Slate announced for 2015 ONA Board of Directors election

By on August 29, 2014

We’re happy to announce the slate of nominees for the 2015 Board of Directors for the Online News Association.

Under the bylaws, the board may be comprised of up to 15 voting members. For the 2015-16 Board term, there are six qualified seats open for election. Terms are for two years and begin Jan. 1, 2015.

Nine new candidates and seven incumbents, representing a wide and diverse range of digital media, are running.

To be sure to give all candidates time to present their vision for ONA, elections will once again open during the 2014 Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet in Chicago, Friday, Sept. 26, when candidates also will be introduced at a Lightning Round session to present their visions for ONA and answer questions from members.

During the campaign, candidates will be encouraged to use any and all social networking tools at their disposal to tell voters how they will help move ONA forward. Elected board members will be announced in October.

Here is the slate; head to this page to find out more about the candidates and their vision for ONA.


  • Jody Brannon, Digital Media Consultant (ONA Vice President)
  • Joshua Hatch, Senior Editor for Data and Interactives, Chronicle of Higher Education (ONA Treasurer)
  • Robert Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • Mandy Jenkins, Editor, Storyful’s Open Newsroom (ONA Secretary)
  • Greg Linch, Local Data Projects Editor, The Washington Post
  • Jim Roberts, Executive Editor and Chief Content Officer, Mashable
  • Benét Wilson, eNewsletters/Social Media Editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

New candidates

  • Bonnie Newman Davis, Associate Professor, N.C. A&T State University
  • Emily Dresslar, Director of Content Strategy, Calkins Media
  • Arlene Getz, Editor-in-Charge, Digital News, Reuters
  • Luis Gomez, Business Editor, Investigative News Network
  • Jennifer Hicks, Deputy Editor, Digital News, The Wall Street Journal
  • Rhyne Piggot, Senior Executive Producer, Multimedia and Mobile, Al Jazeera America
  • Jessica Plautz, Travel Editor, Mashable
  • David Smydra, Manager of News Partnerships, Google
  • Jose Zamora, Vice President, Strategic Communications, Univision

Voting will open Friday, Sept. 26, and end Oct. 14. All ONA members in good standing as of Sept. 24, 2014, are eligible to vote. Renew or join here to ensure your vote.

Our deepest thanks to our Nominating Chair, former Board member Teresa Hanafin, Editor, Crux: Covering all things Catholic, and our Executive Committee for reviewing candidates.

Good luck to the nominees, and, as always, we thank our members for your participation in this important process — and for being a vital part of our growing digital community.

Jane McDonnell
Executive Director

Jane McDonnell

Jane McDonnell

As executive director, Jane oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, working closely with the Board of Directors. Her purview includes membership, partnerships, global community outreach, budgeting and revenue generation, fundraising and development, the Online Journalism Awards, and providing vision for ONA’s state-of-the-art annual conference.