Media Learning Seminar

Speakers

2012 Media Learning Seminar

Featured Speakers

f Eli Pariser

Eli Pariser

Eli Pariser is the Chairman of the Board of MoveOn.org and the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Filter Bubble. Before that, he served as MoveOn’s Executive Director, tripling MoveOn’s member base in the process, demonstrating for the first time that large numbers of small donations could be mobilized through online engagement, and developing many of the practices that are now standard in the field of online organizing.  MoveOn provides a service for concerned citizens to find their political voice in a system dominated by big money and big media.

Pariser has appeared as a commentator on Good Morning America, World News Tonight, the Colbert Report, and almost all of the major cable news channels. His op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post and the LA Times, among others.

He co-founded Avaaz.org, a global organization with three million members, is a founding board member of AccessNow.org, and helped launch the New Organizing Institute, which has trained thousands of organizers to bring people together online and off for political change.

Pariser graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Law, Politics and Society from Simon’s Rock College.

A longtime champion of the power of the Internet to democratize society, Eli's talk raises the prospect that over-aggressive personalization pushes in the opposite direction.

Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and a principal research scientist at MIT's Media Lab. With Rebecca MacKinnon, Ethan co-founded international blogging community Global Voices. Global Voices showcases news and opinions from citizen media in over 150 nations and thirty languages. Ethan's research focuses on issues of internet freedom, civic media in the developing world and cosmopolitanism in a digital age. He blogs at http://ethanzuckerman.com/blog and lives in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.

Dan Gillmor

Dan Gillmor

Dan Gillmor is founding director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. The project aims to help students understand the startup culture, and ultimately to help them invent their own jobs.

Dan's latest book, "Mediactive," aims to encourage a better media supply in part by creating better demand -- to spur people to become active media users, as consumers and participants. His last book, "We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People," was the first to explain the rise of citizen media and why it matters. Dan also writes an online column for the Guardian and blogs regularly at Mediactive.com.

Dan has been a co-founder, investor and advisor in a number of media ventures in the for-profit and non-profit worlds. From 1994 until early 2005 he was a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley's daily newspaper, and wrote a weblog for SiliconValley.com. He joined the Mercury News after six years with the Detroit Free Press. Before that, he was with the Kansas City Times and several newspapers in Vermont.

Plenary Session Speakers and Panelists

Joaquin Alvarado

Joaquin Alvarado

Joaquin Alvarado joined American Public Media  in January 2010 as Senior Vice President for Digital Innovation. Alvarado leads strategic development of APM’s Public Insight initiatives, as well as developing models for deepening audience engagement, widening digital reach and increasing digital revenue growth across all operating divisions.

Alvarado comes to APMIMPR from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he led successful initiatives in broadening the reach and diversity within public media as Senior Vice President for Diversity and Innovation. Prior to joining the CPB Alvarado initiated CoCo Studios, promoting media collaboration for fiber and mobile networks, founded the Institute for Next Generation Internet, which launched in 2005 from San Francisco State University, and in 2004, began the National Public Lightpath; advocating high-speed fiber optic network as the next generation of the internet with public media, education and community leadership.

Alvarado holds B.A. in Chicano Studies from U.C. Berkeley and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Film, Television, and Digital Media and served on the boards of the California Council for the Humanities, TechSoup Global and Latino Public Broadcasting.

Kathy Bisbee

Kathy Bisbee

As Executive Director of Community Media Access Partnership (CMAP.TV) since March of 2008, Kathy has led her team to increase fee-based production services and contracts with education to one-third of the organization's budget, double the membership, create new media curriculum and eight weekly youth media programs, and develop regional and national community media collaborations.

Kathy has over twenty years experience in community organizing and public relations, radio and television production, technical support, and collaboratively managing and marketing small businesses, technology start-ups, and non-profit organizations. She graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Political and Social Sciences, and received her master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications and Public Relations from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Kathy serves as a national board member for the Alliance for Community Media (ACM), and is currenlty working with an international crew to finish a social documentary entitled "Don't Cost Nothin' to Dream."

 

Sandy Close

Sandy Close

Sandy Close, Executive Editor and Director, New America Media/Pacific News Service – Sandy has served as Executive Director of Pacific News Service since 1974. One of the first regular commentators for Morning Edition in the mid 1980s, in 1990 she founded YO! Youth Outlook, a monthly magazine of youth writing and art in 1991, and co-founded in The Beat Within, a weekly writing journal by incarcerated youth in 1996. That same year, she founded New California Media to bring greater visibility to the content of ethnic news organizations. Today, New America Media is the largest editorial and marketing collaboration of ethnic media in the U.S. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Sandy started her journalism career in Hong Kong in the mid 1960s as China editor of The Far Eastern Economic Review. Returning to the US, she founded an inner-city newspaper in Oakland, CA called The Flatlands and spent five years writing about prison and criminal justice issues before joining PNS. Among many awards, Sandy received a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award” and the 2011 Polk Award for Career Achievement. In 1996, a film she co-produced, Breathing Lessons, won the Academy Award for best short documentary.

Chris Barge

Chris Barge

Chris Barge is Director of Philanthropic Services for The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. He leads efforts with major donors to the Foundation and partners with local professional advisors to provide clients with comprehensive philanthropic assistance. He also staffs the Foundation’s Early Childhood Initiative, which seeks to close the area’s large achievement gap between kids from low-income families and their peers. He joined the Foundation in 2008 after a 10-year career in newspapers, including the Rocky Mountain News and the Boulder Daily Camera. His journalism work reinforced for him the increasing importance of philanthropy and civic engagement in communities. He and his wife Erin live with their daughter Ellery and son Milo in Boulder.

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker

President/CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, in New York. Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker has dedicated her career to improving lives through civic service.  Her leadership experience has centered on leading community-wide efforts to solve the most critical problems facing communities.  She is a nationally recognized spokeswoman on a range of issues including strategic philanthropy, community service and cultural diversity.

