columbia University, City University in London and the American University of Paris.

Michael Davis
Solutions Journalism Network

Michael Davis has held an array of top leadership and creative positions at digital news sites, magazines, newspapers and broadcasting outlets. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University during the 1986-87 academic year. Later he wrote the New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller “Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street” and is a co-executive producer of the feature-length documentary film adapted from the book. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he later taught as an adjunct professor. He describes himself as a storyteller who helps others become better storytellers.

Kevin Douglas Grant
The GroundTruth Project and Report for America

Kevin Douglas Grant is co-founder and executive editor of The GroundTruth Project, as well as vice president of strategy at Report for America. Previously Senior Editor of Special Reports at GlobalPost, he has led reporting projects around the world and his work has been recognized by the Edward R. Murrow, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University and Online Journalism Awards among others. He holds an M.A. in Online Journalism from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, where he was a Dean’s Scholar and the founding Executive Editor of Annenberg’s pioneering news organization Neon Tommy. Grant is the former Operations Director of semantic news aggregator He is currently based in Washington, D.C.

Magdaline Duncan
Instagram News Fellow

Magdaline Duncan graduated from the University of Missouri in May with a degree in multimedia journalism and an emphasis in emerging media. From there, she traveled up north to run the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Instagram account as one of the inaugural Instagram News Fellows. Duncan spent last summer in Brussels, Belgium, reporting on the European Union for Politico Europe and seeing as many other countries as she could on the weekends. Duncan believes audience engagement is essential for connecting news outlets with their readers, both from a public relations perspective and to ensure reporters can break through the noise to get communities the information they need.

Ashley Edwards

Ashley Edwards is the Google News Lab’s U.S. Partnership Manager. Prior to tech, she was the News and Politics Director at Refinery29, a leading women’s media outlet. She has also worked at the Mic, New York Daily News, and PIX11 News. She is based in New York City.

Maggie Farley

Maggie Farley is a teaching fellow at the Google News Initiative. She was a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times for 14 years based in Asia and then New York, covering the UN. Post-journalism, she co-developed the Lucky Grasshopper app to teach Chinese characters using animated flashcards, and created online learning modules for the Pearson Foundation and bgc3. At American University, she was a professional fellow in a two-year engagement design project, working with newsrooms to use technology to make information more interactive, community-oriented and compelling. She co-created Factitious, a digital game that playfully teaches how to discern factual news from misinformation. She also taught writing at AU. She is a fan of the Oxford comma, trapeze, and the snacks at Google.

Candice Fortman
Outlier Media

Candice Fortman is the CEO of Outlier Media based in Detroit. As a local news organization, Outlier works to fill the most urgent information needs of low-income communities utilizing text-based technology. Before joining Outlier, Candice was the Marketing & Engagement Manager for WDET 101.9-Detroit’s NPR station. Candice led the effort to build WDET’s audience and grow the station’s digital communities and content by engaging listeners around news, music, and culture. Before joining WDET Candice served as Promotions Manager at Clear Channel Radio (now iHeart Media) where she led promotional and engagement strategy. In 2018 she was selected for Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. Candice is currently part of the INN Emerging Leaders Council.

Simon Galperin
Community Info Coop and GroudSource

Simon Galperin is the founding director of the Community Info Coop, an organization that works with people to design and sustain publicly funded, community-led media. He is also the Customer Success Lead at GroundSource, an SMS engagement company helping news organizations build loyal, two-way relationships with their audiences. He was a 2019 Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow and received his M.A. in Social Journalism from the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in 2016.

Kelly Gilfillan
Home Page Media Group

Kelly Gilfillan is Publisher of the Home Page Media Group division of FW Publishing, a hyperlocal
Nashville-based publishing company. Gilfillan was former owner, CEO and Executive Editor of
Home Page Media Group, where her team publishes five daily online news sites providing the
best source of news to Brentwood, Franklin, Nolensville and Spring Hill and a business focused
magazine on Kelly is the 2019 Chair for the national board of Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), and has served on the Davis House Child Advocacy Center board and the Williamson Inc.
chamber board. 

