Four accomplished residents join Montclair Local Board
Four talented Montclair residents have been elected to the board of Montclair Local, the nonprofit news organization launched in 2017.
The new directors are Jonathan Bellack, Trei Brundrett, Holly Shakoor Fleischer and Meredith Levine.
“We are pleased to welcome these four amazing people to the Montclair Local board,” said board Chair Ollie Hartsfield. “They bring a variety of professional and community experiences that will enrich our board. They also share a common love of our town and a commitment to support the Local’s mission to keep residents informed.”
Jonathan Bellack is a veteran internet technology leader who recently launched a product management consulting business. During a 30-year career that started in the dot-com trenches, then continued at DoubleClick, Jigsaw and Google, Bellack led teams focused on delivering better internet advertising, digital products and technology that helps keep users safe from threats and fraud.
Bellack has a B.A. in biology from Yale University and an M.B.A. in marketing and management from the NYU Stern School of Business. He helped co-found and is a board member of NJ 11th for Change, which advocates for transparent, responsive and accountable government. Bellack and his wife moved to Montclair in 2003 and are raising their two sons here. They currently are in serious discussions about getting a dog.
"I am excited to help Montclair build the sustainable news organization it needs and deserves,” Bellack said. “I've been a firm believer in the power of local journalism to drive positive change since my high school newspaper's bombshell exposé of unfriendly behavior by the main office staff."
Trei Brundrett is a co-founder, senior adviser and former chief operating officer for Vox Media, a native digital media company that he helped grow from a collection of sports blogs to the expansive powerhouse it is today. He also has led large-scale internet strategy, advertising and development projects for Fortune 500 companies, political campaigns and media clients.
Brundrett is vice chair of The Texas Tribune board and serves on the boards of the McDonald Observatory and OpenNews. He studied history and astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He, his wife and four children have lived in Montclair since 2017.
"It's a true privilege to directly support the Local's important mission to strengthen Montclair with independent, factual reporting that serves everyone,” Brundrett said. “We're lucky to have a hometown news service that connects and reflects our unique community, so I'm excited to join my fellow board members in the responsibility of fostering this critical source of local journalism."
Holly Shakoor Fleischer is a veteran entertainment executive who built a Hollywood career as a publicist, later developing and producing television and movie projects.
From 2018 to 2021, she was Gabrielle Union’s producing partner for Union’s production company, I’ll Have Another. Their films include “Cheaper by the Dozen” on Disney+, “The Inspection,” a critically acclaimed independent feature film, and “The Perfect Find,” a romantic comedy scheduled to premiere on Netflix later in 2023.
Born and raised in Wayne, Fleischer earned a B.A. at Tulane University before moving to Los Angeles. She and her husband moved to Montclair in 2021 and live with their two daughters and dog, Roxy.
"I'm so honored to be part of the Montclair Local board,” Fleischer said. “I'm looking forward to putting my efforts into a local organization that honorably reports the news within our community as well as having the opportunity to collaborate with the esteemed members of the board.”
Meredith Levine is a lawyer with a background in housing policy who most recently served as special counsel at the Battery Park City Authority. She previously worked as chief of staff to the commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
Originally from Franklin Lakes, Levine has lived with her family in Montclair since 2019. She holds a B.A. in history from Yale University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
“Journalism has always been important to me,” Levine said. “I’m thrilled to live in a place that values journalism as much as Montclair. Its local reporters and editors are people who often live in the communities they report on, who provide us with the information we need to connect with our neighbors, who enable better civic dialogue, and who work to make our community better for all.”
The four new directors join current Local board members Ollie Hartsfield, a retired communications executive who chairs the board; Kathleen Carroll, retired editor of The Associated Press; Jennifer Dorr-Moon, a writer and communications strategist; Stephen Engelberg, editor-in-chief of ProPublica; Justin Jamail, general counsel of the New York Botanical Garden; David Jones, retired national editor of The New York Times; Vate Powell, owner of the decor business Johanna Howard Home; Jake Silverstein, editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine; and Jason White, a technology and media consultant and former Facebook partnerships executive.
The Local was founded by Heeten and Thalla-Marie Choxi and began publishing in 2017. It became a non-profit, supported entirely by the community, in 2021.