Clotilde has led numerous public/private sector collaborations focused on systemic change. These efforts have addressed issues such as school readiness, post-secondary attainment, lead-poisoning prevention, capacity building for arts organizations, safety for victims of domestic violence and environmental stewardship. Most recently, Clotilde founded the Literacy Funders Network, a national coalition of foundations dedicated to improving literacy in America. 

Other service highlights include a White House appointment to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, U.S. Committee Co-Chair of the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer and President of the Association of Junior Leagues International.  Clotilde has served on many national and local boards including the National Women’s Hall of Fame (President), Mayoral Council on Hispanic Issues (Chair), John R. Oishei Foundation, and The National Federation for Just Communities. Current service includes board member of CFLeads, The Foundation Center and the New York State Attorney General Leadership Council for Nonprofit Revitalization.

Clotilde’s work has been recognized by many including the Points of Light Foundation, the Governor’s Award for Service and the President’s Award for Service.  She holds a Master’s degree in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, native of Cuba.

Paula Ellis

Paula Ellis

Paula Ellis joined Knight Foundation in September 2006. A member of the Executive Committee, she oversees national programs and new initiatives, and is responsible for developing and gauging the impact of the foundation's overall strategy.

Previously, Ellis was vice president for operations at Knight Ridder, where she oversaw 15 newspapers and was a member of the Management Committee. Throughout her career as a news, corporate and civic leader, she developed deep experience in national and community issues. From Washington, Ellis led Knight Ridder's coverage of the end of the Cold War, the 1988 presidential elections and the Iran Contra Investigation. Later, as publisher of the The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, she worked with local groups to foster civic leadership while drawing new readers to the paper, which was named a Knight Ridder top performer three times.

As an innovator in the journalism field, Ellis chaired Poynter Institute's National Advisory Board, was at the forefront of the coaching writers' movement and helped found the National Writers Workshop. A Harvard Business School case study cited her work at The State in Columbia, S.C., where she, then managing editor, led the transition to a digital newsroom.

Ellis earned a bachelor's degree in government and politics at the University of Maryland, where she was editor of the student daily. She graduated from Northwestern University with a master's degree in journalism. She is married to Gary Galloway, a 30-year newspaper reporter, columnist and editor, now retired. She has four stepchildren and 12 grandchildren.

Mary Lou Fulton

Mary Lou Fulton

Program Manager, The California Endowment. Mary Lou Fulton leads media grant-making at The California Endowment, the state’s largest health foundation. She moved to the foundation world in 2009 after a 20-year career in print journalism and digital media. Fulton started out as a print journalist, working as a reporter for the Associated Press and then as a reporter and editor at The Los Angeles Times. While in Los Angeles, she served as the founding editor of City Times, the community news section created to improve coverage of central Los Angeles after the 1992 riots. She moved to the online world in 1995, joining The Washington Post where she helped to launch washingtonpost.com and served as the site’s managing editor. Fulton went on to hold senior management positions at a number of digital media companies including AOL, GeoCities and HomePage.com before returning to the newspaper world in 2003 at The Bakersfield Californian. In Bakersfield, she created a new product development team that was nationally recognized for its participatory media initiatives, including the first “citizen journalism” publication to be started by a U.S. newspaper. A native of Yuma, Arizona, and a second-generation Mexican-American, Fulton holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Alberto Ibargüen

Alberto Ibargüen

Alberto Ibargüen was named president and CEO of Knight Foundation in January 2005. He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. During his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism.

He studied at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Between college and law school, he served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela’s Amazon Territory and in Colombia. He practiced law in Hartford, Connecticut until he joined The Hartford Courant, then Newsday in New York before moving to Miami.

Ibargüen is chairman of the board of the World Wide Web Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing the Web as a medium that empowers people worldwide to bring about positive change. He is a member of the boards of PepsiCo, AMR Corp. (American Airlines), AOL, ProPublica and the Council on Foreign Relations. Over the years, he has served on the boards of arts, education and civic organizations, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Wesleyan University, Smith College and the University of Miami. He is trustee emeritus of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as board chair. He also served as board chairman of PBS and of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra.

For his work to protect journalists in Latin America as part of the Inter American Press Association, he received a Maria Moors Cabot citation from Columbia University, and George Washington University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters.

Ibargüen and his wife, Susana, live in Coconut Grove, FL.

Kelly Lucas

Kelly Lucas

Kelly Lucas is the CEO of Incourage Community Foundation (formerly known as the Community Foundation of Greater South Wood County). Incourage is not your ordinary community foundation. That’s because the community is not ordinary. Incourage, in partnership with the Ford Foundation, earned a 2008 Council on Foundation’s Critical Impact Award for an integrated, grassroots approach to community economic development.

As a Knight Community Information Challenge recipient, the Foundation now partners with Massachusetts Institute of Technology to identify the key role information plays in systems change. Incourage is increasing access to relevant and credible information while offering opportunities for individuals to develop their skills to become active information consumers and producers.
She is the lead organizer of a rural initiative that is closing the work skills gap by aligning resources, strategies, capacity, policy and coordination across a regional workforce system. Incourage’s workforce initiative is one of the first sites in the U.S. selected to participate in the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.

Lucas was named to The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 in 2011, for increasing access and opportunity through her leadership in rural community development philanthropy.
Since 1996, she has helped transform the community foundation field, serving on several steering committees and boards, including: Council on Foundations’ Community Leadership Team, Community Foundation Division of the Wisconsin Donors Forum, National Task Force on Community Leadership through Community Foundation Leads and Knight Foundation National Advisory Committee on Information Needs of Communities.

Michael Maness

Michael Maness

Michael Maness joined Knight Foundation in 2011. He leads Knight’s Journalism and Media Innovation program.

Previously, he was Gannett’s vice president of innovation and design. During his tenure, he led the creation of an innovation process based on human-centered design and launched multiple new brands. He also served as vice president of strategic planning for Gannett's newspaper division, launched several local news sites across the company and developed the industry’s first daily video newscast on the Web done without a television partner.