Elizabeth Green
Chalkbeat and American Journalism Project

Elizabeth Green is co-founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, and co-founder of the American Journalism Project, the first venture philanthropy firm with a mission of building an ecosystem of “social enterprises” for news. She previously co-founded GothamSchools, now Chalkbeat New York, and has grown the organization to seven community bureaus and a national desk. Elizabeth has also written about education issues for The New York Times Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and many other publications. Her New York Times bestselling book, Building a Better Teacher, was published in August 2014 by W.W. Norton. In 2009-2010, she was a Spencer Fellow in education journalism at Columbia University, and in 2011, she was an Abe Journalism Fellow studying education in Japan.

Mónica Guzmán

Mónica Guzmán is Vice President of Local at WhereBy.Us, where she leads a team of entrepreneurial journalists who are helping locals in five cities “live like you live here." She is the cofounder and former director of The Evergrey, the essential newsletter for Seattleites who want to make the most of their city, and a former columnist at The Seattle Times, GeekWire, The Daily Beast and The Columbia Journalism Review. Moni studied how to connect journalists and the public as a 2016 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and studied political and social divisions as a 2019 Henry M. Jackson Leadership Fellow. She is the author of the influential 2016 API strategy study "The best ways to build audience and relevance by listening to and engaging your audience,” served as vice-chair of the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Committee, and was as a juror for the 2013 and 2014 Pulitzer Prizes. Moni's a big fan of chocolate, karaoke, and good stouts, and lives in Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood with her husband, Jason Preston, and their two kids.

Kristen Hare
Poynter Institute

Kristen Hare covers local news for the Poynter Institute, which she's done since 2013. Before that, she was a local journalist in St. Louis and St. Joseph, Missouri for 10 years, covering race, immigration, the Census, aging and features. Kristen served in the Peace Corps in Guyana, South America, and is the author of 100 Things to do in Tampa Bay Before You Die. She also writes feature obits for the Tampa Bay Times.

Cierra Hinton

Cierra Hinton has an undying love and passion for the complicated South, which she brings to her work as the Executive Director-Publisher at Scalawag. She has found community across the South, including in Tennessee and Mississippi, but calls North Carolina home. Before joining the team at Scalawag, Cierra worked as a development officer at a number of education non-profit organizations. Her work as a fundraiser is fueled by her deep understanding of the inextricable connection between money and access; it is her mission to get access to folks that share her identities, namely Black, queer, folks, especially women and femme identifying people, from rural and low-income communities. Cierra is also proud to work with Press On, a Southern media collective.

Steve Hull
Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat

Steve Hull is currently editor-in-chief and publisher of Bethesda Magazine and of Bethesda Beat. Hull, and his wife Susan, started the magazine in June 2004. Hull also is co-owner of Arlington Magazine. From 1989 through 2002, Hull was an executive with Atlantic Media Company, which publishes The Atlantic magazine and numerous websites. For the last eight years of his tenure, Hull was senior vice president. Prior to 1989, Hull had been editor and publisher of Military Forum, a defense policy magazine; executive editor of Intercontinental Publications, a business-to-business publisher; associate editor of FOLIO Magazine; political editor of the Litchfield County Times newspaper in Connecticut; and a press secretary on Capitol Hill. 

Joe Hyde
San Angelo LIVE!

Joe Hyde is the publisher of San Angelo LIVE! that he founded in 2013 in west central Texas. Prior to this venture, he was the Director of Technology for Sensis Agency in downtown LA; major accounts sales for Salem Web Network; product manager for; and the founder of an Internet Service Provider on the Texas-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas. Prior to a career in media tech, he was a 20-year veteran who served as a combat instructor pilot with the U.S. Air Force.

Mandy Jenkins
The Compass Experiment

Mandy Jenkins is General Manager of The Compass Experiment, a partnership between Google and McClatchy to explore sustainable business models for local news. Over the next three years, she will be leading the launch of three digital-only news operations in U.S. communities that have limited sources of local, independent journalism. Prior to her work with Compass, Mandy was a 2019 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, where she studied the disconnection between disinformation consumers and mainstream news. She has served in leadership roles at Storyful and Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome and has driven innovative digital journalism projects within The Huffington Post,, The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of News Editors and is President of the Board of Directors for the Online News Association.

