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The Beacon Board of Directors has no influence over editorial content or day-to-day newsroom operations. The editorial independence of our editors and reporters is critical to the mission of The Beacon. The standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News are our guide. 

BRITTANY BARRIENTOS is a partner at Stinson LLP, practicing environmental law. Between dealing with Clean Water Act provisions and environmental health and safety issues, she has been active in the community, volunteering with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Greater Kansas City United Way, Junior Achievement, Operation Breakthrough, and Brookside Mothers’ Association. Barrientos has also been heavily involved in pro bono efforts internationally on policy issues with Advocates for Human Rights and locally co-captaining a nonpartisan election protection call center. She was a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s Centurions Leadership Class in 2019. A Texas native, she holds a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas Tech.

ANDRÉ DAVIS has spent more than 20 years helping CEOs and organizations drive growth in various industries. In his current role, he serves as a corporate engagement executive at Built, a technology-driven construction firm. Previously, he served as Vice President of Business Development at Sunflower Bank and prior to that was a marketing consultant at the Kansas City Business Journal. André is very active in the community, serving on several non-profit boards and as a volunteer. He is also a mentor, coach, and speaker, and has participated in and moderated numerous panel discussions and events throughout Kansas City. He graduated from Doane University in Nebraska.

LAURIE ELLINGHAUSEN CALLAN is the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she facilitates planning, design, and compliance for new programs and courses. Her research focuses on Renaissance/early modern English literature and culture (Tudor and Jacobean), with special emphases on issues of class, labor, and early empire. She also researches and writes about Shakespearean pedagogy. When not in the library or the classroom, she teaches yoga and meditation at a local studio and throughout Kansas City. Originally from Texas, she holds a doctorate from the University of California-Santa Barbara.

MARK HORVIT is an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he teaches investigative reporting, and is director of the school’s State Government Reporting Program. He previously served as executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR), where he conducted training in investigative reporting and data journalism throughout the world. Horvit worked as a reporter and editor for 20 years before joining IRE at publications including The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Charlotte Observer.

BRIAN MCCLENDON is a technology leader, developer and engineer.  He most recently became a research professor at the University of Kansas after spending two years at Uber leading their Maps and Business Platform efforts. For 15 years, he was a Vice President with Google and led the entire Geo business unit building Google Maps, Street View and Google Earth. Before that, McClendon was a co-founder and angel investor in Keyhole, Inc., a geospatial data visualization company that was purchased by Google to produce Google Earth. McClendon  was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2015. He grew up in Lawrence, Kan., and his childhood home, Meadowbrook Apartments, is the default center point of Google Earth. He has been recognized by the United Nations as a “Champion of the Earth,” which is its top environmental prize, “for harnessing the power of technology to support conservation and green economic development.” McClendon holds 21 issued patents, including 10 relating to KML, the XML-based language schema for expressing geographic annotation and visualization in two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers.

DAVID OLIVER is an attorney at the Kansas City law firm Berkowitz Oliver LLP, specializing in litigation, class action defense and accounting and professional liability. He also has a consulting practice helping companies diversify and strengthen their boards and implement best practices in board/management relations. His civic activities include serving as a board member of AlignED; board member and board chair of MRIGlobal; board member of William Jewell College; board member and chair of DeLaSalle Charter High School; board member of the UMKC Trustees; board member of the UMKC Enactus Business Advisory Board; board member of Teach for America – KC; board member of DIBS for Kids; board member of the Missouri Advisory Board for Educator Preparation; advisory board member Spencer Art Museum at the University of Kansas; advisory board member of the AUP+D Department at UMKC; advocacy committee member of ArtsKC; and advocacy committee member of Nonprofit Connect. He is on the board of The Francis Family Foundation; the board of The Cross Foundation; and is a Trustee of the Murphy Charitable Fund. He is a graduate of Haverford College and Boston University School of Law.

ANURAG PATEL is founder of Helix Health, a clinical data analytics tool that supports decisions for healthcare providers and payors  use their own data to improve patient population health outcomes and lower the cost of care. He currently leads primary research in healthcare data analysis and health outcomes. His education was in Medicine at UMKC – School of Medicine and Healthcare Administration at KU – School of Medicine and his relevant work history includes work at the KU Medical Center as a clinical assistant professor and director of strategy in information security and COO of a local tech startup. He is also a board member at Startland and the KC Social Innovation Center, and enjoys biking and tacos in his free time.

KERRI VOYLES is director of marketing and communications for Central Exchange, a KC-based women’s leadership community. A passion for brand strategy, design and social justice led Kerri to a career in nonprofits. She regularly consults and speaks on growing purpose-driven brands. She also serves on the Connext: Emerging Nonprofit Leaders board and reads with Lead to Read KC. A Nebraska-native, Kerri holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.