In addition, Maness was named to the Newspaper Association of America's list of "20 under 40" and was a co-winner in 2007 of the Chairman's Special Achievement Award at Gannett.

Before joining Gannett, Maness was an analyst and media consultant, a campaign manager and a marketing account executive. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Maness has been a member of Knight Foundation’s journalism advisory committee for the past four years.

Terry Mazany

Terry Mazany

Terry Mazany is President and CEO of Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s largest community foundations with assets of more than $1.5 billion and grant making exceeding $100 million that annually benefits more than two thousand not-for-profit organizations in metropolitan Chicago.  Terry was selected as the fifth Executive in The Chicago Community Trust’s ninety-six year history in 2004. 

In addition, Terry recently concluded his tenure as the interim chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools, a district of more than 400,000 students and over 650 schools with a budget of $6 billion.  Terry was appointed to this position in November of 2010 by Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley to provide leadership for the nation’s third largest school district until a new mayor was elected.

In response to the economic recession and an invitation from Mayor Daley of Chicago, Terry helped organize and lead the Recovery Partnership involving over 50 foundations to support the distribution of over $1 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds in Chicago. 

Terry is a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Council on Foundations.  He served as past chair of its Community Foundation Leadership Team representing the nation’s 700 community foundations, and a member of the Diversity in Philanthropy Project.  He is civically active on the boards of several area not-for-profit organizations.

Terry Mazany joined the Trust in 2001 as Director and Senior Program Officer for the Education Initiative of The Chicago Community Trust.  In this capacity, he led the design and implementation of the Trust’s $50 million, five-year commitment to support literacy, teacher and principal quality, and the creation of new schools in Chicago.  

His work in philanthropy is based on fifteen years experience in public education, working in several districts across the country including Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Oakland, and San Francisco.       

Preceding his work in the public sector, Terry Mazany enjoyed his first career as an archaeologist and dendrochronologist – using tree-ring chronologies to date human settlements and develop past climate records. 

Terry earned Masters degrees in Anthropology and Business Administration at the University of Arizona.  He has also been awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from DePaul University and Lewis University. 

Tycoma Miller

Tycoma Miller

Tycoma Miller serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the West Anniston Foundation. She has been employed with the West Anniston Foundation for one year and works as an intern on the Knight Foundation funded project “West Anniston Today.” Miller brings a wealth of knowledge to the foundation and young, fresh innovative ideas. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Normal, Ala.

 

 

Mayur Patel

Mayur Patel

Mayur Patel joined Knight Foundation in 2009. As vice president of strategy and assessment, he is responsible for aiding ongoing strategy development, strengthening research and knowledge management capabilities and assessing the impact and effectiveness of the foundation’s efforts.

Patel was previously a project associate with the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford, involved in research on international institutions and economic affairs, and a fellow with the World Trade Organization in Geneva. He has served as a consultant to Oxfam's offices in Kenya and the UK, and as a trade and investment policy adviser to Realizing Rights, an NGO based in New York. He has previously worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zimbabwe, his home country, on issues of civic engagement and parliamentary support.

A Rhodes Scholar, Patel has a doctorate in international development from the University of Oxford, from which he also earned a master’s degree. Prior to attending Oxford, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics (LSE). He is a Junior Fellow with the EVA Business and Policy Forum based in Helsinki and a recipient of a Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award. Recently, Patel was named a 2011 Independent Sector American Express NGEN Fellow and one of '30 Under 30 Civic Leaders' by Splashlife Magazine and the National Council on Citizenship.

Alicia Philipp

Alicia Phipp

Alicia Philipp is president of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, one of the largest and fastest growing philanthropic service organizations in the country. With an estimated $700 million in assets, The Community Foundation strengthens the 23-county Atlanta region by providing quality services to donors and innovative leadership on community issues.

Philipp’s local, regional and national leadership responsibilities include previous service as a board member of the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, Independent Sector and the National Council on Family Philanthropy.

Philipp received a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a master’s in business administration from Georgia State University.

Margot Mailliard Rawlins

Margot Rawlins

Margot Rawlins is the community leadership officer at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, where she serves as project manager for many of the community foundation’s strategic partnerships, local and regional convenings and public policy advocacy efforts. She has also been involved with designing, launching and managing the community foundation’s long-term initiatives dealing with issues ranging from asset building for low-income families to capacity building for environmental-education nonprofits to supports for transition-aged foster and kinship youth.

Envision Bay Area is an initiative currently under her leadership. This Knight Community Information Challenge project was designed to help San Francisco Bay Area leaders and residents make informed decisions about the building and growth that will shape the environment, economy and everyday life throughout the region.

Margot has been a community leader on the San Francisco Peninsula for many years serving in leadership capacities with several nonprofits. Her focus has been the environment, leadership training, education and the arts. Prior to moving back to her home base of the Bay Area, she served as director of public affairs at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and received her MBA in health management from Golden Gate University.

Weekends find her outdoors working in the vineyard on her family ranch with her husband, birding with friends or hiking the hills with her trusty border terrier at her side.

Jennifer Ford Reedy

Jennifer Ford Reedy

Jennifer Ford Reedy is chief of staff and vice president of strategy for Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. In this role, Jennifer is charged with driving strategy development and implementation as well as managing day to day operations of the organization.

Minnesota Philanthropy Partners is a network of foundations, funds and organizations that share knowledge and services to have the greatest possible impact through charitable giving. MN Partners supports The Saint Paul Foundation, Minnesota Community Foundation, the F.R. Bigelow Foundation, the Mardag Foundation and more than 1,600 affiliates across Minnesota.

Since joining the organization in 2008, Jennifer has guided the development of a number of new initiatives. One new venture, GiveMN.org, is a state-of-the-art giving portal that is transforming giving in Minnesota. Another major venture is the Minnesota Idea Open, an idea platform created in partnership with Ashoka Changemakers. The Idea Open is designed to get as many Minnesotans as possible thinking and talking about solutions to critical issues facing the state.