Jiquanda Johnson
Brown Impact Media Group

Jiquanda Johnson is the co-founder of Brown Impact Media Group, an independent publishing company, focused on developing media products in underserved and marginalized communities. The company kicked off their efforts in 2017 with a news website focused solely on Flint, Mich. where Jiquanda grew up. In 2017, she launched Flint Beat after the community said they wanted more from local media outlets. The hyperlocal news site covers everything Flint, including city hall, neighborhoods, community movers and shakers and public health issues. Jiquanda has nearly 20 years of experience in journalism including working for MLive Media Group, Fox 46 in North Carolina, NBC25’s affiliate station in the Flint area, The Detroit News, Pull Magazine, and Tween Girl Style Magazine.

Jonny Kaldor

Jonny Kaldor is the founder and CEO of Pugpig, the award-winning mobile engagement platform that powers apps for the world’s biggest publishing brands from The Economist, Conde Nast and Hearst to Tortoise Media, The Independent, JPi Media, and Newsquest. Prior to setting up Pugpig, Jonny was MD, Technology and Product Development at News Corporation’s Digital Media Group, focusing on building new digital brands. This followed three years as CTO at News UK, where he was responsible for technology delivery across the business for The Times of London, The Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers. Before joining News UK, Jonny spent his days, weeks and months trying to build a global digital supply chain for EMI Music.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founder of two hyperlocal news websites in New Jersey, and She is also a co-organizer of WordCamp Philly, an annual conference serving the WordPress community in the greater Philadelphia region. She is passionate about connecting community news publishers with tech tools to engage more readers. This year she is a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, where she is working on a project to help local news publishers develop strategies to implement push notifications and progressive web apps. She is producing instructional materials and a guide to assist publishers as part of her project. 

Kenny Katzgrau

Kenny Katzgrau is the founder of Broadstreet, an award-winning ad manager which serves local newspapers and magazines, including LION publishers. Starting Broadstreet with an initial product and $2,000, he bootstrapped the company to 8 employees and hundreds of customers internationally over the course of 7 years, which involved many hard-won lessons on starting and scaling a business. Prior to Broadstreet, he worked at Yahoo on its ad exchange products.

Chris Krewson
LION Publishers

Chris Krewson is the executive director of LION Publishers, a national nonprofit serving hundreds of local independent online news publishers across the country. He's the former Vice President of Strategy for Spirited Media, the founding editor of Philadelphia-based startup Billy Penn, a former top digital editor at Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and an adjunct professor of journalism at Temple University.

Lance Knobel

Lance Knobel is a co-founder and publisher of Berkeleyside, Berkeley’s award-winning, independent news site. Berkeleyside, founded in 2009, is one of the leading online local news sites in the US, with a reputation for innovation and strong accountability journalism.

Katie Kutsko
American Press Institute

Katie Kutsko is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the partner development manager for the American Press Institute’s Metrics for News program. She empowers prospective and newly-signed partners to understand how MFN’s suite of products can help them build a loyal and engaged audience over time. While at KU, she served as editor-in-chief at the University Daily Kansan, where she led a newsroom transformation from a print mindset to a digital-first operation. She has interned at the Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star and Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World.

Olwen Logan
Shoreline Web News LLC

Olwen Logan is co-owner of Shoreline Web News LLC, which publishes (founded 2003) and (acquired 2009), which cover respectively two, and three small towns in southeastern Connecticut. Last year, she relocated to Washington DC, but continues to publish her sites successfully. She also serves as the Marketing Consultant for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and is the Immediate Past-President of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce. Previously, she has been employed as Marketing and Public Relations Director for Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and a Staff Reporter for the now deceased Main Street News print weekly. An award-winning journalist, she also has qualifications in accounting and efficiency analysis.

