2019 Board of Directors Election

A total of 22 candidates — 17 new nominees and five incumbents, representing a wide and diverse range of digital media — ran for six open seats in the 2019–20 Online News Association Board of Directors election.

There are a total of 16 seats on the ONA Board; one additional is an appointed, non-voting student representative. Eight members are in the middle of their terms and not up for re-election, including the student appointee. The other eight directors were at the end of their two-year terms or appointments.

Two of those eight seats were held back to be filled by appointment following the election to address needs as determined by the Board. That left six seats up for election this year. Terms are for two years and begin Jan. 1, 2019. The appointments will be determined and announced in December.

The 2019 ONA Board election opened on Sept. 11, 2018. At that time, ONA members as of Sept. 9 were eligible to cast ballots. Voting closed Sept. 27, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PT. The 22 candidates all had the opportunity to give lightning talks at the ONA18, the 2018 Online News Association Conference in Austin, Texas. Their talks are available on YouTube.

The Board of Directors also approved a new class of Director members to the bylaws. The class of Director members will include ONA members who serve on the Board of Directors during their term of service. This change, recommended by our legal counsel, better aligns our governance structure and practice according to state law. In addition, the Director members will be able to resolve election ties, including but not limited to, re-counts and re-votes of the membership.


Newest directors joining the Board Jan. 1, 2019 are:

The re-elected members are:

Voter turnout was 13.95% of ONA’s eligible membership; out of 3,362 eligible voters, 469 voted.


Mandy Jenkins – 239 votes (10% of votes)
Benét Wilson – 200 votes (8% of votes)
Imaeyen Ibanga – 190 votes (8% of votes)
Rubina Madan Fillion – 154 votes (7% of votes)
Celeste LeCompte – 152 votes (6% of votes)
Niketa Patel – 134 votes (6% of votes)

Remaining candidates

Meena Thiruvengadam – 131 votes (6% of votes)
Teresa Frontado – 124 votes (5% of votes)
Greg Linch – 113 votes (5% of votes)
Angela Pacienza – 105 votes (4% of votes)
Rodney Gibbs – 102 votes (4% of votes)
Valerie Streit – 95 votes (4% of votes)
Selymar Colón – 91 votes (4% of votes)
Fergus Bell – 87 votes (4% of votes)
Chris Krewson – 79 votes (3% of votes)
Juleyka Lantigua-Williams – 73 votes (3% of votes)
Leslie Wilkinson – 65 votes (3% of votes)
Frank Mungeam – 64 votes (3% of votes)
Maryanne Reed – 60 votes (3% of votes)
Staci Baird – 49 votes (2% of votes)
Ola Stenberg – 33 votes (1% of votes)
Hayg Oshagan – 18 votes (1% of votes)

Incumbent Candidates

New Candidates