Prior to joining, Jennifer was a consultant with McKinsey and Company for nine years. At McKinsey, she worked primarily with clients in financial services and the nonprofit sector.

From 2003-2007, Jennifer was “on loan” from McKinsey to direct the Itasca Project, a CEO-led regional economic development initiative in the Twin Cities. In that capacity, she helped to create and manage community initiatives on topics ranging from early childhood education to transportation infrastructure.

Her current community involvement includes serving on the board of the Citizens League, the Community Impact Committee of Greater Twin Cities United Way, the working team for the Itasca Project, and co-chairing the advisory board for the Honors College at the University of Kansas. She has been honored as a "40 Under 40" leader by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, an "Innovative" by Twin Cities Business magazine, and a NextGen Fellow by Independent Sector.

Jennifer holds a Masters degree in social policy from the University of Chicago and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Kansas where she received a national Truman Fellowship for Public Service.

Dennis Scholl

Dennis Scholl

Dennis Scholl joined Knight Foundation in 2009. He oversees the foundation's national Arts Program, including the Knight Arts Challenge and Random Acts of Culture series.

As a contemporary art collector for over 30 years, he has had a long involvement in philanthropy in the visual arts. Over the last dozen years, he was the founding chair of the Guggenheim Photography Committee, the Tate American Acquisitions Committee and the Miami Art Museum Collectors Council. Each group raised funds and acquired contemporary art for their respective museums.

He has also been a board member of the Miami Art Museum, Aspen Art Museum, North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art and the chair of Locust Projects, an alternative art space.

For his philanthropic service in the Miami art community, he was honored with a Shining Star by the Arts & Business Council, the Big Heart in the Arts award by the American Heart Association and the Mover & Shaker award by Miami Today.

A three-time regional Emmy nominee for his film making and on-camera work, he wrote and co-produced a short film "Sunday's Best" that recently won the Suncoast Emmy Award, and was accepted by numerous film festivals including the Aspen Shortfest and Cinequest.

He is a founder of Betts & Scholl, which makes award-winning wine in France, Italy, Australia and Napa Valley. He is also the cultural correspondent for Plum TV, a resort-based television network with eight stations across the U.S. and a contributor to the Huffington Post. He was an early leader in the redevelopment of the South Beach historic Art Deco District and the Wynwood Arts District.

Previously he was a practicing attorney and a C.P.A. Scholl received his bachelor's degree from Florida International University and a law degree from the University of Miami. He and his wife Debra live in Miami Beach, Florida.

Trabian Shorters

Trabian Shorters

Trabian Shorters joined Knight Foundation in December 2007. He is responsible for the foundation’s work in 26 communities across the United States and within the Knight Community Information Challenge (KCIC). Trabian has a long history of creating and running different types of networks for social innovation.

From 2003-2007 Trabian was a senior venture entrepreneur with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, where he simultaneously directed Ashoka-US, served on the global executive team and was an integrator for Ashoka-US, Canada and Mexico. In these roles, he managed major donor relationships, raised the Ashoka-US budget, spoke and traveled to Europe, Africa and South America on Ashoka's behalf.

He also found and vetted 17 Ashoka Fellows including Charles Best, Gerald Chertavian, Ron Chisom, Joe Marshall, John Sage, Jim McCorkell, Joe Williams, Tyrone Bledsoe, Jim Thompson, Steve Bigari, Ami Dar, and Eboo Patel.

Prior to Ashoka, Trabian was the leading social entrepreneur who launched Technology Works for Good (now NPowerDC). TechWorks was a first-of-its-kind network of technology providers, funders, nonprofits and consultants committed to helping nonprofits use technology to serve more people better and faster. By securing founding support and senior executive leadership from AOL Time Warner, Microsoft, Fannie Mae and the Meyer Foundation, TWFG became Washington D.C.’s leading nonprofit provider of technology solutions to organizations of all sizes.

In addition to his leadership in social entrepreneurship and technology, Trabian is one of the original authors and organizers of the AmeriCorps National Service proposal to the Clinton administration. AmeriCorps now has more than 500,000 alumni who have served thousands of organizations in the U.S. . He was a member of the Children Defense Fund's Black Student Leadership Network and was once nominated by AOL to be a Smithsonian Institution Laureate for innovations in technology delivery.

Today Trabian is vice chair of DonorsChoose.org and is a coach for New York University ’s Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program for Social Entrepreneurship. Originally from Pontiac, Michigan, he earned a journalism degree from Michigan State University, participated in Horizons Upward Bound Program at Cranbrook, and is the proud first grandson of Kennis and Irma Lee Hutchons.

Amy Webb

Amy Webb

Amy Webb is the CEO of Webbmedia Group (http://www.webbmediagroup.com), an international digital strategy consultancy that offers mobile, platform, social and emerging tech/ media strategic services and workshops to Global 1000 and Fortune 500 companies, media organizations, governments, foundations and universities worldwide. Amy has spent more than 18 years working with digital media, founding several web-based companies and now advising various tech startups and media groups as well as Webbmedia's clients.

Amy serves on the Board of Directors for the Online News Association, the SXSW Accelerator Advisory Board, Knight-Batten Advisory Board, the Advisory Board for Temple University’s Journalism Program and the Advisory Board for the International Center for Journalists. She is the Dean of the Awesome Foundation Baltimore, a Delegate on the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission and one of the Knight News Challenge judges. Amy is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Interactive Media Peer Group) and serves as a judge for the Emmy awards. She is one of the co-founders of Spark Camp, a quarterly invite-only gathering of technologists, journalists, designers, policymakers and others working in emerging technology.