Phayvanh Luekhamhan
LION Publishers

Phayvanh Luekhamhan currently serves as the Director of Revenue and Operations for LION Publishers. Before that, she oversaw vital financial and administrative duties at VTDigger, supporting its business development team, and administering philanthropic and earned revenue efforts as the Director of Business Development, Finance and Administration. IN her five years with the nonprofit news organization, she had helped o grow the business and it is now the Vermont’s largest newsroom. Before joining VTDigger, she was the executive director for Montpelier Alive, a downtown revitalization program, and co-founder of PoemCity, an annual celebration of poetry in Vermont communities.

David Maas

David Maas is IJNet’s Manager, overseeing the team of editors, translators and writers around the world. Maas has worked in Philadelphia as a reporter and deputy editor at AL DÍA, and in Medellin, Colombia as a reporter for Colombia Reports. Originally from Philadelphia, Maas graduated from Tufts University in 2012 with a B.A. in international relations. In 2018, he earned an M.A. in investigative journalism from City, University of London.

Bill Macfadyen

Bill Macfadyen is the founder and publisher of Noozhawk, Santa Barbara County’s No. 1 source for local news and information. He spent the first half of his career in Fossil Media, including 15 years as a senior editor of Santa Barbara’s daily newspaper and three more at the helm of an award-winning but ill-fated weekly newspaper he co-founded with one of his Noozhawk business partners, Tom Bolton. He and Noozhawk are founding members of LION. 

Alexandra March
The New York Times

Alexandra March is the Opinion Newsletter Editor at The New York Times and teaches professional workshops at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Before that, she led HuffPost’s newsletter initiatives, targeting audiences large and niche. She was also the editorial director of audience engagement at Mic and a reporter at The New Haven Register. She’s also an adviser at Built by Girls, a nonprofit that helps and inspires girls interested in tech and media.

Michele McLellan
Michele’s List

Michele McLellan is a researcher, writer, editor and consultant who works on projects that help strengthen the emerging local news ecosystem, whether it is online news startups working to become sustainable or traditional news organizations that are trying to shape their new role in the digital world. She has reported in depth on the emerging local news ecosystem and revenue models for news, coached and developed training programs for dozens of news entrepreneurs, helped lead change initiatives in 40 newsrooms, and developed Michele’s List, a database of promising local news startups. Previously, she directed a $2.5 million Knight Foundation project that demonstrated the link between strategic newsroom training, newsroom culture and a news organization’s ability to adapt and innovate.

Emma Meese
Centre for Community Journalism

Emma Meese is highly motivated journalist who is passionate about the local, community and hyperlocal news sector. Following 14 years at the BBC she joined Cardiff University to set up the Centre for Community Journalism (C4CJ). As director of Community Journalism, she works with news publishers, academics, governments, charities and businesses worldwide with the aim of strengthening and sustaining the community news sector. Last year, Emma and the C4CJ team founded The Independent Community News Network (ICNN), the UK’s first representative body for the independent community and hyperlocal news sector. ICNN promotes the interests of community and hyperlocal publishers and champions new sustainable forms of local digital and print journalism.

Dorrine Mendoza

Dorrine Mendoza is a member of the News Partnerships team at Facebook in New York City. In her role she works on the Facebook Journalism Project, scaled education on Facebook products and journalist safety. Formerly she was the Senior Social Media Producer at CNN Digital. Before coming to CNN she was an online content producer at the North County Times, where she did social media and online community management. She has more than 10 years experience in print, broadcast and new media journalism, blending these disciplines to produce engaging and responsive coverage. Awards include an Associated Press Managing Editors award for reporting in 1998, a broadcast Emmy in 2007, and President’s Award for Innovation in in 2010.

Taylor Mulcahey

Taylor Mulcahey is IJNet’s Editor, commissioning and editing English-language content and managing a global team of freelancers. Mulcahey also works as a freelancer, covering local news in D.C. Originally from Wisconsin, Mulcahey graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 with degrees in political science and international studies.

Howard Owens
The Batavian

Howard Owens started his professional journalism career in 1985. He’s been a reporter, editor, and executive for newspapers in California and New York. He was a publisher of a weekly in San Diego County early in his career and launched one of the nation’s first community news sites in 1995. Sites he’s managed have won awards from the Online News Association, NAA, Inland Press Association, E&P, and the New York Press Association. He started The Batavian in 2008.  As a photojournalist, a craft he took up on his own in 2010, he’s won awards from the National Press Photographers Association and the New York Press Association.

