Kate Lesniak is a dynamic strategist focused on innovative engagement models, membership programs, financial independence, and new revenue streams. Prior to joining ThinkShout, she was the publisher at Bitch Media, where her work focuses on developing outstanding engagement models—IRL and in digital—that not only distribute content, but also sustain organizations financially. A product of the “progressive” political organizing machine, Kate arrived in the independent feminist media world after honing her skills as a digital organizer turned major donor fundraiser with Howard Dean’s Democracy for America. Last year, Kate won an Innovation Grant from the Institute for Nonprofit News, funded by the Democracy Fund and the Knight Foundation, to test the relationship between Hearken, a new digital engagement product for editors, and paid sustaining memberships. (Good news, things look good financially for media outlets that value mutuality with their readers.) A product of Buffalo New York and Burlington Vermont and 1,000 feet of snow, Kate prides herself in turning the inclement into opportunity: Hence, her faith in independent media to sustain itself.