Board of Directors
John D. Messner
Messner is treasurer of Investigative Newsource
He is principal and portfolio manager, executive committee of Messner & Smith Investment Management, Ltd. Messner has been directly involved in the investment industry for more than 30 years. He spent eight years in New York City before moving to San Diego where he founded Meridian Capital Management in 1977. In 1984, Meridian Capital Management merged with Ellis C. Smith, Investment Counsel, Inc. to form Meridian Capital Management, Ltd., now Messner & Smith Investment Management, Ltd.
Prior to moving to San Diego, Messner was vice president and stockholder of William D. Witter, Inc., an institutional research firm in New York City. Before Witter, Messner was with Nuveen & Company and White Weld & Company, Inc., where he trained and worked as a financial analyst and institutional marketer.
Messner received a B.A. in Economics and Government from Miami University in Oxford and did graduate work in finance at Case Western Reserve University and New York Institute of Finance.
He has served on the Board of Governors of the San Diego Foundation, and is past president and director of San Diego’s Society of Financial Analysts. He served as a board member and as chairman of the San Diego County Retirement Board and president of the San Diego Chapter of the Estate Planning Council. Messner has also served as director of the San Diego Opera and chairman of the board for the San Diego Repertory Theatre. He currently is treasurer, Board of Directors of the San Diego Public Library Foundation and a member of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library Board.
Houston is Secretary of Investigative Newsource
Brant Houston is a professor and the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois and also is a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Library Information and Sciences.
From 1997 to 2007, Houston was executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, a 4,000 member association, and taught at the Missouri School of Journalism. Before that, Houston was an award-winning investigative reporter for 17 years and was part of the newsroom staff at The Kansas City Star that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of a hotel building collapse.
He is co-author of “The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook” (Fifth Edition) and author of “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide”. Houston also is a co-founder of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and chair of the steering committee of the Investigative News Network in the U.S.
Joyce M. Gattas Ph.D.
Joyce M. Gattas Ph.D. is Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, one of the largest colleges at San Diego State University. She manages 11 diverse departments/schools which include:
- Art, Design and Art History
- Exercise and Nutritional Sciences
- Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Journalism and Media Studies
- Music and Dance
- Public Affairs (Public Administration, City Planning, Criminal Justice)
- Theatre, Television and Film
- Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs
Within these departments and schools, Gattas supervises 600 faculty and staff, serving 8,400 undergraduate and graduate student majors. She manages an $18 million budget and is responsible for raising external funds, including $25 million over the past five years. Several centers and research institutes are also resident in the College providing students with opportunities for firsthand research experience which include:
- Center for Visual and Performing Arts
- Center for Hospitality and Tourism Research
- The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Student Center for Professional Development
- Theatre, Youth, Media, and Education (TYME) Arts Center
- Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming
- Institute of Public and Urban Affairs
- Institute for Meetings and Events
- Production Center for Documentary and Drama
- Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film
- Center for Optimal Health and Performance
- Dr. Sanford I. Berman Institute for Effective Communication and General Semantics
- Institute for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics
- Institute for Leisure Behavior and Tourism Management
- Institute for International Security and Conflict Resolution
- International Center for Communication
Previously, Gattas taught at California State Universities, at Long Beach and East Bay. Following her career as a college professor, she was the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs at San Diego State University. She earned a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.A. and a B.S. degree from the University of New Mexico.
Gattas has been a leader in the community and involved in professional organizations. She has been chair of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and San Diego Film Commission. She served as president of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Board of Trustees. Oher Boards of service include: San Diego Public Library Foundation Board; San Diego Foundation Arts and Culture Working Group; Fleet Week Board of Directors; San Diego Performing Arts League; KPBS Advisory Board; San Diego Bowl Game Association Red Coat Committee; Museum of Photographic Arts.
Gattas has been recognized with San Diego Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Award and with Woman of Achievement Award by the San Diego Magazine’s Who’s Who. She was One of 50 San Diegans To Watch and One of the “10 Cool Women” Girl Scouts Award. Gattas received the Ginger Award for commitment and dedication to the promotion of the visual arts and was honored as a “Woman of Dedication” by the Salvation Army for contributions to the community. She was given the SDSU Mortar Board for service to the University and the 2009 Monty for Distinguished University Service Award. Gattas also was designated 2009 Woman of the Year in the field of Media, Art & Culture by San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.
Karin E. Winner
As Vice President, News & Editor, Karin Winner oversaw remarkable changes at The San Diego Union-Tribune and played an active role in redefining the newspaper’s relationship with the San Diego region. She retired at the end of 2009 after 15 years at the helm of the newsroom.