Aron Pilhofer
Temple University

Aron Pilhofer is the James B. Steele Chair in Journalism Innovation at Temple University. In addition to teaching, his work is focused on new business models, digital transformation and innovation in news. Before joining Temple, Pilhofer was executive editor, digital, and interim chief digital officer at the Guardian in London. There, he led the Guardian’s product and technology teams as well as heading visual journalism – including pictures, graphics, interactive and data journalism. Before coming to the Guardian, Aron was associate managing editor for digital strategy and editor of interactive news at The New York Times. He also was a reporter at Gannett newspapers in New Jersey and Delaware, headed data journalism at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. and served on the training staff of Investigative Reporters and Editors. Outside the newsroom, Aron co-founded two news-related startups:, now housed at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication, and Hacks & Hackers.

Damian Radcliffe
University of Oregon/Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University

Damian Radcliffe is the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism, and a Professor of Practice, at the University of Oregon. Alongside holding the Chambers Chair at the School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), he is also a Fellow of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, an Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture Studies, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

Karen Rundlet
Knight Foundation

Karen Rundlet is a director in the Journalism Program at the Knight Foundation, where her focus is on investing in new methods and models to advance excellence in journalism and civic media as a way to support informed, local communities. Before entering the field of philanthropy, Rundlet worked as a journalist at the Miami Herald, where she developed the newsroom’s first-ever video studio and led initiatives to make video integral to the audience experience. She also contributed business reports to various public radio newsrooms, including WLRN/Miami Herald News and American Public Media’s “Marketplace.”

Jay Senter
Shawnee Mission Post

Jay Senter is the publisher of the Shawnee Mission Post. When Jay and his wife Julia moved back to Johnson County, Kansas, after serving in the Peace Corps in Panama, they saw a need for a truly local community news source. The couple launched the Prairie Village Post, which is now called the Shawnee Mission Post, in June 2010 and it quickly grew into the most-turned-to news source in northeast Johnson County. Jay has an undergraduate degree in marketing from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro is the CEO and Publisher of, a network of more than 80 franchised online local news sites in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida with more than 9,000,000 readers.  Shapiro is a graduate of Rutgers College, Rutgers University and Stanford Law School.  In addition to other community volunteerism, he serves as Immediate Past President of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce.

Max Siegelbaum

Max Siegelbaum is a co-founding editor of Documented, a nonprofit newsroom that covers New York City’s immigrants and the policies that affect their lives. He began reporting in post-revolution Egypt and is a graduate of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University. He has written for The Denver Post, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Foreign Policy, The Guardian and other outlets. He was part of a team that won a Deadline Club award for reporting on how stolen guns end up being used in crimes across the U.S. for The Trace.

Shereen Siewert
Wausau Pilot & Review

Shereen Siewert is the founder and publisher of Wausau Pilot & Review, which covers local news in Wausau, Wisconsin. She is a former USA Today Wisconsin investigative team reporter and has won state and national awards for her work. Her publication, launched in March 2017, focuses on public safety, government accountability, and environmental reporting. She is also the host of Route 51, a weekly Wisconsin Public Radio program that discusses issues in central and northern Wisconsin. She was a 2018 Women of Vision nominee and volunteers as a board member for the Salvation Army, the Wausau Symphony, and the Marathon County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Council. Outside of work, Shereen can often be found in a kayak, on her bike, rooting for Wisconsin sports teams, or taking impromptu road trips.

Lisa Snowden-McCray
Baltimore Beat

Lisa Snowden-McCray is the editor of Baltimore Beat, an independent news outlet in Baltimore City. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and Essence Magazine, among other places.

Roxann Stafford
Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund

Roxann Stafford is the managing director of the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, a $20-million initiative that works to empower local news organizations to build trust with their audiences while producing outstanding journalism and developing new revenue streams that can enable them to reach long-term business sustainability. Stafford most recently served as Director of Program for Matter in New York, a startup accelerator and venture capital firm grounded in the principles of design thinking that supported early-stage media entrepreneurs. There, she oversaw all aspects of the fund’s accelerator program for early-stage media entrepreneurs. She has worked with local news organizations around the United States and Asia as well as with national outlets such as The New York Times and The Associated Press.