Amy’s work has been recognized with awards/nominations from Webby, Editor & Publisher, Investigative Reporters & Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, W3 and IAVA, among others. She has an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and holds a B.A. in political economics from Indiana University.  She also earned Nikyu Certification in the Japanese government-administered Language Proficiency Test and speaks fluently.  Amy has been a Lecturer at the Columbia University Sulzberger Program at the Graduate School of Journalism since it began in 2007 and has served on the adjunct faculty at University of Maryland, Temple University, Tokyo University and University of the Arts. She is a regular commentator on various broadcast shows and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences around the world. She is @webbmedia on Twitter and most social networks.

Breakout Facilitators

Emmett Carson, Ph.D.

Emmett Carson is an internationally recognized leader in the field of philanthropy. As founding Chief Executive Officer of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in 2007 he led the unprecedented merger that created Silicon Valley Community Foundation. With over $2 billion under management, the community foundation is one of the largest in the world and actively engages individuals and corporations in achieving their charitable interests locally and globally. Annually, the community foundation distributes nearly 11,000 grants to 24 countries totaling approximately $200 million.

Emmett has devoted his career to being a catalyst for positive social change. At Silicon Valley, discretionary grantmaking is rooted in a strong point of view on social equality and focuses on education, economic security, immigrant integration, regional planning and support for basic needs such as food and shelter. Emmett previously served as CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, which more than tripled its assets and received national recognition for its grantmaking initiatives during his 12 year tenure. He was the first manager of the Ford Foundation’s worldwide grantmaking program on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

The author of more than 100 published works on philanthropy, Emmett is widely viewed as an authority on social justice grantmaking, public accountability by nonprofits and African American philanthropy. He has received numerous nonprofit leadership awards, including recognition as one of the most influential nonprofit leaders in the U.S. and honorary degrees from Indiana University, Morehouse College and The National Hispanic University.

Emmett received both his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in public and international affairs from Princeton University and his bachelor’s degree in economics, Phi Beta Kappa, from Morehouse College.

Alberto Ibargüen

Alberto Ibargüen

Alberto Ibargüen is president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. As president, he is an ex-officio trustee of the foundation.

He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. During his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism.

He studied at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Between college and law school, he served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela’s Amazon Territory and was the Peace Corps Programming and Training Officer in Colombia, based in Bogotá. He practiced law in Hartford, Connecticut until he joined The Hartford Courant, then Newsday in New York, before moving to Miami.

Ibargüen serves as a member of the boards of PepsiCo, AMR Corp. (American Airlines), AOL, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is chairman of the board of the World Wide Web Foundation, founded by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners­-Lee to promote a free and universal Web. Over time, he has served on the boards of arts, education and journalism organizations, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Wesleyan University, Smith College and the University of Miami. He is trustee emeritus of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where he served as board chair. He also chaired the board of PBS and served on the boards of the Committee to Protect Journalists and ProPublica.

For his work to protect journalists in Latin America, he received a Maria Moors Cabot citation from Columbia University. Wesleyan University, The George Washington University, Mercer University and Stephens College have awarded him honorary degrees.

Michael Maness

Michael Maness

Michael Maness joined Knight Foundation in 2011. He leads Knight’s Journalism and Media Innovation program.

Previously, he was Gannett’s vice president of innovation and design. During his tenure, he led the creation of an innovation process based on human-centered design and launched multiple new brands. He also served as vice president of strategic planning for Gannett's newspaper division, launched several local news sites across the company and developed the industry’s first daily video newscast on the Web done without a television partner.

In addition, Maness was named to the Newspaper Association of America's list of "20 under 40" and was a co-winner in 2007 of the Chairman's Special Achievement Award at Gannett.

Before joining Gannett, Maness was an analyst and media consultant, a campaign manager and a marketing account executive. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Maness has been a member of Knight Foundation’s journalism advisory committee for the past four years.

Michael Marsicano

Michael Marsicano

Michael Marsicano is President and Chief Executive Officer of Foundation For The Carolinas. Managing assets, owned and represented, of approximately $900 million, the Foundation holds approximately 1825 charitable funds. In the ten years Dr. Marsicano has been at the helm of FFTC contributions to the Foundation have totaled more than $1.23 billion and grant awards more than $755 million.

Dr. Marsicano joined the Foundation in 1999 after serving as President and CEO of the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte, North Carolina for 10 years. During his tenure, the united arts fund moved to the nation’s highest in per capita annual giving.

Dr. Marsicano has been active in several national and local organizations. He has chaired the Board of the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and has served on the Boards of Americans for the Arts, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Foundation, as well as the Board of Community Foundations of America. He currently serves on the Governing Boards of Duke University, Queens University and the Winthrop University Foundation as well as the Boards of Charlotte Center City Partners, the Nasher Museum of Art, and the Vann Center for Ethics at Davidson College.

Dr. Marsicano has received several honors and awards. On the national level he was the recipient of the Selina Roberts Ottum Award given annually to the top arts administrator in the nation. On the local level he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte which acknowledged his leadership role in establishing the College of Arts and Architecture at UNCC and restructuring the UNCC Foundation Governance platform. He also was the inaugural winner of the Innovator of the Year award which is sponsored by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce as well as the recipient of the 2008 Medal of Honor in the Arts from Winthrop University and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award from the Urban League of Central Carolinas. Dr. Marsicano received the Arch of Triumph Award from Johnson C. Smith University in 2011 as well as the Father of the Year award from the American Diabetes Association.

A native of New York, Dr. Marsicano received his Bachelor of Science, Masters of Education and Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University. He is married to the Reverend Leslie Montfort Marsicano, also a graduate of Duke University and the Duke University Divinity School. Leslie is an ordained Methodist Minister serving Davidson College as Associate Dean for Academic Administration. The Marsicanos have three sons.

Michele McLellan

Michele McLellan

Michele McLellan is a journalist and consultant who works on projects that help foster a healthy local news ecosystem.

As a Knight Circuit Rider, she provides assistance to foundation-funded community news start ups on behalf of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is lead programming consultant for Knight Digital Media Center at the University of Southern California.