Winner, who grew up in San Diego, joined The San Diego Union in 1976 as special features editor. She was promoted to assistant city editor in 1977, to assistant managing editor-features in June 1978, to deputy managing editor in January 1985, and to managing editor in February 1986.
Publisher Helen Copley placed her in charge of merging the morning Union and afternoon Tribune in September 1991. The San Diego Union-Tribune debuted on Feb. 2, 1992. Winner became executive editor in 1992. In 1995, she was elevated to the position of editor.
Prior to joining the Union-Tribune, Winner was the West Coast editor of Women’s Wear Daily for seven years, during which time she helped create “W” magazine.
She is past president of the California Society of Newspaper Editors, a member of the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the American Society of Newspaper Editors (credibility/ethics committee), the Associated Press Managing Editors Association and Women in Communication. She served on the board of the American Press Institute in Reston, Virginia from 1995-2003.
Under Winner’s leadership, the Union-Tribune received the ’07-’08 General Excellence award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. The honor goes to what the judges consider the best newspaper in the state among daily publications with a circulation of 201,000 or more. In 2006, the Union-Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, for exposing the worst Congressional bribery scandal in history, which involved San Diego Congressman Duke Cunningham who is currently serving time in an Arizona penitentiary.
Winner was the recipient of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “The Courageous Leadership” award in 2007. She was the San Diego Press Club’s “Headliner of the Year” in the Media-Print category, March 1996; a recipient of the San Diego Business Journal’s “San Diego Women Who Mean Business” award in Journalism, 1995; Honoree at the “Women Together” lunch sponsored by the San Diego YWCA, Catholic Charities and Episcopal Community Services, 1995, and a YWCA twin honoree in 1982.
Winner served on the Pulitzer Prize Jury for 2008 (criticism panel) and 2007 (news and feature photography) and on juries in 2001 (Explanatory Journalism panel) and 2000 (Gold Ribbon, Public Service panel) 1986 (Gold Ribbon Public Service panel) and 1985 (Criticism panel). Community Service: She has served on numerous boards, including those of the San Diego Chapter of the American Cancer Society and the Scripps Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Winner is a graduate of Bishop’s School, La Jolla, and has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In 2008, she was chosen for the Ellen Browning Scripps distinguished alumna award from Bishop’s and in 1993 was selected outstanding alumna of the USC School of Journalism.
Mary Lindenstein Walshok Ph.D.
Mary Lindenstein Walshok Ph.D. is Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs at the University of California, Dean, University Extension and Adjunct Professor of Sociology.
She received her B.A. from Pomona College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University. She has been a visiting professor at Stockholm School of Economics many years and in 2004 held an International Appointment, Department of Continuing Education, Oxford University, Oxford, England.
Walshok is responsible for UCSD’s outreach activities including such regionally focused programs as Executive Education, continuing professional education, UCSD-TV and a variety of community and economic development initiatives, such as the well-respected Global CONNECT and the San Diego Dialogue. Responsible for a staff of 275 and annual revenues of over $30 million, Walshok is the author of two books, Blue Collar Women and Knowledge Without Boundaries (dealing with the role of research universities in the economy); over 50 published articles and book chapters, as well as a variety of reports on the “new economy” and research capabilities for local and state agencies.
She is the recipient of numerous awards including the distinguished Kellogg Foundation’s Leadership Fellowship and, most recently, induction into Sweden’s Royal Order of the Polar Star. Active on boards of a number of arts and philanthropic organizations, Walshok chaired the board of the $400-million San Diego Community Foundation during 2002-2004 and is currently the Chair of the Board of the International Community Foundation and also serves on the boards of the La Jolla Playhouse, the San Diego Public Library Foundation, and the Girard Foundation.
Guylyn Cummins is a partner in the Entertainment, Media and Technology practice group in Sheppard Mullin’s San Diego/Downtown office. Ms. Cummins has spent her entire career working in media law. A seasoned litigator, she represents a broad array of media and entertainment clients relating to First Amendment and other issues, including access issues, libel and advertising content, plus trademark and copyright fair use. She has been named one of the top women litigators by the Daily Journal, selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, and recognized as one of the leading lawyers in the U.S. in The Legal 500 U.S. (Vol 11 Intellectual Property, Technology, Media & Telecom), as well as recognized by Chambers USA as one of America’s Leading Business Lawyers in Media and Entertainment.
Martha G. Dennis, Ph.D.
