The Beacon community Advisory Board is (clockwise from left) Steffany Sloan, Steve Fleischaker, Klassie Alcine, Leslie Scott, Kara Lewis, Brent Schondelmeyer, Chelan David, Adrianne DeWeese, Teesha Miller, and James Baker.

Overview 

The Beacon’s Community Advisory Board plays a critical role in advising the organization with a focus on improving our journalism, reaching underserved audiences and improving our public service to the community.

Community input is vital to our success. The 10-member advisory board is made up of a representative group of volunteer members who live and work in the Kansas City region. Separate from our Board of Directors, which has a fiduciary responsibility and governance role for the organization, this board focuses on advising The Beacon staff on issues of interest to the broader community and providing feedback to inform decisions about our journalism.

The group meets quarterly and includes members of community-based organizations, the business community, nonprofits, as well as readers and former journalists.

Members

Klassie Alcine, Kansas City, Mo., is president at KC Common Good, leading the vision, operations, community engagement, board relations and programming of a nonprofit organization focused on uniting the community to address the root causes of violence and instill hope. She is involved in a variety of community service projects, career development programs and other leadership activities. Previously, she worked at Central Exchange and Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas. 

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. 

Chelan David, Overland Park, Kan. is a former freelance writer now serving as director of development for Youth Volunteer Corp, a nonprofit organization creating opportunities to address community needs and inspire youth for a lifetime of service. Active in the community, he’s served on numerous boards including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, International Relations Council, and the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation. He is a graduate of the Centurions leadership program and a founding 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 sits on two committees with the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Kansas City chapter, is in the current cohort of the Central Exchange’s Emerging Leaders program, and is a founding member of The Beacon.

Steve Fleischaker, Overland Park, Kan., has a long history of non-profit, civic, business and political leadership in Kansas City. He has served as a board member for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City, the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri, among others, and is vice president of commercial banking for CapFed. He has a passion for the underserved in Kansas City with an emphasis on childhood health.

Kara Lewis, Kansas City, Mo., is a writer, editor and poet with a special interest in the intersection of gender, social justice and media. A graduate of the UMKC Creative Writing Program, she is a community activist who has volunteered her time with Harvester’s, Kansas City Public Library and the UMKC Women’s Center. 

Teesha Miller, Raytown, Mo., is community leader for numerous community engagement projects, specifically focused on those involving youth and underserved communities. Currently serving as executive director of a local nonprofit youth services agency, she has a special gift for fostering private-public partnerships. She is a founding member of The Beacon.

Brent Schondelmeyer, Independence, Mo., is the deputy director of Local Investment Commission (LINC), a nonprofit focused on neighborhood revitalization. A former journalist and published author, Brent is known for his involvement in historic preservation and civic improvement initiatives. He works with several nonprofits and is a vice president of the State Historical Society of Missouri and a trustee on the Mid Continent Public Library board. He 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. 

Steffany Sloan, Kansas City, Mo., is a social science researcher and instructor in the areas of child welfare, family policy, housing and homelessness, food insecurity and aging. They have worked both professionally and personally as a social justice advocate, are an active member of the LGBTQIA+ community and are a diversity and inclusion facilitator. They have also served as a K-12 educator and non-profit consultant. 


Join the Community Advisory Board

Do you want to promote independent local journalism in your community? The Community Advisory Board application period will reopen in September 2021. 

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.