Sarah Stonbely
Center for Cooperative Media

Sarah Stonbely, Ph.D, is the research director for the Center for Cooperative Media. She received her doctorate in political communication and journalism studies from New York University in 2015. Her research is on the ways that journalism has been affected by the tumultuous changes in politics, culture, and technology since the late twentieth century. Her professional experience with New America Foundation, American Press Institute, and others has focused on the digital transformation of journalism and on helping journalism live up to its democratic ideals.

Cheryl Thompson-Morton
Lenfest Institute for Journalism

Cheryl Thompson-Morton is Program Manager at the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. In this role, she administers of the Institute’s grant programs, such as the Innovation grants program, the Community Listening and Engagement Fund and the Institute’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Prior to her work at the Institute, she worked at the Camden County Police Foundation as an Outreach Coordinator, where she worked to cultivate relationships between the community and the foundation to cultivate support. Cheryl graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Drexel University.

Shamus Toomey
Block Club Chicago

Shamus Toomey is the Editor-In-Chief of Block Club Chicago, a nonprofit neighborhood newsroom founded after the closure of DNAinfo. He previously served as Managing Editor of DNAinfo Chicago, the award-winning news site that covered Chicago’s neighborhoods. Before that, he was Metro Editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he supervised the team that won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. Shamus started at the Sun-Times as a general assignment reporter. He previously worked at the Daily Herald and the City News Bureau of Chicago.

David Walsh
Web Publisher PRO

David Walsh is the founder of Web Publisher PRO, an industry-leading web development firm that works exclusively with digital publishers. In less than four years, David has gone from being a sought-after freelancer to employing a team of 15 industry experts. His firm now manages some of the web’s most influential publications, accessed by millions of readers each month. His core mission is to drive profitability for publishers of all sizes through constant innovation.

Mary Walter-Brown
News Revenue Hub

Mary Walter-Brown is the founder and CEO of the News Revenue Hub, a nonprofit, mission-driven media organization that helps news outlets successfully develop membership programs. Formerly the publisher at Voice of San Diego, Mary is a trailblazer in the nonprofit news sector leading the charge for news outlets to build diverse and sustainable revenue through audience engagement. Working with dozens of news organizations around the United States, including Inside Climate News, The Marshall Project and Politifact, the News Revenue Hub provides a collaborative environment where digital news innovators can experiment, solve problems and trade best practices. Mary is a 2016 graduate of the Punch Sulzberger executive leadership fellowship at Columbia University.

Nicholas Whitaker

Nicholas Whitaker is a Strategic Partner Lead for News and Local Media on the Google News Initiative, an effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Nicholas has been at Google since 2010, previously building in-person workshops, scaled educational programs, and adult-online learning initiatives that have reached more than half a million journalists worldwide. Before joining Google, Nicholas spent the prior decade producing, directing, editing, and shooting videos and still images for news, commercial, entertainment and advocacy media while also teaching courses in video production, new media, and communication theory at several colleges and universities in New York City.

Teresa Wippel
My Neighborhood News Network

Teresa Wippel is publisher of the My Neighborhood News Network, with three online community news sites just north of Seattle — My Edmonds News, MLTnews and LynnwoodToday. A graduate of Seattle University, Teresa has worked for more than three decades as a communications professional in weekly and daily newspaper journalism, government public information, employee communications, corporate public relations, marketing communications, technical communications and Internet publishing. She also sits on the LION Board of Directors.

Vincent Wu

Vincent Wu is the COO of NewsBreak, the #1 mobile app in local news discovery and distribution with 5 million daily active users and 30 million+ total readers. Previously, Vincent was the Head of Operations/COO of The Huffington Post and Yahoo News (part of the Verizon Media Group). Vincent has more than 15 years operating experience in digital media, with expertise in mobile audience development, growth analytics, personalization algorithm, and content distribution.