Dr. Martha Dennis is currently Principal at Gordian Knot, an advisory firm to emerging technology businesses in San Diego. She was a Venture Partner with Windward Ventures from 2002 to 2006; Windward Ventures invests in early-stage Southern California technology companies. Previously Dr. Dennis was President and CEO of WaveWare Communications, Incorporated, which she co-founded in April 1997; WaveWare sold software for wireless handheld connectivity. Formerly Dr. Dennis was co-founder and Vice President of Engineering of Pacific Communications Sciences, Incorporated, a San Diego based developer of wireless communications equipment founded in 1987 and sold to Cirrus Logic in 1993. From 1976 to 1987 Dr. Dennis led software development at Linkabit Corporation as Assistant Vice President. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Netsapiens, Inc., and a director of Space Micro Inc. and Clarinova. She also serves on advisory boards for several entrepreneurial technology ventures and mentors companies as the lead of the CommNexus Nextstage program, as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CONNECT’s Springboard Program, and as a member of the Chairmen’s Roundtable.
Dr. Dennis is immediate past Chair of the City of San Diego Science & Technology Commission, immediate Past President of the board of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and Past President of the boards of The Bishops School, UCSD Athena, and Commnexus, San Diego’s telecom industry association. She is currently a trustee of La Jolla Music Society and the San Diego Museum of Art, and a member of the San Diego Rotary Club 33. After multiple terms she has recently stepped down from the boards of Harvey Mudd College, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Foundation, and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. She has also served on the boards of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and the YMCA of San Diego County.
She is Chair of the San Diego Foundation Arts and Culture working group and until recently she was Vice-Chair of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Tech Committee. She is also on the advisory boards of the San Diego Opera, the UCSD Rady School of Management, SDSU College of Engineering, the Smith College Picker Engineering Program, and Commnexus. She has served on the advisory boards of UCSD CONNECT and La Jolla Country Day School.
Dr. Dennis holds a doctorate from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College. She is the recipient of the Tribute to Women in Industry Award (1983), the Women Who Mean Business Award (1995), and the Athena Pinnacle Award (2003). She was named one of Wireless Week’s Enterprising Women of Wireless (2000) and one of the T-Sector’s Power 2002. She was the subject of the cover story in the June 2004 issue of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine.
Charles Lewis is a distinguished journalist in residence and the founding executive editor of the new Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication, in Washington, D.C.
A national investigative journalist for nearly 30 years, Lewis is a bestselling author who has founded or co-founded four nonprofit enterprises in Washington, including the Center for Public Integrity. He left a successful career as an investigative producer for ABC News and the CBS News program 60 Minutes and began the Center for Public Integrity from his home, and growing it to a full-time staff of 40 people. Under his leadership, the Center published roughly 300 investigative reports, including 14 books, from 1989 through 2004, honored more than 30 times by national journalism organizations.
Lewis co-authored several of the Center’s studies and books that systematically track political influence, including The Buying of the President 2004 (Perennial 2004), on the New York Times short and extended bestseller list for three months, The Cheating of America (Morrow 2001), The Buying of the President 2000 (Avon 2000), The Buying of the Congress (Avon 1998) and The Buying of the President (Avon 1996).
In late 1997, he began the Center’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the world’s first working network of 100 premier reporters in 50 countries producing content across borders. And that made www.publicintegrity.org the “first global website devoted to international exposés.”
In 1996, Lewis and the Center issued a report, Fat Cat Hotel, which first revealed that the Clinton administration had been rewarding major donors with White House overnight stays in the “Lincoln Bedroom.” In 2003, in February the Center posted secret draft “Patriot II” legislation and in October the Center posted all of the known U.S. war contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Windfalls of War first identified that Halliburton had received the most money from those contracts, and it won the first George Polk Award for Internet Reporting.
In 2005, Lewis co-founded Global Integrity, an independent, non-profit organization utilizing journalists and social scientists to track governance and corruption trends around the world. And from 2005 through 2008, he served as founding president of the Fund for Independence in Journalism in Washington, an endowment and legal defense support organization for the Center for Public Integrity. He has been a consultant on access to information issues to the Carter Center in Atlanta, a Ferris Professor at Princeton University, and a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University.
Lewis was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998. And in 2004, PEN USA, the respected literary organization, gave its First Amendment award to Lewis, “for expanding the reach of investigative journalism, for his courage in going after a story regardless of whose toes he steps on, and for boldly exercising his freedom of speech and freedom of the press.” In 2009, the Encyclopedia of Journalism cited Lewis as “one of the 30 most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I.”