As a 2009-10 fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, she created Michele’s List of promising community news sites and organized Block by Block: Community News Summit 2010 and 2011, which she co-hosted with Jay Rosen. With support from The Patterson Foundation she is currently creating a database of community news sites to help online community publishers connect and learn from one another.

From 2003-07, she directed Tomorrow’s Workforce, 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. She is a journalist who worked for more than 25 years as an editor and manager in newspapers, most recently at The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2001-02, she has taught journalism and journalism ethics nationally and internationally, and is an author of two books, “The Newspaper Credibility Handbook” and, with Tim Porter, “News, Improved: How America’s Newsrooms Are Learning to Change.” Her article, “Emerging Economics of Community News,” appeared in Pew’s annual State of the News Media 2011 report.

Mary Jo Meisner

Mary Jo Meisner

Mary Jo Meisner joined the Boston Foundation in November 2001 as Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs. She is responsible for all of the Foundation’s communications, media and government relations, and its civic leadership and public affairs activities, including the Boston Indicators Project and public policy initiatives.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Meisner spent 25 years in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor and news executive at newspapers throughout the US. From April 1997 to February 2001, she was Editor and Vice Chairman of Community Newspaper Company, New England’s largest newspaper publisher, with more than 1 million readers each week. The company was sold to the Boston Herald in February 2001.

From June 1993 to January 1997, Meisner was the Editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where she oversaw the merger of the afternoon Milwaukee Journal and the morning Milwaukee Sentinel in April 1995. Prior to joining the Journal-Sentinel, Meisner was Managing Editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. From 1987 to 1991, Meisner was City Editor of the Washington Post, where she was responsible for the coverage of the city of Washington and oversaw the newpaper’s investigative reporting of the criminal activities of then-Mayor Marian Barry. She also has served as Metropolitan Editor of the San Jose (CA) Mercury News and Metropolitan Editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, where she was also a reporter. She started her career as a reporter for the Wilmington News-Journal in Wilmington, DE.

She is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) and the International Press Institute, of which she is still a member of the board. She has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror several times. In addition, she has taught various writing, editing, journalism ethics and management courses at the Maynard Institute, The Poynter Institute for Media Affairs and the American Press Institute.

Meisner serves on the board of several Boston area organizations, including the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, the Greater Boston Food Bank, the ACCESS Scholarship Program, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence and the Initiative for a New Economy.

She has one son, Thomas Gradel, and lives in Boston.

Susan Mernit

Susan Mernit

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local (oaklandlocal.com) a news & community hub for Oakland, CA focused on social justice issues that combines reported stories with community media & diverse voices and training to bridge the digital divide.

A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & a former Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09, as well as a consultant to organizations including Salon.com & TechSoup Global, where she led the re-design of their portal. She is also a circuit rider for The Knight Community Information Challenge and a frequent facilitator for The Knight Digital Media Center at The Annenberg School of Journalism, USC.

A popular trainer and speaker, Mernit was the Keynote program chair for the October 2009 Online News Association conference in San Francisco. She spent the summer 2008 at TechStars, incubating a company that died; that experience has super-fueled her energy. She is a CE at BlogHer, an avid blogger, and a recovering journalist. She is also a consultant focused on local media, community engagement & the future of news at houseoflocal.org.

Mernit is super interested in how tech and civic engagement amplify both social change and economic development and is trying to put some of her ideas to work in Oakland, CA. In her free time, she’s into hiking, growing veggies and urban farms, poetry, blogging, and her new dog.

Eric Newton

Eric Newton

Senior Adviser to the President

Eric Newton joined Knight Foundation in 2001. Since then, as both journalism program director and later vice president for journalism, he has developed some $300 million in grants to advance quality journalism, freedom of expression and media innovation worldwide.  Before Knight, he was founding managing editor of the Newseum. Much of his original work as its chief content creator remains in the world's first major museum of news in Washington, D.C.

Newton began his journalism career as a newspaper editor in Northern California. At the Oakland Tribune, he was managing editor under owners Bob and Nancy Maynard, when the newspaper won 150 journalism awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.

Newton ’s book projects include Crusaders, Scoundrels, Journalists; Capture the Moment and News in a New America. He co-founded the First Amendment Project, shared in a Peabody Award for "Mosaic: World News from the Middle East" and is a four-time Pulitzer Prize juror.

He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from San Francisco State University, where he was named a distinguished alumnus.  He holds a master's degree in international studies from the University of Birmingham, England, where he was a Rotary International Scholar. He has taught journalism at all levels.

In 2008, Newton won the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award at the University of Texas at Austin, honoring professional service to the field of communications. In 2009, he was recognized with the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation's First Amendment Award for Knight Foundation's work to create Sunshine Week.

Rod Petrey

Rod Petrey

Roderick N. Petrey (Rod) served as President of the Collins Center for Public Policy for twenty years until mid-2011 and recently has founded other non-profit public policy organizations. He is retired Senior Counsel to Holland & Knight LLP, a large international law firm, and has served as general counsel for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute, Florida International University and other public and private institutions.

Mr. Petrey is Vice-President and legal counsel for the P.L. Dodge Foundation and a member of the Board and Secretary of BAC Florida Bank. He has served as Vice-President of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in New York, President of The Donors’ Forum of South Florida, President of the Florida Bar Foundation, Chairman of the We Will Rebuild! Foundation, chairman of the Florida Justice Institute, Chairman of the Miami Museum of Science, senior adviser to the Council for Educational Change, and an active member of other civic and business organizations.

He received the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida, given to one lawyer in Florida each year who exemplifies the public service spirit of the legal profession. Mr. Petrey has received the “Spirit of Excellence” award from the Miami Herald, the Cal Kovens Distinguished Community Service Award from Florida International University, the Juvenile Justice Award from the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges and other recognitions. He is a member of the America Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation.

