Our Boards

Governing Board

Jonathan Bellack is a veteran internet technology leader and owner of a product management consulting business. During a 30-year career that started in the dot-com trenches, then to 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. degree 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.

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 and his wife and four children have lived in Montclair since 2017.

Kathleen Carroll is a veteran journalism leader and free press advocate. She traveled the globe during 14 years as executive editor of The Associated Press, the world’s largest independent news organization. She chaired the Committee to Protect Journalists board and served on the Pulitzer Prize board, the last year as co-chair. Her career began at her hometown Dallas Morning News while she was attending the University of Texas at Arlington. Later jobs took her to Newark, Los Angeles, Paris, San Jose, Calif., Washington and New York. An avid gardener, she has repeatedly failed to persuade visiting deer to eat weeds instead of flowers. She and her husband, writer Steve Twomey, moved to Montclair in 2002. They are the proud parents of an adult son.

Jennifer Dorr-Moon is a writer and editor who also helps nonprofit organizations and others through Jennifer Dorr Communications Strategy. She is co-creator and managing editor of the New York School of Interior Design's award-winning Atelier magazine. She writes speeches and communications for leaders in the design industry, nonprofits and colleges. She has been published in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Adirondack Life, Yoga Journal and elsewhere. She previously worked in publicity for Simon & Schuster and DK Publishing and headed publicity for the 92nd Street Y’s signature lecture and reading series. She co-founded Montclair Public Library's Open Book/Open Mind authors series while serving as a library board member. She holds a B.A. in psychology and English from Tufts University and is a Montclair native. She’s often about town walking her red dog, Luther, shuttling her kids to sports or escaping it all with her nose in a book.

Stephen Engelberg is the proud father of three daughters who graduated from Montclair High School. In his 15 years in Montclair, he proved himself a thoroughly mediocre coach of recreational soccer. He's married to Gabrielle Glaser, author of four books and a gifted cook and gardener. When he's not helping the Local raise money, he's the editor-in-chief of ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit investigative news organization, a job he's held since 2013. During 18 years with The New York Times, Engelberg founded the paper's investigative unit and reported from Washington and Warsaw. He has shared two George Polk Awards and two Pulitzer Prizes and co-authored “Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War.” He grew up in Lexington, Mass., a town not unlike Montclair. In line with his New England roots, he is a crazed fan of Boston sports, particularly the Red Sox and Celtics.

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 feature films include “Cheaper by the Dozen” on Disney+, “The Inspection,” a critically acclaimed independent feature film, and the Netflix romantic comedy, “The Perfect Find.” 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.

Ollie Hartsfield has been a communications professional for 35 years, retiring as the managing director of the agency The SPI Group LLC. Before joining SPI Group in 2006, she spent more than 10 years in communications with Lucent Technologies, three years at AT&T, five years at the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and began her career in 1983 at the Field Museum of Natural History in her native Chicago. She holds a B.A. in communications from Loyola University Chicago and an M.A. in marketing communications from Roosevelt University. She has lived in Montclair since 1986. She and her husband raised two children here and now get to hang with their two grandsons. She is currently enjoying her role as an active member of the Montclair Baha’i Faith community and the Montclair Race Amity Initiative as well as walks with her husband around town.

Justin Jamail is an attorney and serves as the general counsel of the New York Botanical Garden. He previously worked at the Metropolitan Opera as in-house counsel and before that, he specialized in cross-border mergers and acquisitions for a leading international firm’s Tokyo practice. In addition to local news, Justin supports independent literature as a board member of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses. His first collection of poetry, “Exchangeable Bonds,” was published by the Brooklyn-based press Hanging Loose in 2018. A native of Houston, he has a B.A. in American studies from Columbia University and a J.D. from Fordham University. Justin and his wife, Amber Reed, moved their family to Montclair in 2016 after a long spell in Tokyo, where both their children were born, and a short spell in Brooklyn. In 2021, Amber co-founded AAPI Montclair, which she serves as president.

David Jones spent 40 years as a journalist for two New York-based newspapers, six of those as a Wall Street Journal reporter in New York and Pittsburgh and six as a New York Times reporter in Detroit and Washington. Jones was an editor at the Times for 28 years, 15 as national editor and 10 as editor of national editions, during which he also spent eight years as an assistant managing editor. From 1997 to 2012, he was a trustee of Pennsylvania State University. He holds a B.A. in journalism from that university and an M.A. in American history from New York University. A native of Connellsville in southwestern Pennsylvania, he and his wife, Mary Lee, have lived in Montclair since 1972.

