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Ashley Alvarado is director of community engagement at Southern California Public Radio (KPCC + LAist). She works to develop strategies and opportunities to engage new and existing audiences across platforms. She is focused on engagement and source development as a means to diversify the sourcing in news coverage and on shows, help enrich programming, and grow audience. Among her efforts is the engagement-driven “Unheard LA” live storytelling series, leading human-centered design projects, and Feeding the Conversation, an ongoing series of engagement-sourcing gatherings that bring together members of the community with KPCC journalists around specific themes or coverage areas. She also serves as board president of Journalism That Matters.
Kati Erwert is a lifelong Seattle native. She joined The Seattle Times more than eleven years ago after a stint in radio, and has held several positions in marketing. Promoted to vice president of marketing and public service last year, Erwert oversees consumer, business-to-business, event and digital marketing, as well as branded content and research.
Jennie is the Director of Loyalty Programs at PublicSource. In this role, she builds corporate and community relationships to support the growth of Pittsburgh’s nonprofit digital-first news organization. She previously spent 13 years working for Accenture in management and technology consulting, implementing large corporate changes and communicating across organizations. She served on PublicSource’s Board of Directors from 2016 to 2018. Jennie holds a degree in economics from Penn State University’s Schreyer Honors College.
Candice Fortman has turned her love for all things media into a career focused on diversifying newsrooms and journalistic organizations to reach beyond traditional news audiences. Before joining Outlier Media, 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.Prior to joining WDET Candice served as Promotions Manager at Clear Channel Radio (now iHeart Media) where she led promotional and engagement strategy for three radio stations inside the Detroit cluster for more than five years. In 2018 she was selected for Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media.
Rebekah Monson is co-founder and COO for WhereBy.Us, a platform that helps curious locals get engaged in their cities, starting with email newsletters. Its brands, Miami’s The New Tropic, Seattle’s The Evergrey, Portland’s Bridgeliner, Orlando’s Pulptown and Pittsburgh’s The Incline, engage more than a million curious locals each year. The company recently completed Jason Calcanis’s LAUNCH Accelerator, and is expanding to new U.S. markets and enhancing its technology platform. Rebekah also co-founded Code for Miami and Hacks/Hackers Miami. She serves on several professional and civic boards aimed at improving journalism, technology, and civic life.
Stacey Peters is the Director of Technology for VTDigger, Vermont’s watchdog reporting source covering state government, politics, consumer affairs, business, and public policy. Over the past few years, she has overseen VTDigger’s threefold growth, while building tools that help engage readers and deliver stories while finding a balance between the innovative and the accessible. Technology development for independent online journalism was a natural extension of her experience leading projects for mission-driven not-for-profits, with previous engagements with The Rockefeller Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and others. Because she now lives in Vermont, she also routinely milks goats and runs marathons.
Brittany Schock is the Engagement & Solutions Editor at Richland Source, an independent local news startup based in Mansfield, Ohio. Her work with solutions journalism has been nationally recognized, and she’s been invited to represent Richland Source at industry conventions across the country. She is a native of Dayton, Ohio and a current resident of Shelby, Ohio. She enjoys cute dogs, good coffee, and Ohio State football.
Graham Watson-Ringo is the Managing Editor of the Rivard Report, a nonprofit community news organization in San Antonio, Texas. She moved to San Antonio from Denver, but originally hails from Redlands, California, and is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Graham has spent most of her journalistic life covering sports, including national championships, Final Fours, and the World Cup, but has a passion for news that affects the everyday aspects of life for ordinary people. Graham is a lover of data analytics and media strategy, and has worked for major publications, such as the Dallas Morning News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ESPN and Yahoo.
Jim Friedlich was appointed Executive Director and CEO of The Lenfest Institute for Journalism in September 2016. Mr. Friedlich served previously as CEO of Empirical Media Advisors, a consulting firm focused on the digital transformation of major news organizations. From 1990-2000, Mr. Friedlich managed the global advertising sales, consumer marketing and business development of a large and diverse group of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones & Company newspapers, magazines, web sites, cable TV channels and conferences. In 2001, Mr. Friedlich co-founded ZM Capital, a New York-based media investment firm. From 2001-2010, he led the firm’s investment in publishing and information services. He attended Dartmouth College, is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a B.A. in English, and received his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He serves on the Board of Directors of Dice Holdings (NYSE), WFMU (public radio), The Door and University Settlement (social services) and the Bard Center for Civic Engagement.
Burt Herman currently serves as director of Innovation Projects at The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Previously, he co-founded Storify, a social media storytelling platform used by top media organizations, brands and non-profit organizations that won numerous awards for journalism innovation. He led the company to a successful exit in an acquisition by Livefyre, later acquired by Adobe. Burt is also co-founder of Hacks/Hackers, the largest global grassroots movement bringing together journalists and technologists, which is a partner of Google News Lab. Burt previously reported from around the world as an Associated Press correspondent and bureau chief for 12 years, with postings in Berlin, Moscow, Seoul, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Burt was a 2009 Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, where he earlier graduated with a bachelor’s with honors in political science and master’s degree in Russian and East European studies. He has also served as entrepreneur-in-residence at CUNY’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.