Mr. Petrey was born in Lakeland, Florida. He received his BA degree magna cum laude from Yale University and his law degree from Harvard University. He has served as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. He is a military combat veteran, serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army Special Forces (“Green Berets”) in Vietnam and as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. Mr. Petrey is married to Lucy Woodward Petrey, a retired associate professor at Miami-Dade College. They live in Coral Gables, Florida. He and his wife have two children, Susan and Sarah, who live in New York City and in Connecticut.

JoAnn Turnquist

Joann Turnquist

JoAnn Turnquist is President & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation, a $100MM nonprofit charitable organization that connects donors in the Midlands with the full spectrum of charitable and nonprofit organizations in their communities. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as Chief of Staff at the Moore School of Business where her primary role was stewardship. Ms. Turnquist brings 25 years of experience to her position with past work experience including sales leadership assignments within Rubbermaid Commercial Products, JohnsonDiversey, and the Clorox Company.

Ms. Turnquist has been active in a number of non-profit organizations. She serves on the Richland County Public Library board, the New Morning Foundation board and is a member of the Columbia Rotary Club. She chaired the South Carolina Mansion Foundation during Governor James Hodges’ administration and served as a literacy tutor for 12 years. While living in Chicago, she was president of Literacy Chicago’s Women’s Board and an active board member of the Gold Coast Neighbors, a preservation society. Ms. Turnquist began her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University and received a BA in City Planning at The Ohio State University. She lives in Columbia with her husband, Ernie Csiszar.

Lisa Williams

Lisa Williams

Lisa Williams is the CEO and founder of Placeblogger.com, the world’s largest searchable index of local weblogs. Placeblogger received seed funding from the Knight 21st Century News Challenge. Williams was also named 2009 New Media Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by J-Lab.

Williams is a fellow at Center for Future Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab. The Media Lab is one of the most well-known university-based technology and innovation centers in the world. The newly formed Center for Future Civic Media focuses on meeting the information needs of humanity over the next 100 years.

Scribes

Christine Beddia

Christine Beddia

Christine oversees the Coastal Community Foundation’s publications, news media relations, marketing efforts, and strategic communications related to grantmaking, philanthropic services, and program initiatives. She has been with the Foundation since 2005. She currently serves as Treasurer of CommA, a national affinity group of communicators for community foundations and is a board member of the American Marketing Association Charleston Chapter. In addition, Christine volunteers as president of the Olde North Charleston Neighborhood Council, the Park Circle neighborhood where she resides. Christine has a B.S. in Merchandising from Philadelphia University and a Masters in Public and Nonprofit Administration from the College of Charleston. She is an avid cook and enjoys the culinary excellence on the streets of Charleston and beyond.

Angelle Fouther

Angelle C. Fouther

Angelle C. Fouther is currently the Senior Communications Officer for The Denver Foundation, where she manages media relations, strategic marketing, social media, and design in support of the Foundation's goals. Fouther has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1997, primarily in the areas of social services and the arts. Most recently, she served as Marketing Manager for Denver Botanic Gardens. Subsequent to that she was Principal of Ink Communications, Inc., a marketing consulting firm specializing in the organizational development of South Florida nonprofits; and Communications and Development Manager for Carrfour Corporation, a nonprofit which provides supportive housing for Miami's formerly homeless.

Fouther is an active volunteer and currently serves as a Board Member for Girls, Inc. of Metro Denver. She is a member of several professional associations including Colorado Funders for Equity and Inclusiveness (COFIE), Colorado Funders in Communications (COFCO), Colorado Association of Black Journalists (CABJ), Colorado Health Social Media Group, and CommA, a national affinity group of the Council on Foundations which consists of community foundation communications professionals.

Elise Hu

Elise Hu

Elise is the Digital Editorial Coordinator of NPR's new StateImpact project. A Texas native, she helped launch The Texas Tribune, a non-profit online news startup devoted to government and politics. While at the Tribune, Elise oversaw television partnerships and multimedia projects; contributed to The New York Times' expanded Texas coverage and pushed for editorial innovation across platforms. Her work in 2010 earned a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism and a National Edward R. Murrow award for best online video.

She previously worked as the state political reporter for KVUE-TV in Austin, WYFF-TV in Greenville, SC, and reported from Asia for the Taipei Times. She earned her bachelors in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Donna Jolly

As vice president for communications and marketing for the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Donna Jolly is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive and strategic communications plan to raise awareness about the organization. She also serves as a member of the executive management team.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 1999, Donna served in communications positions at several state agencies, including the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, where she provided public relations consultation for the commissioner and was chief spokesperson. Previously, she was manager of employee communications for Ames Department Stores, coordinating communications with the more than 20,000 employees in the home office and retail stores located throughout New England. She also managed communications for the American Lung Association of Connecticut for several years.

Nancy Jones

Nancy Jones

Nancy Jones is the Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications at The Miami Foundation. In this role, she leads the Foundation’s efforts to influence policy on issues of importance to the Foundation and the significant efforts to increase levels of civic engagement in the Greater Miami area. Additionally, Nancy oversees all communication strategy.  Nancy is a South Florida native, returning to her hometown four years ago after fifteen years in St. Louis and Key West.
Before joining the Foundation in 2010, she for three years, served as the Chief Communications Officer for the Community Foundation of Broward. She has more than ten years executive experience in the field and serves on several national boards and committees for organizations including the Council on Foundations, National Urban Fellows and the Knight Foundation.  Nancy speaks frequently on Miami’s civic health and social media.
She volunteers her time with various arts and environmental organizations. Nancy is mom to Christopher, age 17 and Autmn, age 12.

Susan Knudten

Susan Knudten

Susan Knudten is senior communications officer at Rose Community Foundation. In this role, she writes, edits and manages the Foundation’s publications, media releases and other projects. She also serves as the Foundation’s webmaster. Knudten has been with Rose Community Foundation since 2000.

Knudten is also a commercial and stage actor, and voiceover artist. As cofounder and director of Denver’s Impulse Theater, she performed improvisational comedy for more than 20 years, in addition to managing all aspects of the theater.