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 in Montclair with her husband and two young children since 2019. She holds a B.A. in history from Yale University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Vate Powell loves Montclair so much he moved here twice. First in 1995 to clerk for Montclair’s U.S. District Judge John W. Bissell. And again in 2005, when Vate and his wife, Johanna Howard, moved from Brooklyn to the South End. As an attorney, Vate spent 10 years at MTV Networks/Viacom, where he was vice president and senior counsel in the intellectual property and litigation group, working on productions for all channels, including news. He now co-owns Johanna Howard Home, a luxury home textile brand headquartered in the South End. And, with his Montclair High School student daughter, Rose, Rose + Co. Candlemakers, a hand-poured soy candle line.

Jake Silverstein has been editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine since 2014. He was editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly from 2009-2014 and a senior editor from 2006-2009. Silverstein is co-editor of the best-selling book “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” and the author of the book “Nothing Happened and Then It Did.” He was a contributing writer for Harper’s Magazine and a reporter for The Big Bend Sentinel in Marfa, Texas. A native of Oakland, Calif., he has a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University, an M.A. in English from Hollins University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the Michener Center at the University of Texas. He and his wife, Mary, an archivist at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and their two sons, Leo and Joe, have lived in Montclair since 2014.

Jason White is a technology and media consultant who lives in Montclair with his wife, three kids and two cats. He spent a decade at Facebook, where he held executive roles across product marketing and business partnerships, including the news industry. Jason’s team grew partner revenue from zero to more than $200 million annually, sponsored eight U.S. presidential debates and developed the Facebook Accelerator to help local news organizations grow their business. He joined Facebook in 2013 after a dozen years in journalism, as a senior editor at NBC News, a producer at CNN and a national affairs reporter with PBS NewsHour. He holds a B.S. in social policy from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Religion and Ethics from Yale University. A native of Millbury, Mass., Jason is a proud Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots fan. When he’s not cheering on those teams or his kids on the soccer field, Jason can be found strumming the guitar, cycling or playing outfield for his softball team.


Heeten and Thalla-Marie Choxi. The Choxis founded Montclair Local in 2017, believing the community needed a news organization devoted only to the issues and people here. (Read more about the founding of the Local here). They personally funded Montclair Local in the initial years and continued to provide significant contributions after the Local became a non-profit supported entirely by the community, in 2021. Heeten also led the Local’s Board of Trustees. The Choxis lived in Montclair from 2014 to 2022, when they relocated to North Carolina with their five children.

Advisory Board

Jonathan Alter — MSNBC analyst, Daily Beast columnist, author

Nelli Black — Senior producer, Investigations, CNN

Rukmini Callimachi — Foreign correspondent, The New York Times

Brian Carovillano — Vice president and managing editor, The Associated Press

Henri Cauvin — Senior editor, ProPublica

David Chen — Investigative reporter, The New York Times

Rachel Fishman Fedderson — CEO and publisher, The Forward

Ian Frazier — Staff writer, The New Yorker

David Halbfinger — Jerusalem bureau chief, The New York Times

Tom Johnson — Executive Producer, The Circus, Showtime

Charisse Jones — National business correspondent, USA Today

John Mooney — Founder and CEO, NJ Spotlight

Stefanie Murray — Director, Center for Cooperative Media, Montclair State University

Winnie O’Kelley — Dean of academic affairs, Columbia Journalism School

Mark Porter — Former editor, Montclair Times

Andy Rosenthal — Retired editorial page editor, The New York Times

Jodi Rudoren — Editor-in-Chief, The Forward

Dale Russakoff — Author, former journalist at The Washington Post

Eric Roston — Sustainability Editor, Bloomberg News

Rachel Swarns — Associate professor journalism, New York University

Jennifer Saba — Columnist, Reuters

Karen Yourish — Graphics editor, The New York Times

Kate Zernike — National Political Reporter, The New York Times, Author

Montclair is blessed to have the Montclair Local on the case in our town. It is exactly what a local publication should be, full of accurate and aggressive reporting that covers the heart of the community.
— Jonathan Alter, Journalist, MSNBC analyst

I joined because I want to contribute in any way I can to Heeten and Thalla's incredible initiative in forming the Montclair Local. Reliable local newspapers have never been more important even as they become increasingly difficult to preserve.
— Justin Jamail, Trustee, Assistant Secretary & General Council of New York