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A project of The Beacon’s Community Engagement Bureau, the Community Advisory Board advises the organization on improving our journalism, reaching underserved audiences and improving our public service to the community.

Community input is vital to our success. The advisory board is made up of a representative group of volunteer members who live and work in the Kansas City region and advises The Beacon’s staff on issues of interest to the broader community and providing feedback to inform decisions about our journalism.


Shawn Lee House, Grandview, Mo., is owner of Hervision by Shawn Lee, LLC. She is a photographer and networker who uses her skills to help empower individuals through photography. She is the host of the Business, Beauty & Bubbles podcast, a program for small-business owners. She is also a real estate agent with the Murrell Homes Real Estate Group.

James Baker, Kansas City, Mo., is a housing advocate with a special interest in local government transparency and equitable and inclusive community policy. In his free time, you can find him attending civic meetings and events. He writes a local politics newsletter, Dispatches From Waldo, and is a sustaining member of The Beacon. 

Adrianne DeWeese, Overland Park, Kan., began her career as a newspaper reporter, working on nearly every community newsroom beat. She has a Master of Public Administration, with an emphasis in nonprofit management, from UMKC and is a fundraising professional dedicated to equitable and sustainable individual giving practices and quality donor relations. She serves on the Professional Development Committee with the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Kansas City chapter, is a 2021 graduate of Central Exchange’s Emerging Leaders program, and is a founding member of The Beacon.

Leslie Scott, Kansas City, Kan., is a community builder advocating for positive change in the areas of entrepreneurship, mentoring, digital literacy, tech training, public education and other social justice issues. A nonprofit communications professional, she has worked and volunteered on numerous community projects, including AmeriCorps VISTA, Quixotic Foundation, One KC Radio, aSTEAM Village, and Re.Use.Full, a project of Do More Good, the social enterprise she founded. She is a sustaining member of The Beacon. 

Heather A. Davis, Kansas City, Mo., is a retired flight attendant who has worked to raise awareness of human trafficking in the travel industry as well as in her community. She is deeply passionate about causes related to underserved children with vulnerabilities. As a parent of a child with exceptional needs, she is committed to helping other parents navigate government structures to advocate for their children. In her spare time, she enjoys writing screenplays and was recently a finalist in a national competition for her screenplay “Mother,” which touches on child exploitation. She is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law and lives with her Spider-Man loving 4-year-old son and their rambunctious Pitbull-Labrador CoCo in the Oak Park neighborhood.

The Rev. Jeff Light, Mission, Kan., is the transitional pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Hyde Park. He comes to this position after 26 years as an HR professional for Sprint, IBM and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has two grown children and a border collie. Jeff sings with the Heartland Men’s Chorus and is an avid runner of marathons and triathlons. Jeff’s community interests include racial reconciliation, hunger and housing issues, education and an independent press.

Kalia London, Kansas City, Kan., is a recent graduate of Sumner Academy of Arts & Sciences. In fall 2022, she will attend Kansas City Kansas Community College to obtain her associate degree. As student leader at Sumner, she was part of ThrYve, Groundworks NRG LearnToEarn program, Leadup and the Kansas City Kansas Police Athletic League. 

Marisol Montero, Kansas City, Mo., is a unit coordinator for the emergency room at University Health at Truman Medical Center. Raised in the Westside neighborhood of Kansas City, she believes all children, regardless of background, deserve an excellent public education that provides options for full participation in the American dream. She is involved in various groups and programs that provide community and educational services throughout Kansas City. 

Shannon Santschi, northwest Missouri, has spent her professional career as a classroom teacher and in government work, serving as a state congressional aide to U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback. Later, as the director of investor education at the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner, she developed a financial literacy initiative for incarcerated fathers and their children. She is currently a coordinator for the Children’s Educational Alliance of Missouri, promoting educational opportunities in the region. She is married to Michael Santschi and the couple resides in rural northwest Missouri. In her spare time, she writes, sings and does volunteer work for her church.

Arthur Oldebeken, Gladstone, Mo., is retired from a 30-year career as a nonprofit executive and industry lobbyist. He is an active and civically engaged resident in Gladstone. In his free time, he enjoys reading early American history and giving living-history presentations.

Valentin Lobatos, Kansas City, Kan., is a community life coordinator at a Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and a community advocate within Wyandotte County. He has a passion for both politics and religion. You can usually find him at a local civic engagement event or at the nearest coffee shop.

Jodi Mathews, Kansas City, Mo., is director of marketing and development for Reconciliation Services, which advances racial and economic reconciliation and improves individual and community well-being through social and mental health services, economic community building opportunities, and through its social venture cafe, Thelma’s Kitchen. Jodi began her career in investigative journalism, focusing on First Amendment rights and ethics, and now brings her passion for social justice to her work, promoting dignity, community and advocacy. She is a sustaining member of The Beacon.


Join The Beacon’s Community Advisory Board

Do you want to promote independent local journalism in your community? The Community Advisory Board application period will reopen in 2023. 

Key selection criteria determine the viability of any applicant:

Diverse Perspective: The Community Advisory Board represents a diverse set of backgrounds, perspectives and geographic areas around Kansas City. 

Skills and Experience: Board members may possess a broad set of skills and experiences to support The Beacon team. We actively seek candidates who possess all levels of professional knowledge, lived experience or volunteer service in the following areas: education, housing, civic engagement, the environment, health care, economic development and labor. 

Analytical Ability: Board members are comfortable giving honest critical feedback to help The Beacon team. 

Mission Alignment: In service to The Beacon’s distinct focus on public service local journalism, Board members demonstrate value alignment and history of community involvement. 

Potential to Propel The Beacon Forward: Board members personally engage and leverage their networks to advance The Beacon forward. Capacity for financial contribution is not a deciding factor.

Team Mindset: To ensure productive and creative meetings, Board members thrive in a collaborative environment.