Knudten currently serves as vice chair and secretary of CommA, a national affinity group of communicators for community foundations. She has a B.A. in German from Marquette University.

Roberta F. King

Roberta King

Roberta F. King is Vice President of PR & Marketing at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Prior to the Community Foundation she worked in communication for health care, the arts and human services. Her communication specialties include research and writing; working with interns; generational marketing, publications and social media.

She helped establish The Rapidian, an online citizen news service in Grand Rapids that was funded by the Knight Foundation. She still is an active citizen reporter.

Roberta is a graduate of Valparaiso University and earned a Master of Communication degree from Grand Valley State University.

She is working on her first book.

Luann Lovlin

Luann Lovlin

LuAnn Lovlin, CFRE, is Director of Communications at The Winnipeg Foundation, Canada’s first community foundation. In her role, she is responsible for the Foundation’s overall strategic marketing and communications, including print, television, web, social media and special program initiatives. LuAnn is past Chair of CommA, the Communications affinity group of Council on Foundations (COF). She was a founding member of AFP Manitoba Chapter and served on its local board and at the national level with the AFP Canada Council. Currently, LuAnn also serves on Community Foundations of Canada’s (CFC) 2013 national conference committee.

Mary Jo Meisner

Mary Jo Meisner

Mary Jo Meisner joined the Boston Foundation in November 2001 as Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs. She is responsible for all of the Foundation’s communications, media and government relations, and its civic leadership and public affairs activities, including the Boston Indicators Project and public policy initiatives.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Meisner spent 25 years in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor and news executive at newspapers throughout the US. From April 1997 to February 2001, she was Editor and Vice Chairman of Community Newspaper Company, New England’s largest newspaper publisher, with more than 1 million readers each week. The company was sold to the Boston Herald in February 2001.

From June 1993 to January 1997, Meisner was the Editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where she oversaw the merger of the afternoon Milwaukee Journal and the morning Milwaukee Sentinel in April 1995. Prior to joining the Journal-Sentinel, Meisner was Managing Editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. From 1987 to 1991, Meisner was City Editor of the Washington Post, where she was responsible for the coverage of the city of Washington and oversaw the newpaper’s investigative reporting of the criminal activities of then-Mayor Marian Barry. She also has served as Metropolitan Editor of the San Jose (CA) Mercury News and Metropolitan Editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, where she was also a reporter. She started her career as a reporter for the Wilmington News-Journal in Wilmington, DE.

She is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) and the International Press Institute, of which she is still a member of the board. She has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror several times. In addition, she has taught various writing, editing, journalism ethics and management courses at the Maynard Institute, The Poynter Institute for Media Affairs and the American Press Institute.

Meisner serves on the board of several Boston area organizations, including the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, the Greater Boston Food Bank, the ACCESS Scholarship Program, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence and the Initiative for a New Economy.

She has one son, Thomas Gradel, and lives in Boston.

Elizabeth R. Miller

Elizabeth R. Miller

Elizabeth R. Miller joined Knight Foundation in August, 2011. Previously, Miller was a senior program associate at The Overbrook Foundation, a family foundation in New York City that focuses on the environment and human rights. There, she helped identify and administer the foundation’s media-focused grants, advised grantees on media work and helped the foundation increase its social media presence. Miller has also worked at the Progressive Book Club, Fenton Communications and MediaChannel.org. Miller has a Master’s Degree in media, culture and communication, a Bachelor’s Degree in politics and journalism and a certificate in grantmaking from New York University.

Cynthia Ragland

Cynthia Ragland

Cynthia Ragland, APR, serves as vice president of marketing and communications for the Orange County Community Foundation, which serves as the center for charitable giving in Orange County. She works to raise visibility of the foundation’s mission among a wide range of stakeholders including philanthropists, nonprofits, and business and community leaders. Under her direction, OCCF has increased its presence to more effectively engage target audiences online, garnering a 450% increase in visitors to its website. This presence helped raise nearly $2 million over the past three years for grants to nonprofits working to help Orange County neighbors affected by the economic crisis.

Before joining OCCF in 2007, Cynthia served for six years as the principal of her own marketing firm. Prior to that she spent 10 years in the technology sector in corporate and agency environments. She managed publicity for Ingram Micro’s $16 billion initial public offering and led a million-dollar brand management team at neoBrands/Shafer Advertising & Public Relations.

Cynthia serves on the board of the Orange County Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She also serves on the steering committee of CommA, an association of community foundation communicators affiliated with the Council on Foundations. She holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s in journalism from California State University, Fullerton.

Carolyn Torgersen

Carolyn Torgersen

Carolyn Torgersen is Vice President for Marketing and Communications for the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, a community foundation serving a four-county area in South Carolina. She has directed the community foundation’s communications and marketing activities since 1999. Three of her print publications and one website for the community foundation have been awarded national awards from the Council on Foundations.

On a national level, she serves as immediate past chair of the CommA Steering Committee. CommA is an affinity group of the Council on Foundations for communications and marketing professionals. She is also a member of the American Marketing Association and the Public Relations Society of America.

Prior to moving to South Carolina in 1999, Torgersen was community affairs coordinator for a division of Federated Department Stores in Atlanta, Ga.

Heidi Williamson

Heidi Williamson

Heidi Williamson joined Berks County Community Foundation in 2001. In addition to marketing and communication responsibilities, Williamson has led projects aimed at increasing the availability of news and information in the Reading, Pennsylvania area and ensuring the continued viability of 20 local libraries.

Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Williamson was the manager of global communication at Exide Corporation, where she developed and implemented the organization’s first international internal communication strategy.

She earned a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English: Professional Writing from Kutztown University. Williamson served as chair of CommA for the 2009-2010 term, and was a member of the inaugural cohort of Career Pathways, a philanthropic leadership program of the Council on Foundations. She currently serves on the program committee for bctv.org and is co-leader of Brownie Troop 1369.

Williamson lives near Kutztown, Pennsylvania with her husband, Jim, and their three children.