Branden Smith joins ONA in business development role

By on April 23, 2012

Members and friends, 

We’re delighted to announce the latest addition to our staff — Branden Smith, who takes on the vital role of Senior Manager, Business Development and Sales.

As ONA, its membership and programs grow in size and scope, Branden will build on and seek out partnerships and sponsorships, focusing on digital media and technology, with the end goal of expanding benefits, training and knowledge for journalists around the globe.

Branden’s position and mission are supported by a $200,000 grant from the Knight Foundation dedicated to building a strong and sustainable ONA, ensuring a dynamic resource for digital journalists during this exciting and critical time. We see his role as the next logical step in the new world of journalism. As our colleagues look for new business models, we’ll do the same, and hope to share our lessons learned with nonprofit journalism groups for the future.

A fan of all things digital, Branden brings a wealth of experience in the mobile, technology and digital media sectors. As a consultant, he focused on partnerships and business development strategies. He’s worked with Red Clay Digital to provide mobile distribution and licensing expertise to digital media start-ups and publishers; Thompson Reuters UK-Custom Web Solutions, providing expertise in partnership development for content creation and distribution of mobile products, and Samplesaint, Inc., a start-up mobile marketing technology firm offering solutions using NFC technology. His wireless industry experience included working as the Sr. Manager, Partnerships/Business Development, Emerging Technologies & Media at Alcatel-Lucent, and, in his role as Business Development Manager at The Weather Channel, he was responsible for creating strategic partnerships and generating revenue for TWCi’s suite of branded mobile products. He received his MBA degree at Georgia State University and BS in Communications from Ohio University.

Branden’s already working closely with Tom Regan, our consulting sponsorship manager, and they’ll be a formidable team at ONA12 in San Francisco. If you’re interested in working with ONA, reach out to Branden at

We’re looking forward to having you meet him.

Jane McDonnell
Executive Director


Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.