Ken Herts currently serves as Director of Operations at The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, bringing extensive senior-level operating experience in the newspaper publishing and information services industries. Before joining the Institute, Ken spent three years at Empirical Media, conducting market research and helping newspapers, magazines, websites and other media clients build growth strategies, develop operating plans, and implement best practices for companies shifting from print to digital revenue streams. Prior to that, Ken spent 29 years at Dow Jones, and served in a number of leadership, finance, strategy and technology roles. Ken graduated from Brown University, and received an MBA and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University.
Joseph Lichterman is a senior business associate at the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. He writes Solution Set, a weekly report on innovation in journalism. Prior to joining the Institute, he was a staff writer at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. He also previously reported for Reuters in its Detroit bureau. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Joseph was editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, the university’s independent student newspaper.
Mariela is a Programs Analyst at the Lenfest Institute. She has worked on research and engagement projects related to the Philadelphia media ecosystem and information needs of Philadelphians. Mariela also organizes The Lenfest Seminars, unconference style seminars that bring leaders together from national and local journalism organizations for practical discussions about specific topics of interest in a highly interactive format. Mariela has also worked for other non-profit organizations such as The Aspen Institute and Cubanet, a non-profit media outlet from Miami that publishes news from independent journalists in Cuba. A native of Cuba, Mariela finished two years of journalism school at the University of Havana before moving to the United States. She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2017 with a major in Global Communication.
Cheryl is the Business and Programs Analyst at the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. In this role, she assists in the administration of the Institute’s grant programs, such as the Innovation grants program and the Community Listening and Engagement Fund. She also helps in other programmatic work including convenings such as the Diversity Summit, advisory work, and operational activities. 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.
Ben Forer works on programs and strategic investments for Facebook’s News Initiatives team. Before Facebook, Ben spent three years at FOX Sports developing digital and social strategies for everything from studio shows to the Super Bowl. Prior to FOX, Ben was the Social Media Producer for ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and won a Peabody for his work on Superstorm Sandy. He holds an MBA from UCLA and a Broadcast Journalism degree from Syracuse University.
David Grant manages Facebook’s Local News Accelerators, a global program helping publishers build sustainable business models, as a part of the Facebook Journalism Project. David comes to Facebook from The Christian Science Monitor where he was the Associate Publisher, leading a diverse team responsible for driving digital and print subscriptions. David joined the Monitor as a Washington-based political reporter in 2011 before joining the business team in 2013, where he built and launched digital news products focused on cybersecurity, energy and education.
Josh Mabry leads Facebook’s Local News Partnerships team and is responsible for the platform’s relationships with local publishers and journalism organizations in the United States. As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, the Partnerships Team is helping publishers build meaningful relationships with the communities they serve on Facebook and Instagram through training events, strategic partnerships and collaborative product development opportunities. Before joining Facebook, Josh was Digital News Director for Gray Television, working cross-functionally on digital content strategy and product development for more than 50 local newsrooms and the group’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.
Dorrine Mendoza is a member of the Local News Partnerships team at Facebook in New York City and is responsible for the platform’s relationships with local digital first and nonprofit news organizations in the United States. In previous Facebook roles she managed the FJP: Local News Accelerator, a series of programs to help publishers with various business outcomes. Formerly she was the Senior Social Media Producer at CNN Digital. Duties included social discovery, creating content for CNN.com and helping manage flagship social accounts. Before coming to CNN she was an online content producer at the North County Times, where she did social media and online community management and the assignment desk manager at the NBC O&O in San Diego. She has more than 10 years experience in print, broadcast and new media journalism, blending these disciplines to produce engaging and responsive coverage.
Silvana Ordoñez is part of Facebook’s Local News Partnerships team and is responsible for the platform’s relationships with local video and broadcasting news publishers in the United States. As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, the Partnerships Team is helping news publishers build meaningful relationships with the communities they serve on Facebook and Instagram through training events, strategic partnerships and collaborative product development opportunities. Before joining Facebook, Silvana spent 5 years at CNBC as a business reporter/producer. She also managed the business network’s partnership with Telemundo’s local affiliates.
Rebecca Rosenblat is part of Facebook’s Local News Partnerships team and is responsible for the platform’s relationships with local newspapers and subscriptions-based publishers in the United States. As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, the Partnerships Team is helping news publishers build meaningful relationships with the communities they serve on Facebook and Instagram through training events, strategic partnerships and collaborative product development opportunities. Before joining the News Partnerships team, she was on Facebook’s Community Operations team, where she developed and maintained scaled support experiences for the company’s 2.1 billion daily users.
Facebook Journalism Project Community Network Grant Program: Submission deadline: May 27, 2019 at 11:59:59 pm ET. Subject to Terms and Conditions. See terms for full eligibility criteria, selection criteria and grant restrictions.